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?