30 April 2007

watching the towers

downtown is just a mile away
across the trees i see the tall
towers and think of how small
this building is in middle day
observed by those at work or play
whose vision doesn't fade or pall
the shadow will be long to fall
and spirit will be hard to slay
the moment will i know soon pass
aircraft above have far to go
and there is not yet hope of rain
i see the shimmer of the glass
a bird that passes moves so slow
and yet all things appear so plain

at the focus

i look out of the window at the haze
a light is blinking on a distant tower
this is not a shady woodland bower
or if it is then i am out of phase
each of these long and tiring days
i want to see the amaryllis flower
that event is far beyond my power
my mind is lost in a distorted maze
the voice of trees is quiet never loud
within these walls is nothing that i need
there's not a shimmer in the heavy air
not far from me i sense a noisy crowd
but for the moment thought will feed
on hazy light when clarity is rare

a simple pattern

a simple pattern that is not quite real
under the moulding's nothing that is true
what's readily apparent to the view
tells nothing that we don't already feel
is false and tawdry and not worth the deal
but still pretends to be both clean and new
we note the symbols but we have no clue
and no true standard left for our appeal
above us there's nothing but pale sky
the sun beats down and there is no regret
the monster lurks sharpening tooth and claw
there is no solace in what passes by
the purpose of our memory we forget
and none but a few can now recall the law

merely waiting

start of day clear light
the warmth announces springtime
green all around us

this watch is ending
who comes now brings no warning
the name is enough

still it is silent
i sit waiting for purpose
the wheel will soon stop

turning i watch light
outside dappled through fresh leaves
thoughts chase each other

a concrete hope

we see them build and not delay
someone needs shelter that is sure
reasons are clear and not obscure
shadows cannot long hide the way
all that is made must then decay
but that's not now this is the cure
to hope that our desires endure
our nightly dreams take shape in day
if what we wanted met our need
we would not mumble nor complain
our hopes would all be satisfied
not to the point of theft or greed
but there'd be no need to strain
and we would answer those who lied

there's not a cloud

for those not labelled we will take no blame
the lists are detailed comprehensive wrong
there's not a thing that we won't ever name

outside there's sign of a new diamond flame
not brilliant yet but still both hot and strong
for those not labelled we will take no blame

our thoughts are held within the normal frame
we note all matters which to our day belong
there's not a thing that we won't ever name

the trees outside look wild but they are tame
the shadows that they cast do not last long
for those not labelled we will take no blame

each of us knows our purpose pride or shame
are hidden by the the vast yet human throng
there's not a thing that we won't ever name

we set our money down we're in the game
our eyes stay bright upon our lips a song
for those not labelled we will take no blame
there's not a thing that we won't ever name

expanding light

shadows in the ceiling last remnants of dark
this morning promises a day of much heat
still we obey the rhythm and keep the beat
our choices don't seem simple but they're stark
ahead there lies a jungle it's certainly no park
all voyages here are hardship there's no treat
to keep us moving to stimulate our tired feet
there's so much more after the starter's mark
we'll have good reasons for the path and road
that we must take to reach the sacred goal
that marks the ending and will be the prize
that got us started we have no better goad
to keep us moving regardless still on the whole
we note more than what's seen by our eyes

29 April 2007

not to mean but to be

in general we're enchanted by what's new
and seek to better what we may not change
believing that we should extend the range
of what belongs to us beneath the blue
canopy of day there's always desire to imbue
with fresher magic or alter and exchange
the familiar for the fancied and the strange
we do not think the old can ever be true
at the beginning when the world was ours
we did not know which avenues to take
for all was open and all seemed just as fair
no matter how we faced yet now our powers
lessen and the guides we had forsake
us to find another purpose yet still we care

at the end of april

little above but blue and the hot eye
a passing plane direction north-west
it's time to pause to sit and take rest
one needs relief from relentless sky
the tiny moths that in their terror fly
must see one as some truly horrid pest
disturbing calm with noize and zest
not here content to let old nature lie
hardly a breeze how easy to forget
the winter's woes and rain and cold
spring's passed by in a single witty blink
our rules are clear one's path is set
on rails that will not rust until they're old
meanwhile the watcher has to take a drink

almost one touches

were we to take the pulse of rising sap
in the grey trees across the iron fence
in the small forest that is now spring-dense
we might escape from nature's trap
but find ourselves sprawled on her lap
unable at this time to make pretense
of being on any journey save one hence
to all those places far beyond the map
in this light the sharpness of the green
is simultaneous soothing and deep pain
we do not take the message for the thing
instead we take note of the morning scene
wonder when next we'll feel the gentle rain
and why the bird is suddenly on wing

28 April 2007

marking essays

no little doings
make the earth turn and sun rise
powerful forces

outside the deep night
trees holding silent darkness
the moon behind clouds

we wonder at this
seeking stars to guide our steps
dimly the lights glow

warm is this darkness
summer's promise a sure bet
evoking laughter

at an oblique angle

to welcome all the listeners and wish them every joy
there's nothing like the terminus to tell us of the war
amazing that we never seem to open the front door
on every side we see the meanings folk employ
to tell us what we're doing and to let the power annoy
the ones who cannot rise above the margin of the floor
name one and name another or we will lose the score
with access to the matters that we cannot now enjoy
so what the starter gives us when we do not see the way
will let us make our fortunes or else will let us thrive
in whatever little corner we choose to make our home
we've not been given orders nor the seating of the play
instead we must be grateful our friends are still alive
but stay condemned to move and wonder why we roam
evidence one would think that we are no more than foam
our hopes remain but now our bodies must not stay
none will be observing when our aircraft arrive
the soil in which we planted will turn out to be clay
there cannot be a moment in which we don't revive
the hopes that we have read of in every sacred tome
so when we reach the mountain we won't be grey or sad
but thank our lucky stars for all the happiness we had

making significance

there's not a sound but that we want it loud
silence weighs on us like an evil dream
all meaning is conveyed in the dark shroud

whose sense of justice makes them proud
do more than what the law itself might deem
there's not a sound but that we want it loud

