Category Archives: Poem

“Bethlehem’s Hours’ Mourn”

“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.

“Order Comes”

“Order Comes”


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.

“But I Have Heard”

fallacies

“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.

“To the Gods They Were Just Apples”

“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.

“I Suppose I’m Moved”

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.

“The Audience”

“The Audience”

 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.

“Joy”

“Joy!”

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.

“He Looks Away”

spitzweg-57

“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…

“Oh, I know”

“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.

“I Am”

“I Am”

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.
Exodus