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
Painting by Jim Daly
“I Suppose I’m Moved”
I suppose I’m moved, and while we’re on the subject
I’ve thought about what you said the other night
About the greater scheme of things, the flight
From genes to the collective, the singular, the object
Without form or substance—and guests. The two united for the trip
Till death, it seems, ignite some familiar spark and they must part. It’s true,
The children see nothing much, no objective clue,
No lighthouse to indicate where they’re going as they slip
From one rude awakening to another; the challenge
Of success or failure, nagging hunger or sudden release
Within the same recurring toss. We then sleep, the keys
To what comes next appear as just another darkest accident in a collage
Awash, so loosely thrown together that the world would probably call it art.
Still, we never cease to seek our truths, our lights, our candles in the dark.
Posted in Age, Aging, Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Poem, Poetry, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets
Tagged Age, Aging, Emotion, Existence, Lyric Poetry, poetry, Relationships, Sonnet, Tragic Flaw
The audience of epiphanies in green
Crowns the brow and eyes as a single emerald.
So great a bending of the intersections, captured, held
Between the fingers or applied to the temple, harbinger of what may seem
To be a truth with absolutely nothing unnatural in the stream,
A common siren in calling to the seed of things to come, an eloquence
In concrete countenance what is today and future joy, the consequence
Of action filigreed with no attachment beyond the need of skill to redeem
A certain benefit; perfection’s living glance. Perhaps a useless ornament,
A thing revered, brought out to greet the light
And catch a glimpse of seconds in the hour, bright
And subtle richness conjured, a manifest adornment
Of my soul’s ocean against the scrim that is my naked palm:
A silent sentiment and evidence of more than
static lightning in an ancient psalm.
What was hidden for millenia is all right there on the table where you left it.
—Odd, but somehow sans the reading
I am aware that in the seedling’s
Notes are dangers; the ruby there beside it advises, “Keep it
Where it lies. Who prizes opaque lustre knows not every oyster carries gems
And while it might behoove me to investigate
This latest uninviting hostess tight within her shells, still what’s the going rate
For priceless pearls and an eternity
of fresh desire and its newly polished dividend?…
I cede the need to overcome the last and greatest disappointment;
Addressed in forced and anguished expectations on the spot
Of least resistance placing protocol and proper sequence bought
Above and well below the natural value.
I will not seize the gem whose predicament
Will always win. While yet here, the stone has greater value than what I take
To be mine own, but death devalues all currencies in the natural estate.
Posted in Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Poem, Poetry, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets
Tagged Existence, Lyric Poetry, poetry, Relationships, Sonnet
Joy! Is there an in between the rooms, the space,
Interpolated moments of what had always been attraction, snags
That could not be ignored? Bruises in subjunctive rags,
The memes of “just beyond” but well before the second race
That sat in apposition that as of yet
And probably never was apprised. Still well astride returns
For what was, in fact, a blister-burn
A meal gone bad despite precious preparation, set
Aside because she stayed too long that night.
And while she stalled the supper went too far
Beyond the call to matter for what was about to happen: purposes marred,
The banquet withered on the table, fallacies in candlelight
—Removed—to favour what rays in tandem breach in
Of sun and moon that frame the shadows of a single word.
Posted in Aging, Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Poem, Poetry, Samsara, Sonnet
Tagged Emotion, Existence, Lyric Poetry, poetry, Relationships, Sonnet, Tragic Flaw
“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
“Without the Chill”
Without the chill of intellect, there can be no intensity, no heat;
Without emptiness, what, then, is required,
Nothing lacking; nothing is inspired,
Nothing dreamt if in the night there is no sleep.
No path; no looming future present if there is no past,
No memory, no hint of satisfaction where discomfort
Is not found. No unity displaces discord
Where envy or the trial of jealousy cannot last.
Where the comely courage of Perseus if
No Medusa, no Tiresias, no hindsight sorely missed;
No hint of blush in virgins, whose innocence is kissed
And gone for evermore. Richer the magnitude of precious gifts
If lovers prove untrue; the straight line lies and light will bend
Where eternities cannot be seen beyond the beginning and the end.
“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
…dedicated to the many who wonder what’s become of all that is and where the bottom is…
“‘The underside’ … it’s not just in tandem, ‘Once, it’s everywhere! … sigh …'”
And she was right. It seems the predilection toward
The animal appears where there is none; the tsunami’s force is froward
Where there is no place to go but straight to hell for all but those who fly
Or settle for a second-rate mortgage off the high road’s endless traffic.
And we along the shores of what’s become the greater sea who sit
And sign within ourselves no higher there, nor lower here, are aware of it:
There is no real rest from those who foment
Condescension to Creation, laced with lies
To trap the innocent, and revel in the vanishing point
Below the picture, well beneath the edges or between the joints
Of slender bones and tissues in the body politic; cries
Will rise for them and for their victims and their families,
The “taken”, “took” and “broken for which poets scribble homilies.