magic and sorcery here are not allowed
but here's a cat that's lapped up all the cream
all meaning is conveyed in the dark shroud

above our heads we note the fleeing cloud
reality means more than it might seem
there's not a sound but that we want it loud

and yet no gifts but what was first endowed
to one who came and caught the early gleam
all meaning is conveyed in the dark shroud

never deny those things that once were vowed
more will be shown than in the basic theme
there's not a sound but that we want it loud
all meaning is conveyed in the dark shroud

another working day

we find the sun has weight and brings us pain
as well as life that day clear in its light
is not always the most pleasant sight
we look at the few clouds and long for rain
the summer now has come upon us plain
no room for winter and its frozen blight
but when you work you find relief is slight
there is no choice here but to sweat and strain
so when the signal comes that marks the hour
there's nothing left but to down tools and weep
for shadows that deny both hope and choice
in the woods small animals hide and cower
they long for rest but fear the end of sleep
meanwhile we hear a single gentle voice

ceremony of innocence

how do we answer when we are not called
but sense a need that we might just fulfill
not just a matter of good heart or will
yet this is all that others here have hauled
these gardens are wide open none are walled
the sky above us seems serene and still
their golden names have not the power to kill
mothers and wives have keened and bawled
in vain for there's no answer to the theme
that life proposes unless we take the chance
to make our own way through the gloomy wild
the whole thing will appear as just a dream
no one retreats and yet there's no advance
the adult seeks for guidance from the child

27 April 2007

elements of discourse

a map that tells no story that we know
over the flags of nations never born
reality of its grizzled locks is shorn
nobody reaps the crops that they sow
the changing moments are never slow
but seem to us abandoned and forlorn
papers come to us clean and untorn
those things that happen let us grow
older in our minds not in each face
here there's no wisdom left to chide
the ones who question all that's new
none can sense the completion of space
in the broad universe no one can hide
there's deepest black behind the blue

a fresh way to fly

an end to waiting and an end to doubt
not for us now the fury nor the sound
all feet are firmly planted on hard ground
none who are in are now to be sent out
there's no desire to challenge or to flout
orders that have gone the normal round
a new task's been set to start or found
this place from which we'll stand and shout
beyond these partial walls there is a light
arising from new hopes and not from pain
meanwhile the symbols are all held in place
we're grateful for the chances of this night
the grass must spring up after this fresh rain
and brilliance emerge from each new face

something to see

in what close view we may see our desire
none now can tell nor what the way's to be
it does not take us to some rustic lea
nor do we hear the hum along the wire
there's no tune here for harp or lute or lyre
each path is blocked by a green leafy tree
no elves hide here or none that we can see
this is a season both of rain and fire
a wind that passes would bring all relief
our spring is short for summer quickly comes
the end of duty marks no change of state
in every moment mingle joy and grief
they add up every time into vast sums
yet there's no danger we will arrive late

falling off the edge

the monster we can't see's the one to fear
those that we watch are quite easy to ward
we spend our time in worry and in care

the dull red clouds now tell us to beware
as storms are coming and will batter hard
the monster we can't see's the one to fear

this light we seek shows that the world is bare
yet darkness from our hearts is still not barred
we spend our time in worry and in care

we've shaken off the dream and the nightmare
we've other obligations on the card
the monster we can't see's the one to fear

at this point we can't do more than just stare
the bearer of our hopes is never marred
we spend our time in worry and in care

nothing we have are we allowed to spare
rope is now paid out measured by the yard
the monster we can't see's the one to fear
we spend our time in worry and in care

26 April 2007

evening concerto

engaged in dance the winds rely
on our attention and our time
the sun has fallen far from prime
we cannot see the blue of sky
but still the branches are so spry
above our heads aircraft climb
not headed though to the sublime
all fits within the human eye
so now the night not calm arrives
we look towards another task
all that is seen announces fate
calmer these moments of our lives
accepting all we thought to ask
returning sun will not be late
the horseman stays within the gate
all bees are peaceful in their hives
our drink remains within the cask
what matter that the wasp now thrives
there is no ghost behind the mask
the road we see is never straight
so what we think that day is done
the job remains we cannot shun

and now comes calm

each of us chooses what we'll think or wear
what's put on now we soon will want to strip
your hope is placed on one who does not dare

the horn outside will sometime cease to blare
then we may have a chance for a brief kip
each of us chooses what we'll think or wear

the ordinary maps don't show what's there
someone will tell you somebody who's hip
your hope is placed on one who does not dare

no one expects the sudden trap or snare
but longs for a brief moment to let rip
each of us chooses what we'll think or wear

if we were driven over the edge or spare
on this slick footing we would quickly slip
your hope is placed on one who does not dare

of gloom and light we'll each have the right share
more than enough to halt the witty quip
each of us chooses what we'll think or wear
your hope is placed on one who does not dare

on the couch

were we to name our fears they would not flee
what's inside is not banished by mere thought
it's not as if these terrors have been caught
we get them all our lives plain and for free
those things we have which let us live or be
are not just matters of would be or ought
achievements are worth far more than nought
we flow through life and come at last to sea
instead of fear we might exalt each life
each way we seek to make the world our own
or build a structure that does more than seem
what we have got arrives in place of strife
takes us from the unmapped into the known
allowing us to remember every dream

seen from verandahs

were we to choose a simple common way
there'd be a million who would follow hard
although we'd never promise better day
each of them growing eager with each yard
none thinking that the upward road was barred
there's nothing to which they might not aspire
and yet we keep hidden the triumphal card
life has its source in water but its end is fire

here in the mountain we can descry the bay
the shoreline now is desolate and scarred
no choice is here allowed either to go or stay
the onward route is not the one that's starred
the faces on the hillside have been marred
once its begun there's no chance to retire
the winner gets his name sung by the bard
life has its source in water but its end is fire

so we are asked to halt and stage the play
on boards now rotten warped and charred
while wild horses above us stamp and neigh
the champions have just come out and sparred
but for their prowess there's been no regard
the sun sinks westward lighting up the mire
its face seems pierced by a sudden shard
life has its source in water but its end in fire

prince of our hearts you know the avant-garde
are ever first in onset and latest to retire
do not be misled by some sly canard
life has its source in water but its end in fire

a turning moment

gentle the rain out of the leaden sky
long hours of thought watching the trees
green branches moving in the breeze
in this small forest all are young and spry
for a long moment i lay duty by
i feel the pressure the constant squeeze
that keeps me constantly on my knees
life's too short to be enraged or cry
the light is colder than the present day
i wait for messages and do not tire
thought moves forever at a constant speed
each of us has to find their own hard way
the signal isn't held in by the wire
and word is always justified by deed

