Category Archives: Tragedy

“A Mighty Ogre”

“A Mighty Ogre”

A mighty ogre looms, attend! Pointing
At the aged and frail, suspending sentences and dismissals;
Curt. Accusations rise as pernicious youthful lichens, thistles,
In the din of coarser winds through choirs of dandelions anointing
What they take to be their virgin soil yet cannot pollinate. But I am
Here to mention lightly–if at all–that we will surely meet
In landscapes where no salamander walks nor stalks and seek
A common ground in placeless journeys born of powers that can
Alone confirm the comedy of an eternal phoenix
or the tragedy of lethal mortal dreams
That once again refuse the mighty hawk or lowly
Dove to be our judge, and here before the wholly
Living rise above all but material integrity. The sorely
Tried and scorched in every age of folly’s folly
turn attentions inward toward the loam of hearts
Or outward,skyward to edge of air yet tethered whether
by the ancient strength of Cæsar’s horses
or the proper use of Virgil’s arts.

” Out of the quarrel with others we make rhetoric; out of the quarrel with ourselves we make poetry.”
~W.B. Yeats
[13 June 1865-28 January 1939


“We do on stage things that are supposed to happen off. Which is a kind of integrity, if you look on every exit as being an entrance somewhere else.”

Tom Stoppard
[1937 – ]
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead [1967]

“Sonnet in Honour of the Feast of Kamál or “Perfection”

Bahá’ís throughout the world gather today within the First Day of the Month of Kamál [Perfection] to celebrate the first day of the Bahá’í Month of Kamál.

“Sonnet in Honour of the Feast of Kamál or “Perfection”

Perfections and brief mortality lag for moments in a guarantee
Beyond the waiting grave; even in the womb, fluctuations
At the departure gate defy instinct and extinction in comic reproduction
Of the maelstrom. Carnivores in chaos renew the glaring tragedies
Of immortality as does sleep, a nightly purgative to all dreams.
Propinquity reviewed in bold idyllic matter turns matter to energies
In physical perception, penned at the pleasure of humanity–
The beverage curious and exotic–the poets’ ink ensuring every species’
Flourishing beyond the naked flesh of bodies in the simple rite of birth.
Apoapsis and the periapsis of the peoples’ need from the outer steppes
Of gravity and evolution to the thing desired,
re-created, wild and sculpted blossoms
Of the promise of ends in all beginnings,
millennia, themselves but steps
beyond the fallible suspicion of man or book,
the good shaman’s vain and futile search.
Yet even here, the contemplation
of a bowl of hemlock, perhaps to think:
If I fast forever, so will I dream as long;
and if I thirst forever,
Then, as surely I will someday drink.

“Oh, I know”

“Oh, I know”

Oh, I know it”s been said before but bears repeating:
Unless a man embrace estates, his sense
Of eternity, his gifts of endless strife and goals of regret intense
Enough to merit periodic casual to shameless open weeping
In the corridors; unless the deadly abyss of every night’s sleeping’s
Prone to breach and rupture within his dreams or by the clock;
unless ‘neath the lens,
His page is thus combustible by the light focused upon a spot,
his joy depends
On something well beyond his own heart’s contumely,
his gates–his paradise, his weeping–
Fall well beyond the storehouse of his eyes and its catalogue of fears,
His light is changed to fire in tragedy and myths of talismans that guide his way.
Again, unless all this is welcomed well before the final hour, his pride will swell,
His vanity implode, and circumstance becomes
a euphemism for all he sees as hell.
Remember please that breath and breathing signify that death is ever near
And in these final years, satisfaction’s just another word for nothing left to pay.

“Kenesis”

“Kenesis”

Kinesis for
The many who remain to wait
Silently for some benign constriction in the state
Of things, some sinister situation in the molten core
Of what it is they hope that God forgets to do or say.
Oh, yes. There are the borders to defend,
Concessions, lights within the processed prisms bend
And warp–so many suns are strong–schemes to calculate
With nests to build and chicks to feed,
but come the harvest, guests, the gathering
And celebration, the stories to be sold across the newsstands of the land,
The hands all sit here waiting with the others in the band
And ask themselves why grace and bounty seem so much like common tragedy
When in the once desired brilliance of the promised summer’s yield
The time for satisfaction never comes and the crop’s left in the field.

“Pain”

“Pain”

Pain, and the Pacific has had its way, so many tears;
The summons; natural deities, rushing devotees of Southern waters
Join discords of the North and oceanic rivers feed because the glaciers falter.
Nai-no-Kami will no doubt dance. She needs not move far while fears
Of millions, fields and city gates are prey with every passing day.
We view their sighs and gestures, calmly watch and lunch on wonders
At the thought and misery that gorges on the plunder
Of laboured mountains duly noted while we dine. Mere screens relay
Our sympathies as surrogates before us mouth the news in bites, remote,
Confounding empathy of others with our own, and with no more thought
Than is required to vote or tolerate yet another tired announced affair
Convinced we’ve performed our sacred duties. Filtered sage suggestions float
Between commercials; who is dead, and who is dying?
We resign ourselves to daily schedules, and retreat
To mindless repetition, and support of yet another public brawl,
and trash what cannot be understood, change the channel and eat.

