12.23.2014

The Orator Tells of His Secret Joy

https://www.flickr.com/photos/derekgavey/4266340754

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
While they laughed and sung
We with downcast faces waited
They lit a flame in the dark
Burning out the sunless days
Blowing on a waning spark
"Why mourn?" each glibly says
Then when they were spent and sated
Our despair to joy was recreated
With the return of the invincible sun--
At last the first bells of Christmas rung.

12.21.2014

Storm

https://www.flickr.com/photos/16977855@N02/14891532618

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
The stormwind and the lightning dance
As though the air could catch that fire
Could catch it and put it out
Riding the wind as a spark on the wire
Gathering greatness spread about
Backwards, faster than the naked eye
From the flat and shadowed earth to fly
And write the lines of a strange romance
But west wind blows hard against the flame
Though the flight of arcing light just the same
Appears suddenly, a sudden chance
A change - still the storm then became --
In the distance I heard the echos sound
(Though the rain upon the window pound--)
A flash or two in that hushed expanse
A call to chase in some odd parlance;
Dash far away wind, sweep clean the ground
No brightness, just a great head of dust
Go east, towards the sun's ever-rise
Chase beyond the sight of my eyes
The train of a last and forlorn gust
Then one more blast; a fiery lance --
Then the silence of rain, as rain must
Be always silence and sound alike
With each drop the rooftile strike;
Did she catch him, did she perchance?
Or was it just a daydream like
The lines of a strange romance --
A stormwind and a lightning dance?

12.18.2014

Without

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
A heart with no memories
As bright and spotless as the sun
Does it belong to anyone
Whose heart was it before
An open heaven without a cloud
Is there such a thing anymore
It came not from the proud
Whose self-image is their disease
Nor did the lowly give it birth
Whose humble thoughts have worth
A great canyon without a breeze
A still and silent mirth
Immutable thing that moves
Here the real and ideal agrees
In the world there's no greater ease
Than once found to simply lose
A heart with no memories.

12.11.2014

End of Cycle: "Adrift Without a Star"

This ends the third cycle (The first being 'The Earth is Flat and the Heavens a Dome" and the second being "Gold Smoke and Blue Fire") of poetry.

Adrift Without A Star was a phrase coined by a friend of mine, accidentally, when describing the fate of space probes that lost their way and being solar powered, were out of range of any energy source. There is almost zero friction in space so whatever last speed the probe had it would continue, but would have no power to change course unless it happened to come near enough to a star (perhaps an inevitability given the count of stars in the cosmos) to charge its batteries, provided they still would accept charge.

The meaning behind any symbol has a facile and prosaic expression, and sometimes a very clever distillation of its essence into a sentence. At its best Twitter, like other short mediums, becomes this: potent distillations of ideas. But it is mostly facile and prosaic. The notion of Adrift Without A Star is either so simple as to not require explanation or so subtle as to be incomprehensible except as wordless thoughts evoked as a byproduct of reading a number of poems.

In our time we have, like the hopeful prisoner of war, many reports of our deliverance from ruin. Our truly conservative forbears would brook no such optimism. A place with no king, no altar, no sacrifice, and no honor is not progressing towards greatness. It may be that within its shell a new life, like the hollow crust of an egg, is being nurtured for its time of nativity. Our best hope is in an advent if you will. We pray for a death both peaceful and free of sin for the rest.

The poems within this cycle should be thought of as the visions that pass during sleep in that time when a dream is becoming a nightmare but is not yet a nightmare; the passage from one to the other is not yet certain. The last poem written in it (Awake in the Night) is about precisely this; the vision of omens which cannot be controlled or perhaps even known. To pry into them is to turn the beautiful and desolate mystery of a dying world into a nightmare.

The poems that fall within this cycle are many, and I will likely cull a number of them for the finished work. Here is an exhaustive list:

  • Adrift Without a Star
  • The Orator Exhorts the Opposition
  • Vintage
  • The Poet Raises a Toast
  • The Human Progress
  • The Rose of Joy
  • Broken Things
  • Roko's Basilisk
  • Utter
  • Christmas Tree
  • Rail
  • Antony
  • The White Car
  • New Year
  • It Was a Very Good Year
  • No Rain
  • Dark City
  • Unravel
  • White Knight
  • The Blaze of Their Glory
  • Footprints
  • The Stele
  • The Poet Reflects Upon the Early Spring
  • The Orator Denounces a Baudy Festival
  • Roles
  • The Sage Rebukes Knowledge
  • Aim: Beauty
  • Askance
  • Howling at all Hours
  • Oculus Rift
  • Under the Legs of The Highway
  • Rest In Peace
  • The Sage Considers the Bishop's Advice
  • You Didn't Build This
  • Lenten Spring
  • The Former Ruins
  • No Brakes
  • The Theorist
  • The Orator Remarks on Choice Ironies
  • The Sage Contends for the Bond of Frendship
  • The Gull and the Crow
  • The Poet asks the Final Question
  • Together
  • The Lotus Eaters
  • Sunflower
  • The Man Blind From Birth
  • The Overture
  • Old Night
  • The Sage Remarks on Woman
  • The General Strike
  • Aloft
  • A Song of Evening
  • Pentecost
  • Kissing the Sea
  • Dress
  • The Poet Saw a Nightmare at the Death of a Poet
  • Sonnet V
  • The Quick
  • The Poet and the Hooded Night
  • Correspondence
  • No Sleep
  • Cast
  • The Orator Calls Upon the Last
  • The House of Pleasure
  • The Great Filter
  • Fast
  • The Sage Remarks of the Outside
  • Flame on Flame
  • The Whale's Song
  • Five Rings
  • Rainbow
  • Unrestrained
  • The President's Speech
  • The Homeless
  • Reasonable
  • The Husband's Song
  • Doom
  • Pulse
  • Rotherham
  • The Poet Sings of the City at Night
  • Outshine
  • The Poet Explains his Mirth
  • Canticle for the Dead
  • The Aristocrat
  • The Black Bird
  • The Engine of Dreams
  • The Sick Man
  • The Benevolent
  • Justice
  • The Binding
  • Public Opinion
  • Fear of the Heavens
  • The Song of the Bits
  • Icarus
  • Lazarus
  • Comet Catcher
  • Coalfire
  • Cohongarooton
  • Awake in the Night
 It's about 100 poems. Note that this does not include the Social Matter poems composed during this same period.

More to come.

12.08.2014

Awake In The Night

https://www.flickr.com/photos/theparadigmshifter/98604847

it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
There I was awake in the night
I was not where I was a moment before
Outside was cold and unearthly light
Loud came the wind, a speechless roar
I was home again - where I used to be
Alone again, but alone and free
And heaven unquiet in an unseen war
Nowhere to go, nowhere to flee.

Dark inside, as a Christmas morn
Before the sun the land makes bright
The raging clouds all woolen-shorn
The moon behind made real the sight
And the walls held not the sound at bay
But sounding within as if to say
Nothing - but a display of speechless might
And where I was there was never day.

I draw a curtain; and squinting hard
Do I see something - do I see it there?
Snow glinting across a forsaken yard
And I thought of this, the realm of the air
Shifting shadows and fey light that bends
And I almost know what word it sends
But withdraw and turn, I know not where
This place it is - a place of omens.

I fear the uncertain in the endless sound
Something looms - but I ask not what
I wished no more than what I had found
And of what might be, I queried not
And beyond shouted the brazen wind
White and shifting and shadow-skinned
The gray air glowered over the empty lot
And in the dark the curtains moved within.

