Tag Archives: Double Sonnet

“I May Fast”


“I May Fast”

I may fast from time to time but I will have my way on this and every day
Through matins in the news broadcasts and other phatic mine fields
drawn for the evenings that were formerly childhood’s greenest pastures.
Rising triumphs of élan in the latest Tahrir Square, the courtesy
of urban gangs and spores of tribal Libyan disasters,
Countless are the trenches, pits and pitfalls, splays
And watersheds, the concentrated concerts of twice-born
living peoples sharing wealth in every breath.
Billions, humanities howsoever here and there
within the outer and the inner spheres
Of feigned insurgencies of federated feudal laws―occult
to feckless millions in the West―there come such neo-modern seers,
More recent wizened feral stocks and bursaries
to serve the ends of both the many cursed and newly blessed;
Sharecroppers, landlords, purveyors of speculative imagination
festoon the gilded monarchies above the Persian Gulf. Oh, yes!
Here along these ancient oriental paths are pipes to play
And canvases on which to paint the now-naked past. Fiduciary aims may
Expose themselves within their pious domes of blue and marble blocks.
I’ll carve my own best
Misbegotten marks and credos leaving
fragments, chisels, well-worn Transylvanian stakes
For later souls to ponder while I gather what I can,
and as I am always early, posterity’s always late.

“Someone Questions”


“Someone Questions”

…a question of mood and atmosphere…

Someone questions; in the soul who asks,
A sense of limitless flight, as in a light cast against
A cosmic scrim, a naked form made indisposed, concupiscence
So well hedged in that even snakes and asps
Imagine kingdoms, place and calling. One seeks
Solace in the stars drawn loosely in the dawn in meadows where the lark
And scissortail fly with grace and prudence safe within the dark
And moonlit bosom of the ether side of night. These may speak
In early evening mists as harbingers of loss or sparks, a dawn’s execution’s stay
For both are lost at first appearances of the other’s prescient rites.
Someone’s asking too many questions, standing, stupid in astonishment―slights
To similitudes, approbation of the moon in the cold blue light of day―
And while away their twilight hours in repetitious casting of the bones and runes,
Hers the scarlet crystals, his the blue,
Placated in the midnight for a time. Softly moving, flowing purples
Prove longing in the hurried bower. Sentiments, interpreted
In their yearning by a greater sight, a gilded purity, requests to know
A deeper joy in stations far above their own. These! the strident yellows,
Richest apricots, stealth in forest greens, and in their mirrors’ prisms others
In the rainbow’s richest hues. Truculence and degradation spawn another
Third, a half note difference that in the hour makes no sense. These! their fellow
Travellers pause but moments in this place and for all intents
And purposes yield to what they think has come pass. Conclusions
Mount in efforts to remember who it was could do this to whom. Confusion
Circumvents the purpose of reunion when their synergies, delayed, are bent
Distorting content, vanities and what they both have willed:
A blindness in the heart and mind while all precocious certitude is stilled.


“I’ll Not Wait”

“I’ll Not Wait”

I’ll not wait till dawn to praise the sun;
Shadows follow closely where I sleep; this night must end:
I’m guaranteed as much. What, then? Tomorrow? What? Again
A word’s delay a world away is all, so, patience me. The midnight trains still run
Their course–stampeding to the east to crawl back westward–and catch
The rising or the setting cosmos all along the local milk run. Coaches
Matter not, jettisoned or newly recreated in the Milky Way, we approach
Our destinations, dusks or dawns in proper times; passengers dispatched,
Who only seem to arrive at destinations previously booked
And so we do not blithely cease to live because we wait
Upon a final station or dream of tracks not even built. Medusa guards the gate
That turns all nightly plans to stone, and we her momentary shades that looked
To make the journey know the Night Train only claims a means to ends
Through mirrors while season tickets mark what joys the daybreak sends.

“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.

“There’s Nothing in Neruda”

Blue Dawn

“There’s Nothing in Neruda”

There’s nothing in Neruda* that’s not been said,
No subtle hint, no helpful word, no turn
Of phrase, no bold assertion that to earn
A place beneath the skin one must be bled,
Detained, flattered in the stacks of libraries, betrayed,
A Caulfield** in search of what Bukowski***never found
in hopes of finding hidden pearls among
Unnatural grains of sand before the oyster’s song was ever sung,
And all before his cock crew thrice—You know he never paid
Beyond the going price.
Are we not forgetting something here?

