Category Archives: Poetry

The well-trained eye


  by Britton Minor

Are we not supposed to enjoy
the winter moon? How the trees,
exposed since autumn, stand poised to 
shoulder the snow?

Are we not supposed to whisper that 
art rattles in the bones?
Where pain and spring, where
tattered regrets, mingle?

Does it matter what moves us
as long as something does?

Is art only to be judged and juried, 
trained eyes roving, mouths spouting
Cezanne and Gauguin? 

A history of predestined worthiness 
is not art.

My god, is a stanza always the same 
length? An answer always better
than the question?

Note: Poem and photos prompted by the assertion I’ve heard from some friends and one particular well-trained stranger that there aren’t “real” artists, there isn’t “real” art, at the Laguna Beach Sawdust Festival. I beg to differ.

Creativity is not only in the heart and hands of the creators, but also in the eye of those who behold and admire and purchase art that moves them. Must we only admire art that adheres to a trained standard. Must we judge the lines and curves before we let ourselves be moved to tears without a “valid” explanation?

All work herein, writing and photos, is the property of their creator, Britton Minor.

Strike the Sky, a meditation

Have you ever heard the wind siren through the

camphor? Seen its sociable branches strike

the sky? They look harmless, and your mouth will 

water. But those sumptuous, black berries will

kill you.


Even magma simmers beneath the earth in

silence, and lava snakes through 

fractures. Should I have kenned the

explosion? Ingested the  judgment before

spitting it out?


Before she left, the heavens swept me dry as a summer

bone. I didn’t know I wasn’t breathing until the resolve

to keep her close began to stink, pinned my nostrils flat

against the stench. Betrayal comes from the



The only activity worth doing last Friday was watching Endeavour, a friendly celebrity flying low (1500 feet) to greet adoring fans from near and far, travel the skies. I was moved beyond belief and expectation to tears; my emotions shuddering inside of me as the modified Boeing 747 and its precious shuttle-cargo passed overhead. A side shot would have been nice, but I settled for what I could get, and vowed to eventually buy a longer lens, since it would have been incredible to get orgasmically close (even via expensive glass) to the star-rubbing beast.

Since I seem to have lost my words lately, I am relying on an unedited poem from my past to convey the power and mystery of Friday’s historic moment:

3/11/97 – Inspired by Pablo Neruda, among other things…


There are moments, like pregnant pauses
When white dragons rise to the surface
Unnoticed yet fully realized and threatening

Groaning like a half-eaten mouse
He knows only that he senses something
Her thick lips refuse to speak

Uttering inane phrases to engage his wit
And literary ploys to unnerve his instincts
She strengthens her resolve not to crumble

Smiling all the while at her power
She chases fear with sweet red wine
A most clever elixir of disharmony

Wild, wild woman, untamed by sweetness
Hard won by human beauty
She travels alone, sometimes lonely

Hunt, kill, hunt, kill, hunt, kill, hunt, kill
Smiling while laughing, she attacks
As if he doesn’t know he’s a victim

Ravenous soon after, she feeds in her sleep
On the ruination of the kill, the nourishment
That stokes the pang familiar

Angst rising in her haunches, she eludes the pain
Carrying on as if nothing has happened
To the pristine soul of the untainted girl

It is inapt to deliver wintry anger
Or unleash it in the very pleasure
That created it, two-faced monster

She cavorts demurely with eyes that
Tell one hundred stories, none of them true
All of them honest

She doesn’t belong here; stagnant
She doesn’t belong there; unworthy
Where? Where then?

Leaping toward the chasm, she lands
Hard but safe, alone yet aware
There is more to do than lick her wounds

No time to waste. Red soul is pleading
She must embrace the Scylla inside the wolf
Or risk the slow and painful death of apathy

But there are moments, like pregnant pauses
When white dragons bow their heads and moan
Defeated by love, a power no adversity can quench


Besides urgency, she feels
Eager, not anxious like she
Should when trying to please
Him, Great White Cloud

Confidence building inside her
Moist arms carrying, heart
Heaving and hefting, carefully
Pushing the gift in place

No thanks to come after
She stands beside a deluge
Worthy of singing, of dancing,
Wide eyes appraising now

Almost gloating like she
Did before the reminding
Torrent with its heavy-handed
Washing, its effortless erasing

This poem is in response to Randall David Tipton’s beautiful painting, coupled with the amazing poetry of Maureen Doallas, author of Neruda’s Memoirs: Poems. You may see both here