Tag Archives: Imagery

“She’s the Cello”

A cello

“She’s the Cello”

She’s the cello in his night that marks the path
With leaves and herbs as punctuation marks
To separate reality from the general twist of simple arts
Within the episode from drinks at intermission Do the math
And wonder at the not-so-subtle quest of youth for rich
And varied situations.  On the face of it, slightly crossed,
Declined, and conjugated, interests tossed
From the stove to the table as his pebbles lightly pitched
Must dance across but shallow streams and brooks,
From here to there in yards or feet apart,
A feat that grants the pitcher lighter goals, an arc
For future muses. wonder-lust, misplaced in space and all those books.

“Abruptness Applauds Aplomb”


“Abruptness Applauds Aplomb”

Abruptness applauds aplomb, a golden draught of curt cessation
Of hostilities. Enter antistrophe, the tenuous hymn, a nervous truce enforced
By dreams that hearts discern what in the discourse
Is impossible for speech to register as a plea. Listing on a sea of abnegation,
Content, superfluous ballast, the stuffs of odes leach a certain rush of sadness
In the breach for lack of evidence on the table; withdrawn from all others,
Comes a welling of overwhelming selflessness that smothers
Second thoughts, shuns advice and admonition and opts for simple gladness
Redolent in its radiant acquiescence, futures steeped in martyrs’ crimson inks
at first stirrings of anagnorisis. Here dwells dull
But conscious resignation to what appears to be defeat of all mottoes
Writ in luminous capitals: “The Thing’s Not Working!” And in the grotto,
Then, the chorus strikes the penultimate invocation, the last bull,
The space between the lines, in turn the very eye of so vainglorious a day,
“This cannot come to good!” as fools react where wisdom merely prays.

“There Are Times”


“There Are Times”

There are times when rocks are all I need,
A shelter, something solid, something half complete.
No eternal covering, nothing dreamed. I just can’t sleep
Right now, and all I want to do is sit a spell, and see
Myself through what it is I ought to feel.
There is so much to think about at times,
(The lunar bride’s not called as yet) my mind’s not clear, but I’m
Not sure I care to do a thing nor move about those eels
I see that make so many close to me so utterly confused.
You know I rarely miss my ride, so, if
You don’t mind, I’ll sit and stare, and sift
Through things I shouldn’t think about, and muse
About myself till dusk. And if you please, I’ll shift
From time to time to let you know I haven’t died,
Abide a while, and let the moon bring in the tide.

Placated in the Midnight

Rainbow road

“Placated in the Midnight”

Placated in the midnight for a time, softly moving, flowing purples
Prove longing in a 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’ prism others
In a 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:
Blindness in the heart and mind while all precocious certitude is stilled.

“Bathetic Moments’ Voiced”


“Bathetic Moments’ Voiced”

Bathetic moments’ voiced, a tremolo; a single cigarette, a candle
In a valley, the briefest transfer from so little matter
To so innocuous a spark is seen perhaps for miles, the latter
End of someone’s random afterthought, the ancient mantle
Of exchange expressed in grains of sand,
And this so far from source, so utterly homely
Yet brilliant in its insignificance and still the only
Vindication of its kind through fogbound skies on land.
There is a barrier between the two
An enigma, twice a paradox,
Two thrice wounded souls within a box
That sits astride a gleaming paragon of simple views
And simpler decisions. Dilemmas offered to the least in time
Retain their energies but sacrifice their matter in a simple rhyme.

…art by AirForc3 on deviantArt…

“This You Chose”

“This You Chose”

This you chose, you know, the lethal wound, external fire,
Internal final cut the cleanest; the choice was never mine.
This you chose; your arms, your scent defined
The borders, walls, the floors, the exposure. Your desires
Say nothing past the yesterdays of pre-dawn, and glad
I was to rest the while, and glad you are that I am gone.
But nothing’s rendered in the late night’s song,
The me in you, and yes! You know the sad
Result: that moon’s pain can not know a sequel.
The senses, these you know , with no contempt,
But radiant resignation in the hours of heat and pure idolatry. Spent,
The sentence stands within this world. These final sentiments rule;
The veil, the truths we’ve always known; the hourglass, the idols of our nights,
Its sands, a closing hush of breath at daybreak when all our meteors take flight.

“I Found The Day’s Messiah”


“I Found The Day’s Messiah”

I found the day’s messiah breathing as if to pray;
No prayer, of course, no sign, no moon, no stars, silence—
Balm to souls and solace in a crisis
Of questions—so many hopes lay absurd, what they must say
Gives Animas to eternity and shields a simple fear, the terror
Of these days. I would not ask outright, “I have no words,” then,
Took flight so very tight in twilight when
From cancer and fallen branches—errors,
Really, to the whole—innocence conjures lasting alibis,
Sentinels that never come to rest, fruits of thought pressed
With violence enough to produce the wine—more from less,
Inebriation from what the old man once said. Patient sighs
Amongst the sparrows egg him on while sitting on a porch with me.
“Make peace with the Fathers,” says he, “from Sons of Adam flee.”


