Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Questions to ask when...

Dana Guthrie Martin asks the poignant  question, "Why does this poet live in my house, and is this the best place for her?"  Her Poem here

Confession Tuesday - Fleeting Edition

Come Along with me to the confessional…

It’s not only Tuesday again but it is almost the end of August ~ uh, what’s up with that?

Dear Reader:

I confess that I’ve absolutely no idea where August has gone. Seriously! It feels like it has been dwarfed by February… There just seems to be no accounting for the days. Has someone taken them while I was not looking?  And I know summer is fleeting because I come home in the evening and these little kids in helmets and John Wayne shoulders are practicing football on the baseball diamond across the street.  That is just not right!  I confess that I find such encroachment unacceptable. I’m sure that there is some sort of Capricorn justice in my logic.


I confess that a blog which I read often and have found to be creatively stimulating had dropped off the radar and it saddens me.


It seems there are a lot of people who are operating with something less then a full deck mucking about in this country these days. I’m sure the United States doesn’t hold any exclusive lock on such people. And to be sure, not all of them are Christians, but there seem to be a disproportionate amount of them that call themselves Christian fundamentalists.  Now, I’m not an atheists but it seems to me that the Florida pastor who has called for the creation of a National Registry of atheists could do better pasturing his flock then stirring up hate for absolutely no justifiable reason then his own lack of good judgment.  Perhaps doing so would prove to be too challenging to him. I confess the more I read thing like this, the more I am convinced such people have no concept whatsoever as to what Christianity is.


I confess that I have fleeting thoughts about self-publishing a manuscript. I confess fleeting is a word that has been hanging around me lately.  I confess that I worry that one day all my thoughts will be fleeting.

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Pleasant Find

I was looking through some of my sent mail and cleaning out stuff tonight when I ran across a draft of a poem written in July of 2009 that I sent to some poet friends that were sharing drafts back then.  There was a draft that I had forgotten though reading it after all this time I realized it was a remarkably strong draft to have since been overlooked. This was a surprising find and I promptly moved a copy of it to a working draft folder.

This likely is not an isolated incident for me.  I'm pretty sure I've a trail of promising drafts that have become neglected orphans. I need to revisit my old journals and old e-mails more often.

Do you have rough diamonds languishing in your sent folder, an obscure file folder on your computer or hard copies stashed in a drawer someplace? 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Journal Bits this week

Bits of notes, thoughts, quotes and drafts in my journal this past week...

  • Aug. 19, 2011 - The morning glistens off the wet grass. Remnants of last night's storm. Do people ever glisten as a result of some natural phenomena?
  • Aug. 20, 2011 - "It possesses a resilience/foreign to most people/a hundred times I chop it down/a hundred and one times it grows/back up against the house/sways against the bats and boards/waving to the sky as if to say, I'm back!"
  • Aug. 20, 2011 - "While the night vaporises/I languish a secondary or lesser./A burning ember of a star."
  • Aug.25, 2011 - I so love the geese and there were a group in the field this morning. One of the things about them I so like is how they seem to fit into the world around them. The traffic, noises, I can even walk toward them and they are largely unshaken. I have to get right on top of them before they seem to acknowledge my presence and move on.
  • Aug. 27, 2011 - "...I sit sipping Colombian, dark, no sugar no one/to cut the quiet of this/conversation not happening// ...yesterday on the floor/your side of the bed/where a sock had rolled/self up to account for loneliness - its mate nowhere /to be found. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

On learning & perfection

We come to love not by finding the perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.  ~Angelina Jolie

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Learning to live

People need to be made more aware of the need to work at learning how to live because life is so quick and sometimes it goes away too quickly.  ~  Andy Warhol

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Oh this is some heavy food for thought...

I saw this on Pinterest on Lisa Kaplan's board and wow, that is some heavy stuff to think about.


