Tryge Sommer

Tryge Sommer

 

By Mike Strom

 

The days do pass along the rocky ridge

Little is the song, little is the wrong

Done in the morning light.

 

Then I think, yes think of the brand of man

The world has spawned in the third millennium

And we think we know we wish to show

 

The laughter in the hills, of warrior king

Who from the northern forest drew the dawn

With sword and shield in common my man.

Tis a world we see in the green morning light,

When smile and warm green eyes mellow the night

Can I Can I do wrong? Let us see well enough to wait.

 

Behind the Kalagan Bar

Behind the Kalagan Bar

By Mike Strom

 

What is cold? Gold is cold

At the bottom of a stream,

Matanuska cold and icy,

Alaskan River gold, is frigid.

 

Once I lived amid another

Life, a fantasy of delight wrapped

In foolish prideful desire.

But… only when adrift

 

In Cook Inlet, net in wheel

Night closing in, waiting

For the Coast Guard Helicopter,

A savior to chop in from Kodiak

 

To undo my stupidity

To understand how I could

Be weak when it was so cold

And I in pity rolled

 

Night set and the jagged ridge

above Kalagan Island silhouetted

and Mount Redoubt simmered

In icy mist along Aleutian Peninsula.

 

Where southbound Sister Mount Iliamna

that brooding mistress of the north tossed glacier ice

Crashing into icy inky black rushing tide

From Inlet to Gulf relentlessly to and fro,

 

And then the sound of a turbine powering

Chopping blades… in the shades

Of those great sentinels

Took the chill off the cold, so alone.

 

And then the light of a Kenai tender

Popped through the night, first a fire fly,

Then a beacon that swept us up

With the days catch of salmon.

SeptemberDream

Let’s Salute Dreams of September

 

By: Mike Strom

 

Let us consider dreams of September

When in life we reach the simple.

And forget the too much hoary power.

Leaf alternative, mayhem can’t wait—bad guy—Humph!

 

Sweet and sour pork, two coffees—

Reaching in reaching out, I’m hungry.

Let it satisfy before making a commitment—

It’s grass it’s leaf bringing out, bringing in.

 

Art we find as car pulls up making trouble—

No—try again. Don’t pronounce. Try a little muddle my lady.

Want me, want you, off of me. How I look— okay?

Coffee for the rest of my life. Let’s keep working.

 

I’m out of it! Hose clamps. We.. sorry I didn’t meet you.

What’s forever?—Pliers?

Talked with Artie over coffee.

Won’t be mad. Florida? Have a good time..

 

Holiday run the shop,

Maybe something happening.

Texas Hold—‘em cowboy—party one time.

Make a decision or head on out… it’s not about the money.

Pine Ridge

Ballad of Plenty Horses

By Mike Strom

 

Plenty Horses blew Lieutenant Casey’s brains

Out with one well placed shot from

His repeating rifle from five yards behind

A bullet that entered the back of the head and

Came out his eye carrying the proud leader of the

Cheyenne scouts brains all over his horse, and

Pitching him on the ground before Pine Ridge.

Plenty Horses was ashamed because he went

To the Carlisle school for 5 years and he missed

The slaughter at Wounded Knee by a day.

Casey’s killing took place in January of 1891.

 

Casey, reconnoitering, rode out ahead of his scouts

And Plenty Horses met him

On his war pony to stop him from advancing Toward the village…

Wounded Knee on his mind,

An ill recorded, much disputed argument

Between the antagonists occurred and

Plenty horses did the deed he was aching to do,

Honor preserved, he rode his pony Back to the res.

He got off, a surprise, after a mistrial

When the judge threw in the towel,

Saying it was an act of war and not a murder at all

Thus allowing the Wounded Knee massacre

To be an heroic action with 3 Medal of Honor

Awarded to soldiers who tossed 250 Indian Corpses

Proud Oglala warriors, squaws, children

And old men into a mass grave where the soldiers

Posed heroically above  ghostly dancers

Transformed into newly minted martyrs.

Clouds of Innocence

Clouds of Innocence

 

by Mike Strom

 

 Mystical dreams…

 Magic.

On the beach,

blonde hair floating

above royal purple leotards

she laughed, kicking sand in the air

silhouetted by cerulean skies

cobalt blue seas,

creamy sails

set in the

summer

 breeze

 heel

 into

brine

 curling,

 nodding softly,

clouds of innocence…

whispering,

                            she is

                                             ready.

