To a Friend

July 27, 2016

 

Golden disk of sun,

Radiant, copper fire, lost in milky clouds.

Red like change but at rest,

A bronze figurine,

sun-drenched sphinx,

floating peaceful

above every torrid twist and turn of time.

I love you, my sunlight,

my thing of beauty unmarred.

 

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‘SLEEPING CAT’ – Pen & Ink and Watercolour by Richard Marsh, source: Etsy.com

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Afterlife

May 2, 2016

 

 

Unum, duo, tria, I count the elements on a metronome,

their numbered symbols make a mark’d meter,

A frantic danse macabre over a world of processes.

O, that sublimation would carry me away,

the lighter above the heavy,

a team of angels tromping above the earth,

the fiery seraphim, who announce, holy, holy, holy.

O that I be transmuted,

blackest dross to fairest gold,

in the blue hours before dawn.

O that I climb to heaven,

Aboard my dreams, rocked by chopped ocean,

threatened by deepest seas

and glaring leviathan, wispy-tongued.

May I close ears to the siren

who calls strident, rimed-poetry,

fantastic alchemy, grave fables.

Abroad the silver-tipped wings of albatross,

fluttering pinions of fairies,

folded pelage of nymphs,

May I ascend, ascend the gracious realm,

my elysian field, my Eden… paradise,

for which I long in sighs and lament,

psalm, dirge and hymn.

Oh angels, bring me, aloft,

along the pearled steps,

Where cares fall amidst the lilies,

where worry fades within the sun

which knows no setting, no dusk,

no bugle-call, no sleep at the earth’s end.

 

 

Summer

May 2, 2016

 

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On winged feet, aflurry,

summer comes.

Elements of clarion water, sultry breeze and flaring sun see play,

a hop-scotch amidst the dotted meadow.

Time for fire-flies to waltz in golden glint,

for lilies to raise triumphant heads.

Hear ye, starling and black-bird,

bellows sweet aria.

Hear, owl and night jar,

chant hallowed Compline.

See fire glint in the falcon’s eye,

bounce on the back of a wildcat

Behold a cadre of bats aflutter,

insects ahum, like manifold lyres

and will-o-whisps a saunter.

In summer’s fire,

thunder cries out,

rain plays a staccato fugue,

the very air crackles with worn time.

Watch, feel, the trees alimber,

their wild dance, exultant shower of seed.

Breathe the night-blooming jasmine,

as it utters melismatic,

summer’s timeless tune.

A Song alone

February 15, 2016

 

 

I once sang a song alone,

the strings of my throat avibe,

the plectrum of my heart in place.

No one listened, no one heard,

yet the very walls inclined.

I once chanted a psalm unwritten,

the zither of my spirit wrung tight,

The dusty air with sonor

left the antiphon unsaid, unvoiced.

I once composed a dirge,

the chord of my tongue in D-minor,

for no one

and they didn’t weep.

I once rejoined a wedding hymn,

the organ of my lungs billowed,

like the descant of royal flute

played by none

yet answered by spring’s bloom.

I once tuned the tympanym of my lips

to twirl,

dancing like heavenly spheres

lost in the blink of an angel’s eye.

Ein Klein Nachtmusik

February 15, 2016

 

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At last, falls the curtain,

still, dread velvet weaves the quiet,

a flurry of feathers, ancient tracks,

Aqua regia and wheaten witches’ moons.

How can I connect

the sacred and profane, the lofty and lowly,

the many strands of soundless symphony?

Do the trees answer life and death,

motherhood and loss?

Do lunar phases mark love’s mood

both tragic and elated?

Can the eloquent calligraphy of frost

record seasons, longings and sighs?

Is she Diana who births the night,

or Nyx spreading her inky cloak?

Is it the she-wolf, wraith or sprite

who strikes the danse macabre entwined?

Is this the lesser time of God,

or the penance to repair what’s lost?

Of snow and ashes, would I be remiss,

of that noiseless time when destroying angels pass.

In the lightless underworld,

do owls hymn thee?

When fearsome things tramp afoot,

does the unknown, unseen, unremembered cry?

There is appointed the time to awake

and to die.

After every day surely comes night

on rodent feet

singing the unsung requiem

taps on a graveyard bugle,

Nunc dimittis in velvet black

because the white of dawn may wake them.

Grandfather Tree

November 28, 2014

Your branches

like knotted hands holding up the universe,

Your trunk

an anchor,

roots reaching down into the netherworld.

The osprey

nests in your lofty, outstretched heights

Your swaying boughs,

tickled by wind, they sing,

each leaf a story to tell.

Ancient,

generous,

living thing,

here, in your shadow, I feel loved.

ancient tree

Eventide

April 7, 2014

Why for, we seek immortality and dreams?

Is time numbered by hours seated at a window wishing,

days spent counting coins,

months reaping and gathering?

By years rapt in love’s fires,

within age’s wintry night?

 

The sower toils golden fields, eyes vigilant

yet tends his father’s grave.

