Santa Cruz Good Times

Sunday
Apr 20th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Poetry Corner

AE_poetMcDowell3Editor’s note: This week’s Poetry Corner features the work of Robert McDowell, the author/editor/co-author/translator of 10 books, most recently “Poetry as Spiritual Practice: Reading, Writing, and Using Poetry in Your Daily Rituals,” “Aspirations,” and “Intentions” (Free Press/Simon & Schuster). He was co-founder and director of Story Line Press for 22 years, worked at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, taught at many universities, high schools, and conferences, and is a UC Santa Cruz graduate. To learn more about him, visit robertmcdowell.net or threeintentions.com.

 



Where I’m Going

I’m going home to the green hills
Among elephants and buffalo,
To the Victory Parade up 5th Avenue,
To air conditioned rooms on summer’s
Cruelest day, to the magic hour
On a county road, one light on in a farmhouse,
To the L.A. Coliseum in 1961,
To the crowd on the day
The president speaks the Gettysburg Address,
To watching so much iniquity and suffering acted out
While I sit by, pushing a pen. I’m going
Home to wind scattering ashes,
To hummingbirds at a feeder
That never goes dry, to trees in full leaf,
To the meditating goddess on the porch,
To father and mother early together,
To the school moment when Promise receives its “F”,
To the corral, to boots and saddles
And riding the lone prairie,
To the library of floor-to-ceiling books,
To the fleshing machine and the paint brush,
To the run for office, to turning in my badge,
To eating much and eating little,
To saying no to war and missing war,
To spiritual anchors and spiritual driftwood.
I’m going home to the railroad and the bar’s
Last call, to the company of pets long gone,
To the wide river and muddy lake,
To the hootenanny, to friends
I outgrew, and friends who left me.
I’m going home to family always running away
And to you, far off at sunset, as you drink from the parting glass.

Raccoon and Possum

Raccoon and Possum crept into a house,
Ate the children, and went to sleep in their beds.
In the morning they dressed in the dead kids’ clothes
And took their places on the school bus.
At recess Raccoon said, tonight we’ll eat mother.
On the way home Possum said,
Tomorrow we’ll eat father. Maybe
We’ll drive the car. We’ll watch TV
Until our eyes fall out, till we’re sick of it.
We’ll move out of the house, Raccoon
Said, and live under it if we want to.
When we get hungry, what then? Possum asked.
They stared into each other’s eyes.

Bum God

When God ran out of money he came to me.
“I’m shit out of luck,” He said.
That makes two of us, but now I guess
I’m out of God, too.
“Imagine,” He went on,
“I who made the heavens, the rising
and receding waters, and the passing gasses;
I who made life out of nothing, and you
out of burbling slime…”
Watch it, I said,
that’s mom and dad you’re talking about.
He wasn’t listening. He bulled ahead.

“…I who cleansed the world with war—
those were good times! I laughed and laughed,
and when I laugh, believe Me, I’m a party
unto Myself. I made the sun a smart-mouth;
the moon was ice in My scotch. Those I favored,
where are they now that I need a little help?”

You can’t blame them, I said. You know how it is.
You show up at a party with a cheap bottle of wine
or a 4-pack of Snapple, and suddenly you’re not so popular.

It isn’t every day that God drops in to bend your ear
with His whining.
“I’m hungry,” He said.
“Got some nachos?”
You’re the chef, go to it.
Now that He’s broke He has to get over               
His annoying sense of privilege.
“You know I could kill you if I want,” He said.
Isn’t that what you’ve been doing?
“If it is, I’m slipping!”     
I reminded Him that I, too, was busted. My money
transfigured into liquid and flowed right on out of here—
as He should before I did something we’d both regret.

“Nobody talks to God like that and gets away with it!”

Great big God tears rolled down his hoary cheeks.
It was sickening. Stop it! I said. Be a god!

 

Reminder

I remember running into his house on Ocean View,
Full of myself as usual, chattering on and on
About all of the important things I’d done that day.

George sat in a red wingback chair and listened,
Never interrupting, like a man serenely waiting out a storm.
When I ran out of things to brag about he said,

“Today I planted a single row of beans.”
I felt so warm and foolish as he smiled.
I felt calmer, centered, good!

Comments (2)Add Comment
really?
written by girl, March 29, 2010
David, you are ridiculous. Learn to spell before you spout out your garbage.

I love a God who cusses.
Poem critique
written by David Brumfield II, March 25, 2010
Robert, Oh Robert, You should not have God saying bad words. Or getting drunk. Or Crying. That really struck me that you had God cry. God doesn't cry. I believe you wrote this poem for shock value. You really didn't have any tallent in writing poetry, so you decided to put crontrversial content in you poem and said "this is poetry". It made you deep and artistic writing about God. Like you were some sort of Dante. Or some Sort of Rap Music writer. DO you really want to go down this road of shock value? You should really think another way of expressing yourself. Because this is just hogwash and negitive. and I can't believe the Goodtimes would publish such garbage. Sincerely David

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Cardinal Grand Cross in the Sky

Following Holy Week (passion, death and burial of the Pisces World Teacher) and Easter Sunday (Resurrection Festival), from April 19 to the 23, the long-awaited and discussed Cardinal Cross of Change appears in the sky, composed of Cardinal signs Aries, Libra, Cancer, and Capricorn, with planets (13-14 degrees) Uranus (in Aries), Jupiter (in Cancer), Mars (in Libra) and Pluto (in Capricorn), an actual geometrical square or cross configuration. Cardinal signs mark the seasons of change, initiating new realities.

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >

 

Growing Hope

Campos Seguros combats sexual assault in the Watsonville farmworker community Farm work was a way of life for Rocio Camargo, who grew up in Watsonville as the daughter of Mexican immigrants. Her parents met while working the fields 30 years ago, and her father went on to run Fuentes Berry Farms.
Sign up for Tomorrow's Good Times Today
Upcoming arts & events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management

 

Trout Gulch Vineyards

Cinsault 2012—la grande plage diurne The most popular wines on store shelves are those most generally known and available—Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which are all superb for sure. But when you come across a more unusual varietal, like Trout Gulch Vineyards’ Cinsault ($18), it opens up a whole new world.

 

Waddell Creek, Al Fresco

Route One Summer Farm Dinner You’ve been buying their insanely fresh produce for years now at farmers’ markets. Right? So now why not become more familiar with the gorgeous Waddell Creek farmlands of Route One Farms?