Rik Does NaPoWriMo 08: 1 April

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Rik Roots

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Apr 1, 2008, 8:09:51 PM4/1/08
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1 April
Snowdrop 1.4: The dam in her nest, at bay
-----------------------------------------

She snouts the tin aside - it tumbles
its clanking course across the slopes
that mould her home, her mazy nest,
knocking the rime of newborn ice
from leaf and peel; she pulls a lace
of paper free from its frosted pile,
drags it back to her den within
the layers of waste.
She watches: younger,
this one, the white of wisdom yet
to tip her pelt. She taps the heaps
with barreled whiskers, braces her feet
on discards and leavings, levers her hips
forward towards the warmth of rot.
She's coming home.
She hears the crack
of slipping bone above - a cat
perhaps, or stoat come hunting pups.
She snicks her teeth and snags a taste
of mystery - not dog, nor magpie beak.
Her press of belly bullies her on:
pluck out the fur, plaster her hall
with hairs and strips of wholesome compost
before she bursts.
She finds the bore
that leads her back to blood and milk
each pawstep measured, masked in stealth -
a hunting child, a haunting thief
come looking for siblings soon to be born,
a season's feast.
She smells her now,
a daughter, once, a demon now
as dead as the mists that mould her form:
she lifts her lip, levels her ears
to her skull and sets the spars of her claws
deep in the walls of her den, and waits.


Rik, knee deep.

Rik Roots

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Apr 1, 2008, 8:12:12 PM4/1/08
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2 April
Snowdrop 2.5: Lost
------------------

"I've lost my walls! The room has gone along
with heat and ceilings, leaves and mud where once
I had a floor - I've lost the walls! She danced
with flames - the girl with bark for bones - that's wrong:
I'm seeing things awry; I'm dosed on pills
like sweets at Christmas. Close my eyes and stretch
my arms out wide and wait until I touch
the walls with fingertips - oh shit, I'm ill!
My walls have gone: these trees - exist? But how
can this be happening? The air's so cold,
the earth - it's hard like concrete frost, the mist
- it glows? Look up! The moon's still there, still proud
and full. So where's the house? No roof to hold
the night away; my wall's are gone: I'm lost!"


Rik, knee deep.

Rik Roots

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Apr 3, 2008, 3:54:32 PM4/3/08
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3 April
Snowdrop 8.5: Shared Bread
--------------------------

The bread in his hand is brown, a hash
of ryes and wheats winnowed in the dark:
a memory of hay harvested by moonlight.
It smells of goodness - a substantial gift
from a different land delivered by a god.

"Look at the state of you! Did I build you
just like I built the knife? The shoe? The rocks
and grass and trees and mad men wearing frocks?
I doubt that you're as real as mists and dew ..."

He smiles as he sits in the circle, nods
to the hooden troop as he hands the bread
across to the Carter. He keeps his words
to himself, his certainty set in the face
he sets to the gaze of the girl. She smiles.

"And still you're here - just like the way she spoke
of you: your hair so dark, your chin so wide,
your eyes the hue of slates and muds: she lied
about your death, it seems, sweet man of smoke."

As the bread circles, so the banter soars.
She can see the Betsy belt the rider
as he yanks the mead from the young man's grip.
She doesn't notice. She doesn't care
anymore except for the man before her.

"She claimed you worked the travelling fairs, a man
of grease and moments caught in the swirl of rides -
a sixpence man, a candyfloss of smile
and kiss and grunt between the lights - she span
a tale of you, my friend! You pledged her a tide
of love: you left her flotsam, jetsam, a child."


Rik, knee deep.

OB

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Apr 3, 2008, 9:10:41 PM4/3/08
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I don't know how this NaPoWriMo works. Are you actually writing a poem
a day? Am I to take it each of these took you only one (1) day to
produce? If so, can I touch the hem of your garment?

I confess I didn't understand this last one, but it seems (they seem)
to be part of a sequence, and perhaps the loose ends will be tied up
as we go along. Both the first and the second are Portents, in my
untutored and irrelevant opinion.

Did you succeed in giving up smoking? (I vaguely recall reading
something to the effect on your website, though you seem too saintly
to have ever been a smoker in the first place). If you were, and you
did, then on the strength of these, there is life beyond nicotine
after all.

Rik Roots

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Apr 4, 2008, 8:53:00 AM4/4/08
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OB wrote:

<snip>

> I don't know how this NaPoWriMo works. Are you actually writing a poem
> a day? Am I to take it each of these took you only one (1) day to
> produce? If so, can I touch the hem of your garment?
>

One poem a day - though the rules (as such) are bendy enough so that
writing around 30 new poems during April is considered to be 'good enough'

Why would you want to touch the hem of my garment? Are you a pickpocket
or something?

> I confess I didn't understand this last one, but it seems (they seem)
> to be part of a sequence, and perhaps the loose ends will be tied up
> as we go along. Both the first and the second are Portents, in my
> untutored and irrelevant opinion.
>

All part of a much longer work that's been festering for over 4 years
now - see http://www.rikweb.co.uk/poems/index.php?page=xsnowdrop

> Did you succeed in giving up smoking? (I vaguely recall reading
> something to the effect on your website, though you seem too saintly
> to have ever been a smoker in the first place). If you were, and you
> did, then on the strength of these, there is life beyond nicotine
> after all.
>

I have been smoke-free for 50 days now, saving me around Ł197.
Unfortunately, my spending on chocolate has increased substantially, as
has my weight. But at least I have less soot in my lungs and more taste
buds to appreciate the chocolate with.

Best wishes.

