by Odin Roark
Astride his father’s shoulders,
Like a double decker bus,
There was always what his father saw,
And the child’s gaze beyond.
They learned together
What their senses taught them of reality.
There were so many hills his father climbed,
The boy seeing what was ahead on horizons,
The father focused on firm footholds,
Following trusted forest imprints,
Relying on tradition’s habitude.
This father is long gone now.
This boy of shoulder wonderment
Has grown wise of rugged tracks
Leading to this day.
A stormy December afternoon
Staring through a digital lens
Atop a mid-town observation deck,
The boy now a man
Stares outs across a skyscraper landscape,
A winterous tundra his father never had to pioneer.
Realizing the Now of navigating
Relies little on the primitive tracks,
Parts of the undeniable whole
Determined shelter and food,
Life and death.
The oft missing essence of success,
Impacts little of today’s aspiration,
Whose awareness respects not learned footprints,
Nor hardened determination
To stay true to a right direction,
All too often
Success honors but bushwhacked obstacles,
The opportunity to conquer any and all,
The razed aside,
Inert and live,
Banished and dead,
Leaving many to query
What lens can sharpen that which isn’t there?
Today’s existence is but yesterday’s ethereal presence,
Once preceded by integritous footholds/handholds,
The resplendent oneness of nature’s vast inner-connection,
Now all but buried beneath
A stumbling culture’s duplicitous stepping stones.
Tracks lead precariously to penthouse suites
Where an eagles nest is but a Britannica reference,
A redolent library book of often ignored history
Reminding a father’s boy
Staring through glass-layered revelation
That decisions need pondering past momentary reward,
That Nature’s swirling white layering the once wilderness of discovery
May be foreshadowing avalanche forces
Unrestrained in their ability to bury man.
Pulling his eye away from the telescope,
He considers a wind gust
Lifting snow daring not to confront the ground,
Choosing instead to swirl,
To levitate with perhaps man’s exhausted currents from below,
Struggling to rise through waning memory,
Trajectories of so many devoted fathers
Trusting honest trailblazing would never disappear.
Like the cyclic snows from on high,
Rising temperatures initiate their own revolution.
Endings return to beginnings
Nullifying load and weight.
Time’s undaunted sagacity knows
Once civilization’s latest aspiration expends,
Creation knows no better
Than to invent new trails,
New boys on father’s shoulders,
Tomorrow’s then and now…
Moths and other creatures
find peril in hovering
especially above seductive candle flame
We sentient beings
keep vigil over imagined messages
awaiting the magic
the comfort of vision
As we stare
encouraged by flame
the walls of insulation
while our fortressed barriers
becoming a river of liquefied defense
Is the flame but deception
seducing the innocent
destroying the gullible
Is it pure light
ignitable by will
extinguishable by nature
its essence of imagination
weaving a ribbon of warmth
among the unlit kindling of love
For just as the cynical enemy
bounces its cold shadows of hurt
restlessly about the wall
waving its determinant position
one's heart beats echoes of defiance
Such are the candle's iconic images
empowering the ether of life
even as its waxen folds
melt into mounds of spent energy
awaiting recycled resurrection
But if we listen
Flame's inner glow whispers its promise to return
by Odin Roark
Like a tree’s dark shadow
Knows only the absorption of all colors
Rendering the din of senses
A cacophonous silence
How gentle the process
Once resistance abates
The mind’s own deprivation tank
Engendering trust void of fear
So hesitant are many
To embrace the white light
To wait out nature’s tintinnabulation
The white noise becoming aphonic
To lay oneself down
Afloat atop the water
The ethereal reality of consciousness
Where leaves of brown
Beneath the awaiting orange of
Red and yellow repeat nature’s cycle
Where jasmine lures the mulch of life
Into purity’s gateway
Patiently biding time’s eternal truth
Preparing one with zero
The hush of peace
The quiet of love
The mutation of hate
Conjoin in harmony’s sublime reward
The circle of quietude
6 Second Trailer
Did you see it?
