“You Own the Year”
You own the year and years before you
As I the year and all that’s passed;
Your signs are rising; eternity is steadfast.
Quo vadis, then? I who serve eternities am overruled
By sheer numbers, countless previous dispensations viewed
In retrospect and circumspect as vast
And spacious notions of impermanence and impasse.
I see before the fact in part— imperfectly at present—pursued
By spoils of wars and rumours coupled with a dubious acquired taste
For bitters, acerbic memory gained close at hand or lost at sea.
Nothing in this world is or is so stable
That it is not utterly dependent, created, removed and recreated on the table
Of bounties throughout creation; what God has willed to use or waste
Shall be not be more or less than what it is, and what is not shall never be.*
* “Protect me, O my Lord, from every evil that Thine omniscience perceiveth, inasmuch as there is no power nor strength but in Thee, no triumph is forthcoming save from Thy presence, and it is Thine alone to command. Whatever God hath willed hath been, and that which He hath not willed shall not be.
There is no power nor strength except in God, the Most Exalted, the Most Mighty.”
–His HolinessThe Báb, Selections from the Writings of the Báb, pp. 190-191
Posted in Age, Aging, Certitude, Change, Civilisation, Covenant, Destiny, Detachment, Duplicity, End Times, Existence, Experience, Fate, God, Hegira, Hope, Image, Imagery, Imagism, Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Mankind, Mortality, New Year, Poem, Poetry, Providence, Pyrrhic Victory, Reality, Samsara, Sea, Sonnet, Sonnets, Spirituality
Tagged Age, Aging, End Times, Eternity, Existence, God, Imagism, Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, Poem, Relationships, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets
Limbs, appendages, extensions, sinew stretched
Across chasms, voids, and axles;
Creation’s foam will occupy the mind; cosmic jackals,
Vain imaginings spun from fractals, etched
In plaited mesh and skeletal remains combine
To people thought and populate whole scenarios—
Nothing ever quiets the machine. The interim’s need will borrow
Legitimacy and gravitas from life’s singularity, refine
Their use within the era, penultimate lines in rhyme
Penned to presage the tentative, simple strokes of time.
Transition’s in the air, my friends, and next in line
For what’s about to come to pass might well be curses
For the speed with which the world embraces change for its mistakes.
Creation weds the art of accident to apposition for its own sake.
Posted in Astronomy, Change, Existence, Experience, God, Image, Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Poem, Poetry, Providence, Relativity, Religion, Sacrifice, Samsara, Selflessness, Sonnet, Sonnets, Spirituality, Stations, Universe
Tagged Change, Evolution, Existence, Imagism, Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, Poem, poetry, Samsara, Selflessness, Sonnet, Sonnets
“I’ll Not Wait”
I’ll not wait till dawn to praise the sun;
Shadows follow closely where I sleep; this night must end:
I’m guaranteed as much. What, then? Tomorrow? What? Again
A word’s delay a world away is all, so, patience me. The midnight trains still run
Their course–stampeding to the east to crawl back westward–and catch
The rising or the setting cosmos all along the local milk run. Coaches
Matter not, jettisoned or newly recreated in the Milky Way, we approach
Our destinations, dusks or dawns in proper times; passengers dispatched,
Who only seem to arrive at destinations previously booked
And so we do not blithely cease to live because we wait
Upon a final station or dream of tracks not even built. Medusa guards the gate
That turns all nightly plans to stone, and we her momentary shades that looked
To make the journey know the Night Train only claims a means to ends
Through mirrors while season tickets mark what joys the daybreak sends.
Posted in Age, Aging, Astronomy, Destiny, Ends, Existence, Experience, Fate, Helios, Image, Imagery, Imagism, Infinitity, Lyric Poetry, Means, Midnight, Nightrain, Poem, Poetry, Providence, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets, Sun, Trains
Tagged Age, Aging, Change, Destiny, Double Sonnet, Existence, Fate, Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Night Train, Poem, poetry, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets, Sun, Trains
“I Don’t Suppose I’ll Ever Know”
I don’t suppose I’ll ever know; she never told me.
I had no calling card and she had no address,
Or if she ever gave it to me, it was always less
Than what she wrote to him and could never be
Disclosed. Of course, I looked for all the world; I seemed
To be forever browsing bookstores in more or less
Abandon even wonton dedication to the kind of eagerness
That only children presuppose is happiness or glee.
It was never there, you see, and yet I was ever
At the ready to believe in terms of passages that saw her through
A time or two of something close to primacy or proximity
To what it was she never found in me—sublimity
Or something that she’d read in Keats and Shelly, severed
In the end from Dover Beach and miles from Xanadu.
