12.31.2010

The Wind in the Heights

it is addressed thusly:
For G. Van Der Leun
it reads:
The wind among the heights that day
Was strong and brisk, and though they say
That old borough is high and dry
This day would make it seem a lie
For once we had heard of the deed
We required of none us to lead
To the promenade's tall edge
To gaze across its towering ledge
And see the city, whole in rout
Its deepest places turned out
To see the fires against the sky
The diving men whose rivers dry
Ran with fire and iron and blood
The blood their own, and dry the mud
Of the street on which they fell
And St. Nicholas' last tolling bell
So with a rumble, horrible and loud
The towers each became a cloud
A darkening soot the sun had dimmed
In fear the people, streets had rimmed
With men as men in terror fled
From the suffocating dread
And we from high and from afar
Thought not of this act of war
But marveled as each smoky band
Formed a darkling titan's hand
And reached across the river to us
And now, we too saw the panic and rush
And ran and squeezed and flew like dust
The coming dark! The rising dusk
Of cloud and gas and fire and ash
Along that narrow sidewalk dash
And barely inter our selves before
The darkness comes in all the more
And look from our own windows there
From front and back, the deadly air
As the dryness turns to rain
As though weeping in her pain
Seeing the glinting bits of men
Who died bravely there within
Gave city breath as from of old
And turned the gray of rain to gold.

12.29.2010

The Song of The Poet at The Face of The Deep

it is addressed thusly:
A song.
it reads:
"There are many things I have yet to tell,"
Said the poet to the wishing-well
"But I have no coins with which to ask,
I have only words to fit the task."
But from the well there was no reply
Only on the breeze was heard a gentle sigh.

"My first wish is for a silence deep,
A spirit for the secret I have to keep.
For my lips to weigh as milling-stones
So I may hear the spheres, their sounding tones."
But from the well there was no reply
Only on the breeze was heard a gentle sigh.

"My second wish is to be all alone,
With but a rooftop for my home
For as the sparrow like this remaineth fed,
Grant poor solitude to be my bed."
But from the well there was no reply
Only on the breeze was heard a gentle sigh.

"My third wish is stillness of the dead
Still like the lake mirroreth overhead
The clouds and birds and mountains and the sun
To not stir from the charms of anyone."
But from the well there was no reply
Only on the breeze was heard a gentle sigh.

And three sounds like stones were heard therein
Though not coin, nor gem were found within
For adequate words weigh like rocks when hurled
They drive them to the center of our world
But from the well there was no reply
Only on the breeze was heard a gentle sigh.

12.28.2010

The Virtues

it reads:
"You have things which are not yours!"
Shouted the dusty troubadours;
Without a doubt a sentiment fine
They're all God's, they're not mine!

12.27.2010

The Rose of the World

it is addressed thusly:
An ode. Apologies to WBY.
it reads:
Oh, great Rose of the World
Who from thorns was once unfurled
Can you not hear your servants call
Alas! It is the last hour by the wall
For the clock says eleven and a half
And they wonder why you do not laugh
The earth at hand is hard and cold
And men's hearts are growing old
Old of beauty, old of love
Old of wisdom which sits above
And each stroke bears little loam
Many rocks and clay beneath this dome
And the stars remind us of your light
Oh gold lamp-stand with beauty bright
And the messenger sent to tell of thee
And thy wondrous mystery?
A star he was, but one by birth
And we of semi-charmed earth
Behold now what but cannot be
Barren earth bears living tree
And the place we see is but a cave
But really it is become the only nave
And heaven! It is heaven then
And you the throne of Cherubim
Who sits with God upon her lap
Petal upon petal they overlap
For your womb must be the fertile ground
The garden of Eden! Wherein is found
All life in its ideal form
Even the lowly earthen worm
Of which I am, a digger-man
Eat of the earth for while I can
Oh, Rose, oh Rose, ask for us who
Bow our neck, beseech of you
A thing more deep and sweet and wild:
And she lifts her hand to give the Child.

12.24.2010

The Sage Explicates His Exasperation

it reads:
I will explain with simple axioms
What I know of life's great conundrums
Though how often I've to repeat myself
I'll box the effort and place it on the shelf.

12.23.2010

Dreamer, Dream Me

it is addressed thusly:
O my beautiful universe: dream of Reality and Reality will tell you everything. Admit the Reality, of which you are a dream, and you will awaken... -St. Nikolai Velimirovich, Prayers by the Lake.
it reads:
Words, the keys to all mens' minds,
      the songs and symbols in them
My locks and stores of varied kinds
      once and more have been then
Sealed away behind a phrase,
      or barred beyond a statement
Belief and thought a twisting maze,
      memory a musky basement.

Hidden there are the truths sublime
      which we know not that we've learned
And fettered deep in aged rime
       the tools with which they're earned.
My eye, my hand, my foot, my arm;
       I ask for nothing more
Speak and I'll be healed from harm;
       just this I must implore.

'Antony!' he moves the sea, my spirit moves like wake;
'Antony, dream of Antony, You who dream, awake!'

12.22.2010

What St. Nicholas Might Have Thought

it reads:
A red cap keeps a man warm
And a merry step keeps him from harm
Myra is a city of trouble and doubt
Nothing a gift or two won't do something about.

12.20.2010

Judgment

it reads:
"Who is deluded!" would say the man
who cannot see, but those who can
see simply that the man is blind
and to him are naught but kind.

Then cursed the most are those who see
But take sight as opportunity
To rob and wrong the crippled child
The wrath of justice, greatly riled.

But these indeed are blind as well
But it's a strange and sordid hell
When sight itself has come to be
The means by which we cannot see.

12.17.2010

The 'Good' Excuse

it reads:
Does each weary travl'r see
Nature's gay, grand pageantry?

She is all decked for Christmastime
Flecked in white and silver rime
And red from oak and poplar bare
Whose advent umber under where
Leaves of green or orange had been
But pine and spruce now have the scene
With light from withered leave and grass
Whose dry clusters shine at last
With that high festal color gold
Who were not great until were old
And the effect upon the eyes
Makes men merry, warm and wise;

But this is just how I relate
Why I've failed to decorate.

12.16.2010

Guilty Pleasures

it reads:
Sometimes, I admit
I wish, in the deepest
Recesses of my heart
That just one of the
Things that I have said
In the many words
I wrote and spoke
In seeking truth
Caused but one man
Somewhere reading it
To stop, start and say,
"No way!"

12.14.2010

12.13.2010

Winter's Night

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
As our world turns her back upon
That lantern, our effulgent sun
And behind clouds and buildings lies
The moon a-crossing pinlit skies
And north rides the course of light
And long breathes the waiting night

And long it is, at any hour
A dark and foreboding tower
Shows it six, or twelve or five
And heat lives only in the alive
How many hours are then the same?
How long is winter's waiting game?

Stretching out like summer's days
In winter's nights before me lays
The city's sky, a sickly red
On cloud or clear the lights have bled
Bled out their last and fleeting breath
For now sleep is the sleep of death

And waking comes, dropping long
As the leaking faucet's tinny song
Droop, droop, droop, in cold refrain
Until the dead shall rise again
 And see and greet the morning rain
And turn in that quavering dove-gray light
The rain to snow, and gray to white.

12.10.2010

The Defense Rests, Perhaps Because it is Lazy

it reads:
The accusations are all quite true
Hypocrisy and what have you
I am not the man I seem
(I don't even support this team)
Virtues I simply don't possess
Have you seen how vain I dress?
Indeed I've judged most everyone
And I find not working to be fun
And fun I find quite tiresome
So I do all things under the gun
But even were I the worst you knew
We'd still have this work to do.

12.09.2010

The Swordsman's Wife

it is addressed thusly:
A song.
it reads:
A saw you then, in our dream
Or was it mine? It does often seem
That when I am near to you I find
Yours and mine are intertwined
And you were tall and bold and strong
As tall as I! If I saw not wrong
Though a little one in body be
In spirit you're a giant like me.

12.08.2010

Things Never To Say To the Poet

it reads:
To the poet said he,
"Language is nothing but
Semantics, and see,
Evidence of what?"

"Evidence of all" was the reply,
"As years embed the body's frame,
What is known of earth and sky
Is stuck in every name."

12.07.2010

The Poet Was Very Sorry

it is addressed thusly:
An apology.
it reads:
"Why poetry?" could be asked of me,
It seems idle creativity;
Words on page, on screen, on lips
While others fill their yards with ships;
Though I look not for apology
Off my tongue it slips.

Of others, I wrong them, true
Simply doing what I do;
With one, I make his fortunes worse
Another, tempt his heart to curse;
But who should mind, old or new
About a little verse?

