“She Wants To Write”
She wants to write; she struggles
With an angel, images are parboiled, ideas do not flow
At once and where she wants them. She demands to know
Just how it is that others write so freely, snuggle,
Fondle, knead words and sounds together,
Capture arias on napkins and motifs on the page;
Emanations of kinetic life on balconies of rage
And righteous indignation flaunts the comic flight of feathers
In outrageous colours never landing on igneous peaks
But forming xenoliths of grammar from the crystals of an age. Fear,
Perhaps. The answer for the muted mind lies somewhere near
A comic line of serendipity, anomalies of life: some there are who speak
In tragic eulogies, they place the goddess upright on the half shell;
her beauty swells―
The curse of fishermen and saints―
and some are simple poems in themselves.
The sum of yeasts expand the dregs of moments in the mould
Of images to come, some of use, most are not and so the breeze
In gentleness recalls; the times are short; the fee,
What stands stolid in the stamen that cannot yet unfold.
But, at so great a price, nothing enters, nothing leaves this place; nothing’s free and yet there is no looting, no Granny Weatherall
To fear that in the groaning, smoothly flowing
Movement, here to there, both fruit and flower never knowing
Unity of purpose, no consummation in the delicacy
of dwelling too long on what must be
A glory for the anther in the night,
auspicate in favour of shadows of their mutual fate
While a lighted path from here to there spells a restive, wearied state
In hours―minutes and seconds, really―and the weighty knowledge
that what augurs in the grace of beauty comes too late,
“. . .And I’ll be going, now!” The pistil whispers this. “I am too late!”
The stigma augments as the fruit becomes too ripe,
and aspirations of eternity expose their flaws
In auroras and rainbows as substances within themselves
one and all abandon fleeting glory in the name of natural laws.
” Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherised upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent To lead you to an overwhelming question …
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?” Let us go and make our visit.
In the room the women come and go Talking of Michelangelo..”
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
“With This Pen”
With this pen, the gliding of the tattoo’s nib,
Bestow but golden glyphs in beatitudes upon my flesh―
Remembrances of diagrams of holiness
Upon upon a stage of natural parchment aching for calligraphy
Applied to treated surfaces of the vellum―you see
Where seriphs of the lip
Or brow should be, the wounding chips
On treated space; upon the marble, pure geography
Of all that I may be, hung high above the altar
Of my temple; these where only God should be.
I cannot guide the stylus, nor should the page be pierced
Nor the open door disfigured with the signs and images of fierce
Unruly passions that waste themselves in bold and brutal scars
Where no man’s rhymes define where eternity and creation intervene.
So insignificant the sovereignty of seeds that, placed, submerged
In fluid dreams are nurtured by little more than nothing
Anyone would care to name, a coming
Out from mere suspicion or the niggling urge
To hesitate as all desires surge at first but merge
In reticence. To settle an affair becomes an offering
To yesterday’s ordeal in fire, its smoke behaves as incense smothering
Inspirations of the day, achieving neither strength nor courage,
Languishing in vested hints of tomorrow’s living light. Was that a sound
Or simple dim and dusty cymbal lightly struck as in a pill
That’s swallowed quickly if at all? Not so much is eaten,
Drunk, or taken in with less bouquet than what fermented wheat and
Barley can sustain of genius and inheritance falling to the ground
And never mentioned as the sower hears the cry of seeds he’s so lovingly played
to spill as did so many ancient Onans
In this world. As many souls who taste the sweetest fruit
Share little else but rind or skins with others, They savour
Choice selected vines and favour
No one with the first or second nor the last intoxicating drop in moot
Consumption not at all a proper celebration as they revel greatly,
Conspicuously in the spoilage of the nectar and the mead
In hot pursuit of nothing in particular―nor desire nor pleasure―beads
Of lapis lazuli and bloodstone dripping, luxuries of sweat and garlands lately
Slippings, strewn about in caverns hewn of pure prevarication
Spun 0f the silks from multiples of passions, spiders in a feast of ferial days
To raise the spirits of no man wiser in the ways
Of neither this world nor the Next. These, the invocations
Of the Lord of Wastes are sung as if to dare the gods to say
They’re gods, or God, Himself to act in some more ordinary way.
It’s something I would dearly love,
A lingering hour over some laboured coffee,
Endless silent memos, axioms and nuances, copies
Of all thought never filed, perhaps an argument, a sweet denial; gloves
That fit and one long last diatribe about the meaning of it all
In the suffocating smoke of numbing consummation
from billows of noxious odours from the bar and grill.
I would cherish nonsense from the waitresses about the change of shifts
and what she should but does not leave the busboys; a shrill
Declaration that it’s closing time with no one left but me to heed the call.
The betterment of the world requires a slightly jaundiced nod
To the righteous riots of the right, and lascivious liaisons to the left of things;
Feeble salutes to régimes of former times and how things used to be, such rings
Around the bathtub and imperatives as flush the overshadowed
wonders of the cellphone and the iPod.