25 April 2007

a long slow journey

all that we know's one answer at the last
the human form cannot contain all that
our images have become still and flat
we cannot tell the present from the past
the crew has merged unnoticed into the cast
the bird of sunrise now becomes a bat
in the blue corner now there lurks a cat
odysseus has been lashed firm to the mast
we may not know the siren song of hope
but see the rocks and note both reefs and shoals
with hope that we'll find safe harbour at the end
meanwhile we pay out every length of rope
fill up the brazier with fresh seal coals
and hope that monster turns into a friend

words of instruction

the weight of air is not the first surprise
falsehoods clouds tell above us in the blue
things become so different to old eyes

when seasons change there's no way to disguise
those things that are so plainly out in view
the weight of air is not the first surprise

when we with our small knowledge do surmise
that what we see must govern what we do
things become so different to old eyes

and yet our hopes are not without allies
time's changes are the same and never new
the weight of air is not the first surprise

all that is done we shall not soon despise
that job is left to quite another crew
things become so different to old eyes

we measure out our answers in small lies
all truths we're given out of manure grew
the weight of air is not the first surprise
things become so different to old eyes

a shifting of the breeze

time acts in ways that baffle normal folk
month after month of waiting for events
the same inconveniences annoyances rents
wondering if hopes have turned to smoke
on your shoulder the full weight of the yoke
the friendly nomads all have struck their tents
no steam will come from fumaroles or vents
life seems a tragedy played as a joke
and yet the seasons change the sky is bright
all things may change and yet they may endure
what's given is that we will make some choice
life makes its mark even in deeps of night
what we may face we also want to cure
all answers are expressed in human voice

24 April 2007

spring sunset moment

do not accept fate
fight through the morning for life
reject defeatism

spring sunset moment
green holding but going to fade
sleep overwhelms me

morning adventure

an asterisk of contrails in the sky
the white so clear against the blue
patterns once provided do not lie

i walk uphill the sun's not in my eye
so many things this week come due
an asterisk of contrails in the sky

we're required to do more than just try
to make the old become better than new
patterns once provided do not lie

nothing remains to sell or even buy
the road is hard beneath my shoe
an asterisk of contrails in the sky

what happens is not what we'd spy
all happens in plain order and on cue
patterns once provided do not lie

and in the end we tell truth from lie
we don't expect to see the morning dew
an asterisk of contrails in the sky
patterns once provided do not lie

thus said the bird

so in the end we'll blame ourselves for this
matter of moments broken by a breeze
absence of hope greater absence of ease
there's not a thing that we can just dismiss
with a false cheer or chase off with a hiss
the deepest pain arrives with bended knees
the thought of magic exists but to tease
but some pain's still cured with a gentle kiss
music may soothe but love still wins the day
battles are won with help from staunch ally
yet none may know the future till it comes
until that time we'll stay beyond the grey
lid that comes down to sanctify the lie
and wait to hear the morning and its drums

one more curve

having now answered all that one was asked
the moment comes when nothing's left to do
a time of glory when all things unmasked
not one thing's left that's not open to view
yet being unblessed as yet with that great gift
to know the right thing and to say it right
even when one has reached the final rift
seeing below one's feet old and vicious night
still one's own heart may leap or skip a beat
knowing how much has actually been done
the work the sweat and all the cold and heat
of deeds completed under relentless sun
what then must we as creators achieve
that others might accept and then believe

drop by drop it comes

all that we ask for will go down the spout
the flow of water never seems to cease
although we count it as an art of peace
we're predators not brothers with the trout
each of our actions will lead us to flout
all rules that do not lead to our release
the hope we have is for growth and increase
there's never room for worry or for doubt
what measures hope we never want to know
the warmth of day oppresses in a rush
pain that comes suddenly is a bad start
rather we want the shining and the glow
the midday hubbub falling to a hush
and sunshine that will pierce to the heart

23 April 2007

day's dominion

this light's not made of focused beams
the sun's the bluest sharpest eye
electrochemistry of dreams

you have not seen what duty deems
the rightful mode to fight the lie
this light's not made of focused beams

the normal signals are not memes
contrails crosshatch in the clear sky
electrochemistry of dreams

what's been observed is not what seems
so apt to live and quick to die
this light's not made of focused beams

echoing day my window gleams
this rainy month has been so dry
electrochemistry of dreams

all comes to madness in those schemes
which off the table seem to fly
this light's not made of focused beams
electrochemistry of dreams

changing the time

over the green roofs the half-light
promises little but reveals so much
the air-vents there beyond my clutch
shadows imitating vanished night
above the sky a palish pearly sight
the blaring radio functions as a crutch
keeping me sane and totally in touch
with a world that always wants to fight
morning traffic hides beyond the trees
i'm quite alone but that will change
holding me in my place is simple duty
nothing moves there's hardly any breeze
for a moment everything seems strange
and yet this new day has its own beauty

