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His hand cradled hers;
Hers are swallowed in his.
Her delicate fingers found safety.
His rough calluses found purpose.

No agenda.
No timetable.
No watch.
No phone.
Only them alone.
Alone, together among the masses.

Happiness sat upon his shoulders.
Wonder captured her eye and his.
’Twas the wonder of passing wonder on to his,
’twas the wonder of two and generations.

This is their time to stare.
This is their time to see.
This is their time to be.

And all the sounds of busy,
they had no ill effects.

Monet and Modigliani are
cradled under arcs of light,
softly it’s spilled round.
Muted foot-falls and hushed breaths
were all that they could sound.

Her neck was stretched
in Modigliani style
to see what could be seen;
It was if all that “The Greek”
could teach was, in her, made flesh.

Claude’s colors were splashed
on canvas large
in haphazard order,
that caused Beauty to bend
her haughty eyes to drink.

This is their time to stare.
This is their time to see.
This is their time to be.

Mr. Well’s machine is seen in
these vaulted halls of frames.
Each brushstroke takes us back,
and the dust of centuries laid on linen fair
can be seen by anyone who takes the time to stare.

© rl busséll 2019 – All rights reserved.

Laughter’s Flame

In the shade of a towering oak, in the wavering heat of day,
There came men of the same; they more light than flesh.
There to speak to Nation’s Father, a father to Affliction’s Say.
”Say’t, without mirth, “Ancient will give birth to new flesh.”
The wind blew hard as ancient wife cried out in mirth.
”Now that this flesh is withered, you send this tale, this
Story of new birth.” “To Laughter’s Flame you will give birth.
This time, a year hence, you will swell in your bliss.
And Nation’s Father will joy in Nation’s inheritance.”
The notion that the dead will give birth, is nothing new.
But the tale of Laughter’s birth and a mother’s impotence;
The tale of old father, with now two sons has nations hewn.
This shady towering tree witnessed Laughter’s flame
And saw the spark that give birth to our laughter’s Name.

© rl busséll 2018 – All rights reserved.


Photo by Victor Zambrano on Unsplash

Peace, Peace

“Jeremiah knew the story of dying nations,
Nations set for inglorious, ignominious demise
And herein lies our story, for we are set for cremations.
My city is about to die; it’ll no longer see the open skies.
And like the children of the tribe, we behold our Babylon.
Babylon comes with hands holding plumbs to measure.
They move with speed; distance measured in marathons.
Our Nebuchadnezzar is showing us his displeasure.
He’ll take no time to discern wheat from chaff;
The weeping mother, the crying infant, the purest maiden,
And those with hardened hand will have no cause to laugh.
I pray that the earth beneath our feet we’ll not abandon,
That the sky will recall our place in the eternal sun,
That we’ll not be forgotten by the Eternal One.”

© rl busséll 2018 – All rights reserved

Letter Q from fifteenth century French woodcut from and edition of Vergil printed by Lambillion

Q Haiku

Quixotic questing
queen— quaking, quivering —
quaffed — quad-Quentão.

© rl busséll 2018 – All rights reserved.


Alphabet Haiku Challenge

  • Every word in the haiku must begin with the same letter
  • When written in English, it generally follows the syllabic pattern 5-7-5
  • Haiku/Senryu Poetry – Here is an in-depth description of Haiku/Senryu Poem (also called human haiku) is an unrhymed Japanese verse consisting of three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables (5, 7, 5) or 17 syllables in all. Senryu is usually written in the present tense and only references to some aspect of human nature or emotions. They possess no references to the natural world and thus stand out from nature/seasonal haiku.

