Category Archives: Denial

“What Peace of Mind?”

“What Peace of Mind?”

What peace of mind can find a living here?
Pundits’ fantasies will not stop the tears, the midnight cries,
Incessant lies, and still the public yearns to know what we despise
From commentators and the late show comics. Do we fear
The truth and turn the other way when asked
If what comes down the pipe is truly past
Our tacit understanding? Reasons? Seasons? Are there tasks
Beyond endurance here, or is it always first and last
A matter for the courts, the press, the cold realities
That simply digest information and ingest lucid cosmic facts:
There’s them that’s got, and them that’s wracked,
The rich, the poor, the lack of morals backed. Atrocities
And blessings rank as equals, ours to fricassee, ours to fear.
There’s them that’s got, all right, and them that no one hears.

We’ve Been to the Mountain”

“The Greatest Sanctuary”

“The Greatest Sanctuary”

The greatest sanctuary saves, preserves, and seals
The last and latest treasure; final fears are entertained
And in the end repeat themselves penultimate in any age
That’s spent with nothing left to say. The morass of months reveal
Themselves as names, the briefer moments cast in isinglass,
And hung above the door as witness to emotions borrowed to defend
The journey of both giver and what it is that’s given–split ends
That pass at times for purity of desire. Consternation, then, at last
Effaced, those few peas remaining within the pod will spend
Themselves while outward bound to what is after all a dream
Or merely someone’s lunch. They groom together–the sheen
Is frayed–delay is shame when every effort to confirm or to renew offends.
Reconnoitred, what were formerly evergreens
disclose themselves as deciduous devotions
That decry their former riverbeds as puddles, watersheds of desiccated oceans
And long dead seas. . 

“Dissent Amongst the Cows”

“Dissent Amongst the Cows”

“Dissent amongst the cows is what it is.
We’re lost out here, my friend, and if we take a step
Back a day or two or perhaps an hour to what we stepped in when we swept
Aside the bull we ask at last where he got his ribbons. This
Last first deep silence in the shallows is the reply that gives us clout,
That margin’s full of error, just a scratch that leads to blood and niggling feelings
Sending all who contemplate the Market and the Mayan Calendar reeling
Sideways to something more than beef and less than doubt.
We’ve asked the magic question and here in time receive
The latest wounds and bulletins in brain disease: “We oppose what
Isn’t there or what’s expressed in mass superlatives, and seconds cut
To save the scions of denial not so hidden in the artificial hay, conceive
Freely and at the ready for an oddly specious fact
Expressed upon the cud, at best inured because
we form the chorus to delight Jocasta caught smiling in the act!”

I also had a brother who was like me a musician and a composer. A man of great talent, far more gifted than I. He died very young
… he killed himself in the prime of his life.

Gustav Mahler
[7 July 1860 – 18 May 1911]

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired,
signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

President Dwight David Eisenhower
[October 14, 1890 – March 28, 1969]

“Feel the Fear”

“Feel the Fear”

Feel the fear in all things blithe; death,
To see what only mystic pages sign and still it’s too damn cold;
Nothing’s moving. Reckon talismans, medallions sold
For incense and bouquet; breathe once and then the second breath,
Friend. Taste reticence itself and all things flee; barter sovereignty
And youth and place the sandals at the door. Terse and curt,
They will renege, prevaricate, and standing still
their high fives fly. They flirt
With no one but themselves, their flesh disports with rude obscenity;
Daggers, canines, grey-lined barbs of cultured mumbled sympathy
For mothers long in heat, hesitant but nonetheless disposed to saying
Judas had his reasons.
Politely cut the losses, righteous piracy embroidered on the sleeve–
The tattoo leaves no space for pores–pluck the fruit,
reschedule colonoscopies.
They’ll make you know they love you;
scratch the surface, pick the scab.
And why not? If things go wrong, all is veiled,
steeled in memory, forgotten on the slab.

Bahá’ís throughout the world gather this evening and tomorrow within the First Day of the Month of `Asmá [Names]

Bahá’ís throughout the world gather this evening and tomorrow within the First Day of the Month of `Asmá [Names]

“Double Sonnet in Honour of the Feast of ‘Asmá [Names]”

Greatness, the gulf of differences between
Recipients of names and the manifestation of the same
In full blown vain imagining; objective oversight’s the flame,
At least the spark any given second. A constant stream,
The crown of transformation comes in time to weave
A gravity within the press of what is never really seen.
Within a name resides a hidden thread that only seems
The confirmation both of life and being—in bas relief
Or so The Buddha warned—that holds a lethal trust. Between the name
And its receipt abide the seeds of pernicious doubt and protestation,
Manifest but without form, no timely attestation,
More an emanation than anything in revelation. In every atom reigns
The distance and sweet velocities of change. The many tools
Of blind belief in Adam’s gift seek rest somewhere within reach of fools
Embracing blasphemy in luminous dichotomies, dilemma’s
Punctuation marks’ delusions born of natural sedition. Litanies–
The beads of faith and understanding–are crystals of epiphany
Drawn from rich deposits deep within the endgames of enigma
And paradox serving providence and the farce of perpetual plebiscites;
Their greatest honour, servitude in service
To unnatural homeostasis between justice and integrity, yearning
And the One for Whom all yearning stems to transcendental heights
Born in mortal time of He from Whom all virtues flow.
And when denial and prayer are in arrears,
When needs and resignation outweigh a sum of means;
Words gone bankrupt erupt and deeds are stripped of fat and lean,
As hopelessness finds redemption in an average skein of years,
With all that overwhelms the truth at sunrise
In redemption in the simple phrase, “I’m still alive.”

