Category Archives: SONNET

PALIMPSEST

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The earnest monastery scribe begins
to scrape: he must expunge, obliterate
a text of Archimedes. Tonsured pate
bowed over parched and pumiced skins,
stone bench stone-cold, to his chagrin
hemorrhoids, indigestion complicate
his task. But laborare et orare, so he meditates;
offers up his troubles in atonement for his sins.

Beyond clerestory walls descendant sheep
are growing new skins in a lilac breeze.
Fra Pennafolio envies how they graze
oblivious, while lately he’s been losing sleep
fighting dark avengers of Hippocrates.
For help, he rubs his cabuchon of chrysoprase.

He must not let it faze him.
After all, in frugal fact, parchment is dear
and perfect skins are rare. He must persevere,
erase and rewrite without fear.
It is a holy labor, surely in the angels’ care,
to cleanse away the pagans for a book of prayer.
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PALIMPSEST

THE FOOD THAT FEEDS BUT DOES NOT SATISFY

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The food that feeds but does not satisfy
emerges as from seeds I did not sow
and like a rampant weed it starts to grow
until there’s not a plot it does not occupy.

It is a carnival aroma, cotton candy, fries,
a siren song, a laughing braggadocio
a knowingness that doesn’t really know—
the more I eat, the more it multiplies.

Hour by hour I fear how it devours my day
in ways that warrant constant connectivity
first thing in the morning and the last at night.

Otherwise it is invisible, a marvel of hearsay
that shows me pictures I can’t help but see
and sends me sounds by radio and light.

In truth the urge to fight
an appetite for eating that which eats me is absurd
as is the name WiFi, which is a nonsense word.

It rides not on the wings of birds
but baffling things that fly and perch at will.
Whose will? A question to be answered still.
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THE FOOD THAT FEEDS BUT DOES NOT SATISFY

THE SUN ALSO SETS

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Without a bedtime story or a lullabye
the evening’s blush sinks to a deeper red
then slips into a slit between the earth and sky
leaving our goodbyes lingering, unsaid.

I do not want to go, or let you go.
I want to dare this ending, call its bluff,
delay our parting with a sudden overflow
of words—too many and yet not enough–

while you, my dearest one, would choose
blunt disappearance, the mute way
to stanch an agony—those deeper blues
along the skyline fire—as if to say

the sun rises, the sun also sets.
So let it set. Let us let it. Let’s.
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THE SUN ALSO SETS

SONETTO INCREDULO

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There used to be a wish for your return
here in my heart, a craving for your smile
so I could bask in it again, a little while
and know the worthiness for which I yearn—

the love you brought, that taught me to unlearn
all anger, sadness, sense of alien exile
and know a place where we together could beguile
from seeming ashes, embers, constancy of burn.

But so much grief has been, and change,
a certain strangeness I believed could never be
has crept into my unbelief and now seems true:

you would not want this world, so rearranged
by time, which once so cruelly stole you from me,
and now, incredibly, is stealing me from you.

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SONETTO INCREDULO

SONETTO PRIMAVERA

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Love, I do not love you more in spring
when every green thing boldly sprouts
new blades and the old dogwood touts
plump promises of pinkwhite blossoming—

my love for you needs no awakening—
it’s grown in every season: flood and drought,
the stun of cold, the wilt of heat. Within, without.
I do not love with less than everything.

Still, there is a quickening in spring my heart
can sense, can see—as if a blackwhite photograph
turned gracefully to hues of flame and sun and sky;

it stirs my love for you— my fully seasoned art—
to a fresh colour, a brief dance, a song, a laugh
that fools me once again without my knowing why.
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SONETTO PRIMAVERA

THE SUN ALSO SETS

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Without a bedtime story or a lullabye
the evening’s blush sinks to a deeper red
then slips into a slit between the earth and sky
leaving our goodbyes lingering, unsaid.

I do not want to go, or let you go.
I want to dare this ending, call its bluff,
delay our parting with a sudden overflow
of words—too many and yet not enough–

while you, my dearest one, would choose
blunt disappearance, the mute way
to stanch an agony—those deeper blues
along the skyline fire—as if to say

the sun rises, the sun also sets.
So let it set. Let us let it. Let’s.
.
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THE SUN ALSO SETS

IN A GARDEN OF GIVENS

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They are not mean, but meaning to be kind,
the ones whose work it is to bring him here–
merely a job to do, to hold and steer
an old man who is frail, half-blind,
toward a sunny bench where he may find
companionship in leafy atmosphere–
perhaps a little bird to tweet some cheer
and take him out of his own mind.

Here, everything is new under the sun:
the spill of light climbs up a tree
a little breast of sand temples the ants
a chickadee bows like a tiny nun
upon a branch, to hear the pink soliloquy
of a wild rose, dressed for the dance.

All is circumstance.
Seated between mirth and agony
no longer wishing to foresee
no longer slave to memory
his ancientness, still as a garden gnome,
waits for whoever comes to fetch him home.
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IN A GARDEN OF GIVENS