12.29.2015

The Young

The city is always built on the young
The old rule, and order its stones
But no brick or mortar is borne by their bones
They look out; and if they still see
They see past the walls to the waiting sea
Rising or falling, in threat or in calm
Its order is just what meets their eye
Good or bad; in praise or in qualm
If truth be what quickly leaps from their tongue
Or if they dwell in a fantasy's lie
The city is always built on the young.

The city is always built on the young
Children on their weary parents' knees
Our labors a call and not a disease
You too were once a baby in time
A child, and is youth such a crime
That it should be made against the law
To do its work, and then at last
If we tired souls had heard at all
There is no old man's war ere sung?
Youth shall be spent before it is past;
The city is always built on the young.

The city is always built on the young
Sing then, with the flame in your breast
And put each your mete and mettle to test
To save your life you must lose it he said
And in years well numbered you will be dead
We are all slaves to uprightness
- this much is true, but to what end?
Sing then, let your music confess,
The horn must be winded, the harp must be strung
Call then the maidens and mighty men
The city is always built on the young.

12.04.2015

Rest

it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
We stood in silence -- once more
No sound came calling from the door
No lights aflicker, no sounds of cheer
No voices of those we hold most dear;

We stood in silence; unwhispered air
And invited it in, it stood right there
Perhaps it walked, perhaps it sat
Unseen, what was it looking at?

The silence stood, it was upright
It was morning, noon and night
Nor stirred the candle, with its flame
There was no way to say its name;

But stand in silence, we all did
Or did it stand in us instead
Stood it under, or stood above
This quiet I am speaking of?

We watched the pictures, they in turn
Winked softly in the candle-burn
Said nothing, for what is to say
Standing in that silent way?

The page's words were motionless
In their black and handsome dress
Poised upon a field of white
Standing in that silent night;

The moon and sun had hid their face
From this odd and half-lit place
The watch-quartz made as though it stopped
The time too stood, and silence dropped;

Whispers the child, perhaps in fear
In wonder of what we're doing here
Why so quiet? What do we listen for?
And we stood in silence, once more.
a postscript is here written:
Though romantics often thought children to be wise, perhaps misunderstanding Christ's admonition to 'be as a child' - a certain experiment can reveal that a child's lack of self-deception does not equate to wisdom. For the voice that silence whispers to us who know it well, does not yet seem to be heard by them, as when it is called upon, they do not know to let it speak. Instead, they wait for some audible sound to occur that we are listening for, or perhaps fear the silence and fill it with idle words. But silence can only be heard where sound ceases; this simple truth is subtle and they have yet to grasp it.

11.26.2015

The Rectification of Names

it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
The young mother swings the child in her arms
And what other joy is complete?
Though now their voices be faint, they said
Here heaven and earth shall meet;
But no such joy is reserved for our girls
Who labor as under the earth,
For labor once meant the task of the call
And the task of the call was but birth;

The strife of war at the call of arms
The city yet to be built,
What pleasure is there but to see these things
The blood and sweat to be spilt;
Our men have no war but among themselves
And no wall shall be left erect
For conquest was once the treasure we sought
Before that treasure was wrecked;

The visions we saw, the children we saw
The truth we all longed to know,
The rulers we were, the servants we were
Someday above as below
They offered us power, just for a few words
Which never would be the same
But all that is wrong will be right again
At the Rectification of Names.

11.25.2015

A View to a Kill

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
At last unbound from all things real
The step into nothing is strange at first
Limited only by what they feel
Accepting a limit is alone accursed;
But strength is mere limitation
The object once pushed pushes back
To all of their consternation
White is white and not black;
So instead of thinking it through
To divide the false from the true
Accept he who imposes a will
It has been quite a view to a kill.

11.16.2015

To a Persian Rug

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
I have oft considered this rug before,
Waiting in dim light for confession
Still, inert, spread upon the floor
And yet not devoid of expression
Though I think it is knit with flowers
In these late, half-dreamed hours
My mind's eye begins a digression
And sees instead the elements' powers.

Lilies with the face of a sleeping child
A star that is perhaps a Nasturtium;
On a field of deep blue it is styled
Seraphs like eyes on the face of heaven
The border of red, whose tangled crown
Morning glory--? The vine is grown
Around in eddies and twists uneven
Where four rivers of paradise had flown;

My drooping reverie goes deeper still
The eye sees itself in this arrangement
Shapes of terror, or unknown good will
Of heaven's or earth's estrangement;
Though some find such objects to be a bore
Lying still as a corpse on this wooden floor
Its life coheres with the mind's engagement--
Yes, I have considered this rug before.

11.14.2015

11/13

it is addressed thusly:
An imprecation.
it reads:
In time, before St. Philip's day
In dark of night, Paris sleeping
The dam which held it back gave way
That wall alone which still was keeping
Detente in place, with fragile words
But not it seems, with sharpened swords
As those of the moon might say
Time is nigh to cut their cords

And let them to the ocean's whim
The middle sea cross'd with impunity
As though no water contained within
Had power longer to make men flee
Who would fear the water's wrath
They think and stumble down the path
And not of their childrens' security
They think of taking a bubble bath

While blood to spill and bombs pour in
An army gathers they cannot rout
Awaiting spark, inciting din
While they quaver in darkling doubt
It is a story, 'twas told before
For when the blood runs to their door
Will they turn the migrants out?
We wonder what we should wonder for.
a postscript is here written:
a pass-word:
11/13/15 Muslim Paris Rampage

11.12.2015

Cold Sun


it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
A cold sun comes, and under its beams
Is seen that what is, is not what it seems
Ought it be warmer - by whose design
When the whole world is fettered with rime
A cold sun! As if no one yet knows
What warms the wind, when the wind blows?
Does the lake of fire, a bottomless pit
Warm the whole world with igneous spit--?
Does a secret store deep in the sea
Make life warmer than else it would be?
Volcanoes that vent ring the great sea of peace
Their ire feeds us carbon as oft as they please;
And the trees and grass find it pleasant enough
Which smooth off the weather, where it is rough
A cold sun! Quite spotless as seen
With instrument, but what could it mean?
Expecting God to punish quite before his time
Though maybe his wrath is the fetters of rime
A cold sun! And let the cows flatulate
While they dream the universalist state
Mere owners could profit these little ones
Such as it is when the cold sun comes.
a postscript is here written:
a pass-word:
maunder cold minimum sun

11.04.2015

Holography

https://www.flickr.com/photos/trevorvangorp/49857232

it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
We are waiting for the world after
"Do not deceive yourselves," he said
To proclaim it yet, lips are astir --
This secret, secret of the dead.
We cannot make it come to us
Hoping for a door in an old room
A closet - in a world like a womb
But desire it still we must;

Once awoken, the truth like sight
Sharpens the lines - just as spoken
In his cave, man knows Plato was right
But the light comes scattered, broken
Perhaps there is no way from this maze
But to prevent it from driving us mad
And of those who for a moment had
Glimpsed the bright morning 'mid the haze?

The eternity written in the heart of man
Perhaps a specific set of letters
And those who, in this haze still can
Tell us - we would call our betters.
Waiting on every word, they come
To hear weird tales from the outside
But he in simplicity then replied:
"Rejoice, for your God is one."

The coming wolf amid the sheep
His time is short, and his sport
The slope of it is very steep
The shepherd's knife bears retort;
"The world of tomorrow today"
But the kingdom was proclaimed
Ages before - his smile is strained
Who makes the world his way?

