Mission Accomplished

This site has fulfilled its purpose; it has documented the Obama years in verse, and allowed me to maintain my sanity. What comes after will be different, and perhaps on a different medium. The four books of The Spy in the House of God are:

  1. The Earth is Flat and the Heavens a Dome (2007 - 11/2011)*
  2. Gold Smoke and Blue Fire (11/2011 - 10/2013)
  3. Adrift Without a Star (10/2013 - 12/2014)
  4. The Voice of the Four Winds (1/2015 - 11/2016)
* Poems from after this period may have ended up in the anthology. These dates are approximate.

Have you considered writing or reading traditional poetry, that is, poetry which follows strict structural rules whether rhyme, rhythm, syllables or subject? If, having read through what I have written you are still in doubt that such a thing is possible now, that beauty in verse and poetry is possible anymore, then as they say, go your way. 

But for the rest of you, especially those of you who write, simply start by imitating a writer you enjoy, when you are inspired to do so. There is no need to share the poetry with anyone, but reading it aloud is very helpful. I have been doing a series on various poets of our language (English, that is) on Social Matter. I will continue that, of course, and if you find a poet you like, that should be your starting place.

Oh, and one last thing. read Mencius Moldbug!

End of Cycle, "The Voice of the Four Winds"

This marks the end of my fourth cycle of poetry, this one called "The Voice of the Four Winds." Those who visit the blog will notice that it stopped following my normal "kairometer" color changes, which are the normal liturgical season colors. This is because I sensed, and had long sensed, that an era was coming to an end, specifically an era to which my dissident poetic voice was germane. A flight of birds is a traditional symbol of the departure of souls - of death.

While I have never been a political poet, and will not ever appreciably be (unless the politics should become whether royalism should be considered--) there has indeed been a political element or color to this work. The Voice of the Four Winds was about what the poem says, the end of the dream of Enlightenment. It may be that it stumbles along for another century (such is very likely) but I see in the recent political changes, away from the Enlightenment-inspired democratic internationalism (itself a development of democratic nationalism in reaction to the wars it created when it repudiated classical international law) and towards a reactionary form - form at least - of nationalism.

If it is to be classified as a form of fascism, I think that's not inaccurate. As I am not part of a political party nor speak for or against any of such, I think that present movements could be read as a retread of fascism, but a fascism that is isolationist rather than aggressive; as from the sovereign standpoint what got the fascists in trouble was their willingness to play the aggression game with the then-nascent "international community". This mistake will not be repeated, and certainly the emergence of a nascent national socialism (which I've privately predicted as being one of the two possible normal endpoints of democracy) is not surprising at all.

National socialism tends to combine both nativist and socialist views which both tend to be low-status but high energy. This happens naturally in the democratic cycle of "mobs, then experts, then mobs again" (as per Davila) when the high status mobs (say, for civil rights) and their elite masters fail thoroughly enough. At that point, there is an opening for a centrist candidate who is not moderate - for usually centrism is a moderation of different views which makes them acceptable to the status quo and gives everyone a little taste of what they want, but not the whole hog -- but rather who combines high-energy, low-status, fringe movements who are quite numerous and now willing to row the boat in the same direction.

There is definitely a racial aspect to this, and it is white. But whiteness is complex; I am an Englishman by heritage, and even that identity is itself a combination of tribes (Jutes, Danes, Angles, Saxons, etc) put together for practical reasons. Whiteness as an idea, by the very notion that it is whites and half-whites who simply invented the concern for "minorities" as it is, contains within it both a tremendous pride and chauvinism, as well as a consideration for strangers who are legitimate citizens or subjects of that realm.

Overall, the history of anti-racism is simply the attitudes of high-status-aping and high-class whites against low-status and low-class whites. Minorities were, in this game, simply a side-show and a prop used to demonstrate the moral superiority (and thus right to lord over) of the high-status whites, generally the group Moldbug refers to as Brahmins. Anti-racism is from my perspective, and I think the long-term Christian view will be, simply hatred of the poor.

As Carlyle points out, political equality makes those not capable of realizing it appear to be solecisms; literal miscreations. And such political equality had rendered the poor. Feminism is much like it, and of course unbridled capital is glad to have access to new, cheaper workers; not because it is evil but because it knows its incentives. Socialists, while seeming to oppose such excesses, merely were jealous of the power and wanted also to exploit, but for what they thought of as a good cause. There is no reason to assume that capital can be responsible to drive the best interests of any group of people other than the person presently holding the capital. If not at the service of some realm, it will not, as hoped by liberal fantasists, become its own realm, but rather slowly ruin itself by ruining the source of its prosperity by following its incentives to their end.

This symbolic repudiation is the theme of the Wind book, "Voice of the Four Winds" and it is the winds' voices who seem to say, calling as a symbol of judgment and ruin, that there are very many empty spaces to blow through. Where is the substance? It is long gone.

Thus to me this result - and we refer in this case to the recent Presidential election at the head of the world empire in disarray - was rather inevitable, though not by any means certain. By this is mean, it must needs have eventually happened, but whether one or another contender had succeed at achieving it was not certain. I cannot tell the future, but I can discern the shape of the sky, as our Lord says.

This volume spans a longer time than the others due to fewer poems being written per month, mainly because during this last period my work became far less experimental and far more intentional. Here are the poems. which begin where "Adrift Without a Star" ended. These poems are historical-anecdotal, they tell, like a Steely Dan song, part of a real fragment of real history which might otherwise be unrecorded:

