Category Archives: Walls

“I Could Have Called”

“I Could Have Called”

I could have called last night, you
Know; you’d have answered, of course, and we,
Removed, should conquer these deserted walls; the you and me
Expressing wonder and ecstasy de facto that two
Fine tunes in a single space find nothing in our words;
No lyrics, no grandiloquent prophesies, no binding ties,
No coy deception, fitting deposition, or bold-faced lies
To truss up seams, loose and dwindling ends; just birds
Of prey whose festive table breeds in fables, birdseed, curds
In whey–nothing offered, nothing taken–
Gilded fare in a God-forsaken
Intercourse that breathes perhaps in syllables, but nowhere near a word,
Stentorian sensations that somehow subdue a nightly desperation,
Declarations masked in stilted mantras ripe with endless repetition.

“Bethlehem’s Hours’ Mourn”

“Bethlehem’s Hours’ Mourn”

Bethlehem’s hour’s mourned, furtive glances northward toward Nazareth;
Veiled her expectations as soon enough her promised Son survives.
She knows that somewhere in between this king contrives
Within himself to build a wall. He practices precision; he does not guess.
He knows exactly what he wants, and from the East come
Three who only recently made queries round the campfires
‘Neath the skies beyond the Jordan. Casually they’ve inquired,
“What are these walls, and what the genesis of guns
And orchards plaited all along the shepherds’ run? Whose images are these,
And what is it they disguise, the vulgate for the people?”
Yes, they come, these three, adrift once again stalled between the steeples,
Barred, forbidden. Then again, their passage isn’t what it used to be.
They ask in vain and find the answers come as no surprise.
The king’s awake tonight; he’ll not fool the wise this time.

“So Easy to Feel”

“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.

“The Cry of Millions”

“The Cry of Millions”

The cry of millions not yet heard; the righteous lights
Of all the world mirrored flaws along the walls while Versailles
Gainsaid the obvious until the glass was shattered, veils
Were rent and more than one child began to cry.
A single salvo as the Schleswig-Holstein felled all smiles,
Reduced credulity to stubs and stuffing, and some few numbers; jailed,
The jaded jailers who executed prisoners, usurped the common rails,
And ushered in the latest greatest war with ink in vials
From vats of half a century overshadowing the Titanic’s inauguration
Of festivities that did not cease until the fall of walls in Berlin.
That was then and this is now, and what’s become of change?
The wall’s rebuilt a hundred times over, with Israel and Lebanon in range
And quite within the reasoning of one or two half-generations’ pagination
In Syrian spectres and the gilded books of nothing gained and no one wins.

“The Well Is Dry”

“The Well Is Dry”

The well is dry, the residue of ink explores
The walls of silence, crystalline in isolation from the roaring pen.
Surfaces have all been cleaned; shelves are empty now, and when
The hour dies, the index finger traces symbols, beads of inspiration born
Of ingots grown from sediment as saline prints–fingers
Soil the complaisant innocence of a parchment that never rests;
Rich papyrus–stretch marks in the margin–attests
That I am ever drowned in possibilities where wonder always lingers.
Surely, then, there is no pause to speak of in the daily common look
Through possibilities, the slumbering leaves of future chapters,
What exists and for the moment merely cages what’s been captured
Reveals nothing to or from me, yes! but for another time, another book.
My pen stands ready to offend not so much as to enrage
Itself. Not all that is and every crimson serif finds the page.