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    We have just enough time
                          (we who belive in freedom can not rest) Sweet Honey in the Rock

                     By Robert Gibbons



There's a storm 
on the ocean
and it's moving my way
if your soul is not 
anchored in Jesus
it will surely drift away. (Negro Spiritual)


Brown Pelican

What Shall I tell them? Oil canvass the banks. The watercolors of butternut sand. The cypress weep 
in silence. Sea-foam and aquamarine. Talcum-powder white. The flight of the yellow jacket.

Brown pelican, Elizabeth Bishop worships your patience on Sanibel, Coral Gables and Naples. Shall 
I tell them there are disasters in Alaska and California? Tarballs and mudslides. Crippling the 
mollusk. Snails and sea anemone. Sunset yellow. Dolphin-kiwi. Blue crab and lobsters are losing 
their pasture.

Brown pelican, oil and water is a dirty mix of lemon shark. Pink carp and turtle on Myrtle Beach.


Call and Response

drift away
(drift away)
drift away
(drift away)

if your soul is not anchored in Jesus
you will surely drift away

I surely did drift away until I heard my mother's echo in my head: Where is your journal? 
Why are you not writing? Where is your mind? So I sat down:

I spoke with my mother this morning.  Had not spoken to her since my birthday. My concern was 
the hurricane. Hurricane Matthew. All I know is the picture I saw in some newspaper depicting him 
as a monster. A monster with eyes nd teeth. The hurricane has been personified by name and 
feature. Matthew, a big burly man. Some kind of hammerjack, chopping down trees, etch the 
Caribbean green into smog cloud. Roofs become schooners. The animals know how to disappear 
after the monsoon. Nature knows its evolution.

The Appalachian Mountain beneath the waters of Florida. The sunken dubloon. Submarine off the 
coast of Bermuda. Scoop the deeper deep. 900,000,000 species left unrecorded. We do not live on 
Earth alone. 


If your soul is not 
anchored in Jesus
you will surely
drift away

My tar-beach feet  chipped after a visit to Topanga Canyon, California. (Summer 2016.)

Brown Pelican 

In California I walked into a puddle of tar.  The physician rubbed my feet in baby oil. The tar began 
to chip away. Lost to reliquary. Lost to elegy. The environmentalist had to rescue animals from the 
Pacific. Wash their tar covered bodies with dish detergent.

Had to wash my feet. Pieces of me chipped away like the nude crucifix.  Covered by manmade, by 
peat and concrete. Skyscrapers Taper of buildings. The 900,000,000 remain hidden in the kitchen of 
Earth.They do not come up for air. Their lair beneath ocean, beneath lake, beneath one thousand glaciations.

A drunken boat gloats.  The air becomes crescendo when the levees broke a Mississippi-god damn. 
Crams of fisheries and hatcheries. A menagury of animals without territory. Without cartographer.

I willl pray for those who have no control over their bodies. Home is homemade. Not peat 
and concrete. Construction with big lights. My home is midnight. The grinning moon. Soon, will be able 
to see in the dark.


To its Erected Form
"A calling. It masters us." (Ranier Maria Rilke)

What would  I call myself and its almost July certainly not Juneteenth, maybe manumission or 
emancipation. Call me undone. Untitled. Call me Aunt's Gees quilt. My Aunt Bay lived among the 
sugarcane. Call me a rift between the North and South. A carpetbagger with wanderlust. Just a trail 
with many borders. A folktale. A folk. A tale. Word associations. A green awning with shutters. Not 
an antique.

Or a fish that wish. I could be a drum. A drum of acceptance. A swarm of flies. People on the 
otherside of the Nile River. Rather be an oracle or an amulet. A proverb or a psalmist liturgy. Call 
me lamentation. Out of fashion. If I could. Would be

ancient. The  soul of the griot. Call me Gilgamesh. Babylon with hanging garden. Call me out. Call 
me Ra. Ptah. Amen. Ashe. A time capsule. A roar of waves. The hoarse baying of the whales. The 
growl of a saxophone. 

I am no name in the street. Just delete me from the email. Non-existent. Charismatic. A tetonic plate 
that may be reactive. Ash. Clay. Dust. May-June. The sunshine. 

Late September moon. A croon of Charlie Parker. Birdland. Fairweather. Partly­cloudy. The heaven. 
The third heaven. Milky way. Nebulous. Super cumulus. Call me a taste of leaven bread. Instead, no 
name. No brand. Want to stand if the muses allow. No name in the streets. Bent up. Beat down. A 
nude crucifix.

