“I’m Not So Cavalier”
I’m not so cavalier, you see; I’ve heard, I’ve lent a hand and bowed
To acid rains and lurid wastes and elements stacked,
Deranged, spewed, sprawled and rearranged, and I’ve attacked
And married Buicks, Saabs, and Fords and I’m not so very proud;
My many homes are bought and sold with not a thought
To living in them. Mine eyes have seen the glory of a myriad of pulpits,
Certified accountants and a pride of priests whose pious culprits’
Books are cooked in scarlets, blood-gelt orders in their sanctities taught
To serve the venal equinox between the self-sequestered fetid clans
In every land who have no ticket, pass, nor ever need to walk
When they can ride, nor ride when they can darn the stocks
That fuel the jet streams’ markets, currencies, and family plans
To lengthen gas lines leading lambs to houses built more or less on sand;
Three coins tossed in every fountain is the trend
while the Fed and Humpty Dumpty transcend The Wall Street Journal briefly
just before they hit the fan.
Posted in Humpty Dumpty, Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Materialism, Poem, Poetry, Sonnet, Sonnets
Tagged anti-Green, Ecology, Economics, Economy, End Times, Green, Humpty Dumpty, Lyric Poetry, Market, News Media, Sonnet, Sonnets, Strife
“There Is a Oneness”
There is a oneness in God, one sea, one reality
In all exigencies, and so it is that we may be forgiven
And promptly forgotten for want of pure imagination. In vanity, they who live in
Fear of all things independent, who recoil from continents bound by seas
Of visions circumcised in shibboleths; those who fear their kind and its Holy See
Of horror, elevated as the Host in the cacophony of leisure’s golden trumpets
on the page or silver screen; to these much is given, these perpetually driven.
Spent, they prefer the image of the albatross, the unicorn, what thrives in
Flight, in tears, now realised now immortalised in manuscripts of fantasy;
These of fact, these of fiction hoard seats at the banquet by dint of circumstance
As they huddle together in nights of simile and metaphor; laurels, the oak leaves
Crown their worried brows with scales of vicarious habit born of years of ease,
Forsworn by tedious cloning of the suns leaving nothing to life and chance.
Given, then in specious time or choice, both now please
Their phatic lioves, emphatic in numbers yet limpid in the slightest breeze.
Posted in Fear, Fear of God, Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Materialism, Oneness of God, Oneness of mankind, Poem, Poetry, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets, Truth
Tagged Delusion, Existence, Illusion, Imagery, Imagism, Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, Poem, poetry, Relationships, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets, Tragic Flaw
Largesse and the aim is high, perhaps, but not so high
That all the world concedes the call
To such extremes as we must attain and not at all
So equally ordained to reach the loftiness of skies,
But weighed on level grounds prepared
To live and die within a tapestry
That may or may not be cause for apathy
Or ecstasy in swelling ranks on alabaster stairs
To the banks of realms we cannot see. Not first
Nor last among all men are those who line
The avenues, the pedestrian mists of teeming mankind
Spread as swarms in clouds throughout the world. Minds
And hearts cannot address themselves to what will
Out in time, that every man deserves this sterling word,
This honour due to he who lives in spite of the absurd. He sees the world before him plump and peopled, stacked,
Ranged, catalogued, rough-strewn about on plates
Afloat on oceans of such magnitude that dates
And proper measurements are daily sacked.
He’s left the bilious tailings of the mind
To complaisant teachers who soon enough are caught
With nothing and even less in the deluge of what is taught
Is given breath for long. Knowledge blinds
When faced with fresh discoveries played
In such a manner that cataloguers pay
Homage to pernicious publishers whose veracity is weighed
In volumes, guarantees and lose disclaimers of the day
That follow close on what were tablets of stone but the night before.
There are no facts but loose allusions, illusions of the heretofore.
Posted in Age, Aging, Common man, Imagery, Imagism, Largesse, Lyric Poetry, Materialism, Poem, Poetry, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets
Tagged Age, Aging, Delusion, Double Sonnet, Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, Poem, poetry, Sonnet, Sonnets, Tragic Flaw
“Their Shadows’ Length in Sum”
And when the sun, this fire, this light is come,
These candles do not weep, nor do they bow,
Nor are they reckoned yet, nor are they now
The greater than their shadows’ length in sum.
