Category Archives: Image

“Silversmiths”

“Silversmiths”

Silversmiths retrace the fire; sweats
In rivulets down brawny arms, twin bushes
To the chin and through the valley of the pectorals; and he pushes
Gyres in the waters;
determination defeats defect, fatigue, frets

Along the instrument mould the

shining of a gentle mind’s design,
Undone, the fist and fingers as hammers in the process
Till the thing that was not is and what little rest
In thought becomes the thing, itself, the line,
A cut above a cusp between inspiration
And its final destruction. Destination, oh! the beauty of the thing
Will guide his hands securely and the synthesis, the ring
Of something new or newer makes its run from mental registration
To obsession in the finishing and glories to polish a wondrous sign,
A medallion of conception, some fine image formed of inner space and time.

“You Own the Year”

“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 in vast
And spacious notions of impermanence and impasse.
I see before the fact in part, imperfectly at present, pursued
By spoils of the war and coupled with a dubious acquired taste
For bitters, an 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

“A Respite”

“A Respite”

A respite in the air today and news,
And down the chute comes something nice,
Some piece of fond assurance, the sweetness of advice
To justify past days and weeks of toil and views
Obscured by all that’s loud and cumbersome above;
Below, scenarios of arteries and paths
Through streets on seamless days. No dragons’ nostrils’ wrath
Knows no better than to lie between the wings of doves
Or gentle nestlings in the palms of all the psalms of fortune.
Today a gentle width in avenues and boulevards
And all the right-of-ways are opened wide, the gloss of plastic cards
In bank machines, the brighter melodies of shallow i-Tunes
Whistled in the mind on buses at the hour of noon.
A mystery witnessed in the heart, eternity cut short too soon.

“Limbs”

“Limbs”

Limbs, appendages, extensions, sinew stretched
Across the chasms, voids, and axles
Of Creation, forms to occupy the mind; cosmic jackals,
Vain imaginings sprung from fractals, etched
In plaited mesh and skeletal remains combine
To people thought and populate scenarios.
Nothing ever quiets the machine, the interim’s need will borrow
Legitimacy and gravitas from life’s single habit, refine
Its use for lifetimes, the penultimate line in verses
Penned to presage the tentative, the simple strokes of time.
Transition’s in the air, my friends, and next in line
For what’s about to come to pass might well be curses
For the speed with which the world embraces in exchange for its mistakes.
Only the Creator weds the art of accident to apposition for its own sake.

“Gold Bars Soar”

gold1

“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?

“I’ll Not Wait”

“I’ll Not Wait”

I’ll not wait till dawn to praise the sun;
Shadows follow closely where I sleep; this night must end:
I’m guaranteed as much. What, then? Tomorrow? What? Again
A word’s delay a world away is all, so, patience me. The midnight trains still run
Their course–stampeding to the east to crawl back westward–and catch
The rising or the setting cosmos all along the local milk run. Coaches
Matter not, jettisoned or newly recreated in the Milky Way, we approach
Our destinations, dusks or dawns in proper times; passengers dispatched,
Who only seem to arrive at destinations previously booked
And so we do not blithely cease to live because we wait
Upon a final station or dream of tracks not even built. Medusa guards the gate
That turns all nightly plans to stone, and we her momentary shades that looked
To make the journey know the Night Train only claims a means to ends
Through mirrors while season tickets mark what joys the daybreak sends.

“So Easy to Feel”

“So Easy to Feel”

So easy to feel, to seem to be, to know at last propinquity
As if the light declares the coming glory of the sun at daybreak
Redundant. But as that disk cannot be seen for more than seconds, I take
That certainty of coming morning within me,
Knowing that midnight’s richest prize in ivory
Is forever fixed as is the station of the sun; the moon an intimate
In someone’s flight, perhaps, but even so, as she reveals herself in states
And phases never hers, agitation gains nothing in the motion save in memory
And affectations of the sea within me–force upon another force,
Measured consequence of a functionary that renders boundaries
Of continental pride and the ocean’s doors
Cast aside in the riot of the tides, a natural stampede, no more
Than thresholds of natural accident, the stream and river’s course
Now rising, now again a swelling to apostrophes, eternal inertia born of gravity.

“The People Say They Want a Change”

“The People Say They Want a Change”

The people say they want a change; clubs
Are ripe for shifting gears and crowning kings
From diamonds or from hearts and while the telephones ring,
The bids are readied, cards are in; spades have flubbed,
There’s no one in the mood to compromise;
The deck is shuffled once again for luck,
Brand-new tires on the same old truck.
Promissory notes are dealt; the bids just rise, and rise,
And rise again. But, what’s this? Speculation’s brought
To automated stops on all the outbound tracks,
And while the freight departs, the passengers arrive. Dealers smack
Their lips, and rub their palms, and bids are caught
Between the speeches and cries at last of “No trump!”
Seconds later, Boardwalk yields to railroads, and everyone jumps.

“Dinner’s at Six”

“Dinner’s at Six”

Dinner’s served at six, and so’s the evening news;
The writing’s clearly on the wall and while the Constitution stalls, the gist
Of nothing from nothing sticks to banquet tables, chairs, and the guest list
Of the average home in Baghdád while the views
Expressed in measured fractions there amongst the factions
In the House feed increasingly on mediocrity and courtesies of strangers
Sporting cellphones where reporters point the finger at the signs of danger,
Motorcades, and armies on an ever trivialised darkling plain. Reactions
Blog communication lines of press and presidents who bear such striking
Poses and resemblances to Dr. Goebbels and his precedents that modern sooth-
Sayers need not wonder where all of this must lead. As Congress votes for truths
To fit pragmatic means, the ends, of course, are guaranteed from spiking
Needs dispensed in sparkling cocktails served each night along with dinner,
Presidential dim sum, cartoons, genocide, and Oprah classed as winners.