“You Own the Year”
You own the year and years before you
As I the year and all that’s passed;
Your signs are rising, eternity is steadfast.
Quo vadis, then? I who serve eternities am overruled
By sheer numbers, countless previous dispensations viewed
In retrospect and circumspect in vast
And spacious notions of impermanence and impasse.
I see before the fact in part, imperfectly at present, pursued
By spoils of the war and coupled with a dubious acquired taste
For bitters, an acerbic memory gained close at hand or lost at sea.
Nothing in this world is or is so stable
That it is not utterly dependent, created, removed and recreated on the table
Of bounties throughout creation; what God has willed to use or waste
Shall be not be more or less than what it is and what is not shall never be.*
* “Protect me, O my Lord, from every evil that Thine omniscience perceiveth, inasmuch as there is no power nor strength but in Thee, no triumph is forthcoming save from Thy presence, and it is Thine alone to command. Whatever God hath willed hath been, and that which He hath not willed shall not be.
There is no power nor strength except in God, the Most Exalted, the Most Mighty.”
–His HolinessThe Báb, Selections from the Writings of the Báb, pp. 190-191
Posted in Age, Aging, Certitude, Change, Civilisation, Covenant, Destiny, Detachment, Duplicity, End Times, Existence, Experience, Fate, God, Hegira, Hope, Image, Imagery, Imagism, Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Mankind, Mortality, New Year, Poem, Poetry, Providence, Pyrrhic Victory, Reality, Samsara, Sea, Sonnet, Sonnets, Spirituality
Tagged Age, Aging, End Times, Eternity, Existence, God, Imagism, Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, Poem, Relationships, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets
“But If I Loved”
But, if I loved, there’d be no stumbling here,
No word, no moment spent in canvassing;
No south-bound sound, no! no jaundiced ring
Tone, no telephone—assuming no fear
No understatement—pressures here applied
To maudlin tracings follow no trump, no expression
No! no consummation in the passive key,
Of fact, no fire in hyperbole, nor just plain lies.
Then I’d be forced to die, or something close
To leaving if I could:
But, I’m not made to feel so good;
I only wish I were; and just suppose
Posted in Age, Aging, Detachment, Imagery, Love, Lyric Poetry, Poem, Poetry, Relationships, Samsara, Sonnet
Tagged Age, Aging, Emotion, Existence, Lyric Poetry, Relationships, Sonnets, spirituality, Tragic Flaw
“This You Chose”
This you chose, you know, the lethal wound, external fire,
Internal final cut the cleanest; the choice was never mine.
This you chose; your arms, your scent defined
The borders, walls, the floors, the exposure. Your desires
Say nothing past the yesterdays of pre-dawn, and glad
I was to rest the while, and glad you are that I am gone.
But nothing’s rendered in the late night’s song,
The me in you, and yes! You know the sad
Result: that moon’s pain can not know a sequel.
The senses, these you know , with no contempt,
But radiant resignation in the hours of heat and pure idolatry. Spent,
The sentence stands within this world. These final sentiments rule;
The veil, the truths we’ve always known; the hourglass, the idols of our nights,
Its sands, a closing hush of breath at daybreak when all our meteors take flight.
Posted in Age, Certitude, Death, Delusion, Detachment, Emotion, Existence, Fidelity, Idolatry, Illusion, Imagery, Imagination, Imagism, Immortality, Infinitity, Love, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, Pain, Patience, Philosophy, Poem, Poetry, Reality, Relativity, Samsara, Separation, Sonnet, Sonnets
Tagged Age, Art, Death, Delusion, Emotion, Existence, Fidelity, Illusion, Imagery, Imagism, Love, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, Pain, Poem, poetry, Relationships, Samsara, Separation, Sonnet, Sonnets
“Sad You Say?”
Sad you say? I knew you meant it;
Yes, my sadness drained through your fingers
Leaving little more than moisture. Something of me lingers
With you that you own is yours. Summits
Of either joy or pain remain to use the heart, the limits
Of the body—anywhere will do—from head to toe; these, the singers
Intone its presence, equations flatter integers
Enough to anoint themselves exclusive in finite intimates
And variations for the sake of form. These flights of melancholy
You mistook for yours; as well, your joys I imagined mine in the mirror,
And neither of us were the wiser in the final calculation.
If one of us is right, we’ll see our satisfaction and salvation
In what little time remains to us in life; the eternal holy
Light is never long in coming. If one of us is wrong,
…there is no deliverer.
Posted in Detachment, Emotion, Existence, Fidelity, Hope, Illusion, Imagery, Imagination, Imagism, Love, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, Pain, Patience, Philosophy, Poem, Poetry, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets
Tagged Emotion, Existence, Fidelity, Illusion, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Pain, Patience, Poem, poetry, Relationships, Sonnet, Sonnets
“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 and she had no address,
Or if she ever gave it to me, it was always less
Than 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 to the kind of eagerness
That only children presuppose is happiness or glee.
