Sunday, March 27, 2011


The Spring 2011 pdf link is at the bottom of the page. "The issue features an article on Kapralova's opus 10 and a review of Women of Firsts, a CD featuring the music by Kapralova, Bacewicz, Beach, and Boulanger."

Kapralova Society Journal

It Might As Well Be Spring

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Jardins sous la pluie

You fell on me as a warm downpour,
and now you've gone back to cloud.
Thank you for that touch of splendor --
for drops of water releasing petrichor
to blend with fresh thyme scents...
for drops of water making a rhythm
of leaf shadows moving in the garden.
Thank you for allowing me to stand
in a brief pooling of green reflections
that bring many worlds of imagining.

Copyright 2011 -- Tim Buck

Thursday, March 24, 2011


One doesn't have to go to Budapest
to see eyes turning old in moonlight,
while a fiddle makes a cat dance.

The sound of river water in morning,
where it rolls impossible miles away
and sends the odor of night to nostrils,
comes free on the air of special idleness.

Wine poured into Proven├žal glasses
can be tasted on wandering lips --
flavors mingle like half-real flowers.

If a warmth of summer light falls
and touches the skin of a scholar
who has literature on her tongue,
it is something made for larceny --
that light then kept in a clear phial
and warmth held on thieving palms.

Copyright 2011 -- Tim Buck

Monday, March 21, 2011

How Great Thou Art (my version)

My friend Kyle Fiske from Rockport, Massachusetts produced this Youtube for me. He filmed and edited the footage to accompany my version of this old hymn. I recorded it in memory of my father, who loved this song. Thanks, Kyle!

Friday, March 18, 2011

when the heron dawn

Flamingo sunset and heron dawn...
and distances between fire and water.
The reservoir of evening comes, changes.
Reflections burn and then go on to dark.
They slide beneath an uncertain surface,
to catalyze dreams toward the morning.

Sunset is colored like the heart's plasma.
Sunset weighs many stones of desiring.
Then comes the razor glint of long night,
a slide down edges of old nightmares
with a mute chorus mouthing mockery.

But when the heron dawn opens opium lids,
the new day breaks open a fresh egg of hope.

At least for an hour or maybe two,
chemistry stabilizes into stoic waters.
For a little while the liquids are clear,
and affection settles pure, selfless.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

fluid dynamics (for Robyn)

Let's say that time is sort of real
and not just an artifact of motion.
That would make it sort of mystical.

Hold up!...what am I doing?!

I don't like poems with abstractions.
"Time," "artifact," "motion," "mystical" --
this poem is already creaking, cringing.
And what's with my breezy idiot tone?
It even smacks of the oratorical.
Damn -- "oratorical." Abstract.

I'll start this freaking thing over.

* * *

Look at that elfin, quixotic smile!
She smiles behind a scrim of briars.
I see tangles of surreal-red thorns,
and just beyond them, she is smiling.
This is how an angel must appear,
who looks askance at a crazy God.
That Old Soul is whining, confessing
all His sins to her warm, sighing smile.
She pours him a glass of red wine.

She travels light, a knapsack of magic.
She can pull out many shapes and colors
and the swirling tones of unheard music,
any time she needs such nourishment.
She travels light because she must,
and things in shadows watch over her.
She travels light, but her heart is gold.
It has deep weight, and it lasts forever.

Robyn has a way of changing time --
a fluid thing becomes more equivocal.
It spins like taffy into mermaid foam.
It spins dizzy from her imagination...
glittering threads form coils of spirit,
gyroscope ribbons of dreaming torque.

(Abstractions again, yes. I can't help it.
Robyn is beyond a daydreams's texture.)

The rest of us are creatures centripetal.
But she is a dancing thing centrifugal --
sympathetic waves make jelly objects
of Yves Tanguy pirouette and buzz,
dynamically weird in mystical Time.

I sometimes almost think the world
is held in place by her nomad magic.

Copyright 2011 -- Tim Buck

what lurks

Isn't it strictly amazing
how conversations go?
A rhythm of creatures
leaning into soft gossip.

Beneath the smiling, civilizing pauses
and flourishes at a chance encounter,
something else, peculiar is burning.

Behind doors and walls at night other forms
slink out, eyes darting. A simmering shame
in being wild but caged into bounded roles.
No vases are flung and shattered, just quiet
plastic flowers mocking half-real inhabitants.

