Category Archives: Poetry

“Spotless No Doubt”

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“Spotless No Doubt”

Spotless no doubt, thrice polished
Marauding tensions—emotions’ nomads—yet nothing moves―
There’s no breeze, no grievous moon, no licit solar meeting in the groves
Of smothered cradle songs, no childrens’ adagio. Uselessness polished,
Memory is detained in the waiting room in peculiar movement
While destiny and fate consult on who’s left wanting in the atrium. These
Foolish thoughts of weightlessness and spiritual sclerosis augur well to please
Wallpapers and clocks left crucified upon the wall. Mindless queues atone
For any lack of purpose with no hint of propinquity. Then quite naturally
The caterers and guests soon arrive and someone has to answer the door.
As the long day’s counsels end, ignition’s off, feet flat on the floor.
No need to move the mountain; the benchmark: The will has atrophied,
We’re there. Then, of course, we return or break the deadlock
So let’s get on with what the fox intends and who will watch the flock.

“You’re Beautiful, You Know”

“You’re Beautiful, You Know”

You’re beautiful, you know. I wish we’d known
Each other close to forty years and had nothing left to choose;
Perhaps, we’d loved and lost, the ring’d been tossed, and felt its sting in hues
Of optimism and betrayal, close reunion, loose communion, blown
The whole on both sides twice or thrice by now
And somehow landed in the same lane, the same
Neighbourhood, perhaps slid down the same incline
Or close behind; the same old bus route, timed
And never off, a good fifteen straight, if lame
Or limpid minutes, from door to door. And, on some rare
Spring adagio, that night’s soft jazz nondescript demoted to the rank of others
In the cast, the added stroke,  aromas of your cooking, not a hint of `druthers,
And none of this in my head. Yes, I might be a moment late because I’d care
Enough to stop somewhere to buy a rose or possibly a dozen just for you,
And there at last at half past five, amazing grace and dinner set for two.

“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]

”The Sum”

“The Sum”


The sum of yeasts spell the dregs of moments in the mould;

Images to come, some of use, most are not, and so a breeze:
Gentleness recalls; the times are short; the fee,
What stands stolid in the stamen does not yet unfold.
At so great a price, nothing enters, nothing leaves this place; nothing’s free and yet there is no looting,  no Granny Weatherall
To fear that in the groaning, smoothly flowing
Movement, here to there, both fruit and flower never knowing
Unity of purpose, no consummation in the delicacy
of dwelling too long on what must be—A glory for the anther’s night—
auspicates in favour of shadows of their mutual fate
While lighted paths from here to there spins restive, wearied states
In hours―minutes and seconds, really―and the weighty knowledge
that what augurs in the grace of beauty comes too late,
“. . .And I’ll be going, now!” The pistil whispers thus. “I am too late!”
The stigma augments as the fruit becomes too ripe,
and aspirations of eternity expose greater flaws
In auroras and rainbows as substances within themselves
one and all abandon fleeting glory in the name of natural laws.

—Once

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherised upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent To lead you to an overwhelming question …

Oh, do not ask, “What is it?” Let us go and make our visit.
In the room the women come and go Talking of Michelangelo..”

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
T.S. Eliot
[1888-1965]

“Simple Blocks and Wheels”

“Simple Blocks and Wheels”

Simple blocks and wheels, sombre reminders
Of what it was I had to do and where to lay the hands;
My world, an expanse of conquered floors, the lands
Of my imagination, the intricacies of finders
Keepers, some helpful word, perhaps the key
To meeting nuances and overcoming obstacles,
Rites of singular and plural with canons to the right and canticles
To the left of learning; now the primer, now the spelling bee,
And all the while the painful elongation
Of extremities and bedtime stories
When it seemed that all I wanted were the glories
Found in just another glass of water as a right and prolongation
Of those steady arms, not the voids implied in counting sheep
Or the monotony of that final mantra: Now I lay me down to sleep….

“It Matters Nothing”

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“It Matters Nothing”

It matters nothing in the lightly screaming
Thoughts of what I might have done
Had this not gone so far; the early’s clusters, the latter’s stars, the sun’s
Eternal meridian, no matter what the clouds, the veils, the feelings,
With midnight’s nightly thinking on the path through Saturn’s rings
Remains the same, and in the end, illusion never dies.
So constant, time in winnowed wanderlust—the skies
The seas, the cosmic meadow’s breeze where only quasars sing
Simple measure pleasures of a thought made longer than a dream
That I may walk beside the old canal that leads to even older docks.
Yes, of course.  I might have visited more often.  But clocks
Are stormy petrels, eternal days that leave a stain on what’s deemed
Meet and seemly for the nonce; so while I frequent these familiar lanes I think
On what I might have said and how I might have stayed awhile,
and wines I’ll never drink.

