Saturday, December 22, 2012

Crimson Tide

image borrowed from bing

Crimson Tide

Jesus wept as he said, “Whoever shall humble himself
as a little child is great in kingdom.” (Matthew 18:4)

Those logs of Yule, 
cohorts of candy canes,
and devastated forests
are upon us; many of the
children are hushed, awed, and frightened 
by the raw pain found in the faces
of Christ on those multi-cultural crucifixes,
grimacing in silver, ivory, and gold.

Confusion reigns as myths and scripture
mingle like newts and mushrooms
in a Celtic Germanic Middle Eastern pastiche,
as every year concludes under an aluminum,
plastic, or dying rootless tree, flocked, bound
in popcorn, icicles, blinking lights, hallmark bulbs,
and wooden ornaments, on a designated day
linked mysteriously to St. Nicholas, 
Father Christmas and Tannenbaum, 
then catapulted into the sands of Judea--
to shepherds in rags with their sheep,
and spindle-legged camels carrying kings
to a sky full of angels humming hosannas 
and bending the light, to wise men mantled
in bright silks standing in animal dung, kneeling
in it while extending their gifts at the feet 
of a strangely silent babe sitting up 
in its roughly-hewn wooden cradle, while
his mother shivered in the straw, cold and weak
in the shimmering pinlight with the strangers.

Behold as Santa Claus cracks a cruel whip
and magical reindeer from Lapland,
freshly castrated by the teeth of unblushing
virgins, defy gravity, fold back time
and pull a great silver sled across the skies
of the world, everywhere on the planet,
in one night.

Jocular St. Nick always wears his red suit,
fringed in white ermine and baby seal fur,
stretched tight over his girth
like the skin on a German sausage,
the stark white of melting polar caps
and the red drenched in blood,
the red of revolutions, of grievous wounds
of flapping flags, of opium poppies,
and of the Christ to come, 
his hot blood wine becoming the chosen elixir 
of priests, ministers, and evangelists;
the identical crimson stuff scourged from sinners
and infidels during a myriad of Christmas Crusades,
not that long after it had been raked into the parched
earth of Roman arenas before and after
his thirty-three birthdays, where men enslaved
were prodded with hot irons to do battle
with other men and with beasts, and those other
crucified ones could see from their own crosses
the steel meathooks plunged into heels, attached
to plumed braying burros who dragged
the corpses of the cowardly and the fallen
out the Porta Libitina, no bellicus 
on their blackened bleeding lips,
no dirges or prayers, as the corpulent crowds 
sat peeling grapes
and waving holiday handkerchiefs.

The frozen Popsicle in the festive stocking cap
standing next to that red tub ringing a tiny bell
outside Safeway said, “A little child shall lead them
in purity and humility.” But I still wonder 
if the child won’t lose its way subsisting
on fairy tales, lies, and madness.

Glenn Buttkus  

December 2010

Posted over on dVerse Poets

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Friday, December 21, 2012

Need For Speed

image borrowed from bing

Need for Speed

“ The primary reason I am racing is because 
I enjoy being in a fast car, being on the edge.”
--Jacques Villeneuve

I drove my ’68 Mustang
130 mph.

Today’s highest speed limit,
in Texas,
is 85.

There is no speed limit
on the Autobahn
or the Isle of Mann.

Last year a Ferrari
was clocked in Texas
at 242;

chump stats
compared to the
Thrust SSC
in 1997,
tooling along
at 760
on Black Rock Desert. 

Glenn Buttkus

December 2012

Posted over on G-Man's Flash 55

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Thursday, December 20, 2012


image of adam lanza borrowed from bing


“A nation can survive its fools, and even
the overly ambitious--but it cannot survive
treason from within.”--Marcus Tullius Cicero

How can we keep our children alive?
Can any of us safely survive?
Should everyone be trained like a cop?
Tell me, when will the killing stop?

Adam shot his Mom in the face--
he purchased ammo by the case
for three weapons and assault OP.
Tell me, when will the killing stop?

But the rifle setting the pace,
sending madness right over the top,
Bushmaster AR, lives erased;
tell me, when will the killing stop?

So demonic, murder times five,
bullets striking kid’s flesh wop-wop,
before the police could arrive;
tell me, when will the killing stop?

