Category Archives: Writing

“By Day, the Toil!”

Wrting

“By Day, the Toil!”

By day, the toil.  Just so. At times the ache
Returns, but somehow, nightfall must come. Perhaps
It is the hour, or something in the newly evening breeze, but laps
Throughout the day are then for someone’s sake
Forgotten, and he simply sits before the fire,
Or there, outside beneath the bluer, richer hues
Of cares and harsher edges of desire
To carve, to whittle, to embrace a life at once recused
In poetry, metre askew with so  little harmony, alone
Not so much in sparks, but in the riot of results.
He waves his hand and even owls listen; bolts
Of lightning in his voice again do not groan
But gently call to sit beside him in the light
Of distant days remembered in the call
to rest with him through the vanity of his night.

 

“Questions Mount”

“Questions Mount”

Questions mount by ranks in compliments, the odd, the even third’s irrelevant—
To be or not to be, to seek what’s seen or unseen or better not to see
at all—so what’s a circus in a world without eternity?
Though you’re never here; the monitor’s are and adamant,
Unequivocal, belligerents beyond the why and wherefore, or what’s the point?
And were you here beside me, would I then need sleep?
Awake, of course,  but to open my mouth and sing? Which?
Would I seek another ocean’s steel, another steep
Abyss within, impose a living curfew on the thing or casually anoint
The advent’s risk with just a simple kiss? There’s a Judas in this
Somewhere and while his days are numbered with the dusts, a wrinkled
Inevitability seals an excess housed in caskets filled with gold.
When the last least crop
Of shibboleths is coined and counted, there he’ll be atop the list
Some two branches lower on the tree, twin broken tokens found, and not other sound.
And when I go,

I’ll nowhere to be found and who is’t takes time to lay me in the ground?

…Concessions, yes, of course, in hirsute clouds and rust stains from the last and latest deluge drained that dusty rains can well afford; their comfort, hearts within the sheltered warmth and nightly wells of welcome find everyone in time refined in my own bed…

…I imagine angels on the pillow where I lay my head,
And when I write I am at Temple as I pray in nightly sanctuary of the arts
Within my head; I read or hear within the marble tabernacle some tale, a fable
Running rampant through that vapid place where syllables and sounds abound
But are not voiced and never heard as choirs of laughter round
The workman’s bench, no clock is wound, as guests have long since left the table.
Yes! One day’s maintains bear no obvious hint of perseverance,
No consolation in arrears for years, no respite from the constant consequence
Of experience formed in beads of real fears. Vision simply comes to me, enabled,
Ready made. Who I am to speak? With whom am I that am alone? I ignore
The luminosities of mirage as I lay here but for a superficial middling time,
And here with me is what almost never is and almost nothing more.

Original Burlwood Sculpture at top by Leo E. Osbourne…

“Answers in the Tea-leaves”

“Answers in the Tea-leaves”

Answers in the tea-leaves, sheaves appear before the harvest
Is gathered; there within the dross, a silence brewed to solution.
Questions, masked, bitters in the waters provide ablutions
To the tongue; dissolved, a saviour moot with which to invest
In what must come when coincidence and will are spent.
And what of proceeds, pensions, dubious transactions
Boxed and packaged in the cards, admiring factions
That succumb to givens in the numbers of the deck? The rent
Is paid, the covenants lapsed, and here again,
The possibilities drown within themselves! When Vonnegut died
There came a deadly pause and then applause (denied
Of course, but heard!) from every semi-colon on the plains
of every page. “Just so,” the concourse wails, “What will you write?”
“With what ink,”‘s the reply, “and with which nib,
and who’s the audience tonight?”

