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Spring Lake

“Here’s That Rainy Day.” Spring Lake, NJ. By Paul Goldfinger ©. Undated.

Spring Pool

By Charles Pierre

In the hollow of my hand, a pool is born
of an April downpour, the sudden flood
filling every crevice of pinkish skin,
the lines of life and heart and mind engulfed,

a breeze etching the surface with ripples
that push against shores of padded flesh
around the palm, some overflowing the bank,
others sliding back toward the deep center,

the wrinkles on the bottom of the pool
brightening, as the rain that fell so fast
passes, and sunlight pierces the water
settling at the end of my outstretched arm.

BOB DYLAN:

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sg-2

Stephen Goldfinger. Central Park, 2014. Blogfinger.net ©

 

 

Green Vistas

By Charles Pierre

I walk the hard and darkened streets
of Manhattan as winter thaws,
where steel and concrete choke the earth,
where nature can’t unfold or flow.

Gaudy neon and bits of glass
sparkling in asphalt swell the night
with portents of spring that lead me
to a park on the river’s edge.

My left hand flies from its pocket
to test the air. The air says, Write,
until trees are flaming with leaves,
until waves are emerald fire.

 

 

ART GARFUNKEL

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Hi Paul:

Greetings from Manhattan. To observe the leaves changing on the trees from April to December, is to see, in a vivid way, the pattern of life that governs us all. Here is the poem “Late Autumn at Centerport,” from my 2009 collection, Green Vistas.

Best wishes,
Charles Pierre

Rhinebeck, New York. Mid-October, 2017. Paul Goldfinger ©

 

Late Autumn at Centerport

By Charles Pierre

Spring unfurled from ripening buds,
and a balmy summer preserved
the deep greens of oak and maple
on hillsides across the harbor

A month ago, the reds and golds
were bright distractions, but today,
descending a hill to this beach
through the bitter December air,

I feel the withering absence
of colors that once filled the trees.
Fallen leaves are now visible,
black and rotting in the shallows.

Here, the full cycle of seasons
has yet to pass, but today,
having seen this much of the year,
I know my end ahead of time.

 

CHET BAKER:

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Hi Paul:

Greetings from Manhattan. There is a common aid to navigation — often used in coastal waters — that has always had a special meaning for me as a poet. Here is “The Bell Buoy,” a poem from my 2008 collection, Father of Water.

Best wishes,

Charles Pierre

Shivering Sand. Photogravure by Wylie. Undated

Shivering Sand. Photogravure by Wylie. Undated. Click to see the bell buoy more clearly.  Reposted this poem from 2015 Blogfinger.net. ©

BELL BUOY

By Charles Pierre.

There is something singular in the rhythms

of the bell buoy, as it rings in the wake

of an unknown vessel already passing

on to its destination. The restless gestures

of this solitaire, anchored in the routine

of the sea, are a directing presence,

even in this hostile chopping,

metal on metal clanging from its heart,

clanging down the chain to the muddy anchor,

clanging out above the waves, creating

a point in the pointless sea, echoing out

to another, its clanging a song

of hope through these splintered waters,

a hard human song in an inhuman place,

something with a ringing truth to it

of who we are, something to sustain us,

wherever this imagined drifting leads.

 

Sounds:  bell buoy ringing; waves hitting boat:

Music on the water, from the film  The Sand Pebbles  (1966) with Steve McQueen.:

MATT MONROE

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Hi Paul:
     Greetings from Manhattan. When March ends, and the last few patches of snow melt from the yards, and ice disappears from the ponds, those of us who live along the coast shed our heavy coats and head for the shore. Here is the poem “Orient Point,” from my 2008 collection, Father of Water.
Best wishes,
Charles Pierre

Early spring morning. Deal Lake. Ocean Township.  March 29, 2015,   By Paul Goldfinger ©  Click to enlarge.

Orient Point
By Charles Pierre
To find words again, after winter’s pause
and the stifled months of life ashore —
to hear voices, if none but the shrill sounds
of sailors boundless in April winds.
I slip from silence, English my ship and sea.
Speech as fresh as the first mild gusts of salt air
billows my cheeks, flying from my lips
to take me as far as sound can sail —
Speak, as if spring is all there is!
——————————————————————-
BEN PATERSON TRIO,:  “Here, There, and Everywhere” by Paul McCartney;

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Hi Paul:

Greetings from Manhattan. The downtown café has been a part of New York life for more than a century — a place of quiet refuge from the stresses of the city. Here is “Café Candles” from my 2008 poetry collection, Father of Water.

Best wishes,

Charles Pierre

Paris. Candles in a place of quiet refuge. By Paul Goldfinger ©

Paris. Candles in “a place of quiet refuge” as described by Charles Pierre, poet.  Paul Goldfinger photo.©

 

Café Candles

By Charles Pierre.

 

An hour past sunset, the sky gone gray,

a waiter with a tray of candles balanced

on his palm circles this intimate room,

placing a flame at the center of each table,

the lights casting aureoles around the faces

of casually seated couples and threesomes,

and even the solitaire clutching a book

who burns with isolation in his corner.

