Sunday, October 31, 2010

Magpie Tales 38

Here and Now

Time raps on
in an inconspicuous loop
and maybe we’ve been there—

who is ever certain.
The cracks in the earth,
an undercurrent of hush;

there are those who believe
on the last day the ground will split open
uniting bodies with souls,

those who believe
we waste too much on foreign aid,
and some who believe
they’ll have another beer.

There is too much
emphasis on perfection
among the living

anyway. There will be time
enough in the next life
to be the model citizen;
the kind streets are named after.

2010 © Michael A. Wells – all rights reserved

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thoughts on words

Each word bears its weight, so you have to read my poems quite slowly.  ~ Anne Stevenson

Black and Orange October! Game 2 All San Francisco

Giants pitching shuts out Rangers - who give up 9 runs - 8 eight of which came in 7th inning and beyond.

2 -0 lead by the Giants in World Series

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

San Francisco up 1-0 in World Series

Giants Fans treated to an 11-7 win tonight in San Francisco over the Texas Rangers to take 1-0 lead in the World Series.  Congrats Giants!!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Confession Tuesday

Dear Reader - just got home from a poetry group meeting at the Writers Place and I'm rushing to get my confession done, so lets get started.

It's been one week since my last confession and my friend I confess that I bombed out of the Twitter Poetry Party this weekend. That's right, I wasn't together enough to even virtually party.  Ah! What does that say about me?

Ok, I managed to get in one tweet and between my problem remembering the hashtag and other distractions I finally gave up.
And hashtag? Anything that combines an edible dish and an apparatus of commerce is bound to give off confusing vibes. Am I inept at twitter? I'm not a pro, I'm not a twitter addict, but I don't think I have a big "L" on my forehead.

I've seen the feed of the party [click here] and it really had some interesting points. I've decided that it would be much easier to participate in on the computer than my Blackberry. That is if I can remember the hashtag.
Anyway it is an interesting concept and next time I confess I'll be prepared. I may even bring a virtual bottle of wine to to my laptop... or maybe a real bottle. 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

More Poetry - Enjoy!

A note today from Christine Klocek-Lim, Editor that the October issue is up.  I always seem to appreciate the poems selected.  This issue is an Arts Issue.

I saw this and was fascinated by Pasternak's message

I come here to speak poetry. It will always be in the grass. It will also be necessary to bend down to hear it. It will always be too simple to be discussed in assemblies.   ~ Boris Pasternak

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Orange October!

The San Francisco Giants defeated the Phillies 3-2 tonight to become the 2010 National League Champions.

This team of unlikelies is far from some of the power teams the Giants have put together in the past.  It won so many games by 1 and 2 run margins that many have called Giants baseball this season Torture Ball.

The team only remotely resembles the team that broke camp at the end of spring training. Players have been shifted around the field and others acquired as the season went on. Players like Pat Burrell who was cut from another team mid season and thought he would be watching the rest of the season from home, but the Giants were interested and he became a great fit and was one of many players that kept the team competitive down the stretch.

These players have played their hearts out to get to this point and it would be so incredible to see them win it all in the World Series. I've cheered the Giants through the 1989 Quake Series they lost to Oakland and the 2002 California Series vs Anaheim that they heartbreakingly lost in game 7.  I'm ready for a Giants World Series Championship team!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Journal Bits

I haven't done a Journal Bits post in some time so here are a few samplings:

AUG 22- I was seated next to a woman / who knew what I was thinking / she knew everything and she knew / nothing  of the way I fantasized / that she were a blot of lightening / and how she struck me / twice as improbable as / it was that I was / in electric convulsive / therapy for these things / that I think about/ when I have others / to indulge in my thoughts

AUG 27 - Writing last night was lackluster, but then I worked in an environment of distraction...

SEPT 2 - Today is the seventh anniversary of my blog

SEPT 6 - Any latitude given  / to these stories / of headaches and tides / pushing and pulling / against each other / are provincial

SEPT 7 - I'm on the verge of a couple of different poems but still sifting out the specifics.

SEPT 11 - I put Shannon on a plane this morning and this is the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks...

SEPT 13 - I'm tired tonight and I'll admit a bit grouchy...

