Category Archives: Hubris

“The Chihuahua”

“The Chihuahua”

The Chihuahua’s spectre holds no great respect for persons;
Howls and growls his vowels at high and low alike, and stands
His ground against a world that must retreat. His consonants demand
Attention even of the greatest battery of vocabulary. The phrase thus spurned
Learns quickly that even if withdrawal for the moment wins,
These syllables tire easily of petty games,
And, yielding, go their way; interest wanes,
You see, and comes again the senseless peck at heels and shins,
The unabated chutzpah, the vicar of prolixity, the heretofore
To the other side, the space above, the all
Or nothing victory of the hundred glottal fricatives. Heed his call,
My friends. He will prove the greater in the war,
Because he prides himself on having nothing but himself to wager,
The short but sweet ambition or the long but safe advantages
of nothing minor to accomplish and evidently nothing all that major.

“Gold Bars Soar”

gold1

“Gold Bars Soar”

Gold bars soar that may or may not be there as dollars rise and fall
While doves and hawks lose feathers and the bourgeois stain
Their corporate tablecloths; numbers genuflect as mortgage rates
And candidates trade places in the spin. Who sleeps in the caterwaul;
Who stampedes for attention in the networks’ nightly call
To arms not heard since Boston; whose cotillions root for the notorious? Bait
And bombast never fails; the remedy is ever there and altogether late,
Meticulously timed by someone out to fill the stadia and malls
With never ending seasons’ greetings and wherewithal
To keep the vital signs of spinning polls and sardines at the gates,
Martin’s dream is deemed appropriate for the calendar and numbers integrate
The use of steroids and youthful thrall so no one drops the ball.
Who needs another change for heaven’s sake as one size fits all:
…And who really gives a damn with elections in the fall?

“Feel the Fear”

“Feel the Fear”

Feel the fear in all things blithe; death,
To see what only mystic pages sign and still it’s too damn cold;
Nothing’s moving. Reckon talismans, medallions sold
For incense and bouquet; breathe once and then the second breath,
Friend. Taste reticence itself and all things flee; barter sovereignty
And youth and place the sandals at the door. Terse and curt,
They will renege, prevaricate, and standing still
their high fives fly. They flirt
With no one but themselves, their flesh disports with rude obscenity;
Daggers, canines, grey-lined barbs of cultured mumbled sympathy
For mothers long in heat, hesitant but nonetheless disposed to saying
Judas had his reasons.
Politely cut the losses, righteous piracy embroidered on the sleeve–
The tattoo leaves no space for pores–pluck the fruit,
reschedule colonoscopies.
They’ll make you know they love you;
scratch the surface, pick the scab.
And why not? If things go wrong, all is veiled,
steeled in memory, forgotten on the slab.

“The Streets of Montréal”

montreal-street-homes-snow

“The Streets of Montréal”

The streets of Montréal are empty now.
The neighbouring labouring winter lingers as the bus stops sigh.
Procrastination signs in odd displays of petulance at what must come south
From colder, darker Hudson nights as ice rusts earlier every year in forests; as if reminding us of reasons for early thaw. North from sales
In Southern giveaways the multi-fronts wave greetings from so many hills away;
Flight lanes set by geese suggest a conscious prodigeous delay
As newscasts and conspiracy reports have some little to say of chemtrails
As heckling sunspots’ hour to hour display for weather wearied eyes
Not at all concerned with what’s for dinner but everything to gain as teams
Of salvage crews prey along New England’s ocean shores. Reams
Of information on the cable news hours’ finely honed cyclones surface lies
And cries of what’s in Gaia’s oven and what on earth is all that’s going down
As BP Oil’s politicians in shameless self-promotion make their
usual strident claims that bolster bookies and talk show hosts placing bets
on just exactly when, not if the Mississippi rises next
and what, not whom coastline levies drown.

sun-corona-mass-ejection

“They Move So Well”

“They Move So Well”

They move so well, they troll; they stroll
From this side of wagers to the other,
“Done!” and back again, smother
Goosesteps with mother’s deep affection, roll
The wholes in one and on a paper napkin map
Contingent strategies in sporting bars of habit and choice
Their viscosities of taste and controversy, simulated voices
Registering rapt concern from teleprompters
for whom it may concern that takes the rap
When leaders do not function as they should.
If what’s within the box is not ajar,
It will be soon, adagios of alarm
As phantoms masked in mortgages, just as whales, must surface
By the waters of eternal Babylon to their height in purpose.

