“What Softer Melodies”
What softer melodies heard the other side
Of mirrors, doubled, perpetual in returns
To both the seer and the seen, burn
Memories in the afterglow. Waves obeying tides
Remove all witness out to sea, erasing steps, colliding,
Reverberating―as if we must be told we never learn
The first time―revisiting familiar images, taciturn
Reminders that apparently we, astride the shore abiding,
Encounter in the flood the restive need to keep on moving.
Inevitable, too, the image in the glass reflects the light
That cannot pause but in the subtle notion
Of someone suddenly defined by some tragic emotion
Spelled in comic ciphers only catalysts and radicals can read,
Effects remembered only vaguely in the anguish of the night.
Posted in Aging, Anguish of the night, Ciphers, Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Memories, Mirrors, Poem, Poetry, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets, Tides, Waves
Tagged Age, Aging, Detachment, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, Poem, poetry, Sonnet, Sonnets
“Who Denies the Virtue?”
Who denies the virtue of a single act
Of charity and thoughtfulness, or instinct
crowned by mindless bigotry at the going rate?
Is there some subtlety, some sardonic smile,
some eleventh hour of business while late
And grainy nights come out to play that shares aplomb
while force-fed deadlines prove lethal to the facts?
Witnesses rush to queue the feeding gate;
The talk is endless, stale and flat, debased debates
That lap up honesty and truth as hostages to obfuscate
Collusion in the elect? “One moment, please!” contumely before one’s fate
Is ever known. Comes a jaundiced breeze that begs the gangrenous thought:
“Shall I do myself the honours, or shall I wait?”
Fools enough will bid for time designed to waste
The troubled waters in the rush to publish what’s been bought
And what’s been stolen. “But, there’s the rub, the standard, is it not?”
A man will broadcast expectation in a polished mirror of himself and rot.
“So damn the polls,” say sentinels on molehills; as nightly scenes
Of raucous petrels in profusion draw the strangest notions.
Propinquity in multiples of flawed emotions
Nominate the place, and no one weeps
For them because they are too small
To ponder. Inflection will pursue
A difference here and no one wonders notwithstanding revenue
Against expenditures what weighty enterprise. They’re all
About their their fathers’ business whether in stampede
Or at a crawl or motionless in the hall. They will what they will do
To some determined end that in the esoteric eye
Of the beholder need not make a lot of sense.
“Are we not but squirrels?” they query on the defense
Keeping watch for enemies with eyes that never leave the skies.
“And we are here as on a darkling plane,” recites the leader
While the troops remain at full alert and no one reads the metre.
Posted in Act of charity, Aplomb, Aura, Bigotry, Contumely, Deadlines, Defects, Eleventh hour, emotions, Enterprise, Expenditures, Eye of the beholder, Facts, Fate, Feeding gate, Fools, Gangrenous, Hate, Honesty, Inflection, Instinct, Late nights, Mirrors, molehills, Notions, Petrels, Polls, Propinquity, Revenue, Sardonic smile, Sentinels, Squirrels, Stampede, Subtlety, Talk, Test, Thoughtfulness, Truth, Virtue
“She Knows What I’ve Been Thinking”
She knows what I’ve been thinking, Joe.
She thought I’d be straight shot through
You know, and what’s more, she knew–
They always do–that in the end she’d show
Me what she thought her best side was and let it go
At that. It might just be she’s a little tight, but if
She takes a second look around, she’ll skip
The show, forget the curtain calls, and roll
The footage from the credits to just about
The point she crossed the line and blew
It all by being what she dreamed she knew
Was me but turned out to be just a light excursion, a heavy bout
Of thinking, a frame without a painting, a horse or two without a cart
Which in the end was neither positive nor very smart.
No matter. What’s done is what
It is; longevity
Leads itself to levity,
And gone in less than seconds. The cut,
The rent, the fragmentation of the whole
Begins where even light will bend, and footsteps,
Shadows of what’s behind Goliath affect
Oblique distractions, revisions, histories that alter goals
Reborn and re-created by default in every jaded heart.
The slightest movement in the arc turns every head
In this terrain and judgements haunt the dead
And dying on the spot. Done! No one’s laughing as the darts
Of every man’s affliction seek the vanishing point from which he’s strayed,
To face finality, the greatest mirror in whose image no one is betrayed.