Category Archives: Poetry

“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, the vast 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,
The rites of singular and plural. Canons to the right, 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 and the prolongation
Of those steady arms and not the voids implied in counting sheep
Or the monotony of the final mantra: Now I lay me down to sleep….

“He Chose What Homer Chose”

William Shakespeare
[23 April 1564 - 23 April 1616}

Today marks the Anniversary of the Birth of Shakespeare 450 years ago, and, according to what records we may or may not have, it also marks the Anniversary of the Passing of the Bard 398 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]

“Waiting”

Waiting-for

“Waiting”

Waiting. Waiting. From where I sit
I see but platitudes of prepositions in multitudes in wait,
Rapacious greyhounds―verbs and nouns cut off at the gate—
While dangling snails modify themselves in the gambit
Toward their verbal soup seeking refuge.
What’s quick and nearer are the terrors
Writ and easy abscess to blatant errors
In the long run baked in the heat of subterfuge:
Aye me! What act that roars so loud and thunders in the index?
Yet pundits scream and stream the name of truth
With the watchword “Breaking news!” Abstruse,
Perhaps, yes! Obtuse and perpendicular to a blatant text
Announcing nothing more than ounces first, then gallons
Of bile and holiness at the claw and retribution in the talons.

” Sonnet In Honour of the First Day of Riḍván”

Bahá’ís throughout the world commemorate this day as the First Day of the Festival of Riḍván, highest Holy Day in the Bahá’í Calendar, a day commemorating the Great Announcement made by Bahá’u’lláh, Prophet/Founder of the Bahá’í Faith on 21 April 1863, in the Garden known by the name of Riḍván [Paradise] in the city of Baghdád, Iraq, to the world that He was the long awaited Messenger of God for this Day foretold in the Holy Books of Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Islám, and heralded by the appearance of The Báb in Shiráz, Iran, in 1844. In short, we commemorate the Announcement to the world of the Advent of the Promised One of all ages. The Festival of Riḍván lasts for a full twelve days with the First, Ninth, and Twelfth Day being the highest Holy Days of the Bahá’í Year.

roses

“Sonnet In Honour of the First Day of Riḍván”

He calls the world to peace; the nations cry for war;
He calls the world toward the sun while the owls flee to shadows
In the night as far from one another as His Will allows.
Refractions in the gloom, they revel in the scores
Of symphonies, adagios, and choruses of universal pain,
The rites of self-annihilation, denial, and mutilation of the soul;
Their bodies, frigates of the aging war fleet grounded in the shoals.
And on this Day of all Days, He gathers refugees from the rain
To clothe the naked with the unity and simplicity of truth, roses
Of the Garden piled before His feet; the Great Announcement
Given first to those who knew His Voice, thereafter, the pronouncement
To the city of future pilgrimage, to Baghdád He discloses
His Identity; at last to all the world: The Second Trumpet’s come!
Lift up the veils, behold the Light! Leave the bats of loathing
To withdraw to their own chosen darknesses before the rising sun.

Rubies 2

“Still No Ease”

Thesis III

“Still No Ease”

Still no ease is welcome from the poisonous fount;
As grey to black as drifts decay, and still so still
The heart. Notwithstanding. The constant chill
Reminds him duly: count
The days. He has no other thing to do.
And if he leaves or if he stays
No one notes the difference! No gleaming clue
From greener days, no sweet delay
To think on what must surely come
Between the present and what defies
His every word, what devoutly flies
To any place but here. If it were, he’ll run,
He’ll walk, he’ll rehearse as all his thanes forgather,.
Flown yes! but that he lives is all that really matters.

