Category Archives: Albatross

“There’s Nothing in Neruda”

Blue Dawn

“There’s Nothing in Neruda”

There’s nothing in Neruda* that’s not been said,
No subtle hint, no helpful word, no turn
Of phrase, no bold assertion that to earn
A place beneath the skin one must be bled,
Detained, flattered in the stacks of libraries, betrayed,
A Caulfield** in search of what Bukowski***never found
in hopes of finding hidden pearls among
Unnatural grains of sand before the oyster’s song was ever sung,
And all before his cock crew thrice—You know he never paid
Beyond the going price.
Are we not forgetting something here?

The witnesses? Another round of hemlock, please! and as the academics cheer
the proceeds of yet another idle idyll, a second glass of wine, perhaps a clear
And unequivocable glance at the mirror sitting there to interpolate
the riddle loaves and fishes of enigma or the positive benefits of fear.
Ah, yes! Neruda may have told the tale, but who was he to give us hope,
And from what box he now quotes himself and never
gives a river’s damn about what it was he wrote?
Of course, I can’t be sure of it, but from here it looks
For all the world that in truth I am you
And you are me
and there’s the misery, the mystery, the view

That’s missing in the metaphors and similes, the clue refined from brooks
And seas, the bakers’ scales and finely tuned anomalies,
the national sport of news and fresh cacophanies, hooks
By which we are urgently define and hone  the truth askew
From certitude, and based in faith that  separates all from each, proved
Or unapproved in swarms of groups and nations, the accidental nooks
And crannies of every greatness, every generation, seminar, religion,
Clan and sanctified plan proposed, to accent ancient schools and families.
All experience expresses the inverse from Hammurabi to our beloved Ramses,
Seen as freaks and distant relatives and relegated to exceptions
With a shot of charisma or some other social clot, profusion
In the masses of exclusion throughout of all the spies of life that seek.
So much to say with so little time to speak,
Whether for the self or for the same in orderly confusion.
Still larger loans from banks of life’re sired from brothers,
Even greater obligations and demands from mountain peaks,
And beyond the heights, the snowy summons of the higher roads and streets.
The recreating lights that cut the edge of fear of sacrifice in grieving mothers
Leads the restive albatross to discover, possibly to smother
In the blasphemy of his own need and greener pastures elsewhere―
a weak and weaker Icarus―in search of tests that cannot keep
His lightnings’ glories save in darker South Georgian seas, blunders
To suspect within his breast and nothing when at last he sleeps:
He discovers little more than what the drop within the puddle seeks.

*Chilean poet and diplomat, Pablo Naruda [12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973]
**Character from the novel The Catcher in the Rye, a 1951 novel by J. D. Salinger
***German born American poet Charles Bukovski [August 16, 1920 – March 9, 1994]

…Art at the top of this post, Liu Bolin 刘勃麟 – Photography of China

“Strident Moments”

A Firefly Moment

“Strident Moments”

Strident moments come as uninvited as
The telephone―those halting motions―stop.
Listen. But, must it ring?  He stands among the pines atop
What Easterners call their mountains, a willing witness held fast
By what he it is he sees and aware, somehow, of cold
Hard knowledge locked in granite thoughts. Awake, there is no place,
No haste when he is here. Here it is, the smell and taste
Of elusive space joined naturally with old
Odd familiar feelings that have no business
Being here. Hearing everything, he negotiates no streets
No alleyways, no place to park; no pavement meets
His feet, but there’s a kind of dizziness
In all this air that almost laughs at breathing.
He’s nowhere in particular and has no plans for  leaving.


…what’s this?  Yet another image [the one just above and not the pinecone…] filtched from Louvain95…?  Yes, it is, and yet again, an expression of admiration and thanks to this lady and her site for visual experiences. 

“Tonight a Troubled Star”

“Tonight a Troubled Star”

Tonight a troubled star through a window smiles
As winter’s thoughts refine the gentle evening hours. Ever,
Even as when a child, the onslaught of nights could sever
Day from light with wondrous rites  of questions ranged in endless miles
To roam before I dared to close my eyes. Such brittle brilliance gave
Me ample light for prayer. And now, come costs in autumn years,
The signs remain, and so again comes certitude dispelling fears
And wakefulness, intrepid  wounds I’ve worn through all my days.
And, as with all such holy declarations, majesty and not a little comfort, time
And once again illumination for the manuscript but with a difference.
I’ve used these eyes before, and with a growing greater deference,
A nod to whatsoever causes hope in those who fall and they who rise
To the occasion while within creation’s grip; within my countless days
So many poems, each but fragile vessels hurry inland toward the bay
Whose port is clearly marked, ‘The End”.  Currents swell between the arms
Of twin peninsulas, the beginnings and the ends, with breakers―no alarm
In this time, but simple statements. Warnings of disturbances disarm the day
And simple navigation wells from wrinkled maps to vastly disparate seas
Ensuring sufficient distances in passage from initials in receipt
Of signals on the coasts from the muse to the sources of benign conceit
And all the urgent comforts of the ark within the narcissist that can be
Measured in a man when put to port. Born of knowledge, the deed at midnight’s
Scribbling  first perceived in quickened breaths blown hard upon a sapphire coal
As unsettling to the weary soul as circumstance so rapidly grows cold.
At length the moon, the ides of any month, the seaward tides set mariners aright
For leaving. As with all who find their rest in full-blown sails to aid their flight,
They who cannot pay the ferryman must seek the albatross at twilight.