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West Virginia, WV Businesses & Yellow Pages

July 22, 2017

ANIMALSPEEK


Animalspeek was the language I wanted so much to learn when I was a kid in Brooklyn. 

Once some gang kids put kittens in a canvass bag and smashed them against the concrete handball court in the park. I was only seven, much too young and scared to do anything to help. I firmly believed those shrieking meows of those kittens were desperate pleadings for someone to save them. 

Of course, it’s purely fiction that someone could communicate with animals, but I wish I could suddenly, even now in my old age, acquire that unique gift of conversing with animals. Like St. Francis of Assisi, I would grow a little closer to the peace all souls crave daily. 

Such a gift would allow me to show compassion to all of God’s creatures because my heart would be transformed to see and hear and understand beyond the human condition. I could feel for the caterpillar, the cat on the windowpane waiting for her human friend, the dog rolled up in a ball of pain, the human lost in the dark. 

Oh, how I wished I were fluent in Animalspeek! The road to Heaven would become just a little bit clearer.

When Sharon and I lived in New Jersey we had two cats, Spiranza  cats, and Curaggiu (Hope and Courage), which we had to give away when we moved to WV. I still dream of them. I still hear them in the woods of Dream asking me why I abandoned them. How could I tell them my new landlord would not allow pets? 

Spiranza whose kittenhood was so traumatic it was hard to believe she’d dare trust anyone again. Curaggiu who leaped onto our bed when one of us was sick and never left, even to eat, until we were better again. 

Some say in Heaven we’ll find no animals and I was one of them who argued, “No soul, no Heaven,” but now in my older years I think differently. I hope in our heavenly life we will hold long conversations with those pets who loved us unconditionally.

Maybe we need to simply throw our hands up in surrender and gather in all of God’s creation and love it with all our hearts. Animals lack intellect and free will, but more than make up for it with the uncanny ability to forgive and forget. Can human beings say the same?

Listen carefully to what your cat purrs to you. Delight in the dance of your dog when he sees you. Sometimes I think angels reside within them and wear these cats and dogs the way kings wear ermine. 

Isaiah speaks of Heaven in his prophecy, The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child will lead them” (Isaiah 11:6). 

All that God has created is worthy of our admiration, even the inanimate mountain stones, the unthinking snowfall, all that we disregard in our walk through life. If visionaries have reported witnessing fields of indescribable flowers there, why not animals running through those fields or sleeping in the Light of Christ? 

Only in Heaven will we finally witness the elusive peace so unattainable in this passing world. As in the lost Garden of Eden, we who named the animals will reunite with them.

Pope Francis said, “One day, we will see our animals again in the eternity of Christ. Paradise is open to all of God’s children.”

Long gone to pet paradise, Curaggiu and Spiranza visit me in dreams, where they speak a rather good English that even in the roaring gray forests I can make out every word. 


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UNCLE RON SAID THERE AIN’T NO HELL



 UNCLE RON SAID THERE AIN’T NO HELL

Below the city’s cobblestones it shifted, restless and hungry. I could feel the tremor beneath my feet. At first I thought, Earthquake? A sinkhole? An inferno blazing underground that would yawn fully awake to demons flying loose from the fires? Again, the cobblestones rattled beneath me.

Then came the rumble like mountains wrenching free. I was certain now it had to be the end of the world. All around me uprooted trees shot through the air like giant wooden arrows of war, shattering glass, demolishing cars that only moments before were parked motionless against the curb. 

Stepping lightly but quickly over the moving stones, I spoke aloud the defeatist’s mantra, “I’m going to die.” I had no doubt of it. 

Then I managed to calm myself, suspecting, not the world’s end, but the rupture of the time-worn underground water pipes each incoming brood of politicians promised for so long would be replaced. But contenting myself with realistic possibilities was short-lived.

The clamor of cars and houses spinning in maelstroms, the screaming bedlam of the fearful and the victims buried under whatever broke free of the speeding circle and then crashed down into rubble.  

Uncle Ron told me when I was a boy not to believe the Sisters of Charity who taught us about Hell. “What kind of charity, is that, to keep a kid up all night worried the devil’s gonna come snatch him into the fires?”

Now, as the scaly creature, slobbering blood and flesh from its huge mouth, ascended from the cobblestones, I wondered where Uncle Ron’s last peaceful sleep led him to. I doubted Heaven; Hell was not a far stretch. Just because he said there was no Hell, didn’t mean there wasn’t one. And here, climbing out of the fiery pit? One of those minions of Satan? A space traveling extraterrestrial here to collect a few human beings for the return trip home?

I hid in the ruins that hours before had been St. Mark’s Church. 

And I prayed.

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LOVE ALONE IS NOT ENOUGH

LOVE ALONE IS NOT ENOUGH
                                     
Love is a phantom unless fattened by
selfless deeds, life-defying aerial walks
without the safety of a net below.
I remember love, the smile she beamed
in good times and bad, the way she held my hand
in darkness and light. Love now is a phantom
chasing shadows empty of lovers
who drew timeless lines they would not cross.

