Monday, April 28, 2008

A Case for Speaking Out

There have been a number of occasions in my life when I have regretted not having spoken up about something that I had feelings about. I have always felt somewhat shy and prone to keep my own council but there are times when words were called for and in response to those times I have written the following as a way of reminding myself to speak out when the occasion calls for it.


Who is this

Who with politeness so exaggerated

Entertains with feigned expression

That which he disdains.

Who with discourse polite

Abhorrent feelings maintain.

Whose eyes hide

The lies his mouth describes

Eyes on whose inside

With loathing not apparent

Are inscribed

That exact opposite

Of what his tongue describes

Speak your truth, man

Or what you do speak

Shall encumber you with grief

Shall mock your ways

Disrupt your sleep

With grave disregard

Ignore your dying words

When finally, outcome free

The too-late truth sprouts

From soon rotten flesh

Takes no root,

Bears no fruit

For lack of a believing ear.

So offend who you must

If the offense given is just

The reward will be trust

Truth, witness to itself will bear

Every old cloth has a tear

That well mended

Makes it worthwhile to wear

Those will be few

That long begrudge you

The words your mouth spew

If the stanza is short

And the sharp notes you sing

Create discord

Let the offended party

Move it’s own notes

Up or down the scale

To create harmony again

If your song is well sung

If the deed is well done

Let your chorus repeat

And never repent the singing

And if the truth so offend

That men come to blows

So be it

Rather blood then compromise

Better to tell the truth

And walk alone in undeserved disgrace

Than display the alibi

And walk with false friends apace

Tell the truth

And disregard love? You say

How can that be righteous?

Better, I say, to seal your fate

With those that you hate

Than to your own heart

Be a traitor

Better to tread a straight forward path

And expose your disregard

For conventions

Than wander in diminished rings

Wishing what you might have said

Would have sprouted wings

And carried it’s own message

On your behalf.

Let us learn to despise

The lies we speak in dread

Of what a man may think

Than lie in our beds

With undelivered words

Ringing in our heads.

Better our tongue be a sword

Than a spade

To dig our grave truth a shallow hole.

This mouth

Uncaring womb of words

Better a tomb for lies unsprouted

Than a garden of indecent fruit

Breeder of half happy doubt

Giving rise to one-legged truth

Better barren of offspring.

Never despise

Words spoken wise

Harsh words

To tender hearts can be

Brought on a doves wing

Monday, April 21, 2008

Power Walking by Daniel Noll

Power walking

From what I’ve been able to surmise

Is a poor facsimile

Of running improvised

To the exclusion of movements

That might exercise.

From what I’ve seen

With my own eyes

It’s more about the gesture

Producing more sighs

Then heavy breathing

And made to fool the eyes

With fast pumping arms

On slowly moving thighs.

If I offend you

Not quite runners

I apologize.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

While Jay and I were boating in Sea of Cortez we spent some time in Santa Rosalia, a town whose main industry is squid fishing. These were not your little guys like you would get if you ordered fried Calamari. These were extremely dangerous ten armed torpedoes called Humboldt Squid, whose tentacles were lined with suckers around each of which was a row of claws. They would rip the flesh right off your arm if they grabbed you.

Ricardo, the dock master, had been a squider and offered to take us out to show us the method of catching them. Pulling them in by hand on a 300lb line tipped with a lure or puppet, we ended up with six of the 4 to 6 foot long creatures on the deck. They vibrated emotional color and the huge black eye seemed to seemed to suck you into the recesses of another world in which you were an interloper.

The emotions I felt stuck with me and this poem is the result.

