The Sage Remarks on the Mind of Man

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
We live too much in our mind
Did we break ourselves at last
Of our worldly care and cast
Only then to truly find
The world is too much with us
That our thoughts are a fuss
We make because we have given up
Desiring that which cannot be
While declaring only what is, reality
Could the ocean fit in a cup
Or is it only a metaphor
But we digress; it has become a bore
To consider the edge of possibility
We cannot change the world at all
For we cannot address our timely fall
Nor the ruin of returning history
We have thought profoundly of what to do
We have set in order every IOU
But we cannot seem to recall the hand
Which has now its own internal law
Did we see what Abel saw
- one beyond all reason's command?
If only we could know what water knows
Which descends from all the himel snows
It makes its way with an alien ease
Though it follows channels and ways so old
It makes them new also, truth be told
With it, disputations cease
For water is an obedient thing
As to the distant sea to bring
It cares not to fly or upward to climb
But changes the world it slowly moves
Our contemplation it behooves
But alas, this desire we cannot find
For we live too much in our mind.


A Driving Song

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
I forgot where I lived today
I drove such a long, long, long way
Out of the way, to save some time
Under the afternoon, teal and lime;
It was driving to dusk when I came in
I forgot the house that I dwell in
I remembered only the steering wheel
And the way the pedals underfoot feel
The tealgreen sky was after the rain
An afternoon rain, again and again
Until the office-windows were streaked and wet
And my home - had I been there yet?
The painted clouds still over the road
Dispersed having lost their heavy load
From gray to white, over slick black-top
And the stop and go, and the go and stop
The red of brakelight had stained my eyes
And yet traffic does not make one wise
Not wise, but for that patient way
For I forgot where I lived today.


The Ring

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
The gold that never fades; the band that never ends
Though the cloud shades, although the road bends
It corresponds its own, it becomes a thing entire
It remains alone, will within itself conspire
To bring about its end,  for which it was made
To neither break nor bend, to neither fail nor fade.


The Sycamore

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
Now it seems a strange denizen indeed
The Sycamore born in a time so monstrous
When flies, basketball sized, caused no distress
Even its enormous leaves met not their need.


The Song on the Blank Billboard

it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
The abandoned car on the roadway side
The drying yellow-brown of the drought and sun
The brick-red rust of each broken gun
The machines running over without a guide
The crushed out earth from each massive tread
The bodies young and old, left for dead

The rot and gnaw of the ravening moth
The forest overgrown with vine and briar
The rotting old houses sunk in the mire
The glass on the sidewalk glittering off
The stained crumbled buildings on the street
The dejection and despair of the faces you meet

And above this every slogan conceived by man
To sell, to assist, every social program
Molders quietly away to the merest dram
Because they could not do what no one can
They gave it away to their nature's god
And found it devoured; how very odd.


The Right to Work

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
The thirsty wood underneath the brush
If only it could know quite as much
As I think it must remember and so
I rush and rush towards the goal
Each stroke quicker until I forget
If the stain was thicker or thinner yet
We quite suffer as minor indignities
What never was in our histories
But a pleasure of life, and what is
So yearning for strife, yet so amiss
The immigrant and the expatriate
Had quite a slant; such was their state
Of mind; and did their children find
To understand their struggle in kind?
Or having not run from famine and war
From the face of the gun, to be but poor
Did they not see that suffering
Is relatively about the buffeting
Of circumstance and did they well
To take the chance to give them hell
Their children, is just what I mean
Or surely then, from them is seen
What was given not, and did they guess
About man's lot, his redress
Is not a duty to work or a right
Though certainly he must quite
Earn his bread, with each stroke
Of the hammer's head, or the stoke
Of coal-fire, the falling pick
The radio-wire, the ruddy brick
All these stand, having come late
Are not of man's intended state
Which requires not technique or artifice
What draws him away from vice
Both fast and feast and glory old
Both war and peace and victory hold
More importance than my working rush
Or the thirsty wood beneath the brush.



it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
To sleep in Gethsemane at last
Or to come suddenly, carried on a breath
Would sight allow a more beautiful death
But quickly now - for it is already past.


The Song of August

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
The cool blue of the early August sky
Where lazy clouds like bales of hay move slow
The breeze of harvest gently ripples below
Row on row of corn that passes by
And the wheels so steady, make us fly
And gather from the wind as men of old
Suggested from the chill but never told
A time to make an end to every lie
Nor does it drive the soul to question why
The flashing green and gold of time made full
The road goes on and forward does it pull?
Left but the breath of the wind to groan and sigh.


The Sage Remarks Upon the Poverty of the Age

it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
It is a sad world
Where the mighty are not stayed
But by their smallness;
Xerxes found them under his thumb
Though he is dead and gone
He would perhaps pay for his crimes
And be celebrated in his victories
But such men; will there stone
In which to carve their likeness?
Will metal be impressed
Or is there not enough depth
To make for them an idol?
Ozymandias perhaps,
We might believe in his time
Did indeed give the mighty pause
And what of the truly great
Will the giants we stood upon
Even notice when the wind blows
And sentences us to oblivion?
Who will remember our flood
Of mediocrity and waste
Will Shakespeare or Elizabeth
Will Alexander or Antony?
Will we be lauded, then
For the parade of fools
Naked, with whom we made circus
Whom we found fit to lead
Only to realize our error
And repeat it as long
As there was gold and iron and oil?
All we are, our souls and houses
Are kipple; the greatest the most
Of wasted paper and aluminum
And silver oxide and ink
For whom no museum or temple
Will hold vigil and consider
For whom is reserved not
But the humming saw
And the whistling jackhammer.



it is addressed thusly:
A thought.
it reads:
The Sons of Thunder and the Rock are thrown
With the Divider of Waters and the Prophet of Flame
By the Light Who bears and Who is the Name:
"Between two living creatures shalt thou be known."


The Orator Commends the Blameless

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
Those who stand now without shame
Not of license or appetite
Not of treason in dark of night
Nor of some lying, winking game
In short, I mean not those who rule us now
Shameless they seem, we wonder how
Instead these gluttonies they tame
Against such lies they stand aright
Not for party would they fight
Those who stand now without shame.


Not Quite August

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
The flagging summer gives way to rest
As if too soon inviting the autumn back
Still vacationing in the Adirondack
Left waiting uncomfortably for its guest.