“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
“Sans Settling of the Sum”
Sans settling of the sum, no silent night;
The cold and darkest midnight, no brightest sun
Regained upon the freshness of a morning run
From first awakenings to the duties of the light.
Sans route and paths to shorelines, fishermen
Cast no net nor fruit upon the table there
Beneath the candle and the moonbeam; no joyful stares
Of wide-eyed eager mouths to take the bread, no beds
For doting families there to cradle and caress the children;
No willing intimacy in loving parents, no hopeful news.
And yet, of course, comes danger from the sea,
The stormy petrol cries in certain seasons that must be
Harbingers of hurricane and trial, what we choose
To call the birth pains in a loving mother: nature in herself brings waste.
Her ends must come before beginnings, her gifts but ballast tossed in haste.
Posted in Birth, Birth pains, Danger from the sea, Hopeful news, Hurricane, Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Moonbeam, Nature, Poem, Poetry, Sea, Sonnet, Sonnets, Stormy petrol, Waste
Tagged Existence, Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, Poem, poetry, Sonnet, Sonnets
“So Easy to Feel”
So easy to feel, to seem to be, to know at last propinquity
As if the light declares the coming glory of the sun at daybreak
Redundant. But as that disk cannot be seen for more than seconds, I take
That certainty of coming morning within me,
Knowing that midnight’s richest prize in ivory
Is forever fixed as is the station of the sun; the moon an intimate
In someone’s flight, perhaps, but even so, as she reveals herself in states
And phases never hers, agitation gains nothing in the motion save in memory
And affectations of the sea within me–force upon another force,
Measured consequence of a functionary that renders boundaries
Of continental pride and the ocean’s doors
Cast aside in the riot of the tides, a natural stampede, no more
Than thresholds of natural accident, the stream and river’s course
Now rising, now again a swelling to apostrophes, eternal inertia born of gravity.
Posted in Change, Destiny, Existence, Experience, Fate, Image, Imagery, Imagism, Immortality, Isolation, Lyric Poetry, Midnight, Moon, Night, Ocean, Poem, Poetry, Samsara, Sea, Sonnet, Sonnets, Sun, Tides, Universe, Walls, Wisdom
Tagged Age, Double Sonnet, Existence, Imagism, Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Poem, Relationships, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets, Tides
“True Enough, the Politicians Sigh”
True enough, the politicians sigh, elections foil
Attempts to rectify the situation leaving choices
Fit for fools and all solutions moot, their voices
Shrill, and rarely if at all do waters yield and boil
At temperatures that formerly marked
The limits of glory’s shores. Even as we speak the seas
Have rushed the gates where now the rivers bleed,
And Arctic glaciers once so permanent, so parked
Reveal the reason for which Greenland was sired
And in the time of ancient Viking sagas so aptly named.
Nothing’s new that was not there before the present maimed
And mauled, reframed, and rearranged, frayed and admired
Its tasteless tableaux in conspicuous waste
to the end that no one breathes
A word who is not cursed or blessed while all the azure planet grieves.
Posted in Arctic glaciers, Bigotry, Caesar, Competition, Greenland, Iceland, Masks, Media, News Media, Poetry, Politicians, Politics, Pride, Promises, Sagas, Sea, Tableaus, Vikings
Tagged Delusion, Double Sonnet, Ecology, Economics, End Times, Illusion, Lyric Poetry, poetry, Politics, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets, Strife, Tragic Flaw
“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
…painting by Kyle Ragsdale…
“The Balm of Blame”
The balm of blame relies on shame
While fools amass in cloisters; clowns, their terrors
Grouped in choirs as with fires sired in hell. Errors
Come as natural as breathing, while their eternal flame
Afflicts the every man, and cannot be concealed.
How, then, does the crown not fit
As when in the thick of smoke and mirrors bells peeling
Not from above or from the side but fulgent, sealing
Heaven’s signs in record time, the eyes, the gait, the every gesture
Bold prophetic witness as the Eastern Prophets’ Word is echoed in the West,
Their lights snuffed out in increments that underline the tortured tests
Of wills and structures of the Occident in bulging bank accounts–sequestered,
Belching fallacies–metered by the hour that all but scream for want of closure?
Yet, the line is long and longer for ambient mists of deft exposure.
They will not hear the key left limp at latch–the entrance
Or the exit; they cannot see the rising
Or the setting of the complaisant star, its restive analysing
Of the land and sea at midnight, the telling glance
Of creatures who stalk their prey in the foyer of the edifice;
The temporary seating exceeds the number of the tombs is evidence
Enough that in all creation few defy the mirage; the fence
That must divide the space above a phantom’s presence
Of this planet from the gaping hungry star-filled void
Of all that passes for imagination.
Connoisseurs of matter taste
Nothing but the venom of the fang in hours of self-defeating waste:
That posits purpose in pursuit of the outrageous, they speak of decoys
And photographs in place of simple memory and obsolescent joy.
Posted in Appearances, Bank account, Bells, Blame, Celluloid, Closure, Connoisseur, Decoy, Denial, Double Sonnet, Duplicity, Ediface, Error, Everyman, Fallicies, fancy, Fire, Flame, Havoc, Heaven, Hell, Imagination, Joy, Key, Land, Liar, Logic, Magesty, Materialism, Mayhem, Memory, Mirage, Modernity, Moon, Occident, Poetry, Prophets, Samsara, Sea, Star, Tomb, Waste, West
Tagged Existence, Lyric Poetry, Sonnet, Sonnets
Goliath. Behemoth, yet my father’s eyes do not behold me.
Barren straits above the line of all my cisterns’ shores,
Are crystals, porous with litanies of creatures, future seas of worlds not born
Arraigned in prisms’ prisons to attract some feeble ray that only seems
To please the rhythms of the heart but never rule as I am warmed
By something undistilled and unrehearsed from memory; my advice
Is hoary white. Humoured as it is, it will suffice
To welcome both the fool and hardy in the undertow. I perform
What cannot be foresworn by an incident’s huddled worry on shores
Of continents and isthmuses where serried islands are but guests.
I might have ruled the whole but in the toss, the test
Of prophesies and fortunes were never kissed by either die.
I am content, it seems, to be and do no more
Than surfeit in the light of endless sapphires, blood to commerce,
Storehouse of the wealth of eons lost, to rise in glory and then disperse.