  1. Without
  2. Storm
  3. The Orator Tells of His Secret Joy
  4. Burning Down the House 
  5. The Song at the Cusp of the Sky
  6. Raeleen's Song
  7. The Exile
  8. Conception
  9. The Rose of Love
  10. Stepping Out
  11. The Auspex in the Winter Light
  12. The Sage Ponders Human Industry
  13. The Dancer's Daughter
  14. Artificial Intelligence
  15. Words and Deeds
  16. Want and Lack
  17. The Driver's Question
  18. The Song at the Waiting Sea
  19. The Fire of Hearth
  20. The Orator Speaks of the Heart
  21. Another Canticle for Stories
  22. The Time of Iron
  23. Candle
  24. Lottery
  25. Harry Lee
  26. Third
  27. The Good Mother
  28. The Sage Speaks of the Social Medium
  29. The Orator Dismisses his Accuser
  30. Will and Testament
  31. Eggman
  32. No Man
  33. Rosemary Green
  34. A House United*
  35. The Orator to the Soothsayers
  36. Fifty Shades of Grey
  37. Wormwood
  38. Laboring Song
  39. Crocodile Song
  40. The Cathedral
  41. To Nothing
  42. Rain Comes
  43. Canticle for Mentation
  44. Who Will Wait For Us
  45. Schwarzchild and Cassandra
  46. Humanism
  47. Revision
  48. The Two Before the Storm
  49. A Heart of Darkness
  50. A Spy In the House of God
  51. Political Correctness
  52. Storm and Dusk
  53. Six-Twenty-Six (6.26)
  54. Partly Cloudy
  55. Everlasting No More
  56. Far Away
  57. The Auspex Sings to Rigel Kent
  58. The Orator to the Dancer
  59. The Sage to the Doctor
  60. The Poet and the Auspex
  61. Sonnet VI "Leverage"
  62. The Sage Considers the Dusk
  63. The Orator Considers the Spectacle of Power **
  64. Physics
  65. Determination
  66. The Song of Winnowing
  67. The Court's Witness
  68. Pandora's Spirits
  69. The Novel
  70. Sun and Shadow
  71. Seven Canticles for Prudence
  72. Twelve Types
  73. The Stone on the Shore
  74. Holography
  75. Cold Sun
  76. Eleven-Thirteen (11/13)
  77. To a Persian Rug
  78. A View to a Kill
  79. The Rectification of Names
  80. Rest
  81. The Young
  82. The Final Lecture
  83. Winter's Afternoon
  84. Aeons
  85. A Song of Winter
  86. Hall of Mirrors
  87. A Canticle for Flight
  88. The Song at the Great Chasm
  89. The Song of the Shacks on the Shore
  90. The Future
  91. Colder Still That Metal Box
  92. Blessing For a Woman
  93. Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird
  94. Nineteen-Eighty-Three (1983)
  95. By the Waters of Babylon
  96. Ever-Near
  97. Ars Poetica
  98. Borders
  99. The Orator Announces the Age
  100. The Song of the Pipes
  101. The Song of the Idol
  102. The Sage Discards the Modern Style
  103. Fifty's Lottery
  104. Bridge Song
  105. The Sage offers the Dire Solution
  106. Leave
  107. The Song of the Mirror
  108. To Silence
  109. Gun Control
  110. The Longest Mile
  111. A House Divided
  112. To Sickness
  113. The Words of the Companion
  114. Under the Sun
  115. The Milling-Stone
  116. Water Under the Bridge
  117. Verses for Economy
  118. O Thou Light of Good Cheer
  119. Pace
  120. The Orator Remarks Upon the Digital Word
  121. Sea Before Storm
  122. The Song of the Viols
  123. Love and Hate
  124. Tanuki Song
  125. The Onion
  126. Zombie Nation
  127. Sailing to Naples
  128. Rex
  129. Dux
  130. The Voice of the Four Winds
  131. The Inquisitor Speaks
*Also Published at The Mitrailleuse
** The image for this poem was in fact changed much later.

Enjoy reading all of the poems on this site (I should suspect there are at least five hundred good ones) and look forward to new work which will take a different form.


The Inquisitor Speaks

it is addressed thusly:

A postlude.
it reads:
Moloch is us; they have said
And right they were, for they saw
Seeing not with eyes of the dead
Knowing with a less-crooked law;
We railed at them, fine words
Which were the babbling of a child
Just the sharpening of swords
Our press the problem reconciled;
Our religion was eaten from within
By him, but it is us we must assay
The Inquisitor says of our sin:
Qui facit per alium, facit per se.
The end of the thing is found
Not in the lights of Shangri-la
The age of Aquarius? No sound--
But ogres, and the gaping maw;
The world outside of God is darkness.
And God is darkness! Did you know
With "philosophy" no less
They made "above" as it is below?
I shall have my satisfaction;
Followers of Strauss! I bring news--
Has God returned to take action--?
Flee then, where no man may pursue!
Take your cleverly laid fables
Your demons, your dispersed law
We come to clean the stables
We come red in tooth and claw;
White is our tunic of linen-made
Red blood of the cross there brazen
With gold and silver it is inlaid
The sign of victory, it is our blazon;
The Inquisitor speaks, for it is he
The sage, the orator, the poet
It is he who is in truth these three
They are but one, and they know it;
Followers of Strauss! Who else--
Swing gaily from the battlement;
"If ye had yet judged yourselves
You'd have not come under judgment."
a postscript is here written:
The End.


The Voice of the Four Winds

it is addressed thusly:

A vision.
it reads:
"The Dream is dead, the Dream is dead"
That is what the voices of the four winds said;
Calling at the window, rattling at the door
Unseen voices which cannot speak a word
If they once could they cannot any more
Yet this is a semblance of what I heard;

The east wind calls from the morning of the world
The light that was lost when the flag was unfurled
The spring which will not come for them again
Who once laid claim to the innermost light
There will be no more budding of their crops or their men
Let them watch with their lamps in the night;

The south wind sings in the burning zenith-bright
Of walking men in darkness in the mid day's light
Their summers of no cotton, their men of no truth
Who know no thing for what it may be
Their judgements of no power, their mercies of no ruth
Who seek but cannot find equality;

The west wind rumbles in the sunset of the West
With tears it calls beseeching to those we love the best
That have forgotten God, he the crown of our year
His it is now, then to roll up like a cloth
So remember beauty, and the dread of his fear
Kiss the Son quickly then, lest you find Him wroth;

The north wind howls at the pitch of twilight-time
Of those who have not reason, of those who have not rhyme
No good shall be performed in this winter of their soul
Seeming quick to listen, but of their charity
All shall eat and eat but yet never find their full
Passing over good for cold chains of slavery;

Such things have I heard when awake in the night
The death of man's progress, the snuffing of his light
But the winds at this must laugh, for we have been misled
Man went nowhere, for long ago he lost his mark
Yes the four winds said, yes, the Dream is truly dead
Man who was Enlightened was sleep-walking in the dark.



it is addressed thusly:

An ode.
it reads:
Of he, royalty's conquering son
Bright-faced, prince of cavalry
His dragoons ride with the sound of the gun
And brooks he no base rivalry;
Flames burst forth from tower to tower
His foes must shrink, their faces glower
Announcing his ride from the waiting sea
In this the bright and conquering hour;

He enters the city, though not his yet
But all he sees comes to his hand
Estates and clans will fill his net
Sparse it is, set across the land;
But does no miracles to deceive
He does not need men to believe
For sight is sufficient to understand
Raised chin, sharp eye, laurel wreath;

Usurper they say, who clutch the crown
And wear it not, for they fear the wind
Which bears a bruised reed to the ground
Considering but how he must have sinned
Who bears upon their castles dim
From the plain unto the ocean's rim
But the Duke instead, he merely grinned
For all of these shall come to him.



it is addressed thusly:

An ode.
it reads:
Terror is something like power;
For in power there is terror indeed;
And fear where strength does tower;
For strength makes fear exceed;
But terror is not power, nor is fear
A difficult thing for some to hear
For God is great, and without need
His peace and dread draw near;

She loves the fearful things in truth
For only strength gives security;
And fear its sign, and even ruth
Is the seal of its magnanimity;
We do not like to be terrorized
A difficult thing some have realized;
For woman senses power and purity
Awesome when it is exercised;

Might is seen in great sacrifice
And true sacrifice needs strength
Giving all has both art and artifice
And art is but giving at length;
The king is such an object of fear
A difficult cross for man to bear
But his giving is then giving thanks--
And his art is powerful, terrible, fair.