Rik, knee deep (but not in dogends anymore)

Will Dockery

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Apr 4, 2008, 9:24:27 AM4/4/08
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On Apr 4, 7:53 am, Rik Roots wrote:
>
> I have been smoke-free for 50 days now, saving me around £197.

Good luck with that, gotta be tough... I consider stopping smoking to
be much more difficult than booze.

--
Ozone Stigmata by Will Dockery (words) and Henry Conley (music)
Will Dockery - vocals, Henry Conley - guitar, Brian Fowler - mandolin
http://www.archive.org/details/OzoneStigmataByWillDockery

Rob

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Apr 4, 2008, 10:45:28 AM4/4/08
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In message <GxpJj.140$cj2...@newsfe13.ams2>, Rik Roots
<r...@nowayhosay.org> writes
>>
>I have been smoke-free for 50 days now, saving me around £197.
>Unfortunately, my spending on chocolate has increased substantially, as
>has my weight. But at least I have less soot in my lungs and more taste
>buds to appreciate the chocolate with.
>
Well done! And I can offer words of encouragement - speaking from
personal experience, once you've lasted two years, the depression and
urge to self-harm starts to ease by 3 in the afternoon.

Oh... just me then?

Rob
--
Rob Evans

When I see a swine
I reach for 45-calibre pearls.

--
Posted via NewsDemon.com - Premium Uncensored Newsgroup Service
------->>>>>>http://www.NewsDem

Rik Roots

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Apr 4, 2008, 11:27:27 AM4/4/08
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Rob wrote:
> In message <GxpJj.140$cj2...@newsfe13.ams2>, Rik Roots
> <r...@nowayhosay.org> writes
>>>
>> I have been smoke-free for 50 days now, saving me around Ł197.
>> Unfortunately, my spending on chocolate has increased substantially,
>> as has my weight. But at least I have less soot in my lungs and more
>> taste buds to appreciate the chocolate with.
>>
> Well done! And I can offer words of encouragement - speaking from
> personal experience, once you've lasted two years, the depression and
> urge to self-harm starts to ease by 3 in the afternoon.
>
> Oh... just me then?
>
No, no. Not just you. The last time I gave up smoking I lasted 3 weeks.
The time before that was 5 years. The time before that one was 48 hours,
and before that 8 days and before that 4 days and before that attempt I
managed to give up for 18 months ...

Seriously. I'm getting quite good at the giving up thingy.

My new resolution is to start smoking again when I'm 75 - it'll give me
something to look forward to for when the rest of my life is falling to
pieces.

> Rob

Rik, knee deep.

Rik Roots

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Apr 4, 2008, 12:19:37 PM4/4/08
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4 April
Snowdrop 8.6: The Glamour of the Prophet
----------------------------------------

Look at her! She fights to be free
from the boy-in-disguise, away from the birth
of her monsterous spawn - the children of trees,
the babies of flames and fluids, all worth
a place in his pot, his Hell-on-Earth.
Look at her fight him: she calls to the sea
but her lover is taken already; she's leased
her belly to the Tallyman now, her girth
a cauldron of magic and time. Now see
how her spawn slither from their birth.

Look at me! I crawled on my knees
into the soils surrounding the Queen
and hid, and grew like a shoot from a pea
as the seasons stopped - a son unseen
in the muds of the Marsh, a being ... between.
Look at me - I live. I breathe!
I can dance in the sun and dive in the sea.
I have furnished the brows of folks with a sheen
of sweat; my pleasure is theirs! Now see
how my conquests surround my Queen.

Look at you! The woman who flew
from her world to a world of deceits
in the mists beneath the Hunter's moon -
will you kill him for us? Will you make his defeat
complete? But the Tallyman, he cheats
too: would you dare, little one, to assume
you can finish what gods and queens couldn't do?
You ate the bean in the broth, the seed
of your demise, your contract - we'll soon
see you bleed to complete our world of deceits.


Rik, knee deep.

OB

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Apr 4, 2008, 5:06:00 PM4/4/08
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On Apr 4, 2:53 pm, Rik Roots <r...@nowayhosay.org> wrote:
> OB wrote:
>
> <snip>
>
> > I don't know how this NaPoWriMo works. Are you actually writing a poem
> > a day? Am I to take it each of these took you only one (1) day to
> > produce? If so, can I touch the hem of your garment?
>
> One poem a day - though the rules (as such) are bendy enough so that
> writing around 30 new poems during April is considered to be 'good enough'

I'm tempted, but I the baby having flu and the paediatrician
developing dyslexia /at the same time/ (what's the word for
synchronicity when it's out to get you?) will probably rule out any
such heroic attempt on my part.

> Why would you want to touch the hem of my garment? Are you a pickpocket
> or something?

No, I'm Michael Cook in disguise. I figured that if you kept the notes
for your next poem in your hem pocket, I might be able to plagiarise
the poem before it's even been written.

> > I confess I didn't understand this last one, but it seems (they seem)
> > to be part of a sequence, and perhaps the loose ends will be tied up
> > as we go along. Both the first and the second are Portents, in my
> > untutored and irrelevant opinion.
>
> All part of a much longer work that's been festering for over 4 years
> now - seehttp://www.rikweb.co.uk/poems/index.php?page=xsnowdrop

I promise to read all of them as soon as the frequency of futile trips
to the pharmacy in search of misspelled remedies has died down.

> > Did you succeed in giving up smoking? (I vaguely recall reading
> > something to the effect on your website, though you seem too saintly
> > to have ever been a smoker in the first place). If you were, and you
> > did, then on the strength of these, there is life beyond nicotine
> > after all.
>

> I have been smoke-free for 50 days now, saving me around £197.

So you're not only not a saint, but you smoked /cheap brands/?

