CadenzaSuppose each one of us older than the stars,
suppose that we are other than the ragged beggars we seem,
suppose that our engulfing slumber, our inner darkness,
is constantly erupting with the vanity of dreams.
Consider those uncounted aeons swallowed in the oceans
of that virtuality, where we, the ever drowning mariners,
must cling to the absurd shapes we call reality.
Will we, unknowing captives, ever be free?
Has liberty become our cage of captivity?
Oh yes, we writhe, our nakedness become despair.
as our frenzied touching reveals that nothing's there.
Willing FleshFlesh the means, spirit the end,Willing Flesh3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
yet still the unintended. While deep
embedded in the pulsing rhythms
of the body's routine life, it transcends
physicality, flourishing in realities
never imagined before. Spirit is the key
to unlock the heavy door, to make
the great discovery of joy.
Storyville, Bordello Sketches1Storyville, Bordello Sketches3 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
Girls, pale skinned and nubile,
who by candle light might pass,
women who lend a joint a little class,
a suggestion of sass in the swing of the ass,
these were the gems the madams looked out for,
girls who could turn sad guys into would-be Casanovas.
Still the punters knew that the dollar was always king,
their dollars could buy them any pretty thing
in the room. They also knew that black girls
had learned what they had to do for a necklace of pearls
and stockings of silk. So the guys played make believe.
In the first light of dawn nobody was deceived.
The Storyville madams
hired piano players, even bands
to help the girls along. The punters liked
to feel how the girls swayed against them
as music's rhythms took them
voyaging around the floor.
Close like that,
the girl can soften up her chosen guy,
make sure that one of them at least
can get her money's worth.
She'll let the fumes of spirit tame him,
if she's good at reading the score.
Then what happens? There's a war.
On The PodiumThe art of conductivityOn The Podium2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
as the maestro explained,
is that the man with the baton
serves as a lightning rod,
earthing intuitions from god.
An Early DilemmaThe volume is set close to the margin of silence, ghost music is all that'sAn Early Dilemma2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
left to hear.
I'm listening to its whispered portents, its enigmatic tales of lust and fear
I know already the censor is busy, he's classifying my lifeful of
Still, there is no silence to be broken,
SenselessI've lost the power of speech,Senseless2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
become the dumbest of beasts.
I've been robbed of my senses,
stripped of all my defences.
Your exercise of bewitching touch
leaves me incapable even of remembering my name.
Your witchcraft has undone so much,
still you refuse to shoulder the blame.
There's so much for me to learn anew,
can I hope to learn it all from you?
Apprentice HeroI think maybe I do,Apprentice Hero3 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
but I know I don't.
I think maybe I will
but I know I won't
I didn't pay attention
when they explained it all to me,
Still suspected pure invention
when they told me how rewarding a soldier's life can be.
They must have thought me willing,
I did accept the king's shilling.
It wasn't long before the atmosphere was strained,
they threatened me with lashes if I complained.
When it came to fight or flight
I knew which choice was right,
It's true the soldier who runs away
has life to spare for another day
They tried to kill me, Deserter! they cried
I realised then how much they'd lied.
I think maybe I do,
but I know I don't.
I think maybe I will
but I know I won't.
Speaking In TonguesIt's true that the poet must ever struggleSpeaking In Tongues2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
with the dead weight of words, must shape
the beginnings of meaning from all the contingencies,
the accidents that blur the smooth edges of spirit's form.
It's true that every beginning will falter
long before the moment is discovered
clothed in simple perfection. Though I must fail,
I still can glory in a wealth of harmonics
that a greater soul might one day resolve.
KnowingDid they know whereKnowing3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
the train was going,
shoved and crammed into
the battered trucks, did they know?
The terrible knowledge
was hid among them,
buried deep in their souls,
out of sight.
But did they know
as they succumbed to passivity?
Yes, they knew.
Yorik's ReturnUnearthed, unconnected,Yorik's Return2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
this empty shell was once
a hovel, a prison, for a mind.
(I knew him well)
No pulsing, no squirming left
even the worms have been evicted.
Imagine that sentience crushed
in the cruel vice of mortality.
(I knew him well,
those lips of his could kiss
my childish cheek, to seal
that bond of shared delight
his antics showed me.)
Such memories of dreams
might no longer comfort
in the desert of a sleepless night.
On All Hallows Eve can I now
outstare those empty sockets
that must soon become
the end of me?
UrbanThe broken paving stones provide a niche within an unforgiving world,Urban1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
Tenacious weeds have multiplied around these narrow opportunities
these stringy plants are fitted for survival against the odds, each one
pitching its separate claim to life. Beneath the ruptured slabs, spindle
filaments of roots seek sustenance in gritty soil, dark and moist. in pockets
Too shallow for the ornate costumes of the pampered rose.
No horticultural art is practiced here, in this harsh universe
resources must be hoarded, so close to the void of the lifeless these survivors
grow. For them the season of flowering is brief:
a short lived flash of vermillion
HypnopompicHypnopompic2 years ago in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
A key too rusted
to turn, a door once solid,
now rotting away.