Summer is confused
daylight is shifting
the nights come
under some spell
the landscape changed
in the blink of an eye
the possessed sleeps
with eyes open
and sees nothing

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

To rub meaning from moments

When I was reading Laurie Rachkus Uttich's Why We Write in the Sept/Oct Poets and Writers it struck me how important observation is to writers of all genres. Even when we protest that a poem is not about us, it really is about how we perceive the world around us. If I say all I need is a pin and paper to write I've really simplified things and missed a very significant ingredient in any writing recipe.

I found Uttich's essay thought provoking and believe she would be exciting teacher to study under, what I liked most and will stick with me was her following words:

"We observe and analyze, rub meaning from moments,
And yet none of it is truly real to us until we write it down,
And when we don't write, we end up on our knees."

Confession Tuesday - 13 Confessions Edition

Funny how Tuesday seems to roll around quickly no matter how fast the rest of the week drags on.  Let’s head to the confessional.

Dear Reader:

I confess the philodendron on my desk at the office is talking to me at me. In an ever weakening voice I can faintly hear the words, “water me.”
I confess that I’m becoming annoyed at technology. Especially when that technology has to do with phones.  I am increasingly annoyed by the following in no specific order, spam coming to my phone e-mail and text messages, work related e-mails that arrive on my personal phone on Sunday or late hours of the night., my own habit of using it to play games when I’m especially bored, and when others texting like mad in my presence.

There is no rational to finding what others do on their phone in my presence being any worse then me doing it, they both bug me. One thing I’ve made a conscious effort at is to try and not mess with my phone a lot when I’m eating out with others. I heard an NPR segment a week or so back about people who park their phone in the evening as opposed to carrying it around with them. I rather like that idea.

I confess that my tech annoyances also include Facebook but I have yet to swear it off.
I confess I was kidnapped in a dream the other night. I don’t know it ended badly or not.
I confess that I have been drinking more tea and less Diet Coke the past couple of weeks.
I confess seeing the geese on the field across the street this morning made me smile.
I confess that frustration seems to be a natural part of life as a writer and I don’t know how to change or even lessen the frustration significantly.
I confess I added a bit of honey to the peas I cooked the other night.
I confess need to read poems out loud more often.
I confess I think other people should read poems out loud too
I confess that I am astounded how little knowledge my 17 year old niece has of things outside of her seemingly tiny world.  I confess this worries me concerning the future of our country.
I confess that I am confessed out!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Magpie Tales 79: Poem: Maybe if We Hadn't Thrown the Cores

That summer we stuck
in the seats of the old Ford
our cotton clothing
clung to us wet
no one dared crank
the panes-

a few bugs would join
the ride but soon exit
the heat I think drove them
so we didn't

who knew there was
so much Missouri
corn and milo
some tobacco too

I lost count of orchards
stopped off for apples
juice dripping down
the chin- 

hurled the cores
onto the highway
till dad got after us

we saw signs
for real caves
but never stopped

Michael A. Wells

Magpie Tales 79

Magpie 78 - Missing

The assemblage
from aerial view
a train wreck
pickup sticks
wool coat
camel hair
cans and pans
a handle
here and there
the worker
to be found

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Started biking - slowly but surely

A few weeks ago my right knee swelled up with a big knot on the lower inside of the knee cap. As it happened I was planning to get my bike out and start ridding for exercise. The knee thing drug on and I went to the doctors and between my two options started an inflammatory medication.  The other option was a cortisone shot which might have brought me swifter relief but since I'm a type two diabetic, my experience with any steroid is that it bumps my blood sugar numbers pretty high for a significant number of days.

But all this (the knee problem) seems past.  At least enough so that I got out by bike and aired up the tires and rode around a little (not to overdo it) and my plan is to ride some most nights after work for a while till I can build up my endurance.

Just so that I'm able to get a poetry connection in here, long time readers may recall that I won my bike a few years back in a contest to write environmental haiku's.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Opening Up~

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
 ~ Anais Nin

It seems to me that Nin's words above,  like so many of her bits of wisdom are in fact powerful maxiums we can all lean on in life. Everyone... but they seem so relevent to the writer's life - a life that often challenges one to risk opening the blossoms that reveal

Do you recall a time when your writing risked blossoming?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Confession Tuesday

Dear Reader: 

It's been almost a week since my non-confession confession and here I am heading to the confessional for a look back.