It was never there, you see, and yet I was ever
At the ready to believe in terms of passages that saw her through
A time or two of something close to primacy or 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 Age, Aging, Detachment, Duplicity, Estrangement, Lyric Poetry, Marriage and Divorce, Negation, Poetry, Providence, Relationships, Samsara, Separation, Sonnet, Stations, Yearning
Tagged Age, Aging, Dover Beach, Existence, Lyric Poetry, poetry, Relationships, Sonnet, Strife, Tragic Flaw, Xanadu
“A Moment To Reflect”
A moment to reflect, these several when
The job is done, and there’s no real choice
But rest and celebration; tasks, the last of many, voiced
Throughout the years of work will one day send
A massive missive of relief, and thanks
With weighty sentiments and fond farewells; cheer,
And weathered tusks to see me on beyond, and further than fear
To take a few steps–arrogantly, yes, perhaps–down paths that rank
Above all present trumps and peculiars of this earth:
I have the fewer moments through to the end, I know,
And will it so or else the hours, the weekly flow
Of days and nights, prove life’s lavas might well have spent their worth.
And what of miseries in days beyond this present strife,
Born within the present, laced with beauty
in the shadows of the latter life?
Posted in Age, Aging, Certitude, Detachment, Emotion, Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Patience, Philosophy, Poem, Poetry, Reality, Samsara, Sonnet, Strife
Tagged Age, Aging, Death, Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Nature, Patience, Poem, poetry, Samsara, Sonnet, Strife
I withdraw so easily, or waking, dream
So soon as labour in the day ill-advised
Through doors whether in and out with nothing analysed,
Nothing tasted, nothing binding. Early minutes’ quiet gleaned
From what I see, Rorschach patterns reckon ends bit off before
I’ve done the deed. Salutations to the daylight in the darkness
Knowing light my only threat. I seek no rest
And simply wave my rights before I hit the bathroom door.
Another matin ritual and by the time I see the streets
My spirits rise to the anthem of invasion. papers purchased an there
When no one hears me enter ( no one saw me leave; no one’s left
Who remembers where I stood before it all–the cleft
Between the morning after and the afternoon before–the air,
The pavement, strokes of something like a sidewalk drawing note
That I arrived in time to beat the elect but somehow never voted.
“Peace, My Friend”
Peace, my friend in all this witness! Joy!
Of course the weight of chains
In the years’ galling links artfully forged constrict; the veins
And heart have nothing left to lose. We must all too much, too often boil
As if in sacrifice for children in excess, their tender tendons bent
To stitch or reinforce the patches in the peoples’ fabric,
“Damn all youth, loose ends cannot be ignored!” will set the rubric’s
Not for satisfaction but for closure in a single day; still, while innocence is spent,
The heavens and the earth are in their whole
Are seen expendable; the antidote’s declined and not a single word is spoke.
But who has eyes or ears and whence the flaw? The axle’s broke
And raging torrents in the bowel cannot reach the soul.
As much for comforts of the crowd, humanities encompass pain
While even weightier, the angel living sing of joy and promises of rain.
Diversions mount, but decisions are determined
And timing in celestial spheres and signs
Are not paused for dilatory motives nor do the blind
So easily blot out the sun. Some there are who enter
Darkness seeking the mercurial stations of the tongue, the move
From where they are to where they divine they must
Be without so much as limb or wing but straight through the dust
To strike pavilions over what is not and never could be a truth. Note all who’ve
Owned a cause to glorify the effects of blows to obfuscate, to conceive a sure
Obstruction of all evidence, nothing more. “In My Father’s House
Are many mansions,” written plainly in orchestrated independent clauses;
The caveat in escrow, the final contract awaits the ink *and “If it were
Not so,” He would have writ the mystery of galaxies and stars
as when polemic balances mark the seasons’ endless cosmic scars.
* John 14-1-9
Posted in Apostrophes, Blind, Causes, Caveats, Celestial spheres, Cosmic scars, Darkness, Decisions, Detachment, Dilatory motives, Diversions, Dust, Effects, Erudition, Escrow, Ether, Evidence, Galaxies, Independent clauses, Ink, Journey, Midnight glory, Moon, Patience, Pavilions, Poetry, Ships, Signs, Stars, Stations, Stocks, Sun, Truth, Verisimilitude, Zenith
Tagged Lyric Poetry, Samsara, Sonnets
“Close the Books”
[On the anniversary of my last day of classes in 2007]
Close the books, put away the notes,
The shipyard’s abandoned; desks and chairs have lost their rows
(The final cleaning crew arrives tonight!) and do you suppose
The office will be closed before the votes
Are in? Inevitable closing calamities. But by the clock
He sees the hours shifting toward the back
Of what was his room these many years; no lack
Of tomes and final papers, calculations, ever marking; the dry dock’s
There and oddly placed, order impertinent, his ship’s put in to port
And not a scintilla too soon, the wetted finger held aloft with storms
Approaching and heat stroke looming in the warmer
June-filled many-papered halls of what’s left in halls of lockers. Sort
The last class’s fillings, his room no longer root canals in light
And lighter proverbs of an erstwhile life; the tunnel’s end: his silent night.
Posted in Age, Aging, Closure, Detachment, Ends, Poetry, Retirement, Separation, Ships, Teaching
Tagged Age, Aging, Lyric Poetry, Sonnet