As sentience stirs again,
the dream's images decay.
HebeHebe3 years ago in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
She is youth's own dream
timeless in an amber moment,
She does not see the future
swallowed by infinity.
ChantryListen, child, listenChantry2 years ago in Songs & Lyrics More Like This
to the love that the bird sings
mellifluous, monotonous, it chants
the changeless song of its being
that love, that ancient syncopation,
that emptiness of the overflowing heart.
Thom And The BikersThat thundered crescendo maulsThom And The Bikers3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
those natural sounds more diverse and prolific than silence,
leaving the bruised ear to discover a muted state of shock,
The detonated eardrum stilled. Whitman sought the road
he dreamed all his Americans might tread, a road leading them
to the spaciousness of spirit, transmuted to fit
the form of humanity, heroic in the face of fate's immensity.
In California, the poet could but observe the progress
of this latter-day horde, deplore their defiant uniform of despair,
while envying their surrender to momentum.
LossAfter we parted,Loss1 year ago in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
phantom pleasure, phantom pain.
Decadent, MetallicAbandoned metalDecadent, Metallic2 years ago in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
dreams of disintegration,
Functional no more,
decay imposes its own
The Ladder Of JacobJacob dreamed. Though we may know nothing about what kind of man this father of patriarchs was, the record of his dream has been preserved. We have no way of knowing if this was indeed ever a dream that a man experienced. The story has him traveling alone, so artists have portrayed him. In the ancient text he settles for the night, resting his head on a stone.The Ladder Of Jacob3 years ago in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
As he sleeps the vision unfolds, he sees a ladder that reaches toward heaven from the earth, a ladder by which angels are ascending and descending.
He hears the voice of god, so he believes. The god tells him how remarkable he is. We might understand this vision as an allegory of his future hopes for his tribe, of descent into captivity, diaspora and persecution. As to the ascent, one might wonder if this angelic progress will ever be within human reach.
The voice has singled him out. On waking, he decides that his pillow must have been the foundation stone of the house of god.
The rungs rise and fall.
Direction, down or up, fixe
The Perspective Of HokusaiThe great wave surges from the left. The image is frozen as the great tower of water crests. Slicing the mountainous sea, three fishing boats in motion from the right, are threatened with inundation when the wall of water must fall upon them as the wave breaks.The Perspective Of Hokusai3 years ago in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
On the far horizon the snow-capped peak of Mont Fuji can be seen, tiny, against the momentary bulk of the wave. Yet and boats are necessarily transient. The foreground is full of the challenge of survival, a moment in the struggle that passes fast into oblivion. The mountain, that appears so small, is wrapped in its motionless tranquillity, its snow mantle dazzles the eye.
Close to, the great wave
obscures the world. Far away
the snow capped peak sleeps.
InconsequentialSuch an irony, to be so close to you,Inconsequential1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
so accidentally intimate. So sad those costumes
we had borrowed, disguises for those who
otherwise might have recognised our shades.
If only the moment had supported
the depths of our hidden agenda, if only
our potentiality had exploded around us.
As I departed you proffered your hand,
I felt your transcendent smile. You
turned your back, for your next assignment
was closing in on you. I walked away
as the door was closing behind me.
PromiseThe loveliest ofPromise3 years ago in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
the womb's fruit still must wither,
all life will decay.
I will always be holding
you, as slow time drains away.
Tough LoveHer hand makes blistering contact with his face,Tough Love3 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
the blaze of pain ignites against the flesh of his cheek.
He hears her shrieked words rain down upon his helplessness,
as fierce as the blow she landed on his tender flesh. He knows
that snot and tears smother his face. He knows too that fear
has loosed his bladder. Helpless before her wrath, he is consumed
with shame. She crashes the door behind her, but still her
rant fills all the empty spaces in the modest terraced house.
He cowers, balled up on the floor, wrapping his misery about him.
They're alone since his father left. He has only her to rely on.
MutationsMutations3 years ago in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
Existence in flux,
on the edge of becoming
or ceasing to be.
Aboriginal Elegy1Aboriginal Elegy1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
They fought, my brave, implacable forefathers,
outnumbered and outgunned, swept aside
as the lethal tide of conquest overwhelmed them.
Those who survived were crushed, humiliated,
driven to the infertile margins of their former domain.
My people were driven from the Great Plains,
condemned to bitter memories, to the company of ghosts.
Their shame oozed from
their spirits’ festering wounds.
Each returning day I must mourn
for a world lost long before I was born,
I weep for those who died, I feel their spirits
as they sleep, tormented by an anguish of dreams.
Red Indians, redskins, native Americans,
-these names are but curses, denying what we used to be.
Our Nations never lived in America! The invaders brought America
with them, unrolling it across our plains, burying our people,
extinguishing our names.
My people imprisoned on reservations, long before I was born
my childhood languished among them, the tribe a remnant,
the lost progeny of beaten braves, dispirited
Joined ApartA philosopherJoined Apart3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
made a great discovery,
he realised that humans
could never find stately peace,
known to an ancient tree.
They were divided,
each one like Siamese twins,
bound to another
within a single shared skin,
striving for one.