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.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Memento Mori in San Francisco

photo © Mark Butkus 2018
Memento mori in San Francisco window.

      As you are
       I was
 As I am you will be

Friday, August 7, 2020

I’m Done writes Liz Parkin

Frida Collage by the artist and poet Liz Parkin.

The girl inside me cries for her youth
And the clock ticks away

I should have done more I think
Paralyzed by fear

Thursday, August 6, 2020

America Your Face is Dirty

photo © Mark Butkus 2016
Carlos Cortez reflects on the bombing of Hiroshima through poetry.

When your bomb fell
More had fallen
Than just a bomb

When you destroyed a city
More was destroyed
Than just a city

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Charles Bane Jr.'s The Chapbook — Poem For My Son

photo © Mark Butkus 2011
A world in play...

It must be carried in the hands,
this such as never was.
Allowed in shadow,
a second of nevermore?

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Poem for a Daughter

photo © Mark Butkus 2017
Doin' da Dino in da desert.

I can't beat up every boy
who dares to break your heart
and I can't fight your battles either
But I can be in your corner
when you come out swinging
and I can be the arms that hug you
to let the pain drift away

Saturday, August 1, 2020

On the Road: Craig Rusert and A Blues Song You May Know

photo © Mark Butkus 2017
Brothers hit the road and discover America in 2020.

Once upon a time in a land far way,
Our spaceship broke down and we couldn’t fly away.

With help from our friends and an Elote or two,
We began our journey and bid Raleigh adieu.

A historic time we knew it was,
Two brothers, two friends, traveling because…

Friday, July 31, 2020

An Homage to the Arts by Russell Rosander

photo © Mark Butkus 2019
Your brain under the influence of art.

I bow to the improbability of Music.
I bow to the impossibility of Art.
I bow to the incongruity of Poetry.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

The Bedtime Blues of Linda Haffey

photo © Mark Butkus 2009
A poem from Take Two: Another Anthology of English Writing from the Costalegre.

The quilt is as tattered
as our lives
that I have tried to piece together
you must believe that I have tried
to give you what I never knew
a home that shelters love

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

The Flowering Past of Malcolm Lowry

photo © Mark Butkus 2015
Under thunderous trams.

There is no poetry when you live there.
Those stones are yours, those noises are your mind,
The forging thunderous trams and streets that bind
You to the dreamed-of bar where sits despair
Are trams and streets: poetry is otherwhere.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Charles Bane Jr.'s The Chapbook — Alexander’s Seizure

photo © Mark Butkus 2019
Our penultimate look inside "The Chapbook."

It is an aloneness,
this malady.
It hurled me
from Bucephalus yesterday.
I fell
—as I lay and
shook upon the fields—
into the sea.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Alone with Georges Rodenbach on his Birthday

 photo © Mark Butkus 2008
The final resting place of Belgian poet Georges Rodenbach.

To live as in exile, to live seeing no-one
in the vast desert of a town that is dying,
where one hears nothing but the vague murmur
of an organ sobbing, or the belfry tolling.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Jeanne McGee Takes Us Through a Summer Storm

 photo © Mark Butkus 2019
"Ominous the clouds overhead trying to compete..."

The thunder in your voice precocious in the dawn
Mighty tower of white crashing down a frothy song
As sand shook beneath my shore planted feet
The rushing wave covered the beach like a sheet

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Neruda Smile

photo © Mark Butkus 2008
Remembering Love and Pablo Neruda on his Birthday...

Born on a rainbow
When your laugh was first heard
We shared our first heartbeat
And loved cautiously from there

Saturday, July 4, 2020

James Weldon Johnson's Lift Ev'ry Voice And Sing

A scense from the Selma to Montgomery March in 1965.
The poem that became the Black National Anthem.

Lift ev'ry voice and sing
'Til earth and heaven ring
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty
Let our rejoicing rise
High as the list'ning skies
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun
Let us march on 'til victory is won

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

I Am An African! A Poem for Our Times by Nikolai Tjongarero

CAUTION: Do not proceed unless you want to be part of the solution.

Born from the bloodlines of ones I'll never have the time to put into a rhyme or
understand the rhythm of their hearts truest ambitions.

But I'm an African...

Friday, February 14, 2020

Carpe Diem Poetry: To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time

photo © Mark Butkus 2019
Seize the day!

Gather ye Rose-buds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying:
And this same flower that smiles to day,
To morrow will be dying.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Angels are Real: Remembering Paul Bourassa

A Celebration of Life for Paul Bourassa will be held at Lupita's Restaurant in Barra Friday, January 24,  at 3:00pm.

Happiness is…..
Knowing that life IS eternal
Souls, set free, fly away
And find those they’ve lost

Friday, January 10, 2020

Costalegre Book Fair Q&A with Kathrin Lake

The Happy Hammock is the quintessential Costalegre romp by Kathrin Lake. Kathrin is one of the authors at the Costalegre Book Fair in Melaque on January 27, 2020.

Kathrin Lake will discuss her latest book, The Happy Hammock at the first-ever Costalegre Book Fair on January 27, 2020. We caught up with Kathrin and asked her a few questions about her craft, her passion and her influences. This is what she had to say.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

An Auspicious Start

photo © Mark Butkus 2019
I do. I really do.

She, lay smiling on the hammock
He, sat next to her eating
The jicama she had prepared