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A Poetic Journal
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Tom Morgan

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March 17th, 2007

Closing Time

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As On/Going wraps up, I'm vacating.

Here's my new address.

Interestingly, many of the poetic journal entries that appear in this blog were eventually published in book form. If you are interested in the final product, you can find it HERE.

July 18th, 2006

Elbow Pond, Andover, NH

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Midsummer   thunder 
      light 

    shimmers on the lake

lying still 
    now    no longer

        under the

        unripened onslaught 
          of wind
            whipped 
              white pine

              cones

              kick two

              branches




              put

      birdsong
          back in the air.

July 17th, 2006

Elbow Pond, Andover, NH

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What’s left of the hermit thrush song 
found in maple twig’s tremble 

   morning heron—
glides in low 
   between the pines. 

June 29th, 2006

Tonight honey the ants are raining mandibles
in our bed thin leg parts raining among the sea
foam sheets you said remind you of Paris
or was it Montreal its all earlier anyway
I mean late which has always been confusing
that early in the morning is late at night
among the battery operated sound
of made to look old timey clocks are the
slapping sounds of ant arms hitting the dresser
there’s one and another oh but you are shirtless
and asleep on your stomach wearing only
cotton white underwear alive but out
conked out for now unaware of the night ant
prowlers dropping from the ceiling to the bed
so unexpectedly overhead a mosquito.

June 28th, 2006

Nervous Tic

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Maybe tomorrow we’ll head to Baltimore, pass
through Wilmot along the way, gaze up at
the cell towers atop Mount Kearsarge
casting their glint-painted eyelets
across Eagle Pond to Donald
Hall’s place someone
said is over there
just past the
thicket

or not

We could stay here drinking icy water from
cut glass goblets, you surfing somewhere
between topiaries and tablecloths
landing on the oldest organic
garden in Maryland’s in
Baltimore’s inner
harbor. Hot
Tamales

in the cupboard. “Tell me you love me. Tell me.”
You in that easy-off long sleeve sky blue
dress, me running on the last bit
of reserve power… Sleep. So
quick—that’s it another
day slip'd so easily
like dental floss
through my two
front teeth.

June 25th, 2006

(no subject)

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After sitting
quite nearly

all day
in a chair

I finally
got around

to putting
Icy Hot

on my back
two great-

horned owls
doing their

past midnight
back

and forth
that and

the noisy
refigerator

phone calls
he says

all
mass mediums

are fractured.

June 22nd, 2006

Second Day of Summer

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        White 
pine needle pitch 
     birch 

      drops 

          again 
between phoebe 
          wings
             wind 

        in 
          across the pond

                    (s) 

               rain.  

June 3rd, 2006

More Roadside Ditties

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Through makeshift curtains (once
green sheets), turkey steps up to her thighs, knees
in the year’s first snow.

—January 1, 2006
Elbow Pond, NH


***

for Albert Whitehat, with gratitude

Tabacco smoke plume stalls 
in late 
lodge door light shaft, 

          western meadowlark’s 
          descending warble

gone
as the canvas flap

               drops.

—May 18, 2006
St. Francis, SD


***

Shagbark hickories reach
into late may hayfields

not quite dressed
in their best

John Deere
green.

—May 25, 2006
Garrett County, MD


***

After Six Months Out West

Walking round
and round
until
the name
of this tree
bubbles up
        — white ash.


—May 25, 2006
I-81 rest area near Harrisburg, PA


***
Empty weight of concrete
bridge

		the road	
			
dew tipp’d lemongrass

     earlier 
	tents 	 	
		   	bright
		       	day now 

		quiet
	
	      driving

	from one state into the next 

packing up what’s left,
		     rippleless

		lines

	       all of a sudden

		cross-
                   ed


—May 26, 2006
Crossing the Connecticut River into NH from Ascutney, VT


***
for Joe Massey

Pepsi
truck
turns

into
Home
Depot

parking
lot
down

the street
empty
lilac

flowers
bloom
beside

—May 26, 2006
Newport, NH


***
For sale sign
on Ford Escort — hitched 
to a passing RV

Last night’s bitter exchange
caught in wheezing diesel
      hum, 

		exhaust,

wipers
    slip 

quickly by.

