June 2019 Voicing Art Poetry Reading + Poems

inspired by the art of al salzman


[inspired by Intervals No. 30 and Intervals No. 32 by Peter Curtis]

eight thousand atrocities pinned to the wall
in gray, the studied cruelty of history’s crawl
seeking the justice of Saints Peter and Paul
I say paint as you may until the sand covers all

monuments topple yet the pedestals remain
anticipating the next campaign
when wishful thinking becomes the main
and the shadow of Babel rises once again

that our fallacies rule offers no surprises
conflict is expected and therefore arises
in juried halls and broadcast enterprises
between dead principals and compromises

political action is reciprocal at best
true revolution will burn every nest
as sure as the medals on dead men’s chests
a simple revision will take care of the rest


Jimmy Tee is a poet from Milton, Vermont.



the mess that is the present
it is a product of the past

for we love the mob mentality
and I’m sure its gonna’ last

theres a rush to judgement
from this torch and pitchfork crew

with nothing gentler than a lie
with never a process due

the genies fled the bottle
demanding our attention

meaning is not inherent
it requires our invention

but its a tiger by the tail
and a question of degrees

any horde will tell you
they burn more than effigies

BAD MAN IN THE WHITE HOUSE | McClain Jeff Moredock

[inspired by Little Feat’s Fat Man in the Bathtub]
Can be read or sung, basic 12 bar blues 

      There’s a bad man in the White House

      Got his small hands on the wheel

      Got his focus on himself

      And not the commonweal

      He got his start in real estate

      He moved from deal to deal

      And in spite of going bankrupt

      His profits seemed unreal

      Then on to hiring firing

      So all the world could see

      He was the boss of everyone

      On reality TV

      But now he’s in the White House

      Still running his big scam

      With daily twitter tweets

      That range from flim to flam

      So gird up all your loins

      And steel yourself for battle

      Its time to take up arms

      And remove him from his saddle

      Not with guns but votes

      That’s the democratic way

      For ballots better bullets

      If a tyrant you would slay

      So rally all your friends

      Let’s go from bad to good

      And rid our nation once and all

      Of this this common neighbor hood




In 80 years I have worked as a farmhand, lifeguard, folk-singer, surveyor, minister, chaplain, a teacher, coach, head of school, and chief operating officer..

 Over a span 50 plus years, I’ve written numerous articles, many sermons, a collection of short stories, a novella, many songs, and over 100 poems.

 As a cancer survivor, I treat each new day as a gift, and welcome the offering of what William Saroyan called “the human comedy.”  My family and my faith are inseparable, and like Miguel de Unamuno, I believe in God as I believe in my friends.               


Poems From Essex & Elsewhere
Nine Holes, Nine Lives-The Front Nine (e-book) Zebras in the Lake (self-published)
Real fake News (available on request) www.mjmoredock.com


APOLOGIES TO DR. SUESS | McClain Jeff Moredock

[inspired by “Intervals” by Peter Curtis]

I am The Donald,
The Donald I am
And not like any other man
I’m living large out on the stump
In this house of cards
I am the Trump
Little Marco and Big Ted Cruz
Punched me hard to make me lose
They did not know I do not bruise
I am the Donald, The Donald I am
Withstanding every media pan
The party of Lincoln, the party of Reagan
They’re on their knees and now they’re beggin’
Please, please, Dump the Trump
To them I say harrumph, harrumph
For I am The Donald nobody’s chump
I dish it out lump after lump
And when at last the votes are counted
And protests left and right are mounted
I’ll still be here still standing tall
Because I’m just too big to fall
And if it’s Clinton or Commie Bernie
I’ll be on the phone to my attorney
Cause you all know I’ve got the loot
And Trumps the card that beats a suit
I am Donald, The Donald I am
Known to all as the Flim-Flam-Man

…almost the Ides of March


[inspired by exhibit themes of abstraction and perspective]

As citizens, we sit in skin
Slowly slipping ownership
To the bodies of government
Tightening legislation around us
Til we cannot speak
Restricted by birth and body
Judged further than eyes’ reach
Standing our ground on stolen land
We must use what is remaining
Within our lungs to call for change
And choice
For those who already breathe life


Jenn Travers is currently a junior at the University of Vermont, where she studies English and theatre. She started writing poetry last spring. Her work has been exhibited in UVM’s Ekphrastic Poetry Reading at the Fleming Museum in April 2018, Wild Burlington for Art Hop at Artsriot in September 2018, and will be featured in Laurel Moon’s upcoming publication. She has just returned from studying abroad at the University of Kent in Canterbury, England.  

OVERLAP'D LIVES | Laine Driscoll


Rest now in that neck’s nook
There’s fire outside and warmth within.
Peace within this portal
And there the poor horse hangs.
Sweet cuddlenuzzles,
Purrs-a capellas,
Babes at breast,
Then, starving to death.
Within the worlds
Withstand the fever out at foot.
Warm glow | burning flame,
At once, And nowadays,
both degrees of grey.


