YOUR SINGULAR, SURE VOICE

My world unravels now you are away
Your love is away; nothing embraces me
Trust fails around me and sincerity
Our love’s sanctuary is gone today

I’m a stranger lost in language games
I miss the meaning others fail to say
Who don’t remember me from yesterday
My social life comes down to merely memes

The world that is your singular, sure voice
Fractures in a plural mixed up sound
I lose my footing, stagger on shifting ground
Our duet drowned out by static noise

I learned the story of Tristan and Isolde
When all I did alone in school was read
They lived in love’s cathedral, love their creed
And so we lived so long our love will hold

My mind rehearses thoughts of you like a song
And all my memories join in harmony
Although apart, I feel you here with me
And I’ll be with you there however long

OLD BUT NOT AN ELDER

I’m done phased out
There are only so many updates a hard drive can sustain
Before it’s time for a new model

It’s an odd feeling.
That it’s pretty much all behind me now
And that no one’s going to hire me

Despite my talents
With my age, my gender, my race, my desire to still contribute
Though it were charity to voluntarily yield my place

Get out of the way, voluntarily
Make room for new blood, young blood just starting out
Except I’m not feeling all that charitable

So it is mandated involuntarily
By the system, the machine, rage against the machine
And by the machine, we mean

That young HR professional
Snotnosed, snoot-nosed, or otherwise, who scans one’s Vita,
Or algorithm scanning keywords, number, gender, race

And I am sunk
It is deemed that it is all behind me now
I am old, but not an elder

It is deemed I am an archaism
Were my body’s accusation of age not sufficient for me to accept
With whatever grace or rage I can

And yet I keep going
Learn, study, write, compose, assimilate, with no eye to audition, application
No eye of future performance, career

But to pleasure myself
Onanist used to be the disdainful Biblical word for it all,
I once encountered in a poem by Walt Whitman

It is deemed the word is an archaism
A ghost of art past, haunting schools with rhyme, rhythm, meter, beats, feet
19th-Century poems, representational paintings, liturgical music

At my leisure
I learn, study, write poetry, compose music, pleasure myself
At my leisure and leisure is all I have now

BITTERNESS: THE WORLD THAT GOD FORGOT

What kind of God, as He is called by some
Left the world and left the world into
Our very hands in His infinite wisdom.
God has more faith in us than I do.

Seems we humans botch things so badly
And we’re all so slow to learn and grow
I look around this broken world so sadly
And wonder how God just leaves it all so

We are the arbiters that that bring salvation
This world that God created and forgot
This world, this mess, this, our own creation
Isn’t God’s fault.  We got us where we got

God trusted us with more than I would have
And left us to manage—made us manage
Hoped we would care about each other, love
Manage creation, each other, our age

God has more hope for us than I do
Yet here we are we are our own future
We serve ourselves and so deserve our due
God sees all, sees us and knows us, too
Knows we are the sickness and the cure

God has more faith in us than I do.

THE MYSTICISM OF US

It’s a strange mysticism, about you
Sometimes it’s like you’re not another person
We’re so close, I’m you and you’re me, too
One current into which two streams run

There was a time before you, which was no time
Time began the time of our lives blending
The ordinary world became sublime
And moments, days, and years have no ending

That space in which the clock’s hands cease to move
Is when I’m with you; then time is our own
And we make heaven of our faith and love
In a kingdom bounded by our union

I got by before you, you before me
But time was meaningless; moments absent
Looking back, I see my life as empty
Successes seemed so unimportant

All that changed when you dawned like the sun
On the darkest morning of the year
And our two lives intertwined into one
Each in each other makes our heaven here

Poetics: Proving Your Rhyme

The submission guidelines for a journal I looked at read, “No rhyming poetry.”  I feel that rhyme is nevertheless justified in poetry, but that rhyme must justify itself.  In writing rhyming poetry, it must be clear why the poem is rhyming.  I’m not referring to hip-hop conventions.

I recently read Shelley’s EPIPSYCHIDION.  Shelley assumed by means of poetic convention that his epic must rhyme.  In fact, while I’m no Shelley scholar, I think that most of his poetry, maybe all of his poetry, did rhyme and employ metrics.  Wordsworth considered Shelley a master of style, perhaps the greatest stylist of the English Romantic period.  But in reading EPIPSYCHIDION, I found the language tortured in order to unite rhyme, metrics, and sense.  I’m afraid to say the same of Shakespeare’s sonnets.  But a baroque use of language is proper for a Renaissance poet.  It would not be appropriate for Frost, and Frost masterfully writes rhyme so liquidly that it reads like prose.

On the other side of this discussion is Carl Sandburg.  He privileged immediate expression and despised the reworking of an original impression in order to form rhyme and rhythm.  So we get a massive collection of insignificance.

Making a poem rhyme for no reason is a recipe for insignificance, too.  But then, there is sense that wants to rhyme and beat.  Blake’s THE TYGER has to be in rhyme and rhythm.  Otherwise the poignant line, “When the stars threw down their spears/And water’d heaven with their tears” wouldn’t be such a dramatic shift in voice.  And the energy of the tyger wouldn’t be there without the rhyme and beat that make the tyger burn.  I started to write a poem about flowers a while back, not that I’m a Blake or Shelley by any means, and realized that a poem about something pretty and delicate should be pretty and delicate, too.  A loose set of lines wouldn’t be as formally structured as a flower is.  So the flowers spoke in rhymed stanzas of meter.

