“This You Chose”
This you chose, you know, the lethal wound, external fire,
Internal final cut the cleanest; the choice was never mine.
This you chose; your arms, your scent defined
The borders, walls, the floors, the exposure. Your desires
Say nothing past the yesterdays of pre-dawn, and glad
I was to rest the while, and glad you are that I am gone.
But nothing’s rendered in the late night’s song,
The me in you, and yes! You know the sad
Result: that moon’s pain can not know a sequel.
The senses, these you know , with no contempt,
But radiant resignation in the hours of heat and pure idolatry. Spent,
The sentence stands within this world. These final sentiments rule;
The veil, the truths we’ve always known; the hourglass, the idols of our nights,
Its sands, a closing hush of breath at daybreak when all our meteors take flight.
Posted in Age, Certitude, Death, Delusion, Detachment, Emotion, Existence, Fidelity, Idolatry, Illusion, Imagery, Imagination, Imagism, Immortality, Infinitity, Love, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, Pain, Patience, Philosophy, Poem, Poetry, Reality, Relativity, Samsara, Separation, Sonnet, Sonnets
Tagged Age, Art, Death, Delusion, Emotion, Existence, Fidelity, Illusion, Imagery, Imagism, Love, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, Pain, Poem, poetry, Relationships, Samsara, Separation, Sonnet, Sonnets
“But That We All Are”
But that we all are on the List and die
And once again appear on someone’s right
Or left-hand honoured roll in fame and light
And all that can be cherished, or idolised
Within a spectrum visible, allied,
Augmented well beyond the common sight,
Imagination rife with conjecture’s might,
A lunacy to thoughtful evidence, despised,
The greatest fear to those who would have it so,
Impediment to all that is the mind,
Bliss to hearts who bear the Holy Texts
Of all humanity; the choices grow
To what has sanctified the quest, the line
Of clear succession of life and what comes next.
…paintings above, Matt Adnate; below, Michael Staniak…
Posted in Choices, Imagery, Imagination, Imagism, Italian sonnet, List, Lyric Poetry, Petrarchan sonnet, Poem, Poetry, Quest, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets
Tagged End Times, Existence, Imagery, Imagism, Immortality, Italian sonnet, Love, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, Petrarchan sonnet, Poem, poetry, Relationships, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets, Tragic Flaw
“Bethlehem’s Hours’ Mourn”
Bethlehem’s hour’s mourned, furtive glances northward toward Nazareth;
Veiled her expectations as soon enough her promised Son survives.
She knows that somewhere in between this king contrives
Within himself to build a wall. He practices precision; he does not guess.
He knows exactly what he wants, and from the East come
Three who only recently made queries round the campfires
‘Neath the skies beyond the Jordan. Casually they’ve inquired,
“What are these walls, and what the genesis of guns
And orchards plaited all along the shepherds’ run? Whose images are these,
And what is it they disguise, the vulgate for the people?”
Yes, they come, these three, adrift once again stalled between the steeples,
Barred, forbidden. Then again, their passage isn’t what it used to be.
They ask in vain and find the answers come as no surprise.
The king’s awake tonight; he’ll not fool the wise this time.
Posted in Bethlehem, Caesar, Christmas, Christmas Season, Civilisation, Double Sonnet, End Times, Herod, Holy Land, Hubris, Imagery, Imagination, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Magi, Materialism, Nazareth, Night, Poem, Poetry, Ptolemy, Pyrrhic Victory, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets, Walls, Wise men
Tagged Bethlehem, Christmas, Christmas Season, Double Sonnet, End Times, Herod, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Nazareth, Pain, Poem, poetry, Ptolemy, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets, Wise men
“Oh, I know”
Oh, I know it”s been said before but bears repeating:
Unless a man embrace estates, his sense
Of eternity, his gifts of endless strife and goals of regret intense
Enough to merit periodic casual to shameless open weeping
In the corridors; unless the deadly abyss of every night’s sleeping’s
Prone to breach and rupture within his dreams or by the clock;
unless ‘neath the lens,
His page is thus combustible by the light focused upon a spot,
his joy depends
On something well beyond his own heart’s contumely,
his gates–his paradise, his weeping–
Fall well beyond the storehouse of his eyes and its catalogue of fears,
His light is changed to fire in tragedy and myths of talismans that guide his way.
Again, unless all this is welcomed well before the final hour, his pride will swell,
His vanity implode, and circumstance becomes
a euphemism for all he sees as hell.
Remember please that breath and breathing signify that death is ever near
And in these final years, satisfaction’s just another word for nothing left to pay.
Posted in Age, Aging, Certitude, Death, Fear, Hope, Hubris, Imagery, Imagination, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Materialism, Mortality, Philosophy, Poem, Poetry, Pride, Pyrrhic Victory, Samsara, Sleep, Sonnet, Sonnets, Spirituality, Stations, Strife, Tragedy
Tagged Age, Death, Existence, Imagism, Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, Poem, poetry, Pride, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets, Strife, Tragic Flaw
“Sad You Say?”
Sad you say? I knew you meant it;
Yes, my sadness drained through your fingers
Leaving little more than moisture. Something of me lingers
With you that you own is yours. Summits
Of either joy or pain remain to use the heart, the limits
Of the body—anywhere will do—from head to toe; these, the singers
Intone its presence, equations flatter integers
Enough to anoint themselves exclusive in finite intimates
And variations for the sake of form. These flights of melancholy
You mistook for yours; as well, your joys I imagined mine in the mirror,
And neither of us were the wiser in the final calculation.
If one of us is right, we’ll see our satisfaction and salvation
In what little time remains to us in life; the eternal holy
Light is never long in coming. If one of us is wrong,
…there is no deliverer.
Posted in Detachment, Emotion, Existence, Fidelity, Hope, Illusion, Imagery, Imagination, Imagism, Love, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, Pain, Patience, Philosophy, Poem, Poetry, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets
Tagged Emotion, Existence, Fidelity, Illusion, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Pain, Patience, Poem, poetry, Relationships, Sonnet, Sonnets
…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
“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.
Posted in Belief, Change, Civilisation, Congress, Economics, Experience, Image, Imagery, Imagination, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Materialism, Poem, Poetry, Politics, Pyrrhic Victory, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets
Tagged Economics, Economy, Imagism, Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Poem, poetry, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets
From chaos comes ordre; it’s a promise
Not a threat, and see to it that you heed
A willing radiance, an acquiescence, the need
For civility in the journey from initial surprise
To final recognition, from knowledge in the eyes
And from the illumined page while both are lost in wanderlust and steal
Away to what for all the world seems
Neither here nor there. Umbrage seeds both choice and compromise
As winter’s cold surrounds the heart’s dissatisfaction,
colder still than death
Itself and not at all to anyone’s liking. Where do joys of spring
Lead but to sorrows in the coming fall and from that fall, the season’s
Proceeds, naked trunks and brittle branches, reason
Feeding hollow hopes and simple traffic in dreams? What’s left,
My friend, but bones of separation
in the present and reunion in eternity?
Posted in Age, Aging, Certitude, Death, Detachment, Double Sonnet, Dreams, Emotion, Existence, Hope, Idolatry, Illusion, Imagery, Imagination, Imagism, Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, Pain, Patience, Philosophy, Poem, Poetry, Reality, Relativity, Samsara, Selflessness, Separation, Sonnet, Sonnets
Tagged Aging, Art, Delusion, Double Sonnet, Imagery, Imagism, Immortality, Pain, Poem, poetry, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets