"I've known rivers...my soul has grown deep like the rivers."* Langston Hughes
selah river is a writing website
of Daniel Eugene Wilcox, a poetic writer.
Yes, travel rivers of the world
and rivers of the soul
and rivers of the mind.
The Space Clown
When caught in
The romantic comet
Of the moment
I touched her pixied face
I wish I could make love to
You on 3 million different planets
All at once
She pixeled a look so scientific
Oh don't clone around with me
The Cat's Scientist
Scratch, scratch, scratch;
Open the cubical.
I patter past his carbon-based legs,
Rushing, meowing all the way to my feeder
Already full, waiting to be lapped and crunched.
But I'm the droided prince of cats so I
Reverse, nose and chin his cyrexed shins,
Meow into his lowered hand;
Impatiently prowl around his space boots
Until he stumbles and almost falls.
Finally he wises up,
Grabs the half-empty receptacle
From the immaculate shelf,
Shakes it noisily in my pussed face,
Then pretends to dump more pastel fare
Into my tempting container;
Swiftly I gobble it up
As if it were the last bowl on Mars.
What did he mumble about Pavlov?
By Daniel Wilcox
Previously published in Right Hand Pointing and Abandoned Towers
And Widowmoon Press
Drowned in family tragedy, despairing, distraught--
that morning earlier;
thus down encumbered,
he came to worship meeting, but not speaking
of his family’s severe circumstance, kept hidden;
But in the midst
of open expectant communion, Transcendent Light
shown forth in a stranger’s sudden
a cappella spiritual chorus--
a deep songing deepening within;
intense meaning lifted us gathered in communion--
vivid encouraging Hope;
That sacred chorus didn’t take away our shattered glass
lives, nor end many distraught
circumstances and tragedies--
Oh, what Hope fulled within.
a beachcomber of Beauty
a why-ing kid
with go-vision eyes stretching
meandering rocky-rubble farm roads
and roaming over creeks, through timber strands,
brief forest, and out across pasture lands--
I discovered beautiful bits and lumps that matter
--pebbles, stones, and rocks
(especially when wet)
and odd ugly ones, to boot
on fun nature hikes
outside of our minor village
in 50’s southeast Nebraska;
Put those bright objects, small hunks, in my pockets
where they lay heavy
or in my overloaded baggish hands,
carrying them home,
my free treasures of early/pre-youth
enlarging my throng of wonder
in my pine-walled basement room--
Yes, I became a rock-mongrel mutt;
And later found others, mostly bits of minerals,
my boyhood keepers
in the Black Hills, Rockies, Sierras,
and a small chunk of copper ore
from an open pit mine in Bisbee, Arizona,
and a few parched white bones from
a long-ago bison jump
near Lame Dear, Montana.
I became a boarder of pebbles, quartzes, feldspars, agates,
granite bits, and mica, sea-glass, iron pirate,
and who-know unknowns,
and fascinating shells and other sea life from 3 coasts--
a beachcomber of minor Beauty,
a voyager through this washed-up-n-down of life,
Adrift explorer, searcher, curious wanderer.
But now in receding elder age, mutated
with a stroke of bad luck,
I hesitently hobble about with a rolling walker alone
along Pismo sand dunes and Morro Rock shores
still searching, seeking for more special riff-raff,
to add to my ‘treasured things,’
our rooms’ shelves;
Here they still lay waiting
inert for another
Oh, the aesthetic depth of minor things,
bits that matter which sometime
Yes, objects of beauty that exist in Deep Time…
in not too many years,
I will leave them behind;
and those long-enduring things will
exist others of the future.
And this long rumination of my life-long collections
Reminds me of a pebbled thought of beauty for present living--
We humans get washed up
on this shore of existence,
surrounded and crowded
by things and circumstances
we didn’t choose--
We all get roughed down and polished by adversity…
But the wonder of our human brain’s neural plasticity--
is we all get to choose
how we respond to life’s circumstances,
harsh trials, and horrific tragedies--
Yes, until our death, we get to create anew
If only briefly
What has washed up on your shore today?
What beautiful pebbled moment of wonder?
Or what irritant, ache, troubling circumstance, or tragedy
has gotten lodged in your
oyster mind and heart?
