“Dark Witnesses”

“Dark Witnesses”

Dark witnesses record with eyes that never were
When I was young and only dreamed of what was left
In life to me out there, some single beauteous breath
Of God’s own living spirit; and as I recall we all were sure
Of it, and not at all concerned as days flew passively
Away and left us glued to what was here and now.
We saw no further than what was just beyond the bow
Of some shining barque, stillborn, sailless but massive
Still. And as I gaze today on all that came eventually, I think
I saw where I would be one day, and in these latter hours smile
On what that meant and whose small eyes were set so many miles
From where he sat amazed. My own children’s children sink
Their eager toes so deeply now into the sand and squeal in praise
Of joys I knew I’d never know in what remained of all my days.

“Asking Nothing”

Queen-Bee
“Asking Nothing”

Asking nothing, pride itself knows no shame
But that it is not easily offended
By its authors, lasting aeons never once rescinded
As they bear hard against themselves with holy arrogance. Abel’s fame
Was no more great in folly than in triumph; blame,
The greater satisfaction, feeds upon itself, suspended
High above its frozen haven’s wasted heaven, extended
Low and lower than the expectations of his brother, Cain:
“Why,” then, “art thou wroth?” is heard with “What hast thou done?”
And in that instant, seconds into centuries cast their burdens
Leaving only fools to gather and surmise how long it’s been
Since innocence so easily spent itself pursuing means to every end.
If we breathe, we cannot be more anxious than the moon and sun,
And stars whose certain execution and anastrophe scribbles embroidered patterns equal to the physics of a nano-drop, as well, the roaring war of infinitives bound in verses primed that rhyme with energy and matter in the greater cosmic run.

“Happenstance”

Catherine Manchester

“Happenstance”

Happenstance and glory of a measured breath, the sun and moon
And distant scintillating light deranged and rearranged
To suite the insignificance of magnificence of a single scene and page.
Another sentence, a paragraph in which I find myself within a backlit room
To mark the hours the Doppler shadows all misfortune casts.
I have revelled in these signs, these periodic tedious monotonies,
Their very rising at once the thrall before the fall, monopolies
Of time and times again that only now appear to mask
Because when all that is has come to pass I happen to be standing here
A witness to creation’s synergies newly birthed. In the cold stare
Of noonish sunlight I sense with fragile accuracy the beneficial glare
Of all my peculiars, entities and particles that occupy the ear,
Delight the eye, and not so subtly remind me that I am,
And need not doubt the ground on which I stand.

…painting by Catherine Manchester…

“He Delights in Convenient Signs”

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“He Delights in Convenient Signs”

He delights in convenient signs: the sun, the moon, the stars
The universe, and through illusion his eyes declares the day
And night are one. His view will see its way
Through symbols. He sees all points of value from within or far
Above their azure prison bars of graphs, these atmospheres
That parent all the earth, extending parts per million through to voids
Above, below, and far behind the splay of asteroids,
And solitudes in comets, sunspots, suspect planets, clear
Blue skies, and all twelve scions in the heavens and this
With ease and loving faith with no regard for certitude. Who
Is not taken with parades, grand processions,
Multiples of keen perception spliced with clear impressions,
Curtain calls for universes, wholes in which the paper defines the clues
To occupy the crude sophistication of our many-billioned eyes?
And after all, these cosmic nosegays raise all souls, and take us to the skies.

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…at top, photograph by Jesse on deviantArt.com…

“Answers in the Tea-leaves”

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“Answers in the Tea-leaves”

Answers in the tea-leaves, sheaves appear before the harvest
Is gathered; there within the dross, a silence brewed to solution.
Questions, masked, bitters in the waters provide ablutions
To the tongue; dissolved, a saviour moot with which to invest
In what must come when coincidence and will are spent.
And what of proceeds, pensions, dubious transactions
Boxed and packaged in the cards, admiring factions
That succumb to givens in the numbers of the deck? The rent
Is paid, the covenants lapsed, and here again,
The possibilities drown within themselves! When Vonnegut died
There came a deadly pause and then applause (denied
Of course, but heard!) from every semi-colon on the plains
of every page. “Just so,” the concourse wails, “What will you write?”
“With what ink,”‘s the reply, “and with which nib,
and who’s the audience tonight?”

