“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.
Posted in Birth, Birth pains, Danger from the sea, Hopeful news, Hurricane, Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Moonbeam, Nature, Poem, Poetry, Sea, Sonnet, Sonnets, Stormy petrol, Waste
Tagged Existence, Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, Poem, poetry, Sonnet, Sonnets
Silversmiths retrace the fire; sweats
In rivulets down brawny arms, twin bushes
To the chin and through the valley of the pectorals; and he pushes
Gyres in the waters; determination defeats defect, fatigue, frets
Along the instrument mould the
shining of a gentle mind’s design,
Undone, the fist and fingers as hammers in the process
Till the thing that was not is and what little rest
In thought becomes the thing, itself, the line,
A cut above a cusp between inspiration
And its final destruction. Destination, oh! the beauty of the thing
Will guide his hands securely and the synthesis, the ring
Of something new or newer makes its run from mental registration
To obsession in the finishing and glories to polish a wondrous sign,
A medallion of conception, some fine image formed of inner space and time.
Posted in Conception, Cusp, Defects, Destination, Destruction, Determination, Fatigue, Fingers, Fire, Fist, Frets, Hammers, Hands, Image, Imagery, Imagism, Inner space, Inner time, Inspiration, Lyric Poetry, Medallion, Mental registration, Mind, Pectorals, Poetry, Ring, Sign, Silversmiths, Sonnet, Space, Sweat, Synthesis, Time, Waters
Tagged Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Sonnet, Sonnets, Writing poetry
“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.
Posted in Love, Lust, Lyric Poetry, Poem, Poetry, Relationships, Samsara, Selflessness, Separation, Sonnet, Sonnets
Tagged Emotion, Imagery, Imagism, Love, Lyric Poetry, Poem, poetry, Relationships, Samsara, Selflessness, Separation, Sonnet, Sonnets
“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
Posted in Age, Aging, Certitude, Change, Civilisation, Covenant, Destiny, Detachment, Duplicity, End Times, Existence, Experience, Fate, God, Hegira, Hope, Image, Imagery, Imagism, Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Mankind, Mortality, New Year, Poem, Poetry, Providence, Pyrrhic Victory, Reality, Samsara, Sea, Sonnet, Sonnets, Spirituality
Tagged Age, Aging, End Times, Eternity, Existence, God, Imagism, Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, Poem, Relationships, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets
“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.
Posted in Bethlehem, Caesar, Christmas, Christmas Season, Civilisation, Double Sonnet, End Times, Herod, Holy Land, Hubris, Imagery, Imagination, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Magi, Materialism, Nazareth, Night, Poem, Poetry, Ptolemy, Pyrrhic Victory, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets, Walls, Wise men
Tagged Bethlehem, Christmas, Christmas Season, Double Sonnet, End Times, Herod, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Nazareth, Pain, Poem, poetry, Ptolemy, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets, Wise men
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.
Posted in Age, Aging, Chaos, Coffee and toast, Imagery, Imagism, Kettle, Lyric Poetry, Nostalgia, Poem, Poetry, Rose, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets
Tagged Age, Aging, Autumn, Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Relationships, Sonnet, Sonnets
“So Tired Tonight”
So tired tonight; the late nights rarely float;
I am here as much as there and wondering in myself when
If ever I will see the stars as well I once knew them. Then again,
The myriad monumentals, the smokey smell of creosote
From aging wharfs, the former headiness of worry,
The urgencies of thoughtlessness and giddy
Private joys of knowing no one knows the silly
Things I want to do. Night birds and a flurry
Of noted messages here, and over there, again the sun
That must soon rise high I see with it all
The weight of clear desire to rearrange what’s left of my small
World; and as for that lost ambitious excited little crab who cannot run
But sideways in what he takes as his private room, he’ll never make it back,
You know, to where he started as so easily the tides will smother both our tracks.
Posted in Aging, Crab, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Poetry, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets, Tides
Tagged Existence, Imagism, little crab, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, silly things, Sonnet, Sonnets
“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…
Posted in Age, Aging, Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Poem, Poetry, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets
Tagged Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Poem, poetry, Relationships
“A Pilot’s Flame”
A pilot’s flame and ambergris, fire and smoke, these privy orizons
As dews appear upon the sight of buds along an early summer’s talk
In the blind behind the backfields; still there is the chill,
a brief Nebraska morning’s walk
Through the shadows’ tides’ abiding shallows
in the breath of dawn; the garden
Path because we share so little
of the masters’ growth in blossoms’ bargains’
Fruits within us both and spare none, no idle chatter,
indeed a pittance of a fee for angels; pillars, cornstalks,
Arm in arm—so much can lead the way to joy within a cosmic room—locked
To one to yet another and another in the repetitious staid negotiation
of noxious clouds and dark but sterile clods, the feeble vain
Attempt to mask indignity in stride until desire’s destination’s
Reached—we know by stealth to find a symmetry in solutions,
Solace in respite from the others at the solstice
of that brief but potent spot.
A proper pole to pierce the continent,
a place we’ve never seen and always sought;
I need nothing more to see your face, to read your book
to savour proctors for procrastination
For the sake of pleasures found in greater prisms
for a lighter thought than pure imagination.
Posted in Affirmation, Angels, Antithesis, Clods, Cornstalks, Dawn, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Midsummer, Nebraska, Poetry, Prism, Procrastination, Pyrrhic Victory, Relationships, Respite, Shadows, Sonnet, Stealth, Synthesis, Thesis
Tagged Ambergris, Double Sonnet, Emotion, Existence, Imagism, Love, Lyric Poetry, Nature, Nebraska, poetry, Relationships, Sonnet, Sonnets
“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.
Posted in Age, Aging, Certitude, Death, Fear, Hope, Hubris, Imagery, Imagination, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Materialism, Mortality, Philosophy, Poem, Poetry, Pride, Pyrrhic Victory, Samsara, Sleep, Sonnet, Sonnets, Spirituality, Stations, Strife, Tragedy
Tagged Age, Death, Existence, Imagism, Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, Poem, poetry, Pride, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets, Strife, Tragic Flaw