[23 April 1564 - 23 April 1616}
Today marks the Anniversary of the Birth of Shakespeare 447 years ago, and, according to what records we may or may not have, it also marks the Anniversary of the Passing of the Bard 395 years ago. The general facts concerning William Shakespeare support the idea that he was born and died on the same day. In honour of the occasion, of course, there is a repeat of a posting some time ago:
"He Chose What Homer Chose"
He chose what Homer chose; the place,
The measured lisp of every school boy; the time, eternity;
The hour, the glory of the present tense, the panoply
Of stars above the placeless with the taste
Of honeys made pedestrian, obscured by tongues, the paste
Left finite and sour from beyond divinity and the bower of worship--the realities
Of man, the Son of Man, the seat of constancy is faithlessness in cold identities
Obscured beyond the reach of all--
the trial of facelessness becomes their saving grace.
Who knew the eyes of John or Peter, Paul,
or the meek and more obscure Bartholomew
But that the rumours flew and vacancies were filled, their names
Now everywhere and nowhere is it written
How the Christ appeared, or how their God had smitten
What was left of their disguises, appetites and virtues notwithstanding crude
And morbid songs of their demise,
...and cannonlore for all that glory in the flames.
"The past cannot be cured."
--Queen Elizabeth I
[7 September 1533 - 24 March 1603]
Posted in Christ, Creativity, God, Homer, John, Paul, Peter, Poetry, Poets, Selflessness, Zeitgeist
Tagged Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Sonnets
They scrutinise the inner circle, seconds closer to the sun;
They tether vague fancies in what they see.
The goal, the Holy Mountain; the seed of moonbeams,
Sentimental grace notes in devotions on the run,
And as so much depends upon the multitudes, the hours in the flight,
The centre stage, the spotlight, so little alters the day’s applause,
The algorithms generously applied to the phrase or clause
Voiced without a thought to virtue, voids, or to the rites
Of solipsism in the critical mass, the accidental moment
Seen as just another occasional comma with little heed to order in a full stop.
I see them, I speak with them; I hear their thoughts,
Their questions earmarked from time to time–no need for comment
How much less provide a flint for yet another conflagration, yet another guess
Demanding fuel for candidates greater than the sun, never more, never less.
Posted in Denial, Duplicity, Economics, Hubris, Hypocrisy, Materialism, Poetry, Pyrrhic Victory, Sun, Zeitgeist
Tagged Lyric Poetry, Sonnets
The grapes hang withered, the harvest
Long since gathered; what remains
Retains the trenchant memory stains
From yet another season, the weathered test
Of futures peopled with a need, steeples
Rising from the premises of the past
And doting on the future that will not last
Beyond a nightly glass of wine. No sequel
To a dream but sanctioned roots suspended
In the act of pruning; horizons in the line
Of distant vision topple hopes distended
From disuse and inadvertently atrophied; wasted
Spirits in the advertent death of taste.
The pupil clouds and nostrils to the offended
Ear are blocked in musks of sweeter youth
That knows no limit. The feet must surely slip on smooth
And smoother promises of liquids, fickle frosts and pools,
Refractions of an oily surface to rival molecules
On a glass as if nuances of insight, some private means to see
Beyond and through but not within the self. Counterfeits
And likenesses ignore both dissembling and the stuff of age
Accepts no protocol beyond the glory of the bellows to a furnace.
These young ones, tender seedlings, virile saplings
Congregate in spacious places fashioned in the hapless
Moment, centred near but not within intention with nothing purchased
Being no better than what they are or might be and what they are is gone,
As meretricious vapours of a neon evening’s whim rehearsed at evensong.
Posted in Age, Aging, Double Sonnet, Estrangement, Hubris, Illusion, Maturation, Poetry, Pyrrhic Victory, Zeitgeist, Zoology
Tagged Lyric Poetry, Samsara, Sonnets
“They’ll Not Long Remember”
They’ll not long remember what I taught,
The wrong denied or calcified forgetfulness of what it meant
To know me. What was it then that never happened, what natural scents
Of some exchange or least intended subtle gestures sought
Assuaged a need in merely asking questions and receiving
Nothing in return where nothing much was said and no one yet
Suspected values or the price of precious seconds? What mattered set
Itself against the background of a potpourri of lies and phatic dialogue achieving
Benchmarks in absurdity in the classroom, yes,
but far beneath the need for scrutiny
To whom it never did concern. There is a personal indifference
In these shifts of fantasies of childhood, perfect foils to conscious interference
Spliced with tokens spoken once and then again–malicious unintended mutiny
In the end–a welcome respite from a single thought that was sustained in time.
The memory’s minutes neuter joys of every passing day
with nothing left to rhyme.
Posted in Age, Aging, Denial, Maturation, Memory, Nostalgia, Poetry, Teaching, Youth
Tagged Lyric Poetry, Sonnets, Students, Teacher
“Nod to Season’s End”
Nod to season’s end and something’s changed, but he has
Fond remembrance in his veins and what remains of velvet skin,
Elastic reach, and exultation ever on the rebound; that once mighty fin
Bent perhaps to one side or the other with the tides. He’s come in last
Again, and there’s no more north to his days; his dorsal sags–
One of many signals. What was wont to win against the odds
In all winds, all waves always gives sway to simple treasures. The pods
Have someday left him, or is he merely leaving? Here he lags
And finds his pleasures in arenas, nearby bays, or just beyond the nets
Where all the lessers still pay for what they find; his presence draws
But cannot make a living. There comes that sundry sudden pause
Too many, and he’s trapped within an unforgiving inlet,
Or soon will be. He’ll not heed the signs, he cannot feel the warming;
Friends and family call to him but he can not hear the warning.
