Category Archives: Existence

“You Own the Year”

“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

“Between the Particles”

“Between the Particles”

Between the particles, seeds, whole galaxies
With beings monstrous in physique by grace
To be or not to be of any consequence; a place
Of high dramatic action, energies, prolixities
And all that is the chaos and confusion here
Among us there between the millions, there
Where no present eye beholds the plan; fair
Throughout minions of the wide arena sated, dear
To those whose measures are diminutive
But in such numbers as we cannot command,
Or catalogue; and even here may be the death of man
In servitude to what is life to them, disease to us, illustrative
Of powers to the nano only recently imagined:
We seek where there is nothing; we see mountains in grains of sand.

“This You Chose”

“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.

“Limbs”

“Limbs”

Limbs, appendages, extensions, sinew stretched
Across the chasms, voids, and axles
Of Creation, forms to occupy the mind; cosmic jackals,
Vain imaginings sprung from fractals, etched
In plaited mesh and skeletal remains combine
To people thought and populate scenarios.
Nothing ever quiets the machine, the interim’s need will borrow
Legitimacy and gravitas from life’s single habit, refine
Its use for lifetimes, the penultimate line in verses
Penned to presage the tentative, the simple strokes of time.
Transition’s in the air, my friends, and next in line
For what’s about to come to pass might well be curses
For the speed with which the world embraces in exchange for its mistakes.
Only the Creator weds the art of accident to apposition for its own sake.

“Sad You Say?”

“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.

“I’ll Not Wait”

“I’ll Not Wait”

I’ll not wait till dawn to praise the sun;
Shadows follow closely where I sleep; this night must end:
I’m guaranteed as much. What, then? Tomorrow? What? Again
A word’s delay a world away is all, so, patience me. The midnight trains still run
Their course–stampeding to the east to crawl back westward–and catch
The rising or the setting cosmos all along the local milk run. Coaches
Matter not, jettisoned or newly recreated in the Milky Way, we approach
Our destinations, dusks or dawns in proper times; passengers dispatched,
Who only seem to arrive at destinations previously booked
And so we do not blithely cease to live because we wait
Upon a final station or dream of tracks not even built. Medusa guards the gate
That turns all nightly plans to stone, and we her momentary shades that looked
To make the journey know the Night Train only claims a means to ends
Through mirrors while season tickets mark what joys the daybreak sends.

“So Easy to Feel”

“So Easy to Feel”

So easy to feel, to seem to be, to know at last propinquity
As if the light declares the coming glory of the sun at daybreak
Redundant. But as that disk cannot be seen for more than seconds, I take
That certainty of coming morning within me,
Knowing that midnight’s richest prize in ivory
Is forever fixed as is the station of the sun; the moon an intimate
In someone’s flight, perhaps, but even so, as she reveals herself in states
And phases never hers, agitation gains nothing in the motion save in memory
And affectations of the sea within me–force upon another force,
Measured consequence of a functionary that renders boundaries
Of continental pride and the ocean’s doors
Cast aside in the riot of the tides, a natural stampede, no more
Than thresholds of natural accident, the stream and river’s course
Now rising, now again a swelling to apostrophes, eternal inertia born of gravity.

“Pain”

“Pain”

Pain, and the Pacific has had its way, so many tears;
The summons; natural deities, rushing devotees of Southern waters
Join discords of the North and oceanic rivers feed because the glaciers falter.
Nai-no-Kami will no doubt dance. She needs not move far while fears
Of millions, fields and city gates are prey with every passing day.
We view their sighs and gestures, calmly watch and lunch on wonders
At the thought and misery that gorges on the plunder
Of laboured mountains duly noted while we dine. Mere screens relay
Our sympathies as surrogates before us mouth the news in bites, remote,
Confounding empathy of others with our own, and with no more thought
Than is required to vote or tolerate yet another tired announced affair
Convinced we’ve performed our sacred duties. Filtered sage suggestions float
Between commercials; who is dead, and who is dying?
We resign ourselves to daily schedules, and retreat
To mindless repetition, and support of yet another public brawl,
and trash what cannot be understood, change the channel and eat.

“She Asked Me How I Knew” ,,,

…back again by popular demand…

“She Asked Me How I Knew”

She asked me how I knew, and all I knew,
And all of this in less than what it took
To give a sign, and say, “What floor?” It shook
Me up a bit, to tell the truth, but then I view
These close encounters in the light of years
These days, and find that nothing sways me so far off the path
That I’ve lost sight of who I am, and how to laugh.
And so I answered her, I did that thing. And then the tears.
The double-arched eyebrows, the look of terror in her eyes when I
Suggested that between our floors the elevator flies
Too quickly for a studied answer, but not to worry, I’d
Be willing, yes, perhaps, someday on some long train to try. .. .
She took a rain check, though, and said she had to go;
And, when she asked my name, I knew she really didn’t want to know.

“That We Fall Is Natural”

“That We Fall Is Natural”

That we fall is natural; that we rise, elephantine.
The elemental flow of oceans cannot be
A thing so scripted in the stones nor greater than it seems,
But ever-striving, ever-writhing, natural peaks declining,
Irreconcilable in their conniving, twice and more desired falling
In or toward Themselves, the Mothers of all Waters, yes. Rivers
Die and are reborn at once–revivals in their streams and noted divers
Books, catalogued as tributaries and watersheds–calling
And recalling from a moonstruck swollen pinnacle
even to the least and last most holy drop.
Confucius* said it long ago that greatest glories
Come not so much in never falling, but in histories
Of revision, sublimes in tectonic prodigies at the mountaintop.
Little wonder save to mortals what the matter is;
energy is the bright selective gleam
Of noble souls who
like the stream, the river, the brook,
must at last rejoin the sea.

*Confucius B.C. 551-479