I turned to the east, without a thought
And began a prayer - but not to ask
Not my words were they, what I sought
Was to steady my mind for such a task
And to not bid welcome the unseen sea
And not to any fear or lost memory
To calm the storm - to remove the mask
The veil of desire's gray uncertainty.

And by degrees did change the atmosphere
Light along the edges of the window pane
Then again in a tree far away from here
Clear and bright and calm was its train
And just as the end of the prayer alight
Gone was the wind and the beautiful light
But you were there - you and I by name
And there I was awake, in the night.
a postscript is here written:
The end of  'Adrift Without a Star'

11.20.2014

Cohongarooton





it is addressed thusly:

A vision.
it reads:
From the slaughter of the kings he came
With faithful friends, stood to receive
A blessing from the priest and king
A thanksgiving for all those who believe
That accursed valley where garbage lay
Rotted with bodies from that market-day
When men were sold there to receive
The reward given to those who slay
Was he yet without parents then
The one who broke the blessed bread
First among gods, last among men
Who with solemn honor bowed his head
And received their souls in heaven's net
With wine as blood to pay their debt?
But think more on just what I've said --
As of now it has not happened yet.

11.18.2014

Coalfire

https://www.flickr.com/photos/henriquev/607856795

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
Dark, black coal - a strange unburden
Of the earth's yet stranger heart
We know little of the sudden wording
Which when suddenly pulled apart
The dun and drab earth's grimy hull
The man, inadvertant, might so call
"black gold!" to the pitchdark smart
Through which his ax duly did fall;

The fuel of a man's dreams, what is it
To the Victorian, a world of steam
Of power that is brute, not exquisite
No more chained to beast or to stream
A mere rock! But full of bright fire
Or its response did justly inspire
A clockwork world of alien dream
Wheels within wheels of inhuman desire;

And in the now, man is made penitent
Retreating from his idols of yore
But not toward God is his rede sent
For was God made wroth over ore?
He turns from bright fire to the sod
But the snows don't consider it odd--
He worships sun and wind all the more
Not knowing -- an ape, not a god.

11.13.2014

Comet Catcher


it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
It danced on the edge of the heady foam
Of the sea of dark stirring from whence we came
It went not with any, for it went alone
Philae! But carrying its unknown name
Ahab had not speared his deathly whale
That in that tenyear in deep heaven sail
Land with a bounce on a comet's cold flame
Who else but us would dare tell the tale?
a postscript is here written:
a pass-word:
philae comet landing

11.08.2014

Lazarus


it is addressed thusly:
A thought.
it reads:
His hands were lined with labor
What work was left for him
Any spare thing kept to savor
A profit left too slim
Taken by every hungry bird
That flies the heavens searching
Their impassioned minds still lurching
With law they feed on every word
But he who still does sacrifice
To scatter abroad does not think twice
Though his death, untimely, occurred
Has not yet received his reward
Perhaps God will grant him paradise.
a postscript is here written:
This poem is about a couple of different individuals. 
http://www.avoiceformen.com/feminism/government-tyranny/a-father-burns-himself-to-death/ but can also apply to Robin Williams as well. We cannot assume a person who committed suicide would be well received, but on the other hand, we can always ask that they will be. To do otherwise is either to ignore all tradition on the subject (and validate murder) or to lack mercy ourselves.

11.04.2014

Icarus

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
Democracy in an age of Icarus
A soaring bright skyward child
Full of everyone's animus
And negative sum profiled
Beware - shake him but lightly
And feathers fall, though brightly
He went blazing sunward-styled
But he will always fall, unsightly.

10.31.2014

Pitch-black, Blood-red, Drab-grey

https://www.flickr.com/photos/photomf/11712812605

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
Though it once divided the highway
And bent the unyielding rail
This falling down factory still may
Not yet crumble before they fail
Songs of glass houses and stones
In neglect even solid brick groans
Its iron bars rust, its timbers grow stale
It is not what anyone admittedly owns
It is opaque and cuts the earth deep
But fear of the breath of frost
With agitation they must yet keep
Stones away at every cost
I have seen more than one posted bill
Declaring in letters, for good or for ill
That its cause is done, its wars are lost
I have now certainly read my fill
What is it then - a metal detailing plant
An old cathedral, a moldering clubroom
A system grown old of ritual and cant
A riot of stones may too soon presume
But the revolutions already had their day
Like demons drive them at last away
All is retrofitted, we forget too soon --
Pitch-black, blood-red, drab-grey.

10.24.2014

The Sage Considers the Plain Things

https://www.flickr.com/photos/22605452@N00/4249357141
it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
As common things go, we may yet find
That some beauty was added that we did not know
For we weren't at all looking here below
William Morris, time out of mind
Made fancy things of those sundry and known
Clothes and furniture and others shown
Meanwhile no streetlamp had given him pause
To think of what it might signify
- do we suppose such things are all a lie?
It might seem that it was one of his laws
While Anderson had writ in his fairy-book
The tale of a street lamp whose fortunes took
A turn or two - but did anyone notice
Or think of the ugliness that did invade
As somehow something not man-made
And their ignorance then thus confess
Of the germane amid modernity's pox -
The simple elegance of the cardboard box?

a postscript is here written:
a pass-word:
Chesterton Twelve Types

10.21.2014

The Song of the Bits

https://www.flickr.com/photos/harquail/11775746134
it is addressed thusly:
An ode
it reads:
Would the bits then have nothing to say
Pulsing on and off and off and on
Would the endless information be gone
Ever repeating it in the same way
And as day does begin with night
So does darkness precede a light
Would these everlasting voices be still
Is no news good news after all
Do we look to the place of the skull
Do we know its thrice-starry hill
And forget the ceaseless stream of new
This torrent that we are passing through
Would the boundless images then cease
But far- return when called and told
To return back from the heavenly fold--?
Can their number do but increase
If for a day or two follow the quiet way
Would the bits then have nothing to say?

10.18.2014

Freedom of Speech

it is addressed thusly:
 An ode.
it reads:
And so fiction becomes fact
The several forces attract
THE MIND - an empty room
As empty as a tomb
Rattles with unseen ghosts
Parasites seeking their hosts
But the eye is closed shut
Its shell hard as a nut
THE WORDS somehow exist
Even if the spirits all desist
And they bring life to its dreams
Through obscurity it seems
Though symbols are concrete
Word and symbol do not meet
THE THOUGHTS are just like speaking
or like seeing without peeking
that is, if they can still think
a shut eye cannot blink
no, there is only speaking in the head
their reality is dead.

10.15.2014

Fear of the Heavens

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jimntexas/439385855

it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
I saw it in a vision of a dream
The fission of a dreadful thing
No mouth to open and scream
Just a blank thing on the wing
No face had it and no eyes
But swift, it paced the skies
Light was it and painful its sting
Pain unto death that flies.

She tugged my dusty pant leg
And spoke - "It is cloudy today
We should not have to hide and beg"
And I wondered aloud in a way
That made her give this reply:
"Here we fear only the clear sky
For it is only on a clear day
That the drones come to make us die."

And somewhere four men - or is it
Four women, by the rule of parity
Wait patiently for the weather to fit
Their mission, and we can see
Vote upon vote and law ream upon ream
Build a dire crescendo to a theme
This must be the fist of popular sovereignty
-- I saw it in a vision of a dream.

10.08.2014

Public Opinion


https://www.flickr.com/photos/vlastula/1996844585

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
No applause awaits them at all
Would we know if they were heroes
Not even a name in etch or scrawl
No place for the lily or the rose
What we don't know tells us more
Than what we know heretofore
They are not made any less tall
That them we know or ignore;
And we know not, but we insist
For the public weal - an abstract
That their fame must come to exist
Fed like a drug into veins dry and cracked
The common man; will he call
Himself a god, by an unknown pall
For the holy ones know it exact -
No applause awaits them at all.