Carolina vermillion. Pill box pink. I think. Too much. A feeling. A water hydrant. Rumi's water 
wheel.. A mile of cherry blossoms. Cotton white. A little night light. A road marker. A traffic light. 
Late purple in my backyard. 

Call me no name. No brand. No agenda. No motive. No purpose. Just be.

sky fallen ashes
on this dry chapparal
ignite crackles 
to the underbrush
only embers remain
Santa Anna winds
stirs her cauldron
this witch's fire
began to fly

sky fallen ashes
on this dry chapparal
ignite crackles 
to the underbrush
only embers remain
Santa Anna winds
stirs her cauldron
this witch's fire
began to fly.


drift away
drift away
if your soul not 
anchored
if your soul not
anchored

Brown Pelican
Last summer I stood on Zuma Beach an imagine a Jackie Crawford movie set. Dr. Dre had 
already been stopped and frisked at his chateau on one of the Hollywood's highest hills.

On the corner of Ocean and Wilshire
there stood this woman erect as obelisk
her hands folded as suffragette
but will call her our lady, my lady

my sister, my girl, look to the hills
the salmon pink carnations thrown
at her feet, she a seeker and seer

a holy believer as I call to her
Fatima,Guadelope, the Lady 
of Malibu, Harriet,  Sojourner
Call her as I did as a child

Her way was the only way out
if I wanted to be delivered
if I am bold enough to face
the sea, in this possible moment

to come back to the divine
goodness, Grandma fed us
with fullness, she will stay
until the end, with our broken
bends

Weep for the sick and shut in
for the soul to keep, then look
for sunshine the only 
life line

Santa Monica, it is Nice
and Turkey, Louisiana
and Minnesota

All the wold is your geography
this last day of obliquity
Saint Monica, I chant for
Augustine, I confess like the
book of Phillipian

save me Holy Mother
of blackness, so that
there will be none like this
I am still undone
mold me into
a holy sun.

"historical memory is necessary not only with its reconstruction of community, but 
the preservation of our individual selfhood." ( Lee Congdon, Baseball and Memory)

there are large piles of debris, open spaces for dump trucks, carcassed like elephants as I rode 
through the streets of my childhood. Practically everyone I knew had left. Had to walk up tenth 
street, but this is not memoir, more of blur, a stare, as sure as the burning sugar cane. All I could 
trust was the rust as I stop and spoke. People I knew thrity years ago, people that share my secret. I 
stop to this person's house or that person's house, then peek back at the sprawl. Transform into 
trash heaps. People I knew. People had crossed the river. Those that lived by the ice machine. Near 
the blue store or near the pink ghetto. People. 

Had fun in that park. Hang out in green impala with the top down. Ride to Miami or Loxahatchee. I 
am a new land escape. Tape my wounds. The wounds as antiquated as the photo albums. The gossip 
swells bleow sea-level. And I though it to be important. In my developmental time. In my most 
secret self. People I knew. What they thought. And the everglades must regenerate itself.

"the last morsel of life is the hardest, unless I discover the alchemical trick to turn 
muck into gold. I am lost." ( Neitzche)

I took ownereship of its rise and fall. The palm trees as tall as Pahokee. Hope this etched out 
miasma within sugarcane will rise. The people before and after dependent on the muck as peonage. 
Work all their lives in the arthritic heat. Their lives sucked from the mosquito of dialysis. Those 
people still sit on their porches drink from their livers. Cringe to the tales like the purple stalks of 
sugar continue to hide them. The residue rises like the  tide.

For what is self? As the Czech writer, Milan Kandera said, "the sum of everything."

I have nightmares the levees will break. The ache of being three and seeing my Tonka trucks and 
army men drown in the backyard. I am not in charge of soil science only conservation, only the 
fertilization with its pungency. My undeground self with King Osceola. The breath of the hurricane. 
The shoulders of the road with its detours.  I must come back down South. To the word of mouth. 
To the fortress of sugarcane. To live in the walking rain.

Lebensraum
(taken from the Germans, Lebensraum means a space in which to exist and develop.)

" you will be alone, and ponder your learning. You will think of old facts and seeing it which made 
you more than you bargained for, yet a coward on Earth, unless you claim it, unless you step upon it 
with your heavy feet and feel the actual hardness."


