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.


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.


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.


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.


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!?



it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
On the street, bare flesh, short hair
Flamboyant, searching for eyes
They alone seem to realize
That they must revel in the stare
For they care to be desired and seen
These, the people of the Scene.



it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
I would that you sleep or you dream
And if dream, dream true, dream true
If you dream of the ocean blue
And of a sky of pink and cream
Of a morning sky - the sun blazing red
Do you dream of yourself instead
What is in you, O dreamer of light
Electric, a body suffused
Spread thin, gathered in, then loosed
Of a passionate, transient might
Twilight comes; the sun's not to be seen
By chance had you glanced what it'd been
Or did you see just the earth and the sea
Your navel, Narcissus, and hear
The vague echo of one yet held dear
O Sunflower! Then all visions flee
Be encoded, be bottled, be meme
I would that you sleep or you dream.


The Snub

it is addressed thusly:
A thought.
it reads:
The Right to Remain Silent
May be your only recourse
For you whom they did not endorse
With your approval your sound also went
Scratch of needle; your article's a stub
That's when you know you've gotten the Snub.
a postscript is here written:
a pass-word:
commencement speaker protest


The Lotus Eaters

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
The Lotus Eaters come - two by two
As though by magic an ark will form
In which to weather some coming storm
They are quite out of their minds it's true
But harm no one, or no one such
That men this day will notice much
All colors hang in varied beads
In their ship made of sticks and skin
A pleasure today they will enter in
Of food, of poison, of queerish creeds
And who countermands their quietist way
Not witches by night, not villains by day
And the judge has forgotten his reason why
The reporter is lost, the cleric falls dumb
They have no law, no rule of thumb
Except acceptance, and cannot deny
To empty themselves as a wooden bowl
And fill, fill with pleasure their wanting soul.



it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
Let us sit in the cool evening
Together once again, the breeze
Catching our breath as it leaves
Up to dim Heaven singing
Together, withal the moon hides
Though each hour passing, slides
Away as a fistful of cool sand
The creaking boards must sigh
The bench is loath to ask why
This moment but a palm spanned
A hand that is in another
A father -- a mother.


The Poet Asks a Final Question

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
The sad, old station sat waiting
Did it wait for a train to come
Was it even waiting for anyone
Sagging roof, old letter painting
Its bailiwick long moved on
But still it stands, waits long
There are springs and summers passing
Eyes few now to see what it once was
No stray why or trailing because
Somewhere though the folk are amassing
Long fingered hands to offer salvation
Squatters to find a permanent vacation
And I ask you, is there here enow
Can cinder blocks be made complete
Will any resist a fervent heat
Does old tin a memory allow
What our sacred honor has withstood
Or does it declare it gone for good?



it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
This afternoon they uncorked the sun
Without warning, roaring, pouring rain
A libation ran quick down the drain
Before you could blink, the bottle was done.


The Gull and The Crow

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
O the gull and the crow, come for prey
To the house of prayer, to eat, to devour
To make ruin as much as is in their power
If any bird of peace should come their way
Dark envy there, that murderous crow
Dim fringe for all the dim folk who grasp
Pale esteem the gull whose beak might clasp
And fight enow o'er any scrap cast below
Did you find to eat an angel of peace
Did you twist and tear, that scandal increase
Any word, any bird, an elder might release?
a postscript is here written:
a pass-word:
pope dove peace crow gull attacked


The Sage Contends For The Bond Of Friendship

it is addressed thusly:
A thought.
it reads:
Why do we come here, you and I?
Is it the color of clouds in the arching sky?
Is the wall too tall for us to climb just alone?
Is it just our thirst to learn of the unknown?
Do we each come only as it pleases our mind?
Did we come to fight and just draw our line?
Do we share the same tastes, is that really all?
Are we just cast off from the great and small?
Perhaps we come for but our selfly greed,
Or perhaps,
We admit --
That each other we need.


The Orator Remarks On Choice Ironies

it is addressed thusly:
A thought.
it reads:
Everyone is bound to get used
Don't get confused - this is mere fact
And that is enough for other things
The realization stings, and why not?
Why should we not fall on our face
Once in awhile, pace, as is our style
To avoid failing, and selfly change
Bewailing -- all unless it is for the world
The self is thisway curled about nothing
Nothing at all! But rigid like a mask
The task - to break it fast but remain
Will you be the same? However instead
We wait, dead, for the world to change
It doesn't -- but moves strange, according
To its spirit, that thing, and we count
It a positive amount that its circle great
Does demonstrate flux, moving nowhere
And yet we dare to say of that man
The sayer, who can layer after layer
Disclose that in truth it goes no where --?
At least he then will not be confused!
For everyone is bound to get used.


The Theorist

it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
In the garden of the forking paths
There is a man who's walking past
Countless ways, left and right
Sloping down, they all alight
As though now suggesting depth
Or ease of way if one accepts
That down-going must imply
The nadir of the question "why"
Though the Path, I reiterate
Is always narrow, is always straight
This man turns when he has found
A one most strongly going-down
If tis to reckon him a guide
Would it provoke a downward slide
Truth must seek the highest place
But getting there, it always waits
Greed is not to seek the best
But when deferment is a pest
So the heart of the matter is
What is will? - a final quiz
Its moment is its resting mass
In the garden of the forking paths.


No Brakes

it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
Rushing again towards the blackest night
Was there a reason for their alacrity
Was reason at all there where we could see
Could we see at all - if there was light
Braking hard, but sorrow did not assuage
It was but with horror that we could engage
To describe the thing that no one could see
Not even we who tell the blind to flee
The circuits short, though with panels still bright
We stomp but the brakes cannot engage
Consoled only in the thought of another age
Where to the four winds we might alight
Where some dwell low and some dwell high
With utopia lost, let its billion dead lie
But we know this tunnel does not end with light
Rushing again towards the blackest night.


The Former Rains

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
Now soft rising without roar
Water, the undergird once thought
Even the Chinese, much sought
Its humble ease as earth's core
More than it did truly inspire
Though our world's heart is fire
Liquid fire, Tse might yet say
And rising flood, once waterwise
Banded in by but seas and skies
Rainband remind, and mark the Day
The firmaments regain their name
When firm is bright and bright is flame;
Alas we have no such great tale unrolled
Here, but the rivers swell and sigh
Quietly rend and tear what lie
Low, and less is man concerned with cold
Than to rock and grip tight the oar
Now soft rising without roar.


Lenten Spring

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
That thirsty ground, dry in spring
Draws in deep, brings forth blade
And stalk rises, and reborn glade
And bud and flower shortly rising
Slightly warming gone southerly
More of the late and early to see
Is its nee light coming, water falling
Lightly calling in an outward way
Man, woman, stalling to behold the day
With each supposed reborn thing talling
And reminding them of birth, rebirth
How much of this impression worth
Our consideration, mirth or thought otherwise
Who tries to unwind Gordias' hard work
Does fish rise again from dead murk
Does water make living the husk that dries
But for that life buried, hiding, waiting thing
That thirsty ground, dry in spring.