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Feb 12th
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The Poems of Douglas McClellan

AE_doughead_poetryEditor’s note: In this week’s Poetry Corner, we feature the work of Douglas McClellan, who received his master of fine arts degree in Visual Arts in 1950.  He taught art for 37 years at art institutes, colleges and UC Santa Cruz. His art has been widely exhibited including solo shows in Northern and Southern California, and group exhibitions on the East and West Coasts, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Library of Congress in Washington, DC.  He started writing poetry seriously at age 70 and has published six slender volumes. He currently alternates between digital collage and poetry. To learn more, visit dougstudio.com. The following poems are from the collection, “Exit Lines (semi official last words from the famous and otherwise).”


Bat Masterson, d. 1921

We all get the same amount of ice.

The rich get it in the summer.

The poor get it in the winter.

When I kicked the gunfighter mud

off my boots and got me a typewriter

the world got complicated. Nowadays,

I got no lawman badge to hide behind

and taking this old world as it is,

can be mighty, mighty discouraging.


Heinich Heine, d. 1856

God will forgive me. It is his profession.

I courted you. You made me a proper European:

many say I have done well at it. I come before you now

to be lifted, and if you must, cleansed, for my journey.

Our dealings have always been agreeable, no reason now,

old friend, to change. Death need not complicate

our simple business––we both know just what to do.


Marco Polo, d. 1324

I have not told half of what I saw.

Forget noodles and fireworks––dare to think

of dragons that swallow palaces, of magicians

who fly on flaming silks. Imagine women

so fair that clay armies march at their behest

across a land so vast that the sun itself

tires on its day’s journey between borders.


Eugene O'Neill, d. 1953

I knew it. I knew it. Born in a hotel room––

and God damn it––died in a hotel room.

Sic transit gloria blah-blah-blah––[exit Orestes] in another fleabag,

bathroom down a hall with wallpaper that whispers failure.

Joe Nightclerk, well-known theater critic, chuckles behind his cigar.

My hands, twitchy and raw from re-tying the cords

of bruised lives, lie folded stiffly on bedsheets

that have known at least a hundred travelling salesmen.

 

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Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

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