Archive for the ‘poetry’ Category

Breathing’s for the Meek?

July 3, 2014

Lovely satirical poem in Kurt Vonnegut Jr.’s The Sirens of Titan:

Break every link with air and mist,
Seal every open vent;
Make throat as tight as miser’s fist,
Keep life within you pent.
Breathe out, breathe in, no more, no more,
For breathing’s for the meek;
And when in deathly space we soar,
Be careful not to speak.
If you with grief or joy are rapt,
Just signal with a tear;
To soul and heart withing you trapped
Add speech and atmosphere.
Every man’s an island as in
lifeless space we roam.
Yes, every man’s an island:
island fortress, island home.

From Kurt Vonnegut Jr., The Sirens of Titan (New York: Delta, 1971), 152-53.

Ayahuasca

June 5, 2014

Ayahuasca

Late light, crows speaking
Half-moon bright above the trees
Black winged brothers

Forgetting Beauty

February 20, 2014

Is there a greater regret than forgetting beauty? To have known the beautiful — truly, immanently, intimately — and to forget that fact is akin to death. It is certainly a tragedy.

Simple stunning beauty, like the rich, subtle gradations of color in a perfect sunset, is never really forgotten. It lives within, it makes up our being.

But one must make the effort — must remember the light — the brilliant, beautiful, life-giving light — even in the depths of darkness. It is that which nourishes and sustains.

Beauty is alchemy. It transforms a leaden heart into a golden glowing grace. It is rock-solid philosophy. Unshakable. A foundation for the ages, immune to any challenge, argument or skepticism.

“She walks in beauty, like the night.” Maybe. Rather her beauty transforms — transmutates — night into day. Makes the darkness shine. Turns subtle shadowy forms into transcendental perfection.

The truth is there’s no regret — no place for sadness. Beauty cannot be forgotten. It will always be. It will not be forgotten. It simply is.

It is the seeing, the remembering — that is the art. To have eyes for the purpose. To open the blinds that cover the windows in a darkened room of the soul. That’s a worthwhile quest.

Beauty…I always remember. And love.

The Sorcerers

December 1, 2013

The Sorcerers

L. Sprague de Camp

They say the men of magic are all dead.
No more does the diviner in his swoon
Perceive the future in his mystic smokes;
No more the reckless sorcerer invokes
A demon fell to serve him. Xaltotun,
Imhotep, Merlin, and the rest, it’s said
Are gone from modern life.

But yesteryear, one who, the tale relates,
Was called MacGregor Mathers, Kabbalist,
Had built his Order of the Golden Dawn,
Donned robes, and struggled with the Devil’s spawn –
The wizard Crowley, skulking Satanist –
And, exiled, played at four-men chess with Yeats,
A ghost, and Mathers’ wife.

Then, too, in London sat, with cigarette
In hand, unkempt and testy, azure-eyed,
The uncrowned empress of the occult world –
Huge Helena Blavatsky. Round her swirled
A horde of chelas who, though daily plied
With dicta from Mahatmas in Tibet,
Were locked in frenzied strife.

And what bewhiskered Alchemist of yore
Made gold from lead with such astute address
As Mrs. Eddy, Hubbard, and their kind
Turn doctrines full of gibberish refined
To fortunes from the dupes that they impress?
With such, as in the mystic times before,
The world will long be rife.

From Anne McCaffrey, ed., Alchemy & Academe (New York: Ballantine, 1970), 41-2.

[N.B. Synchromystically, this is the 666th post on this blog...]

Balance

July 3, 2013

Balance

A Windy Afternoon on Gordon Beach

June 20, 2013

A Windy Afternoon on Gordon Beach

My notebook pages flutter in the wind,
in harmony with the cresting surf.

It’s almost summer – the sun is warm.
Its heat keeps me comfortable amid a stiff cool breeze.

The sky is piercing blue, but clouds gather
on the mountains across the Strait.

My thoughts echo this meteorological moment;
unstable, mercurial, transient.

The surf is an undisciplined mind,
unrelentingly crashing against the shore.

A metronome
of pointless splash and foam.

There’s a pulse in the salty air –
unimaginable storehouses of flow
lie just under waves.

I could sit here forever,
if not for the sound of my conscience.

Even the regular, solid chunk of dying waves
cannot drown it out.

Will there come a time
when I can just let go?

When all there is
is wind, wood, and the stormy sea.

Is it now?

I see thick, heavy clouds
looming over hazy mountains.

The Strait a dappled tapestry
of sparkling light and whitecaps.

Green rollers veined with a champagne froth
crash constantly.

Fronds of wild grass wave in the wind
as a crow flies by.

I look at the stones before me.
Worn smooth, in time,
by that unrelenting flow.

I think, like those stones,
we are all worn smooth.

I close my notebook,
and its pages cease to flutter.

On the Road to the Crazy Mountains

May 12, 2013

Crazy

White-Collar Wetback

November 24, 2012

White-Collar Wetback

Windsor to Lansing
Displaced migrant mind-worker
Alien body, lost soul


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