Saturday, November 30, 2013

A BIT OF FAMILY HISTORY


Thus Was The Tongue Of A Dog Made Useful*


The beggar lay at the rich man's gate.
The rich get richer saving crumbs,
letting beggars hang by their thumbs.
Let the dog's rough tongue grate
the sores on the body of the poor
who lay in pain by a rich man's door.

Safe now calmed by the Heavenly choir
you forget he who left you by his door  
sent his dogs to sooth your sores. 
He burns now in the Devil's fire. 
You don't wet a finger to damp his thirst. 
Who'll say which of you is worst?



  *Cotton Mather: Marginal Christi Americana (1702)

Cotton Mather officiated at the marriage of Thomas Chute

and Mary Curtis in Boston several years before they moved to         
                          Maine.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

INVEST IN TIME


With the days getting shorter and me getting longer, it's a little boring around here by the pond so I've decided to occupy myself with a business venture:  Invest In Time.
It may sound a bit risky at first, but no more I'm sure, than having your body frozen and stored until sometime in the future the body can be revived and repaired — in fact much more probable, and safer, I'd say.
All my customers will need, and risk, is a few hundred dollars and faith in the future — and it's really no more complicated than compound interest. The customer will deposit their money with the business, Invest In Time, Inc The company, IIT, will guarantee to hold the fund, earning compounded interest, for as long as necessary until a functional system of time travel has been developed. 
It should not worry the investor that the time period would perhaps involve a century or more for two reasons. (1) By that time the original invested fund will be very substantial indeed. (2) At that time the investor will be transported from the time of the investment to the new present, age (of his or choice) and physical health unchanged. Time Transfers, in they chose, can be returned to their original time but no financial refunds will be allowed.
I of course plan to make an initial investment myself. The legal corporative  documents will provide the mechanism for moving the business from generation to generation.The next time I meet with you I may have the necessary papers so that those interested can sign up and join this venture. 
It may have occurred to you that I am assuming our political and economic system will persist for the period of time required.  If I can encourage a large enough number of people to join the venture I am sure they all will try to do their best to make sure our system does persist.

Robert M. Chute  CEO/IIT     


  Celebrating Dr. Who's 50th.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

A NEW FOUND MEMORY

The poems tells most go the story.  The rest you will be able to read in the book, Excuse For Being Here, which Just Write Books will soon be releasing, a mix of Thoreau inspired poems, prose text on Thoreau, perhaps too much of my own biography. The poem tells the truth: a vision of the room in which my father slept in the summer, in the main house keeping a close eye and hand of The Chute Homestead: that vision of the bed, the pillow, the blod spot did appear as I revised the Emerson poem but I don't think my father died of TB, however real the blood spot was.

            Found Memory
2013: I find, read, consider revision
of a poem written 25 years ago.

Emerson Spends A Restless Night: 1831

He woke to her cough, felt the tense
curve of her back, the sharp contraction
of her chest. The dark was all enveloping.
Curtain open he could not sense separation 
from bed-chamber and moonless space.

He knew at the first cough, knew as if
a  window opened and November's
cemetery chill suddenly swept in. He
could not shut his mind to his mother
saying "use cold water for a blood spot

or the cloth will be forever stained."
But in the morning Ellen folds, hides
her handkerchief, an offering to this
new divinity whose mark she knew 
the coldest water would not wash away,

and in her journal wrote "I am the grave's. 
It's seal is set upon me."— and I,
suddenly, or think I suddenly remember —
the blood spot on my father's  pillow
in one of those 1940 years so long ago.

I know I've told you they didn't tell me
he was ill or what the illness was, that,
brought home, I don't recall the funeral
although I must have been there — and yet —
and yet that blood spot has not washed away

as Emerson's mother says "I told you so!"

and Ellen: "Death will have it's offering."