These illumine but are surely measured lengths
In spectres cast than what is truly there;
Their worth cannot be noted in the glare
Of votive luminaries of weaknesses and strengths
Of all that is and all that seems to be; the candle simply is
And nothing more than this within the awe
And wonder of a finite image, vision twice enthralled
Within the view and viewer, nothing lost or missed
That in the night writes not riot in the heart drawn
From a paltry spark in the draining of a wick-bound dawn.
Posted in Candles, Dawn, Finite image, Heart, Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Materialism, Poem, Poetry, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets, Spark, Vision, Wick-bound dawn
Tagged Aging, Delusion, Illusion, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, Sonnet, Sonnets
Seeking solace in the subway’s plastic platitudes, I surmise
An early death and probabilities that all there is is timely. Signs are rife
With squawking cell phones, stifling squadrons of flies and gnats consigned to fill the gaps, to circumscribe the flock; their unsuspecting victims arrive in time
To read the endless blur of burrow walls that pause for stations only; rumours then, of course, but certain and solidified as petrels fly
By aimlessly along the Green Line markiing obsolescent ends
In the beginnings of the day. They gather, confirmed and reassured
Here and there that no one rides to measure
Worth and distances in terms of métro signs and buskers’ stipends
Yet I clearly heard today the sound of earphones braying,
“Gather and surmise,
Repent! The End is nigh, and all pneumatic trails point to promises that do not die but lead all living mothers here to wail”
Had I loitered one more mile along that lethal middle rail,
I surely would have witnessed what I sometime knew, that clouds
Of youth and smoke of elders’ ozone cannot read the billboard omens
scribbled randomly across the métro seats and tiles,
That here below all testimony fades before the printer’s ink has dried.
Legacies of passion bred are anger, isolation,
Milks and agèd wines of absolutes, the rites of self-pronunciation
Bridled only by the use of an abacus and an eager congregation
Of admirers, sycophants whose impatience as a disposition
Renders plaudits based in raw consensus and the mass;
Spores of imitation multiply in the moonbeam’s registration
As in the wonders of a single drop, all satisfaction
Grounded not so much in what is there, but crass
Exaggeration of importance brewed
From natural focus and the power of digits in a queue
Eliminating all that lies outside the droplet’s view
Of unabated force of arrogance in a living stew.
Take away the copyright, the licence, and the chit,
Remove the barriers, and all that’s left of passion is the writ.
Its spectres gathered inward from the months and years ahead.
I know my place in all of this and know it’s not beside my bed
But there among the orphaned and the dispossessed
That I address my prayer along the paths on which all crawl. Bred
To this and to the refuse and the residue of banquet halls,
I am a herald of the many visions only barely heard or weakly dreamed.
In times like these it is from these I must be weaned: we address what seems
And leave the rest to chance. We bear cacophony within these stalls
And mask what’s left in history. Newborn luminaries here within my candle’s
Tower’s stout enough, will take the memory and melody through the thick
Of youth, the middle primes, and then, alas, no further. Though the wick
Be bound in massive waxen walls, the stand and handle
Well secured, today I am remembered and remember well the wounded womb
From which I came, and seek for nothing less than this within tomorrow’s tomb.
“Who Tolerates the Touch”
Who tolerates the touch of palm and fingers
Triggers of the tympanum’s lover’s voice,
The involuntary arch of eyebrows, that choice
Of recognition dresses doubt that lingers
Yes a while on what once was until it reconfigures
Long enough to serve the summons, reaction’s invoice,
Undesired but necessarily what is required; a void
Is not an option to the unbelieving mind. Ligatures
Every particle seeks are sealed with audience, weight,
And purpose in immortal cycles that begin and end
In memory, its regeneration suspends
Its own belief and use within its measured time.
For him who wills cannot resist nor hesitate.
