Category Archives: Hubris

“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.

 

“Bethlehem’s Hours’ Mourn”

“Bethlehem’s Hours’ Mourn”

Bethlehem’s hour’s mourned, furtive glances northward toward Nazareth;
Veiled her expectations as soon enough her promised Son survives.
She knows that somewhere in between this king contrives
Within himself to build a wall. He practices precision; he does not guess.
He knows exactly what he wants, and from the East come
Three who only recently made queries round the campfires
‘Neath the skies beyond the Jordan. Casually they’ve inquired,
“What are these walls, and what the genesis of guns
And orchards plaited all along the shepherds’ run? Whose images are these,
And what is it they disguise, the vulgate for the people?”
Yes, they come, these three, adrift once again stalled between the steeples,
Barred, forbidden. Then again, their passage isn’t what it used to be.
They ask in vain and find the answers come as no surprise.
The king’s awake tonight; he’ll not fool the wise this time.

“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 borders of the pupil to occlude accents from a dream. The flow
Of images beneath the lids so often bound, so ever-weathered,
Couples with the muse, crown a cosmic wind of aromatic lustre in the ether,
A cloud—a simple afterthought of action forged in fires of hubris–either,
Lust or fear, pilots in the path of all dust: 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 heard 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 ores of human ignominy.

“Oh, I know”

“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.

“The Underside”

…dedicated to the many who wonder what’s become of all that is and where the bottom is…

“The Underside”

“‘The underside’ … it’s not just in tandem, ‘Once, it’s everywhere! … sigh …'”
And she was right. It seems the predilection toward
The animal appears where there is none; the tsunami’s force is froward
Where there is no place to go but straight to hell for all but those who fly
Or settle for a second-rate mortgage off the high road’s endless traffic.
And we along the shores of what’s become the greater sea who sit
And sign within ourselves no higher there, nor lower here, are aware of it:
There is no real rest from those who foment
Condescension to Creation, laced with lies
To trap the innocent, and revel in the vanishing point
Below the picture, well beneath the edges or between the joints
Of slender bones and tissues in the body politic; cries
Will rise for them and for their victims and their families,
The “taken”, “took” and “broken for which poets scribble homilies.

Once

“The tree outside the window taps very gently on the pane … I want to think quietly, calmly, spaciously, never to be interrupted, never to have to rise from my chair, to slip easily from one thing to another, without any sense of hostility, or obstacle. I want to sink deeper and deeper, away from the surface, with its hard separate facts. To steady myself, let me catch hold of the first idea that passes … Shakespeare … Well, he will do as well as another. A man who sat himself solidly in an arm-chair, and looked into the fire, so a shower of ideas fell perpetually from some very high Heaven down through his mind.”

The Mark on the Wall
Virginia Woolf
[1882-1941]

“Wife, child, brother, parents, friends…We come only to go apart again. It is one continuous movement. They move away from us, and we move away from them. The law of life can’t be avoided. The law comes into operation the moment we detach ourselves from our mother’s womb. All struggle and misery in life is due to our attempt to arrest this law or get away from it or in allowing ourselves to be hurt by it. The fact must be recognized. A profound unmitigated lonliness is the only truth of life.”

R. K. Narayan
[October 10, 1906 — May 13, 2001]
(shortened from Rasipuram Krishnaswami Iyer Narayanaswami)
The English Teacher

“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.