Morning Dogs: choka

The scrabble of claws
across the linoleum:
waking with the dogs.
At the first hint of morning,
they are ready to go.

Forget your sleeping.
The moment your body stirs,
their insistence starts.
Outside, outside! they clamor,
until you do their bidding.

Resistance is futile:
bedcovers pulled from your eyes,
the morning sun blinds.
You need no alarm clock’s ring
once these furry kids awake.

02 FEB 2017

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Lines from Our Epitaph: chant royal

’Tis morning, for the cock at dawn has crowed;
and in the bustle of the waking day
each wipes away the sleep and takes their load
from where it slept – and moves along their way.
Some burdens may seem lighter than the rest,
mere trifles, more akin to happiness
than heavy sacks of lead, that like regret
retard our steps to what’s not happened yet,
and on that journey teach us not to laugh.
Each morning thus compels us to forget
when we erased lines from our epitaph.

’Tis midday, for the luncheon horn does blow;
we clamor at our labor’s too brief stay
to gossip cursed luck and need to know,
then guess what waits thru the rest of the day.
In blind and muted prophecy, the jest
of some wild, mad extravagance suggests
of universes far beyond us yet;
eternity, with lies, makes us forget
the vanity of hope, prayer of our past,
the time before this toil, and work, and sweat,
when we erased lines from our epitaph.

’Tis twilight, for the sun is falling low;
we wander aimless home at break of day
and with the last of energy’s brave glow
lay down our burdens to escape the fray.
For some, the pause is the part they love best:
the proof of having passed some trying test.
While others, in the dull and sticky sweat,
self-medicate to soothe plaguing regret
that their grim lives just slip away so fast,
still filled with what were dreams not happened yet
when we erased lines from our epitaph.

And now the sun at last is finally set,
its golden hours replaced by hues of jet
with just a few pale lanterns on the path,
to hint at what had not quite happened yet
when we erased lines from our epitaph.

7 FEB 2017

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The Wild Wonder: chant

I am the soft and silent spring
that well-oiled, whispers while it winds;
I am the scent of somber smoke
that wisps its wild way through the wood;
I am the gentle grasp of green
that in the spring succors the seed;
I am the tacit, tender touch
that germinates the garden grains.

I am the mist that mires the marsh,
the cloud that cloaks the clearing’s clover,
the wistful wind that wets the wheat
with drops of dew at new day’s dawning.

What good a world not filled with wonder?
What need this wandering without ways?
What use a wild that wants no wander?

6 FEB 2017

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Round Again: chanso

And so around again:
the how, the where, the when;
could be and might have been;
the raven or the wren.

The sword versus the pen:
in battles now and then
it’s hard to tell who wins;
the line is blurred, and blends.

What’s up around the bend?
Who knows? To see us then
is merely to pretend,
to forecast of the end.

The currency we spend
for lies and hope depends
on credit from our friends
and how we limit them.

We dare not to offend
what might hide in the glen
awaiting living men
who march to war again.

How fast the truth descends!
Around our necks it wends
and gyres, while we extend
our courtesies. Amen.

Off round and round again;
we start, we end, we spin.

3 FEB 2017

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The River: cautionary verse

These questions that you warn me not to ask,
they do not simply fade away unsaid;
and while your tacit threat may chill my bones,
it will not stop me, until I am dead.

What good is bullying, and idle scorn,
without the end result: my mindless fear?
Those weapons that your faithful bring to bear
cannot pretend to stop up every ear.

You would, by force of will, bring me to heel,
and so like Galileo, to recant;
but while I see no art – just the raw deal –
you may attempt, but in the end, just can’t.

For I, unlike you, am not so afraid
of fickle public image, fleeting fame;
the race has not begun that you can win,
though I be hobbled, blinkered, deaf and lame.

I understand the questions – as do you;
and so the answers speak out plain enough,
regardless whether you and I exchange
a single word of merit, or just fluff.

