…Faith will wither gracelessly
in the face of gentle certitude
Just as knowledge falters helplessly
in the presence of wisdom’s rectitude…
“To Think On It”
To think on it millions, treble double billion
On some crust of earth strive each day to breathe, somehow to strike a balance
Between tendered moments and ultimate despair. The trip from phallus
To the womb and back again suffices sirens’ closest communion
In some myth of progress here–a world fixed among the countless there–
And while we stare, we hear no greater melody than our
Own fears within the inner ear. Such songs exceed the number of the hours;.
We know we are no better than symphonies in the air;
We’ hold to breath, each affirmation satisfies moments left to us
In some sweet hour knowing no delay, no passing thought; is lust
The less for having nothing so concrete? No lasting trust
Will occupy the heart and mind, and while the engines’ trusts
We are rent from God knows where to nowhere near where we began.
Stations crystalise as gems of hopelessness, but dusts of life’s élan.
Posted in Affirmation, Demons, Illusion, Mortality, Phallus, Poetry, Providence, Samsara, State of Being, Stations, Womb
Tagged Aging, Existence, Lyric Poetry, Sonnet
“It’s All So Very Public”
It’s all so very public, clowns and circuses, dubious focus
On what is said and done and many rooms en extra to let.
With every late night’s round of favourite sons comes sincere bets
That what’s gone down is never quite enough; crocus
Fields, lichens dubious in origin, little more than earthly makeup.
We who hover through a screen on much of what extends beyond
Us serve but vested purposes, profit every hour on hedging darkling ponds
Of woods and forests sparing surfaces of pristine bank accounts for lack of
Mere æsthetic need. No! In itself we would not have it so;
But, so it is! If ochre I must be or green, then so I am;
If I efface the rocks and strip the fauna there along the shoreline–lands
Not mine–festivals that turn the soils again with every season’s floe
As in a momentary afterthought with needs to round out casts
Of thousands in the scheme of vapours, things; thus, then, so I last.
I may fast from time to time but I will have my way on this and every day
Through matins in the news broadcasts and mine fields
in the evenings that were formerly the greenest pastures;
Rising triumphs of élan in Tahrir Square, the courtesy
of urban gangs and spores of tribal Libyan disasters.
Countless are the trenches, pits and pitfalls, splays
And watersheds, the concentrated concerts of twice-born
living peoples sharing wealth in every breath.
Billions, humanities howsoever here and there
within the outer and the inner spheres
Of feigned insurgencies of feudal laws–occult
to feckless millions in the West–there come such semi-modern seers,
Of more recent wizened feral stocks and bursaries
to serve the ends of both the many cursed and newly blessed;
Sharecroppers, landlords, purveyors of speculative imagination,
festoon the gilded monarchies above the Persian Gulf, oh, yes.
Here along these ancient oriental paths are pipes to play
And canvases on which to paint now-naked fast, fiduciary aims may
Expose themselves within their pious domes of blue and marble blocks.
I’ll carve my own best
Misbegotten marks and credos leaving
fragments, chisels, well-worn Transylvanian stakes
For later souls to ponder while I gather what I can,
as I am always early and posterity always late.
“I Don’t Suppose I’ll Ever Know”
I don’t suppose I’ll ever know; she never told me.
I had no calling card; she had no address
Or if I had it with me, it was always less
That what she wrote to him and could never be
Disclosed. Of course, I looked for all the world; I seemed
To be forever browsing bookstores in more or less
Abandon even wonton dedication in the kind of eagerness
That only children presuppose is happiness or glee.
We were never there, you see, and I was ever
At the ready to believe in terms of passages that see her through
A time or two in something close to primacy, proximity
To what it was she never found in me—sublimity
Or something that she’d read in Keats and Shelly severed
In the end from Dover Beach and miles from Xanadu.
