Category Archives: Relationships

“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.

 

“I Found the Little Girl Alone”

…recollection from a day of teaching some time ago….

“I Found the Little Girl Alone”

I found the little girl alone, a leaner ladybug
Forlorn and crying in the cavern of the Cafeteria quite late
One afternoon; she sat with lunchbox and an empty plate.
“What brings you here?” I said. She just shrugged,
And said she didn’t know. I asked if she shouldn’t be
In class, and would she like some help to find her way?
“Oh, no!” she said, and then a lengthy silence. “I have to stay
And hurt a while until I’m done!” To me
She looked so small so delicate, and worn, so “Why the tears?
“My best friend hates me, and I don’t know why.”
“Well, what, then,” made her think she couldn’t try
To ask her friend just what she’d done? “That,” she feared,
“Will make it worse! She told me she’s got another friend at home
And now she took back her ring, and I’m here all alone!”

…I managed to walk the little girl back to her classroom, and in she went apparently in a kind of daze.  A few weeks later, I saw her in the playground laughing and seemingly happy as a lark, but from that day forward to the day she showed up in my senior English class, whenever our eyes would meet from time to time in the course of years of crossing paths and there was always a kind of sobriety in her glance that expressed thanks for having heard her and again, for having never mentioned that afternoon again.

“She Might Have Asked”

“She Might Have Asked”

She might have asked him if she cared.
But then it really mattered little; she’d left no room
For doubt, she’d other fats to fry in fires soon
To be and visions of her future flared
Up and out and all around her, the afterglow
Of hungry butterflies, and swarms of fireflies
Grown as clouds about them both. She denied
She’d ever known him…,”But I don’t know though;
Roads are sometimes forked, and as she’d said
From time to time, “It’s the early bird that gets the worm!”
He’d grin and smile: “You bet your booties, Girly! But get a firm
Grip on this ol’ toad before you leap, and put some forethought in your head,
You can fool a nightcrawler some of the time while he waits his turn,
But, they’s no nevermind t’arrive before the worm!”

“Humility”

Warsaw

“Humility”

Humility–unwieldy companion to arrogance–speaks;
In time, longevity in the Philistine at last
Ignites a divine belated blessèd anger, a righteous task
Of inevitable cosmic correction, a conscious meeting
Of place, heart, and justice inward while but a fleeting
Moment entangles exponents with reality; the hour has passed;
Its purpose, certitude. Illumination in the glass
Reveals the cosign of beauty; a faith, sans gleaming
Spark leavens all and leaves no doubt wasting nothing in its evening
—A meagre point of knowledge as with a single atom addressed at last
Avoiding capture in the very act of viewing.
No substitute for misconstruing
Immortality for license, this thing must grasp
A certain concrete action plausible in similitude and innuendo
As all natural pains reverse themselves in their own crescendo.

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“The Midnight Hymn”

by Friedrich Nietzsche
[ 1844 A.D. - 1910 A.D.]

Oh man!  Take heed!
What does the deep midnight say?
I slept!
I have awakened from a deep dream.

The world is deep.
And deeper than the day remembers.
Deep is its suffering.

Joy is deeper yet than heartache!

Suffering speaks:  Begone!

All joys want eternity,
Want deep, deep eternity.

“I Don’t Suppose I’ll Ever Know”

“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]

 

“Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin “

mene, mene, tekel, upharsin

Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin”

—Daniel 5:25

or

“Without the Winter’s Chill”

