9.15.2016

Love and Hate


it is addressed thusly:

An ode.
it reads:
The liberal does not love enough to hate
He cannot conceive of jealousy at all
The God of old must seem demiurge, to create
Anything, what good cause could he recall?
"He, believing in the Sermon on the Mount,
"Though he deny the blood, though he spurn the fount
"Though he forsake the One who may amend his fall
"Is truly faithful," but to what does it amount?

Only One with such a jealousy as flame
Would desire us such, and bother with our state
And it is from He, and He from us, a Name
And those who hate His law, I too must then hate
Which is why I love; in knowing truly of
Why, we must respect, and we hope above
We may meet; -- for God is in love and mercy great
But liberals! They do not hate enough to love.

9.07.2016

The Song of the Viols


it is addressed thusly:

An ode.
it reads:
When futility speaks, men seek silence
And when willing, as votaries of violence
Must miss the music, songs without a word
Under unrest the singing had obscured;
Strike the six strings, else eighty-eight
Ring ruckus out with the harmony of fate
Draw destiny from the lute and the lyre
Perfect pitch pulled from unelemental fire;
Strike out in violins; call forth a chord
The drawing of the bow is the drawing of the sword
Futility speaks, but silence is more strong
Tread down drivel, O Thou militant in song!

9.02.2016

Sea Before Storm


it is addressed thusly:

An ode.
it reads:
Upon the deck we walk, steady
As the sea is steady, our freedom
As stable, only as ready
As unsteady sea may come;
The whim of the wind, which is
Will itself, makes determination
Whether port of starboard we list
In this our place and station;
We have no thought in our head
Except to balance the pendulum
To run the rough and heavy thread
So that against the wind we run;
Restraint and balance, O great might
Of the Heaven, Who made of sea
A blue meadow to walk aright
As walking man is made to be;
You who make no brook for
Man's petty row over things to die
But know he cannot ignore--
Know that like You he should not lie;
Consider our plight; we must seek
What You have made for us -- to rule
We must become strong, though weak
And wise, although a fool;
You take no side save Your own --
And we are left to decide for now
How to best use this - but a loan
Freely given, our lot is enow;
O Sovereign, O Judge of all
Grant us a boon, who beseech
Who ride the rise and the fall
Of the sea in its unreasoned speech;
We do not understand liberty.
A will is granted us, to do or not
Granted to do well, and free
Is he who makes well-doing his lot;
Grant us this, a revelation of flame
For great and sorry and sad
Are the days until they speak Your name
And rejoice only those who had;
They unchain the devils all the while
Believing your thousand-year at hand
Men of chaos and reck and bile
Who rule what should be Your land;
Even the great ships like small flies
Can swallow, that fearsome sea
"From nothing, to nothing" cries
The keener about the lea;
We knowing what we must do
Fall short. We are not worthy yet
Truly knowing through and through
This requirement we have not met;
We do not ask for a pardon by law;
For none avail. We were not so made
As convicts, as those of perfect flaw
To be plied by law in its trade;
But knowing all of this we must ask
We do not ask as they vainly repeat
"Lord, Lord," not knowing the task
For which alone Your help is meet;
We seek a Mount Hebron in the deep
For a time, that a wall
We may build against those who keep
Not Your law, no, not at all.
Even if ten-thousand years should pass
Under its sentinel's eye
We would still cry, "At last!
At last! At last," we would cry;
At Your return; as those who kept
But a small speck as a sacrifice of fire
A pleasing odor, which leapt
Up to heaven as a funeral pyre;
A world after our own must come.
Will it be in the brightness of Your face?
If not yet, we yield not one
Not an inch or mile from Your holy place.
That terrible wind across the sea--
We ask without question just the same;
What is freedom? We cannot flee;
Grant us that revelation;
 -- a revelation of flame.

9.01.2016

The Orator Remarks Upon the Digital Word

it is addressed thusly:
A thought.
it reads:
Improprietous of me to say;
But whom is it that is speaking?
Have they never heard of keeping
Silence in a golden way?
Perhaps they had never heard of
Golden ways of any school;
No mean, no portion nor rule
No divine injunction regarding love;
Or perhaps they consider God
Oh! But a thing of the mind
But what remains is what kind
Of mind could be so odd;
But let us not speak of such
Heavenly things; I am not
One of those yet caught
Into third heavens very much;
A command that is simple, but
Guides every orator's way
When you have something to say
Speak, else keep your mouth shut.

8.25.2016

Pace


it is addressed thusly:

A thought.
it reads:
Things move at their own pace --
We are ever-prepared to start
To simply jump the whole race
Why--!? Has not an athlete of
Would-be renown failed his art
With a false start - Lord above!
It is not for us to set seasons
Or not yet - if we do not grasp
Those which are set with reasons;
Here we are, breathing down weeks
Or days or hours in furtive clasp
But it is perseverance that seeks
And finds; long suffering so called
The stomach and eyes want fill
Of every good and ill, and stalled
Are we by sleep and eating and talk;
Will velleity become a constant will
When previously it always balked?
Walk; not random, we never outran
Our prize, it is not of mankind
In his best, truest or most grand
To always dash, or quickly race
When such fruits ripen in time--
For now, give them some space;
And when at last they are refined
Pounce! Before that window is erased.

8.17.2016

O Thou Light of Good Cheer


it is addressed thusly:

A hymn.
it reads:
O thou Light of good cheer
In which God doth draw near;
His most sacred glory which is
Of our Father in all blessedness
Undying in heaven most high
Holy and blessed Jesus Christ;

Now that the sun hath hid his face
And evening's light in its place
We behold and now see fit
O Father, Son and Holy Spirit
One God, to sing but to Thee
In voice meet for Thy divinity;

O Thou only God's Son
Who granteth life to everyone;
This song the world shall raise
To thy glory and in Thy praise.
a postscript is here written:
The name of this actual hymn, which is perhaps 2000 years old, is 'Phos Hilarion', often rendered "O Gladsome Light". Mine is a paraphrase. It is the Hymn of Evening which is sung at Vespers wherever it is served. This arrangement is intended to be set to music, not dissimilar in character to that of Henry Purcell.

8.16.2016

Verses for Economy


it is addressed thusly:

A thought.
it reads:
I canceled my Paypal account today --
It was not an occasion for an ode
Nor, speech of any kind or mode
That might make wise in its way;
We find ourselves embattled now
On every side, the Chinese running
The business poorly as we allow
Into the ground, and shunning
The light of day, no one speaks
Our language first, except freaks
Of nature, we assume, gunning
Or gunned down amid the breaks;
Sold out, was the term they said
When I was a child, for music-men
Thought highly of integrity then
Though they were authentically dead
We were purchased for small change
Twenty silver would be a king's purse
In exchange we hope, though strange
For something better and not worse
But they're all a little cracked in the brain
John Walker, he surely had a name
Before he was put in a hearse--
For his deal with old scratch amain;
But as deals with devils always are
We cannot but guess the coin
Was gilded lead, a simple purloin
Of clothing-weights, and not far
From a jade that is but a stone
Such potential wasted on folly;
But when that wish has but flown
We pull the lever, and by golly
We will have what we willed
Even brass coin slyly filled
Not even gold! Probably;
And for this much blood, spilled.
Trust is low, that liberal scrip
Which makes prosperity run
A place well, even under the gun
Why should we trust, let slip
That we were sold out, that we
Were not the better America
It isn't good for technology
Which no one carries very far
For it is carried for our enemy
Though love we must, do see
We cannot trust, low is the bar
And boundless is the enmity.