Wise Words with Bruce Wise


 

The Peregrine Falcon 2
          by U “Bird Claw” Eese and “Wired Clues” Abe

The peregrine falcon’s the fastest creature on the Earth.
It has been clocked in a 240-mile-per-hour burst.
In Arizona’s arid air, amid blue spruce and pine,
it soars o’er bighorn sheep and jagged rock lit pink by shine.
Above the elk and yellow aspen near the gully tracks,
the raptor flies for prey each day; there’s no time to relax.

But far from planet Earth, the Hayabusa 2 space probe
has traveled 3,000,000,000 kilometers on its approach
to Ryugu Asteroid, a fluorite-shaped and cratered rock
that’s orbitting the sun, a giant abacus-bead block.
And now it flies about the firefly stone, vantage earned,
Yuichi Tsuda says, the JAXA project manager.

U “Bird Claw” Eese is a poet of birds, mainly in haiku and tanka, while “Wired Clues” Abe is a haiku poet of technology. Hayabusa is Japanese for peregrine falcon. The Hayabusa 2 mission is to eventually land and get rock samples from Ryugu Asteroid and bring them back to Earth. 240 is pronounced “two-forty”, 3,000,000,000 pronounced three-bill-ión. JAXA is the Japanese equivalent of NASA.

One Maine Lobster Guy and His Mates
          by Cadwel E. Bruise
          “I hear America singing.”
              —Walt Whitman

In th’ easternmost pot of America,
off East Point in the Bay of Fundy in
the morning light, the ha’dy fisherman,
who’s seeking lobsters, wears a grunting grin,
earrings, sunglasses, baseball cap, goatee,
and plastic orange pants. His skin is fair.
Behind him one can see the deep blue sea.
His boat, his mates, and he seem small out there.
They keep preoccupied, while blue waves roll
below them, underneath their constant rock.
They toss the claw-clamped lobsters in a hole.
Above them one observes a vee-shaped flock.
Both mates and he seem quite content to work;
they have a job, which none of them would shirk.

 

The Wrinkled, Sun-Weathered Lookout
          by Cadwel E. Bruise

The sky was blue with but the smallest puffs of faint, white clouds.
Aboard the boat, the lookout stood below the giant shrouds.
His left hand held a ladder’s rope, his right hand at his head,
his left leg crossed his right for balance, leaning to his left.
Diagonal he stood, that stud upon the deck; his hips
secure, his head turned right, he sought the sight of passing ships.
He kept on looking, vigilant, amidst the lines and cords.
A telescope would come in handy. O, he’d point it tow’rds
whatever he was on the lookout for—that sturdy dude—
to make sure that the trip he took would be successful, good.

 

Adjusting the Car Radio
          by Cadwel E. Bruise

There is a certain slant of light on April afternoons,
oppressing like the heaviness of heaved Cathedral tunes,
that hurts like Heaven, when it gives us neither key nor car,
and we’re barred by internal differentials where we are.
Though none may reach it, no, not any, sealed with despair,
the kingly static is erratic screeling through the air.
When it appears, the landscape listens, shadows hold their breath.
When it departs, the distance scrams the light escaping death.
But we have come across the centuries to find a point
that lubricates our engines and our heady hood anoints.

Cadwel E. Bruise is a poet of New England.

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Along
          by Ileac Burweeds

Along the gray and paved roadways, the bindweed makes its stand
and takes to stretches of the grassy edges on the land.
It flaps its flimsy, little caps of pink-striped-white about
without much fanfare in the fanned air, seedy, weedy, out.
And people pass it, hardly noticing it there at all,
because it is not tall, because it is so very small.
The drivers in fast cars shoot past, they’ve miles more to go.
Why would they stop to look at it? Why would they even slow?
We brake at stop signs or at red lights not at flower throngs.
Around the bindweed in the heat, we people move…along.

