Monthly Archives: June 2011

“The Greeks Have Flown”

“The Greeks Have Flown”

The Greeks have flown; they’ve left their god
A morsel, a token of devoted consummation,
And a fitting tribute to Poseidon on the shores of conflagration
As Casandra’s painful cries go largely unheeded beyond a nod
From time to time within the royal brood; their sovereign’s rod
And sceptre sanctified by land and sea, firm determination
To abide by what is thought a victory for the nation
Complete with joyous riots in the streets, the sod
Still wet festooned with crimson oils and a decade laid to waste;
While Trojan mothers weep, their sons receive the final rites
And Priam’s troubles treble as the night in blindness falls.
Wreathes of fine remembrance punctuate belated joys, the caul
Of sorrow thin and thinner in the ritual; they’ll circumambulate
The horse that dwells within the walls and sleep in peace tonight.

“That Yearning’s Passed”

“That Yearning’s Passed”

That yearning’s passed, I know
The peace from simplicity of relief;
The promise fulfilled, the passing of grief;
The outrageous gift of understanding’s flow
Of grace and bounty; plenitudes; slow
To mine own eyes, but quickened as when the wreath
Of outward stars surmounts all inward scars as the chief
Priests’ glower glows darkly through an ancient glass. In escrow,
Then, to points of no demand and nothing left to chance:
Greatest secrets born within are less than burdens
In the light and more than shelter can bestow;
Turn the blindest eye to life’s sweet afterglow
And take another look; let the foot another step, advance
Beyond the point of scripts for life’s inevitable diminishing returns.

“It Has Come To This”

It has come to this
That
Nothing
Desired
Has
Been mine
A minute
Before
It mattered not at all
Within my heart
And thus declined
To flattery
And
Nothing more!

“Perfections”

“Perfections”

Perfections may not last long in the rarities
Of this air, but there is a comfort brewing
In the taste, a passing glance in viewing
Where it is we came from, the disparities
Between less than nothing known–clarities
In gravitas notwithstanding–and eschewing
Voids and loudly damning first the bluing
Lapis of the granite’s core–the heart’s forever grieving–opportunities,
Then, to be or not to be in favour of a breath that simply is.


These richer blues turn to brilliant scarlet and the race is on;
Crimson rivers determine little but the goal
Allotted, beyond the present comes the darkest coal
That graces, liberates the delta’s fan and justifies its bliss;
Many blame the violin, few the cello’s song.

Whatever anyone else says or does, I must be true to myself, just as if gold or emerald or the color purple would say, “Whatever anyone may do or say, I must be an emerald and keep my color.”
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus [121 - 180]

Meditations

“The Underside”

…dedicated to the many who wonder what’s become of all that is and where the bottom is…

“The Underside”

“‘The underside’ … it’s not just in tandem, ‘Once, it’s everywhere! … sigh …’”
And she was right. It seems the predilection toward
The animal appears where there is none; the tsunami’s force is froward
Where there is no place to go but straight to hell for all but those who fly
Or settle for a second-rate mortgage off the high road’s endless traffic.
And we along the shores of what’s become the greater sea who sit
And sign within ourselves no higher there, nor lower here, are aware of it:
There is no real rest from those who foment
Condescension to Creation, laced with lies
To trap the innocent, and revel in the vanishing point
Below the picture, well beneath the edges or between the joints
Of slender bones and tissues in the body politic; cries
Will rise for them and for their victims and their families,
The “taken”, “took” and “broken for which poets scribble homilies.

Once

“The tree outside the window taps very gently on the pane … I want to think quietly, calmly, spaciously, never to be interrupted, never to have to rise from my chair, to slip easily from one thing to another, without any sense of hostility, or obstacle. I want to sink deeper and deeper, away from the surface, with its hard separate facts. To steady myself, let me catch hold of the first idea that passes … Shakespeare … Well, he will do as well as another. A man who sat himself solidly in an arm-chair, and looked into the fire, so a shower of ideas fell perpetually from some very high Heaven down through his mind.”

The Mark on the Wall
Virginia Woolf
[1882-1941]

“Wife, child, brother, parents, friends…We come only to go apart again. It is one continuous movement. They move away from us, and we move away from them. The law of life can’t be avoided. The law comes into operation the moment we detach ourselves from our mother’s womb. All struggle and misery in life is due to our attempt to arrest this law or get away from it or in allowing ourselves to be hurt by it. The fact must be recognized. A profound unmitigated lonliness is the only truth of life.”

