Home ~ video poem


This place is like no other
I make of it what it is
Mind and spirit
No effort too big
No element too small
It is mine, and it is home

Kerfe got me to thinking about robins, so I watched this one for an hour this morning, as it it gathered grass for a nest. And so, this poem. (Off prompt for Day 26 of NaPoWriMo.)

Photo: American Robin (screenshot from video)

Other video poetry can be found here.


heron spied on shore ~ haiku video

heron spied on shore
silver flash in bill, then gone
river rushes by

This haiku is in response to the prompt for NaPoWriMo.net Day 23, which is to write a poem about an animal.

Image: Great Blue Heron in the Niagara River Gorge, 09 September 2008
(click image for larger view in new tab)

The camera I used for the photo was a small Canon. It also took video, and I actually captured the heron catching a fish. I had been using the camera to upload to YouTube for two years. The video was a small format (320×240) and it was in flash video, so that was the format I uploaded. I found that file today and used a clip to create an mp4 video in 640×480 (thus a slight blurriness) for this video poem.



The Setting of Suns ~ video poem

The Setting of Suns

Blue above, with edges and undersides
of pink shading to coral, the clouds above
freeway valley measure the passage of time.

A slice of a lifetime told in the sunsets
over this valley. With a voice
I’ve come to savor, musings reach me,

on the passage of time, of sunsets
across seasons, over the years.
Thoughts of daily routines, changed

now that he is alone; of memories held
in photos and letters, and the sun that set
on a lifetime of nearly a century; of a gift

that was his not through payment of a debt,
but through love and dedication.
That coral slowly fades as blue turns to gray,

and a poet’s soliloquy cannot
encompass all the thoughts
held in those clouds. A flute plays,

and fingers that could be writing
trace the joy and sorrow of those times.
In the end, a sigh tells it all.

This poem is for my friend Daniel Charles Thomas, whose uncertain future almost certainly holds a move from that place he calls home, which was his mother’s home for forty years. The view from Daniel’s window, looking out over what he fondly calls “Freeway Valley” in San Diego, provides some spectacular sunsets, and he has shared some of those with me over the years. His words and the clouds from his most recent video inspired this poem, and I used those clouds here, with his permission.

More Than Lip Service – video poem

This may be a first for me – an ekphrastic video poem. I’m not sure if it’s a complete work, or if it’s just a work-in-progress. It’s inspired by a clay sculpture by Claudia McGill (who also writes poetry).  I’ve been wanting to write something around the piece for the past few weeks. Looking at it this morning, I just let the shape and patterns take me where they would, and I put together the video this afternoon.
(Thank you, Claudia.)

More Than Lip Service

Never just black and white,
there are many sides to the blues.

What is a door that opens, if you don’t enter it?
Or a rose, without water?

Enter, and I will water your rose,
scale any height to stay by your side.

This is more than lip service,
the many facets coming to you in turns.

What I reveal is already there
for the knowing.


Love Is Not a Game – recording

I’ve made a recording of my poem “Love Is Not a Game,” but I’ll admit I was motivated by a desire to manipulate the graphic I used when originally posting it. I found that image at pixabay, where it is labeled CC0 Creative Commons (unlimited free use).

Love Is Not a Game

Tell me this.
Don’t do that
Acting like a bureaucrat,
you cite each rule.
All this time I’ve been
a fool to play along,
as if you’d change
direction, rearrange
priorities. Put us first,
not you. But the view
from here is still
the same. It pains me
to say this, but I have nothing
left to prove. It’s my turn now,
for my last move
I quit your game.


Cliché Ridden

Cliché Ridden

Do you consider my
a flaw?
Is silence not golden?

I am
no longer a character in
your passion play.
The sacrifice was too great.

You want to hear
a solo
on my heartstrings.

I did that for
too long, wearing it on
my sleeve, while you
looked the other way.

Sadder, but wiser,
I’ve learned
my lesson. Consider that
book closed.

We have become
a cliché.

(In the past.)
This a poke at myself. I’m slowly learning to avoid common terms and phrases in my poetry, but lapses occur. Consider this a way to purge myself of the habit, get it out of my system. Damn! There I go again. Sometimes it just can’t be avoided. Damn!

Meet the Man Who Talks to Himself About the Weather

I started vlogging – video blogging – shortly after I retired in 2006. It gave me an opportunity to connect with people across the country and around the world. Traveling around the country, I went on to meet more than 50 of those vloggers in person, between 2009 and 2014.

Talking to the camera about things that were important to me was a way to sort through my thoughts, but it became a sort of hobby, and my vlogs included video poems and collaborations with other vloggers on videos about recent events in the news, as well as creative projects. Many of my vlogs were recorded as I sat, walked, biked and kayaked along the Niagara River, which led to a change of my screen name to rivrvlogr in 2008. At the height of my obsession with vlogging, 2010-2011, I made more than 540 videos in 24 months.

My production of videos diminished gradually, until I was making just two vlogs per month, and then tapered right off, so that I usually upload one a month. Those are my kayak vlogs. I share them with a small community, but the main reason I make them is to share with my family on Facebook.

My name is Ken, and I’m a (recovered) vlogger.

Kayak Moment

Floating against the bank,
out of the current

Paddle resting
on shaded water

Kingfisher cocks his head,
peers at me, then darts away

Heron on opposite shore
steps forward, takes flight

Calls of both birds
ring for a brief moment

Stillness of the morning air
returns, another reward

This poem first appeared her in April 2014.

Edgar (A Missing Person Report)

Ten years ago, on a whim, I wrote this, recorded it, edited it to tweak the audio and then played the recording in a phone call to a Halloween party that was in progress. In 2010, I finally got around to putting the audio into a video with graphics that I posted on a vlogging site. I hadn’t watched the video in years, so I wasn’t even sure if I still had it. Well, I found it, and I uploaded it to Vimeo. Those original notes are long gone, so I transcribed the audio, and that appears below.


Is Edgar there?
I’m searching for Edgar.
Yes, Edgar.
He seems to have wandered off,
and there is no finding him.
His grave marker is toppled,
and the earth is in a ruin.

All of Baltimore is in a fright, a panic.
He is too long interred for something like this to happen,
and he is most definitely gone.
There are reported sightings of him
walking out of the city,
calling for his Annabel Lee.
The city has not heard such a tolling of the bells
since he last walked the streets.

I am calling all of the major metropolitan areas
in the Northeast,
hoping for some news of his whereabouts.
Even a telltale sign.
I know it is unlikely that he could have wandered far
in such a short time, but I do hold out hope.

It’s obvious that you have much revelry there.
Have you, perchance, opened a cask of Amontillado?
You must indeed be wealthy,
if you can afford such a vintage.
A rare vintage.

You are certain that you have not seen Edgar?
He would have a raven on his shoulder.

I have no more time for this.
I must make more calls.
Thank you for your time.

Voices Can Return

Voices Can Return

but not without a trace
you live on in
photographs, possessions
gatherings, pastimes

they stir memories that
insist you are still here
I sense your presence
approving, reminding

but what of your voice
that pitch
that inflection
I hear it, still
yet wonder at that memory

I watch flickering images
fifties’, sixties’ movies
smile at your youth
my innocence
yet find no answers
where all sounds are silenced

but then
one trove not mined in years
memories stored magnetically
stowed in obsolescence
translated with
a component now archaic

you smile, shrug
raise an eyebrow
and speak

my memory may take
twisted paths
but this time it’s confirmed

The five word prompts for The Secret Keeper’s Weekly Writing Prompt #59 are gone, sense, trace, voice and path.

Secret Keeper Prompt