27 May 2018

Duet

I.                   Ocean Giants

Consider, man, the music of the whale
How he neither bellows nor whispers
And yet his voice carries
From deep to deep

When he thumps his mighty trunk
He dashes a man’s soft head against a rock
The white foam hastens to form his casket
And carries him swiftly into the elemental abyss.
A murder without a murderer, victim, or witness
Consider, man, the horror of My holiness.

The oceans declare the wonder of God
And the deep proclaims His mysteries
The tempest may disturb the surface
But in the deep no sound is heard
Squid and sperm spar savagely
Their blood is spilled in silence.

Consider, man, the river-sprites on the frontier
Whose only vice is mischief. It delights them,
To bend to your will, their ways are not implacable
They fill their bellies with freshwater, a digestible thought,
Clear, penetrable, lucid, benign, female.

The salt-sea giants are older, crueler.
Great barnacled beasts with ragged bladder-beards
They make tidal strides at the nadir of the sea
Crashing their heads together just fathoms below the surface
But their shriveled feet tread the dark carpet unseen,
Where the natural light has faded.
Hideous, black, twisted, tentacled thing!
I would not meet one, would thou,
Who art a mere man?

II.                Silver and Gold

The motley grizzly of the earth
Runs a certain manly course
The spring berries, and summer salmon
And honey during harvest-moon.
He does not deviate from the habits of men
And though he’s safe beneath the firs
He has forgotten, he has forgotten.

The Greater She-Bear of the sky
Never bathes in th’ ocean wave
Her white neck is outstretched ever North
She knows that life abides in the colder
Regions, where the air is thin
No-one who has drunk from the heavenly hives
Shall ever thirst, shall ever thirst again.

The bees of the earth make gold
But the bees of the stars make silver
Stringing their polygons in spirals for
pedestrians who comb
Along the shores of space. They make
Food fit for their make: planets are like
Pebbles to them: they weave their wax
Out of suns, and the sun is their home.
For the bees of the stars know their art
They know that the temper of celestial milk
Must last them a longer winter than
            their urban cousins.

Gold is young, but silver is old
Gold is warm, but silver is cold
Gold is better, or so we are told:
Gold is good, but silver is gold.

The bees of the earth make gold
But the bees of the stars make silver
What mad pursuit? I’ll wonder no more
At the fiery hunt. The boarhound and the boar
Pursue their pattern as before
But reconciled among the stars.





23 April 2018

A Cheery Poem about the Coming of Spring (If You Care About that Sort of Thing)


I have measured out every chunk of rain with meticulous sobriety
No one understood why it mattered whether the glass was half full but I
Am building a liquid staircase
And this is important;
That I am able to do so,
Immensely important,
That I can sing harmony,
Maintain a meter,
Talk to animals, etc.
And I know I could—
(They say if you can walk on water you can do the rest)
But I cannot walk on water,
And therefore I can do nothing.

Let every leaping and living thing come out in April,
Dragonflies, whooperwills, bridesmaids, flower-girls
Let them peek down at their bellies or under their bottoms
And yelp, because the fruits of the their labor are hatching at last
But not Belligerent Man,
Whose thoughts have been rotting since October,
Having neglected the apples in August,
Slouching, fat-lipped, bleary eyed, undersexed
Indolently watching the sun recede
And mourning the loss of his innocence,
Wipes his hand across his mouth, and laughs.

So this is my prayer to the dragonflies, whooperwills, bridesmaids, and flower-girls
That you might sever (by whatever operation necessary)
My upper lip from my bottom
So that I might utter the prayer
That I have just mentioned.