But on the street or in a coffee-addled cafe,
two people begin to look odd, blithely prattling.
So many things bouncing through the alphabet.
Last night's surreal sleep forgotten or banished.
Yes...sometimes you can see straight through
the apparent, see right across the borderland.
The light quivers and shapes begin to change.
Conversants are now in a fantastical setting,
even more bizarre since they have no clue
they are going arboreal, hauled up on vines,
purple glowing vines lifting them to foliage.

If you look really hard enough,
you might see culture unmasked.
What is right before your eyes
changes into vivid psychedelia --
strange apes lisping drunken words
up in the branches of Marula trees.

Copyright 2011 -- Tim Buck

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Allan Pettersson's Seventh Symphony --
I stumbled upon an unusual interlude,
lasting two minutes and five seconds,
just before timpani ushers in finale.

I saw you!

I felt you inside that interlude.
I will try my best to describe it.

The quality is like the oddest dream.
So deep that I only saw you vaguely.
A blurring into something metaphysical.
Or maybe not. Perhaps just a feeling.

A sincere speaking of woodwinds and strings
over gently pulsing, brooding ostinado basses.
What is being said about you? What is meant?
I feel you so definitely in this interlude of music.

This has very little to do with ancient lands
or sun-bleached rocks on azure seashores.
This is, I think, about a nearness, a knowing.
I can almost reach into music and touch you.
I mean...I can almost graze the spirit surface.
You are so serious, yet somehow calm there,
inside this evocation of quiet instruments.

God!...if I could find the words
to say how this is so much deeper
than my deepest, strangest dreams.
I stare into you for almost an eternity,
even as this peculiar interlude passes.

If you knew what I feel now...
well, there are simply no words.

Copyright 2011 -- Tim Buck

listening to "Spring"

(Beethoven's Violin Sonata No. 5)

tenuous bravado

The audacity of spring buds!
Always coming back for life,
even as March winds blow.
Ah...but the sun is shining.
Why not pop on out into it?
Something implacable pulls
hidden liquids through fibers.
All bitterroot memories fade
in light of new experience.
Into bright and swift wind!
Into fresh days of braving,
of pushing, leaning into time.
One must inhale this breeze
and imagine the sky warming.
Shy turtles in an early stream
anticipate April's rushing rain.
There!...tulips are bursting
into such breathtaking colors.
And the tender buds of oaks
tremble in undying bravado.

lingering mood

But who can step into a dimming
when a cloud drifts, intervening
and not feel the spring restrained?
For a moment or a lingering few,
a buried root of very deep regard
also trembles, trembling in shadows,
surprised in fibers that are sensitive.
Yet...that aching into other seasons
lasts briefly, a transient wistful pall.
It dims as the cloud goes on blowing
and the sun gently burns it away.

idle wandering

Along this faint trail of aromas,
footsteps move like a gliding.
How wonderful the mind blends
with all these forms of promise.
How grateful falls a bird's song,
clear and loud onto waking ears!

twilight dance

Out here now a roaring bonfire.
Flames of course calling spirits
who stagger drunk in twilight.
Flames to make the cold good.
Infectious these tongues of fire,
sending sparks to melt memories.
It will happen on such occasions,
the letting go of winter's fingers,
the taking hold of invisible hands
to dance a rondo for spring fairies.

Copyright 2011 -- Tim Buck

movement number one

movement number two

movements three & four

Thursday, March 10, 2011


All cubits avalanche into fractals.
There is no true measurement
to mark off the gleaming distance
between touch and the absence
that veils the golden air of you.

Censers on tripods have been lit
inside the shadow-moving realm.
Superstitions make the night go
into rituals and into secret writing.
Inside the bimah, beneath its art,
a scroll of prophet dreams unfurls,
gilt handles of acacia-wood moist
from priestly perspiration. Desiring,
a yearning to know an interlocutor
capable of reconciling bone to time.

To speak your name is impermissible.
Indirection is the mode of the sanctum --
by which gate today shall I enter mazily
and tread quietly past alcove chambers?
It is good a table is made holy with wine.
I'll drink for vision. Inhale fragrant oils.

There! Set near a brooding niche,
a menorah's candles glow with fire --
seven times seven dreams waxing.
While unseen musicians play things
to complement all hushed offerings.

Finally before the platform of old days,
I see a parokhet curtain's folds beyond.
An ineffable fabric that hides the truth,
where one might lose one's utter senses
or fall rapturously deeper into distances.

This is not about a god.

Copyright 2011 -- Tim Buck

Sunday, March 6, 2011


The soil is still mostly dormant,
but it is beginning to wake up.
Annuals that bloomed last year
are gone to a gradual decaying.
But a memory of their color play
remains, now pale after glory.
It is good to remember them,
their shades of curving beauty
held in time on laughing petals.
And to recall those idle moments
when warmth and hues bestowed
the strangeness of a melancholy.