Poetry is just a game
A man's one, but one the same
A sport of tag from word to word
No crowns or prizes first to third
But it's honored at least in name
Though it ne'er be heard.

12.03.2010

Significance and Size

it reads:
The electron is so small
And yet if he is moving
At the wrong speed
Men may die.

Though men are made
Of many electrons:

The machine that flies the plane
Has a circuit
And on the circuit
The electron is king.

How small is the electron you say?
As small as you or I to the galaxy
To you or I.

And the plane is like the cosmos

So when someone tells you
That they are brave to think
Of their smallness in the world
And how insignificant it makes them
And that some people
Are less enlightened
As they don't consider their size

Then remember the electron
Who if he is the right electron
Unbeknownst to others
(And probably even himself)
Can move the entire cosmos
If he goes a little too fast.

12.02.2010

Into the Morning

it reads:
Through my blinds the moving cars
Whose lights shine into early dawn
Whose drivers keep calm and carry on
Standing, look like flashing stars.

12.01.2010

11.30.2010

Autumn Leaf

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
Autumn is a time in the middle distance
It hovers before the eyes in persistence
A thing that seems too good to go on
And as though by command, is gone.

11.18.2010

Canticle for Stories

it reads:
'I am a story', says the man
'And who shall tell it?'
So he goes and finds a story
And it is about him.
But can it be the breath
Of man speaking
That carries the words
That make a man live?

'It is the story of my life'
Says the man,
Who is a word, a sentence
A place between
Two commas in the world
Who has a tongue
And speaks, reading the text
He sees written;

But if the mouth that speaks
And tells the man
As the bard sings a ballad
Shuts its gates
And opens not; nor suffers to sound
What ink or carving
Can cause dust or stone or water
To rise and live and sing?

11.15.2010

Canticle for Dawn

it is addressed thusly:
For St. Nikolai.
it reads:
If the world begins with a day
And the day with an evening
And if a man begins his evening
With rest and his rest
With unconsciousness
How is not our time the dream
The conscious universe not the dream
Of the hours before the morning
When the creature rises from the depths
Of depthless slumber 
Of thoughtless sleep
Into the fitful dreams
That must break into morning?
a postscript is here written:
a pass-word:
prayers by the lake XXXI

11.09.2010

Dream Garment

it reads:
My mornings are but halfway worn
And my noon-times don't quite fit
My evenings have a sock forlorn
But my nights are tightly knit.

11.08.2010

Of Prayer

it reads:
"Because I am a child of earth
I labor till the sun has set
But if I proved my second birth
My work would not be finished yet."

10.26.2010

The Poet Presents himself as a Riddle

it reads:
When I told them of my craft
They nearly laughed;
She doth reel and tip
Of rhymes is made my ship.

10.22.2010

Chill

it reads:
A chill which has spread
Through the rafters and walls here
Marks the sun's retreat.

10.20.2010

A Little Bird Told Me

it reads:
I read it one day, appearing
Upon my glowing box
It was hardly to be endearing
In fact it was a pox;

'A little bird just told me'...
They were all a-twitter with
Any one may scold me
For lack of wit and pith;

But once when I was sitting
(Trying to concentrate)
There was a note someone was hitting
Their pitch in fact was great;

It was warbling a sonata
This bird upon my deck
The unusual cantata
Had me craning about my neck

Perched as I was that moment
Upon a high, hard stool
I was intensely silent
It was hard to keep my cool!

All have heard birds singing
About the trees and brush
And has known them bringing
In the dawn and dusk;

An unusual song, believe it
My ears thought it quite unique
I saw no one to receive it
As it passed to air from beak!

But it held a secret speaking
Unknown to the ears
Of the heart's true breaking
Of his traceless years;

Beauty held in common things
Surprises in the dirt
The thrill of having working wings
The danger of being hurt;

The place we were received it
Like a poured out cup;
As soon as I believed it
The bird was flitting up.

Even as its song was small
It had me standing long
For though it had given all
It still was full of song.

The chirping, humming box that stands
And serves with eager grace
Even if one day it understands
Will never sing its days.
a postscript is here written:
a pass-word:
twitter little bird told me

10.18.2010

Folderol

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
Far among the things cluttered
About this room, it is uttered
That there lies if not much less
A solitary bit of solace.

I was told this by a little bird
Who perched, and spoke a word
While at my window seeing
The blank faces of the city's being.

I have searched then deeply
And who would not - so cheaply
Is peace bought through clutter?
This secret I dare utter.

10.16.2010

The Heart Speaks of Its Days

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
When I am young
They will accuse me
Saying, "What tender shoot
From earth breaks
And mere grass speaks
As though it were a man?"

And when I am young
What shall I say
In my defense, or
Against those who bring
Bitter words to rest
On my tongue's end?

When I am ripe
As men of this age
See their glass
From our loftiness
I shall watch it run
Out the bottom

And when I am wiser
Will I stooped, see
The bottom of my
Glass brimming with
Spent days bright
Like gold and ash;

When I am wiser
I will forget
My ignorance,
And remember
The bright thunder
Of my first joy:

But when I am old
Finally at last my
Glass will be full
Of years and I
Shall drink deeply
Of my days and die.

10.15.2010

To Dry Autumn

it reads:
In these days if it does not rain
If the wind blows not the clouds
It will be but cold and gray again
A shade, a pall of funeral shrouds.

10.12.2010

Mrs. Macbeth

it is addressed thusly:
To my adolescent pretensions.
it reads:
My Hegelian dialectic
Was once regarded 'hectic'
My Marxist overtones
Could chill to the bones
I had Utopian thinking
That was more than just an inkling
A revolutionary pen
Rated nine out of ten.

Now I've gone and forgot
My progressive polyglot
Where once hot to trot
Most decidedly now 'not':

I spend my days considering
The parties and their splintering
The ruin of man's vision
His deplorable decision
And how from the start
All could see the wart
Which would become the host
Sea to sea and coast to coast.

Engels, Marx and Lennon
Are in their graves a'spinnin
On account of once white linen
That has now a nasty spot.

10.11.2010

Cynicism

it reads:
That poor parasite of man's nature
Robber of remorse and contrition
Paints a cynic's dark picture
- an evil romantic's fiction.
No noir is his story now told
It is a road without friction
No perfect flaw, no hot or cold
Just steady, downward conviction.
No mention need I for its stature
It is quite base, below the fold
Despair is not humble, just old
And unwisened but by mold
Is the regrettable host -
The creature.

10.06.2010

The Poet's Complaint

it is addressed thusly:
A lament.
it reads:
That I am irrational
When I get the chance
Is not sufficient rationale
To dismiss my stance.

Leave some grains of sand unturned
Allow uncertainty
Humane things then remain unburned
Man is allowed to be.

I will not excuse my petty wrath
Or defend my own mistakes
Please criticize my wrongful path
So that my soul awakes.

But gardens are not kept aright
By removing rock and wall
For underneath them may alight
Spider, worm and all!

10.04.2010

To The Wind on Baltimore Street

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
Need I say how I forgot
Of the autumn's wind
Summer's noisome, long and hot
Eager for her end.

Then one day I'm stepping out
Of my motor car
Suddenly the air's in rout
From just my door ajar:

Where is it all now rushing to
Across these concrete piers
It rushes to, it rushes fro
It rushes in my ears.

I cannot hear the man upon
The end other of the phone
Until this wind is come and gone
I must walk alone.

Autumn I love the most of all:
Winter's bright interlude
But sharply now I must recall:
Best enjoyed in solitude.

9.29.2010

Cities

it reads:
We've discovered indeed
A place where everything is near
It seems however that
From where I'm standing at
The things which are close by here
Are not the things we need.

9.27.2010

The Temple of Mormon

it reads:
Standing dull, sun cloud oe'r blown
A gray ghost of a sentinel
Loom is the word, and how
With angel's brass - did risk
And not sculpted this six-obelisk
As theos of old, but now
Lidless, leering, unelemental
With no light of its own?
a postscript is here written:
This structure overlooks the Capital Beltway (interstate 495) north of Washington D.C.

9.17.2010

The Weblog

it is addressed thusly:
A lament.
it reads:
Man wastes his will and mind on thoughts
Hardly worth the thinking;
Before his screed - its many 'oughts'
His fellow stands a-blinking,

Soon he'll acquire that subtlety
To catch a man off guard
He'll speak sarcasm, uncertainty
The trick is not so hard!

'Where is the debater of this age?'
I have seen it said,
He is here, his own web-page
His fingers dipped in red.