 

The Cow Parsnip
          by Ileac Burweeds

As tall as is a man, cow parsnip rises in the air.
A herculean herb, its umbels spread out like a chair.
White flowers open to the passerby who pauses there.
Its stems are stout and succulent; but still one need beware;
for furocoumarins can cause a rash upon the skin.
Its leaves are large, divided into coarse-toothed lobes, and green.
The native North Americans made poultices from it;
and stripped young-stalks and leaf-stems that were savory and sweet.
A yellow dye made from its roots repels mosquitoes, flies,
and one can use its stems for straws or flutes beneath blue skies.

 

An Ancient Beech
          by Ileac Burweeds

An ancient beech tree stands up tall above the rugged ground,
where animals and people loaf beneath its golden brown,
a view of Bridgnorth seen across the River Severn in
the county of Shropshire perhaps, in ever-branching spin.
The portrait of this tree was painted by Paul Sandby’s hand,
its spanning offering majestic, visual command,
the scene so calm, so beautiful, and wonderful to boot,
from leafy branches down through big, thick trunk to curving root,
like as the giant ent, Treebeard, in Tolkien’s Middle-earth,
the oldest creature in the land, of distant, dusty birth.

Ileac Burweeds is a poet of botany.

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The Baobabs
          by Badrue Ecsweli

The baobabs look like the gods uprooted them and turned
them up-side-down and thrust them back into the earth unurned.
Arising high into the sky, to ninety feet they soar,
with trunk diametres approaching thirty feet or more.

Some bulbous, s-c-r-a-g-g-l-y behemoths live 1,000 years;
they stand like ancient emperors or giant engineers.
Iconic boles, gigantic poles, with grizzled f-o-l-i-a-g-e;
they witness many centuries pass as they slowly age.

Across savanahs from Botswana to South Africa,
and on the Madgascar avenue of baobabs,
these sturdy trees thrive in the dryest lands of arid drought,
but why is it that recently the old are dying out?

 

Great Adamastor
          by Badrue Ecsweli
          for Luis de Cawebre

I saw him rising at the Cape of Africa,
great Adamastor, at its bleak and naked cliffs,
his fierce and violent storm clouds, crazed maverick
of heaven’s wild winds, th’ enemy of ships and skiffs.
I saw him angry, lightning flashing in those eyes,
above th’ Atlantic, o’er the Indian, he lifts.
I stand in awe of his ferocity and size,
recalling great Achilles whom we knew so well.
I saw him rage above the one-eyed and the wise,
the sailors, like Odysseus, who fled from hell,
or good Aeneas passing rocky Attica.
O how he thundered on it is so hard to tell.

Badrue Ecsweli is a poet of South Africa. Noted South African writers from the 20th and 21st centuries include Breytonbach, Brutus, Butler, Calvert, Jonker, Kgositsile, Krog, Matera, Mbuli, Nel, Rampolokeng, Tolkien, van Wyk Louw, Weideman, and Wright, inter alia.

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Tim Murphy
          by Usa W. Celebride

In Hibbing, Minnestota, born, he lived above the store
owned by the parents of Bob Zimmerman, the troubadour.
Drawn to the poetry of Bob Burns at an early age,
he strove himself to catch that Celtic elf from off the page.
Penn Warren recommended he go back to his rich soil
of Minnesota, which he did, and North Dakota toil.
Involved in farms and manufacturing he struggled on
in that vast inland sea of wheat, of pheasants, ducks and dawn.
He wrote terse lines of verse in rhyme, and had success with hogs;
he plowed through harsh, dark Beowulf, and hunted with his dogs.

Usa W. Celebride is a poet of America. Tim Murphy is a Midwestern poet dying of cancer. Like South African poet David Wright (1920-1994) and Irish poet Seamus Heaney (1939-2013) before him, he also translated translated the Anglo-Saxon epic “Beowulf”.

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Le Bac
          by Erisbawdle Cue
          “le pardon est la clé de l’action et de la liberté”
              —Hannah Arendt

Are we imperfect due to wants? Is truth definitive?
Does culture make us human? How should we propose to live?
It’s time again for baccalaureate exams in France,
and students have to show their grasp of Plato, Hobbes, and Kant.
Le Bac has been a part of French schools since Napoleon,
a vital link in the grand sink of libération.
Among French thinkers of the past, like Montesquieu, Descartes,
Rousseau, Foucault, Helvétius, Comte, Diderot, and Sartre,
the New Millennials will take their place and struggle on
to understand existence, time, life—in this yawning dawn.

