Millionaire’s Spring Delight

    Millionaire’s Spring Delight


Yesterday, had I been a millionaire
able to hire a gardener or two, I ‑‑
still would have knelt in the earth
and brushed back the crunchy leaves, to see,
touch, oh! green shoots of new garlic,
tulips, peonies, dandelions. . .

Yes, pruned scratchy rose bushes
sucked blood from my thorn‑stabbed thumb;
cut back the lower aspen branches,
plucked up the dry and dead tomato and
pepper plants, snapped off hollyhock stalks.

Yes, yes, even spaded the earth and
drilled my finger into the rich soil
and planted white onion bulbs. Now,
the earth under my fingernails ‑‑
curved sliver of the rich new moon.

James Ciletti © April 2019
Recently published in
the Poet Laureate project’s journal,
Poetry While You Wait.

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bread and roses

APRIL: is national poetry month. Carl Sandburg said,   “Poetry is a fresh morning spider-web telling a story of moonlit hours of weaving and waiting during the night.”

Sandburg also said: “Poetry is the achievement of the synthesis of hyacinths and biscuits.”  AND I call it, what every human being needs, ” bread and roses.”

“So many times I’ve read a poem and suddenly felt what the poet’s voice brought to me and I said, ‘yes, that is what I felt but could not find words for the experience, now the poet speaks for me too’.”

Poetry is how our feeling thoughts talk and we share those words with family, friends, and others.

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Good Heavens

Synchronicity or Mysticism: Why did I drive five miles through town at a certain speed then turn into our driveway, get out of the car and at the perfect moment, look over the spruce trees to see a V of geese chanting their prayers southward; followed by a second flock, in a straight line, honking noisy prayers.

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On our maple tree
what —
half a million
yellow leaves?

Into autumn’s wind
yellow leaves
flutter floating free


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Amazing Affirmation

“Hi James. I was a student at Orme at the very first fine arts festival. There, you recited a poem that I have been searching for, for years, titled something like “When I Die.” Can I find it in one of your collections?

Yes, it had an impact on my young and now much older mind. Gillies.”

Second email:

“I participated in two FAFs. One year was doing wood block printing with Dot, the other forging with one of the ranch hands. I vividly remember you reading your poem at the FAF closing gathering in the Horsecollar theater, and I remember the hush in the crowd as you did. Your hair was darker then.”

I share these emails, so all of you who write and sing your words, know, believe in your heart and soul, your voice and words do matter. We do inspire and  have impact on others, and this is important. Poetry, spoken or in sung words, is very important. So, write on. Sing on.

Yes, I found the poem in an old floppy and converted it to a word.doc, and sent it to Gillies. Now I send many hugs to Neil Gillies for giving me such powerful affirmation. In a day or so, to honor Gillies, I will post When I Die  on this Plumlover blog.

And all of you who appreciate the words and songs of creative people in your life, take time to stop and tell them how much their work means to you.  We all need a little hug once in a while — hugs help us continue with the lonely work of writing, and then going public with our voice.  Cheers to all.

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Robin’s Holy Nest

Robin’s Holy Nest
Journal Note. 5:30 PM, May 27, 2017
In our crab apple tree, this robin on a branch pinches grasses in its beak, then hops into seclusion of covering leaves; among leaves she pops up her head and still holds the mustache of grasses in her beak. She looks this way and that, then hops deeper into the tree, out of sight, into her own sanctuary.
Even though, just as no one has taught her how to make a nest of mud and grass; no one has taught her how to lay eggs and sit on them to hatch; no one has taught her how to dig worms and feed her babies; so too, no one has to teach or tell her that in her own being is a holiness with its own theology and godliness; and every moment of her wing or ground time, her every being is a prayer. Amen.

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Sensate Exercise

Poetry Saves Lives — SUNFIRE — Six Senses Sensate Exercise

Journaling Workshop, April 22, 2017                 (c) 2017 James Ciletti

“Art is a spiritual ambassador.” Barbara Jatta, director, Vatican Art Museum

My name is:_______________________________________and I am a Sunfire Writer.