Now we know that no single solution can be offered
to completely quell a madman’s murderous rage.

Glenn Buttkus

December 2012

Posted over at dVerse Poets FFA

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Monday, December 17, 2012


art by jason engle


“The true and determined writer will forge forward
with courageousness for the craft--but weaker writers
will give up and fall off the path.”--Daniel Belcher

In the pitch black belly of the night,
astride his loyal wooden desk,
within his writer’s roost, with
his research materials spread about
in piles, ideas scratched upon
brightly colored scraps of paper,

cement canyons became 
Carpathian foothills,
police sirens became 
crimson-haired singing Selkies,
liquid-silver delivery vans became 
teams of huge white horses;

his bushy eyebrows knotted into
a brutish scowl as his dancing pen
created mysterious messages between
grunting behemoths and wire-thin outlanders,
the warrior tribes, their faces & chests
painted with fierce red & black symbols,
their icy stares backed up by their short swords,

just as the paradigms shifted
and primitive flyers filled the urban air;
first pterodactyls, those fearful twig reptiles
whose wings were formed from skin
and muscle membrane stretching
from its elongated fourth finger
to its hind limbs, soaring fossils,
precursors of the dragons of legend,
whose rainbow scales became fur,
and fur became feathers so that
sacred white owls could burst
into purple skies,

while simultaneously somewhere 
on the birthing pulsating pages
heroes would rise raven-haired
to hack at injustice, at monsters,
at wizards & villains,

the sweating author struggling
and fumbling with the necessary
ingredients of romance, adventure,
betrayal & revenge among golden spires;

and it had to be something completely new,
while still laden with the seeds sown by others,
a fantasy novel complete with jazz themes,
existential plot elements, graphic sex,
a heretofore unknown language,
undiscovered secrets,

his agent would adore,
his wife would endorse,
his children would approve,
brave, passionate, personal and perfect,

and of course, 
ripe for the sober blue penciling
of the next dawn. 

Glenn Buttkus

December 2012

Posted over on dVerse Poets OLN

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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Dragon's Kiss

painting by maxime roy

Dragon’s Kiss

“There are more things in heaven and earth,
Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
--Hamlet, Act 1, Scene V.

I once glimpsed momentarily beyond 
the curtain, piercing the veil
as I reclined in meditation,

seeing the orange pennants waving
frantically in the stiff shifting breezes,
bucking aslant to a sea of yellow towers,
a garden of golden minarets, extending
to the now horizon under two moons
and a leprechaun-green sun, perched
peacefully in a perfect pale azure sky,

at a place where my real face shined
featureless and iridescent, where every
particle of truth resided within me,
where a rainbow was worn both
as skin and cloak, before becoming

aware of the soft arrival of a silent
billowing gray-white cloud, seen
first easing out through shiny silver bars
in multiple high windows fifty feet above me,
purposefully positioning itself in a hover
directly over me

as it suddenly erupted with twin bolts
of Kundalini embrace, healing white light
transfered in loving white lightning,
like being frozen 
in a Kansas thunder storm
with the sound turned off, 
twin metaphysical heart paddles
that salvaged, reconnected, invigorated

followed immediately by new awareness
of a translucent figure standing alongside me,
looking like a glass sculpture of the Silver Surfer;

perhaps my Higher Self that had been ready
to abandon the sad broken hulk,
the dysfunctional mechanism
I had become, only reconsidering
following the psychic blister left
in the air by the white dragon’s hot kiss,

grasping both my wrists as it swung
itself directly in front of me,
pausing for a long moment,
gathering its chi 
as it’s shimmering grace
spoke to what was left 
of my psychic passenger,

just as it thrust itself
directly at my chest, disappearing
down the rabbit hole of my innards,
recharging & reinventing my resolve,
putting old Dumpty back together again,

slamming shut the portal to the other side,
denying me passage, activating 
the second act of my life,
extending my tour, 
renewing my contract, but
leaving me astride a steed of pain

as I had to acknowledge
that those lessons unlearned
beckoned benevolently. 