Erisbawdle Cue is a poet of philosophy. The quote above by 20th century French philosopher Hannah Arendt in English is “forgiveness is the key to action and freedom”.

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Restaurant Unrest
          by Carb Deliseuwe

IHOP, the International House of Pancakes has flipped…
its P to b, promoting burgers, oops, a boo-boo—slipped.
I hobbled down the Interwebs, but found that it was just
a nothing burger stunt publicity. Who can you trust?
It seems the breakfast chain was simply trying to expand
its social media play—like a childish demand.
Some Belgian waffles or French toast—what will your order be?
Perhaps You hop to get a burger, lemonade or tea.
Whatever the decision, Earth continues on each day
around the Sun, which will, in turn, move through the Milky Way.

Carb Deliseuwe is a poet of food and drink in all its manifestations.

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The Little Red Hen, a Good-Night, Bedtime Story for Our Time
          by Uclis Weebeard

Guess who is not invited to come to a dinner here?
Rights are just for some people. Others have to disappear.
There is no bias in denials of our services;
we shall not break bread with those who do not think just like us.
Injustice anywhere’s a threat to justice everywhere;
but this discrimination, hear, is right. It’s only fair.

We do not serve their kind here at the Red Hen Restaurant.
This isn’t like the time when some were turned away. It’s not.
That would be wrong to turn someone away for whom they are.
That would be wrong to treat someone like that. That’s gone too far.
We only want to keep that kind out of our restaurant.
We only want to keep that kind out. That is all we want.

Uclis Weebeard is a poet and a true follower of the Troll King.

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A Tennos for Alcaeus
          by Esiad L. Werecub

Let’s drink. Why are we waiting for the lighting of the lamps?
There’s only but a little bit of daylight on our maps.
Lift down the cups—the painted ones—o, friends and family,
for wine’s a blessing come to us from Zeus and Semele.
It helps us take the broken heart, the sadness in our minds.
Mix one part water to two parts of sparkling scarlet wine.
Do not be frugal with the bottle; pour it to the rim;
and see the lovely, twinkling bubbly winking at the brim.
And while we drink the lively stuff, lets talk or sing a song,
and happily thus emptied push another cup along.

Esiad L. Werecub is a poet of ancient Greece.

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In That Dusky Realm
          by Aedile Cwerbus

How close it was—that dusky realm—o, wretched Prosperine,
and there I was alone without a friend or any wine.
O, at that instant, I observed the grim judge of the dead,
and I would rather have been any other place instead.
But, in seclusion, at the edge, I saw a poet there,
old Roman Horace in the forest of that horrid air;
and he was following along to lovely Sappho’s song,
accompanied by buff Alcaeus, singing full and strong
of troubles on the land and sea of those hard ships of state,
embarking on a journey through time’s oceanic gate.

 

A Senator Speaks: to a Supporter of the Caesars
          by Aedile Cwerbus

Return back to your senses, I am begging you, in time.
Consider your great ancestors, not advocates of slime.
Be reconciled to your nation, you are part of it,
and do not let depraved concerns replace heart, love, or grit.

I shall avow my present posture, unbending faith in truth,
defending this republic now, as I did in my youth.
I won’t desert this nation now, nor quail before her foes,
I love her still, although I may be overwhelmed by those.

If by my loss, the freedom of the state could be availed,
then I would do it, dutif’lly, despite prolonged travail.
But knowing that will never be; no one has that control;
I freely offer all I can to still attain that goal.

And if what I can offer is not nearly good enough,
times being what they are and many vile, hard, and rough,
I can remind those still around, there is no greater thing
than living in a country where the bells of freedom ring.

Aedile Cwerbus is a poet of ancient Rome.

 

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