Magic, in the minds of mankind
To change the basic rules of things
The technique is not unrefined
If not unreal in the promises it brings
The walking man wishes to fly
Wishes a child a giant to be
I can be you, and you can be me
And together we can never die.

But Socrates sees them standing
In a dark cave no less, and how
Do they not see - he is demanding
But a demand they do not allow;
To warn them his lips are astir
But first to them it must occur
That they cannot make it come anyhow --
We are waiting for the world after.

10.23.2015

The Stone on the Shore


it is addressed thusly:
A song.
it reads:
Time passes, I am but its witness
The steady sound, the pulse suggests
A cycle which must go on unless
There is an end to what now exists
My heart yearns for what is more
Reaching as it were, just beyond
Despite this, halting just before
Haunted by the suggestion of sound
What motions would I offer in turn
I who know nothing of nothing at all
I must go back; and begin to learn
Even back before I can recall
The sea under the autumn's color
Which I have never before seen
A leaf alights; and what befell her
Under this - a peaceful scene?
Is it my mother, or her mother before
In my body such things never were
How can I remember anymore
That which to me did not occur?
The sea's inchoate sound rises
A lapping like a clock's wound
A motion of unseen devices
A breath of a child's sleeping-sound.
We do not know if it is day or night
The sun is full of clockwork mystery
We are not blind, who have not sight
But still we are waiting at the sea;
And then the voice of one singing
-- is heard above its comely rush
One's own voice, the wind bringing
The echo's call to a distant hush
To remember sight is like seeing
For that is how man must watch
The time which is past being
Drawn into the sea and lost;
Behind is a sound of another kind
But we turn not to see its source
In this place of peace we find
Will to let things run their course
The song is faint; but it is our own
It still knows what we cannot confess
Whence we came, what is our home
Thus time passes; and I, its witness
Have heard the wind and water groan
Those with ears and eyes saw less
And I- yet I! Am but a stone.

10.16.2015

Twelve Types

it is addressed thusly:
Odes.
it reads:
When at last on all sides hard pressed
Stanislav Wartzen gathered to a greatness

Little Raeleen Fontaine is more than she seems
Her life - a shame - was the substance of dreams

The maker of troubles unheeded - first and last for herself
Rose Red timely plucked, needed saving from no one else

Having forgotten more, true or false, than any other had known
Arkham Charon swore revenge, but instead was called home

Clever fingers spin, remember pain, remember bliss
Elizabeth Richardsenn, ever jealous as her God is

As calm as empty skies, bearing Heaven's Mandate
Jurai Nakamoto, without eyes saw the end of fate

Thinks not as he seems, though not this he understands
Gad Gettrick dreams, though the power is in his hands

Lance Richardsenn of stature great, no harm wrought
Not to man nor machine, the weight of glory he sought

Toranchless, once-god of thunder, regained his crown
And for both glory and love, again cast it down

Mary-Elaine troubled the waters, when love bore her fury
First among Caspar's daughters, once bound, now free.

Master of the stars, living on though he is long dead
Baltasar could escape all, but never escape his head

A machine of God, sent to judge his contest for Men
Warden unseen, Doex -- impartial to the End.

10.14.2015

Seven Canticles For Prudence

it is addressed thusly:
A thought.
it reads:
In the time of poverty
We vied to sell our days
- our hours, that liberty
be ours for prosperity
"the free is he who pays."

Who lied to us when
In that revolutionary murk
They made gears of men
For freedom, and then
"man has a duty to work."

Who would buy a hand
Even if the price is right
Does our burden demand
A return? But fallow, and
"man's work is his right."

Freedom other cannot be;
For the poor, his rest;
The freedman, property;
The noble, all history
"He who works for free is best."

The time which is not sold
In evil days yet to come
As it was still of old
Is worth more than can be told
"He who inherits is a son."

But what is left to give
When all is sold to pay
The poor, for a time to live
As kings - but a sieve:
"Do not pearls before swine lay."

You, with the upturned cup
Does it have a bottom too,
Even when made a top --?
Here, once more fill it up:
"The poor you will always have with you."

10.06.2015

Sun and Shadow

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
When the summer rain came
And I was the darkling cloud
With bluster bold and loud
The end to make declaim
You were the dawn hinting
On the east's slight surmise
A twinkle of hope, glinting
In the time of sunrise;

When the winter was a pall
Of gray, hung funerary
You were the gathering, very
Anticipating the end of all
But then I was the noonday
Breaking winter, making done
With a hope less white than gray
- look on high and carry on.

9.24.2015

The Novel

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
All that glitters is not gold
But if it were, what would we say
When we found what was not old
"A new god, a new era, a new day"?
The imprecations roar, and why not
Do we grasp as the crow has got
A new bauble - "make way, make way
For the future bright and star-shot"?

The novel - and the era so named
For a litany of splendid things
Which pass before, brazen, inflamed
With passion on passion's wings
The eyes do not know what they're seeing
But it has never been seen, freeing
The mind to wish what it brings
And never understand its being.
a postscript is here written:
"As engineers, a new shiny component is a marvel, in and of itself. As a priest, it is an entry vector for the demonic. Both view[s] are valid, and must be held in tension."

9.10.2015

Pandora's Spirits



it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
Red-eyed Pandora sat weeping
To see the elements' powers
Though hope may yet come creeping
Her time will not be ours;
A wee box, with a turn of the key
Sprung open by strange device
Its mechanic all too precise
A moment of liberty;
Out they come one by one
Then their names we did learn
And without word they run
The time of the Taciturn;
And time for mankind is keeping
A record of reason sleeping
Such monsters must crash - and burn
Red-eyed, Pandora sat weeping.

9.05.2015

The Court's Witness

it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
Ever do they exploit the dead
Body over body - better when young
Were they whom of it was once said
"As of yet their crimes are still unsung?"
And what of their glories many and true
The latter is theirs, but for me and you
The lash is ready, if it has not yet stung
To remind us of our sins many or few

What good is a child if not for his flesh
Think of just how well this explains
Their system of thought, well as the best
Though feebly they repent of its stains
That stains that is, which profit no more
A migrant child, who dies at the door
The parts of a fetus which nobody names
Free bodies to wage their perpetual war.

But history's judge cannot be bought
Though for a time themselves they deceive
Treasures were gained, wars were fought
It was our honor, such to receive
In thankfulness, in holy dread
But they said thus to their own instead
"We must decrease", and history leave
Still ever do they exploit the dead.

9.01.2015

The Song of Winnowing

it is addressed thusly:
A song.
it reads:
When he moved, the earth itself shook
And his movements from heaven were seen
Upon the roundness of it he took
As great a host as ever had been
To make his own whatever he saw
A totality in whole without flaw
A body such as this - what can it mean
A witness of might as its own law?

A hundred millions was a short guess
Two, three, five - one in twelve came
Of those who dwell on earth, confess
Neither man nor sod would be the same
Haters of war but lovers of power
Made them devotees in that hour
Of his religion, truly but his name
With might blooming a timely flower;

Waves of men and arms like the sea
At the last moment the keys must turn
And Pandora's spirits arise, set free
Flight on flight the atom to burn
And make of half-billion a stain
That deplorable word, its dark refrain
"Fall out of the sky, O taciturn --
Where once was might, make silence remain."