The Witness

by Daniel Noll

I stood as a witness

As the veil was torn

As the lure descended

Through azure transparent

Scarcely seen

Dancing blue-green

Obscene one-eyed seducer

Unblinking, unseeing, unseen

Searching for a partner

In light fractured black

Embraced times ten

The dance, in earnest, began

Ricardo and Squid

Thick line connected

Fate selected

Two arms against ten

I stood as a witness floating

On the ceiling

Of that salty world

A beholder intent on consumption

Of the reluctant partner

Scarcely seen

Rising dancing defiant

Through shadowed blue-green

Denying this bright realm

In watery surges

Tinting friendly aqua

Hostile black

Breaking water, boneless rage

Connected by line taut

Liquidly defying

Bone- stiffened foot- planted need

Geyser driven defiant at last

Through the silky veil pulled

Into this weightier thin liquid,

This ten-armed torpedo

My eyes listened to

Anger quivering in pulses electric

Glistening encrypted emotion

Color coded and slickly written

I stood as a witness

To this drowning inverted

Death wandering rust and black

Across this slack topoedo

My too curious finger pursues the bulging eye

To explore its slickness

It looks back! -undead

And I am seen, exposed, found out

Black-eyed reproached

No longer mere witness, anonymous

Despoiler of multiples

I am complicit destroyer of this one

I am unhooded

And life recedes deep into the pit

Of that great ball

And I follow till I am lost inside

It and my own hazy thoughts

Then I did as men are prone to do

When stirred to impractical feelings,

I bound my conflict in logic

I turned to other things.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

ajijic photos

I live in Ajijic, a smallish pueblo on the shores of Lake Chapala, about 40 KM outside of Guadalajara, Mexico.
These photos and the slideshow on the bottom of the front page give you some idea of what the area is like.
The Lake Chapala Writers Group meets here twice a month to share and critique their creative output, inspiring and encouraging each other in the process.

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Sunday, March 30, 2008

GETTING LAID by Daniel Noll

Getting Laid


Daniel Noll

What if human beings laid eggs?

Instead of coming out all arms and legs

Unprotected and un-encased;

We cracked a shell and popped out ready to run a race?

Just how big, do you think, would the egg have to be

To fit inside it a fully realized me?

And still be laid without a blade to pop me out of mother?

Would we, then, be less inclined to eat the offspring of the hen?

Do you suppose that the Holy Ghost,

Who as a dove on Jesus did repose,

Spent any egg time,

Or just tear straightaway into bird-dom;

Appear poached on a limb above the mighty lamb?

On which side of the egg (if an egg had sides)

Would the abortionist lay?

The issues are scrambled enough today,

Add an eggshell and who could say.

Not over-easy decisions to make.

On that very same shell, would the pro-lifer dwell

While eating fried eggs for breakfast?

I think I am glad of the way I was had.

Though the egg has its merits

I’d rather not share them with things that were hatched.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Green Flame by Daniel Noll

Green Flame

by Daniel Noll

The green flame I was, that singed the eyes

The grassy tongue that sang the heart sunny

Moist shade drifted me down.

Leaf-mantled and lullabied, I laid

Foot-rooted in patient dirt, worm-ridden,

They tried the zeal of my flesh.

"Too soon, too soon".

All and I breathed in Sap and Leaf

And what the wind bore.

Green - domed I oozed

Suckled the dust with my own sap

Sucked in gnats and flies

Took the odor of noon and sooner setting suns

Golden-domed, I was the red flame that shot the eye.

and the twisted fingers offering gifts

And what the soil gave.

I fell rot rigorous.

Long shadowed white-mantled relic,

I slept tired and full of wishes

Quieted and hardened I smelled of darker days

Till the noise of early morning bees

Broke my pace and set my eyes adrift

Flowered and all nubined I woke

To set my pulse to the forests dull throb

And to breezes.

And all the sky, the trees and all

Became my eyes and ears and blur and green

And what the wind bore became me

Time snailed across times terrain

Foggy hours of revelation

Each day its own world created

and never the same world twice

Distance and size where unborn

And the movers had not yet taken to their task.

