Category Archives: Affirmation

“A Pilot’s Flame”

“A Pilot’s Flame”

A pilot’s flame and ambergris, fire and smoke, these privy orizons
As dews appear upon the sight of buds along an early summer’s talk
In the blind behind the backfields; still there is the chill,
a brief Nebraska morning’s walk
Through the shadows’ tides’ abiding shallows
in the breath of dawn; the garden
Path because we share so little
of the masters’ growth in blossoms’ bargains’
Fruits within us both and spare none, no idle chatter,
indeed a pittance of a fee for angels; pillars, cornstalks,
Arm in arm—so much can lead the way to joy within a cosmic room—locked
To one to yet another and another in the repetitious staid negotiation
of noxious clouds and dark but sterile clods, the feeble vain
Attempt to mask indignity in stride until desire’s destination’s
Reached—we know by stealth to find a symmetry in solutions,
Solace in respite from the others at the solstice
of that brief but potent spot.
A proper pole to pierce the continent,
a place we’ve never seen and always sought;
I need nothing more to see your face, to read your book
to savour proctors for procrastination
For the sake of pleasures found in greater prisms
for a lighter thought than pure imagination.

 

 

“Two of Them”

“Two of Them”

Two of them apprised will rise while only one survives;
The first, a germ like any other, in the second,
Excellence as loving makes it so. She reckons
Life in paragraphs and chapters, derives
Pleasure in the phrase, itself–in leisure lies
The notion of posterity, the fecund
Last and lonely station of a book—the legend
More important than the fact, the spies
Than what is spied upon. Where there are three
The Chinese say, some one of them must be a teacher.
Let both in compromise find refuge in the third
That one may truly love, the other form the words
Recording signs and sighs of mystery
And ritual and yet another sermon for the preacher.

—Once

 

“He allowed himself to be swayed by his conviction that human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but that life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.”

Gabriel José de la Concordia Garcia Márquez [1927 -- 2014 ]
Love in the Time of Cholera

“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

“Yes, of Course”

“Yes, of Course”

Yes, of course, it’s in the silences, the gaps; what isn’t there,
A kind of saving grace. Yes, it’s in the wrist and more, a second
Maiden voyage. The news announces daily the Titanic’s jocund
Journey redux, greater for revision less the ware
And less absorbing in the loss of souls from rarer thinner air
Brought faithfully to task but mind you nonetheless a reckoning
Within a construct; no! an edifice of remembrances within the seconding
Of resolutions that determines Elliot’s wave within the self-defining stare
Of relative modernity; but one tsunami in eternity amid the voids of space.
The promise of redemption’s found in balances of degrees
In praise of beauty in the sun spots’ mighty aura, the aurora in the fray
Of loose inebriating Northern Lights–try distraction while you pray–
Try the Northwest Passage in the making high above the Arctic’s former grace
Notes, rhythms in the writ, a metaphor in G, perhaps, but played in C.

“There was peace and the world had an even tenor to it’s way. Nothing was revealed in the morning, the trend of which was not known the night before. It seems to me that the disaster about to occur was the event, that not only made the world rub its eyes and awake, but woke it with a start, keeping it moving at a rapidly accelerating pace ever since, with less and less peace, satisfaction and happiness. To my mind the world of today awoke April 15, 1912. – Jack Thayer, Titanic Survivor

“Confirmations”

“Confirmations”

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, yes! but cannot tarnish the polished thought.
Win or lose, the matter’s 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 climax or denouement, a lifetime of delights
Will out in time. But who feeds the candle in the late nights’ softer lights?

“Sonnet in Honour of the Feast of Qawl or ‘Speech’”

Bahá’ís throughout the world gather today to celebrate the First Day of the Month of Qawl [Speech]

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“Sonnet in Honour of the Feast of Qawl or ‘Speech’”

Except to praise Creation and its Source,
Of what use are tongues, and what of speech
If not to practice affirmation, to reach
Beyond the baser nature—to stay the course
Of destinies and mighty histories,
Ensure the memory of battle lines
Between the Greater World and the Lesser we find
We must occupy…for a time—the lies and inconsistencies
Within the rented present tense? Respeaking irrelevant truths
In vain imaginings applied to the important against the backdrop of the Word,
The most important, the conscious choice between what we’ve heard
With clarity within the heart and what we have been told of old, roots
And tendrils of hypocrisy are struck dumb with but a look,
Surely. These, the Leaves and Boughs of Sadratu’l-Muntahá, Branches
never silent as from out the The Primal Mouthpiece, the Perspicuous Book.