…photograph above by ECU…

“There’ll Be No Holding Back”

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“There’ll Be No Holding Back”

There’ll be no holding back this gathering time of year.
We both know what’s behind these growing shadows
In hearts, the slight miscalculations at the window’s
Sash. Seedless middlings grow daily here
And with them come a hint of plenty’s fears,
A portion’s curse, the grayest riches’ fallow
Grounds withheld from sight; silt in shallow
Memories of polliwogs and fry and not a single tear
For losses deadly as frozen promises now as both egg and spore
Abundant in the chaos speak well enough of pernicious peace
And what the seasons’ greeting means. We behold
The evidence of what’s to come so blindly gripped within its cold
And unborn fingers smothering the future in random disparate chords
Of dissonance and denial calibrated not to inspire progress but to please.

“The Phrase”

Hazel Reeves3

 

“The Phrase”

The phrase transcends the pen withdrawn
And so, too, the movement in and of itself.
The notebook’s filled, volumes line the shelf
And there upon a winter’s night, the low straw
Wins and he reviews the lot and finds the flaw
In each. Perhaps a word crossed out, a gulf
In time allows a light to objectivity less the self.
And when the wheel stops, the law
Of averages condemns the thing to sit there
Once again, forgotten, anonymous as a star
That far away, explodes with fireworks
That would consume a galaxy—matter gone berserk—
Ignite and what had no energies now amassed, a pregnant flare
Until at last, one starry night, a whisper reaches earthly ears.
Just so, the incomplete, the Word to words and back again
Traverse the gap as the task of phonemes
Aspires to ascend to higher stations, morphemes
Honoured in this natal happy path. Observe:
Throughout the zodiac of conscious meaning
Stars that matter to velocities in galaxies
Reborn inspire genitive ignition in the gravity
Of natural wisdom’s past and present leaning
To fruition in what was always meant to be.
The moon, in its phase; the sun, its angry season,
The poet writes within a pendulum of forces, reason
Bound, but nonetheless eternal mysteries
Revealed as the Ancient of Days calls behind the present hour
Words from phrases only time, distance and the pen can devour.
As the audience is eternal, so, too, what will compel
The heart and mind to ideal calligraphy; the wordsmith’s nod
Secure. And as “the source of all learning is the knowledge of God,”*
So, too, the gravitas of the nib cannot be silenced, nor the muse expelled.

Hazel Reeves2

*Bahá’u’lláh, “Words of Wisdom”, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh

…pieces of scupture by Hazel Reeves...

“No Need to Ask Who My Father Was”

“No Need to Ask Who My Father Was”

No need to ask who my father was, sir.
You see my eyes, and know my actions plain
Enough. You see him here; as often pains
Come to me I ask his blessings, learned,
And to these wisdoms add what I’ve seen
And failed to see within my own desires–
Cadres of loving sons and daughters–in the fires
That make more than common motes or beams:
Accomplishments are roads away from here for us
And surely paths to what’s out there test both our strengths,
And whet the appetite, the greaters than eternities for what at length
Reigns even now in dreams beyond my father’s father’s trust,
Yet manifest enough—sovereign certitude—
A breath and more beyond this cloudy scope and range.

this, a memory of my father on his birthday, 18 February 1918…

“But at the Centre”

2-face-golden-mask

“But at the Centre”

But at the centre, in the middle, somewhere near
The eye, a briefer moment’s respite as well—yes, in sleep
You see a reticence, a full judicious leap,
Perhaps an extra lap between the truth in me and fear
In the new year, that wanderer along the narrow streets
Of cities where I am; albeit truth is here, there is no storm
Since nothing earthbound moves where angels swarm.
Where I am neither earth nor heaven retreat.
The man is circumcised; search the eyes,
What flies, what armies do you see?
Search the skies for what it means to be
Or not to be and there’s the torch raised high above the lies
Of heart and mind. From one or from the other, in solitude no one clearly sees
But eight seconds’ distance from the sun, and slightly less from me.

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