I confess that the week in view was a largely exasperating one. At work, at home, and at all points between. I think both mentally and physically I've let myself get deflated. I feel like one of those moon walk things kinds bounce on at outdoor events that are filled with air only the party is over and the air released and I'm just a jumble of plastic on the ground.

It seems like almost every night for the past week we've drug in late.  I got home later tonight because I needed to go to the store to replenish the Wells' Mother's cubbard.  I'm home now  and my poor wife has still not returned from work. I don't have room to complain - it's a problem that we have encountered together... still it is getting old.

Last night I confess that I came home, and did not write. I went straight to bed and when my wife came in, we watched The Closer and I  think another show and then I was out like a light. I don't like feeling like this, the wanr slick feeling. Quite frankly I feel like my body, mind and soul are all on auto pilot and I have no control.


I confess that one of the things that always brightens my day is opening the mail box and finding poetry. Yesterday I received a poetry book that I had pre-ordered a couple months back. I confess that I'm not the most patient person when it comes to waiting for any book... poetry are other. But when they do come, there is a satisfaction that's like a double layer German Chocolate Cake with traditional icing... the coconut and  Carmel stuff.  Of course the Poetry has no calories and won't raise my blood sugar ;)

So yesterday, I was happy when my copy of Amy Leigh Davis' book The Alter Ego of the Universe arrived. I think I carried it to the bedroom with all the excitement of a kid at Christmas, read two poems and fell asleep after texting Amy. Like I said before the energy just wasn't there!

So far, I'm hanging in there better tonight.  I will probably only journal tonight and read a few poems... not creative writing tonight... It's late as it is.

Till next week....

Saturday, August 13, 2011


The grasshoppers have a routine

twitch and eat     twitch and eat

but we let then—

they invade our browning turf

scavenge-scoop our dying years

but we let them—

tobacco juices rolling off

their little faces

they rub their front legs—

back and forth

back and forth

I expect the friction

will smoke and blaze

anytime now

they are small

but all about ruin

Magpie Tales 77: Poem - Intimacy on the Porch

The intimacy of a front porch
on the summer night
was like no other place. 

The tongue and grove floor
was hushed as that they stood
still beside one another. 

Out in the yard fireflies
brought the starred heavens
to their level— 

all calm except
butterflies in their bellies
as each searched for words 

that can set this night apart
from so many other
date nights.

She searched the porch floor
for the right things to say
his eye traced smooth white legs 

subconsciously until stunned
by their own silence
their eyes meet— 

words no longer matter.

2011 © Michael A. Wells
Picture credit: Summer Evening, Edward Hopper, 1947

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Bad Poet

Yep, I missed Confession Tuesday. After work I went to a poetry meeting and it was late when I arrived home. I'm later getting in tonight for a different reason. Perhaps special dispensation would be in order since I was out doing poetry things.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Magpie Tales 76: Poem - It just stopped blowing

like dead in the middle
of a gust that was whipping along
the plains and kites dived,
birds were puzzled,
cumulus nimbus stalled. 

The heat that summer day
grew stale—   idle.
Grandpa said that was kind of
the beginning of the end. 

Folks didn’t know what to make of it
still don’t.  The sun just hangs there—
nights don’t much cool off either. 

Grandpa tacked the wind mill blades
on the shed. Said there was no use
for it except ornamentation, and life was
mostly bland these days.

