“These Single Seconds”
These single seconds, presentiments of all
And nothing in eternity, everything in being
So alive; so much ado for yet another death in Venice, the seam
Of what is past as in a single passion’s pall
So sharpened in the moment that it’s cut
Is never noted until the point of infection. Minutes and the hour
Record a simple causal pause, time enough to harvest flowers
That will surely wilt so thoughtlessly. But
In the common flush of extremities, the blush, the rush, the flow,
This now is always yesterday’s dream, the stuff of self-deception,
Always what has happened just before, some weak inflection
Of realities and truth but crudely reckoned, a seed but newly sown
That only time can nourish. I’ve lived through nearly seven times ten in years
Through veils of unmitigated grace and holiness amassed in arrears,
Still, it is within another winter’s votary thought at last;
I know I will not be with you here beyond the death
Of these same embers in the hearth, this house arrest
Of days and nights so beauty-worn. I am the fast
In winter’s moonlight bringing closer all who see
So little light save in one another; days begun and then recessed
Before their time. And so it is with graduated rest
From daily obligations, time enough to dream, at least to seem
To one another safe enough for one brief season, a familiar in the close
Encounter with so little interest but in the present evening’s run
To fetch a cow within, a log from out back, to secure the barn.
Barely born, the moon grows reticent as the rising sun discloses
Evening weeds and as we build the fires and take the steam,
The fire’s warmth is strong and so is love…as so it seems.
Posted in Age, Aging, Death, Detachment, Double Sonnet, Emotion, Existence, Fidelity, Hope, Idolatry, Illusion, Imagery, Imagination, Imagism, Immortality, Love, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, Pain, Patience, Philosophy, Poem, Poetry, Reality, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets
Tagged Age, Aging, Death, Death in Venice, Delusion, Double Sonnet, Emotion, Existence, Fidelity, Illusion, Imagism, Immortality, Love, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, Pain, Poem, poetry, Relationships, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets
“She’s the Cello”
She’s the cello in his night that marks the path
With leaves and herbs as punctuation marks
To separate reality from the general twist of simple arts
Within the episode from drinks at intermission Do the math
And wonder at the not-so-subtle quest of youth for rich
And varied situations. On the face of it, slightly crossed,
Declined, and conjugated, interests tossed
From the stove to the table as his pebbles lightly pitched
Must dance across but shallow streams and brooks,
From here to there in yards or feet apart,
A feat that grants the pitcher lighter goals, an arc
For future muses. wonder-lust, misplaced in space. The books
From memory alone will entertain his pen a pace,
Awash with sundry oils and detail now
Arresting generous portions of his brow,
Attracted and content, a troubling frieze,
The peas with carrots, onions chopped to close
Within the future fry, not one but two with herbs allied,
Exposed for what they may now achieve at once placed as rhymes
To eloquence in elements combined to test the palate; cloves’
Oppressions no doubt forced at length albeit spare with salt declined
“In case!…” and the voice of Julia to meet her recipe’s demands.
And as the carbon to the diamond, brine
Is changed to water, water thence to wine,
And all within its wedding’s blessing, or at least a pause,
For heaven’s sake or any other flash or flame or flaw,
And never mind the former chicken’s’bold bathetic crimes,
And as she cooks, yes! even as she cooks to him polite laconic glances tossed
As into boiling pots and frying pans as all his thoughts and cares are lost.
Posted in Double Sonnet, Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Muses, Music, Musical instruments, Poem, Poetry, Relationships, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets, Stir fry
Tagged Emotion, Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Relationships, Sonnet, Sonnets
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.
Oh yes, of course, I hear the cymbal’s echo in my ear;
The thunder’s never quite altogether gone.
Lyrics never cease, each give rise to reprise and just another song.
The stride is altered, yes, of course, but never far from goals
I’ve set, and always from the “A” to the ubiquitous “B” the line
Is straight. It flows, it cannot fade. Consistency is there
And I am bound to find the wicket, purchased another ticket there
To picture in my mind; the Gate that lies beyond the mines
And booby traps I’ve laid, extensions of the singular;
Ignorance drawn, pleasure in life egregiously proffers
Its own demise where duplicity wreathes itself in the divine collective. Offers,
Dogma for all occasion profits veiled within the insular.
The rock, itself, sees through all the aye’s
And knows its nay’s must always seek the public gaze, disguised.
…painting by Kyle Ragsdale…
“The Balm of Blame”
The balm of blame relies on shame
While fools amass in cloisters; clowns, their terrors
Grouped in choirs as with fires sired in hell. Errors
Come as natural as breathing, while their eternal flame
Afflicts the every man, and cannot be concealed.
How, then, does the crown not fit
As when in the thick of smoke and mirrors bells peeling
Not from above or from the side but fulgent, sealing
Heaven’s signs in record time, the eyes, the gait, the every gesture
Bold prophetic witness as the Eastern Prophets’ Word is echoed in the West,
Their lights snuffed out in increments that underline the tortured tests
Of wills and structures of the Occident in bulging bank accounts–sequestered,
Belching fallacies–metered by the hour that all but scream for want of closure?
Yet, the line is long and longer for ambient mists of deft exposure.