10.07.2014

The Binding

https://www.flickr.com/photos/wessexarchaeology/322153814

it is addressed thusly:
A song.
it reads:
Fathers be good to your daughters
And mothers be good to your sons
A truth not considered by authors
Of the laws on which society runs
Much is made of the broken and sad
But who grasped the chance that was had
To make well for these forgotten ones
To make good before there was bad?
A circle must remain unbroken
For it to be quite so-called
But forgotten things are unspoken
So obvious we are appalled;
Shocked by modernity's slaughters
Though blood is thicker and wider-walled
We still drown under rising waters
Under the shout of rebellious guns--
So fathers be good to your daughters
And mothers be good to your sons.

10.01.2014

Justice

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mc_masterchef/1641258376
it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
Let Justice be done though the heavens fall
He said, and I beheld the falling starry host
In his eyes - was it merely the thunder's call
That man's justice was crudely interposed?
Consider - they turn all custom on its head
But did their righteousness ever raise the dead
Did their good will deliver the souls of all
From the tombs where they lie in darkling dread?

Forgetting that the dead once walked the earth
Made fairy-tale of hopes and dreams
That man once had, and ere his cosmic birth
Was not what now it strangely seems
Can Justice hang for its murderous crimes
I say - as though my mere verses and rhymes
Might strangewise drown out all the screams
Might blow the breath out of these times;

How could Justice fail? He then replied
How could it be guilty of any wrong?
He shook his head, and then he sighed
To have his patience tried so long
But if God is not just, as man would call
How does man's justice matter at all
Mercy and love and truth prolong --
But let justice be done, though the heavens fall.

9.30.2014

The Benevolent

https://www.flickr.com/photos/roadsidepictures/2770322202

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
The benevolent, they come and go
And their will to good is uncertain
Who can say what the mind may show
When next we pull the curtain?
Their addled, passionate and wavering hands
The shifting sky, the switching sands
Though many stay on who are yet hurting
By their good will none falls or stands;

We march, all condemned to death
All contingent in our being
At once all body, at once all breath
All blindness and all seeing
The end is the same for all who know
Bones, dry bones and white as snow
And our comfort is always and ever fleeing
But the benevolent? They come and go.

9.26.2014

The Sick Man

https://www.flickr.com/photos/cmozz/8223891489

it is addressed thusly:

An ode.
it reads:
Into the arms of a colorless age
Bleak as the rain makes cold the sun
Wet-bleached out stage by stage
Gradual so the colors won't run
Mix by force all the unlike things
A depression, a grayness borne on wings
Spin until all the thread is spun
Not white but dun the spinning brings

Alas the atmosphere makes us sweat
And gives us chills like a sick man
We are not made ill, and still yet
Our insides make us feel pale and wan
Are we inside out, shall we sleep or wake
None of the treasures we desire to take
We are most blessed - we who ran
- and grew ill of a time diseased and fake.

9.23.2014

The Engine of Dreams

https://www.flickr.com/photos/gsfc/8969248575
it is addressed thusly:
A riddle.
it reads:
The engine of dreams it is more than it seems
Though not heretofore was it invented
To settle the score with all the machines
From which man had lately repented;
A thunderous task, at last to unmask
Its undulant plan, but whom shall we ask --?
Ask not the man had it rented
What few great tragedies had it prevented;
But its power endue whether lately or new
The truth of its uttermost schemes
He will not boast, whether lying or true
For he is the engine of dreams.

9.22.2014

The Black Bird

it is addressed thusly:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/pictureartist/9682324028An ode.
it reads:
And so the raven calls
Though once lulled to silence
In search of bright treasure
Flying from the walls;-                       
-flying from the walls
With a rumor of violence
And ruin without measure
Sound - and silence falls.

9.21.2014

The Aristocrat

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/sparkys/379806096
The absurd generosity of plants
- he laughed - is unknown to us
Though some men would chance
To fancy themselves yet generous;
Consider that they do not toil or spin
And they give to any old passer-by
It is but a when and not a why
And disdain because of what is within?
Themselves; all in all, with no sieve
And yet how many continue to give?
Man would almost fancy it a sin
To give all of himself to but live;

They insinuate themselves, of course
- the reply - and why should they not
A generosity that is more like a force
Seems an is and not a sort of ought
But not all, I suppose, can be claimed
For the seed itself is often the food
Given to the worthy without mood
And so the plant cannot then be blamed
The worker is worth his wages they say
Toiling to build but themselves all day
Worthy is what such a creature is named
Where the love of the Good is the Way.

9.19.2014

The Orator To The Schadenfreude

it is addressed thusly:
A thought.
it reads:
I beseech you, try not to smile --
I know the habit it's become
Listen to my words awhile
If you can bear to listen some;
A strangeness has from it emerged
Grin to forget your present woes
Even while your spirit knows
How machine and man converged;
In a machine-mask of a style
A face to conceal both guilt and guile
Bear up then the gritting urge --
I beseech you! Try not to smile.

9.17.2014

Canticle for the Dead

https://www.flickr.com/photos/dubpics/5707538069
it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
That solemn line came marching
Of both the lowly and the proud
Still under a silent sky arching
Open and free from every cloud
To whom did these faces belong
The downcast walk without a song
And neither is their trodding loud
And their suffering is long.

Alas, among these had humility
But did their abasement save
Those who now stand in equality
With those who took and those who gave?
They all dwell now in darkling dread
And have no sight within their head
Beseech then, you who can yet see
The One who can still save the Dead.

9.15.2014

The Poet Explains His Mirth

it is addressed thusly:
A thought.
it reads:
Those, they say, whose naivete
Is nuanced beyond belief
The eternal cynic, the worldly may
In 'nothing' find their relief
To I, who never tore down a thing
Nor honor did stain to break or fling
Their empty sayings bring no grief
I see clearly through, and so I sing.

9.11.2014

Outshine

https://www.flickr.com/photos/idua_japan/7249817794
it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
The heaven yawns, the waters' reverse
Under the winking moon's light
Make seeming, for better or worse
A due process of day & night
Her metallic glint, a face upturned
A human face, or so they yearned
To make earthway to heaven spite
Though little of either they had learned;

The outshine, was the symbol there
Of their earthen mysteries
A sign-like circle marks the air
Heaving mountains, heaving seas
The moon the sun, the earth the moon
A shadow to silence immortal noon
Such was the flavor of their decrees
Outshine by shadow, instruct by boon;

But the spotless sun, whose language
Is far too large for us to see
too silent, too loud for our baggage
too grand for our land or sea
writing in spotted, inscrutable prose
unseen as before it the eye must close
fire and light and heaven will be
but will man? The sun only knows.
a postscript is here written:
a pass-word:
spotless outside in

9.10.2014

The Word Spoken in the Desolate Country

it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
Hard the wind blew, casting cold
Its fingers upon every upturned face
Scouring with steel wool every place
Ring upon ring the farthest wold
And twain stood, with side to side
Looking upon places far and wide;
One said: Does any yet live that desire?
See the wind: it moves earnestly
Its wants are simple; its actions, free
But it knows not the water from the fire.
The other said: man seems the same
For all his self-knowing is in vain;
One replied: if the wind could know
We must suppose it would understand
What it wished to pull from the land
Every mote caught up from below;
The other said: But man must think
As hearts must beat, eyes must blink;
The one then said: no return, then.
Eyes open, hearts must draw blood
Man must at least rise from the mud
It cannot be if, it must be when;
The other replied: but in his wealth
Man seems to only desire himself;
Well, said the one, would seem perverse
If a man wished to wish and not
Desired to be desired, for aught
Else but being beloved is of worth--?
But waiting to be desired, each to each
Sits alone, for love is out of reach.

