“To the Gods
They Were Just Apples”
To the gods they were just apples, not at all
The toy of choice and destiny for mortals, unrighteous manna for the fool.
Three golden globes wondrous formed from pools
Above—Asperges me, Domine—no, hardly, and, still it was that one such ball
Made purity of lust for he who blindly chose both certain menace and war.
And as effects of it–to altar boys absurd–embroidred that sad tale,
Strange to say the queue contains the other two; but truth cannot grow stale.
All seekers know that in addition to nonesuch beauty were two gilded orbs
As potent as the first, but put away, sequestered, perhaps installed
But never used or loosed as lean domestics in the fall
Of men and simian alike throughout all ancient mortal halls.
And to this day the two remain en extra, secure, moot within the walls
And great receiving rooms of one remote clandestine tower;
The first, unbridled Wisdom, saddled proudly on the second, naked Power.
Posted in Apples of Paris, Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Poem, Poetry, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets, The judgment of Paris
Tagged Apples of Paris, Beauty, Power, Wisdom
Painting by Jim Daly
“I Suppose I’m Moved”
I suppose I’m moved, and while we’re on the subject
I’ve thought about what you said the other night
About the greater scheme of things, the flight
From genes to the collective, the singular, the object
Without form or substance—and guests. The two united for the trip
Till death, it seems, ignite some familiar spark and they must part. It’s true,
The children see nothing much, no objective clue,
No lighthouse to indicate where they’re going as they slip
From one rude awakening to another; the challenge
Of success or failure, nagging hunger or sudden release
Within the same recurring toss. We then sleep, the keys
To what comes next appear as just another darkest accident in a collage
Awash, so loosely thrown together that the world would probably call it art.
Still, we never cease to seek our truths, our lights, our candles in the dark.
Posted in Age, Aging, Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Poem, Poetry, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets
Tagged Age, Aging, Emotion, Existence, Lyric Poetry, poetry, Relationships, Sonnet, Tragic Flaw
The audience of epiphanies in green
Crowns the brow and eyes as a single emerald.
So great a bending of the intersections, captured, held
Between the fingers or applied to the temple, harbinger of what may seem
To be a truth with absolutely nothing unnatural in the stream,
A common siren in calling to the seed of things to come, an eloquence
In concrete countenance what is today and future joy, the consequence
Of action filigreed with no attachment beyond the need of skill to redeem
A certain benefit; perfection’s living glance. Perhaps a useless ornament,
A thing revered, brought out to greet the light
And catch a glimpse of seconds in the hour, bright
And subtle richness conjured, a manifest adornment
Of my soul’s ocean against the scrim that is my naked palm:
A silent sentiment and evidence of more than
static lightning in an ancient psalm.
What was hidden for millenia is all right there on the table where you left it.
—Odd, but somehow sans the reading
I am aware that in the seedling’s
Notes are dangers; the ruby there beside it advises, “Keep it
Where it lies. Who prizes opaque lustre knows not every oyster carries gems
And while it might behoove me to investigate
This latest uninviting hostess tight within her shells, still what’s the going rate
For priceless pearls and an eternity
of fresh desire and its newly polished dividend?…
I cede the need to overcome the last and greatest disappointment;
Addressed in forced and anguished expectations on the spot
Of least resistance placing protocol and proper sequence bought
Above and well below the natural value.
I will not seize the gem whose predicament
Will always win. While yet here, the stone has greater value than what I take
To be mine own, but death devalues all currencies in the natural estate.
Posted in Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Poem, Poetry, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets
Tagged Existence, Lyric Poetry, poetry, Relationships, Sonnet
Joy! Is there an in between the rooms, the space,
Interpolated moments of what had always been attraction, snags
That could not be ignored? Bruises in subjunctive rags,
The memes of “just beyond” but well before the second race
That sat in apposition that as of yet
And probably never was apprised. Still well astride returns
For what was, in fact, a blister-burn
A meal gone bad despite precious preparation, set
Aside because she stayed too long that night.