Rhyming doesn’t go in poems that exhibit a deconstruction of language as do those of Wallace Stevens and others.  (I know that Stevens wrote before deconstruction was invented.)  In his poems, any word he fancies could be called into the mix of his abstract arrangements of language.  So rhyme would be meaningless.  Even if Stevens wanted to emphasize a couplet with rhyme, it would fail, since there is essentially no emphasis anywhere in his poetry.  That’s the whole point.

So I didn’t even consider submitting to the journal that prohibited rhyming poetry.  Rhyme and rhythm are as important to poetry as are free verse, deconstruction, or any other style persons prefer.  But today, rhyme isn’t a convention–perhaps the opposite.  And a poem must prove its use of rhyme.

KEY WEST: NIGHT CRUISE

The sun had left to darkness the reflecting sea

And the sunset gave the night to you and me

That we watched from the harbor,

The masts’ rigging weaving an arbor

Of love.  The night yielded up silhouettes I cared no longer to see

While I gazed on you in the harbor glow.  Some moments suffice for eternity

 

EXPLANATORY NOTE: Dear visitors to my site: Your each visit means so much to me, and when you “like” one of my posts it makes my evening (I usually post late at night, my time).  You may have noticed a recent flurry of posts–sometimes even two a day.  This is not a sprint of new creation.  I am revising some old(er) poems with an aim of assembling a collection to send out for publication.  To no small degree, I weigh the response my poems get from the internet to gauge whether I will include them in my collection.  In general, when I get a favorable response from the net, I, too, prefer the given poem, personally.  So I think the net is an accurate metric to consider when I make my final determination about whether to include or scrap a poem from the ultimate collection.  So thank you each and every one for taking the time to visit this site.  Your visits and even more, your feedback, are so much appreciated!  Sorry if lately I’ve been sending a plethora of scribblings into your inboxes.

THE WHOLE WORLD SHOUTS, “YES!”

I passed the greater passage of my time alone

Sometimes I stood against the world and I felt fine

At other times, a peaceful solitude I’ve known

But all I was and all I did was only mine

 

Now my life is our life!  You are with me!  We two!

Your presence dances in my work, effort, ambition

New purpose that I never knew devolves from you

All for you, for us, is now my inspiration

 

With you my life is blessed

With you is happiness

With you I want the best

With you the whole world shouts, “YES!”

 

Now my world, my universe, is doubly joyous

Now I am we

And joy or grief for me is joy or grief for us

Solo so long, we two is all I ever want to be

OUR LOVE FOR EACH OTHER IS TRUE

For both of us it’s been a trying year

My new med change, you lost your old career

I felt drowning in manic passion

You seemed overwhelmed with stress and fear

We stayed together despite desperation

We struggled but remained in relation

 

In hard times and in good times we still date

Regardless of the trouble on our plate

You are my support; I support you

As we accept—in fact, embrace—our fate

Our love runs deep through all that we go through

In ease, in strain, in everything we do

 

And now it seems we’re coming through our trials

Our grimaces are yielding into smiles

The psychic storm we both drove through is ceasing

Having churned through tempestuous miles

Our difficulty finally is easing

And pleasure in each other still is pleasing

POETRY: A LAMENT

A well-turned phrase

Captured sound of sense

Perfect expression of a truth

Wanting to be told

 

Clarity through word choice: diction

Sentence construction arrangement

Of ideas architectural development

Meaning made through artistry

 

Word play alliteration assonance

Rhythm rhyme resonance meter beat and feet

Imagery symbol simile metaphor

Epic, Allegory, Lyric, Ode, Elegy

 

Truth-telling when there was truth

If there ever was truth

Language scripting reality thought

Feeling words substance signification

 

When there was something to say

To grasp, ponder, moved sonorous sentiment emotion

Sad melancholy somber pleasure ecstasy

Pathos passion feeding and watering cultivation content

 

Transmission of wisdom, speculation, ideation of mood

Tradition taught sought lived into

What matters to be a human

Telos of poesis making humanity

 

When capricious arrangement of words

Wasn’t calculated to obfuscate deconstruct plot sequence

Rearranged syntax disjunct

Verbs subjects objects meaningless

WILDFLOWERS

We love to see a meadow of wild flowers

And take delight in sweet pea, bluebell, pansy

But if we try to pick and hold their beauty

We find they fade and wilt in only hours

 

Still after we have placed them in a vase

We love their delicate pedals and scent

Like flowers, time with friends is only lent

Though beauty in friendships gives life grace

 

And we love it when our friends are nearby

But time with friends tends to be uncertain

If long or short, impermanence is certain

People change; in time we’ll say goodbye

 

Buddhists say that joy in friend or lover

Still is dukkha, suffering or grief

I see the transient nature of all life

Yet still take joy, delight, and pleasure

As it is in friendship, love, or flower

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