Monthly Archives: April 2014

“Between the Particles”

“Between the Particles”

Between the particles, seeds, whole galaxies
With beings monstrous in physique by grace
To be or not to be of any consequence; a place
Of high dramatic action, energies, prolixities
And all that is the chaos and confusion here
Among us there between the millions, there
Where no present eye beholds the plan; fair
Throughout minions of the wide arena sated, dear
To those whose measures are diminutive
But in such numbers as we cannot command,
Or catalogue; and even here may be the death of man
In servitude to what is life to them, disease to us, illustrative
Of powers to the nano only recently imagined:
We seek where there is nothing; we see mountains in grains of sand.

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“Sonnet in Honour of the Feast of Jamál or “Beauty”

Bahá’ís throughout the world gather together before sunset to commemorate the first day of the Bahá’í Month of Jamál or “Beauty.”

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“Sonnet in Honour of the Feast of Jamál or “Beauty”

Dust from dust, the single particle,
The transformation, rust, the curse and blessings, ornamental numbers
To please the unities—vary weights to settle the matter—cosmic lumbers
Fortified in broad strokes,  letters given seraphs, articles
Of incorporation; yes! but to whom; to what eye or ear? Neanderthal
Or philistine, both regard beauteous bending of the light obliterating
A thing of greater timing than Movement alliterating
This with that, or these with those. The call
For more than senses can tolerate compromises
An abyss of physical multitudes and armies marshalled
To reconstruct themselves in harmonies, arsenals
Of discordant sighs and the mysteries of transubstantiation. Chaos apprised
Is order where there was none, beauty is but a cut, a degree above
The alloy wherein instinct succeeds and fear has turned to love.

…art by Robert Becker

“He Listens to the Radio”

“He Listens to the Radio”

He listens to the radio and contemplates the bridge
That crossed the river he remembers formed the border
Of the town in which he grew and learned the odours
Of the day, the fragrances of weeks and months, the ridge
And rim of years that lined his paths and fixed the seals
On his own parchment. Tonight, another abscissa of whatever dream, an obelus,
The mark he’s worn since first he first noticed that he’s not alone. The bliss,
The buzz and hum of silences and plot lines between the reels
And jigs, adagios and solemn counterpoints
That hold him here until the notes begin anew.
He lights a cigarette, spots a flaw on the counter’s surface. In lieu
Of joy, the music recalled, happiness drifts—the deft denial of the joint
Endeavour of the speaker and his ear as he finds the greater light
In what must come between the lines that holds him dearly in the night.

“But Was It Really Wise?”

“But Was It Really Wise?”

But was it wise to see the end in the beginning?
Once, some years back, I had a dream
That with some fellow travelers in several cars it seemed
W’d hit a traffic jam cum parking lot, the condescending
Leavings of some dire event up there at the sea in the ninth inning
While we were yet in the bottom of the fourth; the team
Had halted, caught bumper to bumper in the scheme
To escape or somehow reach the sea, in spite of spinning
Wheels and going nowhere, gears remained in “Park.” I spied a service road;
Seduced by prospects of short circuiting my journey’s
Trial, I pulled right over the grassy divide and hit the raked
Lane leaving the sheep in the dust. In short time, my naked
Chosen lane brought me to the shores of the ocean as foretold
By discovery of the secret solution but, lo! impatience replaced by
Circumspection proved a Pyrrhic victory, and was it really wise?

…within the dream, I had reached that sea, but as I looked back at the snake that was the long and winding trail of traffic, I realised that I had achieved the goal, I had arrived at the destination,…alone….

…I once had a student to whom I said, “It’s the early bird that gets the worm!” in a discussion we were having in class about the evils procrastination, to which he promptly replied, “Yes, but there’s no point in getting there before the worm!” Above the howls of disapproval from the rest of the class, I gave him an extension on his due date for the essay in question over the weekend for his blatant originality…

“Waiting”

Waiting-for

“Waiting”

Waiting. Waiting. From where I sit
I see but platitudes of prepositions in multitudes in wait,
Rapacious greyhounds―verbs and nouns cut off at the gate—
While dangling snails modify themselves in the gambit
Toward their verbal soup seeking refuge.
What’s quick and nearer are the terrors
Writ and easy abscess to blatant errors
In the long run baked in the heat of subterfuge:
Aye me! What act that roars so loud and thunders in the index?
Yet pundits scream and stream the name of truth
With the watchword “Breaking news!” Abstruse,
Perhaps, yes! Obtuse and perpendicular to a blatant text
Announcing nothing more than ounces first, then gallons
Of bile and holiness at the claw and retribution in the talons.

