“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
Posted in Age, Aging, Certitude, Change, Civilisation, Covenant, Destiny, Detachment, Duplicity, End Times, Existence, Experience, Fate, God, Hegira, Hope, Image, Imagery, Imagism, Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Mankind, Mortality, New Year, Poem, Poetry, Providence, Pyrrhic Victory, Reality, Samsara, Sea, Sonnet, Sonnets, Spirituality
Tagged Age, Aging, End Times, Eternity, Existence, God, Imagism, Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, Poem, Relationships, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets
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…
Posted in Accident, Affirmation, Age, Aging, All or nothing, All that is, Anagnorisis, Anguish of the night, Anticipation, Lyric Poetry, Mirage, Myth of Sisyphus, Poem, Poetry, Sonnet
Tagged Age, Aging, Delusion, Detachment, End Times, Existence, Illusion, Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, Sonnet, spirituality, Tragic Flaw
“Spell It for Me”
Spell it for me then, put it to the page;
Write it deftly in the margins if it satisfies,
Constricts, confines, and somehow justifies
The ciphers. Calligraphy implies a beauty caged,
A likeness petrified in seraphs, sighs beached in shadows, letters
Equal in significance to the words they form.
The lady doesn’t hesitate; both the single bee and all her swarm
Are natural metaphors in ancient scripts, instincts left unfettered
By the need to suppress or press a thought or bind
Its witnesses further than to cut a simple precedent,
The humble suggestion of a rhyme, a harbinger of content,
Coded, possibly imploded, sealed in what the mind defines
As patterned premises that merely tempt conclusions to evolve.
Haste? No time to waste before the riddle’s solved.
That moment, these several when
The nothing further can be done, no real choice,
No option, no rest , no celebration; tasks, the last of many—voiced,
Now silent as were the über-years of work—will one day bend
The purest light, memory’s prism’s massive missive of relief and thanks
In weighty sentiments and fondest farewells, cheer
And season’s musk to see me on beyond reticence and fear
To take some few steps–arrogantly, yes, perhaps–toward paths that rank
Above all present trumps and common peculiars of this earth:
I have the fewer moments through to the very ends of means, I know,
And will it so for these hours. The unwieldy flow
Of days are proof enough that life’s lavas might well have spent their worth
Just so. Miseries of days beyond this present brief strife,
Born within the urgencies of time, are seeds of beauty
harvests from shadows and their hints of an even better life.
Posted in Age, Aging, Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Poem, Poetry, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets
Tagged lavas, Lyric Poetry, massive missive, miseries, Mortality, Poem, poetry, reticence, Sonnet, Sonnets
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.
Posted in Lyric Poetry, Poetry, Sonnet
Tagged Delusion, End Times, Existence, Illusion, Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, poetry, Sonnet, Strife, Tragic Flaw
“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…
Posted in Aging, Lyric Poetry, Poetry, Samsara, Sonnet
Tagged Aging, Emotion, End Times, Existence, Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, News Media, Samsara, Sonnet, Strife, Tragic Flaw, Wisdom
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 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.
Posted in Aging, Arrogance, Born again, Father, Feet, Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Mother, Navel, Poem, Poetry, Samsara, Shins, Sonnet, Sonnets
Tagged Age, Aging, Double Sonnet, Existence, Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, Sonnet, Sonnets, Tragic Flaw