Category Archives: Aging

“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…

“If Not a Summer’s Day”

“If Not a Summer’s Day”

If not a summer’s day, then let me celebrate
Some last year’s moment’s  fecund random fruit, emerging produce
From repeated seasons; so be it, someone else’s seed deduced
From natural selection reduced to poverty in the actual delight. The penultimate
Arrival of the cycle’s sun has surpassed Orion’s
Yawn, a codicil of peace within the annual rut of reason.  But for the sake
Of natural pleasures in the thought abused, treason within the process is raked,
Its many points become a species, then a phylum
Sealed and steeled as wrapped within a velvet robe, the ripened peach,
With subtle flavour, discrete; its ancient used aroma all but moot
Until at last the weather’s hope of heaven’s born, takes root,
And in the swath of shadows in the other afternoon its child appears
As fit for sacrifice, a single bit in some innocuous familiar rite–
The residue of autumn’s care at dusk before the coming winter’s night.

“There Are Times”

green-sea-turtle_564_600x450

“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

“The Age”

“The Age”

The age, the arc, the spectre of unspeakables
And contention; a single strike will kill, but with the honeybee
Comes purpose by the lot and ensured harmony,
Do not disturb!” and “Multiples; Invincibles!
Reluctantly, to be sure,  but timely come the constables,
Harbingers of an hour’s solemnity
And stark reminders of inevitable uncertainties—
“A step too far!” is heard, and while the intruder’s able,
The antidote comes in hosts, swarms
And spirits in the multiples and in the interim
Kindnesses in part to save the whole.
No bellicose delivery here, no spectacle of effort to console
The soul but simple missives bearing news of certified afflictions warn
Of death: “The hive or thee, my friend: the hive or thee; attend!”

fear

“O My! Bejeezu!”

light2

“O My! Bejeezu!”

O my! Bejeezu! Where did I go wrong?
And where were you when I’d done’t,
And where are they all now that the audit
And the reckoning grows aloud and louder than a song
Sung in triumph withal? The shadow’s withdrawn
Further inward to the quick, the narrow brawn
Of naked thought upon a single bone, marrow spawned
Of promise, premises consumed, spent
Emotion, perhaps little more than a curtain rent
But just a step or two behind an odd comment―
Well, after all, I’m just sayin’― cement
For a Magi or thrice on a mission sent
For “Let it go at that, my friend!” Seals
Fit for a living room upon gilded open fields.