Sunday, February 8, 2015

One more

"On the paintings of Winston Churchill
Yes, Plato had more in mind
he was unwilling to say to those
monstrous kings with their thousand ships:

the philosopher-poet, the painter-king,
or some other some-such combination
Aeschylus or Sophocles might have devised:

aspiring always toward Beauty, yet
gouging his eyes for Truth
or perhaps the reciprocal:

gazing upon a soldier on a beach,
wavering, knee-deep before he splendidly
collapses unable to see,

and a rejuvenated tree by the water,
growing out of the rocks,

and blowing, furiously, in the wind.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

It has been a long time... so here are some new poems

The Cloister of Paul

the problem with nutshells
he told me with heaving
expectant breaths from across
the glass, is not the delusion
of space (he cleared his throat)
that's not it at all

it's that all around (the walls
were once white but never
repainted) the infinite consumes
and cracks every firmament

thick tresses framed his face
with sweat (his hands shook)
and he leaned closer to the
immediate condensation

it is the constant threat
of some new deluge or else
a more terrifying promise

his eyes pierced the fog
before him (metal
clanged somewhere - he did
not hear it)

why, even the Christ himself
cracked his own shell twice (once
with groans, again
with tremors) before

returning to the air

When my beard is more silver
     and my tongue has learned patience,
When my eyes become honest
     and my hands can stay close to my chest,
When I finally count myself less
     sinned against than sinning
(when that happens it won’t
     be a dimming of wit),
When I cease my injunctions to
     reason not the need
     as a beggar wrapped in kingly robes,
and no longer profess
     (between sculpted fragments and words) merit
     apart from its due,
and when the lowest branches
     along those Stygian shores
     are yet green in my eye,
I swear I’ll look back on all that I owe
     and surely by then, I’ll know
     how to repay all of my debts.