As evening deepens and the sky darkens,

each candle becomes a central point

for the rhythms of talk and silent thought,

each table a star in the modest constellation

of this room, patrons entering and leaving,

the waiter serving and clearing the tables

of all but those small candles, which flicker

at each disturbance of the air, then recover

to blades of brightness, portioning this space

and its speech against the black canyons beyond.

 

CARLOS GARDEL

 

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Greetings from Manhattan. Walking and poetry are both rhythmic activities that I have tried, in several poems, to bring together to create a unified effect. Here is “A Couple” from my 2010 poetry collection, Brief Intervals of Harmony.

 

Best wishes,

Charles Pierre

 

Upper East Side, New York City. August.2014, By Paul Goldfinger ©

Upper East Side, New York City. August.2014, By Paul Goldfinger ©  Click to enlarge

 

 

A Couple

By Charles Pierre

 

That man and woman walking side by side

almost glide together through the evening,

parting the oncoming crowd with a singleness

of rhythm that erases the differences in height

and stride. Palm to palm, with fingers entwined

and arms swinging between them, they keep

their shoulders straight and eyes fixed forward,

talking without turning aside, letting the words

swirl around them in a cloak of conversation.

His left to her right, they reflect one another,

both wanting an equal partner but remaining

self-possessed, the emptiness of darkest space

less a threat than if each were facing it alone,

though their need for connection goes mostly

unconfessed: a solitary pair accustomed

to the same pace, limbs moving in unison

through the rush of wind leading night’s advance.

 

 

Frank Vignola plays Gershwin.   “Our Love is Here to Stay.”

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Hi Paul:

Greetings from Manhattan. Over fifty years ago, my grandmother said a few things to me shortly before she died that I knew would eventually find their way into a poem. Here is “Grandmother’s Note” from my 2008 collection, Father of Water.

Best wishes,

Charles Pierre

Paris. By Paul Goldfinger ©

Paris. By Paul Goldfinger ©

 

Grandmother’s Note

By Charles Pierre

 

Looking for less with each added year,

I’ve begun to live in the small space

that surrounds me now, in the shadows

 

that gather at my feet and follow

as I walk along, and in the breezes

that take my shape for an instant,

 

leaving nothing but gentle creases

in my hair and a cool ripple

over my skin. Expecting little,

 

I go where my handwriting leads me –

become just a sound, a word, a phrase,

part of the impression on the page

 

for a moment, not an old woman

with the obvious lines of age, but

a clear thought in this surrounding space

 

CAL TJADER: “The Night We Called it a Day”

 

Charles Pierre. Photograph by Marcella Kerr. ©

Charles Pierre. Photograph by Marcella Kerr. ©

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A favorite room----at the Gasparilla Inn, Boca Grande, Fla. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

A favorite room—-at the Gasparilla Inn, Boca Grande, Fla. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

Hi Paul:

Greetings from Manhattan. It is surprising how far you can travel, just by sitting quietly at home in a favorite room, surrounded by familiar objects. Here is the poem, “A Room in New York,” from my 2008 collection, Father of Water.

Best wishes,
Charles Pierre

A Room in New York

As I sit at my desk, the morning sun begins
to fill this room with slow-moving planes
and angles of light. They glitter my windows
with Atlantic waters and whiten the shades
with New England snow, brightening
my blue sofa to a field of wild asters
in Nova Scotia, and my varnished table
to a forest of yellow pines in the Carolinas.
Rays skim the spines of a thousand books,
where peaks of an Alpine mountain range
shimmer on my shelves. When beams reach
my oriental rugs, the colors of Central Asia
shine up at me. As I write, city and wilderness
move in unison with the sun’s slow passage
through this room: each flame-suffused image,
each act of attention to the way light works,
leading outward to a world beyond walls.

 

Max Raabe and Das Palast Orchestra

Live at Carnegie Hall 2007

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Hi Paul:

Greetings from Manhattan. When a blizzard covers the shore, we are amazed at the vast expanse of snow in all directions — but almost immediately start looking for signs of color and life. Here is the poem, “Speck,” from my collection-in-progress, Circle of Time.

Best wishes,
Charles Pierre

Ocean Grove. c.2013. By Moe Demby, Blogfinger.net staff ©

Ocean Grove. c.2013. By Moe Demby, Blogfinger.net staff ©

Speck

By Charles Pierre.

When the blizzard passed,
a holly amid ocean dunes,
with soft snow dusting
the stiff pointed leaves,

shook in the strong wind
as mounds of powder slid
from its peak in a silent rush
to expose an iced-over limb

with one red berry, shriveled
and pitted in spots, split
up the middle, yet whole
on a frozen stem, its skin

bright enough to hold
the gaze of a crow,
frost-coated and perched
on a rise fifty yards away —

one red speck, the only
color in a wilderness
of stark white shore,
edged with ashen surf.

 

RENEE OLSTEAD:

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