Happy Hour

Happy Hour

Buzzing through the busy social sprint
the hh, the ya ya, the finest house wines
resting above the slim stem pinched
by a thumb and a curled index finger.
follow the gestures, the ruby swishes
confined by the crystal rim;

wine party

My acquaintances all love me,
I give them hugs and my smile,
all dummy down for the sake of humor;
our “love” penetrates the air between us
yet, our hearts are hidden; remain untouched.

We share it all right there;
the sounds of happy voices
flux like an open sea.
Pacifying the discontent
from mundane painful silence
where the pearl of our hearts
remain isolated and covered
in that room full of friends
who all become strangers
when at last, we all go home.

First Glance

First Glance

Chilled rain comin’ down
beat my skin like ice
cold air blowin’ round
slivers, silver slice the lights

The flashing signals;
throbbed on wetted streets
stopped me thinking;
heard a heart beat;

warm illumination on faces
eye shine tracers fluxing in shadows
blue fire burning through the blushed red
pierced me like an arrow;

A blue stare, pierced me like an arrow

Rain

Escaping the Heat

 

The torch of a furnace,
height of summers heat
radiates through windows
car seats, even the pages
of my journal, like the sands
of the mojave dessert in August
these pages radiate
opened and turned
upon a small table
inside the air conditioned Starbucks;
Where poetry evaporates
and mingles with aromas
of coffees, espressos, and iced cinnamon dolce lattes…

Trend Setter

The trending status quo,
the mass of apathy,
the rebel sleeps beneath the skin,
for uniqueness feared–

their genius bound in Faberge.

Waters clear and still, slapped
with a flat palm;

watching masses
dither in the ripple,
liquid bands rolling outward,

The artist is inward,
slapping with a flat palm,
all else flows outward.

The Elephant

The Elephant

They wouldn’t say I was “wrong”
perhaps, for fear
a log of judgement would fall
upon them a thousand times.

And I,  for sure,  I wouldn’t say
they were “wrong”,
knowing all along
It was wrong to do so.

There we were
in a stalemate
under the elephant
taking shade,
practicing our liberties…

 

Urban Balcony Irrigation From A Rain Barrel – Look No Spigot!!

Poetry hasn’t come so easy for me lately so In absence of exercising my poetic creativity, I have worked on other projects; I love nature and Texas/Dallas living hasn’t done much to satisfy my need to connect with nature.  In my attempts to find something to suffice, I took up growing plants on my balcony.  While Balcony gardening isn’t as rich in as a backpacking trip through Yosemite Park, I have  found it to be rewarding and have received much enjoyment and satisfaction growing plants on my balcony.  Since I found the hobby to be a positive step in the right direction, I decided to turn it up a notch or two!  This year I acquired a bonsai tree, some gorgeous dwarf Japanese Maples, a flower bed and have planted Tomatoes, Peppers, Squash, and various herbs. Growing these plants in containers through a hot Texas summer equates to a commitment much like owning a dog, only, you can’t take the plants with you when you want to get out-of-town. Texas heat can dry a container plant out in 1-day if it doesn’t get water a couple of times daily. I attempted to alleviate the water requirements by purchasing an automated watering system. After many internet searches, I learned they don’t make anything like this for a large Apartment or Condo Balcony that lacks a patio spigot.  I wasn’t going to let that stop me. After more research, I decided to engineer an automated drip irrigation system that would have the ability to water my containers for 2-weeks so I can leave town without worry if the plants will be watered.

It took many nights studying ideas to gain an approach to how I might make the idea come to life. I set my sights on a pump driven system that takes water from a pre-filled rain barrel. I learned that understanding irrigation, flow, pressure and pumps was like understanding Algebra.  Finding the right pump was a chore.  The pump turns on and off automatically using a battery operated irrigation timer. I can set the watering intervals based on the climate for any particular time of year. On days where the temperature climbs above 100, I will set the timer to open two times a day for 1-minute at a time.

In a perfectly green world, I would harvest the rainwater from the gutters, but I am renting so I was not able engage that fantastic technique. I actually fill the rain barrel, which I placed in an inconspicuous area on my patio, with a hose I connect with an adapter to my kitchen faucet.