The soil is still waiting for a signal.
But the spade of early May will turn
the surface over and into the loam.
A fragrance will come from mixing
supple layers of fecund textures.
The warmth of returning Maytime
will hang or go on variable breezes.
An aroma of something intangible
wil be in particles of glowing light.
Yes, annuals will go in as dreams
of colors to smile in later memory --
zinnias, hollyhocks, nasturtiums.

But stronger roots will also be sunk.
It will not be too late in May to plant
a climbing rose bush lasting forever.

Copyright 2011 -- Tim Buck


I'm looking at your face right now,
beautiful beyond human language.

In almost all cases of contours --
of eyes, nose, cheek, and chin,
of lips and flourishing fall of hair --
nature dons a wanton mask.

But your heart, mind, and soul conform
to the architecture of your subtle face.

It's not possible to remain an unbeliever
in wonders and in numinous mysteries
while gazing on your beautiful presence,
beautiful beyond all human languages.

But I can't stop the babel of my tongue:

Eyes -- a hidden glory receives dark color.
Nose -- shapes of compassion kneel there.
Cheek -- wry humor giggles intelligently.
Chin -- strength is echoed in structure.
Lips -- an ancient ethic finds an analog.
Hair -- sea-blown music waves through it.

Nothing extra is implied here, of course.
Perish the thought! Perish the thought!
This is merely a passing observation.
You see, I am a connoisseur of beauty,
seeking succor through all its forms.

Copyright 2011 -- Tim Buck

the wine party that got slightly out of hand (complete)

(a story in six parts)

the wine party that got slightly out of hand.pdf

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Mortal Grin

A song by the Gothic Rangers (me and Robin)

"Mortal Grin" at Soundcloud

Mortal Grin

The night is speaking in strange tongues,
and the heat hangs like a dead lung.
Surreal thoughts leaking out of my brain,
going up in smoke through this tepid rain.

I wander vague, disconcerting streets,
full of apparitions clothed in meat.
Staring into these confident faces,
I'm stupefied for explanations.

What should I think about this suavity
and body language so cavalier,
when I feel like an underground man
with a Dostoevskian fever?

I hear the murmur of latent cadavers,
waltzing just outside the graveyard fence.
No misstep, no pause in their palaver.
Where can I get one of those big, wide mortal grins?

My thoughts are running like a wild dog,
as I contemplate this complacent throng.
Hey you, yes you, with that bowler on your head,.
what spell are you working on the mighty dread?

I stand perplexed, my mouth is agape,
mystified by reality's shape,
while all around me are gesturing blithely.
They know something I'm un-divining.

Should I purchase some opium,
join this conspiracy crowd?
They say there's strength in numbers, numbers,
but they're dropping like flies while the night's unbowed.

What should I think about this suavity
and body language so cavalier,
when I feel like an underground man
with a Dostoevskian fever?

I hear laughter coming from a midnight ball,
where the smiling masks are made out of skin.
Jesters tumble happily in absurd thrall
to the yawning god of sleep and mortal grins.

I hear the rumble of distant thunder,
that deep and unsettling symbolic din.
I wish I could put this fear asunder.
I want my very own big, wide mortal grin.

Words & Music by Tim Buck, 2008

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

suspense (for Hope)

Early summer after full leafing,
when afternoon light is seized
and tangled up in old boughs,
when the forest is drowsing
and dreams oddly, wordlessly,
she walks into apparent gloaming.

Some people are drawn to woods
and burden branches with musings.
They further dapple dappled ground --
where mosses and mushrooms languish --
trespassing pridefully in fancy moods.

She walks alone into apparent gloaming,
for bare listening and for open wonder.
An unseen bird in the secret hardwood
flutters leaves as it makes up an aria,
then goes swiftly on wild missioned wings
through this godly air of old mystic pallor.

She walks alone in upstate New York,
on a pathless path of her own invention.
The ground is brushed with brambled time,
a chaos woven through the riddling ochers,
where trunks of elm, chestnut, and maple
go dense with slow patience and waiting,
then spread a canopy of alien suspense.

The temptation is strong for daydreaming,
many people are seduced by themselves.
But this woman walks outside of her ego
and pauses to look into shafts of light.
She thinks of nothing, pausing to sense
how forest moments go by themselves.

She comes here to blend into the strange.

Copyright 2011 -- Tim Buck