“She Wants To Write”

“She Wants To Write”


She wants to write; she struggles

With an angel, images are parboiled, ideas do not flow
At once and where she wants them. She demands to know
Just how it is that others write so freely, snuggle,
Fondle, knead words and sounds together,
Capture arias on napkins and motifs on the page;
Emanations of kinetic life on balconies of rage
And righteous indignation flaunts the comic flight of feathers
In outrageous colours never landing on igneous peaks
But forming xenoliths of grammar from the crystals of an age. Fear,
Perhaps. The answer for the muted mind lies somewhere near
A comic line of serendipity, anomalies of life: some there are who speak
In tragic eulogies, they place the goddess upright on the half shell;
her beauty swells―
The curse of fishermen and saints―
and some are simple poems in themselves.

“You Say You Want to Make a Little Something”

“You Say You Want to Make a Little Something”

You say you want to make a little something on the tide,
Secure some Appalachian dinghy on the sly
For days when you and she or he or they are all so tired
Of cut-and-run through the mire and desire

For all you say you don’t believe in.
The moon’ll dim, the stars’ll manifest their spell
While Johnny learns to read and write
For number one or possibly or
a nice crisp “two”;

A grocery list, a delivery note that says:
“Tonight you’re mine; back in five
To take it all,. . . .or whatever you’re delivering…”

While yet another apple falls on Humpty Dumpty
or slips on down the drain,

But nothing puts you back again,
And by the time Ol’ Humpty figures out the route,
It’s time to lick the thumb and turn the page and scout
The TV Guide for better pastures, “fresher deals”
They say; we’ll steel what’s left of your last breath. You’ll see; you’ll feel
Nothing on this prescription, no regrets and if the casual fool inquires,
or cares to ask the price, you tell’em, “first one’s free but not the last!

“Two of Them”

“Two of Them”

Two of them apprised will rise while only one survives;
The first, a germ like any other, in the second,
Excellence as loving makes it so. She reckons
Life in paragraphs and chapters, derives
Pleasure in the phrase, itself–in leisure lies
The notion of posterity, the fecund
Last and lonely station of a book—the legend
More important than the fact, the spies
Than what is spied upon. Where there are three
The Chinese say, some one of them must be a teacher.
Let both in compromise find refuge in the third
That one may truly love, the other form the words
Recording signs and sighs of mystery
And ritual and yet another sermon for the preacher.

—Once

 

“He allowed himself to be swayed by his conviction that human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but that life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.”

Gabriel José de la Concordia Garcia Márquez [1927 -- ]
Love in the Time of Cholera

“I Turned Around”

“I Turned Around”

I turned around and found that they were gone,
Swarms, the chorus of bovine hacks and seekers, friends,
And, yes, of course, the teachers with certificates in the trend–
I, but one of many minions–a catalogue, a myriad of martial songs
In sync, a jihad of rhythm and cadence in specific cacophony,
As comes the nightly roaring of the lions in the thickets of what
Is neither fact nor fiction;  wickets for just another cue, a cut
Above, or so it’s thought, but addressed in distraction and destiny
Of dispensations’ delivered duties bound to mortal schools and rules
That pass so aimlessly through the ancient sieve of marble verse
Garnished with proviso and caveat , the business of a thousand terse
And cryptic observations so confidently voiced by just as many fools.
And I woke up one spring day with leaving on my mind,
And more than reason to believe that someone must be lying.
Answers in the tealeaves, sheaves appear before the harvest
Is gathered; there within the dross, a saline silence in solution.
Questions, masked, bitters in the waters provide ablutions
To the touch; dissolved, a saviour to the rites of moot investment
In what must come when will is spent.
And what of proceeds, pensions, dubious transactions
Boxed and packaged in the cards, admiring factions
That succumb to givens in the deck? The rent
Is paid, the covenants are honoured, and here again,
The possibilities drown within themselves. When Vonnegut died
There came a deadly pause and then applause (denied
Of course, but heard) from every semi-colon on the plains
“Just so,” the concourse wails, “What now will you write?”
“What the ink,”‘s reply, “and which the nib,
and who’s the audience tonight?”

“Where there is an audience…”

“Where there is an audience…”

Where there is an audience, the verses do not fail;
Where there is goodwill, each least syllable ascends
The heavens to return a wondrous tale…
And so the cycles of the writers’ pens are worlds that never end.

“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.