“As the Sea”

Bahá’ís throughout the world celebrate this day [beginning at sunset] as the Day of the Covenant, the Celebration of the Eternal Covenant between God and Mankind through His Manifestations and Prophets, eternal in the past, eternal in the present, eternal in the future:

“His Holiness Abraham, on Him be peace, made a covenant concerning His Holiness Moses and gave the glad-tidings of His coming. His Holiness Moses made a covenant concerning the Promised One, i.e. His Holiness Christ, and announced the good news of His Manifestation to the world. His Holiness Christ made a covenant concerning the Paraclete and gave the tidings of His coming. His Holiness the Prophet Muhammad made a covenant concerning His Holiness the Báb and the Báb was the One promised by Muhammad, for Muhammad gave the tidings of His coming. The Báb made a Covenant concerning the Blessed Beauty of Bahá’u’lláh and gave the glad-tidings of His coming for the Blessed Beauty was the One promised by His Holiness the Báb. Bahá’u’lláh made a covenant concerning a promised One who will become manifest after one thousand or thousands of years. –`Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í World Faith

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“As the Sea”

As the sea swells, so the Covenant remains, promises fulfilled.
Through Abraham the Friend of God, and Moses, Giver
Of The Law; fruited and confirmed in Jesus Son of Mary given
In His Person more–the Love of God–and through His Will,
Submission under God in Hijáz through Muhammad, Seal of Prophets;
From the East, Lord Krishna of The Three, The holiness of Buddha in Purity;
The Fires of Zoroaster from the mountain; security from casuistry
Within the Witness of The Báb, and Justice in Bahá’u’lláh
`gainst the nursery rhymes of sophists
And the worship of Creation over He who did create
The whole with but a single Word, “Be!” Hosts exclaim and expiate
Their cavils at the Word through numbers, and the terror of the tribes.
Armies propagate
Their synergies against the tide of history, bow the knee to what they rape,
And call it truth. By God! The earth is weary of their weight.
The Word alone remains; the Covenant alone withstands this dreary freight.

“Sonnet in Honour of the Feast of Qawl or ‘Speech’”

Bahá’ís throughout the world gather today to celebrate the First Day of the Month of Qawl [Speech]

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“Sonnet in Honour of the Feast of Qawl or ‘Speech’”

Except to praise Creation and its Source,
Of what use are tongues, and what of speech
If not to practice affirmation, to reach
Beyond the baser nature—to stay the course
Of destinies and mighty histories,
Ensure the memory of battle lines
Between the Greater World and the Lesser we find
We must occupy…for a time—the lies and inconsistencies
Within the rented present tense? Respeaking irrelevant truths
In vain imaginings applied to the important against the backdrop of the Word,
The most important, the conscious choice between what we’ve heard
With clarity within the heart and what we have been told of old, roots
And tendrils of hypocrisy are struck dumb with but a look,
Surely. These, the Leaves and Boughs of Sadratu’l-Muntahá, Branches
never silent as from out the The Primal Mouthpiece, the Perspicuous Book.

“Yes”

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“Yes”

Yes. So much as I can see
staring Eastward across the waters
that later touch the Holy Land,
still, in the early briefer hour I cannot remember its equal.
Standing here alone in endless fields of wheat and corn
from where I feel an overweening rage Westward, miles
between those twin skyline cauldrons, and swells upwelling heat and sweat
in anxious presage: something coming! sweet release.
My body aches. I cannot stop the prayer beyond the syllables―light and lightning, cheaper thrills, the instant comfort and relief
of ice-cold waters of an irrigation ditch.

Nebraska! To ease the sweet pain,
I cannot wait. I know what’s coming. I’ve always known.

I should not be here, but am I, and nothing in this heart could be disarmed, alarmed or warned to cede to what appears and never once makes sense.