Children skip over gardens adance,

yet behold the eagle’s distant flight.

Friars pray in cloisters adorned,

yet sing evening’s requiem.

 

Death seizes and respects not.

Its day sure as resting sun.

Sure as the gnat circles in midday,

As lambs in darkness follow only their herder.

This silent visitor, the faceless judge,

beckons both doors of young and old.

 

Whilst plagued beggars shiver,

and consumption claims kings,

Weavers and merchants wail,

as virgins travail.

Men, all of men,

shall languish.

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De Profundis

July 14, 2013

I plummeted down,

that labyrinthine way,

where deep calls upon deep.

There, I wrestled the waves,

the murk-laden crests, drowning sweeps, fell sands.

Besot, my soul,

laid waste everything in me

like blackest lead.

Tears beyond count,

loud lamentation aspersed, feeds the salty swirl.

Aphrodite, her foamy tomb,

so fair, verdant, livid,

made naught.

Sirens trumpet-call,

taunting love never-met, never meant to be,

Hades open-mawed,

the old devestatrix,

welcome waits.

Oh that I might sink into oblivion!

Buried in sweet pain,

sweetest might forget, ere sharpest to fight.

Dare I stay,

where no solace, dark mist can depart,

no hope alights, no love echo?

 

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Psalm of Lament

March 24, 2013

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Psalm of Lament.

 

Why, my Lord must this hurt?

 

Because my child, this world is thorns…

 

Was I ever a fair child?

Injured from my youth, tossed away, maimed.

After the long tunnel of darkness, I entered the light

where the Lord’s children are maimed.

 

I said:

Lord did thou rescue me from sin, my own self-inflicted death,

so I may become as a dog despised?

 

They once hated me because I was lost, sick, cursed.

Now they conspire against me, my family,

because I am found, healed, blessed.

 

Lord, I trusted you…

The shell of my former soul, left behind like dross

sunken on the bottom of an iron-smelt.

Rising, a phoenix, I cried out to the world.

Instead, they ignored me, clipped my wings, cast me away.

 

“One of them” mocked and defiled…your child.

Lord, look at your own, beloved firstborn,

there cut, bleeding…esteemed not.

 

Was he the fairest of the fair?

He who cried: Why God hast thou forsaken?

Because my child, the next world is a Kingdom…

 

I said:

Hope in you still, my Lord…

for your lead rod is perfect, laden in gold.

 

Take me from these thorns.

Lick my wounds; count the bones that were crushed,

and lift me from this dark vale.

The Age Old Battle

December 8, 2012

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Satan wraps upon the Holy Door

With unveiled shadow clothed,

Claws atop marble tread.

His talons round the altar rail.

Snap, summon and rouse

Rome’s old Bishop from eventide prayer.

Frail humanity doth behold

The Light-Bearing Angel everlasting.

emerald eyes aloft,

chill heels below.

And as the most-glorious

Chorus of old

Did Satan’s voice sweetly ring

From sweetest lips untold:

 

 

“Doest thou well a Lord to hail

and call upon his name…”

The bishop unmoved

royal crosier his cold hands grip

yet fearful the reply”

“Devil, I know you not, hear ye, it is written

The Lord God alone, shall ye serve.”

Wings black of flaxen flesh

and wondrous plume,

The Fallen unfolds.

“You were told not

that if thou serve the true world-lord,

all glory on earth and power,

shall be unto thee.”

 

 

Follow the bishop’s timid protest:

“All known to me is this:

If thou seek first the Kingdom of Heaven,

all good things shall come to thee.”

In thunder rapt and darkness evermore

shouts the devil anon:

“Fool confess that I am thine king

and the Kingdom mine

before God smites thee for foolery!”

“By the blood

of the New Sacrifice

and the name of Him, who offered thus forth

get thee behind me!”

 

 

Did Satan leap like starlight

great limbs pressed the frescoed ceiling.

Bid he oncemore the bishop

praise to his unholy name.

And oncemore the cleric refrained:

“Hath Lord Christ, own Son of God sworn

The gates of Hell shall not prevail.”

Clawed hand swift,

jeweled gaze intent,

the devil’s final utterance fall

as wetted stones downcast:

“Because thou refused mine accord

of all glories and treasures, an offer invaluable,

I shall never cease my tireless attack

upon ye…

May your age sting ye

and thine flock rebel against ye.

May heresy and confusions multiply like wild grass,

Disturbing your brethren.

Great strife visit the house

entrusted unto you,

many to come after shall pollute thy oversee

defile thy apostle’s holy throne.

Error and unrest seize thy people

so they will even deny the Lord among them.

They shall fall deaf to a shepherd’s call,

ravaged by wolves.

Curses unspeakable, I now fulfill

against anything named “holy”

 

 

Satan took leave sudden.

Trail swirls behind of serpentine smoke

holding putrid embrace.

At last quivering,

the bishop did stand.

Lips parting no sound

In darkness silence bequeathed.

His hands met rest

with countenance resolute, concluded even-prayer.