Friday, December 31, 2010

The Eight Most Popular Poems and More from 2010

photo © Mark Butkus 2009
The beach at Tenacatita before the occupation.

These are the poems, essays and more that resonated the most with you our readers in the past year.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy New Year y Gracias to the Writers of Bar None Group for 2010!

A toast to the 2010 writers of Bar None Group! Cheers! Salud!

What an incredible year!

Last year a group of like minded individuals came together in a seaside village in Mexico. They had a dream, a shared vision. They would collect the stories, the art and the poetry to be found in the Costalegre area of Mexico, specifically, Barra de Navidad. Thus was formed the Bar None Group. Also known as the Dharma Bums of Barra de Navidad, this collective published their first offering in 2010 — Bar None: An Anthology of English Writing from the Costalegre and this website!

Here are the writers, poets and artists who have taken the first tentative steps in helping us to forge this online community. Thank you for being on this journey with us and allowing us to share your creative offerings.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Bar None Anthology Published

The Dharma Bums of Barra de Navidad and their friends wax poetic on the beauty of the Costalegre, Mexico and the characters that populate a tiny seaside drinking village with a fishing problem.

Was it really a year ago that a disparate group of individuals found each other and a shared passion for art, literature, and poetry in Barra? It was and now the fruits of that experience can be shared with the first volume of The Bar None Anthology. Now available online. (Advance copies have been circulating around Barra de Navidad for the past few weeks.)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Un Rey Mago en el Nacimiento de Cristo

Una poema por Roberto Juan Carlos

Hoy Yo tuve un nino en mis brazos
Ha pasado mucho tiempo
Desde que tuve una vida en mis manos

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas at Sea

The sheets were frozen hard, and they cut the naked hand;
The decks were like a slide, where a seaman scarce could stand;
The wind was a nor'wester, blowing squally off the sea;
And cliffs and spouting breakers were the only things a-lee.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

King Witlaf's Drinking-Horn

Witlaf, a king of the Saxons,
   Ere yet his last he breathed,
To the merry monks of Croyland
   His drinking-horn bequeathed,--
That, whenever they sat at their revels,
   And drank from the golden bowl,
They might remember the donor,
   And breathe a prayer for his soul.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The True Christmas

So stick up ivy and the bays,
And then restore the heathen ways.
Green will remind you of the spring,
Though this great day denies the thing.

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Visit from St. Nicholas

photo © Mark Butkus 2010
St. Nicholas on parade.

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

Friday, December 17, 2010

First Lines Second Thoughts — One Hundred Years of Solitude

First Lines Second Thoughts is an occasional look at the first lines of well known literary works. On second thought, do these opening words stand alone as poetry?

Today, we look at One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez. Published in 1970. In English.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Dear Barra

photo © Mark Butkus 2015
The Queen of Rock and Roll in Barra de Navidad.
We first met one year ago today. A friend, who spoke very highly of you, ultimately, introduced us. We knew our time together was short, so we didn't waste a minute, getting to know one another.

You treated me like I was special.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Fowl Most Foul

Behind our condo resides a mentally impaired rooster.

Or maybe he just has a defective cluck-clock-chromosome. I am pretty sure that I read somewhere (the Old Farmer's Almanac, perhaps) that roosters crow at daybreak. This is not the case with my Mexican Foghorn Leghorn. His exuberant outbursts commence at 3 a.m. every morning. The rigorous aria inspires all the other mammals to chime in and by 4 a.m. It's a spontaneous combustion barnyard jamboree.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Mexican street dog

This is about a Mexican street dog, a dog with no owner. For some reason, he had taken to following me around, even though I never paid him much attention.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Fade to Black

As the curtain draws
Upon your mortal light
A legacy of letters is left behind
To remind one and all
That you strived
To transform your times
Whilst sharing a passion you have
For the written word
With the wink of an eye
And a wry sense of humor