SageGreenJournal.org voices out of the West, mostly poetry, personal to planetary...

  sketch by the poet

Jack Mueller

Log Hill, Ridgway, Colorado

 

Legendary North Beach poet and organizer, Jack Mueller lived in the

San Francisco Bay Area for 25 years. His Kule Loklo poetry symposium at Pt. Reyes National Seashore was a seminal event for many West Coast poets. He directed a world poetry association and organized many large-scale poetry and art festivals in California. He spent several years as director of the International Museum of Arts and Sciences in McAllen, Texas. A few years ago he retired to a Log Hill Village hermitage outside Ridgway, Colorado, where he continues to write and inspire a diverse cadre of Western Slope poets. Widely published in literary magazines, he’s authored a number of books of poetry and essays, as well as several books of sketches, his most recent from Lithic Press of Colorado include Amor Fati (2013), The Gate (2014) and Budada (2015).

 

Jack (at right) reads from Amor Fati at Talking Gourds, Telluride 2014. left to right:  Art Goodtimes, Danny Rosen, Jack Mueller (Photo Daiva Chesonis)

two poems, one long, one short,

by Jack Mueller

You will never
understand me,

 

I will never
understand you.

 

Love starts there.

When Women Ruled

 

When women ruled with their baskets

Men stood in the steaming overflow

A child had one parent—

Mystery incarnate was the other

& it was for the other

Men & women worked sang & killed

 

People knew that beauty was slow

Secret of elephants or a polished stone

That care in the watching unveiled design

A speechless pattern to follow

Hunter for the sight

Digger for the season

Shaman for a deeper sight

 

This meticulous devotion

Gave the people meat grain roots & wisdom

 

Slowly men discovered

The awful secret of their milk

The deep will of their seed

 

They took the granaries

Took women to their houses

Forgot old mysteries

Dug old death from the earth

Made it rise like themselves

Above the true heart of the land

 

All civilization

A substitute pattern born of false pride

& a wish without name to replace

                                                             lost melodies

 

All patterns faster & straighter than nature are lies

All symbols uprooted for surplus are lies

All image song & speech torn out of the tribe & sold are lies

All beauty & terror not born of water & land are lies

All states larger than a woman can walk in a day are lies

both poems from

Amor Fati, New & Selected Poems

(Lithic Press, 2013)

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