Monday, July 13, 2020


P O E T S     W H O     S L E E P


all drawings
Bob Arnold

Sunday, July 12, 2020


Deep in love

cheek leaning on cheek we talked

of whatever came to our minds

just as it came

slowly oh


with our arms twined

tightly around us

and the hours passed and we

did not know it

still talking


Love-hut of reeds hidden in


birds flying up from it

clatter of wings

young wife at her housework

hears it

feels all her limbs melt at once


Her eyes in sleep


her body my love

sounds she uttered then

without meaning

yet not meaningless

my heartbeat even now

echoing them


Neighbor please

keep an eye on my house

my husband says the water from the well

is tasteless

so even when I'm alone

I have to go into the forest

where the Tamala trees

shade the river-bank

and maybe the thick reeds

will leave marks on my body


My husband

before leaving on a journey

is still in the house speaking

to the gods and already

separation is climbing like

bad monkeys to the windows


When he comes back

    to my arms


    I'll make him feel

    what nobody ever felt



    vanishing into him

    like water

    into the clay of a new jar


translated by W.S. Merwin
and J. Moussaieff Masson
Love poems from Ancient India
The Peacock's Egg
North Point Press 1981

Saturday, July 11, 2020


Yellow Finches Drop From A Plane Tree

Crosses of sunlight burn through the sugar maple

                each afternoon in little crucifixions.

Blue-black lake like an 8-mm film,

              its name means  "hig winds"

in a language not spoken by local Indians.

How does a tree move when it is angry?

I want to be angry like that.

Susan Briante
Utopian Minus
Ahsahta Press

Friday, July 10, 2020

Thursday, July 9, 2020


As Robbie Robertson announced in The Last Waltz
"Play Guitar? Eric Clapton!"
I announce —
"Love to write, read? Cesar Aira!"

[ BA ]

New Directions 

Wednesday, July 8, 2020



drawn in

the watering can

upside down

against the



a moment

in darkness

a noise of

small rain.

To hold this

The slow

rise of

the bird in

the instant



from the deer path to my door

here doing what I do best

weeding reading drinking


tax bills deadlines work undone

I plan a seat around the sycamore


time spent with black parrot queen of the night tulip

bulbs why not working sitting


early bus to town for teachings better

follow the drumming woodpecker into the woods


woodpecker drumming lapwings

wings lapping all the way


the marble hall all suits & security

guards missing the rain in my garden


old lady scattering bread for birds

blossom stuck to her shoes all there is


daughter gone into the world

sometimes  leave her room light on


autumn leaves gather in corners

doing nothing most gets done


old cooking pot under sky where I wash my hands gardening stir up

little frogs carry them to the pond where geese now argue no


fell over drunk precepts

gone vow gone shin hurts palm hurts instep hurts


such a small beetle passes so

easily the written lines I labour over


stepping out for a piss I can't let the door

latch click listening to the owl's call


Gerry Loose
Printed On Water
Shearsman, 2007     


Tuesday, July 7, 2020


from The Field

One room, ten broken windows. No one comes

at nine, no one leaves at three.

At this school,

wild iris grows right to the door

and twenty birds, with sorrel and reeds,

return the field

to sky-blue eggs inside the eaves.


Robert Kusch
The Field
Red Moon Press

Monday, July 6, 2020


E N N I O      M O R R I C O N E
1928 ~ 2020


P O E T S     W H O     S L E E P


all drawings
Bob Arnold

Friday, July 3, 2020


________________________INDIAN TRICK

Interesting tree work yesterday — a fully grown and powerful maple tree up in our woodlot cracked over seven feet up on the stump some years ago, lodged itself into another maple tree as if the other tree caught it in its arms. I tried, and it was very dangerous, but there was no way to free the tree at the base since the break was seven feet high. I used my chain saw over my head which is no recommendation and loosened quite a bit but this tree wasn’t budging. I hiked back home tools and all. Five years ago. For five years I have been watching the tree, watching the wind catch it and sway it and nothing doing, it wasn’t coming down. Watched the snow fall onto it and burden it. So what. Year after year. I’ve been working regularly now for months at all sorts of carpentry and stone work jobs, landscape and promised myself before July 4th I’d tackle this tree one more time. It needs to come down for firewood before it rots whole and in place, 75-100 feet tall. Yesterday I went up with my tree rope to see if I could bring it down with my Ranger. Not a chance. I worked around the tree with crowbar and sledgehammer whacking. Keep trying. Plus I was working right under the tree and if it decided to let go, I’d be crushed like a bug. I stood awhile and studied the tree, went over all my options of getting it down, none working, but I felt there was something I was missing. Then I thought of the old Indian trick of burning a tree. The Indian, much like me, works with very little equipment and likes it that way. Good with the tools he has. So I went back to the house where I keep a fresh jug of kerosene, took matches from the kitchen and some kindling and hiked to the tree and doused the stump with a quart of kerosene with kindling laid into the wedge where the full tree was punched down into the stump and waited to see if burning the base of the tree on the stump might work. Hopefully the bark wouldn’t catch and I’d watch flames skedaddle right up the tree into the crown and light up the whole woodlot. It had been raining and more rain was coming so I wasn’t too worried. The kerosene lit up like a house on fire where I wanted it. Now to keep the fire going. The next three hours, with Sweetheart’s help (she came for a look, when I get too quiet she wonders or worries), we kept the little stump fire going (above our heads!) by burning a huge brush pile of hemlock from trees I had cut a few years ago for timber posts. Believe it or not we broke up that whole brush pile by hand keeping this little fire going like the little engine that could. Storm clouds threatening and the two of us hoping the next big cloud burst would hang away in time for the fire to do its business. We kept feeding the fire and occasionally flinging on more kerosene. Kerosene has a pleasant greasy smooth feeling between the fingers, with a more mysterious aroma than gasoline and of course it doesn’t burst into flames as gasoline does. Kerosene thinks for a second and then gushes up flames. By then I’m wearing welding gloves from home where we wear them around all the woodstoves so I can feel this campfire I have going into place and keep it into place and yet here comes the rain, with thunder and lightning and the whole shebang. We run for the Ranger under a big pine and huddle close to one another since there are no doors on the wood’s buggy and the rain is blowing wildly. I can see our little campfire sputtering but maintaining its worth until the rain gets the better of everything and slowly but surely puts our campfire out. I guess it’s going to take another day. I can’t see under the tree base and wedged into the stump but our little campfire had worked its way under and into that seasoned wood and after we left for home to dry off and get out of all the rain drenched clothes, and maybe there was a good size sailing wind that passed through as the rain kept coming hours afterwards but by the time we headed back up into the woods that evening to see how the tree was doing, check on the fire and any leftover sparks, a jug of water in our hands to put out any wayward flame, by golly look! We did. The tree was down. It fell better than if I picked the tree up and put it where I wanted it. I expected the tree to come off the stump, plunge into the ground seven feet off the stump and then I’d have to work the tree from the bottom at removing six foot logs at a time until I got the tree to capsize over and onto the ground. No need. Our Indian trick worked. The tree wedge was burned off the stump and once free it fell like a long held free body and probably came crashing down through and past many smaller trees. I see a few trees scraped up pretty bad in the bargain. The big tree was down prone and available and waiting for me. The next day I was there with my chain saw, Stihl, and it holds a deep gas tank. I bucked up all the tree in one full gas tank cutting spree without let up, but leave it to the tree, the-five-year-hang-up-tree, the-I’m-never-coming-down-tree, to have the last word. Just as I was working up the last base logs, two feet through, seconds from finishing up all the tree in one fell-swoop of bucking, the very last log to cut through and finish, the very last piece, the Stihl ran out of gas. One second from done. I could hear the tree laughing.