They will not hear the key left limp at latch–the entrance
Or the exit; they cannot see the rising
Or the setting of the complaisant star, its restive analysing
Of the land and sea at midnight, the telling glance
Of creatures who stalk their prey in the foyer of the edifice;
The temporary seating exceeds the number of the tombs is evidence
Enough that in all creation few defy the mirage; the fence
That must divide the space above a phantom’s presence
Of this planet from the gaping hungry star-filled void
Of all that passes for imagination.
Connoisseurs of matter taste
Nothing but the venom of the fang in hours of self-defeating waste:
That posits purpose in pursuit of the outrageous, they speak of decoys
And photographs in place of simple memory and obsolescent joy.
Weep for they whose righteousness consists of lawlessness and celluloid.
The sardonic moon signs mayhem and havoc to the eyes
At rising, a potent rift between what is and what only seems
To be; and we, its tools allow for fancy as it deems
Fitting to be in the mystical early patterns of the evening skies.
How meet and seemly even for the dedicated mind
To allow such flights of visual savagery to arrest
All logic, moving as it does to attest
What truly isn’t there at all. How like denial, refined
Anticipation in the night of our modernity
To grant such majesty, so great an urgency
As the behemoth moon of our imagination cedes
Nothing to the truth but flaunts its strange lucidity
In increments that must eventually crown itself the liar.
Fully risen, there it is what begun must in turn expire
shedding neither light nor fire.
Posted in Appearances, Bank account, Bells, Blame, Celluloid, Closure, Connoisseur, Decoy, Denial, Double Sonnet, Duplicity, Ediface, Error, Everyman, Fallicies, fancy, Fire, Flame, Havoc, Heaven, Hell, Imagination, Joy, Key, Land, Liar, Logic, Magesty, Materialism, Mayhem, Memory, Mirage, Modernity, Moon, Occident, Poetry, Prophets, Samsara, Sea, Star, Tomb, Waste, West
Tagged Existence, Lyric Poetry, Sonnet, Sonnets
…a revision of the poem…
Swept aside, all moments and celestial mementos collide
And waste no never-mind on credence and retention
In the wake of greater cosmic rinds and supine celestial reflection.
Mortality by definition lies; not so through what histories imply
But in the daily interaction of missives from the Goal
And penultimate ilunga * of the Source or
Sanctions of interaction in the triumphant triad of the coarsest
Ores of time, of space, and all that matters. Time, the cosmic linen folds
Of space and active order; space, the theatre of experience at the heart
Of the observer; matter, but an audience, a phenomena in passive
Active shadows of Creation and its nemesis. Simplicity is massive,
Complexity but a word; a question’s languages are art
And science while the answers form the pathos and the abstract.
What is more pathetic than to be and yet be nothing in the act?
Simplicity in the classic form requires
The prefects of a perfect vacuum
Combined in such a way as compliments the acumen
Of a strident meme, the jealous zeitgeist, tests that to the whole inspire
An urgent need to pause, to linger over bodies no longer really there,
A little more than a half a generation’s substance in a given time.
So granted this, so beautifully and tragically resigned,
Aloud comes the elegies of episodes to “Move along!”or “Retire!”
With such a cry inscribed, there was and always is
A here and there in rapid profit worshipped, fierce
As gallstones of desperation: “This, our chosen age, rehearsed
Upon a cross of memories little more than lyrics of an ancient tryst!”
And, equally, the many crowned and catalogued, remain aloof
Through symmetries of perfection in a sacred dynasty of embroidered truth.
*The word is ilunga, from the Bantu language of Tshiluba, and means a person ready to forgive any abuse for the first time, to tolerate it a second time, but never a third time.
When there is this, that is.
With the arising of this, that arises.
When this is not, neither is that.
With the cessation of this, that ceases.
His Holiness The Buddha
Posted in Affirmation, Age, Aging, Antithesis, Arts, Buddhism, Change, Classic, Cycles, Double Sonnet, Elegies, End Times, Ends, Generations, Hubris, Hustlers, Hyperbole, Idolatry, Matrix, Meme, Memory, Negation, Nostalgia, Numinosum, Pathos, Poetry, Posterity, Pragmatism, Pyrrhic Victory, Relativity, Retirement, Samsara, Sciences, Seasons, State of Being, Stations, Synthesis, Thesis, To be or not to be, Tragic Flaw, Tshiluba, Yearning, Zeitgeist
Tagged Double Sonnet, Lyric Poetry, Sonnet, Sonnets
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.
Posted in Addiction, Age, Aging, Appearances, Belief, Common sense, Cynicism, Denial, Distraction, Double Sonnet, Dunning-Kruger Effect, End Times, Ends, Folly, Genii, Hubris, Illusion, Materialism, Media, Meme, Negation, News Media, Peter Principle, Poetry, Pyrrhic Victory, Samsara, To be or not to be, Wizard, Yearning
Tagged Astrology, Lyric Poetry, Sonnet, Sonnets
She replied, “I wonder sometimes about that last breath,
will it pain? Will it bring peace? or will we be unaware?