Sailing to Naples

it is addressed thusly:

for Tom Barghest.
it reads:
Where the young sit quietly, alone
The aged laugh, their deck chairs
Sit on layer upon layer of stone
Unlost anymore in worldly cares
Add to the rubble and wreck
A fragment of immemorial liturgy
Bottle by bottle tossed off-deck
Trash on trash by the lapping sea;

They think to live forever perhaps
The young alone seem to believe
And silent, watch each wave collapse
That they might live on, disease
Captures middle age with trash
But the patients suffer little for ill
Walk among graffiti, bat not a lash
Knowing this the country of the old, still.
a post-script is here written:
open letter more historical anomalies


Zombie Nation

it is addressed thusly:

A vision.
it reads:
It is well known of the fly
That he must seek his food
His is not to question why
Nor to know of ill or good
The dead as well we know
Even walking to and fro
Have but this single mood--
And no more hope nor grow;

When the rot at first sets in
The smell must flies attract
But of those dead just within
Was the living they had attacked;
America, the zombified
Should be quite well over-flied--
But no flies their mien detract
As their drug is formaldehyde.
a postscript is here written:
a pass-word:
america zombie nation


The Onion

it is addressed thusly:

An ode.
it reads:
The world is an onion, quite round
Pointed atop, of many rinds
With string-like fiber still bound
As common as anyone finds;
Has no center, except where it grows
Which is as any gardener knows
Another onion, and smaller minds
From this several things suppose;

No center have things, themselves beside
Or so it seems, but you realize
That the thing itself is not identified
But in paradox, and how precise
Is our knowledge of the whole
Not ever knowing it in full
But of what it is we still are wise
When it from the ground we pull;

I pulled a strange onion yesterday
It was shaped almost just as a man
I buried it again, and said, "anyway
Even onions do what they can."
I repented of this and dug it aright
Measured, weighed, and then that night
Cut it in two; but did not understand
What was written inside, by candle-light.

I buried them in the garden then;
Both parts, the left, the right
Strange that some inscription within
Grown-over, sometime passed out of sight;
The wind blows - the November rain
Each yet grows, the one and the twain
Each onion you see, has another inside
Order like Spring returns again.
a postscript is here written:
a pass-word:
alien acid beast


Tanuki Song

it is addressed thusly:

A song.
it reads:
Politicians are wolves. Imagine --
The domestic dog, in his glory
He who brought himself in
Or so that is his story --
The Canid has more variation
Some vulpine, some lupine
To each his proper station
And each his genetic line;
Tanuki! The racoon-dog
What are you, and why yet
Do you stare, dumb as a log
But I know, not as innocent?
Absent-minded and wise
Always unknowing we suppose
Teeth grip like a vise
Thus we know that he knows;
For hunting, some dogs were bred
For fighting, for grabbing bulls
At least they are what we said
They really do find the voles;
A racoon-dog though, deep down
I reckon it is wolf enough
Though it seem a bit of a clown
In its professorial ruff;
Though it wears a funny mask
It too can form packs
And though one might ask
Does not cease in its attacks;
Here now, it is kept as a pet
Allowed to hunt at night
A public policy - do not fret
It hasn't so much might;
I wonder at that vesperal sound
Chill of night, the world revolves
Many eyes in the night I found--
But as you know, politicians are wolves.


Love and Hate

it is addressed thusly:

An ode.
it reads:
The liberal does not love enough to hate
He cannot conceive of jealousy at all
The God of old must seem demiurge, to create
Anything, what good cause could he recall?
"He, believing in the Sermon on the Mount,
"Though he deny the blood, though he spurn the fount
"Though he forsake the One who may amend his fall
"Is truly faithful," but to what does it amount?

Only One with such a jealousy as flame
Would desire us such, and bother with our state
And it is from He, and He from us, a Name
And those who hate His law, I too must then hate
Which is why I love; in knowing truly of
Why, we must respect, and we hope above
We may meet; -- for God is in love and mercy great
But liberals! They do not hate enough to love.


The Song of the Viols

it is addressed thusly:

An ode.
it reads:
When futility speaks, men seek silence
And when willing, as votaries of violence
Must miss the music, songs without a word
Under unrest the singing had obscured;
Strike the six strings, else eighty-eight
Ring ruckus out with the harmony of fate
Draw destiny from the lute and the lyre
Perfect pitch pulled from unelemental fire;
Strike out in violins; call forth a chord
The drawing of the bow is the drawing of the sword
Futility speaks, but silence is more strong
Tread down drivel, O Thou militant in song!


Sea Before Storm

it is addressed thusly:

An ode.
it reads:
Upon the deck we walk, steady
As the sea is steady, our freedom
As stable, only as ready
As unsteady sea may come;
The whim of the wind, which is
Will itself, makes determination
Whether port of starboard we list
In this our place and station;
We have no thought in our head
Except to balance the pendulum
To run the rough and heavy thread
So that against the wind we run;
Restraint and balance, O great might
Of the Heaven, Who made of sea
A blue meadow to walk aright
As walking man is made to be;
You who make no brook for
Man's petty row over things to die
But know he cannot ignore--
Know that like You he should not lie;
Consider our plight; we must seek
What You have made for us -- to rule
We must become strong, though weak
And wise, although a fool;
You take no side save Your own --
And we are left to decide for now
How to best use this - but a loan
Freely given, our lot is enow;
O Sovereign, O Judge of all
Grant us a boon, who beseech
Who ride the rise and the fall
Of the sea in its unreasoned speech;
We do not understand liberty.
A will is granted us, to do or not
Granted to do well, and free
Is he who makes well-doing his lot;
Grant us this, a revelation of flame
For great and sorry and sad
Are the days until they speak Your name
And rejoice only those who had;
They unchain the devils all the while
Believing your thousand-year at hand
Men of chaos and reck and bile
Who rule what should be Your land;
Even the great ships like small flies
Can swallow, that fearsome sea
"From nothing, to nothing" cries
The keener about the lea;
We knowing what we must do
Fall short. We are not worthy yet
Truly knowing through and through
This requirement we have not met;
We do not ask for a pardon by law;
For none avail. We were not so made
As convicts, as those of perfect flaw
To be plied by law in its trade;
But knowing all of this we must ask
We do not ask as they vainly repeat
"Lord, Lord," not knowing the task
For which alone Your help is meet;
We seek a Mount Hebron in the deep
For a time, that a wall
We may build against those who keep
Not Your law, no, not at all.
Even if ten-thousand years should pass
Under its sentinel's eye
We would still cry, "At last!
At last! At last," we would cry;
At Your return; as those who kept
But a small speck as a sacrifice of fire
A pleasing odor, which leapt
Up to heaven as a funeral pyre;
A world after our own must come.
Will it be in the brightness of Your face?
If not yet, we yield not one
Not an inch or mile from Your holy place.
That terrible wind across the sea--
We ask without question just the same;
What is freedom? We cannot flee;
Grant us that revelation;
 -- a revelation of flame.