“Happenstance”

Catherine Manchester

“Happenstance”

Happenstance and glory of a measured breath, the sun and moon
And distant scintillating light deranged and rearranged
To suite the insignificance of magnificence of a single scene and page.
Another sentence, a paragraph in which I find myself within a backlit room
To mark the hours the Doppler shadows all misfortune casts.
I have revelled in these signs, these periodic tedious monotonies,
Their very rising at once the thrall before the fall, monopolies
Of time and times again that only now appear to mask
Because when all that is has come to pass I happen to be standing here
A witness to creation’s synergies newly birthed. In the cold stare
Of noonish sunlight I sense with fragile accuracy the beneficial glare
Of all my peculiars, entities and particles that occupy the ear,
Delight the eye, and not so subtly remind me that I am,
And need not doubt the ground on which I stand.

…painting by Catherine Manchester…

“With Mild Concession”

Sun1

“With Mild Concession”

With mild concession, I consign myself
To oblivion in the bleaching hours, the heat
On one, the rain the other morning and repeat
In each of several sultry summer days. The shelf
Is dusty, floors are masked with soiled à meld
From weeks of traffic and debris, conceit
Upon the crowns of crass procrastination and defeat
And even neo-lethal in princpio moltissimo if held
For more than seconds in the fray and din that spells
Desire or want or all that we are wont to hedge the streets
Of our unequalled Americo-Euro afternoons that lead to night.
Oh, I would have it differently, indifferent to the pattern
That I bear witness and allegiance to in virtual existence.
But decades after the discovery, I’ve more common sense
Than to suppose that there is any real escape; tight
The bonds and tighter still addiction to nocturnal lanterns.

Simplicities1

“The Ignorant Mentality”

“The Ignorant Mentality”

The ignorant mentality finds
Exception to what’s proposed;
And closed and indisposed  to close
Inspection of the wound; then, proud philistine,
Contemplate well a rude rebuttal. Adamant,
Implacable will thus obfuscates against a so great a gift that’s offered.
Choose! righteously hold the line before a clearly proffered
Simple sacrifice. Come quickly, then, in heat; attend the chant
Of legions gathered in and for themselves. Relief is found
In ready fevered fractures formed by litigants in lethal
Indignation born not at all from wisdom. Withdrawal–
Now impossible–follows. Fissures and a fury in the sound,
Will attack and sack the messenger, who, barring flight
Becomes the consequence of his own eleisons in the night.
But summon courage in the circle,
Friends. Steps in blocks of four thrice struck
Upon an annual medallion redux,
Minted first within an ancient cycle
Of the whole of mammon and reignited
In the physic; seasons separate are reunited
As the central orb permits but unrequited
In the mind’s most jaundiced eyes. The abstract’s now cited
By the palm’s cartographers who say this Spring’s
Returned, but we know better.
Yes, of course, he’s seen these letters
From the Concourse on High, but in the ring’s
Obverse, so, too, are signs.
The messages were ever slightly

Smudged in careless transit while the seals were never worn so tightly.

“Well Of Course!”

ephemeral

“Well Of Course!”

Well, of course, we’ll share our horrors and all their cousins’ pains,
But can we share our joys? Oh, yes, the many, greater
Number know full well what burdens rise; satyrs
Know that all the world’s a virgin field, and plenteous the rains,
And who is truly satisfied or fit to live
From dawn to dusk and through meagre hours
To taste the bluest morning’s minute, winter’s darkest musks, and flowers
Abused or strewn about as summer’s dying sparks. Yes, pity all abandoned hives
Whence sweetest nectar gathered at the once with steaming strength adored
And more than once again purloined, transforms as healing to a thief, a man
Whose struggling embers in the hearth’s become so very disappointing, fanned
By autumn’s chill and left to smoulder, breath subdued, and blotted out, ignored.
Yes! And veins of midnights’ disaffection line the walls of all travellers’ miles,
But are we there when all there is of us are wreathes and simple smiles?

A fire II