Tag Archives: poem

poem: Leaving Saskatoon

wrote a poem (in reply to the great singer songwriter Hawksley Workman who’s playing in #Saskatoon tonight)

boarding pass leaving Saskatoon to Calgary and onwards to Vancouver and Eugene Oregon as an infant (allegedly 10 days old)
Saskatoon
I was born here
but
never lived there (left quickly on a 707)
but
obliged to print on application forms
since–
quite literally hundreds or possibly thousands
there’s never enough room
(especially in Japan)
to write:
b. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Aug, 16 1970

“The Present is…” notes and projects around Kura (post box, poems, flower pots)

The present is an unfinished poem ________. Let’s Enjoy! Note: my kura is the official Cascadia Consulate for the Setouchi bio-region.

The other side says “Giggling Piglet Studio”

3 doors, each heavier than the last and each with a specific puzzle key – DO NOT leave the keys inside! The walls are thick earthen plaster and the beams are mighty and olden.

We got plenty of flower pots and fermenting vessels – plus loads of roof tiles, various pavers, bricks, blocks and whatnot. Gonna use a load of this stuff up with making a charcoal kiln, outdoor kitchen space and loads more plants…

Couple of the flower pots hanging on the little bamboo wall for now. Containing flowers not surprisingly. Bit more tidying up with a flag pole and bench to come.

Diary: Really nothing *big* however, life carries on

Feb 10 Great magazine arrived, National Geographic, June 1984 with cover story about trains in India + history of Japan with special map insert >> looking forward to digging in / thanks @hokkaidomarkett (and wonderfully packaged as well).

Also arrived is a lovely postcard from a kindly correspondent showing my old work/hang neighbourhood of Gastown, Vancouver – including the “Hotel Europe” building which i could look into the apartments from my office at Rain City Studios at 1 Alexander and Nelson the Seagull coffee shop (which featured in a Hoot video) – bit of nostalgia from a place i don’t feel much nostalgia about.

Feb 9 I’ve got a (foreign dude) guest coming over, second time in 2 1/2 years… Really he’s coming to borrow some of wife’s tree cutting equipment but I’m going to ask/make him sit down and have a coffee and a conversation. Yes, this means I’ve changed out of pajamas.

Feb 8 Scribbled a freeverse poem for a friend experiencing sad loss in my little bedside notebook “Longer Than we Think“. Here’s the notebook (not the poem)

Feb 7 Took down festive cards from string of honour yesterday and started putting affectionately in an accordion scrapbook.

The arrival of a bushel of new “not particularly festive“ correspondence prompted the freshening up including: a wedding announcement from Idaho: hummingbirds from Vancouver: ephemera from California: gracious wisdom from Austin: and a new friend from Kolkata.

Still having a hard time rallying up to do anything, yesterday putzed around outside a little bit to spark some energy but wiped me out.

So many tasks on my list, some of them quite pleasant and can be done indoors however in bedlock brainfog crash mode #mecfs

(oh here’s + yesterday lunch)

Feb 6 (Still) making a sign post for the yard here at “Tsuchida Station” in Okayama / Sparks memories for me plus will be fun geography lesson for the local kids maybe. Added some clear coat (with bits of paper and cardboard stuck to it). Of course each sign location has a whole story behind it (and distance is to a very specific point).

While the sign post isn’t finished yet but starting part two for signs to: Moab in memory of a great land surveyor: Dubai to honour of special child/parents; & to Providence for memory of an icy and arty winter.

Plus a bit more soy paraffin on my fire starters… This time with dryer lint mixed with the sawdust/wood chips. Do not confuse paraffin with espresso.

K bye, All for now, so much to do (i also worked on Ichiro’s scrapbooks) and usual dishes and laundry. Just trying to “get out of the shed”.

Nengajyo / New Year’s Card 2022 – Adapters Ahoy!

Sharp peekers maybe caught the preview in “Post’d: New Years “nengajyo” in process” and now fresh from various post office trips with stamping goodtimes comes our best wishes to you for a pleasing 2022 in the form of a card from Tsuchida Cottage featuring us in ‘The Linda Lindas” shirts and swag. Note the details.