Welcome to the Sunfire Journaling Roundup. How do you think about poetry? As a group of words on a page, sometimes in your head?  What makes a snow poem a poem? Rather than a weather report?  Or perhaps both in one?  Or what happens when we create words that share the cloudy or sunny climate of our human experience? To the point, poetry is a full body experience and when we create that conversation to share with ourselves and others, we connect our intimate self with the human family and tell us what we mean to ourselves, to one another, and how we experience the fabric of our life-world.

The Judeo-Christian concept: man is created by a god in the image and likeness of god. The Greek concept: man created the gods to mirror back to us so we can know and understand who we are. Both definitions define the god or gods as a pathway to understanding who we are. In one, we are godlike, creators, in the other, the powerful mysterious gods are like us. Knowing them reveals to us who are.

The mission of the Vatican Art Museum: “To present, preserve and share that extraordinary legacy of culture, history and beauty that the Roman Pontiffs have collected and preserved for centuries.” What does this have to do with us?  Poets? Writers? I believe our mission as poets and writers is to create, present, preserve and share our extraordinary legacy of our emotional-knowledge experiences, and god-like, to reflect back to us a better knowledge, understanding and viable experience of who we are.

“Poetry is how our feelings talk and we share those words with family, friends and other.”

Thus, poetry is at once a spiritual, emotional, and intellectual, manifestation of who we are, how it feels to be a human being on this planet within the family of mankind: a physical sensate embrace of life.

Perhaps Poetry, Stories, Memoirs, Songs, Essays, are our gods.

Today’s Sunfire Sensate Exercises, engaging the six senses, are designed to manifest our feeling–emotional– knowledge of our human experience. Poetry is a full body experience. Be spontaneous!

Put your thumb on your wrist and feel your pulse, what is one of the most sensuous touch experiences you have had?________________________________________________________________________

Breathe deeply thorough your nose. What is the most sensuous aroma, smell, experience you can remember?___________________________________________________________________________

Close your eyes, see the picture of a sensuous place experience? Briefly tells us of that place________


Tell us one of your most sensuous visual experiences of another living being_____________________


Pinch your earlobe — tell us of a very sensuous sound experience you have had____________________


Press your tongue up against the roof of your mouth, now curl your tongue along the sharp bottom edge of your upper teeth, lick your tongue around your lips, now, think of your taste experiences in your life, tell us of one that was very exceptional, sensuous, with an object or person________________________


Now let’s talk.   What did you feel when you were expected to write about your sensate feelings?  Immediate engagement? Or resistance?   For your self growth, understand that.

Page 2                                  April 22, 2017         Sunfire Sensate Exercise

Practice with this copycat sensate exercise.

Slowly read, and sensate within yourself the senses experiences of this poem.

Fall Harvest, Julesberg Colorado
by James Ciletti

Harvest machines drone, groan, churn,
Stuff their greedy mouths; corn stalks
Sticking out of their steel jaws.
Maneuvering like ants from the
Fields, fat trucks follow food trails of
Yellow corn to sky-high grain silos.

Under yellowing elms the shaded streets
Catnap with their legs crossed.
The sky above Julesberg High
Dozes in a turquoise hammock.
But the machines prowl across the fields
Their dust rising like smoke signals.

Drifting out of a nearby window the
Aroma of home made bread, pies. To
The fields women and girls carry supper
To their sweaty men and boys who
Stuff their mouths with fried chicken legs.
Gulping down cold milk, they eye
Dark clouds in the northern sky.

Slow hungry whales chomping
Sea grass, the machines eat up the fields.
The western sky turns on its side —
Flashing colors like a rainbow trout.
Soon the sun sleeps. Crickets chirp.
Yellow moon stares with wide eyes.

But these men, pointing their flashlights,
Prowling machines shining headlights,
Reap on, harvesting in the darkness.

(C) 2013 James Ciletti


PART TWO: Pick up a pen and now go to the top of the poem and work your way down and underline the sensate words.


Name your “Sensuous Place:

By: (your name) ___________________________________

FIRST: Close your eyes and sensate that place, smell, sound, taste, touch, see, feelingly.

SECOND: In a Stream of Consciousness, in no particular order, write out sensate words/images that you feel of your place. Be spontaneous; write the first words that come out of your pen.

THIRD: Jim, let me tell you about my place:

Now write your sensate poem, in random order. Later, work on it as a “Poem”

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