Category Archives: Angels

“I Understand the Problem”

Gottfried Helnwein

“I Understand the Problem”

I understand the problem fairly well.
I am three-score years and more, I have one good eye
That still perceives albeit with an unpolished lens–skies
Are not more blue. Your eyes are young, you barely spell;
Your face is wrung with feigned abuse,
And when you write, you care nothing for the form,
The page, the colour of the ink. The cover of your book is worn
Not from age, even less from practicum of use,
But prominently, proudly displayed as if a medal, something won, someone’s gaff,
Proceeds from a raffle, a righteous rage inherited closer to a family door prize,
You’ve become a coupon, a rain check for some far-flung bold surprise.
“And what are your credentials?” you ask. Reply: “What is it makes you laugh?”
“I see no reason to give credit to the past, nor have I any need of laws!”
“‘Here am I’ should be enough; my life, my book, my word, my staff!”

…painting/photographs by Gottfried Helnwein…

“Lady P: Yes, Well…”

In reply to a beautiful note sent to me…


“Lady P: Yes, Well…”

Yes, well, after all, at least for you and me
There’s everything and all and even more through truth and honesty;
We grope at times, yes! but never quite make or break the call
From perfection to perfection gaining ground then risking all.
But, there’s the rub, the same for everyone who breathes
To live and not the other way around: as boiling lava seethes
So, too, the will from time to time relieves itself, erupts and then must cool
To build tomorrow’s fortress in the season’s rut. Know  that fools
And angels build as well on sand as on a known caldera
Seeing safety’s but a syllable, a symbol, chimera
Of the mind or possibly a maxim born of boredom
And nothing more than light conversation over hay or sorghum
With a denizen of Hell, itself, who’s merely waiting for a train,
And you with no umbrella to protect you from the evening rain.

“Just Another Evening’s Fast”

“Just Another Evening’s Fast”

Just another evening’s fast,
By chance, a simple dinner, happenstance within the seams
And lining of sidling sibling intercourse that satisfies or possibly redeems
The thing that leaves its fossils free for future scavengers, no past
To contemplate, a coroner’s delight from the proceeds of a centrifuge.
Cleverness of movement mounts in moments somehow cleft
And processed as lesions in the lard of what’s been left
To marinate or age. Discharge, wastes from the deluge
Along the banquet boards, but dammed provide
A watershed, the simple servant to all cardinal sins
To celebrate with sufficient zeal a subtrahend
That will not be outgrown nor decompose and cannot break its stride
With backdoor vipers or ill-used garden snakes. At harm’s length
Visitations of the witnesses can only grow in strength.
And in the wake of rampant spending never-ending apostrophes
Display en masse in parliaments and congresses the celebrants
Of leisure indiscretion and rhymed
across the continents to vindicate the sycophants
That feed on chaff and tares and festering entropic
Taste. The eyes and ears devour content until the alloys
Reduce the whole by more than mere attrition: cues, inordinate;
Views, the outrageous comedy of news of Abel’s subordinate
To Cain’s disorderly conduct. Ephemeral sensations void
All issues in the ideology; the syncope
Will do while conflict sounds so much more human,
Don’t you think, or do you really trust a politician, man or woman
Whose distinction lies in dropping g’s? Possibly, or maybe
Not, but give us rolled up sleeves and no tie, please!
The tissues, lies, of course!
but please. No more peace.

“The Pilot’s Flame”

“The Pilot’s Flame”

The pilot’s flame and ambergris, fire and smoke, these privy orizons
As dews appear upon the sight of buds along an early midsummer’s talk
In the blind behind the backfields; still there is the chill,
a brief Nebraska morning’s walk
Through the shadows’ tides abiding shallows
in the breath of dawn; the garden
Path because we share so little
of the masters’ growth in blossoms’ bargains’
Fruits within us both and share with none, no idle chatter,
indeed a pittance of a fee for angels; pillars, cornstalks,
Arm in arm—so much can lead the way to joy within a cosmic room—locked
To one to yet another and another in the repetitious staid negotiation
of noxious clouds and dark but sterile clods, the venal vain
Attempt to mask indignity in stride until desire’s destination’s
Reached—we know by stealth to find a symmetry in solutions,
Solace in respite from the others at the solstice
of that brief but potent spot,
The proper pole to pierce the continent,
a place we’ve never seen and always sought.
I need nothing more to see your face, to read your book,
to savour proctors for procrastination
For the sake of pleasures found in greater prisms
for a lighter thought than pure imagination.

“Residue”

“Residue”

Residue settles softly on us now,
Movements, eddies, subtle lights against a slope
Of shame and sandals left behind on holy ground: hope.
The pace quickens; salacious rites and vows
Lost before we speak with certitude obscured in failure,
Dreams and doubts, debris of milestones in a labyrinth of trails
To what so simply is: an object found along the trail–
Mercy–lichens crowd the banks; roses, delicate azaleas
Placed as witness to the hour of prayer, the lightest plea
To see in darkness nothing less than poetry and smiles
That comfort, angels ranged throughout a night of trials.
Who have no other course or place to be
But payed in increments on ascending paths where flowers
Cannot breath nor can they speak and nothing is that is not ours.