“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
“Oh, I know”
Oh, I know it”s been said before but bears repeating:
Unless a man embrace estates, his sense
Of eternity, his gifts of endless strife and goals of regret intense
Enough to merit periodic casual to shameless open weeping
In the corridors; unless the deadly abyss of every night’s sleeping’s
Prone to breach and rupture within his dreams or by the clock;
unless ‘neath the lens,
His page is thus combustible by the light focused upon a spot,
his joy depends
On something well beyond his own heart’s contumely,
his gates–his paradise, his weeping–
Fall well beyond the storehouse of his eyes and its catalogue of fears,
His light is changed to fire in tragedy and myths of talismans that guide his way.
Again, unless all this is welcomed well before the final hour, his pride will swell,
His vanity implode, and circumstance becomes
a euphemism for all he sees as hell.
Remember please that breath and breathing signify that death is ever near
And in these final years, satisfaction’s just another word for nothing left to pay.
Posted in Age, Aging, Certitude, Death, Fear, Hope, Hubris, Imagery, Imagination, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Materialism, Mortality, Philosophy, Poem, Poetry, Pride, Pyrrhic Victory, Samsara, Sleep, Sonnet, Sonnets, Spirituality, Stations, Strife, Tragedy
Tagged Age, Death, Existence, Imagism, Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, Poem, poetry, Pride, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets, Strife, Tragic Flaw
“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
Bahá’ís throughout the world celebrate this day [beginning at sunset] as the Day of the Covenant, the Celebration of the Eternal Covenant between God and Mankind through His Manifestations and Prophets, eternal in the past, eternal in the present, eternal in the future:
“His Holiness Abraham, on Him be peace, made a covenant concerning His Holiness Moses and gave the glad-tidings of His coming. His Holiness Moses made a covenant concerning the Promised One, i.e. His Holiness Christ, and announced the good news of His Manifestation to the world. His Holiness Christ made a covenant concerning the Paraclete and gave the tidings of His coming. His Holiness the Prophet Muhammad made a covenant concerning His Holiness the Báb and the Báb was the One promised by Muhammad, for Muhammad gave the tidings of His coming. The Báb made a Covenant concerning the Blessed Beauty of Bahá’u’lláh and gave the glad-tidings of His coming for the Blessed Beauty was the One promised by His Holiness the Báb. Bahá’u’lláh made a covenant concerning a promised One who will become manifest after one thousand or thousands of years. –`Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í World Faith
“As the Sea”
As the sea swells, so the Covenant remains, promises fulfilled.
Through Abraham the Friend of God, and Moses, Giver
Of The Law; fruited and confirmed in Jesus Son of Mary given
In His Person more–the Love of God–and through His Will,
Submission under God in Hijáz through Muhammad, Seal of Prophets;
From the East, Lord Krishna of The Three, The holiness of Buddha in Purity;
The Fires of Zoroaster from the mountain; security from casuistry
Within the Witness of The Báb, and Justice in Bahá’u’lláh
`gainst the nursery rhymes of sophists
And the worship of Creation over He who did create
The whole with but a single Word, “Be!” Hosts exclaim and expiate
Their cavils at the Word through numbers, and the terror of the tribes.
Their synergies against the tide of history, bow the knee to what they rape,
And call it truth. By God! The earth is weary of their weight.
The Word alone remains; the Covenant alone withstands this dreary freight.
