Friday, January 22, 2021

Amanda Gorman and The Hill We Climb

The Joe Biden Inauguration Poem.

When day comes we ask ourselves, where can we find light in this never-ending shade? The loss we carry, a sea we must wade. We’ve braved the belly of the beast, we’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace and the norms and notions of what just is, isn’t always justice. And yet the dawn is ours before we knew it, somehow we do it, somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed a nation that isn’t broken but simply unfinished.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Chynna Chilton's Intro to the Bar None Group

photo © Mark Butkus 2015
Be it ever so humble...
They asked me to write
So I sat down and thought
Just what it might be
That they thought that they sought

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Al Purdy's Hockey Players

photo © Mark Butkus 2014
The season is upon us. The hockey season!

What they worry about most is injuries
    broken arms and legs and
fractured skulls opening so doctors
can see such bloody beautiful things almost
not quite happening in the bone rooms
        as they happen outside
And the referee?
        He’s right there on the ice
not out of sight among the roaring blue gods
of a game played for passionate stockbrokers
children wearing business suits
and a nation of television agnostics
who never agree with the referee and applaud
when he falls flat on his face

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Robert Herrick's Twelfth Night: or King and Queen

photo © Mark Butkus 2014
On the Twelfth Day of Christmas.

Now, now the mirth comes
With the cake full of plums,
Where bean's the king of the sport here ;
Beside we must know,
The pea also
Must revel, as queen, in the court here.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Walt Whitman, Brazil and A Christmas Greeting

photo © Mark Butkus 2014
From a Northern Star-Group to a Southern. 1889-'90.

Welcome, Brazilian brother — thy ample place is ready;
A loving hand — a smile from the north — a sunny instant hail!
(Let the future care for itself, where it reveals its troubles, impedimentas,
Ours, ours the present throe, the democratic aim, the acceptance
and the faith;)

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Giving Thanks: The Farmer's Creed By Frank Mann

photo © Mark Butkus 2009
Harvest time is a time for giving thanks.

I believe a man’s greatest possession is his dignity and that no calling bestows this more abundantly than farming.
I believe hard work and honest sweat are the building blocks of a person’s character.

Friday, October 2, 2020

Wallace Stevens and The Idea of Order at Key West

photo © Mark Butkus 2006
On the road to Key West.

She sang beyond the genius of the sea.
The water never formed to mind or voice,
Like a body wholly body, fluttering
Its empty sleeves; and yet its mimic motion
Made constant cry, caused constantly a cry,
That was not ours although we understood,
Inhuman, of the veritable ocean.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Murder in Melaque She Wrote! A BillJo Doll Mystery

A mystery novel by BilliJo Doll uncovers death in the Costalegre region of Mexico.

In a hotel full of suspects who is the next victim? French Canadian tourists have been dying in the Mexican village of Melaque for ten years. Is it all a coincidence or is something more sinister afoot? Murder in Melaque is the latest page turning mystery from writer BilliJo Doll. The author who had previously scored with Murder in Montana set in her home state now sets the table in her adopted state of Jalisco, Mexico.