9.04.2014

The Word Spoken at the Utmost Place

https://www.flickr.com/photos/yakobusan/2436481628
it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
And men today believe, he said
That they love too little, how absurd
The other replied, with pity fed
They ought to love more, in a word
Are they not another, parch'd, waterless land?
True, he said, but this is not at hand
Dry they are, but this is not conferred
By love's lack as I do understand;

Then what, the other replied in kind
Would make this riddle yield some sense
What sort of rede had you in mind?
Simple, he said, is their recompense
Wringing love from pity in such a state
For there is not much lovable of late
NO! He roared, pity knew offense
If this perverted age they did not hate!

9.01.2014

The Poet Sings of the City at Night

https://www.flickr.com/photos/lindsontheroad/6303917666/

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
Always beautiful at night
The shadows somehow calling
I hear rain lightly falling
And just memory is sight
A plaintive, indifferent sound
Reflection running on the ground;

Always beautiful at night
A deep breath, a weary groan
To but see the lights of home
Steam draft catches flight
A world without length or breadth
And a thousand layered depth;

Always beautiful at night
A distant sound of moving cars
A siren flash beneath the stars
Footsteps pacing, ever-slight
Tires crunch and tires slick
The sound of evening is thick;

Always beautiful at night
The melancholy of old Noir
Under heavy clouds that soar
Dropping noise into your sight
Bright, bright, bright and mystery
Night hiding what you cannot see

Always beautiful at night
Dark towers cast against a cloud
Fast-moving, the wind is loud
And portend a sleeping might
A hundred specters without depth
Still in form the shadows leapt;

Always beautiful at night
Sky colored of another world
Racing clouds their courses swirled
Jet blinking eyes, an errant kite
A searchlight dances up and down
Against a tower, about the town;

Always beautiful at night
Lights twain in every sitting pool
Green and red and white may fool
Drooping and blinking sight
To see the street bedecked with cheer
To see the closing of the year;

Always beautiful at night
Neon's warm and handsome glow
Offices wink above, and it below
Green and yellow, red and white
And blue and every brazen face
Letters of dreams they still may trace;

Always beautiful at night
The shining towers exhilarate
The stars beyond will have to wait
They hum with other-worldly light
They stand tall, and brazen and gay
But vanish in the coming day.

8.30.2014

Rotherham


it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
Moloch sits alone on Ælfred's throne
Laughing, like a deathmask of a child
While clerks their full reports now filed
Thus he sits as one, he sits alone
Sardonic, of well tempered ironies
While not one of them willingly sees
The trail of slaughter, of sacrifice
As fire leaves no remain, no trace of blood
Bones then perhaps, were cast into mud
Sunk quietly while men avert their eyes
These small heroes of fair omission
And now they have made a fission
Where once the crown a center held
So these long knives once dulled by peace
Have now found their dark release --
No animals killed nor trees were felled
But still it was that Gehenna he brought
And made as nothing for which they fought
And slept, and while they slept so sound
Their countrymen against all odds
Let in strange men and their strange gods
An army that must have shook the ground
And yet blindfolded by their words
Long they slept, and little they stirred
Now wake to the odor of a sacrifice
But he requires the body and the soul
No mere abuse will make him whole
And a just revenge; as cold as ice
On those silent, on those who knew
Will please him more, when he is through
For old Kronus must have his due.

Pulse

https://www.flickr.com/photos/wwworks/2336784676
it is addressed thusly:
A thought.
it reads:
The pulse of things is stopping
If you can hear the sound between
The roar - both grandiose and mean
As though listening to the sea is dropping
A coin into a well as deep as the moon
Is far - wishing on the sound, a boon;
Cleft somewhere in the abyss of twain
As narrow as the edge of a dime
As the present is to the eye of time --
With a song sweet as medicine in refrain
And a noise that has no pattern at all
A beat, slight, might be heard to fall
Utterly unheard, but felt in some way
Is its sound real or but a wish failing
A request made by those dead and ailing
A hope against all hope - so then I say
This rhythm -- but our heartbeat dropping
The pulse of things is stopping.

8.26.2014

Doom

it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/scott1723/6181608249In the direction of the sun
Ever setting, there is but one
way found – down; and fate
Refuses to reciprocate
Though he say not ‘kismet’
Refuse hitsuzen and yet
If starship goes not wind nor lee
It goes West: burning into the sea.
a postscript is here written:
a pass-word:
Stupid Outside Monsters In

8.25.2014

The Husband's Song

it is addressed thusly:
A song.
it reads:
Though you style yourself so plain
I saw right through your little game
Long before you ever knew
You hid yourself quite well it's true
But a curling, caught, of the lips
Less than cautious swinging hips
A subtle joy caught in the hair
Softly it fluttered in the air --
Do they judge me a shallow one
Who does not believe in any fun
Because I caught truth in your eye
When they had bought a pretty lie?

8.23.2014

Reasonable

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joedsilva/6078149071
it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
Where belief ends there is nothingness
He who pretends this is not reason
Does he intend for more than a season
To loose belief once bound from the abyss?
Surely belief has ended for each in kind
Faith is spent and time is out of mind
It is but reasonable then only to hope
That good may come or the source of good
And that bare necessity obey as it should
And would end darkness in which men grope
Blindly, I mark, as born without sight
Those who are familiar to the night;
I tell you wherever they turn is death
Though a parable would learn them true
That they perish if they cannot pass through
But while it is they still have breath
They will be right to curse modernity
Though with sight they cannot see;
And rail against the degenerate things
Ugliness, hatred, the perverted mind
Lawlessness and all vice in kind
They can hope for belief, desire's wings
Might rapture them from deadly fire
Though belief can not for them transpire;
If they understood, then what would remain
Is to wait for light, as a mountain could
By rain and wind and fire and wood
Worn down flat, an uncarved plain
Yes! This necessity is true reason's span
But I am not a reasonable man.

8.21.2014

The Whites of Their Eyes

it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
My face grows weary in these days
We would love a cause to smile
To laugh that laugh without a style
To know a thing outside a maze
To forget a moment deception's ways;

Knowing at once some spare thing
Without a camera or microphone
But with the clear instrument alone
Known once as it was they used to sing
What cause of relief then would this bring;

We would like instead an honest war
For God knows we have prepared one
With no new thing under the sun
And old truth come, forgotten lore
And forgetting what our lies were for;

Am I beyond man for this admission
That we cannot agree, although we know
This self-same truth, and very slow
We grasp our steadfast opposition
We know we need not ask permission;

To know that it is still man you fight
And your fight is not misunderstanding
He and ye are not less man in landing
Blow upon blow as you face aright
The one you strike and drive to flight;

Do not despair that your schemes must fail
Do you truly rejoice in your broken state
Can you altogether never seek to retaliate
You have not understood at all, in this you ail
When death appears, man too must wail;

But know that when from sleep we arise
You who have brought this sleep upon us
Will you forget then what your glory was
Will you remember it beyond your lies
When you see it flashing in our eyes?

8.19.2014

Sword

Lollypop Stick Sword by Jessica C
it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
Principle of annihilation, the edge of creation
The mandate of heaven, the might of man
The instrument of slaughter; the ward of humankind
Dividing between true and lie, rank and station
The weapon of peace, emblem of forever war
A most perfect balance and yet always more
For such a thing we have no word
But because of this, we call it Sword.

