Category Archives: Imagism

“If Not a Summer’s Day”

“If Not a Summer’s Day”

If not a summer’s day, then let me celebrate
Some last year’s moment’s  fecund random fruit, emerging produce
From repeated seasons; so be it, someone else’s seed deduced
From natural selection reduced to poverty in the actual delight. The penultimate
Arrival of the cycle’s sun has surpassed Orion’s
Yawn, a codicil of peace within the annual rut of reason.  But for the sake
Of natural pleasures in the thought abused, treason within the process is raked,
Its many points become a species, then a phylum
Sealed and steeled as wrapped within a velvet robe, the ripened peach,
With subtle flavour, discrete; its ancient used aroma all but moot
Until at last the weather’s hope of heaven’s born, takes root,
And in the swath of shadows in the other afternoon its child appears
As fit for sacrifice, a single bit in some innocuous familiar rite–
The residue of autumn’s care at dusk before the coming winter’s night.

“There Are Times”

green-sea-turtle_564_600x450

“There Are Times”

There are times when rocks are all I need,
A shelter, something solid, something half complete.
No eternal covering, nothing dreamed. I just can’t sleep
Right now, and all I want to do is sit a spell, and see
Myself through what it is I ought to feel.
There is so much to think about at times,
(The lunar bride’s not called as yet) my mind’s not clear, but I’m
Not sure I care to do a thing nor move about those eels
I see that make so many close to me so utterly confused.
You know I rarely miss my ride, so, if
You don’t mind, I’ll sit and stare, and sift
Through things I shouldn’t think about, and muse
About myself till dusk. And if you please, I’ll shift
From time to time to let you know I haven’t died,
Abide a while, and let the moon bring in the tide.

“The Age”

“The Age”

The age, the arc, the spectre of unspeakables
And contention; a single strike will kill, but with the honeybee
Comes purpose by the lot and ensured harmony,
Do not disturb!” and “Multiples; Invincibles!
Reluctantly, to be sure,  but timely come the constables,
Harbingers of an hour’s solemnity
And stark reminders of inevitable uncertainties—
“A step too far!” is heard, and while the intruder’s able,
The antidote comes in hosts, swarms
And spirits in the multiples and in the interim
Kindnesses in part to save the whole.
No bellicose delivery here, no spectacle of effort to console
The soul but simple missives bearing news of certified afflictions warn
Of death: “The hive or thee, my friend: the hive or thee; attend!”

fear

Placated in the Midnight

Rainbow road

“Placated in the Midnight”

Placated in the midnight for a time, softly moving, flowing purples
Prove longing in a hurried bower. Sentiments, interpreted
In their yearning by a greater sight, a gilded purity, requests to know
A deeper joy in stations far above their own. These! the strident yellows,
Richest apricots, stealth in forest greens, and in their mirrors’ prism others
In a rainbow’s richest hues. Truculence and degradation spawn another
Third, a half note difference that in the hour makes no sense. These! their fellow
Travellers pause but moments in this place and for all intents
And purposes yield to what they think has come pass. Conclusions
Mount in efforts to remember who it was could do this to whom. Confusion
Circumvents the purpose of reunion when their synergies, delayed, are bent
Distorting content, vanities and what they both have willed:
Blindness in the heart and mind while all precocious certitude is stilled.

“This You Chose”

“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.

“Stylish Sandals”

“Stylish Scandals”

Stylish scandals serve as fodder in mists of lotteries  just so
For use in apparitions and delusions of synergies,
Lubricants that cushion stress and emerging currencies
Of incremental confusion bestowed
On callow mettle once more greatly desired than gold
And spun in threads of obsequious obstinacy,
cocoons of comfort from birth to birth I took to be
 Death and dying in the failing in my years of fire and snow:
In short, I will always fell. Pride postponed and sentiments excused,
Somewhere in my purchases rest a greater need
To arrest all that is before it’s brought to naught
And put away and forgotten, the pedestrian slipper and clog untried, unused
With no need to embroider, exacerbate or mark the  erstwhile Golden Rule
Of simple certitude’s aplomb well beyond the need of classic paths and shoes.

“I Found The Day’s Messiah”

Adam

“I Found The Day’s Messiah”

I found the day’s messiah breathing as if to pray;
No prayer, of course, no sign, no moon, no stars, silence—
Balm to souls and solace in a crisis
Of questions—so many hopes lay absurd, what they must say
Gives Animas to eternity and shields a simple fear, the terror
Of these days. I would not ask outright, “I have no words,” then,
Took flight so very tight in twilight when
From cancer and fallen branches—errors,
Really, to the whole—innocence conjures lasting alibis,
Sentinels that never come to rest, fruits of thought pressed
With violence enough to produce the wine—more from less,
Inebriation from what the old man once said. Patient sighs
Amongst the sparrows egg him on while sitting on a porch with me.
“Make peace with the Fathers,” says he, “from Sons of Adam flee.”