Posted in Bahá’í, Covenant, End Times, Hope, Lyric Poetry, Philosophy, Poem, Poetry, Samsara, Sonnet
Tagged Bahá’í, Covenant, Existence, Imagery, Imagism, Immortality, Infinity, Lyric Poetry, Poem, poetry, Samsara, Sonnet
“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
Posted in Age, Change, Death, Evolution, Existence, Fate, Hope, Imagery, Imagism, Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Nature, New Year, Ocean, Poem, Poetry, Providence, Samsara, Sea, Sonnet, Sonnets
Tagged Age, Ecology, End Times, Evolution, Existence, Imagism, Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, Nature, Poem, poetry, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets
“The Peace, That Is”
The peace that is, some sense of fortune, love
Of life, that is, the promises that dwell in hearts
Whose beacon is the present. Darts
And shafts, phantoms’ arrows, doves
Of superstition and the flights of eagles not yet dreamed
Become the weights of weariness, embellished chains of thoughts,
Of past and distant memories; all these are. The nought’s
Outweigh the should’s, the clarion chorus of what seems
Will drown the melody of what is as patently, the past
Is nothing more than magnification of future’s cold deception.
Certainly, who’s to know but that at conception
What was sure to be could never really last
And what endures is petrified in quicksands of false alarms
Because we dwell so near the morning’s light and yet so far.
Posted in Conception, Future, Hope, Immortality, Past, Poetry, Present
Tagged Existence, Lyric Poetry, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets
“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.
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
Anxiety brings to mind a smile, a certainty
That what is good is merely stalled
On sidetracks to avoid collision, the call
To order from the ethereal unseen; eternity
Does not disappear with so little provocation
As a disagreement, a suspicion of a difference
Of opinion, or what appears to be interference
Even to the very gates of defeat. The invocation,
“Thus far and no father!” is but a station’s stop
And not a terminal carved in destiny.
Nor is it understood to be a bending of the knee
To anything short of order in the chaos and the melée. The shop
Is closed when systems fail and nothing lasts forever:
Where there is place and time, re-creation pulls the levers.
Is nothing more
Than the willing
Of the natural inevitability of change.
If change is possible,
There is hope
And since change is ubiquitous,
It precludes fear or humiliation
Or thoughts of annihilation
Stemming from the predicament
Of being an eternal being
In a mortal, material existence.
It is but one reason
Why the seeing eye
That if every believing soul
Were reduced by
To a single soul,
That soul will eternally proclaim,
“I have overcome the world!”
From chaos comes ordre; it’s a promise
Not a threat, and see to it that you heed
A willing radiance, an acquiescence, the need
For civility in the journey from initial surprise
To final recognition, from knowledge in the eyes
And from the illumined page while both are lost in wanderlust and steal
Away to what for all the world seems
Neither here nor there. Umbrage seeds both choice and compromise
As winter’s cold surrounds the heart’s dissatisfaction,
colder still than death
Itself and not at all to anyone’s liking. Where do joys of spring
Lead but to sorrows in the coming fall and from that fall, the season’s
Proceeds, naked trunks and brittle branches, reason
Feeding hollow hopes and simple traffic in dreams? What’s left,
My friend, but bones of separation
in the present and reunion in eternity?
There’s the simple intelligence of the thing, the weight
Of common sense told in an instant blessed and in good time. Hearts
And minds, judgments weighted solely on the flattery of the arts
And sciences and beyond mere annual Disney harvests
de temps en temps of maudlin myth in escrow. A state
Of mind, a cosmic frieze born of worlds allied
Within the sanctity of sanity seeks the safer corner
Of anonymity and the warmth of former
Aphorisms mouthed, perhaps, but never really qualified
Till now. They will say, “Come hither, pull the trigger,
Garner nothing less than what is guessed
And leave the rest!” and, yes, they see it at its best
Because its freshly minted, postage paid
For anyone who’s never been there or knows no history;
To the wise, simplicity; to the ignorant, one more misery.
Posted in Age, Aging, Certitude, Death, Detachment, Double Sonnet, Dreams, Emotion, Existence, Hope, Idolatry, Illusion, Imagery, Imagination, Imagism, Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, Pain, Patience, Philosophy, Poem, Poetry, Reality, Relativity, Samsara, Selflessness, Separation, Sonnet, Sonnets
Tagged Aging, Art, Delusion, Double Sonnet, Imagery, Imagism, Immortality, Pain, Poem, poetry, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets