Saturday, December 31, 2011


Give all of yourself and you say 
You’ve not given enough, give less 

And you still want more. 

Friday, December 30, 2011

For Better or Worse, Lads

What are they after, our souls, traveling 
on rotten brine-soaked timbers 
from harbor to harbor? 
—George Seferis, from “Mythistorema” 

So when 
We finally found out where 
We were going, we thought 

We’d better take one 
Last good look back at what 
We were leaving and that’s when 

We shoved off for good. 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Huuklyeand Cinquor on Pegasus and Company

If—as you say, my dear Wallace— 
There was indeed a time when

Both steed and rider were noble, how come 
It's only the rider who's now 

A transmogrified ass? 

Moderator’s comment: The reader (and/or perhaps, writer) is kindly instructed to sashay over to Cinquor's PDF Corral where our Noble Rider Huuk probably picked up his misguided, asinine idea of trying to harness the sound of words. I tell you if Stevens were alive, he’d be kicking some bad ass and picking up the insurance benefits to boot!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Paladin, The Dark Writer

Even after so much travail (over 10,000 km under his saddle and still going strong), the question remains unanswered: Has he the write, will he prevail? Perhaps he will but alas, alas my dark knight, to what avail? 

(Hint: Make his quest easier. Send in your answers to his giveaway poetry contest before the 31st of December 2011 deadline—without fail. Who knows? You may be getting his card ……, that should be book……in the mail!)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Eros Unrequited

Though your name does sound like arrows, 
I daresay the conceit must end here— 

As a shaft of light tearing apart 
The heart of this dark sparrow. 

Monday, December 26, 2011

Moot Advent of Winter

Waiting to see which leaf will answer 
Its calling, asking ourselves when 

A chill gust settles 
The question once 

And for all and not 
Just for you and me. 

Friday, December 23, 2011


The truth, mortal? 

I will tell you this much—the rest 
You’ll have to make up 

As you go. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Presenting Vazambam's Name Day Celebration Poetry Giveaway Contest!

It’s a time of gifts and as there is no Saint Nick over here in charge of distributing them (we have our own Saint Basil who does this job quite nicely on January 1st) and since yours truly is named after him, I’ve decided to spread some cheer in the midst of all this dire talk of impending Hellenic bankruptcy. Here’s the deal (please don’t beware of Greeks bearing gifts)—I’m going to give away two autographed copies of my first book Sentences (only 300 copies were published) to the first two people who can answer the following question:

What was my first girlfriend’s name?
Hint (but not much of one): It’s not of Greek origin.

All entrants can enter only one name and they cannot enter more than once; if by the end of the contest (12.00 midnight December 31st, Greek time) there are no winners (or only one), the names of the remaining participants will be put into a Mexican straw hat (idea courtesy of William Michaelian) and on the evening of January 1st, 2012, the soberest guest at my name day party will be asked to draw the first two (or one) names out of the hat. A photograph commemorating the occasion will be taken and duly published on my blog together with the names of the lucky, soon-to-be well-heeled winners, as a signed copy of Sentences is now selling online at over $35 (just think of all the things you could buy for that very special person if it were 1950 and you were six years old).

Please send your guesses to together with your snail mail addresses—good luck (unless you’re psychic or have a pint-sized sphinx in your pocket, you’re going to need it)!

UPDATE: 12/23/11. Hey, guess what--I don't expect anyone to guess the right answer--all you have to do is send in any crazy name to enter. So let's send in those entries!

Haiku Wednesday

My thanks to the indefatigable Don Wentworth for publishing one of my favorites, together with a fine one by Roberta Beary. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


At last, the long-awaited cleansing downpour, 
Tomorrow, a promise of more—even now 

As I write this, I can see the ancient silver- 
Green trees with their branches extended. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Crow's Foot

         of the meadow, the small 


a stream 

to branch. 

(Opening poem from Sentences, 1976)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Finally, A Clear-cut Definition


I ain’t stumped but
Don’t tell this old logger
It’s in the eyes
Of the beholder—
I can’t see

No forest or no trees.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Drunk Again

What can a poor lush do 
When pouring out his heart 
To the wine-dark sea 

But hold—steady as she goes— 
His foul breath in. 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Stroke of Genius

When the myopic philosophy prof asked her
What she thought she was doing 
Wasting her time 

Doodling during a pop quiz, I bet 
He never thought she’d shoot back 
With a bull’s eye can’t you see 

I’m thinking. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Huuklyeand Cinquor on Biting the Bullet

Punk firebrand intellect with prophetic 
Corpus pregnant with bravado before firing 
Your virgin salvo into that illustrious 
But now defenseless body 
Of ancestors think twice 
And never after 

Drawing a blank. 

Moderator’s comments: Not having heard from Huuk for ages (so to speak), I thought he’d finally shot his wad. Just goes to show you shouldn’t count geezers out—not even after you think they’ve wheezed their pathetic last. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Reflections, 1969/2011

When this photograph was taken 
Years ago, I did not know what 
The old woman was thinking— 

She was sitting before the low 
Wooden door of her house, 
Walking stick in hand, 
Eyes lowered, looking at the ground— 

I still don’t know what she was thinking. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Save the Child

Between Two Bitter Moments

Between two bitter moments there’s no time even to breathe
between your face and your face
the tender form of a child takes shape and disappears.

—George Seferis, from Sketches for a Summer

Monday, December 12, 2011

Ray of Glimmer at the Bottom

At the first black inkling of writhing tentacles, remain
At your stations, blotting the thought out.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Back to the War

When she left at dawn, no one saw 
The bereaved old woman carrying a knife, 
A loaf of bread and a small straw mat 
On which they found her babbling 

At dusk on a bare knoll 
Overlooking the pockmarked, 
Snow-covered landscape, 
The bread still uncut. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Narcissist Not Reflecting Deeply Enough

Writing poems, you should never see yourself 
As a "poet" writing poems— 

The poem is not a pond 
Full of frogs croaking, 

It is an ocean. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Elderly Immigrant

I don’t remember much

About my youth 
In the old country— 

I was too young to bother 
About memories. 

Now, I tell myself,
I’ll soon know better. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Moonstruck and Pure As the Driven Snow to Boot

What’s that you say poet waxing poetic 
Your writing’s crystal clear? 
But how clear is that now tell me oh 

Too late I fear I’m drifting off 
Will it help clear things up a bit 
If I stick this shovel in your ear? 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Right As Rain till Kingdom Come and Still No Sign of Wear and Tear

Isn’t it terrible about metaphors? 
Folks have been trying 
To pin them down for ages 
And they’re still tearing about, 
Catching clich├ęs in red weather. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Definitely Not Lemmings #41

A warm December welcome to Leigh Tuplin. Leigh’s blog combines poetry with photographs—well worth taking a look at. Thank you, Leigh.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

At a Loss for Words

–for Eleni, again 

With all my words found wanting 
My love, my muse, what must I do 

To find the one just right for you— 
Wear it on my sleeve? 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

All That Glitter Is Not Gold (The Great Pretender)

Poet who fancies 

He has the Midas touch, 
Easy on that gilded dressing— 

You want your head stuffed 
And spinning, grinning on 

A silver platter? 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Beyond the Wildest Stretch of the Imagination

Imagine—once and for all— 
Standing at the sea’s edge, thinking 
Of the poet who said there will always be more to it 

Under the surface once you reach it, 
Will you be able to leave it at that? 

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