22 April 2007

and then this moment

on horseback they came down the hill
on this bright day there was no sound
the beast's controlled by act of will

no thought about the charge or bill
the hooves beat on the drying ground
on horseback they came down the hill

though fast we would not see a spill
the rills were leapt in a single bound
the beast's controlled by act of will

all work would cease in mine or mill
silent would be the watchful hound
on horseback they came down the hill

though sunny all could feel the chill
that struck us as those men rode round
the beast's controlled by act of will

they did not come to save nor kill
nor yet to let anyone out of pound
on horseback they came down the hill
the beast's controlled by act of will

duality of vision

i see the ship manoeuvre around the rocks
the waterspout appears not far from shore
to note these things shakes one to the core
the image must pass by some mental blocks
southward i imagine grey ships in the docks
wind whips around me and i guess the score
not from the signals but with head so sore
as dreadful wardens must unseal the locks
each of the memories is worth some thought
and now the wind is waving every leaf
far from the sea while the sun seems so soft
in this its proper season we do what we ought
each in our own way to combat the grief
and wonder at the clouds moving aloft

21 April 2007

on the edge of the gully

to take that goat track was a stupid deed
still the adventure taught me something new
for to achieve it there was no true need

bent almost double clinging to each weed
i took each step and went all the way through
to take that goat track was a stupid deed

the young have energy and do not heed
what they are told they seek a better clue
for to achieve it there was no true need

along that slope the goats could move with speed
with their sure feet not slipping on the dew
to take that goat track was a stupid deed

to dare and conquer that was then my creed
i looked below me as the vultures flew
for to achieve it there was no true need

from our set limits the animals were freed
below all green the sky above all blue
to take that goat track was a stupid deed
for to achieve it there was no true need


all that gives power to make gives power to crack
every new messenger brings the worst news
and yet none fight with harness on their back

the thing most wanted is not the one we lack
the sword that we desire is not the sword that hews
all that gives power to make gives power to crack

what gives us grief is not what makes us tack
our banner to the tree we've not left any clues
and yet none fight with harness on their back

no more tricks can be pulled from the endless sack
the whip that flails has no cure for the blues
all that gives power to make gives power to crack

if we play cards we'll find ourselves the jack
so many claim to walk in our old open shoes
and yet none fight with harness on their back

so in the end when all must fade to black
the ones who win will all have paid their dues
all that gives power to make gives power to crack
and yet none fight with harness on their back

a time of wonder

when we make the journey back in time and place
it isn't easy to recall the turning of the wheel
the way the rough road under our feet would feel
instead we concentrate on remembering each face
each turning of the road the framing of the space
by hill and sky and sea and what the honest deal
was that gave us power over both fire and steel
the journey outwards has been a long hard race
were there truly mornings when the sun rose at ten
the ancient forests stretching out old night
while sunset came to us from the western sea
an honest answer makes each day live again
and dusty memory comes back into plain sight
the rules that were return and time must flee

a frank discussion

each word we speak has measured length and weight
there's nothing more that can be done this hour
each moment comes and light falls on the flower
meaning combines though message comes too late
the signal's overwhelmed by its own large freight
yet when we're asked why we've not yet turned sour
the response that we make won't have the power
to push our last hope through the starting gate
none of our actions come from thorough thought
there is no avocation that we've truly chosen
all of our hopes require we stand and speak
not what we want but only the things we ought
to utter as free folk but yet our hearts are frozen
by all our memories and that will make us weak

20 April 2007


the love of country begins in the heart
not of the spaces nor of the many views
nor all those faces we've seen on the news
to love your country is a kind of art
we see ourselves both as whole and part
all come together as brain bone and thews
yet we've been given messages and clues
naming ourselves is how we make a start
it's in the voices and half-forgotten songs
in memories of laughter and of pain
in shared burdens and a common yoke
all that we do all of the rights and wrongs
the brightest sunshine and the heavy rain
in sombre moment and in happy joke

all now begins

in the half-light what's seen may not be true
no one yet moves and nothing's being done
pale sky through all the branches is in view

out of this moment nothing yet seems due
somewhere around the corner lurks the sun
in the half-light what's seen may not be true

the sound i hear does not make me pursue
nothing will happen and i should not run
pale sky through all the branches is in view

the cool of morning might just my mind subdue
though later heat might batter us and stun
in the half-light what's seen may not be true

we make our moves and something will ensue
no fear comes to us of stick or knife or gun
pale sky through all the branches is in view

we've seen the moment though the day is new
it may not matter if we greet or shun
in the half-light what's seen may not be true
pale sky through all the branches is in view

19 April 2007

evening comes

outside the gentle waving of the green
brings tropic memories in time of strife
the trees have taken up their task in life
and peace is all the meaning of the scene

Random books from my library

critical analysis

getting it right means knowing what is wrong
the funhouse image tells us something true
we learn from things that first make us rue
all out of tune until we've learned the song
being weak's required to truly become strong
learning the old precedes learning the new
long rains must fall to make the rising dew
though answer may be terse the study is so long
affecting sights may come before our eyes
and still mean nothing to our half-dead hearts
all light that heals may not be too long seen
what in the end are stories but well-told lies
our thoughts and actions justify dark arts
and what we hope to make is what has been

too far the blue

the end comes faster than we could allow
for change and time are both of them divine
we toast the dead and drink for them the wine
each of us trapped by an ancestral vow
the past might hold us we're not certain how
the spirits that we saw have crossed the line
to come to earth to see how we refine
all of our customs into the deepest bow
nor when we've let the time turn into past
and all our yesterdays are now old dust
we let the strength that wanted to be ours
into the emptiness of lost hopes be cast
trapped in cold memory both joys and lust
and yet we bend our necks before the powers

there is a name

what we have seen is not what will be seen
towers are far distant and the city's great
right here we pause and meditate on green

this morning light makes all sweet and clean
work's to be done and so we clear the slate
what we have seen is not what will be seen

far from the see my thoughts are all marine
i'll take my pleasure even from the date
right here we pause and meditate on green

alive it seems to all that might have been
memory demands release from all its freight
what we have seen is not what will be seen

i'll take some comfort from the familiar scene
this place belongs to love rather than hate
right here we pause and meditate on green

the trunks of trees are cheerful grey and lean
i wonder now what tales they might relate
what we have seen is not what will be seen
right here we pause and meditate on green