And while she stalled the supper went too far
Beyond the call to matter for what was about to happen: purposes marred,
The banquet withered on the table, fallacies in candlelight
—Removed—to favour what rays in tandem breach in
Of sun and moon that frame the shadows of a single word.
Posted in Aging, Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Poem, Poetry, Samsara, Sonnet
Tagged Emotion, Existence, Lyric Poetry, poetry, Relationships, Sonnet, Tragic Flaw
“He Looks Away”
He looks away from all his eyes allow
Because he has so much to leave obscure—
And don’t we all at times!— by habit inured,
He’ll reveal a spark to whom he vows
To walk a space, and possibly as with a pride
Of poets. Level phrases here and there arrive
To aid him as he rails against the tide
In early evening; his soft protesting tug, a brief aside
To all who indulge him; does he think to bid
Us well in all our journeys, slightly off and odd
Within our minds while he applauds
His audience daily? To our faces thinly hid
Within his voice and avatar, he’s guessing as he tests
Available living icons, shibboleths, and all we would address.
…Painting by Carl Spitzweg…
Posted in Age, Aging, Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Poem, Poetry, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets
Tagged Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Poem, poetry, Relationships
“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
I am my feet, or my history tells me so;
My shins; dexterity amid the rocks reveal it may be true;
My thighs; their balance in distraction sees me through
Illusions at the level of the groin’s most pernicious foes,
Receptacles as voids in need of better news; and though
I am my mother’s navel, my father’s love left so many similar clues—
The evangel to what was otherwise ignored—that the view
In any given moment’s blocked. Here, then, my heart maintains its flow
In reasonable annuity, and I’ll be damned if I am weak,
But if you ask my legs, you’ll find a sometime potent posse,
Nothing else. My once proud pectorals could
Never act alone―as if they thought they should―
But laboured twice the time for heartfelt evidence
That given time I would succeed―
And so I have as I can plainly see.
I am my eyes whose rivals in the ears
At times have overcome the world and all its fears,
But though twice born view both here and our eternity
I see but vanity served that while I eat, I hesitate and feed
On noise and what is after all experience in arrears.
I am my mind; “Cogito!”— the mantra’s cadence shows as through the years
I’ve dined on fine receipts and tallies that what I meant most certainly should be
The outcome of all my powers to deduce a spark from what I’ve seen,
A truth in what I’ve done and glean from what I’m told I’ve been—
This, despite what I know I am,…but let that pass. I am
In fact conceit, itself, and in its place I stand
And where I sit and both but simple remedies to all I’ve gleaned:
“I am,” the Ancient Sage made replied, and “that I am,” shall be
a fleeting moment’s apostrophe to truth and not at all what I believe.
3:14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and He said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
Posted in Aging, Arrogance, Born again, Father, Feet, Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Mother, Navel, Poem, Poetry, Samsara, Shins, Sonnet, Sonnets
Tagged Age, Aging, Double Sonnet, Existence, Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, Sonnet, Sonnets, Tragic Flaw
Patterns, tedious to the casual connoisseur in callow love of circuses,
Whose aunts and uncles–convalescent cynosures–apply the ligatures
That best the daily bread but adds nothing to the liquor but signatures
The appliqué, the seams and borders of mere circumstance,
And pomp of simple disingenuous serendipity; floral blooms of in between,
And on the other side; propinquities of wider yielding needs
In creeping things, rewards of sweat well past the age of puberty. Hollow reeds
Of adolescence are careless where they land ever corresponding with obscene
Displays of natural righteous rage to opportunities of eternity and propagation.
It is just so with common events as well those in military congregation:
Universal laws claim exclusive rights to the infinitive in any conjugation
Of principles set down by God knows what subjunctive subjugation.
Witness, then, in every accident the circumlocution of the spheres
With what flowers, tadpoles, insects, and homilies revere.
