“Sans Settling of the Sum”
Sans settling of the sum, no silent night;
The cold and darkest midnight, no brightest sun
Regained upon the freshness of a morning run
From first awakenings to the duties of the light.
Sans route and paths to shorelines, fishermen
Cast no net nor fruit upon the table there
Beneath the candle and the moonbeam; no joyful stares
Of wide-eyed eager mouths to take the bread, no beds
For doting families there to cradle and caress the children;
No willing intimacy in loving parents, no hopeful news.
And yet, of course, comes danger from the sea,
The stormy petrol cries in certain seasons that must be
Harbingers of hurricane and trial, what we choose
To call the birth pains in a loving mother: nature in herself brings waste.
Her ends must come before beginnings, her gifts but ballast tossed in haste.
Posted in Birth, Birth pains, Danger from the sea, Hopeful news, Hurricane, Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Moonbeam, Nature, Poem, Poetry, Sea, Sonnet, Sonnets, Stormy petrol, Waste
Tagged Existence, Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, Poem, poetry, Sonnet, Sonnets
Silversmiths retrace the fire; sweats
In rivulets down brawny arms, twin bushes
To the chin and through the valley of the pectorals; and he pushes
Gyres in the waters; determination defeats defect, fatigue, frets
Along the instrument mould the
shining of a gentle mind’s design,
Undone, the fist and fingers as hammers in the process
Till the thing that was not is and what little rest
In thought becomes the thing, itself, the line,
A cut above a cusp between inspiration
And its final destruction. Destination, oh! the beauty of the thing
Will guide his hands securely and the synthesis, the ring
Of something new or newer makes its run from mental registration
To obsession in the finishing and glories to polish a wondrous sign,
A medallion of conception, some fine image formed of inner space and time.
Posted in Conception, Cusp, Defects, Destination, Destruction, Determination, Fatigue, Fingers, Fire, Fist, Frets, Hammers, Hands, Image, Imagery, Imagism, Inner space, Inner time, Inspiration, Lyric Poetry, Medallion, Mental registration, Mind, Pectorals, Poetry, Ring, Sign, Silversmiths, Sonnet, Space, Sweat, Synthesis, Time, Waters
Tagged Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Sonnet, Sonnets, Writing poetry
There are no lasting accolades for what occurs
Before discovery, precedents to concepts, antecedents to the rank of names.
Armies of delusions gather at dusk or dawn—semi-colons it seems—but the aim
Of all is change and nothing seems more real nor more absurd
Than that the sun simply is and continues to be. Perceptions, artefacts,
A vast compendia of condescending clues confound perfections
housed in all the usual places.
Conceptions rear palatial visions, rise and all but disappear where fear displaces
Inner sight and gainsays personal sovereignty. Look again and act
Upon a limpid canvas, more, a pristine marble so easily cut and again defaced
By innuendo or what pacifies the common view
of every art and all science in the debris of afterglow; if judged immortal,
What, then, of the beauty of a single rose reborn through centuries, millennia, yet reduced, detritus as investment in a single angry fist? The bridge and portal
Through which both eyes view and progress signs can never be erased.
Creation’s grace is testimony to the morning of eternity; oneness firmly grasped
Ensures velocity, immunity, and detachment from all that’s passed.
Posted in Age, Aging, Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Poetry, Samsara, Sonnet
Tagged Age, Aging, Change, Delusion, Emotion, End Times, Evolution, Existence, Illusion, Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, poetry, Tragic Flaw
Occam’s rasor, yes, perhaps, but what else is there
Between stepping-stones, zeniths, the nadirs,
Putting aside in-betweens, shafts of spears—
Another road less taken and that one trampled—toxic airs,
Steps that lead in either direction, fares
Compared to desiccation, dreams that disappear.
Sooner than later as choice replaces truth, fears
When hybris meets hamartia? Where tares
And thistles abound, rents, ashes, the cardinal numbers
Spread themselves among the ordinals and seem to sin no more.
Even so? What of these, the inevitables, these inescapable nemeses?
Step forward, then. Discover the reason for the second step; where emphasis is on the first. The second? A third? Awake, the final unction’s found in slumber; Asleep, the hours promise the penultimate hour, remembrances of the final door.
Posted in Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Occam's rasor, Poetry, Samsara, Sonnet
Tagged Emotion, End Times, Existence, Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, Occam's rasor, Sonnet, Strife, Tragic Flaw
“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