Tacoma Flashes


Author's note...
After being the Dean of Students and English teacher at 
the Bolles School in Jacksonville, Florida (1973-81),
I retreated from teaching and moved to Tacoma, Washington;
Seattle's unsung neighbor to the South.All poems copyrighted to Jeff Hartzer.

Click for Tacoma,Wa. Forecast

breakage palm sunday departure simply the essence a moment keenly perceived rainy route sixty four tennessee Jeff Hartzer 1981-85
lunar eclipses come and go in tacoma the winds of night come to me by day sun painted leaves dance in the darkness and journeys out seem longer than going home in tacoma I come to you like a man from mars blowing horns all the way from florida you let me walk with you to the stars my time with you is a dream drawn by phantom ghosts Jeff Hartzer 1981-85
October first brings rain and the soft scattered sound of geese fifty four in flying vee chaotic wings black against a sky of gray rain Jeff Hartzer 1981-85
Walking among skullcaps a stream ripple sounds and breezes dance me free to fly like the cedar waxwing over this ancient river bed into that waltz with time where the loud noise of winter is just a stream Jeff Hartzer 1981-85
Moonbirth reading of mars and leopards I walk on the mountain at sunset and moonrise pale fire rains cold as stars kiss the snow and venus sails the sky autumn leaves chilly winds at play on mountainsides while the sun sets over paradise laughing stars spark the night still sounds of the moon whisper across clouds as I look through evergreens and learn to live with smiles Jeff Hartzer 1981-85

not Tacoma

wind danced dreams For a rising son to clean a knife is a fragile thing : a hand held tight to the mast a bosom bared to the soul a silvery shining as live as any movie... Jeff Hartzer 1981-85

for Dorian the grey cat Sad shadows of sunset stars wind their way through glens and meadows where a leaf upturns down over sunset lit pine forests and a grey cat named Dorian prowls the streets of Cheyenne while his friend the poet seeks himself and knows the death of a child is not the same as the end of a day or dawn of the next Jeff Hartzer 1981-85
Looking back dirty pictures make me think of you they depress me Jeff Hartzer 1981-85
Landing from the north From thirty thousand feet Mount Rainier stands a mountain shadow a blue black shade on cream a jagged soft paradox We drop down through clouds into northwest mist dark green visions cascades in blue where the sound opens to the north and fjord fingers creep out like dogs' legs with ferry boat toys to decorate olympic cool white powder cake Beyond mist mirrored ponds a world of grace trees trees trees and green Seattle reaches Jeff Hartzer 1981-85

Indian Totem Crow sits tall under the Sun drenched Moon From Eagle's heart comes the face of Thunder Bridesmaid you stand in white gowned splendor before the pole of your ancestors a wedding today the feast is blessed Dog and Bear smile down her shoulders bare in the breeze her heart pure as the air alive and ripe holy and true Sacred myths grace the sunset sky Otter smiles Raven flies wings carved of tree high above I watch and send this prayer these beings and toast the bride the groom the earth sky Jeff Hartzer 1981-85


Capacity to Care (for Alice) Snoopy fights the Red Baron with rainbows and stars he flies over the training pool skimming chlorined waters Alice extends delicate hands showing direction touching guiding reaching small legs crumpling into the water her hands tickle with new movement gently nudge with love wet heads bob smiling faces Michael's eyes laugh behind wet glasses he plays torpedo crab seal periscopes alligators Robbie moves with hula dancer grace his dance is different his dance bubbling through integrated movement slow motion and sweet swishes Carlos waits his turn mouthing finger friends wet and wild never let go the edge Shane smiles cross-eyed blue hopeful glances drooled into pools his eyes as blue as blue can be look up at mine and I hold him pull him close melding all my rough edges no longer thinking of myself Jeff Hartzer 1981-85


For Ellen on the birth of your pony Your horse colt dances dreams crisp hooves on woodchip floor Ears alive pointed high Your horse colt breakfasts on pale warm milk Laps life into silk Your horse colt sucks your fingers Gathers you in Your horse colt becomes daily yours with love Horse gods and dreams bring goodness to you Be blessed Stay calm Jeff Hartzer 1981-85