Laine is a designer and friend of the world often located in New Haven, Connecticut.

THE VIOLIN | JC - The Poartry Project

[inspired by the ‘rondels’ in the exhibit]

The stories I could tell you
would make your spirit unbound
to its widest shores
and would break your heart. 

They say Robert Johnson
went down to the crossroads
and traded his soul with the Most Unclean.
I think he just had the sorrow of legions
pouring out his fingers.

They say Wolfgang’s Requiem
drove Salieri around the bend in a jealous rage.
I think he just had the unleashed paralysis of poverty
bleeding out onto his strings.

They say a red violin
shaped like a beautiful woman
traveled down through the ages making legends.
I think women must be tired of such comparisons,
of being played and pampered and pounded like
a coveted doll in a case by day
and despised and undone and left by the side of the
in the dark.

They say a certain Italian
member of my family
is worth 3.6 million dollars.
I think that is mad;
we are here to be shared freely,
and I am weary witnessing children’s promise
whittled away by lack and the emptiness of zero.

But out beyond words,
“Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”
stirs the innards of even the most doubting
agnostic to sense the universal music within their heart.

Out beyond words,
I rested on a shoulder on 3rd Street in Santa Monica
and loosed one of my most beautiful odes
from across the ages out onto
the empty sea of commerce
and re-awoke beauty.

Out beyond words,
I cause elephants to sway,
and dogs to relax,
and fish to distinguish between Stravinsky and Bach.
I am not surprised.
I am not the possession of Arrogance,
who would own the world to destruction and devour
its delights to death.

Out beyond words,
I joined peoples across borders,
across the bitter divide of religions,
to flow their irrepressible love and laughter
through dark nights and long years of potatoes
until the dawn of day.

Out beyond words,
out on the plains,
up in the hidden mountains,
hand-hewn by roughened hands,
whose grandparents were lost to black lung,
and parents to alcohol,
and children to pills and powder in the veins,
I weep for lives lost,
but also share the stories of the tender love
that gets us through.

I will splinter one day.
My strings will dry out.
My bow will break.
But from the dust of the memories
I will leak into the loam,
a delicate shoot will seek the light
of a new dawn and a new day,
and new hands will be waiting
to tell new stories
of a new world.


Founder of The Poartry Project, poet, visual artist, cartographer of the unseen, builder of loving worlds through loving words

2 P'S IN A POD | Ani Rao

[written during the ’10-minute break spontaneous poem challenge’]

Politics and Poetry, 2 P’s in a pod.
Each striding to convey beauty in their own ways.
A drone strike in one sparking a pen stroke in another,
A stanza from one ringing in the thought of the other through campaign, office and memoir.
Singing a duet on stage, sometimes like a Voice battle song,
Each with many beautiful scripts still to be voiced and written.


Ani loves poetry, being in nature, meditation and working with young lives in creative ways. He was born in the south of India and moved to Australia at the age of five. He is in currently in Brisbane, Australia after having recently travelled for 20 months through parts of the United States of America, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. He is currently working on consulting- and education-related projects. He has also co-stewarded a business and a philanthropic endeavor, as well as working as a high school teacher.

THE GAME | Jimmy Tee

the militants march in a terror parade
carrying cannon gun and rocket grenade
killing innocents in a publicized raid
in a thousand year war, the latest jihad
where children will suffer, their concept mislaid
so I wondered after the latest tirade
where is this weaponry bartered in trade
and it turns out that the very countries afraid
are the ones that supply the terrorists aid
for war is a distant board game to be played
while we sip our wine, safe on the esplanade
profits are won but the true costs are delayed
as a spade will continue to be found as a spade
and our created misery nowhere near a charade

BONANZA | Jimmy Tee

here comes Long Tall Sally
sneaking through the alley
hoping that good luck would stop and linger
but she passed a doorway
and found one more way
to satisfy an itchy trigger finger

you know for Long Tall Sally
losing every tally
left her cold and mean
a bee with a six gun stinger
and then one bad day
she shot up the cafe
to satisfy an itchy trigger finger 

they took Long Tall Sally
to the hangmans rally
where the mob put her
through the wringer
there was no excuse
not to drop the noose
to satisfy an itchy trigger finger

they say when Long Tall Sally
faced her finale
she smiled and knew
what death would bring her
then she spat on the floor
to even the score
to satisfy an itchy trigger finger

THE ESSEX WINTER OF 2011-12 | McClain Jeff Moredock

The Old Man is back!
The Old Man is back!
He does not enter on temperate tiptoes.
He stomps in from high peaks
Wearing nob-nailed boots.
He crushes the last foolish flower,
Kicks away all memories of leafy color.
Beats at doors, raps on windows,
Freezes fingers, nips noses
The Old Man is back!