Letter Q from fifteenth century French woodcut from and edition of Vergil printed by Lambillion

The Letter Q fifteenth century French woodcut from and edition of Vergil printed by Lambillion

Sonnet Two

Clouds carry whisper colored memories
And soft lightnings — flashes like sentinels
Against a darkened pane, thick memories —
Impasto hammered pains sharp with angles.
These clouds, these ever turbulent mists,
Listen not to small voice or Thor’s hammer,
They are blind to mouse, blind to pugilist,
Blind to the pleas of the eyeless seer.
For these mists, these airy kaleidoscopes
Of reflected light, live outside hist’ry.
They dwell there e’er in the eternal tropes.
For these mists led my fathers from the sea.
These solid mists, these son-born billows,
Billow an’ dance, lifting all from sorrows.

© rl busséll 2018 – All rights reserved

When All Could Be Gold

Crackers, crumbs, and milk in little carton drums.
I held mother’s hand and smelled the day so grand:
Chalk coming off the board in clouds,
Crayons held in new-formed hands, and
Blocks of wood all ready to stand.

All our cubbies lay right by the door,
Where we placed all that we brought,
all that our mothers and fathers thought
would make us what we would become;
all that would set our clay to marble-grand.

The room smelled of hope and bright eastern sun.
The room smelled of wood and bright colored fun.
The room smelled of promise and crisp new clothes.
The room smelled of smiles and pink-colored bows.

Kindergarten socks,
kindergarten hands,
kindergarten lambs
play in kindergarten bands.

These were the days when all could be gold,
when none of our fools showed their true face,
when none of our promise was broken and spilled,
and none of our parents died under their wheels,
when all could be fixed by
crackers, milk and small blanket sips,
when all of our curls were just so,
and no one laughed at our club-footed toe.

We were at the edge of all that could be,
Tree-top houses were in our future, you see.
Jack was sitting on white-painted seat,
Camelot was forming ‘round high-city stage,
and space’s frontier was laid at our feet.

Before bullet sang into President’s pate,
before Junior bled in Egypt’s old town,
before Dick hid the heist from the gate.

We sat in a circle, as we were taught,
as a dark-headed girl edged to the door,
her legs cradled in steel,
her hand cradled in flesh,
her smile cradled in bashfulness.

Kindergarten socks,
kindergarten hands,
kindergarten lambs
played in kindergarten bands.

© rl busséll 2018 – All rights reserved.

G Senryu

gangly gangs grandly
gait gallop grab gain —
gargantuan 1 glass

© rl busséll 2018 – All rights reserved.


This senryu envisions the seconds before the breaking of jewish owned storefront glass on November 9-10, 1938 in Germany and parts of Austria.

“The November Pogrom, known alternatively as ‘Kristallnacht 2,’ also led to the desecration of over 1,200 synagogues and looting of thousands of Jewish businesses and homes.
Following the assassination of a junior diplomat in Paris by a young Polish Jew, the Nazi Party seized the opportunity to incite mass anti-Jewish violence, claiming it was a spontaneous popular ‘retaliation’ against the ‘enemy within’. As a result approximately 90 people were killed and over 25,000 Jewish men were arrested and deported to Dachau, Buchenwald and Sachsenhausen, leading to the deaths of hundreds more in the camps.”3

May we never forget. May God show us more mercy than deserved.

For more information please visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum or The Wiener Library.


Alphabet Haiku Challenge

  • Every word in the haiku must begin with the same letter
  • When written in English, it generally follows the syllabic pattern 5-7-5
  • Haiku/Senryu Poetry – Here is an in-depth description of Haiku/Senryu Poem (also called human haiku) is an unrhymed Japanese verse consisting of three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables (5, 7, 5) or 17 syllables in all. Senryu is usually written in the present tense and only references to some aspect of human nature or emotions. They possess no references to the natural world and thus stand out from nature/seasonal haiku.
  1. from Gargantua the name of a giant king in François Rabelais’s 16th-century satiric novel “The Life of Gargantua and of Pantagruel” ↩︎
  2. The Night of the Broken Glass ↩︎
  3. http://wienerlibrarycollections.co.uk/novemberpogrom/home ↩︎