Category Archives: John

“He Chose What Homer Chose”

William Shakespeare
[23 April 1564 – 23 April 1616}

Today marks the Anniversary of the Birth of Shakespeare, and, according to what records we may or may not have, it also marks the Anniversary of the Passing of the Bard 400 years ago. The general facts concerning William Shakespeare support the idea that he was born and died on the same day. In honour of the occasion, of course, there is a repeat of a posting some time ago:

“He Chose What Homer Chose”

He chose what Homer chose; the place,
The measured lisp of every school boy; the time, eternity;
The hour, the glory of the present tense, the panoply
Of stars above the placeless with the taste
Of honeys made pedestrian, obscured by tongues, the paste
Left finite and sour from beyond divinity and the bower of worship–the realities
Of man, the Son of Man, the seat of constancy is faithlessness in cold identities
Obscured beyond the reach of all–
the trial of facelessness becomes their saving grace.
Who knew the eyes of John or Peter, Paul,
or the meek and more obscure Bartholomew
But that the rumours flew and vacancies were filled, their names
Now everywhere and nowhere is it written
How the Christ appeared, or how their God had smitten
What was left of their disguises, appetites and virtues notwithstanding crude
And morbid songs of their demise,

…and cannonlore for all that glory in the flames.

“The past cannot be cured.”

–Queen Elizabeth I
[7 September 1533 – 24 March 1603]

“So Great a Silence”


“So Great the Veins of Silence”

So great the veins of silence on the streets in this year’s dying
Days; a fresh upon fresh blanket of winter’s dews shrouding
Trees and sidewalks, weighting rooftops, goading gables. Clouding
Clotted skies both day and night show no respite. Incense of Abraxas plowing
Down liturgical calendars, disguised, the last uncertain week of this last
Uncertain year; there’ll be no other.  The funeral’s banquet’s not yet finished,
But come now impertinence in  wedding caterers as the neo-looming skittish
Markets address themselves to not so certain promises profit, and as the past
May be the mirror of the future, Hamlet’s wondering
At his own wonder in the thought so universally voiced,
“Can we really stand another year with the same old invoice?”
That it should come to this! Denial’s simple rites, the blundering,
Sundering ties to all that virtue knows in favour of what is known, flaunted
ignorance of both at once even to the gates of Pergamos and Ephesus:
Have John’s missives not arrived?
Are there no prisons, and still no workhouses?