I created the embedded video to document the finished product. I love this irrigation system. I really enjoyed figuring it out and making it a reality!!  Now I am free’d up to write some poetry…

When Sugar Momma Talks – Spoken Word/Visual

This has been a long time coming. Special thanks to Ryan Sprinkle who gave me free studio time to record 3 of my poems while we decided together on sound effects. Ryan is a true sound engineer and amazing guitar technician. I am blessed to have friends like him. After listening to the spoken tracks with sound effects, I became inspired to add visual effects. Although this isn’t true to the tradition of written poetry alone, it is true to the creative and expressive spirit which poetry inspires me to explore. I hope you enjoy…

Secret Place

Photography by Reno K Lawrence

Secret Place

You poured out your heart,
without fears
as if cool rain, giving
in dusty heat.
I wade deep
in those pools
spilling in the harmonious
babble bubbling;
mirror of your soul;
shades of paradise,
the lotus cupped in His hands,
between us –
white call to greater abandon
where we
take on new meaning;
Tears of joy welling
from the dark tempest
in my core;
souls undressed
as if a sun
cut through clouds;
your giving rain,
the inevitable tears,
us wading there,
in that secret place.

Contagious Nocturnal Friend

Slow is tired;
me, a cool festival
hanging limp
as a willow in the night,
you smile
like a moon favoring
one hemisphere
over the other
spraying the dark virgin air
aglow, suffused with blue
livening us, along with you,
celebrating in your over world
over, and over,
above a day,
thousands of miles
beneath our feet,
with sleep postponed
until the morn dawns
when insistent desires
fade, like children
worn with amusements;
curled flat and
heavy as lead,
with festive dreams
inside their head.

After Algebra (revisited)

This is an older post. I actually wrote this poem when I returned to college at the age of 30. That was over 20 years ago. I was a High School drop-out and lived on my own since the age of 18. While I was attending college full-time, I was also the sole provider of my family of 3-small children and a wife.

Funny, some things rarely change, and right-brained gravity seems to be one of my favorite themes.

Algebra and English Comp were two subjects that taught me that I wasn’t book dumb after all, I just had a very uncoordinated focus that needed some discipline. After learning how to apply my focus, I did exceptionally well. This lesson of sticking to something, never quitting, was the best lesson I ever took with me from college. I learned there is a lot more for us to discover, sometimes it just takes clear determined focus to break through to the other-side.

At any rate, the human mind is amazing, those of us who are strongly right-brained, can become balanced in the left, and those in the left, can become liberated creative thinkers. With persistence we can become far more than the limitations we so often allow to define us. I was able to acquire my HS diploma and finished 2-years of general education with some additional courses of Art and Poetry to satisfy the hungering right brain. The poem renders the true challenges I had from switching from natural creative side to the extraneous work of analytical focus and boring process memorization. Focus has always been major work for me.

After Algebra

My fears are multiplied
By unknown factors
Step by step I am searching
for the undefined variables

The variables are better left
to efforts of desire, colored life,
X-equals my joy to live;
Purple sunsets
I bend against my better judgments
to allow myself
to be yanked from my heaven,
this freedom flesh
I levitate in pastels of soft nature
I dance in a landscape
that changes by factors
of emotional reaction
But the quotients of my efforts,
are reduced to penciled structures,
black bones on a white background

I tell you, I am dead tired!
I have exercised the parts
of my faculties that makes my
neck crawl, fire between the blades
of my shoulders,
I am so right, in this world better left…
I would run for summer meadows;
Sunshine, grass, and sky,
Yet, I am in the fetters
Of methodical deductions
for another semester

The anxiety increases
by exponential leaps;
Plus, minus, minus, minus –
The negative moves
From outside in

I could care
to marvel at a dry honeycomb;
perfectly structured hexagons,
raising powers,
intellectual perceptions —
Just leave me honey of a bee
like after Algebra,
when I go to Poetry.

Lovescape in Dark


Midnight stars
infinite spray of light rests
reflective on my eye

The hope of youth
is fragrant
and sweet as Fennel
combed by wind
blowing through
the coastal canyons
near my beloved sea

I am fluorescent and luminous
tossed in a perpetual rhythm of waves
tumbling to no end,
and you are eternal
as the ever changing moon
pulling me where you will,
shining upon me this dark night.

Linked to Seedlingsinstone Blog Spot

The Bruising of a Heart

It’s said the good ones are taken
they say, what’s left is left for reason.
Like fruits fallen to ground
bruising makes them undesirable
for tables, picnics
or even jelly preserves.

With dirt in eyes,
the color of hope fades
to shades of umber and sienna.
Sun toughens skins,
while birds eat insects
feasting upon aging nectar.

Wasn’t long ago, brilliance
glistened at tree’s top, robust,
full of fragrance, confident,
pickers would never resist
the offering amongst all others.