The Orator Remarks Upon the Digital Word

it is addressed thusly:
A thought.
it reads:
Improprietous of me to say;
But whom is it that is speaking?
Have they never heard of keeping
Silence in a golden way?
Perhaps they had never heard of
Golden ways of any school;
No mean, no portion nor rule
No divine injunction regarding love;
Or perhaps they consider God
Oh! But a thing of the mind
But what remains is what kind
Of mind could be so odd;
But let us not speak of such
Heavenly things; I am not
One of those yet caught
Into third heavens very much;
A command that is simple, but
Guides every orator's way
When you have something to say
Speak, else keep your mouth shut.



it is addressed thusly:

A thought.
it reads:
Things move at their own pace --
We are ever-prepared to start
To simply jump the whole race
Why--!? Has not an athlete of
Would-be renown failed his art
With a false start - Lord above!
It is not for us to set seasons
Or not yet - if we do not grasp
Those which are set with reasons;
Here we are, breathing down weeks
Or days or hours in furtive clasp
But it is perseverance that seeks
And finds; long suffering so called
The stomach and eyes want fill
Of every good and ill, and stalled
Are we by sleep and eating and talk;
Will velleity become a constant will
When previously it always balked?
Walk; not random, we never outran
Our prize, it is not of mankind
In his best, truest or most grand
To always dash, or quickly race
When such fruits ripen in time--
For now, give them some space;
And when at last they are refined
Pounce! Before that window is erased.


O Thou Light of Good Cheer

it is addressed thusly:

A hymn.
it reads:
O thou Light of good cheer
In which God doth draw near;
His most sacred glory which is
Of our Father in all blessedness
Undying in heaven most high
Holy and blessed Jesus Christ;

Now that the sun hath hid his face
And evening's light in its place
We behold and now see fit
O Father, Son and Holy Spirit
One God, to sing but to Thee
In voice meet for Thy divinity;

O Thou only God's Son
Who granteth life to everyone;
This song the world shall raise
To thy glory and in Thy praise.
a postscript is here written:
The name of this actual hymn, which is perhaps 2000 years old, is 'Phos Hilarion', often rendered "O Gladsome Light". Mine is a paraphrase. It is the Hymn of Evening which is sung at Vespers wherever it is served. This arrangement is intended to be set to music, not dissimilar in character to that of Henry Purcell.


Verses for Economy

it is addressed thusly:

A thought.
it reads:
I canceled my Paypal account today --
It was not an occasion for an ode
Nor, speech of any kind or mode
That might make wise in its way;
We find ourselves embattled now
On every side, the Chinese running
The business poorly as we allow
Into the ground, and shunning
The light of day, no one speaks
Our language first, except freaks
Of nature, we assume, gunning
Or gunned down amid the breaks;
Sold out, was the term they said
When I was a child, for music-men
Thought highly of integrity then
Though they were authentically dead
We were purchased for small change
Twenty silver would be a king's purse
In exchange we hope, though strange
For something better and not worse
But they're all a little cracked in the brain
John Walker, he surely had a name
Before he was put in a hearse--
For his deal with old scratch amain;
But as deals with devils always are
We cannot but guess the coin
Was gilded lead, a simple purloin
Of clothing-weights, and not far
From a jade that is but a stone
Such potential wasted on folly;
But when that wish has but flown
We pull the lever, and by golly
We will have what we willed
Even brass coin slyly filled
Not even gold! Probably;
And for this much blood, spilled.
Trust is low, that liberal scrip
Which makes prosperity run
A place well, even under the gun
Why should we trust, let slip
That we were sold out, that we
Were not the better America
It isn't good for technology
Which no one carries very far
For it is carried for our enemy
Though love we must, do see
We cannot trust, low is the bar
And boundless is the enmity.


Water Under the Bridge

it is addressed thusly:

A thought.
it reads:
All art is a political act somehow
Although some may desist
The power will every artist cow
How can but man resist?
To flow underneath that irksome sight
Is to claim that power has no might
A political act - I must insist
And who do we believe is right?

Just some water under the bridge
Of nobody great's concern
A fly, a flea, an ant, a midge
Here is a lesson to learn:
If you wish to resist, do not believe
That you will be given any reprieve
Because mere politics you now spurn?
Law will not keep you at your leave;

To avoid, for certain, that folly's law
Where service is given for free
To powers whose silent and open maw
Promises return of a fee;
If an ugly 'truth' you will but allow
Or a 'beautiful' lie - we're talking now!
You risk final obscurity --
All art is a political act, somehow.


The Milling-Stone

it is addressed thusly:

An ode.
it reads:
Though still, the millstone turns
Turning in itself, within the mind
Its harp, its furrow remain refined
Though worn dull, vagueness spurns
The great stone, each tiny crease
Delicate, the grain it must release;

A sign of glory's inviolate weight
Hung about the neck like an albatross
To sink, then return to old chaos
Or else, be broken of early or late
Cry out to the stones as you must
Those who remain it will grind to dust.


Under the Sun

it is addressed thusly:

An ode.
it reads:
So shines the sun
Which shines on everyone;
On good or bad, otherwise
Even those who haven't eyes
Makes some so to believe
Justice but equality;
But those on earth's darkened side
Might aid us in how to decide
And that some from it burn
May also help us yet to learn;
For equal is the trial made
On those who step outside the shade;
All must cope in their own way
With that unconquerable day;
As God above gives more
To whom already had before
Only those who have in truth
And so it is, the just and ruth
Restore to those of worth
The wholeness of the earth
Only known by his bright eye
Whenever 'tis they live or die;
And to usurpers, caitiffs all
The sun will wilt and make them small;
Even if in living now
They were shown so great enow;
Justice equal for equal be
But for the rest -- inequality.