I do wonder.” Her thoughts incorporate a stare,
A swelling vision of what must come of what is left
Of time amongst a thousand nursery rhythms, inadvertent theft
In recitation of “Now I lay me down to sleep,” a certain flare
From the bridge that binds its victim
Alone to any other soul, bereft
Of substance, comfortless in wrenching prolixity
Of what to the emperor were too many notes;
To posterity a masterpiece in some historical
Reference made in passing at the lectern–a rhetorical
Question perhaps on a Wednesday afternoon–an entity
That has no purpose, expecting no answer to what she wrote.
Of course I wrote a thousand words in recompense
To that dark lady scattered through legions
Of tomes of literary justice far below what Dickens
Might have hoped were words of solace for the whitest chickens
There beside that ridiculous wheelbarrow on which Williams rent
Himself in twain to measure a leased infallibility in season within reason.
“A Simple Chemistry”
A simple chemistry, the day, the night,
And what of course is never meant to be;
But still the hope is there, the simile
That never quite transforms a noun nor quite
Contents itself in action, so never mind a verb.
But, then what a change of heart is there.
Reaction taut, willingness, a kind of gas, an air
Of great and greater expectations that serves
No more than casual attention yet is so deadly. No, of course,
It cannot come to this. But, yes, eventually it does.
And with the cat’s release, it must.
The thing is there to see, to feel, to taste. The horse
Before the cart, perhaps, but nonetheless, a paradigm of waste,
And with each fine turning of the wheel the love of wanton haste.
A maudlin isolation seeds contempt and leads the mind
To rites and righteous thinking that was not there before. He’ll defer
To what he thinks is plainly there on the plate; they infer
From this that he’s content, but caution! Not all nouns decline
The same, nor are their heirs in action conjugated
In the subjunctive: something other brings the two together
And there’s no part of speech that weathers
Scrutiny in the spirit. Sounds and syllables modulated,
Dress themselves in exceptions ruthless syntax will abhor.
There is no saving grace in this, no workable alternative
To perfect tenses forcing all to deal with God and His eternity:
Dallaire declared that he believed because he’d seen the Whore *;
And, after sleep and shadows, I believe the Orb will rise
Because I’ve seen the sun ignored in midnight lapis leasure skies.
*Lieutenant-General Roméo Antonius Dallaire [June 25, 1946-- ]
Posted in Action, Affirmation, Appearances, Double Sonnet, God, Grammar, Hope, Midnight, Poetry
Tagged 1946-- ], Double Sonnet, Lieutenant-General Romeo Antonius Dallaire [June 25, Lyric Poetry, Noun, Sonnet, Subjunctive tense, Verb
“Plans; the Summer Vapours”
Plans; the summer vapours through livings while they last
And wonders of a sudden clime where suns beat furiously through
The year and winters never come. They share eternities and views
Of strife that feed on life, or then again, the days become the year, the past
Is yesterday buried in deposits, today, in streams of sweat and constant growth.
He’ll never know, of course, because his choice prefers the seasons
To the season and the many to single lives they breed. His sanity his reason
Tempered only by the change of venue, moods by grace bestowed,
And whom he’ll know for just a little while. Loneliness; no.
Alone, but, yes, of course, and is there any better company
Than what just came strolling down the lane or some symphony
That’s never finished, what was heard but moments in the rain? The “lo!”
The turning of a page and there scribbled in the margin
The word, the phrase that spoke but once is missing in the bargain.
And once again, the rocking chair is carelessly placed
There beside the balcony rail along with some makeshift table,
Discarded relics from a marriage vow, so worn, so outcast yet so able
To the task and uses of a former front page story from a case
Of misplaced destiny and that last unbroken glass. I stir the brew with ease,
The instrument an orphan from the spoons
she used in warm Nebraska noons and jars
Let years ago to contemplate the morning
beneath the clothesline by my mother’s hand:
A bag or two, the backyard sun, and some few hours to see
Three gallons full of topaz in the fridge; scars,
Perhaps, or something dear, a badge of honour
In the meaning; I was of one of hers. She’s gone the distance so much farther
While the mighty Platte’s gone shallow, but magic brews within my hardened
Heart’s plucked tranquilities in hyacinths of memory and thinking deeply on her
Comes as simple as lemon laced with sugar in the brew, and afternoons in amber.
A word of caution…when I was still living at home with Mom and Dad, there was nothing quite like the sun tea my mother made; it was always perfect, it was always fresh because she made it every day in a two or three-gallon jar with two teabags left in the sun for several hours. Delicious as it was (and probably still is) it has been learned of late that it is not a good idea to let the sun do the trick on the tea; it sits there at just the right temperature to allow the nurturing of bacteria in the water and the tea leaves normally eliminated by the longer but more healthy boiling of the water to make the tea. I was surprised to learn this; yes, well, obviously I escaped from my parents kitchen (or backyard where she left the sun tea to brew) and am still alive to tell the tale. As a matter of fact, I don’t remember ever hearing of anyone getting sick in my hometown or in my state from what they caught from drinking sun tea, and of course, my mother would never have served me anything that would harm me….but of course, there was always my Aunt Lillian’s fried chicken…and Mary Kitchen hash….by the case….