Daily Archives: February 7, 2005


How long have I been down, immersed,
a Dunker left beneath the wave
whose new birth was to wash away
my meaningless and lost before?

And whose strong hands upon my head
still hold me under, when they swore
to offer help and kind support?
I recognize those hands,
that seemed so weak and hesitant
to grip my own in fellowship
when both of us were dry, and I
not gasping, weakly, for some air.

I see that smile refracted through
the water now between us;
and somehow, those straight even teeth
are now misshapen, ugly fangs.

Now waterlogged, with burning lungs,
I wonder: were you too baptized,
and left, a mewling helpless babe
dependent on some unseen lord?

Or like me, did the wash not stop,
while weak-kneed saints, unsatisfied
with their own empty, whitewashed space
poured into you their excess bleach
and took upon themselves the chore
of monitor and supreme judge,
in firm belief that what they heard
in whispered voices was their God?

Along some rough Damascus road
a Pharisee believed
the voice that spoke to be the Lord.
Perhaps he was deceived.

07 FEB 2005

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The Heart of Beauty

When Beauty stands alone at last
upon the wretched reefs of time
and watches as her suitors sink
beyond the pale horizon line
where tied to masts of providence
they’ve closed their senses to her charms
and set their sextants to new courses
far from her beseeching arms,

no matter then how sweet her song,
when each note, lost to swells of surf,
is but a whisper on the wind,
a worthless seed in barren earth,
and even in her own soft ears
will sound like scratches on the rocks,
a cackle from a passing gull
who sees in this no paradox.

Then bitter, she will turn her head
and swim back slowly to the shore,
her salt tears mixed with brine and sand,
and come down to the beach no more.
For Beauty needs an audience,
despite her bold and showy ways;
even the proudest actor fails
in time, without applause or praise.

And Beauty, how we keep apart,
in careful boxes locked and sealed,
her essence from her mind, and heart,
and with that care, is hate revealed.
For we would have her, just for that
which titillates us and our lust
and not be bothered with her soul,
though have a soul, she does, and must.

We drive her off to lonely shores
or high in towers, where she pines
to share a dark and loveless cell
among the dead, like Prosperpine.
For ’tis the trophy we would claim,
the right to Beauty for our sake;
and care not if the heart we cage,
without our love, can only break.

06 FEB 2005

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