“She Hesitates” or a notion…dedicated to Xineann……whom I admire…and will never meet….
She hesitates because she sees the streets afire, ports
And fields are set ablaze, ashen air enough for firm distrust
Of voices so in harmony that something greater–smoke of lust,
Perhaps–makes cannon law
of fundamental truths abused as instrumental sports
That lead the populace to rallies and the mob to violence and hate,
The bailiwick of dark and stranger fruit;
neighbours seen as furniture
Within the garden; tables, chairs, and fine manure
For the flora to an end expressing nothing but itself. She may be late
In joining, friends, but she’s got solid reasons
For her reticence: So many voices can’t be right!
They say there’s truth in numbers, yes? The flight
From those few souls who’ve passed their seasons
Patiently may well have penned the word,
But broadcast and by distances alone, they’re never really heard.
You asked me why it was I stood there saying
Nothing, and it’s true, I might have made
A difference with a word or two. It was a trade,
You know–the moment for eternity–the laying
Of a track to future nothings, sweet and supple
In themselves, but not at all a match: I fear
For what I saw just now And you would steer
The conversation toward the obvious, the couple
In the restaurant window dining in the comfort
Of the moment, thinking nothing, doing nothing.
I might have seen it coming, fluffing
Pillows, nonchalantly pulling covers down, the effort,
Minor, meanings so innocuous with both our souls
On fire. So simple, then, so bitter, blue and cold.
Tonight, a window, yesterday a wall,
And tomorrow is not with us now;
We seek dissembling, signs to brows,
Mild salutes to those who call
For gentile willingness, who see the dawn in early light
And come away with knowing smiles, and even laughter
In the brief exchange, yes. At best, a hesitation after
Gilded intimacies have seasoned action: “Is it right?”
Should I have asked the question then and there and leaned
A little as we veered so far from middles to the open road?
There are so many, here, you know! So great the load
And watermark of birth in thinking on the chasm between
Desire and finer laws of gravitas, the will that conquers all remorse:
No need for lubricants for flaccid passion while all the soul requires
is common sense and oceans of the heart’s delight to hold its course.
Posted in Affirmation, Creativity, Delusion, Double Sonnet, Hubris, Immortality, Luminary, Materialism, Mortality, Numinosum, Poetry, Samsara, Zeitgeist
Tagged Lyric Poetry, Sonnets
The parcels sit idle by the door, and I in the chair
Browsing bills rescued from the mailbox, notes
From no one these days to no one since even votes
For what remains from each day are meagre, a flare
Or two by email, terse reminders of a sometime love; I stare
For seconds at the ceiling and back to a tiny screen to scan what floats
Across the little window on the world; yet another memory to dote
On as I think back to when I last called, when last I was there.
Among the many scurrying to work each morning,
Earlier than need demands, too late, in fact to make a difference
To the fresh beginning in what lies before them in a day already spent
On efforts in the shower to stay awake or worse, the lint
Of days gone by still lingering since the phone rang long after warning
Bells were lost on both the dryer and clothing and none of it made sense.
“Marvellous,” so he thinks, “just why it is
Creation’s robe’s so blood stained? Stubborn remains, they insist;
They persist, disease, and carnage, yes! Rising famine, orphans; lists
That never end, and then of course that always fatal kiss,
This blasphemy of complaint and intuition that we
May not truly live at all!” Effortlessly, nights wear on. Responding,
These and beauteous phantoms blend and in their careless logging—
Pages in this life and well into the next—we see
The Sadrat’u’l-Muntahá and merely breathe. We throw up
Our hands and beg the question although we always know
Who and what it is we seek. To ourselves and no one else flow
Freely in the Upper Room the clouds of incense for a requiem; to Him, the cup,
The cynosure placed perpetually on the table, the guests long gone,
The Holy Writ upon the wall, this tabula rasa, this once and final song.
Spectators on the banks,
Below, the river’s malcontent; above,
the winds’ reeds’re resonant
With restive cycles in all those reasons. So many eyes intent
On recognition of what’s lately seen when all is rank.
Still Hamlet gathers evidence back and forth along the way…
The prince questions nothing in the stationary life;
He does not mourn a life whose questions never fade
Remaining here but seconds in the day—
In endless desert silences or audience to incessant city’s sirens–
And that one is here implies a demarcation on the far horizon,
No mistaken material substance as Ophelia slept,
No mystic talisman found to thwart the fall; His promise kept
To seed a cloudless day or lighten pressures in the bloated neon night;
His peerless plight, knowing nothing spends his days in endless search
and how poor Yorick must have felt.
