“That We Fall Is Natural”
That we fall is natural; that we rise, elephantine.
The elemental flow of oceans cannot be
A thing so scripted in the stones nor greater than it seems,
But ever-striving, ever-writhing, natural peaks declining,
Irreconcilable in their conniving, twice and more desired falling
In or toward Themselves, the Mothers of all Waters, yes. Rivers
Die and are reborn at once–revivals in their streams and noted divers
Books, catalogued as tributaries and watersheds–calling
And recalling from a moonstruck swollen pinnacle
even to the least and last most holy drop.
Confucius* said it long ago that greatest glories
Come not so much in never falling, but in histories
Of revision, sublimes in tectonic prodigies at the mountaintop.
Little wonder save to mortals what the matter is;
energy is the bright selective gleam
Of noble souls who
like the stream, the river, the brook,
must at last rejoin the sea.
*Confucius B.C. 551-479
Posted in Age, Change, Death, Evolution, Existence, Fate, Hope, Imagery, Imagism, Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Nature, New Year, Ocean, Poem, Poetry, Providence, Samsara, Sea, Sonnet, Sonnets
Tagged Age, Ecology, End Times, Evolution, Existence, Imagism, Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, Nature, Poem, poetry, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets
“So Much for Boiling”
So much for boiling when all you’ve got is consommé,
The elements somehow loosed in energies retaining simple dreams of taste.
What choice remains in substance but salt and what might otherwise be waste,
The dregs, the missed but lucid memory of sustenance, and come what may,
The season and antidote to cynosures in broth, a sinister and momentary stall
Of versions of hopes and yearning, long;
The bottom line, the lyrics and the melody of the latest song.
These tides succeed and then recede, retaining all
The borders’ former ramparts in its wake—deposits, dross,
Perhaps from this or from the other shore.
No need to heed the warning of the tides
Nor shift in continental plates; the worship of the ides
Of any period are balanced in the ocean’s roar
While we live shiftless, listless in the lighter cusps
Of what once was and what this is while seeking, moving, touching
former mountains’ peaks reduced to nothing more than dust.
Posted in Change, Continental plates, Dust, Mountains, Ocean, Poetry
Tagged Aging, Existence, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, Relationships, Sonnet, Sonnets
“The Greatest Sanctuary”
The greatest sanctuary saves, preserves, and seals
The last and latest treasure; final fears are entertained
And in the end repeat themselves penultimate in any age
That’s spent with nothing left to say. The morass of months reveal
Themselves as names, the briefer moments cast in isinglass,
And hung above the door as witness to emotions borrowed to defend
The journey of both giver and what it is that’s given–split ends
That pass at times for purity of desire. Consternation, then, at last
Effaced, those few peas remaining within the pod will spend
Themselves while outward bound to what is after all a dream
Or merely someone’s lunch. They groom together–the sheen
Is frayed–delay is shame when every effort to confirm or to renew offends.
Reconnoitred, what were formerly evergreens
disclose themselves as deciduous devotions
That decry their former riverbeds as puddles, watersheds of desiccated oceans
That long since disappeared. Yes, we’ve seen this rain before
and now we see it every day;
Umbrellas up, umbrellas down, yet these expose
Themselves as useless as the refugees keep running, hoping, close
To bolting at the slightest sign of teardrops in their pain.
And what is gained in either case, the with
Or the without? The question here is moot.
Is moisture poison to the man who values silks in suits,
Or to the woman bound to shake her fist
At every incident that renders hairspray a total waste?
But these are questions for the sophist’s notepad and fodder
For prevarication while what is relevant to the journey, a blotter
For veneers of life are disclaimers and discounts which so easily make haste
To negate what is evident in a common tin of oysters or a jar of lox:
The end of every one of us is six feet under in a box.
Posted in Age, Aging, Death, Denial, Desire, Double Sonnet, Dreams, Ends, Estrangement, Illusion, Lust, Marriage and Divorce, Negation, Ocean, Pain, Passion, Poetry, Silk
Tagged Lyric Poetry, Sonnets
Pain, and the Pacific has had its way, so many tears;
The summons; natural deities, rushing devotees of Southern waters
Join discords of the North and oceanic rivers feed because the glaciers falter.