And dung and sweat and bood and urine

I did my part. Held myself loosely

The unhearing bestower gifted me with unknowing

This unseer put me in front of this mirror of unseeing

This unspeeker with whispers unclear and unspeakable

And black and cold and wet and slime and tart and rough

And dark and dim and calm and hail and echo and silence

And rot and green smell and sharp and all that

And death and birth on each side and all around me.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Senseless in Heaven

Senseless in Heaven

by Daniel Noll

I only hope that;

If the Devil has a domicile

and Hell be it and not a myth,

If I'm to dwell in the upper realms

I'd rather not know

What lies down below, and hope

That along with wings

And celestial things

Eternity comes with

A perfect forgetting

I only hope that:

If Gods nature be specific enough

To allocate itself a space for us

And Heaven be it's name

And if I, in Christ,with faith

Enough, did trust,

To get myself there

And through that hard door

And meet my old friends

That we never recall

This frail time and all

It's simple perversions.

I only hope that

If all we who've lived, survive

and death is just a passage

To another form of space and life.

If Justice more than mercy screams

In this whole vast scheme

And Hell is not a dream

I hope I dwell above

With God in all His love

With imperfect hearing

I'd rather not hear the Angels singing

If my ears are not deaf

To Hells raucus grieving.

I only hope that;

If some fair space is set apart

and Grace bestows me my fair share

for having played the game

within the bounds and kept the rules,

that I can, amidst all the glitter of that bright sky,

Bring the lids down on these moist eyes.

For I would rather blindly stumble on golden curbs

See nothing or even rust prefer

To gold, then peeking over heavens wall

See a wide-eyed image of old friends writhing

Or loved ones burning.

I only hope that

If, with my nose, I need to breathe to pray

That the wind that carry scent away

That makes a memory

Of the blooms bouquet

Blows that memory another way

Or comes scentless to my nose

Than take the chance of smelling smoke

From someone I might know

On fire down below.

So, if I, senseless, in Heaven, must abide

to tolerate the joy and glory of it all

If angels must lead me from show to show

And if of heaven all I know

Be a fingers touch

I'll at least not regret nor feel sorrow

Though I may wonder

When I come on Heavens door

just what it might be there for.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Madelines poem on Poetry


Poems are hard to write,
you rhyme everything in sight

Poetry and prose are as beautiful as a rose

They talk of earthly things,
maybe a robin that sings

They are quiet and most people like it

Poetry relieves stress and forgets the mess

It hates strife and loves life

It has gratitude and meditates every mood

It enjoys warm fires and detail it admires

It is integrous and peace is on its list

It knows to share, it employs care

It sees beauty in everything
putting others first as if King

It’s poetry I love to write

My brain soars like a kite

By Madeline Noll 1.25.08

Madelines Poem - Spring

Spring – Twilight Lost

A blue wild feeling

Roses are peeling

Fairies are dancing

Horses are prancing

Clouds are running

Night is coming

Follow me ‘cross the boughs

Say your vows

Pass the cows

We are cunning,
The forest is humming

The humming comes to singing,
Fairy bells are jingling

We must come away,
Before the break of day

I will be gone, forever long

On west ground kneeling,
A blue wild feeling

On west ground kneeling

A wild blue feeling

By Madeline Noll 1.24.08

Monday, March 17, 2008

-Before Her Arrival

Daniel Noll

And what can this hand know
That it should anticipate so
The lighting of my fingerflies
Upon her cheek?

And what can this flushing cheek know
That it should so anticipate
Her fingers falling flight,
Their gentle landing?

And these two lips,
How would they know
That others wetly lie in wait
To make a ruby ambush?

And how can these ears
Extort from time
Laughing footfalls
And sparkling air?

And shuttered eyes suspect
The soft and fair landing
That they so soon shall make?

And the flaring nose
To begin it’s fondling search
For the sticky fragrance of her coming?
How can it know?

And the whole mindful wrapper
Aching grandstand of expectation
And each mute hair
Ready to rise and cheer

This whole body, than,
Seems as mindful as my mind,
Stakes its claim on knowing you,
Knows you beyond feeling
And keeps us in touch
With the airs beyond breathing,
Instructs this brain
On the notion of completion,
With sweet refrain
And harsh discord
Sets the pace of my hearts beating.