Category Archives: Age

“Simple Blocks and Wheels”

“Simple Blocks and Wheels”

Simple blocks and wheels, sombre reminders
Of what it was I had to do and where to lay the hands;
My world, an expanse of conquered floors, the lands
Of my imagination, the intricacies of finders
Keepers, some helpful word, perhaps the key
To meeting nuances and overcoming obstacles,
Rites of singular and plural with canons to the right and canticles
To the left of learning; now the primer, now the spelling bee,
And all the while the painful elongation
Of extremities and bedtime stories
When it seemed that all I wanted were the glories
Found in just another glass of water as a right and prolongation
Of those steady arms, not the voids implied in counting sheep
Or the monotony of that final mantra: Now I lay me down to sleep….

“It Matters Nothing”

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“It Matters Nothing”

It matters nothing in the lightly screaming
Thoughts of what I might have done
Had this not gone so far; the early’s clusters, the latter’s stars, the sun’s
Eternal meridian, no matter what the clouds, the veils, the feelings,
With midnight’s nightly thinking on the path through Saturn’s rings
Remains the same, and in the end, illusion never dies.
So constant, time in winnowed wanderlust—the skies
The seas, the cosmic meadow’s breeze where only quasars sing
Simple measure pleasures of a thought made longer than a dream
That I may walk beside the old canal that leads to even older docks.
Yes, of course.  I might have visited more often.  But clocks
Are stormy petrels, eternal days that leave a stain on what’s deemed
Meet and seemly for the nonce; so while I frequent these familiar lanes I think
On what I might have said and how I might have stayed awhile,
and wines I’ll never drink.

…photograph above by ECU…

“The Phrase”

Hazel Reeves3

 

“The Phrase”

The phrase transcends the pen withdrawn
And so, too, the movement in and of itself.
The notebook’s filled, volumes line the shelf
And there upon a winter’s night, the low straw
Wins and he reviews the lot and finds the flaw
In each. Perhaps a word crossed out, a gulf
In time allows a light to objectivity less the self.
And when the wheel stops, the law
Of averages condemns the thing to sit there
Once again, forgotten, anonymous as a star
That far away, explodes with fireworks
That would consume a galaxy—matter gone berserk—
Ignite and what had no energies now amassed, a pregnant flare
Until at last, one starry night, a whisper reaches earthly ears.
Just so, the incomplete, the Word to words and back again
Traverse the gap as the task of phonemes
Aspires to ascend to higher stations, morphemes
Honoured in this natal happy path. Observe:
Throughout the zodiac of conscious meaning
Stars that matter to velocities in galaxies
Reborn inspire genitive ignition in the gravity
Of natural wisdom’s past and present leaning
To fruition in what was always meant to be.
The moon, in its phase; the sun, its angry season,
The poet writes within a pendulum of forces, reason
Bound, but nonetheless eternal mysteries
Revealed as the Ancient of Days calls behind the present hour
Words from phrases only time, distance and the pen can devour.
As the audience is eternal, so, too, what will compel
The heart and mind to ideal calligraphy; the wordsmith’s nod
Secure. And as “the source of all learning is the knowledge of God,”*
So, too, the gravitas of the nib cannot be silenced, nor the muse expelled.

Hazel Reeves2

*Bahá’u’lláh, “Words of Wisdom”, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh

…pieces of scupture by Hazel Reeves...

“But at the Centre”

2-face-golden-mask

“But at the Centre”

But at the centre, in the middle, somewhere near
The eye, a briefer moment’s respite as well—yes, in sleep
You see a reticence, a full judicious leap,
Perhaps an extra lap between the truth in me and fear
In the new year, that wanderer along the narrow streets
Of cities where I am; albeit truth is here, there is no storm
Since nothing earthbound moves where angels swarm.
Where I am neither earth nor heaven retreat.
The man is circumcised; search the eyes,
What flies, what armies do you see?
Search the skies for what it means to be
Or not to be and there’s the torch raised high above the lies
Of heart and mind. From one or from the other, in solitude no one clearly sees
But eight seconds’ distance from the sun, and slightly less from me.

particles

“Just Leave It Here”

bath

“Just Leave It Here”

Just leave it here, or put it over there,
I’ll rip into it sometime when you’re not
Around; perhaps a little later when I’ve caught
Some rest, or just a nap, or seek the tender care
Of the refrigerator―or, maybe just a bath,
Of course! A bath―tonight, no standing shower: bubbles!
Yes! And contemplations of the past while I forget my troubles,
And the neighbours’ radio loud enough to raise the wrath
Of God from migrant angered angels, curses that I’ve never heard
Before, or maybe have, but never memorized. It’s time for Mahler’s Third,
And while I’m predisposed to being altogether unperturbed
It wouldn’t do to push the envelope too far…. Yes, feed the bird,
Walk the dog, and later on, when evening’s gone
I’ll gladly open what you brought me, while I wonder what went wrong.

