“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
…a revision of the poem…
Swept aside, all moments and celestial mementos collide
And waste no never-mind on credence and retention
In the wake of greater cosmic rinds and supine celestial reflection.
Mortality by definition lies; not so through what histories imply
But in the daily interaction of missives from the Goal
And penultimate ilunga * of the Source or
Sanctions of interaction in the triumphant triad of the coarsest
Ores of time, of space, and all that matters. Time, the cosmic linen folds
Of space and active order; space, the theatre of experience at the heart
Of the observer; matter, but an audience, a phenomena in passive
Active shadows of Creation and its nemesis. Simplicity is massive,
Complexity but a word; a question’s languages are art
And science while the answers form the pathos and the abstract.
What is more pathetic than to be and yet be nothing in the act?
Simplicity in the classic form requires
The prefects of a perfect vacuum
Combined in such a way as compliments the acumen
Of a strident meme, the jealous zeitgeist, tests that to the whole inspire
An urgent need to pause, to linger over bodies no longer really there,
A little more than a half a generation’s substance in a given time.
So granted this, so beautifully and tragically resigned,
Aloud comes the elegies of episodes to “Move along!”or “Retire!”
With such a cry inscribed, there was and always is
A here and there in rapid profit worshipped, fierce
As gallstones of desperation: “This, our chosen age, rehearsed
Upon a cross of memories little more than lyrics of an ancient tryst!”
And, equally, the many crowned and catalogued, remain aloof
Through symmetries of perfection in a sacred dynasty of embroidered truth.
*The word is ilunga, from the Bantu language of Tshiluba, and means a person ready to forgive any abuse for the first time, to tolerate it a second time, but never a third time.
When there is this, that is.
With the arising of this, that arises.
When this is not, neither is that.
With the cessation of this, that ceases.
His Holiness The Buddha
Posted in Affirmation, Age, Aging, Antithesis, Arts, Buddhism, Change, Classic, Cycles, Double Sonnet, Elegies, End Times, Ends, Generations, Hubris, Hustlers, Hyperbole, Idolatry, Matrix, Meme, Memory, Negation, Nostalgia, Numinosum, Pathos, Poetry, Posterity, Pragmatism, Pyrrhic Victory, Relativity, Retirement, Samsara, Sciences, Seasons, State of Being, Stations, Synthesis, Thesis, To be or not to be, Tragic Flaw, Tshiluba, Yearning, Zeitgeist
Tagged Double Sonnet, Lyric Poetry, Sonnet, Sonnets
“Summer Like the Lion”
Summer like the lion has so little time;
Reflections on horizons only seem at rest,
Refractions, hungers in the higher grasses are at best
A blind, a routine introspection, attest to sun and pride,
Alike as natural season’s slightest change rewards the prey
Of both with perspicuous signs and insecurities but nonetheless
Concrete enough to cause a wonder in the every power; less
Than single clouds occlude the sun, the slightest hint of grey
Upon the main, both signal gain and loss. Clearly crowned,
They have no equal in selection’s schemes
Save Death, itself, yet each pays out in measured penalties. Extremes
In greatness and renown sustain but reasons, diadems and crowns
Subject to circumstance of cycles in the main—in means
A certain end—in cosmic tragedies beyond the need of seasons.
Posted in Animals, Cycles, Death, Destiny, Existence, Imagery, Imagism, Matrix, Mortality, Poetry, Providence, Reason, Seasons, State of Being, Stations, Tragedy, Tragic Flaw, Zeitgeist
Tagged Age, Aging, Lyric Poetry, Sonnet, Summer
“Within the Second”
Within the second, tension
Greeting and suspension
Sought by no one’s intervention
Never seen when the incision
First was made; immediately regretted,
The fisherman must pay out nets in
By miles in order to withdraw from what is set in
Stone for life and wife and children and the silence of posterity. Sunsets
Measured by exigency’s precision and jealous alacrity in moments
Of lucidity crown flights that condescend to incidents and stories
Never dreamed by this finest man or that great fish by land or sea
But in and with slightest motion’s predetermined goals, histories
Of continents and oceans satisfy Calliope
and there within their stations, torments
Boast of sacrifice for crowds where cowards
in the chorus crucify their tragic characters and epic plots
swell as sweat from depths within the pores of poets
finding every gilded ancient fear a kind of test
that does not rest but resonates as never-ending glory.