“Sonnet in Honour of the Feast of Kalimát or “Words”

diamondBahá’ís throughout the world gather today within the First Day of the Month of Kalimát [Words] before sunset to celebrate the first day of the Bahá’í Month of Kalimàt.

“Sonnet in Honour of the Feast of Kalimát or “Words”

The Word illumines surfaces in the soul;
Not so the mortal eye, my friend–they who dilate
Earthly limitations know the truth–they violate
The the borders of the pupil to include the accents of the dream. The flow
Of images beneath the lids so often bound, so ever-weathered
Couples with the muse, crowns cosmic winds of aromatic lustre in the ether,
Clouds–the afterthought of action forged in fires of hubris–either
Lust or fear, the pilots in the paths of all dust: and both are witnesses. Tethered
Wonders, perceptions of the lens, veined, suited in appearance; perceptions
Of an ancient mountain’s bile or gleaned from its seed, diamonds from the sun
Are death to those who negate. Just so say Prophets in the Sealed Writ or sung
Beyond capacities of the ear may hear when spoke, pronounced and uttered
Only once in pre-existent natural form. Seized,
the Word is cut and polished in the tailings of the present.
The Holy Word defines the substance of the raw material of divine parsimony
cut and spliced in sacrifice, rendered gems from ore of human ignominy.

“The Ignorant Mentality”

“The Ignorant Mentality”

The ignorant mentality finds
Exception to what’s proposed;
And closed and indisposed  to close
Inspection of the wound; then, proud philistine,
Contemplate well a rude rebuttal. Adamant,
Implacable will thus obfuscates against a so great a gift that’s offered.
Choose! righteously hold the line before a clearly proffered
Simple sacrifice. Come quickly, then, in heat; attend the chant
Of legions gathered in and for themselves. Relief is found
In ready fevered fractures formed by litigants in lethal
Indignation born not at all from wisdom. Withdrawal–
Now impossible–follows. Fissures and a fury in the sound,
Will attack and sack the messenger, who, barring flight
Becomes the consequence of his own eleisons in the night.
But summon courage in the circle,
Friends. Steps in blocks of four thrice struck
Upon an annual medallion redux,
Minted first within an ancient cycle
Of the whole of mammon and reignited
In the physic; seasons separate are reunited
As the central orb permits but unrequited
In the mind’s most jaundiced eyes. The abstract’s now cited
By the palm’s cartographers who say this Spring’s
Returned, but we know better.
Yes, of course, he’s seen these letters
From the Concourse on High, but in the ring’s
Obverse, so, too, are signs.
The messages were ever slightly

Smudged in careless transit while the seals were never worn so tightly.

“It Has Always Been”

Ship

“It Has Always Been”

It has always been a stretch between the litigants,
the overweening permanence of existence in this world
collective notwithstanding its apparent docking at the end;
the coming to port, the arrival at the point of destination,

the fallacy in any journey, the absurdity of certainty
that would it were not so whether for the curse of hubris
in despair or consummate glory in humility,
arrivals and departures cannot avoid one another,

and if not pronounced in every hour even if extended
blissfully to days and weeks, possibly to months
and to what is deemed to be a lifetime,
still, natural siblings must hold conscious council

with one another no matter what the gravity
or length of either sojourn or the journey home.
All despair is intoxicated with this wine;
all joy suffocates if the cup is drained.

Michael_Zeno_Diemer_-_Ship_at_Sea

…painting at bottom by Michael Zeno Diemer…

“Transitions”

“Transitions”

Transitions, troughs and floodgates
Swell before the crops are in;
Appointments rough-hewn begin
From centuries’ wealth in soils. He hesitates.
Lamentations of the classic farmer’s touch
Bestowed on something that was expected
Neither to outlast the seed nor tip the balance but once elected
Audit landscapes from the past and serve the sudden rush as much
As circumstance permits a well to gush and choose another path.
He was a teacher; was, and no doubt
Will continue to apply the torch to oils of souls
Whose mission is to lance the boils of youthful wrath
And freely prime the wells of mass miscalculation of the myths,
The babbling and cursive powers of hubris and its shibboleths.

…a revision of the poem…”Swept Aside”

…a revision of the poem…

“Swept Aside”

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