Category Archives: Creativity

“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

“He Chose What Homer Chose”

William Shakespeare
[23 April 1564 – 23 April 1616}

Today marks the Anniversary of the Birth of Shakespeare 450 years ago, and, according to what records we may or may not have, it also marks the Anniversary of the Passing of the Bard 398 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]

“The Phrase”

Hazel Reeves3

 

“The Phrase”

The phrase transcends the pen withdrawn
And so, too, the movement in and of itself.
The notebook’s filled, volumes line the shelf
And there upon a winter’s night, the low straw
Wins and he reviews the lot and finds the flaw
In each. Perhaps a word crossed out, a gulf
In time allows a light to objectivity less the self.
And when the wheel stops, the law
Of averages condemns the thing to sit there
Once again, forgotten, anonymous as a star
That far away, explodes with fireworks
That would consume a galaxy—matter gone berserk—
Ignite and what had no energies now amassed, a pregnant flare
Until at last, one starry night, a whisper reaches earthly ears.
Just so, the incomplete, the Word to words and back again
Traverse the gap as the task of phonemes
Aspires to ascend to higher stations, morphemes
Honoured in this natal happy path. Observe:
Throughout the zodiac of conscious meaning
Stars that matter to velocities in galaxies
Reborn inspire genitive ignition in the gravity
Of natural wisdom’s past and present leaning
To fruition in what was always meant to be.
The moon, in its phase; the sun, its angry season,
The poet writes within a pendulum of forces, reason
Bound, but nonetheless eternal mysteries
Revealed as the Ancient of Days calls behind the present hour
Words from phrases only time, distance and the pen can devour.
As the audience is eternal, so, too, what will compel
The heart and mind to ideal calligraphy; the wordsmith’s nod
Secure. And as “the source of all learning is the knowledge of God,”*
So, too, the gravitas of the nib cannot be silenced, nor the muse expelled.

Hazel Reeves2

*Bahá’u’lláh, Words of Wisdom, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh

…pieces of scupture by Hazel Reeves…

“Answers in the Tea-leaves”

“Answers in the Tea-leaves”

Answers in the tea-leaves, sheaves appear before the harvest
Is gathered; there within the dross, a silence brewed to solution.
Questions, masked, bitters in the waters provide ablutions
To the tongue; dissolved, a saviour moot with which to invest
In what must come when coincidence and will are spent.
And what of proceeds, pensions, dubious transactions
Boxed and packaged in the cards, admiring factions
That succumb to givens in the numbers of the deck? The rent
Is paid, the covenants lapsed, and here again,
The possibilities drown within themselves! When Vonnegut died
There came a deadly pause and then applause (denied
Of course, but heard!) from every semi-colon on the plains
of every page. “Just so,” the concourse wails, “What will you write?”
“With what ink,”‘s the reply, “and with which nib,
and who’s the audience tonight?”

“With This Pen”

“With This Pen”

With this pen, the gliding of the tattoo’s nib,
Bestow but golden glyphs in beatitudes upon my flesh―
Remembrances of diagrams of holiness
Upon upon a stage of natural parchment aching for calligraphy
Applied to treated surfaces of the vellum―you see
Where seriphs of the lip
Or brow should be, the wounding chips
On treated space; upon the marble, pure geography
Of all that I may be, hung high above the altar
Of my temple; these where only God should be.
I cannot guide the stylus, nor should the page be pierced
Nor the open door disfigured with the signs and images of fierce
Unruly passions that waste themselves in bold and brutal scars
Where no man’s rhymes define where eternity and creation intervene.

“Humour Is Impossible”

“Humour Is Impossible”

Humour is impossible in the throes
of serious contemplation of the most potent question
ever asked on any secular page of literature:
“To be or not to be, that is the question,…”

When faced with such a query,
who will denigrate his own
imagined station and position within what is,
after all, a lethal situation for all of us?

The bourgeoisie cannot afford to ask the question;
the rich above the need of contemplation;
the poor too oppressed by the instincts,
the daily needs of hunting and gathering

simply to ensure a continued existence
in this world share  a modicum of
some comfort on the odd occasion.
The rich experience nothing because

every effort costs them nothing;
their pride, therefore, is rendered moot.
The bourgeois may well seek to own his world
in terms of expressions of what he imagines

the bailiwick of their betters,
and indeed, but fails to recognise
that ownership without purpose
sustained over a generation or two

is inevitably the prescription
for yet another application
of the Peter Principle
or the Dunning-Kruger Effect

and, as with poisons can provide
as great a lethal punch to the soul
as it can be in beneficial form to the body.
The poor experience the wonders

of life, struggle, and death but have no voice,
no language that does not promote
anything short of need at best, sedition
at worst when given half a chance,

and in the odd instance passing freedom from sheer want.
Witness: from a tax revolt in 1776, America did without its king;
1789, the French its monarchy and aristocracy;
1917, the Russians their czar, their aristocracy,
Their bourgeoisie yet all revolutions failed.

…But, Nymph in thine orisons be all my sins remembered,
strip away convention, then, and turn to prose….

