Monthly Archives: August 2012

“What Softer Melodies”

“What Softer Melodies”

What softer melodies heard the other side
Of mirrors, doubled, perpetual in returns
To both the seer and the seen, burn
Memories in the afterglow. Waves obeying tides
Remove all witness out to sea, erasing steps, colliding,
Reverberating―as if we must be told we never learn
The first time―revisiting familiar images, taciturn
Reminders that apparently we, astride the shore abiding,
Encounter in the flood the restive need to keep on moving.
Inevitable, too, the image in the glass reflects the light
That cannot pause but in the subtle notion
Of someone suddenly defined by some tragic emotion
Spelled in comic ciphers only catalysts and radicals can read,
Effects remembered only vaguely in the anguish of the night.

“The Strand”

“The Strand”

The strand is smooth, straws and silver threads
Extend along a line from every summer’s county fair
To forever’s histories and never mind who’s there;
Unless it’s effortless, what may or may not be seen or said,
Declared or promised, nothing strikes a dénouement
Before the climax, a careless detail wrought before
The action;  mere statement preëccupies horizons. Friction’s cribbage boards
Exist in particles scattered by synergies of natural endowment
In the winds as ever eastward jet streams on a cloudless day;
Circumstances rise but so high above the nimbus thus far
Across a skies’ perceptions yet confined below the collegium of stars,
The temporary aisles of a lasting peace crowns the noisome fray
Howsoever bound as portions of the earth wherein are sown
The greatest veils of mortality the world has ever known.  

Photograph by John Lewis

“The Seasoned Stock”

“The Seasoned Stock”


The seasoned stock will wither at the thought

Of new proprietors, newest gains, evidence

Of miraculous change in what becomes the cadence

Of an afterthought, inevitable axiom of precedence caught

Short by those who must acquire knowledge wrought or bought

From experience, a bouquet of hardened blossoms in residence

With traditional seed that were yesterday’s weeds whom no fence

Can rule and no conscious quota contain; closures sought,

Nothing short of disproportionate grief must be the end

Since no one here survives the downfall, albeit biographers abound.

Some well-meaning muse once said to me that magnificence abides

In waters’ rampant fluid stance upon these dried sands, their presence hides

But evanescent progress insofar as what is persistently profound attends

What is in fact a deadly witness that what is lost is always found.

“So Wizened”

“So Wizened”


So wizened minutes leading to the exits;

The works of art are ended, conversation grow moot

For those who gave themselves at the ticket booth—

Their latest greatest vendor of the eyes and word. Tired texts

Are cast against the ear and brilliant screen, a feckless

Lexicon begun when all of us were children, but precious roots

Not seen and altogether missing for precocious flukes

And tenderest green shoots that ever rise to  what comes next:

“Now I lay me down to sleep.” Gnarled twists, these flawless stems become

When once the everyday surprise of morning gains in gravitas.

Quotidian change the harbinger of strange and wondrous sap,

At once the greatest fear and only hope to close the gap,

And all conceals just where it was we all began and where the run

Of luck and love and all that life holds dear must land.

Photograph at top by BS Garvin

“Questions Mount”

“Questions Mount”

Questions mount by ranks in compliments, the odd, the even third’s irrelevant—
To be or not to be, to seek what’s seen or unseen or better not to see
at all—so what’s a circus in a world without eternity?
Though you’re never here; the monitor’s are and adamant,
Unequivocal, belligerents beyond the why and wherefore, or what’s the point?
And were you here beside me, would I then need sleep?
Awake, of course,  but to open my mouth and sing? Which?
Would I seek another ocean’s steel, another steep
Abyss within, impose a living curfew on the thing or casually anoint
The advent’s risk with just a simple kiss? There’s a Judas in this
Somewhere and while his days are numbered with the dusts, a wrinkled
Inevitability seals an excess housed in caskets filled with gold.
When the last least crop
Of shibboleths is coined and counted, there he’ll be atop the list
Some two branches lower on the tree, twin broken tokens found, and not other sound.
And when I go,

I’ll nowhere to be found and who is’t takes time to lay me in the ground?

…Concessions, yes, of course, in hirsute clouds and rust stains from the last and latest deluge drained that dusty rains can well afford; their comfort, hearts within the sheltered warmth and nightly wells of welcome find everyone in time refined in my own bed…

…I imagine angels on the pillow where I lay my head,
And when I write I am at Temple as I pray in nightly sanctuary of the arts
Within my head; I read or hear within the marble tabernacle some tale, a fable
Running rampant through that vapid place where syllables and sounds abound
But are not voiced and never heard as choirs of laughter round
The workman’s bench, no clock is wound, as guests have long since left the table.
Yes! One day’s maintains bear no obvious hint of perseverance,
No consolation in arrears for years, no respite from the constant consequence
Of experience formed in beads of real fears. Vision simply comes to me, enabled,
Ready made. Who I am to speak? With whom am I that am alone? I ignore
The luminosities of mirage as I lay here but for a superficial middling time,
And here with me is what almost never is and almost nothing more.

Original Burlwood Sculpture at top by Leo E. Osbourne…