What can you do to turn this troubled moment into a precious
Awake at dawn
upending my camping mug
for a drink,
but no water slurp;
except for a gray web’s net
rim to rim;
below, a dark spider
Retreaded, not yet board and carded
I’m retreaded but road-tired,
Rolling across cantankerous land
Though, thank heavens—knock around
Not yet sent off to a ‘board and card’ mansion,
You know where decks and bingo
“Was a dog…” chips or
Define the tokened measures of your/our life--
Or where, too
Reclining and breathing entertain you/us.
Or tipped-wobbly with 4-wheels and unfeeling-ed feet
I walker about at Morro Strand beach-coast
Staggering in wonder...
Until my brief spark of awed experience embers out
This cosmos Ultimately
Meditation on Shimmering Palms
On more days and nights, an invalid,
In pain and loss, I often just want to go…
But then, again, I stare out
To the wind and sun
From our upstairs
There tower above, 2 lone palms
In sight from my weak haven,
Swaying in that blue expanse
In a lively coastal wind,
Their mop-tops of slender fronds
Like flashing magnesium flares
From brilliant reflecting
Those two undulating sentinels dance
over/above my fading consciousness,
A duo/two unconscious guards,
While I lay here filled with sacred
Of my former festive living,
Becoming, and doing….
Yes, the wonder of being a human primate
Living, but finite, so brief, and this
Gift, this Present
Then we’re gone.
the mutant poet:-)
FLOATERS--a poetic reflection on coastal warm days, shortly before winter
I’m spent to despair,
For lost hope yearning,
Tried for years to rescue others
Caught in tangled news hours
Of hellish hate, intolerance, despair,
Wrong right-leftist spinners,
Those creedalists and secularists
Both deniers of the morally real--
Their abyss of modern sheol winter
Abandon this somber cellared lament!
My sweetheart suggests, Let’s visit
A coastal winery,
Say, I do,
Driving along a winding river valley,
We arrive, expectant,
Hoping for respite;
Then, listening to soft music,
Sipping small glasses of moscato and merlot
Enjoying a glad lackadaisical day,
Mellow and casual,
Light of heart,
In California’s autumn’s wonder
Below tall sycamores and elms;
After Thanksgiving before winter;
We bask in 86-degree warmth,
When unexpectedly a slightly curled
Leaf floats down before
And lands gently on my lap,
A died wonder for us to behold;
Then another drifter
Lets go from a large limb above,
A deep rust-brown leaf spattered
With light tan highlights and vein-lines,
Descends in front of us,
Swaying back and forth,
Inches away from us,
On the lawn;
I lay with my head way back,
Gazing up to the sky's azure blue,
As other gifts let go every few moments
From high above,
Swinging wide and graced,
Falling beauty in slow motion,
I realize—here, now--
With this Present--
I could die free, released.
Color Me Fiery Intense Red
As a kid, expressive, creative, rambunctious,
something of a wild card
long into adulthood
I loved vibrant Green--
for abundant life, for exuberant energy, vividly alive
for beauty like in colors, emerald or jade,
for the natural world from creek to patch of woods
behind our house on the edge of Adams village,
to verdant forest green glens of the Sierras, Sequoia and Yosemite
then, suddenly, unexpectedly, without conscious why;
spontaneous, impulsively one day in middle life,
not liking green anymore…
viewing green instead as dull, insipid,
sickening, repetitious, odd,
Color me fiery Red--riveting, intense, striking sparks of light
cardinal, crimson, scarlet burst into my eyes and consciousness
—passionate, dazzling, blazing, heated, different…
as in exploding firework sky rockets,
as pulsing red coals in a bonfire,
as an amazing psychedelic quilt by my sweetheart
like an Impressionistic painting, luminous in our house
to ruby red lava in Hawaii’s volcano, intense sunsets, and Utah’s red rock
A Psalm of Late Life
Pessimist of my oldering years
Preyed upon by lamentable loss
I find no balmy psalms to lyre
But after discovered liars
Only this harp
of yawps and howls,
I pray for transcendence,
This my modern yelled holler
My psalm of life end's exit
Dance in this sorrowing starred night
bite my teeth on famous lines
a hole lot of fragmented shells;
hunger hollows within--
of lost longing
lone-ranging, reigning the distance
of a round heartless night
of a round heart-last light
lane-ranging, raining the day-stance
of last longing
fulness hallows within--
a whole lot of fragranced shalls;
bide my heart on famous lines
a time for…
in the fall a time for springing
festivals of Monet-splashed leaves
that my sister and I raked and piled high
in the deep ditch in front
and jumped down into,
and our large garden behind the parsonage
with pumpkins, melons, and withered corn rows...
and lightning bugs on the wane,
flashing on and off
full of fall...
eye widening rock
pastels bold in harvest's sun--
basalt garden wonder
at the park's bat box
my grandson scooping up handfuls
and swinging it loose--
lighted by sunshine
back to cleated ground
lightly spraying over gray clod fields
Experience the awe-widened beauty of the Columbia Gorge.
