Pain, and the Pacific has had its way, so many tears;
The summons; natural deities, rushing devotees of Southern waters
Join discords of the North and oceanic rivers feed because the glaciers falter.
Nai-no-Kami will no doubt dance. She needs not move far while fears
Of millions, fields and city gates are prey with every passing day.
We view their sighs and gestures, calmly watch and lunch on wonders
At the thought and misery that gorges on the plunder
Of laboured mountains duly noted while we dine. Mere screens relay
Our sympathies as surrogates before us mouth the news in bites, remote,
Confounding empathy of others with our own, and with no more thought
Than is required to vote or tolerate yet another tired announced affair
Convinced we’ve performed our sacred duties. Filtered sage suggestions float
Between commercials; who is dead, and who is dying?
We resign ourselves to daily schedules, and retreat
To mindless repetition, and support of yet another public brawl,
and trash what cannot be understood, change the channel and eat.
Posted in Age, Aging, Compassion, Existence, Gods, Lyric Poetry, Media, Mortality, News Media, Ocean, Pain, Poetry, Sonnet, Tragedy
Tagged Age, Aging, Emotion, Existence, Lyric Poetry, Nai-no-Kami, Pacific, poetry, Sonnets, Strife, Tragic Flaw
“The Greeks Have Flown”
The Greeks have flown; they’ve left their god
A morsel, a token of devoted consummation,
And a fitting tribute to Poseidon on the shores of conflagration
As Casandra’s painful cries go largely unheeded beyond a nod
From time to time within the royal brood; their sovereign’s rod
And sceptre sanctified by land and sea, firm determination
To abide by what is thought a victory for the nation
Complete with joyous riots in the streets, the sod
Still wet festooned with crimson oils and a decade laid to waste;
While Trojan mothers weep, their sons receive the final rites
And Priam’s troubles treble as the night in blindness falls.
Wreathes of fine remembrance punctuate belated joys, the caul
Of sorrow thin and thinner in the ritual; they’ll circumambulate
The horse that dwells within the walls and sleep in peace tonight.
Posted in Appearances, Economics, Gods, Greece, Greeks, Materialism, Mythology, Poetry, Politics, Trojan horse, Troy
Tagged Casandra, Lyric Poetry, Poseidon, Priam, Sonnet, Sonnets
“Within the Second”
Within the second, tension
Greeting and suspension
Sought by no one’s intervention
Never seen when the incision
First was made; immediately regretted,
The fisherman must pay out nets in
By miles in order to withdraw from what is set in
Stone for life and wife and children and the silence of posterity. Sunsets
Measured by exigency’s precision and jealous alacrity in moments
Of lucidity crown flights that condescend to incidents and stories
Never dreamed by this finest man or that great fish by land or sea
But in and with slightest motion’s predetermined goals, histories
Of continents and oceans satisfy Calliope
and there within their stations, torments
Boast of sacrifice for crowds where cowards
in the chorus crucify their tragic characters and epic plots
swell as sweat from depths within the pores of poets
finding every gilded ancient fear a kind of test
that does not rest but resonates as never-ending glory.
Posted in Action, Chorus, Classic, Crucifixion, Elements of Narration, Epic poetry, Fate, Fear, Fisherman, Gods, Greece, Martyrdom, Muses, Negation, Pathos, Poetry, Posterity, Providence, Rest, Sacrifice, Stations, Tragedy, Tragic Flaw
Tagged Calliope, Character, Chorus, Lyric Poetry, Plot, Setting, Sonnet, Theme
Gaea’s stations to the stars address her griefs, elations,
Prayers and growth, itself, her moment. She cannot rest;
Veins are clogged, marriage to a host of willing guest’s
Become the crucible to her common sense and revelations
Give her angst amid the luxury of her snows. She must think
But cannot; moves, but pursuit of progeny defies death,
Itself. In time, of course, she’ll find her goals in retrospect
Through cycles, time and space and she’ll drink
Deep the healing waters of reunion with her own, her proper self
Wherever ever lies–with minions, elves,
So many rites and spirals crude and rude, perhaps,
but ever pointing to the skies;
She weeps and rivers flow: the moon, his mystery, his mistress;
the stars, her loyal spies.
“He Ponders Little”
He ponders little because he sees no sequel;
Within a yawn, and from his belly births
Unnumbered, cataclysmic spirits
collapse within his girth;
And he is cognizant of others, sees no equal.
Sheer enormity and magnitude anoint him;
–“if he but blanch” we know our course–
And he is known by none of us and cannot force
As others who would be known; his limbs
Themselves a universe, his crimson boil a storm
Of such proportions as house nests
Of would-be planets, the paradigm lest
Any seek to be seated at his table. Paragon of space and form
Made captive by His Light: it is the Sun that gives him grace;
A measure, a single orbit, a weight within itself that is this place.
Atoms breathing throughout the sky; these winds, my spies.
