Tuesday, August 29, 2017

House (Poem)


I leave behind all
I know, fifteen years
at their end:

a house that was
never a nest
to be emptied,

three levels
of old wood
floors to clean,

a room stilled
for want of
the dog in my bed,

stairs not he
and not I
need to climb.

The plants wither,
ask to be watered;
the surfaces, dusted.

Through renovation
and effort came
expectation; we added

the close watching
for visible signs
of careful constructions.

We were awful
at trying rebuilders'
new jargon.

Home is not a definition
for house.

House can't convey
more than the space

we sometimes occupied.
Space reminds me

how we started out
so full of desire,
now manage nothing


I loved you — once. Forgive
me. Forgive you. Thank you.

© 2017 Maureen E. Doallas

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Thought for the Day

. . . Things get pretty radical in the dark:...
~ Denis Johnson

Quoted from Denis Johnson's Poem "Vespers" in The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations Millennium General Assembly (HarperCollins Publishers, 1995)

Denis Johnson (1949-2017), Poet, Writer (Novels, Short Stories), Playwright

Denis Johnson Profiles at New RepublicNPRThe New YorkerPoetry Foundation

Read Jay Deshpande's essay, "My Denis Johnson" at Poetry Foundation, August 7, 2017; and Lawrence Wright's "Remembering Denis Johnson" in The New Yorker, May 26, 2017.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Counted Down (Cinquain)

Big Ben, London, England
(CCO Creative Commons)

Counted Down

Big Ben,
your heart's damaged.
You need to be silent
four years to chime again and run
through time.

©  2017 Maureen E. Doallas

At noon yesterday, August 21, Big Ben (the name of the bell inside Elizabeth Tower) fell silent for repairs; for the next four years, until 2021, Londoners will have to keep their own timepieces running. Read "Big Ben to fall silent while essential conservation works take place" at Parliament's Website.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Cinquains for Today's Solar Eclipse

2017 Earth Day Poster Depicting August's Solar Eclipse

Following are some unrhymed cinquains (they all use the line scheme of 2, 4, 6, 8, and 2 syllables) I've written to mark today's solar eclipse.

Be sure to check out NASA's Total Eclipse Website.

August's dark day.
Moon tries a new sun block.
Witness the cosmic distraction
pass by.


Chase it?
Even some planes
fail to catch the shadow
moving like a whirling dervish


Path marked;
eclipse forecast.
From west to east light's doused.
Shadow bands like rippling sunshine


Get a filter,
a telephoto lens,
and a tripod for your smartphone.
Shoot it!


or syzygy?
It helps to know your terms.
Study science or play Scrabble.
You'll learn.

© 2017 Maureen E. Doallas

Syzygy is pronounced "SIZ-eh-gee". You can learn about it and transit, shadow bands, and other eclipse-related words at the NASA site.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Thought for the Day

. . . if you are someone who leaves, then you must
always be leaving, because to stop leaving is to stay.
The space between staying and leaving is called longing. . . . 
~ Larissa Pham

Quoted from Larissa Pham, "Agnes Martin Finds the Light That Gets Lost", The Paris Review, August 2, 2017

Larissa Pham, Brooklyn-Based Artist and Writer

Thursday, August 17, 2017

New Artist Watch Feature at Escape Into Life

Noelle Harper, Darcy, Acrylic on Canvas, 2017
10" x 10"
© Noelle Harper


We are in the "Dog Days of August"* — those lazy days of summer when life is meant to slow down — and to celebrate, we present at Escape Into Life our annual Artist Watch feature on dogs. For this month's "Dog Days" Artist Watch, I've selected a series of commissioned paintings by artist Noelle Harper.

In addition to painting commissioned pet portraits, Noelle, currently a resident of Helena, Montana, is an arts educator and instructor whose various teaching experiences have taken her to Florida, Massachusetts, and Georgia, as well as Costa Rica.

Today's Artist Watch presents six of Noelle's most recent dog portraits, an Artist Statement, and a brief biography.


* Did you know. . . the phrase "dog days" originally referred to the dog star Sirius and its position in the heavens? Read Becky Little's National Geographic post, "Why Do We Call Them the 'Dog Days' of Summer?"

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Halley's Comet in 2061 (Poem)

Halley's Comet, 1986
Photo Credit: NASA

Halley's Comet in 2061

You're back
milk-shaded, ghost-
blue moon in Christo's veils,
sky-streaking, thin as a mouse tail

© 2017 Maureen E. Doallas


Halley's Comet is expected to be visible from Earth in the year 2061. It last appeared to us in 1986.

Ian Ridpath, A Comet Called Halley (Excerpts)

Facts About Halley's Comet

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Thought for the Day

To wait without hope
is not the same as despair.
~ Jeremiah Webster


Quoted from Jeremiah Webster's poem "Ritual" in After So Many Fires (Anchor & Plume, 2017)

Jeremiah Webster, Associate Professor of English, Northwest University

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

'How to Make the Girl' (Filmpoem)

One of Motionpoems' 7th season releases is the experimental and compelling How to Make the Girl (Kino Filmkraft, 2016), based on Dessa Wander's poem of the same title. The creative "instructional" filmpoem, which was made by writer/director/editor Ann Prim, was screened earlier this year during Germany's Kurzfilmfestival, where it competed for the 2nd Weimar Poetry Film Award.

A rapper and spoken word artist, singer, essayist, and record executive with the Minneapolis hip-hop collective Doomtree, Wander has published her writing in The New York Times and other periodicals; various literary journals, including Vestal Review; and several collections, including Spiral Bound: A Short Collection by Dessa (2009). 

Read the poem's text.

Dessa Wander on FaceBookNPR, and WNYC

Motionpoems on FaceBook

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Thought for the Day

The forgetting process defines happiness.
~ Michel Houellebecq, "Evening Without Mist"

Quoted from Michel Houellebecq's Poem "Evening Without Mist", Translated from the French by Gavin Bowd, in Image, No. 92, page 60

Michel Houellebecq (pronounced "Wellbeck"), French Novelist, Poet, Literary Critic; Winner, 2010 Prix Goncourt

Gavin Bowd, Writer and Translator; Senior Lecturer and Head of Department of Modern Languages, University of Saint Andrews, Scotland

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

I was not fit (Poem)

I was not fit

for the war you waged,
for the insurgency of words
that staked their claim
to me, nor the letters
that held no code
I could fathom.

Neither absence nor silence
protects me.