“The ‘Once’, the ‘Ever'”

…dedicated to Hermann Bloch
1 November 1886– 30 May 1951
“”I shall not die of a cold. I shall die of having lived.”

“The ‘Once’, the ‘Ever'”

The once, the ever, standing in the atrium must burn;
The nexus of the meeting of the feeble lamps are lit as Virgil sits alone,
The flint stone at the confluence of the rivers; a tone
Once heard, a trace no more than words. Ever then discerns
A wisdom in the lengthening of days on end;
A reconciliation of the first sun’s now within
The pale of the last night’s then and all its many-eyed kin;
The End, scintilla of a notion’s distant toast:
“To Cæsar!” Distractions in the movement defer to mortality, defend
The pattern as it is, the peoples’ choice, a proud
Morbidity based in universal song on this, a night of leaving, joy
On this, a day of meeting. Stars and verses, voids,
A universe of empty consummation never executed while clouds
Obscure the moon, as ever toils below;
Perspicuous, yes! the once and only suns express,
So dark a night as never and one more day of less.


Block’s Death of Virgil had to be the most ambitious reading of any single novel I have ever read with James’ The Ambassadors right up there with it, but a close second. The stimulus of both novels, however, is incomparable in value and I can suggest that anyone who values the language should read both of them at least once before death simply because they exist; as Everest has been for the mountain climbers, so both novels have been to anyone who reads and loves the language.

Block’s “Virgil” is not fun to read, but it represents an incomparable challenge and once conquered, a kind of badge of honour having braved the greatest storms of both prose and poetry that could be imagined short of blowing out the circuits of both.

With the James novel, it was said that it was his favourite, but apparently almost impenetrable to some readers of his time. To one “Lady ‘whomever’” who complained of this, he advised sticking with it and that once having arrived at a certain point in the narration, the specific gravity or gravitas of that novel would hit and the worth of the whole vindicated. And so it was; I had to read that novel page by page, reading each several times to get anything near clarity in what was being said or where the action of that novel was going. Then, one late afternoon, while cooling off from a very hot shower in preparation for going out for the evening, I decided to sit on my bed, pick up that novel and continue plugging away at it. Suddenly, there it was! A catharsis of unimaginable majesty that hit so hard that I almost cancelled my evening out in order to continue reading to the end. Great works are like that.

For me, there is no “fun” involved in reading, but the rewards are everlasting, something that is rare in the reading of secular prose. Block’s work is a combination of poetry and prose in a mixture I never thought possible until reading “Virgil,” and I cannot imagine now, an equal to this. My sonnet alludes to but one of the thoughts that seem to dance throughout that work in spite of laborious, endless poetry, all of which may be beautiful, but only in small doses like genuine truffles; like chocolate, there are some things in this world that are “legal” but close to lethal in effects, and Block’s “Virgil” comes quite close to that.


“He Delights in Convenient Signs”


“He Delights in Convenient Signs”

He delights in convenient signs: the sun, the moon, the stars
The universe, and through illusion his eyes declares the day
And night are one. His view will see its way
Through symbols. He sees all points of value from within or far
Above their azure prison bars of graphs, these atmospheres
That parent all the earth, extending parts per million through to voids
Above, below, and far behind the splay of asteroids,
And solitudes in comets, sunspots, suspect planets, clear
Blue skies, and all twelve scions in the heavens and this
With ease and loving faith with no regard for certitude. Who
Is not taken with parades, grand processions,
Multiples of keen perception spliced with clear impressions,
Curtain calls for universes, wholes in which the paper defines the clues
To occupy the crude sophistication of our many-billioned eyes?
And after all, these cosmic nosegays raise all souls, and take us to the skies.


…at top, photograph by Jesse on deviantArt.com…

“But That We All Are”


“But That We All Are”

But that we all are on the List and die
And once again appear on someone’s right
Or left-hand honoured roll in fame and light
And all that can be cherished, or idolised
Within a spectrum visible, allied,
Augmented well beyond the common sight,
Imagination rife with conjecture’s might,
A lunacy to thoughtful evidence, despised,
The greatest fear to those who would have it so,
Impediment to all that is the mind,
Bliss to hearts who bear the Holy Texts
Of all humanity; the choices grow
To what has sanctified the quest, the line
Of clear succession of life and what comes next.

Matt Adnate

…paintings above, Matt Adnate;  below, Michael Staniak…