† William Butler Yeats [13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939]
‡ Percy Bysshe Shelley [4 August 1792 – 8 July 1822]
Posted in Detachment, Duplicity, Estrangement, Marriage and Divorce, Negation, Poetry, Providence, Relationships, Separation, Stations, Yearning
Tagged Dover Beach, Lyric Poetry, Sonnet, Xanadu
The very best to Bahá’ís throughout the world as you commemorate the Ascension of Bahá’u'lláh…
Bahá’ís gather throughout the world have gathered at 3:00 a.m. to commemorate the Ascension of Bahá’u'lláh at that hour on 29 May 1892.
Six days before [Bahá'u'lláh] passed away He summoned to His presence, as He lay in bed leaning against one of His sons, the entire company of believers, including several pilgrims, who had assembled in the Mansion, for what proved to be their last audience with Him. “I am well pleased with you all,” He gently and affectionately addressed the weeping crowd that gathered about Him. “Ye have rendered many services, and been very assiduous in your labors. Ye have come here every morning and every evening. May God assist you to remain united. May He aid you to exalt the Cause of the Lord of being.” To the women, including members of His own family, gathered at His bedside, He addressed similar words of encouragement, definitely assuring them that in a document entrusted by Him to the Most Great Branch ['Abdu'l-Bahá] He had commended them all to His care. —Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By p.222
Iranian National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Irán that “disappeared” in 1980
Siimply disappeared; what we thought were fears
The bitter heat of rancid nights and silent alabaster days.
We wept for what we thought they lost and all the praise
And salutation in the aft of what is thought today:
have we wound our watches?
When we cross these final turnstiles,
Do we somehow? So bright the ivory prison tiles
In lines to be apprised and counted and each a view
Of hope; well, after all, the goal of every queue
Is evidence, the martyrs’ rites of passage, wailing walls,
Temples long ago destroyed and worshipped aptly in the fall,
While in the report and repartée we appear to stand enthralled
With promises of exoteric meaning, and esoteric premises of ease.
In these three years has anybody wept for us at Evin as in the time
Remembering Badí’s missive blessings condign?
Bádí, 17-year-old executed for delivering Bahá’u’lláh’s letter to the Sháh
* Evin Prison, an especially notorious and infamous prison in Iran.
Legs scream from disuse; interests
Never wane nor is there lack
Of resource to occupy the early morning hours; tact
Required is not so much in natural proclivities but tests
Produce no lasting gain, neither does it rest
With me to exercise the tongue nor double back
To quarterlies or turn the nightly critics’ wrack
Of sacrificial lambs upon the spits of bourgeois poets at best.
What’s needed here is something never hitherto dreamed
In me, a note within the notes to cauterise the day’s addenda:
A slight nod, a subtle indication from the heart
That what’s required here’s no literary arrow, no gift of art
To clear the plumbing, irrigate the tired eyes, pump iron into the stream
But the simple act of walking: yes, it’s time to stretch the legs,
place circulation above all mental circumlocution on the agenda.
…but of course, today it’s raining…
Swept aside; moments and celestial movements collide
And waste no never-mind for credence and retention
In the wake of greater cosmic rinds and supine moot reflection.
Mortality lies; not so, what histories provide
But in the daily interaction of missives from the Goal
And penultimate illunga * of the Source or
Sanctions of reaction to the triad of coarser
Ores of time, space, and matter. Time, an active order within the folds
Of space; space, the arena of experience within the heart
Of the observer; matter, phenomena in the passive
And reactive shadow of Creation and its antithesis. Simplicity is massive,
Complexity’s absurd; the question’s languages are art
And science while those of answers gloat on pathos and the abstract.
What is more pathetic than to be and yet be nothing in the act?
Simplicity in classic form requires
Prefects of a perfect vacuum
Combined in such a way as compliments the acumen
The open même, the crucible to test the zeitgeist as the whole inspires
Urgent needs to pause, to linger over consummations no longer there
In little more than a half a generation’s given time.
So granted this, so beautifully and tragically resigned,
Aloud come lamentations to “Move along!”or “Retire!”