Posted in Addiction, Antithesis, Appearances, Balance, Change, Chaos, Cycles, Desire, Distraction, Experience, Fate, Generations, Love, Lust, Materialism, Memory, Mortality, Negation, Particle, Passion, Pathos, Poetry, Relationships, Samsara, State of Being, Survival, Synthesis, Thesis, Time, Tragedy, Tragic Flaw, Zeitgeist
Tagged Age, Aging, Lyric Poetry, Sonnet, Sonnets
…painting by Kyle Ragsdale…
“The Balm of Blame”
The balm of blame relies on shame
While fools amass in cloisters; clowns, their terrors
Grouped in choirs as with fires sired in hell. Errors
Come as natural as breathing, while their eternal flame
Afflicts the every man, and cannot be concealed.
How, then, does the crown not fit
As when in the thick of smoke and mirrors bells peeling
Not from above or from the side but fulgent, sealing
Heaven’s signs in record time, the eyes, the gait, the every gesture
Bold prophetic witness as the Eastern Prophets’ Word is echoed in the West,
Their lights snuffed out in increments that underline the tortured tests
Of wills and structures of the Occident in bulging bank accounts–sequestered,
Belching fallacies–metered by the hour that all but scream for want of closure?
Yet, the line is long and longer for ambient mists of deft exposure.
They will not hear the key left limp at latch–the entrance
Or the exit; they cannot see the rising
Or the setting of the complaisant star, its restive analysing
Of the land and sea at midnight, the telling glance
Of creatures who stalk their prey in the foyer of the edifice;
The temporary seating exceeds the number of the tombs is evidence
Enough that in all creation few defy the mirage; the fence
That must divide the space above a phantom’s presence
Of this planet from the gaping hungry star-filled void
Of all that passes for imagination.
Connoisseurs of matter taste
Nothing but the venom of the fang in hours of self-defeating waste:
That posits purpose in pursuit of the outrageous, they speak of decoys
And photographs in place of simple memory and obsolescent joy.
Weep for they whose righteousness consists of lawlessness and celluloid.
The sardonic moon signs mayhem and havoc to the eyes
At rising, a potent rift between what is and what only seems
To be; and we, its tools allow for fancy as it deems
Fitting to be in the mystical early patterns of the evening skies.
How meet and seemly even for the dedicated mind
To allow such flights of visual savagery to arrest
All logic, moving as it does to attest
What truly isn’t there at all. How like denial, refined
Anticipation in the night of our modernity
To grant such majesty, so great an urgency
As the behemoth moon of our imagination cedes
Nothing to the truth but flaunts its strange lucidity
In increments that must eventually crown itself the liar.
Fully risen, there it is what begun must in turn expire
shedding neither light nor fire.
Posted in Appearances, Bank account, Bells, Blame, Celluloid, Closure, Connoisseur, Decoy, Denial, Double Sonnet, Duplicity, Ediface, Error, Everyman, Fallicies, fancy, Fire, Flame, Havoc, Heaven, Hell, Imagination, Joy, Key, Land, Liar, Logic, Magesty, Materialism, Mayhem, Memory, Mirage, Modernity, Moon, Occident, Poetry, Prophets, Samsara, Sea, Star, Tomb, Waste, West
Tagged Existence, Lyric Poetry, Sonnet, Sonnets
“Evidence Is Impertinent”
Evidence is impertinent; knowledge the more so;
What’s required’s what’s requisite:
It is better to receive than to give, to sit
Than walk, rations and stations notwithstanding–to know
The knave to belief, both but seed–deposits
Less for harvest than to overthrow the field itself that profits
Nothing from the plough and even less remaining fallow.
What does a man whose fame is months
Who reigns by grace from goods of tumbleweed
And driftwood, the work of artisans and tradesmen,
The bane and afterbirth of artists and doctors of acumen
Whose words and produce are the suns
Of circuses and media feed and prostitutes of avarice and greed?
Posted in Arts, Cynicism, Duplicity, Folly, Greed, Hustlers, Materialism, Mediocrity, Muses, Negation, Pantheism, Poetry, Samsara, Seed
Tagged artisans, artists, Lyric Poetry, Sonnet, Sonnets