it is addressed thusly:
Makes waste.
it reads:
A fleeting fear of falling
Feeling, flying free; friction
Action, traction acting
As alacrity; arcing at last
Slip swinging, sliding as
Still as sunset, yet swiftly
Taking ten, twenty thirty
Times world-shrunk past
-- fast.


The Poet to the North Wind

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
Fall is in full swing
With wind singing
and gathering storm
blasting everything clean
from limb and branch blown
bare, and to he who believes
winter to be beautiful
autumn is but its overture.

We have a notion
For the color of such season
A reason, even and perhaps
Why in its verdant lapse
It should turn gold and silver
Or orange and brown and gray
In turn in turning toward
the closing of the year.

We feel by living
That Christmas is the filling
Of our year full and then so
It climbs and climbs until
A bright song and ever-green
Speak something of our people
Who kindled hearth amid
A cold and barren place.

We who feel beauty
Call rustic desolate country
And see because of season
The thing within the thing
We must for we see it four
Ways, essential to our days
Is a change, but beneath
The thing grows, and remains.



it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
The twilight month is half, and half another thing
As to laugh and cry, or as to sob and sing
A solemn festivity of the sinking, dying year
The wilting of the flower is the ripe'ning of the ear
In the western sun it must end in paradox
The day before the holy day is not of stones and stocks
A mockery of evil and a mockery of death
A sort of jolly irony held at winter's bated breath
But also too the Chinook time of unexpected balm
As the other month of fury and of calm
The golden Crown of harvest burns as though it were aflame
And if cold comes quicker, splendor is her name
Of every heated color from purple to ocher-brown
To see such liberality only a miser could bear a frown
But then to recall the pageantry is a funeral dirge
The sadness and the joy perhaps finesse a merge
Cast her down before the hearth, before it bright and drear
Before the all consuming fire, before the closing of the year.


The Poet In the Darkness

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
The dark is something I knew about
A mind attuned to sense and thought
A rationale of is and ought
Of such I had no doubt.

It is that hidden, secret place
There be dragons, as long ago
Of this, the terra incognito
Where no road does trace.

It is true that at lack of light
Twisted things may find conceal
Dark predators may yet steal
As they roam the endless night.

And even more, the deeds can hide
Or so they think, skulking there
With gilded eye they smell the air
Conspiracy does in shade abide.

But dark cannot conceal the heart
For it is subtle sort of flame
Pretense about it is a game
Ignoring it a great worldly art.

What is deeper then, and still
Than those horrors of dark outside
Beyond their absurdities confide
And beyond their feeble will?

The nadir of all things! -- in shade
A sheltered mountain, perhaps a cave
Mere halflight is its winsome nave
A never-seen sacred glade.

Sitting here in the darkened room
With but breath and heft confide
Sight avails not, and must subside
A sensation which I cannot describe
An intimacy, I then did decide
Intimacy such as a mother's womb
Earth sighing in an empty tomb.



it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
Dreams break -- and in their shatters
The crushed crystal ciaroscuro
Of ten thousand half-wishes
I see, squinting like an old sage
At last perhaps the moonlight
Of mind made clear of fog;
Or the height of human will --
In the sands of dead desire.



it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
In time all things, but what things in time?
Even when they come, they come in a line
And that line is not straight, except to the eye
It comes right around, it does by and by;
Wait and you'll see it come round again
But wait, its beginning is not quite its end
In coming and going, just where does it go
And who is a poet, that he would know
Of the spiral of being, its fractal discourse
The path of becoming, for better or worse;
The thing that is nothing, it must become
A thing that is many, and a thing that is one
Many its virtues and just one its voice
To follow its fate, the fruit of its choice
Can it choose of its choosing or is that haram
Dictated wholly by a push or a bomb
Spiraling out both toward and away
Narrowing the dusk of the night and the day?
Or perhaps this outsider his coracle rows
Dreaming of life and of death which he knows
Until he awake, and reveal just one thing
Sound spinning outward; that soul he must sing!


The Poet Mourns for Poetry

it is addressed thusly:
A thought.
it reads:
Such a wasteland, as Eliot glimpsed
Was it for nothing they raised Babel?
Had they guessed man was not able?
To even hear of it, the poet winced
Each critique like a column of tanks
Each destroying the previous' ranks
Gripping heaven and earth in futility
Even my words stink of this thought
Of the is over against the ought
A narrow silver coffin of utility
Its reaction, in its own imagination
Came up with an absurd machination
That it would fashion a world ideal
With nothing more than pure, pure genius
They thought, mankind! Have you not seen us
And feared? Towards sacrifice we feel
Such things for it is meet to pour
Except what is the oblation for?
And their fancy was such and such
That their love and peace would be so strong
In victory even those who were wrong
Were in truth only and inasmuch
As they themselves would fancy --
To overcome even that duality?
But the Real had for them a crueler joke
Or a harsher one; for the poor boheme
Had an idea, one, that only did seem
To be freedom, but was just that yoke
That he thought to put on the fools
And was the subject of his own rules
For he had not truly dreamed them up
O anemic! Drink deep of the irony
Is it a surprise the thinker was the one to see?
And did he try in vain to switch the cup
O sad creature, the poet winced
And thought of the fallen ruin's gaze
And the rustling whispers amid the haze
Such a wasteland, as Eliot glimpsed.



it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
In silence falling, without tongues
Before speech; in a gasp of breath
Entering into light with new lungs
Towards life and towards death
Soaked in tears, another's blood
Washed and yet to be washed full
Of years, face upon face - and thud!
Sight once clear, rendered dull
Blinking, and now comes the cry
But does the mouth receive the sponge
Gall! As birth so he may die
In silence falling, without tongues.


The Unlikely House

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
The house next door has its peculiar good
Not so much in structured certitudes
Nor in craftsmanship's felicities
And ideal? It falls short on most ev'ry count
In what a house is philosophically --
I've never met the man who mows the grass
Nor could I visit him if I so wished
He chose another town to sleep and eat
(And I hear tell he's not one great to meet)
But when I gaze out from my house's eyes
And see the tangled wild it has become
I am the last man left to tend the earth.


The Two in the Morning

it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
Pausing while peeling a boiled egg
She said, is there more to life than this
Explaining away every last dreg
Of the good wine of virtue's bliss
So that men may feel not the kiss
Of death or responsibility?

The poet responded, I begin to think
Then men have all aspired to remake
In their own image, every last link
But without God, and therefore take
Control, but all men are fake
And empty without Him.

Then perhaps, she thus replied
What is, is far too much for these
And saying wanting more, have lied
To themselves, though each perceives
The terror and weight of even leaves
Drifting so lithe and gently.

He thought a moment and took a sip
And felt the warmth clasped in his hand
Fading as a man's last dying grip
Into the cold morning across the land
And said, Even we do not understand
The weight of glory and of sin.


The Imaginations

it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
Fell, that Cthonic mass, I mean
Black, writhing as from another world
Tentacular (if such a word sticks)
Reaching and snaking from every aperture
Tangle, nigh Gordian knot of aught
But a shiny, unfathomable slippery mess
Best not looked at directly if indeed
One wishes to keep one's own eyes
Sometimes the dark is best for such
A task, to feel but not look, stretching
Hand past hand through alien mass
Until that very moment when contact
Means the plug fit the surge protector --
What else would I have been speaking of?