Jeffery Oliver

Creative life: films, poems, music, bicycles, organic gardens, fresh beer, hyper local

There Was a Child Went Forth – Walt Whitman

There Was a Child Went Forth - Walt Whitman

Today is Nov. 17, but one afternoon around Jan. 29, 1991, I first heard this poem in a general ed class as an undergraduate student at Arkansas Tech University. I left that classroom, on the second floor of Witherspoon Hall, changed. Here’s a quick reading and recording of this poem.

There was a child went forth every day;
And the first object he look’d upon, that object he became;
And that object became part of him for the day, or a certain part of the day, or for many years, or stretching cycles of years.

The early lilacs became part of this child,
And grass, and white and red morning-glories, and white and red clover, and the song of the phoebe-bird,
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The Raven Speaks. A poem by James Tate

The Raven Speaks by James Tate

I cut some roses from my garden, then went back in
and put them in a vase. I put the vase on the dining room
table and sat there staring at them for awhile. They were
yellow verging on orange with a red border. It was as though
they were in motion, some private sea with tiny waves swirling
about. Several dolphins were leaping under a clear, blue sky.
I saw a man on a raft in the distance, just a speck really,…

“The Raven Speaks” by James Tate from his collection of poems, “Return to the City of White Donkeys.” Read by Jeffery Oliver.

While we sleep the story grows

desert morning July 28, 2015

The desert in the morning glows with the radiant warmth of yesterday’s sun as if, when the world ends, this is the last place people will be alive. There’s a quiet in Rimrock unlike anywhere I’ve been. A breeze moves through the morning around 4:30am and dusts us with stories for the day while we sleep off the unfinished stories of yesterday.

– journal entry from July 28, 2015 while working on the film “Of Dust and Bones.”

Poe’s Poetic Principle

In speaking of the Poetic Principle, I have no design to be either thorough or profound.

Ed Poe's Poetic Principle

– Edgar Allan Poe [The Poetric Principle at Project Gutenberg]

Martin Scorsese by King Missile

I was a huge King Missile fan when I had more time for nonsense. Trying to reclaim that:

August Light (for Terri)

august light bison header

I live lifetimes forgotten
please forgive me
as I feel my way
I accumulate the past
into this my body
pieces of then and now
reflections dispersed
stardust found its way
through light into water
into this very breath

Kevin, the ‘Little Red Bastard’

I found “Kevin, The Little Red Bastard” at a pawn shop for $60 and gave him a makeover. Summer 2014.


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