† William Butler Yeats [13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939]
‡ Percy Bysshe Shelley [4 August 1792 – 8 July 1822]
Posted in Age, Aging, Detachment, Duplicity, Estrangement, Lyric Poetry, Marriage and Divorce, Negation, Poetry, Providence, Relationships, Samsara, Separation, Sonnet, Stations, Yearning
Tagged Age, Aging, Dover Beach, Existence, Lyric Poetry, poetry, Relationships, Sonnet, Strife, Tragic Flaw, Xanadu
Bahá’ís throughout the world gather this evening and tomorrow within the First Day of the Month of `Asmá [Names]
“Double Sonnet in Honour of the Feast of ‘Asmá [Names]”
Greatness, the gulf of differences between
Recipients of names and the manifestation of the same
In full blown vain imagining; objective oversight’s the flame,
At least the spark any given second. A constant stream,
The crown of transformation comes in time to weave
A gravity within the press of what is never really seen.
Within a name resides a hidden thread that only seems
The confirmation both of life and being—in bas relief
Or so The Buddha warned—that holds a lethal trust. Between the name
And its receipt abide the seeds of pernicious doubt and protestation,
Manifest but without form, no timely attestation,
More an emanation than anything in revelation. In every atom reigns
The distance and sweet velocities of change. The many tools
Of blind belief in Adam’s gift seek rest somewhere within reach of fools
Embracing blasphemy in luminous dichotomies, dilemma’s
Punctuation marks’ delusions born of natural sedition. Litanies–
The beads of faith and understanding–are crystals of epiphany
Drawn from rich deposits deep within the endgames of enigma
And paradox serving providence and the farce of perpetual plebiscites;
Their greatest honour, servitude in service
To unnatural homeostasis between justice and integrity, yearning
And the One for Whom all yearning stems to transcendental heights
Born in mortal time of He from Whom all virtues flow.
And when denial and prayer are in arrears,
When needs and resignation outweigh a sum of means;
Words gone bankrupt erupt and deeds are stripped of fat and lean,
As hopelessness finds redemption in an average skein of years,
With all that overwhelms the truth at sunrise
In redemption in the simple phrase, “I’m still alive.”
Posted in 'Asmá, Adam, Age, Aging, Atom, Blasphemy, Buddha, Buddhism, Change, Confirmation, Denial, Dichotomy, dilemma, Doubt, Endgame, Enigma, Epiphany, Fools, Gravity, Greatness, Homeostasis, I'm still alive!, Imagery, Imagism, Integrity, Justice, Litany, Lyric Poetry, Means, Names, Paradox, Plebicite, Poem, Poetry, Prayer, Protestation, Providence, Redemption, Revelation, Samsara, Sedition, Service, Skein, Sonnets, Sunrise, Time, Tools, Transformation, Virtues, Yearning
Tagged Double Sonnet, Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, poetry, Punctuation marks, Relationships, Sonnets, Tragic Flaw, Wisdom
Borrowed time, the Salomé days;
A Trojan gift, immortality usurped by promises of beauty; shifts
And balances in each uncharted moment lifts
To others still, and in the glacial ways
Of providence, veils in the heat of denial
Are suspect so close to consummation, or should be. Probability
Of not so much the essence as the probity
Of the voyage―the conscious nod to common sense—the jewel. Trials
Often as promised in a single dance, as many lifetimes as risings of the suns
Of self-deception, the first and last unsteady steps toward
An understanding is the briefing, interrupted, of a sudden, diadems of reward
And punishment are equalled in the headlong rush and run
Through Security and the Customs Office to a flight
that cannot be deftly measured nor ascertained
With nothing lasting to declare but finite ice
and little more substantial than simple snow or rain.
Posted in Age, Aging, Common sense, Customs Office, Denial, Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Poem, Poetry, Providence, Reward and punishment, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets
“That We Fall Is Natural”
That we fall is natural; that we rise, elephantine.
The elemental flow of oceans cannot be
A thing so scripted in the stones nor greater than it seems,
But ever-striving, ever-writhing, natural peaks declining,
Irreconcilable in their conniving, twice and more desired falling
In or toward Themselves, the Mothers of all Waters, yes. Rivers
Die and are reborn at once–revivals in their streams and noted divers
Books, catalogued as tributaries and watersheds–calling
And recalling from a moonstruck swollen pinnacle
even to the least and last most holy drop.
