Tag Archives: Lyric Poetry

“Questions”

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“Questions”

Questions mount in compliments, the third’s irrelevant:
To be or not to be, to seek the seen or unseen or not to see
at all; so, what’s a circus in a world without eternity?
Then, again, even if no one’s here still the monitor’s adamant
Unequivocal nothing has happened–so what’s the point?
And were you here beside me, would I then need sleep,
Awake but to open my mouth and sing? Would I seek another deep
Abyss within, impose a curfew on the thing or casually anoint
The latest impasse with a casual kiss? There’s a Judas in this;
His days are numbered with the dusts, the rust of wrinkled
Inevitability with excess housed in reliquaries of gold
Whence comes the latest least expected crop
Of shibboleths, coined and counted; there we’ll be atop the list
Some two branches on the tree, twin tokens found, no other sound,
And when I go you’ll miss the show, and who’ll lay me in the ground?

…art piece above by Robin Kranitzky & Kim Overstreet

“Sonnet in Honour of the Feast of Masá’il or `Questions'”

Bahá’í’s throughout the world gather today to commemorate the First Day of the Month of Masá’il [Questions]

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“Sonnet in Honour of the Feast of Masá’il or `Questions'”

Of sons, divinity required sacrifice;
Both obliged presented gifts, yet one
Found pleasure in the Judgment, son
And God were pleased; but, that the sacred rite
Eluded what was offered by the second
Brought an anger and a fire in Cain,
The fruit of envy, rancour, and desultory disdain
To both the elder brother and the God-reckoned
Greater of the two. Asked the Light,
“What hath made thee wroth?” silence was the answer.
The question posed, there rose no reply but cancer
Deep within the marrow of he who in his flight
Deduced the primal human action of the will:
Unbridled passion and the naked urge to kill.

“So Who’s’t Knows”

The Deluge by John Martin (1806-70). 1834.

“So Who’s’t Knows”

So who’s’t knows the end in such benign beginnings,
The coming floods that fallow flow from all that snow
And ice held hostage by the cold alone when any fool knows
That what comes down must in time admit a hit in later innings
The last whose time is preordained, the added sweater helps but winning
Nothing ‘gainst the close exchange that comes within the glow
Of this year’s logs piled high at the hearth, the comfort zone
Cannot endure another fiercer facing, just another frieze in reasoning
When all that matters now is reduced to splinters
In the opening hours of the wake of powers beyond a stream,
Beyond the hopes of wagers strung on nothing more
Than readings from the runes or yet another card pulled before
The Gipsy’s deck was shuffled or wrinkles of the winter’s
Palm were read, too little information here for dreams.

“In the End”

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“In the End”

In the end, they knew no more about the other
Than they were led to believe;
Their minions’ hearts on sleeves
Will please the local rag, the corps or sundry brothers
Everywhere from “Z” Town in Lincoln to Kansas City,
Kansas across that great Missouri Divide from the Plaza seen
From Independence through to the streets of Ferguson screened
(And we all know what that name has come to mean), facility
To felicity for some, agony to millions, and death to some few.
But, who’s to know what really came to pass that afternoon
Between the teen and the less-than-seasoned officer marooned
In destiny to make a difference where there was none, the glue
To evolution in the mainstream of what to date has only seemed
To flow from cause to effect, but is and never has been truly seen?

“The Café Stool”

“The Café Stool”

The café stool at the corner bus stop spins
Lukewarm as the smiles concentrate on the coffee. The counter reeks
Of vinegar and last night’s cream and stranded weeks
In tufts of cusps and smoke and maybes render standard wins

And dust bunnies in an otherwise long night’s wait. The daily turn
Put miles on both the urn and that old stool.
He’s going nowhere fast but yes, he knows the rules.
He’s been to school. He’s got a lot to say, and bile to burn

Before he bags the keys, and hits the road
For all it’s worth out there; and tell me, now, what’s

It worth? Another dime, another cup of time forever cuts
A path between the long and short, and both are simple codes

For what he means to say, “I’m here and going nowhere,
Fast, but, if you’ve found the exit, let me know, and I’ll be there.

