Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Peace Path

Grandfather Cuts Loose the Ponies. #WeComeFromEverything

This path our people walked
one hundred two hundred                  endless years
since the tall grass opened for us
and we breathed the incense that sun on prairie
                                                    offers to sky

Monday, March 20, 2017

Si tú y yo, Teresa mía, nunca...

photo © Mark Butkus 2010
¡Feliz aniversario mi amor!

Si tú y yo, Teresa mía, nunca
nos hubiéramos visto,
nos hubiéramos muerto sin saberlo:
no habríamos vivido.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

New York at Sunrise as Seen by Anna Hempstead Branch

photo © Mark Butkus 2007
The Empire State pierces the morning fog.

When with her clouds the early dawn illumes
Our doubtful streets, wistful they grow and mild
As if a sleeping soul grew happy and smiled,
The whole dark city radiantly blooms.
Pale spires lift their hands above the glooms

Friday, March 17, 2017

Irish Poet Katharine Tynan and The Wind that Shakes the Barley

There's music in my heart all day,
I hear it late and early,
It comes from fields are far away,
The wind that shakes the barley.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Confessions of a Part-time Mourner

On a daily basis, I am compelled
to read Journey's End,
my newspaper's linguistic fig leaf
for the death notices column.

I focus my morbid curiosity
on the younger ones first.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017


Liberation 2011 by Liz Parkin.

I’ve HAD the silent TREATMENT
I can’t take all the QUIET
RIOT! Get IT out!!
Yes, you THOUGHT that you could GOAD me

Tuesday, March 14, 2017


Sorting peaches in Georgia. #WeComeFromEverything

A crate of peaches straight from the farm
has to be maintained, or eaten in days.
Obvious, but in my family, they went so fast,
I never saw the mess that punishes delay.

Friday, March 10, 2017

The Second Nocturne of Mildred Hagg

Once hills I knew would lose their
    shape at night;
A moon would half tones of old
    ivory be;
Soft night sounds and half-uttered
    words diffuse

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Checking Out at Lent

photo © Mark Butkus 2011
A kharmic connection at the checkout line?

brought me here
It wasn't the car
I rode in for 13 hours
Carving a slice
through America's breadbasket
It was something else