Posted in Action, Chorus, Classic, Crucifixion, Elements of Narration, Epic poetry, Fate, Fear, Fisherman, Gods, Greece, Martyrdom, Muses, Negation, Pathos, Poetry, Posterity, Providence, Rest, Sacrifice, Stations, Tragedy, Tragic Flaw
Tagged Calliope, Character, Chorus, Lyric Poetry, Plot, Setting, Sonnet, Theme
The wager of the least are promises
Of the best. The monoliths of reason are quantity
And quality perceived, the indicative of possibilities
In either mode weighed in equity and thus apprised.
The logic of the thing promotes the certainty of hope–
The life blood of change–and nothing in this world escapes
The kinetic causal catalyst’s craft upward or downward. Scrape
The bottom and the top begins its messianic anthem; cope
With transformation and in the fray, a certain moderation
Comes to mind, a casual but determined glance at maps
From here to there and back again. The Sadrat?
The siren’s illusion that what it seems, it is: confusion
Of the senses breeds capitulation to the daily run:
If these precious seconds lie, so, too, the sun.
Posted in Certitude, Change, Chaos, Cycles, Detachment, Immortality, Mortality, Poetry, Providence, Sun, Tragic Flaw
Tagged Lyric Poetry, Sonnets, Wager
Too dark, the image is spontaneous surprise
Allowing for callow simplicity, widespread, not
Freely strung, perhaps, nor finely wrought.
Spoken, an oblique word to add to some collection, surmised
And measured plans without a thought to instruments of light,
Nor proper canvas housing hues and filigreed beams
To grace medieval drawings and ever-flowing dreams
In cold rejection foiled, splays to mask the monumental heights
Routine in use no matter how magnificent: you preferred hopes
To need, to full-grown trees but tiny seeds,
Or wholes that must in time disintegrate; a flute, perhaps a reed
In need of being played, the player all too often wrapped in robes
Of musk-dyed silks and ancient tides,
And all the while I merely smiled and let it die.
Posted in Desire, Detachment, Estrangement, Imagism, Love, Marriage and Divorce, Passion, Poetry, Relationships, Samsara, Seed, Tragic Flaw
Tagged Lyric Poetry, Sonnets
“And Just How Strong Can Nations Be?”
And just how strong can nations be so viciously attacked
By multiple morbidities set dead against incessant gloom?
There follows yet another, still a second, third, and soon
A fourth, to either keep the fragile surplus sacked
Or give give support to those for whom there is no peace.
The world stood firm enough in time in Indonesia;
Faltered at the Mississippi outback;
drank denial dulled by strange amnesia
Followed closely by the press and several presidents:
no grace nor is there ease
For governors. Lo! Someone blinked
and Haiti’s mountains truly roared
In syllables of pain and all the world’s disdain.
And just above the Yellow Sea’s Pacific corridor
Come tired familiar fears to Honshu.
Between the Yucatan Peninsula and western shores
Of Cuba, yet another future Grendel?
No. Much worse: his mother’s greater form of infamy,
And while our HroÞgar’s fast asleep, his people drown in mysery.
Posted in Cycles, Demons, Mortality, Poetry, Providence, Samsara, Survival, Tragedy, Tragic Flaw
Tagged Double Sonnet, Grendel, Grendel's mother, Lyric Poetry, Nature, Sonnets
“And While We Live”
And while we live we see but one of us
May pass through single spaces, one
Will ride the northern run
Toward the right and trust
The left will soon produce
A southbound pilgrim free
And safely bound and while his
Soul’s in transit, quietly he reduces
His necessities, and so it goes with fellow travellers
Along the route and so it is within this place. Passengers
Once removed within the present do not truck with languor,
Neither do they traffic with a mutual struggle; revellers
At feast and lovers in their thrall beneath the moon
Will seek the waterline alone, and while none arrives too soon,
All are always just a little late. Sisyphus, consigned to fruitless spoils
Willingly approaches his sacred chores; his noble views,
Along the edge of things, the crust, consensus, news
Of what the gods have built and a litany of foils
Is all that is of him that was or ever will be.