“He Will Not Compromise”

fox

“He Will Not Compromise”

He will not compromise the stock, his private petri dish.
A line of foxes frolicking through the sheep must prick
The curiosity of any pilgrim pausing at the brook; the brick,
And mortar, tools of what a man constructs, the wish
That something happen here. Daubs of oil in the dish
Will draw the brush to do what must be done. The stick
Will find his cousins own the table; wicks
Are there, (if left unused) while golden fish,
Apparently at rest, take turns about the bowl
If only to sustain the journey to the point of death.
And so the heady phrase and weighty line:
While others may or may not find the rhyme
We neither weigh the consequence of natural signs nor pay the toll,
The fee for what it means to know the glory of the seed
within the bank of blanket soils of every soul.

fox1

“Yes, of Course”

“Yes, of Course”

Yes, of course, it’s in the silences, the gaps; what isn’t there,
A kind of saving grace. Yes, it’s in the wrist and more, a second
Maiden voyage. The news announces daily the Titanic’s jocund
Journey redux, greater for revision less the ware
And less absorbing in the loss of souls from rarer thinner air
Brought faithfully to task but mind you nonetheless a reckoning
Within a construct; no! an edifice of remembrances within the seconding
Of resolutions that determines Elliot’s wave within the self-defining stare
Of relative modernity; but one tsunami in eternity amid the voids of space.
The promise of redemption’s found in balances of degrees
In praise of beauty in the sun spots’ mighty aura, the aurora in the fray
Of loose inebriating Northern Lights–try distraction while you pray–
Try the Northwest Passage in the making high above the Arctic’s former grace
Notes, rhythms in the writ, a metaphor in G, perhaps, but played in C.

“There was peace and the world had an even tenor to it’s way. Nothing was revealed in the morning, the trend of which was not known the night before. It seems to me that the disaster about to occur was the event, that not only made the world rub its eyes and awake, but woke it with a start, keeping it moving at a rapidly accelerating pace ever since, with less and less peace, satisfaction and happiness. To my mind the world of today awoke April 15, 1912. – Jack Thayer, Titanic Survivor

“I May Fast”

kiev-middle_2799623k

“I May Fast”

I may fast from time to time but I will have my way on this and every day
Through matins in the news broadcasts and other phatic mine fields
drawn for the evenings that were formerly childhood’s greenest pastures.
Rising triumphs of élan in the latest Tahrir Square, the courtesy
of urban gangs and spores of tribal Libyan disasters,
Countless are the trenches, pits and pitfalls, splays
And watersheds, the concentrated concerts of twice-born
living peoples sharing wealth in every breath.
Billions, humanities howsoever here and there
within the outer and the inner spheres
Of feigned insurgencies of federated feudal laws―occult
to feckless millions in the West―there come such neo-modern seers,
More recent wizened feral stocks and bursaries
to serve the ends of both the many cursed and newly blessed;
Sharecroppers, landlords, purveyors of speculative imagination
festoon the gilded monarchies above the Persian Gulf. Oh, yes!
Here along these ancient oriental paths are pipes to play
And canvases on which to paint the now-naked past. Fiduciary aims may
Expose themselves within their pious domes of blue and marble blocks.
I’ll carve my own best
Misbegotten marks and credos leaving
fragments, chisels, well-worn Transylvanian stakes
For later souls to ponder while I gather what I can,
and as I am always early, posterity’s always late.

“Imagination Styles the Face”

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“Imagination Styles the Face”

Imagination styles the face that solves a thousand wrongs,
While no one’s guessing what’s behind the door.
Better yet, the portal to escape closes just behind him; gore
And all that glitter exposed, moments redux of the earlier morning songs,
Playground glories among the boys and toys, seasons to declare
His eminence–petulant and sulking–ever short of rule, ever cool,
Who stalks the school yard–recess, lunch, and after school.
And preys on younger lambs who cannot see nor dare
To think beyond the present teacher and the class
To one day leaving what was never meant to be
A permanent abode but stepping stones to what only seems
To be a day’s delay to graduation fantasy, and one more hall pass.
“The blame is his,…no hers! No theirs, but never mine,
so why should I remain behind the rest?
I’m not the only one!” he says,
“But, then again, I never meant to study, people!
I never meant to pass the test!”

“But If I Loved”

“But If I Loved”

But, if I loved, there’d be no stumbling here,
No word, no moment spent in canvassing;
No south-bound sound, no! no jaundiced ring
Tone, no telephone—assuming no fear
No understatement—pressures here applied
To maudlin tracings follow no trump, no expression
No! no consummation in the passive key,
No suppression
Of fact, no fire in hyperbole, nor just plain lies.
Then I’d be forced to die, or something close
To leaving if I could:
But, I’m not made to feel so good;
I only wish I were; and just suppose
I should,
I would.