18 April 2007

unceasing exploration

all messages that dare to leave a trace
come from the places of most deep desire
the ones arising from the hottest fire
what signs we see upon each eager face
with recognition of most sacred place
before the bird erupts upon its pyre
are echoed by the celebrating choir
we feel the power and we see the grace
if not for those who chose to comprehend
the vastness of it all and all the names
present and past and in prophetic strain
sought for one moment just to apprehend
the glory of those universal flames
and so we thank the victim for its pain

night does not end

all who fear change declare that they feel dread
when order fails to bring the things they need
it would have been much better then to heed
the eldritch voices that cried out to be fed
the monsters that in forests oozed and bled
outside our gates dark beings move and breed
a fearsome sower fills long rows with seed
but what grows up will not serve as our bread
over the roofs grey light fails truly to reveal
those things we wish to see the answers true
and honest to the questions that we'll ask
we're told to trust the turnings of the wheel
to do some things that one day we might rue
yet to hold firm to purpose and to task

17 April 2007

the new student manifesto

lay down the load and let the journey end
there's no need now for effort or result
we claim the choice we call it an insult
we name the foe we once desired as friend
on our decision you must not depend
we won't consider and we won't consult
your choice requires kindness and indult
we cannot to the world that message send
just so we're clear there's no real pretense
to justice honesty honour on our part
we just want what we think to be the best
for ourselves and to let those deep intense
seekers for truth and makers of real art
do all our work and take for us the test

16 April 2007

magnolia not mango

there's no time to wonder duty requires
each of us to take such action as is due
we turn from the enchantment of the view
to the glad task of lighting inward fires
each in their way to some glory aspires
there's pleasure to be taken in what's new
yet true experience comes to but few
the signals not the shaking of the wires
a tree befools me taking me back years
its leaves remind me of a warmer place
with ripe fruit falling to the grassy ground
my eyes are dry now i've shed no tears
the trick of light has given me its grace
i turn to work and do not hear the sound

distant noises indicating pain

the brightest colour hides the greatest lie
what we have wanted we may not have got
no clouds now mar the azure of the sky

from dead hands wise men reason may pry
there is no stain there no mark no blot
the brightest colour hides the greatest lie

what others see we may not here descry
breeze blows but the tree's rooted to the spot
no clouds now mar the azure of the sky

in the high wind no bird would dare to fly
the shaking branches provide each a lot
the brightest colour hides the greatest lie

the sun's now falling that was once so high
the greenest tree contains the deepest rot
no clouds now mar the azure of the sky

to our last question there comes no reply
we're left with the dark workings of the plot
the brightest colour hides the greatest lie
no clouds now mar the azure of the sky

poems in the night

no matter how clear the line must fade
unremembered save in the deep of night
words struggle to stay sharp and bright
this is the nature of the muse's trade
you dig into the mind without a spade
and turn up nothing that's exactly right
beneath that soil there's never any light
and yet at ending there's a shiny blade
where we came in the door will close
our passage will not disturb much dust
and yet plain words tell what we know
there's more inside than we suppose
the answer requires hope and trust
and in the passage we may see a glow

another chilly dawn

we name the days and count them as they go
we celebrate their passing though the fact
that they are limited is ignored through tact
or else forgotten for the truth is that we know
that whether they go fast or go by slow
the end must surely come as to a city sacked
by the barbarians or to a fort attacked
by treacherous neighbours in a sudden blow
days come and go and while we long for pause
we know that termination comes at last
for each of us and that what we most fear
is not the blank absence of a primal cause
but that we'll linger while our moment's past
in hope that we might have a better year

15 April 2007

for a future graduate

in every life you come across some spaces
you wonder at them things you cannot know
roads along which you will at no time go
you'll know of things but will see only traces
there will be other than the familiar faces
you'll know of rivers but never see their flow
the signs of impact but not at all the blow
you'll know of powers but never see the graces
life's got its twists and turns you'll one day find
what was once certain is no longer true
the surest thing has vanished and the cost
of ordinary doings can baffle the finest mind
still all things that you need may come in view
and you will never be among those lost

a truer will

there's never any hope for those who fight
they have no choice even knowing that the end
was ordained at the beginning that the friend
who proclaimed most loudly their cause right
would not be there by coming of the night
there is not one on whom they could depend
the journey always has the same fatal trend
but yet each wants their share of the true light
nowhere on earth could there be a fair mean
a balance that would answer in each case
instead the thumb's gone in for all who ask
whether or not their blade is strong and keen
whose honesty is plain written on the face
those who take up without a thought their task

the sheep look up

who claims to serve may also claim to lead
but which is which may not be always clear
the ones who make the rules are never fair
and word too often substitutes for deed
we turn for help in moments of great need
yet once we're settled cannot breathe the air
thing may be even but that's very rare
in the right place the rose is just a weed
the giant may be strong but not too wise
we follow for we cannot make a path
our feet may stumble on that upward way
we turn into a flock in our own eyes
bleating and moaning substitute for wrath
and we are lost before the end of day

not now the proper time

outside the wind and rain are making sport
inside i'm cold and tired and seeking rest
my chief desire's to be at some warm resort

the wisest now refrain from holding court
they know that no one's at their very best
outside the wind and rain are making sport

name one thing that would be of finest sort
and someone will denounce it as a pest
my chief desire's to be at some warm resort

there's much in life we wouldn't now abort
but some things need to be within the vest
outside the wind and rain are making sport

not much to do so we won't be caught short
we huddle here inside our own heart's nest
my chief desire's to be at some warm resort

now as we make our way to the safe port
i've found the answer to my longest quest
outside the wind and rain are making sport
my chief desire's to be at some warm resort

Seeing like a shrub

Real men perceive their truth only in war,
peace is for women, homos, wimps, the weak;
the world is for the strong, not for the meek;
this is the logic of base cowards in a bar.
A man may be a hero, in the privacy of his car,
in his mind he's achieved the top, the peak;
to limit his power, to stay calm, that is bleak
and will not lead us to the furthest star.
So order, peace, and justice are a waste;
they don't allow the hero's light to shine
and manhood's not allowed its proper place.
Instead let's value pride, urgency, haste,
those things that let me claim the world as mine;
that's what's important, and damn the human race.

