Category Archives: Lyric Poetry

“Yes, of Course”

“Yes, of Course”

Yes, of course, it’s in the silences, the gaps; what isn’t there,
A kind of saving grace. Yes, it’s in the wrist and more, a second
Maiden voyage. The news announces daily the Titanic’s jocund
Journey redux, greater for revision less the ware
And less absorbing in the loss of souls from rarer thinner air
Brought faithfully to task but mind you nonetheless a reckoning
Within a construct; no! an edifice of remembrances within the seconding
Of resolutions that determines Elliot’s wave within the self-defining stare
Of relative modernity; but one tsunami in eternity amid the voids of space.
The promise of redemption’s found in balances of degrees
In praise of beauty in the sun spots’ mighty aura, the aurora in the fray
Of loose inebriating Northern Lights–try distraction while you pray–
Try the Northwest Passage in the making high above the Arctic’s former grace
Notes, rhythms in the writ, a metaphor in G, perhaps, but played in C.

“There was peace and the world had an even tenor to it’s way. Nothing was revealed in the morning, the trend of which was not known the night before. It seems to me that the disaster about to occur was the event, that not only made the world rub its eyes and awake, but woke it with a start, keeping it moving at a rapidly accelerating pace ever since, with less and less peace, satisfaction and happiness. To my mind the world of today awoke April 15, 1912. – Jack Thayer, Titanic Survivor

“I May Fast”

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“I May Fast”

I may fast from time to time but I will have my way on this and every day
Through matins in the news broadcasts and other phatic mine fields
drawn for the evenings that were formerly childhood’s greenest pastures.
Rising triumphs of élan in the latest Tahrir Square, the courtesy
of urban gangs and spores of tribal Libyan disasters,
Countless are the trenches, pits and pitfalls, splays
And watersheds, the concentrated concerts of twice-born
living peoples sharing wealth in every breath.
Billions, humanities howsoever here and there
within the outer and the inner spheres
Of feigned insurgencies of federated feudal laws―occult
to feckless millions in the West―there come such neo-modern seers,
More recent wizened feral stocks and bursaries
to serve the ends of both the many cursed and newly blessed;
Sharecroppers, landlords, purveyors of speculative imagination
festoon the gilded monarchies above the Persian Gulf. Oh, yes!
Here along these ancient oriental paths are pipes to play
And canvases on which to paint the now-naked past. Fiduciary aims may
Expose themselves within their pious domes of blue and marble blocks.
I’ll carve my own best
Misbegotten marks and credos leaving
fragments, chisels, well-worn Transylvanian stakes
For later souls to ponder while I gather what I can,
and as I am always early, posterity’s always late.

“Imagination Styles the Face”

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“Imagination Styles the Face”

Imagination styles the face that solves a thousand wrongs,
While no one’s guessing what’s behind the door.
Better yet, the portal to escape closes just behind him; gore
And all that glitter exposed, moments redux of the earlier morning songs,
Playground glories among the boys and toys, seasons to declare
His eminence–petulant and sulking–ever short of rule, ever cool,
Who stalks the school yard–recess, lunch, and after school.
And preys on younger lambs who cannot see nor dare
To think beyond the present teacher and the class
To one day leaving what was never meant to be
A permanent abode but stepping stones to what only seems
To be a day’s delay to graduation fantasy, and one more hall pass.
“The blame is his,…no hers! No theirs, but never mine,
so why should I remain behind the rest?
I’m not the only one!” he says,
“But, then again, I never meant to study, people!
I never meant to pass the test!”

“But If I Loved”

“But If I Loved”

But, if I loved, there’d be no stumbling here,
No word, no moment spent in canvassing;
No south-bound sound, no! no jaundiced ring
Tone, no telephone—assuming no fear
No understatement—pressures here applied
To maudlin tracings follow no trump, no expression
No! no consummation in the passive key,
No suppression
Of fact, no fire in hyperbole, nor just plain lies.
Then I’d be forced to die, or something close
To leaving if I could:
But, I’m not made to feel so good;
I only wish I were; and just suppose
I should,
I would.

 

“A Respite”

“A Respite”

A respite in the air today and news,
And down the chute comes something nice,
Some piece of fond assurance, the sweetness of advice
To justify past days and weeks of toil and views
Obscured by all that’s loud and cumbersome above;
Below, scenarios of arteries and paths
Through streets on seamless days. No dragons’ nostrils’ wrath
Knows no better than to lie between the wings of doves
Or gentle nestlings in the palms of all the psalms of fortune.
Today a gentle width in avenues and boulevards
And all the right-of-ways are opened wide, the gloss of plastic cards
In bank machines, the brighter melodies of shallow i-Tunes
Whistled in the mind on buses at the hour of noon.
A mystery witnessed in the heart, eternity cut short too soon.