8.17.2014

The Homeless

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
Under the shadow of the great ones
Sleep gently, though you do not know
Where you will be the day after tomorrow
Lay low, below blazing words and guns
Which burn with unelemental fire
And the terror pulse upon the wire;
O man, are you but the only one wise
Knowing not how to labor or spin
To explain to you, who could begin
The web of impossible truths and lies
Spun by men for men and all their sons
Under the shadow of the great ones?

8.15.2014

The President's Speech

it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
The tin god comes, like an unlit lamp
A thing of bronze, but awaiting his cue
And perhaps come to life, to blink, to move
The mechanical Turk; of Kenyan stamp
A man of no small talent and poise
Repurposed to generate our noise
Did they say once - that he would save
Forbid it! But the crowd raves and roars
That smooth baritone; the emotion soars
Walking forsooth with a genteel wave
Into a hall of ten-thousand traps
But the audience loves- the people claps!
Dreams of his father, of another world
Where Old Karl hadn't brought forth amain
An army destined to be a stain
Of blood; the reds their flag unfurled
Was murder first of body then soul
Fill the cup then, fill it full--
With each subtle lie, the people require
Wink at the men with the burning bomb
Then complain with your old aplomb--?
Your strength now it may seem to retire
The handlers prod and twist the clamp
But the tin god comes, like an unlit lamp.

8.12.2014

Unrestrained

Poor Mountain by Donnie Nunley

it is addressed thusly:

A vision
it reads:
There in weeping August I saw
Not restrained by custom or law
- and a slight was given us there to say
We might have had another ending
As if this was from us thus sending
And not yet another turn of the day
To forget we but respond in this state
Long gone was our turn to initiate;
- a vision of the mourning gods
Makers of decision, judges all
Standing before their judgment wall
Marking points and counting odds
And the heaven was unstill with fission
The unseen dense with troubled vision
- and still they say, as their fingers wag
We darkened the sun, bringers of darkening
Not to the heavy weather harkening
Because you remember it, curse the flag
Because they made it what it was not
Were these the laws for which we fought?
- but their hands waver, it doesn't add up
Who is in the Chair? Who is in control?
Had a shadow from the room then stole
They search for the one who shared the cup
But even the devil is there to accuse
Whose game is this then to lose?
- not black or white, but the impossible gray
noise, pure noise distorting all thinking
was by it even the sun's eye blinking
"Winter comes", and what beyond it lay
Not restrained by custom or law
- there in weeping August I saw.

8.11.2014

Rainbow

Rainbow by Baldur McQueen

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
In that place, where the seas rage
And rise; and this primordial fearing
Remembers something appearing
In the skies; forgetting every stage
Of man's demise, his own despise
mistaken for flesh before God's eyes;
Remember mildly that ribbon flying
As a banner of promise, a covenant
An every-color thing well meant
Thought to be, or were we but trying
Ever poorly not to quite recognize
What in its soaring it now implies?
If we fear the sea to swallow us whole
(as we ever do--) can it be sinking
Or is another thread in our thinking
That knows there is no second skull --
The rainbow! The waves did expire
And what remains? What remains is fire.

8.07.2014

The Call from Athelney

The Ruins of San Franciso by Andrew McFarlane

it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
Defeated ones; such as we are
Left with no hope and no vision
But the fragments of old fission
Of an unreconstructed star
Each crying out that he knows
Where every broken part goes;
Those bright ones, their glinting face
Seen in part in part and whole
Of remorse and of regret full
Of memory but a fainting trace
We call out but they answer not
Or but utter to us the same thought
And the same warning, like a ghost
Wandering the halls of troubled house
We but an errant flea or frightened mouse
To make but a scene to our host
At night, the only ones listening, awake
To even hear for these spirits' sake
Our conjuration of dark memories
Presage what - a terrible, final fire
Or do we hear what else they inspire
These heroes, strange from across seas
That no defeat is final even for
Defeated ones, such as we are?

8.05.2014

The Orator's Warning

it is addressed thusly:
A thought.
it reads:
Image by weegeebored
Is society such a mass of thread
That you may pull it apart
And rearrange it as you wish
As if it were dead; if it were dead
Would you see this living spark
Course the stubble of your wish
By family, faith, freme -- fed?

8.04.2014

it is addressed thusly:
A recognition
it reads:
The morning sings and
  as it sings the endlessly unfolding
world appears
first in mists and then in
radiance faint and fleeting.
And as it sings it sings of
the loneliness of creating
(twilight's bitter blessing),
woven into the fabric of existence.
Then more urgent it sings
of hope's beginning
with glossamer forms appearing
until the cutting edge of sunlight then
Triumphant color floods the world
and shouts in all the colors of the spectrum
its love resplendent.

WTO

Five Rings

Empty... by Thomas Leuthard

it is addressed thusly:

A vision.
it reads:
First came Earth; firm standing
The body which they loved, strong
And tall the mountain, and long
Its reign, its ways demanding;
Then came Water, clear and bright
Wore earth down with soul, drawing
Boundary and mark, thus awing
And ruling and muddy despite;
Fire was next, quicksilver burning
The intense mind with order made
By searing light, though was forbade
Its magic won by strangely learning;
And last Wind came, to blow out flame
Shifting around itself, nerves twitching
All of its sudden litanies bewitching
Wore all down by self to same;
But Wind fed Fire and they are lacking
But to burn evermore, as Wind blows hard
Fire burns high and higher, Earth scarred
And Water is poison from their attacking;
But I am Void;  a topography of null
A transparent pill, a dark notation
An empty train at the final station
I did not come, for I was here all
Along; even empty Wind was flowing
Through me, from me coming,
To me -- going.

8.03.2014

Clutch

it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/kaptainkobold/7490229920/
The test of our mettle is such
A burning, a breaking, a falling-down
Fast, blind at the wheel of time
Without a sound; without a sound
Crashing in space we shall surely drown
In nothing, caught in the crime
And without our foot on the clutch.

8.02.2014

The Whale's Song

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
Deep inside, the perpetual wave
Sounds around us, a seeping wall
And still we wonder through it all
Are we where no man may save
Wave under wave, in the great deep
Where all oldest secrets sleep?
But we are comforted by its roar;
A torrent of pressing deep against
A womb of earth; an eyelike fence
Of the clouds weeping evermore
Cloud under cloud, call to rest
Without a snore the waking best;
And we dream a dream of blue
Azure which has dim indigo
Held within, and melancholy go
To the heart of azure's deepest hue
To the sea then, grave under grave
Deep inside the perpetual wave.

7.31.2014

Flame on Flame

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
Flame on flame, the poet said
Form remembered but name forgot
Feeling is warm and cold is thought
The soul made old with holy dread
Moves instead to a hidden song
The poet had said it all along;
The singing a roar unseen and far
Bringing as sound over distant trees
Unlooked but found for our dis-ease
So dense it shook our mouth ajar
Tense, did we fear? What was our choice
To hear the song or just the noise?
Listen beyond the sounding roar
Between the thousand shouting ones
Now sound seeming golden faintly runs
Now found less faint, now suggest a score
Now no more sound, now fire instead --
'Flame on flame', the poet said.

7.30.2014

The Sage Remarks of the Outside

it is addressed thusly:
A thought.
it reads:
Do they live on, all these strange ones
Beyond the reach of the novel sea
In between the cracks of plurality
Mismatched and rare and spare and dun --?
Every one to those with open hands
A plague upon their smoothed out lands
Weeds is perhaps the image forcalled
What must needs then be considered true
Does the man of all thus think it through;
And become sentimental or appalled 
A ruin! Covered in vines and tressed
About with flowers and with moss dressed?
In each thing is borne its seed of death
Which just means a nature underlies
That which changes, which grows or dies
Because there are many things and lest
Time should cease, and horizons close
There may be many or few of those;
But each of these things within as well
Seems to contain the same conceit
To find its own designs complete
Only when by stroke or spell
All is laid flat before its might
Does it too then proceed to night --?
Wise is the one who sees this truth
And moves slowly, loath to touch a fence
Knowing sea and stream's sure recompense
For he who shows them too much ruth
He forgets the terror of ten thousand suns --
As they live on, all these strange ones.

7.24.2014

War

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
Then struggle on, struggle on, O man
In bright clash; a flash in the pan
And thundering a thousand strong
Bound fast in bellow-loud gong
Smoke and ash and blood and night
And the sudden fire of morning light
Then silence! -- live of ears and eyes
Tense waiting watching seas and skies
And desert plain wise fighting sleep
Then nothing -- but water moving deep
Rearranging pebbles on a washing-board
Like prize, loss and possession scored
But still poised sword and rank and file
Balanced breathless featherlight mile
Meaning made flesh of flesh and bone
Of piled, poised wave and tipping stone
Gathering four winds, a bellow long
Rings; a blast, a chant, a song --
Then down going, thunder across the moor
If man thus goes, man goes to war.

7.23.2014

Fast

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
I have been a dead man before
And before that; and the world
Which though ever-unfurled
Dies too; and in the old lore
When it began no one knew
But we guess out of the blue
And assume we know, because
- there is no because, but yet
we may somehow lessen debt
And loosen bonds and lift laws?
Such heat wafts and smoke will rise
From he who truly lives, but dies.

7.21.2014

Stiffness

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
The pain that we have just begun to know
Is carved within us by the passing years
We rest, we stretch despite how it may grow
Not noticing the sculpture - it appears.

7.17.2014

The Great Filter

it is addressed thusly:
A song.
it reads:
Kids, kids – it’s the new big thing
I want you to listen, just a for second
I promise I won’t try dance or sing
This is way bigger than anyone reckoned
They call it the Rift, and think it’s a door
But you and I, we know its so much more
It’s a perfect filter for everyone’s life
Hey — wait — I’m not done with my pitch
A minute, okay – please put away the knife
You know that insatiable, incurable itch
It’s big – we both know without a doubt
But this is Big too – so stand up and shout
Anything – everything you want –
Filter it out!
a postscript is here written:
a pass-word:
outside oculus in

7.15.2014

The House of Pleasure

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
In the house of pleasure, none is denied
For all of its truths must be ratified
In letter, for those who cannot decide
But waver, wavering on what is implied
In pleasure itself, for there on its side
Are written things blasphemous, snide
And all the bodies there for it died
All in a jest, are you so serious, it cried
And he wonders, if it had really lied
For what was a slope fast became a slide
Have you heard of its way, so easy and wide
Down-going humility, the publican sighed
But there are so many bones, can you divide
The quick from the dead, with everything dried
Even its form has ceased where it tried
To be pleasure at all,  but a suicide
So out - and away from all reason we glide
Thought into nothing; desire into pride.

7.12.2014

The Orator Calls Upon the Last

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
O Europa; in a final hour we see
The truth of what was, in truth
Of we who wore beauty in youth
Every diadem and grand trophy
Was ours, was it not ours, friends?
Tell me then why this story ends;
All things die that mortal are
Even death; but do ideas perish?
Is their immortal conceit but garish
And rude - what of that star
That rules our day, will it not fade
Is its destiny not to be unmade?
All things then, live on by dying
Ah, but such a thing as we were
And knew it not, of this I am sure
Whose were we, tell me without lying
To whom did we yet belong --
We who were weak, and yet strong?
Yes! We were someone else's conceit
And they but our fascination
We who looked out on ev'ry nation
Made the sea bow under our fleet
Which no man had seen before --!
And wanted to know ev'ry shore?
The pallor of death awaiting reflection
We look so bright, young Hamlet
As day is bright and still yet
In considering our new direction
We looked back, we looked back in
But did we look beneath the skin?
We wonder if we shall sleep or dream;
Having forgot that we were here to do
Deeds that no man had seen or knew
Until they were done, until... does it seem
Strange that I remind you, O great city?!
O Europa! In a final hour we see!

7.11.2014

Cast

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
The part is before the whole he said
Do you not see how a thing is made --?
That to infer beyond sense God forbade
I had never heard, tho' bright reason fled
Before a noisy crowd of idol chatter
To make the earth round, made it flatter
An interchangeable part, did it make
A man forget what sort of shape required
What mentation must first have implied
A form of forms - a whole mistake
A limb or piece might by guess impart --
But the whole is still before the part.

7.07.2014

No Sleep

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
The labors do not cease because we sleep
Uncountable gears spin even in the dark
Where no light is; and no sound or spark
But a tick when the escape wheel a leap
Might make in its interminable course
Pushed by a light but irresistible force
Soever in motion about its source
Image by image, the story is told
Written by authors unknown to us
Without grumbling and without fuss
Like automatons they grow not old
With boredom for their thankless task
We might therefore desire to ask
Who hides behind that hidden mask
And know perhaps some secret law
As thought it was not yet known to us
The we who are, the we who was
The we who heard, the we who saw
In learning do we but memory keep
Or into the great unknown we leap
The labors do not cease because we sleep.

7.04.2014

Independence

it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
From the balcony's secluded roost we see
Though trees mask, black on black-almost
Among the shadows of an embroidered host
Not just one bright display, but three.

7.01.2014

Adrift Without a Star

it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
'Neath an eyeless sky, the inkblack sea
Moves softly, utters not save a quiet sound
A lapping-sound, not saying what may be
The reach of its voice a furthest bound;
And beyond it, nothing, nothing known
Though the wind the boat has gently blown
Unsteady on shifting and traceless ground
And quickly away from it has flown.

Allow us a map, and a lamp electric
That by instrument we may probe the dark
Unheard sounds and an unseen metric
Keep alive in us that unknown spark
To burn bright and not consume or mar
Has the unbounded one come yet so far
For night over night the days to mark
His journey -- adrift, without a star?

6.30.2014

Correspondence

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
All nature is as an enchanted hall
Form and substance sing in tune
Occult shadows dance about the room
Pictures like mirrors upon the wall
A richness there, of fractal pattern
Dense like inprismed light is scattered;

The eye catches various things, they are
Thrown across, met in scent and sound
Strange and frightening connections found
As unknown tunnels deep and far
Connect tractless places suggesting danger
They are but beautiful, and far stranger

Or is it that the hall is dark?
I mean, full of images of common things
You light a candle, which through the wings
Casts a flickering, wandering spark
That causes forms to shift and waver
But the mind is sharp, the heart is braver

Each face suggests what it once was
A history, or perhaps a story
Lost in details sordid and gory
The pillars impose, the dust a fuzz
And the mirrors silver not so bright
That it swallows most candle light;

Or perhaps the forms aren't there at all
Just a reference to the mind itself
A thought of pride, a lust for wealth
Perhaps there is bareness within that hall
Only imagination makes vision real
Only if you love, only if you feel

But strange, the mirrors show deceptive things
They are alive in all contrary ways
As the walls in some funhouse maze
Or just another ailment madness brings
Touch is real, you close your eyes
Grubbing around to fall or rise;

These visions show the mind of man
A correspondence and a symbol there
A paradox of which we should beware
Why meaning flees the grasping hand
Not spare or false or opaque at all --
For nature is but an enchanted hall.
a postscript is here written:
a pass-word:
Baudelaire is my homeboy

6.27.2014

The Poet and the Hooded Night

it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
The multifarious night comes speaking
In the tones of the almost-quiet dusk
In the gold and rose its glories busk
And waxy leaf and metal bridge creaking
What do you say O man? -- greeting
For mendicant evening is fleeting;

This place is but a bedroom town
A glum tapestry of Arbeit macht frei
Was that what you had wanted to say?
-- no -- but here we look further down
At crepuscular street-lights on-winking
The restless road sick with their blinking;

Dead but for cars fleeing the fleeing sun
Or chasing the fading night's last serenade
And else for people sleeping, it was made
-- that similitude holds for everyone?
-- yes -- and in gesticulating wave
What does not-wander like the grave?!

Where are the colors now, O evening?
-- they go, with day's youth, with youth
they go with the young, and sad truth
in ataraxia too seems soon leaving
-- for what cause is he thus tranquil?
-- he journeys with not large shoes to fill;

But where I see them the stale wall
The garden-walls, the immaculate gardens
Run edenward, going past dim sense
Cries of the living in middle distance call
-- interlocutor do you feel the rumbling floor
Do you hear their twilit traveling roar?

-- No, not I, but I am as one deaf
From the roaring of the crepuscular cars
Blind from a thousand gaslit stars
What is color to evening? -- and breath
Rising to blue depth, then death as out-breathing
Then life as child, then day as swift-leaving.

6.25.2014

The Quick

it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
Such a fascinating sort, these cyphers
Their last dilemma, one made for lifers
When cold pure water thaws to bring forth
An eye like old crystal, a brightening cup
Blink-blinking, now-looking, now tipping up
Receiving light, sungold dipped in dark north;

As ghosts all, perhaps only half living
And hosts always a soft radiance giving
Half earth, half sky, half star-stuff
So smile suspended breath, knowing cloud
Is your expanding, blowing under heaven bowed
You three and two and never-loud -- enough?

O cry out; will they rise and in rising be first--
Or in that sunrising will their light be dispersed?

6.24.2014

The Sage Is Perplexed Concerning the Automobile

it is addressed thusly:
A thought.
it reads:
The car, what is it really --
The man sees just a machine
Is that though what it has been
But a means for man till he
Find a more natural course
Acquire a finer iron horse?

Consider; it breathes like you
Into its lungs it hungrily draws
The air, and its inner laws
Burn a heart of fire too
To idle, to pace, to run
Spring forth at the sound of a gun;

But its parts are rare and strange
Did you ever see one growing
In the lawn, when you were mowing
How the world must rearrange
To form a body that begets their kind
What mothers, what fathers did you find?

And we see trace of their tread
The built-things of genius they remain
Black tire or oil or no such stain
And these are not to them dead
But help bring them to life as well
The extent of but one; who can tell?

Unseen life, an order is born
A soul of men in want of going on
A body of all industrial brawn
A thought of the sounding of a horn
Pace, pace, impatient filly
The car what is it, really?

6.18.2014

Sonnet V, "These Sudden Flashes"

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
These sudden flashes mark a time I know not
Blinking across the floor and up the walls
The fireflies flash in a sky star-unshot
Responding latently the thunder calls;
What was a sky with stars enow to count
Long lost its many splendored host of yore
Is now like every summer squall and fount
From dark and darkness shown its waters pour;
But now it rests and marks a silent waiting
City breathes its lucent fumes abroad
As when symphonic sounds anticipating
Break the movement, are with softness shod;
  And then the force: a hundred violins
  A night as bright as day! The music ends.

6.16.2014

The Poet Saw A Nightmare At The Death of a Poet

it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
Thus I saw their faces, no faces at all
With but an eye, a cyclops we may call
Looking this way and glancing that
Behind the mask of inclusion and love
One without distinction, below made above
Providence an eyepiece and faith a merry hat
A rainbow-color scarf, empty cross about the neck
A tiny violin and every trumpet at their beck
Sound- make a sound! A sound like a wreck
Victory they call - for freedom it is said
With a plastic face and eyes made of glass
Goggling, googling at every thing that may pass
An angel they have made out of one that is dead
So if you look askance the eye may look at you
But unblinking, unthinking,
-- it is only staring through.

6.15.2014

Dress

it is addressed thusly:
A thought.
it reads:
When it is time for dress-up do you wear the fancy hat?
Do you find the highest collar and then don a fetching spat?
Or do you wear a tunic made for men of every shape
Efficiently to bundle flesh like the skin around a grape?
Or do you wear a hood that makes your darkness darker still
With glitter gone for putting on the envy that may kill
Do you wear a color flat, a habit made for those
Who in choosing dresses must dress what others chose
Or do you wear the air your wore the day that you were born
Wearing but the shaded eye, wearing off-putting scorn

If you see a man dressed well do you find it in your heart
To try to make a scoffing of the whole or of a part
Forget then that no matter how forgetfully you've worn
Whatever it was you threw on from the closet in the morn
That for man all dressing is a costume up or down
Even if he thinks he's wise he may just be a clown
If he wears nothing at all, he still must wear his lack
His skin is but another cloak worn from front to back
Man is an imitator, so no matter what you think you see
By his dress he does confess what he would wish to be.

6.13.2014

Kissing the Sea

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
The Colorado River kissing the sea
At last, when heat's long advance
Halts, leaving cold, wet -- chance
Letting us glance what might be
What might have made those grand
Strokes in the dry and silty land
Drawn like a clade-chart you've seen
Branching, broad trunks go forward
Tentacular limbs thrust out, deferred
Toward a bright and crystal blue-green
Toward fair Cortez, the muddy waters flee
And in the land left, a mighty tree.
a postscript is here written:

6.10.2014

EXIT, VOICE, TERROR

it is addressed thusly:
A thought.
it reads:
On a sunny day, such as this day
Whose clouds bluster, whose sun dogs lie
A light-blue so bleached, the placid sky
Seems now to have not been another way.
And say, like mind, stretches on and on
Until that moment when it is suddenly gone.

Once I think, my greatest grandfather came
To a wild shore, to EXIT, to leave his Albion
It was a time, it was a once-upon
But it was once upon a time the same
To find his way from the crowded burg
From Money and from a scurrilous word.

He and his kin on a day perhaps
Did at last desire to sever ties
Not mild over whether it was wise
But earnest that time should not elapse
Earnest that their VOICE be heard
Earnest for many an honest word.

But days wax on and long they may be
Many else came to share this place
Though gone was my father without trace
He was not one to live yet to see
The dividing of all of his spoils
The water warms, the water boils.

No inheritance is ever certain for long
But if it is at all it must be kept
For its decay slept not when we slept
A din would come to drown a song
Of buying and selling all under the sun
Of commodities for everyone

The mad mob! With its mass of eyes
Who could know what it would do
You would have been frightened too
If death you did not prefer to lies
But men must follow their selfly laws
Even if towards the cliff it draws.

Having broken down the walls that guard
Altar, garden, market and tomb
Even those that bear about the womb
What would prevent then the strong and hard
To whelm, to whelm to now purloin
And what was mightier than the coin?

