Saturday, November 30, 2013

PAD 30 Disappear

I saw a whale!
What? We don’t see it.
I’m not a kook.
T’was just a fluke.

Friday, November 29, 2013

PAD 29 commercial

Good God (It’s Alive!) Lobster

On Tongass Avenue
In a blue and white shop,
We sell specialty foods.
You won’t regret the stop.

Salmon (fresh, smoked or canned):
Sockeye, silver or king,
Lobsters, oysters, mussels,
Clams and crabs —just the thing!

Or go wild! Buffalo,
Venison, caribou,
Musk ox, wild boar, elk, and
Antelope—just for you!

Abalone, rock fish,
Halibut, scallops, cod,
Red snapper, prawn and shrimp—
Online or at Good God.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Day 28 Bird

The Bufflehead

The Buffleheads bob in the bay
Male black and white, female brown/gray
Compact ducks submerge to catch food  
Large, rounded heads and short, wide bills
Noted for their fine mating skills
Males swim in front as if they’re rude   
Nodding their heads like no control
Like to nest in woodpecker hole
Fly rapidly as if pursued 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

PAD 27 Local

Ketchikan, Alaska

There are no roads to Ketchikan
of Revillagigedo Island,
the first city in Alaska.
We venture out by skiffs and ferries.  
The airport lies across the Narrows.

The dock seams the ocean
to the small town crawling up the hill.
Ketchikan Creek flows through
making houses on stilts look like women
holding up their long skirts in a flood.

We’re still the salmon capital of the world,  
but we no longer log the Tongass Forest.
The Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian live here.
We have more totem poles than most
and tourists toting cameras.

The Misty Fjords National Monument beckons.
We have a moderate climate
and you won’t find polar bears.
Yep, (silly) we take American currency,
and keep the change.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

PAD 26 Free

Freedom to Eat

Bald eagle’s wings spanned
Beak down, feathers fanned
Talons out, approaches sea
Catches glimpse of swish
Swoops and captures fish
Eating—part of being free

Monday, November 25, 2013

PAD 25 Remix of earlier poem

Misty Fjords, Ketchikan

Gray sea breathes
High cliffs hide in mist
Falls form stripes
Whales emerge
Seals lounge lazily on land

Eagles nest in pines

Sunday, November 24, 2013

PAD 24 quotes, Poetic Bloomings Thankfulness


Unless we make Christmas an occasion to share our blessings, all the snow in Alaska won’t make it ‘white’. Bing Crosby

If all my blessings were snowflakes,
I’d build a family of snow people,
set them around a dinner table
and give them long wooden spoons,
and the only way they’d be able to eat,
would be to feed each other.

(Long spoon allegory from Rabbi Haim of Romshishok)

Saturday, November 23, 2013

PAD 23 I Shouldn't Be Here

I Shouldn't Be Here

I ran from my past.
But it followed me.
I build.
It tears down.
I connect.
It disconnects.
I take one step forward.
It pushes me back three.
I shouldn't be here,
with my past.
I’d like to run.
But where?
I've got to face my past head on,
so I’m free to step into my future.

Friday, November 22, 2013

PAD 22 Wordle: selfie, casket, ideogram, wretch, remora, eclipse

Funeral Selfie

The selfie of me
standing by his casket
served as an ideogram
for what a wretch I am,
practically a remora—
along for the ride
and fed by his scraps,
his life eclipsing mine.

No more. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

PAD 21 secret message

Suspect and Plan (double acrostic)

S  ee who you are now. The data
A rtistically hidden in your text may seem
A mazingly like drivel from a simpleton’s mind filled with fog,
C areless ramblings, but they were too
G raphic, too organized. I
R ealized none too soon,
O ver a long time really, that this was all a big
V icious set up from a wounded heart,
E rroneously implicating me. I’m so
S orry that you feel that way, but I will be much better
O ff without you.
N ow, this has stopped being fun.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

PAD 20 Always blank, Poetic Bloomings Ae freslighe

Always Gold in Ketchikan

Always gold in Ketchikan
But not the kind that glitters
Help me out and fetch a pan
I’ll fry up apple fritters

The salmon is delicious
The shrimp scampi will enthrall
And scrumptious baked quail dishes
You must try them one and all

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

PAD 19 love

More Questions

I respect you and ask you questions.
I admire you and sing your praises.
You follow me around like a puppy dog.
I feel loved, but do you really love me?
Or do you just love the way I love you? 

Monday, November 18, 2013

PAD 18 Forget what I said

A Nice Place to Visit

Forget what I said about Ketchikan.
With mountains, forests, sea, it’s beautiful,
but rain pours nearly every day, and the sky
turns into a cranky old grandpa, gray and growly.
If your temper reflects the weather...

Sunday, November 17, 2013

PAD 17 element, Poetic Bloomings Personification


Like a carrot dangling 
before a donkey’s nose
I led men unaware
the value lay
in the mountains,
the forest,
the sea

Saturday, November 16, 2013

PAD 16 half way

Like the Duke of York

The tour guide in Ketchikan
A smart and friendly man
He hiked us to the top of Deer Mountain
Then he hiked us down again

And when we were only half-way up,
We were neither up nor down.

But we took lots of pictures.

Friday, November 15, 2013

PAD 15 What Blank

What’s Concealed in Ketchikan?