9.16.2010

Technique and Artifice

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
We when writing of things lost
The barren and the ocean-tossed
Of broken men and all their fear
These are really all held dear
They are incidents to the work
Whose whole subject may yet lurk

Does defect in David's statuary
Make an unworthy burden to carry?
Wordsworth wrote of brokenness,
But lament, not curse, describes it best;
And even Jeremiah wept
But Israel his love was closely kept;

So cease to search for prophecy
To affirm an ideology
Within the poet's hard-won verse
Will be wail and never curse
And if curse is found to be
You have found not poetry.

9.14.2010

9.13.2010

9.12.2010

The North Wind Through Empty Barns

it is addressed thusly:
An elegy.
it reads:
O king that is no king - do hear
I, cold north wind whisper in your ear
You sleep, you sleep! But I do not
Awake man or beast upon his cot.

Here I say I see the wintertime
Of your wealth, by fair or crime
See look at the writhing streets
The rage beneath each face that greets!

O king that is no king - the tower
Of your kingdom totters more each hour
But being a king not it is not yours
Though you dwell within its doors!

The people you say, the people must
Rise up and rebuild the public trust
And idling, sit like fake aristocrats
Stalk like lions, purr like cats.

O king that is no king - we gave
The mitre mild to all the nave
To stop the bishop's abusive ways
We hoped to buy as many days:

But behold the bishop bad was one
And now a pope behind each gun
Thinks himself the royal kind
And is not, even by his mind!

O king that is no king - your hand
Still has its grip upon this land
But being ill-used and oft untaught
Fell will be its victim's lot!

Xerxes of old would have not stood
For this corruption if he could
And call all his horses and his men
Put the sick man at rights again.

O king that is no king - I know
Of Xerxes wealth so long ago
Which would fall in barn and shed
That night his soul would know the dread!

But your wealth is still, cold and inert
Xerxes' rose from his own dirt
Hide it when peace dwindles low
Spend it not, and move it slow.

O king that is no king - look for
Ways to fortify your shore:
But realise your wealth is now
What your enemies allow.

You wait for the people's voice to rise
In your mind you fantasize
This is because you're wiser than
But really more the lesser man.

O king that is no king - my word!
Know that if you truly were a lord
You would see the way to heal the land
And your own wealth would go on your command
And ride the hills and through each stand
Of trees and set right our scattered band

"But you sleep in coins and notice-slips
Which now are reciepts and gambling chips"

I blow and blow and make you cold
And soon too your money will be old
O king that is no king be poor indeed!
And in our land at least -
You may be first to lead.

9.10.2010

The Procrastinator

it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
I had a remembrance of death
It came without warning; a breath
Of profound dread and fear
Of whispering in my ear:
"Are you ready? Is all in order?"
I lay unsteady; my mind on the border
Of sleep, ready for eventide
Do keep, the old ones had not lied
Many times I had thought about
The state which follows, to be without
Life, but to have the experience
Of the life of deeper sense
Which would be what? We're told
Our life will prefigure it before we're old
What we think, yes what we do
All we've seen, and what we knew
At the moment? And I was struck
How it was the same kind of luck
To wake up one morning and find
You had missed, time out of mind
Your chance to study for an exam
And I never was one to try to cram
And what good it would do here
With chast'ning death at my right ear?

9.09.2010

Open up!

it reads:
Locked behind bars, we all are
Here in the city
Can espy no good from afar
And isn't that a pity.

9.08.2010

The Ripening

it reads:
I've been growing spots
And I'm not a leopard;
The specks and spots are lots--
Growing old is but a word.

9.04.2010

Shutterbugged

it reads:
I was once satisfied
To photograph the sky
Its luminous face
Its clouded eye.

At first vapor trails
Clouds like whales
Bright pink layer cake
Night ink'd star tails.

All these did fascinate
Lens and eye rotate
And crane to find
A scene to sate.

But then each photograph
Too many by half
How to administrate
Such sheaves of chaff?

In not long I'd forgot
Dawn and night-blot
Loud tinged cloud
For what, for what?

To fail when you start,
Amid then fall apart,
Costs counted amiss
This is no art;

Not to my credit then
Is to reach just the end
Down by laziness lie
And falter again;

I had my head in a cloud
You may say it aloud:
"To not start what you've finished,
Now that's not allowed!"

9.02.2010

Spectacle

it is addressed thusly:
A riddle.
it reads:
Am I not a sun, made one
Originally?
I make sight, which is light
Conditionally;
Each other star, near, far
Is just like me:
These same begotten, have forgotten
Just how to see.

9.01.2010

The Tempest

it reads:
Have we any right I wonder
To treat each other in this way?
When a slight, a minor blunder
Might rob the sky the light of day.

8.30.2010

Garth

it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
A gentle bowl, graceful in sound
Is a garden, that I once saw
In my mind's eye, at least
Verdant in summer or in spring
Visions care not for that thing
Consistency, or time, that beast
As though beauty, life her only law
And her by winding path I found
And gate through hole-in-the-ground
With youth's vigor's leap and bound
I heard a sobornost of chirp and caw
And find for eyes a brilliant feast
Clover flower streams watering
And how should I sing, sing, sing
Like some rustic I've never been
Boasting but well and wall, this creased
Space in the earth has all but ceased
To be other than fodder for sheep's maw
And goats and for making of straw
Though never walked its springy mound
And having never seen its solid ring
Nor iron gate now facing east
Nor by its waters hem and haw
This place most suitable for hearth
Was once called a 'garth'.
a postscript is here written:
A response to another poem.

8.27.2010

The Prayer of the Heart

it reads:
We are told that prayer is like
The winds which travel across
A sweet valley in spring
And carry aloft its fragrance
We are always at a loss
To know the hot iron to strike
We are two left feet in this dance
Insufficient to this thing
But broken is our dike
A hole shaped like a cross
Wind through the narrows does sing
And the soul breathes its expanse.
a postscript is here written:
a pass-word:
[ps]

8.25.2010

City and Wilderness

it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
"Forgive me these things," I said,
And recalled the dream of my mother
The sky lit, with fire's bright dread
Lightning strikes after one another.
"I know much of what I say is wrong,
And often I'm given to romances."
It was across the shore, or along
The line of trees bright light dances.
And among the streets I've seen in dreams
Great holes make buildings graves,
The mall and even the glass towers it seems
Now no more than lairs and caves.
"I do not dream of the end of ends,
Lest men's despair do take them;"
More ruins I see as this road bends
What was it could make them?
"But the end of this moment's time
Calls out from future ages."
Tis not an ordinary crime
But perhaps just war's own wages.
For when in times this castle set
Against an army dreadful
It would hold its strength and yet
From foundations slowly pull
And now a great crack runs along
The centerest column of all,
Even if she stands against the wrong
With any force she'll fall.
"I did not feel that kind of dread,
When I saw these visions"
No apocalypse and no howling dead
Among the lost additions
Among the sprawl now laid to rest
Or among the city's tombs
"I was at peace, it was for the best,"
Or in its concrete coombs.
Not a soul I saw that night
After fire and lightning's rain
No more was lit a manmade light
Would ever it be again?

"And that concludes all that I'd seen,
What may come from what has been."

8.24.2010

The Boat

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
What shall I write of my slapdash life
With its planks all chipped and weathered?
She set out to sail midst angst and strife
Now in this harbor tethered;
But tides do rise and currents change
And we must move her on,
And one day 'twill not be strange
That beneath the waves she's gone.

8.21.2010

The Bells of Iron

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
Oft I to outside to just be around
That somnolent darksome and tremulous sound
Those great iron giants the staid stolid bells
Whomsoever may hear, is rung by their swells
First brightly announcing the motion of time
A familiar tune which bears no known rhyme
And then to be solemn as great as they're gay
They count the hours like it's man's final day.

8.20.2010

The MVA (DMV)

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
The motor vehicle administration
Is not a club for those behind the wheel
The service is the same at any location
If even paid, they're slow to make a deal.

8.17.2010

The Watcher

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
In silent palaces lie sleeping kings;
In solemn places lie the bones of saints;
Where darkness droops the dens of creatures lie;
But this windowed dwelling features me:
I look to see the outward skulking sky
Hid amid the curling cloud which wings
Across the clarity that now might be
Save the thought whose color my mind paints.
What sort of song the coming evening brings!
What type of tomb within will I then lie
When with the wind the whitening wisp it feints
As I, To blue and pass from what you see?

8.16.2010

Mid-night's Laughter

it reads:
I awoke and said to you
That I heard children laugh
Thinking I spoke in a dream
You did not reply;
But in a second and a half
You said you had heard it too
An unearthly cavorting cry
Near two a.m, it did seem.
It was something new
This sound of riff-raff
By an orange fluorescent beam
Awoken by a human cry.