o nameless day

drizzle on the leaves april seems so dark
after bright march and cool replaces warm
the season's strangeness has become the norm
uncertainty is always nature's mark
the world's raw jungle not a tidy park
we look upon it and wonder at the form
that life has taken and we watch the storm
the power of weather is at its most stark
so dull the green and yet so very light
as drizzle falls replacing heavy rain
the day is long and we may see no sun
nor stars to dazzle us through the short night
sleep comes reluctant given our strong pain
but time continues it never will be done

11 April 2007

After the blast

Back in the day we did things with no net,
we tested each device knowing that the end
could come faster than we could apprehend.
But still we knew that there was magic yet
in every test tube in the complex set
that we had lusted for, we knew each trend,
each step in the long process, and would bend
every rule possible, and not break a sweat.
Now, when we see the crater and the smoke
comes dark and choking from the ravaged ground
we regret nothing. There was a good chance
we could have done the thing, that's no joke;
but now we sit here and cannot make a sound,
instead we cry for those who'll never dance.

what obligation

the charioteer is not the one who spoke
name any god and he will turn his eye
straight on your heart and you cannot lie
your way out you must bear his yoke
or else await the final killing stroke
that comes in silence from a clear sky
you have one duty and that is to die
life as we know it never is a joke
yet when we read all that arjun said
another possibility will come to mind
though krishna chide or brahma glower
there is no need for anguish or for dread
another path to silence we may find
and even gods must know the final power

nothing remarkable

when we have shaped the moment to our need
the things we want will seem to be no gain
we know the tallest tree grows from a tiny seed

we live and fight and everyone will bleed
we know the limits of the body's pain
when we have shaped the moment to our need

each rides the land on a swift iron steed
the least effect will leave some giant stain
we know the tallest tree grows from a tiny seed

the bar of steel looks like a greyish reed
raising the limit does not make things plain
when we have shaped the moment to our need

we've reached the end and now we regret speed
the things we are we've never had to feign
we know the tallest tree grows from a tiny seed

the thought we find matters far more than deed
the greenest grass comes from the heavy rain
when we have shaped the moment to our need
we know the tallest tree grows from a tiny seed

a spring wednesday

the rain falls soft and soaks the soil
outside we watch the clouds go by
the pearly stretch that we call sky
next door we see the builders toil
the distant wisps of moist air roil
not even vultures want to fly
the distant green at peace will lie
nothing the calm beauty will spoil
so here and there we think of strife
on the phone i counsel an even strain
calm must prevail despite all jars
these are the perfect times of life
between the pleasure and the pain
when distant are the crimes and wars

home from the hill

now where we find ourselves that place we claim
we are a folk but we'll not be named a flock
the things we do are done in our good name

the rain that comes will never douse the flame
the water rubs but cannot break the rock
now where we find ourselves that place we claim

whatever happens there will be no blame
we turn the corner and we change our block
the things we do are done in our good name

the archer and the gunman take their aim
their time will not be measured by the clock
now where we find ourselves that place we claim

the forest's small but still is wild not tame
we listen every day for the harsh knock
the things we do are done in our good name

all in the end will show not pride nor shame
at night we close the door and turn the lock
now where we find ourselves that place we claim
the things we do are done in our good name

he would have been fifty

and now the memory the choice of the right words
we have to go one day but now we measure loss
in unsung powers in dragons in the arriving birds
all that we read is gold he stripped away the dross
and left us tales and poems made with such art
that we could not see it each word each human tale
found its true lodging in each mind and heart
we want his memory as a light that must not fail
the story's told we know that yet all that we desire
is to reread it to make it seem bright and new
to raise once more within each soul the fire
to give the praise and honour that he was due
for one brief moment forget there's no more writ
and just rejoice in his warmth and his wit

once more the spring

all colours blend into a soft smooth green
the trees outside have taken on the hue
that shows that life is again turning new
what's not forgotten is that winter's been
if not too cold still brutal harsh and lean
we take our pleasure in the lovely view
for all our efforts it's a thing that's due
we want the world not just to be but mean
now if we go back to the scenes of youth
we take the colours plain and permanent
it's not the greens but yellows reds and blues
that strike our hearts that's the plainest truth
above us then the sky stretched a warm tent
and nature showed its richness in more hues

April to-doing and froing

When April comes, we long for the sweet rain
to refresh the brown grass and turn it green;
we worry about flies and so set up the screen,
although we acknowledge it to be a royal pain.
At the same time we sweat and grunt and strain
for tax day is soon coming and we've all seen
that doing our taxes will cause endless spleen,
but still we've got to file them, that is plain.
The warmth of March meant that we could set out
some herbs and flowers, hoping for an early crop,
but then we got the cold and all that frost.
March was dry, but, truly, there was no drought;
and with the cold, we saw our vain hopes drop
still we will plant again despite the cost.

10 April 2007

fresh construction

the forms in place the armature is ready
the wall will soon be poured or so we think
no longer will we stand close to the brink
the ground between us will be firm and steady
we know that what's been build already
still has the possibility of space or chink
the stone rolls down we hear it hit and clink
the future owner's mood is mostly heady
house by house we see the street take shape
the road's a skeleton the houses make it firm
and all the folk who live here call it home
you feel like a runner breasting the last tape
you look past the wall down the fresh berm
now you've a place there is no need to roam

the unexpected clarity

which of the trees will cast the longest shade
we can't tell now when there's not enough light
we will not know through watches of the night
but when the stars and moon begin to fade
we'll learn the answer without any more aid
than what we're given by the sense of sight
we'll know and what we'll know will be the right
to place our knowledge within history's braid
there won't be need nor the desire to drain
the fount of simple wisdom to the last good drop
rather we'll have a chance to test the taste
of a strong beverage that still looks so plain
it can't be bought for money at the shop
but we must quaff or else it will go to waste

shivering in the wind

we lay our hope in those with moral power
our leaders should be civil and not crude
each day begins with a cold dark nervous hour

although we won't in the dank corner cower
we know our hearts with fear have been imbued
we lay our hope in those with moral power