What’s veiled by the rain?
What’s hidden by the mist?
What moves in the depths?
What’s secreted in old attics?
What lurks in the rain forest?
What’s waiting in the mountains?
What message lies in totem poles?
What’s in the past haunting the present?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

PAD 14 Exploration

Chase Ketchikan

Chase Ketchikan until it catches you
Unlike the harsh Alaska you may think
No polar bears or snow to your wazoo
Chase Ketchikan until it catches you
With temperatures 40 to 62
 A place with nature you can feel in sync
Chase Ketchikan until it catches you
Unlike the harsh Alaska you may think
 And everywhere you’re treated to a view
Chase Ketchikan until it catches you
Where you can zipline, fish, hike, and canoe
Where air and sea acts as the transport link
Chase Ketchikan until it catches you
Unlike the harsh Alaska you may think

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

PAD 13 self help

Self Help in Ketchikan

You’re wounded and broken and sad.
Let Ketchikan repair
you with its waters  and wild life,
its mountains and fresh air. 

Make Misty Fjords your therapist,
the Narrows your wise guide.
The Tongass woods wait when you need
to run away and hide.

Let kayaks be your counselor
on dark and dreary days.
Let hiking play psychiatrist,
and fishing always pays.

If that is not enough, let go,
please pull out all the stops!
And get your retail therapy
at local tourist shops.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

PAD 12 Happiest Moment


In a land
Called Ketchikan
With boats along the docks
Then up a hill
And steeper still
A tram car like a box

That’s where he
Proposed to she
As they looked out on the town
Happy going up
More so going down

Monday, November 11, 2013

PAD 11 Ekphrastic

                                                                            Photo by Robert Dawson

Waiting Still

Along the shore of Ketchikan,
There lived an avid fisher man.
His hair was blond, his skin was tan.
One stormy night he drowned.
As time goes by in lengthy span,
His old house tumbles down.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

PAD 9 sweet PB hero

Sweet-Solstice Success

It’s in the news,
They auctioned shoes
To raise the dough
For folks you know,

Those with cancer
Who need an answer.
The chemo and infusion suite
Help our heroes who can’t be beat.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

PAD 9 The Other ?

The Other Islands

Everyone has skiffs in Ketchikan
so they can boat from island to island—
Gravina, Annette, Pennock Islands,
but none like Revillagigedo.
Skiffs rest in its outstretched docks
like babes cradled in Mama’s arms.

Friday, November 8, 2013

PAD 8 object

Totem Pole

Many crafted faces
Speaking through the ages
Exuding mystery
Marking history

Thursday, November 7, 2013

PAD 7 hardship, Poetic Bloomings Mirror Sestet


Fishing for king salmon is what I’m wishing.
Wishing for creatures as big as my boat for fishing.

So I venture forth, in the early morning, I go.
Go out in the ocean ten nautical miles or so.

Ship bears down on me, I hear my boat rip—
rip just like paper. That’s a hard ship!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

PAD 6 Perspective


They descend on us like a plague of bees
doubling our quaint town of Ketchikan.

They ask us
if the Inside Passage is a river,
why we built the docks so low,
why we built the docks so high,
why someone doesn't clean the glaciers,
which road they should bring their RV in on.

They ask us
where we live in the winter,
if it gets down to fifty below,
when we turn the Northern Lights on,
why the islands don’t run into each other,
if we all made crafts to fill the souvenir shops.

They ask us
why salmon jump,
if we speak English,
if it rains in Ketchikan,
how many hours there are in a day,
why someone called their Chihuahua eagle bait.

They ask us
if Alaska is as big as Texas,
if we still use kerosene lamps,
if we accept American currency,
where they could see a Woolly Mammoth,
if they should apply the pepper spray before their hike.
(Here, let me apply it for you.)

I would wish them to go the way of the honeybee
if they didn't produce the honey.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

PAD 5 Concealed or revealed

God Revealed

Bigfoot, aliens, ghosts.
I must admit they give me shivers.
I do believe in the super natural.
After all,
God supernaturally impregnated a virgin,
expressing Himself, His love,
to all mankind in the form of Jesus.
I don’t know
if Bigfoot lives in Ketchikan,
if aliens visited Roswell,
or if ghosts haunt European castles.
But I do know
God is real.

Monday, November 4, 2013

PAD 4 Sheet

Misty Fjords, Ketchikan

Sheets of ice send
water winding
through granite cliffs.
Falls stripe mountains
Pines house eagles
Whales surface,
loop, submerge with tail slaps
Seals lounge lazily on land
Dark hills like sleeping monsters
hide in mist.
Large and lonely
Terrible beauty

Sunday, November 3, 2013

PAD 3 The Last Time I was Here

Nowhere to Somewhere

The last time I was in Ketchikan
I was a cruise ship tourist.
Now I’m a permanent fixture
like the New York hotel
with its multi-layered history.
And here I am with mine,
looking for a job,
a new start.

Searching for You. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

PAD 2 In the News

Thrills—Or Not

Wowser, wowser, wowser
wrote a Ketchikan reporter
obviously wowed and thrilled
that US Today listed
Ketchikan’s airport
in the top ten
most thrilling airports
of the world.

What was so thrilling
about Ketchikan’s airport
when some airports
are little more than goat paths?
Ketchikan’s airport sits
between the Tongass Narrows
and the Gravina Island Highway
 which sit between mountains.

Not thrilling,
the water doesn’t freeze
like the Potomac
and mountains are all over Alaska.
The puzzled reporter
concluded that the most thrilling
thing about Ketchikan’s airport
was the popcorn.

(The Sit News/In Ketchikan We Have Our Thrill, Dave Kiffer)

Friday, November 1, 2013

PAD 1 Appearing


Mountains melt into midst.
Pines lose their color in darkness.
Lonely lakes mirror shadows and clouds.
Grayness seems to take over the world
as if blues and greens never existed.
Depression is like that.
But despite the gloom,
the sun's still there.
It will show itself eventually,
revealing lively colors once again.