> Unfortunately, my spending on chocolate has increased substantially, as
> has my weight. But at least I have less soot in my lungs and more taste
> buds to appreciate the chocolate with.
>
> Best wishes.
>
> Rik, knee deep (but not in dogends anymore)

Heh. ("Britishism", indeed)

Advice from an expert on giving up: don't resort to chewing gum.
Giving up is expensive enough as it is without having to replace all
the old fillings that end up stuck to the gum. Save up to replace your
entire wardrobe when you no longer fit in your old clothes. Watch out
for hormones.

Dennis M. Hammes

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Apr 5, 2008, 5:52:35 AM4/5/08
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Rob wrote:

> In message <GxpJj.140$cj2...@newsfe13.ams2>, Rik Roots
> <r...@nowayhosay.org> writes
>
>>>

>> I have been smoke-free for 50 days now, saving me around Ł197.

>> Unfortunately, my spending on chocolate has increased substantially,
>> as has my weight. But at least I have less soot in my lungs and more
>> taste buds to appreciate the chocolate with.
>>
> Well done! And I can offer words of encouragement - speaking from
> personal experience, once you've lasted two years, the depression and
> urge to self-harm starts to ease by 3 in the afternoon.
>
> Oh... just me then?
>

Must be -- I've quit three-four times without any of that.
(And that's just today.)

--
-------(m+
~/:o)_|
Gresham's Law is not worth a Continental.
http://scrawlmark.org

OB

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Apr 5, 2008, 11:32:42 AM4/5/08
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The use of language here is brilliant IMO, from the "snouts" of L1,
the alliteration of L2, the "snicks" and "bullies" perfectly observed
and felt: it's a feast of good writing. It took me three readings and
some interpretative stumbling to finally figure out that there were
two "she"s, and that the caesurae marked the transitions of POV from
one to the other. I wonder if anyone else had that problem, and if
there's some way (even if only typographical) of making that clearer.

Rik Roots

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Apr 5, 2008, 1:37:33 PM4/5/08
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OB wrote:

<snip>

> The use of language here is brilliant IMO, from the "snouts" of L1,
> the alliteration of L2, the "snicks" and "bullies" perfectly observed
> and felt: it's a feast of good writing. It took me three readings and
> some interpretative stumbling to finally figure out that there were
> two "she"s, and that the caesurae marked the transitions of POV from
> one to the other. I wonder if anyone else had that problem, and if
> there's some way (even if only typographical) of making that clearer.
>

Thank you!

The whole section is alliterative verse:

STS-T
KK-Ks
Mh-Mn
Nr-Na
LP-PL
PF-FP
Db-Da
lW-
Wy
W-WWy
Tp-Th
Bw-Bf
dL-Lh
fW-Wr
KH-
HK
sBB-c
H-sHp
ST-ST
M-dMb
pB-Ba
Pf-Ph
Hs-Hk
FB-
FB
lB-Bm
pM-Ms
H.ch-H.th
lS-Sb
Sf-
Sn
Da-Dn
dM-Mf
LL-La
SS-Sk
DW-DW

And yes, there are supposed to be two different 'she' characters,
alternating between strophes. I could indent the strophes of the younger
'she', but then I'd be losing the AV of the broken lines (I think).

Rik, knee deep.

Rik Roots

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Apr 5, 2008, 4:52:32 PM4/5/08
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5 April
Snowdrop 9.1: Procession
------------------------

For all the feet that have angled their way
to his dell, none have damaged the earth:
there are no paths to this place in the mist.

She feels her torpor in the folds of her bones,
in the cups of her eyes; her ache of steps
furnished in thoughts focussed on - nothing.

A muddy godling guides her to doom
and others follow, an odd collection
of the lost and the damned, living and dead.

Witness the Betsy; the boy who shakes;
the purgat'ry man; the maid of Kent
and her smuggler friend; the soldier, his lad.

The queen's fair still fucks in the woods.
The hunter's dogs still howl and chase.
The corporal still calls to his callous god

in his chapel of mist, and the marshes flood
to capture the Roman captain's ship -
the grand and black Grattack still hunts.

The Peggy has left her pond tonight.
Jack of the Flame jerks as he dances
across the boughs of the bark-built woman.

And Snowdrop is dressed in sheets of white
cinched at the waist by a string of ivy
and crowned with holly - a holy gift

for the Tallyman's knife, a token of life
to bring the heat of a birthing sun
back to a world now bound in ice.

Snowdrop 9.2: The Chant of Entrapment
-------------------------------------

"A hook on a line, a temptation, a bean
to lure the unwary. Go fishing, my bean!

"This gift you have brought me - a jewel, a rose:
she'll dance in the moonlight to passionate dreams!

"The greatest of mercies, my thumb on your cheek;
Your scent cuts my sinews, a potion unseen.

"My old hands are cursed with the blood of bright hearts.
The old sun is dead: I must fashion it clean.

"A knife has no purpose - it sits in the hand.
This Tallyman weeps at the gushing red stream."


Rik, knee deep.

rik....@gmail.com

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Apr 7, 2008, 7:59:06 AM4/7/08
to
A break from the interminable work-in-progress:

Fukyu: Flames

Such a short timespan
from your parabolic birth
to your wordy death.

And yet, such places
visited; deserts and seas
no bar to your path.

People fight to take
you in their palms, hold you high -
flickering applause.

A mastered race sought
to reinvent history:
a strong flame, stolen.

Who stole you first, flame?
The athletes? The worthy great?
Administrators?

You live to perform:
you spark the air for peace, hope
and competition.

You are a false hope,
branded flame, logoed lantern.
Burn free from ring chains!