Given all of the above and the advent of the credit card on the one hand, and ubiquitous Federal Reserve Bank Notes, the logical use and result of the invention of the printing press, what might have been humorous in the past has lost its flavour much like one’s wad of “chewing gum on the bedpost overnight,” simply because whether one addresses true tragedy or its counterpart in comedy, both rely on some helpful word as to what constitutes the intrinsic good or, in short, the presence of virtue and its ultimate outcome, nobility, vraiment…. Without such a word, we have no choice but to think nothing is too sacred to denigrate, belittle, or even to crucify, as the history of all of the many Prophets and Messengers of God, not to mention spiritual philosophers have experienced and met Their ends; what, then can be said of the qualities of the arts and sciences, and the “pith and marrow” of any given society on this planet?

In the end, what constitutes a poet if in fact the characteristics of the artists and sciences have been laughed to scorn just as those of the basic institutions from the kings, popes, religious leaders of all kinds, lawyers, doctors, teachers, nurses, librarians, professions of all sorts. Once one has laughed at God, Himself, it is difficult or even impossible to maintain any semblance of nobility; what should the present two or three generations expect but that after what amounts to almost continual world wars from the 1840’s and straight into the present hour? So much for religion, government, and so much for the arts and sciences, and ultimately so much for the sanctity of life, itself; if Hamlet had some difficulty in maintaining his sense of humour in a Denmark rotten to the core in its banquet days, what, then, can be said of the “remains of the day,” as it were, by the by, so to speak, as the crow flies, in our sweet time, …que çela reste entre nous deux?….

“She Hesitates” or a notion…dedicated to Xineann……whom I admire…and will never meet….

“She Hesitates” or a notion…dedicated to Xineann……whom I admire…and will never meet….

She hesitates because she sees the streets afire, ports
And fields are set ablaze, ashen air enough for firm distrust
Of voices so in harmony that something greater–smoke of lust,
Perhaps–makes cannon law
of fundamental truths abused as instrumental sports
That lead the populace to rallies and the mob to violence and hate,
The bailiwick of dark and stranger fruit;
neighbours seen as furniture
Within the garden; tables, chairs, and fine manure
For the flora to an end expressing nothing but itself. She may be late
In joining, friends, but she’s got solid reasons
For her reticence: So many voices can’t be right!
They say there’s truth in numbers, yes? The flight
From those few souls who’ve passed their seasons
Patiently may well have penned the word,
But broadcast and by distances alone, they’re never really heard.
You asked me why it was I stood there saying
Nothing, and it’s true, I might have made
A difference with a word or two. It was a trade,
You know–the moment for eternity–the laying
Of a track to future nothings, sweet and supple
In themselves, but not at all a match: I fear
For what I saw just now
And you would steer

The conversation toward the obvious, the couple
In the restaurant window dining in the comfort
Of the moment, thinking nothing, doing nothing.
I might have seen it coming, fluffing
Pillows, nonchalantly pulling covers down, the effort,
Minor, meanings so innocuous with both our souls
On fire. So simple, then, so bitter, blue and cold.
Tonight, a window, yesterday a wall,
And tomorrow is not with us now;
We seek dissembling, signs to brows,
Mild salutes to those who call
For gentile willingness, who see the dawn in early light
And come away with knowing smiles, and even laughter
In the brief exchange, yes. At best, a hesitation after
Gilded intimacies have seasoned action: “Is it right?”
Should I have asked the question then and there and leaned
A little as we veered so far from middles to the open road?
There are so many, here, you know! So great the load
And watermark of birth in thinking on the chasm between
Desire and finer laws of gravitas, the will that conquers all remorse:
No need for lubricants for flaccid passion while all the soul requires
is common sense and oceans of the heart’s delight to hold its course.  

“True Art”

“True Art”

True art is the collective equivalent to the dream and like the dream is never addressed to the material. It is the exposition to the living of the existence of virtue, the constant reminder of the potential for catharsis, a preternatural occasion that transcends all natural laws and sets the species above its evident material state, an event as precious to the living soul as it is invisible and beyond the blindness of the walking dead whose counter proposition to reality is that the world is in itself the end and is justified by whatever the dictates of instinct. The existence of a tragic protagonist who at once acknowledges his divine origins against the backdrop his earthly mortality is the glory of his tragedy and the comic irony of his temporary lethal perdicament, the juxtaposition of eternity beyond the confines of the present life set amid the turmoil of a world whose progress is ever beyond all sensual possibilities not to mention the vision of mortals who find immortality not only their nemesis, but their avowed enemy.

“The Well Is Dry”

“The Well Is Dry”

The well is dry, the residue of ink explores
The walls of silence, crystalline in isolation from the roaring pen.
Surfaces have all been cleaned; shelves are empty now, and when
The hour dies, the index finger traces symbols, beads of inspiration born
Of ingots grown from sediment as saline prints–fingers
Soil the complaisant innocence of a parchment that never rests;
Rich papyrus–stretch marks in the margin–attests
That I am ever drowned in possibilities where wonder always lingers.
Surely, then, there is no pause to speak of in the daily common look
Through possibilities, the slumbering leaves of future chapters,
What exists and for the moment merely cages what’s been captured
Reveals nothing to or from me, yes! but for another time, another book.
My pen stands ready to offend not so much as to enrage
Itself. Not all that is and every crimson serif finds the page.