Category Archives: BLANK VERSE

A GREAT RECKONING IN A LITTLE ROOM

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It could have been a little room like this—
four walls, a window, table, chair—tales
tell us he was stabbed and cursing when he died
a much regretted master of blank verse…

but that was long ago and this is now
in this little room, at this window
looking out upon the ruddy repetitions
of a blank brick wall across the way…

I count poetic feet by heart, bemoan
the calling of them, just as that Touchstone
who held a plumb line for The Bard:
“When a man’s verses cannot be read
nor a man’s good wit seconded…
it strikes a man more dead than
a great reckoning in a little room,” he said.

Even the graffitist, wily, undercover,
come by night to paint his colors on the wall
might lurk in shadowy corners come the dawn
to overhear effects of his calligraphies

or the forest with the falling tree and no one
there to hear—does it find the earthy thump
insisted by an inner ear dwelling in thought?

It all comes down to one small room
and looking out the window wondering why
why embark upon an expedition or ambition
surely doomed to disappointment or despair?

Wisdom has said: because it’s there.
Then, too, there is that falling tree…anything
to get out from under it, sound or no sound,
purely by dead reckoning, no guarantee.
.
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A GREAT RECKONING IN A LITTLE ROOM

THE PALPABLE OBSCURE

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All souls own this evening, love,
blurring borders between quick and dead.
And even if the fearsome moans of man
did not appoint this time as hallowed,
our backyard trees announce it, as they
lose their glory and become their bones.

The veil is at its thinnest now, that
suddenly obscured you and left me
bereft, dumbfounded in the desolately clear.
Once a day, at least, I stop to wonder
where you are.  I do not think of
you as being here.  Except, tonight

a heightening of powers in the darkness
wants to break november from october
with a cold slap and a small wail in the wind.
Something more than me, something much
more sure that you abide, this night, brings
you, in ways that I can almost touch.
.
.
THE PALPABLE OBSCURE

Originally posted October 31, 2013

EPISTEMOLOGY

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They never should have shown me
those pictures: the man who
wore a long white robe, sandals,
his moist brown eyes always looking up,
his long silk hair surrounded by a mist of gold.

They told me it was he who changed the world.
He spoke wise words but never wrote them down.
With time I learned he was the one
who saved me. From what, I did not know.
He had to be killed in order to do it.

After that, no robe, no sandals.
Nearly naked, limp hair matted,
head hung low, he was nailed
to a hideous wooden cross. I was
too young to not look, to not listen.

I put the pictures, the story, the cross
away in a deep place where
things never let go. Even though
all of it happened when I wasn’t there.
Nor was anyone who told me so.

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EPISTEMOLOGY
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Originally posted October 2013

ODE TO A CONDIMENT

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From the trusty crock you teach
how cold a winter’s morning
or how warm a summer’s day might be.
Oh not in thermometric numbers by degree
but by your suave substantial answer
to the knife tip’s touch,
by your complexion and your spreadability.

At your most noble, taken new
from finest milk and churned
to a consistency all of your own,
epitome of softness and a cache
of flavor—you’re unsalted, sweet,
delicately of the pasture: dandelion,
clover or alfalfa, onion grass…

I love yourself
by any means conveyed—
a raft of toast, a lobster tail,
an artichoke sautéed—even my cat
demands a tiny pat of you each day.
But best of all, pièce de resistance,
those days when I bake bread

I break a hunk
warm, before the loaf is sliced,
and slather you all over it.
Then you are paradise.
.
.
ODE TO A CODIMENT
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Originally posted August, 2013

EARTH LAUGHS IN FLOWERS

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“…Earth laughs in flowers to see her boastful boys
Who steer the plough but cannot steer their feet clear of the grave….”
—-Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Hamatreya”.

.
.
Just outside my door, a little to the left,
beside the bottom step, I thought I heard
a crocus chuckle from a frost-heaved cleft.

A week or somewhat after that occurred
there was a laugh of daffodils along the pebbly walk.
Later, toting garden tools in my red wagon

how could I ignore those titterings of tulips,
giggling gladioli, snickering snapdragons and
a high-toned tee-hee from a blooming hollyhock?

Was this the earth laughing in flowers to remind
the maker of a private plotting once again
what ultimately is in charge, and what is not?

I shrugged and went indoors, only to find
not peace, not silence, but
the kalanchoe cachinnating in its pot.

Cognac and Emerson, before I went to bed,
made me this dream, from what Ralph Waldo said.
.
.
EARTH LAUGHS IN FLOWERS

A GREAT RECKONING IN A LITTLE ROOM

Standard

It could have been a little room like this—
four walls, a window, table, chair—tales
tell us he was stabbed and cursing when he died
a much regretted master of blank verse…

but that was long ago and this is now
in this little room, at this window
looking out upon the ruddy repetitions
of a blank brick wall across the way…

I count poetic feet by heart, bemoan
the calling of them, just as that Touchstone
who held a plumb line for The Bard:
“When a man’s verses cannot be read
nor a man’s good wit seconded…
it strikes a man more dead than
a great reckoning in a little room,” he said.

Even the graffitist, wily, undercover,
come by night to paint his colors on the wall
might lurk in shadowy corners come the dawn
to overhear effects of his calligraphies

or the forest with the falling tree and no one
there to hear—does it find the earthy thump
insisted by an inner ear dwelling in thought?

It all comes down to one small room
and looking out the window wondering why
why embark upon an expedition or ambition
surely doomed to disappointment or despair?

Wisdom has said: because it’s there.
Then, too, there is that falling tree…anything
to get out from under it, sound or no sound,
purely by dead reckoning, no guarantee.
.
.

THE PALPABLE OBSCURE

Standard

(originally posted October 31, 2013)

All souls own this evening, love,
blurring borders between quick and dead.
And even if the fearsome moans of man
did not appoint this time as hallowed,
our backyard trees announce it, as they
lose their glory and become their bones.

The veil is at its thinnest now, that
suddenly obscured you and left me
bereft, dumbfounded in the desolately clear.
Once a day, at least, I stop to wonder
where you are.  I do not think of
you as being here.  Except, tonight

a heightening of powers in the darkness
wants to break november from october
with a cold slap and a small wail in the wind.
Something more than me, something much
more sure that you abide, this night, brings
you, in ways that I can almost touch.
.
.