Untangling Organic Koans

    by lawren bale

    Crickets and cicadas sound
    August with open windows
    Squirrels barking      Summer's end

    Adrift, as we are, in this sea of chaos
                At the boundaries of each specific frame
    We can taste and consume the messages
                Recycle their colors as sound
    And fashion the harmonics of love

    At the boundaries of each fractal
                Nothing appears to be moving
    Yet we share with each other
                These discrete items of infinite variety
    Increased complexity, elegance and ordered simplicity

    Within this specific frame
                At the boundaries of our six senses
    Love and compassion forge life
                And we hold with all the living this sense of awe
    In the shared recognition of order, emergent pattern
                Ratio and degree

    Crickets and cicadas sound
    Winter's silence, well met with open arms
    Christmas pheasant, With all the fixings

    The Tunesmith

    by Matthew Shane O'Neill

    See the fiddle hollowed ancient hourglass
    Her hair draped over right eye to hide
    Charged, taught, fired countenance modeled lass
    Pint stands guard to side.

    Unaware ears are being hypnotized
    By tunes packed in back pocket
    Her own mind truly mesmerized
    Tune turning key to soul's locket.

    Nimble quick fingers flying, marking
    Old heartwood ebony with flawless precision
    Bow touches steel strings with soundboard resounding
    Wound tight as drawstring of Orion.

    A reel meanders its way through smoky clamorous pub
    While disregarding rowdies hoist stout beer
    And those to The Tunesmith they dub
    From airs bring forth unsalty tear.

    Great Cruelty and Heartlessness

    by Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore

    We're living in a time of great cruelty and heartlessness

    Where instead of a sun they're throwing up


    Instead of sunlight there's the sound of

    hammers beating

    Instead of walking there's kicking 

    Instead of thinking there's talking

    It's almost as if there've never been times like

    these before 

    Even shadows thrown by cartwheels on dirt roads

    resemble the grimaces of armies as they

    slide across rocks

    in the palaces of power clocks go off but no one


    Decisions are made by pouring acid down drains

    or waiting for nightfall in a room lit by

    neon tubes 

    If anyone speaks all eyes are upon them

    I saw a sparrow fly over a fence

    An ant stop and not go on

    But laughter has turned to pebbles


    by Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore

    An antelope grew tired of loping

    and became a small thatched cottage on the

    shady side of a hill where old people and

    loving couples would pass by from time to time

    and knock on the door and find

    no one home

    A lynx in the forest saw a slanting ray of sunlight and

    became a dragonfly hoping to scale it to its

    source and live daringly and unlynxlike in its

    bright delights above the earth forevermore

    A stairway grew annoyed for the last time at all the

    ups and downs ups and downs that went on and became a

    prancing pony running free on hillsides of

    buttercups and rhododendrons for one long

    summer until it found itself taking

    children around and around a corral which was

    in any case better than being a staircase

    And bankers became clouds and clergymen became

    Roman statues and penguins remained penguins even

    after given the opportunity of a lifetime to

    leave the Antarctic once and for all

    And we also in our constraints whistling to harmonize with

    shrill factory letout or a Broadway orchestra or

    the latest pop song

    somehow bursting out of our solitary confinement from

    time to time to knock on the

    door of a little thatched shack on the

    shady side of a hill and find

    no one's there that bounds off behind us

    to be an antelope again joining its

    nervous herd able at a

    flick of an ear or tail to take off like a shot

    as one beast singularly and explosively bursting with

    fear and boundless joy

Errors or omissions? Please contact me, Arlene Bernstein, at: ferndeblanc@comcast.net
Copyright © 2006, Friends of Poetry, All Rights Reserved