Refrain for the Corporate Puppet (on the occasion of President Reagan's Tacoma visit) Say a prayer for the limousined man Say a prayer for the incubated man The man looking backward The man laughing at the crowd Say a prayer for the red-faced ferrets riding limos Say a prayer for the hospitality kitchens of the world Street cornered and hungry factory girls and boys Easy targets for limousined string pullers Say a prayer for Presidents who swing on cowboy boots who laugh red-faced behind steel glass visions from inside enormous embryonic cars flown in fromthe capitals of the world Say a prayer for the limousined man so important he needs a gunship to chop open the sky wherever he goes with Greyhounds of Press and soldiers and televisions and all of us waiting Jeff Hartzer 1981-85

Jeff Hartzer with Lawrence Ferlingetti
Atlantic Center for the Arts

Nativity House (a poem for Earl and Alabama) Hey Earl ... I's gonna take me a canoe acrossed ta Miss-sippi some day Ain't no money worth a damn now No money. sittin and a waitin'... waitin' and a .prayin'... drinkin' and a sittin'... Hey Earl I know one thing for sure you don' know... Two best damn missions in the world : Yakima's got one. In Lincoln they's got one. I made me a livin' there Snow this deep but I made it for sure Dirty city but plenty a work there Hey Earl They gonna take them greyhounds off'n them busses They's gonna have pups Hey Earl some day I's gonna be on top of ta moon pissin' straight on down Jeff Hartzer 1981-85


i. dragonflies maple leaves twirl together where my dalmatian dances fire across sparkler streams ii. dancing leaves reach out in wind touch swing monkey messages tree to tree iii. winged tree cast spinnaker leaves adrift to first fall rain Jeff Hartzer 1981-85


tuxedo cat sails norman normanski spent his last night outside alone I found him next to the house cold hard softly gone first frost brings death lain down at the door black white paw dreams white cloud risen into night darkness another morning burial ahead of me there will be others a dream of that white cloud rising soft into open night sky told me he was gone toward the things we can not see Jeff Hartzer 1981-85


Thirty nine years waiting watching hiding the invisible man hiding the invisible child so afraid to scream And now the frozen years begin to crack open like the pops on old records those records I listened to over and over while all the time you thought I was being good Those pops of ice those fingers of flesh frozen eyes in the night Jagged pieces to memorize to set into the puzzle Pops of ice that wake the dogs from bold restless sleep Always there were dogs Here Bodger. Come Queenie. Here Silkie. Bullet. COME HERE ROOTABAGA! Dogs licking my face dogs always asking what's wrong? Jeff Hartzer 1981-85


Farmer's Tale I told myself to wait for moonrise to come loud and deep and the life of a farmer is a day by day thing from dawn to dusk straight dark roads tractors roar and fields I told myself to wait for moonrise and the life of a farmer is forever mine miles of miles yards of yards footfalls under stars and wastelands I told myself to wait for moonrise and hung like a Chinese lantern sky it comes up between trees a moon so gold it drinks in the sky I told myself to wait and the life of a farmer comes and goes Join me? Care to come along for the passing of rows for the harvests and offerings? For you my friend I drink in the sky I pour three fingers full black gold in the night and sweet moon you rise higher For you I drink down fire such lovely flames The life of a farmer is the poet writer's rich as the art of black earth and cold rain and wheat fields plowed under Jeff Hartzer 1981-85


They call us "criminals" (poem to room 304) Inside you are in a mountain cabin tucked away with down comforters dreaming dreams waiting

you sit
into groups

tenth grade
soldier poets
bakers prayers
children of the eighties

you smile hearty
laugh party

do not stop
do not stop
do not stop

dance your smiles across rainbow moons

search for your selves
with the laughter of love

Jeff Hartzer



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Written by Jeff Hartzer , The Poet's Corner appears monthly in Albuquerque's South Valley Ink.



Jeff Hartzer, MEd. presents a unique view of poetry as a magical gift waiting to be opened . Jeff is a poet, writer, teacher, and the Executive Director of the AirDance ArtSpace. ( 1-505-877-5001).

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