“Settle It in Yourself”
Settle it in yourself what I am
And who I’ll always be, whether in the present
Mist that veils your eyes or at some future bridge, a resident
Of residue and exigency, a necessity for the nonce, only. The man
I am abides the evident and final verdict.
You’ll turn the page, perhaps,
And probably discard the volume on your lap
For tomes of better binding, fresher leaves, a sweeter sap
And staple than maple or hemlock; a shot of déjà vu within a wider cap.
Still, it falls to me to rest within the afterglow, abide
The whole, and to these ends both of us were born.
Forgetfulness is sound advice; while in the cage a single page is torn
From some eternal book and words enough remain to satisfy
The need to let it be a test between us, firmly stated, fully formed:
We face the same eternity and once created cannot be outworn.
Sitting here between your words,the hours;
The candles’ sacrifice, it’s true, but not at all the station fo the wick.
The privileged chosen sands descend, dusts upon
the double helix of the spring are thick
With meaning in the advent of the summer’s exhumation of the land,
moisture in the fumes,
the perennial perfume of many centuries’ progeny in fauna and flowers;
Pause the prayer, witness the intoxication of a new-mown field of hay, alfalfa,
And perhaps so many golden tares, and beyond,
some puerile riot in the sunflowers
Stand watch over the green-sprays’ breeze of spring in seas of winter wheat,
and humid tensions in the periodic stroke of the oddly incremental bower,
Birds delirious that have neither care nor common sense so far from
Nests and in such thickness here above these plots that dawns
And dusks are much the same when yet another clutch
Is free and moths there in the morning
of their annual marathon must be fed―a touch,
That knowing look from Arachne
neither fans the flames nor mitigate the flood of all her pawns,
Induced to stagger in the twilight―harsh promiscuous instincts in the cue
préoccupy fecund movement, in such pernicious natural opulence as sets the pace for all survival and never comes too late.
From this most august and exalted station, and from this most sublime and glorious plane, the seeker entereth the City of Immortality, therein to abide forever. In this station he beholdeth himself established upon the throne of independence and the seat of exaltation. Then will he comprehend the meaning of that which hath been revealed of old concerning the day “whereon God shall enrich all through His abundance”. Well is it with them that have attained unto this station and drunk their fill from this snow-white chalice before this Crimson Pillar.
–Bahá’u’lláh, Gems of Divine Mysteries pp. 71–72
“These Icy Waters Penultimate”
These icy waters penultimate, comforts’ flight through fingers, soothing,
Recollections from the four extremities to the single temples, cacoëthes,
Familiars to peculiars within from ceilings above the abyss below; yes, ease
To what will soon be here to take on form and body, the coryphaeus choosing
Some new chapter, or yet another verse as will burn the notebooks, pages
Surprised with vagaries and beads that track the progress of thoughtlessness
In waning weighty midnights; even without the prodigal kiss confinement less
Refined induces the eternal possibility of that one last question: to the sage,
Reprieve, to the master, his own breath and nothing short of venom for the fool.
Of course, I raise the hour glass to honour wasted days as though I’ve paid,
My friend, while you succomb to every passing witness who at his pleasure sees
Nothing as everything; you, no recipient, no pontiff for the spirit in the pool,
No immersion when the waters are troubled – “Too cold,” you say?
From time to time I’ll pass by this extreme and found another single book,
A signature of disappearance from this régime to time, recalled,
and not so bound by what we learned but how we used to look.
The audience of epiphanies in green
Crown the brow and eyes as a single emerald.
So great a bending of the intersections, captured, held
Between the fingers or applied to the temple, harbinger of what may seem
To be a truth with absolutely nothing unnatural in the stream,
A common siren in calling to the seed of things to come, an eloquence
In concrete countenance what is today and future joy, the consequence
Of action filigreed with no attachment beyond the need of skill to redeem
A certain benefit; perfection’s living glance. Perhaps a useless ornament,
A thing revered, brought out to greet the light
And catch a glimpse of seconds in the hour, bright
And subtle richness conjured, a manifest adornment
Of my soul’s ocean against the scrim that is my naked palm:
A silent sentiment and evidence of more than
static lightning in an ancient psalm.
What was hidden for millenia is all right there on the table where you left it.
—Odd, but somehow sans the reading
I am aware that in the seedling’s
Notes are dangers; the ruby there beside it advises, “Keep it
Where it lies. Who prizes opaque lustre knows not every oyster carries gems
And while it might behoove me to investigate
This latest uninviting hostess tight within her shells, still what’s the going rate
For priceless pearls and an eternity
of fresh desire and its newly polished dividend?…
I cede the need to overcome the last and greatest disappointment;
Addressed in forced and anguished expectations on the spot
Of least resistance placing protocol and proper sequence bought
Above and well below the natural value.
I will not seize the gem whose predicament
Will always win. While yet here, the stone has greater value than what I take
To be mine own, but death devalues all currencies in the natural estate.
Posted in Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Poem, Poetry, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets
Tagged Lyric Poetry, Relationships, Sonnet, Sonnets
Willaim Shakespeare [1564-1616]
Their comfort comes from stations on the bank
Of all great rivers—their trubutaries, benchmarks, watersheds
And monuments to past and present zeitgeists; their glories led
By strange humility in masters whose histories are blank
About whom generations cavil and invoke
In lesser moments of a meaner age that lean toward
More prosaïc goals, gilded frames made equal to the framed to ward
Off periodic national stagnation in swarms as guilds of artisans. They must evoke
A wonder in the people that makes them wondrous and close upon an awe
Amongst the gods. In the end such suns disperse such light
As cannot be masked nor can the transitory might
Of kings suppress such eagles, neither nets nor censors, nor the law.