” Sonnet In Honour of the First Day of Riḍván”

Bahá’ís throughout the world commemorate this day as the First Day of the Festival of Riḍván, highest Holy Day in the Bahá’í Calendar, a day commemorating the Great Announcement made by Bahá’u’lláh, Prophet/Founder of the Bahá’í Faith on 21 April 1863, in the Garden known by the name of Riḍván [Paradise] in the city of Baghdád, Iraq, to the world that He was the long awaited Messenger of God for this Day foretold in the Holy Books of Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Islám, and heralded by the appearance of The Báb in Shiráz, Iran, in 1844. In short, we commemorate the Announcement to the world of the Advent of the Promised One of all ages. The Festival of Riḍván lasts for a full twelve days with the First, Ninth, and Twelfth Day being the highest Holy Days of the Bahá’í Year.

roses

“Sonnet In Honour of the First Day of Riḍván”

He calls the world to peace; the nations cry for war;
He calls the world toward the sun while the owls flee to shadows
In the night as far from one another as His Will allows.
Refractions in the gloom, they revel in the scores
Of symphonies, adagios, and choruses of universal pain,
The rites of self-annihilation, denial, and mutilation of the soul;
Their bodies, frigates of the aging war fleet grounded in the shoals.
And on this Day of all Days, He gathers refugees from the rain
To clothe the naked with the unity and simplicity of truth, roses
Of the Garden piled before His feet; the Great Announcement
Given first to those who knew His Voice, thereafter, the pronouncement
To the city of future pilgrimage, to Baghdád He discloses
His Identity; at last to all the world: The Second Trumpet’s come!
Lift up the veils, behold the Light! Leave the bats of loathing
To withdraw to their own chosen darknesses before the rising sun.

Rubies 2

“Still No Ease”

Thesis III

“Still No Ease”

Still no ease is welcome from the poisonous fount;
As grey to black as drifts decay, and still so still
The heart. Notwithstanding. The constant chill
Reminds him duly: count
The days. He has no other thing to do.
And if he leaves or if he stays
No one notes the difference! No gleaming clue
From greener days, no sweet delay
To think on what must surely come
Between the present and what defies
His every word, what devoutly flies
To any place but here. If it were, he’ll run,
He’ll walk, he’ll rehearse as all his thanes forgather,.
Flown yes! but that he lives is all that really matters.

“So Much for Boiling”

“So Much for Boiling”

So much for boiling when all you’ve got is consommé,
The elements somehow loosed in energies retaining simple dreams of taste.
What choice remains in substance but salt and what might otherwise be waste,
The dregs, the missed but lucid memory of sustenance, and come what may,
The season and antidote to cynosures in broth, a sinister and momentary stall
Of versions of hopes and yearning, long;
The bottom line, the lyrics and the melody of the latest song.
These tides succeed and then recede, retaining all
The borders’ former ramparts in its wake—deposits, dross,
Perhaps from this or from the other shore.
No need to heed the warning of the tides
Nor shift in continental plates; the worship of the ides
Of any period are balanced in the ocean’s roar
While we live shiftless, listless in the lighter cusps
Of what once was and what this is while seeking, moving, touching
former mountains’ peaks reduced to nothing more than dust.

“He Will Not Compromise”

fox

“He Will Not Compromise”

He will not compromise the stock, his private petri dish.
A line of foxes frolicking through the sheep must prick
The curiosity of any pilgrim pausing at the brook; the brick,
And mortar, tools of what a man constructs, the wish
That something happen here. Daubs of oil in the dish
Will draw the brush to do what must be done. The stick
Will find his cousins own the table; wicks
Are there, (if left unused) while golden fish,
Apparently at rest, take turns about the bowl
If only to sustain the journey to the point of death.
And so the heady phrase and weighty line:
While others may or may not find the rhyme
We neither weigh the consequence of natural signs nor pay the toll,
The fee for what it means to know the glory of the seed
within the bank of blanket soils of every soul.

fox1

“Yes, of Course”

“Yes, of Course”

Yes, of course, it’s in the silences, the gaps; what isn’t there,
A kind of saving grace. Yes, it’s in the wrist and more, a second
Maiden voyage. The news announces daily the Titanic’s jocund
Journey redux, greater for revision less the ware
And less absorbing in the loss of souls from rarer thinner air
Brought faithfully to task but mind you nonetheless a reckoning
Within a construct; no! an edifice of remembrances within the seconding
Of resolutions that determines Elliot’s wave within the self-defining stare
Of relative modernity; but one tsunami in eternity amid the voids of space.
The promise of redemption’s found in balances of degrees
In praise of beauty in the sun spots’ mighty aura, the aurora in the fray
Of loose inebriating Northern Lights–try distraction while you pray–
Try the Northwest Passage in the making high above the Arctic’s former grace
Notes, rhythms in the writ, a metaphor in G, perhaps, but played in C.

“There was peace and the world had an even tenor to it’s way. Nothing was revealed in the morning, the trend of which was not known the night before. It seems to me that the disaster about to occur was the event, that not only made the world rub its eyes and awake, but woke it with a start, keeping it moving at a rapidly accelerating pace ever since, with less and less peace, satisfaction and happiness. To my mind the world of today awoke April 15, 1912. – Jack Thayer, Titanic Survivor