“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
“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.
Transitions, troughs and floodgates
Swell before the crops are in;
Appointments rough-hewn begin
From centuries’ wealth in soils. He hesitates.
Lamentations of the classic farmer’s touch
Bestowed on something that was expected
Neither to outlast the seed nor tip the balance but once elected
Audit landscapes from the past and serve the sudden rush as much
As circumstance permits a well to gush and choose another path.
He was a teacher; was, and no doubt
Will continue to apply the torch to oils of souls
Whose mission is to lance the boils of youthful wrath
And freely prime the wells of mass miscalculation of the myths,
The babbling and cursive powers of hubris and its shibboleths.
Posted in Age, Aging, Centuries, Crops, Farmer's touch, Floodgates, Hubris, Imagery, Lamentations, landscapes, Lyric Poetry, Miscalculation, Myth, Oils, Past, Poetry, Samsara, Seed, Shibboleths, Soils, Sonnet, Teacher, Terrorism, Transitions, Troughs, Wealth, Well, Wrath
Tagged Age, Aging, End Times, Existence, Lyric Poetry, poetry, Samsara, Sonnet, Sonnets, Strife, Youthful wrath
“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
And so, now what?…anon, and to what end?…and then
Again, where do we go from here? The guess:
To unify, to bend the truth and—lest
We forget the poor or to the rich lend
Credence to myths as yet unborn—transcend
The present’s lacking lights’ egress that press
Such grapes as pleasure wrath, with “nevertheless,”
And “never the more’s the merrier,” here, at land’s end.
And we all know where all this leads but, “when?”
And “Where’s the bottom?” mystifies the rest
Where most will merely chant, “It’s really for the best!”
Please!…Occasions pardon me, opine as wind,
Sequester sin and, come what may, we’ll all soon see
The ends of times announced in rhymes and newborn mysteries.
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?
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.
Posted in Astronomy, Change, Existence, Experience, God, Image, Imagery, Imagism, Lyric Poetry, Poem, Poetry, Providence, Relativity, Religion, Sacrifice, Samsara, Selflessness, Sonnet, Sonnets, Spirituality, Stations, Universe
Tagged Change, Evolution, Existence, Imagism, Immortality, Lyric Poetry, Mortality, Poem, poetry, Samsara, Selflessness, Sonnet, Sonnets
The sum of yeasts spell the dregs of moments in the mould;
Images to come, some of use, most are not, and so a breeze:
Gentleness recalls; the times are short; the fee,
What stands stolid in the stamen does not yet unfold.
At so great a price, nothing enters, nothing leaves this place; nothing’s free and yet there is no looting, no Granny Weatherall
To fear that in the groaning, smoothly flowing
Movement, here to there, both fruit and flower never knowing
Unity of purpose, no consummation in the delicacy
of dwelling too long on what must be—A glory for the anther’s night—
auspicates in favour of shadows of their mutual fate
While lighted paths from here to there spins restive, wearied states
In hours―minutes and seconds, really―and the weighty knowledge
that what augurs in the grace of beauty comes too late,
“. . .And I’ll be going, now!” The pistil whispers thus. “I am too late!”
The stigma augments as the fruit becomes too ripe,
and aspirations of eternity expose greater flaws
In auroras and rainbows as substances within themselves
one and all abandon fleeting glory in the name of natural laws.
” Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherised upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent To lead you to an overwhelming question …
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?” Let us go and make our visit.
In the room the women come and go Talking of Michelangelo..”
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
“There’ll Be No Holding Back”
There’ll be no holding back this gathering time of year.
We both know what’s behind these growing shadows
In hearts, the slight miscalculations at the window’s
Sash. Seedless middlings grow daily here
And with them come a hint of plenty’s fears,
A portion’s curse, the grayest riches’ fallow
Grounds withheld from sight; silt in shallow
Memories of polliwogs and fry and not a single tear
For losses deadly as frozen promises now as both egg and spore
Abundant in the chaos speak well enough of pernicious peace
And what the seasons’ greeting means. We behold
The evidence of what’s to come so blindly gripped within its cold
And unborn fingers smothering the future in random disparate chords
Of dissonance and denial calibrated not to inspire progress but to please.