“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
“Where have all the children gone?”
Wait. Hesitate or “What’s a Luddite suppos’d to do?”
If all our stars are realligned the few
Who register approval hear the song,
While all the rest are caught in endless sleep. If right and wrong
Depend on numbers and wisdom on its devotées, the serpent in the queue
Itself provides the answer to the Sphinx; what is never seen, the clue:
The roll call amongst the deaf exceeds the number of the living.The throng,
The mob, their bliss in congress feeds on givens more than present appetite demands while someone pays the piper;
They always will, you know; it is the ancient promise of the latter day.
Did you believe
The King picks up the tab while you so freely lunched with your psychologist
And somehow missed the age-old sign upon the wall:
“Restricted” The misanthropist
Waiting tables finds comfort in his tips; the cleric, lips are his own private sniper.
Cell-phones in the square deter a tank or two, but rarely seen are thse who will succeed, who sooner either disappear or die while those who don’t are later forced …to bleed.
Posted in Lyric Poetry, Poem, Poetry, Sonnet
Tagged Emotion, End Times, Existence, Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, News Media, Sonnet, Strife, Tragic Flaw
Bahá’ís throughout the world gather this evening within the First Day of the Month of Asmá [Names]
“Double Sonnet in Honour of the Feast of Asmá [Names]“
Greatness, the maw and gulf of differences between
Recipients of names and the manifestation of the same
In full-blown sail, vain imagining; objective oversight’s the blame,
The ark in any given second. A constant stream,
The crown of transformation comes in time to weave
From strands of gravity the produce and press of what is never really seen.
Within the visible, a name resides, the hidden thread of dreams,
Confirmation of life and being—in bas-relief,
Or so The Buddha warned—the reliquary of lethal trust. Between the name
And its receipt abide the seeds of pernicious doubt and protestation,
Manifest but without form beyond all timely attestation,
More an emanation than anything in revelation. In every atom reigns
The distance and sweet velocities of change. The many tools
Of blind belief in Adam’s gift seek rest somewhere within reach of fools
Embracing blasphemy in luminous dichotomies, dilemma’s
Punctuation marks’ delusions born of natural mental sedition. Litanies–
The outward beads of faith and understanding–are crystals of epiphany
Drawn from rich deposits of deep enigma
In which mystery serves as providence and a farce of perpetual plebiscites.
Their greatest acumen is servitude bestowed
By human justice whose tragic flaw is banal integrity, whose goal
Before the cock crows thrice must beg the question of myriad rites
Born in mortal time like Sisyphus in spite of all he knew and knows.
And when denial and prayer are in arrears,
When needs and resignation outweigh a sum of means,
Words gone bankrupt erupt and deeds are stripped clean of fat and lean.
Perpetual hopelessness finds remission in an average skein of years
With all that overwhelms the truth at sunrise
In redemption in the simple phrase, “I’m still alive!”
Posted in Aging, Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Poem, Poetry, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets
Tagged Age, Aging, Double Sonnet, Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, poetry, Sonnet, Sonnets, Tragic Flaw
“By Day, the Toil!”
By day, the toil. Just so. At times the ache
Returns, but somehow, nightfall must come. Perhaps
It is the hour, or something in the newly evening breeze, but laps
Throughout the day are then for someone’s sake
Forgotten, and he simply sits before the fire,
Or there, outside beneath the bluer, richer hues
Of cares and harsher edges of desire
To carve, to whittle, to embrace a life at once recused
In poetry, metre askew with so little harmony, alone
Not so much in sparks, but in the riot of results.
He waves his hand and even owls listen; bolts
Of lightning in his voice again do not groan
But gently call to sit beside him in the light
Of distant days remembered in the call
to rest with him through the vanity of his night.
Posted in Age, Aging, Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Night writing, Poem, Poetry, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets, Writing
Tagged Age, Aging, Immortality, Mortality, Poem, Sonnet, Sonnets, Writing at night, Writing poetry
“Yes, We’ve Seen This Rain Before”
Yes, we’ve seen this rain before and now we see it every day;
Umbrellas up, umbrellas down, yet all these expose
Themselves as useless as the refugees keep running, hoping, close
To bolting at the slightest sign of teardrops for their pain.
And what is gained in either case, the with
Or the without? The question here is moot..
Is moisture poison to the man who values silks in suits,
Or to the woman bound to shake her fist
At every incident that renders hairspray a total waste?
But these are questions for the sophist’s notepad, fodder
For prevarication while what is relevant to the journey— blotters
For but a mere veneer of life—disclaimers, discounts which so easily make haste
To negate what is evident in a common tin of oysters or a jar of lox:
The end of every one of us is six feet under in a box.
Posted in Age, Aging, Lyric Poetry, Poetry, Samsara, Sonnet
Tagged Age, Aging, Emotion, End Times, Existence, Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, poetry, Sonnet, Strife, Tragic Flaw
“Tonight, a Silent Message”
Tonight, a silent message, I can hear the pleading
Through the trees and branches of my old friend; my companion sings,
And I am somehow comforted. The fluttering of wings
Accompanies the rhythms of the encore; and you, again, repeating
“Into…” “Out of…” Lift, release so softly,
gentle summaries wreathed in whispers,
Musings of what is not and never seen; tunnels and their tributaries,
Rushing, relentless repetition, applause, obituaries
To the spent and useless, harbingers of blisters
And the frostbite, erosion and fresh volcanic flood
And in the ancient chanting of a million
Dirges of the past and now redundant death–civilians,
Now–the arm’d legions follow closely through the blood
Of daily martyrs to the rescue in defense the furthest reaches of the empire.