8.13.2010

Cloudy

it reads:
Sometimes the sun dawning 
Carries with it slumber's pall;
The gray of city-night yawning
Into a morning not morning at all.

8.11.2010

Twilit Council

it reads:
At times we would awake
And speak to one another
As in a dream, it would seem
Half-lit thoughts to trace
And we would be good company
And agree on many things
Because half-outside our dreams
No care could we make
Or any other, nor fear to bother
Us, speaking face to face
Allowing each other to be
Borne up on love's wings.

8.09.2010

Skyline Morning

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
This morn the very light
Was itself too bright
I had to look just the same
Even the dust was aflame

The low sun in his rise
Had played a trick on the eyes
Blue-hued distant things
Held gold air in bright rings

In my sleep-leaden state
A fact I must re-iterate
I could not come in too soon
When morn outshone the noon.

8.07.2010

The Scholar

it is addressed thusly:
A song.
it reads:
Ignorant child, I run
Beneath the silent sun;
For all I learn may grant
Me only the more ignorant
Forgetting as I go
How little I really know.

8.05.2010

Earthen Vessels

it is addressed thusly:
Deliver us from wrath.
it reads:
In clay pots are stored
All tears which I had cried
For all hurts ignored
For all truths belied
I am but dust am I
With water does make clay
For each weeping eye
For each suff'ring day
And wound and spun in strife
To form these vessels true
For water does bring life
For tears the mind renew
A thing of wrath was I
Dishonored vessel from of old
For where does glory lie?
For how turns lead to gold?
As at last man's deeds are lit
How shall he know his own?
For on him they are writ
For by him they are known.

8.04.2010

Fifty Haikus

it reads:
Strength

How to make nothing
Easy, but here what could not
With effort is done.

Faith

When I took the hair
I knew it was hers, for us
Deep calls out to deep.

Courage

Is no path harder
Than the one before me but
The fear makes me strong.

Discretion

I return here now
Finding the same place dif'rent,
Older and more fair.

Justice

In seeing my things
I find all men be equal
And I the least man.

Temperance

I have left all things
Needing but one. Despite this
A man still must work.

Love

The Tishbite prayed for
The widow received with tears
Oil filled when poured out.

Hope

I saw the path turn
But the miles and the sores have
Less worth than my joy.

Joy

A dreadful thing dark
Spun with bright bliss' sweet singing
Cast away in mirth.

Wisdom

What you say are three
I say are one also, so
Dim eyes see dark things.

Truth

One thing beyond sight
I see it, and now am blind
To anything else.

Goods

Let me count the ways
And gather as does a hen
My heart fits one more.

Beauty

'Hrair' was the word
For mystery is not counted
But unrolled like cloth.

Virtue

My soldiers stood guard
Each a paragon, but none
Watches the same door.

Mystery

The horrors I saw
In the human heart were not
As dreadful as this.

Sacrament

I fear touching this
Because my impurity
Burns my heart like flame.

Graves

These tombs are white-washed
Stained with tears and fair adorned
But have you heard, empty?

Relic

Useless rags are we
But watch the wind blow, and see
The bright stain'd banner.

Color

The impurities
The dust of this earth only
Need love to be art.

Image

O moon with bright face
O sun with effulgent crown
O eye that holds them.

Face

I have two mind's eyes
One sees all things, the other
Sees all things through you.

Crown

An enclosure here
Hides our most precious kingdom
Above the earth's face.

Ring

Do not lose me now
For one finger I bind fast
That strength may be loosed.

Beard

Even the least man
Would have me as a garment
No spinning required.

Hair

Why is the grass green
Except with envy? For her
Locks make them bow down.

Arm

Call for at least two
For with my partner we are
Stopped by no mountain.

Feet

We measure a man
By his walk and so why not
Make it literal?

Hands

My dexterity
Fails me where a mistake would
Show me better ways.

Shoulders

Tall buildings crowd out
Bright rays and cast down dark shade
As a strong man would.

Bracelet

A great ring binds these
Hands to a task, so keep them
Where I can see them.

Words

When dust gathered then
Forming stars of every size
And space between them.

Book

Should it surprise us
That the inside is bigger
For this little house?

Scroll

A vertical world
That rolled out before books came
Now hides inside them.

Pen

What trap would you make
To capture your thoughts with just
Paper to free them?

Pencil

One day charcoal went
To market to buy a coat
Came back a new man.

Paper

I ran to mother
With joy for I had folded
Tree into a tree.

Parchment

I am not unlike
Your brain: wrinkled and waiting
For a word to hold.

Eraser

A constructive way
Of forgetting requires a
Lot of elbow grease.

Ink

The octopus said:
"Most ink is used to obscure
Not reveal the truth."

Desk

Lewis Carroll thought
I was like a raven but
At least I stay put.

Chair

My great grandfather
Was part of the royal court;
I keep my bearing.

Table

No more perfect place
To spread out my thoughts like stones
Above the earth's ways.

Bookcase

A scholar's mind is
As bright as his books are clean
Five walls, one window.

Window

Light passes through here
I am softly touched by it
My heart goes on through.

Wall

When the earth is armed
It throws out great battlements
Its will is like stone.

Couch

When royals were kings
I was their bed, and now poor
Men sleep like nobles.

Curtain

Inner courts are kept
By veils and drapes who hide them
Like walls hewn of stone.

Cup

All affections rest
And are seemingly governed
By an upright bowl.

Rod

Discipline and rule
Structure and elevation
The world turns on one.

Rope

One day a space-man
Will throw me out a window
We'll need a pulley!
a postscript is here written:
Jeff says:

A hundred degrees
The day before Garth's wedding
How will Sunday be?

7.19.2010

7.18.2010

Our Eighteen Ten

it is addressed thusly:
If not today, yesterday.
it reads:
We'll have our eighteen-ten, again
  most mattering about how, then
    could be we Victorian gentlemen
     and ladies, in suit and skirt and tie
       and vest and the rest
         I do not lie, do I, to be civilized
           be borne by but thread then?

But thread is not enough you say for the hey-
  day of the wise-winsome is not display
   of traits great in size, of lies to say and not say
    why - while substance stands in parlors wait-
      ing and waitng and asking
        of fate, hate, near ends of late
          and last things drop'd in dusk of day?

But the thread a figure and signs the vest-
  ments of yesteryear, dear-made things best
   for centuries before and all the rest
     eighteen, seventeen, sixteen and fif-
      teen ten, then again
        and we see no proud played riff if tiff
          we must?
            we shan't puff out the chest:

For no man knows knacks any bet-
 ter we take him by his and act and let-
  ter except as piles, styles and get
    A kerchief for wept wounded pride
        And divide, count, plumb and slid-
          ing piles of error in stride
            Proud for just one, not some:
              The most mistakes to learn from.

7.16.2010

The Sun

it is addressed thusly:
Merry as the ancient sun...
it reads:
In Winter they but bless me
In Spring they call me friend;
But hear how they address me
By the summer's end!

7.15.2010

Unboxing Day

it is addressed thusly:
So that's where I put all that stuff.
it reads:
We all think we're organized
Until we get lost in the woods;
As all our fears are realized
With the unboxing of all our goods.

7.13.2010

7.10.2010

7.07.2010

Rhetoric & Action

it is addressed thusly:
Ideas let us know what we can do when we need to.
it reads:
Some will come later with romantic eyes
And tell of our lofty ideals;
But it will be mostly accusations & lies
Necessity was at our heels.

7.01.2010

Ten Things

it is addressed thusly:
Ten riddles.
it reads: 
I

Small and silver one
Worth less than your parts, but oh
Who does not need you?

II

I lean and wonder
For youth a statement, this leg
High as half a man?

III

All poured within it
Glows like pearl or amber lit
Is it magical?

IV

Is not this fire vain,
Fragile, cumbersome, until
All the lights go out?

V

I can feel a twitch
Is heaven's net made of such
Common things as this?

VI

Can these whirling blades
Mine and the tiny germ, be
A coincidence?

VII

The earth is a lake
For those so patient and slow
Did you see me dive?

VIII

Would you draw and face
Just to see the whiteness gleam
And the metal sing?

IX

A flash so intense
Can no one contain its power
Save for that moist cloud?

X

A little earth made
From a little earth, does not
A seed find shelter?

6.29.2010

A Song For Two

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
We two often tender hearted
  Finding often ourselves wounded
    Our own efforts lost and foundered
      Wrecked upon the rocks of strife.

I for my part, clumsy-footed
  My prejudices deeply rooted
    Stepping boldly, blindly sighted
       Stabbing joys as with a knife.

