“But If I Loved”
But, if I loved, there’d be no stumbling here,
No word, no moment spent in canvassing;
No south-bound sound, no! no jaundiced ring
Tone, no telephone—assuming no fear
No understatement—pressures here applied
To maudlin tracings follow no trump, no expression
No! no consummation in the passive key,
Of fact, no fire in hyperbole, nor just plain lies.
Then I’d be forced to die, or something close
To leaving if I could:
But, I’m not made to feel so good;
I only wish I were; and just suppose
Posted in Age, Aging, Detachment, Imagery, Love, Lyric Poetry, Poem, Poetry, Relationships, Samsara, Sonnet
Tagged Age, Aging, Emotion, Existence, Lyric Poetry, Relationships, Sonnets, spirituality, Tragic Flaw
…recollection from a day of teaching some time ago….
“I Found the Little Girl Alone”
I found the little girl alone, a leaner ladybug
Forlorn and crying in the cavern of the Cafeteria quite late
One afternoon; she sat with lunchbox and an empty plate.
“What brings you here?” I said. She just shrugged,
And said she didn’t know. I asked if she shouldn’t be
In class, and would she like some help to find her way?
“Oh, no!” she said, and then a lengthy silence. “I have to stay
And hurt a while until I’m done!” To me
She looked so small so delicate, and worn, so “Why the tears?
“My best friend hates me, and I don’t know why.”
“Well, what, then,” made her think she couldn’t try
To ask her friend just what she’d done? “That,” she feared,
“Will make it worse! She told me she’s got another friend at home
And now she took back her ring, and I’m here all alone!”
…I managed to walk the little girl back to her classroom, and in she went apparently in a kind of daze. A few weeks later, I saw her in the playground laughing and seemingly happy as a lark, but from that day forward to the day she showed up in my senior English class, whenever our eyes would meet from time to time in the course of years of crossing paths and there was always a kind of sobriety in her glance that expressed thanks for having heard her and again, for having never mentioned that afternoon again.
Posted in Aging, Lyric Poetry, Poetry, Relationships, Samsara, Sonnet
Tagged Aging, Existence, Lyric Poetry, Relationships, Sonnet, Sonnets, Strife
“This You Chose”
This you chose, you know, the lethal wound, external fire,
Internal final cut the cleanest; the choice was never mine.
This you chose; your arms, your scent defined
The borders, walls, the floors, the exposure. Your desires
Say nothing past the yesterdays of pre-dawn, and glad
I was to rest the while, and glad you are that I am gone.
But nothing’s rendered in the late night’s song,
The me in you, and yes! You know the sad
Result: that moon’s pain can not know a sequel.
The senses, these you know , with no contempt,
But radiant resignation in the hours of heat and pure idolatry. Spent,
The sentence stands within this world. These final sentiments rule;
The veil, the truths we’ve always known; the hourglass, the idols of our nights,
Its sands, a closing hush of breath at daybreak when all our meteors take flight.
Posted in Age, Certitude, Death, Delusion, Detachment, Emotion, Existence, Fidelity, Idolatry, Illusion, Imagery, Imagination, Imagism, Immortality, Infinitity, Love, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, Pain, Patience, Philosophy, Poem, Poetry, Reality, Relativity, Samsara, Separation, Sonnet, Sonnets
Tagged Age, Art, Death, Delusion, Emotion, Existence, Fidelity, Illusion, Imagery, Imagism, Love, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, Pain, Poem, poetry, Relationships, Samsara, Separation, Sonnet, Sonnets
“Sad You Say?”
Sad you say? I knew you meant it;
Yes, my sadness drained through your fingers
Leaving little more than moisture. Something of me lingers
With you that you own is yours. Summits
Of either joy or pain remain to use the heart, the limits
Of the body—anywhere will do—from head to toe; these, the singers
Intone its presence, equations flatter integers
Enough to anoint themselves exclusive in finite intimates
And variations for the sake of form. These flights of melancholy
You mistook for yours; as well, your joys I imagined mine in the mirror,
And neither of us were the wiser in the final calculation.
If one of us is right, we’ll see our satisfaction and salvation
In what little time remains to us in life; the eternal holy
Light is never long in coming. If one of us is wrong,
…there is no deliverer.
Posted in Detachment, Emotion, Existence, Fidelity, Hope, Illusion, Imagery, Imagination, Imagism, Love, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, Pain, Patience, Philosophy, Poem, Poetry, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets
Tagged Emotion, Existence, Fidelity, Illusion, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Pain, Patience, Poem, poetry, Relationships, Sonnet, Sonnets
“We Gather and Disperse the Seed”
We gather and disperse the seed, we minor gods in ceaseless search.
No ends exist in harvests of self-satisfaction with their certainty of blight.
And which of us discerns the which through veils of light
And endless superstition , revision—aspirations ceded on a mountain perch—
Or the imminent descent to sound the maw of landlocked ëgotism in oceans?