R. K. Narayan
[October 10, 1906 -- May 13, 2001]
(shortened from Rasipuram Krishnaswami Iyer Narayanaswami)
The English Teacher

“Perhaps Too Obscure”

“Perhaps Too Obscure”

Perhaps too obscure, absolutes, prerogatives, profits,
Relatives, feathers of the phoenix–costly downs for pillows,
Materials for bedding–indeed the silhouette
Of controversy in the bower prohibits
Poesy from kneading souls and seeding requisites
For immortality with mortal flaws and fatal shallow
Pools designed for poets such as these that wallow
In the larder oblivious to dangers, intrinsic
Natural blinds to tar pits where only fugitives
Attempt to flee from what is evident in destiny.
Notice neither freedom for the bird nor fish
To feed them gather here; unheeding species. Lavish
Ignorance and wanton lust are lost on adjectives
Whose ontogeny merely seeks but life and progeny.

“They Await”

“They Await”

They await some helpful word and know the news
Their fear falls short of what it is they want to hear;
Days’ delays, too much backlog must disappear
Before the silence and its echo can renew
The striking of the bell within this people. Still
It falls within the natural healing that smatterings
Of longing, waiting, hoping in and of itself brings
Spasms of a healing psalm to the many, and for the few no chill
Will touch the man who holds the triumph of the will to heart,
A movement, distant, upward, outward toward
The next plateau, a freshly minted meme within a percolating promise, forward
Always–never moving yet never still–magnificently arched and carved.
As with a steaming rainbow, himself the crown to every several cloud
While he succumbs to resignation and relief that only ignorance allows.
They study stars to bring a second truth to hand enforced
By what the doctors know, to second guess
The odds, the capture of a second a consolation prize at best;
To cheat, perhaps, or worse, to change the windless course,
The doldrums of ordination well before conception. Even more,
Delight to undermine what primal motives strength
Of certitude command, a reprimand the breadth and length
Of all creation guided as it were to win, to score
Beyond that something, this someone, those some things greater
Than the product of a wizard or the clever second hand
shuffles across the face of clocks and cosmic signs. A man,
A faculty of man, an energy–perhaps an enterprising satyr–
Quickening the insight and knowing just how much the gathering clouds
Have missed the point will gorge himself on fate,
and blaspheme right out loud.

“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]

“Too Cynical for a Child”

“Too Cynical for a Child”

Too cynical for a child, too innocent for a man,
But then, what did you expect? I asked
Enough in all the opening years to empty the trash
And throw out the sash of operations in the half-light; I ran
From the womb when it was required. I am
An eternity born in and out of time, the last,
The penultimate of a line that survives–the cast,
My mother’s hopes, my father’s hand–
Beyond all thoughts of redress or retribution.
Within their sometime august and rhyming rôles,
The median in ancient paradigms and genes
Has faithfully rewarded patents in a pre-recorded dream
Of glory in the seeds but with a difference, a resurrection
Common to the seasons, divinely timed within my soul.

“Nothing’s Censured”

“Nothing’s Censured”

Nothing’s censured, everything’s gained they say
and choice is all there is and all that’s human.
Cycles shift as do devotion
and commitment and we are glad and sad
As fits emotion and the glory of the stars;
December’s fads
are gone by February, January’s gains illumine
What’s to come in cloistered gusts
that blight the staggered laughter of a spring’s reality.
As autumn’s indiscretions rush to judgement of the past
Occluded by the soul’s embarrassed need
to face the present last,
And yield a future’s wanton wastes
in raw October’s costs and call it natural morality.

Of course, all the world’s put right within
a pale Pink Moon’s delight and we are here tonight
And know damn well we’re gone tomorrow from the diaries of the estuary;
Dawn’s first kiss–the eternal pardon–will arrive behind the execution day,
Delayed a single hour for the sake of show and mere appearances, flights
Of angels sprinkling  spores of wonder in the newly pollinated skies. We’ve lied
Again  and while we ponder why it matters only heaven knows we tried.

“Monotony”

“Monotony”

Monotony abides the inverse to eternity since we last prayed,
And so to arms and legs, and chest, a shallow glimpse into the mirror’s relay
There with all angels and their demons on track,
Mental ferris wheels to feed the ego. Creature comforts and divorce
(Whichever comes to mind) as skin and moisture, open nostrils
In the midst and mist of hostile winds and waters, lesser thrills
Than what you thought you’d find there in the tub.
But then, you’ve done it all, . . . what lamp to rub,
What nerve to prick to wake the dead within
Or titillate the whole without, and feel the skin
Of something close to human and possibly alive.
So much to do at fours and fives
In autumn afternoons or deep in winter’s snows: so creeps the dusk
Of possibles in the binding of the summer’s ledger and maybes in the dust.