Thursday, February 15, 2018

This Morning I witness

Sunrise, 15 February 2018                                                          

This morning I witness
the sun pouring through my window,
the view across the mountains
of
Nouveau  lever du soleil,  jmf-w 1997, Private Collection
valleys, a dance of white/blue snow
hazy mists arising, as earth is waking up
bless the sun who wakes us
warms us, bless the earth
rotating in her seasons
the moon dancing in her phases
the universe of stars and planets
unhidden in the night
as long as we nurture
this grace
we have no
need of gods of myths
of magic, or of man
shades of self-important vanity
the stories poetry
as long as we nurture
this beautiful gift of life
of earth, sun, moon and stars
of plants, and animals
of creatures crawling, swimming
flying, walking grace
always the gift of moonshine
the sunbeam on our face
of rains, and winds and savage earth
we shall be granted grace
to live in peace and harmony
each one a giving god, in our rightful place

                                                                                                                ©Jmf-w today

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Flaming Passions


The Patriarchy will Be Over                                            
Prayer Meeting on the Golf Course,
For New Freshmen, Asbury College, 1965

(Sketch, 2/3/2018 at 5 am)
                                                                                  

When I see
The nuns throwing off their habits
The Priests breaking crosiers over their knees
The Imam forced from the pulpit
Women ripping off veils, and headscarves
Women storming the pulpits
And pulling evangelists from their accusatory thrones
Beating their bibles into the story books they are
The tales the tales so grimly told
And preachers with tails between their legs
Kings uncrowned
And dictators laughed off stage
Politicians listening to all people
Joining their humanity
Schooling together
Teaching the history of progress
Not of killing and wars
No joy in found in killing
The stranger we do not know
But knowing the stranger
So we are no more
living
in the victory of kindness
Soldiers throw down their guns
And refuse to kill
The fearful unafraid
Weapons melted into plows
Trombones and trumpets
The planes employed for cargoes of good
And the view the splendor of the earth we love
And care for
And each person
Happy to be who they are
The color they are
The background they have
But one, one, one
Holding hands, and laughing
Singing Freedom, freedom, free   
You, whoever you are,
And me  

Holiday Wishes 2017, Ground Hog Day 2018
©James M. Frase-White 2018             



Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Flush

Jennifer Jones e Cocker Spaniel no filme "Flush"

Elizabeth, let me count

Because you make me laugh
a humor that comes from your full self
the belly rings, the mind dizzles
the heart sing a—ling-a-lings

Because once you held me in your arms
when I was troubled, sorrow
ripping my heart
my friend had jumped off the edge of the earth
trapeezed to the arms of death
your comfort
nestled me into the warm arms of life

Because you have known me all my life
and I have never been afraid of you
love your force your wit, your directness
which scares other people away
attuned to convention
the absurd, the obvious

I love you for your reverence
no, not just for your lord, but for what goes
beyond the imaginary and touches
the heart of the real

I love you for I have known you
Since your birth, even when no more than
a few, non-essential sentences have
passed our lips, caressing each other
with the familiarity of blood, of kin
you did not hate me when others did
struggling with the battle of self
How many ways?
So numerous, so many
so many people
for whom I count for
the salvation  of libing
who bring succor to quench

How we love some folk
we do not know
because their music
their voice
their actions, their words
touch the fiber of existence
who farm the fertile soil
of our lives
 I love you thee for substance
for food grew made bought
draughts of sweet tea
champagne, to celebrate
the beauty of life
the passing of life
the honor of being
among the living, the giving
(not the taking)
Of life

How, o, how, sweet Elizabeth
We love thee                         

n  22 January 2018    j.m. frase-white
Thank you E.B. Browning and Parker Stone for interrupting my teenage life, taking me to Wimpole Street
in a strange little town , on the banks of the Choptank, meeting a dog named Flush


[and a special dedication to Sondra Layton, (now Leinweber),  Elizabeth to my Robert]
Note:  the photograph is from Metro-Golden Mayer's film, starring Jennifer Jones as Elizabeth in "The Barretts of Wimpole Street", and an unnamed springer spaniel as Flush

Monday, January 22, 2018

Sunday

Four AM

Across the river, over the village
Clouds have drawn a blanket
Silencing starlight
So quiet, pockets of white snow
tented under street lights, porch lights
(children flashlight reading undercovers)
Silent night
Even the occasional vehicle
Soundless fireflies
Disappearing into the black
The world, capable, every night
Of peace

around this great globe
Somewhere it is noon, evening
4 in the afternoon
Somewhere someone is going
Echoing or going beyond/beneath my knowledge

I recall those years
The clock roostering the 4 o’clock morn
Aroused readying for work
To break the night’s fast
For a town by the sea
Or the long drive
To study the thoughts of children

Other nights to caress with eyes
your lover’s prone figure
Asleep, comforted by
the warmth of that body near
that being that loves you
In another room, so quiet
The soft breath of your loved ones

