magic world

"AGIC WORLD" (pic by Alice Keys (c) 2014) this morning
new ferment pickles
magic world

magic world
gypsy caravans
taste of love

taste of love
sour salt onions crunch
lemon peels

lemons peels
soul’s blue enchantment
Côte d’Azur

Côte d’Azur
wade through market mud
for olives

for olives
from plastic buckets
on the ground

on the ground
but heart flew away
this morning

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Thanks for reading.


PS: I rot many vegetables before eating them. That is to say, I ferment pickles. This morning, my newest food-rotting adventure reminded me of the naturally-fermented gypsy olives I used to get at  the Magic World flea market on the Côte d’Azur. Those olives were fermented with lemons, onions, peppers and magic. Leaving Magic World  olives behind is one on my biggest regrets about moving back from France. I would fly back tomorrow just to eat those olives again.

queen of wands

QUEEN OF WANDS (Rider-Waite Tarot deck)queen of wands sits on throne
she sits there all alone
tall staff and sunflower
her symbols of power

no one but her black cat
to shout royal thoughts at
sky above empty too
nothing at all to do

she gazes far about
seems she’s been left without
loyal subjects to rule
being bored isn’t cool

she should be surrounded
paparazzi hounded
followed imitated
loved or even hated

waited on and served well
praised or cursed all to hell
really doesn’t matter
they could be mad at her

empty weeks and long nights
life could improve with fights
alone queen could not bear
longed to go anywhere

the next day after this
met a prince got a kiss
rode off into sunset
thought new life better bet

except prince ne’er-do-well
didn’t work and can’t spell
fathered more than one sport
doesn’t pay child support

tax liens on his castle
wants her as his vassal
hocked her golden crown
and then he knocked her down

called her ugly and fat
told her to lose the cat
then brought a princess there
said that she shouldn’t care

because she was run down
till she’s naught but a clown
a fish that he once caught
was surprised that she’d thought

she’d ever meant a thing
had only been a fling
must she go on about
making scenes pouting pout?

after ‘while had enough
took no more of his guff
smacked him with her long staff
that made the neighbors laugh

then she returned to home
under its empty dome
thinks now alone is best
after tried out the rest

queen of wands sits on throne
she sits there all alone
tall staff and sunflower
her symbols of power

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This poem was inspired by the Queen of Wands drawn at random from my Rider-Waite Tarot deck.

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Thanks for reading.


buffalo don’t roam

BUFFALO DON'T ROAM (wikimedia commons)nothing much has changed
except ev’rything
has been rearranged
bees no longer sting

birds cannot fly home
sea to shining sea
buffalo don’t roam
mountain majesty

burnt by power mad
sold to us as clean
it seems we’ve been had
by the lean and mean

new financial scams
smell just like the old
water behind dams
was already sold

to folks with money
hundred years ago
our milk and honey
stolen with the snow

mountains are bone dry
not much talk of this
water we can’t buy
empty pipes will hiss

 El Niño can’t grow
a new water spout
must be time to go
far from land of drought

Hope keeps folks sitting
and prevents stampede
don’t want ‘em quitting
keep herd on their lead

puppet shows are wild
capture nation’s eyes
like entertained child
waits while planet fries

by the time you heat
frogs in warming pot
they’re just so much meat
ev’rything’s too hot

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blue tiles

BLUE TILESshe follows his steps
dun-colored dust on blue tiles
after the day’s heat

after the day’s heat
rose scent and sandalwood drift
linger near fountain

linger near fountain
ruby-throated birds chase shadows
silent together

silent together
cool fingertips soft tangled
she follows his steps

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This haiku cascade poem was inspired by Haiku Horizons word prompt “follow”.


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credulity stops here

The_Dust_BowlI have a restless-rootless feeling. I’ve been having anxious repetitive dreams that I’m lost and searching for my home. I’ve had this feeling and these dreams since I first came to sunny California three years ago.

I talk to people about this feeling. I’m told I’m not the only one. Many Californians are descendents of dust bowl refugees at the end of long desperate roads. But perhaps this anxious-rootless feeling is a contagion spread by the heat and BIG drought of climate change.

I like it here. But I can’t seem to translate our California life into home. It doesn’t seem like a place to count on. There’s not enough water to support 38 million people and/or thousands of square miles of agriculture.

This narrow strip of Pacific coastline is famous for its cold summer fog bank. But this summer the sun is too hot and the sky too blue. We wear wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses outside from dawn till dark.

mountaintop-removal-mining-videoAlthough the bank-owned weather wizards have announced that a long wet winter is on the way to save us, I’m skeptical. The history of this land is one of thousand-year droughts. And now our earth is wrapped in an ever-thickening carbon dioxide heat blanket generated by burning West Virginia to produce “clean” electricity and to produce even more wealth for the uber-wealthy.