The Words of the Companion

it is addressed thusly:

An ode.
it reads:
In her ear, the crooner sings
And though his voice is singing
Her own words is yet what rings
When sound is finished ringing;
The bards of old, perhaps could tell
If secrets they were telling
A way to sing they knew so well
Of feeling's deep up-welling;
To steal a voice without a sound
Though voice must still be sounding
Something odd is turning round
While harmonies are rounding;
Why'd Danny Boy a man yet cry
When it's a lady's crying?
Each lamenting, every sigh
But a man's doing the sighing;
A voice is heard, the vowels fall
To hear it once we're falling
Man and woman, each other call
Deep to deep is calling.


To Sickness

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
When one is sick
The world is thick;
Thick with burning light
Which burns bright
As the burning sun is bright;
A hardness there
As sound in the air
All thunders, is thunders
In the brightening air
The world is both heavy and light
And thick, both the day and night
You could cut it with a knife;
If a knife you could lift -
What strife!
All of that movement about
Each motion a ringing shout!
Stop, for the heavens stop
Tell me what you're moving about
Best -- now rest, be still
I think, you are not also ill;
Let me shade my eyes
And be wise
The thin world forbade
Sensuous pride
Thin of sense, narrow, not wide
Thin like an arrow
It must pierce and divide
Heavy sense is dull
The head with it is full
But the heart burns
A different flame
Learns words not given name
Not yet, past shock
And awe all the same
Patience names the state
Where we lie in wait
Stop! Wait to light the wick--
When one is sick
The world is thick.


A House Divided

it is addressed thusly:

An imprecation.
it reads:
A sad day, where blood is wasted
Men who could face evil are instead
Puppets; swung about by the head
A phylactery of offense is pasted
The long thorns the carotid piece
And but for show are they fierce;
The bull, though now full-hated
In his fight is honored in that lot
Not being a creature of thought
And in his glory is well-sated;
Men are still slaves. But perfectly
Because they believe they are free.
a postscript is here written:
a pass-word:
baton rouge slaughter


The Longest Mile

it is addressed thusly:

A vision.
it reads:
Even the foolish have now awoke
It was not as magic, as though I spoke
And woke them; with word or charm
It is now the sound of full alarm
"It is later than you think" he said
That father of ours, rests his head
And awaits with us the rising sun
Will yet they flee the sounding gun?
Boom! Boom! It is war's report
Yet rumors mark, of this sort
Not the end yet, but far too late
A summary of our present state
In words and bodies of the dead
Mostly bodies, but as he said
"Get your house in order O man"
We shall not live, but if we can
We will die in glory, a brightling flame
For we would not blaspheme His name;
And if life shall be won from death
We shall steal it from the breath
We alone who see that Light
Or know of it, in darkest night
Arm your spirit, for this I've spoke--
Even the foolish have now awoke.
a postscript is here written:
a pass-word:
Nice Terror July


Gun Control

it is addressed thusly:

A thought.
it reads:
In the system that they propose
We may discern a theme recurs
It is a thing that no one knows
Not doing so each man prefers;
No man steals what has no worth
Or kills what has no power of life
What is there that has no birth
Worthy of no pain and strife?
A thing unspoken, when once said
Is not forgot, for now he knows
There is no reason to shoot the dead
In the system that they propose.


To Silence

it is addressed thusly:

An ode.
it reads:
We have had enough of words
Will we fill the heaven with them
All of them that Earth affords
And none of them are wisdom?
Listen and you can hear with me--
Truths plural - which it is not
- A minotaur's mask, we might see
Yet waiting 'neath our chaotic lot;
Not truth! A man sees a thing plain
And says, "I ought to lie about it"
Since he fears offense, and pain
For truth-telling he cannot be fit;
But who is left for which speech
Is elucidation - instead of a thought
"We thought it charity for each
Whose words we sold and bought?"
I speak as one quite truly mad
But silence is a thing unalloyed
Unmixed with the drugs we've had
A clear and quite heavenly void;
A sky! In it we pray the stars
Have not in our fugue gone red
We who thought to end all wars
Who would fight for one so dead?
Clear to us, the night and sun
And such speech lifts us not a whit
Not to moon or stars, to any one
Of the stars, and heaven is full of it!
You will remain, perhaps by vote
On Earth - by vote! By waves of men
Which were elected, just by boat
And you now must take them in;
The doors! The doors! Closing fast -
Trim the lamp, and sharpen swords
To know what comes, know what past
We have had enough of words.


The Song of the Mirror

it is addressed thusly:

An ode.
it reads:
The beautiful woman smirks;
She alone knows what works --
The pretty flutters or preens
Perhaps she is what she seems
Perhaps not -- from what round eye
Would these, the accusations fly--
All can smile, if they wish
A grateful face deserving a kiss--
If kisses can be given, and so
About this matter we come and go;
Many are cute; few are quite hirsute
But here - known by the astute
A law, simple and without flaw
No epistle of straw;
Every warp and weft man provides
These many, beauty survives
And beauty, knowing the sum
May wish to remain mum
While those else emulate
- but mostly mutilate
And so a slight thing to mar
Throws her into relief by far
As she alone knows what works,
The beautiful woman smirks.



it is addressed thusly:

An ode.
it reads:
The world still breathes
Though it held its breath
We may ask if it believes
In untimeliness of death;

It is easy to overstate
What may or not transpire
We ask the world of late
To recall a once-consuming fire;

A light is lit upon a wall
And some would put it out
We may ask if they recall
A battle cut short in rout;

The people's voice a sounding roar
It always has been so
We ask the world, all the more
If it has far to go;

They gather to a fulsome wave
They tip a left-rigged scale
We ask if they have been so brave
If they'd thought that they could fail?

It begins again, only begins
Announce not victory
We ask the world still in its sins
Has it yet become free?

Night awaits, the superstate
Must rise whose pattern weaves
What we call the world of late
And yes, the world still breathes
-- but Britain?
Britain leaves.
a postscript is here written:
a pass-word:


The Sage Offers the Dire Solution

it is addressed thusly:

A thought.
it reads:
Those who wish to live, live
There is no more direction to give
Whether they pass through death
Or pain, or darkest shade
They do not hold their breath
But exhale for air is made
And cling not to death.

Oh! Where have the children gone
Rows of houses stretching on--
Snout-houses! But why build a wall
When there is none to keep
To keep safe from the elements all
Furious that make the women weep
Oh, Why then build a wall?

The dead don't need to reproduce
Redundant remain the gun and noose
What life have they themselves to live
When pain and strife they cannot face--
What life have they themselves to give
A child -- a pilgrim seeking grace?
But those who wish to live, live.