Burn the sky, the skin
of politicians; blister
the flesh that holds you

captive! Coruscate!
Reach up your tongues to the sun
... unreachable home.


Rik, knee deep.

Rik Roots

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Apr 7, 2008, 4:50:32 PM4/7/08
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7 April
Snowdrop 9.4: Invocations
-------------------------

"These loving words you speak are true, my son;
the world demands that I renew the sun."

"I hear you talk, old man, I see your form:
are you the Tallyman? What do you count?"

"I saw the world first born; I saw it cry;
I watched the love of us subdue the sun."

"The tears of fear, the cries of those about
to meet your knife - why do you kill at dawn?"

"Without the golden orb, oblivion;
no love can thrive beyond the jewel sun."

"Perhaps you are an Aztec priest - we learned
of them at school: they killed to tame the sun."

"We drink its energy, we steal its heat;
our need for love makes us imbue the sun."

"They tried to rule their gods, they were undone:
they culled the hearts of thousands - still they burned."

"Our globe of flame is cracked - we've worn it out;
a gift of love through blood will soothe our sun."

"You killed my mother. Now you want my life
to feed your madness - will my blood make mist?"

"Rennaisance keeps us strong - we must proceed;
the pulse of love shall feed the newborn sun."

"Will dogs and monsters feed upon my flesh,
a roast of Snowdrop? Best then take your knife ..."

"There is no pain - my love is sharp and true;
my world demands that you renew the sun."

"... and thrust it deep within my neck and twist
it hard - a miss will end with your defeat!"

"A kneeling supplicant is best, my child;
I'll score your neck - let love soak through the sun!"


Rik, knee deep.

OB

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Apr 7, 2008, 8:19:06 PM4/7/08
to

Neat takhallus (though I wouldn't have got it without the clue in L4).
"Renaissance", preferably. Didn't like "imbue". Diction doesn't offer
much characterisation, but maybe that's intentional. Would need to
know more of story to say anything else useful.

Where do you find the time?

Dennis M. Hammes

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Apr 8, 2008, 5:25:01 AM4/8/08
to
rik....@gmail.com wrote:


/Citius, altius, fortius/. Thank you.

Dennis M. Hammes

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Apr 8, 2008, 5:34:41 AM4/8/08
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Rik Roots wrote:


I, a green man, gaze all night at fire.
Who first was "son" turns to Iphigenia.

rik....@gmail.com

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Apr 8, 2008, 5:43:49 AM4/8/08
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On 8 Apr, 10:25, "Dennis M. Hammes" <scrawlm...@arvig.net> wrote:
> rik.ro...@gmail.com wrote:

<snip>

> /Citius, altius, fortius/.  Thank you.
>

I just thought it had to be said.

Glad you enjoyed the Fukyus.

Rik, knee deep.

rik....@gmail.com

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Apr 8, 2008, 6:03:50 AM4/8/08
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On 8 Apr, 10:34, "Dennis M. Hammes" <scrawlm...@arvig.net> wrote:

<snip>

> I, a green man, gaze all night at fire.
> Who first was "son" turns to Iphigenia.
>

There's no Diana in this tragedy ...

Rik, knee deep.

rik....@gmail.com

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Apr 8, 2008, 6:11:35 AM4/8/08
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On 8 Apr, 01:19, OB <gerardianle...@yahoo.com> wrote:

<snip>

> Neat takhallus (though I wouldn't have got it without the clue in L4).
> "Renaissance", preferably. Didn't like "imbue". Diction doesn't offer
> much characterisation, but maybe that's intentional. Would need to
> know more of story to say anything else useful.
>

> Where do you find the time?- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -

"Renaissance". Damn. Damn! Dammity-damn. Apologies to all for the
spell-fuck.

I think 'imbue' just about works - inasmuch as it means 'suck up', and
rhymes. If it had been Snowdrop saying 'imbue' then you would have a
good point as the word is not part of her register, but a man as old
as time can get away with using it, yes?

Finding time: I've got one of those TV boxes with a large hard drive
to record my favourite programmes ...

Rik, knee deep.

Rik Roots

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Apr 8, 2008, 7:39:26 PM4/8/08
to
8 April
Snowdrop - 9.5: Dawn
--------------------

The sky is lighter, a scale of clouds
skinning the dome, their scorched edges
announcing the arrival of the ruddy sun
in minutes, seconds ... and Snowdrop kneels
in front of the man. He fumbles for his staff,
struggles to stand; he seems so old
in the weak light of winter's morning,
as old as the hills he inhabits, as old
as the battered pot placed at his feet.

"A copper pot, as green as spring with ropes
of smoke coiled inside its rim - who rests
within its roily depths? Did Mum protest
when shown her final home, did she lose hope?"

Within the cauldron a curl of mist
extends, a probing tendril seeking
space to expand, a place to fix
its form and set ... and Snowdrop watches
it branch and grow, grab at the legs
of its Tally Man, master its fear
of space as it latches to the linen sheet
gathered about the butcher's shoulders.

"I think this pot is full of life already:
look how it seeks the warmth of flesh, as if
it's lost its way - can it taste the air, sniff
the iron knife? And yet it's so unsteady ..."

When he notices the whiskery growth
he moves to snatch the mat on which
he sat away, whipping the stripes
of the ancient pelt over his head -
a hooded shawl ... and Snowdrop holds
a filament of mist in her fingers, a shred
of contact, a thread of thought, a moment.

"... a newborn lamb caught by the height of legs,
or maybe older, a shrivel of life that once
was whole and strong - a giant beast - a god -"

Beyond Snowdrop, the silent man
brings the whet-stropped blade he concealed
in his sleeve out; its serried edge
looks dull in the rust of the rosy dawn.
Murmuring prayers, he moves the knife
to the neck of his sacrifice: Snowdrop ... ignores him.