You may be shocked that I did not *accidentally on purpose* steal the post box/pen holder but I did use the stamps at the post office to decorate the postcards because, that’s what the stamps are for – specifically featuring the coming year’s zodiac sign, the tiger. Yep, cute tigers coming on your New Year’s cards.

130 out to foreign address and around the same in process to domestic Japan (with different back and includes Japan Post special “raffle” cards) as of this writing Dec. 27 (hurry hurry printers!)

I hope one of them is for you. I’m doing my best.

Fondly from Dave, Ryoko and Ichiro

PS On the back is a poem by me (naturally) with a few sentiments about adapting to situations and using the unexpected to reinvent as well as expressing empathy.

All the Time

Reinvent
Re-create
Replenish, even Rejuvenate or Rejoice

Adapters plant seeds 
and watch the trees tell time, 
over decades

There’s no hurry
We’re here forever
Go slow 
We’ve got all the time for you
Records, flowers and paints
Fresh coffee with a view

If you’ve had a hard year
We’re here with our ears

Pack your steamer trunk and be ready for queen tides, we’ll spark the woodstove

Ramble forth, possibly fret, maybe cry but 
know – even without *believing* – light is here as needed
	Always fondly.

By Dave Olson, Tsuchida, Okayama

Providence, lost

Sunday, Providence
grey like last week
with my bargain matinee cough syrup nod
candy coated

hold onto my thick head
next wave goes to mars
next even further
watch the clothes spin
in their fluff and dried
nebulae

i’ve tried it all on bended knees
but i’ll just think here and sit about
lost months and misplaced friends
haggard days and ice cream cones

i’ll stand here
holding nothing
try to think
how i got here
then figure where i am

i’ll stand a shady place
counting nickels

and happenstance
empty out my pockets
on the ground
you can’t trade lint
for bread and cheese

“it’s cloudier now than
its been for years”

i’ve spent days moving quickly
years dreaming loosely
and hours watching patiently
and weeks muddling and fidgeting

for the moment that is now
elsewhere
and sometime long before

  • From a lost and found journal) + for John Low on the couch { who says, “Evocative. Took me back. Rich, forlorn, our Providence, your Providence”
  • photo accompanying is desk at Koizumi Yakumo / Lafcadio Hearn’s home/museum in Matsue – there’s a pretty good chance I am him reincarnated

A Catographer, I Considered (prose poem)

A Cartographer, I Considered

Oct. 2017 North Pacific, bound southward

Spectacled, heavy on a rosy face, hidden among stacks, drawing inventions of maps – delineating frontiers between playful apparatchik and fields where the healthy and husky scrambled games I couldn’t be bothered to learn the constructed rules of play.

Naming regions of gravel and grass in derivations of Iowa towns and possibly Balkan enclaves. Tracing roads across trucking routes and Roman ruins built to the width of chariot wheels-cemented as standards for mine entrance bringing a horse to shores, away from relations to new lives, absent from home still never known beyond memories, Serio-graphed into filtered ideals.

Yet an unsteady hand and overall disconnect, or even indifference, which led to a place to “settle” – build a house from logs, and seasoned by time, after hewn, nailed and assembled by saw blade and heavy sludge, forged by a possible cousin who always remain a stranger. The blade remains anonymous as an un-muttered pithy quote en route to cliché.

Neither did exploding suns, brilliant and fleeting, assembled in patterns, ~ shared by the patient and measured in Newtonian units – still could not muster a journey – hence gazed, but ignored as impractical, nigh impossible.

Translucent layers, super-imposed and stacked, detailing azimuths, trajectories and elevations – separating fertile valleys (though subject to floods) from talus slopes too steep but for mountain rams on the shady flank of Timpanogos. 

Dotted dashed and surveyed, specific dots explained in legend denoting assigned capitals, provincial outposts, and occasionally hamlets determined by polled populations, overseen with constructed superintendents, supported by varying address of retainers. 

Intrigued by absence of obvious order though not my task to chart. 

Instead, as per instinct, selected and committed to memory, devoid of context, thin slices of knowledge swirling in a petri vacuum – accurate as such, but irrelevant 

So i journeyed to wonder about likely motivations which took Normans, Pharaohs and troubadours beyond the point of unknown return. Capes left in wakes with dates and hard-track to fortify a quest alleged to diagram flora.

