Tag Archives: poem

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

Haiku: Graves & Trains

Graves & Trains

Rubbing faded kanji

From mossy tilted Edo graves

Shinkansen shooshes past

I picked you flowers (painting & poem)

Gravelly Beach, 2005, oil on canvas, Dave Olson

Picked you some flowers while I was out

Placed in a vase, slightly chipped

Perhaps you and the blooms will enjoy the view

I’ll be outside chopping wood

Waiting, not Riding

Waiting for a train
Alone amongst a billion
Just to pass by, not to ride

No where to go
But to my healing room.
Not the Darjeeling Limited
but moreorless the same
sweet lime or milk chai
your choice, 6 Rp
Moreorless.

Train rolls by
I jump a tuktuk
He drops me off
Somewhere wrong.

Watercolours & oil pastels, Trippunithura, Kerala, India, 2016 (thank you Dr. Veena)

In process / tea cup for watercolours
Tuk tuk in general direction
Station from bench

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? 

Painting / Haiku ~ exhibit intro and round-up

My postbox haiku painting in Shibuya as part of Okayama Design exhibit with Rural Caprine Farm

+ Provincial Poetry, Wine and Goats in Shibuya, Tokyo +

Very proud to see my haiku postbox painting supporting sempei Mac Kobayashi’s display.  If you are in Tokyo area, please consider stopping by to dig it all and tell yer pals (and maybe i’ll send you a postcard print of it #hint).

* Session: Friday, September 18, 2020-Monday, November 30, 2020
* Time: 12: 00-20: 00 (Last Admission 19:30) / Closed on Wednesday
* Place: d47 MUSEUM (03-6427-2301)
渋谷2-21-1 Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan 150-8510
* Fee: Free admission + Advance application: Unnecessary

More info: https://www.hikarie8.com/…/d-design-travel-okayama…

As part of Mac Kobayashi’s Rural Caprine Farm exhibit at “d Design Travel Okayama Exhibition” in Shibuya, Tokyo (right near the famous scramble intersection), visitors can see my painting “Postbox Haiku (blue)”.

Hope folks can see the display for inspiration to visit the goats (and see more of my paintings).

Details:
会 期 2020年9月18日(金) – 2020年11月30日(月)
時 間 12:00〜20:00(最終入館/Last Admission19:30)/水曜休 Closed on Wednesday
場 所 d47 MUSEUM(03-6427-2301)
料 金 入場無料/Free Admission
事前申込 不要
渋谷2-21-1 Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan 150-8510

+ Tour the Farm (with Postbox and Paintings +

Take a tour of Rural Caprine Farm in Okayama in this video by d design travel 編集部 / starting at 5:34. See the “actual postbox” which goes with the painting of the postbox (which came first?) and hear Mac Kobayashi’s friendly voice at my favourite place.

The exhibit book is really nice and my postbox appears 4 times! You can purchase the catalog at Mac’s farm or by emailing dDesign folks (note to self: add email address here).

History: The painting was “just the postbox”, then i found a matching mailbox and installed at the farm, wrote the haiku onto the postbox, and then added to the painting to complete the meta circle. oh then made postcard prints and a book and mailed to the postbox… 

haiku on a postbox, and a painting of a postbox with a haiku / which came first? 

the original is unfaithful to the translation.

Today – a Letter!
Written as you ate a peach
In last weekend’s SUN

everything comes together!

“The Wish” / poem by Sohaib “Sooby” Ahmed

My renegade pal Sooby (Sohaib) Ahmed is a fine poet in the “romantic” tradition (think Shelley, Keats et al) and often sends along his work for my edification. This one came along just before Ichiro came along so sharing here for the record. 

Though S. and i enjoyed wild adventures together in NYC/state, Providence and other environs, our most ridiculous times came the summer 1991 with dozens of Grateful Dead (and related) shows, music festivals, psychedelic parks, and the infamous Taos hi-jack incident.

Despite all of these hi-jinks, i don’t have a handy snapshot of him so instead a flyleaf of a book i mailed to him from Sri Lanka included as inadequate visual addition.

~~

I wish there were that us
There were, there were
Like we only did make
Like snowflake make
So too could and have when
It snow so like that,
And it was, it has
So its, such as, only such as
In that way, I’d had
Only and as we melt
I’ll ask, I wish
And, a way
Its all the less cold then there
Would be getting a wish
Being it so selfish
The snowflake we chance can be
Should I but be so
Brave and have
Wouldn’t suiting our imagination
Say can us both but be
Suited also, for it,
I wish, its a wish for yourself
So its, such as, only such
Only and as we melt
I’ll ask, I wish
And a way
Of it, if it,
That too heartfelt a what,
What a heart-felt for always.