"no saintly prince will ride to save me: dregs
is what I am, the pikey girl, the thief. No lance
to spike this mad insanity, no rod -"

In the blank spaces of her brain she seeks
a mould, a length of metal annealed,
a legend of a blade, a bedtime tale,
a key to a kingdom, a credulous icon -
she feels its pommel form in her hand.
As he lays his hand on her head and lowers
her ear to her shoulder she shakes the weight
of wet metal away from the earth
beneath her. A coldness catches at her neck
- his knife, arrived and ready to carve.

She carves the blade Excalibur
through mud and mist to meet the edge
of the magic pot - it pits the lip,
pauses, presses past the copper
into the cauldron's heart, its heat - and shatters.

Shatter the dawn; shatter
the dream; shatter
the world to the
shapes of
edges.


Rik, knee deep.

Dennis M. Hammes

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Apr 9, 2008, 4:52:27 AM4/9/08
to
rik....@gmail.com wrote:


Oh, you trees...
Well, I wasn't bored.

Dennis M. Hammes

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Apr 9, 2008, 6:10:38 AM4/9/08
to
Rik Roots wrote:


"Whet" is a verb done usually with a stone, "strop," a noun that
begat a verb for using it to whet.


> in his sleeve out; its serried edge


Serried edges are never stropped; they'd chew up the strap.


> looks dull in the rust of the rosy dawn.


Does "rust of the rosy" reach for space or gild the lily?
(The colors and connotations don't even compliment each other.)


> Murmuring prayers, he moves the knife
> to the neck of his sacrifice: Snowdrop ... ignores him.
>
> "no saintly prince will ride to save me: dregs
> is what I am, the pikey girl, the thief. No lance
> to spike this mad insanity, no rod -"
>
> In the blank spaces of her brain she seeks
> a mould, a length of metal annealed,


"...steel annealed..."?


> a legend of a blade, a bedtime tale,
> a key to a kingdom, a credulous icon -


"...credible..."


> she feels its pommel form in her hand.


"...hilt(s)"; the pommel is the knob on the end, and the hand can't
do a thing with it.


> As he lays his hand on her head and lowers
> her ear to her shoulder she shakes the weight
> of wet metal away from the earth
> beneath her. A coldness catches at her neck
> - his knife, arrived and ready to carve.


If she's going to "carve" in the very next line, maybe his blade
could "serve" or such.

>
> She carves the blade Excalibur
> through mud and mist to meet the edge


Or maybe she can "curve" if he's to "carve."

The bit disgruntles me for that "Excalibur" was a type, not a proper
name (there are at least three in the basic legend), and this is
another grade-school way to "draw the sword from the mud" with not an
anvil in sight
I give you the latter because /she's/ doing the thinking about it,
here.
But maybe with "an Excalibur" (/sachs kalerbriew/, a sword of
cottage cheese, i.e., rope steel, "damascene")?
If this scenario is at all routine (and the old man is so stated),
it's more likely to be rescued by a routine blade (some of which she
lists) than a Holy Unique.


> of the magic pot - it pits the lip,
> pauses, presses past the copper
> into the cauldron's heart, its heat - and shatters.
>
> Shatter the dawn; shatter
> the dream; shatter
> the world to the
> shapes of
> edges.
>
>
> Rik, knee deep.


I think these are slowly adding up to their theme.

Rik Roots

unread,
Apr 10, 2008, 4:25:19 PM4/10/08
to
Dennis M. Hammes wrote:

> Rik Roots wrote:

>> 8 April
>> Snowdrop - 9.5: Dawn
>> --------------------
>>

<snip>

<snip>

> I think these are slowly adding up to their theme.
>

I think this is a bit better ...

takes from the pouch tied to his belt
his knife, its handle an antler prong.
Chanting his words, he weaves the tool
over the scalp of his lamb: Snowdrop ... ignores him.


In the blank spaces of her brain she seeks
a mould, a length of metal annealed,

a legend of a blade, a bedtime tale,

a key to a kingdom, a crude icon -
she feels its hilt form in her hand.

"no saintly prince will ride to save me: dregs
is what I am, the pikey girl, the thief. No lance
to spike this mad insanity, no rod -"

As he brings his palm to her brow and pushes


her ear to her shoulder she shakes the weight
of wet metal away from the earth
beneath her. A coldness catches at her neck

- his knife, arrived and ready to notch
her throat. She carves the calibain


through mud and mist to meet the edge

of the magic pot: it pits the lip,

Rik Roots

unread,
Apr 10, 2008, 4:28:26 PM4/10/08
to
Rik Roots wrote:
...

> her throat. She carves the calibain
>
Dammit! I meant 'caliburn'

Rik, knee deep

Rik Roots

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Apr 10, 2008, 5:49:07 PM4/10/08
to
9 April
A LimerRik
----------

There was an old chicken called Rik
Who sat on a nest made of sticks
Each day he would lay
an egg, which would say
'If you think I'm a poem, then you're thick!'


Rik, knee deep.

Dennis M. Hammes

unread,
Apr 11, 2008, 5:50:51 AM4/11/08
to
Rik Roots wrote:


This reads a lot smoother in the mouth, and doesn't quite go where
the first version went.
Less actually happens, is seen, noted.
It (I?) doesn't know (say) whether Snowdrop is a lamb with
fantasies of being a shepherd or a girl raised to be a sheep, though
I don't know what a lamb would be doing with a smoking pot, censer,
morning firepot for a coal from the temple, ash urn. (The
sufficiently primitive would be carrying the Soul of the Mother God
home to the hearth.)
I presume the sheep/girl ambiguity is deliberate, since it is more
so in this version.