Posted in Age, Aging, Imagery, Lyric Poetry, Poetry, Sonnet
Tagged Age, Aging, Existence, Lyric Poetry, poetry, Sonnet
Hamlet asks if she is honest, if she’s fair;
The question does perplex the lady staring
At him while it happens that she’s wearing
His improprieties, while it happens on the stairs;
He frequents passages in what is advertised as home.
Still the question’s moot, Ophelia has no real idea
Of what it’s like to be a thing of less than beauty cursed; she’s a
Little foreign to the notion that one roams
Beyond the confines of what is truest north—
There are but two poles proffered by Gertrude as her husband’s only clues
And north must be somewhere near the stove,
Her safety just beyond the storage bin that holds the spoons and forks―
No, she’ll pass on both the question and his gifts to what’s beyond the arras;
Rich gifts do not wax floors, nor is this prince so careless. She’s seen the banks,
Below, the river’s malcontent; above,
the winds’ reeds’re resonant
With restive cycles in all those reasons. So many eyes intent
On recognition of what’s lately seen when all is rank.
Still Hamlet gathers evidence back and forth along the way. Her prince questions nothing honed from stationary life;
He does not own a life whose questions never fade
Remaining here but seconds in his needling days
Of endless desert silences in a crowd or in audience to an empty city’s sirens.
That one is here implies that everyone else is there along the far horizon
Beyond the accidental mistaken substance dreams and death. Ophelia slept,
No mystic talisman comes to thwart the fall; His promise he has kept
To weed the present neglected fallow fields and lighten pressures of neon nights.
In his peerless flight is knowing nothing of this life and spending his days in sporadic search for what in death poor Yorick must have felt.
Now get you to my lady’s chamber, and tell her, let
her paint an inch thick, to this favour she must
come; make her laugh at that. Prithee, Horatio, tell
me one thing.
What’s that, my lord?
Dost thou think Alexander looked o’ this fashion i’
And smelt so? pah!
Puts down the skull
E’en so, my lord.
To what base uses we may return, Horatio! Why may
not imagination trace the noble dust of Alexander,
till he find it stopping a bung-hole?
‘Twere to consider too curiously, to consider so.
No, faith, not a jot; but to follow him thither with
modesty enough, and likelihood to lead it: as
thus: Alexander died, Alexander was buried,
Alexander returneth into dust; the dust is earth; of
earth we make loam; and why of that loam, whereto he
was converted, might they not stop a beer-barrel?
Imperious Caesar, dead and turn’d to clay,
Might stop a hole to keep the wind away:
O, that that earth, which kept the world in awe,
Should patch a wall to expel the winter flaw!
Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, ActV, Scene 1
Posted in Alexander the Great, Caesar, Death, Gertrude, Hamlet, Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Ophelia, Poem, Poetry, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets
Tagged Double Sonnet, Dreams, endless desert, Existence, far horizon, Illusion, Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Poem, poetry, poor yorick, Relationships, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets
Briefer images at dusk along the street and wonders
In me--who is that woman? Street lamps, yes! the moon
Or worse that slaps us both; tarnished, and in a tangent off some June
From long ago, memories in a travel log of time when I still blundered
Through the odyssey of all my fears and slumber seemed forever light,
The blush and dimming of the spots somehow pleasing to so many peoples,
Then, and still I stood to hit the queue to see her eyes.
Distilled prayer beneath the steeples,
Midnight trains and feeble seats in Greyhounds,
uses of the every highway dedicated to gemutlichkeit
And the momentary! More, a never-ending wanderlust and steam
To drain the festering boils of youth in rhymes of two dimensions:
Points from “A” to “B” to “C”, perhaps to “D”, and mention The here and there of this I saw or that within what dreams
Concealed in endless intercourse in the night and I so moth- like in the rites
Of great mahatmas in repose amid the golden spinning wheels and kites.
Posted in Age, Aging, Desire, Imagery, Lust, Lyric Poetry, Nostalgia, Passion, Poetry, Samsara, Sonnet, Youth
Tagged Age, Aging, Delusion, End Times, Existence, Illusion, Lyric Poetry, poetry, Relationships, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets, Strife, Tragic Flaw