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Letter Box On Line (LBOL) Files #12

  • Section A: January 15, 2001
  • Section B: February15, 2001
  • Section C: March 15, 2001
  • Section D: April 15, 2001
  • Section E: May 13, 2001
  • Section F: .................................................................. June 15, 2001
    Carmel, CA

      (Swimming in the pool at Panksomion)

      Why is it in this lunar haunt
      that a seething torture churns?

      The opulence of boundless love
      demands I give it up

      As a well of water
      that is flooded
      I must let it go to the sea

      I must let us be
      the boundlessness of eternity

    Carolyn Mary Kleefeld

    Big Sur, CA

      THE POET

      Better to embrace
      the holier language, silence.
      Better to endure the lonely
      mountain walks to the high
      peaks of God. Better to
      receive (there) than than to give.
      But my heart remains
      somehow human, takes flight
      for expression or deftly plunges
      to explore...
      While the whispering river
      of the poet's cry sings
      of what can't be uttered,
      to what audience listening?


      Know that in silence
      I am speaking to you.
      Know that in silence my soul
      rings out like a light to you.
      Know that every whispering
      branch on the tree of life
      is my breath whispering for you.
      Blow through me, my eternal wind.
      Blow through me, my eternal mistress,
      my most holy dear.
      Blow through me,
      leave not one clothed leaf wavering
      on my vibrating stem.


      Shall I tremble
      infinitely when you
      place your hands
      upon me?

      And what flames
      flashing lie waiting
      in your feminine fingers
      makes my phoenix rise?

      Oh are you
      the bird of my dreams

      Or are you
      the whole sky
      the image of my love
      takes flight in?

    David Dunn

    Carmel, CA


      this is the what
      we have
      to work with

      contrails over me
      splay two bright
      light rails from SFO
      to LAX

      down here
      i want to relax

      that was the very
      last word i held out
      to Mother


      i said
      why don't you
      just relax

      nothing more to
      tangle through
      the curly cord

      i am sitting here
      beneath my daughter's
      basketball hoop
      far far beneath
      the invisible threads
      that link SFO
      to LAX

      is it time to cry
      is it time to laugh

      Time is mass

      i feel this force
      but as my friend
      my good friend

      dear John

      said it is harder
      to die than you think

      in his habitual Chinese
      café on Alvarado Street
      in old Monterey that was

      awhile before his cancer
      bed floated him off and
      away so long John

      so long my Brother

      there are tiny moths
      betwixt oak twigs the cat
      is stalking for jays

      which means caterpillar
      munching is nearly done

      O Mighty Live Oaks
      of California

      i have had only half
      a mind to note

      Time is mass

      how to research this
      sculpting time

      row row Rodin
      fluttering Calder

      Mister Moore

      on my knees
      you all

      oooh Venus
      of Willendorf

      the phone is ringing
      well of course


      i am not holding sway
      here between SFO
      and LAX

      a solitary nighthawk flies
      high from south to north

      the moths are building
      into a tiny frenzy
      which is what moths do

      Time is mass

      i am intact
      i am at ease

      i am relaxed

      i could yodel
      like a simple lad
      in the shadow
      of the Matterhorn
      ah yo do ling

      if it will make do


      you are actually
      incarnate too?

      well fine

      hold it
      hold on

      there's an emergency
      in the kitchen

      absolutely nothing
      it is

      don't even ask

      Time is mass


      there is a dragon
      in the cavern

      cavern is deep
      dragon never sleeps

      no mortal can advise
      the foe is not human

      neither the alchemy

      no running place to hide
      no surmise

      the problem is
      wider than the sky

      the stones are

      stars flee

      night prevails
      Dawn is


      Another Scene, Other Players

    John Dodson

    Soquel, CA


      Walking from my doctor's office, a habit now,
      feeling medically and professionally tired,
      exhausted from medication, from side-effects
      from medication given to offset other side-effects.
      Feeling on an AMA carousel with no music.

      Walking past a white wall, tall wall,
      wall of a three story building,
      seeing a dog at the base of the wall
      squatting to pee, regarding me sidesaddle
      with gentle elegant canine intelligence,
      seeing a woman wheeled past the wall,
      a woman all in white: white hair,
      white face, white hospital blanket
      pulled up to her neck. All her focus
      is on breathing and it isn't easy
      as she is wheeled in a black wheelchair.

      And I think such an odd maudlin moving thing:
      of how I am going to miss all this;
      this sunlight, this wall, dog, wheeled woman.

      Then smiling thinking I won't remember it
      a month, maybe weeks, later.
      That it was only a blink ago
      when the dog was a blind pup,
      groping for a teat,
      when the old woman was
      young and comely, tantalizing boys,
      when I was young, supple, indefatigable,
      when the wall wasn't even there,
      just the sun shining on another scene, other players.