—May 26, 2006
Newport, NH


***
Tent peg beside 
pair of Crocs 
left behind
        in the rush of clouds

          empty

            as any kite

            drizzled
           through hills

        among spring’s
    
          thin 
            rain.

—May 26, 2006
Bradford, NH
Somewhere east of Pueblo
the only wolverine I’ve seen
strung from a barbed wire fence.

Exit 377 outside Cheyenne —
first time biodiesel’s
cheaper than gas.

The oil derricks
of Wyoming bow low
to the windmills of Nebraska

Along Route 83 North
to Valentine, Sandhills
in every roadside ditch.

Redwing blackbird lands on last year’s
cattail stalk in a wetland, sign says —
“Created by State”

Is May the song
of a meadowlark
or the budding of serviceberry?

On Wisdom Corner in St. Francis
a man leans against a split rail fence —
camouflaged head to toe.

Two beetles stagger
up dandelion stalks — plunge headfirst
into the lantern glass.

Tobacco crackles on hot rocks
like water in a fry pan — Contra Spirit
cross-legged atop the inipi.

Strange how skinning out dinner
makes you lose your appetite
for lunch.

Two days after a sweat in Rosebud
Iowa sign says, “Here the prehistoric red man
hunted, fished, fought, and died.”

First the Missouri, now
the Mississippi — we head east
as the night sky dims.

May 12th, 2006

I-80 Eignereal

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From here
 begins 
the Forty Mile Desert
		not a hint 
	        of sage bush
			thick
		      acrylic arrows
  		point
			the direction
		        most things
			     travel, people
				among 
     them us
	reflectors jagged
line of greenish mountains
       taking on the noon-
	washed 
			    otherwise 
         cerulean horizon(
		-add s
	        ) are multiple
	
		somatic 
			in the sense how
 				neck follows

			    eyes 
				traveling 
	
				      across them (?

			this 

		      I mean 
                          ought 

			      there

                 be 

                         a 

     			        way to 
				there
				be
					gin
			to 
				is a 
			     way 	there
				
                         to be
				 all
					this 

			traveling 

                                   can 
				get to you 
					after a while

			                   4000 horses
					959 people
			
						dead 

					thru this stretch

						sheet metal
							sign says

					           fresh
				bullet hole
					in upper 
						right corner. 

					— Near the Humboldt Sink along
                                         the Emigrant Trail,  I-80 West, NV
					 May 12, 2006

Yosemite Sick Days

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Five weeks after the last spring rains —
blue sky, Yosemite Falls, eight pre-teens
enthralled by a curbside ditch.

---

Two miles from Half Dome
we stop to watch a ground squirrel
munch a blade of grass.

---

Yosemite springtime
is an apple blossom
in the parking lot mud puddle.

May 6th, 2006

Pine Valley Sketch

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Not a clean sky morning
but a feather backed malaise
of thin ribbed cirrus
blowing East off the ocean
somewhere downtrail near
Carmel. "Its cooler
today" Molly says reaching
for her night-dark down
puffy jacket black-
capped Steller's jay stabbing
an acorn at its feet (Three
phoebes...) frost
caught on the inside rim
of the french press
full of yesterday's grinds
Ground (...dropping low
to the grass) Just
enough grease on the griddle
just enough gas for the stove
just about enough blue
in her eyes to make up
for the weather
rocky steep
oak root strewn
two-feathered strut of
evolutionarily head-dressed
mountain quail Sun
or no sun the day
must go on
casting spiny lobed
leaf shadows across last year's
leftover acorns old
fire beds turning clockwise
earthwise walking this way
as we give thanks
to the great Earth
drink tea laugh fry
bake another round
of Bisquick biscuits the last
of all these solos drawing
quick to a close.



