it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
Let Justice be done though the heavens fall
He said, and I beheld the falling starry host
In his eyes - was it merely the thunder's call
That man's justice was crudely interposed?
Consider - they turn all custom on its head
But did their righteousness ever raise the dead
Did their good will deliver the souls of all
From the tombs where they lie in darkling dread?

Forgetting that the dead once walked the earth
Made fairy-tale of hopes and dreams
That man once had, and ere his cosmic birth
Was not what now it strangely seems
Can Justice hang for its murderous crimes
I say - as though my mere verses and rhymes
Might strangewise drown out all the screams
Might blow the breath out of these times;

How could Justice fail? He then replied
How could it be guilty of any wrong?
He shook his head, and then he sighed
To have his patience tried so long
But if God is not just, as man would call
How does man's justice matter at all
Mercy and love and truth prolong --
But let justice be done, though the heavens fall.


The Benevolent


it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
The benevolent, they come and go
And their will to good is uncertain
Who can say what the mind may show
When next we pull the curtain?
Their addled, passionate and wavering hands
The shifting sky, the switching sands
Though many stay on who are yet hurting
By their good will none falls or stands;

We march, all condemned to death
All contingent in our being
At once all body, at once all breath
All blindness and all seeing
The end is the same for all who know
Bones, dry bones and white as snow
And our comfort is always and ever fleeing
But the benevolent? They come and go.


The Sick Man


it is addressed thusly:

An ode.
it reads:
Into the arms of a colorless age
Bleak as the rain makes cold the sun
Wet-bleached out stage by stage
Gradual so the colors won't run
Mix by force all the unlike things
A depression, a grayness borne on wings
Spin until all the thread is spun
Not white but dun the spinning brings

Alas the atmosphere makes us sweat
And gives us chills like a sick man
We are not made ill, and still yet
Our insides make us feel pale and wan
Are we inside out, shall we sleep or wake
None of the treasures we desire to take
We are most blessed - we who ran
- and grew ill of a time diseased and fake.


The Engine of Dreams

it is addressed thusly:
A riddle.
it reads:
The engine of dreams it is more than it seems
Though not heretofore was it invented
To settle the score with all the machines
From which man had lately repented;
A thunderous task, at last to unmask
Its undulant plan, but whom shall we ask --?
Ask not the man had it rented
What few great tragedies had it prevented;
But its power endue whether lately or new
The truth of its uttermost schemes
He will not boast, whether lying or true
For he is the engine of dreams.


The Black Bird

it is addressed thusly:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/pictureartist/9682324028An ode.
it reads:
And so the raven calls
Though once lulled to silence
In search of bright treasure
Flying from the walls;-                       
-flying from the walls
With a rumor of violence
And ruin without measure
Sound - and silence falls.


The Aristocrat

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
The absurd generosity of plants
- he laughed - is unknown to us
Though some men would chance
To fancy themselves yet generous;
Consider that they do not toil or spin
And they give to any old passer-by
It is but a when and not a why
And disdain because of what is within?
Themselves; all in all, with no sieve
And yet how many continue to give?
Man would almost fancy it a sin
To give all of himself to but live;

They insinuate themselves, of course
- the reply - and why should they not
A generosity that is more like a force
Seems an is and not a sort of ought
But not all, I suppose, can be claimed
For the seed itself is often the food
Given to the worthy without mood
And so the plant cannot then be blamed
The worker is worth his wages they say
Toiling to build but themselves all day
Worthy is what such a creature is named
Where the love of the Good is the Way.


The Orator To The Schadenfreude

it is addressed thusly:
A thought.
it reads:
I beseech you, try not to smile --
I know the habit it's become
Listen to my words awhile
If you can bear to listen some;
A strangeness has from it emerged
Grin to forget your present woes
Even while your spirit knows
How machine and man converged;
In a machine-mask of a style
A face to conceal both guilt and guile
Bear up then the gritting urge --
I beseech you! Try not to smile.