“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
Study marks all stars to bring a second truth to stand reenforced
By what the doctors know; to second guess
The odds, a capitulation of a second, a consolation prize at best;
To cheat, perhaps, or worse, to change the windless course,
A doldrum of ordination well before conception, even more,
Delight to undermine what primal motives strength
Of certitude command, a reprimand, the breadth and length
Of all creation guided as it were to win, to score
Beyond that something, this someone, those some facts greater
Than the product of a wizard or the clever second-hand
shuffle across the face of clocks and cosmic signs. A man,
A faculty of man, an energy—perhaps an enterprising satyr—
Quickening the insight and knowing just how much the gathering clouds
Have missed the point will gorge himself on fate, and blaspheme right out loud.
Posted in Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Poem, Poetry, Samsara, Sonnet
Tagged Delusion, Emotion, Existence, Illusion, Lyric Poetry, poetry, Sonnet, Strife, Tragic Flaw
Bahá’ís throughout the world gather this evening within the First Day of the Month of Asmá [Names]
“Double Sonnet in Honour of the Feast of Asmá [Names]“
Greatness, the maw and gulf of differences between
Recipients of names and the manifestation of the same
In full-blown sail, vain imagining; objective oversight’s the blame,
The ark in any given second. A constant stream,
The crown of transformation comes in time to weave
From strands of gravity the produce and press of what is never really seen.
Within the visible, a name resides, the hidden thread of dreams,
Confirmation of life and being—in bas-relief,
Or so The Buddha warned—the reliquary of lethal trust. Between the name
And its receipt abide the seeds of pernicious doubt and protestation,
Manifest but without form beyond all timely attestation,
More an emanation than anything in revelation. In every atom reigns
The distance and sweet velocities of change. The many tools
Of blind belief in Adam’s gift seek rest somewhere within reach of fools
Embracing blasphemy in luminous dichotomies, dilemma’s
Punctuation marks’ delusions born of natural mental sedition. Litanies–
The outward beads of faith and understanding–are crystals of epiphany
Drawn from rich deposits of deep enigma
In which mystery serves as providence and a farce of perpetual plebiscites.
Their greatest acumen is servitude bestowed
By human justice whose tragic flaw is banal integrity, whose goal
Before the cock crows thrice must beg the question of myriad rites
Born in mortal time like Sisyphus in spite of all he knew and knows.
And when denial and prayer are in arrears,
When needs and resignation outweigh a sum of means,
Words gone bankrupt erupt and deeds are stripped clean of fat and lean.
Perpetual hopelessness finds remission in an average skein of years
With all that overwhelms the truth at sunrise
In redemption in the simple phrase, “I’m still alive!”
Posted in Aging, Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Poem, Poetry, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets
Tagged Age, Aging, Double Sonnet, Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, poetry, Sonnet, Sonnets, Tragic Flaw
“By Day, the Toil!”
By day, the toil. Just so. At times the ache
Returns, but somehow, nightfall must come. Perhaps
It is the hour, or something in the newly evening breeze, but laps
Throughout the day are then for someone’s sake
Forgotten, and he simply sits before the fire,
Or there, outside beneath the bluer, richer hues
Of cares and harsher edges of desire
To carve, to whittle, to embrace a life at once recused
In poetry, metre askew with so little harmony, alone
Not so much in sparks, but in the riot of results.
He waves his hand and even owls listen; bolts
Of lightning in his voice again do not groan
But gently call to sit beside him in the light
Of distant days remembered in the call
to rest with him through the vanity of his night.
Posted in Age, Aging, Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Night writing, Poem, Poetry, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets, Writing
Tagged Age, Aging, Immortality, Mortality, Poem, Sonnet, Sonnets, Writing at night, Writing poetry
“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.
Posted in Bethlehem, Caesar, Christmas, Christmas Season, Civilisation, Double Sonnet, End Times, Herod, Holy Land, Hubris, Imagery, Imagination, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Magi, Materialism, Nazareth, Night, Poem, Poetry, Ptolemy, Pyrrhic Victory, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets, Walls, Wise men
Tagged Bethlehem, Christmas, Christmas Season, Double Sonnet, End Times, Herod, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Nazareth, Pain, Poem, poetry, Ptolemy, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets, Wise men
Order comes to counter what’s been settled
In the extra room. Chaos speaks: eyes today
Stray south to storms in brew, but thoughts at play
Are not contiguous. Reminder! kettle’s
On, and minutes from the inspiration,
Coffee, and that special toast
I’d meant to have with friends.
No, there’ll be no invitations sent
Today, but in these simple transportations
Warm reminders to the nose.
Seize the season, sit back, smile, and savour
Silence in the afternoon and windblown flavours
Wafting in like ghosts of days long petrified—the rose,
For instance, the night I found that message taped to my front door.
I tossed the flower on the table and read the note right there on the floor.
Posted in Age, Aging, Chaos, Coffee and toast, Imagery, Imagism, Kettle, Lyric Poetry, Nostalgia, Poem, Poetry, Rose, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets
Tagged Age, Aging, Autumn, Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Relationships, Sonnet, Sonnets
“But I Have Heard”
But I have heard the most disturbing news that’s troubles
Waters in pools of endless strife and Bethesda’s all too chronic pains.
These! malignant vines, stinging Stygian lines injected through the veins
And made to order on the thought of natural patterns formed of stubble,
Kneaded, twice redoubled, swaths of circles in the crops, alien to all I know
And only hinted at in mild sporadic phatic comic conversations
Minted in the teacups of late night radio listeners, ejaculations
From the ever-ready savants hoarding hours in the climax and the show,
Recurring flotsam leaving baffled masses in the night. On review,
There comes a newer, fresher definition, the specious form and image
Of the natural spectre of the fiend that pays no homage
To the needs of Êblis, Cain, or any of his crew, but centers in the purview
That displaces all philosophy among the latter Philistines while Abel’s told
Rapacious angels suck the spirit nigh to death of any living soul.
Posted in Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Poem, Poetry, Samsara, Sonnet
Tagged Delusion, Emotion, End Times, Existence, Illusion, Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, poetry, Sonnet, Tragic Flaw
“A Single Digit’s Secret”
A single digit’s secret is the outward sign, then two; begin again
And all becomes nothing. Friction is the willing conversation of the elements,
Induction, intertwined interpolations; equity, evidence
Of heat expressed in growth and progress, in the main
A corner filigrée cut of crude credulity. Intelligence,
The Sculptor; magnificence, the Marble; both unknown
And evanescent. Potentials―crops and fruits―are honed
From ancient scans in sands and recipes, and what is sent
To press or put to bed eludes both novelty and ingenuity.
The poet knows what cycles reconnoitre in redux and La Ronde.
What will be has always been while what is seen
Is simple resurrection but with a difference, credulity
In the repeat, as when immortal rumours couched in histories set
Themselves as precedents while external forces hedge their bets.
Posted in Age, Aging, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Poetry, Samsara, Sonnet
Tagged Age, Aging, Delusion, Emotion, Existence, Illusion, Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, Separation, Sonnet, Strife, Tragic Flaw
“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