Now, amongst dry mulch
the melt of mold’s croon
sinks and tilts
through night’s, and noon’s;

Glossy globe
once rustled by leaves,
in the sway
of wind and branches,
vanishes in lapses
in a vague place alone;
where a hardened seed
encasing hope,
may sprout
through the flesh
of a bruised heart.

Note: I am always grateful to LL Barkat @ Seedlings in Stone for allowing me to share on her blog site “On and around Mondays”

Love Is Eternity

I often remember
your faint smile,
like sunlight;
found me through
the heavy slit
of a waking lid;
Sounds of rustling linens
approaching in my sleep,
illumine light
reflecting soft white
from the pale in your cheeks,
my consciousness
drawn out of me,
became filled
with glowing satiety.

The morning pours
sensual as Hollandaise
on poached eggs;
it’s spilling embrace,
slowly sprawling over
buttery whites,
thinning vague
upon the yellow,
oozing off-white wave,
sliding, rolling
surreal and slow.

I moved slower
as if to dictate the pace
of a morning’s passing,
and often, I did;
simmering into an afternoon,
melting with the light of evening,
reduced, thick, and heavy
through the midnight,
another morning;
The morning freely gave
away it’s moments;
It too, being intoxicated
with our love.

Francesca Woodman

Spun in nautilus shadows,
reared back into small
spiral smears of misty flesh
with eyes rolling
behind world’s luminous smile;
behind you.
Her image, a motif;
a bowl, a glove,
a bird, a mirror;
Her breasts ablaze
in spilling light
oozing onto the
lead grey tones
sweeping where corpse
or ghost host whims
of gothic admiration.
I am soaked in surreal blurs.
Her’s is a white vapor
permeating paranormal plains.
Shudder exploits,
evoking subtle pain,
bathing nude in silky dust.
Embrace of disintegrating
ruins and rustic
neutral haze, silver
burnishes, washing
her blazing heart,
leaving passions
actively spiraling
into the eclectic underground
forever six feet
above where she lay.

Curse or Gift

If it never was a gift,
the words upon the page,
if my playground was never built
with upper and lower
case blocks stacked
black against the RGB white,

I heard it is a curse —
over indulgent right brain
re-writing the past
re-creates worlds
as one would have it,

The grander success
could have crossed my path
had I used it less
and worked the left;
math master of hope,
builds logic falling
in deductive lines,
unceasingly.

I am blessed
beyond all descriptions
for giant feelings
not yet suited to words –
with vague glimpses
of Christ’s world;
personal truths
peaceful inside.

I feel love for everyone –
everything,
billowing as clouds
on hot spring afternoons;
bursting torrential rain
soaking landscapes
of emotions and thought;
gives way to spring
blossoms, a new birth
where everything intellectual
converts back to dreams;
and this gift
flows forever
cutting valleys
like streams.

Love After Obscurity

Obscure fleshy faces
blurred in a motion of hurry,
stand unrecognizable
in crowds, surreally tired;

Dull motions
translucent waltz
reflective in ebony pools;
swelling, glossy and glazed;

speckled movement;
elephant migrations,
suspend in hesitations
a dream, a muse,
and I am just another tired elephant

The vague mumblings;
muffled echoes: “yiT..YAaw,
SIThh..  …fa,  maw,     YAw…
stand, sink, fade, taper…
then, stop
with bracing thumps
as final door closes behind

Then, there is you,
precious star;
first fiery blossom,
naked, virgin, uninhibited
display of meadows splendor,
filling my eyes
with meaning and clarity.

When Sugar Momma Talks

If ever there was a slow
sultry train sensually
bending soul minors,
chugging upon the spine,
taking it’s riders
from a flooding delta
to alpine woods
where goose bumps
rise, drown, and resurrect
in the forget
of a sexy minute.

Teased just right with soft air
sucked in tight and lazy
on the curl of a tongue,
thin brass wisps
resonate in twisting hips;
pendulum swings,
while a blues man sings;

“She’s a gypsy with a mojo;
honey lips steal good men away
she’s a gypsy with a mojo;
honey lips steel good men away

A fool calls her Pandora
I don’t call her any day.”

Guitar or harp
continues talking where
the vocals stop.
Gypsy vapor sinks
beneath rind; honey
tastes like a
thousand tingles
moving from
soft kisses
between skin and skull,
to restless air
that follows bones –
makes them shake.

We want more
when we hear the sputter
of a turn on the five.
The crawling out
of dark pipes begins,
through steel grates,
along ditches, ally walls
trying to slide in the creep
of a hot blue measure
for another
twelve bars that may
forever hang,
perpetually arousing,
suspended on the one.

Then the sugar momma
may finally speak
and tell us where she gets
her sugar from.