Confucius* said it long ago that greatest glories
Come not so much in never falling, but in histories
Of revision, sublimes in tectonic prodigies at the mountaintop.
Little wonder save to mortals what the matter is;
energy is the bright selective gleam
Of noble souls who
like the stream, the river, the brook,
must at last rejoin the sea.
*Confucius B.C. 551-479
Posted in Age, Change, Death, Evolution, Existence, Fate, Hope, Imagery, Imagism, Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Nature, New Year, Ocean, Poem, Poetry, Providence, Samsara, Sea, Sonnet, Sonnets
Tagged Age, Ecology, End Times, Evolution, Existence, Imagism, Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, Nature, Poem, poetry, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets
“Eliminate Dissatisfactions “
Eliminate dissatifactions in the path and grasp
A moment’s truce; given’s celebrate the certainties. Providence and proclivities
Provide a shroud to glory in memorials. Revision lines the summer’s festivities,
Dilute predilections and call it ever autumn; and, as the ever-present asp
Among the figs will play its rôle, so, too, the ass will have his tour de force.
But, ponder: dichotomies are means and never ends for pure and simple
Truths against the backdrop of change, reactions robed in dangling participles
Camouflage themselves as fortune and pollute the soul in doldrums in the course
Last-ditch hopes for busy minds for recipes for the common pundits thought.
Secluded in the country”s veins seasons’ haloed garish city lights
Are ceilings formed of stars immune from politicians in their circus tights.
Our Ferdinand will not be compromised by matadors who line the Spanish streets, nor did Socrates lay down his last drachma for one more round brought
Low in mass hysteria while sitting bulls emasculate
their sacred bovine rites in corrals designed for vicious virtual gridlock.
No, both prefer to smell the flowers, graze bucolic fields, and tend the herd,
their rule, anointed bulls for all the cows within their sheltered stock.Eliminate redaction of glyphs and scrolls, runes annotating greater lesser conduits and ask
Who, then, it might have been who wrote the given’s, the certainties;
Who salutes entitlements and rites, and myriad raucous destinies
Of personal perception that turn all certitude to doubt? The ever-present mass
For figs will play its rôle, of course,
But, ponder and reflect on simple
Souls! Against the grain and contrary to all public thought and principles,
What we call fortune does not favour the cheap, the shoddy, the coarse
And rampant office and audience of jaded channels caught
Rather in the main away from city lights
And all the progeny of media’s circuitous flight
Through superstitious commercial margins fraught
With cold corrosive gout. Of course the many will provide the locomotion
And the force of mighty change howbeit living souls require no self-promotion.
Posted in Change, Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Poem, Poetry, Proclivities, Providence, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets
Tagged Double Sonnet, End Times, Existence, Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Relationships, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets, Summer
Take nothing from nothing lightly.
His own sprites, infants
Of Providence from voids, nurtured, cradled, reborn as instants
Above the need of time’s pieces, time beside itself, timed slightly
To the skyward―Fate and Destiny merely fashions, statements in spatial nights
Of fire. Engines of the commonweal may not easily be ignored
As antipathy gainsays grace and sue the flowers of “Might”
And “Maybe” as with all other litigants in the pond.
The cultured and the coarse and those who are not born
In affirmation’s garlands are worthy vesitutures but wisely worn
For what and who they were not what they are, held well beyond
Distractions the eye; reality rarely takes a mistress.
All that is cannot be penned and has no vested interests.
The cells call out their scholarity,
Mighty spires reach for skies
That live seasons in the earth’s penumbra and expire
Forever, so they say. Turn, then, to odd peculiarity,
Particulars in ornate stone formations possibly deliberate
When once they housed a single evening’s temple
Built by want and ignorance of what is simple,
Worshipped by multitudes within, immediate
To some, an intimacy of bodies petrified
And sprung from some light’s supple
Flight that had a need for nuptials–
She, the goddess; he, the priest. So sanctified,
They possessed a night that launched a myriad cliffs
And in that blackest of shadows, its oceans shifted.
“The poem… is a little myth of man’s capacity to make life meaningful. And in the end, the poem is not a thing we see – it is, rather, a light by which we may see – and what we see is life.”
~Robert Penn Warren
[April 24, 1905—September 15, 1989]
Posted in Affirmation, Cells, Energy, Epiphany, Imagery, Imagism, Light, Matter, Mythology, Night, Numinosum, Poetry, Poets, Providence, Sciences, State of Being, Yearning, Zeitgeist
Tagged Existence, Lyric Poetry, Robert Penn Warren, Sonnet