Sunday, December 30, 2018

Happy New Year y Gracias to the Writers of Bar None Group for 2018!

photo © Mark Butkus 2018
Our journey this year began on the Sea of Cortez in Mexico.

What an incredible year!

The first days of 2018 were spent in Mexico along the Sea of Cortez and the last moments of 2018 are spent anticipating family visits. Thank you to all of you who have read, contributed, inspired and shared the words within the pages of the Bar None Group this past year.

Happy New Year to:

Friday, December 28, 2018

Max Ehrmann's Desiderata: The Christmas Poem that Wasn't

photo © Mark Butkus 2003
One time presidential candidate, Adlai Stevenson had planned to use Desiderata in his 1965 Christmas cards.

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

The Eight Most Popular Poems and More from 2018

photo © Mark Butkus 2018
Here's to smooth sailing in 2019.

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

Sunday, December 23, 2018

The Savior Must Have Been A Docile Gentleman

photo © Mark Butkus 2014
A Christmas poem by Emily Dickinson.

The Savior must have been
A docile Gentleman—
To come so far so cold a Day
For little Fellowmen—

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Christmas Blues of a Young Woman or A Charlie Brown Christmas?

photo © Mark Butkus 2012
This is not A Charlie Brown Christmas character. We don't have the rights to them.

“I think there might be something wrong with me
Christmas is coming,
But I’m not happy
I don’t feel the way I’m supposed to feel

Friday, December 21, 2018

They Were Alone in the Winter

photo © Mark Butkus 2014
A poem for the first day of winter.

Each night, I braid my daughter's hair.
My fingers slip through the thick silkiness,
weaving the strands into a single black stream.

"The air feels like something will happen,"
she says. "Maybe it will snow."

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Last Christmas

photo © Mark Butkus 2011
Some locks open, some locks close. Some locks are found on bridges in faraway places.

I found a small lock
While rummaging through the toolbox
The three attached keys
Would give one cause to believe
That said lock could be opened
But one would be mistaken as I was

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

The Poetic Journey of Charlotte Green Begins Here!

An untitled poem by Canadian poet Charlotte Green.

I'm used to letdowns
and empty promises

Monday, December 17, 2018

John Greenleaf Whittier and The Mystic’s Christmas

photo © Mark Butkus 2011
The outward symbols disappear from them whose inward sight is clear.

“All hail!” the bells of Christmas rang,
“All hail!” the monks at Christmas sang,
The merry monks who kept with cheer
The gladdest day of all their year.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Paintings of Inner Meanings by Martha Kaplan

artwork © estate of Martha Kaplan
Winter Bamboo Labyrinth.

___ ___        ___ ___ kun
Kun ____ ____    ____ ____
___ ___        ___ ___     earth    female

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Louisa May Alcott has A Song For A Christmas Tree

photo © Mark Butkus 2014
From a Christmas long ago.

Cold and wintry is the sky,
Bitter winds go whistling by,
Orchard boughs are bare and dry,
Yet here stands a faithful tree.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Autumn Is a Painted Lady

artwork © Lois Parker

Autumn is a painted lady,
Bacchus is her god:
Over hills, through forests shady,
In vermilion sandals shod,
She comes dancing, ever swirling,
Gaily on her way…

Thursday, December 13, 2018

For What it’s Worth by Stacy Lake

photo © Mark Butkus 2014
A small open boat.

For what it’s worth
There's valuable currency in words
Words that support you to cash in

In a real dream, more vivid than technicolor
A being made of multi colored seashells placed three gold coins in my open palm
I felt warm energy, and a sharper friendship with the unknown

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

The G Suite Blues

photo © Mark Butkus 2011
Fifty shades of blue. Thirty-nine lines of  blues.

I've been building this site for many long years
A labor of love, of sweat and of tears
It's not a source of income
That's for those who are smart, not like me who are dumb
Every year I pay Google for my little domain
When they come a knockin' wanting pay for my name