Love became two ghosts haunting the past
in search of shape and form, but it’s too late
for second chances, love’s rebirth, joy again.
Love is a phantom, liberated,
unfettered by the chains of everyday vows.
It began. It ended. Still, we sit
in the corner of our regrets, remembering.

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07/22/2017 

May 16, 2017

SELF-PORTRAIT


 when_art_comes_to_life_by_two_tickets-d4f0ndc

  (My poem is based on a painting by Kyla @Deviantart)

This is how my critics will remember me,
the painter gone raving mad in his studio,
a scape of land or sea sadly unfinished,
a sky so morosely dark the blue dappled to gray.
These eyes once joyfully squinted out of focus
so that I might envision the sketched canvas
imbued with pigments, a painting brushed into life.
Now the eyes you see in this self-portrait
lock themselves in a black-rimmed bugging stare
that confesses lunacy. Bands and splotches of red,
blue and yellow: colors meant for saner work.
What am I thinking here? Will a caption save me?

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(C) 2017 by Salvatore Buttaci 

May 12, 2017

TROIKU #2


fresh fallen snow
dot the flower heads
like white patches of stars
the yellow Chrysanthemums look
upward assembling Heaven
with myriad facets of their petals
more yellowish
than autumn leaves –
each petal a miniature sun
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May 9, 2017

SKIP THE LIGHT FANTASTIC

I once believed that if I read
too many tales of fantasy, 
somehow a witch would find a way
to make my life a travesty.
She's pile on my scrawny head
whatever mash her cauldron made,
then melt to mush my sanity.
I'd chase that little Riding Hood,
cleave her head with a wedge of steel,
or follow Snow White bashfully.
I'd shed fake tears and disagree,
I'd stomp my feet in nasal whines,
I'd live my life vicariously.
But is it smart to live a lie?
Perhaps I ought to give the boot
to books without a shred of truth.

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(C) 2017 by Salvatore Buttaci



May 2, 2017

TO SHED SOME LIGHT



(inspired by a painting by Matt Dixon)

I miss the old light bulbs Uncle Sam
replaced with new halogen incandescents.
To shed some light on the situation,
watt prompted intensifying the lumen count?
The white coil screwed into the fixture
strikes me as almost other-worldly alien,
the way it lies about long-life illumination,
the subterfuge, the home invasion
of those content with a darker shade of light.
But what disturbs me most is the loss
of that metaphoric light bulb that clicked
with every new idea bulging with
brilliance, lighting the road just enough
to gather words and phrases to build a poem.

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http://www.salbuttaci.blogspot.com

April 27, 2017

UNDERCOVER

UNDERCOVER

They said he’d have a sign. A placard printed with his name in thick black letters. Ladislaw Polk. What they don’t tell Weston is what the bloody chap looks like. Without a hint of description, he could be any one of the arrivals. A spare figure of a fellow or beefy? Bearded or stubble-free?

He expects more from Scotland Yard, but this time he suspects some Metropolitan bloke spent overtime in the loo and missed the chief’s briefing on Polk. A field man, Weston is already out on the street; in fact, he is at the baggage station at Heathrow, waiting for the Yard to give him a bell, but no joy there. Not a peep from his mobile. He keeps it nestled in his side pocket. 

Why attempt a conspicuous move that might alert Polk? For all Police Constable Edward Weston knows, the killer could well be poking his hidden revolver at him, breaths away from squeezing the trigger.

This time in desperation Weston tries giving a bell to the Chief. No one answers.


Out from the crowd, gripping an overnight valise, a man walks smilingly toward him. Weston reads “Ladislaw Polk” on the white placard before Polk rests it against the revolving baggage carousel. He is tall, imperially slim, clean-shaven.
“Might you help me? It appears I am carrying too much baggage today.”

                                                ###

 “Polk, the best of them?”

The bobbies nod in unison like carnival clown dolls.

Chief Constable counters with quick shakes of his shiny head. Finally, he snaps the pencil he is twirling finger to finger and says, “Weston fooled us all. Took us for barmy fools. You know what ticks me more than most anything in this job.”

Again, the bobbing heads.

“A good man, years of service high on the honor pole, and one day he wakes up, sees there’s a world out there filled with euros for the taking-- millions of them! And he puts himself under the hot lights of his own self-grilling where each question “Why” grows easier to ask, “Why not?”

All heads turn to the telephone on the desk of the chief who, without speaking, holds it to his ear.

On the other end, Polk says, “It was a delightful trip.”

The chief is relieved.

“Difficulties?”

“None,” says Polk. “I got lost in the crowd.”