Among them, I reference guide notes from decades past – as vague as possible to acquire allowing white-space and risk. Packed in burlap next to a survivor’s stove and pouch of seeds and spices and an important black pencil. Only planned to go one way, impartial to return rather to chronicle the unfamiliar.

The familiar left far behind as physics might allow – exchanged possible comfort in normalcy for uncertainty contentment in ambiguity. Meandering concentric routes, devoid of patterns or ready purpose. 

Answers are easier in cliché, ergo:

“I’ll know when i get there” – 

Town to creek to roadside conundrum – I swirled each in mouth , pretending my palette featured a vocabulary to explain to unseeing why I hadn’t settled for seemingly ideal locales, situations and specific circumstance to flourish.

Eventually, after farm toil, beach frolic, rough nights in dangerous morass, leaping turrets of ruins and painful heaving, missed junctions and forgotten aims, at a campfire in a lake-forest with a khaki-scout familiarity, I stumbled through an unfavourable gale, onto the intended coast 

I mocked myself for misnamed non-discoveries, i assumed as fragrant promised lands of plenty allowed to the intrepid erstwhile accidental navigators. 

Teased over misread hieroglyphics and misappropriated meaning to stone wheels quarried a far, hauled by double-hulled craft powered by taro and current and fickle breeze.

I could no longer mock with unearned disdain, the vaunted and faulted explorers, stolen secrets leading to some anomaly errantly pro-claimed as new or proper or divine. 

Earnestly deterred, i occurred to map a universe of flesh and thought. Breath and sounds assembled into meaning. 

The crease on cheek, the measure of brow, the angle of toes, magnitude of halo surrounding chameleon eyes and the mysterious enthusiasm of all which exists between.

Thwarted, not by scenery but by shaking confessions, fumbled after a stealth crossing at an indifferent frontier town. I’d escaped to my holy land I presumed for an instant before minor catastrophe. 

Stalled at an unwelcoming inn where i laid myself bruised and bare to a lover temporarily transformed to a stranger after i let the truth languish, vanquished by the uncertainty of resolved and fear or wounding the occasionally innocent. 

She walked out vested, blithely, pithy saying “I know” unwittingly perhaps offering just enough loft to push a tattered sail across a colour-coded sea mis-named as somewhere calm. 

The explorer hides. Alone, entirely lost and surrendered to fates incomprehensible to the battered. Uncontrollable by the hostage. Yet clinging to an adrenaline determination to manufacture strength to another foray. 

Monk-like, minus faith, discipline, dogma or skill at ringing bells, relying on rice gruel and fragrant hope, the cartographer gathered charcoal, fired for unsteady hands, and a redrew boundaries to conceive an entirely new Pangea with concessions to speculate, plunder and charts assigned exclusively to only two.

daveo, Oct. 2017 North Pacific, bound southward

 

Been meaning to call you… (phone poem)

just thinking about ya… how’s it going?

I’ve been meaning to call you
but I don’t know the number
and still can’t figure out time zones

But still,
I’ve been meaning to call you…
just to say hi
and that I’m thinking about
you.

Fondly, daveo

Time Travelers ~ art card project dossier & variations

+ Steady on Time Travelers, variations +

Time Traveler Family, v. 1

While doing a photo shoot for Ichiro’s 100 days at Homare Photo Atelier here in Okayama, the photographer Yoshihiro Matsushita-san and i rocked a fun mise en scéne with:

  • typewriter
  • sea trunk
  • Lomo sardine camera (with yellow tiny flash)
  • books, various
  • rocking horse (just ‘cause)
  • my ever-present been-all-around-this-world suitcase

~ in front of a battered green paper (shade of van Gogh’s pool table) and a red rug… to go with Ryoko’s stellar Fluevog shoes & 1964 vintage lace party dress (such details!) and my bespoke-in-Chiang Mai secret agent suit, Stetson fedora & Florsheim Imperial shoes (bartered). Ichiro rocked a sweet blue Japanese onesie – gift from my dude Kitazawa Takaya-san.

Time Traveler Family, v. 2 

Anyhow… (with my foggy self) we worked quickly – imaging ourselves sitting still for a bellows camera before setting sail to steam around a cape or horn – maybe Taisho-era, maybe just back from Venus & teleporter time gauge malfunctioned. There was probably a daguerreotype and/or dirigible involved, if not a phone box at least.