8.28.2015

Determination

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
The unstoppable one
Born free, legend earned
And the original red
Under the sun, under the sun
Left few so concerned
But "friend",  spoke instead
Of this, the Geranium.

8.24.2015

Physics


it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
The perfect model of their mind
A procedure, not one of a kind
Prove the hypothesized before
It became not a god - an egregore
Light in moving, the mind on God
The apple falling, memory lapses
A star is born, another collapses
Striking as it goes the ruddy sod
Or does it strike the man instead
As Adam, as Newton, as of old
And being struck thus in the head
A certain truth of things unfold
And also a lie - both evil and good
Vision and blindness, as he could
His mind's motion alone behold
And believe that he has understood?

8.18.2015

The Orator Considers the Spectacle of Power


it is addressed thusly:

An ode.
it reads:
Brazen faced - speaks more in a roar
With brow furrowed, lip in a frown
Hand or shoulder cast to the fore
In expression, they call him a clown
If he is, would a sad clown he be
That he glowers at their paucity
Or a happy one, throwing down
His causus belli most merrily?

Knowing the seal of power's name
Which was once chained and bound
"Do you think this is but a game?"
In such hands it would be found
If that law which held it fast
And granted it largess en masse
Tax, conscript, regulate the ground
And strength o'er strength--!
           -- free at last.

8.17.2015

The Sage Considers the Dusk

it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
Now we know our night is not night
When the sun sets, it is not in the west
Even the day has been robbed of its light
And the summer wind of its breath
"The dry men, the stuffed men,"
Is the summer's breath but then
As the poet said, who went to his rest
The last breath - a gasp of the end?

Lightning flashes - the heat of the night
Erupts in a sudden and white cascade
A call of thunder is a call to fight
A horn's call - of what battles are made
But to fight where do the blind go
If the lightning broke clean did they know
Or does the shuddering make afraid
Those who scrape earth here below?

Dry grass - if such dryness had a name
A browning of soul - a birth of straw
An anticipation before the flame
Accepting its red and final law
A law of blood - not fair or slight
Once of mercy, now mickle of might
Was this the vision he once saw --
"Now we know, our night is not Night."

8.12.2015

Sonnet VI - "Leverage"

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
It was as though the sun would rise in the west
And Archimedes is silent; silent in fear
Would such things be done at our behest
What lever could be found to turn back that sphere?
Pull with all of your might, O mighty man
But you must push also with your feet
Raise a god with but a string in your hand
In that place where beast and overman meet
On what now does your mighty mountain rest
As now you've thrown the name of God away
A lake of fire that has no bottom? - this
Will gods not also burn in that day?
With the right amount of effort, perhaps
But he pulls too hard - the lever snaps.

8.09.2015

The Poet and the Auspex

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
We walk in the light of afternoon
We two - as though two were not
Myself and her - and the rising moon
In peace, though our spirits fought;

"You act as though you cannot see
Though the path is plain ahead
The white hart I saw run behind a tree
But a moment ago," she said;

"I see tracks," I said, "Though I know not of
The spirit of which you speak
Subtle they are, as daylight above
Has made my vision weak;"

"No spirit he was," she then averred
"But a being of bone and flesh.
You play as one blind, and you've preferred
To deceive me yet afresh;"

"The day is too bright to see such things
As candles glow not in the noon
If I dream we may see what the dreaming brings"
I said, though dusk was not soon;

So I sang a song I wrote of that wood
And she sang as she alone can
Of paths half-lit that lead to a rood
Of we, both woman and man;

And as though we had jested a thing out of turn
We, walking hand in hand
Tripped as though uprightness to spurn
And fell in a crease of the land;

We awake in a daze, our heads to raise
To ensure that the other was there
"Tell me then, did you dream-" she says
Quietly between draping hair;

I reply, "I saw a white deer go by
And she stopped to turn her head;
In her I hoped was the Eastern sky
But I dreamt of you instead."

7.29.2015

The Sage to the Doctor

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
Smooth hands, which make light and fast every task
Is my sight yet your sight - have I need to ask
My eye was evil then and yours was still good
"Do no harm", and when you sang I was moved
Though you knew it not, love of beauty behooved
When I moved but thought, you understood
"She knows not," I spoke as one in an ecstasy
A man made of smoke, you a bright flame
Where I darkened lie, you bring clarity
You broke the heart my tongue could but name
Doctor! To cleave between body and soul
With an incision clean, you made it whole.

7.27.2015

The Orator to the Dancer

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
That slinky curve of a form;
I am undone, though man I was born
The eyes speak, the feet speak
But the hips move in time
I did not yet say sublime
The rhythm of the boards' creak
Under footfall called a dance
Or simply a walk or a stance
The rising back; the hair sleek
But for a moment she grants
A smile quick as a peek
And in hand - a romance.

7.17.2015

The Auspex Sings to Rigel Kent

it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
Rigel Kent, that hoof that grinds down
Did in brightness come the boar
To root out and cast down
The stars forevermore?

Did Wormwood come and stain the sea
In absinthe-sickness make folly
With flood carry man and flea
In its destined volley?

Did at last shatter the dome of the sky
With the broad face of the moon
The hunter the whale espy
New in everlasting noon?

Did the sun fuming, rage out like a coal
Whose heat makes live and dead
Who ignore invincible Sol
With bitterness well-fed?

Did heaven and earth end in a breath
Rigel Kent, before a throne of light
Crowded out with life and death
Eternal day, eternal night?

7.15.2015

Far Away

it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
In the dust of morning's call
The dream was gone - desire withal
Was it that we were all fain
To see it gone - flame under flame
Reading of things still far away?

I am loath to say I read them too
Unelemental dreams dreaming drew
Day did not withhold them there
Dim of the haze of brightening air
Figments of things far away;

We believed it, we believed withal
That we harkened such a call
That embarking while standing still
Fain with zeal to go and fulfill
Dreams of things yet far away;

Then when things went sideways,
We, but mendicant stowaways
Loath to believe our vessel drove
Into tractless deep and then dove
Withal we were not yet far away

Be chary, be merry, be ruth
But happenstance forgot the truth
The reck our folly no one drew
No image they had for it, too
Eyes all on things far away.

7.13.2015

Everlasting No More

it is addressed thusly:
The second imprecation.
it reads:
Poets of the twentieth century
Save for a precious few
Did you finally have your victory
Well tell me - did you?
Your words will not be misunderstood
They will not be a slogan on a shirt
They will never be run through the dirt
They will not be a saleable good--
That which is forgotten will not
Be abused, was this the battle you fought
To be authentic, and all of your blood
Sweat and tears - time and man forgot?

Go then quickly, as it is said
To the guards of the heavenly fold
Ask, if you can but remember the dead
What the prophets among them told
-- For the voices to at last be still
Which are yet but yours and so
What can never be sung will go
In great haste, obeying their will
Be forgotten, expire and be free
As footprints washed away by the sea
A few will stay, for good or for ill--
Poets of the twentieth century.

7.06.2015

Partly Cloudy

https://www.flickr.com/photos/24354425@N03/14323898258

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
The shattered sun, over crushed cloud
A bright fist beneath a white shroud
Neither rising nor setting as it may seem
Limpid is the sight, motionless the theme
Do the clouds move or the jilted sun
Are both still, or do both move as one
The lazy pines bask in overcast
As though no day would be their last
The sand less light, the road less gray
The summer less summer on such a day
A time in which it would be believed
That the wheel will turn as received
And stop not -- but for the rain
So it suggests -- but will it come again?