True art is the collective equivalent to the dream and like the dream is never addressed to the material. It is the exposition to the living of the existence of virtue, the constant reminder of the potential for catharsis, a preternatural occasion that transcends all natural laws and sets the species above its evident material state, an event as precious to the living soul as it is invisible and beyond the blindness of the walking dead whose counter proposition to reality is that the world is in itself the end and is justified by whatever the dictates of instinct. The existence of a tragic protagonist who at once acknowledges his divine origins against the backdrop his earthly mortality is the glory of his tragedy and the comic irony of his temporary lethal perdicament, the juxtaposition of eternity beyond the confines of the present life set amid the turmoil of a world whose progress is ever beyond all sensual possibilities not to mention the vision of mortals who find immortality not only their nemesis, but their avowed enemy.
“That Is the Tail of Me”
That is the tail of me, which
At the moment I prefer to place before the toes
Of all you see and well beneath, aglow
With muted modesties, I know, but classic stitch
To those with taste in circles far beyond
The average; quietly I suggest everything yet nothing; desire
Is neither motif or design; a line of fire
In larger versions, majesty in better ponds
To drink, the tongue curled delicately under
And withdrawn if whiskers figure in the wonder
Of the thing (and, of course, they do!) no casual blunders
In the process of a civilized approach to milk and moisture
pulled both up and under
Attracting wildest speculation. . .and, indeed, they do!
. . . Concerning what comes next, yes!
Along with where to place these toes, these ears, and all those other parts that one might guess. . . are less obscure, . . .I leave to you!
“No Need to Ask Who My Father Was”
No need to ask who my father was, sir.
You see my eyes, and know my actions plain
Enough. You see him here; as often pains
Come to me I ask his blessings, learned,
And to these wisdoms add what I’ve seen
And failed to see within my own desires–
Cadres of loving sons and daughters–in the fires
That make more than common motes or beams:
Accomplishments are roads away from here for us
And surely paths to what’s out there test both our strengths,
And whet the appetite, the greaters than eternities for what at length
Reigns even now in dreams beyond my father’s father’s trust,
Yet manifest enough—sovereign certitude—
A breath and more beyond this cloudy scope and range.
…this, a memory of my father on his birthday, 18 February 1918…
Dark witnesses record with eyes that never were
When I was young and only dreamed of what was left
In life to me out there, some single beauteous breath
Of God’s own living spirit; and as I recall we all were sure
Of it, and not at all concerned as days flew passively
Away and left us glued to what was here and now.
We saw no further than what was just beyond the bow
Of some shining barque, stillborn, sailless but massive
Still. And as I gaze today on all that came eventually, I think
I saw where I would be one day, and in these latter hours smile
On what that meant and whose small eyes were set so many miles
From where he sat amazed. My own children’s children sink
Their eager toes so deeply now into the sand and squeal in praise
Of joys I knew I’d never know in what remained of all my days.
“‘Oh, My,’ She Said”
“Oh, my,” she said, “I don’t mind!” and
She didn’t! The problem was that it was I
Who minded, and I should have let it slide,
But, no! I just had to let it land
On “One More Time!” I crossed the line
To bring up all our history–confusing it with prophesy–
To her, of course, it was all the same. It’s lost in me
The way I misdirect my plans at times;
She shouldn’t look that way of course, but blind
Men come to life when in the presence of the fine
Soft petals of a rose sensed with more than eyes.
It falls to me to meet the heights of these illusions, find
The nexus as with all familiars fortified with brew distilled
From grains of intuition and wine from simple grapes of will.
“‘Twas the Blueberry Pie”
`Twas the blueberry pie, you know; `twas
That pie as odd as that may sound, and I
Was hungry in the afternoon and spied
Her house―I’d come that way because
I had some several sundry savoury things to do
Along the road that day―and following my nose
A stronger apparition there within me rose,
And she was at the door in no time! Courage grew,
And she was quick to ask if I would chop
Some wood, and surely this was not beyond
My time and energies to spare? “The farther pond
Has deadwood there already cut!” The stop
To gather wood? No problem, ma’am and no delay!
T’was the pie, my son, and that’s precisely why you’re here today!