How To Write a Poem

it is addressed thusly:
A thought.
it reads:
Writing a poem you see
Is an act of utmost simplicity;
Don't overthink it? true --
Go where the thought carries you
But before all of that, way back
Verses laid stack upon stack
Must fill all the hidden spaces
Nigh spill out of inconvenient places
Of the heart? One might say
Your middle is right where they stay
So maybe it's life's punch in the gut
That makes all the poems come up.


The Riddle of Three

it is addressed thusly:
A fragment.
it reads:
John Harmody, the first of three
Set a question for his fellows;
But before he could even squeak
it out Drake Elson ups and bellows:
"Dear friends, my umbrage I must have
And take more unless I hear
The answer to a riddle gave
To me this night last year."
Harmody, who likely winking
Carefully crafted those words
Now sat back, musing, thinking
While Elson sharpened swords.
"Three things I have in mind right now
The One it is the first,
then The Several and the Inifnite
now tell the best and worst!"
Ephrem the last (who looked up from his glass)
Smirked and said aloud:
"The answer that will likely pass
Will be how to grab a cloud."
Elson defied (and never lied)
Said, "With a vacuum pump.
Now for you at least you've tried
But Harmody's a lump!"
Then old John (with face quite long)
Had for Drake a bit of sport,
"There are answers right and wrong,
-- several -- is my retort."
"Since you are the author here,"
Said Elson with a roar
"Tell us why (do be a dear)
Or else be known a boor!"
"The answer depends, my good friends
On the one who asks,
And on what the answerer intends
To set for him as tasks.
The One it is the count of Truth
The single golden thread;
By it all things are joined, forsooth
It is thought's truest bread.
The Several are like in kind
All good and virtues true;
But different! Keep it in mind
If that path you would pursue.
The Infinite is beauty's law
A bright and endless band
A circle gold without a flaw
Counted with the sand."
Elson thought a moment more,
And in this way did conclude:
"Gray's right, and so you are a boor
To make us choose is rude!"


The Poet speaks of the Heart

it is addressed thusly:
A song.
it reads:
The blazing spear, or so I imagine it
Longinus' spear, that split
The side of God? Find not it odd
That it may have cut, each tendon's rut
A jagged and broad stroke in and up
The center most dear - the heart of God.

A sentimental eye, If he wishes he can
Imagine as I, all manner of fan-
fiction about this heart, of thorns
of it being torn apart, of the scorns
it bears? But who cares --
Sentimentality, you see
Of this kind begets apathy.

But we shall see quite rather instead
Another scene about this wounded head
For the symbol here, simple and clear
Is that the heart is already pierced.

The heart bears wounds they say
Mired by cares, made old by day
and day and who can say why
It heals not, but grows old
And does sometimes, rot?

It is perhaps because the center of a thing
Whose inner laws a conclusion bring
Who must have a space within
Quite large enough to then begin
To contain a certain stuff?

Infinite, indefinitely large
A kind of light, not white nor orange
Nor yellow or gold, not young or old
How many wounds would then suffice
What sort of contradictory advice
To make this kind of hole?

And to express the meaningfulness
Of a simple sign, seeming casual dress
Ares war it, and wore it too
But he is dead, like those few
Who inspired that particular line?

The spear is not, as it ought
Carried out, carried by aught
In this mark, but about
The circle it has come through;

This hole, this whole affair
May we say, has death's air
And man's! The male's way
But a palm spans its breadth;
Of love, of war, of death.


The Sage speaks of the Mind

it is addressed thusly:
A song.
it reads:
O mirror, is there any clearer
She asked of it, that lovely mirror
Which glinted a bit, in her hand it fit
But gave no reply, save her eye
Blinking, a sigh, where she did sit.

An Egyptian once, surely no dunce
Saw beyond his face, at least once
Up to the sun, whose disc was spun
Of golden light, all fiery-bright
The mirror's might was this way won.

The Grecian saw, aside his careful law
Of nature's test, wrote for he saw
A woman at rest, and upon her breast
A hand mirror's plate, to contemplate
Her own estate, a symbol of them best.

A Serb did make, of his crystal lake
An image bright; and then did make
A prayer at night, and in day-light
To see all things, twixt its grassy rings
Of this he sings, of universal sight.

O what world, round or uncurled
Is in there, yet to be a world
I yet stare, through countenance bare
Into the eye, that mirror's eye
And what may lie inside -
    - the sun? the lake? the symbol fair?
I think all Truth hides there.



it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
Humiliation, the art of having been
One; whose insides were all but strewn
About the place; cast before each face
Of man, a moment's span, a space
Infinitesimal, that small is required
To see, And be with insides fired
Brittle clay, glazed this way and that
Embossed, perhaps lost like a scat-
-ter of golden leaves, or bad heaves
ought, to help when one perceives
one small, a pall cast o'er the eyes
of the soul, or a gambol that lies
in the feet, did one stop to greet
such a man? And in sun or sleet
or snow, or rain, go - but rewind
and see that poetry for the mind -
- is just all of these.


The Roar and The Dull

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
I heard the news this very day
For I am not yet deaf
Volume was what paved my way
Not a case of the ineff;
No thing so sacred as to require
The silence of the soul
Whomever twas did start the fire
Has really been on a roll;
Every! Word! It was! A Shout!
And no dullness to the roar
When asked what it was all about
My puzzlement I must implore;
As too much sunlight all at once
Can render men but blind
The shrillness quick made me a dunce
And cleared right out my mind!