“The tree outside the window taps very gently on the pane … I want to think quietly, calmly, spaciously, never to be interrupted, never to have to rise from my chair, to slip easily from one thing to another, without any sense of hostility, or obstacle. I want to sink deeper and deeper, away from the surface, with its hard separate facts. To steady myself, let me catch hold of the first idea that passes … Shakespeare … Well, he will do as well as another. A man who sat himself solidly in an arm-chair, and looked into the fire, so a shower of ideas fell perpetually from some very high Heaven down through his mind.”
The Mark on the Wall
“Wife, child, brother, parents, friends…We come only to go apart again. It is one continuous movement. They move away from us, and we move away from them. The law of life can’t be avoided. The law comes into operation the moment we detach ourselves from our mother’s womb. All struggle and misery in life is due to our attempt to arrest this law or get away from it or in allowing ourselves to be hurt by it. The fact must be recognized. A profound unmitigated lonliness is the only truth of life.”
R. K. Narayan
[October 10, 1906 -- May 13, 2001]
(shortened from Rasipuram Krishnaswami Iyer Narayanaswami)
The English Teacher
Posted in Affirmation, Animal, Arts, Change, Chaos, Civilisation, Distraction, Duplicity, End Times, Family, Hubris, Hypocrisy, Isolation, Lonliness, Lyric Poetry, Mankind, Materialism, Mediocrity, Mortality, Negation, Poetry, Poets, Reunion, Separation, Sonnet, Willaim Shakespeare [1564-1616]
Tagged Immortality, Love, Lyric Poetry, Relationships, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets
Hamlet asks if she is honest, if she’s fair;
The question does perplex the lady staring
At him while it happens that she’s wearing
His improprieties, while it happens on the stairs;
He frequents passages in what is advertised as home.
Still the question’s moot, Ophelia has no real idea
Of what it’s like to be a thing of less than beauty cursed; she’s a
Little foreign to the notion that one roams
Beyond the confines of what is truest north—
There are but two poles proffered by Gertrude as her husband’s only clues
And north must be somewhere near the stove,
Her safety just beyond the storage bin that holds the spoons and forks―
No, she’ll pass on both the question and his gifts to what’s beyond the arras;
Rich gifts do not wax floors, nor is this prince so careless. She’s seen the banks,
Below, the river’s malcontent; above,
the winds’ reeds’re resonant
With restive cycles in all those reasons. So many eyes intent
On recognition of what’s lately seen when all is rank.
Still Hamlet gathers evidence back and forth along the way. Her prince questions nothing honed from stationary life;
He does not own a life whose questions never fade
Remaining here but seconds in his needling days
Of endless desert silences in a crowd or in audience to an empty city’s sirens.
That one is here implies that everyone else is there along the far horizon
Beyond the accidental mistaken substance dreams and death. Ophelia slept,
No mystic talisman comes to thwart the fall; His promise he has kept
To weed the present neglected fallow fields and lighten pressures of neon nights.
In his peerless flight is knowing nothing of this life and spending his days in sporadic search for what in death poor Yorick must have felt.
Now get you to my lady’s chamber, and tell her, let
her paint an inch thick, to this favour she must
come; make her laugh at that. Prithee, Horatio, tell
me one thing.
What’s that, my lord?
Dost thou think Alexander looked o’ this fashion i’
And smelt so? pah!
Puts down the skull
E’en so, my lord.
To what base uses we may return, Horatio! Why may
not imagination trace the noble dust of Alexander,
till he find it stopping a bung-hole?
‘Twere to consider too curiously, to consider so.
No, faith, not a jot; but to follow him thither with
modesty enough, and likelihood to lead it: as
thus: Alexander died, Alexander was buried,
Alexander returneth into dust; the dust is earth; of
earth we make loam; and why of that loam, whereto he
was converted, might they not stop a beer-barrel?
Imperious Caesar, dead and turn’d to clay,
Might stop a hole to keep the wind away:
O, that that earth, which kept the world in awe,
Should patch a wall to expel the winter flaw!
Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, ActV, Scene 1
Posted in Alexander the Great, Caesar, Death, Gertrude, Hamlet, Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Ophelia, Poem, Poetry, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets
Tagged Double Sonnet, Dreams, endless desert, Existence, far horizon, Illusion, Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Poem, poetry, poor yorick, Relationships, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets
“That Yearning’s Passed”
That yearning’s passed, I know
A peace of simplicity, relief;
A promise fulfilled, the passing of grief;
An outrageous gift of understanding’s flow
From grace to bounty; platitudes, slow
To middling in mine own eyes but quickened as when the wreath
Of outward stars surmounts the inward scars, the chief
Priests’ glower glowing darkly through an ancient glass. In escrow,
Then, to points of no demand and nothing left to chance.
Remember!! greatest secrets born within are less than burdens
In the light and more than shelter can bestow;
Turn the blindest eye to life’s sweet afterglow
And take another look. Let the foot another step and advance
Beyond the point of scripts for life’s inevitable diminishing returns.
Posted in Age, Aging, Lyric Poetry, Poetry, Samsara, Sonnet
Tagged Age, Aging, Certitude, Detachment, Existence, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, poetry, Relationships, Samsara, Sonnet, Strife, Tragic Flaw