Freezing The Frame

Sometimes you just have to stop. We try to answer more questions in life than we ask. Essentially we try to answer other people’s questions:  questions posed by the bosses and the faceless systems. The hoop-meisters keep us jumping. The time servers steal our time and keep us servile. The image makers hold us up against their images. What survives of us, if we did but know it, is the poetry of ourselves. The true light of life is lost in the glare of packaging, marketing and business. To the dirt poor survivalist, the focus is the next meal or gulp of water. Such a one is the greatest poet. He knows the taste of water. The business man knows only the price per litre and how he can max out his margin.

Amongst all this undergrowth lies the hidden boulder of beauty. It is simply there. Property rights may restrict access, but there is beauty in the smallest of things and moments. I am working on a little project at the moment. It is a collection of short poems that attempt to freeze the frame and give some time to reflect on what we are thinking or simply what we are. Such poems need have no references or belong to any school. Today, I received a poem from the American poet Jo Von Bargen. She certainly has no identifiable posture or influence. She can be transcendently folksy or richly austere. Her poems can be death by a thousand cuts or joy with a single lunge. You always know that the boulder, honey or rapier is there and that it will get you. Here is one of her poems:


your hand hesitantly tries
the keyboard,
eyes reading impossible signs
on the score so that
every chord is suspended
like a voice grieving

all around you goes tender
at seeing you stop, helpless,
ignorant of the language
most your own

beyond, window ajar,
a breeze murmurs back

hummingbirds hover,
framed in blue sky,then vanish.
a branch rustles in the sun

nothing around us finds words,
and your youthful unknowing
is mine, is ours


I love that poem. It freezes the frame with the warmth of humanity. So far I have lined up four established poets to contribute to this collection. There are many poets out there and if you feel you could be in it or know someone who might like to be, please let me know. I will be editing the final selection. I am looking for short “beautiful” poems in the sense that they stop time at those moments when we have a transcendence that no one could ever sell you or tell you that your model of beauty has just been outdated by the latest design.

There is no format or fashion to the poems. My own publishers, – Gallo-Romano have agreed to produce the book. All I can say is that it will not cost contributors any money. Anyone expecting to make money as a poet is not one. The loot will be shared. If my own profit on poetry is a guide I think a cola and a pack of straws is about right.

one whole plantimal

I’ve been in haiku mode again. It is about the scene in this photo.

Sun on rose open
to bees transferring life code.
A buzz blooms wholeness.


4 thoughts on “Freezing The Frame

  1. Once again, Oscar, my humble thanks for including me and my work in your blog post. You are such a dear! It’s going to be a wonderful collection, I’m sure, molded by the hands of an esteemed poet such as yourself. I’m hoping your work will appear in it as well!

    “The image makers hold us up against their images. What survives of us, if we did but know it, is the poetry of ourselves.” Love that. So true!!

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