Osmosis of Light

If I could bend my mind around light
or nearly wrap it with my flesh.
If I could weave my soul on it’s waves
or curl as an infant in the roar
of it’s pure white radiant spray.

If I could suffuse my heart
to detach and scatter
away from the pitch,
where blood flows like rays
through eternal veins.

Though infinity of light’s arc
embrace universe,
like embryo’s spacious fluid;
Exposing Sirius,
Pollux, even Arcturus
with unfathomable luminosity;

It finds me still, with leaf
over genitals, peeling away earth
that sticks tighter than flesh.

Love’s Rage

I was thinking,
the truest love
rages in the loneliness
of a passing moment

It must rage
entwined in pulling
and pushing
magmaculate dance
of resistance

where nectars sap
overflows upon tongue
koinonia (κοινωνία) binding
the all into one;

rage of wanting
catalyzing giving,
rage of riches suffused,
perpetual raging symbiosis;

The rage within me
the rage within you.

Cathexis Imprisoned

I stare down upon her
from balcony’s view.
Candles flickering in moist grey air.
My heart pounding
like a kettle drum;
a battalion of marching soldiers
closer, ever coming closer…

A petite arched window
in the east vault
gave way for white light
to spray stingily upon her.
Rembrandt kisses; slivered
silhouettes on gauze dress;
contouring cheek, neck;
blue strands of black illumine hair.

She stood aplomb
embossing the cold Autumn air.
Waiting, like first breech of winter squall.
Determined, imminent, eyes beaming
peripheral; at nothing, at everything;
a still tempest, silent skirl,
echoing empty in spacious dark
Much like me exposed to her coldness;
it removed color from life,
sun and warmth from spring…

Attractions

It is that mystery, those windows to the soul;
that have us passing by the deep wells often,
our intuitions searching into deep shadowy tunnels,
like curious children fascinated by obscured echoes
gradually fading to dilated stares and wonderment.

Her Country & Mine

You said the country
was always so sweet,
just as you remembered.
Yet, every time we drove,
following your perfect map,
we always got lost looking
for happy chickens with white
round eyes and yellow smiles.
You said the green grass
and lollipop trees spotted
on whoop-dee-doo hill sides
would render our hearts content
as we passed waving cows
having conversations with
crows perched on posts.
You told me of all the good
friends we would share
who live in the country
and that someday, we
would live there with them
spreading red and white
checkered throws in meadows
with frisky picnic dreams and
puppies tugging on blanket corners.
You asked me to promise
I would protect you
from rhinoceros beetles
you have never seen ,
yet, always feared.
And since, I too, have never
seen them, I told you I would.
We drove looking long
For that country,
You always believed
it was beyond the next tree line,
or over the next hill,
while I just kept looking
for the next mile marker
and a gas station.

Before I’m Aware

(Spontaneous Rituals)

The reflex activates
without much thought.
Some tractor rumbles
with herculean gyrations
chewing away at will
earthy rational;
You might think
the baby sleeps,
yet, hollow paths
of migrating butterflies
cocoon on joint and bone;
resulting in motions;
aboriginal steps;
than, coincidental practices
of spontaneous rituals.

Gravity

I thought I would rest for once, In the grass,
stop all this levitating upon the blades.
Just allow the gravity to pull me down
compressing my body to the earth.
Perhaps I should fear the ground
might swallow me whole. Yet,
here I lay, contemplating
resistance; all the
complex principles,
what they really mean,
where I might be
if I just let go,
allowing
gravity to
take me
where it
will.

The One

I rarely ever picked roses,
brave a thorn
to show my love,
but there was one
I remember picking
on a cold February day,
in the front planter,
at The Hawks Prairie Inn;

I always looked
upon her confidently,
at a distance that was safe.
The uncomfortable close spaces
between us, remained hollow
only filled with imagination.

She was talking with friends
in the big field at lunch.
They looked toward me
sporadically, in moments passing.
She and them giggled together,
she started approaching me
confident, with an irresistible smile.
I, remained poised, yet nervous…
She started flirting
with light conversations
gradually turning seductive.
Honey flowed from her gloss lips;
Her: “can you quote a poem you wrote,
I hear you paint,
what do you like painting”
Me: “I mostly paint animals”
Her: “Have you ever painted people”
Me: “uh, umm, well”
Her: “Nudes (coy, velvet tone)
could I pose for you,
what mediums do you use,
do you finger paint…”

Evergreen trees towering
all around as we stood
talking vague ear-shots
from other students.
I was shaking inside,
my face bursting a warm red.
She was insanely beautiful,
practicing dreamy stares,
while tying invisible
strings to everything inside me

I was 18, still virgin;
Boyish innocence bleeding
through dark adolescence
like charred roses
with bright scarlet pedals
just beneath the pitch
of the burnt ones….

