Tag Archives: Immortality

“You Own the Year”

“You Own the Year”

You own the year and years before you
As I the year and all that’s passed;
Your signs are rising; eternity is steadfast.
Quo vadis, then? I who serve eternities am overruled
By sheer numbers, countless previous dispensations viewed
In retrospect and circumspect as vast
And spacious notions of impermanence and impasse.
I see before the fact in part— imperfectly at present—pursued
By spoils of  wars and rumours coupled with a dubious acquired taste
For bitters, acerbic memory gained close at hand or lost at sea.
Nothing in this world is or is so stable
That it is not utterly dependent, created, removed and recreated on the table
Of bounties throughout creation; what God has willed to use or waste
Shall be not be more or less than what it is, and what is not shall never be.*

***

* “Protect me, O my Lord, from every evil that Thine omniscience perceiveth, inasmuch as there is no power nor strength but in Thee, no triumph is forthcoming save from Thy presence, and it is Thine alone to command. Whatever God hath willed hath been, and that which He hath not willed shall not be.

There is no power nor strength except in God, the Most Exalted, the Most Mighty.”

–His HolinessThe Báb, Selections from the Writings of the Báb, pp. 190-191

“Happenstance”

Catherine Manchester

“Happenstance”

Happenstance and glory of a measured breath, the sun and moon
And distant scintillating light deranged and rearranged
To suite the insignificance of magnificence of a single scene and page.
Another sentence, a paragraph in which I find myself within a backlit room
To mark the hours the Doppler shadows all misfortune casts.
I have revelled in these signs, these periodic tedious monotonies,
Their very rising at once the thrall before the fall, monopolies
Of time and times again that only now appear to mask
Because when all that is has come to pass I happen to be standing here
A witness to creation’s synergies newly birthed. In the cold stare
Of noonish sunlight I sense with fragile accuracy the beneficial glare
Of all my peculiars, entities and particles that occupy the ear,
Delight the eye, and not so subtly remind me that I am,
And need not doubt the ground on which I stand.

…painting by Catherine Manchester…

“Suppose Evolution”

cain1

“Suppose Evolution”

Suppose evolution the ablution of time as revelation, but gather why
We migrate. All know, of course, or should, what land
We live in, what the borders to the dream, the strand,
The stream of all acts, axioms, atolls of sanity sealed in wax. Try
Reason cupped in raw emotion in the Courts of History, ours
To bend and cherish in or out of season in the time
It takes to be or not to be the first and possibly the line
Drawn in haste in quicksand in the briefest span in feeble hours
Of loss and victory. L’Chaim! A toast to fine
Distnctions drawn between the posse and the Law!
Repeat the gaze, Govinda, and if you see the flaw
In personal salvation, seek penetration through strength of heart and mind,
Hubris in negation and his sibling’s futile crops–annihilation in rage and greed―
While Abel lies silent in the eye of Cain’s infernal whining in the weeds.

“Allow a Little Contemplation”

Contemplation1

“Allow a Little Contemplation”

Allow a little contemplation; mind the rising curse;
Give some room to commitments—
If a little late—distillations of a sundry ointment
Fit for open wounds. For now, we’re just a little worse
For wear and lacking poise, but in this happenstance,
What rests in all this noise? Tomorrow
When the mildew from sorrows
In the news has dried and circumstance
Permits, I’ll take the sun and leave the news,
The erudite reviews, the blues in mood and pulchritude,
Indictments of the way we rush to witness multitudes
In soundbites consume themselves in lewd
Proposals that what is alien is natural to the native;
What’s not been touched, somehow evocative and obliquely dative.

…photograph by Michelle Duerden…

“Catwalks”

RICOH

“Catwalks”

Catwalks above his life’s pavilions, sidewalks in a decent neighbourhood,
And nursing homes dot the landscape while all declare,
“You know, the Devil made me do it!”
Who denies the processes of thought, the fine idyllic conduits
From “Why not me?” to “All I am is what I should
Be,” whispered while whistling down alleys and paper routes. The avenues
Conjure images and constructs preserved en bas relief in two dimensions,
Melting icecaps in an ocean of invention and intervention at the mention
Of a third: “To whom and what for?” He wonders at the news,
Fresh-formed deadlines, spinal taps and tallies, and reams of “Things to Do”
And all before the door is closed and locked, keys deposited at the wicket.
Who’s survived to say that winter’s haze might raise the need to buy a ticket
To some gilded paradise conspicuous on the fridge, or a cruise for two
Along the coasts or toward the navel of the nation
As he remains at home inured of all such thought and aggravation?