…painting by Dick Detzner…

“The Finite Question”

the-finite-universe-richard-ortolano

“The Finite Question”

The finite question—Thank you very much!
Will do me fine, my friend, nothing more’s
To grasp; not “Why?” but jewels of “Who?” or “What?” The core’s
Chorus at my reach within a lifetime. Touch
A heart within my passion’s fields and ask me “When?”
Or “Where?” or even “How?” and I am whole
No more than any man must be, for when I troll
The deeps for useful answers to finite human ends,
I come equipped as any in the crowd
Because I walk the earth, and from the mind
And human blindness come all answers to the blind,
…And be assured we are all blind. The infinite, the “Why?”a loud
And brash defiance in defense within the foam, “I am no fool,
No prophet! I speak nothing from divinity,
but from a simple earthly rule.”

“From Memory”

Propagation of Inner Thoughts

“From Memory”

From memory alone he entertains a pen with ease,
Awash with sundry inks and hues, now
Arresting generous portions of his brow,
Now attracted and content, a troubling frieze—
Peas with carrots, onions chopped too close
Within a future fry, not one but two with herbs allied,
Exposed for what they may now achieve, placed as rhymes
In elements combined to test his Pilate; cloves’
Oppressions no doubt forced at length albeit spare with salt declined,
And as carbon to the diamond, brine
Is changed to water, water thence to wine,
He’ll conjugate his troubled vision, his emotions intertwined,
And as she cooks, yes! even as he looks on,
to her polite laconic thoughts are tossed
As into boiling pots and frying pans, and all his thoughts are lost.

“Take Care”

sand

“Take Care”

Take care, my friend, I’ll be gone when all
Is said and done and you’ve exhausted myriads in travelled
Roads and paths, chimaeras that solace compromise and cavil
At direction to overload the slightest wish to pray. The call
Of newborn yesterdays is rife in youthful sirens
As orisons in skies above your auguries where eagles simply scream.
Purpose breeds sedition, yes! yellowing, a tax upon all leaves;
Salacious fruits produce addictions turning virtues into vices.
Shall I remain transfixed while you decide which road is best?
Simple neighbours here will waste my heart to roll the dice
And serve the tea but once in modesty while you have tasted thrice
Forbidden fruit with no refund, no return surviving tests
of all in wit, concentric verbal feasts, and bruise your soul
on all twelve stations of the zodiac to boot, an endless unrecorded smile
seducing what is left of memory of yet another mile.

…photography by Colin Bury…

“There Are Times”

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“There Are Times”

There are times when rocks are all I need,
A shelter, something solid, something half complete.
No eternal covering, nothing dreamed. I just can’t sleep
Right now, and all I want to do is sit a spell, and see
Myself through what it is I ought to feel.
There is so much to think about at times,
(The lunar bride’s not called as yet) my mind’s not clear, but I’m
Not sure I care to do a thing nor move about those eels
I see that make so many close to me so utterly confused.
You know I rarely miss my ride, so, if
You don’t mind, I’ll sit and stare, and sift
Through things I shouldn’t think about, and muse
About myself till dusk. And if you please, I’ll shift
From time to time to let you know I haven’t died,
Abide a while, and let the moon bring in the tide.

“So Where To?”

liner

“So Where To?”

So where to from here; tug daily grind, line
The which depends so much, so little
Upon report, rapport; cement ‘n spittle,
True juice, sap; pure, refined,
Pliant to the touch; spine
Present in the optic and so…brittle?
Caught in upper or lower case, median middle
(And then some)…or is the channel closed,
Blocked for repairs, incognito
For want of words or syntax
Or something less substantial, posed
Between just another meme; revealed though
By no means sealed o’er in blood-red wax?

seals