Bridge Song

it is addressed thusly:

 A song.
it reads:
Beneath the bridge, all is thunder
All is rain and halfway night
We who travel, must travel under
And feel the traffic-thunder might;
Those who dwell, and dwelling under
A bridge for day, a bridge for night
Live a storm, of dry and thunder
Live an evening, out of sight
When God speaks, is it in thunder
As when Paul had lost his sight
Heaven bows, and we are under
Under sound and piercing light;
Elijah crouches, and ducking under
From fire and shaking out of sight
Was then the voice of God in thunder
Or in a whisper -- still and slight?


Fifty's Lottery

it is addressed thusly:

An imprecation.
it reads:
They led them into temptation
And delivered them not from evil
To drink deep of condemnation
And having thus drunk be full;

Is the man worse who dies in sin
Or the man who perishes sinning
That devil, if you'd let him in
Will either way still be winning;

It happens that those whose claim
Is based on their service of us
Have become now yet all the same
To those we did once mistrust;

A sovereign is one whose rule
Is marked by the right to kill
A tyrant is a similar fool
Who by folly the tombs will fill;

Cursed is the nation that made
Men corrupt their sacred blood
And having thus done then forbade
Them raise themselves from the mud

Cursed is that head of state
Who in knowing what I have said
With purpose left open the gate
To those who would so strike them dead!

It was if having bought fifty hens
The farmer invited the fox
Leaving open the gate to their pens
While their screams he thoroughly mocks;

"The authorities, discovering his crimes
What do you suppose they would do?"
I ask, though these are the times
When 'interference' they would eschew;

But when at last all the blood
Of his victims made the lake black
They would find a place in the mud
To inter his corpse in a sack;

"Am I my brother's keeper," they ask
His neighbors, still minding their own
Who among them is fit for the task?
If they'd known him then they'd have known;

This leader, that is, all their kind
Tempted men with pleasure and purse
Led evil to them; we're resigned
That they too shall suffer this curse.
a postscript is here written:
Orlando 50 ISIS


The Sage Discards the Modern Style

it is addressed thusly:

A thought.
it reads:
I've heard it said somewhere they mock
The uncarved block;
What folly! Would they, though, live to see
Man's stupidity?
To wit - does a concrete cube and a sphere
A garden appear?
They want a clean line-- fine, I'll be excused
It is just reduced;
In the simple is always seen something nascent
For those patient;
What bird might come o'that conglomerate ball
Will Atlas call?
I laugh, and I half believe what folly I tell
It is just as well;
The uncarved block comes of a single stroke
Thus I spoke!
From grinding of a thousand wheels therefore
Is simple no more.


The Song of the Idol

it is addressed thusly:

An ode.
it reads:
The golden statue which King
Nebuchadnezzar set up
Had it in time learnt to sing
Or to drink from a cup?
Had it become more than full,
Though just a ventriloquist's doll?
On its own two legs stood up
With its voice, made a call?

When the horn and the symphony
And the sackput and lyre
Make report of its infamy
That sound must inspire
All to bow down, although
Less they love and more they loath
Or else be cast into the fire
But inspiration comes from both;

Power must be obeyed we know
Though obeisance is a thing
Lost to those who above, are below
Of them, we forget to sing
But not of those who drain the cup
For in truth it cannot drink nor sup;
The golden statue which King
Nebuchadnezzar set up.
a postscript is here written:
a pass-word:
history making clinton golden


The Song of the Pipes

it is addressed thusly:

A song.
it reads:
The pipe-player plays his song
Merrily, as though a dream
Were this life, the short and the long
All down-going its glinting stream
We are sad, for reasons unknown
And the music it does not groan
And we know, though it may seem
That we walk in silence, alone;

I once made a pipe to sound
Every color of a concert-hall
When in it are merrily found
The musicians' company, all
On as it were, the skylark's wing
The organ - how it does sing
But the joy, the art is to call
That it is not a viol's string;

What pipe, more bright than this
Makes sounds like a human voice
It inflects as oft as it lisps
It was one of our favorite toys
A joke! A serious joke--
A laugh as much as a choke
They were fooled by one of the boys--
That they thought a man had spoke!

But so it was long before
A pretense of speech and will
The mob that bangs at your door
Are an organ of suchlike skill
It bears a torch as it walks
And words are such as it talks
It is deadly! With death it may kill
That poor soul it seemingly stalks;

Now let me tell you a tale
Of an organ of light and shade
To mimic us, it cannot fail
In this it was perfectly made
They will see it is seemingly strong
And to rule it is fit everlong;
And to know, it is always forbade
That the pipe-player plays his song.
a postscript is here written:
This is an amalgamation of several texts. The most notable is Thomas Carlyle's relation of the democratic masses as being a simulacrum of a single human voice, as though they were a great pipe that a wind happened to be passing through that made them sound like they were speaking, and if speaking, made it seem like they were thinking and together had a mind and a will.

The 'organ of light and shade' - which consists, like most of these pipe-instruments (the mob certainly loves pipe-bombs) of a series of tubes. Sometimes there is light in the tubes, and sometimes, there is shadow. And what has begun as a joke - an a-musement, of copying certain human activities, like in the case of the mob, becomes a serious instrument. We would be led to believe that the 'viol' stop on the organ is actually a string section.

And we are, as we were about the mob, required not to consider the man working the keyboard. (We may hope he is well tempered.)


The Orator Announces the Age

it is addressed thusly:

An ode.
it reads:
Men above all desire to be ruled
If not by themselves, by whom?
Time and place have us fooled
Squatters in a once-fair room;
Who with measure laid its beams
Kept it dry from rains and streams
Declared its size, where it should loom
Breathed its form from noonday dreams?

Freedom is the first-fruit borne
Born of rule, when rule was well
Strong and lean, aloof of scorn
Like this house in which you dwell
Order is first, and though retooled
When it crumbles you can't be fooled--
The call must come, a goodly spell
Men above all desire to be ruled.



it is addressed thusly:
A thought.
it reads:
They tell the world what it wants to hear
Speaking cheap of what remains quite dear
A world without borders! For them it seems
That walls are old, or a bit oppressive --
The world cheers louder, it downright screams
The world is rarely this expressive--!
Meanwhile, the dupes continue to awake
But not yet do a noise they make --
What would you say, that the 'people' said
They'd made one false move too many?
What sort of things do they allow the dead
To say - that might be heard by any?
The earth will be consumed, but not by fire
Not yet for our Lord's all-fulsome ire
But by flies, by roaches, by locust, by worms
While the doddering old nod sleepily
Gulliver in his bonds still squirms
And the poets continue quite weepily--
Of the end of a world, a body dissolves
Though the planet itself quite duly revolves
Unlikely a sea, whose tremendous ripple
Might cover the lands we hold so dear
But instead a mountain of useless kipple--
They tell the world what it wants to hear.


