spice of lightning

flash of light
moonlit night
silent might
out of sight

echoes of déjà vu
lueur de déjà vous
mem’ries of déjà you
treacle of déjà yew

lightning flash
creative cache
secret stash
batted lash

horizon shimmer
beguiling glimmer
sky grows dimmer
stove cools to simmer

sunset sighting
moonlight delighting
summer seasoning
spice of lightning

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All Down At Once

In the play and film Amadeus by Peter Shaffer, the character Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart says:

“Look at us! Four gaping mouths. What a perfect quartet! I’d love to write it – just this second of time, this now, as you are! Herr Chamberlain thinking ‘Impertinent Mozart: I must speak to the Emperor at once!’ Herr Prefect thinking ‘Ignorant Mozart: debasing opera with his vulgarity!’ Herr Court Composer thinking ‘German Mozart: what can he finally know about music?’ And Herr Mozart himself, in the middle, thinking ‘I’m just a good fellow. Why do they all disapprove of me?’ That’s why opera is important, Baron. Because it’s realer than any play! A dramatic poet would have to put all those thoughts down one after another just to represent this second of time. The composer can put them all down at once – and still make us hear each one of them. Astonishing device: a Vocal Quartet! ….I tell you I want to write a finale lasting half and hour! A quartet becoming a quintet becoming a sextet. On and on, wider and wider – all sounds multiplying and rising together – and the together creating a sound entierly new!

…. I bet you that’s how God hears the world: millions of sounds ascending at once and mixing in His ear to become an unending music, unimaginable to us! That’s our job! That’s our job, we composers: to combine the inner minds of him and him and him and her and her – the thoughts of chambermaids and Court Composers – and turn the audience into God.”

When someone recited this to me today, I was struck by the notion that “a dramatic poet would have to put all those thoughts down one after another,” whereas “the composer can put them all down at once.” It speaks to the power of polyphony in storytelling, poetry, and song. Can you think of instances when a story speaks with many voices at once?

Reference: http://stageagent.com/monologues/675/amadeus/wolfgang-amadeus-mozart
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butterflideas

i carry a net with me
wherever i go
so i am ready
whenever ideas
decide to show

ideas are like butterflies
flitting here and there
always looking for
fresh pollen, the feed
their fleeting store

slippery butterflideas
elusive like wind
such a joy to watch
fly flutterflideas!
dance like wild wind

how could i capture ideas?
you can’t own the wind
who are you or i
to make claim or toll
upon the sky

a flock of flutterideas
called out to the queen
the queen of the clouds
she sang to the flies
hid them in shrouds

some days i cannot find them
for they are hidden
i look to the sky
i wait for the rain
when ideas pour

i don’t use an umbrella
so i can feel the rain
feel ideas on my skin
cast aside my net
each idea is wafer thin

dance in the ideastorm
clacking castanets
though the chance is slim
i try to fill my bucket
to its briny brim

after ideastorm subsides
their fluid form evaporates
possibility solidifies
i find my silly bucket
full of butterflies

i feed them fragrant pollen
from my cache of other ideas
invite them to my garden
where ideas sprout and grow
the butterflideas blossom

there are those, the collectors
who catch butterflideas
they kill the darling flutterers
pin them up on posts
ideas impaled on stakes

the collectors are so proud
fly ideas like flags
frozen midflight
never free again
never wild in the night

i cast aside my net
and my castanets
i peer into my bucket
as if it were a well
springing with ideas

i throw open the windows
step outside the machine
i paint the sky with song
call out to wind and wing
welcome back the butterflies

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quillish in quintillus

feels quite quillish in quintillus
simply scribbish in sextillus
words quiver through my fingers
while a hint of rhyme here lingers

shaking all the tree trunks
in the grove of queer ideas
riles up some shy skunks
and squirrels, the drama divas

a nest of speckled dovelettes
in the shade from scorching sun
their coolly cooing parents
with black eyes set to stun

baby geckos cling to stucco
hiding beneath rosemary
until forced by flood to go
rude bucket i carry

the warren of wary rabbits
peek out at setting sun
nibble the garden to bits
hop off to other fun

i hear whisp’ring in the branches
in the grove of good ideas
i hear twitt’ring avalanches
treasure trove of leaves and pages

the dark garden looms before me
transfixed by sound and shadow
just beyond what i can see
curious what it might show

i must learn to tend the garden
learn to prune the darkened grove
train the stems aplenty
transcend what i now know

words quiver through my fingers
while a hint of rhyme here lingers
feels quite quillish in quintillus
simply scribbish in sextillus

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software

Software is fiction crossbred with certain peculiar strains of nonfiction that result in the manifestation of realities, both ephemeral and fleeting, yet sometimes indelibly changing the world. Sometimes a story of software, an app, suits itself well to a set of readers, the users, the actualizers of its magic. Inevitably, it is the users who decide whether and to what degrees that magic of the app lives beyond the timespan during which the power is on and the app is running. 

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all I knew

“I kept six honest serving men,
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who.”
— Rudyard Kipling

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mother moon

every time
i see your smile
i just stop
and pause awhile

i ponder
gawk like a child
i wonder
what it was
that made you wild
why so long
since you smiled

up at your face
i stare, beguiled 
how is it you
remain undefiled

chronicles 
of countless years
you have compiled
amidst turmoil 
somehow
steadfast unriled

such serenity
held in your smile
it warms me
reassures me
as if 
i am your child
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