Archive for ‘Doug’

February 15, 2017

Spring

by HemmingPlay

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Put your ear to the air.

Tune your senses to the long rhythms…

The sun is daily higher,

It knocks harder on grave’s door:

Beneath in the icy ground,

Life warms from near death

Shudders and swells and pushes against

The things that would keep it cold:

February 13, 2017

I Was A Horse

by HemmingPlay

cropped-the-leap-into-the-unknown.jpgI woke up this morning from a dreamy grey half-sleep
with the February rain dripping off the eaves.
A memory floated by that in a previous life
I was a horse. No question.
A big, brown horse with
soft, knowing eyes. I had been abandoned

February 6, 2017

Vacation

by HemmingPlay
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Cafe Du Monde, New Orleans

After 60 years of work, more or less,
I’ve decided to take a working vacation.
I’m booking a cruise and extended
train travels for the next 60 years
To go exploring along the coasts,
Poking my canoe up the inlets and rivers,
Probing the veins and wires and memories of
Some unfamiliar parts of me, and some
I’ve been missing for a while, to
See whether there’s anything
Worth saving, or maybe just toss it all out.

February 3, 2017

Song of the Hidden Moon

by HemmingPlay

night-sky-moon-cloud-sea-ocean
Without fail, monthly, the full moon sheds
her inky cloak of night and stars
and slips a leg and then the rest into the lake,
her cool fire subtracted from the sky.
She leaves the nights more lonely, barren.

But her life is not extinguished,
merely hidden, recovering, re-energizing.
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February 3, 2017

Einstein Lit A Cigarette

by HemmingPlay

atomic_bomb_explosion

Einstein lit a cigarette
and watched the violet and pastel afterglow
of the first bomb
fade over the desert, inhaled

January 14, 2017

The One You Feed…

by HemmingPlay

wolf

A Cherokee Fable

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between 2 “wolves” inside us all.

One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

January 11, 2017

Sanctuary Tree

by HemmingPlay

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The poet Rumi advises us to find a place
high in a nearby tree to hide our spirit.
It is so easily bruised and, when damaged,
we cannot hear what it has to teach.
I read this and had a question–
why did I wait so long to do the work

January 8, 2017

Birthday Request

by HemmingPlay
Pillars of Creation: interstellar gas and dust in the Eagle Nebula, some 6,500-7,000 light years from Earth where stars are born

“Pillars of Creation”: Hubble photo of interstellar gas and dust in the Eagle Nebula, some 6,500-7,000 light years from Earth where stars are born

In case anyone’s interested,
I’d like the superpower of “Folding” for my birthday.
It cuts out the middle man
to command space and time
with no bureaucracy.

Like a cosmic calendar with tricky bits.
I’d fold weeks, months, years, centuries together,
jump to any time, past or future.
The first would be hanging with
the first human band to walk out
of Africa 60,000 years ago.
I’d wait in the shade of a date palm,
on the banks of the Nile,
bouncing rocks off the skulls of crocodiles,
keeping an eye out to the south.
I would get a fire going and
cook hot dogs and hamburgers,
and have beer chilling on ice.
History’s first tailgate.

January 1, 2017

Renewable Vow

by HemmingPlay

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I was 21 when I took the official vows,
but had really taken the important ones
some months earlier. When I proposed
on April Fools Day and she said ‘yes.’
And like two fools,
we thought that was just fine.
Turns out, nearly 50 years later, it was.

December 28, 2016

Being Careless

by HemmingPlay

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Hemmingplay

December 27, 2016

Time

by HemmingPlay

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I tried running downstream once
And realized I could not
Step into the same river twice.

I was asleep for 50 years,
More or less, and, now awake,
Fear there is not enough time to finish my work.

Hemmingplay

December 18, 2016

Skidding Past A Woods On A Snowy Evening

by HemmingPlay

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Whose tracks those are I think I know
His auto’s by trees yonder, though;
He cannot see me skidding past
(His windows buried deep in snow.) 

My Subaru must think it queer
To try to stop in any gear
Trapped ‘tween ditch and looming truck
Whee! First ice storm in this crappy year!

Safety brakes cause wheels to shake
Miss the truck? ‘Tis a grim sweepstake
The only other sound the squeals
Of a useless scream and semi’s brakes.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
And I now wish I’d picked the Jeep,
But tears’ll freeze if now I weep,
But tears’ll freeze if now I weep.

*With apologies to Robert Frost

December 14, 2016

As Though Each Were Your Last

by HemmingPlay
When the sun comes up like thunder

Photo:When the sun comes up like thunder

“I just want to see how long the string is. This never gets old. It gets more interesting, actually.” — Keith Richards, Rolling Stones

Each day is here then gone, a brief chance to
roll the salt and savor of it on the tongue, to enjoy
each passing smile and twinkling eye and lovely curve,
reminding me I am still alive.
Teaching me why, in the now.

Each sunset red on the world,
a hint at what becomes of us all.

