MJ blathers

dark poet who loves to laugh

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beyond me

reaching, longing
always beyond my fingertips
failing, withdrawing
never within my grasp
compromising, consoling self
wasn’t important anyway
ignoring, down-playing
lost focus, lost hope


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others’ pain

i am appalled at times
at the indifference
to the pain of others

how one chides them
believing their own
choices engendered their guilt

or, worse, feel not at all
the anguish that spears me
from afar, even at a distance

judge them for lack of tending
to your needs, as though
their agony were nothing

mjN 1/24/18

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come, child

come, child

scamper ahead
to the stream edge
gape at hovering dragon-
flies, startle the stilted
ibis, fling a worn-
smooth pebble at trout
shadow, just see them

begin the process, learn
to marvel, grow
into appreciation that
leads you
to shelter and
protect, see Nature
come, child
be one of the whole

mjN 1/31/18 N

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Tim Applegate talks with Writers in the Grove 11/6/17

Tim Applegate
Tim Applegate Thank you, Mary Jane. It was a privilege to talk to the Writers in the Grove this morning. What a wonderfully diverse group of writers! They were analytical and enthusiastic, and they asked some of the best questions I’ve ever been asked. Best of luck to all of you with your literary projects.

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Panic over Rumors [from Nandria’s World]

May 1940

Buzzing heads together in worry and the resulting anger, Boonetown’s folk clumped in fast-talking knots along the boardwalk and out onto the one paved street as far as the shack near the railroad crossing.
“Nazis are coming!” “Got all them poor boys trapped!” “At Cape Cod, isn’t it?” “Dun-somethin’, I think.” “Any word them comin’ inland from the coast yet?” “How could the Allied Commanders let them bring their Europe war over here to us?” “Again! Didn’t we lose enough in that Great War? And what did we get out of all that?””Nothing but misery, that’s for sure.” “We ain’t gonna get into this one, not if’n I hafta march on Washington my own self.”

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stories told in simple sketches:

stick figures distinctly human

hand prints

paw prints

prey and weapon, atlatl

big horn sheep, lizard

hare and tortoise

short, parallel lines capped by single longer line

short, wavy lines capped by single longer line

what do they mean? why were they etched

on black, desert-varnished rock face

at times high above, reached only

by perilous climb


warnings? maps?

celebration of successful hunt?

prayer to the great unknown?

we know only that humans

were here – this desert place –

eons before

felt this heat, squinted against this glare

worked to feed themselves and family

huddled together against night’s sudden cold

anxious, relieved, joyful, fearful, mournful


reaching out over thousands of years

to us, who barely comprehend,

but feel their common humanity

Valley of Fire, Nevada