Nai-no-Kami will no doubt dance. She needs not move far while fears
Of millions, fields and city gates are prey with every passing day.
We view their sighs and gestures, calmly watch and lunch on wonders
At the thought and misery that gorges on the plunder
Of laboured mountains duly noted while we dine. Mere screens relay
Our sympathies as surrogates before us mouth the news in bites, remote,
Confounding empathy of others with our own, and with no more thought
Than is required to vote or tolerate yet another tired announced affair
Convinced we’ve performed our sacred duties. Filtered sage suggestions float
Between commercials; who is dead, and who is dying?
We resign ourselves to daily schedules, and retreat
To mindless repetition, and support of yet another public brawl,
and trash what cannot be understood, change the channel and eat.
Posted in Compassion, Existence, Gods, Media, Mortality, News Media, Ocean, Pain, Poetry, Tragedy
Tagged Lyric Poetry, Nai-no-Kami, Pacific, Sonnets
“What Cannot Cool”
…the Japanese dilemma…
What cannot cool and wills it so is justice.
Love notwithstanding, volition’s stains
Whether long nor short are perennial, the certain gain
And loss, effusion and delusion of yet another solstice;
A cosmic second and another generation lost amid an armistice
Between the running ulcers of epochs that in the very quick of veins
Within the seas and continents bind mortal immortalities reducing rains
To harbingers of cancers from the rivers to the ocean floor: avarice
In nature is moot. So much rests on that noble brow,
The cut of cheek to chin and back again, upward the temple
Blessed with grace and manifest declension of the rib
And thigh of Adam, though the eyes of life within the crib
Were opened before he rose, resigned to visions of the sacred cow
That cannot justify a mother’s milk: behold the man and tremble.
Goliath. Behemoth, yet my father’s eyes do not behold me.
Barren straits above the line of all my cisterns’ shores,
Are crystals, porous with litanies of creatures, future seas of worlds not born
Arraigned in prisms’ prisons to attract some feeble ray that only seems
To please the rhythms of the heart but never rule as I am warmed
By something undistilled and unrehearsed from memory; my advice
Is hoary white. Humoured as it is, it will suffice
To welcome both the fool and hardy in the undertow. I perform
What cannot be foresworn by an incident’s huddled worry on shores
Of continents and isthmuses where serried islands are but guests.
I might have ruled the whole but in the toss, the test
Of prophesies and fortunes were never kissed by either die.
I am content, it seems, to be and do no more
Than surfeit in the light of endless sapphires, blood to commerce,
Storehouse of the wealth of eons lost, to rise in glory and then disperse.
“And Here No Longer”
And here no longer plaited crops but frozen glass,
Gomorrah’s rain, futures smothered in the afterbirth of the past.
We know the weight of choice beyond reason, pray
In praise of being one, the two delayed
Perhaps, but now ignited fires reign in oceans, now in suns
Descending, rising; spirits disturbed as lights will run
Without the need of fuel, pregnant threats, caustic threads, extensions
Of the final verdict taut upon the greater Looms. The world’s inventions,
Illuminations vie with the shadows of delusion unconcealed.
As nations made one, Gaia’s children, sentiments sealed
In cycles, warning in the warming, swarming singularities, these,
The consequences bear witness to the darkened brilliance in the breeze
And mighty ocean currents; the price of greed and glory in disgrace.
Tonight no innocence replies nor can mere mortality be totally eraced.
