Category Archives: Poetry and Prose

expressionist freeverse, punk rock lyrics, occasional ode to love, digression into nonsense, or possibly vaguely lyrical or rhyming, but not likely – maybe in cycles

Haiku – *unconfidential* kokoro postcard (variations)

Often, a poem comes out fully-formed, fiddling and remixing only dulls the knife, sometimes however, variations are eager to come out to shine light in another corner: Lonely, Joyful, Melancholy, Mysterious.

In this case, (my) familiar themes of un-confidential love letters on postcards mailed from foreign places and glanced by – or maybe sadly not glanced – by personnel along the way who (may) add their pathos to the journey. 

One version of this (do you care to guess which?) will go on the reverse of the post box at Farmer Mac’s goat farm – Perhaps another painting will follow… and then a postcard a photograph of the painting mailed to the post box and so on. Always be remixing. 

No pardons for redundancies, variations on a theme require riffs on the same blues.

Do you care to posit which your prefer? 

Annotations: Regarding Japanese-inspired Poetry

Consider the words
Write them once, only –
In a single inky sweep
On tactile paper
Then add a flower
Close the book
For now

&/or do none of the above

(from summer 2018 Moleskine accordion notebook “when everything changed”)

Poem: How Shall We Fill This Vessel? (excerpt for Sheila + Kemp, 10 year)

“How Shall We Fill This Vessel?”

(excerpt of poem – written by me – read at Kemp and Sheila’s wedding vow ceremony)

really unrelated snap, as it goes a tea shack in Sri Lanka

Now, all is deliciously possible
A present to savour
A history to grow
A future to whittle
To any possible shape

So,
How shall we fill this vessel?

Devoid of cynicism and ego,
Jealousy or restraint
With rambunctious affection
In all possible forms
To manifest and articulate
Unabashed tactile Love.

Shall we fill with endless notes
Of spontaneous jazz and
Distant gazes from close range?
Slow dances to quick songs
Languid mornings following
Smouldering nights?

Celebration of the commonplace?
Anticipation of usual happenstance?
Easy banter about nuanced topics?
On verandahs and gazebos a like
Replete with warm drinks
And cool touch?

With fond hellos and
Infrequent goodbyes
As we seek nowhere to go
Desire no escape
In darkness and rain
All yearnings were sent away

Marrow and soul
Now have a purpose, a place
A place to dwell
With you, always
As together we fill
This vessel
Full.

– daveo, Pokhara, Nepal 2017
(photo: Sri Lanka, 2018)

Poem: post office closed (again)

Poem: post office closed (again)

Post office closed
(again)
You’ll need another
day to know
you are loved
by a lost poet
without a watch

Folio: Hotsprings and Stubbed Toe / occasional haiku, 2004

Hotsprings and Stubbed Toe / Occasional haiku… 1992~2004, cover (download pdf)

Download poetry chapbook (pdf): Hotsprings + Stubbed Toe, by Dave Olson, 2004

Folio: January in the Hot Springs / haiku and paint, 1993-5

Folio: January in the Hot Springs / haiku and paint, 1993 / front cover

After arriving in Japan for the first time, i began exploring Japanese poetic forms – realizing that the didactic 5-7-5 structure *wasn’t the point* /  Then combining with impressionist colours seen on a recent ramble in Europe, Read it a series combining, in a fashion, Japanese forms with European colours and “new-world” themes.

Then with brother Bob’s upcoming wedding, compiled a bunch of these creations into a little book and read (with translation) at his wedding (mostly to blank stares of bewilderment.

A few years later in Guam, did a proper layout and production run (maybe 50?) and mailed the chapbooks out around the world. Used hemp/cereal straw paper from China (ordered from Paul Stanford in Oregon) which was rough going through copy machines of the day –especially my complicated double-sided / zigzag layout with topstitch binding – of course sewn with hemp twine.

I don’t have one of the “finished ones” in my archive, but do have the original layout production master / will eventually dig out > in the meantime, here is the cover (not hemp paper) + Pay special attention to my proto-Creative-Commons non-copyright on the erstwhile colophon and the pseudonym (do you know the origins?)

Folio: January in the Hot Springs / haiku and paint, 1993 / colophon

While I have few delusions about my poetry chapbooks being “popular” this one especially seems to have disappeared into the wind with nary a sound (despite it being one of the projects of which i am most proud).

Folio: January in the Hot Springs / haiku and paint, 1993 / back cover (with pseudonym)

Note: a few of these poems were used/re-mixed in a collection from 2004 (assembled in Olympia) called “Hotspring and Stubbed Toe” which was distributed digitally and will be available shortly in this archive as part of #daveo50 series.  

Poem: Earliest Recollections (Lansing, MI, 1973 with tornado)

Poem: Earliest Recollections (Lansing, MI, 1973 with tornado)

Lansing Michigan, 1973
eating macaroni & cheese
in a damp basement
while adults whispered
windows shivered
radio crackled

and i wondered why
the tornado was coming

and then my memory began

##

Note:

this is brother Bob’s (straight ahead) birthday March 1973 so i (front right) was 2.5 years old / for years i recalled this photo somehow and then going through my dear late Mom’s slides, found this and *knew it* instantly / that screened in porch, the sun, and everything. 

Aside:

this memory was described elsewhere in a riff…

“A brief stint in Lansing Michigan is where I remember my first thoughts, hunkered in the basement easting macaroni and cheese during a tornado, sitting in a big screened-in porch eating birthday cake with my glasses on.”

Engineer in Istanbul (aerogramme) – Items: Forgotten (vol. 7, Espionage)

Engineer in Istanbul (aerogramme) – Items: Forgotten (vol. 6, Espionage)
Engineer in Istanbul (aerogramme) – Items: Forgotten (vol. 6, Espionage)

Surveys Come Pre-checked (aerogramme) – Items: Forgotten (vol. 7, Espionage)

Surveys Come Pre-checked (aerogramme) – Items: Forgotten (vol. 6, Espionage)
Surveys Come Pre-checked (aerogramme) – Items: Forgotten (vol. 6, Espionage)

Stamps Inky with Indifference (aerogramme) – Items: Forgotten (vol. 7, Espionage)

Stamps Inky with Indifference (aerogramme) – Items: Forgotten (vol. 6, Espionage)
Stamps Inky with Indifference (aerogramme) – Items: Forgotten (vol. 6, Espionage)

No Transmissions Reach Rowboats (aerogramme) – Items: Forgotten (vol. 7, Espionage)

No Transmissions Reach the Rowboats (aerogramme) – Items: Forgotten (vol. 6, Espionage)
No Transmissions Reach Rowboats (aerogramme) – Items: Forgotten (vol. 6, Espionage)

Insist on Compliance (aerogramme) – Items: Forgotten (vol. 7, Espionage)

Insist on Compliance (aerogramme) – Items: Forgotten (vol. 6, Espionage)
Insist on Compliance (aerogramme) – Items: Forgotten (vol. 6, Espionage)