It's a fantastic flick
The full trailer?
So am I
Did you see her...
Don't ya love it
Who wrote it?
Bit early, eh?
What, the trailer?
Paper Doll Chorus Lines
by Odin Roark
Sun and wind
Turn and twist cutout paper dolls
Strung across blown out window casements
Creating daily enchantment amidst the smoke
As scissors assist small fingers prepare
The matinée performance
Cutting daily “stay in your homes” flyers
Into dancing friends
Say the mothers
The war stage
Will be replaced by
Velvet curtained openings
Where make-believe hope
Will find flesh and blood still intact
Renewed hearts respecting
Energy’s Suffocating Gallop
by Odin Roark
Ancient blood soaked sand
Plumes its sticky residue
Beneath rapacious hooves
Dust storms of evil stampeding beside pipelines
Goad flow to tankers
Where ubiquitous black gold addiction
Steers toward pervasive profit-docks
Behind sweat lathered greed
Winds of historic baggage
Tether their historic words and song
Blessings and curses
Exciting swirling vortexes
Windmills of molten fire
Entitlement’s rape and pillage of breath
Of pores once absorbing purity
Evil’s global bubble
Appearing as mankind'
Robed in white zealotry
The blinded hawk-minds
Embrace the Middle East predatory contaminant
Wallowing in solipsistic riches forgotten
Awake only to pick tomorrow’s gluttonous prey
The world turns on turbine propulsion
With oceans bowing to its slavery
Delivering liquid smokestack suffocation
Silent killers preparing ghosts
Of time’s new-century-plague
As oil gorged tankers find port
Release their pandemic sleight of hand
A destruction as innocent as rabbits from a hat
Charms the ignorant
Beguiles the wannabes
Delivers the demise of children’s hearts
Left to take a number
Unaware there is no lottery
Adult indulgence clinging desperately
To evil’s mane and tail
As it whips gullible eyes
Into cataract submission
Alien life hovers above
Grieving the minions destined
To find black energy’s ashen dust
Sprinkling its fool’s gold
Upon a barren planet
X Continues Marking Many Spots
by Odin Roark
Anonymous living suits many,
gypsy fever of the brain.
Seldom hiding in the shadows,
the glare of klieg-light attention
forever glares upon responsibility,
a disease to many,
a growing malady for most,
a welcome invitation to others.
Even back then,
the waking age,
at least for this X,
a miscreant not even aware,
experience was about
to render raw and tender the face.
The vengeance proffered
gloriously fait accompli,
needing not the klieg light focus,
better mere awakening
by simpler means
a few beers,
This '56 student of students,
bathed in the drenching of
damned near drowning
in flailing need to see
This was education,
from cult religious dogma,
not offered in Aristotelian mode.
Here X was,
always at the Plaza screens,
or the Waverly,
X along with some buddy Y's and Z's
exited the art houses and made their way,
to the Russian Tea Room.
Saved up rations of money…
more Black Russians,
the world as we discovered it,
not the world as professed
All around us.
life seemed somehow more real
not caked over with candied syrup
like American’s urban seduction.
Oh how we longed
to be part of it…
But more important,
discover what it was all about,
that for many
Was but professed by a God.
Those were times,
where peeling away the facade
was so delicious,
while we got wasted.
Along about 2 AM
Columbus Circle Books.
Sit on the floor,
thumb through 25 cent paperbacks,
always a Nietzsche,
a dog-eared Menninger,
a used Baldwin,
treasures we could afford.
We had to careful to save enough
for the subway.
The X Y's and Z's hugged,
kissed with manly disregard,
we didn’t care who was watching.
We were happy.
We were learning.
We were happening.
X dragged his weary ass up
the 4 flights
screwed back in the light bulb
old man in 4f always unscrewed,
figuring no one's gonna rob
a dark floor.
to this day.