Dennis M. Hammes

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Apr 11, 2008, 6:24:38 AM4/11/08
to
Rik Roots wrote:

Dear Horton,
"...Who sat on a nest with a stick [pencil]..."?
"Then" only trips the rhythm.

Rik Roots

unread,
Apr 13, 2008, 7:30:14 AM4/13/08
to
<snip>

Thanks, Dennis.

Herewith more potery ...

10 April
Four poems on footsteps
-----------------------

My first was vast, a dancing kick
heeled towards the dodging ground.

My next was skipped in rubber pumps,
a playground prance: stamp and veer.

I lost them for a while; a line of fire
from arse to calf made each an effort.

Can I trust them? Where once kerbs
tripped me, flesh will tip me down.


Rik, knee deep.

Rik Roots

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Apr 13, 2008, 7:31:47 AM4/13/08
to
11 April
Blue
--------

I don't see emotions
when I write blue.
I don't feel the dampness
of waves across my instep,
nor taste the sprays
of kicked water, nor hear
the insults, nor shudder
at the touch of the pulsing
plastic bag driven by currents
to wrap its inert tentacle
strips across my knee.
There is no sunny heat
in these tinted images.

Sometimes the pendular tap
of the waves on my ear
can bring tears to finger
their tide across my cheek,
but I don't see emotions
when I write blue.
This shade of indignity
lies hidden in the chord
of melody, the growl
of the throaty trumpet
planted in my chest. I test
each keyboard button
between knuckle snaps,
type the word: blue.


Rik, knee deep.

Rik Roots

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Apr 13, 2008, 7:33:12 AM4/13/08
to
12 April
Poppie
--------

Within the clutter, a clay cat
with daubed blue eyes and dashed whiskers
white against the black of cold fur.

I dust it routinely, knock powder
from between its ears, its paws, the crook
of its tail. It reports on my neglect.

I could break it, sever the connection
of gift and receipt; let fly shelved guilts
and griefs stored in its factory smile.

She is just a string of digits away,
it tells me. Pick up the purring comforter,
hold it to your cheek; click the buttons
and chat to Mother, who gave it me.


Rik, knee deep.

Dennis M. Hammes

unread,
Apr 14, 2008, 2:43:10 AM4/14/08
to
Rik Roots wrote:

> <snip>
>
> Thanks, Dennis.
>
> Herewith more potery ...
>
> 10 April
> Four poems on footsteps
> -----------------------
>
> My first was vast, a dancing kick
> heeled towards the dodging ground.
>
> My next was skipped in rubber pumps,
> a playground prance: stamp and veer.
>
> I lost them for a while; a line of fire
> from arse to calf made each an effort.


jesusfuck, I hope not. I wouldn't even wish that on Dockery.
(Funny -- in a sense -- that modern "doctors" do not recognise the
distorders of age, poverty, or chronic work, so common only a century
ago.)

>
> Can I trust them? Where once kerbs
> tripped me, flesh will tip me down.
>
>
> Rik, knee deep.


The progression of age. Ow. Is there space, the ironic levity of a
Housman would improve the voice toward the end.
(I don't manage actual writing on the subject, much; I can't beat
Auden's "...the provinces of his body revolted.")

Dennis M. Hammes

unread,
Apr 14, 2008, 2:50:32 AM4/14/08
to
Rik Roots wrote:


Heh. Yes.
Funny -- really -- I was having trouble reading this at all, noted
that I must sometimes mute the radio to read (or write) a piece if
the announcer is talking.
I had to mute the Lalo "Espagnol" to get the rhythm of this, they
were actually swearing at each other.
This sounds, surges, like the beach.
(The Lalo was galumphing, of course.)

Dennis M. Hammes

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Apr 14, 2008, 3:07:26 AM4/14/08
to
Rik Roots wrote:


Heh. Yes.
(I had one, only a couple inches, from my Dad.)
(Hunh. I spoZe I'll have to try it.)

rik....@gmail.com

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Apr 18, 2008, 10:07:54 AM4/18/08
to
13 April
King Worm
---------

You said: "we can pop them
round the rim, white on red
like stripes, a pole of surfinas
shaved from the wall." I pushed
fingers through humus, broke
knots of the earth between
my strapping palms. One clump
wriggled free of my prayer,
looped as it fell into the bowl
soon to be hoist high above
the world - a new lord
for the kingdom of heaven.


Rik, knee deep

rik....@gmail.com

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Apr 18, 2008, 1:09:56 PM4/18/08
to
14 April
Novel
--------

This dream brings actors to the stairs:
I thank them for their participation.
"This is not a problem," says one,
removing his face to wipe clean his head.
"We are always happy to help birth
a new story." I muse on their next show,

the designs I could lay on their shapes -
these dolls who command words to perform,
who lead my linear characters from the plot
I have inked out for them. "You know
the way out," the faceless one says. I nod:
my presence is not welcome at this party.


Rik, knee deep.

rik....@gmail.com

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Apr 18, 2008, 2:14:57 PM4/18/08
to
15 April
Colourstorm
----------

Red is for the pearl of blood on my fingertip,
blue for the colour of my nails as I squeeze my hands
tight. White is for your face, though your cheeks
are tinged in green. My cheeks are scarlet
from the swirls of swearing my yellow-coated tongue
weaves through the smoky brown airs. "Stick it
in water," you tell me. "Wash out the colours
so we can see the bland, numbed truth." Having dropped
the steely hammer, I spit a kiss on your lips instead.


Rik, knee deep.