“I Found the Little Girl Alone”

…recollection from a day of teaching some time ago….

“I Found the Little Girl Alone”

I found the little girl alone, a leaner ladybug
Forlorn and crying in the cavern of the Cafeteria quite late
One afternoon; she sat with lunchbox and an empty plate.
“What brings you here?” I said. She just shrugged,
And said she didn’t know. I asked if she shouldn’t be
In class, and would she like some help to find her way?
“Oh, no!” she said, and then a lengthy silence. “I have to stay
And hurt a while until I’m done!” To me
She looked so small so delicate, and worn, so “Why the tears?
“My best friend hates me, and I don’t know why.”
“Well, what, then,” made her think she couldn’t try
To ask her friend just what she’d done? “That,” she feared,
“Will make it worse! She told me she’s got another friend at home
And now she took back her ring, and I’m here all alone!”

…I managed to walk the little girl back to her classroom, and in she went apparently in a kind of daze.  A few weeks later, I saw her in the playground laughing and seemingly happy as a lark, but from that day forward to the day she showed up in my senior English class, whenever our eyes would meet from time to time in the course of years of crossing paths and there was always a kind of sobriety in her glance that expressed thanks for having heard her and again, for having never mentioned that afternoon again.

“I Have No Idea Who Told You That”

…a poem written some time ago…

“I Have No Idea Who Told You That”

You know, I have no idea who told you that,
But I can confidently tell you that your story’s old,
And if what you’ve said is true your anxieties will fold
So neatly, fit so sweetly in my pocket flat
Against the credit cards—abuse the telephone
A while, and leave me with it long enough to burn,
And on occasion, yes! a Tuesday afternoon, absurd
As it may seem, I’d love to see you sitting here alone,
With nothing else to do but tell me what
You think I want to hear, and I’ll be
Your mirror for the time it takes a tea
To make its bitter way from boiling hot
To tepid, and the distance of two cigarettes,
Before I’ve had enough, and leave with no regrets.

“What?”

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“What?”

What? could they not wait? Justice always outs in time;
What? since Abel, not enough blood? Soils do not leave
Themselves a choice in these matters; mothers grieve
As doctors weave solutions; where once their limbs aligned,
They are no more. And, for a bowl of soup this Esau
Yields at ought his heritage? Who isn’t fooled in the dimming eyes of Isaac
In the aftermath? Reconciliation, you say? Can a Caveat
To destiny be forgiven, and where the wound is raw
Can any skin but the tougher scars be grown from what is sown?
And when the perpetrators contemplate their last actions,
The rupture of the children; the bodies, the lasting hideous imagination
Of that day along the Ides of April for which no religous idyll can atone.
O Crimea now, O Syria then, O America ever vigilant!
O streets and markets free but never far from the malignant.

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“Sonnet in Honour of the Feast of Jalál [Glory]“

Bahá’ís of the world commemorate this First day of the Bahá’í Month of Jalál [Glory]  after sunset today or before sunset tomorrow.

A flower

“Sonnet in Honour of the Feast of Jalál [Glory]“

“The Dread of Moments”

Dread potentials, moments in the mould,
Images of nascent idols set to polish, so the keeper at his ease
Recalls; the times are shorter now; is not urgency greater than needs
Concealed within in a stamen that cannot yet unfold?
Nothing enters, nothing leaves this place, nothing’s free.
There are fears that in the groaning, smoothly flowing
Movement, here to there, the fruit and flower growing ever knowing
Unities of purpose, oblivious of confidence in returning delicacy.
Potential glory for the anther in the night,
auspicated but veiled in atavistic fate.
From here to there spells a restive, wearied state
In seconds–hours, really–and the weighty knowledge
that what augurs beauty pains in coming ever slightly too late,
“. . .And I’ll be going, now!” The pistil whispers thus: “I too am late!”
The stigma argues as the fruit becomes too ripe,
as aspirations of modernity expose their flaws
At dusk or dawn as substances within themselves
scribble all their glories  in the name of natural laws.

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“In the Fifties”

“In the Fifties”

In the Fifties all the wonder of pastel was “in,”
The funds so well arranged in bank accounts
Left dormant through the War. Largesse, secured amounts
Were stored, but goods were spare and produce thin,
Production not yet shelved to compliment the newfound peace.
The Sixties featured families rounded off from nine to an even five;
The troops were home, chariots had fins, and promises alive
Throughout the world to put such potential in the fleece
As might be had for children in the doxology to provide
A balance, a nom de plume for a strange apology
For the deprivation of Depression and the horrors of the War Years. Anthologies
Replaced by catalogues from Sears, recruits were down but churches thrived
And so did freedom, and to the sirens of liberty went the clear-eyed youths
Who loved at will and, sur le pouce, found themselves
in the Seventies illumined in haloes of hair and something to close to truths.