December 3, 2016

Move In Slowly

by HemmingPlay

Danaid by August Rodin

Move in slowly with carnivorous intent,

Pin me

With warm curves, sweet desire.

November 28, 2016

Water

by HemmingPlay

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The water rubs the stone

Soft and cool, or fast and hot.

Day upon day.

The stone’s contours shift and soften

Day upon day.

November 28, 2016

Sad Wales Scales Tale

by HemmingPlay

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@Hemmingplay

Hemmingplay

November 25, 2016

It’s Time

by HemmingPlay

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Maybe it is time to forgive God
For the hundreds of women
who have rejected me over the years,
Starting in third grade,
(theoretically, of course,
whether they knew it or not.
And for the one or two who
didn’t, but should have).

I’ve reached the point in life
too late where I
Would actually be of some
use to them,

Could gently walk with them without harm,
And be remembered with
generosity and fondness.
But I have reached the age
of their fathers,
And so, instead, have become
regrettably invisible.

November 24, 2016

The Pause

by HemmingPlay
© 2014

Pause
©Hemmingplay 2014

It has just struck me that I have left my old house
But have forgotten where the new one is.
Inconvenient.
Let me stand here for a moment,
Have a drink and pet the dog. Maybe

November 19, 2016

Standing At The Edge

by HemmingPlay

EndofSummer_posteredges copy

The nights have gone cool, the days not as warm.
Sundown slips backward,

Dawn awakes later, shivering …by minutes,
Does it think we don’t notice?

The summer has been rainy, more than usual,
“Can’t complain, wouldn’t do no good,” my neighbor says.

November 18, 2016

Blowing Bubbles

by HemmingPlay

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Blowing bubbles…  
Pretty bubbles in the air,
They fly so high,
Nearly kiss the sky,
Then like our dreams,
They fade and die.

November 16, 2016

The Fasting Time

by HemmingPlay

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In our northern climes winter comes.
Fall has been lovely, long, bright, and wet
But the dry leaves rustle and scurry outside.
We’re due a reckoning for our sins
and excesses, and now enter a time of fasting.

November 8, 2016

Muddy Banks of Childhood

by HemmingPlay

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by Hemmingplay

Shimmering metalicelectricbrightblue armorskin,
Wire-thin waist,
Twitchy, angry wings
Searing sting, delivered like hot death.
Oh, yes. I learned. I learned.

Mud dauber wasps drop
Out of the sun like Messerschmitt One-Oh-Nines,

November 7, 2016

Slowly

by HemmingPlay
Danaid by August Rodin

‘Danaid’, by August Rodin

Move slowly, pin me

With warm curves and desire.

Swallow me with liquid fire.

October 29, 2016

To A Young Friend

by HemmingPlay

Photo by Kubra Zakir

A new day rises for you, daughter,
Pushing the darkness and the mists of childhood away.
Many have stood on this same shore, you know, but
This hour is wholly fresh, is yours entire,
Awesome and terrifying.
Thrilling. Dangerous. Engaging.
Overwhelming.
“Am I up to it?” You wonder…

September 26, 2016

Give One Yielding Hour

by HemmingPlay


Give one yielding hour,

All forgot in the moment.

Pretend to care not, if you must.

But you may be believed not.

September 19, 2016

What It Is Not

by HemmingPlay

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Let’s talk “Poetry” for a moment.

So many lost lusts,
So many ‘why doesn’t he love me’s’
So many sacrifices of dignity,
Conflations of attraction and connection,
So many confusions of sex and love
So many dear diary’s, soulful sobs, self-pity,
So many anguished tears on so many pillows.
So many tearful gazes over the waters,
Like so many before, like your great-great-grandparents,
As though tears alone justify, define poetry.
As though that’s enough.

September 17, 2016

Breadcrumbs In A Stream

by HemmingPlay

©Doug Stanfield 2014

The sound of a train’s horn somewhere in the valley at night

Creamy thighs flashing under a summer dress, cool and molten at the same time

The smell of coffee when the sun is just over the mountain

A robin hatched by the kitchen door, back in the yard, hunting, says ‘hello’

The look of an old door, the view out a window, an old house that shelters me

Fireflies in June that send me back to a more innocent time

September 12, 2016

The Hanging Road

by HemmingPlay
The Hanging Road, the path in the sky the owls follow from the world to the Camp of the Dead

The Hanging Road in Cheyenne belief is the path that owls (see, this idea is not from Harry Potter!) follow to carry messages back and forth from the Land of the Living  to the Camp of the Dead

The rider and horse moved onto the narrow path into the wilderness, to Cloud Peak,
In the mountains of the Big Horn sheep, to where the Old Ones hold council.

Her hooves were sure–More sure than his heart. This
She sensed, so the big brown mare gave him loan of hers.

Her breath blew in gusts as the path steepened and the air thinned.
The shadows of the pines grew darker, the air chilled.

The day sank into the west behind the peaks, hour on hour, step by step,
Into the camp of tomorrows, into the undiscovered country.