Posts filed under ‘voices’

words

words

these words refract my meaning
so easily, so strangely;
are you, too, trapped behind
like some window, through which

we gesture, soundlessly.
though we can touch–and yet do,
at time
it seems sometimes we parted years ago.

(‘love’ contains so many meanings! like
pouring a river
into a drinking-cup. odd, it never
seems quite to contain it…)

yet we remain together; trying,
at times, to pursue meanings;
at others simply side by side,
old friends and lovers.

but again and again
i struggle to find the words.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION

___________________________________________________
I really wasn’t going to publish it. Then I just reread it and realized that when I wrote that I was 20. If you’re 50+ you might identify with that.

November 2, 2018 at 10:56 pm Leave a comment

The Atlantis Submissions that were…

 

NEVER SENT!
Some of these may already have been posted here. This is poetry from “Voices” the ms.. 

 

 

silences

In this little
estuary
as we enter it
there is no time.

These: a sandbar, mostly blocking
entrance, an old
rowboat, half
filled with water: a tern:
a duck.
In the distance three cattails. A lone gull, far
above,
like freedom
This woman’s cool-
fingered touch
at nape of neck,
at hand.
This moment does not
become. It is;
there is no further passage.

Timeless, the moment
pauses and holds us,
(for once) wordless. (In silence learned I song.)

knowledges

with falling rushes
of surging blood you knew her, and she you:
tempestuous passages, perhaps
as much of pride as love…

there were times
you couldn’t endure yet still needed her, wounding
yourself like
some speared bull at corrida…

It always seemed odd
to realize how little you knew of her,
once she left you; odd, too, to know
it was only your own reflection

that ever hurt you

Jester

Bright motley jester…
his voice was light, and high.
Guitar his accompaniement…
Fair! Fair! his face,
and sad.

One would say his eyes
could not outlive the seeing
of the deeds he sang.
Fair! Fair! his raiment
as he began the tale
of how he’d killed a woman
in green foreign forests.

Done, his voice
faded into sobbing.
And as we raised
the rocks of our affliction–
made
him
the guilty one…
As we brought them
DOWN…
upon his head,
and killed him…
As we killed him…

we sang his song.

October 19, 2018 at 11:55 am Leave a comment

age (4)

age (4)

The roses stood
without my window, now
bare of bloom, yet leaved, pleading
to sky for deliverance
from the coming
fatal frost.
I would paint them, yes,
tomorrow…and tomorrow
grew away.
Frost come, leaves fallen
three bare
reproaching fingers
jut upwards.
Time is short
before remembrance,
too, ceases.

 

 

July 2, 2018 at 4:25 pm Leave a comment

visitations

visitations

pausing at
the Hill of Skulls,
we left three flowers. (somewhere
near, rubbish burned; and a homeless mongrel
scratched at the earth)

but there was
(i am not sure
i expected any) no answer, and
after a moment
we merely walked away.

that Hill
was merely dead,
a blasted place, choked
with weeds and rubbish, and He

(i saw, to be honest,
no record of His passage)
was not there.
(my mouth was dry.)

pausing at the
Hill of Skulls, i think,
perhaps
i left my soul.

____________________________________________________

Same summer.  Nikos Kazantzakis.

April 24, 2018 at 2:35 pm Leave a comment

elegy

 

elegy

old poet, you
who strive to teach me, i
can tell you miss
your classes! your scraps

of tattered accomplishments, clipped
and collected, suggest
your dreams’ remnants, your
need for some, for any

audience, seeking
for response’s hint, some
answer’s faint echo
or intimation…

and you have known too many
too-polite
rejections (“no, not
quite that, it does not

suit our needs just now”),
have known too many
listeners, displaying
patience far too clearly.

old poet, with
your quatrained verse
and cliched line, your
failing, trembling voice suggests

your need, your shame half-hidden
(you defend, i think,
too much, at too great
length–to no attack).

and, having displayed
your loneliness like some hidden,
shyly revealed (and ugly)
wound, you slowly fold
your achievements’ scraps
into your venerable, time-marked
briefcase and slowly, awkwardly walk
(impeded by your aching joints)

away, awaiting only
another, similar call…packing away, too,
that loneliness, like some
heavy, nearly unbearable burden.

____________________________________________________________

Written in the summer of the year I turned 15.

April 24, 2018 at 2:25 pm Leave a comment

Fragments

 

Fragments
1.
The joy that you gave me
has all become remembrance,
sorrowed.

2.
Duck mirrored in the lake:
his hoarse call.
“Freedom.”

3.
The desert madman…
they called him wise.
He starved to death.

4.
This face recalled: surface’
reflection.
So bright, so sharp.

5.
And to truth?–silence
or a laugh.
Surfaces.

6.
After the word, silence.
After birth, death.
And after singing noise.

____________________________________________________________________________________

All for tonite methinks.