 

Elegy for Port Townsend

Elegy for Port Townsend

Circa 1989

Michael G. Strom

I was there when it happened,

the town was full of poets,

painters, troubadours, liars,

pushers, con-men and women with a past

and women with no future.

The years ruined us,

damn near everyone’s

gone.. moved out, got murdered,

made it in Hollywood,

didn’t make it in Hollywood

and think they made it in Hollywood but

were just cast into the spawning

gutters of tomorrow.

Yeah, some of the old crowds still around,

Jim Alden, still around, yeah

Jim Alden and Sandy rowing in from the Comet

in a dingy.  The Comet, that derelict as some

angry city father named,

claiming the comet was demeaning the city.

We partied out there running out

in a run about, powering down

kegs of beer blowing joints in the face

of society…the last renegades

of a decadent culture.

Jim Alden, painter of dreams and hobbits

washing dishes at the Judge’s Chambers

Where he and the manager would drink

Wild Turkey at dawn.

The glittering people were arriving

then piloting Porsches and Beemers

movie people and rock stars

who had their own crowd,

we were different somehow,

didn’t fit in

their narrow little world

they bought up derelict Victorians

hiring artist to work as carpenters

renovated… Hell, I don’t

wanna talk about it much,

It was funny, Sandy next to Jim,

So tiny as to blow away,

brown hair and grown daughters, pouring

drinks at the Snake Pit you know where that is,

until dawn and we were there and no more

than fools of the cloth, dabbing paint on canvas

dreaming… I remember the town tavern

with Malloy sitting in front playing his flute

Malloy, an Irish saint,

with the soul of a poet, barefoot in the town tavern,

dressed in a greatcoat and broad brimmed hat,

fool that he was he always found the truth  that

he found in the bottom of that bottle of

Irish Whiskey… Screaming at the high school girls

lolling at the teen center that

he only wanted to make love to them.

He was a man, wasn’t he?

He was a man, a poet with a flute

a bard of the tongue, Iambic couplets, rhymed–

defunct of reason loaded with wine.

In Jail, out of Jail, then working in fiberglass shops,

half-crazy with the fumes and booze.

Jim, Poet of our hearts,

who died and arouse, turning up on the street sober,

playing his angry flute,

to the blue stocking girls of your dreams

looking for BZ to kick you ass one last time.

BZ… Last heard of him a rumor or a lie,

up in Ketchikan, drinking one beer a day

working as a welder somewhere.

BZ, fresh of Haight Street with a black-haired hooker

in tow, escaping from madness,

joining a commune joining the Town Tavern gang,

wearing his big Shrade knife, drinking pink ladies…

built from red and white port, the cheapest available.

I’m the bouncer here, he told me,

and I make the popcorn, military police

In Nam, more pink ladies, please, and Cathy Sue,

seventeen and beautiful working in the deli.

BZ lover… While Mary Anne found

Jim Oneman running from the law

There was more than one like him,

Tommy Teapot six-two two-twenty-two

All muscle with two front teeth knocked out, said

“This is the end of the road,

From here you just walk into the sea

And open you mouth and breath in the water.”

He finally robbed the Organic market and had

To be busted by his brother in law…

This is before all the pretty people,

When people were real.

Everyone knew who he was,

He had no whores to run. Tommy had nowhere

To go but back to Chicago.

I wonder if he got there?

I don’t know. Tommy teapot curly brown hair,

Curly laughter form behind the bar…

I’ll never forget you throwing the windows

Open on that rat-hole apartment facing the bay

And greeting the day with a howl.

Sun greeting the day, Mt. Baker visible, Rainier too.

Before the movie people came to town

Back in the time of legends.

If you could only know what beauty moved us, only know.

The criminals, the poets, the beauty.

Natural Nancy came to town driving

Her little Saab looking for beautiful Swedish things

And she met the master of disguise laughing

Through the night, a jewel named Peter who name describes his passion

Missed his calling. He should have sold snake oil

To the Indians. Always on the hustle, losing one gal,

Finding another, then finally ending up

In the men’s can broken and bleeding,

Something about a few hundred bucks and

A pound of weed. Then Nancy drifted off to the beautiful

People and we never saw her again,

except at times on the street

with her long black hair flowing down

Her shoulder. Beauty, I have known thee,

ah how I’ve known thee… then Arnie and Sherri,

Soap opera and drama in real life.