“I Am”

“I Am”

I am my feet, my history tells me so;
My shins; dexterity amid the rocks reveal it may be true;
My thighs; their balance in distraction sees me through
Illusions at the level of the  groin’s most pernicious foes,
Receptacles as voids in need of better news; and though
I am my mother’s navel, my father’s love left so many similar clues—
The evangel to what was otherwise ignored—that the view
In any given moment’s blocked.  Here, then, my heart maintains its flow
In reasonable annuity, and I’ll be damned if I am weak,
But if you ask my legs, you’ll find a sometime potent posse,
Nothing else. My once proud pectorals could
Never act alone―as if they thought they should―
But laboured twice the time for heartfelt evidence
That given time I would succeed―
And so I have as I can plainly see.
I am my eyes whose rivals in the ears
At times have overcome the world and all its fears,
But though twice born view both here and our eternity
I see but vanity served that while I eat, I hesitate and feed
On noise and what is after all experience in arrears.
I am my mind; “Cogito!”— the mantra’s cadence shows as through the years
I’ve dined on fine receipts and tallies that what I meant most certainly should be
The outcome of all my powers to deduce a spark from what I’ve seen,
A truth in what I’ve done and glean from what I’m told I’ve been—
This, despite  what I know I am,…but let that pass. I am
In fact conceit, itself, and in its place I stand
And where I sit and both but simple remedies to all I’ve gleaned:
“I am,” the Ancient Sage made replied, and “that I am,” shall be
a fleeting moment’s apostrophe to truth and not at all what I believe.

*********

3:14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and He said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
Exodus

“And Comfort Comes”

chaucer1

“And Comfort Comes”

And comfort comes too late from stations on the bank
Of all great rivers, benchmarks, watersheds
And monuments petrified as zeitgeists; glories led
By strange humility in masters whose histories are blank
With whom generations cavil and invoke
In lesser moments a meaner age,  a leaning toward
The more prosaïc goals framed to ward
Off meteoric national malaise. These, the Titans, evoke
Wonder in the people, and awe
Amongst their artisans, and in the hour such light
Cannot be masked nor can the transitory might
Of kings suppress such eagles, neither nets nor censors, nor the law.
And then comes Chaucer, then Shakespeare, Fathers of the modern text…
And what are tongues that roar so loud and thunder in the index?

william-shakespeare-007

“Limbs”

 

Conceptual image with a businessman on top of a maze.

“Limbs”

Limbs, appendages, extensions, sinew stretched
Across chasms, voids, and axles;
Creation’s foam will occupy the mind; cosmic jackals,
Vain imaginings spun from fractals, etched
In plaited mesh and skeletal remains combine
To people thought and populate whole scenarios—
Nothing ever quiets the machine. The interim’s need will borrow
Legitimacy and gravitas from life’s singularity, refine
Their use within the era, penultimate lines in rhyme
Penned to presage the tentative, simple strokes of time.
Transition’s in the air, my friends, and next in line
For what’s about to come to pass might well be curses
For the speed with which the world embraces change for its mistakes.
Creation weds the art of accident to apposition for its own sake.

“Spotless No Doubt”

trumpimage

“Spotless No Doubt”

Spotless no doubt, thrice polished
Marauding tensions—emotions’ nomads—yet nothing moves―
There’s no breeze, no grievous moon, no licit solar meeting in the groves
Of smothered cradle songs, no childrens’ adagio. Uselessness polished,
Memory is detained in the waiting room in peculiar movement
While destiny and fate consult on who’s left wanting in the atrium. These
Foolish thoughts of weightlessness and spiritual sclerosis augur well to please
Wallpapers and clocks left crucified upon the wall. Mindless queues atone
For any lack of purpose with no hint of propinquity. Then quite naturally
The caterers and guests soon arrive and someone has to answer the door.
As the long day’s counsels end, ignition’s off, feet flat on the floor.
No need to move the mountain; the benchmark: The will has atrophied,
We’re there. Then, of course, we return or break the deadlock
So let’s get on with what the fox intends and who will watch the flock.

“He Chose What Homer Chose”

William Shakespeare
[23 April 1564 – 23 April 1616}

Today marks the Anniversary of the Birth of Shakespeare, and, according to what records we may or may not have, it also marks the Anniversary of the Passing of the Bard 400 years ago. The general facts concerning William Shakespeare support the idea that he was born and died on the same day. In honour of the occasion, of course, there is a repeat of a posting some time ago:

“He Chose What Homer Chose”

He chose what Homer chose; the place,
The measured lisp of every school boy; the time, eternity;
The hour, the glory of the present tense, the panoply
Of stars above the placeless with the taste
Of honeys made pedestrian, obscured by tongues, the paste
Left finite and sour from beyond divinity and the bower of worship–the realities
Of man, the Son of Man, the seat of constancy is faithlessness in cold identities
Obscured beyond the reach of all–
the trial of facelessness becomes their saving grace.
Who knew the eyes of John or Peter, Paul,
or the meek and more obscure Bartholomew
But that the rumours flew and vacancies were filled, their names
Now everywhere and nowhere is it written
How the Christ appeared, or how their God had smitten
What was left of their disguises, appetites and virtues notwithstanding crude
And morbid songs of their demise,

…and cannonlore for all that glory in the flames.

“The past cannot be cured.”

–Queen Elizabeth I
[7 September 1533 – 24 March 1603]