I wondered through the back streets of Grand Central tall buildings and dreams, fashionable men in fall pur- ple earth tone of plaid, worsted wool in pumpkin-orange the color of mock necks in tomato bisque. I am looking for Paul Smith window after eating at a bistro, an outing at the Yale Club, but this was more than panaroma or cheer of diaroma to New York greed, one thousand dollars for the latest Gucci slip on and the dominion I feel, will save the emptiness for Brooks or Coach as I gloat too these streets will not cure the loneliness, so walk past each ghost without frame or reference. The answer can not be found in the research library, but the man in the back of the park gave me my dream.

Side note: (04-04-16): I made it to the workshop at 3:03 according to the time I am late once again on this rainy day, we hear of it again, another explorer off the coast of New Mexico being trapped in one of those caverns beneath the ocean, the constant search for something new. There are nine hundred million unrecorded living organisms down there. He probably was experienced from years of wearinga wet suit, diving, swimming, and scuba, and aqua, and marine. trapped, he fell into a blue hole and he probably did not see blue but red and all that was said another explorer in the afterlife. We know Thor and Equiano, Berlanga, Pizzaro, and Balboa, explorers and conquistadors and the Native with mestizo red and handsome yellow below the line of the Equator. Trapped. Craig Arnold falls into a volcano. Eric Garner is a chokehold. Trapped. King Chrisophe is shot by a silver bullet enshrined in a vat in Haiti in the afterlife. Maybe Zaha Hadid may raise a monument, but nothing is constant. Only the ocean. She is mother. She disciplines. And when she is mad she will not listen. Artist are the antennaes of the race. (Ezra Pound, ABC for Reading) I have justice in my skin, the blind and whine of a Southern road. bells and railroad porters of yesterday, old mason dixons. marble column, old gold domes of confederate flags crags of dusty tobacco fields that yeild not the faint, but the river, the deliverer of freedom, the Buruntu moon, crows and roosters, hog's killing, living fat from a spider skillet, millet, grits and gristmills, wheels of Jena six a mix of spooky midnight. drift away drift away if your soul not drift away drift away if your soul not On search for Edward Hirsch's love letters I am in the library now, so happen to stumble on a parade. Any day could be a parde in New York. A day of strollers, dark-grey with puff pack vest full of cigarette smoke, but the day should be holy I am a focus of time, sign of police as traffic cop, a bebop of heat rise from the grates. I should be holy right, a sonnet, a stanza, thoughts rise from behind the stacks, in my Strand bag, red like Pushkin's revolution. A dead poet is only known when they are gone. So I reeived the librarian into my confidences. She said there are seven love lectures and God did not make the world in seven days I am still creating it. What matters is the river. Yesterday a bird shat on the inside page of my journal. Nasty as bird. Dear Langston: Yesterday a bird shat on the last page of my journal. I was in the mood of Edward Hirsch. I wanted to write a poem to Pablo Neruda. I almost went Harlem Renaissance on those birds. Othello for Pablo Neruda there a reason to raise a body of work lost to the balcony of the sea. The reason rough hewn rock is called Isla Negra House built as ship. Silence as exquisite as a corpse collapses behind one-hundred love sonnets. Silence then I may apex like Macchu-Pichu May mute as blue. May silver stallacite. But it is the silence, then the blight refrains The tongue will cinquain. Eyes become water googles. Nautical, not blinded by sea-spray, but hoarse bay of a whale watch the rusted keel. Then float like plankton The silence of a keel. Feel the humanity of Allende. The voracity of Lorca. Not silence as mortar, nor the creaks in the floorboards to face the sea. I knew I forgot something had spent all week in the storied hills of Hollywood had the summer in Malibu and Topanga Canyon and Zuma where Dr, Dre was stopped and frisked in front of his chateau the tetonic plate had separated the blue from the very blue but it was not until I caught the blue line to Long Beach and the names: Pico San Pedro Washington-Vernon Slauson Watts and Rosa Parks Compton Artesia Willow Street the Pacific Coast Long Beach it was the long line, had not seen the iglesia, the comida, Metro P.C.S. the church-goer and the lay over Come Sunday will be manufactured and plastered, selling water selling ice, selling my soul selling me, selling selling snicker bars, the blue line shampoo shampoo shampoo said the Spanish boy big lots and dreams as music plays in the train fell back into my own gangsta lean understood then this was not Tuna Canyon or Zuma Beach Joan Crawford or Fontaine not Merman, but Compton where the plumb purple and bright pink beat down by the heat the story had to end at the blue line to Long Beach. According to the environmentalist, Donella Meadows, " we have just enough time."