I am the Azure One turned ruinous green from patrimony’s rust,
The curse of progeny and betrayal of a trust
In endless repetition written in the crystal inks of compromise
And back again to mark the Zugzwang of my prescience
Everywhere condemned to see what is not there.
My blindness, an abyss, the scent of mists
In Chaos, the script of the Sybil as she shakes her fists
And in her ranting shrieks that there
Among countless in children I will find
Impertinence and turbulence, and arrogance as the cradles rise.
I took no heed at first but as not every planet evades my stare,
I may not always strike; I alone am thunder. Comic weights dividing,
Tragedy’s tears will people space while mine are turned to lightning.
Goliath. Behemoth, yet my father’s eyes do not behold me.
Barren straits above the line of all my cisterns’ shores,
Are crystals, porous with litanies of creatures, future seas of worlds not born
Arraigned in prisms’ prisons to attract some feeble ray that only seems
To please the rhythms of the heart but never rule as I am warmed
By something undistilled and unrehearsed from memory; my advice
Is hoary white. Humoured as it is, it will suffice
To welcome both the fool and hardy in the undertow. I perform
What cannot be foresworn by an incident’s huddled worry on shores
Of continents and isthmuses where serried islands are but guests.
I might have ruled the whole but in the toss, the test
Of prophesies and fortunes were never kissed by either die.
I am content, it seems, to be and do no more
Than surfeit in the light of endless sapphires, blood to commerce,
Storehouse of the wealth of eons lost, to rise in glory and then disperse.
“Do You Hear Laughter, Ramses?”§
Do you hear laughter, Ramses? Perhaps a slice
Of whatever’s left of Kurdistan? The Yemen or Sudan? From the imams
Some slight adjustment in the going rate for poppies in Afghanistan?
Did you believe you were the first? By chance, would it be nice
To be the last?… but then again, there’s something lurking in the dice
And if by chance the six’s multiply to but thrice, the horn of Ethiopia’s
The prize for service with distinction, by default a supra-cornucopia,
Or just another nosegay for an ordinary day? Memories suffice
So far, my friend, and comes the cosmic slap when what was only yesterday
A casual promise warms up yet another Oedipus who in neglect reflects
The ancient legend in the latest model of the child to help defray the odds
On probability that this time, the Messiah’s come embarrassing the gods
Who claim another virgin’s loss an evening or a day’s diversion. Prospects
Multiply like maggots on the carcass of what’s forgotten anyway.
§ The title of this sonnet comes from a line addressed to Pharoah in the film, The Ten Commandments and came to mind as I stood on my balcony facing south and wondered at everything I’ve heard from Irán where just a few weeks ago, in one small village, the homes of the Bahá’ís living in that village were cruelly leveled in an attempt to rid the villagers of Bahá’ís without notice, without due process of law, without arrests, indictments, without any reason in the world except that they were Bahá’ís. I wondered at how anyone in my religion could be considered a threat to anyone else on this earth and particularly the established governments and leaders insofar as Baha’is are absolutely forbidden even to discuss politics and are rendered incapable of being a threat to any government or leader through the very Scriptures to which thy subscribe, and yet, for the last three years, a group of seven men and women have languished in Evin Prison in close and uncomfortable “rooms” or cells with nothing to sleep on but the floor and all this before they were summarily convicted of any crime, denied access most of the time of counsel, cut off from their families, and with their “trial” constantly postponed over this period of time so that even if they are ever set free because there is no evidence of a crime of any kind in any of these people, they will still have been imprisoned without a “By your leave!” with no compensation at all. Of course, I also wondered about the latest news from Egypt which inspires staring in disbelief, from events in Algeria and once again in Irán, from Jordan, Greece, from God knows where throughout this entire worried and worn planet. –Once
Posted in Algeria, Bahá’í, Bahá’í Faith, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gods, Greece, Hubris, Iran, Poetry, Ramses II, Revolution, Yemen
Tagged Lyric Poetry, Sonnets
“One Breathes to Read”
One breathes to read the ancients say, and what a mighty wind perfumes
The nothingness of air and thence to wit? The writ; certain proofs,
And so on, and so forth, and notwithstanding that, far beyond, to refute
What dross may be forthcoming from all natural luminaries in the skies
in no time flat, fumes
From either, pure hyperbole. Perhaps, it’s true, but then again the books
Bear genesis from breezes while the wise collect the residue.
So great an urge to be at one within oneself cannot be soothed
So easily nor guided nor delayed for want of kairos. The gods took
Their ease of access from Eastern mists to proclaim the roof
Of life to be a satisfaction gleaned from lust and table scraps.
The holiness of Eros tendered resignation to disorder;
the source of creeks
And icy streams in time gave form to Mighty Ganges
and the Mother Truth
That we are not what we so loudly claim. Its light ignites the flames
That burn away the veils and we ascend to God by way of holy Names.
Posted in Civilisation, Fire, Gods, Intellect, Luminary, Mankind, Materialism, Poetry, Samsara, Spirituality
Tagged Eros, Ganges, Lyric Poetry, Sonnets