Rik Roots

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Apr 18, 2008, 3:36:11 PM4/18/08
to
16 April
Party
--------

Said the man to the key:
please be true for me.

Said the key to the door:
creak for me once more.

Said the door to the wall:
better catch his fall.

Said the wall to the head:
I'll not be your bed.

Said the head to the floor:
Never drink no more!

Said the floor to the sick:
sticky; smelly; slick.

Said the sick to the cheek:
rest in me a week.

Said the cheek to the man:
please oh please just stand.

Said the man to his legs:
... you're not my legs ...


Rik, knee deep.

Rik Roots

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Apr 18, 2008, 3:37:51 PM4/18/08
to
17 April
Demolish Dig Design
-------------------

Each day, a new terrain. These ants
are dirt-yellow, tracked mandibles
biting out the soil, levering hills
and levelling plains, a race to make
a stage, a point of focus - a zone.

Still the channels remain, their paths
within the floodplains destined, ordained
by the laws of gravity. This water
has no timetable beyond the moon,
the embrace of weight to weight.

When the sun's lanced light last pitched
through the newfound skull's fragile orbit
scratched from the earth the earth
had spun the sun three thousand times
since the bone's last East End breath.

We shall raise legends in this park -
or so the hoardings tell me, each board
arrayed with its fantastic figure: so much
waste cleared; so many buildings razed;
so many dreams sparked in fresh skulls.


Rik, knee deep.

Dennis M. Hammes

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Apr 19, 2008, 1:56:27 AM4/19/08
to
Rik Roots wrote:


Dockery has a door that /locks/?

rik....@gmail.com

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Apr 21, 2008, 8:07:00 AM4/21/08
to
18 April
Abigail Waits
-------------

When Abigail went to find
a place to keep her wandering mind
she searched the world, the caves of hell
and knocked on heaven's gates as well.
She sought a safe and homely place
where she could rest her aging face
and pick the dirt from pleated skin
while keeping track of time and sin
until the resurrection came
to animate her rebuilt frame.


Rik, knee deep.

rik....@gmail.com

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Apr 21, 2008, 8:14:41 AM4/21/08
to
19 April
Things I Love About My Bed
--------------------------

The bole of the headpost has faces
set in the vein of the wood, dryads
set to guard my dreams from harm.

Slats keep my flesh from reaching
into the cavern beneath, and the teeth
of the moths feasting on my carpet.

Atop the mattress sleeps my pallet,
its airfoams alert to the shapes
my bones throw through the night.

I could surround my head with pillows,
helmet my sweating skull with feathers
in cotton, but one is enough for my neck.

Sheets knot my limbs to the frame,
encot me as I sail the breath of the world
seeking unseen the truths in my dream.


Rik, knee deep.

rik....@gmail.com

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Apr 21, 2008, 8:22:23 AM4/21/08
to
20 April
The Victim
----------

I've had some ghosts
walk through that door,
but as wraiths go,
he was a first.
I gave him a drink
- whiskey, I think -
and asked his name.

"The bone that juts
out of my neck
offers no clues,
Mister Sleuth?
I thought the world
knew the name
of the kin who gave me
the third clavicle."

It was plain to see
the man was bitter
about his murder.
I probed for a while:
the name of his killer;
possible motives;
a corpse to check.

"He didn't even
bury my body -
well not until
that raven came
and showed him how
to hide his crime!"

I lied. I knew
this story, recalled
the hearing of it
on cold Sundays
sat on hard pews.
It made no sense
for him to be here -
the brother was caught
and judged by God
at the start of the book.

"You call that justice,"
the revenant spat,
"me in the dirt
and him to walk it
protected forever
by his precious mark?
When mum lost the farm
we all got to share
the punishment.
But no resurrection
for me, oh no!
I get to be dead
forever more,
and me a virgin
shepherd, too."

I did what I could
for the ghost; I listened
- until a woman
dressed in lipstick
knocked on the door.
It's business, I said
shrugging my shoulder,
investigating
the second sin
don't pay the rent.

Rik, knee deep.

Rik Roots

unread,
Apr 21, 2008, 4:52:10 PM4/21/08
to
21 April
(untitled)
----------

................................
................................
.........3 l-nes on age.........
................................
.......a bed for old folk.......
..to rest -n :: m-dr-ff shr-nk..
.......a bar to the grave.......
................................
................................


Rik, knee deep.

Dennis M. Hammes

unread,
Apr 22, 2008, 2:04:45 AM4/22/08
to
rik....@gmail.com wrote:


The want of denouement has Abigail really waiting, of course, but I
see Aristotle has added a motor to his coffin.
(For turning in his grave...)

Dennis M. Hammes

unread,
Apr 22, 2008, 2:09:20 AM4/22/08
to
rik....@gmail.com wrote:


Having begun with "The bole of the headpost," I'd have worked
Odysseus into this. "Sheets knot me to the mast," etc., as the wax
builds up in his ears and he sails past the demons of his dreams, and
like that.

Dennis M. Hammes

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Apr 22, 2008, 2:11:31 AM4/22/08
to
rik....@gmail.com wrote:


Heh.

Rik Roots

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Apr 22, 2008, 4:46:17 PM4/22/08
to
22 April
In memoriam: Rik's upper right molar
------------------------------------

Chattermay, cattermay,
Rik had a painful day
saying farewell to his
ulcerous tooth.

Novocaine jabbed in the
periodontium
left the lad wanting to
gargle vermouth.


Rik, knee deep.

rik....@gmail.com

unread,
Apr 29, 2008, 8:23:14 AM4/29/08
to
23 April
Snowdrop 10.1: On the Cusp of the Marshes
-----------------------------------------

No sound but noise: a sonorous whistle
of wind constantly combing stubbles
of straw and reeds, their stripped pipes
playing laments. She pauses on the bridge
that slabs the canal with a concrete path,
crumbling rusts rouging its wounds.