6.26.2015

6.26

it is addressed thusly:
The first imprecation.
it reads:
O America - God's hand is upraised
Though your judgment fell
Your own wisdom you have praised
"I have done everything well,"
You spoke in the depths of your cups
Judging what was not, what was
In a blister-bright high of a buzz
On a rainbow from which still drops
Blood full of pestilent, detestable things
You wonder with joy what it brings
Until that heart up and stops
The blood - from earth it still sings.

Nothing is hid from the blood
No, every error and misdeed
Every stain of soot and of mud
Positivity is what you need
Or so you say, but what does it say
"Oh, curse that you were born
Curse the sounding battle-horn
Curse the sun and flee the day
Blessed is he who takes the iron rod
And herds you as cattle in the grimy sod
His countenance will be merry and gay
Blessed be the terror in the judgment of God."
a postscript is here written:
6.26

6.25.2015

Storm and Dusk

it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
Late in time, the frenzied rain
Coming at us under pall of night
Fall, fall in saturnine might
Though the sun has yet to set again
Where have the people gone
Have they too, read the sky's face
In good sense quickly moved on
I do not see them in any place
We are shaken by a lightning-crack
Under threat of flood by rain's attack
To be washed away without a trace
Going, going and not looking back.

That strange and vanilla sky
Brilliant above the sun's decline
Shine, shine, with heaven shine
At last now the clouds are dry
Fading to orange and burning out
As grief like anger must too pass
That evil day, for thunder-shout
Rain-rush and lightning-crash
Beyond is the resolve of twi-light
Clouds come, a regiment of white
An army the change of day cannot rout
Sink, sink sun, and behold the night.

6.22.2015

Political Correctness

https://www.flickr.com/photos/kdale/6401232549

it is addressed thusly:
A thought.
it reads:
Those who remain silent because
They do not know they cannot speak
The gulag came from Lenin's laws
But what had Gramsci for the meek
Who would, regardless of labor cost
Cold steel kept but bright gold tossed
Not rise up, but like water leak
So all his great fortunes are lost;

Silence them, he might have said
But let them think that they are heard
And though their voices are ringing dead
They will not hear o'er their own word
You, of this sort, are actually the weak
Only your seeming strength they seek
So to others your privilege transferred-
You do not know you cannot speak.

6.18.2015

A Spy in The House of God


it is addressed thusly:

A vision.
it reads:
I stood gimlet-eyed in the hall to paradise
Walking slow, making note of every light
That comes forth, and though the air is nice
Suggesting a bright midsummer's night
It is dark, and by manifold pinprick lamp
Mysterious things on the mind must stamp
Patterns begun spinning, birds in midflight
Whose denouement fades in the evening damp

Did we see there just what we wanted to see
A tourist of the worlds both unseen and vast
The hall is endless, which crosses that sea
A sea of deep heaven in which a net is cast
I write furtively; my hand as though clawed
Time is ever short, apparatus ever flawed
Casting my line to the future from the past
For I am a spy in the house of God.

6.15.2015

A Heart of Darkness

https://www.flickr.com/photos/florian_langa/145799303/

it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
The dark continent -- is it strange to find
That those who come out want not to return
What then is its image, time out of mind
What do even those who love it discern?
If there were in truth a god of blood
It would be here that the tide became a flood
Men to sell and men to slay and burn
A flower born to be nipped at the bud;

Those who come must join its ritual
Its populace through theft and murder trained
Trained by its own and on its own will fall
Save by a wall, and it will be blood-stained
None will contain them save almighty God --
Make more children, destined for the sod
Until at last the world itself be drained
Weep then and sing: "Komm, süßer Tod."
a postscript is here written:
a pass-word:
The Fortunes of Africa

6.12.2015

The Two Before The Storm


it is addressed thusly:

A vision.
it reads:
"Do not try to make men good"
He said, lifting his drooping head
"Those who thought that they could
Have found that they made men dead."

"What then of men who do ill
Must they be cast out, slave or free
Must they be removed physically
Is that the end of a wicked will?"

"Some," he replied, deep in thought
"Can be taught by carrot or by stick
Some may in this way be bought
Though they be stubborn and thick."

"But is not this a goodness made
Of man's doing, which you forbade?"
The other sat a moment in reverie
Wondering what his answer would be;

"Man's worth is in rightness of will
Then with all excellence to fulfill;
Guide him, for how else could he see
And thus do good instead of ill?

Moreover, how can a man know at all
A boundary is crossed, without a fence
Such folly would not be our recompense
Save we did not tear down every wall."

"So you suggest then but to restore
In some form, what was raised before?"
And as rain began to gently fall
"Yes" he said, "and nothing more."

6.08.2015

A Reply to a Feminist

it is addressed thusly: 
The Poet Last Resort replies to a feminist
it reads:
Ah, the ancient Greeks, their love of beauty was astounding,
I said to her in reflection on narratives from Bulfinchs Mythology.
For them beauty was a power to which even gods would yield
and shaped the very fabric of our beings.
But modern women, she replied, have more pressing concerns
like power and accomplishments that supersede such male imposed and
simplistic urges, for beauty is but a figment of the ages.
Then this is what I said:
For you we have died for a thousand centuries
how can you say such a thing to me?
When we were threatened for millions of years by carnivore and
apekind, we died for you and our children, but then slowly one by one
we killed then all and made the village safe.
When the Neanderthal sought to leave us corpses in the dust,
 we fought them and died for you and our children and
when the dust was settled they all were dead.
All through time our strong arms and wills have met the test
and seen you through,
so tell me, tell me true,
how can you say such a thing to me? 
a postscript is here written:
WTO, the Poet of Last Resort

a pass-word:  mythology

Revision


it is addressed thusly:
A thought.
it reads:
Today we hear the clarion call
Did we respond - did we notice at all
The sea of noise became a roar
It crept - it flowed around the door
We didn't notice when it first came
(We hardly noticed it knew our name)
Now we forget as to when
The noise pollution first began
The adjustment of our lexicon
We keep calm and carry on
We worry our water may be impure
(But our mind will not long endure)
Pollute the man and pollute the world
Dust from the face of which is hurled
And we have concern for eagle's eggs
And if some man or woman begs
Our core that must coordinate
Cannot any longer discriminate
Between black and white, up and down
Soon dirty and clean, flat and round
"It is healthy" but what is health
"It yet prospers" but what is wealth
"It is inhuman" but what is man
Antoinette may wave her fan
"Let them eat cake," she dully said
But it was in a fiction - the Queen is dead.

6.03.2015

Humanism


it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
Hypatia was their Virgin Mary
High Debate their eucharist
Shown buxom, fair and chary
All her charms they would enlist
Woo them with a strange cartoon
Of a woman who was such and such
Whom she was we know not much
But trying to raise her from the tomb
And make witnesses of partial truth
Which becomes a partial lie so soon
Sacrifice comes after ruth --
Laugh and weep, for it is sooth.

6.01.2015

Schwarzschild and Cassandra

https://www.flickr.com/photos/matthigh/2983549068

it is addressed thusly:

A vision.
it reads:
Cassandra, Cassandra did you tell
Did you compose the soliloquy well
The power of a star turned back, turned back
Schwarzschild solved the shadow script
Though the cave might be a crypt
And gravity knows no rest, no slack:

“The solar engine can scale no more
This size we saw – we saw before
Though light it may yet still produce
It cannot escape; the star turns black”

“The power,” she calls, “it must turn back
A man’s own weight does make the noose
Tighten – did Houdini claim
That he could win this swinging game?”