The witnesses? Another round of hemlock, please! and as the academics cheer
the proceeds of yet another idle idyll, a second glass of wine, perhaps a clear
And unequivocable glance at the mirror sitting there to interpolate
the riddle loaves and fishes of enigma or the positive benefits of fear.
Ah, yes! Neruda may have told the tale, but who was he to give us hope,
And from what box he now quotes himself and never
gives a river’s damn about what it was he wrote?
Of course, I can’t be sure of it, but from here it looks
For all the world that in truth I am you
And you are me
and there’s the misery, the mystery, the view

That’s missing in the metaphors and similes, the clue refined from brooks
And seas, the bakers’ scales and finely tuned anomalies,
the national sport of news and fresh cacophanies, hooks
By which we are urgently define and hone  the truth askew
From certitude, and based in faith that  separates all from each, proved
Or unapproved in swarms of groups and nations, the accidental nooks
And crannies of every greatness, every generation, seminar, religion,
Clan and sanctified plan proposed, to accent ancient schools and families.
All experience expresses the inverse from Hammurabi to our beloved Ramses,
Seen as freaks and distant relatives and relegated to exceptions
With a shot of charisma or some other social clot, profusion
In the masses of exclusion throughout of all the spies of life that seek.
So much to say with so little time to speak,
Whether for the self or for the same in orderly confusion.
Still larger loans from banks of life’re sired from brothers,
Even greater obligations and demands from mountain peaks,
And beyond the heights, the snowy summons of the higher roads and streets.
The recreating lights that cut the edge of fear of sacrifice in grieving mothers
Leads the restive albatross to discover, possibly to smother
In the blasphemy of his own need and greener pastures elsewhere―
a weak and weaker Icarus―in search of tests that cannot keep
His lightnings’ glories save in darker South Georgian seas, blunders
To suspect within his breast and nothing when at last he sleeps:
He discovers little more than what the drop within the puddle seeks.

*Chilean poet and diplomat, Pablo Naruda [12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973]
**Character from the novel The Catcher in the Rye, a 1951 novel by J. D. Salinger
***German born American poet Charles Bukovski [August 16, 1920 – March 9, 1994]

…Art at the top of this post, Liu Bolin 刘勃麟 – Photography of China


Mario Gruber_pintor brasileiro _ Mário Gruber _ painter_ (23)


Yes! And, whether in the present or in latter worlds
Hereafter, we’ll own nothing of what it is we think we’ve missed nor seek
A separate peace, nor cause at all to stand and stare in disbelief:
I simply always am and ever be while all else is cold calamity. The turn
Of seasons, monoliths of months in stacks, my Book of Hours glows
Though presence at the banquet here is moot. The call
Toward the Centre as with all most sacred rites makes little sense at all.
Delight me, then, in invitations only. Journeys through all rôles
from perfection to perfection puts all yesterdays as tomorrow’s dread—
The subjugation of the will to its appointment. Still, what is read
In casual events will quicken life with blessings for the living dead
And raise both death and dying to a point of pure liquidity. We are led;
We do not lead. Wait, my friend, we do inform ourselves, the eye
And heart assume new forms and places that no soul may easily deny.
Who here rises, the dead, and who here descends save the living? I ask
And whole generations flee from me. Beauty drains beneath the sun; my walls,
My will cannot contain quantities of qualities; my heart cannot recall
So much: a single letter; a word; a sentence incomplete; the task
Transcends the discipline of syntax. Yes. I dwell on mountain peaks
This side of fascination—in and of myself a centre—a light so blinding
That senses—gifts within me—must capitulate in time, the blinding
Never seen by others and not at all so broad, Enough! Containers leach,
Constructions of the minute hand do not survive through time’s evation,
Tears and laughter wanting waste the night. My flight’s elation,
The length and breadth of all I see, and nothing in me speaks
To this. I leave it where I first beheld it, glory
So intense that who it is and who saw it first no longer read the story.

