Friday, December 05, 2008

Antonio López García

Antonio’s canvas

Boundaries collapse within my fist,
crushed like ancient lace.
When I lift my hand to the wind
it is sacred to watch
them sough the air with immunity.

I have not finished the bletted quince.
I am waiting for time to reveal
the hues of this fisted apple.
The door is peeling now. The paint
has given up its desire to oversee

the small leavings of this house.
Has it been months, already
since I came inside , since the orchard
bloomed and scattered velvet
blossoms on my windowsill?

My brush takes me beyond these walls,
past the confines of the apoapsis.
The quince will flower again
before the winter moon is snagged,
full and ripe, in her branches.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


hope, originally uploaded by mrs. french.

Oh, it has been so long since I have felt good about the future of my country. It is a beautiful thing to feel hopeful. I am proud to be an American on this day.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas, has been battered by storms this summer.

Ike was a ferocious hurricane that left a swath of destruction in his path from the Turks & Caicos Islands across the Caribbean, Haiti, Cuba and the Louisiana and Texas coasts.
If you are interested in helping in the recovery effort I reccommend the following institutions~

Operation Blessing International~

Galveston Rising~

American Red Cross~

Friday, September 19, 2008

after the water

There is a always a threshold for things
that alter us, a clean edge at the start,
the surprise of it like a blade pressed cold
against the throat. The first wave is forgotten

in the next. Fierce water rises like a wicked sun
to spread across the fields, the little houses,
the ponies with their bright new shoes.
Oh, the tumble and spill of cobbled hopes,

the surge of flowerpots and paperbacks!
And there my heart dissolves, in the unbound
Bay, like a snow flake swallowed by the tide,
assimilated so that I might wrap around the fallen

palms and beams, might taste the rust and ruin.
It is nothing, no solace, no redemption,
but a useless rag I use to blot the tortured landscape.
I will not ask for pardon, will not assume

it matters. Better I was a splintered pole,
something stark and astonishing, than this quiet
sadness that only laps the dirty hem of sky,
an imperceptible swell that bears no boat or seed.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


sea dream , originally uploaded by Sea Dream Studio.

Beneath a coronet
of scrim spun clouds I wait
for nothing. Expectation has flown
away like millet on a parched wind.

My open hands drop only silver
shadows onto the prairie.
I am no emptier than before.
It is only the willingness to stop

the approaching penumbra that alters me.
When possibility is recognized,
met face to face in every surface
that offers clear reflection, I see

that it is but another property
of light, a coveted revision
of the familiar spectrum.
The summer sun sets

the horizon trembling . I aim
to fill my arms with gold and amber
beams, to hoist the impossible
weight of luminance back into the sky.

Saturday, August 09, 2008


A year is an arc, a swath cut
deep into the earth. Mud and ice,
clover, violets, dust and dew
occur within. Days fall, a steady rain
of pebbles down the steep sides,

grit so fine it chafes the lungs,
rocks as jagged as hasty lies.
I have walked from June to June,
barefoot and sweetly shod.
No matter. The stones still bruise.

Sand finds its way into my bed.
Sun and storm pursue my share
of sky, duel above like lazy gods .
In these twelve months graves
have blossomed, flat as fungus,

spread their spore-like, rotten
flowers, an unavoidable plague.
Joys are harder to define,
closer held. I dare not speak
of them. Gems so precious stir

the greed of trifling deities.
A year is a song, the descant
honed and smooth. I hear it
in the ryed wind. It swings
like a blade, closer, closer.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