He was wise.
My first introduction to street cred
in spite of his oldness.
Sunday New York Times,
Learning the hard way.
Snake Oil Free Speech
by Odin Roark
Here’s what’s going to happen
This is where the rubber leaves the road
The father gripping the wheel
The mother with Coleman cooler at her feet
Beach towels and blankets on her lap
Clueless children in the back seat
Smart-phone-games dumbing down consciousness
You’ll be cruising into the sunset
A barren swamp peppered countryside receding
As oncoming ocean depth
Reflects your personal blood-red sky
All the evil will vanish
As you leave the highway
Slip and slide the sandy road
Dodge beer cans and mistake’s exhausted condoms
Coming suddenly to destination’s end
Your transport will cough its last fumes of gas
Your seat’s cushy-springs will explode
Like coiled serpents in waiting
As icy breath clouds evil-singed windows
Welcome to your Last Stop Beach
Swollen with humanity’s layered dead-cell cake
Iced over with slathered Coppertone delusions
Past attempts at escape
Now but flotsam washed ashore
You’ll try to remain calm
But your virtual-arcade will quickly drown
Along with my Sunday morning radio voice
Gurgling a personal salvation promise
Just for you
And that’s what’s going to happen
The final waves will disappear your sorry lives
Until the awaited day of resurrection
For he told me so
The Revelation of Winter’s Warmth
by Odin Roark
What values do we so readily disregard
these short days of winter?
How easily we ignore
air filled with crystalline arrest,
bestowing remembrance of colors in respite,
while we engage our will to embrace
the resistance, the invitation to accept.
Winter ushers us to perfect seats
where bows of pine and oak wood
curl their needle and leaf
into protection and sleep,
a wisdom we know little of,
nature’s ancestral intransience.
This stage of emptiness soon overflows,
like protective strands of lace interlocked,
woven crystals that cloak bare branches
while crusts of ice bear final witness,
time’s cover for now,
irrigation come spring.
this four act saga of nature,
void of discrimination,
knowing how little life requires
of comfort we so covetously horde,
even as rarefied light,
that which never hides in the shadows,
if only we would pause…
An audience of seeds will survive
amidst a huddled awareness,
providing innate connection
to all that is,
from all that was,
those knowing well
that which patience rewards.
When will we learn…
Survival of the fittest
understands beyond the science,
beyond a season,
gathering carefully the warmth to offer later,
one body to another,
revealing the exponential wonder
to other unique crystals in flight,
the we of them,
the them of us.
so very near for some,
a winter’s cold away for others.
Winter Cabin Reality
by Odin Roark
The storm door
The clapboard shedding
White paint chips
Wounds without first aid
Flecks of age
Mixing with the drifting snow
Walls shudder with the gusts
Windowpanes rattle their death threat
Should one shatter
Beware flood gates of frozen forever
When will guardians arrive
The stewards of their weary retreat
Providing solace for this place
We so willing endure
This loneliness of disuse
The fear of abandonment
Such anxiety for...
In order to...
Appease elements restless
The stove sad
Laboring for no one
The refrigerator longing
Waiting like a giant petri dish
Anxious to be opened and examined
Bed covers squirm amidst
Nature's innate seekers of shelter
Six-leggers pass four-leggers in the night
Where is everyone?
The basements fortress of faith
Anticipate the happy slogging
Of drunken feet above
The excess food celebrated not
Falling through spaces of beamed flooring
Affording reserves for future seasons of need
Thus awaits the wilderness shelter
Determined to remain creative
As temperatures drop even lower
On this little respected life-saver
Multiple-soul make-over haven
Urban's satellite arbiter for sanity
Earnestly it awaits yesterday's loyally
Its generational-visitor relay
Its reason to hold on
To stay whole
Just one more year
Crunching snow outside raises hope
One gentle squirrel share
"Got to be more than a bear"