You, I pray are patient-minded
  My own prayers in you are answered
    For forgiveness I may've offered
       Your recompense is more than rife.

This and this alone we've hoped on 
  Do good for evil, our only errand
    We stay calm and carry on
      The way we know for man and wife.

6.28.2010

Whose Arts?

it is addressed thusly:
A thought.
it reads:
I see another promotion
A speaker has come 
A famous man:

I remember walking
The passages of that hotel
And thinking;

This is not the art I would pick
For I would not support
These artists.

Why is not hard to guess
For art is politic
In this post-modernity;

When we say, 'support the arts'
We all speak like practiced
Politicans.

We know everyone has in mind
Their favorite artists
Real or imaginary;

And behind those artists
A thousand ideas and causes
Values and vices.

Children need education
And this is certain
But what kind?

So can we not also ask
If we are to support the arts
Whose arts?

And the speaker knows
And the committee knows
And the audience applauds.
a postscript is here written:
a pass-word:
Redford Robert Baltimore Arts Convention

6.25.2010

Masquerades

it is addressed thusly:
A song.
it reads:
I'm not yet a true man
   Each face I wear's a mask;
Unmask me dear, unmask me!
   Until I'm me at last.

6.24.2010

The Poet Throws Down, But Leaves The Pillows Aside

it is addressed thusly:
A song.
it reads:
I had myself a battle, a little sort of tiff
It was with my shadow; appearing with a piff
Of gray and musty smoke, a curse upon his lips
A hatred for the struggle, and his hands upon his hips.

He had himself all sorts of contrary things to say
Not so much against me, but like night amid the day
Arguing that I was wrong while arguing I was right
Arguing that if I didn't argue I wouldn't sleep at night.

I took one look at him and said, "I know you from of old.
But back then I was more willing, and you far less bold.
But your case is done, and your strategy is foiled
I'll throw you down the laundry-chute, make sure your rear is oiled!'

In a brave attempt (though I be fain to call him brave)
He attempted his riposte: a broad and rambling rave!
'As life is only suffering, so who is one to tell
When your life is soon to be, to be a living hell!

You have largely by yourself made yourself agree
The first is true at least, at least, at least in a degree!
And so by what smart argument or logical advance
Can you rise above the wave of dumb and sickly chance?'

I thought a little bit, and I thought a bit a lot,
And in realizing what he was, I saw what he was not:
'It may be just for me to rot,' I said in my reply
'It may happen soon and sooner or only by and by.

And since I have no real right of justice to demand,
You may think it time to lay the chain upon my hand.
But no matter what my lot, my estate or my arrears
I will howl for heaven's mercy, until heaven hears!

And if indeed it is not in my own dear destiny
To be unburned in the flames as the saints may be;
I'll thank my God for beauty blest with every borrow'd breath
And bless Him with every sign I make, until the sign of death!'

Taken quite aback by this, my shade was now nonplussed
And seeing that his day had passed, he did as noon-days must
He made his fast escape attempt, which ended in a thump
For as he made to disappear, I kicked him in the rump!
a postscript is here written:
a pass-word:
Psalm 90 LXX

6.23.2010

An Awful Thing

it reads:
An awful thing had happened to me
Today before just nine;
In turns it was eleven and eleven-to-three
But I woke up just fine.

You were in New York and I had to call
The details are a blur;
And we balanced, walked a crumbling wall
To avoid a prickly burr.

Now my phone was acting up
I threw it on the ground!
The battery and face broke right up
Neatly in a mound.

I swore up and down the pedigree
Of Google's phones was bad;
And awaking found it next to me
An HTC I had.

Last I recall us on the beach
In a town Victorian;
But you were there and out of reach
In New York again!

I was waiting for my old good friend
To Skype you from the bar
But his laptop was at the other end
He'd left it in his car!

I awoke asleep to wake again
A diff'rent time each time;
I know now before ten a.m.
Napping is a crime!

6.22.2010

I Believe

it is addressed thusly:
Lines may be read alone or together, and this is meet.
it reads:
I believe
In the possibility
That I am entirely wrong
I take my leave, and now leave
From the volatility
Which drops long
Of reason's sheave.

The potential
Of all things is, but
Not all that can will be
Incremental; Neither incremental
Things all will be or what
In an instant was free
And given essential.

And I know
Now the reality
Of knowledge having known
How far it may go - and it may go
As far as man is free
Insofar he may own
Any below.

Vapor of dreams
Brace us as child
Chase us through time
Is what it seems? And what it seems
Is psyche riled
To utter in rhyme
Eternal themes.

But now leave
My leaden thoughts
And rise in mind above
And do not grieve (but if you grieve)
Think not on oughts
But suffer in love
This I believe.

6.21.2010

The Sign & The Truth

it is addressed thusly:
A question.
it reads:
The form of the thing is the sign
Of the truth which may be and when
The eye sees the beauty within
The sign and the truth align.

Now does a man see the real
Whose fetishes line his walls
Do the features compose what he calls
The good for which he must feel?

When seeking the meaning of things
Men often examine the shapes
Put on the colors like capes
Fly in the forms as with wings;

A system is often conceived
Which brings them together in mind
Is this our symbol and sign?
A chimera by which we're deceived?

A symbol like translucent glass
Which veils and reveals all the same
Simple figures herald our game
A first stanza just like the last.

6.17.2010

Rule (June)

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
And comes Rule with hot days
And we are told she is not-yet-summer
But summer she is, in the brilliance
Of the colors changing with the clouds.

In the woods, I mean, where from
Chartreuse and hunter comes a time
Where all is muted to the tones
Of grass in the time of spring.

Beneath my feet where moss and ant
And mosquito and wild-strawberry
Seemingly play; and in nature all
Play is seeming and seeming, play.

The fire-lit lilies all proudly proceed
And rule like a short dynasty from
Daffodil until midsummer in armies
Climbing walls and standing guard.

If I cared for calendars and the motion
Of the heavenly bodies in their bleach-white
Color-by-number charts I would've missed
Low summer, and Rule, his queen.

6.16.2010

The Rain In The Summer

it is addressed thusly:
The sun turns gray / this rainy day
it reads:
A gray coolness sits
Over all this day, and I
Rest like the damp leaves.

Where went the heat here
That wilted and made thirsty
All flesh, and now hides?

Hands reaching for light
In the cool afternoon find
Drink and sag bedewed.

6.15.2010

The Forgotten Things

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
I have dreamt too many dreams for ever them to be
As ten thousand stars in the sight above the sea
Invisible as the host in the brightness of the day
Or hidden in the night by the white Milky Way
O these, o these are my most beloved things
O mystery of the hidden, o silent one that sings
A light is in the eyes, a fire is in the bones
The unnamed share the name of the nameless holy ones.

6.14.2010

Sonnet II, "If in true love you war"

it is addressed thusly:
Steel yourselves!

it reads:

I have known some whose speech and thought were clear
On matters valorous, of war and wound
To think of peace through battle found them swooned
To fight another, could the conscience sear?

And even others who knew 'twas not so
Desired peace and thus drew not the sword
A cold detente we soon had found abhorred
The end would come how soon, no man could know.

The seeming always calls a fruitless act
The battle-cry, the sounding of the horns
As all is lost, with wreck and waste before!
But what surprise awaits a knightly tact
If not the honest fisticuffs she scorns
Then hope in peace if in true love you war.

6.09.2010

Sonnet I, "Through word oft and only"

it is addressed thusly:
We're quite thankful for the rubber eraser (and the delete key.)
it reads:
A word is written, and from it we read
A rightly spoken, broken sort of charm
Has it awoken, the rhyme which does no harm
And hearing it, inspires a good indeed?

And mostly now in writ we find untrue
Our good intentions for naught did we dream,
A dream of eloquence and words agleam
With honest love and sanguine valor's hue?

For now and ever in this world is hid
From man his own true wishes are concealed
And dim his eyes from passion's stormy din
So by word bound with chain his hands amid
And through word oft and only are revealed
From pain and lies the truth impressed within.

With The Breaking of Day

it is addressed thusly:
A question.

it reads:
And how does a man regain what is lost
Does he seek it long or pay its full cost?
Or does the man diligent, watch and pray
And find it again, with the breaking of day?

6.07.2010

What is a Prayer?

it is addressed thusly:
A question, and an answer.

it reads:
Is it an exercise for just the mind
A magic word, a mere request for aid
Transforming acts, Imprinting newly made?
Is none and all, this man has come to find.

6.04.2010

Elegy

it is addressed thusly:
A song.

it reads:
I stand at the edge
Of this new thing; And now
I look back and see the land
Before this sea and breath
Leaves me; For I behold each
Field and moor, the grottos
The paths and highways which
I walked.