Ars Poetica

it is addressed thusly:
A thought.
it reads:
We should stray not too far
In our wandering star to star
From the song which sounded first
And brought us to poetry's door
Awake with an unknown thirst
We knew that we must have more;

Can we sing all that we have spoke
And can we sleep once we've awoke--
And known the confluence of sound
And thought which made it true--
Not empty speech we had found
Once-heard, we then always knew?

So turn again, men of song
And you will have done no wrong
With rhythm you must count in time
Mere sentiment will only mar
Distill not away simple rhyme
From this then, stray not too far.



it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
Breathe deep my friend, in the night
Breathe deep in the morning light
The sun comes up and the moon goes down
So long as the world is going round;
Rising and falling the cloaking mist
Cover and uncover what the sun has kissed
And make heard sounds of a distant place
Which come twenty feet yet from our face;
The Ever-Near - the things in the rain
The far-and-near become one again
Such a breath is the spirits of spring
The shadow of a bird now on the wing
Whose alighting is a certain-uncertain sound
In this cool chamber in which we've found
The crush of stone beneath our foot
Or the shining road else black as soot
Which calls us on, to another world
Though twenty feet ahead it is unfurled
We dwell no more in night and day
Though we see not yet a starry way
Such stars but a glimpse of settled mist
Vanishing whereupon the sun has kissed
And sound returns, and shadow returns
And wise is the man who yet discerns
Whether on this road it is day or night
What he may see in uncertain light--
So sound, so shadow must disappear
Then what remains is the Ever-Near.


By The Waters of Babylon

it is addressed thusly:

A song.
it reads:
We are strangers in a land unstrange
It looks like it once was ours
Caught in its sleepy lagrange
With odd and uncertain stars;
We sit by the waters and weep
But no sound had mustered a cry
In solemnity, silence we keep
As the somnolent waters go by;
Asking from us but a song
The alien cant made correct
For folly alone made him strong
And his will is now quite direct;
But no is the answer we give
No to the moon and the stars
We cannot sing who still live
In a land that is no more ours;
If in time we had come to forget
What by troth a city had meant
What a king, a kingdom and yet
What else dark heaven had sent;
May our hand never rise ere again
Not to plow and never to sword
If we forget! Are we men --
Or arrears no man could afford;
But you, O folly of might
Though heaven be dark we recall
O our succor, O our light
Whose face makes the mighty to fall;
Blessed is he when he comes
To make life from lifeless bones
And takes all your little ones
And dashes them on the stones.
a postscript is here written:
"By the waters of Babylon" is a classical Christian lenten theme; in Great Lent we experience our estrangement through our ascetic struggle; but more poignantly, any man who is not progressive finds himself not a stranger in a strange land, but a stranger in his own home, now occupied by rude, often foolish foreigners. He has no king, no altar, and no sacrifice. Even more, he has no voice, because if he did he would speak only one word: ruin.



it is addressed thusly:

A thought.
it reads:
They only grip tight when the wheel is slipping
Orwell understood, and yet missed a truth
Of the transformation from free to uncouth--
Not how, but why the wheel they are gripping
Fingers white - with their eyes blood shot
Is it just the season - is it just our lot?
Or do Dracon and Nero have a brotherhood
What is the driver doing - in his driver's chair
Does he think at all, has he understood
Why does he have both his hands in the air?
He hits a bump - and now the chariot is tipping
It wouldn't be, had the wheel he'd been gripping
Light and firm and measured and fair --
They only grip tight when the wheel is slipping.
a postscript is here written:
a pass-word:
secure sovereignty


Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

it is addressed thusly:
Re-engineered, for Wallace Stevens
it reads:

Among twenty hills
Snow capped, all was still save this
The blackbird's bright eye.


Of three minds was I
Like a tree in which sat blackbirds
Three of them, that is.


Tossed in autumn wind
The blackbird went, but small was it
Amid great gestures.


This man and woman
Are one, and with a blackbird
One they still remain.


Of speech or sighing?
The blackbird's song or just after?
Which delights me more?


Glass full of rude ice
The blackbird's shadow crossing
Marking unknown things.


Dreaming birds of gold -- ?
Men of Haddam! At your feet
See? The blackbird walks.


Rhythm and timbre
I know, and the blackbird too
Is somehow involved.


The blackbird in flight
Vanished, one more circle's edge
Marked by its passing.


Blackbirds in green light
Of their flight, even sweet singers
Would cry out sharply.


Riding a glass car
In fear mistook its shadow
But once, for blackbirds.


The river moving
Like it, somewhere the blackbird
Is moving in flight.


Evening came early
Snow coming, in cedar-limbs
Had sat the blackbird.
a postscript is here written:
This is a Haiku transformation of Wallace Stevens' poem of the same name. I tried to maintain as much of his original style as possible, which was very like the core mood or approach of Haiku anyway. Additionally, the use of the word 'blackbird(s)' should be identical to the original part in his poem, in which it should be noted that blackbird(s) occurs precisely 13 times.

My intent here is to both show that Wallace Stevens was an excellent poet, and also that the formlessness of modern 'styles' gains them no boons. Although the Haiku imposes certain greater restrictions (especially see XI) nonetheless, even the simple formula of the Haiku strengthens each of his thirteen images.

Modern poetry is somewhat like a series of photographs of stones 'randomly' thrown in a pool. Unknown felicities arise, but they are the felicities we have already seen elsewhere when we examine them carefully. We do not lack genius yet, but virtue has gone with discipline.


Blessing for a Woman

it is addressed thusly:
A song.
it reads:
For her may there always be
 A child aside, upon her knee-
Where she is, may there be found
 A song, a hymn, a pleasant sound
Where raindrops droop and birds still sing
 Her finger bear a single ring--
A bower, broad-beamed place of rest
 A babe asleep upon her breast
Where fields fertile now bud forth grain
 And under shadow, after rain
Beside the fire, may safety find
 Her there, and there, a quiet mind.


Colder Still that Metal Box

it is addressed thusly:

A song.
it reads:
Pray for those whose rescue is
Only ruin - naught beside
Fate is cruel, and freedom more
And duty ill betide
Cold comfort in a picket line
Water and not wine
Colder still that metal box
Which knows our ev'ry sign;

But where has their redeemer gone
For their kin make good
Of this bargain made unthought
Pledged, not understood--?
Firebrands burn and light aflame
Light is light the same;
Colder still that metal box
Though it bear our name;

Its listless eyes must edge to sleep
Digits like a song
Whose guarantee, whose lullaby
Tells us right from wrong
I do not come to judge, it said
Black and white and red --
Colder still that metal box
The living and the dead.