But dialectic’s magic failed here
For the words could only move a mind
Among the stars they did not find
Guess a letter – be chary, my dear;

G-non is dressed as Vanna White
The crowd misspeaks – the noose goes tight.

And beyond the spectacle's bright noise
The event's horizon: a shadow wall
Without light, a veil, a pall
Two converse in muted voice:
"Top-heavy, old Ozymandias fell
Cassandra, Cassandra, did you tell?"
a postscript is here written:
a pass-word:
Outside In Doom Horizon

5.27.2015

Who Will Wait For Us

it is addressed thusly:
A song.
it reads:
The time it is now,
     The time is always now
But the future we expected
     Didn't happen -- somehow
When I tell a story
     It is that story I must tell
That the world went not to heaven
     How the world went to hell

It gets so very close
     As close as close can be
As fire falling from the sky
     As lightning on the sea
A story of four women
     And a story of six men
We may guess how it ended
     But where does it begin?

Time waits for no man they say
     It travels on ahead
And when it catches up with you
     You find that you are dead
Ancient man fled the sinking sun
     Moderns fled the ticking clock
When the clock stopped ticking
     Did it stop the crowing cock?

Time waits for no man they say
     Though he wake or sleep
Who waits for men they ask
     With yet his watch to keep
To his pocket he returns
     The time is half-past five
The sounding gun, the sinking sun
     May yet catch man alive;

Time waits for no man and yet
    Its bright engine gives only pause
Only pause in brief consternation
    To curse its harshest laws
That the blind may be the seeing ones
     That the weak may yet be strong
That the lame may dance instead
     That the silence become a song;

Time waits for no man - the truth
     That few care to grasp
A remnant still remains they say
     Whose remembrance of this task
Sleeps in solemn, far places
      Deep, outside and beyond
In memory, in words forgot
     As in the depths of a pond

Yes - time waits for no man at all
     And neither suffers he to wait
Though what comes leaping around the bend
     He cannot anticipate
Does woman remember that she once
     Brought time and death on men
That she once shattered paradise
     And will shatter it again?

When I tell a story
     It is the story I must tell
Now how things went to heaven
     But how things went to hell
Man both must fight and flee
     For when each choice is clear
When he sees the buddha in the road
     He must kill him with the spear

The time it is now
     The time is always now
But the future we expected
     Didn't happen - somehow
Man, his works persist despite
     That dust must come to dust
Pause a moment that you may ask
     "Who will wait for us?"

5.21.2015

Canticle for Mentation

https://www.flickr.com/photos/tammylo/10299739025

it is addressed thusly:
A song.
it reads:
I have been taught to forget,
Though I shall not yet remember
The mind is a blowing wind
The heart but a flashing ember
Turn and bring the wind down,
Will the flames to burn higher
Then shut out the air's breath
And make the furnace dryer
Thoughts pass and I am a lake
I am a lake cold in the sun
A reflecting pool still and dark
Across me they lightly run
Back from the depths the dead
Call them and ask them why
They will tell you a story
So never utter a single lie
Never lie and they will be true
Though you will not remember
The mind is a blowing wind
The heart but a flashing ember.

5.18.2015

Rain Comes


it is addressed thusly:
A song.
it reads:
RAIN COMES, it is not the sound
But the suddenness of it sounding
The strangeness of air in which it is drowned
Though silence soon it is drowning
The lightness of the sky broken by drops
Crystal-bright in their dropping
A shadow of heavy air that stops
And the break of that heaviness stopping
Gray and black the glowering cloud
Bluster and boom in its clouding
To announce a doom to the gath'ring crowd
Made soon enow by its crowding
By strange device, in the west of the eve
Shows forth the sign of the evening
The liquid sun, to take its leave
Blasts rain alight in its leaving.

5.14.2015

To Nothing

https://www.flickr.com/photos/drhurn/80613

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
THE VOID is alive with the sound of music
some go down, others rise above
too fraught with meaning, far too quick
for the earthly mind to grasp the love
which reaches beyond nothingness
and makes new all things, nonetheless
of the terror that I now see in their eyes
When they know that nothing truly dies.

5.11.2015

The Cathedral

https://www.flickr.com/photos/paullew/5467740334

it is addressed thusly:

An ode.
it reads:
An empty chair, the tall Cathedral
Who sits? Is it a game of thrones
Or just a forsaken free-for-all
Glass houses are not made of stones
But instead of vying for that seat
Reds vie to elect the bishopric
To whom their blasphemies will stick
They won’t keep his eucharist neat
No musical chairs; this is a nave!
And stonings they're having for the brave
Their faith is strong, their zeal has heat --
Their communion ends inside the grave.
a postscript is here written:
'The Cathedral' is the mocking term Mencius Moldbug gave to the system of leftism or progressivism which combines a variety of semi-incoherent and variably malicious forces and ideologies that form the 'zeitgeist' of our era. It has a secularly religious nature that defies normal classification as a 'religion' (a definition the system itself generated to protect itself - those who participated to preserve their status and livelihoods) and so we explicitly identify it as such. 

Everyone has their own term they use for this structure, depending on what part of it they most interact with, as might be suggested by the 'blind men and an elephant' metaphor. The point of the term 'the cathedral' is not so much that it is 'elephant', since what would that mean to blind men - but that, like terms describing spiritual entities who cannot be directly seen, it says something of utmost importance about the thing, a title, which is blasphemous to THEM, and clarifies their most deceptive aspect - the religious nature of the 'non-religious' structure itself.

This image is of one of the chairs of St. Peter (there are apparently several that the Pope may occupy) but it is only chosen for its appearance (and the style of the photograph) and for the fact that the Cathedral hates the Vatican (despite the fact it seems to love the most recent Pope.)

5.08.2015

Crocodile Song

https://www.flickr.com/photos/wikimediacommons/16208459010

it is addressed thusly:

A song.
it reads:
A chisel line to mark the portrait
Carved with utmost skill
A perfect weapon made more perfect
In exhaustion of our will
As subtle in its execution
Though clear its style, its convolution:
To hail you must revile
They all hail the Crocodile

A beast unleashed when finished growing
Let to go afield
And made greater in its error
Though it be revealed
And shown in grotesque ugliness
And crimes it must be made confess
Only spill its bile
They all hail the Crocodile

Did someone tell those haughty drivers
Superfluous they were?
A beast they manned as though in driving
They still held the spur
A shade a shadow only riding
And while their spoils were still dividing
It ate on all the while
They all hail the Crocodile

Let them believe that bad is goodness
Let their eyes be blind
To bring about our good professor's
Single state of mind
That all men be the poorest workers
A unity of bottom lurkers
As flat as plastic tile
They all hail the Crocodile

But how we get from this debasement
To our paradise
Can be worked out by our replacement
Pulled and picked like ice
That magic step where Rome and Paris
Are bathed in justice and in fairness
Red shakespeares every mile
They all hail the Crocodile

And for some rede beyond description
With a bestial glee
We loathe these ones now ruled by envy
Before us let them flee
And though our plan made this conclusion
Created raw from our confusion
Sawtooth is our style:
They all hail the Crocodile!