April 26, 2017

SIRIUS DOG STAR

Sirius Dog Star
terror of night skies
you bite a bone moon

Sirius Dog Star
chasing a comet’s tail
swift as cosmic dust

you bite a bone moon
but where in the heavens
can you bury it?


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April 25, 2017

REFLECTIONS (based on the art of Andi Abdul Halil)



Sparrows bob their feathered heads in puddles
of April rain. Up and down they peck the waters,
their beaks jackhammering the stillness
into concentric circles that reflect
gray-brown passerine faces, a bird revue
of headshots before nature’s funhouse mirrors.

Sometimes I wish I could drink with them,
see how many faces I have worn,
how many shards of water glass reveal
my life’s masquerades, kneel before the puddle,
drink my fill beside that bobbing sparrow
until the rains end, the bird shakes dry its wings,
and the mirrors fade with the amen of my confessions.


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April 24, 2017

AN ATTEMPT AT ESCAPING


They found him half-in half-out the wardrobe,
a last-ditch effort to lose himself in Narnia,
become one more character in a tall tale,
rid himself of the grip of liberosis,
banish the killing fears, the anxieties,
of life’s demands, for once dissolve an attitude
like marmalade from which too long
he could not lightly lift his feet.
In Narnia, he could spend the afternoon
waving at passersby from his stone house,
toss Narnian nougat sweets at petulant fauns.

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April 21, 2017

JOLENE

JOLENE

The year Jolene hit the airwaves
Gene was living high on the hog of love,
laughing into his two palms,
convinced he was no fool, but a clever
thief who stole Fran away from her husband.

In their clandestine car rides,
they sang along with Dolly’s, “Jolene, Jolene,”
all the while singing in parody:
“Oh Gene, Oh Gene, I’m begging
of you please don’t take my Fran.
Don’t take her just because you can.”

Sometimes treasures are empty chests
and what appears a triumph in 1973
down-slides to defeat in '88.
Fran played the game again with someone else.


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April 20, 2017

YOUR ALCHEMIST LOVER

YOUR ALCHEMIST LOVER


blind-sided by the chase,
you took bitter wormwood
on the tongue, swallowed down
bits of iron your lover
vowed he transformed into gold.

now when heart songs should burgeon
like fields of baby’s sweet breath,
no adagios lullaby you to sleep.

tinker man says he’ll mend it all.
an expert of spells,
he’ll nuzzle at your ear,
charm love back into
a ready epilogue.

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HUNGRY MOON


 HUNGRY MOON

Tonight, Saturn runs circles behind the moon. An occultation. That’s what astronomers call it: a planet, in this case, Saturn, hidden behind Earth’s Moon. Planetary fadeout. 
Markitt and I sit gazing from the top window of Boss Whalen’s ziggurat, smack dab in the center of Aldrich City. Being miners, we blink at dusk’s light. Without retino-plates, we’d hardly hold onto vision. We’d stare blind at the night sky. No surprise. We mine the golden quasitell stone on Mars, so many miles underground. Not a glimmer of light anywhere. When we ascend each night from the pits of our labor, we don the plates or burn out our eyes.

This night is special. The second time we’ve witnessed the ringed planet vanish to the dark side of Earth’s Moon. In February 2002, we were still children, long before we joined United Intergalactic Forces, U.I.F., we sat high at the summit of Crowback Hill, oohing and aahing like two lunatics on the loose.

“Ever miss home?” Markitt asks.

“Do quasitell stones come in a variety of colors?” I tell him. We laugh.

Without taking my eyes off the sky, I say how sometimes Earth seems to me a previous lifetime, years I vaguely remember living, how sometimes in dreams I can hear victims screaming, see them writhing in fire.

We got out just in time, Markitt and I, two country cousins, working our earthly bottoms off like moles in the deep dirt. Still, I can’t help but wonder how grand it would be to witness Earth again passing in the sky, doing the Saturn trick of hide-and-seek behind a hungry moon, then looking blue and green again like it did when we were young!

“Look!” says Markitt. “Saturn’s disappeared!” And I think to myself, I hope Mars hangs around for a long long time.

April 19, 2017

A MEMORY POEM on 04/19/2017

REMEMBERING

In youth, I said in my superiority,
“I have forgotten more than you will ever know.”
Pompously I stood so tall on the pedestal
of my own making, arrogant know-it-all
at the ready to make claims beyond the unseen
territory of my life. I stomped through the years,
teeth bared, fist clenched, convinced I would live forever,
the face reflected in the mirror set in stone.
I laughed when Papa said, “We’re machines. We break down.”

Now in my declining years, I beg apologies.
The sure step of younger days is gone. I stumble.
The pedestal was swept away in the torrents
of my life. The mirror is a friend of mine no more.
And the highlight of this old man’s confession?
I have forgotten more than you or I have known.

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(C) 2017 by Salvatore Buttaci

A HAIKU for April 19, 2017

Lonely moon,
Is your reflection
On the lake enough?

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