      I walk to my car still smiling, thinking
      how much more than just this scene
      there is to miss:
      all the tumbling glimpses of myriad life;
      and, above all, the tantalizing.


      Love to lie abed
      a thick white duvet atop
      an orderly snowfield
      from my chin chucked view
      plopping drifts generous over the bed's edge

      Bedside lights diminish the world
      to where flannel sheets shape
      your hearthside body heat curved
      making me smile Laurel and Hardy safe

      A wonderful mottling tumbles
      with only the replenishing
      reminding roof tapping rain
      the last thing known
      until first light when our dog
      tells us her delight

    Donald Marsh
    (To receive one of these free original poems emailed each Monday, contact Donald Marsh.)

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    Section E: .................................................................. May 13, 2001
    Big Sur, CA

      (A lament)

      you used to come in the morning,
      do you remember?
      now, after many long days of silent
      suffering you show your face again.
      i remember.
      and if i reach out too eagerly for you,
      don't retreat, do not run away.
      it is only that i have missed you
      and still desire you to be nearer, nearer.
      so come, come close my darling
      and tell me what a fool i've been that
      i did not bow lower in your absence.
      tell me that my patience needs yet
      to be born and my soul, if it is to
      survive, must learn to be still.
      O solitude. O aloneness.
      why is it that your pleasures are always
      laced with deep bitterness? and how far
      do i have yet to travel to return to that
      place where solitude is sweet again?
      O how far?


    David Dunn

    Carmel, CA

    My mother died last October.
    This was a very complex death concluding a very complex life...
    Fulfilled in the final breaths... The final syllables...

      (A fragment of a larger poem.)

      full of watching
          abiding still

      I watch the whole Earth
      from space focusing on
      that southern Applachian
      zone and how the neutrinos
      speed through her body
      as it lays drained of blood
      and cold as the aluminum case
      and concrete shelf of its
      perpetual resting place

      and wonder

      why this death seemed
      such a disappointment
      to her

      such a failure
      for us both

    John Dodson

    Soquel, CA


      Your voice tiptoes in glee to see
      me striding legless in wildflowers
      in easy Equinox in Easter air

      Fully carbonated and chilled
      to see you in lilac light
      smack firm substantial rump high thigh
      then shoot eyelashed impudent dares
      from palmed budding hips
      while newly mint green insects
      hiccup and rollercoaster in mid air
      and everything says: It's here,
      the grand rockcandy time is here


      Everyone has them.
      Constantly present,
      they are always changing.
      All of them are believed.
      None of them really exist.
      None of them is true.

      All of them are who we are.
      All of them are who we long to be.
      All of them are who we fear we are.
      All of them are true.

    Donald Marsh
    (To receive one of these free original poems emailed each Monday, contact Donald Marsh.)

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    Section D: .................................................................. April 15, 2001
    Big Sur, CA


      down below, under the full moon-light
      the guiltless sea like a fulfilled dream
      exposed itself; untroubled, her doubtless
      silver voice like a whispering mirror...


      the way the light was falling through the forest
      you'd think there was a church nearby, but with
      dappled leaves for doors and certainly no walls;
      immense depth, the sky for the ceiling.

      the way it felt sitting there you'd think animals
      had been by just before and had performed their
      own kind of mass, right there in the bushes, alien
      to most people.

      you could dream the redwoods were priests
      the way they stood there, so tall and erect, bowing
      to no one, but sometimes breaking in the storm.

      and the way it sounded in that forest glen you could
      imagine the birds had formed a choir with their songs
      and the sun that spread yellow wings in the waning
      afternoon was their leader, calling all the angels...


    David Dunn

    Soquel, CA


      I was rummaging,
      came upon a rifle,
      dust softened.

      Put the muzzle
      in my mouth.
      Tasted of cold

      Felt to see
      if thumb
      reached trigger.

      Fled the rummaging.

      Some few know their fate.
      Most don't.

    Donald Marsh
    (To receive one of these free original poems emailed each Monday, contact Donald Marsh.)

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    Section C: .................................................................. March 15, 2001
    Fairibault, MN

    Perhaps this is appropriate for LBOL. My father, 91, passed on Dec. 17, 2000.


      After my father died I was standing alone at the kitchen sink in the morning and saw a sparrow on a high limb in the ages old tall lilac bush. The bird flapped its wings to fly off and all it did was fling itself upside down, still attached to the twig. It hung there. It flapped its wings and could fling itself upright for a moment only to fall upside down again attached to the twig.

      Aghast, I knew I couldn't run out and try to get a ladder into the snow on the steep bank and climb up twenty feet. Five years of running to the emergency room had honed me for crises. I just didn't want to watch any more slow death but my eyes were fastened to the scene. Was it caught somehow or were its feet frozen to the twig?