Fall 2013 Japanese Garden Fort Worth Texas

This gallery contains 76 photos.

Spring and Autumn are by far my favorite times of year here in North Texas. I recently visited Fort Worth Texas which is about 45 miles west of Dallas. Fort Worth has it’s own set of esthetically attractive destinations and The Fort Worth Botanical Gardens is a must see, especially in the Spring and Fall … Continue reading

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2012 SPAH Convention – All about Harmonica!!

In addition to doing some writing, art, and photography, I play harmonica. I have played for over 35 years. I was actually able to take a few lessons with Tommy Morgan when I was a youngster. Tommy Morgan is one of the most heard harmonica players ever, yet one of the least known. He has played harmonica scores for the television and movie industry since the late 50’s through the 90’s. His contributions to the industry are innumerable. He was the harmonica in the Sanford and Son theme song, Rockford files theme song, Gun Smoke, Bonanza, Paint Your Wagon, and a myriad of other movie and television scores. Tommy mentioned to me that I should Join SPAH and attend a SPAH convention if I ever got the chance. SPAH stands for Society for the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica. Well, thirty years have passed since then and I finally was able to attend my first SPAH convention. The SPAH Convention is the largest society of musicians who gather together to share camaraderie for any one instrument in the world. The full gamut of Harmonica players were in attendance accompanied by there harmonica’s of choice. There were Chromatics, 2-foot long Chord Harmonicas, Bass Harmonicas, Tremolos, and my favorite, the 10-hole diatonic harp. Seydel, Hohner, & Suzuki were all there with the latest greatest harmonica models on display. Every genre of music ever played on a harmonica, was being played all day and most of the night throughout the Westin Hotel in Arlington Tx; Jazz, Blues, old standards, Classical, Polka, Cajun, Country, Celtic, Bluegrass, etc.

During the five convention days, there were jams, seminars, teach-ins, both scheduled and my favorite was the unscheduled ones. Often I would run into a celebrity harmonica player and ask questions – Each and every one of them were there with attitudes to give back what the instrument has given to them. I received some memorable lessons during quaint discussions in the halls of the hotel.

Each night there were great performances and on the fifth and final night there was an award dinner with amazing entertainment. The performances the night of the dinner included; Stan Harper, Jia-Yi He, The Sgro Brothers. The coolest part of that evening was that I was a table away from James Cotton, and Charlie Musslewhite – These guys are legends. If you wish to read more about the SPAH convention, I suggest reading the article on the SPAH page titled Harmonica Players Share The Heart of Their Music.

This post is full of links for the celebrity names mentioned. Please click a few and get a feel for the talent that graced the Hotel halls.

As always, thanks for reading and hope you enjoy the pics.

Here is yours truly playing my rendition of Shakey Blues

James Cotton & Charlie Musslewhite and some crazy fan.

Will Scarlet famous for his work with Hot Tuna back in the day.

Winslow Yerxa — SPAH President

Todd Parrot – Giving lessons on a cool country lick he picked up from Charley McCoy

Joe Spiers(Below) – An in-demand harmonica Customizer with a 6 month order lead time. I spent some time talking with Joe, a great guy by-the-way. Joe gave me some vague leads on how to make my harps better. It really is an art that takes years of experience to learn accurately.

Me with Charlie Musslewhite

Jimmy Lee

Grant Dermody Grant Tours with Eric Bibb and is a growing name as an amazing harp player. Grant is a purist. I was able to sit at a table with him during the convention – a great and brilliant musician. He has a love for old time violin tunes.

Dave Barret (Below)- Transposer, writer, harmonica player/teacher extraordinaire

Joe Filisko – below, is playing guitar for a late night blues jam. Joe Filisko is the most renowned name in Harmonica Customization. His harps start at about $250.00 or so. He builds for the pros. He is also an amazing blues harp player – a purist who is true to form.

This jam was a bit spiritual as we sat in a circle and took a bar to solo by. As the night grew old, there were a hand full of pros left and me. It was great being able to hear all the different styles and talent levels

When it was all over, silence was golden, if I could only eat a meal without hearing a harmonica, there was a sense of heavenly peace. The biggest lesson I learned was to be patient, gracious, practice and enjoy…Practice makes perfect and I was mingling with perfectionists that made something great and amazing of a unique obsession – playing that silly little instrument that offers so much with so very little.