Posted in Cycles, End Times, Gods, Mortality, Ocean, Poetry, Reality, Samsara, Zeitgeist
Tagged Ecology, Gaia, Lyric Poetry
“So Easy to Feel”
So easy to feel, to seem to be, to know at last propinquity
As if the light declares the coming glory of the sun at daybreak
Redundant. But as that disk cannot be seen for more than seconds, I take
That certainty of coming morning within me,
Knowing that midnight’s richest prize in ivory
Is forever fixed as is the station of the sun; the moon an intimate
In someone’s flight, perhaps, but even so, as she reveals herself in states
And phases never hers, agitation gains nothing in the motion save in memory
And affectations of the sea within me–force upon another force,
Measured consequence of a functionary that renders boundaries
Of continental pride and the ocean’s doors
Cast aside in the riot of the tides, a natural stampede, no more
Than thresholds of natural accident, the stream and river’s course
Now rising, now again a swelling to apostrophes, eternal inertia born of gravity.
Posted in Change, Destiny, Existence, Experience, Fate, Image, Imagery, Imagism, Immortality, Isolation, Lyric Poetry, Midnight, Moon, Night, Ocean, Poem, Poetry, Samsara, Sea, Sonnet, Sonnets, Sun, Tides, Universe, Walls, Wisdom
Tagged Age, Double Sonnet, Existence, Imagism, Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Poem, Relationships, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets, Tides
“If Not Here and Now”
If not here and now, then when and where?
The elephant’s tusk and dust, his meaning clear
Declares himself in certain urgencies that do not register as fear,
But majesty and certitude. The principals are everywhere
And conscious. If the elixir is time, the air,
And place are so much the less to fetter atmosphere
And periodic lethal lethargy of spirit; the ear
Picks up on sentiments as rust in all spare
Moments scattered through the memory just as in a sonnet
Are the simple markings from the cradle of a song, an anthem,
A recapitulation both of majesties and wonders in multiples of destination.
These, the badge and banner of everlasting journeys in the transformation
Of expendables of bones and rust to revolutions common to a comet
Passing or yet another planet. Moons and ancient debris set as gems in diadems
Of one split second or another in a galaxy of infinities meander through
The vision of an ancient past where all of us were born to where we are in time.
The simplest observation of bodies flowing freely in the rhyme
And rubric of schisms in the patterns and their respective rhythms, the pathetic rue
Of children in the greatest nursery whose impatience in the queue
Performs its duty. Patience; patience. We can but climb
The mountain or sink beneath the weight of mortality’s alpine
Shifts above and all within the conduits of ocean’s currents and the flue
Of continents through their weathered valleys that were sometime seabeds,
Countless peoples, nations, all that came before their caves
Were lit and shamans daily doodled on their walls
The wisdom of their age in the scrawl
And odd simplicity of children just before they go to bed
Or toddlers in the bathtubs blowing bubbles making waves.
Posted in Astronomy, Change, Double Sonnet, Elephants, Evolution, Existence, Fear, Image, Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Moon, Mortality, Nature, Ocean, Planets, Poem, Poetry, Providence, Samsara, Sea, Sonnet, Sonnets, Universe, Walls, Zeitgeist
Tagged Double Sonnet, Elephants, Existence, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, Poem, poetry, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets
“The Whale’s Eye”
The whale’s eye, the elephant, the gaze of tenderness in magnitude; schools
Of jack and halibut, determined unities in seas so deadly, so submerged,
The albatross so elevated that only vague inadequacies emerge
To name their realm–Jet Stream, Gulf Stream–moving gravitas in spools
Payed out in skies and seas and threads
of all things lesser and greater in between.
Spied within the miniscule lens of a single spot,
The seeming millions merge as catalysts for the clot
And in an instant, a wondrous restoration, healing,
Growth, and reproduction or yet a dissolution of all parts
Unto death, itself. A familiar spirit in an alien world will gaze in disbelief
Or then again in helplessness as ocean’s depths are stained, relief
No longer found in plunging to the deeps; restrained, their denizens depart
And reappear with regularity in the stratosphere
and while the deeps declare
The silent matters of the universe enthralled,
we just stand and stare.
Posted in Existence, Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Nature, Ocean, Philosophy, Poem, Poetry, Sea, Sonnet, Universe
Tagged Ecology, Emotion, Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Nature, Poem, poetry, Sonnet