—taking students off solo
Pine Valley, Ventana Wilderness
May 3, 2006

April 26th, 2006

Book of Sketches

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With twelve minutes
to close, walked in
to Bookshop Santa
Cruz, the old Hip
Pocket where Neil
Cassady use'ta work
the registar, to stare
at the meager, sad
it's poetry month again
selections of the usual
cast of quietude
characters — oh yeah
there's Mary Oliver and
hasn't that Billy guy
been having trouble
with poetry for a few
years, oh well
figuring there'd be
nothing to buy, that
sometimes it's the
thought that counts
that someday
something will change
and the housing market
will implode and ...
there it was, next to
the second printing of
Snyder's Left out
in the Rain
, the book
I didn't know I was
looking for staring
back so bug-eyed, Duh
so where have you been
all these years Jack
Kerouac and your fat
new 1952

Book
of Sketches
.

April 20th, 2006

Troll line tandem       plunging
       angle of swift terns
              tents
                 brushing sand
          from between toes       salty
             forearm       sky
                      sputters
                            into morning's
                 planetary cirrus
                                   sounds
                                      stoves
                              clinking spoons
             California
       gulls scavenging 
               last night's clams
                                  kayak
                                    ocotillo ridge 
                               clouds
                                   plowing
                                        the moon

                                          sea
                                        
                                      gone quick
                        receeding
                                   tide

April 5th, 2006

Tijuana, MX

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Two finger turn signals
we pass hubcap
high Tijuana rain
puddles clouds Pacific
storms heaped over
muddy concrete canal
corregated leftovers
from the 1st Gulf
War slice thin
coast scrub hill
slides banana trees
old coconut hulls swept
against the empty San
Diego County curb-
side cypress
flagging from
Rosarita Beach to Border
Field State Park
sky clearing to blues.

April 3rd, 2006

First hint of
new rain tickles
spring-blonde
forearm
hair crawls
through alelopathic
constellations of creasote
slips under
last century's
skeletal swoop
power lines pull-
ing Union Pacific
box cars back
end of Dodge
caravan folded
over what's left
of Honda's
front half glass
glistening in
spiral corner
patterns
of Eastern
and Flamingo.

--Las Vegas, NV

December 30th, 2005

Andover, NH

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Through the reflection
of the kitchen wall
in the night window —

prayer flags suddenly whip
in the porchlight wind.

Wettest Year on Record

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2005 has officially been declared the wettest year on record in New Hampshire. According to the National Weather Service, "by late Monday afternoon, Concord had seen 56.33 inches of precipitation this year, 2 inches more than the previous record, which was set in 1888." Apparently there were three great waves of precipitation this year, two of which I missed — the deep February snows and the late spring rains. We had an unusually dry summer, however the rains which started a week or so into October more than made up for August and September's scarcity.

For the record, there are small ice-covered ponds popping up all over — in places I'm used to seeing simply snow or grass. Prediction: this spring's mud season will be gnarly.

December 29th, 2005

France Pictures

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Thanks to Molly's mom, we finally got our France pictures. On our return from India, we layed over in France for three days. What a contrast from New Delhi! From our tourist vantage, it was beautiful. Three weeks after we left, Paris was burning... Shows you how much you really see as a tourist. Here are a few of the shots:

Near the Hotel Orient & inside a restaraunt after a morning in the Paris Flea Market
2005-09-13 062 2005-09-13 053


Molly & Molly and her Mom at a Cafe in Tours
2005-09-13 036 2005-09-13 022

The way she says, "I
love you" in that snippy little voice
just before slamming the door.

Buffalo with a white tail
in the coffee mug
my mother gave me.

Short December days
by nine, the sun's
harsh white glow.

December morning's second
Irish coffee before ten — hand slips
reaching for the Bailey's

Too early to think in prose —
haiku after haiku
written with the barn door down.

Scotch taping haiku to the wall —
what else is there
to do today.

A week after finding
the house mouse dead — his sad little
shits still in my bed.

In the icicle hung
from the eve — a reflection
of windowsill toilet paper.

Poem after poem
smudged by my finger — just
before the ink dries.

The bathroom icicle
at noon — half of what it was
at nine.

The beer glass refracts
the low for one o'clock light
'round and 'round the room

Writing haiku on sticky notes
then I think
otherwise.
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