With such a cry inscribed, there’s always were and is
A here and there in rapid profit worshiped, fierce
As gallstones of desperation: “This, our chosen age, rehearsed
Upon a cross of memories weighs but little more than lyrics in an ancient tryst!”
And, equally, the many, the registered so catalogued, remain aloof
Through symmetries of perfection in a timeline of embroidred truth.
*The word is illunga, from the Bantu language of Tshiluba, and means a person ready to forgive any abuse for the first time, to tolerate it a second time, but never a third time.
When there is this, that is.
With the arising of this, that arises.
When this is not, neither is that.
With the cessation of this, that ceases.
His Holiness The Buddha
Fresh paint, delicious lines, the objects redefined
And realigned from nothing in the mists; no finer thought
Than that the world is endless richness; vermillion sought
In blush against the blue, refined to purple, lined
In yellows; blackest soils blessed with green, and roses
Flourish in a russet sunset; pinks, the thinnest lips
Of kittens, endless movement, combinations, strips
And bands of speckled whiskers in the hours clothed
In what might be seduction to the blind, but in the child,
Delight, and even more, an endless glee
For every least discovery of felicity,
The presentation of a simple wonder in the wild,
A soothing leisure of a field of fragrance to the eyes,
To the mind a vision, to the hour a passing smile.
“A Simple Chemistry”
A simple chemistry, the day, the night,
And what of course is never meant to be;
But still the hope is there, the simile
That never quite transforms a noun nor quite
Contents itself in action, so never mind a verb.
But, then what a change of heart is there.
Reaction taut, willingness, a kind of gas, an air
Of great and greater expectations that serves
No more than casual attention yet is so deadly. No, of course,
It cannot come to this. But, yes, eventually it does.
And with the cat’s release, it must.
The thing is there to see, to feel, to taste. The horse
Before the cart, perhaps, but nonetheless, a paradigm of waste,
And with each fine turning of the wheel the love of wanton haste.
A maudlin isolation seeds contempt and leads the mind
To rites and righteous thinking that was not there before. He’ll defer
To what he thinks is plainly there on the plate; they infer
From this that he’s content, but caution! Not all nouns decline
The same, nor are their heirs in action conjugated
In the subjunctive: something other brings the two together
And there’s no part of speech that weathers
Scrutiny in the spirit. Sounds and syllables modulated,
Dress themselves in exceptions ruthless syntax will abhor.
There is no saving grace in this, no workable alternative
To perfect tenses forcing all to deal with God and His eternity:
Dallaire declared that he believed because he’d seen the Whore *;
And, after sleep and shadows, I believe the Orb will rise
Because I’ve seen the sun ignored in midnight lapis leasure skies.
*Lieutenant-General Roméo Antonius Dallaire [June 25, 1946-- ]
Posted in Action, Affirmation, Appearances, Double Sonnet, God, Grammar, Hope, Midnight, Poetry
Tagged 1946-- ], Double Sonnet, Lieutenant-General Romeo Antonius Dallaire [June 25, Lyric Poetry, Noun, Sonnet, Subjunctive tense, Verb
“I Found Someone”
I found someone breathing as if to pray;
No prayer, of course, no sign, no moon, no stars, silence–
Balm to souls and solace in the crisis
Of questions–many hopes absurd, what they say
Gives animas to eternity and shields simple fear from the terror
Of these days. I would not ask outright, I had no words, then,
Took flight, tight in twilight when
From cancer and fallen branches–errors,
Really, to the whole–to innocence conjuring lasting alibis,
Superfluous sentinels never come to rest, fruits of thought pressed
With violence enough that wine is produced—inebriation of more from less,
Wrath, the test , really, of what some old man once said. Patient sighs
Among sparrows egg him on while sitting on a porch swing, wisdoms at once:
“Make peace with the Fathers,” said he, “prepare to flee the Sons.”
Posted in Change, Cycles, End Times, Ends, Epiphany, Eternity, Fathers, Poetry, Sons
Tagged Age, Aging, Lyric Poetry, Relationships, Sonnet