Friday, January 13, 2017

One Friday the 13th in Mexico

I woke up scrambling for my life
downing the remnants of yesterday
from the bottom of a plastic cup,
that 4 a.m. shot of tequila,
as we put the town to bed.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Look To This Day

photo © Mark Butkus 2016
The journey of a thousand tomorrows begins with today.

Look to this day:
For it is life,
The very life of life.
In its brief course
Lie all the verities and
Realities of your existence.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Memory: A Poem of the 15 year-old Frida Kahlo

I had smiled. Nothing else. But suddenly I knew
In the depth of my silence
He was following me. Like my shadow, blameless and light
In the night, a song sobbed…

Monday, December 26, 2016

On the Second Day of... Good King Wenceslas

photo © Mark Butkus 2016
After a busy day, Santa and friends enjoy the Feast of Stephen.

Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the feast of Stephen
When the snow lay round about
Deep and crisp and even
Brightly shone the moon that night
Though the frost was cruel
When a poor man came in sight
Gath'ring winter fuel

Friday, December 23, 2016

Charles Bane Jr.'s The Chapbook — The Sabbath Bride

photo © Mark Butkus 2011
The Central Synagogue in New York City.

I am at synagogue tonight and
when we turn to face the Sabbath Bride,
I am walking with your elbow in my palm
to the corner restaurant.

A boy came past and
cursing, muttered, "Dirty Jew."
I wheeled and punched and
he fell to the sidewalk.
He had a bloody mouth.

23 décembre : Noël au Québec

photo © Mark Butkus 2014
Une chanson de Noël de méchanceté et de souvenir.

J'ai dans la tête un vieux sapin, une crêche en dessous
Un Saint-Joseph avec une canne en caoutchouc
Etait mal faite pis j'avais fret
Quand je r'venais d'passer trois heures dans un igloo
Qu'on avait fait, deux ou trois gars, chez Guy Rondou

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas on the Streets

photo © Mark Butkus 2015
More than 2.5 million American children were homeless at some point last year.

Happy Holidays to all
and to all a good night
Especially those on the streets
Who fight for life

Just another day
for you and me
Don't be upset
if there's no smile to be seen

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Huron Christmas Carol

photo © Mark Butkus 2009
Canada's oldest Christmas hymn was written in the Wyandot language of its Huron First Nation people in 1642.

'Twas in the moon of winter-time
When all the birds had fled,
That mighty Gitchi Manitou
Sent angel choirs instead;
Before their light the stars grew dim,
And wandering hunters heard the hymn:
"Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born,
In excelsis gloria."