Oh, well, and since you asked me, yes! The twisted lips,
Emaciated torso, darkest circles,
Smudges, really, orbs―a pair―and matching icicles
For breasts suggesting that they’re beyond suggesting; tips

Of fingers, possibly, or weaknesses supporting barbed wire frames,
And all this while naked, reading The New Yorker; raked, reclining, draped
Across a thing or two. A second piercing, pain, or whatever can be scraped
Together to perform the task achieves its consummate utilitarian fame

Expressed in motifs on the menu or à la mode made decorative and dative
In function, deliberately neutered as are the midnight waffles.
Yes! There’s so much that can be found in any diner or rendered awful
In some missing space or blank provided―the passive or the active

Voice required―sired, producing tired generations of sensations
To the point that what’s come in on the bus becomes the stuff of veneration.

“As the Sea”

Bahá’ís throughout the world celebrate this day [beginning at sunset] as the Day of the Covenant, the Celebration of the Eternal Covenant between God and Mankind through His Manifestations and Prophets, eternal in the past, eternal in the present, eternal in the future:

“His Holiness Abraham, on Him be peace, made a covenant concerning His Holiness Moses and gave the glad-tidings of His coming. His Holiness Moses made a covenant concerning the Promised One, i.e. His Holiness Christ, and announced the good news of His Manifestation to the world. His Holiness Christ made a covenant concerning the Paraclete and gave the tidings of His coming. His Holiness the Prophet Muhammad made a covenant concerning His Holiness the Báb and the Báb was the One promised by Muhammad, for Muhammad gave the tidings of His coming. The Báb made a Covenant concerning the Blessed Beauty of Bahá’u’lláh and gave the glad-tidings of His coming for the Blessed Beauty was the One promised by His Holiness the Báb. Bahá’u’lláh made a covenant concerning a promised One who will become manifest after one thousand or thousands of years. –`Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í World Faith

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“As the Sea”

As the sea swells, so the Covenant remains, promises fulfilled.
Through Abraham the Friend of God, and Moses, Giver
Of The Law; fruited and confirmed in Jesus Son of Mary given
In His Person more–the Love of God–and through His Will,
Submission under God in Hijáz through Muhammad, Seal of Prophets;
From the East, Lord Krishna of The Three, The holiness of Buddha in Purity;
The Fires of Zoroaster from the mountain; security from casuistry
Within the Witness of The Báb, and Justice in Bahá’u’lláh
`gainst the nursery rhymes of sophists
And the worship of Creation over He who did create
The whole with but a single Word, “Be!” Hosts exclaim and expiate
Their cavils at the Word through numbers, and the terror of the tribes.
Armies propagate
Their synergies against the tide of history, bow the knee to what they rape,
And call it truth. By God! The earth is weary of their weight.
The Word alone remains; the Covenant alone withstands this dreary freight.

“Sonnet in Honour of the Feast of Qawl or ‘Speech’”

Bahá’ís throughout the world gather today to celebrate the First Day of the Month of Qawl [Speech]

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“Sonnet in Honour of the Feast of Qawl or ‘Speech’”

Except to praise Creation and its Source,
Of what use are tongues, and what of speech
If not to practice affirmation, to reach
Beyond the baser nature—to stay the course
Of destinies and mighty histories,
Ensure the memory of battle lines
Between the Greater World and the Lesser we find
We must occupy…for a time—the lies and inconsistencies
Within the rented present tense? Respeaking irrelevant truths
In vain imaginings applied to the important against the backdrop of the Word,
The most important, the conscious choice between what we’ve heard
With clarity within the heart and what we have been told of old, roots
And tendrils of hypocrisy are struck dumb with but a look,
Surely. These, the Leaves and Boughs of Sadratu’l-Muntahá, Branches
never silent as from out the The Primal Mouthpiece, the Perspicuous Book.

“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

“The Knowledge”

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“The Knowledge”

The knowledge of the thing, a single breath, a pebble
On the beach, a grain of dust, a semblance of a solitaire in seed
That afternoon at Kitty Hawk that married destiny and need
For millions…or even worse, some jot or tittle on a treble
Note scribbled on a single page within a tattered score;
It’s firsts or yet again, in time it’s lasts; the leasts
Among the spores abused and blessed within the kneading yielding yeast
Of five fecund loaves that feeds the thousands; the thing she swore
She’d never do the night before he knew he would. The ringing
Of a solitary bell in 1941 one cool December Sunday’s outing`neath a rising sun
From where the first “Hello!” from Cain to Abel,
in the afterglow of “firsts” to repetitious marathons
That set the record straight the night they drove Ol’ Dixie down
to the tune of raucous drunken singing
In the belly of a ship at port before McHenry
as the glare of flares and rockets filled the ears and lit the skies:
The first and last hurrah in Nagasaki on the beach the night the music died…