Category Archives: Poem

“His Days In Office”

“His Days In Office”

His days in office draw him closer to himself;
He knows he’ll  finish what he long ago began,
And now? Well, now the dusts and sands
Sequestered in the hourglass run low, the shelf
Awaits, perhaps in this hall or on the other wall
Among the former Oval Offices eulogized
And honoured, and after all, who imagines perpetuity? No surprise
In this, and nothing to be done but heed the last election’s call.
He knows exactly what he’s  done, and he recalls
The early years when nothing hinted at the fall
Of institutions or what his fellows thought when one and all,
They outdid themselves before his very eyes. Wthal,
Their thoughts so tersely croaked upon the twigs of some fine November’s day,
Are odd reminders that values change, and curds dissolve in all that whey.

“Now Mark a Man’s Credentials”

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“Now Mark  the Man’s Credentials”

Now mark  the man’s credentials as he speaks
To pacify the greater numbers in the act
Within the sport of words, his only ammunition, the facts
Of light within his arbitrary audience. In this he cheats
Himself  and all that is of simplicity, the one
And indivisible beyond the Sadrat’ul-Muntahá, the point
By Whom the conscious constant cursive case of time appoints
Both upper and lower worlds and effortlessly runs
Within Itself this generations’s needs
Deposited, seeds of what will be in fields, in mountains locked,
And from which, freely, fire and ice withdraws their stocks.
Creation surely finds the end in deeds.
If in the breath there is not proof enough
To others witnessed, what is it to be
Amongst us all beyond mere mortal toil or immortal fee
And foils alike, these gems are simple stones.
And it is true that all have rights to speak?
If life is worth beholding to a saint,
Thus then reckon life worth living with no complaint,
A longer extended cut along the grain
For some; a sculpted verse, splinters carved, a life
In words of fine complexion for others while the knife
And chisel complete their commission in omission, again
In elimination to capture something safe,astounds,
Contraband of observation and objects more or less
For all the world in waiting; certitude’s with us,
My friend, in likelihood a likeness have they have found
A last and least messiah blindly plucked, jury duty in the crowd.
They must, if blind duty binds, expose the cloud
Above the clods whereon he sits uncrowned
By all but his delusion, angels’ muted corkscrews and horns
 Release the cork of new and untried bottles for every eye and ear to see
And hear upon the virgin bow of a ship which no one will believe
Is reason enough for this and one fine statue placed.
Gifted verses do not make the tale.
Ananias, lo! to you I speak in verse
To forsake this prophesy live or even worse.

Once

The only way to deal with an unfair world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion. –Albert Camus

***

Sometimes when I think how good my book can be, I can hardly breathe.

—Truman Capote

“Sans Setting of the Sum”

“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.

“Within”

Pieper_Invite

“Within”

Within proximity of the cavern sits the hortatory proclivity of the moment,
Illusory porch mouthed in rock―remedial tomb
Of things―both here within and there without this inner, upper womb
To manifest what it is to be fashioned with the weight of sentiment,
Centre, concentric circle, ever flowing water, external wave
Of casual and monumental passion. To the outward, toiling; inward, bound
Beyond addiction and the need of source, resource, sound,
Deceiver of the whole. So, too, are we the humoured and pleased
Along the way. So it is and continues to be the breath of reckless, ceaseless ease
Within a tethered bulk, discomfort in a sometime suit, garment
Knit within itself in gravity to objects in a firmament
Of space of yesterdays skies and spaces signed today; resigned, a race
And fulcrum, grace of instinct bound within Plato’s Cave imagines virtues
lit with but a glance within the Upper Room of Christ
Provide a circumstance of perpetuity no matter what the price.

…art at top by Joshua Pieper…

“Disconnect the Vowels”

antistrophe

“Disconnect the Vowels”

Disconnect the vowels, then.  Glory in what’s left.
Within a simple strophe leave
Judgment by the door. Wear no sleeve
No packaged thing to sign a sentiment or star the shibboleth bereft
Of common sense, urgent cause
For precious ointments long ago
Nonplussed and unfit for use. Justly, as it should, in isolated slow
Progress through generations, the hoary stories’ pause
As literary cusps on scrolls between cycles’ broader strokes
To stoke what it is we think we know, or what all know as lies.
The verdicts will, of course, disguise themselves as scripture in the eyes.
And do you think so handsome gilded spokes
Of wheels as cycles’ pillars, circumferences to cover centuries of tears
So fragile that words ascribed to Lear can touch the hearts and quell all fears?

“Just What You Meant”

“Just What You Meant”

Just what you meant is not too clear today
While all the world feels indisposed but then, aside
From that, it seems the effort to decide
To see must equal if not dwarf the weight
Of longing to be done with this and out
The door and down the street, and gone.
You might well ask what siren draws me out along
A path to worlds away from you, when the route,
The melody we felt, inevitable as the juggernaut of dawn
And all we pledged through pale eternities in this
Fresh day still shone. Together, a certainty that ruled those early mists
Throughout the early morning’s night, what had drawn
Us so close with lightning’s grease to both our spirits’ light?
Instincts lost left walls of thought, but in the end,
all actions dulled as the sun rose and both of us took flight.

“Make No Mistake”

choices1

“Make No Mistake”

Make no mistake, choices present
Themselves in simple lives’ pursuit of complex
Revelations to ignite a present circumstance; one reflects
On powers of the tongue, the joys of pleasant
Intercourse and periodic forays into conflict,
And again, the peace of simply being here or better, no more
Here than there and having no idea what for.
Knowing begs remission to be a common asterisk
On someone else’s ledger, or possibly a footnote
To the reason why it all came out this way.
But one decides not so very much on what
Must come to be as whether to acknowledge or withhold the vote
On what in fact is and settle on what of course exacts
A fee but is at best an accidental abstract or but a figment of a fact.

Bahá’ís throughout the world gather tonight and tomorrow within the First Day of the Month of `Izzat [Might]

strength

“Sonnet in Honour of the Feast of `Izzat’ or ‘Might’”

Judge well, judge fairly, judge the might of any man
In salutations there above it all, crowned, a name become a lyric,
A word in apposition to its legend; manipulated Pyrrhic
Hero, all ears offending, bending ciphers in the sand,
Commanding others in a fleeting circumstance with undisputed fame,
Raw powers granted for the sake of another hour, perhaps a day, gone,
Fossilised before the melody’s reached the page when so easily as on
A clouded noxious day, his specious honours clot, his reign
But vapours. What remains of yesterday’s effaced from buildings,
as from his body, plaudits once ubiquitous, become but shadows of the sun,
A nothingness distilled from arbitrary fruits of moot achievement
here and there among the shades. No lasting shame nor is there blame,
Nor action, bold distraction, no final satisfaction spent upon itself in vain
Parsed  from first to last so long as youth and strength sustain the every run
Through forgeries and fortunes. Judge this man when he is in the deepest well,
And buried sees his heaven while he knows he lives in hell.

“These Sonnets”

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“These Sonnets”

These sonnets do seem at times
Something like aspirins or vitamin C;
You know the old stock remedy
From doctors that used to say,
“Take two of these tonight
And call me in the morning.”
For me, at least, the effects of writing
And even reading some of them
Are much more potent than their actual content
Since life, itself seems to demand from me
In the ordre of any given day
Oof effects than the actual content of any twenty-four hour period.
It’s not so much what I did today, but rather that I was alive to do it.

“You Own the Year”

“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