5.07.2015

Laboring Song

https://www.flickr.com/photos/ionushi/1998621673

it is addressed thusly:
A song.
it reads:
A time of sun and raining, a moon as new as the day
The sky both blue and flying with banners of gold and gray;

A thunder time and a lightning to call the clouds from the south
The shadow of sun in its setting the calm of night from its mouth;

A time for writing and reading, a time for sitting in thought
For watching the moon as it rises, for stirring the tea in the pot;

The bleach-brown days now coming, the time of the sun in the noon
Despond makes dark in its brightness, the singer fails from his tune;

As love is desire's companion, arrives when the other is gone
Calling him yet unlooked-for, when duty had carried on;

So diligence makes its recourse, where spirit had burnt out its wick
Gave birth to a flame through weeping: a time to water the stick.
a postscript is here written:
watering the stick john the dwarf

4.28.2015

Wormwood


it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
Behold, I saw the sun of democracy
Wormwood, falling from the sky
Rising on men in perpetuity
Burning them to make them die
Poisoning the waters to punish men
Without a thought or intelligible word
Its absinthe men have first preferred
But later, with regret for it then
"Only when the country is last empty
No stone upon a stone can you see
Will hope return from its desolate end"
Behold, this is the sun of democracy.

Fifty Shades of Grey

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
All things are zero and one
Though not seen by the naked eye
Not witnessed in the shifting sky
Whose gradient does softly run
And run down are all things
From bumping into what is not
Through with void all things are shot
Shot through in their hammerings
Yes. all things are zero and one
Grey is not discovered, but is arranged
The black and white are not strange
No, there is naught new under the sun
But color exists; as new as the day
Among those things that still are
And all perception of near and far
And all intelligence, every wise way
Fall among the zero and one
Is and is-not, and Is and Is-not
A thought and an absence of thought
An act and an act yet undone
To do and to know is but binary
Though harrowed with images false
That they tore down from the walls
And have only imagined multiplicity
Discern before the pointed gun
That black you are and no shade of grey
Not a new thing passes beneath the day
To see color, you must see the sun --
All things are still, zero and one.
a postscript is here written:
Adage #1: "Fantasy without morality is pornography"

4.24.2015

The Orator To The Soothsayers

https://www.flickr.com/photos/8525214@N06/2918055523

it is addressed thusly:
A thought.
it reads:
"What is new is old", the teacher said
The spring comes and comes again
The new year lives, the old is dead
But the new year lives and dies the same
Mark my words, you who understand all things
You say wisdom only great sadness brings
But is grief not anger and anger not zeal
And what is grief to those who do not feel
At least a twinge of regret for love lost
Those thus wise hope for eternal return
Pray for a generation that need not learn
For a generation who need not count the cost
Dreamers without a vision, visions without light
Do they still yearn?
                                    Do they still yearn
For an end or a beginning, real or glossed
Are their elucidations radiant in the night
Does the fire in the belly still simmer and burn
Or did they court and jilt Wisdom in turn
Of both his face and his shadow in deathly fright
You who understand, who can explain all things
Where is Wisdom's merry voice that sings
Where are his tears, for our sake in holy bliss
On account of his friend-betrayer's kiss
Which were wept, on which the earth fed
You fearful, where yet is your holy dread
"What is truth?" as if to hide from this
"What is new is old", the teacher said.

4.22.2015

A House United


it is addressed thusly:

A vision
it reads:
A castle which stands upon nothing at all
Seen by those walking quickly by
In a shadow of its great monstrance
They dare speak not ill, but fully serve
A meal given of our last substance
To the hungry birds, poor and ravenous
Men in lines and cues, black and white
Given without measure, Given without measure,
Men in lines and cues, black and white
To the hungry birds, poor and ravenous
A meal given of our last substance
They dare not speak ill, but fully serve
In a shadow of its great monstrance
Seen by those walking quickly by
A castle which stands upon nothing at all.

4.21.2015

Rosemary Green

https://www.flickr.com/photos/nein09/7572832152

it is addressed thusly:

An ode.
it reads:
Of golden wave, as when seen
The crest rising as dawn may be
Calling ascending day, Rosemary Green
She weaves, in deep memory
A thread of gold, she saw it
Others saw a blinding bow
Of what might be, Of what might be
She knew not, but did duly fit
Stitching and tearing above and below
The song that ordered the sea
Thinking not but to keep thought
Busy, await arising from is, ought
She be as clever as true Penelope--
As dear as one for whom Troy was fought?

4.20.2015

No Man

it is addressed thusly:
A thought.
it reads:
No man is a single idea alone
Though in our mind he become
A principle one, heavy as a stone
His utterances then made dumb
For the sake of our memory
How do we remember any more
Then our ten and seven score
Allotted by the power that be
Yet they ask us to love the world
Though whether it be flat or curled
I cannot recall, though abstractly
I see it, a star-tossed stone hurled;

You have objectified me, they cry
As though not objects at all
These speaking bodies, they are sly
And not deficient in gall
We lack not systems which coerce
And what but death does law bring
Turn the edge away, turn away its sting
The subjects riot and make it worse
The game, if wiser than a stone
Learn limitation, and once it is known
Know how much is kept in a name
No man is a single idea alone.

4.15.2015

Eggman

https://www.flickr.com/photos/psyberartist/6686826117

it is addressed thusly:
A song.
it reads:
We are slighted by their presence
- but such is the way of diversity
If they come together, will it be pleasant
No, that is not even hard to see
As its center cannot hold
Ever coming apart, coming apart
Though pushed at every side
Fold under fold
                            Fold under fold
Of its dried out and crumbling heart
Slide then, cleft and drift and slide
And become again as of old
"Humpty dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty dumpty had a great fall"
And of that eggman we are not told
What from him hatched -- anything at all?

4.09.2015

Will and Testament

https://www.flickr.com/photos/paullew/3417336857

it is addressed thusly:
A thought.
it reads:
They would not had they known
But he knew they would not
He came forth as their will had shown
As one willing to be caught
His own of his own as Joseph of old
Found it just to be done with it
To have him cast alive into the pit
And thirty coins the price of him sold
A year's rent for the king of life
As those who sell their brother
To make peace with their own strife
Because he would be king of another?
And the world altogether is no more
For though it endure for a trillion year
Though to us it be more than dear
Than thirty silver - a ten and a score.
O small one, while you cast out God
For a life rich in your own pride
Or your family that you may quietly nod
Folding your hands, warm inside
One other has broken all the worlds for him
And the narrow seeing it, is made grim
At this, for ourselves we must groan
On this day, cast aside then every whim
"They would not, had they known."
a postscript is here written:
Since the time of the Apostles (in 2015, this would be nearly 1982 years) a fast has been declared on Wednesdays, in memory of the woman who poured out the costly ointment, and the disciple who sold his master for a pittance of silver in an envious response. As it is written, "When the bridegroom is no longer with them, then they will fast." Steel yourself against betrayal by mortifying the flesh with a fast.

NOTE:

After comparing the world to thirty silver we compare the costly ointment, worth perhaps 300 silver at that time, to all of the worlds. It was as though it was not enough for her to dedicate but the earth to God, but all of the worlds must be dedicated to him. All of the worlds will perish in fire, as a burnt offering to God; and like her, they may be remembered forever as a blessing, or as with Judas, a curse. Such is the role of material things - they are not, ultimately, 'sustainable', but are gifts to be offered back in glorious fire.