His ambition moot, he has no equal in his toil;
He glories as he stands, his sweat, the oil
Of yearning for perfections never rightly seen
And never consummated in the breach.
He oversees his crown of thorns and spies the puny forms
Beneath the clouds far beneath his station, He mourns
For lack of company and for the less blessed so well beyond his reach,
Preventing touch to fingertips or comfort from his lips a farewell kiss.
Touching nothingness but briefly, he turns his back on all he’s missed.
Posted in Affirmation, Courage, Double Sonnet, Existence, Hope, Poetry, Selflessness, Survival, Tragic Flaw
Tagged Double Sonnet, Lyric Poetry, Patience, Sisyphus, Sonnets
Who rises but the dead and who descends save the living? Who, I ask?
Whole generations flee from me. Beauty drains beneath the sun; my walls,
My will cannot contain such quantities of qualities; my heart cannot recall
So much, a single letter; a word, a universe. The sentence incomplete, a task
Beyond the discipline of syntax. Yes. I dwell upon a mountain peak,
The other side of fascination, in and of myself a centre, a light so blinding
That the senses, gifts within me must collapse in time, the binding
Never seen by others and not at all so broad enough. Containers leach,
Constructions of the minute hand do not survive through time’s invasion,
Tears and laughter wanting waste the night. My flight outlasts
The length and breadth of all I see and nothing in me speaks
To this as I must leave it where I first beheld it, glory
So intense that who it is who saw it first no longer reads the story.
Yes! And, whether in the present or in latter worlds
Hereafter, we’ll own nothing of what it is we think we missed, and there
Will be no separate peace, no cause at all to stand and stare in disbelief:
I’ve simply always been and ever am while all else is calamity. The turn
Of seasons, monoliths of months in stacks, my Book of Hours glows
Though presence at the banquet here is moot.The call
Toward the Centre as with all most sacred rites makes little sense at all.
Delight, then, in the invitations only. Journeys through all roles
And stations in their increments and increased patience
from perfection to perfection puts all yesterdays as tomorrow’s dread–
The subjugation of the will to its appointment. Still, what is read
In casual events will quicken life with blessings for the living dead,
And raise both death and dying to a point of pure liquidity. We are led,
We do not lead. Wait, my friend, we do inform ourselves, the eye
And heart assume new forms and places that no soul may easily deny.
Bahá’ís throughout the world gather this evening and tomorrow within the First Day of the Month of Sharaf [Honour]
“Sonnet in Honour of the Feast of Sharaf or `Honour’”
Not that what is in my soul is pure, nor are my eyes
In proper shielded nor buttressed against what I shouldn’t see.
No, my thoughts are not secluded from my dreams;
Nor are these ears immune from feeble babblings of the sly;
My hands are not placed firmly where they must be;
Nor to my taste my food what it should be. All
That modesty and honour require are no more; nor is the call
Of truth without duplicity the centre of my heart’s sincerity.
These perfected imperfections commonplace before my face
Torment each hour with yet another hour and jaundiced joys in their way
Share glory with a plethora of follies strewn
throughout my hours’ remaining rainy days.
I am never far from falling short of all my own metaphor, the similes and grace
Of He who created me and the cynosure of they who didn’t…yet I continue on
That He remains the Melody of Virtue and I am become the lyric of Its song.
Posted in Age, Aging, Bahá’í, Bahá’í Faith, Detachment, Dross, Hope, Imagery, Imagism, Imperfection, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, Poem, Poetry, Religion, Samsara, Selflessness, Sonnet, Sonnets, Spirituality, Tragic Flaw
Tagged Age, Aging, Bahá’í, Existence, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Poem, poetry, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets, Tragic Flaw