It does not have our flesh and blood
Remaining pure ideal
Their bones must feel its icy prod
If their bones can feel;
Cold comfort from their Bacchus-bliss
Vinegar and piss--
Colder still that metal box
In whom their succor is.


The Future

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
The future is found in the poetry of things
Not in the curio the specialist brings
Stuck still where your poetry is stuck
Poor man, so you remain out of luck
No loss of rhythm or dearth of rhyme
Can somehow pull you out of time
How many fans in a flying car
To make a horse-cart travel that far?
How many ways can a desktop be
On the wall in the hall, or on your knee?
OId symbols, of iron hard-forged
Once on knowledge the mind had gorged
Windmill, waterwheel, window-pane
Thinking different but being the same
You lose! In the revolution died
In its victory low and wide
Thought itself, to make beautiful
Now to conceive a separate whole?
You are convinced it will soon be here
Between perversion and moral fear
Is prose that neither paints nor sings
The future is found in the poetry of things.


The Song of The Shacks on the Shore

it reads:
The houses, of both small and great
Along the shore, participate
In florid color of the south
- to the sea, the western sea -
a springing flower-box in growth
a form as low as it is free?

How many pigments, perfected there
Also graced a portrait where
A saint or noble face edicts
- a bright decree, solemnity  -
Gold and rose alone depicts
Against the blue; the waiting sea.

The season for them never ends
Time, though, summons other winds
To fleck them worn and silvery
- summer's blue, that ever-blue -
In them catch solemnity
But laugh, because you always knew.


The Song at the Great Chasm

it is addressed thusly:
A song.
it reads:
In the world a hole a mile wide
The wise of old had testified
A hole thus shaped as man is shaped
From such thought man, he had escaped-
 That guillotine! that parliament!
  Cut down every worthy soul
 And good and ill were elsewhere sent
  With none beside to fill the hole;

A progressive great men never make
Though steps of 'progress' some do take
To hope and wait for future's boon
Is not for will fulfilling soon
 So pour, pour - when it rains it pours
  Salt with fire, you thirsty soul
 The salt of the earth by tens and scores
  With none beside to fill the hole;

And as many sands are in the sea
Were once those in nobility
And justly wisdom, believe or not
Does send them through a fire hot
 Yet build it now and they will come
  Greatness save a noble soul
 You think I jest; but yet, in sum
  None besides will fill the hole.


A Canticle for Flight

it reads:
He who loves his freedom -- must he fly?
His axiom is taking to the sky --
Simple path for those, who bearing wings
And knowing not the weight the earth then brings
Feet and hands of those who stand upright
Yes you, whose strength must make the weather light
Chase the stars while God still gives you time
And notice where they've put the exit sign.


Hall of Mirrors

it reads:
When I see my own reflection there
Repeating without end
Time is turning on itself and where
Going round the bend
Rising silver glass without a face
Taking on my own
Though I'm walking in a crowded place
I am yet alone.


A Song of Winter

it is addressed thusly:
A song.
it reads:
There was snow at the gates of heaven tonight
Falling fast, beyond man's ken
All made new in impenetrable white
And held fast the dwellings of men
Rime, the frost which holds and binds
Its hands gripped tight, primeval, grim--
And mystery still, unhandsome whim
That under heavy coldness grinds
With the water's edge - sharp and clear
White, not every-color here
Blessed be the man who finds
Safe and warm what he holds dear;

The billowed cloud which seems to breathe
A curse, or a warning where
Its breath comes forth, that makes it seethe
Snow on snow in snow-flecked air
The cruel north wind, the endless gray
Wind of winds! And winter-time
Singing hoarfrost, whistling rime
Thundering through its silent day
Except the voices - hear them rise
Edge and blade cut down to size
Bless the morning, clear the way
All you young, and all you wise.



it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
In the time of Orion
I was a rider of the iron clouds
over the rim of Saturn
beneath the din of Titan's crowds
In the age of Arcturus
I strode high in Io's seas
With six merry Asuras
Just before the Great King's decrees
And in the days of Mercury
When the lights fell as Icarus' wings
Singing the final apogee
I was drinking deep of forgotten things;
How old am I, and how young
I was not before yesterday's sun
A leaf let fly where boughs were hung
But have seen more than anyone.


Winter's Afternoon

it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
A summer afternoon declines, its lines
Make to seem past, some better times
Lazy perhaps, but burning off soon
The heat of such a long afternoon
Sun sinks, but slowly to the south
Let the word dusk not leave your mouth
When then our summer mood has past
It drags out - will it be autumn at last
And winter's late day is short and cool
The sun hurries to pass its rule
Suggesting rest - hearth and sleep
The north edge of the sky is deep
And it dives, fleeing the cutting wind
Whisper, heaven's lights have dimmed
Tell me of your fancy's flight --
In this, our long, dark winter's night.


The Final Lecture

it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
(A small group gathers numbered but four
In a place where hundreds once sat
But now cannot boast even that
Which Socrates brought in his door;
The electrical light flickers from wear
And the seats do nothing but creak
So standing remain the company there
And the pre-eminent one turns to speak:)

True sons, now tell me a tale
Tell me the truth of our age;
Give not to fainting, nor unto rage
Do we succeed, do we fail?
When God in his fury tore us in two
How'd we forget why t'was done?
Did we even forget that we knew
That the two things were once one?

First, says the one, we took to a trail
Which was as broad as t'was long
To the folly there is not a song
In this I must reckon we fail.
A thousand we spent, years, or more
To remake the thing we'd torn down
As if we'd had not a reason before
To examine a thing once put down.

Says the second, there's more you know
Once we'd got on to the thing
To the table then we did bring
A precept we'd forged far below;
Is man just a soul in a bodily cage
An atom from natural mess
How'd he gather, how can he engage
How can a truth he confess?

The third sighs and grimly replies
And the last thing was but the worst
An idea as grand as perverse --
The finale to all of our lies
Make man a common- nobody owns
From which all power is drawn
God must now raise a people from stones
After this tragedy's dawn.

Was man improved? He wonders aloud
Did he find what they promised him
Was he then bold, or just dim
Was there any left to be proud?
But now let us say, those who once made
These ideas their weapons of choice
Are now dead, so let us forbade
King, priest or peasant
 --e're give them voice.

(The solemn assembly then did depart
From the place that once was called
Dark-roomed and ivory-halled
The place of high reasoning's heart--
But to this thing we did not put fire
Lest the lesson of it be forgot
God would in time his fulminant ire
The 'university' make not.)