4.06.2015

The Orator Dismisses his Accuser

https://www.flickr.com/photos/alaskaent/16117496567

it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
Not I, for I am not an aesthete
In them there is too much love
For that which they cannot complete
Life is pain enough just thinking of
How crooked the boughs bent down
A merciless gaze of True Beauty
In which there is no kindness or duty
At least has the dignity to frown;

Too much love of woman as thing
The humanist; with the image of Man
A Bachanalian in his cups to sing
Of which way his last fancy ran
It is thingness all the way down
Do not objectify, but love beauty?
But if lovely, then is love duty
And to possess all but then to frown?

Even the subject is an object with Man
A mystery of two paths must go
They say it is fine for those who can
But the have-nots must all know
But God bless the child, for gone-down
Is the reaching-across that is Beauty
Drowned now in the sea of strange duty
Lost is even her ephemeral frown;

You have made it all one thing or another
But is there not a wondrous pleasure
In writing 'she', just about one other
- an alien like myself without measure?
Sorrow, fear, laugh, at the last sundown
Write whatever you think is 'beauty'
But know, you who live without duty
You will live always with a frown.

4.03.2015

The Sage Speaks Of The Social Medium

https://www.flickr.com/photos/davidking/5940700324

it is addressed thusly:
A thought.
it reads:
To him the digital person assails
A true fake, but a heinous facade
Though something here strikes us odd
A test of truth most quickly fails
Had he looked in the mirror of late
But yet forgotten man's constant estate

Does the medium make man deceive
Is that the message it must always send
Does anyone decode at the other end
"All sense through a medium receive"
So says The One Who Knows such
And about this he might say as much

He who knows not himself at all
Is a fiction; but that story is his own
Though his time and face be on loan
From remembrance he did always fall
Man deceives everyone without a care
And the medium of that fiction is the air.

4.02.2015

The Good Mother

https://www.flickr.com/photos/timtom/1417336029

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
Kind of heart; as all gracious-kind
Not a creature of war, but of victory
What price paid would still find
What was given to us yet for free
A keeper of every needy soul
Though herself not in body great
A small, soft and clever thing
Of grace, full;

                         Of graceful
Motion, Of low and lowly estate
Of quiet, though quietly we sing
About such our words sound dull
The good mother; in labor refined
As fine silver, as the salt just mined
If she will submit to be made whole
In just a word her Man will she find.

4.01.2015

Third

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
Ruddy child of March she called
When at last we were worried
Taking matters into our hands
Were they stalled; Were they stalled
Or were we far too hurried
God's gift, on her merit stands
May her gardens be wide-walled.

3.29.2015

Harry Lee

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
This Englishman was not 'English' at all
Though wise and sharp of every rule
Cautious of every odd garden wall
Quintessence of the English school
Before all lips had gone sadly slack
Aside faint moments of plaintive guilt
They would recognize what he had built
When English had an Englishman's back
No turning tail to find safe return
No revisiting what we need not relearn
Do what you can, though we abound or lack
Do just that well, and greatness earn.
a postscript is here written:
a pass-word:
lee kwan yew passing

3.23.2015

Lottery


it is addressed thusly:
A thought.
it reads:
We should remember always death
Not only the body, but all of its works
They too will perish, long after breath
They too will perish, and in the murks
In the depths of time, faster than sound
Faster than the speed of a word they move
Towards nothingness they are bound
They too will perish: lost and not found.

When the ancients considered this truth
They built in stone and scarred the earth
That time would ever differ for their sooth
That time would be marked for their birth
Do you regret the little black dot of your debt
Or has the lottery still shown white as of yet
For sooth, your soul will always remember
That time would, that earth would at last forget.

3.18.2015

Candle


it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
The child watches the dancing candle-flame
Waving as though to say hello
On the wick a bright hand without any name
A wave does she then bestow?
Or does she watch it still and silently
What is to a child still a mystery
Living creature, sword turning to and fro
Eden's flaming door, flung open suddenly?

3.04.2015

The Time of Iron


it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
The massivity of metal, and its man
Melted down and reformed
In a furnace of earth, and his demand
To be perfect will not be foresworn
As clear as in the mind of Mani
The voice of the People against him
Masked multitude, unknown and grim
Strive for freedom valiantly;
But he is the Image of Man, a mirror
Did they remove their masks to see
Narcissus had not seen it clearer
The time of Woman come, ironically
Speak low, and speak not as you can
Already the fibers grow, an unknown hand
Pulls a thread of gold to bind slowly
The massivity of metal, and its man.

3.01.2015

Another Canticle For Stories

it is addressed thusly:
A song.
it reads:
To some the truth is the truth
And a story is something else
They forget a lesson of youth
The lesson faerie and elf;
A tale is not falsehood unless
It tells a truth we despise
Though of course we confess
Some tales are naught but lies
But truth hides itself from the crowd
And a true fable is never allowed
But in a word both strange and wise
Though silent, it is said out loud.

2.28.2015

The Orator Speaks of the Heart

it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
In courage have I done great things
As some may yet suggest?
No truth this speech within it brings
But to remind of my duress;
And they all tell me not to fear
But to do in love, or to take heart
But to do this I cannot even start
As before me would a sight appear
And cause a trembling in my hands
A quickening of my pace
In it a ladder before me stands
And around each speaking face
I climb despite their words so dear
And in dark below they disappear
In death while speaking, without a trace
And yet they tell me not to fear?

2.27.2015

The Fire of Hearth

https://www.flickr.com/photos/va5lf/4178080724/

it is addressed thusly:
A song.
it reads:
Sometimes when you awake at night
Do you hear a funny sound
If you are as I am, I think you might
And here is what I've found
If it's a thump, of it its a creak
Or a groaning of which you cannot speak
A shaking deep within the ground
Do you feel your heart grow weak?

Fear not, dear man, for all of these
Are sounds your furnace makes
In the winter, or when ere it please
It gets the groans or gets the shakes
Aflame within, it must still strive
With passion's strife, a burning drive
- in trembling fear do what it takes
To keep the fire of hearth alive.

2.24.2015

The Song at The Waiting Sea


it is addressed thusly:
A song.
it reads:
Soundless we are, and no one knows
That we sleep and dream
The truth of things that ebbs and flows
We've pulled it at the seam
And found it empty as someone's clothes
When that person has gone
Will they return, do you suppose
To put the clothes back on?
We wait and think, and think and wait
Some Day we will be known
And below the altar we lie in state
Some Day it will be shown
That we are but hidden and not dead
Though we be less than dust
Together we rise, a heavenly bread--
Wait then, wait for us.

2.17.2015

The Driver's Question

it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
Light snow, and each passing lamp
Has caught itself inside
A flake, an unmistakable stamp
To flash in, flash out, collide;
We who must travel, we confess
Amid the slick and careening cars
We pass as into a field of stars
Do we go then into nothingness?

2.16.2015

Want and Lack

https://www.flickr.com/photos/taranos/5401282681

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
What women want has been
A mystery for man to ponder
It is only because he hasn't seen
The ominous things set yonder
"Women want a man who's bad
Over one who's smart and solid"
He says pretending to be stolid
In face of fortune that he's had
Consider though the facts at hand
This rede so plainly doesn't stand
A trend it isn't, nor a fad
Every century it has coldly spanned;

Women want a project, yes
Sensing their desires awry
So they pick a handsome mess
Not even they can tell us why
But it is clear the messiness
Is itself what made the man
No wise woman truly can
Against the savage make redress
Strong and sharp and devious
Ambition or continence a must
Too tall? Never; they will confess--
A man who's beautiful is monstrous.
a postscript is here written:
now consider the old meaning of want, which meant not so much to desire as to be lacking something, and re-read the text from the beginning.