SEPT 26 - Yesterday my copy of Letters From the Emily Dickinson Room arrived... read through it in one sitting.

OCT 6 - Not all falls are without grace...

OCT 8 - Vacation day.. double platelet donation... Meghan texted me,  she was donating platelets at the same time I was - this was cool!

OCT 12 - From here it's all academic / there is a darkness because there is / light -

OCT 16 - The Giants ended up winning 5 to 4. Yeah!

OCT 19- Giants win game 3 by a three to nothing score. gave up only three hits. Awesome game in San Francisco for the home fans. They lead the NLCS now 2 games to 1.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Magpie Tales 37

There is a history of going
and coming—

of pleasing and displeasing—

of knocking on wood
and crossing fingers
and Late Night
with and without David

There are vague memories
of Here’s Johnny and
nights turned away
and nights…
nights so hot we could not
stand to touch and
others so hot the sweat
was the conductor of electricity
the completed circuit
that rode between two bodies
too wrapped up in each
to hear the pitter patter
of little feet
or may not
have been outside
the door.

The walls know more
than the disarray can tell.
But walls are the great depositories
of secrets. They hold
on to things we never knew
and things too
we let go of.

©2010 – Michael A. Wells - All Rights Reserved

Magpie Tales 37

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Shhh.... listen

Now all my teachers are dead except silence.
 - W. S. Merwin

Confession Tuesday

The night is fleeting and I've got confessing to do so let's get started.

Dear Reader:

I saw today on the Internet that we are supposed to have a spectacular stream of meteors, likely leftovers from Halley's Comet, streak across the night sky this week. I confess I am always interested in such phenomena but rarely get lucky enough to observe things like this in real life. I'm usually reduced to watching some video after the fact, but still find it interesting.  For years we lived in the city where surrounding environmental factors like buildings, trees, night lighting all worked against me. Moving to a more suburban area with open fields on two sides of our property give better opportunity, but I still seldom see such things.
I mentioned the showers to my wife a while ago and she said, "feel free to go out and watch them on your own."  I'm sure she hopes to be watching the back side of here eyelids.  I may go check things out after while but I don't see myself staying out very long. Morning comes early... or so it seems.  Maybe I'll get lucky... but I'm not counting on it.

The Giants returned to San Francisco and played their first home game of the NLCS this afternoon. They split the first two games on the road and won a great pitching game before the home fans - a 3 hitter shut out, 3-0.  I truly have post season fever.  The Giants bullpen has all grown beards down the stretch and the fans have a motto, "fear the beard" and I confess that in support of the team, I've started  growing a beard too.  I've had a beard in the late 1980's and 90's but ultimately grew tired of it and shaved it.  I don't see myself keeping this past the World Series (assuming the Giants advance) otherwise it will come off sooner.  The mustache however stays. I'm forbidden by my wife from shaving it. Seriously!  

Well, it's nearly 11:00 and I'm going to take my pop and go outside briefly and see what the sky is like. Wish me luck!

Thanks for listening. Have a great week!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

My daughter found this for me…


Thanks Shannon – I love it!  Rally thong – Brian Wilson Beard!  Fear the Beard!  LOL

The Making of a Great Poem

Over the years I've come across a few people... some contemporaries, others from the past that own a collection of thoughts, of sayings that are so profound that I find myself amazingly nodding my head yes, yes! to the vast majority of their collected quotations. One such person is Anais Nin. I could do a lengthy post of such profound statements from her, and I have quoted her here several times over the years-  but today I have chosen one thing that she said that I believe embodies what I think should answer the question, What should a really great poem do?"
Nin says, "It is the function of art to renew our perception. What we are familiar with we cease to see. The writer shakes up the familiar scene, and, as if by magic, we see a new meaning in it." 

If in the end, a poem can achieve this... can take the familiar and cause us to look at it and see something different, or in a different light... that is art... that is poetry!

Who Speaks To You! What person/persons has/have many profound quotations that speak to your core thoughts and belief systems?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Off to Bed with a Book to Read

I've had a pretty productive day of writing capped off with watching   game one of the NLCS between San Francisco Giants and Philadelphia Phillies. Giants take the opening game on the road 5-4. Cody Ross again going yard tonight. Not once but twice!  At right he celebrates after the first with Giants pitcher.

