“You Own the Year”
You own the year and years before you
As I the year and all that’s passed;
Your signs are rising; eternity is steadfast.
Quo vadis, then? I who serve eternities am overruled
By sheer numbers, countless previous dispensations viewed
In retrospect and circumspect as vast
And spacious notions of impermanence and impasse.
I see before the fact in part— imperfectly at present—pursued
By spoils of wars and rumours coupled with a dubious acquired taste
For bitters, acerbic memory gained close at hand or lost at sea.
Nothing in this world is or is so stable
That it is not utterly dependent, created, removed and recreated on the table
Of bounties throughout creation; what God has willed to use or waste
Shall be not be more or less than what it is, and what is not shall never be.*
* “Protect me, O my Lord, from every evil that Thine omniscience perceiveth, inasmuch as there is no power nor strength but in Thee, no triumph is forthcoming save from Thy presence, and it is Thine alone to command. Whatever God hath willed hath been, and that which He hath not willed shall not be.
There is no power nor strength except in God, the Most Exalted, the Most Mighty.”
–His HolinessThe Báb, Selections from the Writings of the Báb, pp. 190-191
Posted in Age, Aging, Certitude, Change, Civilisation, Covenant, Destiny, Detachment, Duplicity, End Times, Existence, Experience, Fate, God, Hegira, Hope, Image, Imagery, Imagism, Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Mankind, Mortality, New Year, Poem, Poetry, Providence, Pyrrhic Victory, Reality, Samsara, Sea, Sonnet, Sonnets, Spirituality
Tagged Age, Aging, End Times, Eternity, Existence, God, Imagism, Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, Poem, Relationships, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets
…dedicated to the many who wonder what’s become of all that is and where the bottom is…
“‘The underside’ … it’s not just in tandem, ‘Once, it’s everywhere! … sigh …'”
And she was right. It seems the predilection toward
The animal appears where there is none; the tsunami’s force is froward
Where there is no place to go but straight to hell for all but those who fly
Or settle for a second-rate mortgage off the high road’s endless traffic.
And we along the shores of what’s become the greater sea who sit
And sign within ourselves no higher there, nor lower here, are aware of it:
There is no real rest from those who foment
Condescension to Creation, laced with lies
To trap the innocent, and revel in the vanishing point
Below the picture, well beneath the edges or between the joints
Of slender bones and tissues in the body politic; cries
Will rise for them and for their victims and their families,
The “taken”, “took” and “broken for which poets scribble homilies.
“The tree outside the window taps very gently on the pane … I want to think quietly, calmly, spaciously, never to be interrupted, never to have to rise from my chair, to slip easily from one thing to another, without any sense of hostility, or obstacle. I want to sink deeper and deeper, away from the surface, with its hard separate facts. To steady myself, let me catch hold of the first idea that passes … Shakespeare … Well, he will do as well as another. A man who sat himself solidly in an arm-chair, and looked into the fire, so a shower of ideas fell perpetually from some very high Heaven down through his mind.”
The Mark on the Wall
“Wife, child, brother, parents, friends…We come only to go apart again. It is one continuous movement. They move away from us, and we move away from them. The law of life can’t be avoided. The law comes into operation the moment we detach ourselves from our mother’s womb. All struggle and misery in life is due to our attempt to arrest this law or get away from it or in allowing ourselves to be hurt by it. The fact must be recognized. A profound unmitigated lonliness is the only truth of life.”
R. K. Narayan
[October 10, 1906 — May 13, 2001]
(shortened from Rasipuram Krishnaswami Iyer Narayanaswami)
The English Teacher
Posted in Affirmation, Animal, Arts, Change, Chaos, Civilisation, Distraction, Duplicity, End Times, Family, Hubris, Hypocrisy, Isolation, Lonliness, Lyric Poetry, Mankind, Materialism, Mediocrity, Mortality, Negation, Poetry, Poets, Reunion, Separation, Sonnet, Willaim Shakespeare [1564-1616]
Tagged Immortality, Love, Lyric Poetry, Relationships, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets
“Gold Bars Soar”
Gold bars soar that may or may not be there as dollars rise and fall
While doves and hawks lose feathers and the bourgeois stain
Their corporate tablecloths; numbers genuflect as mortgage rates
And candidates trade places in the spin. Who sleeps in the caterwaul;
Who stampedes for attention in the networks’ nightly call
To arms not heard since Boston; whose cotillions root for the notorious? Bait
And bombast never fails; the remedy is ever there and altogether late,
Meticulously timed by someone out to fill the stadia and malls
With never ending seasons’ greetings and wherewithal
To keep the vital signs of spinning polls and sardines at the gates,
Martin’s dream is deemed appropriate for the calendar and numbers integrate
The use of steroids and youthful thrall so no one drops the ball.
Who needs another change for heaven’s sake as one size fits all:
…And who really gives a damn with elections in the fall?“
Posted in Change, Dollar, Dross, Duplicity, Fear, Gold, Hubris, Idolatry, Image, Imagery, Imagism, Inflation, Lust, Lyric Poetry, Materialism, Media, Morality, Obama, Poem, Poetry, Pyrrhic Victory, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets
Tagged Business, Dollar, Gold, Imagism, Immortality, Inflation, Lyric Poetry, News Media, Poem, poetry, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets
“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,
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.
“I Don’t Suppose I’ll Ever Know”
I don’t suppose I’ll ever know; she never told me.