I stand against you, not to prove a point,
but rather, because living so requires;
so long as breath sustains me, I persist,
and will not flee imprisonment or fire.

But is this revolution, my small acts,
or simply sitting, spinning out my days?
Now there’s a question: which is longer lived?
The river or the cliff it wears away?

2 FEB 2017

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The World is Full of Magic: carole

Though some now say it comes to nil
The world is full of magic still

The end is nigh, soothsayers scry,
and from their parapets do cry
“Beware the evil that draws nigh!” –
though some now say it comes to nil.

The world is cracked and folding in
upon itself, and in the din
one barely hears the voice within:
the world is full of magic still!

But those who stand, in spite of fear
of loss of life and that held dear
sing out their songs, so loud and clear,
though some now say it comes to nil.

Excelsior! and “Forward, Ho!”
Against the grain, and tides, we go,
what weapons work, we cannot know;
the world is full of magic still

At some near point along the path
the bards may scribe our epitaph;
so fill the world up with our laugh,
though some may say it comes to nil

Reality is what we make;
there is no permanent mistake.
It matters not which path we take,
the world is full of magic still

Though some now say it comes to nil
The world is full of magic still

31 JAN 2017

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Don’t Worry, Be Happy: canzone

Canto I. Don’t Worry

There is no cause for worry or alarm.
The world will carry on despite your fears;
true love will never languish in the arms
of its emotions’ mirror once there found,
though those who seek destruction may surround
and threaten to destroy the cause of life.
Who cares what fools decide to rally ‘round
this tired and jaded banner of deceit?

There is no cause to fear the coming storm:
at least, that’s what the pundits tend to say;
and who, believing their opinion best,
would dare to contradict such acumen?
Believe, believe, and trust your overlords;
it serves their common interest to thwart
what thoughts of revolution might ensue
should you and I begin to doubt and think.

There is no cause for worry, for no harm
will come to those who meekly bow their heads;
the cannon fodder used to fire loud guns
is manufactured from the irksome weeds.
What good is it to argue, in a rage,
against the great inevitable truth?
What difference does it make that a great lie
has molded us subservient since youth?

Canto II. Just Believe

Who calls this thing for what it is? The truth?
In whose inane philosophy of life
does anything not bite that grows a tooth
or fail to cut whose hand may hold a knife?
Where is it written that all men are just,
that goodness lurks inside the human breast?
We see an enemy because we must,
and separate our good from all the rest.

Who when they are attacked, turns either cheek,
or answers with meek love the fatal stab?
There is no place in this world for the weak;
and doubtful, much space there beyond the slab.
When mirth and goodness fill the world, at last,
when virtuous and kind men rule as kings,
perhaps when that great loaded die is cast
will anyone care much for these fool things.

Who reaches out for what they think divine,
and moves and acts according to the good,
forsaking lustful urging for what’s mine
that makes no sacrifices, even when it should?
What men believe reflects in how they move;
their words mean next to nothing, if their acts
would they and their vain gods, both liars prove.
This is not my conjecture, just the facts.

Canto III. Be Happy

Is ignorance of evil really bliss,
so any knowledge can bring only pain?
What kind of life is made from thoughts like this,
that would eschew all sunshine for a rain
to wash away all purpose and desire
and in its place leave just some bland ennui,
that keeps just above freezing, with no fire,
the heart just barely beating, almost free?

And what is happiness, in such a place,
without an individual life-spark,
a gray and dismal world without a face
with eyes only accustomed to the dark,
whose hope is but a pipe-dream, with no point,
the vain illusion of childhood and youth,
who seek some strengthless victor to annoint
who conquers without battle, strife, or truth?

But still, no cause for worry, friends of mine;
the world is not designed to pass away.
what wills itself to live, will all be fine,
and can survive all trials, come what may.
The crucible you’ve called for has arrived!
Rejoice! They have now standardized the test,
and soon, there’ll be no need for shuck and jive
to separate the chaff from all the rest.

30 JAN 2017

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