Whale Sound - Another Voice

One of my older poems is featured on Whale Sound. If is always interesting to hear your work read in someone's voice other than your own. Some of my family members expressed that they liked the poem better hearing it in Nic Sebastian's voice.  I do love her reading voice- it brings a whole other level of artistry to any poem.

Here is Nic Sebastian reading my poem for Whale Sound:    The Cousin

Another of her readings - the poem by Terresa Wellborn  A Different Leaving.  Terresa's words and Nic's voice... I love what this collaboration results in.

Magpie Tales 36

Light is Reversible and I Wear It—

inside out
snug about me
a compression bandage
that heals the anxious pricking;
nervous needles of daylight—

people I don’t even know
that pass me
that press me
that push me to the brink.

Day is my hell—
my holy hell.
I am safest with it
under my surveillance
at a distance.

©2010 Michael A. Wells

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Confession Tuesday

Sometimes I think that reaching Tuesday is like hitting another milestone on your odometer- you’re driving down the road and note that it just rolled past 55,000, and soon it’s 80,000. Next thing you know you reach 100,000 and everyone in the car is doing a foot dance to celebrate. Then, 150,000 and 175,000 and now you aren’t dancing but praying.
It’s confession time…
Dear reader-
It’s been another week and so many miles of life since my last confession.
Fall is an interesting time of year because it seems to be about slowing down. Darkness comes earlier and it seems that this draws the day out because you are up during a darker period of time longer than normal. Fall is also a perceived changing of the guard. Summer is dying off and you know the trees will soon be bare and their tentacles will rake the sky till the snow falls and the cold northwest winds choke off nature. In spite of all this doom and gloom, fall is not without grace and beauty and I keep trying to tell myself this— even as the baseball season vanishes and with most other forms of life.
This past weekend I confess I was depressed, even as my San Francisco Giants survived to reach the playoffs. My head felt like it was clogged with fog in all of its grayscale colorless form. Later, that gray would set like cement into the worst headache to carry around. I realize I’ve spent more time inside lately then out and I don’t suppose that has helped. Still, it is that time of the year that I battle this more than any other.
On Sunday there was an outside poetry / art event that I was thinking I would attend, but in the end I stayed home to watch the Giants game. I confess that my decision was based upon the fact that poetry events come and go, but it’s not every year your team makes the playoffs.
Any hope of this improving as we started a new week vanished yesterday as I learned that a coworker battling a terminal illness passed away over the weekend. While I suppose it was not that I never anticipated it, the last contact we had left no indication it would be so soon. I was stunned. Everyone was stunned.
Everyone have a great week and be safe!

Monday, October 11, 2010

N.J. organizers say Dodge Poetry Festival attendance as large as past, more diverse |


NEWARK — Greg Gillett and his wife, Mary Jo, have traveled from Michigan to New Jersey many times to attend the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival, but the event produced some pleasant surprises this year.

The festival moved to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark from Waterloo Village in Sussex County.

Despite the presence of four U.S. poets laureate, "there were fewer big names than other years," said Mary Jo Firth Gillett.

Yet the poetry teacher in the Detroit area said she found that a plus.


Full Story:  N.J. organizers say Dodge Poetry Festival attendance as large as past, more diverse |



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San Francisco Wins Series - Advance to NLCS! Celebrating!

Outfielder Cody Ross Homers in the game tonight.  The Giants win the series on the Road in Atlanta.

Saturday, October 09, 2010


  • Imagine Hunger a thing of the past
  • Imagine Forests rejuvenated
  • Imagine Cancer cured
  • Imagine Diabetes defeated
  • Imagine Literacy an epidemic
  • Imagine Wellness a way of life
  • Imagine Knowledge universal
  • Imagine a world Clear of Nuclear weapons
  • Imagine Human Rights without a second thought
  • Imagine A Song in Every Heart
  • Imagine Living Life in Peace

John Lennon - 9 October 1940 – 8 December 1980

Image: Salvatore Vuono /

Friday, October 08, 2010

"Last Letter"

The New Statesman publishes a previously unseen work by the late poet laureate Ted Hughes that shed some light on the final days of Sylvia Plath.  Above, Actor Jonathan Pryce reads the poem.
This is sure to start a whole new round of discussion and debate about the Hughes-Plath relationship.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Magpie Tales 35