“But That We All Are”

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“But That We All Are”

But that we all are on the List and die
And once again appear on someone’s right
Or left-hand honoured roll in fame and light
And all that can be cherished, or idolised
Within a spectrum visible, allied,
Augmented well beyond the common sight,
Imagination rife with conjecture’s might,
A lunacy to thoughtful evidence, despised,
The greatest fear to those who would have it so,
Impediment to all that is the mind,
Bliss to hearts who bear the Holy Texts
Of all humanity; the choices grow
To what has sanctified the quest, the line
Of clear succession of life and what comes next.

Matt Adnate

…paintings above, Matt Adnate;  below, Michael Staniak…

“Elevation”

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“Elevation”

Elevation to a legend, some distant memory
Within a sutra following surely but words that pace themselves
In chalk on blackboards or filling multicoloured leaves in shelves,
Gemutlichkeit in the every room of schools. Their halls must now be
As filled with youth and years as mine have been,
The hours and back again, the morning smiles, the greater lesser thought
By thousands scribbled more or less in haste that are or ought
To be the natural quota on desks and doors. Beauty rests still and unseen
Within the fragile folds of lives and fortunes and in what was planted there
For generations; precursors to a sometime cause begun within my room,
Virtues nurtured, multiplied, and now extending beyond those stalls, and soon,
So very soon, beyond that august spot, the state and bailiwick of mirrors
That were my teachers and what I became to all I knew and all I had to teach:
The world need not wait now for what I gave to every child I ever reached.

“Questions”

Ambiguity_480

“Questions”

Questions mount in compliments, the third’s irrelevant:
To be or not to be, to seek the seen or unseen or not to see
at all; so, what’s a circus in a world without eternity?
Then, again, even if no one’s here still the monitor’s adamant
Unequivocal nothing has happened–so what’s the point?
And were you here beside me, would I then need sleep,
Awake but to open my mouth and sing? Would I seek another deep
Abyss within, impose a curfew on the thing or casually anoint
The latest impasse with a casual kiss? There’s a Judas in this;
His days are numbered with the dusts, the rust of wrinkled
Inevitability with excess housed in reliquaries of gold
Whence comes the latest least expected crop
Of shibboleths, coined and counted; there we’ll be atop the list
Some two branches on the tree, twin tokens found, no other sound,
And when I go you’ll miss the show, and who’ll lay me in the ground?

…art piece above by Robin Kranitzky & Kim Overstreet

“Sonnet in Honour of the Feast of Masá’il or `Questions'”

Bahá’í’s throughout the world gather today to commemorate the First Day of the Month of Masá’il [Questions]

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“Sonnet in Honour of the Feast of Masá’il or `Questions'”

Of sons, divinity required sacrifice;
Both obliged presented gifts, yet one
Found pleasure in the Judgment, son
And God were pleased; but, that the sacred rite
Eluded what was offered by the second
Brought an anger and a fire in Cain,
The fruit of envy, rancour, and desultory disdain
To both the elder brother and the God-reckoned
Greater of the two. Asked the Light,
“What hath made thee wroth?” silence was the answer.
The question posed, there rose no reply but cancer
Deep within the marrow of he who in his flight
Deduced the primal human action of the will:
Unbridled passion and the naked urge to kill.

“So Who’s’t Knows”

The Deluge by John Martin (1806-70). 1834.

“So Who’s’t Knows”

So who’s’t knows the end in such benign beginnings,
The coming floods that fallow flow from all that snow
And ice held hostage by the cold alone when any fool knows
That what comes down must in time admit a hit in later innings
The last whose time is preordained, the added sweater helps but winning
Nothing ‘gainst the close exchange that comes within the glow
Of this year’s logs piled high at the hearth, the comfort zone
Cannot endure another fiercer facing, just another frieze in reasoning
When all that matters now is reduced to splinters
In the opening hours of the wake of powers beyond a stream,
Beyond the hopes of wagers strung on nothing more
Than readings from the runes or yet another card pulled before
The Gipsy’s deck was shuffled or wrinkles of the winter’s
Palm were read, too little information here for dreams.