Monday, June 24, 2019

Émile Nelligan et la Beauté cruelle

photo © Mark Butkus 2014
Le 24 juin c'est La Fête Nationale du Quebec.

Certe, il ne faut avoir qu'un amour en ce monde,
Un amour, rien qu'un seul, tout fantasque soit-il;
Et moi qui le recherche ainsi, noble et subtil,
Voilà qu'il m'est à l'âme une entaille profonde.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Little Houses by Russell Rosander

photo © Mark Butkus 2009
Little houses...

We all live in little houses
without any trousers,
where all the walls are mirrors.
Where all of our senses
and all our defenses
reflect only our desires and our fears.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Lionel Johnson and The Precept of Silence

photo © Mark Butkus 2011
The precept of silence in a bottle of absinthe.

I Know you: solitary griefs
Desolate passions, aching hours!
I know you: tremulous beliefs,
Agonized hopes, and ashen flowers!

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

What It's All About: A Sailing Poem

photo © Mark Butkus 2019
Sailing is the noblest and the best-compensated of all the arts.

No, you cannot find the world of waters in a motor boat.
You cannot help but find it in a sailboat,
for that world of water and sky, wind and tide,
is not only about you but part of you as well.
It is your motor as well as your resistance —
your safeguard as well as your enemy.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Of Philip Levine and The Water's Chant

photo © Mark Butkus 2018
A clear mountain stream in the High Sierras.

Seven years ago I went into
the High Sierras stunned by the desire
to die. For hours I stared into a clear
mountain stream that fell down
over speckled rocks, and then I
closed my eyes and prayed that when
I opened them I would be gone

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Hannah Rodrigues On Keeping Warm in Winter

photo © Mark Butkus 2003
Baby, it's cold outside.

It all started
on the 11th of November...
when you have to keep warm
for the winter hibernation.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Happy New Year y Gracias to the Writers of Bar None Group for 2018!

photo © Mark Butkus 2018
Our journey this year began on the Sea of Cortez in Mexico.

What an incredible year!

The first days of 2018 were spent in Mexico along the Sea of Cortez and the last moments of 2018 are spent anticipating family visits. Thank you to all of you who have read, contributed, inspired and shared the words within the pages of the Bar None Group this past year.

Happy New Year to:

Friday, December 28, 2018

Max Ehrmann's Desiderata: The Christmas Poem that Wasn't

photo © Mark Butkus 2003
One time presidential candidate, Adlai Stevenson had planned to use Desiderata in his 1965 Christmas cards.

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.