No. I see them, righteous boiling mountains
not of rock; no trees, no streams, no mirage―
no poetic soul’s terse natural verse here while there,
but two whirling dervishes from the West, floods
of supra-natural flotsam, mitred clouds
with stains of seed in florid green
to punctuate potential, a pure
perspicuous majesty
and they stare at me…

Their hour is come. It is their mercurial summons I hear,
its first flush reaching for me and I have no fear.
And in this empty plain,
a place where I’m forgotten,
my early exile, this beside the point
as I stand here, within the hour,
I’ll breathe, I’ll cry, I’ll laugh,
and damn the lightning,
I’ll survive!

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“His Days In Office”

“His Days In Office”

His days in office draw him closer to himself;
He knows he’ll  finish what he long ago began,
And now? Well, now the dusts and sands
Sequestered in the hourglass run low, the shelf
Awaits, perhaps in this hall or on the other wall
Among the former Oval Offices eulogized
And honoured, and after all, who imagines perpetuity? No surprise
In this, and nothing to be done but heed the last election’s call.
He knows exactly what he’s  done, and he recalls
The early years when nothing hinted at the fall
Of institutions or what his fellows thought when one and all,
They outdid themselves before his very eyes. Wthal,
Their thoughts so tersely croaked upon the twigs of some fine November’s day,
Are odd reminders that values change, and curds dissolve in all that whey.

“Now Mark a Man’s Credentials”

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“Now Mark  the Man’s Credentials”

Now mark  the man’s credentials as he speaks
To pacify the greater numbers in the act
Within the sport of words, his only ammunition, the facts
Of light within his arbitrary audience. In this he cheats
Himself  and all that is of simplicity, the one
And indivisible beyond the Sadrat’ul-Muntahá, the point
By Whom the conscious constant cursive case of time appoints
Both upper and lower worlds and effortlessly runs
Within Itself this generations’s needs
Deposited, seeds of what will be in fields, in mountains locked,
And from which, freely, fire and ice withdraws their stocks.
Creation surely finds the end in deeds.
If in the breath there is not proof enough
To others witnessed, what is it to be
Amongst us all beyond mere mortal toil or immortal fee
And foils alike, these gems are simple stones.
And it is true that all have rights to speak?
If life is worth beholding to a saint,
Thus then reckon life worth living with no complaint,
A longer extended cut along the grain
For some; a sculpted verse, splinters carved, a life
In words of fine complexion for others while the knife
And chisel complete their commission in omission, again
In elimination to capture something safe,astounds,
Contraband of observation and objects more or less
For all the world in waiting; certitude’s with us,
My friend, in likelihood a likeness have they have found
A last and least messiah blindly plucked, jury duty in the crowd.
They must, if blind duty binds, expose the cloud
Above the clods whereon he sits uncrowned
By all but his delusion, angels’ muted corkscrews and horns
 Release the cork of new and untried bottles for every eye and ear to see
And hear upon the virgin bow of a ship which no one will believe
Is reason enough for this and one fine statue placed.
Gifted verses do not make the tale.
Ananias, lo! to you I speak in verse
To forsake this prophesy live or even worse.

Once

The only way to deal with an unfair world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion. –Albert Camus

***

Sometimes when I think how good my book can be, I can hardly breathe.

—Truman Capote

“The Knowledge”

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“The Knowledge”

The knowledge of the thing, a single breath, a pebble
On the beach, a grain of dust, a semblance of a solitaire in seed
That afternoon at Kitty Hawk that married destiny and need
For millions…or even worse, some jot or tittle on a treble
Note scribbled on a single page within a tattered score;
It’s firsts or yet again, in time it’s lasts; the leasts
Among the spores abused and blessed within the kneading yielding yeast
Of five fecund loaves that feeds the thousands; the thing she swore
She’d never do the night before he knew he would. The ringing
Of a solitary bell in 1941 one cool December Sunday’s outing`neath a rising sun
From where the first “Hello!” from Cain to Abel,
in the afterglow of “firsts” to repetitious marathons
That set the record straight the night they drove Ol’ Dixie down
to the tune of raucous drunken singing
In the belly of a ship at port before McHenry
as the glare of flares and rockets filled the ears and lit the skies:
The first and last hurrah in Nagasaki on the beach the night the music died…

