[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
“They’d Rather Not Say”
They’d rather not say the words: plough it under. Seeds are sown,
Stranded, left behind, perhaps a new game but certified survival
And uncertainty are symbiotic, guaranteed to last and last; revival
Promised, eternity denied and they’ll have you know
These obstacles, these meretricious ulcers grow
In time and we all know their names. Denial
Only feeds the bonfire while the trial’s
Milked for mileage: drum rolls,
Please! and applause announce the latest bon mot
To bounce some sweet new version of what seems viable
As a phatic public nod to possibilities, probabilities, and pliable
Hopes for the working man; to the sturgeon, roe; to the cock, his crow.
The rhetoric is endless, the president’s term “to be determined…soon!”
Elections come and go, of course,…but there’s that elephant in the room…
Posted in Congress, Duplicity, Economics, Elephants, Hubris, Hypocrisy, News Media, Poetry, Politics, Presidency, Senate
Tagged Lyric Poetry, Sonnets
Pain, and the Pacific has had its way, so many tears;
The summons; natural deities, rushing devotees of Southern waters
Join discords of the North and oceanic rivers feed because the glaciers falter.
Nai-no-Kami will no doubt dance. She needs not move far while fears
Of millions, fields and city gates are prey with every passing day.
We view their sighs and gestures, calmly watch and lunch on wonders
At the thought and misery that gorges on the plunder
Of laboured mountains duly noted while we dine. Mere screens relay
Our sympathies as surrogates before us mouth the news in bites, remote,
Confounding empathy of others with our own, and with no more thought
Than is required to vote or tolerate yet another tired announced affair
Convinced we’ve performed our sacred duties. Filtered sage suggestions float
Between commercials; who is dead, and who is dying?
We resign ourselves to daily schedules, and retreat
To mindless repetition, and support of yet another public brawl,
and trash what cannot be understood, change the channel and eat.
Posted in Compassion, Existence, Gods, Media, Mortality, News Media, Ocean, Pain, Poetry, Tragedy
Tagged Lyric Poetry, Nai-no-Kami, Pacific, Sonnets
The commonplace where once was someone’s
Hospices in distances and not so very far from me,
I knew her actually
As twilights and a thousand blazing suns
Reduced to changelings now a masterpiece
Of onyx and sardonic, now a memory and somewhere’s
Afterthoughts; a hundred places where she feared
To go—or so Millay declared—a timed release, a lease
On what she thought was love. Without the sound
Of pen to page, nothing left to write, no doubt knowing
I’ll not see the end of it, no glowing
Tribute in a minor poem capturing all I’ve found,
A peace and distance in the grace that somehow
I was left but scents and lint and shadows.
Posted in Aging, Detachment, Ends, Estrangement, Love, Marriage and Divorce, Poem, Poetry, Relationships, Separation
Tagged Lyric Poetry, Sonnets
“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.
They arrive, the legions, thorns, as seconds torn
From any calendar and common to us all;
We welcome what must come–we have no choice–the plaintive call
Of late night amber moments need not be recalled; we warn
Ourselves and just perhaps we navigate the rapids bruised and numbed within
The cusps while all celestial orbits’
dispassionate marks reclaimed and rearranged
And burnt across all foreheads the latest number,
a simple paradigm–today exchanged
For yesterday–within a fading image of outrageous dreams,
some few last wishes in thin
Disguise. Nonetheless, what’s as clear as what is not’s the fact.
The purview, vision’s purposes recalled, and all collective memories attract.
The purgatives to what comes must be and what must come. Tact
And all discretion set aside, to barter solace and eternity for a bowl of soup lacks
Substance: in exchange for knowledge, wisdom;
Esau’s hungers burn within the leaves
Of Scripture as all prophesies are turned to satisfaction in the marriage,
the final crowning of action with belief.
Posted in Action, Belief, Change, Cycles, Detachment, Dreams, Esau, Eternity, Hope, Lust, Materialism, Mortality, Poetry, Providence, Samsara, Spirituality, Zeitgeist
Tagged Cusp, Lyric Poetry, Sonnets
“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.