“The Ignorant Mentality”

“The Ignorant Mentality”

The ignorant mentality finds
Exception to what’s proposed;
And closed and indisposed  to close
Inspection of the wound; then, proud philistine,
Contemplate well a rude rebuttal. Adamant,
Implacable will thus obfuscates against a so great a gift that’s offered.
Choose! righteously hold the line before a clearly proffered
Simple sacrifice. Come quickly, then, in heat; attend the chant
Of legions gathered in and for themselves. Relief is found
In ready fevered fractures formed by litigants in lethal
Indignation born not at all from wisdom. Withdrawal–
Now impossible–follows. Fissures and a fury in the sound,
Will attack and sack the messenger, who, barring flight
Becomes the consequence of his own eleisons in the night.
But summon courage in the circle,
Friends. Steps in blocks of four thrice struck
Upon an annual medallion redux,
Minted first within an ancient cycle
Of the whole of mammon and reignited
In the physic; seasons separate are reunited
As the central orb permits but unrequited
In the mind’s most jaundiced eyes. The abstract’s now cited
By the palm’s cartographers who say this Spring’s
Returned, but we know better.
Yes, of course, he’s seen these letters
From the Concourse on High, but in the ring’s
Obverse, so, too, are signs.
The messages were ever slightly

Smudged in careless transit while the seals were never worn so tightly.

“Borrowed Time”


“Borrowed Time”

Borrowed time, the Salomé days;
A Trojan gift, immortality usurped by promises of beauty; shifts
And balances in each uncharted moment lifts
To others still, and in the glacial ways
Of providence, veils in the heat of denial
Are suspect so close to consummation, or should be.  Probability
Of not so much the essence as the probity
Of the voyage―the conscious nod to common sense—the jewel. Trials
Often as promised in a single dance, as many lifetimes as risings of the suns
Of self-deception, the first and last unsteady steps toward
An understanding is the briefing, interrupted, of a sudden, diadems of reward
And punishment are equalled in the headlong rush and run
Through Security and the Customs Office to a flight
that cannot be deftly measured nor ascertained
With nothing lasting to declare but finite ice
and little more substantial than simple snow or rain.


“So Great a Silence”

“So Great the Veins of Silence”

So great the veins of silence on the streets in this year’s dying
Days; a fresh upon fresh blanket of winter’s dews shrouding
Trees and sidewalks, weighting rooftops, goading gables. Clouding
Clotted skies both day and night show no respite. Incense of Abraxas plowing
Down liturgical calendars, disguised, the last uncertain week of this last
Uncertain year; there’ll be no other.  The funeral’s banquet’s not yet finished,
But come now impertinence in  wedding caterers as the neo-looming skittish
Markets address themselves to not so certain promises profit, and as the past
May be the mirror of the future, Hamlet’s wondering
At his own wonder in the thought so universally voiced,
“Can we really stand another year with the same old invoice?”
That it should come to this! Denial’s simple rites, the blundering,
Sundering ties to all that virtue knows in favour of what is known, flaunted
ignorance of both at once even to the gates of Pergamos and Ephesus:
Have John’s missives not arrived?
Are there no prisons, and still no workhouses?


“The Changeling’s Off”

“The Changeling’s Off”

The changeling’s off degrees from centre stage;
Regrets but he neglects quitting early, spurns all but firm resolve
To be what he must be and in evasion and denial dissolves
In endless traction in the newborn age
That leaves him far behind,…or so he dreams.
He is the less for it; it’s true, but greater in the breach,
He leaps or lunges toward such goals as were never his, the reach
Beyond what was intended only days ago. Hours, he deems
His monumental costs delayed as what amount to pearls strung, displayed–
Themselves but miniatures, schemes so grandiose that rival truest choice
In actions innocuously exposed as are his works that cannot find a voice–
The either side of which are more commanding than the plays,
Themselves, no more nor less demanding on the patronage of audience:
Such bubble baths of bathos spawn endless hopes, awash in incidental arrogance
and to within an inch of anger and doomed, perhaps, to decadence.
“The child’s fallen through the cracks,”
They say, and sure, he knows it! Neither factions
Nor an infinity of purple lines, nor silence as a sanction
bring his thinking past the moment of attack,
The root, the centre of delight and gravitas
And at that age? Amazing! Teachers raise
Their hands and he applauds the praise
Of cause to no effect. He will salute the animas
Of every passing spark without a thought
To ground the notion. Lightning strikes
Inevitably–obverse of confirmation– to light
A path to pains that cannot be contained nor bought
And wonders how it is that others neither flatten nor allay
His ignorance and, leaving, lay to waste his salad days,.
The catalysts detached, and safe from harm and apathy
Reduce integrities to nothing more than sport. Liabilities, he earns; enjoined
Or praised: he treasures troubled space but only when purloined,
And, bowing low, he surgically removes the parasites of hosts. Relief
From all that’s supine trumps perception of the hand that’s dealt with deft
Disclosure hidden in the modus. Others merely operate and analyse;
The oil they seek is crude; his sensibilities refine the blatant lies,
And all those wisdoms as from boils are drained. The bereft
No longer fool the wwise, nor falsely warn the fool!
His simple confidence entrapped, he walks away, displays no sympathy
For maudlin sentiment, and, drowned–as was Voltaire!–
in trivial pursuit, antithesis, and antipathy,
He confidently scorns all suckers born upon  A ferial day; the hours cooled
In cauldrons, the stench of raw indifference is masked in nosegay;
Satisfactions realized, the succubus smiles and simply steals away.