Or the purr, or sniffle, the snore of a furry beast

And in the warm months, the exotic
Always exotic melody of birdsong
Or the howl or scream
Of night creatures
The erotic coyote
The victorious fox
The hoot of the owl
The snore of the neighbor
In the apartment next door

How precious is life at 4 am
Our blessings to count
When not cowered in fear
The shiver of a muted jet
The silence of a drone
true threat, or pious paranoia

The night knows that
As the world can slumber together
And go about the produce of the day
To plant, to grow
To bake and cook
To sip and laugh
At 4 am we are whole
United by the nation of sleep

4:32 am January 21, 2018


Thursday, January 11, 2018

Witness Forty

Bright Blue of Young Stars, Watercolor, 1979 or 1980 (Pittsburgh, PA) 


I witness, outside myself

 You laughing
the room lighting up
the moment I first saw you
across the room
Sporting in Boston
lifting a glass
your hair African wild
I witnessed a beauty
desire, in April

In a summer outdoor cafe
sitting w/my poet friend
you walked by laughing with your friends
I witnessed myself, out of my body
walking too, knowing I wanted
to walk with you the rest of my life

On Christmas night
I witnessed a miracle
you, walking into playland bar
under a garland of white starry lights
surprised, recalling your name
a walking gift, under the ribbons
of light on the boston common
you came home with me

40 years ago it was
now, home in our Vermont
I am witness to a happy life
always surprised that it is mine
bearing witness to the love
 that is You. 
                                                                                     
Happy Anniversary, my Chuck 2018

Lotus of Compassion, a  gift window for Chuck, 2018

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The Eternal Pursuit of Happiness

Craving

After the first breath
The desire, the need for food
To be held, embraced
Hugged back into the warmth of the body

The whole of life, craving
Seeking that from which we were withdrawn
And that which is new
To crawl, walk, talk
Fed, to feed, on our own

Never, no, never are we free
Of craving, of desire
Food, yes, the necessity,  food, the delight
The special, the taste sublime

The physical, always we crave
Someone to nurture, to hold, to cuddle us
No matter what age
So often so misunderstood, misaligned
Targeting the wrong desire
The most essential, the most needed
Blinded by the irrational
Fighting for a rational mind
So easily hiding it, biding another

So many, so far from the womb
So far from the touch of gentleness
That destruction becomes the lust
The seed to destroy, not grow, not fertilize
The need, the beating of the heart
Better to stop it, than not find the mother


Norishment calls again and again
the mother father in all,
 male female one
loves, nurtures
All we imbibe, physical, mental, moral
Seeks only to wake to life
To find the holy womb
Of our eternal child
Until it quiets in natural sleep
In natural quiet
In natural birth
In natural death


Reflections on thoughts that were clearer at 3 am last night
12/25/2017


Desires, watercolor @1975, So. Russell St., Beacon Hill

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

JTR III Today You Would Be 75

JTRIII, Taken at Bay State Road, Boston, Fall 1970
Today you would be 75

Oh, Jack
You changed my life
Turned it upside down
& right-side up
So glad I took that job
At Allen Bookoff Studios
On 25th Street, Baltimore

Passionate lovers
Wild lovers
Clumsy lovers
Brilliant and Brittle
Such bad lovers
Inept, uncertain
So unknowing of how
Of what
Outcast, bred out of our love
Our need to love each other
Yet love we did

The poetry
The Art
You awoke the me in me
Bursting with a quest for
Knowledge
Movies became cinema
Books, discovery tours
Music, centuries old
Brand new
Fluid and explosive
Gentle
 Dancing with rhythms
I knew not before
No longer just
 teenage mating calls

Personally, sexually
Still forming social selves
We still had, like cooking
Housekeeping, to learn
How, and who, to love
So mired in religion to know
The book of love unwritten
Stumbling, while escaping, running
Down the forbidden path

Destroying lives
In soap opera drama
Throwing out the order of things
Babies thrown aside
Women, mothers scored
And scorning, admired, loved, scorning
As un  that which is our nature

Joy Street in Boston
Home of the Appalachian Club
House of bishops
In the Shadow of the State House
And the Whorehouse
Where black suited government workers
spent lunch & breaks
Across from the Red Shed of Kennedy studios
Our last attempt to live together
The battles raged
The chair, the beautiful art nouveau chair
So lovingly restored
So powerfully broken over my back
The police called,
Calming us down, not intervening
In domestic affairs until tragedy happened
Their kindness keeping us from bodily harm
The injury replaced with sorrow
That we could not
Control the flood

Setting sail apart
To Washington for you
For me Pittsburgh, Newburyport
And North, ever North

Always, brothers in love
The thick and the thin
Nourished and whetted
We were too much
And not enough
For each other                                                     

John Tyler Ricketts III 1942-2011



st. jean 1973

Jmf-w
50  years Ago
So glad I took that job