[ BA ]
June 30, 2020

Thursday, July 2, 2020


"when you live in your car"

when you live in your car

rather than a room

you get up more slowly in the morning

waiting and watching for the warm light to strike

roll out of the slightly cramped position,

and the morning blossoms

a waste field full of dandelions;

the bushes along a tiny creek will do for trees

having branches and leaves

and even the blank wall of the closed-down factory

we furtively parked behind

has its Zen-like associations

a flood of memories

something you were then

which now you can smile at, accept. . .

not having a roof, a ceiling for thoughts

and getting things going while she sleeps

you sit on the hood of the car

and your mind slowly opens to the extent of the sky

its striations, great masses of low clouds. . .

sounds and shapes seem more distinct

the singing of the highway in the distance

someone drops a tool, it clangs on the concrete

a delicate hammering with its high-pitched-chinking

a crow comes over the roof

with a disconsolate cry      piercing and full of curses

you scare each other when he first sees you

and flies limping off with a few choice words

you remember an evening in northern Ontario

after the long empty stretches had passed

with nothing but thick taiga on both sides

a moose that paused at the edge of the woods

then disappeared

Arctic watershed beginning just to the north

then a few fields again, farms

through French-speaking towns

where the French and Indians coexist

sometimes looking both so bleak and distraught

there was a strange monument along the road further on

you pulled off to see. . .

scuplted man, woman, and child

holding hands atop a stone pedestal

"In the early morning of Aug 4, 1963

not far from here 3 members of the Lumber and Sawmill Workers    Union

were killed as well as 7 other wounded

in order to saveguard the rights

of organized labor everywhere."

we stood struck —

the prairie wind fingered our hair

the silence breathed very slowly

—then not at all

"This is to the memory of Jodeph Fortier

born 1928, Irenee Fortier

born 1938"

and one more

brother and sister? husband and wife?

or from the same clan

and one whose name you forgot

were they mostly French caught in some ethnic pverty

or had they, crossing lines, joined with some others —

immigrants perhaps, to struggle fraternally. . .

but the inscription in English? for us maybe

as though to say, we'll tell you in the way you'll best understand

you imagine sighting down the rifles of the Mounties

or the company men — the instant after they fired

into the crowd of unnamed strikers

as though from there,

seeing the cruelty of it straight on — the crimson splotches

the bloody tableau as though fixed in time

and then like a film that starts up again the cries

the fearful moaning, the agony of the bodies strewn out

the 10 p.m. sun cast its bright luminous Arctic glow

the black flies bit us on the neck and back of the head

they swarmed over the dogs

we walked back through the little woods

and looked at the abandoned shacks

hardly anything left —

put in a liter of oil and started off

the mornings come slowly

and more simply     if you're lucky

and other times estranged, claustrophobic, and lost

your friend still asleep in the back

you see over the fields to the lake

the mist rising slowly

something straightens in you and reaches out

does justice begin then in fragmentary glimpses

of things barely imagined?

but will-o-wisp you wonder — and it's gone



Wednesday, July 1, 2020


One more of the remarkable beauties 
issued from this press
 ready to pack into
your pocket

Green Integer Books

Tuesday, June 30, 2020


Without Ceremony

It was your way, my dear,

To vanish without a word

When callers, friends, or kin

Had left, and I hastened in

To rejoin you, as I inferred.

And when you'd a mind to career

Off anywhere — say to town —

You were all on a sudden gone

Before I had thought thereon,

Or noticed your trunks were down.

So, now that you disappear

For ever in that swift style,

Your meaning seems to me

Just as it used to be:

'Good-bye is not worth while!'


Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)

Thomas Hardy and his wife Emma