Glenn Buttkus

December 2012

Posted over on dVerse Poets-Poetics

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Knuckle Ball

image borrowed from bing

Knuckle Ball

“An eye for an eye would make
the whole world blind.”--Mahatma Gandhi

Susan Rice withdrew
her name from consideration
for Secretary of State
in the face of what 

would have been
a difficult
Senate battle.

McCain & Graham
will need to consume
raven after their profane
assault, because

the word around Washington
is that President Obama
will now pick
John Kerry.

Bite on that,

Glenn Buttkus

December 2012

Posted over on G-Man's Flash 55

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Without You

image borrowed from bing

Without You

In your music you’re trying to play the truth of 
who you are--the reason this is difficult is because
you are changing all the time.”--Charles Mingus

Piano speaks, fingers dancing
on the black keys,
sax responds, squawking 
in every tongue, 
as the drummer finds
the heartbeat, keeping
the music on its feet,

in my buds, punctuated
by guttural gulls
and callous crows,

perched among them, sitting
on my driftwood throne,
hands deep in leather pockets,
red scarf ends flapping gently
in the cold breeze, as dark waves
crest, high & harsh, pushed
proudly by brother wind,
scowled at by sister gray skies,
near your cabin
reflecting raw in my Easton 
diamond flare sunglasses,
fingers popping,
head bobbing,
right foot tapping the air drum,

your compositions soaring
like blue heron across the horizon,
your creativity
shaking the wind bent trees,
stirring up the pebbly sand,
belting the beaches,
holding up the island’s britches,
preventing it from sliding back
into the slippery Salish salt,
certainly you know,
somehow you understand

that without you
we can never find
the other shoe;

without you
we are conflicted
as to what to do;

without you
even the sky refuses
to be blue.

Welcome back
song lady;
we dearly missed
your counsel,
your guidance,
your eyes
your heart;

and though the seabirds
were not silent,
the waves were far from mute,
and the wind remembered
how to howl, it all simply
lacks harmony without
your music.

Glenn Buttkus

December 2012

Posted over on dVerse Poets MTB

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Monday, December 10, 2012

Faerie's Tale

image borrowed from fairyland

Faerie’s Tale

“When the first baby laughed for the first time,
his laugh broke into a million pieces, and they all
went skipping about--that was the beginning of fairies.
---J.M. Barrie

Old Sean squatted on the edge of the meadow,
below the ancient mill, watching its great wheel
churn the spring water into bubbling froth,

never a stranger to the fluidous spirits,
his fantastical remembrances were vivid,
from wee lad to arthritic crone,

he had always been privy to the enchanted
world of Fairyland, the Elementals,
the divers creatures of legend;

elves, brownies, siths, nymphs, pixies, 
tree spirits, garden gnomes, goblins,
banshees, trolls, & sidhe--faeries all,
guardians of the Otherworld.

He was told as a boy of ten
by a glowing feminine spirit
with a translucent shape,
more condensed air than matter,
radiant and wisp-like,

that his metaphysical awareness was keen,
that his eugenic link to the wee folk
was traceable, telling him her kind
could not lie, were capable of prophesy,
were incapable of malice,

but that he needed to be aware that some
of their diminutive ilk were pranksters,
demoted cherubs, shape-shifters, 
& changelings.

As twilight approached he did inventory
of his many charms of protection,
patted the four-leaf clover in his breast pocket,
sat very near running water, clutched
his pigskin pouch of rowan bark, carried
several crusts of dried bread,
wore his vest and jacket inside-out,
had a broken knife blade made
from the finest flat cold iron, guaranteeing 
his safety as these things were shunned
like poison by the less chivalrous of spirits.

As darkness settled in gently, he smiled sadly,
recalling that his lifelong insights & interaction
with these creatures had been exquisite, 
exhilarating beyond measure,
but it had been his bane as well, forever branded,
defined by others as a batty eccentric,

All coming full circle that night, for 
at the witching hour he would sing
his death song, would sip deeply
of several fairy potions, then 
would morph into insect proportions, 
would sprout colorful wings,
would be carried like a fairy king
on a divan of rose petals,

for his initiation was completed
and his ethereal existence,
his actual life awaited him,
first into the delicious darkness,
soon to be reborn
into the light.

Glenn Buttkus

December 2012

Posted over on dVerse Poets OLN

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