“Well It’s Simple, Really”
Well it’s simple, really: so to speak
I fall apart, I flounder in so much joy.
I’m not built for it; I’m not much for alloys–
I wish I were–I’ve tried. Attractions leak
Through me, and leave their scars on skin
Worn bare, leather turned to suede. I do not simply move. It’s not enough.
I’m never satisfied. as former hours like blossoms grow limp, calloused, rough
Anointed witnesses to the simile in every mile, yet from an ounce the hue
Of every gallon, maybe two, renders so little sign of significance or change
Within. I feel impervious to accolades and golden cords in plaited bands
About the two of us together with all the others ranked in rows. Demands
And idols claim much too much
within a pantheon of measured idols, a finite range
For what they’re worth. Encountered stations
preoccupy the space reserved in niches neatly all along the way
And all proclaim the prophesy and warning, “You know I may not last the day.”
I turn to trees and shrubs, and pleasure in nature’s liquid sounds
To soothe a wearied heart, neglect my own, and willingly ignore what’s left.
I know what’s out of sight, and neglecting all the disconnected dots bereft
Of solid form; I seek solace in the memory of what I’ve found
In the constants of so many wondrous ancient signs,
words and phrases in the books
Of men and gentle giants in their genius that
short of Scripture, Itself, may numb the mind
To beauty’s sympathies and preemptive empathies I only thought I had. I find
No time to hunt for treasure in the skies or nuggets in a brook
Or in the daily stream of all that is what follows merely in a dream, the broad,
Embolden strokes of changeless mortal ties to lives of muted hues
And dim-lit histories made ephemeral through the subtle clues
Extracted from the manuscripts of dessert caves
and catalogues promptly trod
Asunder in the gilded hubris of modern interests and disingenuous plans
To brick the yellow path with castles built on nothing more than sand.
“In the Fifties”
In the Fifties all the wonder of pastel was “in,”
The funds so well arranged in bank accounts
Left dormant through the War. Largesse, secured amounts
Were stored, but goods were spare and produce thin,
Production not yet shelved to compliment the newfound peace.
The Sixties featured families rounded off from nine to an even five;
The troops were home, chariots had fins, and promises alive
Throughout the world to put such potential in the fleece
As might be had for children in the doxology to provide
A balance, a nom de plume for a strange apology
For the deprivation of Depression and the horrors of the War Years. Anthologies
Replaced by catalogues from Sears, recruits were down but churches thrived
And so did freedom, and to the sirens of liberty went the clear-eyed youths
Who loved at will and, sur le pouce, found themselves
in the Seventies illumined in haloes of hair and something to close to truths.
“The Day Defines Eternity”
The day defines eternity while its rites
Address themselves to Second Comings in the banks.
Their drunken dawns leave little more than husks grown rank
In what might have been a glorious musky mist. Delight
In shadows, the dampness of a late-night bar, nefarious decisions,
Addictive ends and all that drowns in rampant collusion
Sewn within the lining, a pocket
of darkness embroidered, timed confusion,
Utter usury of fantasies in trillions at the Fed, and all its fine revisions.
So it is with what it is that spawns nocturnal fiscal hope
In monthly monetary infusion after closing hours, florid firsts
And lasts in hourly quotations: their very earnings are their curse.
Ambitions, envy, greed along the taut and binding ropes
Of any other night. It is just so!
Still the constant Wall Street run is ever lost,
While speculators riot in the night and no one owns the costs.
Posted in Duplicity, Economics, Greed, Materialism, Poetry, Politics, Vices
Tagged Avarice, Business, Corruption, Lyric Poetry, Sonnets
Confirmations late, perhaps, but guaranteed;
Never ending certitude, the consolation of pieces
The tattered ends of surest re-creation and redress,
The eyes trained to see all between as weeds,
The winded wilderness of detraction,
Thoughtlessness, but cannot tarnish the polished thought.
Win or lose, the matter has been decided; ought
Escapes the scrutiny of the watcher, a refraction
From within illuminating all that’s without
And damn the static in the wavelength. Repercussions
Riddle doubting minds and incidental mental defections
From others in the cast. The curtain rises, scenes begin
And with or without a climax or a denouement, a lifetime of delights
Will out in time. But who feeds the candle in the late nights’ softer lights?
“But If I Loved”
But, if I loved, there’d be no stumbling here,
Nor words nor moments spent in canvassing
The thing, no phrase-bound sounds, no jaundiced ring
Tones, telephones; and—assuming there’s no fear
Of understatement—pressures here applied
To maudlin tracings following a no trump, or expressions
More a consummation in the passive key
or possibly suppression
Of the facts, hyperbole, or just plain lies.
Then I’d be forced to die, or something close
To leaving if I could:
But, I’m not made to feel so good;
I only wish I were; and just suppose