 

February 28, 2018 at 11:37 pm Leave a comment

Journey to the West

Journey to the West

this sightly, seemly road
we’ve
set out upon: at times
most
bewitching, at others merely

a dull trudging, day
to similar day, no new thing done nor mountain known,
one unrefreshed, thirsting

for some unnameable liquid. (let us state, for the
record, that Lamb’s blood and milk left only that
thirst)

at times, to the side
of our path,
or before, we can see
shapes,
vague intimations of some goal, or ending-place.

…Shapes that sway
in the fog of a moonless night; peripheral phantoms,
never quite visible, straight on.

At times i think the journey means more than its end.
Without this shifting, dimly-seen path–where would we
go?

_____________________________________________________________________________

I remember writing this quite clearly for a number of reasons.  A Dr. Runner  (of Dordt University) was visiting at the Canadian border–I don’t remember which side–and on the strength of my comprehension of a very funny joke before he’d actually finished telling it, told me I had a scholarship awaiting me, all the way through to doctorate.  This fitted in well with my first acquaintance with Nikos Kazantkis, a growing feeling of a need to do something (it sounded, from the way they described it, like a ‘call’ except that particular thing was supposedly devoted to be devoted to one of the ministering professions whereas mine had to do with some particular task, not yet known and I just didn’t want to try gambling since I was positive I’d suck at trying it; I kept ‘ignoring’ it with more and more difficulty as it grew toward compulsion.) The exact parallel was when I discovered poetry and realized I was a poet, although I still don’t claim I’m good.  That’s for others to consider; I strive to produce art that most of all is an ongoing examination of what “reality” might be and where the source of it could lie but with a first concern of striving toward beauty while concentrating secondly on ‘truth’ or at least a painstaking attempt to convey exactly what is sensed.  [One of the keys to determinism (behavioral psychology, Pavlovian psychology) is; ‘What is the source of the various criteria employed in defining the environment?’  In many respects behavioral psychology is learning theory–especially when it comes to things like rigged tests, rigged so the test-taker will fail because of wilful lack of consistency on the part of the test-giver.

February 28, 2018 at 11:22 pm Leave a comment

shapes

shapes

the meanings you seek
i think died long ago. silence
can bear many freights. i speak not,
expecting no listener; my words
are uttered only to the void. some understandings
are hard to bear,
can’t be forgotten.

the shape a gesture makes
remains, i think; i’m not sure.
certainly, at times, i’ve
withheld my self. to not care…

i watch you watching me,
and say nothing. what could i tell you
you don’t already know?–
you do not hear
my unspoken words. but then,
you never heard when i spoke.

________________________________________________________________________

Yes, this has a lot to do with my evaluation of human relationships and the ability to communicate outside of assigned roles–which have generally been presented as ‘truth’, and thus any disagreement must be lies.  The implication I just made was not at all incidental.

January 12, 2018 at 2:19 pm Leave a comment

some flights

some flights

in this silent, ending
moment, i survey
(passionless)
your scar-marked passage
through and past me
and wonder where
the meaning’s gone.

i’ve kissed the blade,
i’ve tasted blood, made
my last sacrifice
to the image
i made of you;
i can make no more.

you heard my song
unhearing;
my touch unfelt,
my name unknown…
i can make no answer
to the wind, the rain–
nor you.

i bend, pick up a stone
and throw it
upward.
i do not see
it land, nor care to:
i only wanted
flight.

_______________________________________________________

Allegory or not it’s also true.  Pardon me, “true”.

January 7, 2018 at 6:34 pm Leave a comment

perception and preception

perception

caught in a sudden moment
suspended
like some feather’s
paused flight, or an amber-
trapped fly
for one moment, passionless, you merely

perceive her and yourself. in some ways
you know the woman well: the pouting
curve of lip when she concentrates
on a book, or perhaps one of your
poems, or rambling letters: that breathy high
chuckle, which still strikes
your heart’s strings…as if she were

some sounding strum on soul’s lute,
or were desire’s summing…

have thought, i say, to know her
(and yet guessed
that lurking stranger, hidden
‘neath the skin)
and been astounded by a revelation
of the image’s illusiveness, Maya slyly for one
moment removing

the mask, the lent facade…

but then knowing your folly
you recoil from the knowledge,
and hide it away again, returning
to that dear stranger, your lover.

___________________________________________________________________

I haven’t modified this, although the main presumptions are both banal and egocentric.  The writer ‘perceives [his] self’, with the presumption that it’s rarely true especially but for the writer it’s simply evident that he can examine his self dispassionately while busily engaged in proving the reverse–unless the abstraction per se lends truth.

In retrospect this is written by someone totally self-absorbed, to the extent that his feelings are (literally) absolutely correct.  There’s no trace of even an attempt to understand what she feels or thinks; the thoughts and even the passion he feels is generated by her, and not his perception of her.

January 2, 2018 at 7:12 pm Leave a comment

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