Tag Archives: Mortality

“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

“Vetted Miles”

Driving

“Vetted Miles”

Vetted miles and truck stops all across the state
To feel the blessing of the eyes, the rising voice
Within his own breast; the choice
Is always his, oh yes, of course, and he’s arrived, and late
Enough each time to bear the weight of witnesses that his
Are not his eyes, nor his the sacred words
That even he can use. He’s seen nothing here and so he’s turned
The car around and while it may be circumspect, he’s heading home.
Then comes the once again, the call
Is always there, that Tennyson and Frost in all the walls,
That albatross of restlessness that bleaches clarity in tones
Of sepia and bronze, the clothes,  the nakedness of all
Past memories perfumed in ancient rhyme. Silences make every room
A canyon trussed by random thoughts of “Yes?”, “Tonight?”, and “Soon?”

“I Withdraw”

“I Withdraw”

I withdraw so easily, or waking, dreamed
So soon as laboured in the day ill-advised
Through doors whether in or out with nothing analysed,
Nothing ostracised, nothing blind. Early minutes’ quiet gleaned
From what I see, Rorschach patterns reckoned ends bit off before
The deeds were quite done. Salutations to the daylight in the darkness
Knowing light my only threat. I sought no rest
But simply waved my rights before I’d hit the bathroom door.
Another matin ritual and by the time I see the streets
My spirits rise to the anthem of inversion, papers purchased and there
When no one hears me enter (no one saw me leave;  no one’s left
Who remembers where I stood before the fall–the cleft
Between the morning after and the afternoon before–the air,
The pavement, strokes of something like a sidewalk drawing, noted.
I’ve arrived in time to beat the elect but somehow never voted.)

“If Wroth Breathing”

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“If Wroth Breathing”

If wroth breathing, there is a need;
If need, then comes the question never spoke
By either brother, a primal continental rift that broke,
A rupture when in that moment, Adam’s seed
Made more than one, difference cedes
A natural shift from peace to war; the smoke
Alone had been enough, but weighted, a stroke.
And from the rapture’s might no longer leads
The sign of truth. “Ask what may be done,” is Abel’s
Cry; “What may not be undone nor forever won,” from God’s domain
Replies, and neither will survive that summer’s day
Within the Garden where truth no longer reigns and envy blocks the rays
Of sun and moon and stars where once their steeds were stabled—
And what may not be undone in angers deep within the heart of Cain?

“Sans Setting of the Sum”

“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.

“Abiding Cycles”

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“Abiding Cycles”

Abiding cycles, overriding climes in rhymes of violence and certain gain
With equal expectation of loss the dross of equal certainty in successive reigns
Of terror in the skies just beyond the puny girth of earth’s thin atmosphere;
How much it was the same when Cæsar’s designated revisions of the year
Bore both his names and title in the gilded monthly lists in vain
Presumption that the sun, itself, might be detained or entertained
When will and means conspire to light a fire in cold banality.
Idols worshipped through applause and semi-automatic Coliseum cheers;
Cause wolves to salivate in time. Reflect on just how long these weary fears
Have been the seat and capitol of colossal vain imaginings, the necromancy
Of the rich and bloated tales, tools of millennia of astrologies in the armoury.
How often have bucolic Virgils and Octavians stumbled onto history’s
Urban stage, the first to taste the fruits of history’s tired storylines, effacing
Iconoclasts by default and gluttony of hubris at last embraced
as fresh portfolios forged from fatigue and blatant moral bankruptcy?

“Accolades”

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“Accolades”

There are no lasting accolades for what occurs
Before discovery, precedents to concepts, antecedents to the rank of names.
Armies of delusions gather at dusk or dawn—semi-colons it seems—but the aim
Of all is change and nothing seems more real nor more absurd
Than that the sun simply is and continues to be. Perceptions, artefacts,
A vast compendia of condescending clues confound perfections
housed in all the usual places.
Conceptions rear palatial visions, rise and all but disappear where fear displaces
Inner sight and gainsays personal sovereignty. Look again and act
Upon a limpid canvas, more, a pristine marble so easily cut and again defaced
By innuendo or what pacifies the common view
of every art and all science in the debris of afterglow; if judged immortal,
What, then, of the beauty of a single rose reborn through centuries, millennia, yet reduced, detritus as investment in a single angry fist? The bridge and portal
Through which both eyes view and progress signs can never be erased.
Creation’s grace is testimony to the morning of eternity; oneness firmly grasped
Ensures velocity, immunity, and detachment from all that’s passed.

Remembrances of that morning in 2001…”My Eyes Looked Up”

Remembrances of that morning in 2001…


“My Eyes Looked Up”

My eyes looked up and what I saw was more
Than they could bear; a rushing through the halls
With the roar of sorrow in the ears; I heard the call,
A warning, a deafening “Danger! Be reminded here before
The fact that what’s been said will never
Be unuttered; fractures in the zeitgeist, ciphers of a shrine
To endless days of contemplation, meditation in the marrow, brine
And bitter herbs will be the fare from this day until the day of rest; if ever
Was a day of mourning this one is!” Students
In the classroom all abuzz and even verging on a levity
–They had so little to employ their hours–proclivity
To expect experience on a screen or in the rubrics
Of the media, always in the past and never present in the sixes and the sevens.
Another trumpet, another decade, and another word for it: ubiquitous now as “9/11″!