Tag Archives: Sonnet

“This Wishing”

Sitting__Waiting__Wishing_by_eurai

“This Wishing”

I know this wishing to be as natural as breathing; none of us avoids it.
Having said this, still, while it is natural to the head,
It’s anathema to the heart as every affair noises over and over again.
Still, while we know desire, again, we hear that since it’s natural, it’s inevitable, And because it is inevitable, we must accept its rising fevers and all rude and Tumultuous downfall;
Both are natural and both are inevitable.
As there is a hairline difference between virtue and vice,
So too much the same between the crown of natural want
And its evil twin, lust.
Yes, of course I have wishes and hopes
And all that goes with both,
But again, having said this,
I know I am a fool, and there’s an end to it.

…photograph by eurie of DeviantArt…

“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.

 

“Yes, Of Course”

“Yes, Of Course”

Yes, of course, until the consummate act;
That short sweet penultimate gust of wind’s a hurricane
If given half a chance; your word of caution, one’s whispered vain
Imagining breathed from one lost soul to yet another seals a pact
That places infinite variation at naught before the fact
And utter chaos in the glossary. The perfectly inane
Remains so long as everyone understands the midnight train
No longer runs its comforts here between abandoned stations
Formerly retained withal despite the costs and weathered till the waiting
Wooden benches are no longer polished to a shine by anxious travellers’
Backsides, these who only yesterday were soberly assured by cavillers
In all sincerity, “There’s greater worth to companies than to nations;
More to gain from printing presses than revenue beyond debating.”

“Asking Nothing”

Queen-Bee
“Asking Nothing”

Asking nothing, pride itself knows no shame
But that it is not easily offended
By its authors, lasting aeons never once rescinded
As they bear hard against themselves with holy arrogance. Abel’s fame
Was no more great in folly than in triumph; blame,
The greater satisfaction, feeds upon itself, suspended
High above its frozen haven’s wasted heaven, extended
Low and lower than the expectations of his brother, Cain:
“Why,” then, “art thou wroth?” is heard with “What hast thou done?”
And in that instant, seconds into centuries cast their burdens
Leaving only fools to gather and surmise how long it’s been
Since innocence so easily spent itself pursuing means to every end.
If we breathe, we cannot be more anxious than the moon and sun,
And stars whose certain execution and anastrophe scribbles embroidered patterns equal to the physics of a nano-drop, as well, the roaring war of infinitives bound in verses primed that rhyme with energy and matter in the greater cosmic run.

“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…

“He Delights in Convenient Signs”

vintage_radio_by_jesse-d4xymyv

“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.

parallel_universe

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

“Answers in the Tea-leaves”

IMG_9277

“Answers in the Tea-leaves”

Answers in the tea-leaves, sheaves appear before the harvest
Is gathered; there within the dross, a silence brewed to solution.
Questions, masked, bitters in the waters provide ablutions
To the tongue; dissolved, a saviour moot with which to invest
In what must come when coincidence and will are spent.
And what of proceeds, pensions, dubious transactions
Boxed and packaged in the cards, admiring factions
That succumb to givens in the numbers of the deck? The rent
Is paid, the covenants lapsed, and here again,
The possibilities drown within themselves! When Vonnegut died
There came a deadly pause and then applause (denied
Of course, but heard!) from every semi-colon on the plains
of every page. “Just so,” the concourse wails, “What will you write?”
“With what ink,”‘s the reply, “and with which nib,
and who’s the audience tonight?”

“But That We All Are”

index

“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…

“Elevation”

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“Elevation”

Elevation to a legend, some distant memory
Within a sutra following surely but words that pace themselves
In chalk on blackboards or filling multicoloured leaves in shelves,
Gemutlichkeit in the every room of schools. Their halls must now be
As filled with youth and years as mine have been,
The hours and back again, the morning smiles, the greater lesser thought
By thousands scribbled more or less in haste that are or ought
To be the natural quota on desks and doors. Beauty rests still and unseen
Within the fragile folds of lives and fortunes and in what was planted there
For generations; precursors to a sometime cause begun within my room,
Virtues nurtured, multiplied, and now extending beyond those stalls, and soon,
So very soon, beyond that august spot, the state and bailiwick of mirrors
That were my teachers and what I became to all I knew and all I had to teach:
The world need not wait now for what I gave to every child I ever reached.

“Questions”

Ambiguity_480

“Questions”

Questions mount in compliments, the third’s irrelevant:
To be or not to be, to seek the seen or unseen or not to see
at all; so, what’s a circus in a world without eternity?
Then, again, even if no one’s here still the monitor’s adamant
Unequivocal nothing has happened–so what’s the point?
And were you here beside me, would I then need sleep,
Awake but to open my mouth and sing? Would I seek another deep
Abyss within, impose a curfew on the thing or casually anoint
The latest impasse with a casual kiss? There’s a Judas in this;
His days are numbered with the dusts, the rust of wrinkled
Inevitability with excess housed in reliquaries of gold
Whence comes the latest least expected crop
Of shibboleths, coined and counted; there we’ll be atop the list
Some two branches on the tree, twin tokens found, no other sound,
And when I go you’ll miss the show, and who’ll lay me in the ground?

…art piece above by Robin Kranitzky & Kim Overstreet