Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Amusement Park

photo © Mark Butkus 2008
for Jill on her 32nd birthday

if we wanted what was good and right
we'd already have it
but we weren't conceived that way

we will shed more tears than others
the low places that we sometimes find ourselves
is the price of admission
for the ride that we are on

Monday, January 30, 2012

Tarmac in Puerto Vallarta

photo © Mark Butkus 2011
PVR coming or going?

Cocoa butters and oils
hang heavy in the air
Tanned goddesses brush by me
But I am oblivious to their charms

Friday, January 27, 2012

Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky

photo © Mark Butkus 2011
Alice in Central Park.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
   Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
   And the mome raths outgrabe.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

First Lines Second Thoughts -— The Violent Bear It Away

First Lines Second Thoughts is a look at the first lines of well known literary works.
On second thought, do these opening words stand alone as poetry? Today we revisit The Violent Bear It Away. Written by Flannery O'Connor. Published in 1960.

Drunk Dialing

Calling you at this ungodly hour
Almost certain that you will be bothered
Apologizing for my drunken state
I guess this is how my feelings translate.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Monday, January 23, 2012

Alone And Drinking Under The Moon

Amongst the flowers I
am alone with my pot of wine
drinking by myself; then lifting
my cup I asked the moon
to drink with me, its reflection
and mine in the wine cup, just
the three of us; then I sigh
for the moon cannot drink,

Friday, January 20, 2012

Poetry Celebrates 100 Years

CHICAGO — Poetry magazine, published by the Poetry Foundation, celebrates its centennial in 2012. Founded in Chicago in October 1912 by editor Harriet Monroe, Poetry is the oldest monthly devoted to verse in the English-speaking world. As the magazine turns 100, it holds fast to the principles that guided it from the beginning: to discover new voices, present new work by internationally recognized poets, and enliven discussion about and readership for contemporary poetry.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Fairy and The Firefly

Fireflies are mortals, they are destined to die
How come the fairy had expected it, to show the way to fly?

Trapped in the Cimmerian tunnel of despair and false hope
There resides a lost fairy who still yearns for the light
As the folklore depicts, a fire beetle in the tunnel
Had been once a source for her lambent delight

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

It's The Passion

It is the passion
that causes me the most trouble
the passion
because it is so raw
so new
that it surges within me
and I can’t stop the noise

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Box Upon You

photo © Mark Butkus 2015

A lifetime of memories secreted into boxes
Forgotten for a moment in suburban storage
One time zone away from the here and now
Where life is lived with a zest and a zeal
that can't be constrained in corrugated cardboard

Monday, January 16, 2012

Library Walk: Gwendolyn Brooks

In 1996, the New York Public Library, the Grand Central Partnership and the New Yorker Magazine convened a panel of esteemed lovers of the written word and came up with a collection of quotations from the never-ending oeuvre of literature.

Friday, January 13, 2012


Monsieur le Président,

Me permettez-vous, dans ma gratitude pour le bienveillant accueil que vous m'avez fait un jour, d'avoir le souci de votre juste gloire et de vous dire que votre étoile, si heureuse jusqu'ici, est menacée de la plus honteuse, de la plus ineffaçable des taches ?

Vous êtes sorti sain et sauf des basses calomnies, vous avez conquis les cœurs.  Vous apparaissez rayonnant dans l'apothéose de cette fête patriotique que l'alliance russe a été pour la France, et vous vous préparez à présider au solennel triomphe de notre Exposition Universelle, qui couronnera notre grand siècle de travail, de vérité et de liberté.  Mais quelle tâche de boue sur votre nom — j'allais dire sur votre règne — que cette abominable affaire Dreyfus !  Un conseil de guerre vient, par ordre, d'oser acquitter un Esterhazy, soufflet suprême à toute vérité, à toute justice.  Et c'est fini, la France a sur la joue cette souillure, l'histoire écrira que c'est sous votre présidence qu'un tel crime social a pu être commis.

Puisqu'ils ont osé, j'oserai aussi, moi.  La vérité, je la dirai, car j'ai promis de la dire, si la justice, régulièrement saisie, ne la faisait pas, pleine et entière.  Mon devoir est de parler, je ne veux pas être complice.  Mes nuits seraient hantées par le spectre de l'innocent qui expie là-bas, dans la plus affreuse des tortures, un crime qu'il n'a pas commis.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Winter's Elegy

Hearts break for your wife
She who carries on with tears and memories
Long after the shock subsides
for those who called you, friend

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year y Gracias!

This has been an incredible year!

The first moments of 2011 were spent on a beach in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and the last moments of 2011 were spent shivering in Times Square, New York. The one constant in filling those 363 days in between was Teresa Puente. On 11-11-11 she became my wife. I owe her this year and every year going forward. But my debt of gratitude is not limited to Teresa it extends to all of you who have read, contributed, inspired and shared the words within the pages of the Bar None Group.

Happy New Year to: