Tag Archives: poem

Memento: Rod H. Ash, Grave + Poem, 2017

On my birthday August 16, 2017, I found myself in Provo, Utah sleeping in yet another bed in which someone died. 

I try to forget about the day and it’s entirety, fiddled with assembling chapbooks as gifts, stamping inky thumbprints on them and giving them to folks who i pretend were pleased, and reading poems by Richard Brautigan.

Then the potter Marty Kendall and I went to see the grave of our dear pal Rod Howard Ash who passed away shortly before at an untimely age. I brought him a poem on vintage hotel letterhead written when I heard about his death wow meandering seas between the Suez. Somewhere in Aqaba or Olympia. (note: inspired a cycle of the “Items: Forgotten” series called “Time Traveller“). 

This marker was a temporary one, apparently is changed now. I think about this kind man all the time, so much style so much cool. Ugh. 

Worth noting a few months before, during memorial day weekend, we threw a party called “creepers and chums” as a tribute to him and my mother who well, also died.

PS Later that night we went to see Rod’s best pal Mikael Lewis perform and he sang a song we wrote about yet another dead pal Foster

Memento: India scrapbook page & poem (RIP Mom), 2016

Memento: India scrapbook page & poem (RIP Mom), 2016

I was in India when my dear Mother died, I rushed back via various flights to join with my brothers and friends.

It was (still is) all a blur, so many details missed up through it all, though as is my custom, I assembled oddities in a scrapbook and made annotations along the way.

As such, evidence, including: a boarding pass for the worst flight ever; a list of tasks to complete rapidly to leave Joy guesthouse in Auroville by taxi to Chennai airport; and a poem which I can’t at this moment remember who wrote/gave to me. Was it you?

There are other things in the scrapbook, maybe another time…

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

#daveo50 ~ 2001 #remix (shapeshifting) / bargain matinée nod

Just shapeshifting various identities like a global dude of clandestine intrigue and espionage of happenstance / 2001

#PossiblyWorldsWorstSpy

{encoded / embedded} 

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” 

(to no one in particular) 

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

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.”

Observations… on a Rainy Morning

Thick pineapple rain whipping
winds twisting leaves
and homeless blankets
wet while walking past
yellow in fleeting glances
holding breath for quarantine
peeking though humid windows

dec 2006

Former Child Soldiers #poem

The former child soldiers
Are now working in PR
Trying to convince foreigners
To come here anytime

(Sri Lanka, 2017)

Present So Golden #poem

From the heart, spontaneous, albeit poorly typed (typer has a hiccup #excuse)… result is a slice of rhyme-y romantic-ish poetry for my sweetie.

##

Present So Golden (alt)

Let’s linger at a hidden
Café terrace all afternoon
Sip coffee and share glances
Until we finally see the moon

Order wine we can’t afford
Say hello to friends we don’t know
Walk home slowly in the rain
Takeoff hats in the snow

We have all this lifetime
And perhaps another two
To kiss on street corners
Toss away feeling blue

A slow train to Orion
Hitch hike the Pacific blue
Lose ourselves in impossible alleys
No maps to tell what to do

Indifferent to the future
The past all forgotten
Grateful for each moment
Just enjoy being smitten

Thank you for choosing me a
To be your constant companion
Lost the need for dreams
As the present is so golden

All of the words at once…

No need to fit in a word

Said all of them, all at once

One stream or ocean

Of (un)consciousness

Neal Cassady is dead –

So who will spiel all of the words instead?