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

NEW MOON FOR AUTUMN: Oct. 7



         Where Winter Is

December thirty-first we go to bed
at the usual hour. No paper hats, 
no horns
to toot at midnight. 
Others may claim a year ends
a year begins but it's just winter 
settling in.
The movable feasts that mark the cycle 
of our seasons are the night 
the pond freezes
          the day the ice goes out.
The gray cataract skim turns
fall to winter in one night.
Then the year ends.
The ice sheet softens like a wafer
soaked in wine
the pond opens like
a sleeper's eye. That day
the year begins.
In between
winter's more another place than another time.
No Julian or Gregorian reform
can patch the cycle here.
Winter
is its own world where roof ice 
grins at the moon with crystal teeth
shadows strike sun-bleached snow
as an archer's arrows.
      Patience
wears winter out.





      Falstaff's Option  

The meadow mouse stood as tall as it could
on three of it's very short legs, stood it's ground, 
considering a blow to our cat's nose.
Every hair on its body erect to seem as big
as a meadow mouse can, but was still smaller,
relatively, than I would be facing a lion
on the African veldt. The blueberry bush
over their heads became a spreading tree.
Our little cat was too young to realize
its responsibility.Wisely the mouse decided 
to run, discretion the better part of valor.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

More Desk Drawer Mining



           Maine's Millennium

The heavenly sheriff might yet come
his great white horse maned with fire

come at a ghostly gallop down route nine
from Calais to Cape Porpoise to Kittery

past nested farms coastal cities country towns
where selected friends and neighbors

would disappear as simply as silently as they
lived yet always being there if need be

good mute faithful all with books in
balance some capital intact as father taught

deciding now after consideration and in 
fairness to give the Messiah a second chance.



          Dark Continent

Searching still for the Nile's source
we sample substance niaga, climb
the rhinencephalon to take a sight
on distance stellate ganglia where
flows the encephalon, where all
the natives still point south reciting
names of ancient cities sung of
but seldom seen. Will we ever reach
that fabled palace where the queen
of consciousness rules supreme
without a fixed address or throne?
Hippocampus, hypothalamus remain
points on our map with precious little
in between. What, we wonder rhymes
with amygdala? Wise men whisper:
you must follow your own star, follow
as your time unwinds bushing each
new pattern of colored sand away
you'll be swear when you arrive. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

REVISION TIME ; CLEANING THE BOTTOM DRAWER

Some of you will perhaps be old enough to remember Burma Shave roadside signs.

                 

   Roadside Requiem

   Here lies the body
   of Harry Chaplin.
   The tree has fallen

   that once, as a sapling,
   went on a hay ride
   with Rudy Arness.

   Didn't he notice
   when she lifted her dress?
   Sign follows sign

   each marking a year.
   Each telling how Harry
   didn't make out here.

   Don't worry, Harry,
   limp in your grave.
   They all forgive you —

   BURMA SHAVE!


(and, generated by a news story about accidents on a French highway..)



Flicker Fusion Frequency

Sun  through  leaves  if the leaves  if  the  breeze
would   blow   there  might  be  meaning Sun  on   water sandy  bottom  flickering Heart  
beats  under the body's  weight  eight  standard   leads  octopus  out
There  is  a  pattern on the screen.
The  cerebrum  intervenes

Someone is saying it softly over and over 
the heart beating beneath the bodies weight
sunlight stammering through the leaves
eight standard leads octopus out
spider tight
center line in the highway flashingĎ€ headlights    

Light reflected from poplar trees planted
with such care precisely apart
my flicker fusion frequency  crashing me
the prisoner after torture saying  yes  yes  yes
sunlight endlessly
stammering through the leaves stammering
I didn't mean  mean   mean    mean

Forget  forget  forget  the train wheels say
climbing
forgive  forgive  forgive they say
descending

Planted so precisely the poplar tree trunks flashing
flashing  binding   blinding     bound
by eight wires why
don't I think of you
as I'm dying? Please
be a tree   a tree    your leaves   shimmering


Monday, July 22, 2013

again already!

I realize this is not usual for me but time moves fast these says in the 87th year. I realize also that the material about publications, activities needs editing. Will do, perhaps even soon. To alert you, my next book, Excuse For Bring Here (my life with Thoreau) is proceeding and should materialize this fall. In the mean time, another poem.



