Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Nothing of the Kine: An Idyll

Horrors, the lazy currents seem to spell

Saxon-ish imprecations on the pond.
Pathetic in their fallacies, the frogs
Croak in distaste; the serried midges form
An arrow pointing at the horrid words,
The word made wet, a stranger in their mist.
If words could kill, we all would die, the cow
Observes beyond her fence. She has been told
All cows eat grass. I don't know if that's true,
She tells her stablemate, but why take chances?
I wager it is so, and so I eat.
Grass is its own reward. The shrieking pond
Is turtle-proud, but in a world of woe,
We keep to beaten ways, as best we can
And distance ourself from the shellfish sort,
The gravitas-less insects, and the fowl;
But, oh, how the amphibious betray
Lack of commitment. Low, she says. We're born,
And no one knows a single thing thereafter.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

A Way, Awhile

When winter came, they were not ready. No
One is. And though they'd seen it all before,
They never thought of winter any more.
That time had gone, and no one heard it go.
What did they have? A leaf or two to show

Succeeding generations, who would smile
And think how quaint the Old Ones were, who never
Took off their clothes or painted something clever
Or died for love or died for peace, whose style
Was okay in its time, away, a while.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Shores of Light

This appeared in Angle.

When on the tepid shore
Of the great and greasy lake,
We greet each other, which
Weapon will you take?

Reproach is never failing,
Forgiveness always new.
I fear the most no light
Dawning between us two,

No pain of recognition,
Nor shock grown frail and old;
But bitter light extinguished,
Unspecified and cold.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Dead Grandpa in Tomorrowland

Dead Grandpa is considering rebirth.
A china pig or Cleopatra’s nose
would do, but all his latest friends are here
and do not want to look like nematodes
in search of a savant, nor weeds and rocks.
He had a date tonight. If she would be
a pagan suckled in Tibetan hills,
maybe he’d go for gold. Or porphyry.
A statue of a statue in the rain,
at least until he’d smartened up a bit.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

A Babble of Green Fields

County after county,
green field after green,
land of good and plenty,
filling in the rain--

who knows what the people,
blessed by county airs,
do to keep them simple?
Up the wooden stairs,

they are what they should be,
common-like and poor.
Of the woodlands woody,
moorish of the moor.

We of course admire
simple little lives.
Bless us, if we spare
a glance for graves and wives,

prior to our mansion
flats and massage showers.
Older than our fashion,
these the little hours

and ceremonies lost,
like counties in the rain.
Green fields like a ghost,
passed and passed again.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Dead Grandpa Chats Up Hosea's Wife in Heaven

Sabbath in Heaven. Again. Unlike Old Nick,
Grandpa may not walk up and down the earth,
smelling a harvest ergot has betrayed
or breathing the salt spray off an inland street.
He look for Hosea's wife for old time's sake.

"'Harlot,' I hate. King James's idea. A strumpet
Is what I was. You'd never know it now,
all sackcloth bustier and Eau d'Ash. No, I wasn't
no Pen-e-lope, stuck in the Spindle room,
fending off suitors for a minor profit."

Under the Tree of Life Old Nick unwinds,
his coils gone drab by sinful repetition.
Vice palls, as Virtue, novelty the need
of fallen natures. God says, "Nihilo,"
when asked, "What's new?" He took you back, says Gramps.

Hosea's wife is sure that she was wronged,
round heels in a square bed. It isn't fair.
"I know," she says. "I'd show you what I know,
but will has been redeemed and cannot form
the wish to sell you half-and-half." "I wish,"
says Grandpa. Old Nick, thinking fruit, recalls
how badly people do theology.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

October Roses

It’s cold at night, or didn’t you know
This isn’t when the roses grow?
Under the hawthorns, in the shade,
The birds have gone, but you have stayed,
Underdesigned for taking flight.
Color cannot put all things right.
And now it snows, at which the frost
Declares that delicacy is lost.
And still you bloom, and for today
Keep ice and emptiness away.
So Keats, who failed, and failed in youth,
Let Beauty claim that it was Truth.