Poetics

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In Plain View

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Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania, 2008

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Creator of the Heaven
The Sea to cool the Earth
Established a world order
Before a Human’s birth

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Because of their sheer power
In fire and brimstone
Volcanoes were God’s consult
And frequently his throne

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And those that populated
The realm of Olduvai
Spoke wise in rumbling voices
Against a blackened sky

The Masai herding cattle
Since time before past when
Gave homage to their power
Considering them kin

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Because they were so favored
It fueled an arrogance
And compelled secret yearning
That placed them on offense

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Ngorongoro’s thought was
To rule without God’s hand
And spew the lava wide enough
To scorch the Earth to sand

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There wasn’t any rationale
Except for malcontent
The Mount Meru stood listening
Completely reticent

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Alone Ol Doinyo Lengal
Known as God’s mountain-place
Remained distinct and distanced
From probable disgrace

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Away at Garden Eden
And troubles with The Man
God swift-returned to rumors
About Ngoron’s plan

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Encounter? So explosive
Results? Not hard to guess
Imploded, a volcono
Ngoron was a mess

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To solve each of his problems
Gof moved The Garden’s place
To ocupy the crater
Now Ngorongoro’s face

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Ashamed Meru jstood shivering
It’s fire turning cold
The thought to be so punished
For only being bold

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“What would you have me do, Meru?
You failed to take a stance
When breakdown between powerful
Leaves little left to chance”

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“Cause silence is conspire
Though lesser in extreme
Your Brethren cannot fury
Except by Master Scheme”

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“But God’s Ol Doinyo Lengai
Resistent to harass
Can demonstrate its power
Each seven years that pass”

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Away from Man’s excesses
The Animals still roam
And flourish in the crater
Content to make it home

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And left as a reminder
Around Ngoron’s sphere
Is stillness from volcanoes
Now silenced by their fear.

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By Pamela Kelly Phillips © 2012
Life in Fine Art

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Maggie

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Alice Springs, Australia 2010

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Maggie was an Ancient
As elusive as the wind
And though we were not enemy
I can’t say we were friend.

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Shopkeep told her “Get away”
“Don’t bother folks no more”
“Maggie, you know better”
“Cause we’ve been through this before”

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Just like a chastised child, she stared
Then hastened to the door
Remaining was the artwork
That her people labored for

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I didn’t buy a thing inside
The price changed in debate
Departing, there stood Maggie
Me, the object of her wait

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I was intrigued, that moment
Her condition and the “why”
So lackluster — her spirit
Like the product of a sigh

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Maggie had some issues
That was evident to see
Drink, not time, had clouded
Intospect and dignity

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There on the street, this meeting
Had a hint of long-lost kin
The dignity of people
Waged against invading men

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That lasted for a moment
‘Cause she didn’t share concern
She only wanted one thing
And she wasn’t there to learn

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From my extended hand she said
“You tell me where you from”
Then “Hungry, give me money”
She’d take any given sum

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I told her I would buy her lunch
Refreshment, a hot plate
She looked at me impatiently
‘Cause food would not sedate

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The pain she held inside was not
Of hunger, but despair
And nothing in my bag of tricks
Could mellow out her stare

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She left me feeling helpless
But in minutes she came back
With marker and a canvass
New approach to her attack

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She pointed to the blankness
And I felt enormous shame
This explotation’s target
Knew the rules to play the game

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Empty like the promises
That didn’t quite come through
This art would be reminder
Of shades of in green and blue

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Reprieved from altruistics
I then watched her extend blame
To others giving money
Who got nothing just the same.

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Maggie was an Ancient
As elusive as the wind
And though we were not enemy
I can’t say we were friend.

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By Pamela Kelly Phillips © 2011
Life in Fine Art

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The Music Still Sings Blue

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The rocking chairs go back and forth — each on or off a beat
As weathered as two gentlemen perched on each time-worn seat
Straw hat and felt fedora, top skin shades of brown and black
And dual cigars unlighted; Slim Jim sits with Soft-shoe Jack

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Between them time is mostly spent on talk of yesterday
And after queried weather there is not much more to say
Unless a passing traveler stops there, restful on the road
In endless search of novelties and living legends told

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Then locals knowing history will often join right in
The plea for a blue melody, of other times past when
‘Hey Jim, give us a good song, old school – but not too long
A cool and haunting melody about a man done wrong’

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A play at some reluctance then the stage soon sets again
Slim Jim smiles the man an answer at the serenade’s begin
Much smoother than black velvet, raw soul croons just like a threat
Involvement in the music reaffirmed by mounting sweat

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Harmonica to sweetly scent a verse well-sung refrain
While tapping feet to music soothes and clapping hands sustain
As one song begs another, applause prompts — then bids — adieu
Each sits and smiles approval that the music still sings blue.

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Published most recently:
Blue Note, and other poems
by Pamela Kelly Phillips

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TA Publications © 2007
ISBN 0-890459-06-2

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Clean Lines

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Can you capture breeze
To smell its freshness once again
Or sense a hint of angel’s touch
Within a drop of rain

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And time that marks each moment past
Leaves hints to take you back
Through realizations that what’s had
Though bountiful, can lack

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The simple things that matter
Wrapped in love or left to fly
Like clothes my Mother washed
And left upon the line to dry.

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by Pamela Kelly Phillips © 1997

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TA Publications © 2007
ISBN 0-940248-65-4

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Moonshy

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The Moon — once full, stood glowing
Adorned in cloak, pure white
That glistened from the stardust
Illuminating night

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A Star that fell came creeping
Up close behind the moon
So pompous from his travels
And places left too soon

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So jealous of her brightness
The Star devised a plan
To humble luminescence
Beneath the desert’s tan

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“Your cloak, sooo iridescent
But little do you know
Reveals each imperfection
Much more than I would show”

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The Moon — at once, embarrassed
Pulled fabric from the night
And covered-up revealing
A quarter slit of light

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The creatures of the desert
Cried out in deep despair
Requesting intercession
To speed the moon’s repair

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Then stretching out a broad arm
God minimized the pain
Returning moon to splendor
Each time it chooses wane

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The Star fulfilled its journey
To end in blaze of light
Alone and disillusioned
And distant from all sight.

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Inspired by a Tucson Moon.
Pamela Kelly Phillips © 1998

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Published most recently:
Blue Note, and other poems
by Pamela Kelly Phillips

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TA Publications © 2007
ISBN 0-890459-06-2

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Image: Embrace © PK Phillips 2005

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