And I’m still here, I’m still here, and I still feel the fire.
Posted in Age, Aging, Dirges, Fire, Heart, Lyric Poetry, Obituaries, Poetry, Repetition, Sonnet, Whispers
Tagged Age, Aging, Emotion, End Times, Existence, Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, Sonnet
“Did Ever Peace in Motion Come”
Did ever peace in motion come to mind while living still,
Or what’s an ego for? We do not cease; we know we die
But, what hopes are hung there in the clocks, the early cries
Of “Quickly!”or “Grant me time that I may kill,”
And whether there is joy in sunrise there beyond that hill
Or here behind this present place within the wall we occupy.
The only guarantee we have testifies
To purpose, patience that we have lived to see what fulfils
A destiny, no mere approbation, positive as this may be,
But willing prophesy and added acquiescence to the turning
Of the page, the further reading, the greater goal
To ascertain than to achieve. Then on beyond the poles
Whither to the north or south, to encompass greater than the seas,
Further than consumption; such limitless forests as are beyond all learning.
Posted in Age, Aging, Lyric Poetry, Poetry, Samsara, Sonnet
Tagged Age, Aging, Detachment, Emotion, End Times, Existence, Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, peace, Relationships, Sonnet, Tragic Flaw, Wisdom
Bahá’ís throughout the world gather today within the First Day of the Month of Kamál [Perfection] to celebrate the first day of the Bahá’í Month of Kamál.
“Sonnet in Honour of the Feast of Kamál or “Perfection”
Perfections and brief mortality lag for moments in a guarantee
Beyond the waiting grave; even in the womb, fluctuations
At the departure gate defy instinct and extinction in comic reproduction
Of the maelstrom. Carnivores in chaos renew the glaring tragedies
Of immortality as does sleep, a nightly purgative to all dreams.
Propinquity reviewed in bold idyllic matter turns matter to energies
In physical perception, penned at the pleasure of humanity–
The beverage curious and exotic–the poets’ ink ensuring every species’
Flourishing beyond the naked flesh of bodies in the simple rite of birth.
Apoapsis and the periapsis of the peoples’ need from the outer steppes
Of gravity and evolution to the thing desired,
re-created, wild and sculpted blossoms
Of the promise of ends in all beginnings,
millennia, themselves but steps
beyond the fallible suspicion of man or book,
the good shaman’s vain and futile search.
Yet even here, the contemplation
of a bowl of hemlock, perhaps to think:
If I fast forever, so will I dream as long;
and if I thirst forever,
Then, as surely I will someday drink.
Posted in Beverage, Birth, Blossoms, Carnivores, Chaos, Dreams, Evolution, Extinction, Fast, Feast of Kamál or "Perfection", Grave, Gravity, Hemlock, Idyllic matter, Immortality, Ink, Instinct, Lyric Poetry, Maelstrom, Millennia, Mortality, Naked flesh, Perfection, Poet's ink, Poetry, Propinquity, Purgative, Shaman, Sonnet, Thirst, Tragedy, Womb
Tagged Existence, Feast of Kamál or "Perfection", Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, Perfection, poetry, Sonnet
“I Don’t Know What I’ve Got”
I don’t know what I’ve got just now, but I
Can fall behind that step beyond
The first; the second stone—ponds
And streams are pocked with them—exceeds the first, and lies
Wide of studied strides beyond the third, and nothing guides
My heart to conquer short of pride. Inertia extols
Effort but left untried, the will atrophies while it scolds
inaction albeit guaranteeing the right to fly.
This much is true (or so it seems) monoliths contemplate
Delusions’ stones surmounting streams of mocking, croaking insecurities.
Suffocating fog burns the heart then disappears. Its energies
Released, confidence’s set ablaze at sun’s full rising all too often all too late.
In short, I stand alone at times, all movement trumped
By midnight’s clouds and like the elephant am disinclined to jump.
Posted in Lyric Poetry, Poetry, Sonnet
Tagged Delusion, End Times, Existence, Illusion, Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, Sonnet, Strife, Tragic Flaw
“But I Have Heard”
But I have heard the most disturbing news that’s troubles
Waters in pools of endless strife and Bethesda’s all too chronic pains.
These! malignant vines, stinging Stygian lines injected through the veins
And made to order on the thought of natural patterns formed of stubble,
Kneaded, twice redoubled, swaths of circles in the crops, alien to all I know
And only hinted at in mild sporadic phatic comic conversations
Minted in the teacups of late night radio listeners, ejaculations
From the ever-ready savants hoarding hours in the climax and the show,
Recurring flotsam leaving baffled masses in the night. On review,
There comes a newer, fresher definition, the specious form and image
Of the natural spectre of the fiend that pays no homage
To the needs of Êblis, Cain, or any of his crew, but centers in the purview
That displaces all philosophy among the latter Philistines while Abel’s told
Rapacious angels suck the spirit nigh to death of any living soul.
Posted in Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Poem, Poetry, Samsara, Sonnet
Tagged Delusion, Emotion, End Times, Existence, Illusion, Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, poetry, Sonnet, Tragic Flaw