And here lies Shakespeare, Father of the modern text in torrents at the summit
Of tongues that roar so loud and thunder in the index. A moment, then, when
Pausing in the atrium, the job is done, and there’s no real choice
But rest and calibrate the immediate that cannot last; tasks, last of many, voiced
Throughout years of waste and work will one day send
A massive missive of relief, the wages of a single flaw with thanks
To weighty sentiments and fond farewells with perhaps a single sequel; cheer
And weathered pride allied to see me on beyond, and further than fear
To take a few steps–arrogantly, yes, perhaps–fresh tracks on paths that rank
Above all present trumps and peculiars of this earth:
I have the fewer moments through to the end,. Yes, I know
And will it so or else the hours devour the weekly flow
Of days and nights to prove life’s lavas’ heat and light have spent their worth.
Yes, again, and what of miseries in days beyond this present strife,
Born within the darkness of the first, the energies of the present, laced with beauties far beyond the simple dénouement and all heroïc gestures seen here
but dimly in the mirror of the diamond prism of that third and better life?
Posted in Affirmation, Anagnorisis, Another lifetime, calligraphy, Genious, Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Poem, Poetry, Sonnet, William Shakespear [1564-1616]
“I Cannot Tell You Otherwise”
I cannot tell you otherwise but what I know:
There is no love, no lasting show beyond the tickle
Of the feet, the off-hand movement toward the fickle
Minute hand, the whisper of an aurora borealis in a fortnight’s cosmic show.
What subtleties in remission can there be with suns that fall
And rise so rapidly that days and weeks no longer flee
The reaches of the dawn and dusk provides what cannot fatten or appease
Intrinsic instinct as terrors in the mortal coil that shriek beyond the call
Of physical awe and endurance? Their rising and their falling
Force a torpor, a revulsion, an inertia born of galling
Impediments, the weights, the incremental ravages of stalling
Season, steeped in both with fecund light and deadly calling.
Rigid yet, pernicious, yes, as hungers carved in something even stones
Cannot recall: a stroke of fate, a rolling of the dice, another casting of the bones.
Prophecies remain, lingering fingers in the sky;
Graces once appointed, enjoin visions open toward transitions
Sealed in stars, joys in recess, and intercises. Fixed horizons—juxtapositions
Notwithstanding—reveal what must change while what meets the eye
Is never what it seems to Gaea’s minions while all that rests
Within the heart is changeless. Proffered predictions
Rest so very little on what is even less. Present presumptions
Rise to surface as the dross addressed as judicial guesses, the ever second-best
In crucibles of what must be meet and seemly, enjoyed and preferred
In all sardonic human folly. Surely, victory
Awaits its day if hyperbole loosed wildly within the metaphor is contradictory
And humours meld in reading all this and more in signs. Imbalances are cured
Through judicious ointments in unholy unction and fatuous appointments
Of station realized in any given concert with only minor disappointment.
“Well, After All, They’re Only Words”
Well, after all, they’re only words and phrases
From the well, some temporary divinity; let down the pail, the bucket,
Draw deeply from within and mark it. Once spoken, market
Nothing; simply drink from traces of the sometime sun’s last rays;
Imbibe—the stray whether evanescent frog or sunbeam leaves a simple footprint
On the mud and then is gone. Early spring-burst frosts melt
To slicks of foam atop a recent wave, the fluff slips by in any season; pelts
And scraps of leather, yes benign, perhaps, but ripped from memory and spirit
Never mind the distance. Read between the breath of syllables and nothing
If not laughter rises to surfaces of isolated brooks:
Pride of glance and silence breed tedium while strolling. Take another look
And read the book, breach another fable on the table with the morning stuffing From the mailbox; assonance and consonance or possibly a simple rhyme
Is passage to eternity and all that matters is the energy to make it home on time.
Spiral notions, springs of natural seconds, tiny buds
Aligned with all the other benchmark orbs
And gentle points of sweeping preference; symmetry absorbs
The oddity of growth in arbitrary minutes: the muds
Decree, the hills agree, and we—the infinite in sands and random beaches,
Numberless and unadorned—abstract from solid concretes
Limpid liquids recreating mysteries in pliant canyons, sculpting palaces; discrete
Particles muster in so brief a span as now to be as one in crystal; breaches
Poured pure in granite veins that must in time allow the light to pass on through.
And as we stand disarmed in deft amazement, thrice bereft, we ponder
Circumspect the natural majesties that form the ruby and the emerald, wander
Through tailings left by mystic mines in sapphire clouds, the dusts of spectacle Far beyond the common cosmic statutes, limitations seen by carbon-dated eyes
When all arrives or nothing comes to mind but our own sweet surprise.
Posted in Aging, Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Poem, Poetry, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets
Tagged Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, Sonnet, Sonnets
“There Is No In Between”
There is no in between the rooms but walls, no commonplace,
No misinterpolated stipend wrought from mass dissatisfaction, snags
That cannot be ignored. Bruises in subjunctive rags,
Something in the well of “just beyond” that leaves a bitter taste
In brew in apposition to a mass that yearns for transformations that as yet
Cannot be apprised. Still astride, return
To where it all began, a blister-burn,
A meal gone wrong despite prodigious preparation set
Aside because she stayed too long that night.
And when the hour’s flower foundered, their energies went far
Beyond the call to matter: purpose marred,
It withered on the table as Lot’s wife turns back once more in flight
To savour curiosity’s distractions, scattered random rays
Of what were after all but rainbows in the retinue of space.