above us walks a wizard in his magic tower
his strength from ours has lately been renewed
each day begins with a cold dark nervous hour

so what the day will end with a cold shower
the things before will matter and we're clued
we lay our hope in those with moral power

would we give time or even grant some dower
to those who have not been measured or pursued
each day begins with a cold dark nervous hour

well in the end we want to see the flower
fresh in the morning bright and clear and dewed
we lay our hope in those with moral power
each day begins with a cold dark nervous hour

warming the bitter soul

the day progresses and we feel the cold
not so much in the flesh as in the bone
each of us takes the hillside on our own
the sun does not present us with its gold
instead we watch as all the players fold
each heart turns into an inert hard stone
the weight inside provokes a fervent groan
we have been measured bought and sold
now when we climb the mountain it is day
but no light comes to guide our weary feet
after the rain the path seems very slick
but we've been told this is the only way
the view from the high peak is a real treat
the vision comes only to those who are quick

on to victory

war over the horizon does not alter
the way we live that's fixed by other laws
we won't let our hired soldiers falter
as long as we proclaim just cause
day after day we publish open lies
insist that everything we say is true
over the dead bodies gather flies
the carrion's openly exposed to view
our worries are the only ones that matter
the days to come are all that we desire
we like the ones who praise and flatter
our enemies must all go in the fire
our power is great our egoes all huge
and after us will come the great deluge

09 April 2007

cruelest sweet showers

we're told the month is cruel and we know
it contains more than what we might believe
it comforts and brightens only to deceive
and what we're given is no more than a show
still as old winter gives us its last blow
there are more things in april that conceive
we'll learn them all before we're forced to leave
and when it wants the sun will kindly glow
but cruel this month is and falsely kind
to give us flowers and follow them with frost
but still the green persists and all our hope
we recall when the first blossoms filled the mind
we know that for our joy there'll be a cost
but still the year is on its upward slope

travel teaches something

names on the map are magic but they lie
these are ordinary places just as plain
as where we come from the same rain
sun and cloud the same bright blue sky
the same dark birds in the same air fly
the same plain folk facing the same strain
the same sense and the same lack of brain
all places blur into each other by and by
yet there's still magic we still sense a force
different in different places a kind of power
that we must travel to find it's never here
but always somewhere other on our course
it comes always at some uncanny hour
and we cannot confront it without some fear

one step closer

under the cloud nothing seems truly clear
what moves in day has trouble staying warm
to make a choice requires that we must care

some things are easy to hold close and dear
others seem far from the substantive norm
under the cloud nothing seems truly clear

what counts this day we cannot simply hear
we have to touch and shape its tender form
to make a choice requires that we must care

just how to do it needs some sort of flair
we change our purpose but we do not reform
under the cloud nothing seems truly clear

the drums are beat the trumpets loudly blare
the mass of people seems to be a swarm
to make a choice requires that we must care

the outcome we desire hangs by a hair
beyond our strength the power of the storm
under the cloud nothing seems truly clear
to make a choice requires that we must care

in the pre-dawn cold

the towers glow gold in the cold dark
beneath the shadows move no fear
lies on them but we feel the care
that will each face with horror mark
the movement in the unlit city park
unmoving light in that space there
what we see the rapid figures wear
in every heart the silent human spark
so here and now we ask for urgent peace
indifferent sky gives us no clear reply
we rush but none comes by to aid
the sunrise will make all tremors cease
day's steady glow must banish the lie
and every shade will from memory fade

08 April 2007


a light a flag the signs of home
however far they're always there
we do not choose but we must roam

we polish silver gold and chrome
things need to seem refined and fair
a light a flag the signs of home

just out of sight the giant dome
reminds us of the weight of air
we do not choose but we must roam

we dig the soil the rich old loam
it repays well the work and care
a light a flag the signs of home

grooming ourselves with brush and comb
we wonder how our siblings fare
we do not choose but we must roam

and in the end in the sea-foam
we know that still there's more to dare
a light a flag the signs of home
we do not choose but we must roam

future shadows in the past

all distances collapse into no space
the universe is smaller than a nut
mansion is tinier than mountain hut
all places converge into a single place
all species hide behind a single face
all things divided by a simple cut
all tracks united in one shallow rut
in complex unity all things interlace
never do we see the spaces filled
the emptiness replaced by solid time
but think eternity can never end
the sacrifice is always being killed
the victim sanctifies the noble crime
and every enemy becomes a friend

who rules the forest

the trees are not asleep but shiver in the cold
eyes catch the varied greens in clear sunlight
we've long hours to go before return of night
the brightness calls on us to be brave and bold
and yet on such a day i can't help feeling old
it's not enough to be awake one must also fight
the war of contrasts makes it hard to see the right
the story we've heard was not what was told
so here with books and thoughts i sit afraid
there's much to do and it must this day be done
my mind turns over thinking through all ends
the grass next door is green for it's been sprayed
it seems so bright beneath this wintry sun
while the thermometer shows slight upward trends

07 April 2007

to live with what was here

you marvel that the answer comes with haste
the magic that we look for works too slow
around our bodies we see a faint glow
the power we wield is rarely to our taste
yet once expended cannot be replaced
when given choice we never want to go
but once in the river we cannot halt the flow
our fates and actions are ever interlaced
yet when the sortilege has come unstuck
we always want to blame some vagrant mage
and not our own misuse of guile or glamour
our energies could in no way run amuck
is what we say and set down on the page
hoping in that way to avoid the fatal hammer
yet when it comes we hesitate and stammer
we want to hide and yet can't move to duck
our fear turns once more into dumb rage
we blame the fates we blame our stupid luck
we wonder just what brought us to this stage
for swift reprieve we want in vain to clamour
yet when the time comes we must truth face
we still may summon some remaining grace

seeking the right direction

a million journeys start from the same place
each of our footsteps makes a distinct mark
each spirit shows its presence in the face

the ones who win are those who play the ace
the game goes faster when we're in the dark
a million journeys start from the same place

what once we proudly did we now seek to erase
the joy we have does not raise a fresh spark
each spirit shows its presence in the face

