Tag Archives: paradox

The answer: a 20 questions poem

What’s the point?
Is there some reason why you ask?
Do you really care?
Does anyone really want to know?
Why does it seem to matter so much?
Who do we think we are?
What difference does it make, anyway?
Will it change a thing, our birth or death?
And what about that life stuck in between?
Is there some great epiphany to come?
Has everything that ever counted been here and moved on?
Where did we expect to go?
And what did we expect to find?
If all of this is nothing, what are we doing?
If this is all there is, why do we waste an instant?
Who gains anything poised delicately in the middle?
Can anyone that seeks a balance survive?
Who makes these rules, anyway?
What is the proof of anything at all?
Why ask and why answer?

14 APR 2014

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Spare Change

There is no thing that doesn’t change:
some change, but no one sees;
some change a little, but no more;
some change to great degrees.

Some change and become something else;
some change but look the same;
some change because of point of view;
some change in all but name.

There is no thing that doesn’t change:
some change and never know;
some change without a reason why;
some change but never grow.

Some change to suit a place and time;
some change despite themselves;
some change outside but not within;
some change just for a spell.

There is no thing that doesn’t change;
some change without a clue;
some change for better or for worse;
some change but are not new.

Some change to find a better way;
some change, yet stay behind;
some change but never seem to grow;
some only change their minds.

1 APR 2014

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The Know of Unclouding: descort

What if I thought
for just a moment
of some mitigating circumstance
that might prove
beyond a shadow of doubt
the single
behind all appearances,
and in that fleeting instant, found
instead of solid rock,
just cloud,
and what if
when I reached within that mass
of disappearing mist and air
I forgot just what
I was

14 DEC 2012

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Reflections of a Twentieth Century Bard

After the “Song of Amergin”

I have been a fly on the wall of a corporate meeting
I have been a child lost in snow that drifted roof high
I have been a broke-winged bird, flightless through winter
I have been a prisoner in some Gothic dungeon
I have been a supporter of lost, hopeless causes
I have been a wandering fool, aimless and goal-less
I have been a prodigal son for whom died the fatted calves
I have been a homeless man in cities of great wealth.

I have been a harsh word whispered in a darkened alley
I have been a silver slick carp, no good for the fry pan
I have been a glee-man singer for spare change and train fare
I have been a ragged voice crying in the wildness
I have been a drowsy student of life’s strange instructors
I have been a trust fund baby given deceptive means
I have been a reed in the wind blown aside by gale force
I have been a poet stoned with drunk and swollen words.

I have been a teacher of some useful knowledge
I have been a night janitor in the halls of justice
I have been a poor cross-maker, Pharisee and martyr
I have been a young soldier, grown old in the battle
I have been a raging fire made from drenched matches
I have been a quick perceptor without a portfolio
I have been a childhood plowman, tiller of the earth
I have been a knowing victim of victimless crime.

I have been a cold white speck in a snowfall blizzard
I have been a big, loud fish in an empty trout pond
I have been a moving current and the dry of drought
I have been a helpful force to some creative light
I have been a drifting cloud on the face of the sun
I have been a changeling spirit of the moonless night
I have been a watcher of winds that shape the noon sky
I have been a friend of the trees that breathe the earth’s air.

Who, more than I, can claim to have been loved?
Who, having also being lost, can with more conviction believe themselves found?

Who else, having for so long lived under a curse of their own making, has been more blessed?

29 MAR 2000

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The Holy Fool’s Lament

My blood is thinned from summer’s passion;
where I once could stand
the chill of winter’s disposition,
now I am unmanned
by this untimely season;
and the harvest I once sought
I find now sells for such a price
it won’t be quickly bought.

So I who once was drowning
in the glow of love, find drought;
and you, who I thought my soul’s twin,
decide to do without
what I believed was mother’s milk,
and manna from above:
my life as sow’s ear, turned to silk
with the touch of your love.

For years I sought you out, I thought
to win love, like a prize;
but found a bitter-sweet reward:
just laughter, in your eyes,
where I found nothing but regret
for all those wasted years
I spent in search of some ideal
to best both lust, and fear.

Such fantasies may feed and grow
but offer nothing real;
they hide what you already know
in shadows, and conceal
the simple truth as your time wanes
in frivolous pursuit,
and as you near the harvest
leave just rotted, bitter fruit.

So what is love?  What do I know?
I thought myself immune,
but strangely find September
feels alive and much like June;
and you, who I imagined just
one half of my extreme,
have turned into the one I must
both have and hold, and dream.

for Pietro Speroni

27 SEP 2009

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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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Before Attending Miss Teen Louisiana Training

We do not want to go and sit
for three long hours of this shit.
We do not think it well-spent time
to learn to walk the judging line
or show your beauty, just skin deep
to leeches, dilettantes and creeps.
Revealing if our wallets reach
quite deep enough, that’s what they teach.

But we will drive, in monkey suits
and gag ourselves on their false fruits,
suppress our thoughts, lest they betray
the fact that we despise the way
these things are run, and come about,
attempting to smooth out the doubt
that if you have good looks and poise
(at least as deemed by vapid boys)
you don’t need brains, or self, or sense
just ego and experience.

Alas, the time is drawing near –
hair washed, clothes pressed, complexion clear.

So off to some great hotel, we
advance to meet sad destiny.

In my back pocket rests a check
which writ, will debit self-respect
and add more funding to the cause
of empty, self-indulged applause.

There is no up-side to this thing.
There are no praises I would sing
to lift up pageants as some good.
I’d pull the plug, if I but could.

08 AUG 2004

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