Want to be conundrummed? Live in the starbacked night?
Visit Clockwise Cat Poetry Magazine: Klox and Katz Ink Issue, for my two new poems:
Check out a brief poem on summer gloom, a haiku at vox poetica:
Then leave sorrow and war and memory behind. Journey love and romance in "Moon River" at Poetry Pacific.
Need a little bit of humor in the midst of so much human tragedy and political chaos?
Try "The Pullout Coyote" at the fine poetry magazine, vox poetica.
A true but funny poetic story of our encounter with a wild critter in Yosemite last year.
For Daniel's previously published writing visit http://www.psalmsyawpshowls.com/
Also, check out his new speculative novel, The Feeling of the Earth.
Get caught up in the joys, trials, and tribulations of 3 alienologists who warp into our solar system in 1842.
They become deeply involved and a mutation occurs in the human species. Journey through the years with them to 2074!
Available now at Barnes & Noble, local bookstores, libraries, and Amazon.
Deal with the moving film over your eyes in "Film Over Our Eyes."
Is it easier for a camel to go through the eye of a poem....?
Experience Hollywood's wild ire, the roller-coaster excess of youth,
growing up fundamentalist Baptist, all that rollicking rock crazy Oz of the 60's, and Life itself.
There are 3 collections of Daniel's published poems,
Psalms, Yawps, and Howls,
and selah river.
All 3 areavailable at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, local bookstores, and coffee shops.
For Daniel's speculative writing, futuristic poems and stories warp over to
Other websites include
Do a Google sleuth and find washed up pieces of his poetic driftwood on the vast shores of the Internet.
His wild lines have fallen to print in many magazines including vox poetica, Fish Food Magazine, Contemporary American Voices,
The Camel Saloon, Ascent Aspirations, Poetry Pacific, Dead Snakes, Paradise Review, The Mindful Word, Enhance Literary and Art Magazine, Knot Middle Eastern Literary Journal, Mouse Tales Press, Mad Swirl, Ancient Paths Literary Magazine, hotmetalpress.net, Front Porch Review, The Greensilk Journal, Bigger Stones, Lyrical Passion Poetry, Eunoia Review, The New Verse News, Decades Review, Quill and Parchment, Poydras Review, Counterexample Poetics, The Copperfield Review, Rubber Lemon, amphibi.us, Poetry Super Highway, Three Line Poetry, The Clockwise Cat, Liturgical Credo, Willows Wept Review, vox poetica, Structo Magazine #4, Four and Twenty, Gloom Cupboard, Clutching at Straws, The Centrifugal Eye, Wild Violet Literary Magazine, Lyrical Passion Poetry, A Handful of Stones, Haiku Journal, Right Hand Pointing, The Bicycle Review, Leaf Garden, The Recusant, Calliope Nerve, Static Movement, Unfettered Verse, outwardlink.net, protestpoems.org, Word Riot,
Moria Poetry, MediaVirus Magazine, Lunarosity, Hanging Moss Journal, The New Verse News, ocean diamond, The Writer's Eye, Mad Swirl, Abandoned Towers, Writer's Ink, The Scruffy Dog Review, Oak Bend Review, Crossing Rivers Into Twilight, Tipton Poetry Journal, The Cherry Blossom Review, Word Catalyst, The Houston Literary Review, Lucid Rhythms, Identity Theory, Halfway Down the Stairs, Frame Lines, Full of Crow, The Externalist, The Driftwood Review, Western Friend Magazine, Flutter Poetry Journal, Frostwriting, Words-Myth, Ink Sweat & Tears, Erbacce Print Journal, Sentinel Poetry Online, The November 3rd Club, the poetry warrior, The Shine Journal, Mississippi Crow Magazine, The Cerebral Catalyst, Anthrozine, Ink, Sweat, & Tears, Stylus Poetry Journal, Idlewheel Literary Friction, The Indite Circle, The Rogue Poetry Journal, The WriteSideUp, La Fenetre International Literary Magazine,The Other Side Magazine, Gambit, etc.
Photograph C by Betsy Wilcox