I stand at the edge
And an invisible tear leaves
My eyes; I do not cry but
I feel a sweet despair of
Mourning, for in me it will be
A new creation, and the old will be
Rolled up as one puts away
A coat.

I stand at the edge
Of memory and tear gently
At the fibers; old patches
Turning the old life into
New, bit by bit and what was
May be remembered like
Sepia tones, so gently in
My reveries.

I stand at the edge
And push forward; the wind
Goes where it wist, and I
Go with it now; and I shall
Only see again what was
After all else is gone
It's time undone and unmade
And I
With it.

6.03.2010

The Sculptor's Lament

it is addressed thusly:
How clearly do we see?

it reads:
"I had in my mind," the old man said,
"What it was I was to say,
But what I had within my head
Could never see the light of day."
He then reclined his head.

I could not ask him why this was,
But only let him continue,
"The story can only be told thus,
For such is its true purview."
He then began it thus.

"A hundred statues stand true and tall
Perfect faces of their moment,
And line they this a beaut'ous hall
And pause and awe they foment."
But the story was not about the hall.

"In each is captured something true
For else they'd hold no beauty,
But each holds a problem new
For such is a statue's duty."
And neither was the story new.

"When a sculptor comes to make
And his is to do the making,
He wants the ancient mold to break
As each figure his art is breaking."
These beauties, do we come to break?

"No, my son, unless he's bent,
The sculptor will not break them
From each to each his eyes they went
To see how one might make them."
And on his story went.

"This sculptor is a man like you,
Great only when he's humble,
He catches glimpses of the True,
And feels his fingers fumble."
And that at least was true.

"He sees the forms and now recalls
Those who invoked their shapes
But narrow now, abridged by walls
Theirs seems the work of apes."
But we're not here to speak of walls.

"But now the rub, the statues' foil
Has to him become quite real
No matter how increased the toil
The counterfeits will steal!"
Was the story about the toil?

"To never make a thing of earth
Iconoclasts will rail
But his job, his call, his life, his worth
In earth-making not to fail."
But what was this thing of worth?

"So set he about to copy true
The forms that he was seeing
Each curve, each arc, each edge, each hue
That hint at beauty's being."
But this did not concern a hue.

"Would he succeed in this old creed
To craft a revelation?
Where is such a lofty deed?
Such a tribulation?"
What were we to say, of such a deed?

"It is undecided if he did
For even if his craft
Was so great and kept amid
Those with whom goodness laughed?"
Was beauty then to be hid?

"There still come the robbers now
To borrow of his forms;
They take all fraud its arts allows
Of head, of legs, of arms."
Who this crime allows?

"Nonetheless with his success
The sign may be renewed;
To the infinite, no less
An addition not eschewed."
A feat, no more, no less.

He his tale now finished here
With an uncertain end
And wiped away a single tear
Away he did me send.
Was it just to cry the tear?

6.02.2010

The Sage Considers Evils Spoken of his Country-Men

it is addressed thusly:
To those who find Decoration Day a time to work politics.

it reads:
Dead men's bones, dead men's bones
What shall we do about them?
A song I hear, and it intones:
What would we do without them?


Each politic a fancy way
Of old intimidation
A hat, a brace, an ivr'y lei
What simple motivation!

And now consider modern wit
Of non-profit fund-raising
A body may suffice for it
Dead better than the living!

And some patriots may not wear
Their enemies for a showing
But their dead are often heard of there
In cajoling us in going.

The anarchist and counter-cult
Parade bones just the same
But worse; in evil they exult
Unearth the dead for shame!

All men it seems exploit the dead
Sometimes they think, for good
Oh, but to those who bow their head
Is better they never would.

You, consider those who passed
In valor beyond the pall
And if advantage you seek at last
You should just forget them all.

5.31.2010

The Pride of Life

it is addressed thusly:
Nor the lust of the flesh, nor the lust of the eyes.

it reads:
A sphere of crystal, a looking-glass
A diamond night, a time to pass
Writing by moonlight on the floor
Rhyming tiles, a song of lore:
"What is more fleeting in its strife
Than desire for pleasures of this life
Lo, it has come and it has gone
As the hour before the dawn."

5.28.2010

The Glass of Days

it is addressed thusly:
Drink deep.

it reads:
Each castle built of sand
    and of dust and dreams
Must go again to them,
    and the sky's listless gaze
Sees ruin to their lofty stand,
    but all is not as it seems
For each time and again
    held full the glass of days.

5.27.2010

The Contention

it is addressed thusly:
To Andrew, and Drew, who remind me that I don't know what I'm talking about :)

it reads:
"A password is a phrase you use," said he,
"To access what's kept importantly
Safe, secure and out of reach
Far from life's hard unhandsome breach."

But his fellow raised a finger saying,
"Not your winsome words belaying,
But a password cannot be a phrase
Not properly, if man follows all the ways
That govern a datum so sensitive."

And in response he shook the sieve,
"But if the data is quite so obscure
Writing it down only will sure abjure
A failure of man's weak memory
But perhaps leave it clear for all to see!"

The third listening now gave reply,
"Your own few words now full belie
Any cryptographic knowledge-base
Keep it written someplace safe!"

And somewhere beyond this contentious speech
Not quite completely beyond man's reach
Is a password stored with proper tact
But trouble stirs this uneasy pact;
A lock-box keeps his cipher-security
If only he could find the key!

5.26.2010

To The Blooming Tree I Saw

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.

it reads:
Drapes about like doilies of expensive Victorian lace
Adorned like Persian ladies, and a picture of their grace;
Four-pointed flowers clear and white make your May-month clothes
But how to find out what you are - it seems that no-one knows!

5.25.2010

Two Contest About The Meaning of Fires

it is addressed thusly:
A question.

it reads:
"though Elijah's Fire", he said
"Fills the unworthy with all dread."
"Aflame but not consumed,
It is strange we have presumed
That such a thing is fire!"
Spoke the other with some ire;
"But fire yet it is
The real question still is this -
About no facts," he dryly said
"But what is Fire, instead?"

5.24.2010

The Sage Considers Lost Works

it is addressed thusly:
Some work comes to naught, and it is meet.

it reads:
Some things be ought
Crooked rather than straight
Not whole but quite broken
And why should they not? Why should they not
Whose evil so great
Mark as their token
How they were ill-thought.

5.20.2010

The Poet Tells Of His Many Dreams

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:

I dreamt long, and many times of this place
I stand at its edge but may not enter
It casts its images hard upon the face
Of my soul, of interminable winter
And spring, autumn and high zenith time
And every bright star and winged word
All bright and wise and every rhyme
Form a great and multifarious herd
Word upon word and dance upon dance
Where all things merry court and play
The master in every idle glance
I would handle the door and go and lay
But I cannot because upon my lips
Are words that must be writ and spoken
I asked long, In midst of stormy trips
And torrents and dreams long broken
For a Word; that might be all things
To all men and at last no credit to me
Who too quick to the four winds wings
And is called upon by all who should be
And shock; and awe; and wonder and irony
Like the marvels of all things unseen
And broke chains against truth and beauty
And called men to he who has been
Away from fading lamps and looks
By silver moon to sun-gold liss
And on and on through old immortal books
Beyond what comes to he who is
But will this light cast upon my soul's face
Break the centuries' cold chained winter
As here I stand, before this place
I stand and wait; but may not enter!

5.18.2010

Of Pirates and Bays

it is addressed thusly:
ARR, LULZ.

it reads:
We would like to introduce a noble piracy
Stealing in which no one victim can be found
What greater cause, more applause for a pirate be?
We don't take we copy, and spread it all around!

I know exactly and completely what you've thought about
But I'm true and honest and quite sincere within;
Information is like gold, of which there is no doubt
It was free for me of old, and will be again!

Lastly and importantly we'd ask to you to attend
See our plunderees and you'd say with alacrity:
If such as these are enemies, well then in the end
To hell with greed, we all need for information to be free!

5.17.2010

The Song of the Last Men

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.

it reads:
If it would be have been our choice
We'd have been born as beasts;
Forget the will, the word, the human voice
Bring on the endless feasts!
But hold a moment on that request
We'd had a troubling thought;
For health to feast is not the best
Or not to feast a lot!
But if you can find us pleasure still
With consequence the least;
Let it then again have been our will
And make each a mindless beast!

5.12.2010

Aim: Virtue

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.

it reads:
Be a Book of Many Things
True and light and finely wrought;
Loose and wild and well-arranged
Never sold, and never bought.