Without the winter’s chill, no intensity, no heat;
Emptiness, nothing is required;
Nothing lacking, nothing is desired.
No one dreams where no one sleeps,
No path, no future verdict where there is no past.
What satisfaction brews where discomfort
Is not found? No unity displaces discord
Where envy or the pangs of jealousy do not last,
And where’s the beauty of Adonis if
Harpies draw no breath. No Gorgon’s hiss,
No blush in virgins’ innocence stains a purity summarily dismissed
And spent for evermore no matter who is wronged
and who the paramour. Richer use of precious gifts,
Within the set if lovers prove untrue and as the straight line seeks the curve,
so, too, the light will bend
Eternity itself that cannot withstand the shock and insult of the end.
Ah, but when it comes it can so softly as in remembering.
No one notices the added wrinkle, no one hears it at the gate
Between the paths of earthly temples; minions of a thousand dates
Give little comfort in the din of bass notes bringing
Tidings of esoteric Titans’ tensions in dissentions, anthems to the hosts
Amassed as sentinels at all the exits in the steadied movement to the doors.
The party’s ended, the melodies are scored
And at the break of dawn a single upraised toast,
As in an isolated grace note on a wrinkled, page abused. Where and when
We found the bloodied coat of many colours? Where the disingenuous liars?
Where and how the flight from practice to pain, light to fire,
And satisfaction in the stench of blasphemy, itself? The dogs descend
When victory’s hour arrives and on the marquée golden letters taunting,
“Thou art weighed in the balance and found wanting!”

—Once

Charles Sandison

 

“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. The books
From memory alone will entertain his pen a pace,
Awash with sundry oils and detail now
Arresting generous portions of his brow,
Attracted and content, a troubling frieze,
The peas with carrots, onions chopped to close
Within the future fry, not one but two with herbs allied,
Exposed for what they may now achieve at once placed as rhymes
To eloquence in elements combined to test the palate; cloves’
Oppressions no doubt forced at length albeit spare with salt declined
“In case!…” and the voice of Julia to meet her recipe’s demands.
And as the carbon to the diamond, brine
Is changed to water, water thence to wine,
And all within its wedding’s blessing, or at least a pause,
For heaven’s sake or any other flash or flame or flaw,
And never mind the former chicken’s’bold bathetic crimes,
And as she cooks, yes! even as she cooks to him polite laconic glances tossed
As into boiling pots and frying pans as all his thoughts and cares are lost.

susanne_clark_musical_painting_series

“I Knew”

“I Knew”

I knew you were not there
With me; for you there was no ocean side,
No Qibla further than a certain pride in overdrive when love subsides and tides
Abate. Never once did you inhale the sweetness of judicial margin, exquisite error
 In support of solitaire and the natural aroma of one last evening.
You did not rise with me in the blush of blessings, supine against the skies—
As remission comes it comes too late—you never cared to look beyond my eyes.
You never saw in me the configuration of your leaving
Nor anticipation, no lighter scent of all the pain you left behind.
Had I been honest, I must admit I always knew it would be so. While
Reticent and cautious, you smiled
On all that came to both of us in all we thought we’d find.
I had the feeling that you’d merely blocked a single scene,
  Some routine rehearsal while I stood reverent in the splay, transfixed by what I’d dreamed.

“I Know Who You Are”

“I Know Who You Are”

I know who you are, the name escapes me.
You sit there still, so very still so I can’t see.
Jeffrey was like that, you know;
Jeffrey was my dog.
But you’re not a dog, and I can see you
Standing there or sitting there so cool
And thoughtful; I’m not in your thoughts,
You see, but you’ll have me brought
To your attention now and then to set the stage,
And I’m to go on with the show. The age
Allows you liberties, you say,
but you have no guarantees, you see.
Sooner or perhaps later, you  find yourself alone,
And when you do, you’ll lean toward the sun to atone
For all you’ve outgrown or overlooked; you may even pray
And ask your mind to linger while I stay
Still and hidden in the wings so you can think someone’s listening.
I’m here all right, and so is He.
So you’ll go on barking up the same tree.
There’s no need to bark; He hears the squirrel.

“She Will Learn His Secrets”

“She Will Learn His Secrets”

She will learn his secrets, she will soon divine
The reasons why she met him, pause awhile
To listen, gave the edge, and more, will dance; she reconciles
His words and thoughts in line.
She delights in orderly progression, digressions she’s made
Because he takes the time to find expression
Made of scents and pure aggression.
He upholds the meaning of her palm before her eyes; stars pale and fade,
Illusions dance like plumes of smoke and incense only blisters,
As his aspirations bow or give the nod to some gentile triumph,
Nothing more, no, nothing, really. Accomplishments are her phatic myth.
She inhales the reasons why he’s here; he exhales, whispers
Something up and down, across, around, and all within a surreptitious smile
Containing why he’s here and why she isn’t, and seeking closure in denial.