Friday, December 19, 2008

Winter Haiku 2008

Floating leaves swimming
along the concrete river,
"drains to the ocean".

Raven calls the flock
to share in his cold treasure,
rat torn asunder.

Winter rain softly
spatters purple lavender,
my gift from summer.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Poem: Pocket Full of Clouds

Pocket Full of Clouds

When I was a young boy
I wanted to put clouds
in my pocket.

I knew clouds moved
because they were alive
and breathed

I thought the clouds could play
a game of hide and seek
and always win

The sky was always bigger
when there were clouds
to fill the empty space

Now that I am old man
I know the clouds are
still alive and will be

When I fill the empty space
with only clouds
in my pocket.

December 2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Holiday Eating Tips 2008

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door where they're serving rum balls. The same rule applies to broccoli, unless it has been cooked with cheese sauce or otherwise made "holiday-appropriate".

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. It's rare. You can't find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-aholic or something. It's a treat....have one for me. It's later than you think. It's Christmas. You don't like eggnog? Try pumpkin pie spice eggnog. Either works in this instance.

3. If something comes with gravy, eat it. That's the whole point of gravy. But remember, gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano.

4. As for mashed potatoes, alway ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission. The same approach should be applied to the use of butter. If it was made with margarine, pass.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it.......Hello!

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's Day. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, or Kelly Sue's cupcakes, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a mis-marked, discounted first edition of a rare book. If you leave it behind, you're never going to see it again. Even if you try to hide it behind biographies of Paris Hilton.

8. Same for pies. Apple, Pumpkin, Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day? NOTE: Ala mode or Cool Whip decisions are left up to you. No standard rules apply here.

9. Oh, did someone mention fruitcake? Granted it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all costs. I mean, have some standards.

10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Re-read these tips and start over. But hurry, January is just around the corner.

11. Don't drink too much. Sobriety is the key to eating all the good stuff before the drunks get to it.

12. It's rude to bring your own Tupperware to take home leftovers. Give it as a hostess gift with a note that says, "Perfect for leftovers!" If they don't take the hint, use the Ziplock bags you've hidden in your pockets.

13. Final Tip: Enjoy yourself as if this Christmas were your last. In fact, live each day as if it were your last. That way, you won't be disappointed when its all over.

Much love and Merry Christmas to all.

P.S. Thank you, Jennifer Francis for the original. Love ya.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

POEM: "Afternoon"

I wrote this on one of the first days of summer of 2007, but the early morning shadows and the brisk air reminded me of autumn. The trail I was walking was cooled from a shower just before day break and the sounds of foraging birds filled the air, accented with the rustling of drying brush.

Just that week a comment from a friend said that autumn was her favorite time of the year, (I concurred) and this poem came to be. It may seem odd to write a poem about the fall on the first day of summer, but whatcha gonna do?

This is the first draft, and was certainly subject to review and several edits. But I never touched it after it was originally posted.

It is the afternoon
of the year.

Autumn spreads before me
long-legged shadows,
the air filtered
with the sweet
detritus of summer.

It is the season
of memory-filled sighs,
fire-hued trees,
a nuzzling of the soul
before long
days of night
the cold embrace
of leafless limbs
colorless skies.

It is the time
of seeking
and promising

It is the afternoon,
the welcome
well earned afternoon
of the year.

Terry L. Tyson
June 2007

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

POEM: Tapestry

I get a fair amount of requests for copies of this every time I recite it during my classes. Posting it here instead of having to write it out or pass it out, etc.

There is an exchange of ideas that occurs during any shared creative endeavor and when it really works it is almost magical.


I sense in the dark distance
the tapestry of a woven thought.

Unraveling each strand apart
the weave of a foreign synapse wrought.

To discover…
to uncover…

to finally feel
to completely reveal
inspiration that was not mine.

Along threads of blue, cold light
my mind now in wondrous flight,
seeking another

whose eyes see
as I see

and believing in what
cannot be.

As the tableau takes shape,
it is an embrace with no escape,

as our minds, soul and memory
forever entwine.

Monday, September 15, 2008

POEM: Journey

Sometimes we can't be with the person we love. Happenstance, circumstance, distance and time can get in the way. This was written on the road, days before reuniting with the one who makes my heart beat.

Good news, it is being published in a nice, but small circulation, art magazine. I felt honored and was pleased that they liked it.


Destination desired,
direction unknown
but not falling.

Unwavering, I carry on
hope filled, determined
to reach
the font
of my dreams.

Lady with
the laughing eyes

smiles across
the parallel path

we walk, together
but separate.

She too journeys,
seeking solace,
comfort and

Destination dreamed,
and seen
in flashes of
what could be
what should be
and what always has been.

Hands meet

when paths meet
lips touch
when hands touch.

I wait to walk
at her side.
I wait
to share
the visions
of horizons unknown.