imagine that!
Interboard Poetry Community

May 2007-April 2008

Judged byKelly Cherry

Bad Weather by Dale McLain

Submitted byWild Poetry Forum

Judges Comments

Poem of the Year
Bad Weather

It is the music first of all that tells me this is a poem to pay attention to. The poet varies short and long sentences, carrying the cadence of them straight through to the slant-rhyme couplet that brings the poem to completion. The diction holds steady thoughout; nothing strays beyond the tessitura of the poem. This very American poem ("Sheetrock," "twister" "prairie boat") adheres to a classical sense of proportion that is equally evident in the speaker's statements. The same is true of the emotions it contains: we hear the speaker's fear and exhilaration but also a carefully calculated self-mockery that derives from years of experience with the phenomena. ("You can grow accustomed to storms," we were told in the very first line, and the poem demonstrates that you can. Accustomed, but by no means passive.) Because the self-mockery is handled lightly enough, it charms and does not depress. The poet's gentle acceptance of the emotions stirred by the storm gives to the poem a good-naturedness that the reader feels must be inclusive: reader and poet can experience--let's say weather--the storm together. --Kelly Cherry

Bad Weather

You can grow accustomed to storms.
Every night they shake our sheetrock,
set the bricks trembling. Mortar remembers
it is only sand. Our jaunty roof begs
to be doffed. And I huddle within my frame
with dread and an awful wish that the past proves
its redundancies, that miles away the twister
will drop- not here, not now when I have just
remembered my own name.

When the windows bow like Galileo's glass
I begin to pray to deities yet unnamed,
beseech the clever stars that hide
behind the churning ceiling. I confess
that peace is not my plea. Instead I ask
for more colors and a measure of strength
to face the wind. The red oak fusses
at my window, whines and scratches to come in.

But it holds, this vine-covered house,
stands on its wide flat bottom, a prairie boat
anchored fast in hard white clay and history.
Within I slip off my shoes. Tonight is not the night
that I will walk on broken glass and wear the unmistakable
face of disbelief. The thunder's growl begins to lose
step with the lightning. In the attic rafters sigh
and creak like scrawny old men. I lay my head
on the last damp cloud where dreams of whirlwinds
and flying shingles wait. I sleep
like a town wiped off the map.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

time flies

time flies, originally uploaded by Sea Dream Studio.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

defining my macrocosm

There is solace in the company of cedars,
a fluidity to the air by this familiar creek.
Larger stones bare their backs to slatted sunlight,
dry in the eternal prairie wind. Darting minnows
find this stream too shallow, but it is my ocean,
the opposite shore another coast, its sloped bank

built of foreign soil. The climate breeds all gusts
and unnamed storms. Legend has it only fools
tie up there, hitched to rock as brittle as midwinter.
On my side there are bluebottles born to stitch
tall reeds, a ruffled chirr concocted to cover silence
like smut on a lantern’s curved glass. I am obliged

to drowse and consider the fording of this fabled sea.
How easily I could gain transport across so thin
and unremarkable a spill. Barely a drop would follow
me into the alien copse. Already I wear the costume
of a native, woven like a scar into my willing flesh.
But even in sleep I lie anchored, sunk fast and deep

in bisque and history. I awaken to a small eddy
where frostweed petals spin like stars in a fluid sky.
Behind me waits a well-worn path, certain passage
engendered by my own steady hand. As I walk
I cannot help but note the dampness of my lacy hem,
the way my skirt is weighted with the froth of dreams.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

blue, originally uploaded by Sea Dream Studio.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Thursday, May 15, 2008


I long for a voice like a wing,
feathered and soft, that I might tell
you everything that hides within.

The perfection of plumes
laid side by side, hollow shafts
that ache for air, a subtle iridescence
in slanted light; these things might speak
for me in truth and tenderness.
And then the sky would drop
a silken curtain, miles of sapphire

unfurled. Strong and fluent,
I would convey, at last, a pureness
of heart untainted by a single word.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


Sister has taken the lower faux branch
this morning. I admire the delicate curve
of her pink feet, how she perches like a quetzal.
But we are drab, the two of us, ladybirds
with dun feathers and no mysteries caught
under our folded wings. I catch Mildred’s eye
in the mirror with the dangling silver bell,

give cheep of hello and a little nod.
She is in her dreamy mood, trying to forget
the slender bars that contain us. I give the bell
a tap with my orange beak, but it is difficult
to distract her from her yearning.
There is a fresh scoop of seeds in the glass
dish. I sing my thanks. Poor sister,

she cannot give up the sky. Her song
is lost, her eyes always hungry, searching.
I will take her a plump sunflower seed
and smooth the feathers on her head.
There is nowhere for us in that bright
unbounded world. We are safe here,
my brown wing soft across her back.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Millie’s summer vacation

At Wrightsville Beach the untidiness
of her desire washes up one June,
a sullen creature lost on a bad tide.
It is nearly dark and the Atlantic
demands the remains of light
that glimmer above the water.

