What Now?: Sicilian sonnet

What now? Is there sufficient cause for reaching
beyond the edge of darkness? Will we find
ourselves subjected to more endless preaching?
Are we fit students for any new teaching?

And what good any lesson merely bleaching
the past of any stains we’ve left behind,
or drowning out the crows and vultures screeching
on ancient battlefields we’ve tilled, or mined?

Out there, far past the edge of our remembrance,
is there a quiet place to stop and think,
not quite Valhalla or fabled Olympus

but just a stretch of nothing, where the dance
is still, and with just cool water there to drink,
we fade into a single, silent us?

31 MAY 2017

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One Cause Alone: envelope sonnet

One cause alone cannot sustain our reason.
Quite surely in one lifetime are enough
good reasons to press on; that is the stuff
of all our myths and legends, in their season.

Besides, one grows and passes out of childhood;
the dreams of youth must cede their place, as age
begins fresh chapters and with each new page
discovers strange and new forms of the good.

What good is life’s extension but for learning?
If nothing changes, why bother at all?
A candle’s wasted if only left burning
to chase away the shadows as they fall.
To change, evolve, is living’s constant yearning;
it cannot breathe if tethered in a stall.

31 MAY 2017

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Causes Worth Fighting: Petrarchan sonnet

We each must choose the causes worth our fighting
from a great myriad of pointless quests
designed to breed confusion in our breasts
and keep the fuse inside us from igniting.

The frivolous is made to seem exciting;
it titillates and leads our thoughts astray.
We lose momentum somewhere on the way,
and valor turns from acts to talk and writing.

And then, the courage fueling forward motion
begins to wane, reduced from flame to spark;
we stagnate, turned from blood and flesh to stone.
What starts as dedication and devotion
slips fast away from bright to cold and dark;
our coalition lost, we fade, alone.

31 MAY 2017

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The World is Broken: skeltonics

The world is broken;
Cassandras have spoken
their tales of woe.
Let teardrops flow;
and as fear grows,
watch kindness dry
and those who try
to counter lies
with trust and truth
lose friends and youth.
As our illusions
die, confusion
fills our dreaming,
leaves us scheming
more on winning,
our minds spinning
to control
mind, body, soul,
and seek no answers.
We are dancers
in a maelstrom;
there is no music
left while we lose it,
no symphony for cursing
the headache we’re not nursing.
What good is more nay-saying?
What is this game we’re playing?
The world’s not slowing;
we’re not growing.
No point guessing
where we’re going.
You have to choose
to win AND lose.

30 MAY 2017

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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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On the Veranda: serenade

As the evening enters like a dancer from the wings,
and we turn our backs on busy days and other things,
listen as the dull roar of the world begins to fade
in a gentle twilight serenade…

A sliver of a moon begins its shining,
shy behind some wisps of clouds, it’s pining
as a summer breeze begins to blow
out on the veranda, soft and slow

In the fading light your shadow lingers:
there along the edges of your fingers,
touching on your face, it leaves a glow;
like a candle’s flicker, to and fro.

We could dance forever in the moonlight,
you and I together, hand in hand.
Nothing else will matter to us, tonight,
when we meet in our enchanted land.

A symphony of constant, chirping crickets;
we stand in the moonlight, with no tickets,
as a purple cloud crosses the moon.
Don’t let the performance end too soon!

Far from the city’s constant hum and ringing,
up in that tree, a nightingale is singing
as we share this moment in the dark
from our little corner of the park.

25 MAY 2017

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Win or Lose: Sicilian septet

So often, when it comes to win or lose
(or what we each define as either one)
the pathways offered that we tend to choose
reflect the adage “ends as it’s begun”.
Could be the reason why we sing the blues
(and why not? Can you name a better one?).
Roll over, Ludwig; tell Peter the news.

24 MAY 2017

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