“He Lingers”

“He Lingers”

He lingers to the left then for years and more;
She satisfies herself with seconds to the right and even less,
A glance or two at captive lantern lights and sparks addressed
To moths who do not know the reason for
Their fascination nor what sweet dangers lay
In this or that confection spread between days and weeks with little time
To verify the obvious–candles all but disappear
in sunlight and words that rhyme
With fire usually point the way to fatuous invection,
the pox of every yesterday;
And in the convalescence of the early dawn,
her doubts evaporate like myrrh she’s quite forgot
When she airs her rooms as if the purpose
in his witness were merely balm for pain–
All her earthbound joys share the momentary contents
of a rural mailbox, shelter in the rain
For those who still receive their letters with the circulars. Caught
In fantasies defined in galaxies that disappear at sunrise
there remains the death knell of worlds,
The casuistries of nouns and adjectives
that sue for peace beyond the pale of words.

5 responses to ““He Lingers”

  1. Now, this one speaks to me completely clearly, yet…

    I can not put it into words… 🙂

  2. I suspect that anyone who has had a relationship of one sort or another would find that it “speaks to” them “completely, clearly, yet…I cannot put it into words.”

    My best educated guess is that kind of silent reaction is due to the generality of souls at present who approach the collective necessities for the protection of family and children, those that have been reinforced even by the material laws revealed by every Manifestation, but somewhat lethally alloyed with their own personal sovereignties before God, relationships that are entirely unique and personal between any given man and his God and entirely divorced from any other similar covenant with the one God; If the Manifestation of God is alone, so, too, are we, the emanations of that same Manifestation and it is entirely proper to see the necessity for each of us to encourage the full potential of such a view in life, natural, divine in nature, and ultimately always confirmed. Conversely, it seems that at the present rate, the increase of the idea and concept of a personal covenant with God or any of His Manifestations has rapidly devolved in short ordre, the tyranny of sirens, charismatic anomalies, the ravages of numinosum and the elevation of accident in life to the rank of rule furthered by the clergy, politicians, leaders of all stripes, CEO’s, and right on up to almost but not quite through the door of Buckingham Palace.

    What fool believes that the secondary regulation of the collective remnants of social and religious shibboleths has anything at all to do with one’s personal relationship to God; conversely who believes a drop of water can survive intact and entirely independent of every other drop within a rainstorm? Those who weigh such things are confused; those who ignore such things are confused, but it is a cinch that sooner or later, we are attracted to this person or that one, we fall in love with this one or that one, and become involved in the critical mass of this group or that one, and by now, with each and every instance, it is quite possible to come out the other end with something close to having some identification with social and personal truths that speak to any of us “clearly, yet…” cannot put it into words.” In Our Town by Thornton Wilder, Emily asks if anyone ever truly appreciates the value of every moment of our lives, and the Stage manager replies, “No, saints and poets, maybe…they do some.”

  3. Yes, Sir, you really do need to write more prose and publish it, too 🙂

  4. Yes, well, it’s obvious from what I wrote in that last message that I am not all that disciplined in the writing of prose…and then there are the glaring errors.

    Alexander: It seems to me that I have only three modes of writing in prose: 1.) right on with everything in its place, every jot and tittle, and so much so that when I read what I’ve written after a day or so, I sit back and wonder, even marvel at it even as I often do with my sonnets since I know very well I am not an artist, but an artisan, and have been teaching students the difference between the two though decades; 2.) just fine, fairly lucid, not bad at all but with glaring grammatical, spelling, words accidently left out, and syntactical errors and worst of all, what amounts to pomposity, pedantry, inappropriate diction, and obscurity, because what I may think of as plain and simple, at times I can see how it might be that others might think that what I have produced is downright esoteric, mysterious, and vague, and fanatically religious, in short, my content and style are unfair and discourteous to the particular audience that has inspired whatever I have written; 3.) an impossible jumble with every kind of error known to any English teacher and close to impossible to read at all. Number 1 is rare for me in prose; #2 is the majority of what I write in prose, and #3 rarely but often enough will show its ugly face and is embarrassing at times.

    Over and above anything, I think is the observation that my sentence structure, like my sonnets, includes impossibly long sentences. Of course, while this is not a cardinal sin in and of itself, having said that, the average person I know is often intimidated by it because while most would watch a screen for hours in the dramatic presentation of any given subject, reading, on the other hand, is a thing that has not received much attention and even when I was still teaching, I noticed, increasingly, that there were numbers of students who actually refused to read at all. It did not help that smart teachers of composition and creative writing tend to use the mantra, “Keep it simple, short, and be kind to the reader!”

    Yes well, it’s a good thing that the last three Manifestations had no training in writing in Persian and Arabic or we’d be left as bewildered as Christians seem to be at the thought of what, exactly, Christ said. Thomas Wolfe [1900-1938] had problems with revision so badly that after his first novel,Look Homeward Angel, after having fought his publisher’s [Scribner’s] merciless cutting of over 66,000 words and having it happen again with his next novel, he turned away from that publisher and from then on, simply brought a trunk of his written material, not at all in any order, and left it to his future publishers to simply hire someone to revise his work and get on with the publishing. Unfortunately, he died young in 1938, the same year his reviser at Scribner’s died, and the rest was history.