No one here survives mortality but all will live to tell the tale
Of peoples, nations; lofty wholesale tales that fail
Within the present feed then in upon themselves from wellsprings of notion
Filled with promise and devotion to prove their axioms secure.
Nor time, nor reticent imagination can define
The earthly limitation of the heavens here below a line
That pays out gilded veins of pride from anxious weavers in this world.
How often is it so that few if any see beyond a moment’s pause
The awful symmetry between ephemeral success and eternal loss?
Posted in Lyric Poetry, Poetry, Samsara, Sonnet
Tagged Delusion, Detachment, End Times, Existence, Illusion, Lyric Poetry, poetry, Relationships, Tragic Flaw
“So Easy to Desire”
So easy to desire these miracles. But think
On this! Where’s the catch? the marvellous sleep
That comes to mind? what promises can keep?
What tests in time the price in days to come? These drink
To fortune, progress, and better days; these Sadducees of success
Attract millennia condensed within a briefer purse of seams
And hedges, hems round all for whom and what dreams
Of self and eternity? Beauty;s forplay and something’s earned but divine redress
Requires questions in the hours to come, those latter thoughts of distress
And wonder on some encounter in the looming longest night of nothingness,
Nemesis in paeans, time and endless waiting; rhymes are stress
Enough! these poesies and all that scansion in between lie flat, a wilderness
Of costs in hasty elevation of hymns that breathe the urge to to right a wrong
While in the time it takes to read this ode, its pen is dead and gone…
…la plume de ma tante, indeed!
…art by Nick McKnight…
Posted in Age, Aging, Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Poetry, Samsara, Sonnet
Tagged Age, Aging, Death, Dreams, Emotion, End Times, Existence, Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, Patience, poetry, Relationships, Sonnet, Tragic Flaw, Writing
Naked. The word marks itself in age; comments, ends
Infirm; naïveté, by now estranged, is all but gone;
As brightnesses on brilliant surfaces blur along
The way, volition evaporates. Where means were, now are subtrahends
Abandoned as antecedents vanish while the veils are rent….
Wonders laced with repetitious evensongs
Fuel silences, memories in chorus, hosts to throngs
If not multitudes to deal with what is spent
No longer expected, witnesses perhaps, to another lifetime.
There is no sure repose within a posse in martialed sally
Down foot-sculpted steps that undermine the slopes of my Holy Mountain,
Chosen by ambition in men, piety in pilgrims in endless fountains’
Futile babbling from the masses, swamps and natural brine,
Subtleties of light upon lights in phatic summits knowing nothing of valleys.
…photograph by karaflazz…
Posted in Age, Aging, Imagery, Lyric Poetry, Poetry, Sonnet
Tagged Age, Aging, End Times, Existence, Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, poetry, Relationships, Sonnet, Tragic Flaw
…a weak ghazal
Where can your tongue lead me? To the last day’s end? The evening?
I greet you with hope, you spend, not me but, yes! the evening.
They once knew we knew but in the mêlée. Only the evening.
So, then, we suspend the morning miles; now, then the evening.
And where did we go wrong? To the right? The left? The evening?
And when were we ever really free? In the day? The evening?
Your end or mine, what’s the difference? A simple evening.
A weakening, perhaps? Yes, and more! The final evening?
Concentric circles mark the path to finish the evening.
Round the bend, or to the point of no return, the evening.
Concomitant boxes house the letters in the evening.
Houses transcend the meaning of yet another evening.
And for Once the portion and the whole define the evening.
The end? A terse beginning, an hour within an evening.
Posted in Ghazal, Imagery, Lyric Poetry, Poetry, Sonnet
Tagged Emotion, Existence, Ghazal, Love, Lyric Poetry, Relationships, Sonnet
“So Easy to Feel”
So easy to feel, to seem to be, to know at last propinquity
As if the light declares the coming glory of the sun at daybreak
Redundant. But as that disk cannot be seen for more than seconds, I take
That certainty of coming morning within me,
Knowing that midnight’s richest prize in ivory
Is forever fixed as is the station of the sun; the moon an intimate
In someone’s flight, perhaps, but even so, as she reveals herself in states
And phases never hers, agitation gains nothing in the motion save in memory
And affectations of the sea within me–force upon another force,
Measured consequence of a functionary that renders boundaries
Of continental pride and the ocean’s doors
Cast aside in the riot of the tides, a natural stampede, no more
Than thresholds of natural accident, the stream and river’s course
Now rising, now again a swelling to apostrophes, eternal inertia born of gravity.
Posted in Change, Destiny, Existence, Experience, Fate, Image, Imagery, Imagism, Immortality, Isolation, Lyric Poetry, Midnight, Moon, Night, Ocean, Poem, Poetry, Samsara, Sea, Sonnet, Sonnets, Sun, Tides, Universe, Walls, Wisdom
Tagged Age, Double Sonnet, Existence, Imagism, Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Poem, Relationships, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets, Tides