Category Archives: Lyric Poetry

“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.

particles

“Just Leave It Here”

bath

“Just Leave It Here”

Just leave it here, or put it over there,
I’ll rip into it sometime when you’re not
Around; perhaps a little later when I’ve caught
Some rest, or just a nap, or seek the tender care
Of the refrigerator―or, maybe just a bath,
Of course! A bath―tonight, no standing shower: bubbles!
Yes! And contemplations of the past while I forget my troubles,
And the neighbours’ radio loud enough to raise the wrath
Of God from migrant angered angels, curses that I’ve never heard
Before, or maybe have, but never memorized. It’s time for Mahler’s Third,
And while I’m predisposed to being altogether unperturbed
It wouldn’t do to push the envelope too far…. Yes, feed the bird,
Walk the dog, and later on, when evening’s gone
I’ll gladly open what you brought me, while I wonder what went wrong.

…painting by Dick Detzner…

“The Body”

Exclusive-Body-Painting-Art-007

“The Body”

The body, yes! in yet another form,
A deliberate repetition of the last, and yet
With slight but noticeable difference in the set
Of eyes or angle of the nose, the warm
And friendly miles between a nod to right or left,
Positioned on the floor or on a bed,
Apparently a casual sitting, or instead
About to rise beyond the ceiling thence to its collapse, bereft
Of any given posture or position in relation to the light.
The body, yes! the body, and the view
And close consideration to the slightest clue
Implies perfection, a flaw in finite grace caught in beauteous flight
Between the lines, and open to the naked stare,
And what else can one do, when one just happens to be there?

A Fort

“The Innuendo”

Alone_In_Fear-406524

“The Innuendo”

The innuendo woven not so much in the fantastic,
But in experience, a living witness within a precocious cloud,
A view to forward motion, counterfeit because in itself it is allowed
To be but never adequately traced: inertia has no station; static, elastic,
Yes, but to no greater purpose.  These, the chords of oneness in righteous bond
Cannot be but bastard confirmations of the spirit’s sparse but potent
Progress, motion, goal’s, the irritating “now” but well beyond the quotient
Of “then again…..” But there’s not it. There is no special wand
Nor spirit guiding, none the precious gift beyond simple accident in bands
Of language, maudlin to the ear which is to say we may embrace not knowledge, but the inordinate love of what the ear may be gifted to hear;
We may glory in what the tongue speaks, and its wonders to suspend the fear
Of dwelling on the absolute, mere ciphers written ingloriously on the sand.
And if, by chance, there is a point to these sentiments and if pernicious—these
Fine words—it is the soul and not the author, penned such thoughts with ease. 

“Indentured Servants Everywhere”

indenturedServants

“Indentured Servants Everywhere”

Indentured servants everywhere: the card’s
Been pressed, the digits electronically addressed or etched
Upon the forehead; ratings flourish, revisions texted
In shifts, then, quietly to less than nothing with no regard
For authenticity in means. The gears are greased enough―
Or so they say―but this one has wizened information
On the wing; those, the stormy petrels’ trusted affirmations,
Give him pause to guess at little more than mild revision, tough
Decisions, restrictions on the overdraft, tight transactions
By the width of flower stalls set close upon the street of walls—
The Babylonian solution—aplomb applied in torrents. Danger calls
And no one’s learned enough to savour satisfaction
In the twist of something greater than the shining bait:
For every bear a natural end; bulls, vainglory soon, and ignominy late.

one-dollar-bill-large

“Allegories”

Allegory

“Allegories”

Allegories of the people ordain mere distractions and survive
The shared and ampler avalanche. Zeitgeists in the light of compromise
Through ages bleed to epochs and thicken in the rhyme
And cadence of the bounder; all is measured, finding strength in ties
Of mutual conceits and sentiments patterned and designed
To clear the balance sheets, embellish columns in the ledger
Bound in leather while practitioners mumble golden mantras: “Together
We’ll survive; our blood is blue and bonded, resigned
To fire as might—our gods continue to survive!” Just so, perhaps.
Substances that people traffic through the veins
Are indeed both grief and loss to happenstance that reigns
Reliquaries of the shaman
drain the humble shepherd’s cup of sap—
The blood of lightless suns—and fill the same from acrid rains.
Imagine, then, a people petrified in joy and wholly sheltered from pain.

…painting by Stephen W. Douglas…

“The Finite Question”

the-finite-universe-richard-ortolano

“The Finite Question”

The finite question—Thank you very much!
Will do me fine, my friend, nothing more’s
To grasp; not “Why?” but jewels of “Who?” or “What?” The core’s
Chorus at my reach within a lifetime. Touch
A heart within my passion’s fields and ask me “When?”
Or “Where?” or even “How?” and I am whole
No more than any man must be, for when I troll
The deeps for useful answers to finite human ends,
I come equipped as any in the crowd
Because I walk the earth, and from the mind
And human blindness come all answers to the blind,
…And be assured we are all blind. The infinite, the “Why?”a loud
And brash defiance in defense within the foam, “I am no fool,
No prophet! I speak nothing from divinity,
but from a simple earthly rule.”

“She’s the Cello”

A cello

“She’s the Cello”

She’s the cello in his night that marks the path
With leaves and herbs as punctuation marks
To separate reality from the general twist of simple arts
Within the episode from drinks at intermission Do the math
And wonder at the not-so-subtle quest of youth for rich
And varied situations.  On the face of it, slightly crossed,
Declined, and conjugated, interests tossed
From the stove to the table as his pebbles lightly pitched
Must dance across but shallow streams and brooks,
From here to there in yards or feet apart,
A feat that grants the pitcher lighter goals, an arc
For future muses. wonder-lust, misplaced in space and all those books.

“From Memory”

Propagation of Inner Thoughts

“From Memory”

From memory alone he entertains a pen with ease,
Awash with sundry inks and hues, now
Arresting generous portions of his brow,
Now attracted and content, a troubling frieze—
Peas with carrots, onions chopped too close
Within a future fry, not one but two with herbs allied,
Exposed for what they may now achieve, placed as rhymes
In elements combined to test his Pilate; cloves’
Oppressions no doubt forced at length albeit spare with salt declined,
And as carbon to the diamond, brine
Is changed to water, water thence to wine,
He’ll conjugate his troubled vision, his emotions intertwined,
And as she cooks, yes! even as he looks on,
to her polite laconic thoughts are tossed
As into boiling pots and frying pans, and all his thoughts are lost.

“Let Me Guess”

von Bieber1

“Let Me Guess”

Let me guess who you are today; I’ll take a stab:
The dispensation of an anomaly
Among the many; truth, a Baby Ruth; an interim snack of cheese and homily
With subtle saturated satisfactions of the tongue or perhaps the drab
And balm of country kitchens of the family; no? then a likely love
Of solitude while at a sidewalk café. Then, again, possibly a calm
Redemption on hearing serendipity recitations of psalms
And poesy; a rush of elevation high above
The world in a pigeon coup atop a tenement, a private peak,
Sole witness to a gambit of fireflies in the penthouse;
you bear the marks of choruses from Bach,
The symphonies of Mahler, a von Biber mass amassed
and a never-ending fugue in stock
Of cigarettes for friends around a table
in the daily wanderquest of hide-and-go-seek?
…And all of this for your daily muse, remiss
Because God’s forgot to mention something, and everyone but you
knows exactly what that something is.