Reducto Nostalgia: quatorzain


Some folks who wax nostalgic will believe
that all the future’s answers can be found
back in a yesterday that never was
which lingers, like some land of make believe:

a place where truth and justice are dispensed
like manna from some wise heavenly host,
where doubt somehow is the only unknown,
and right and wrong are both clear and well-defined.

Like paradise, a place they’ve never seen,
just around some past or future bend,
this sentimental halcyon of yore
becomes the drug evangelic shills
use to addict, and thus enslave, the world.

14 APR 2017

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Our Sum: clogyrnach


What a world this one’s become:
to have begun both deaf and dumb,
then learn of singing,
the art of bringing
love winging;
see it come!

Who needs make-believe, I wonder,
when there’s rain, lightning and thunder
that illuminates,
feeds our dreams and fates,
tears our states
asunder.

What a world both past and now:
the evidence that we, somehow,
will someday arrive,
and may yet survive;
we’re a live,
precious bough.

Who would destroy the great balance
that gave to us this fighting chance
to mature and grow,
to be sure and know?
Such death slows
all life’s dance.

What a world this one’s become:
we trade love songs for battle drums,
spend our lives dying,
no longer trying;
denying
our parts’ sum.

10 FEB 2017

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How It Goes


Early in the morning,
right before the break of day,
standing at the transom
one eye turned to either way,
soaking in the silence
of the crisp December air,
trying to remember
what he did to get back there.

How does it go?
Once you pay it no attention
it just slips away
and you don’t even know.

Sometimes he’ll remember
there was sour with the sweet,
between months of famine
having just enough to eat,
learning from the hunger
what it really means to need,
finding an abundance
is not ever guaranteed.

How does it go?
When a little taste will get you
what you gonna do
if you can’t get no more?

Early in the morning,
right before the rooster crows,
watching that first sunlight
break the cold horizon’s nose,
soaking in the silence
as the ice begins to melt,
trying to remember
where he was when the hand was dealt.

How does it go?
Once you head in a direction
every other way
becomes a told you so.

12 JAN 2015

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The Speed of Now


What use is feeling sorry
for what might have never been,
some chimera of fantasy
that if it had appeared
might easily have torn to shreds
the life it would improve,
inspired to burn too brightly,
leaving nothing in its wake?

What use is sad reflection
on a course you left behind,
now overgrown in disrepair,
its signposts worn away?
The journey down that avenue
might not have led you here,
but who’s to say what’s for the best,
or where footsteps should lead?

What use is reminiscing
on the glory days of yore,
mad hours of strength and courage
when you and the world were young
and did not know of what to come,
of bridges yet to burn
whose light would fade out, in the end,
to soot and bitter ash?

What use is feeling sorry
for what still may come to pass,
imagining the road ahead
determined by those past,
a die cast in some yesterday
that cannot be undone,
a somber, gray formality
that withers into death?

What use in such pretending?
There is no course so set
that it cannot be altered
or made to turn or bend.
Leave off such mad dejection,
if you would live at all.
We travel at the speed of now
or stagnate where we fall.

16 APR 2013

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The Legacy: a dizain


Let those you wish to sing your praise
remember not your fabled deeds,
nor cite your methods nor the ways
you solved a problem, met a need.
Reward like this is small, and leads
one to perform for weak applause.
Instead, let those who plead your cause
to future listeners recall how
from where you were, despite your flaws,
you did a thing worth doing now.

19 DEC 2012

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Not My Fate: a ballade supreme


They say that love will break your heart,
that trouble waits along the way,
discouraging those at the start
to risk or even try to play;
so many rise and greet the day
expecting nothing good or kind,
and thus, not seeking, never find
the reasons why a life goes by
in come and go, in came and went:
alone we live, alone we die.

They say the race goes to the smart,
that muscled effort is no way
to push or pull the heavy cart
that is a life’s work, day to day.
And the result? So many stay
so far inside a life of mind,
with limbs grown weak, with eyes gone blind;
Why would one even try to fly,
with wasted wings, worn out and bent?
Alone we live, alone we die.

They say that each must learn their part:
that everyone’s a part to play;
a chosen few are called high art –
the rest mere chorus, or display,
with narrow range, a single way
to move and speak their meager lines.
How in this way can one find
their calling, or their reason why,
typecast as just a single kind,
alone we live, alone we die?

I say love suits the heart just fine,
that life is more than toil and grind.
Their bale pronouncements are a lie!
To their sad fate, I’m not consigned:
to live alone, and alone, die.

13 NOV 2010

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Heaven or Las Vegas


for Elvis Presley

Well, the coroner he figured
no one’s hand was on the trigger,
so there really wasn’t anyone to blame.
Call him a victim of his fame;
we know what killed him, just the same.

Never mind his fiercest critics
called him his own Chappaquidick.
We convinced him he was well enough to drive;
went along just for the ride:
we each committed regicide.

Whether it’s heaven or Las Vegas,
chances are you’ll never win;
playing the house is big gamble:
the odds are always pretty slim.
Pauper or king it doesn’t matter
in the end, which one you choose:
whether it’s heaven or Las Vegas,
either way you’re bound to lose.

A symbol of our generation:
vanity, and the frustration
of becoming bigger than what came before.
We stood screaming at the door,
always wanting from him more.

And we locked him in a palace,
made his microphone a chalice,
and his youth a trophy case for rock and roll.
Never mind the tears, the burden on his soul.
And we blamed him when he went out of control.

The choice was heaven or Las Vegas;
both are illusions based on sin;
playing the house is big gamble:
the odds are always pretty slim.
Pauper or king it doesn’t matter
in the end, which one you choose:
whether it’s heaven or Las Vegas,
either way you’re bound to lose.

Well, the coroner he figured
no one’s hand was on the trigger,
just another case of privilege gone too far:
one more supernova that we call a star
to avoid looking at who we really are.

13 FEB 2007

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