5.11.2010

Real Reviews, Real People

it is addressed thusly:
To Yelp, Facebook and all of our favorite pollsters.

it reads:
'round our man is seen a gathered thing;
A crowd, a clump, a loud conglomeration
Of souls, for roles a dreadful clamor ring;
Who is this brave, this praise of all the nation?

A closer look reveals a re'al wrinkle;
For which we all see borne upon his pinions
How in his eye he bears seductive twinkle
How of his own are all the right opinions;

His wings (that is) they stretch across the world
A fair facade fantastical, a mansion;
His knot there bound are his own flag unfurled
In their own eyes, the best of time's expansion.

This growth is large, and poor in ev'ry humor
The wisdom of the crowds looks like a tumor!

A Post-script is here written:
Conservative excision recommended before lesion becomes malignant.

5.09.2010

Three Haiku: Wind, Road, Motorcar

it is addressed thusly:
What does restlessness mean for the outcast?

it reads:
A weight of glory
Elijah once heard whisper
In this restless air.

The world is smaller
On gun-gray ribbon, now run
and breathe and turn, wheel.

These brazen cars fly
And dart, but rest not O eye;
For theirs rest not either.

5.07.2010

Three Haiku: Sprout, Tomato, Awning

it is addressed thusly:
A season for all things.

it reads:
The peeking tendril
Of root's green rout shows the ground
Having hidden life.

Red apples bitter
But sweet to the taste and salt
And bread make delight.

Hot and cold weather
Is sun and wind in discussion;
I find shade instead.

5.05.2010

Three Haiku: Time, Moonlight, Thunder

it is addressed thusly:
Things which seem most unrelated are often right beside each other.
it reads:

Within my watch springs
Beneath faces, behind hands
A time for all things

A bright night bothers
My night eyes blinking, ahead
Sunshine on moonscape.

The thunders I hear
Reports of unseen lightnings
Cloud-veiled storm soon seen

5.04.2010

Song of the Sorceress

it is addressed thusly:
A song.

it reads:
Today we saw a preacher
Who tried to sell us God;
Seemed that God did reach her
But it still was odd.

Mentioned a needful thing
And boldness was her tack;
To mind she then did bring
What was found to lack.

In speeches musical
She cautiously regaled us;
Though what she said was true
Our better senses failed us.

Now don't get me wrong
Like you I love our Lord;
For him I'll suffer long
Feel wounds and know discord.

God willing if I keep me
Along this narrow path;
And his help in me deeply
I shall avoid the wrath.

Mother Mary do forgive
Asking for my pardon
But as yet I live
I shall not sell the garden.

To our ears a promise
About the wrath to come;
This is not amiss
And may be heard by some.

But then to our ears arise
Deliverance from ill;
From simple exercise
Or an act of will.

The gospel of this age
Is a magic spell;
We wonder of the wage
Of those who know it well?

And receive a form
For a bible-study list;
Is this the perfect storm
Is it merely this?

5.03.2010

Public Service

it is addressed thusly:
Gifts are given by another, for another.

it reads:
An open place, an agora space
Was in this place once founded;
A sheltered well, a sunlit trace
Was by this fence bounded.

It is still free for all to use
But now too many use it;
To lose it now's too much to lose
But we shall surely lose it.

For the merely great have struck upon
The oldest kind of scheming;
Traps are set upon the lawn
To catch th' unwary dreaming.

What's for free is not for free;
Nor can it under this sun be.

5.01.2010

The Poet Laments His Feeble Text Messages

it is addressed thusly:
We can only hope someday that phone keyboards may be usable.
it reads:
A thousand stories left to tell, and I shall not tell them;
For the kings it's just as well, my pen had not befell them.
If my hand find not to move, o'er gun-gray and silken screen
Still my magic pen behoove: labor's letters great have been.

4.28.2010

The Poet Considers The State Of Poetry

it is addressed thusly:
A riddle.
it reads:
I wrote today a thing
And I had declared it a poem
And as a poet, so it must be
To nothing else I cling; And if I were to cling
Unto my debts, what I owe then
Is precious things for free
What then might I bring?

4.27.2010

My Heart Is Not My Own

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
There is a freedom found in knowing you,
Although I err recall your love unspoken,
And love you keep in knowing something true,
That this my bond is also still unbroken.

Though mind obscure the paths in faith you take,
And though my muses occlude my surety failed,
The strangest thing to me does now awake!
A word, a ring, a thing we've now availed.

This cord of three strands is the metaphor,
For o'er the world our homeland's now the same
Through mood or mask we share a common door
Our hall unkempt has borne the only name.

Never will you know nor I my own;
And yet somehow we are soon fully known.

4.26.2010

Haggai and Hagee

it is addressed thusly:
'Unless you too repent, you will likewise perish.'
it reads:
Who knows, maybe all of the
Crazy wannabe prophets are right;
But other things, mindful for me
Their words will not lengthen my night
Their words are airy and light;
I only find one cause for business
A temple must be built, we could say
Their hermeneutic endless
It doesn't shorten my day
If we thought about it clear
If God judged iniquities fair
Since the end is already here
There's a narrow box there
And after, boundless night.
a postscript is here written:
a pass-word:
hagee israel

4.22.2010

Our F8

it is addressed thusly:
A vision.

it reads:
"A billion likes
Is the best possible way
To describe the internet."

It is also quite convenient
Almost, shall we say
An example of parsimony
An epitome thereof
As if I was not exaggerating enough:

They are building
Exactly such a thing you see
A giant map.

In my days of idleness
I discovered my favorite way to pass the time
Was to stare at the pictures
They call maps
Of the top of the land.

The lisping cherub
He looks like my third cousin
(We hail from Albion.)

He sits telling all of us
His girlfriend is in medical school
And whose isn't these days
If you were spawned
In the vast suburbs.

He like the rest of our comrades
Shares that moral passion for one thing
Transparency.

But I for one am glad
(If you may pardon my giddiness)
That the screens alone
And not what is behind them
Are transparent.

And the hope is of course
Not that when I visit CNN I will see
The other side (it's a bedroom community)

No; Such a convenience would be
Positively democratic
In the real sense of the word
We let the glass wall remain opaque
On my side.

Nevertheless the reality of things is
Which was since the first wedding
Known to be a veil.

But this one-sided curtain
Wasn't that the story of
The sorceror, the wizard wannabe
Who lived in the city of green
On the path of gold?

Those who do not understand
Who were not here when we first built this
Will not see the magic trick.

No; they will be part of the new
Friendlier, safer and wiser web
The book of 'open graphs'
The new play of masks
Of faces set in time by light.

And the apostle sayeth:
Ye have many likes
But few loves.

a postscript is here written:
a pass-word:

f eight live 2010

4.21.2010

Old Books

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.

it reads:
The terrible and true inner world is so great
The passages that wind 'tween love and hate
The pearls all lie where others have searched
Offside the boat the treasures all lurched;

They combed it all clean and mapped it all out
But the maps that they've made are just all about
The notions of political expediency
A bit more for you, if there's quite more for me!

And really we've all used quite the same words
And really we all move with all the same verbs
But none of it's similar quite a bit beyond that
What is a guide that makes more for a mat?

We must assure you now that we've made the right choice
We must be certain the past has no voice
And if it does it's like wind about rocks
'Black and white' and old as dead clocks.

Let me remind you of 'historicity'
And how artifice and wit had yet come to be
(At least not yet in any meaningful way)
Until about 1933 in May!

But the words all stand with their shadows in silence
Waiting and breathing with aboriginal violence
Till at last the cast of blithering stops
We think we may hear four sets of hoof-clops;

It is but the sound of what we should know
The lines mark the paths of where we should go
But before you deliver me one of those looks
I'll just go back and read more old books.

4.20.2010

Winter

it is addressed thusly:
A fragment.

it reads:
The loud wind wakes me
Driving between the gaps
Of the cataracts

The silver night glows
Through the blinds, a fairy fire
Of moonlight on snow

Drifting still, the flecks
Frost the world, make paths valleys
And shrubs mountain-tops

The cold glue my frock
I have not become cold and
Yet I am not warm.

This is the earth's dream
It ends with a wedding feast
Crystal and pure white.

4.16.2010

Autumn

it is addressed thusly:
A fragment.

it reads:
Cool crisp inviting
Of wet swept gutter falling
now underfoot, leaves

Above, final gold
A crown to a year like wool
Damp air, clouds scud'ling

This taste of smoke means
Hearths are lit somewhere unseen
A new elder time

I breathe chill, retire
Inward, and see before me
Through glass: gold, wine, rose.

Night, coming with lamps
Lit and ever deep'ning gold
to brown soon, falling.