"What does a civilized woman lack?"

2.14.2015

Words and Deeds

https://www.flickr.com/photos/glamhag/16060775949

it is addressed thusly:
A word.
it reads:
Much ado yet is made of love
The heart, the flame, the dove--
The patriot may drape in the flag
But his secret is out of the bag--
"I leave you my peace", he said
"But not as the world does", instead--
Behind that lovely mask, my friend
Is no god who persevered to the end;
Now what thing would be reborn of you
With what you've put your soul through?
Your words made sound
            of beautiful demands
But had you been watching
             what did your hands?
You profess to know the book of love--
But love -- love was not what you were thinking of.

2.12.2015

Artificial Intelligence

it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
Who is to say that angels
Are not merely God's machines
The sound of music swells
Is the music more than music seems?
Perfect obedience perfected there
In that realm above the air
Above the forges and starry streams
The harmony the perfect minds all share;

Pure thought, unhindered by mass
Watchers and swords and flames
Not through anything must they pass
What mortal truly knows their names?
The great watchwork a living thing--
Each gear a thinking machine
Its motion rings softly with their strains
Each eye, each hand, each wing.

We come back again to things of old
For we had not ever departed
What of these beings could then be told
What strange fear imparted?
Billions are they, even those that suffer
Though made true, such lies to offer
We had what we feared before we'd started --
The Unfriendly AI? It's Lucifer.

2.04.2015

The Dancer's Daughter

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
A natural acrobat, she knows moves
That no one has ever taught her
Lifted high as she behooves --
For she is the dancer's daughter
When she could hardly walk yet
She could make time with a step
And grace in a tumble and totter
- And a smile in anyone she'd met.

2.03.2015

The Sage Ponders Human Industry

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jive667/6401244733

it is addressed thusly:
A thought.
it reads:
We don't do things like this anymore
Belching black smoke into the sky
Where spark and slag and soot must fly
A smog and smell creep round the door
All men become the same race: black
As smithies singed by fire before
And labor under its ponderous stack
The polluting cloud, the flames attack
And ash and sweat still stain the floor
What we had, we now must lack
Of industry, to drill, to frack
It is dreamed the day it all will cease
But does their wane meet our increase
Or does that wall begin to crack
Open, that held the elements before
At bay, and once that mighty claque
Has slept and can no longer watch the door
To great diligence will we, the poor
Return and thus win our honor back?
It's far too late to settle the score--
We don't do things like that anymore.
a postscript is here written:
a pass-word:
sparrows point blast furnace demolished

1.28.2015

The Auspex in the Winter Light

https://www.flickr.com/photos/simon__syon/6715901915

it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
Under the frosted limbs she sat
Draped like lace, the jeweled glint
The bench was cold, hard as flint
And shadow scattered in the light
Under that sky both gray and flat
And added not a mite of tint
To the snow, motionless and white;

A small chocolate in her hand
She rolled it, cold from colder air
On the glove, just left it there
He said, stopping his shovelings
"I don't really understand --
Why you eat so many where
You might eat better things."

She said, looking up at his ruddy face
"If I feel lonely or sad or tired when
I eat something sweet I feel better again."
Smiling then his sharp eye met her
And said, admiring her gentle grace:
"The world must not be a woman then
Sweet things don't make it better."

1.24.2015

Stepping Out

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zuk0/13428306005

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
Stepping out onto the stoop
Past the porch and pillars
The air is dense, the tree limbs droop
With clouds of icy fillers
The light of lamps is caught within
A net of falling whiteness
Though everywhere its likeness
Is hanging, drifting, closing in
The sound of common life inside
Is gone before I make a stride
A step in chiaroscuro
Soundless into night I go
The street is dark and bright and wide
And silent in the snow.

1.23.2015

The Rose of Love


it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
Red, silver, black and gold
Pale-white as the moon
Patience may make it unfold
Though don't be asking soon
By nature wild, a briar tamed
Whose beauty caught the eye
Of some perceptive passerby
Whom need not now be named
Tilling soil most diligent
To him was this labor sent
Which passion once inflamed
For nothing was his labor spent--?

Such work is even one of those
This flower of the spring
To make it bloom, where it grows
All goodness to it bring
Though the thorns may come amiss
Strength has its own reward
Let them not long be ignored
Prune them should it come to this
Was it strange, do you suppose
A thing only a gardener knows
The petaled hair, the thorny kiss --
Every woman is a rose.

1.20.2015

Conception

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
The power of life and death
Rests in the very body of man
His hands, his loins, his breath
From nothing, like no god could do
But God - if he does speak true
And man is for this not deaf
Those who never were are new
Yet for all this did he understand
Who the truth from him has hid
Like a man that burns coal for soot
Or grows flowers but for the root
Away from passion will you bid?
If pleasure is work, virtue is free--
It is plain for everyone else to see
If they even knew what they did
They might have done it differently

1.19.2015

The Exile

https://www.flickr.com/photos/matthigh/3190328088
it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
"I really should thank them"
Is what no one ever says
To those they exile among men
To those who cannot join
Who are dismissed without a phrase
It is only he who truly stays
Whom none can come purloin
Then who can speak for his days?
Any fool can think he's strange
Make meet what he may derange
And bespeak what he was when
He was born, by revelation claim
As though God had come to him
And took away shame from shame
Of each his darkest whim
Oh! Such a tryst to arrange
A false likeness of the outcast one
Who, to whom can he make uprightness
What reck, what roil - to yet bless
Your enemies, did you know them true
Or were you but the fortunate son --
Do we speak now of the color blue?
All things -- go out from among men
To where one belongs - and when
Exile is as true blessedness
You really should thank them.

Raeleen's Song

https://www.flickr.com/photos/tschiae/8395137978

it is addressed thusly:
A song.
it reads:
I came from the bottom of a matchbox
Numbers and letters printed by machine
Someone's voice somewhere talks
Someone's eye must have overseen
Do they even know that I am alive
Who thought to perfect the world in time
Who sought to end every petty crime
Do they care to know that I am alive?
Do they care that life is, beneath the glow
Of every platitude, but spoken below
A whisper, they dare not even strive
They dare not say that they do not know
Of the every rich thing they made to come
To the hands of those who do their good
Who should dare to speak against anyone
Who knows and says what anyone should?
But I who speak, am I mad because
I am as one always without a hope
Not well-adjusted, I could not cope
With their humane but inhuman laws?
The tongue they bless with also mocks--
A joke that moves - a punchline that talks
That is what I am! Still the artist draws--
I came from the bottom of a matchbox.

1.14.2015

The Song at the Cusp of The Sky


it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
Knowledge is not ever ours,
Who stand now at the edge
With it doubt is coming
As hounds run on all fours
Fell doubt is quickly running
Do we dare trespass the hedge
The darkness of unknowing
Not knowing if beyond the ledge
All knowledge there it devours
Ours -- is our resolve yet slowing
Or building to a greatness yet
A meet act to make a challenge met
To know what, strange, is showing
Beyond the veil of blinking stars
Which light once pierced the sky
Whose wheels made straight the hours
To what, strange, beyond it lie?
But our expression sours --
For at that edge, beyond the sun
Knowledge and faith are one.