2011© Michael A. Wells

Journal Bits - July 21 to August 5, 2011

It's time for some tid-bits from my journal entries of late.  My daily journal comprises a variety of things. Some general journaling on life, quotes that I run across that strike my fancy, a poem that I really like and of course my own writing drafts. Some very rough as I often take them to my laptop at some point to refine them. So here is a sampling of recent entries:

  •  July 21, 2011 - "I need to find some "art date" project for this coming week coming up, time to do some inspiring things to boost my creativity."
  • July 22, 2011 - "The conversation became a sidebar to the Dr. Phil Show..."
  • July 22, 2011 - " t was uncanny how many tall women were there. I do mean tall! It was like a village of Amazon women. Several were quite striking. I'm thinking tall women poem material.
  • July 23, 2011 - "Finished a draft of a new narrative poem and did some rewriting. Good day for writing for me. Also got a blog post done.
  • July 24, 2011 -  [she] shot the dark sides/ of everything in photographs/drove a locomotive/off an acrylic painting/when she swears in German/dogs follow her heels.//
  • July 26, 211 - A woman folds her dreams/into a tri-fold it seems/to bring the closer/to spiritual perfection. 
  • July 29, 2011 - The banister reminded me/when my parents mad me/stand back against the flower print in the kitchen/we both stood because/someone else wished it/that way.//
  • July 30, 2011 - In my youth/I carried folly/in my pocket/wore a reversible/smirk on my face.//
  • August 2, 2011 - Yesterday I received an acceptance from WestWard Quarterly
  • August 3, 2011 - Nic Sebastian in a blog post - "Role of the poet: interpret the status quo or subvert it?" Interesting, think about this maybe respond to her post.
  • August 5, 2011 - She has used kisses/as currency/telegraph messages/settle scores
  • August 5, 2011 - ... another day comes more like/the last- hold up in cubicles/whose walls have had shit/written graffiti sprawled across/niceties are checked at the door/for those who might have had any//

Friday, August 05, 2011

Reoccurring Themes

It is my feeling that Time ripens all things; with Time all things are revealed; Time is the father of truth.  ~   Francois Rabelais

Time tends to be one of the reoccurring themes in my own poetry.  What are some of your reoccurring themes?

Photo credit: and Digital West Media, Inc.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Perfect Understanding Vs. Pleasure

Even when poetry has a meaning, as it usually has, it may be inadvisable to draw it out... Perfect understanding will sometimes almost extinguish pleasure.

A. E. Housman

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Confession Tuesday

I just finished working on a project I carried home from the office and before I move a way from my laptop I should get my confession over for the week.  Let's go to the confessional...

Dear Reader:  It has been four blog posts, 3.1 Lbs lost, news of one accept poem for a fall print journal, more heat the suitable for man or beast, and a second week of a bum knee since my last confession.

Two weeks ago I my right knee swelled up almost overnight.  A protrusion like a golf ball developed below the knee cap and left of center (I'm starting to sound more political then medical here) and it looked far worse then it felt. At first anyway.  I confess my week (last week) was far too busy to take time out from work to go to the doctor and I assumed it was simply an inflammation and it would go away. This was greatly annoying to my daughter Shannon.

By Monday morning I could not  put off the doctor visit any longer.  The assessment tended to support a major inflammation ant nothing more serious. Unfortunately it had gone from mildly annoying to quite painful, especially when driving. Day two post Dr. visit it's slightly better but the anti-inflammatory is playing hell with my stomach.

In addition to my dieting, I was planning to get the bike out for some exercise several nights a week, but the knee issue nixed this idea... for the time being. I confess the heat would probably be a little rough for starting a bike ricing program, but I was/am serious about it and I'm pulling for better weather and knee both next week!

I confess that I wanted to lose just a little more weight this week. I would have been happy with about 1.5 more lbs. simply because it would have psychologically broken a number that was a benchmark I would have been so psyched by dropping belows.  I know loss in the range of 2 lbs per week is ideal and going beyond should make me very pleased just the same.

I confess that seeing Congresswoman Gabby Gifford's return to Congress to vote in the debt ceiling increase was the most uplifting thing to come out of Washington D.C. news in longer then I can honestly recall.That woman is quite an inspiration! 

I confess I feel there is little to applaud in the outcome and process used to to reach that outcome in the debt reduction plan that was passed and signed into law.

I confess I'm out of confession!

Best wishes to everyone... see you next week.