MJ blathers

dark poet who loves to laugh


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little leather books

little leather books

three inches wide

three and three quarter

inches tall

dark olive-green covers

darker with age

and fading to brown

at the edges

and within, The Tempest

Stevenson’s  Will o’ the Mill

The Coming of Arthur by Tennyson

treasures given by a friend

with music in her soul


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pecking order

leading with question mark

head feathers, a small flock

of california quail squabbled

and strutted through my yard

until they found the feeding

table on my porch where

every morning i set out seed

usually gobbled up first

by scrub jays but the round-bellied

quail flutter up to peck

shoulder to shoulder

dominating the tray

wrens, chickadees, sparrows

no longer even try


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ross mac hall

[in memorial]

rust bucket tinge on eastern horizon

give hint of silhouettes

evergreens at distant ridge tops

emerge as single pines

as individual men

emerge from crowds

of college graduates

learning new skills

daring to found new projects

as the Willamette Week

create haunting poetry

and stories to stir human souls


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orchard treasure

apples plum-purple

yellows, reds

shades and combinations

streaks of one atop the other

pears grown lop-sided

as portly, misshapen crones

grapes in clusters

in the sun, some globs

already turning to raisins

pale green, purple

slender ovals, plump globes

sweeter than candy

and treasured orchard

bounty littering the ground

for critters to share

harvest feast


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high above enriches

luncheon at the inn at spanish head

tenth story windows overlook

sweep on incoming waves

and irregular sand beach

for miles south

with lifts of evergreen hills

couples below walking

holding hands among driftwood

allowing white foam to caress

bare ankles and take them

to distances and lengths of time

that replenish perspective

and deepen commitment


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our open wound hope

the reality of anger

and wish for revenge

on all who may have

hurt me in the past

or may lash out against me

in the future

the reality of fear

that assumes betrayal

and finds security only

in conspiracies and in

signs and symbols

that only some

can understand

such reality has been true

for centuries, but hidden

perhaps, now that it is

out in plain sight,

perhaps now we can learn

to comfort, assure and include


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camouflaged by stillness

my front door has windows

but i seldom look beyond

the rosebush for visitor car

startled, then, more than

once by wild animals

i had not seen

until i am in their sights:

the growl that told me

to back inside—now

the swifts and swallows

swooping close, angry

with my intrusion

and, last evening, the doe

munching green weeds among

brown grass, a statue

for once, i outwaited her

stock still eye to eye, she looking

for movement to find me again