Tag Archives: eternity

What is Love: sestina

Is love a thing that lasts, or a mere trinket,
a toy that fascinates until it bores,
a passing fancy, or eternal compact
between two souls and never any more,
a gift from gods above, or social stricture
meant as a mere distraction for the mind?

If only short-term passion or mere pastime,
who was the first poor fool to ever think it?
Imagine, if you can, that sadist’s picture
of all the violence that love held in store.
It’s hard to even fathom a much more
effective way to stymie human contact.

And what divine creator is so lacking
compassion for their children, all mankind,
that our connecting is a frightening chore,
as fragile as a momentary blink?
Who would believe in such gods any more,
that leaven pain in such a heavy mixture?

And yet, if love is an eternal fixture,
there seems about it a confounding lack
of solid substance built in at its core;
it takes so long for even two to find,
yet needs so little work and time to sink it.
How could it last beyond a day or more?

It seems so ill-equipped for what’s in store:
a world that frowns on any cheerful picture,
that trades not in eternity, but trinkets
designed never to bind, but just attract.
Thus all the poets say that love is blind;
what difference, when our eyesight proves so poor?

Does love last once it’s left the showroom floor,
or does it leave its victims far from shore,
where stripped of all illusion, each one finds
what they imagined was a solid mixture
begins to crumble into dust and crack,
and leave them on a sea with naught to drink?

No, love is more than either of these pictures;
you neither score, nor spend time keeping track.
You find eternity in every moment’s wink.

26 MAY 2017

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So Much To Do, So Little Time

“So much to do, so little time”, or so the saying goes;
as we waste both the hours and doing, pacing to and fro.
Refusing any call to act without sufficient thought,
we fine-tune the social contract – every strophe, caesurae and jot –
while life slips by in seconds grown to decades, year by year,
and what we feel needs done becomes our hobby or career,
a never-ending sidetrack from the job always at hand,
and then the moments are no more, and we can’t understand
why we have not evolved or grown in all that span of time;
and have not learned the reason of it, nor can sing its rhyme.

The meat of life, untasted; its sweet fruits left out to spoil
awaiting us at table while we spin in pointless toil,
imagining importance in such little, vapid things,
we wake up late in winter, having missed so many springs
that we can scarce remember when the world and we were green,
nor count the wasted chances and short hours in between
our hungry, mewling day of birth and stiff and meatless end
where none of what we finish matters, not to foe or friend,
but lingers uncompleted, our great lists of “yet to dos”
reduced to tattered palimpsest and left for rats to chew.

“So much to do, so little time”: the two are never swapped;
The time ends all too quickly, and the doing never stops.
The world’s pace never pauses, slows or even skips a beat,
to celebrate a victory nor acknowledge a defeat.

1 DEC 2014

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The Starting Point – a cywydd deuair fyrion

What matters most,
do you suppose,
at living’s end
when these doors close:

the riches cached,
the virgins wooed,
the years achieved,
the sins eschewed?

Or is it all
a pointless ruse,
that defeats all –
no win or lose,

a moment’s span
that simply goes,
regardless of
the path you chose,

into the mist
where none can see:
the starting of

10 DEC 2012

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No Time But the Present

Time was when I used to write a sonnet a day – for about two years, if you care to look back through the archives here. 

I think it’s time to kick start that old tradition. You know the saying “There’s no time like the present”?

I could pretend that life is fine as is:

an endless string of cloudless, sunny days

that start and end in some exquisite bliss,

a smile that finds my face and somehow stays.

And yet, to just imagine such a place

seems such a boring, pointless waste of time;

to think that at least half the human race

is waiting to retire there, is sublime.

For most can barely make it through a day

without expecting more, right here and now;

Eternity? Quite frankly, there’s no way

to even fathom it. I think, somehow,

that what we have right now is all we need.

You use it, or you lose it. Guaranteed.

04 AUG 2009

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On the Wasteland

So the old world is gone, let a new one replace it!

The world is already dead; that figment
of existence that you knew in the past,
the places well-remembered, those fond scenes
where the history of an ancient folk

(all the hungry babies and curious
children, rebellious teens and then
struggling examples of the working class,
disillusioned prophets and vain playboys,
cross-makers, judges and even martyrs
to the illusions of eternity
constructed and destroyed in an eye’s blink –
in short, those former faded selves of yours
that hide, like skeletons in your closet)

built its quartz sand tableau on the seashore,
where the omnipresent ocean of time
could roughly lick at its crumbling edges
like a ravenous kitten at its cream.

Let the future begin, all you must do is face it!

What is there to remember of the world
that does not, in an instant’s too brief span
fizzle into so much escaping gas
and mingle with the eternal present

(and if held back too long, builds up pressure
in the decanting glass of your reason,
becoming a most volatile mixture
susceptible, if only shaken by mistake,
to expand with a great destructive force
and end both the experiment and the
brief tenure of the experimenter)?

For each moment is past in the second you waste it.

The world is already dead; it has changed
its morphology and become a new
thing, its outline no longer familiar
to those legion of erudite scholars

who seek in vain to catalog its form
and function, to quantify its effects
by narrowing down to a single thing
its primary cause (and to then posit,

through some process of elimination,
a purpose for existence that can be
pounded into pabulum for the masses,
without a consensus of the entire
organism on the truth of that goal).

And yesterday’s wine is dissolved, once you taste it

What is it about our sad illusions,
of our past, that we do not carry as
part of the present self? We do not need
to imprison the world in our own cage,

forcing it to pace the same length and width,
keeping both it and ourselves from moving
beyond these walls, beyond the small, frail life
we imagine is defined so clearly

(but in truth is so much more than we can
fathom, so much more than any can know).

The world must evolve, and with it, we too,
traveling forward at the speed of now,
blind and feeble feeling for the path that
lies ahead, a few small steps further on,
past the pale edge of our frantic searchlights.

Let the old world evolve, let the new world erase it

The world you think you know is dead, like a
religion is a spiritual way that
no longer catches a fire in the heart,
but burns brightly only on the kindling
of evolution.

For the past is the wind, all you can do is chase it.

03 MAR 2003

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