The fishermen see it first, gasping
there in the spindrift and wonder
if their hooks might hold it.
She, on the other hand, turns
her back on the creature,
contemplates, instead,

the tilt-a-whirl that spins
against the now black sky,
tossing constellations like neon
confetti. It is no surprise to her.
This ungainly flotsam had been
her familiar for so long.

Moonlight reveals too much
The gelatinous heap trembles,
calls to mind a human heart.
She knows that she must claim it.
In the end she shoves it roughly
into her little creel, like bait.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


It is in the strata of woven twigs
I shelter my life. Notice the incorporation
of plume and silk, the finest threads
gleaned from bin and clothesline.

Here, where the wind lionizes endurance,
one might claim a moment in the lull
to knit a nest of beauty and sawgrass.
I lodge in a cottonwood, a common tree

amid a copse of sisters, wren-dull
and smaller than a fist. But it is said
my voice is fine. Its churr and trill
loops through the boughs and leaves

a lace of blossoms strewn beneath.
It is storm season now and I am nestled
in this scooped lair of lichen and prayer.
I petition the gods of pupae and seed,

the emperors who own the sky,
even the man who wields the saw;
Give me spring once more and I will sing
to shame the bright and faithless cockerel.


Rivers converge, the narrow rocky ones,
the placid and the fierce, all tumbling
toward the sea and I am on a gentle bank
beside the least of these. Bright water eddies
around twigs and leaves, tucks into nooks
of pebbles and weeds. It is a reluctant stream,
content it seems to meander beneath a canopy
of cottonwood and plum. I dip my fingers
into this languid brook and bring them to my lips.

I am wanting salt, a citrus wind, silver wafers
of sunlight strewn atop a restless tide. But for me
there are stave oaks and dull-hued ladybirds
that chat among the upper limbs. I engage the sky
in conversation, send my thoughts like puffs of smoke
into the Texas blue, where I imagine them as clouds
bound for fond horizons. Back inside I gild feathers
and snip tin. A steady rain of rust falls into my lap.
What can I send down the skin-deep Trinity;

a hammered heart? disgraced relics? I find the world too big,
my hands too small. All the gifts I fashion are heavy, riddled
with imbroglio. They sink, reliably, in the silted bed,
like stub nails in dry pine. Still I adorn my fallen nest
with bits of lace and parchment, wax the brittle hull
of sticks and clay. It is a prayer of sorts, a burnished faith
that leaves my hands to find the current. Far downriver
the delta flowers all bow their saintly heads
for every passing tender that lusts for charity.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The eighth fold

All day I have made a meal of my tongue,
tamped pride and dismay as flat as a blacktop.
My thoughts are reined, a team of Spanish Jennets,
gaited, distinguished. Ah, but desire, that gnat
still swarms. Its buzz countermands my mantra.
Perhaps it is the cocktail that stirs me up,
eases my anemic grip on virtue. I drink
nectar from the dandelion, pay homage
to flakes of rust and dole out my benevolence

like sticks of gum; take some please,
I have plenty more. I compose a prayer
for sea and wind, no it should be for damp
and sigh. My expectations wallow as low
as Chico’s Malibu. Ah, The Way is harsh.
I crave baubles and song, something dirty
every now and then. But I am a just a trick,
a sheaf made thick and small. In truth
there is nowhere left to go except within.