She's cold: she shivers and clutches her hands
to each shoulder, her sharp elbows
pushing beyond the blood-stained cotton
swaddling shroud. She steps from dirt
to tarmac and grit, tightens the sheets
to keep the wind from caressing her skin,
steps over the bridge and onto the road
that loops across the levels to her home.

Rik Roots

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Apr 29, 2008, 10:13:35 AM4/29/08
to
24 April
Snowdrop 10.2: Gran's Cottage
-----------------------------

"This is my home: the bricks and slates are where
I know I left them. Someone's parked a jeep
where compost heaps should slump and steam and steep -
who's washed the gutters, fixed the roof? Who's dared
to steal the shittery? Has Gran gone nuts?
She can't have sold the place! I'm gone two days
is all and now she's had the windows glazed!
What is this fresh madness? The doors are shut
and locked - she never bolts the cottage: who
would want to steal our scraps? It's not enough
that I should have delusions haunt my head
and hunt my flesh; with daylight comes a new
nightmare. I need to think. I need my stuff -
I need my Gran to tuck me into bed."


Rik, knee deep.

Rik Roots

unread,
Apr 29, 2008, 10:25:34 AM4/29/08
to
25 April
Seduction
---------

Can you hear the dogs?
Each unleashed howl
a cry to the storms
seeded in spin?
My love, slake this fear
that will not sleep.

Let's sleep
with dogs,
no fear
of howls
to spin
our storms.

It takes an anvil to shape the storm,
levering the puffy clouds of sleep
and hoisting them high to the voids, where spin
can shape their wetness, ice them into dogs
or toads, or castles, or gods who howl
cascades of electrifried molecules - such fear!

Why do we fear
the clout of our storms?
I can show you how
to devour change, rout sleep
as we snout like dogs
gouged by the pain of the spin.

I spin
in fear
of dogs
that storm
my sleep:
I howl!

Now we have thrust our howls
through the sweat of pain and spin
we can relax in each other, let sleep
blunt the edge of our fears:
we are the storms;
we are, my love, the dogs.

Dogs howl;
storms spin:
fear sleeps.


Rik, knee deep.

Rik Roots

unread,
Apr 29, 2008, 10:38:13 AM4/29/08
to
26 April
Pantomimes
----------

He picks at his coat as he waits,
each loose thread an irritation.

Such tall ceilings could swallow
a man's courage, should he dare to look.

They come as a full dozen, a coiffure
of coconuts sat in their carved box.

Lead powders used to keep the lice
doused in the confines of their wig.

Echoes. Everybody echoes. Lies
echo just as loudly as truths.

There is no judgment, just an arrangement
of lint across the weave of his cloth.


Rik, knee deep.

Rik Roots

unread,
Apr 29, 2008, 1:32:30 PM4/29/08
to
27 April
Julain: Float
-------------

She lets the sunlight warm her toes, and beak,
and rocks as boat-wakes lap around her shape:
the river's last embrace - she can't escape.


Rik, knee deep.

Dennis M. Hammes

unread,
Apr 30, 2008, 6:17:59 AM4/30/08
to
rik....@gmail.com wrote:


Killing kittens in the bushes /again/...

Dennis M. Hammes

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Apr 30, 2008, 6:19:45 AM4/30/08
to
Rik Roots wrote:


Heh. With the last line, I figgered out it was Dockery speaking.

Dennis M. Hammes

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Apr 30, 2008, 6:21:00 AM4/30/08
to
Rik Roots wrote:


A madrigal, ringing its changes on the theme.

Rik Roots

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Apr 30, 2008, 2:41:21 PM4/30/08
to
28 April
Onas 28 Berk
------------

I crost a manch at sefan dibes
and tropped the bead mahoo to slurt
the spulging tromp; she praxed in furt
for gribbing tanes aspatanglibes:
whoe shupped the gripter's lanefloss drub
id wappanmash and libersty?
Grufant glaps win troglass clee
roe daval's mag in lurben slub.

An nery bead drubs mickloss tave
whit jappas gliever drubs na lon
to maklass quandram fon belass -
a spluggas tom Havattasmave
is nally's whit. Nos pallason
grimp aman tom, nos emmer's dass.


Rik, knee deep.

Rik Roots

unread,
Apr 30, 2008, 2:42:01 PM4/30/08
to
29 April
Marjorie's Mother
-----------------

Marjorie's mother had a wish
to see her daughter eat a dish
of tasty capercaillie stew
she'd made from beaks and morning dew.

Marjorie's mother had a need
to send her daughter out to see
if Mrs. Griff had scrubbed her step
and scrubbed her windows while they slept.

Marjorie's mother had a want
to make her daughter's car a front
for dealing pasties and cream puffs
to Madame Lightly's weight-loss club.

Marjorie's mother took a dare
to cut her daughter's long blond hair
and make it spiky, pink and mauve:
a special treat done as she dozed.

Marjorie's mother clasped the chisel
her daughter rammed into her navel -
thus ends the tale of Marjorie's mother
who never knew when not to bother.


Rik, knee deep.

Rik Roots

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Apr 30, 2008, 2:42:59 PM4/30/08
to
30 April
Exhale
--------

And on the last day -
peace; saplings reach for white clouds
mushrooming the sky.


Rik, knee deep.

Dennis M. Hammes

unread,
May 1, 2008, 7:18:21 AM5/1/08
to
Rik Roots wrote:


Heh.

Dennis M. Hammes

unread,
May 1, 2008, 7:19:29 AM5/1/08