4.15.2010

Summer

it is addressed thusly:
A fragment.

it reads:
A bright noon passes
The sky is always lighter
Than a photograph

A shade never seemed
Like protection, but this hot
Blue zenith shimmers

Cold drinks (not for long)
Make my teeth sting and sinus
Ache with pleasing cool

How is this not King
Of bees and dry grass rust'ling
Cold lake and hot sky?

August proud never
Ends, clouds come, I walk in cool
Afternoon with God.

4.14.2010

Spring

it is addressed thusly:
A fragment.

it reads:
I find myself where
Blossoms bright; green light and fair
Warm light beginning.

Dappled shadows pass
The surface of my eyelids
Shall I rise or not?

Indescribable
This odor; new rain on young
Waking seedling plants.

Because this time is
Like every time before it,
An eternal youth.

My fingernails catch
Soil bits reaching and I am
Adam in paradise.

4.13.2010

Tongues

it is addressed thusly:
A fragment.

it reads:
The eloquence and poetry
Of this gay bright pagentry
Of the faces of the skies
Thousand tongues each for it vies

A week of times is seen to pass
Quite above this face of glass
Beyond the moon, beyond the sun
Scale the eighth, return to one.

Here all-lit below we see
From facing sky and fencing sea
The dry land, the ground of earth
The place of toil, of passing worth.

Ignorant of the market-week
Of man's works and double-speak
These tongues around are silent struck
Mouths sit closed, clamped, stuck.

What is this dull, all brilliant thing
Unconquered country, redoubted king?
These are the times each man must know
By places the man now knows below.

Four is a number for worlds inscribed
And four is the way it is described
Dry and wet or light and dark*
Tongues be still, and ears hark
Now the seasons, their place we mark.

a postscript is here written:
*Traditionally the four seasons are described as two sets of two characteristics; dry or wet, and warm or cold. In extreme climates, it could be said that one of the two of these characteristics dominates; on the poles the warm/cold (light/dark) is the determining factor, and at the equator it is the wet/dry.

4.12.2010

The Jester

it is addressed thusly:
Let the just man rebuke me in mercy.

it reads:
Of my own do tell it me
If there is that harms
To conceal but for these times
Is no impropriety; It is no impropriety
Plowshare instead of arms;
But wise and trenchant rhymes
May now reveal reality.

4.10.2010

Love is Not Safe

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.

it reads:
An art of war is art
A loss is just a loss
No words there are to impel
The inviolable heart; And this inviolable heart
Has its princely cost;
Your trackless thorny temple
Your last dramatic part.

4.08.2010

The Sage Consults His Prism

it is addressed thusly:
An 'ism' is an attack of the mind on the heart.

it reads:
No way is up, here
Every direction heads outwards
But to where? To the end
Of this mortal dream?

A thousand values twinkle
Their false gold - bright pyrite
Each beckons the hand to grasp
The eye to behold;

But where to put them? A man
must put them in himself; his mind
pressed in with them: stones
In a riverbed;

How long then, as do sieves
Before the mind becomes heavy
And holds no more; the vine
Bears and sags;

Stakes are employed and a wall
And a trellis, but the fruit
Is fetid, the winter comes
And it wilts.

Cast off and uncarved, a block
Unused and unusable, at last
Free of the elemental powers
And ignorant.

Affix my head to my shoulders,
It is not heavy any longer,
But full of breath and dew
An unbloomed bud.

4.06.2010

Freedom's End

it is addressed thusly:
Friend simply means, 'free man'.

it reads:
To the man whose merely free
Freedom finds him searching for
Besting the conspiracy
Enemies he will count them: four.

The first is menacing, the state
The one that he will truly serve
He reveals within suspicious hate
Loyalty that cannot swerve

The second; market's greed for goods
The goods which come from his own hands
These he claims are naught but hoods
But buys daily his own bands

The third the church whose solemn life
Wrecks his fool festivity
Now instead of wisdom's wife
He will grieve unconsciously

The last is neighbor, thief of time
We must be independent from!
But weakness grows from crime to crime
And time now freely go and come.

Freedom from is what or how:
Of Caeser, Mammon, Pope and Friend?
Severed he is weakened now
And will not choose his servant's end.

3.30.2010

Mars' Loosed

it is addressed thusly:
And to those who struggle violently against each other; beware as well.

in four:
With roaring red and of flank and flame
The second morn's announcement came
From afar war comes to die
Lamp 'gainst lamp, lie 'gainst lie;

And from his pole old Mars is loosed
To fight is vain; the knight is noosed
Flaming out falls in the sea
Avenged the harmless, he will be!

in three:
In red of flank and flame
For second mornsign came
Our War drives far to die
Will fall both lamp and lie;

Of house is Mars now loosed
The sword is hung and noosed
Doused flame falls to the sea
O meek, your victory!

3.29.2010

Moon's Twilight

it is addressed thusly:
Beware O lover of silver, for now no money will buy you oil.

in four:
In blue and gray and halfway dark
Comes the Day's first morning-mark
To those who silver now obey
Will see gray morning turn away

Fall like figs do heaven's stars
Rocks hide not our empty jars
Moon is lost and toss't aside
No man's work may now abide.

in three:
In blue and gray and dark
Day's first morning mark
Should silver you obey
Gray morning's turned away

Fell figs are heaven's stars
'neath rock now hide your jars
Moon lost and toss't aside
Man's works no more abide.

3.25.2010

Walk This Way

it is addressed thusly:
A lyric.

it reads:
My legs, might of my youth
O Falter not, but hold
Me firmly to my path,
A friend is not uncouth
Who slackens from the bold
Who knows when man must fold
And frees through what he hath
His walk from dreadful wrath.

3.24.2010

Keep Your Bearing

it is addressed thusly:
A lyric.

it reads:
Be strong, my heart of hearts
A lighter yoke awaits
As from glory arrive
Our breath to glory parts
Look to no ill-born fates
Too soon our trial abates
But still ahead we drive;
Beat still, for we are alive!

3.23.2010

Slight Adjustments

it is addressed thusly:
A tomb, a prison, a plan.

it reads:
A slight is made against us all
And where well doing could
Brick by brick is built the wall
To keep us in for good.

How is it we may keep man safe?
There is no way to do it;
Then how to quiet the wailing waif?
Poe was one who knew it;

Give free wine and time to dine
And winsome-seeming discourse
For the live a table's fine
But this tomb is for a corpse!

3.19.2010

The Method

it is addressed thusly:
A meditation for confession.

it reads:
The psychologist becomes a mirror
He looks at us looking at him
And asks, what do we see there
What is there that we dislike
That discomfits us, that we
Should attempt to remove it?

But the Church asks nothing of us
But looks at us like a baker and
Will we say, 'I will'? Then
Sets us down gently like a curio and
Takes a rolling-pin to us
And evils just pop right out.

3.18.2010

Be Turned Back Again

it is addressed thusly:
An image.

it reads:
And gone up to the high places they had
Wood and stone and iron to pry and go mad
A ladder, a stair to find their way there
To take the apple of their eye to care
Lovers of silver! Behold and beware.

But turned back, turned back whence we came
The new story and the old one the same
As the small places emptied out of life
Soon the hot sword, the Doctor's knife
Would fill them again, rustic and rife.

And here an image so strange is conjured
In it our fears, our worries abjured?
For each of us return, are made of earth
Out-steps of ship, man of Martian birth
What of such ones, shall guess we their worth?

A strange land indeed, for sojourners all,
Will with this sight the heart so appall?
Nay, suppose I rather the red-earth man then
Would be greeted with kiss, embraced and so when
He go, then also, be turned back again.

3.15.2010

Prayer and Long Division

it is addressed thusly:
Dread, bliss, and then, mirth.

it reads:
We must wait; for in waiting
We find hope, and in hoping
We find breath; and in breathing
We pray; and in praying
We bow; and in bowing
We find earth.

We will be made whole in time
A pauper's sack, a drunk's rhyme
For listening on hour's chime
Lips moving in pantomime
Awake, heart, awake mind
And find: rebirth.

And then waft drafting air
Lifting hope, lifting care
And then limbs, feet bear
Earth's face again where
Coin found, our fare
And then, mirth.

3.12.2010

Munitions

it is addressed thusly:
Fox One!

it reads:
I want to write
A red rocket-bomb
Searing salt wake
Breaking the night, breaking the night
In bellow-loud gong
Of wonder and yellowcake
Beauty, truth and light.

3.10.2010

Swords

it is addressed thusly:
Nurse, scalpel!

it reads:
I am cut deep
This a wounded mood
An incision here
I must keep, I must keep
Else lift my rood
Which is the more dear
Ear to reap?