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″!
Posted in 9/11, Bitter herbs, Ciphers, Danger, Day of mourning, Fractures, Media, New York City, Poetry, Proclivity, Remembrance, Rubrics, Shrine, Sorrow, Warning, Zeitgeist
Tagged 9/11, End Times, Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, Sonnet, Sonnets, Strife, Writing poetry
Transitions, troughs and floodgates
Swell before the crops are in;
Appointments rough-hewn begin
From centuries’ wealth in soils. He hesitates.
Lamentations of the classic farmer’s touch
Bestowed on something that was expected
Neither to outlast the seed nor tip the balance but once elected
Audit landscapes from the past and serve the sudden rush as much
As circumstance permits a well to gush and choose another path.
He was a teacher; was, and no doubt
Will continue to apply the torch to oils of souls
Whose mission is to lance the boils of youthful wrath
And freely prime the wells of mass miscalculation of the myths,
The babbling and cursive powers of hubris and its shibboleths.
Posted in Age, Aging, Centuries, Crops, Farmer's touch, Floodgates, Hubris, Imagery, Lamentations, landscapes, Lyric Poetry, Miscalculation, Myth, Oils, Past, Poetry, Samsara, Seed, Shibboleths, Soils, Sonnet, Teacher, Terrorism, Transitions, Troughs, Wealth, Well, Wrath
Tagged Age, Aging, End Times, Existence, Lyric Poetry, poetry, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets, Strife, Youthful wrath
“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
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
“Bethlehem’s Hours’ Mourn”
Bethlehem’s hour’s mourned, furtive glances northward toward Nazareth;
Veiled her expectations as soon enough her promised Son survives.
She knows that somewhere in between this king contrives
Within himself to build a wall. He practices precision; he does not guess.
He knows exactly what he wants, and from the East come
Three who only recently made queries round the campfires
‘Neath the skies beyond the Jordan. Casually they’ve inquired,
“What are these walls, and what the genesis of guns
And orchards plaited all along the shepherds’ run? Whose images are these,
And what is it they disguise, the vulgate for the people?”
Yes, they come, these three, adrift once again stalled between the steeples,
Barred, forbidden. Then again, their passage isn’t what it used to be.
They ask in vain and find the answers come as no surprise.
The king’s awake tonight; he’ll not fool the wise this time.
Posted in Bethlehem, Caesar, Christmas, Christmas Season, Civilisation, Double Sonnet, End Times, Herod, Holy Land, Hubris, Imagery, Imagination, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Magi, Materialism, Nazareth, Night, Poem, Poetry, Ptolemy, Pyrrhic Victory, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets, Walls, Wise men
Tagged Bethlehem, Christmas, Christmas Season, Double Sonnet, End Times, Herod, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Nazareth, Pain, Poem, poetry, Ptolemy, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets, Wise men
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
Bahá’ís throughout the world gather today within the First Day of the Month of Kalimát [Words] before sunset to celebrate the first day of the Bahá’í Month of Kalimàt.
“Sonnet in Honour of the Feast of Kalimát or “Words”
The Word illumines surfaces in the soul;
Not so the mortal eye, my friend–they who dilate
Earthly limitations know the truth–they violate
The borders of the pupil to occlude accents from a dream. The flow
Of images beneath the lids so often bound, so ever-weathered,
Couples with the muse, crown a cosmic wind of aromatic lustre in the ether,
A cloud—a simple afterthought of action forged in fires of hubris–either,
Lust or fear, pilots in the path of all dust: both are witnesses. Tethered
Wonders, perceptions of the lens, veined, suited in appearance; perceptions
Of an ancient mountain’s bile or gleaned from its seed, diamonds from the sun
Are death to those who negate. Just so, say Prophets in the Sealed Writ or sung
Beyond capacities of the ear heard when spoke, pronounced and uttered
Only once in pre-existent natural form. Seized,
the Word is cut and polished in the tailings of the present.
The Holy Word defines the substance of the raw material of divine parsimony
cut and spliced in sacrifice, rendered gems from ores of human ignominy.
Posted in Bahá'í Months, Bahá'u'lláh, Bahá’í, Bahá’í Faith, Dreams, Dust, Fear, Hubris, Lust, Lyric Poetry, Muse, Poetry, Words
Tagged Feast of Kalimát, Lyric Poetry, Sonnet, Sonnets, Words
“So Tired Tonight”
So tired tonight; the late nights rarely float;
I am here as much as there and wondering in myself when
If ever I will see the stars as well I once knew them. Then again,
The myriad monumentals, the smokey smell of creosote
From aging wharfs, the former headiness of worry,
The urgencies of thoughtlessness and giddy
Private joys of knowing no one knows the silly
Things I want to do. Night birds and a flurry
Of noted messages here, and over there, again the sun
That must soon rise high I see with it all
The weight of clear desire to rearrange what’s left of my small
World; and as for that lost ambitious excited little crab who cannot run
But sideways in what he takes as his private room, he’ll never make it back,
You know, to where he started as so easily the tides will smother both our tracks.
Posted in Aging, Crab, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Poetry, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets, Tides
Tagged Existence, Imagism, little crab, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, silly things, Sonnet, Sonnets