Thursday, June 20, 2019

Feel Like

You make me feel
like I have a fancy hat
on my head. The right
size, too. You make
me feel like
I could live among frogs,
as long as you were
pondside with me.

You make me feel
like a lost key
a mermaid picked up
from the bottom
of a sea. That's me.

You make me feel
like a simile
translated into
all the languages,
then printed
on the perfume
of a very peaceful day.


hans ostrom 2019

Friday, June 7, 2019

The Stolen Bin

In news of crime
in privileged places,
somebody stole
my recycling bin.

I'm a longtime
recycler. Hey, I
joined Friends of
the Earth in 1971.

(A lot of good that
did.) I did not know
until today about the
big Black Market

in big blue bins.
Maybe the thieves
sought in scraps
some digits with

which to go all
vampire on my
bloody accounts.
Instead they will

paw as I did through
unsolicited fliers
and mass-mailings.
I said to myself,

bereft of my bin,
"Why would anyone
want to . . ."--and
stopped. Why would

anyone want to
wreck the Earth?
We're way beyond
such questions.

hans ostrom 2019

How About We . . .?

Let's go, stay, sleep,
talk, eat, read, think,
and dance. Some of
these can be combined.

It's snowing in Reno.

Let's sweep, mop,
wash, scrub, sigh.
Let's weep. So hard.
Let's tell secrets.

You first.


hans ostrom 2019

It Is What It Isn't

It's a cocoa cacophony,
a chocolate noise.
It's a bluish red
flower, a purple poise.

It's a fanciful
thing like an
invisible ring.
It's the notion

that we might make
a forest in our minds,
go there, and wander
beneath giant trees,

if we should so please.


hans ostrom 2019

Monosyllables of Our Time

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hans ostrom 2019

A Statistic and I

Someone told me that
on average 153,424 people
die each day. Globally.
That's a terrible thing
to tell someone, I thought,
before thinking of the
galaxies of memory
the minds of 153,424
contained before they
vanished.


hans ostrom 2019

Memorial Cemetery

(Lakewood, Washington)

It's like farmland, groomed
by commercial lawnmowers,
not cattle. The crop consists

of brass or granite rectangles,
with names and numbers
on them, and sometimes

phrases, and sometimes
the phrase is in the second
person, a you who cannot

hear or read (so what?),
whose bones lie beneath.
There's no harvest, only

planting, deeper than
the grass. Memory must
adjust to the sound of

mowers. There are lots
of names of soldiers,
sailors, pilots, many

from what we call the
Viet Nam War Era, many
who died in their 40s.


hans ostrom 2019


Beauty Likes the Smell of Tuna

"To seek a satisfactory definition
of 'beauty,'" she said, "is as they say
like looking for a black cat in a black
room on a black night," and then
sipped from her third martini.
The bartender replied, "You just
have to remember to take
some tuna with you, then."


hans ostrom 2019

Monday, June 3, 2019

What Will You Have?

Would you like a glass
of water? Would you like
a cup of worry? I've
made some sandwiches
of of bread and beauty.
And mustard, which
goes with beauty. Make
yourself at home. Because
you live here. The
satisfaction is still cooking.
It will be done soon.


hans ostrom 2019

Hatching

This darkness--
too small suddenly.
I hate it and hit it
with me. I shove
my head and shoulders
through, cracking
this thing that became
a cage overnight.

Comes now the shock
of whatever this is I'm
breathing, seeing, smelling.
Comes the shock now
of its form, my form, me.

Staggering on twig
legs and big feet,
I move through cool
air that burns vision.

Huge shapes walk
around & around me,
wide-eyes, loud,
they gab and gab.

Hunger makes me use
by head as a hammer
and peck. Not knowing
I am, I am.



hans ostrom 2019

Green of the Herbs

Thyme leaves look like frog
tears. Sage leaves
look fog-green suede.

Mint is a warrior
with shiny emerald shields.
Everything runs from it.

What should we say about
parsley? Such a hard worker.
Then it goes mad and pretends

to be a tree.


hans ostrom 2019

Thursday, May 30, 2019

A Circus in Germany

A small Roma circus drags Evolution
to Bretzenheim, tacks up posters,
circles battered vans and trailers,
lets animals and children out to stretch.

A llama and two camels with flaccid humps
stand beneath a canopy, munching nothing,
about them the air of wisdom and dung.

A child rides a hippopotamus onto grass.
She looks like a wart on a planet.
The hippo becomes a gray boulder
upholstered in leather. Its teeth are
as big as my fist, its legs as long
as my fingers. How many million
years ago was it a slender fish?

Villagers cut through the park
to peer at the bestiary. a stinking
goat, smirking camels, and stunted
ponies. Children under the tiny
plastic Big Top can be heard
to scream with glee. In there
creatures and people jump through hoops.

hans ostrom
1981/20019

Monday, April 29, 2019

The Very Nowness of You

 ("The Very Thought of You," a
ballad composed by Ray Noble)


The nowness of you
in your motion and thinking,
the present rectitude of your
existence, with earrings, as
it happens (it happens)--
this is separate from our life
together. Our life together
is an invisible sculpture
representing our ideas
and memories of us. It's
exhibited in the gallery of days.
The you right-now-here is
someone and something
to be discovered, and it seems
I just discovered you one
more time. I find it quite exciting.


hans ostrom 2019