Friday, April 11, 2008

from The Daily Om

"The journey of water as it flows upon the earth can be a mirror of our own paths through life. Water begins its residence on Earth as it falls from the sky or melts from ice and cascades down a mountain into a tributary or stream. In the same way, we come into the world and begin our lives on Earth. Like a river that flows within the confines of its banks, we are born with certain defining characteristics that govern our identity. We are born in a particular time and place, into a specific family, and with certain gifts and challenges. Within these parameters, we move through life, encountering many twists, turns, and obstacles along the way—just as a river flows.

Water is a great teacher that shows us how to move through the world with grace, ease, determination, and humility. When a river breaks at a waterfall, it gains energy and moves on. As we encounter our own waterfalls, we may fall hard, but we always keep going. Water can inspire us not to become rigid with fear or hold fast to what is familiar. Water is brave and does not waste time clinging to its past but flows onward without looking back. At the same time, when there is a hole to be filled, water does not flee from it, fearful of the dark; instead, it humbly and bravely fills the empty space. In the same way, we can face the dark moments of our life rather than running away from them.

Eventually, a river will empty into the sea. Water does not hold back from joining with a larger body, nor does it fear a loss of identity or control. It gracefully and humbly tumbles into the vastness by contributing its energy and merging without resistance. Each time we move beyond our individual egos to become part of something bigger, we can try our best to follow the lead of the river."

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

You'll see it when you believe it.

~Wayne Dyer

Friday, March 28, 2008

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

When everything in your world shifts, slips like a puppy in a flatbed, these are the things that are steady and true... the sea, the stars, your own searching heart.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

not in Paris

I keep a ledger, row on row, tracings of sky
and begonia. The columns, creamy and wide,
wait for jots of Euros spent in bookstalls
and smart cafes. But I have filled them
instead with what the prairie gives, thoughts

of storms, words like thunderhead and thistle.
The Solferino bridge will not fit between
these pages. The buskers beneath do not care
for the silence of closed books. Montmartre’s
portraitists cannot be plucked like daisies

and conserved for some lonely year to come.
I plow these paper fields with a fine tip pen,
allow myself to fancy up the margins
with little sketches of the Sacre Coeur,
the smudgy dusk at the Jardin du Trocadero,

wobbly wildflowers that skirt the sensible
crops I sustain. I am not in Paris, nor Brazil,
but planted deep on this invariable plain.
It spreads before me, a true accounting that bears
with grace the indulgence of my penciled larks.

You just might hear the universe.
It could happen.

Monday, March 17, 2008

hello there...

As observing detail is clarity,
So maintaining flexibility is strength;
Use the light but shed no light,
So that you do yourself no harm,
But embrace clarity.
~Tao de Ching~

Friday, March 14, 2008


I am not surprised to see my county (Collin, Tx) named as one of the 345 US counties where the air is too dirty to breathe. We are an inch from Dallas. While this is not shocking news, it is very disturbing and all the more reason to move to some seaside locale where the air blows clean (er) off the water.
I have to say this does put a bit of a taint on my adoration of the beautiful Texas skies.
I am off to hold my breath...

Saturday, March 08, 2008

One joy dispels a hundred cares.


Thursday, March 06, 2008


Well, the weather has turned decidely ugly... so my sis and I have cancelled our quest for baubles. Instead I am huddling by my fake logs, swilling coffee and watching the rain/sleet/snow mishmash tumble from the sky. It is cozy inside... a good day to stay home and maybe make some art.

winter's remnants, rhinestones & footwear...

Old Man Winter is such a jokester. We had snow on Tuesday (several inches... a LOT for north Texas)... nearly 70 and sunshine yesterday... and guess what? Snow is predicted for today and tomorrow. It is as cold as a well digger's ass! Whatever... I have some cute boots.
So anyway, my sis and I are taking a break from trying revamp our entire lives to go on the hunt for cheap jewelry. Well, she has a doc's appt. just up the road from trinketland... it's just so damn close. How can we NOT go? And anyway, this deal of reaching a higher spiritual plane, freeing your life from crap, blah, blah, blah... well, it is a bit taxing and a girl just needs a little bling to ease the journey...