Arnie mainlining, sherry drinking sherry

And kids being born… Arnie doing the delivering,

A beauty of a man built like Adonis

Walking the seawall in spring with Krishna

His samoyan Irish setter mix

Having the best traits of both,

smarter than most people. Making the rounds

A golden ghost searching for bird or dear

Loving to run, disappeared one day

as did all the great dogs, but for Craig’s

old Rhodesian ridgeback,

who Arnie took care of in his retiring years.

Arnie and Sherri living in that blue, black and white

Garden converted Bristol bay cutter

Hanging diapers on the boom, white port

All night white port

The small town the brick three story downtown,

Ships passing through to the Orient

Then Sheldon at 20 broke in upon the town

Confirmed in pleasure, illiterate, unethical and charming.

Six foot four, lanky and muscled he stole

Cedar from the Crown and sold it at 400 bucks a cord.

Who could afford not to when one expected pleasures.

Deep black hash and powdered white snow

And his old lady, when they’d fight they’d

Think murder was about to happen

Coming down one too many times,

Too many times left town full of charm

Probably a movie star now or dead

Except thay don’t make stars out of men anymore,

Just sensitive cynical type, vomit and bloodshed,

The modern world better watch out.

Hey Mr… WTO

Hey Mr… WTO

by Mike Strom

(Dec. 1, 1999)

You ain’t saying nothing

to me

about millionaires or

even billionaires.  NO

What we’re talking about today

is riots in Seattle…

cops in Darth Vader Suits

lining the streets

firing tear gas

at mask less crowds of people.

Kathi Goertzen reports in horror

of a garbage can

… a garbage can can you imagine that…

the horror… being rolled towards

police line…

trembling yuppie reporters

call in the

vandalizing of a Starbucks

what do these protesters want

Lattes… Cappacinos?

Who are they… where did they come from…

What kind of people would crowd the streets

and challenge tear gas bombs?

Hey Mr. WTO…

In your country they machine gun protestors

In your country they pay people 12 cents an hour

and don’t call that slave labor… So you

don’t have to worry at all because

in our country we export the labor

and no longer produce

the products that we use.  We drive our farmers and

fisherman

into bankruptcy… IN OUR COUNTRY

We can STILL PROTEST… Mr. WTO

Protest the dying of the American Dream

Protest… against

the 13 year old Chinese girl

who assembles the products of America

for less money in a day

than you pay for your Starbuck’s Latte

So Mr… WTO… who

are you?  Are you  privileged

or are you just stupid…

My guess is Arrogant

My guess is Proud…

Then again…

Marie Antoinette rode proud

on the tumbrel

to the high guillotine

so gleaming and bright…

Like we watch the TV tonight

It’s quite a sight…

tear gas spreading

and cops running in formation

reminds me of

Tsar Nicholas and all

Cossacks on the street

wheeling to charge

the empty dying charge…

Sometimes we wonder

sometimes we fall

Sometimes we can’t stand up at all…

but MR. WTO…

Welcome to the US

Welcome to the Mall

don’t worry about the people…

they don’t matter at all.

Arabian Night

Arabian Night

by Mike Strom

Gulf of Oman 1986

The night

Is more than I

can stand.  The whistling

on the fantail, the sun lolling over mountains

of sand.  And, then, following

some ancient command

I let my mind drift,

relentlessly with

the rising

moon.

Jupiter and Mars

align tonight.  Surrender

to fastidious delight.  Fields of

summer grass…snapdragons bouncing

in the breeze.  Walking knee deep in ochre leaves,

Grasshoppers buzzing toward the trees,

Bowing gently toward the river

Flowing slowly to the sea.

I shall return…

for chains

forged

are from fear.

In triumph comes

realization that what we fear,

is ourselves… and the triumph is love.

The flowers of the meadows

breath seed over seas,

past memories,

towards

you.

Aside

Funny World

by Mike Strom

It’s a funny world, funny girl

living laughing, playing skating

on astral skies incumbent lies

about the world we see

don’t skin your knees

just run as you please

through maiden flowers and bees

that swing through the leaves

and can we say can say it’s easy

to be breezy and young

to take and give a song

’tis not wrong

’tis a little long

that song

about those that care

those that share

the minion in the moment

the river flowing by

the spring freshets that flood the marsh

the tippling lilting sighs

of those who are not wise

but enjoy the moments of youth

the births that are in truth

born in the joy we feel

when first we touch the sun

with our virgin tongue.