…painting by Mario Gruber…

Bahá’ís throughout the world gather this evening and tomorrow within the First Day of the Month of `Asmá [Names]

Bahá’ís throughout the world gather this evening and tomorrow within the First Day of the Month of `Asmá [Names]

“Double Sonnet in Honour of the Feast of ‘Asmá [Names]“

Greatness, the gulf of differences between
Recipients of names and the manifestation of the same
In full blown vain imagining; objective oversight’s the flame,
At least the spark any given second. A constant stream,
The crown of transformation comes in time to weave
A gravity within the press of what is never really seen.
Within a name resides a hidden thread that only seems
The confirmation both of life and being—in bas relief
Or so The Buddha warned—that holds a lethal trust. Between the name
And its receipt abide the seeds of pernicious doubt and protestation,
Manifest but without form, no timely attestation,
More an emanation than anything in revelation. In every atom reigns
The distance and sweet velocities of change. The many tools
Of blind belief in Adam’s gift seek rest somewhere within reach of fools
Embracing blasphemy in luminous dichotomies, dilemma’s
Punctuation marks’ delusions born of natural sedition. Litanies–
The beads of faith and understanding–are crystals of epiphany
Drawn from rich deposits deep within the endgames of enigma
And paradox serving providence and the farce of perpetual plebiscites;
Their greatest honour, servitude in service
To unnatural homeostasis between justice and integrity, yearning
And the One for Whom all yearning stems to transcendental heights
Born in mortal time of He from Whom all virtues flow.
And when denial and prayer are in arrears,
When needs and resignation outweigh a sum of means;
Words gone bankrupt erupt and deeds are stripped of fat and lean,
As hopelessness finds redemption in an average skein of years,
With all that overwhelms the truth at sunrise
In redemption in the simple phrase, “I’m still alive.”

“A Writer’s Block”


“A Writer’s Block”

A writer’s block is nothing more or less
Than social indigestion, a factor of isolation
From the others in the cast, and while satisfaction
Comes in lack of mass in intercourse, I confess
The situation in taking solace in a single peanut, a test
Of will, perhaps, is more or less in fractions
When compared to tolls it takes in interaction
With the flock assured within of taking all the best.
But what is servitude when what is served will never rest?
Guaranteed the greed, the caviar of avarice of so many factions
For whom taking and receiving is a mere distraction
From the thorny problem of being not the master but the guest
As souls are prone to honour the name of Cain in the fray
Between the people and the Creator of both the night and day.
For once I cannot truly say I have the thread in hand
Sufficient, taut, the monuments of the day.
But I have hopes that with these grains of sand
In contact with others held at bay,
The times will once again point out the way
To action. I have been alone too long,
And while I sought this place, I cannot stay:
The air’s too close, the light jaundiced, and the pattern’s wrong.
From the womb in solitude; I could not bear it all
Forever. And when I leave this place, I’ll sing
Again, and join the others in the hall
Who wait for me, who cause the bells to ring.
Solitude; the sirens deeply call;
But I did not make myself
nor single drops the waterfall.

“They Make Such Declarations”

“They Make Such Declarations”

They make such declarations, don’t they? They bet their lives
On all they see and we’re inclined to give
Them credit for’t, and…perhaps they’re right, but then of course we live
As they do, fully eased, appeased; put on and off expressions
as if they were utensils, knives, or possibly our wives.
Production far exceeds the numbers, bounties burn by definition into
wastes along the warm Caribbean shores.
Invoking freedoms–as we who have are wont to do–
The sanctified continue to enjoy eternal noons
In this world’s latest bloated day. With upraised palms,
the intensity of incense fails to mask the telltale odour;
A mile beneath, the ooze is upward, vapours restive here and there,
And as the Titans yawn, Egypt bellows, shaking gown and hair
In all directions, scattering the saints of more than latter days, who dared
Her only yesterday to state her case, and lay her precious assets bare.
Migrants in the fault-lines smile, regarding who must rise and fall,
but when the prayers have ceased and denizens of Cairo weep
Surely, even Isis bleeds. Her boils drained, her coffers fleeced,
She voids another thousand years before she sleeps.

Reprise: “True Enough, the Politicians Sigh”


“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.
The deed is done and Caesar’s death beside the point;
Of course, some several trinkets to collect
And box and some there are who promise to reflect
On what’s been said or what is grist and grit for future newscasts to anoint.
But we’re finished here, and all too often turn our eyes
To months and years ahead–the present promises unfulfilled–
For movements gentler to decide, some new tryst for someone’s will,
And we’ll be at the thing with something less disguised
Than we were wont to wear to mask the gnarled face
Of bigotry that’s always there; a place
To some younger soul’s reported win, perhaps a show; the race
Is on but nothing less than more will do and competition’s traced
The route for them, of course, but not for us who seem so satisfied
If in the end we stumble on across the line with nothing left but pride.