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

waiting for Mozart

On the outskirts of Vienna,
when winter comes, dull and frozen,
even secrets seek the sun.
Words held in doorless chambers
gather urgency and slip somehow
into my throat, wait to ride
a warm whisper into the frigid air.
Silence forgets its place, joins
the unrest and wonders how it stood
so long, tongue held, hands folded.
Into the weakened light a clamor
is released, a gust of minor revelation
that stirs no page, nor lifts the sheerest curtain.

I confess only to the sunset, offer declaration
to the silhouettes of bare sycamores.
Yes, I am still here, draped in wide ribbons
of remembrance, swathed in crepe,
blacker than December’s midnight,
a shadow beneath a petticoat,
frayed hem iced and muddied.
Here, near the river’s rimy edge, I stand
and think of monarchs and willows,
moonlight impearled, the water thawed
and bright with fishes.

I have never stopped, not for one breath,
gathering branches with tight fists
of buds, never let go the hope of forced
blooms set in jar by the western window
and arched toward winter’s weak sun.
I am quiet and cold with twilight
close on my heels. Tonight sleep will bury me
in a snowfall of pale petals. I will wait
one more day.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

One of Mack Sennett's bathing beauties...
not a bad gig. Love the outfit and the setting.
Is time travel possible?

Monday, February 25, 2008

The pain passes, but the beauty remains.
~Pierre-Auguste Renoir

rowboat at St. Ann’s Bay

It is the dip I translate, the sacred
scoop of blue, its heft and that moment
when, bright, it breaks the fluent skin
and finds the light. In that fine weight
and its release I hear the axis thrum,
intuit the birth of waxwing and lily.

And the sand, with its keen edges,
drinks the sun and returns radiance
in swells of shattered stone, fields of shell
and quartz. My knees are pillowed
in soft deconstruction, fingers dusted
with relics of kingdoms and conchs.

The tide favors me today, bears me jaunty
as I give my face to the sky. These oars
are abalone smooth, yellow as the orchids
near Garvey’s grave. My lips are salty,
hair wild as a nest. All day I ride
and parse the sea’s graceful, starry back.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

watching the eclipse

I took a dive into the ring
of the corona last night
as the moon slid into darkness.
My shoes were seared,
my hair singed, my vision
altered by fire and wind.

On the surface it was cool,
peaceful. The air smelled
remarkably nostalgic,
an aura of almonds and talc.
Was there shelter here,
I wondered, a place for me?

I knew I could not stay.
Earth had a tether too strong,
all those hearts and flowers,
skies peppered with songbirds,
the goddamned sea!
Oh, I was homeward bound

before I landed on this pearl.
Still, tranquility was alluring,
its silence like a balm.
I took a rounded stone to weight
my pocket and slipped
between the shadows of the gods.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I have noticed how each day arrives, an often univited guest, with baggage, dilemas, challenges and joys in tow. We choose to face the day with dread or anticipation... with despair or hope. I opt for flinging open the door, going through those bags to look for treasure.

Or stepping out into the beautiful day beyond...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

sailing at vespers

It is canvas now I raise for the wind
to cup and hold like a lover’s face.
For too long my sails were point de gaze,
a mesh so fine it snagged the stars

and caught the dark serifs of every word
intoned. I went nowhere and wondered
at my discontent. Now I feel the halyard
in my palm, imagine I stand in the belfry

and toll anew the hour of my own birth.
The sheets, they peal the wind’s low song
and this deck, it is my campanile. I wear the tulle
that I once flew, hold close the impediments

of that troubled sky. How else could I face
the windward nights? I am who I was,
uncertain hand upon the sanctus bell,
and who I am, a sailor aloft in the rigging.

I ring and come about, a steeplejack
atop the spar. I leave no opal wake,
but tender the chiming of the angelus,
sweet upon the swift, dark water.
I believe in love.

coming soon to a sky near you...

Well, won't this be cool?

Saturday, February 09, 2008

We were born before the wind...