Ivory_Cain_Abel_Louvre_AO4052

“The ‘Once’, the ‘Ever'”

…dedicated to Hermann Bloch
1 November 1886– 30 May 1951
“”I shall not die of a cold. I shall die of having lived.”

“The ‘Once’, the ‘Ever'”

The once, the ever, standing in the atrium must burn;
The nexus of the meeting of the feeble lamps are lit as Virgil sits alone,
The flint stone at the confluence of the rivers; a tone
Once heard, a trace no more than words. Ever then discerns
A wisdom in the lengthening of days on end;
A reconciliation of the first sun’s now within
The pale of the last night’s then and all its many-eyed kin;
The End, scintilla of a notion’s distant toast:
“To Cæsar!” Distractions in the movement defer to mortality, defend
The pattern as it is, the peoples’ choice, a proud
Morbidity based in universal song on this, a night of leaving, joy
On this, a day of meeting. Stars and verses, voids,
A universe of empty consummation never executed while clouds
Obscure the moon, as ever toils below;
Perspicuous, yes! the once and only suns express,
So dark a night as never and one more day of less.

.

Block’s Death of Virgil had to be the most ambitious reading of any single novel I have ever read with James’ The Ambassadors right up there with it, but a close second. The stimulus of both novels, however, is incomparable in value and I can suggest that anyone who values the language should read both of them at least once before death simply because they exist; as Everest has been for the mountain climbers, so both novels have been to anyone who reads and loves the language.

Block’s “Virgil” is not fun to read, but it represents an incomparable challenge and once conquered, a kind of badge of honour having braved the greatest storms of both prose and poetry that could be imagined short of blowing out the circuits of both.

With the James novel, it was said that it was his favourite, but apparently almost impenetrable to some readers of his time. To one “Lady ‘whomever’” who complained of this, he advised sticking with it and that once having arrived at a certain point in the narration, the specific gravity or gravitas of that novel would hit and the worth of the whole vindicated. And so it was; I had to read that novel page by page, reading each several times to get anything near clarity in what was being said or where the action of that novel was going. Then, one late afternoon, while cooling off from a very hot shower in preparation for going out for the evening, I decided to sit on my bed, pick up that novel and continue plugging away at it. Suddenly, there it was! A catharsis of unimaginable majesty that hit so hard that I almost cancelled my evening out in order to continue reading to the end. Great works are like that.

For me, there is no “fun” involved in reading, but the rewards are everlasting, something that is rare in the reading of secular prose. Block’s work is a combination of poetry and prose in a mixture I never thought possible until reading “Virgil,” and I cannot imagine now, an equal to this. My sonnet alludes to but one of the thoughts that seem to dance throughout that work in spite of laborious, endless poetry, all of which may be beautiful, but only in small doses like genuine truffles; like chocolate, there are some things in this world that are “legal” but close to lethal in effects, and Block’s “Virgil” comes quite close to that.

 

“Asking Nothing”

Queen-Bee
“Asking Nothing”

Asking nothing, pride itself knows no shame
But that it is not easily offended
By its authors, lasting aeons never once rescinded
As they bear hard against themselves with holy arrogance. Abel’s fame
Was no more great in folly than in triumph; blame,
The greater satisfaction, feeds upon itself, suspended
High above its frozen haven’s wasted heaven, extended
Low and lower than the expectations of his brother, Cain:
“Why,” then, “art thou wroth?” is heard with “What hast thou done?”
And in that instant, seconds into centuries cast their burdens
Leaving only fools to gather and surmise how long it’s been
Since innocence so easily spent itself pursuing means to every end.
If we breathe, we cannot be more anxious than the moon and sun,
And stars whose certain execution and anastrophe scribbles embroidered patterns equal to the physics of a nano-drop, as well, the roaring war of infinitives bound in verses primed that rhyme with energy and matter in the greater cosmic run.

“He Delights in Convenient Signs”

vintage_radio_by_jesse-d4xymyv

“He Delights in Convenient Signs”

He delights in convenient signs: the sun, the moon, the stars
The universe, and through illusion his eyes declares the day
And night are one. His view will see its way
Through symbols. He sees all points of value from within or far
Above their azure prison bars of graphs, these atmospheres
That parent all the earth, extending parts per million through to voids
Above, below, and far behind the splay of asteroids,
And solitudes in comets, sunspots, suspect planets, clear
Blue skies, and all twelve scions in the heavens and this
With ease and loving faith with no regard for certitude. Who
Is not taken with parades, grand processions,
Multiples of keen perception spliced with clear impressions,
Curtain calls for universes, wholes in which the paper defines the clues
To occupy the crude sophistication of our many-billioned eyes?
And after all, these cosmic nosegays raise all souls, and take us to the skies.

parallel_universe

…at top, photograph by Jesse on deviantArt.com…