Tag Archives: Sonnets

“The Café Stool”

“The Café Stool”

The café stool at the corner bus stop spins
Lukewarm as his miles concentrate on the coffee. The counter reeks
Of vinegar and last night’s cream and stranded weeks
In tufts of cusps and smoke and maybes render standard wins

As dust bunnies in an otherwise long night’s wait. The daily turn
Puts miles on both the urn and that old stool.
He’s going nowhere fast but yes, he knows the rules.
He’s been to school. He’s got a lot to say, and bile to burn

Before he bags the keys, and hits the road
For all it’s worth out there; and tell me, now, what’s

It worth? Another dime, another cup of time forever cuts
A path between the long and short, and both are simple codes

For what he means to say, “I’m here and going nowhere,
Fast, but, if you’ve found the exit, let me know, and I’ll be there.

Oh, well, and since you asked me, yes! The twisted lips,
Emaciated torso, darkest circles,
Smudges, really, orbs―a pair―and matching icicles
For breasts suggesting that they’re beyond suggesting; tips

Of fingers, possibly, or weaknesses supporting barbed wire frames,
And all this while naked, reading The New Yorker; raked, reclining, draped
Across a thing or two. A second piercing, pain, or whatever can be scraped
Together to perform the task achieves its consummate utilitarian fame

Expressed in motifs on the menu or à la mode made decorative and dative
In function, deliberately neutered as are the midnight waffles.
Yes! There’s so much that can be found in any diner or rendered awful
In some missing space or blank provided―the passive or the active

Voice required―sired, producing tired generations of sensations
To the point that what’s come in on the bus becomes the stuff of veneration.

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“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

“Spell It for Me”

“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.

“What Peace of Mind?”

“What Peace of Mind?”

What peace of mind can find a living here?
Pundits’ fantasies will not stop the tears, the midnight cries,
Incessant lies, and still the public yearns to know what we despise
From commentators and the late show comics. Do we fear
The truth and turn the other way when asked
If what comes down the pipe is truly past
Our tacit understanding? Reasons? Seasons? Are there tasks
Beyond endurance here, or is it always first and last
A matter for the courts, the press, the cold realities
That simply digest information and ingest lucid cosmic facts:
There’s them that’s got, and them that’s wracked,
The rich, the poor, the lack of morals backed. Atrocities
And blessings rank as equals, ours to fricassee, ours to fear.
There’s them that’s got, all right, and them that no one hears.

“Gandhi’s Truths”

“Gandhi’s Truths”

Gandhi’s truths are motionless beneath an image born,
A version’s accent that only seems to change; perceptions lie.
The eyes, the ears, the touch, all senses testify
Before the centre. Memories, chattels of the intellect, are torn
Between the ëgo and its mirror. He will board that train,
And see his own distinction — one-way ticket bound
Zephyrs tell him what he only thinks he knows. Hounds
And adverbs pursue him, winds he cannot name remain
constant comments as he moves through distances
That never crossed his mind. The earth is twinned,
The gears are jammed, yet breezes, golden prayer wheels, spin.
The pinnacle not the single shot of infamy―not the sun, but suns―an incident
Within a galaxy’s corruption far beyond its crucibles, hopes and cosmic excess:
Energy and matter never tire while circumstantial certainty leads destiny to rest.

“That Moment”

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.

“Marvellous”

Edvard Munch - Study of an Old Man's Head

“Marvellous”

“Marvellous,” so he thinks, “just why it is
Creation’s robe’s so blood stained?  Stubborn remains, they insist;
They persist, disease, and carnage, yes! Rising famine, orphans; lists
That never end, and then of course that always fatal kiss,
This blasphemy of complaint and intuition that we
May not truly live at all!” Effortlessly, nights wear on. Responding,
These and beauteous phantoms blend and in their careless logging—
Pages in this life and well into the next—we see
The Sadrat’u’l-Muntahá and merely breathe. We throw up
Our hands and beg the question although we always know
Who and what it is we seek. To ourselves and no one else flow
Freely in the Upper Room the clouds of incense for a requiem; to Him, the cup,
The cynosure placed perpetually on the table, the guests long gone,
The Holy Writ upon the wall, this tabula rasa, this once and final song.

…painting above by Evard Munch…

“Transitions”

 

headache-quinn.anya_

“Transitions”

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.

 

“And So?”

truth

“And So?”

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.

“Their Summer’s Stroll”

DALLAS

“Their Summer’s Stroll

Their summer’s stroll from rage to rage,
And they beget a bygone slight that as a child
Was not forgot, that from a strength were mild
But grew in time from childhood though to age.
And far beyond its slotted term their lights boil freely
Within a goal not steeped in wisdom’s nests
But gnarl’d, mishap’t to suit some moment’s tests
In  fruitlessness,  and doom’d because t’were seemly
That a child should bargain with his fathers’ sight
Nor rent a sire’s station for such gifts’
Revisions as rest in infants’ yearnings for the stars
Or worse, the adolescents’ endless swollen charms.
Do not tempt the agèd with a young man’s goal,
My friend, nor mistake a stallion for his honoured foal.