Category Archives: Samsara

“I Am”

“I Am”

I am my feet, my history tells me so;
My shins; dexterity amid the rocks reveal it may be true;
My thighs; their balance in distraction sees me through
Illusions at the level of the  groin’s most pernicious foes,
Receptacles as voids in need of better news; and though
I am my mother’s navel, my father’s love left so many similar clues—
The evangel to what was otherwise ignored—that the view
In any given moment’s blocked.  Here, then, my heart maintains its flow
In reasonable annuity, and I’ll be damned if I am weak,
But if you ask my legs, you’ll find a sometime potent posse,
Nothing else. My once proud pectorals could
Never act alone―as if they thought they should―
But laboured twice the time for heartfelt evidence
That given time I would succeed―
And so I have as I can plainly see.
I am my eyes whose rivals in the ears
At times have overcome the world and all its fears,
But though twice born view both here and our eternity
I see but vanity served that while I eat, I hesitate and feed
On noise and what is after all experience in arrears.
I am my mind; “Cogito!”— the mantra’s cadence shows as through the years
I’ve dined on fine receipts and tallies that what I meant most certainly should be
The outcome of all my powers to deduce a spark from what I’ve seen,
A truth in what I’ve done and glean from what I’m told I’ve been—
This, despite  what I know I am,…but let that pass. I am
In fact conceit, itself, and in its place I stand
And where I sit and both but simple remedies to all I’ve gleaned:
“I am,” the Ancient Sage made replied, and “that I am,” shall be
a fleeting moment’s apostrophe to truth and not at all what I believe.

*********

3:14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and He said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
Exodus

“The Test”

 

“The Test”

The test is in its gauge, a poem’s weight, nothing equitable but fair,
In and of itself an offering, a discrete particle in an innocuous conceit
Upon some higher power in the substance that in its sleep
Has left the path and all the usual signs and banners with little thought or care
To what it means to shoot the sun, its moon and know that they came
To pass as  a mirror’s movements  in the moment; receivers quickly feign
Reaction to the pen and page and all such shibboleths as questions beg the reign
Of order in a desperate bid for substance and recognition, inertia that sustains
Momentum in the swamp and swell of ownership by simple dint of will:
Mindless arbitration comes to mind as sparks defining truth spill
Words and destinies and budding paradigms, the seed and fruit of every hill.
Both will measure every valley undetected, unrestrained.
The eye, the plume, the generations of the word itself must all reveal
An effortless encounter of win and lose no matter what the deal.

“Limbs”

 

Conceptual image with a businessman on top of a maze.

“Limbs”

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.

“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”

2

“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…

“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...

“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…

“She Hesitates” or a notion…dedicated to Xineann……whom I admire…and will never meet….

“She Hesitates” or a notion…dedicated to Xineann……whom I admire…and will never meet….

She hesitates because she sees the streets afire, ports
And fields are set ablaze, ashen air enough for firm distrust
Of voices so in harmony that something greater–smoke of lust,
Perhaps–makes cannon law
of fundamental truths abused as instrumental sports
That lead the populace to rallies and the mob to violence and hate,
The bailiwick of dark and stranger fruit;
neighbours seen as furniture
Within the garden; tables, chairs, and fine manure
For the flora to an end expressing nothing but itself. She may be late
In joining, friends, but she’s got solid reasons
For her reticence: So many voices can’t be right!
They say there’s truth in numbers, yes? The flight
From those few souls who’ve passed their seasons
Patiently may well have penned the word,
But broadcast and by distances alone, they’re never really heard.
You asked me why it was I stood there saying
Nothing, and it’s true, I might have made
A difference with a word or two. It was a trade,
You know–the moment for eternity–the laying
Of a track to future nothings, sweet and supple
In themselves, but not at all a match: I fear
For what I saw just now
And you would steer
The conversation toward the obvious, the couple
In the restaurant window dining in the comfort
Of the moment, thinking nothing, doing nothing.
I might have seen it coming, fluffing
Pillows, nonchalantly pulling covers down, the effort,
Minor, meanings so innocuous with both our souls
On fire. So simple, then, so bitter, blue and cold.
Tonight, a window, yesterday a wall,
And tomorrow is not with us now;
We seek dissembling, signs to brows,
Mild salutes to those who call
For gentile willingness, who see the dawn in early light
And come away with knowing smiles, and even laughter
In the brief exchange, yes. At best, a hesitation after
Gilded intimacies have seasoned action: “Is it right?”
Should I have asked the question then and there and leaned
A little as we veered so far from middles to the open road?
There are so many, here, you know! So great the load
And watermark of birth in thinking on the chasm between
Desire and finer laws of gravitas, the will that conquers all remorse:
No need for lubricants for flaccid passion while all the soul requires
is common sense and oceans of the heart’s delight to hold its course.

“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