Well, after all,…it’s late and I’ve some few important things to do
Before I hit the sack with little left of lean and loads of fat to chew.
Legacies of passion bred are anger, isolation,
Milks and agèd wines of absolutes, the rites of self-pronunciation
Bridled only by the use of an abacus and an eager congregation
Of admirers, sycophants whose impatience as a disposition
Renders plaudits based in raw consensus and the mass;
Spores of imitation multiply in the moonbeam’s registration
As in the wonders of a single drop, all satisfaction
Grounded not so much in what is there, but crass
Exaggeration of importance brewed
From natural focus and the power of digits in a queue
Eliminating all that lies outside the droplet’s view
Of unabated force of arrogance in a living stew.
Take away the copyright, the licence, and the chit,
Remove the barriers, and all that’s left of passion is the writ.
Its spectres gathered inward from the months and years ahead.
I know my place in all of this and know it’s not beside my bed
But there among the orphaned and the dispossessed
That I address my prayer along the paths on which all crawl. Bred
To this and to the refuse and the residue of banquet halls,
I am a herald of the many visions only barely heard or weakly dreamed.
In times like these it is from these I must be weaned: we address what seems
And leave the rest to chance. We bear cacophony within these stalls
And mask what’s left in history. Newborn luminaries here within my candle’s
Tower’s stout enough, will take the memory and melody through the thick
Of youth, the middle primes, and then, alas, no further. Though the wick
Be bound in massive waxen walls, the stand and handle
Well secured, today I am remembered and remember well the wounded womb
From which I came, and seek for nothing less than this within tomorrow’s tomb.
“Striking Images “
Striking images, prehensile joys recall that
Memories linger as cinders in the shadows, sorrows, which is to say
What begins in joy must have an end. Would that the execution’s stay
Made sense beyond the dream, the diagram of calculated error in the flat
Of one man’s palm so that intrinsic to the finest fabric’s slightest flaw, within
The stitch’s realm materials might negotiate what only an apostrophe
Can define in this fine weave or that sublimity of tapestry;
Skeins and lots, souls and families suffice to begin
Again or to elude what will or will not last.
Sadly, even they who know sit quietly as accidents upon the shore
And know that what they know they only borrow.
So, too, fireflies and dragonflies worn
Loosely by horizons of a world so few if any ever see. They merely cast
Aspersions for the doubtless: Ask them, then, who folds the seas
And and sets them free, and what they find in eternities.
“Let It Heal”
Let it heal; it’s been there long
Enough to found a nation; take a last and second look,
Then shut it down and walk away. It wasn’t curiosity cooked
The cat but simple needs and nowhere else to go.
You’ve memorised the song,
You’ve got the tune so move along to other less auspicious paths
To plots and bedtime stories where you know you’ll tend another scratch,
Another scab or lesser wounds. There’ll always be another bus to catch;
The city’s full of them. No motley cast
Of clowns has ever dulled your swollen wit,
And just around the corner―there it sits,
The perfect way―a proper dénouement to end the latest holiday. It fits,
You know, you’ll always profit; today the last, tomorrow’s penultimate to sit
This number out soon enough occurs to you, and there
You’ll be with just enough emergency to pursue some new found energy
To spur your little nudge of natural synergy
To face what is, and what’s about to scare
The Jack and all your sister’s cornflakes out of Jill.
The whole thing’s got to heal, and given time it will.
Vacant eyes among the dead
But still with us here, adamantine in the living; not one
Cipher yet released but vision’s blighted and charity is stunned
For fear of seeing what is here exchanged for fear and dread
Of what are but liquid saline crystals. Innocuous, yes, but give it time,
My friend, and what today may not be said
Will circumvent the tongue that spreads
The a smple truth. Esteemed, again, perhaps, but forked and evenly refined
As is all speech within the audience of the tomb; extinguished, a blight within
The dark, the abyss of pupils’ definitions signed in sighs of the redeemed
Who only gape at wounds, whose lips now openly gainsay
Self-deception, its liquors distilled from all that glitters in the winds.
To he who will, decision falters in the light of day;
To he who has no will, the tongue will rush to have its say.
“We Might Have Had the Pleasure”
We might have had the pleasure had the time
Been right, and happenstance left us free
To choose a spot in which to plant a seed, perhaps a tree–
An eternity in a second chapter of a virgin field–or raise a kind
Of sacred dust while gathering pumice redolent of recognitions due,
Trusted as errata from the ancient books amongst
The monks’ and elephants’ litanies of growing sorrows
in a blighted land, and struck the bell or raised the trunk
To trumpet all that is the last hour, the last of majesties renewed;
These, remembrances of the whole, recreations stark
Against a wall of shrinking orisons charged to do
What they’ve always done. These, the memory of all that’s due
The earth, reunion of hosts in perennial remembrance of the Ark
Of their salvation. These, the gifts and treasures of the last great flood replaced,
Secured once more within Pandora’s jar, the behemoths’ sacred bones,
as tree rings, tablets stained, some broken, some tattered but never erased.