    But to return to your comment, I want to say that while I appreciate what you said and other messages you have written before this time, still, if I had both eyes going strong, if I had not had heart problems as I still do, if the complexities of this particular moment in time what with the changes in the basic direction of deepening and teaching that have been coming from The Universal House of Justice after the passing of the last Hand of the Cause of God, if; if; if; and many more ifs, then I suppose it would address myself to the a matter of polish in style, on the one hand, and, on the other finding an audience. My downfall in prose has always been voice while I know that I cannot imagine at this point in my life that I would ever run out of content and even so, it is true that I cannot run out of audience insofar as it does not take much for me to write once anyone I know offers to actually say anything of merit, not phatically, but emphatically, and thus, it becomes as easy as pie to write with that person or that group in mind. Nevertheless, who reads, who listens in an age of tweeters? Unless and until a man has a recognised station, a professor, the director of this or that, the owner of an Audi or Jaguar, the proprietor of a home in which my entire apartment could take up the space of but one of the rooms in such a “palace”; the holder of a title within the Administration of the Cause [now that the Hands and their appointees are a thing of the past], or possessed of some kind of charisma that is beyond analysis, who reads, who listens?

    I remember one of my students from the early 80’s showed up at my door selling a book of his poems that he published himself; I bought one. In subsequent conversations, we discussed his writing, or, closer to the truth, he spoke about his writing. As I remember, he went on and on about what he was attempting to express about the process of writing [which seemed odd considering the fact that he had been in my senior English and so surely he must have known that what he was saying was already more or less known to me. At some point, after meeting with him in a local park here, I ventured to mention that what he needed to do was to write, and to write, and to write some more and drown himself in the reading of the greater literary poets. He seemed to ignore the substance of what I was saying and returned to the expression of what he called the pain and mental effort it takes to write. After that last conversation, I went home, and over the period of two weeks, I wrote a series of vahíds, a form of poem that I invented on the spot with a set of simple impromptu conventions including the writing of nineteen lines [as opposed to fourteen ] and a certain arbitrary set of rhyme schemes. I wrote five sets of nineteen vahíds per set and all of them about him. When, after two weeks, I gave him a copy of these, he was flabbergasted; he also did not have much to do with me for a few years. When we finally got together again, he said that he had those poems as a precious item on his bookshelf; my feeling at the time was that he probably read only a smattering of them and stopped in reaction to the conventions I used. Recently, he has called me sporadically in recent times and recited much of what he is writing now. I was not bad at all and I was glad for him. Having said that, I left out the part of what seemed to me a kind of perfection of the expression of psychological realities that were so proper and popular in the 70’s through to the early 80’s; in short that parade has already passed by. I was able to do what I did because I knew this student myself through active experience of having seen and known him for many years, on the one hand, and, on the other, I wrote all those poems with him in mind and about him and therefore I had the necessary audience to get on with that project. To be sure, the poems were pompous, pedantic, maudlin, and a string of other similar negatives, but I did it. In time, actually, it was that experience with that student/poet that led to the writing of my sonnets in time once I discovered Stumbleupon.

    Realistically, however, neither of us are starving writers as so many of the great writers were almost to the end of their lives and even those who discover new genre, like the first discoverers of the Western Hemisphere, may have been lauded from time to time, but died alone and penniless as did both Oscar Wilde and Christopher Columbus, the most to hope for is the station of an artisan and do it while receiving a semi-comfortable pension.

    As it is, content, in my case, is not a problem with or without the applause of my fellow man and certainly most academics who have all but crapped out considering two world wars, ruinous civil wars, and utter disregard for the destitute that make up the greatest portion of the population of 7,000,000,000 souls who find themselves with us at present and seen nightly on CNN or FOX; above all, if it were not for the collective exigencies of being a Bahá’í with other souls who are more or less endowed but as far or farther from perfection as I am, on the one hand, and, on the other, attending to whatever it is I find in my own peculiar station with God, Himself, the idea of perfecting my prose is not a present something that is likely to happen. Aside from all else, I don’t really think I have much time left in this world and it is this specific thought that accounts for the present revising and posting of my poems before the end. I, too, and tired of this world; I, too, hope to attract someone or some thing to the Truth if at all possible either in my sonnets or in messages that I exchange from time to time on both Stumbleupon and WordPress, and in the end, both my sites at Once [if you’ll pardon the neo-pun] are as I have said, “a kind of testament,” something Bahá’u’lláh has certified in the Bahá’í Laws of this Dispensation in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas. Since most souls [at least in the West and Europe] have succumbed to their own navels when it comes to conversation, most seem to prefer communicating virtually and cannot be bothered to do it in person, and since even The Universal House of Justice has endorsed the use of the arts―all of them and not merely music―it seems only fitting for either of us to use the arts for precisely that purpose.

    Lately, I have thought that were I to win millions in the Mini-Lotto, first I would tell no one, second, I would settle my financial affairs that are not bad but still are there since anyone on a pension knows that one does not get rich on pensions, and third, I would be on a plane once again for Florida for the duration of the winter and write to my heart’s content.

  5. I am speechless but not heartless.

    I wish I could sit with you, face to face, and find a way to convince you to publish beyond the confines of this blog and StumbleUpon.

    I’m now wishing on a star.

    Perhaps in the next life we could both visit that star and shares a few laughs about life on Earth…

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