30 March 2018

Impressions


My son, there are reservoirs of goodness reserved for you
Springs of fresh water and clouds of spring rain
I want to give you the choicest fruits of the universe
But you must open your hand, open your tight fisted hand
To receive them…

You are not pious enough to please perfect Love
But you are suitable for My affection
I have not given up on You in these days of darkness
Even when you have given up on Me.
Open your hand, open your tight fisted hand
To receive Me…

You have strayed from your family, defied
The undefiable—rendered your return impossible
But I have defied the indefiable, I have defied
Your damnation, your doom, your death.
I have faced a greater defeat, and I desire
Your reunion with Life, my son, open your hand
To receive her…

These are the impressions which I have recorded
From the patterns of sound through prison walls
I have mapped every indication of Love
And pinpointed every point of contact between us
I hold the keys to the gates of heaven, I only require
A turn of the keyhole, and I shall quarry
The final piece, if only
If only
I could open
my hand…

15 February 2018

Why Earthworms are Good and Slugs are Evil


I would really like to post something here other than incoherent and esoteric poetry.  I'm not sure whether any of these are good, I'm mostly just throwing things up against the wall to see what sticks. (That's how I cook food, too.) If there's still an audience reading this blog, I'd love it if you'd scroll down and look over the poems I've written over the last few months and let me know which of them resonated with you the most.  If there's a poem that doesn't resonate with you, let me know as well. This is a massive experiment and I'm really curious as to whether any of it is working.


***



Pop pop pop pop
It’s raining agin.
Pop pop pop pop
The earthworms know what’s up.
Dad says earthworms are good,
slugs are evil.
Like the bees and wasps, I suppose.
And he’s right,
earthworms are soft and slippery
they squiggle and squirm in your hand and
tickle your fingertips
You always put them down when your done withum
back in their home. It’s indoors for them
outdoors for me, Mom says.
Slugs are slimy and sticky, though
You don’t wanna pick em up, ory’hafta
wipe it all off on your shirt, and even then
your hands don’t feel right agin until
you’ve rubbed some dirt on em.

Topsy-turvy tumblings on the trampoline
Dad says you can break your neck if
you’re not careful
But we never break our neck
That only happens to bad kids
You hear stories about them
(one uvom even died!!!!)
I can’t do a flip, but Jim can.
Issokay, I can still fit in small spaces
that he can’t fit in.
We wrestled on the trampoline
in the dark. Jim won.

Topsy-turvy tumblings on the trampoline
it was the closest my face ever was to a girl
sitting there, light bouncing of her hair
almost touching, not even jumping.
I liked her better than jumping.

20 December 2017

The Tears of God

I have fought with Satan and emerged
Triumphant but not Victorious
The schoolboy who answers taunts
Loses even as he wins
The battle begins before it begins
And ends when it begins.

Close your eyes and curl up
For the long desert night of the soul
A whip behind and a worm ahead
And nothing in between
Save your breath and ration your heartbeats
For the long desert night of the soul
Time is both ahead and behind
So do not fall out of his footprints.

The Nile is departed.
Like the pump of pistons without water
Like bone against bone in the bodies of old men
The Nile is departed.
We are dizzy from the deep droughts
Out of neon, 21st century temples
Though it is not warmer than fire, it is brighter.
You would not snuff it out
If the glow of your phone was the only light?

Winter was our curse
Snow was our forgiveness
A way to cushion the fall
Because our punishment was
Too great to bear.
How much deeper must we plunge into
The long desert night, O God?
Will You embalm us like your Lazarus?
Will You weep for us?


17 October 2017

The Man with No Echo

The season aiĆ³nios washes patiently
Over the whittle and worry
Of man’s movement; the tenor
Of Time; squeaky boots
Which scuttle and scurry in a hurry
Making the music of fledgling flutists
Who breathe too soon and too soon
Managing only to gasp out a husky whisper.
Ashes to ashes and mist to mist
They sound waves too short and hot
To travel very far and low
One Pop! One isolated movement
Dead and gone like a shot
Like a shot without an echo.




29 September 2017

The Water-Bead World

Observe the water-bead
clinging to the clover-leaf
observe the little figures
of the inner innerworld

They do not walk on a convex
pulling downwards
but on a concave pushing upwards
tending towards some unknown center

Pools give insight
of the other otherworld
a chance to see your face
as your face sees you

To see the terrible kingdom
of inverted beauty
dashed to pieces by a pebble
or a breath of wind

I have seen the child-kingdom
that fat paedriarch atop a heap
of glorious scrappings
It needs no sleep, and tells me the secrets
of the perilous perilous realm

Observe this, this absurd subverting Truth
which our eyes cannot convert
the only Reality we will
ever have the pleasure 
of unknowing