      Two other sparrows flew a few inches from the distressed bird. I thought they are like the geese who, when one is injured and grounded, one or two stay with it on the ground as the flock flies on. One came closer as if to try to do something. The trapped bird flapped its wings and the others got scared and flew away.

      Alone, trapped, dying, hanging upside down on a cold winter day. I shook myself by the shoulders and said to myself, "This morning your daily reading was about faith, to believe even though you can't or don't know the future or can't know ahead of time the results of simply having faith. You are an expert at imagery. You are exact, centered, know energy healing, and are well practiced. Use it. Have faith!"

      I made the decision that its feet were frozen to the twig. I centered, sent healing, and imagined a tiny hair dryer blowing warm air at the twig where the feet were attached. Intensly focused I held the image.

      The bird flew away!

    Mary R. Ruth

    Carmel, CA

      BIG DOME (Point Lobos)

      this gong hung on high

      low and heavy

      resonates through each
      and every

      cell within me

      in all sounds

      and without me

      as the nuthatch


      raves for its purposes
      through the cypress

      as the sea roars and

      arises in galactic
      white and curls

      ravishing aquamarine

      never this Universe
      not my inner ears

      no silence here

    John Dotson

    Soquel, CA


      Each of us
      has a packrat memory
      we can't explain
      why it gnaws gently
      on the wainscoting
      of our lives

      For me it is driving
      in a car in Trenton
      thirty some years ago

      Sullen summer heat
      deep green lawn
      a man sitting under a willow
      relaxed against the trunk

      From a clapboard house
      a blonde woman strides
      screendoor slapping behind her
      carrying a tray
      of sandwiches and beer

      The man sees her
      and they smile you know
      then swing
      out of sight behind me
      until in a susurrus
      the packrat
      brings them again

    Donald Marsh
    (To receive one of these free original poems emailed each Monday, contact Donald Marsh.)

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    Section B: .................................................................. February 15, 2001
    Near Tuscon, AZ

    Remember, this is a song!


      I've been through trials and tribulations
      I've seen troubles by the score
      When I'm in a touchy situation
      I say, things have been worse before
      Because you can't keep a good woman down
      I will bounce back every time
      You can't keep a good woman down
      I look out for me and mine

      I had a doll when I was five
      The prettiest thing, you see
      My brothers laughed when I said she was alive
      And they hung her upside-down from a tree


      My choice of men in my early days
      Left something to be desired
      Whoever was love-starved and had a line to say
      Could set my heart on fire


      (Repeat first verse & chorus)

    copyright 1976, 2000

    Mary K. Croft

    Soquel, CA


      from the gravity of stars
      there is
      the abyss


      Past caring
      razor at the wrist
      the abyss


      each day there is
      order love
      sleep rest

      the abyss

      A thought

      When a friend dies
      where does his voice go
      her humor
      their failings


      in a misstep
      a wave good-bye
      a long sigh
      an empty house
      a pinprick
      mind in a mist


      atoms ashes
      drifting to

      the abyss 

    Donald Marsh
    (To receive one of these free original poems emailed each Monday, contact Donald Marsh.)

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    Section A: .................................................................. January 15, 2001
    Near Tuscon, AZ

    My friend Dru and I were taken by surprise when we got this for a song on our Ouija board (at which we'd become proficient.) Much-maligned and misunderstood as a psychic tool, the attitude of the user must be open and honest, or it can get out of hand, so to speak. This piece was written while being dusted by Mt. St. Helen's (we abandoned Idaho for Arizona that year.)


      The fire of vengeance is burning tonight
      The water of cleansing will rise
      The air of expectancy sparkles so bright
      The earth is moving around.

      The people are gasping for some sort of sign
      Demanding their voices be heard
      The heaviest planets soon will align
      And celestial thunder's the sound...

      Fire's the element bringing the new
      The phoenix will rise from the flame
      Air will his wings seek for their fame
      And tame the winds of change

      Earth to nurture the food of the gods
      The seedlings of the new age
      Water for sustenance, cooling man's rage
      And Aquarian life re-arrange...

    Mary K. Croft

    Soquel, CA


      Depression is the yearning
      of the soul

      Pay attention it pleads
      something sacred
      is near

      Come it is

      Take off the clothes
      of doubt of disgust
      of disguise

      It is time
      to shed the hairshirt
      of insignificance
      and dance
      seen in your self
      and the air all around

      Every day
      people die little deaths
      for others
      for us

      It is time

    Donald Marsh
    (To receive one of these free original poems emailed each Monday, contact Donald Marsh.)

    Thank you for your creative offerings!

    I invite readers to share their own creative works (poems, stories, images, comment, etc.) in Letter Box On Line (LBOL). I look for work and comments I feel support understanding and encouragement of the creative process, and hence, the process of life.

    The Editor

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