...before or perhaps of the wind, a droplet lifted and infused with sunlight. For an exhilerating moment we ride that wind until the sea enfolds us once again. In that windborne journey our story is told. As for me, it clarifies my yearning for the sea. Surely I was sprung from some wave struck against a wooden hull. In all my life no place has felt like home more than the deck of a ship, sailing the mystic, beautiful sea.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

No, thank you.

This morning’s radiance is windborne, a cleansed pool
with its own indelicate clarity. I prefer rocky places
where kinder light gathers like a nest of clouds.
Precision has not been my ally. Sharp edges cut

and absolutes curl around my throat, verdant, thorned,
never blooming. In silence I find a soft unraveling,
a pillowed sigh and there the frayed hem crumbles
into the shadowed breath of petals crushed. My gown

is a an attar of silk-stitched stars and muted fire.
I wish the day curtained with whispered sun,
where I can bask in uncertainties, warm my hands
with their vague comfort. I shun the knife-blade tongue ,

its pearly hilt so tightly grasped, agleam like a dagger
of the gods. I leave the raindrop’s argent mirror
on the leaf for braver souls. I care not to see
the truth of every thing.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Grand Canal, Venice JMW Turner 1835
Slave Ship JMW Turner 1840

Simon Schama's Power of Art is a marvelous series on PBS. Tonight's show was about JMW Turner... a personal favorite. Turner bucked the art establishment with his use of color and later when he turned his eye toward the horrors of the slave trade.

In late February an extensive exhibit of Turner's work is coming to the Dallas Museum of Art.

Some of the painting in this exhibit have never been shown in the US before. I saw a smaller Turner exhibit at the Kimball in Fort Worth several years ago ( his Venice paintings) and it was wonderful.

I am so excited and eager to see this exhibit.

Turner and springtime both in the offing... Life is good.

Off to the post office... which is NOT pictured above. Nope, ours is a bland 1970-ish brick block.
If I don't return blame it on the wind, which is pretty frisky today. It is blowing from the north, so if I catch it just right I should be in Mexico by dinner time.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

If I had a boat
I'd go out on the ocean
And if I had a pony
I'd ride him on my boat
And we could all together
Go out on the ocean
Me upon my pony on my boat.

~Lyle Lovett

I love that song...

Saturday, January 26, 2008

I tried to go back, as if I could
All spec house and plywood
Tore up and tore up good
Down on copperline
It doesn’t come as a surprise to me
It doesn’t touch my memory
Man I’m lifting up and rising free
Down on over copperline
~James Taylor

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Tao Te Ching~ on Tools

Thirty spokes meet at a nave;
Because of the hole we may use the wheel.
Clay is moulded into a vessel;
Because of the hollow we may use the cup.
Walls are built around a hearth;
Because of the doors we may use the house.
Thus tools come from what exists,
But use from what does not.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

winter sky with birds

winter sky with birds, originally uploaded by Sea Dream Studio.

Well, not today's sky, which is dim & grey. Stupidly cold here today. I have to go out. Need to deliver some food for Journey of Hope dinner. Amazingly, I am NOT out of gas! Seems the worse the weather the lower my gas gauge.
Lovely to scan the paper today and see the news of all the international stock markets tanking... and the promise of ours following. Hmmm... what shall I, suburban dweller, do about that today??

At least the war is over! Right? It must be because there's barely a whisper of it in the Dallas Morning News today.

Off to bundle up... yuck. I hate coats!

Monday, January 21, 2008

"Hello, creature of the forest."

I stumbled upon this amazing photo on Flickr this morning. Imagine seeing this on your patio! Look closely... the deer has brought a friend along.
Very cold here today... well, for Dallas... high in the mid 40s and gloomy so far. Kids are out of school for MLK Day and all stil asleep.
I have a special order tiarra and wand to make, so if you're looking for me follow the trail of sequins and glitter.
Stay warm...

Saturday, January 19, 2008

well, indeed...

DSCF1394, originally uploaded by ollyj.

Wise words, I think. Less glass banging... more quiet watching...