I had no calling card and she had no address,
Or if she ever gave it to me, it was always less
Than what she wrote to him and could never be
Disclosed. Of course, I looked for all the world; I seemed
To be forever browsing bookstores in more or less
Abandon even wonton dedication to the kind of eagerness
That only children presuppose is happiness or glee.
It was never there, you see, and yet I was ever
At the ready to believe in terms of passages that saw her through
A time or two of something close to primacy or proximity
To what it was she never found in me—sublimity
Or something that she’d read in Keats and Shelly, severed
In the end from Dover Beach and miles from Xanadu.
† William Butler Yeats [13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939]
‡ Percy Bysshe Shelley [4 August 1792 – 8 July 1822]
Posted in Age, Aging, Detachment, Duplicity, Estrangement, Lyric Poetry, Marriage and Divorce, Negation, Poetry, Providence, Relationships, Samsara, Separation, Sonnet, Stations, Yearning
Tagged Age, Aging, Dover Beach, Existence, Lyric Poetry, poetry, Relationships, Sonnet, Strife, Tragic Flaw, Xanadu
Duplicity on a monumental scale alters
Vision in a neo-comatose viewing of the facts.
Phatic passports at the border, coy complications wrack
The memory in the act of glossing a myriad of Psalters
That set the price of cavilling, lead and dissect flocks of those
Who would be here, not there surrounding
Witnesses in the outer court’s estate who seek the muted sound
Of pilgrims to the inner state who know what flat rates in lies disclose.
Always here, everywhere in evidence, we are no better than intentions
Postulate and accident provides. Circumspection conceals
The truth but marks the nuance of the spell of many seals
In words of pulp and marvellous aplomb; condescension
Reigns at last where delusions of reality are drawn. Take note of the exceptions:
Who constructs the fence invites addiction and a profitable deception.
Posted in Duplicity, Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Poem, Poetry, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets
Tagged Deception, Delusion, Duplicity, Economics, Economy, Imagery, Imagism, Lies and deception, Lyric Poetry, News Media, poetry, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets, Strife
…painting by Kyle Ragsdale…
“The Balm of Blame”
The balm of blame relies on shame
While fools amass in cloisters; clowns, their terrors
Grouped in choirs as with fires sired in hell. Errors
Come as natural as breathing, while their eternal flame
Afflicts the every man, and cannot be concealed.
How, then, does the crown not fit
As when in the thick of smoke and mirrors bells peeling
Not from above or from the side but fulgent, sealing
Heaven’s signs in record time, the eyes, the gait, the every gesture
Bold prophetic witness as the Eastern Prophets’ Word is echoed in the West,
Their lights snuffed out in increments that underline the tortured tests
Of wills and structures of the Occident in bulging bank accounts–sequestered,
Belching fallacies–metered by the hour that all but scream for want of closure?
Yet, the line is long and longer for ambient mists of deft exposure.
They will not hear the key left limp at latch–the entrance
Or the exit; they cannot see the rising
Or the setting of the complaisant star, its restive analysing
Of the land and sea at midnight, the telling glance
Of creatures who stalk their prey in the foyer of the edifice;
The temporary seating exceeds the number of the tombs is evidence
Enough that in all creation few defy the mirage; the fence
That must divide the space above a phantom’s presence
Of this planet from the gaping hungry star-filled void
Of all that passes for imagination.
Connoisseurs of matter taste
Nothing but the venom of the fang in hours of self-defeating waste:
That posits purpose in pursuit of the outrageous, they speak of decoys
And photographs in place of simple memory and obsolescent joy.
Posted in Appearances, Bank account, Bells, Blame, Celluloid, Closure, Connoisseur, Decoy, Denial, Double Sonnet, Duplicity, Ediface, Error, Everyman, Fallicies, fancy, Fire, Flame, Havoc, Heaven, Hell, Imagination, Joy, Key, Land, Liar, Logic, Magesty, Materialism, Mayhem, Memory, Mirage, Modernity, Moon, Occident, Poetry, Prophets, Samsara, Sea, Star, Tomb, Waste, West
Tagged Existence, Lyric Poetry, Sonnet, Sonnets
Earthbound minds’ remains
Strike supernals in the memory,
The reputation; a canopy
Of means, a certain gravitas in gains
That whet the appetite to maintain
Forever somewhere in a panoply
Of names. Icons, but samples of history,
Such denizens breed to read as fame,
The goal—lingering doubt in shallows,
Negatives—whether goat or lamb, the standards
desiccated to utter nothingness reward
The ephemeral and untoward,
And no one seems the wiser. Shadows
With the shades seek belief from nihilists and wild cards.
Radiations of the body’s appetites leave little doubt
As to who will win and who, like others in the cast, remain invisible.
Endowments rule, and somewhat less than these, the indivisible
As the people say, my misery loves company and company its clout
And so the chosen court pariahs will attain their stations spiked to flout
A mutual advantage, powers and blessed assurance, the irresistible
Conclusions of equals in collusion, equals in delusion,
but at last sanctified within the ballot, tranquilized as sequels
In costumes of saints and mystics, mahatmas—and the truth is out,
Their stories told, perhaps—but as the sun blots out the stars,
So, too, their majesties are put to flight for want of oxygen. Soon
The latest, faintest, and first recite as advertised, and we delight
In gazing not through distances, but at the destination of the light
With origins counting billions in years while within this single room
We, the sods and consequences, lay inert beneath the silent moon.