We adjust …gradually…swaddled in down
Mittened, gloved, scarved, mufflered
The less hardy, balaclavaed.
We talk of witches breasts,
Well digger’s buttocks.
Then, with the curtain still up on Act One,
Act Two opens on the same stage. 

Sheet after sheet of bright white percale
Floats down from above.
It is the monstrous mother of all January White Sales.
Sheets pile up and up and up.
Will this sale never end?
The Hawk spreads his windy wings,
Bares his talons, swoops too and fro,
Screams in our ears, tears at our clothes.

It goes on and on and on and on and on and on.
The Green Mountains are still across the lake,
But the White Mountains, once far away,
Now loom large in our yards,
On porches, along driveways.

Roads disappear cars refuse to leave garages. School buses sit idle and empty.
Children and teachers rejoice.
Mothers and fathers weep silently.
The whether or not man lies again and again,
Tells us a break is in sight,
But he is in a warm studio looking at a camera.
We are in cold houses staring at frosted windows.

Then it happens, mirable dictum!
The sun, for many arctic moons a stranger, Appears in the sky and beams down.
Adults go outside and smile.
Small children say “Mommy, Mommy,
What’s that shiny ball in the sky?”
We laugh, confident that we will survive.
We wax skis, order snowshoes from L.L. Bean,
Talk a great deal about exercise.
But, alas, a heavy gray cloud cover
Draws itself over the percale.
Everyone goes back inside
To read, to wait…and to drink.

Eternity downshifts into low gear.
We shovel, we scrape, we slip, we slide,
And, when cabin fever
Approaches epidemic proportions,
A change springs into view.
Our world warms.
The percale is peeled away one sheet at a time. Hearts and minds and ponds begin to thaw.
A few small white mountains remain,
But now there are green valleys to walk through. Children and teachers are back in school.
Mothers and fathers rejoice.

As Act Two slowly fades from view
Act Three rumbles onto center stage.
It offers a light and sound show.
Some remember Woodstock,
But spirits dampen.
We droop from downpour after downpour.
Moss grows between our toes.
Goldie’s locks go straight.
Even non-believers walk on water.
There is talk of ark building.
A baby is born…he is named Noah.
He thrives, but the downpour continues.

At last the gods grow weary of their sport
The big spigot goes righty-tighty
And we see…dry land
The primal fluid that poured into our lives
Now gushes and rushes down rivers and streams Until it ends where it always ends,
At the lake’s edge
An edge now closer than ever before,
Or so we are told.

Large chunks of lakefront real estate
Drop away and disappear in a muddy miasma. Owners wonder, “Will my taxes go down
Because I now own less land…or…
Will they go up because I am closer to the lake?” The Wise Guys of Whallonsburg opine
They will go up… because they always go up.

The lake heads west,
engulfs the ferry landing.
Tourism and interstate commerce tread water
The Old Dock is too old to move to higher ground
The marina is afloat without a boat
The Rudder Club loses its liquor license,
Act Three appears to be endless.

Then Allah be praised, there is a plan
Salvation is at hand
We awake one fine morning
We dress in shorts and t-shirts…for
The percale sheets have drifted away.
No primal fluid drops from the sky.
The edge of the lake creeps east.
The most divine of plans is at hand.

When we thought we could go on no longer, Endure another minute of
The Old Man, The Hawk, Piles of Percale,
Pelting Primal Fluid, and a lake
That didn’t seem to know its place,
The God With Many Names gives us…

FOOD FOR THOUGHT #1 AND #2 | McClain Jeff Moredock


couldn’t sleep
got up
wrote short poem
need a snack
balled up poem
ate it


       my medium          
               on rare occasions                    
        i say to myself                                        
          well done

MAGNETRON | JC - The Poartry Project

I’ve been with you
since before you existed.

You rose from nothing
– or actually something
– that came before.

Waiting till after 11 pm
to escape the smothering fug,
I ran through your future self,
dripping substance
through my sweat
to the burnt-toast fugue
of fertilizer factories
fanning fumes.

My weight
landing in molted mounds
as one day,
the field’s flank
on the route of my run
rose ripped prone in the dark
with the clods of sod
piling into a modern Mayan mountain
of sky, bleeding memories of music.

I went away for fresh air
and a baptism by fire
in the desert forests
of Dripping Springs,
where the waters chose
to absent themselves in my presence,
and the flames ate into the blank space
left behind.

But I arced forward and around,
and you were complete.

The altar of a new sacrifice
soaked through the soil,
and weight,
and fumes
shot into the ether overhead
– light as mist,
ponderous as poison.
Life to the baptized
who have gone away,
to burn in return
with the story etched of stars.

Our Debut Voicing Art Book

Voicing Art: Poetry of Space | Place | Time
is now available!

Poetry inspired by works of art, the art of nature and the exploration of beauty, perception and insight through the cartography of the unseen.


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