The Fall

Not all
falls are without grace
it’s not all black and white

the lush green
slowly ages
to perfection
and one day

we wake like the frog
in the pan on the stove
who only notices
he is cooked

too late to realize
summer has crossed
the line

and we cheer
the cool afternoons
brushed with color

we plan weekend excursions
around watercolor scapes—
drive deep into their belly
and breathe the discolored air
crisp and thick
with ripe

and over weeks
all this too
will pass

all will slowly
lose grip
in a

and gently
on streams of air
fall effortlessly
without a sound
to the ground

©2010 – Michael A. Wells – all rights reserved

Poetry Daily - If I Ever Mistake You For a Poem

Congratulations to Kelli Russell Agodon - one of her poems from her new book - Letters from the Emily Dickinson Room was selected for Poetry Daily.   Check it out here!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Confession Tuesday - Pride Edition

It’s that time again…. Tuesday. Did you know that Tuesday is associated with the planet Mars and the Roman God of War? Anyway, it’s off the confessional. Are you coming?

Dear reader-

Yes, another week had come and gone since my last confession. I have number of things to offer in confession this week let me unload these sins now.

There is this sin called pride. This is one that I’ve often found confusing. Pride seems such a normal emotional experience related to what I generally regard as good things that happen. Your child brings home a good grade card – you feel really proud of your child. You get a poem accepted in a journal… you are beaming with pride. I felt a sense of pride in my favorite baseball team this weekend as they clinched the National League West championship.

The San Francisco Giants are not a team loaded with high payroll. They have a number of young players mixed with veterans most with little or no post season experience. They were not on most people’s radar for post season and at All- Star break they were barely above .500. Much of they year they were in second place, a position that alone raised many eyebrows. But they hung in and played good ball down the stretch. In August they had some tough times and their pitching staff went south. After a team meeting, September turned around and the pitching was among the best in baseball. Meanwhile, the Padres who spent something like 130-140 days in first place went into a tail spin, crashed and burned. The Giants took over first place, came off a road trip and swept the Diamondbacks three games at home and awaited the Padres to play the final three games of the season. On Friday, the fist of the three games the Giants needed just one win to clinch the Division. The Padres needed to sweep to tie and face a playoff. It took three games to put them away, but on the final game of the regular season, SF did just that and sent the Padres home with no post-season.

So I confess- yes, I’m proud of the Giants. I’m proud of my team. I know they are not the best team that San Francisco has ever assembled, and likely not the best team to reach post season, but they did, playing often above everyone else’s expectations. They many not win the NL pennant. If they do, the may not win the World Series, but I will be cheering them on as far as they can get and if they do, I will be crazy excited like a kid. Still, I confess I will remain proud of them whatever.


I have another sin to confess. I know all writers do this. They read something written by another writer and they say out loud, “Wow! I wanted to write that!” Of course, they can’t because now it has already been written. Ok, I guess they can and some do try it. It’s called plagiarizing. I think we all know that while it may not be in the Ten Commandments it is pretty much the single biggest Writer’s Commandment, “Thou Shall not Plagiarize” And though I have not, and will not plagiarize, I confess that upon reading Kelli Russell Agodon’s poem I Try to Plagiarize Moonlight, I did covet it.


Drumming. Yes, recently I have been guilty of the sin of drumming. While I played drums in band at school, I’ve been drumming a lot lately and not on drums, but on the top of my Quick Trip cup, the dash of the car at stop lights, etc. and this in annoying. So I’m told. I confess it really isn’t bothering me but apparently it is an annoyance to (some) others. I’m trying to do better.

Thanks for listening… everyone have a great week!

Sunday, October 03, 2010


The San Francisco Giants win the NL Western Division Championship!

There is "Life in Postseason!"

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Magpie Tales 34

Blue Heat

"Crystal blue persuasion....."*

When you were introduced,
grandma had that eye—
that keen recognition
that she knew         you
were the chemistry;
a combustible wick
for a perfect flame
swirling          searing
the tornado chimney
to overtake any room.

* From the from 1969 hit song Crystal Blue Persuasion..... written and performed by Tommy James and The Shondells

©2010 Michael A. Wells – all rights reserved