Tag Archives: William Blake

The Catacombs of Night

Lo! I have wrestled angels in the catacombs of night
and risen, as if from the dead, bone-weary, at daylight,
my sheets soaked through with fevered sweat and every muscle sore,
and tufts of mutilated feathers scattered on the floor,

to find the world transformed in just a single evening’s span
from one of warmth and sunlight to a shadow, pale and wan,
bedraped with funereal shrouds, their edges dipped in mist,
that turn to bitter gray and cold cheeks summer once had kissed.

And from that sleep like unto death, where angels and I tossed,
I woke not knowing why we fought, nor if I won or lost,
nor why the air that morning no more smelt of life’s perfume,
but seemed to hang like sullen, leaden clouds there in my room.

From my opponents, not a word, no revelation come;
as if they were but ancient ghosts, their voices long since dumb,
or worse, bereaved of speech and reason, just their body’s shells,
imprisoned in my dreams between their heaven and my hell.

I felt a sense of deep foreboding creep into my mind,
as if there should have been some message they had left behind,
some alchemic instruction, some archaic mystic key;
but I found nothing in the room, except what seemed like me.

I wondered then, if they were truly angels, or disguised
as such, mere demons I had conjured up to fantasize
some victory against the darkness of my thoughts of late;
some active principle to best my wont to hesitate

borne deep of my subconscious mind, where inhibitions fail
and dreams are formed of both apocalypse, and holy grail,
or if it was a memory brought out by some distress.
I wonder, what if William Blake had been taught to repress?

06 DEC 2006

for William Blake

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While Reading of Ginsberg’s Life

To wake
while reading William Blake
to taste of life in dreamlike doses
flexing the sinews of the mind
in the fight against some status quo
that lumbers, like a Clydesdale pair
to drag a dying culture’s broken-wheeled cart
along the muddy ruts
of road built to achieve a purpose
travel to the same crowded cities
filled with lives teeming with uncertainty
holding fast to corroded dreams
that emphasize our lack of clarity

the underlying pinions of capitalism
wasted on the ill-at-ease, the wayward pilgrims
seeking truth despite the cost
their families shamed and raked with muck
in vain attempts to build illusions
that all’s right with the world

there is a need for change, for growth.

26 APR 2004

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Song for Today

To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour
— William Blake, Auguries of Innocence

I sing a song for the day that is,
that is, the day today;
although the hours and minutes fly
and quickly slip away,

approaching and departing with
the constant speed of now,
the day that is remains, it stays
always right here, somehow.

I sing a song for the world that is,
that is, the world right here;
although the tides and times roll in
and out, I have no fear.

There is no other place for me,
no farther shore I seek –
for this world is a part of me
and I can hear it speak.

I sing a song for the ones I love
who live their lives with mine,
and through their constant and true natures
grow, like root and vine

to fill the world with hope and grace
and my heart with their song,
and give to me the greatest gift –
the chance to sing along.

I sing a song for the day that is,
that is, the day today;
and all my thoughts of past and future
start to pass away.

For I have seen eternity
in just a moment’s span,
and held the entire universe
inside a grateful hand.

21 DEC 2002

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