There are whispers and rumors on the bank-owned internet that real estate markets in other countries are collapsing. But these same interests continue to announce “always-up!” bubble froth in the Land of the Free.

“Come one, come all. OUR homes are STILL good INVESTMENTS for cash-carrying capitalists fleeing economic collapse elsewhere in the world!”

I’ve read that there are even real estate bidding wars in small bank-owned towns in the middle of nowhere with no jobs and no hope like Hickville Ohio, Sweat Alabama and Butt-freeze Montana.

Every dead-end mined-out briar-stricken nowhere is having a real estate explosion because they’re SPECIAL and because there’s no more land being made in their SPECIAL locale. Yes, Lizard Guano Arizona and Ocean Peak Colorado each have SPECIAL speculative real estate bubbles in their own SPECIAL ways.

“The rising tide floats all boats!” (A realtor told me this with a straight face. It was his explanation of the alleged housing bubble in our area.)

$289,000 PLUS $743 PER MONTH IN NOWHERE CAI asked about a trailer at an “open house” yesterday. It was listed as pending. I asked the realtor why there was an open house when the property was already sold. She answered by  suggesting we make a back-up offer on it.

Then her voice got all rat-squeaky. She told us we could have a bidding war. She said she was sure that, with enough cash, we could displace the offer they’d already accepted.

“I don’t ‘do’ bidding wars,” I said.

“The principal of the thing?” she asked.

“I’m in no hurry,” I told her. “Prices will be lower this winter.”

At least this realtor knew the word “principal”. She has a day job as a school teacher.

While chatting us up, she’d also mentioned that she hasn’t taken a vacation in years because she’s still making payments on long-past summer fun. She’s bank-owned as well.

Even though her business card says she specializes in LUXURY HOMES, I can’t fathom taking financial advice from her. There is a saying that Wall Street is the only place where people arrive in chauffeured limos to get investment advice from people who ride the bus to work. Welcome to the world of high-ticket real-estate sales where over-leveraged school teachers try to make ends meet by pushing bidding wars on old house trailers.

If the trailer is already sold, why should I bind up my morals and resources by making a bid? They don’t need me to help pump a customer for more money. I know someone who paid $17,000 over the full cash asking price on a property. Her favorite realtor buddy told her there were other bidders that didn’t exist.

Even if I swallowed a vat of grape-flavored drink, I can’t believe a hard-used ten-year-old trailer made by a manufacturer who went out of business over reliability issues that’s situated in a crowded and treeless trailer park in drought-ridden nowhere California miles from the beach is special enough to have a “bidding war”. Not at $289,000. Not even at $60,000. Nope. Credulity stops here.

This trailer last sold only four months ago for $281,500. I’ve been told that the owner before that kept it for maybe a year. But I can’t find sales information to document this.

I know of three other similar trailers for sale in this park plus I saw two brand new units being installed. There’s not a trailer shortage this week.

Each time I express interest in buying any property, I’m told they will be accepting offers several days later. I’m nudged and winked to offer well-over the asking price if I REALLY want it. The implication is that people are lining up around the block panting after whatever end-stage termite mound, sagging trailer or wall-punched condo we’re considering.

Yesterday’s dishonest behavior filled my belly with fresh ire about  realtors baiting people into unnecessary bidding wars for already over-priced dumps. Her stink put me off home shopping yet again.

TRAILER PARK MAPI would rather continue to be a renter (a despised sub-category of humanity in our area) or “go camper” (a less-despicable form of roaming homelessness) than be manipulated and ripped-off by bank-owned realtors.

But maybe I’m the only person who feels this way.

And if you imagine you’ve found your special realtor chum, then you’re well on your way to having your pockets picked cleaned and being hung out to dry.

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Thanks for reading.


soft delight

POLITIC CONVERSATIONS (wikimedia commons)politic conversations
no one listens much at all
sound like mouth machinations
words popped from a shopping mall

do and don’t and yes and no
climb together out of throats
pick the color of your snow
hear whatever floats your boats

I can bark or cry or sing
doesn’t matter what I say
ears turned off to ev’rything
always planning their next play

speak the truth to become spurned
concrete doors locked down by right
nothing heard so nothing learned
nothing seen with eyes closed tight

even those with silent smiles
make their headside to-do lists
sorting private thoughts in piles
scorecards hidden inside fists

my best conversations found
early morning while still night
comes with hardly any sound
I and me speak soft delight

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Thanks for reading.