Strings

04-20-2014

I say “Christ!” and I do mean it!
That all that’s lovely to splitting nerves,
throbs them to a groaning pain
in the heights and apexes of their delight;
So, beauty follows the form of Love -
so rich and dense with heavy awe
yet floating lightly on a violent sea,
drawing out the soul to whimper at its might.
– But LOVES to whimper in the shadow
of a good thing so large looming!
A pitch and tone and scale and key,
will swoon my heart to weeping
at a thing so beautiful, it razes me.
There’s a wound, but a wound
of ecstasy, that words can’t say:
the lash of horsetail drawn against a string,
that bleeds the angels’ echoes
to spill upon my ears,
with sentiment that surpasses human words,
and drives or draws me to come undone,
to cease to be my center -
forget my flesh. My soul, it SINGS!
Whatever of, I sometimes think I know,
But so, so much greater than!

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Call It ‘Grace’

04-13-2014

Here an unplucked bud, friskily curved,
whispers breathing in my attentive ear
to drink from the Euphrates, or the Amazon.
But drink fast, first a sea of rose, or gin,
To task with unbinding that prick within,

Of prying Spirit, wedged against the flesh.
Had Eden such a wall as this? Or vineyards
To supply the will to scale or raze it?
Unfurling petals play upon my cheek,
and undefine what’s strong or weak

Or wanted. The cosmos, in eternal stillness,
Agape, a void, awaits an answer to Venus’
Moaning, from afar across the chasm that
A sea of gin or rose cannot seem to brim,
Nor drown the prying Spirit’s hymn –

Oh Menace! that ‘twixt two immolations,
Sets so profound an opposition, when
In essence they are one! “The strongest
Oaths are straw to th’ fire i’ th’ blood.”
But ne’er an oath was taken by this bud

Unfurling at my breast; nor mine binding!
Sweet nectar, pressing on my skin,
Whose swoon-inducing taste is hinted
In this slaking proximity I inhale;
Arouses twin wills, and one must fail

Against the other. Whose fallow field
I’m pausing in, that wildflowers proffer
Soft beds to lie in? And prying Spirits
To shadow them, and will not cease,
Nor silence? That here cannot be peace

Among what’s right and wrong and wanted,
Keeps this flower’s slender stem
From tender plucking. Call it ‘Grace,’
That stalemate long denies the pleasure.
The title only veils my worth and measure.

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On a Waning Gibbous

03/21/2014

Oh, how this pretty moon can pull
at a man’s heart, o’er here in Wisconsin;
as much as ebb the North Sea away
from the sandy shores of Holland,
and draw her back again, to a drowning!

That selfsame moon great-grandpa John
must have followed on the sea,
when he left the windmilled coast behind,
(and the Protestants) for lea, pulled
West to this Fox River Valley.

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High Cliff Camp at Winter’s End

03/17/2014

I pitched a tent atop the Niagra Escarpment,
over Lake Winnebago in March, two days
before St. Patrick’s feast; two nights stayed,
alone in those woods where the effigies lay,
for a thousand years with the dead.

The floor of the forest, a carpet of snow,
glowed dim neon blue in the moonlight, full;
long shadows of trees drawn Westward, low,
toward the cliff’s edge, old-aged and worn dull
at the seam of some glacial bed.

At a silent, but scuttling pace, arrived
frost and stayed; compressed the aura warm
of glow-red lumber in final employment, pitched
against in battle the cold, unseen storm
advancing in Spring-weather’s stead.

The trees conversed in a language strange,
click-like fondling each others’ naked twigs -
perhaps on the fates of their elders’ remains,
consumed in the graves that campfires dig,
long years since their marrow’s bled.

Tending the fire that kept my blood warm
kept me from poring through Ishmael’s tome.
My whale, I imagined: the bludgeoning cold;
the campfire: ship (‘mid a snow-sea) my home;
the prospect of freezing: my dread.

Drawn hour by hour through smoke-stinging eyes,
fixed deep in my mind the visage of flame,
that, but for the full moon blue-lighting the floor,
would have me blind when oft’ the time came
to find tinder for keeping it fed.

Then a great wave of rushing from the far East end
swept over the treetops, rolling hard West;
crashed a wall of ice-air that disfigured the orb,
washed flame away, I mused, at the forest’s behest,
leaving embers, white and red.

Whose ancient spirits alighted these woods,
watching over the dust of their forgotten mould;
I pondered while kindling the flickering flame,
and wondered what stories their effigies told;
of their names, since, no more said?

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Mid-March

03-13-2014

She had to come, for one
last icy touch upon my skin -
– to cut a quiet chill through my awakening
flesh -
and turn,
slowly away
deliberately growing
smaller to my senses
more behemoth to my soul
knowing what I know of Winter:
again she will
return to lay on top of man
press his breath from out the lungs
silence the beating of his heart
prod him to remember
how small his place
in time, space,
and matter.

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Daisy Fingertips

01/14/14 (-02/27/14)

As waking from a dream, touched
upon my skin airy petals
drawing lovely lines along
subtle veins; caressing my heart
with light whispers hinting
without hinting
what joy may come
unhindered
letting go.
Hope
finds expression here -
if only to reveal a burgeoning potency
gestating patiently, as it must,
that buds may bear fruit
beyond what flowery veil may steal attention
from the nobler purpose
beyond this hint of joy;
joy that patience nourishes
if patience will be but had
in interlude with this idyllic blossom
among the finer flora of these fields.

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Touch

02-01-2014

Warmth that penetrates a dreary chill,
calls to mind a hope of things once known
as children knowing love, kindness, joy;
which leaping from your soul as an arc
plants this subtle, electrifying pulse
at the center of my own, and permeates
from there concentric outward
through my heart, my bones, my flesh,
and but wanting through my skin.
Yet tempered by your humble,
unwitting might of innocence,
and your curious purity by ignorance retained,
it is restrained within me and transposed
to something heart-wealthy,
something nobler than our creature-state,
that raises up my soul
to the height of Man.

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