“Humour Is Impossible”

“Humour Is Impossible”

Humour is impossible in the throes
of serious contemplation of the most potent question
ever asked on any secular page of literature:
“To be or not to be, that is the question,…”

When faced with such a query,
who will denigrate his own
imagined station and position within what is,
after all, a lethal situation for all of us?

The bourgeoisie cannot afford to ask the question;
the rich above the need of contemplation;
the poor too oppressed by the instincts,
the daily needs of hunting and gathering

simply to ensure a continued existence
in this world share  a modicum of
some comfort on the odd occasion.
The rich experience nothing because

every effort costs them nothing;
their pride, therefore, is rendered moot.
The bourgeois may well seek to own his world
in terms of expressions of what he imagines

the bailiwick of their betters,
and indeed, but fails to recognise
that ownership without purpose
sustained over a generation or two

is inevitably the prescription
for yet another application
of the Peter Principle
or the Dunning-Kruger Effect

and, as with poisons can provide
as great a lethal punch to the soul
as it can be in beneficial form to the body.
The poor experience the wonders

of life, struggle, and death but have no voice,
no language that does not promote
anything short of need at best, sedition
at worst when given half a chance,

and in the odd instance passing freedom from sheer want.
Witness: from a tax revolt in 1776, America did without its king;
1789, the French its monarchy and aristocracy;
1917, the Russians their czar, their aristocracy,
Their bourgeoisie yet all revolutions failed.

…But, Nymph in thine orisons be all my sins remembered,
strip away convention, then, and turn to prose….

Given all of the above and the advent of the credit card on the one hand, and ubiquitous Federal Reserve Bank Notes, the logical use and result of the invention of the printing press, what might have been humorous in the past has lost its flavour much like one’s wad of “chewing gum on the bedpost overnight,” simply because whether one addresses true tragedy or its counterpart in comedy, both rely on some helpful word as to what constitutes the intrinsic good or, in short, the presence of virtue and its ultimate outcome, nobility, vraiment…. Without such a word, we have no choice but to think nothing is too sacred to denigrate, belittle, or even to crucify, as the history of all of the many Prophets and Messengers of God, not to mention spiritual philosophers have experienced and met Their ends; what, then can be said of the qualities of the arts and sciences, and the “pith and marrow” of any given society on this planet?

In the end, what constitutes a poet if in fact the characteristics of the artists and sciences have been laughed to scorn just as those of the basic institutions from the kings, popes, religious leaders of all kinds, lawyers, doctors, teachers, nurses, librarians, professions of all sorts. Once one has laughed at God, Himself, it is difficult or even impossible to maintain any semblance of nobility; what should the present two or three generations expect but that after what amounts to almost continual world wars from the 1840’s and straight into the present hour? So much for religion, government, and so much for the arts and sciences, and ultimately so much for the sanctity of life, itself; if Hamlet had some difficulty in maintaining his sense of humour in a Denmark rotten to the core in its banquet days, what, then, can be said of the “remains of the day,” as it were, by the by, so to speak, as the crow flies, in our sweet time, …que çela reste entre nous deux?….

“Summer Like the Lion”

“Summer Like the Lion”

Summer like the lion has so little time;
Reflections on horizons only seem at rest,
Refractions, hungers in the higher grasses are at best
A blind, a routine introspection, attest to sun and pride,
Alike as natural season’s slightest change rewards the prey
Of both with perspicuous signs and insecurities but nonetheless
Concrete enough to cause a wonder in the every power; less
Than single clouds occlude the sun, the slightest hint of grey
Upon the main, both signal gain and loss. Clearly crowned,
They have no equal in selection’s schemes
Save Death, itself, yet each pays out in measured penalties. Extremes
In greatness and renown sustain but reasons, diadems and crowns
Subject to circumstance of cycles in the main—in means
A certain end—in cosmic tragedies beyond the need of seasons.

“Within the Second”

“Within the Second”

Within the second, tension
Greeting and suspension
Sought by no one’s intervention
Never seen when the incision
First was made; immediately regretted,
The fisherman must pay out nets in
By miles in order to withdraw from what is set in
Stone for life and wife and children and the silence of posterity. Sunsets
Measured by exigency’s precision and jealous alacrity in moments
Of lucidity crown flights that condescend to incidents and stories
Never dreamed by this finest man or that great fish by land or sea
But in and with slightest motion’s predetermined goals, histories
Of continents and oceans satisfy Calliope
and there within their stations, torments
Boast of sacrifice for crowds where cowards
in the chorus crucify their tragic characters and epic plots
swell as sweat from depths within the pores of poets
finding every gilded ancient fear a kind of test
that does not rest but resonates as never-ending glory.