Time Traveler Family, v. 3 

What is displayed here are 7 of the best iterations which were then made into some special cards, ergo: the digital snaps were printed on laid textured paper, then attached to handmade washi paper with rough edges with olden photo corners, annotated with a fountain pen as was custom poetry written on reverse in English and Japanese, various appropriately cancelled postal stamp glued, usual inky stamps for sure (urgent! confidential! air mail – or a suitcase) – some got seal stickers, often slightly more dangerous metallic sealing wax which caused minor fire damage #smouldering!

Further Evidence: Steady On, Time Travelers! {New Year Greetz, 2021 / Reiwa 3 令和3年} + video Time Travelers in a New Year ~ Japan Cottage Musings

Time Traveler Family, v. 4

Then finally some received our family hanko stamp, and Ichiro’s inked finger print – truly collectible. Then… (very) delicately scanned (at this point forgotten how many digital to analog conversions overall in the project) – Just barely in time to get the “pick of the litter” posted to wish greetings on January 1 to you lovelies around this spinning globe.

Steady On Time Travelers – reverse of art card with poem in English and Japanese (plus Ichiro’s fingerprint, family hanko and other details) 

Regardless, we are all the time travelers and must hold steady, be adaptable, be where we are, find the ways to blend in (or gracefully exit) when finding one’s self in an unpredicted situation, eat healthy rations (whether known or not) and ease into comfortable shelter as possible.

Time Traveler Family, v. 5 

While the world spins fast, let’s breathe backwards to slow it down. {noting after I wrote this poem – alluding world is spinning fast *emotionally* and thus causing pandemonium in many ways/souls – i learned physicists also suggest the planetary orbit speed has physically increased. I do not understand their methods but seems agree with their results – albeit primarily aesthetically.}

Time Traveler Family, v. 6 

Finally: the final handmade creations / all slightly different in photo & embellishments went to various thoughtful directions, ergo, 1 to seitai sensei, 1 to forestry sensei in Noto, 1 to tea ceremony teacher, 1 to ephemera master in VicBC,  1 to writing professor (ret’d, Torrey, UT), 1 to artist Noriko Miyake – 2 for archives (for the inevitable retrospective exhibit of cards, letters, visual poetry and invitations).

Time Traveler Family, v. 7

Thanks for coming along on our time travel {paraphrasing Jimmy Buffett’s “Boat Drinks”} you pick the century and we’ll pick the place. Continue reading Time Travelers ~ art card project dossier & variations

Steady On, Time Travelers! {New Year Greetz, 2021 / Reiwa 3 令和3年}

{New Year Greetz, 2021 / Reiwa 3}「迎春」令和3

Time Travelers – date and location undetermined

Steady On
Time Travel(l)ers!
We’ll see you when the future’s past
(in the meanwhile) breathe backwards
So the world doesn’t spin so fast.

落ち着いて!
時空旅行者達。
未来が過去になる時会いましょう。
その間、呼吸を整えて…
そうすれば、世界は軽やかにまわりだす。

“Steady On, time travel(l)ers!” – note” Ichiro’s finger print for proof of authenticity

Fondly from Ryoko, Ichiro & Dave [date and location undetermined]

Postbox Haiku Painting exhibit artifacts from the Goat Farm

+ Postbox Haiku Exhibit at the Goat Farm: In which I combine love of poetry, painting and postal mail and recaps an exhibit at buddy Mac’s goat farm.

So happy to share my mixed media project with a new audience at a very special place

Gist: Produced by dDesign to promote Okayama design, tourist and culture, the campaign included a painting in Shibuya as well as paintings of post boxes and office in: The Vatican; Kathmandu, Nepal; Olympia, Greece; and, Muscat, Oman as well as a new haiku on a postbox about “nonconfidential postcards” along with a book of paintings, a book of postboxes, and postcards of well… postboxes with poetry – both painted and functional.

DaveO at Goat Farm with postbox haiku, both sides now sport a custom poem
Transported the paintings in a velvety suitcase (notice the key for keeping them imaginary safe)
The paintings of postboxes had custom postcards with shodo ink by Junko Fujita and decorated up with appropriate postal and inky stamps by me

Continue reading Postbox Haiku Painting exhibit artifacts from the Goat Farm