       The Cooper's Art

A well-made barrel — she was
well made — every curved tapered
stave fitting seeming seamless. 
Promised — No — remembered 
liquor mellow as her belly 
swelled.  But now. drinking's done.
Sun, age, time, build strains 
the cooper's art still restrains. 
One hoop at either end
kept the spirit young until I
took one tight rusted ring away.
Staves tumbled every which way. 
The head fell in on a criss-cross 
pile of odd shaped sticks. For
the loss of that one hoop, shape
design, meaning, all undone. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

VISITING MYSELF, ar last!

Well, I can be brief, then get back to work.

NEWS: My wife departed, Virginia (vicki) Chute's second novel should be available in August. Look for The Daughter of Francis Martin.

And as for Me:  I burrowing through stacks of old poems, doing many revision sufficent to make them new. Here are a couple bits that I had forgotten

A haiku in a strict quote from Thoreau.          
                "Dandelions
          how surprising their
          bright yellow discs. Why study
          other hieroglyphics?"       [The journal: 5/24/1853]



And from Wittgenstein:         

           "That singular sun
              setting behind the hill does
              not hypothesize."

Friday, May 3, 2013

Saying Goodby

The poem below was written more than two years ago. The copy of The Aurorean in which it was published arrive in my mail Thursday, May 2nd. Vicki drew her last breath about 9 AM Monday, April 29th as I sat by her bed,  holding her hand.





In Lieu of Flowers

I didn't read Sunday obituaries
beyond a glance for names,
avoiding the ages of demise
but the eyes stray. 


The phrase "In lieu of flowers" 
being frequent, pleases: 
positivity facing the 
ultimate negativity.

Suddenly the question intrudes: 
what would I say at 
the loss of my partner 
of sixty-six years?

In lieu of flowers — let them grow.
If you find a bug 
carry it carefully outside 
and let it go — 

as she often did:
that's what I'd say.



Monday, April 1, 2013

MARCHING INTO APRIL




Hydrogeological Cycle: Easter, 2013

Luck of a north wind brings
rain from formless clouds higher
than our common air, un-prophaned
by breath of machine or man,
or so it seems, unless you
analyze rain drops for unseen 
nitrites, sulfates etc and so on  
as my curiosity has done. Is 
it force of falling that forms
them or their mutual fear calling
them inward to communal spheres?
Until, through no fault of their
own, they strike stick slide down
the window panes. Misshapen
tear drops until they slip drip
run in trickles, becoming water
here on earth again to later rise
in their certain resurrection,
achieve by chance and being what
they are what faith dreams of.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Visiting For Possible Revision

Leafing through stacks of old poems, most not published, I find some so well forgotten and, now not understood, I wonder...



Just A Cigar

Hairy Haw-Mouth swallowed Freud's cigar hoping
there would be fire where there'd been only smoke
at least something more than pink bubble gum
but waking found the dream unraveling to bare
a breast then another leaving tangled wool from
too many sheep to count and rose quickly to
write the dream's meaning on his slate the screech
of cheap school room chalk stopped him so he wound
the tangled yarn into two neat pink balls
tied them together and went back to bed

Sunday, January 13, 2013

AN ALOMST NEW YEAR

(almsot on time this time)


JANUARY THAW

The pond, earth's eye, does not open
in this early January thaw, the pond's eye
that closed more than a month ago. Which,
for months before, appraised the sky
effortlessly, reflectively, in calm or storm, 
by night or day. It may stir now, as an 
uneasy sleeper, but we can't see and what
we hear may be it's bowels rumbling —
do not even know: Does it deeply sleep 
or only (how much greater could an only
be) meditate so profoundly it shames 
distracted human kinds in their most
intent imitation.  I know silver salmon 
sleekly swim silently, invisibly below
as my thoughts swim unseen by you.
Are they the neurons in the pond's Oh
so liquid mind? Or thoughts, memories 
the pond may not remember when it wakes
in April?  Are those rumbles peans, for 
the pond's own reasons, this new-moon night, 
as the pond is stirred from meditation
by winter's warmth, warmth the silent 
salmon of my mind anticipate as well  ?


Jan. 13, '13

The Sun Slept Late

Unreasonably
unseasonably
the feathery
coverlet of fog
the sky descending
to the ground
seems to warm me
although the sheets
of snow and ice
in Nature's bed
remind me
it's winter still
but the fog's confusing
invisibility
does warm me
even as ice-fishermen
suddenly return
with ghostly reality