Ages seem to
pass between times
when voices are heard

But the first glance,
the first smile,
and the welcomed warm embrace
make the days

melt away
as if they existed
only in memory.

Destination savored,
tasted in captured
together as
the world fades
away from reality.

Time will tell

and the telling
has been this time
apart, as we continue
still walking together

towards a place
made for two.

Silence brings

but hearts fill
hope springs
and truth sings

with the first hello
and the final laugh.

Constant in heart
and head,
she walks and speaks to
me, invisible and unheard
but to my eyes, ears and soul.

Soon we shall
our own path
our own way
to the place
that is only
our own.

Destination certain,
map hidden,
revealed with
each new morning
and drawn with
each new dream.

POEM: "Last Thoughts Before Sleep"

Latent contemplation scribed
as Sol
ended his westward trek.

Imaginings held throughout
the day,
finally collected
and placed on journal page

and sent...

days and nights
before being released.

Slumber arrives
and I dream of
your ruminations
as my missive,

mailed at sunset


my last thoughts before sleep.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

POEM: Long Bridge City

My "beat" poem-homage to the city, written when I lived there a few years ago. First in a long line of bad poems to be posted here.

Long Bridge City

City of long bridges
invisible but for glowing
Mercury vapors.

Are you diamonds spread across
a black velvet jewelers cloth?
(Bridge lights a string of pearls)

Or a con man's sick carnival -
one dollar for a peek at the freaks?
(Bridge lights a roller coaster track)

Downtown; click-click-click
Pump-heeled business woman
walks by
hair tight as her skin
I fall in love with you as you

Eyes straight and determined
long legs and nails painted

A moving pile of rags
pokes garbage with her
nail-ended can stick.

Smelling worse than the trash,
squat legs, painted with soot
I fall in love with her too…
"Are you my son?"

North Beach Carnival
the street musician's got a web site.
Stickman's missing a tooth,
but he's hyper-linked, man.

The horse-hyped vegan yells at me,
"Vegetables only - beef is murder!"
No control, he nods and I add
a tomato to my burger.

Ginsberg's dead yet his words
breathe into my soul.
But City Lights' flawed hero,
liked little boys.

Clickety, clang-clang
Desire's streetcar takes me
to Souvenir's Wharf.
Sour dough.

Sea smell intoxicates
food smell invigorates
I eat an ocean insect.

The Grotto serves me
shaken but not stirred
extra salad and a wink.

Prisoner's Isle for Big Al
C Block and twenty days in the hole.
It was real here, man...
"What, no electric chair?"

They heard the New Year's Eve Party
from across the sea.
No long bridge for them, man.
"What, no gas chamber?"

Double-breasted Banty Rooster
Smilin' Mayor Willie.
We love him, cousin.

Followin' the proud tradition,
crows every morning
from Tower Coit,
"I got all the keys to this machine!"

The gum smacking Castro Queen
gots a adam's apple
bigger than a grapefruit.

Shaved pits and eybrows.
Knocks me down, she sings
Gospel songs by the B-52's.
Seize and sees my woman,
Bemoans, "What a waste, sweetheart,"
Me or her? It don't matter.

Bzzz-(wipe), bzzzzzzzzz-(wipe)
Satan Tat-2's
Half-priced today
5 bux a letter,
(the first one's free)

Pierce it, poke it, make it
red, yellow and blue
Just don't fake it
with a rub-on tat-2

De Youngin's
Gallery's falling down, falling down
This is my chapel
Hockney's my saint.

Hopper, Whistler,Van Gogh
(cover your mouth when you cough)
Shhhh, we're in church.
"Roller Blade OUTSIDE, fool."

Homeless cherub,
Don't hate The Haight
time's standing still
and the summer of love
lasts until Christmas.

Take a deeep breath
and you'll want to
eat a pizza for breakfast.
"Got any Ding-Dongs left, man?"

City of Long Bridges,
Everyone leaves their heart for you.
Can't afford to live here,
couldn't afford to not to.

You're a virgin Homecoming Princess
who puts out.
You're a rare verse of poetry
written on a paper bag.

A lifetime of experience
worked into a hazy weekend.
Bitter cold summer
warmed by an Irish Coffee.

The city's got a
heartbeat, beat, beat.
Thump-thump felt
through the sidewalk.

Ain't gonna flat line
even after Richter's gone,

Long bridges hum
under tires and the
city twinkles
a good night kiss.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


A good friend suggested that I sequester the things I write from the things I make. With that in mind, I'll start moving a few things from "Modern ARTifacts" over to "Words". I'll make the move over the next few weeks and do my best to add to both blogs.

At first, I'll take some of my old, lousy poetry and place it in its new box. After that, maybe some of the stories and if dare, write some new stuff too. I think I'll use this for the personal entries that strain to be essay-like.


Thanks to the three of you who read this now and again.