And now everyone knows this is the end
To hear but themselves when they rise to speak
But it is not, as they insist, all so bleak
There is money to be made if you bend
If you ignore the all too empty helm
That vision might tend to overwhelm

With the thought of a billion men at arms
What choice remains for the caged beast
From the greatest unto the least
Who cares not for whomever he harms
He clamors for voice, he clamors for sound
But in his own clamor his voice is drowned;

But if a man should chance to die
With a bomb, with a gun or with a car
His fear and name will travel far
His TERROR will make the moneymen cry
And clamor to hear his harsh demands
This law such a man understands

The sane man, then must recognize
That voice is only worth its good
Where such one could be understood
Among his own, he may surmise
And what good now are his selfly laws
What good now is his heavenly cause?

Many arguments I have heard to say
That in this I am wrong, that I err
But I have searched and found nothing there
But a claim to the placid sky of day
For I know that I am not in error
About EXIT, VOICE and TERROR.

6.09.2014

Leave

it is addressed thusly:
A thought.
it reads:
And so we are weary, and things break
Whether so great as people or mean as chairs
Is it that our body anchors us to worldly cares
Or that our limits rightly force us our leave to take?

6.08.2014

Pentecost

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
Christ returned to us today
But not as we have been expecting
As though his secret needs protecting
But in yet some other way;
The world did not see this returning
As though a petty orb clear hewn
Sat in a dark and empty room
And at the blink of an eye the burning
Light of the EAST would pierce it through;
Spareless eye renew, renew all the worlds of blue
And gray and brown and red and black
A forwend here of tremendous heat
Now Babel's tongues in fire must meet
And find their distance all turned back
Rise up ye gates, speak face to face
Division's reck gone without a trace
Are you patchwork, made of many things
Dead ones, who breathe no Spirit out
Dry with pleasure, cold with doubt --
But water and fire a Pentecost brings
Still divided and yet now whole this way
Since Christ returned to us today.

a postscript is here written:
divided and yet never disunited

6.06.2014

A Song of Evening

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
When the heat of the day is at last expired
The breeze which made the cooling air
Comes sighing, pressing up the stair
And to the door where we'd retired
And as dying coals might be inspired
The twilight comes with heady light
And retiring at last then makes the night.

6.05.2014

Aloft

it is addressed thusly:
A thought.
it reads:
Even the flighted are bound to earth
Though when we see the birds aloft
And each cloud with countenance soft
We think of what wings were worth
As though the kite in its own way
Did not in that narrow band but stay
Whose hollow body and hollow bones
Did not all the more draw it there
Did not festoon it to inconstant air
To hear and know deep heaven's groans
For the sky complete is more than deep
It is high and wide and cold and far
And no bird can cross from star to star
But must to his own orbit keep
So just to fly - what is it really worth
When even the flighted are bound to earth?

6.03.2014

The General Strike

it is addressed thusly:
A thought.
it reads:
Such is the strike, in its archetype
But yet another thing of its sort
To bother ejection of consort
Loss inflicted, engendered hype
Thought advantage of negative sum
But found by most just troublesome
An emotional trick, a strong placebo
For when such differing things do join
A power which no thing can purloin
Follows the enduring where they go
To try theft of it by grief or gripe
Gains naught, as to bear its stripe
Such is the strike, in its archetype.

6.02.2014

Impeccable Freckle

The Sage Remarks on Woman

it is addressed thusly:
An ode
it reads:
O Galatea! In a sordid dream
Was his fair lady of ivory made
He made her such as not to fade
But not all is as all must seem
And gratitude must from her pass
A fragile hand not up to the task
For a poet who had else in mind
No Venus was there to intercede
Twixt dismal science and its deed
But in this spell we all must find
The sculptor from his dais tossed
Before Galatea, Pygmalion was lost.
a postscript is here written:
shaw pygmalion

5.31.2014

The Mass Transposition Engine

it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
The brace of its walk was a thunder
And the thunder of its walk was its pace
Ungainly and unstanding in race
But kilter and over, over and under
A lightning pace for a thunder.
And a thundering sound of a race.

As tall as a city and unyielding
Its unworldly and uncomely grace
An unelemental without a face
And a crusher of all who were fielding
Wall and city found unyielding.
For them was found no more space.

A jagged being cut from a nightmare
Of a low resolution mind space
A square pixel its anatomy trace
Though far it seemed to be right there
To see it move was the nightmare
To forget it an untimely grace.

None were found would stand athwart it
It moved as a god with no face
Two legs and behind not but waste
What heart had power to transport it
For he who would dare stand athwart it
Its unfathomable Engine would face.
a postscript is here written:
This originates from a dream.

5.30.2014

Old Night

it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
Into the night, I went walking
Searching for a not-feeling
Not feeling that sense reeling
At the pitchdarkness balking
Thinking instead, in my head
Non-thinking of not-dread.

But what man is a mind only
He is not a man; nor woman
Who would not come undone
At the insinuation of ungainly
Half asleep, forms imagined or real
Flat dark from darkness steal?

A tree's slow motion may suggest
Or the form of forsaken dog warding
The deep brain's wrongness recording
Throwing alarm, driving unrest
Do we or do we not see the mottled shape
Do we walk on or dash to escape?

The large things of old night
Perhaps hiding in the ample fold
Of the crease between the new and old
Just waiting just out of sight
At the crunch or low growl we learn
To walk steady, but never return.

5.28.2014

The Overture

it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
Flush with sound, the blue hour waiting
Who was first waking, whose song
Did the morning thereby prolong
Into the past - and we, reciprocating
Lent unabashed a grateful ear
Sound a river, we but a weir

Pooling that colloquial chorus
A concert of perfect voice
A shimmering dream river noise
Calling to mind what is yet before us

When the Orient shall rise upon the world
And in train before it, stately stating
Flush with sound, the blue hour waiting
And then soft - its form unfurled

Not a hint yet in its deep-blue marine
Of his terrible face have we seen
But clouds riding softly in equipoise
For when all suspensions of disbelief
Meet no longer in mourning or grief
No longer in dream river noise --

But cleft apart, recreating
Flush with sound, the blue hour waiting.

5.26.2014

The Memorial, II

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
A delicate word is needed here
For these ones we hold so dear
For costly their honor, costly their truth
At great cost did they prolong their youth
Into something it wasn't- by being thus
To their calling as a sacred trust
Though we may in time disregard their wars
The hour is late, the sand down-pours
But a man stands and says, "All should know
As we men once remembered the Alamo
Should we realize all our hild so tragic are
As to render us most piteous by far
Yet we remain, through fratricides and falls
The spirit of the warrior has not yielded the walls
Our men fought with weapons not as good
And yet overcame those who thought they should
And fair! Did we not have them test their steel
For arms and horse and wing that feel
Of mastery, that clutch of arrows I saw
Clasped in the brazen eagle's left claw
-- his grip slackens, but they remain sharp
O muse! Here prepare your harp;
For how great is their honor if true
That every battle they fought was Waterloo
A loss! But even sensing this fact
Did not turn away, never once slacked
And so they remain, a proud statuary
Men who are and were what most could never be.
The soldier is not called to break his oath
But to fulfill it even if to do so is loath."
A hard truth, for whom may receive its call
Would be memorialized in this very hall.

5.25.2014

The Man Blind From Birth

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
That man who was blind from birth
Right there, all the philosophies
Meet singularly in dis-ease
What could such a man be worth
His peril is no one's fault at all
His story does not a moral call
To mind, but overthrows their paltry ward
As so many tables in temple were
Flipped in might and great anger
No one's fault! But we move toward
-- was it God's? But God came there
And revealed a strange and utmost care
To permit a world of broken things
That man alone cannot make straight
Now the lawyers grow all more irate
What great error this well man brings!
Whose eyes were this late made from earth
This man who was blind from birth!?