“The Deed”

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“The Deed”

The deed is done; Cæsar’s death beside the point.
Of course, some several trinkets to collect
And box and some there are who promise to reflect
On what’s been said or what is grist made grit for future pundits to anoint.
But we’re not finished here; might we turn our eyes
To months and years ahead to present promises unfulfilled
For movements gentler to deride, some new tryst for someone’s will?
And we’ll be at the thing with something less disguised
Than we were wont to wear to mask the gnarled face
Of bigotry that’s ever there; a place
For some younger soul’s reported win, surprise! perhaps a show; the race
Is on but nothing less than more will do and competition’s traced
The route for them, of course, but no one roots for us who seem so satisfied
If in the end we stumble on across the line with nothing left but pride.

“A Mighty Ogre”

“A Mighty Ogre”

A mighty ogre looms, attend! Pointing
At the aged and frail, suspending sentences and dismissals;
Curt. Accusations rise as pernicious youthful lichens, thistles,
In the din of coarser winds through choirs of dandelions anointing
What they take to be their virgin soil yet cannot pollinate. But I am
Here to mention lightly–if at all–that we will surely meet
In landscapes where no salamander walks nor stalks and seek
A common ground in placeless journeys born of powers that can
Alone confirm the comedy of an eternal phoenix
or the tragedy of lethal mortal dreams
That once again refuse the mighty hawk or lowly
Dove to be our judge, and here before the wholly
Living rise above all but material integrity. The sorely
Tried and scorched in every age of folly’s folly
turn attentions inward toward the loam of hearts
Or outward,skyward to edge of air yet tethered whether
by the ancient strength of Cæsar’s horses
or the proper use of Virgil’s arts.

” Out of the quarrel with others we make rhetoric; out of the quarrel with ourselves we make poetry.”
~W.B. Yeats
[13 June 1865-28 January 1939


“We do on stage things that are supposed to happen off. Which is a kind of integrity, if you look on every exit as being an entrance somewhere else.”

Tom Stoppard
[1937 – ]
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead [1967]

“His Dreams”

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“His Dreams”

His dreams define the smiles within his skies, but goals
Are drowned within the pits, the bottoms, the deadly dregs
Of what this world seeks that greets the eye; the festering eggs
To what in nature all but cedes reality. What foals
To what dark stallions then are bred?
He need not strain himself to know the truth of this,
And in his several steps he leaves no trace
Of what he’s become to mark his leaving of the place.
Specialties and exhibits, the inner lining of the kiss
That one day brings up bubbles from the depths of readied cauldrons;
Progeny and circumstance, my friend! Mortality confirms in
No uncertain terms a many-hidden hydra and remorse
For what a man must abdicate when incident has run its course.
His dreams refine the miles within his eyes, but goals
Are crowned within the lows, the highs, and all their middling rôles.

“Vetted Miles”

Driving

“Vetted Miles”

Vetted miles and truck stops all across the state
To feel the blessing of the eyes, the rising voice
Within his own breast; the choice
Is always his, oh yes, of course, and he’s arrived, and late
Enough each time to bear the weight of witnesses that his
Are not his eyes, nor his the sacred words
That even he can use. He’s seen nothing here and so he’s turned
The car around and while it may be circumspect, he’s heading home.
Then comes the once again, the call
Is always there, that Tennyson and Frost in all the walls,
That albatross of restlessness that bleaches clarity in tones
Of sepia and bronze, the clothes,  the nakedness of all
Past memories perfumed in ancient rhyme. Silences make every room
A canyon trussed by random thoughts of “Yes?”, “Tonight?”, and “Soon?”