Tag Archives: Lyric Poetry

“But at the Centre”

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“But at the Centre”

But at the centre, in the middle, somewhere near
The eye, a briefer moment’s respite as well—yes, in sleep
You see a reticence, a full judicious leap,
Perhaps an extra lap between the truth in me and fear
In the new year, that wanderer along the narrow streets
Of cities where I am; albeit truth is here, there is no storm
Since nothing earthbound moves where angels swarm.
Where I am neither earth nor heaven retreat.
The man is circumcised; search the eyes,
What flies, what armies do you see?
Search the skies for what it means to be
Or not to be and there’s the torch raised high above the lies
Of heart and mind. From one or from the other, in solitude no one clearly sees
But eight seconds’ distance from the sun, and slightly less from me.

particles

“Just Leave It Here”

bath

“Just Leave It Here”

Just leave it here, or put it over there,
I’ll rip into it sometime when you’re not
Around; perhaps a little later when I’ve caught
Some rest, or just a nap, or seek the tender care
Of the refrigerator―or, maybe just a bath,
Of course! A bath―tonight, no standing shower: bubbles!
Yes! And contemplations of the past while I forget my troubles,
And the neighbours’ radio loud enough to raise the wrath
Of God from migrant angered angels, curses that I’ve never heard
Before, or maybe have, but never memorized. It’s time for Mahler’s Third,
And while I’m predisposed to being altogether unperturbed
It wouldn’t do to push the envelope too far…. Yes, feed the bird,
Walk the dog, and later on, when evening’s gone
I’ll gladly open what you brought me, while I wonder what went wrong.

…painting by Dick Detzner…

“She Hesitates” or a notion…dedicated to Xineann……whom I admire…and will never meet….

“She Hesitates” or a notion…dedicated to Xineann……whom I admire…and will never meet….

She hesitates because she sees the streets afire, ports
And fields are set ablaze, ashen air enough for firm distrust
Of voices so in harmony that something greater–smoke of lust,
Perhaps–makes cannon law
of fundamental truths abused as instrumental sports
That lead the populace to rallies and the mob to violence and hate,
The bailiwick of dark and stranger fruit;
neighbours seen as furniture
Within the garden; tables, chairs, and fine manure
For the flora to an end expressing nothing but itself. She may be late
In joining, friends, but she’s got solid reasons
For her reticence: So many voices can’t be right!
They say there’s truth in numbers, yes? The flight
From those few souls who’ve passed their seasons
Patiently may well have penned the word,
But broadcast and by distances alone, they’re never really heard.
You asked me why it was I stood there saying
Nothing, and it’s true, I might have made
A difference with a word or two. It was a trade,
You know–the moment for eternity–the laying
Of a track to future nothings, sweet and supple
In themselves, but not at all a match: I fear
For what I saw just now
And you would steer
The conversation toward the obvious, the couple
In the restaurant window dining in the comfort
Of the moment, thinking nothing, doing nothing.
I might have seen it coming, fluffing
Pillows, nonchalantly pulling covers down, the effort,
Minor, meanings so innocuous with both our souls
On fire. So simple, then, so bitter, blue and cold.
Tonight, a window, yesterday a wall,
And tomorrow is not with us now;
We seek dissembling, signs to brows,
Mild salutes to those who call
For gentile willingness, who see the dawn in early light
And come away with knowing smiles, and even laughter
In the brief exchange, yes. At best, a hesitation after
Gilded intimacies have seasoned action: “Is it right?”
Should I have asked the question then and there and leaned
A little as we veered so far from middles to the open road?
There are so many, here, you know! So great the load
And watermark of birth in thinking on the chasm between
Desire and finer laws of gravitas, the will that conquers all remorse:
No need for lubricants for flaccid passion while all the soul requires
is common sense and oceans of the heart’s delight to hold its course.

“The Body”

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“The Body”

The body, yes! in yet another form,
A deliberate repetition of the last, and yet
With slight but noticeable difference in the set
Of eyes or angle of the nose, the warm
And friendly miles between a nod to right or left,
Positioned on the floor or on a bed,
Apparently a casual sitting, or instead
About to rise beyond the ceiling thence to its collapse, bereft
Of any given posture or position in relation to the light.
The body, yes! the body, and the view
And close consideration to the slightest clue
Implies perfection, a flaw in finite grace caught in beauteous flight
Between the lines, and open to the naked stare,
And what else can one do, when one just happens to be there?

A Fort

“The Innuendo”

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“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. 

“Indentured Servants Everywhere”

indenturedServants

“Indentured Servants Everywhere”

Indentured servants everywhere: the card’s
Been pressed, the digits electronically addressed or etched
Upon the forehead; ratings flourish, revisions texted
In shifts, then, quietly to less than nothing with no regard
For authenticity in means. The gears are greased enough―
Or so they say―but this one has wizened information
On the wing; those, the stormy petrels’ trusted affirmations,
Give him pause to guess at little more than mild revision, tough
Decisions, restrictions on the overdraft, tight transactions
By the width of flower stalls set close upon the street of walls—
The Babylonian solution—aplomb applied in torrents. Danger calls
And no one’s learned enough to savour satisfaction
In the twist of something greater than the shining bait:
For every bear a natural end; bulls, vainglory soon, and ignominy late.

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“Allegories”

Allegory

“Allegories”

Allegories of the people ordain mere distractions and survive
The shared and ampler avalanche. Zeitgeists in the light of compromise
Through ages bleed to epochs and thicken in the rhyme
And cadence of the bounder; all is measured, finding strength in ties
Of mutual conceits and sentiments patterned and designed
To clear the balance sheets, embellish columns in the ledger
Bound in leather while practitioners mumble golden mantras: “Together
We’ll survive; our blood is blue and bonded, resigned
To fire as might—our gods continue to survive!” Just so, perhaps.
Substances that people traffic through the veins
Are indeed both grief and loss to happenstance that reigns
Reliquaries of the shaman
drain the humble shepherd’s cup of sap—
The blood of lightless suns—and fill the same from acrid rains.
Imagine, then, a people petrified in joy and wholly sheltered from pain.

…painting by Stephen W. Douglas…

“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”

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“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.”

“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.