Tag Archives: Aging

“You’re Beautiful, You Know”

“You’re Beautiful, You Know”

You’re beautiful, you know. I wish we’d known
Each other close to forty years and had nothing left to choose;
Perhaps, we’d loved and lost, the ring’d been tossed, and felt its sting in hues
Of optimism and betrayal, close reunion, loose communion, blown
The whole on both sides twice or thrice by now
And somehow landed in the same lane, the same
Neighbourhood, perhaps slid down the same incline
Or close behind; the same old bus route, timed
And never off, a good fifteen straight, if lame
Or limpid minutes, from door to door. And, on some rare
Spring adagio, that night’s soft jazz nondescript demoted to the rank of others
In the cast, the added stroke,  aromas of your cooking, not a hint of `druthers,
And none of this in my head. Yes, I might be a moment late because I’d care
Enough to stop somewhere to buy a rose or possibly a dozen just for you,
And there at last at half past five, amazing grace and dinner set for two.

”The Sum”

“The Sum”


The sum of yeasts spell the dregs of moments in the mould;

Images to come, some of use, most are not, and so a breeze:
Gentleness recalls; the times are short; the fee,
What stands stolid in the stamen does not yet unfold.
At so great a price, nothing enters, nothing leaves this place; nothing’s free and yet there is no looting,  no Granny Weatherall
To fear that in the groaning, smoothly flowing
Movement, here to there, both fruit and flower never knowing
Unity of purpose, no consummation in the delicacy
of dwelling too long on what must be—A glory for the anther’s night—
auspicates in favour of shadows of their mutual fate
While lighted paths from here to there spins restive, wearied states
In hours―minutes and seconds, really―and the weighty knowledge
that what augurs in the grace of beauty comes too late,
“. . .And I’ll be going, now!” The pistil whispers thus. “I am too late!”
The stigma augments as the fruit becomes too ripe,
and aspirations of eternity expose greater flaws
In auroras and rainbows as substances within themselves
one and all abandon fleeting glory in the name of natural laws.

—Once

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherised upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent To lead you to an overwhelming question …

Oh, do not ask, “What is it?” Let us go and make our visit.
In the room the women come and go Talking of Michelangelo..”

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
T.S. Eliot
[1888-1965]

“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...

“The Innuendo”

Alone_In_Fear-406524

“The Innuendo”

The innuendo woven not so much in the fantastic,
But in experience, a living witness within a precocious cloud,
A view to forward motion, counterfeit because in itself it is allowed
To be but never adequately traced: inertia has no station; static, elastic,
Yes, but to no greater purpose.  These, the chords of oneness in righteous bond
Cannot be but bastard confirmations of the spirit’s sparse but potent
Progress, motion, goal’s, the irritating “now” but well beyond the quotient
Of “then again…..” But there’s not it. There is no special wand
Nor spirit guiding, none the precious gift beyond simple accident in bands
Of language, maudlin to the ear which is to say we may embrace not knowledge, but the inordinate love of what the ear may be gifted to hear;
We may glory in what the tongue speaks, and its wonders to suspend the fear
Of dwelling on the absolute, mere ciphers written ingloriously on the sand.
And if, by chance, there is a point to these sentiments and if pernicious—these
Fine words—it is the soul and not the author, penned such thoughts with ease. 

“And What Is Selflessness?”

“And What Is Selflessness”

And what is selflessness if not what one
Is and sees fit to do as good as what it’s sown alone?
No encouragement distilled from boiling stones,
No obsequious fluid aplomb’s applause is wrung
From those who stand to fan the flames, no frowns
In nightly meretricious circus clowns that advertise
The wonders of themselves as holy spies
Whose close opinions eagerly set down
What is or is not righteous, whose voices through the prompters sound
Alarms, if not, their disappointment; their networks cheerfully announce
The bias of their purposes and in the end will pounce
On weaker minds, the likeness of themselves from tea and coffee grounds
And all to raise this holy man or that to seed opinion and its minions, feeders,
Of the put-your-hands-together gospel shouts as praises for their leaders.

“The Finite Question”

the-finite-universe-richard-ortolano

“The Finite Question”

The finite question—Thank you very much!
Will do me fine, my friend, nothing more’s
To grasp; not “Why?” but jewels of “Who?” or “What?” The core’s
Chorus at my reach within a lifetime. Touch
A heart within my passion’s fields and ask me “When?”
Or “Where?” or even “How?” and I am whole
No more than any man must be, for when I troll
The deeps for useful answers to finite human ends,
I come equipped as any in the crowd
Because I walk the earth, and from the mind
And human blindness come all answers to the blind,
…And be assured we are all blind. The infinite, the “Why?”a loud
And brash defiance in defense within the foam, “I am no fool,
No prophet! I speak nothing from divinity,
but from a simple earthly rule.”

“From Memory”

Propagation of Inner Thoughts

“From Memory”

From memory alone he entertains a pen with ease,
Awash with sundry inks and hues, now
Arresting generous portions of his brow,
Now attracted and content, a troubling frieze—
Peas with carrots, onions chopped too close
Within a future fry, not one but two with herbs allied,
Exposed for what they may now achieve, placed as rhymes
In elements combined to test his Pilate; cloves’
Oppressions no doubt forced at length albeit spare with salt declined,
And as carbon to the diamond, brine
Is changed to water, water thence to wine,
He’ll conjugate his troubled vision, his emotions intertwined,
And as she cooks, yes! even as he looks on,
to her polite laconic thoughts are tossed
As into boiling pots and frying pans, and all his thoughts are lost.

“Take Care”

sand

“Take Care”

Take care, my friend, I’ll be gone when all
Is said and done and you’ve exhausted myriads in travelled
Roads and paths, chimaeras that solace compromise and cavil
At direction to overload the slightest wish to pray. The call
Of newborn yesterdays is rife in youthful sirens
As orisons in skies above your auguries where eagles simply scream.
Purpose breeds sedition, yes! yellowing, a tax upon all leaves;
Salacious fruits produce addictions turning virtues into vices.
Shall I remain transfixed while you decide which road is best?
Simple neighbours here will waste my heart to roll the dice
And serve the tea but once in modesty while you have tasted thrice
Forbidden fruit with no refund, no return surviving tests
of all in wit, concentric verbal feasts, and bruise your soul
on all twelve stations of the zodiac to boot, an endless unrecorded smile
seducing what is left of memory of yet another mile.

…photography by Colin Bury…