what's generally believed is often not the case
on the great ship we've all wished to embark
a million journeys start from the same place

we praise uniqueness but others will now replace
what we have been and done things are that stark
each spirit shows its presence in the face

all things desired may come but bring no grace
the ship that voyages is followed by the shark
a million journeys start from the same place
each spirit shows its presence in the face

the rhetoric of injustice

the words we read don't matter any more
instead we listen to the speech of fools
the products of the better private schools
who foresee arrival at an imagined shore
they advocate things we'd not seen before
subordination to some fake ancient rules
thinking we're free we've become mere tools
befuddled we don't really know the score
the meanings we assign are not those true
significances that sit beyond our world
that plato thought were there we can refuse
to pay the bills on days when they fall due
the flag of our conviction has been furled
and we are lying when we think we choose

all our yesterdays

the glass will rise and all our days return
to where they were and it will not be cold
the flock will be released out of the fold
with frost our fingers will no longer burn
the breezes that above our heads now churn
will once more be both calm and controlled
we'll pay no price as we slowly grow old
but for long years of past time we will yearn
so now the names and faces of the past
grow faint their echo we'll not for long hear
who were those folk at last we will not know
onto strange rivers we have long been cast
the burdens we have none should ever bear
and where we've been you should never go

06 April 2007

enchanted to a stone

outside in the dark we know it's getting cold
the night will end with frost on every leaf
it's spring but we still face some wintry grief
the world reminds us we are growing old
no longer can we dare be straight or bold
time creeps upon us like a black-clad thief
there's no reward for being boss or chief
life's measured in a different kind of gold
grey in my beard thinning hair on my head
the beasts that whimper in the deepest night
have messages that i don't want to hear
each day i wonder why i get out of bed
what's there to see that does not hurt my sight
or sound outside that does not stun the ear

after effort calm

this afternoon could pass without a thought
we move through daylight noting only sky
the earth beneath us is not hard nor dry
the soil's compacted but it has been bought
the bird in flight in camera's been caught
mindful of beauty now we watch it fly
beyond our vision we've been told no lie
we smile to see what nature has wrought
now on this afternoon there's little heat
the blue of sky seems to us rather cold
yet grass is green and flowers palely white
there's silence on the gently sloping street
the calm of spring has us safe in its fold
much beauty yet to come before the night

the bird of memory

the winter doesn't take me back to youth
spring with its green and summer's heat
are signs to me of an eternal truth
the vulture flying high above our street
like a policeman on his normal beat
not caring what thoughts are in my head
its wings are steady and its gliding fleet
like me its thoughts are focused on the dead

one would expect the heart to melt with ruth
there are those folk whom i'll no longer greet
i'll not see again that old lady in the booth
there are those friends i can no longer meet
that girl's smile i remember it was sweet
i know that there's no hope and thus no dread
the vulture's wings make motions that are neat
like me its thoughts are focused on the dead

the one whose mind was swift as any sleuth
could not his fate to die in water cheat
that other who at no time was uncouth
i'll never hear the sound of his fast feet
he's gone as surely as last season's wheat
the worms on his young body now are fed
the vulture thinks of him as just more meat
like me its thoughts are focused on the dead

prince lord of hades who will us all defeat
don't let your power swell your awful head
the vulture's belly will soon be replete
like me its thoughts are focused on the dead

the map is not the place

what boundaries we draw never seem quite real
the maps show facts that change with changing years
a rearrangement of folks' hopes and of their fears
the making of charts is done by sight and feel
those things we see are simple products of the deal
the colours are but clothing that truth wears
they change in a moment and the change brings tears
we hope to stand but soon find we've got to kneel
the places look the same when seen from outer space
a visitor from the far stars would note but little change
here on the ground though we know it's not the same
the lines are drawn we alter names of place
those forts we build are in each other's range
we're a domestic species but know that we're not tame

another myth shattered

there's no prometheus lashed to the rock
no hero punished for the human liberation
the story that we know was meant to shock

the gods all stand convicted in the dock
we have abused their latest iteration
there's no prometheus lashed to the rock

to what purpose would we release the lock
that keeps us in our normal situation
the story that we know was meant to shock

we could not hear the midnight watcher's knock
were we to think of it as our salvation
there's no prometheus lashed to the rock

our souls and bodies were each placed in hock
by those who thought we'd reached full satiation
the story that we know was meant to shock

yet at the last we halt and then take stock
of everything that's led to our deflation
there's no prometheus lashed to the rock
the story that we know was meant to shock

the meaning of history

pasts misremembered are the story's heart
we tell ourselves the tale and are appeased
but in the end our hearts are never eased
we think it whole but know it only part
the stream was tainted from the very start
we did the things that satisfied and pleased
and even when the bill came never ceased
our lives became mere matter for the mart
the truth is we accomplished all our deeds
not for our freedom but simply to survive
and spread a glamour over the dying past
still that could not satisfy our urgent needs
what's deemed dead may one day revive
and its dread shadow over futures cast

05 April 2007

soneto en mal galego

o meu ser a min da risa
na noite vou viaxando
os ventos xa me van dando
máis nunca teño moita prisa
a lume da tua sorrisa
vale máis que moito gando
máis que el-rei don fernando
o amor resiste a forte brisa
no meio do ceo os astros
arden menos que o meu cor
mentras eu sigo baixando
pasando entre vellos castros
sufrindo sempre o mesmo dor
máis sempre vagamundeando

on the spring hillside

glass that reflects the gentle evening light
trees that in their full green are still not proud
words that come from the radio not too loud
we praise the coming of the cooling night
stars here will not shine as blazing-bright
as in those places far from the normal crowd
where darkness comes upon us like a shroud
the moon's a small sword that doesn't smite
within these walls we find a human peace
outside the the darkness has a face that's wild
each day's ending has its sad projection
we'll snuggle under the thick warming fleece
remembering as we do the hidden child
and glad that we no longer face rejection

none may imprison

if there's an answer we have not yet heard
we peck at thoughts like birds at a crumb
the syndrome's not expressed in a plain word
there's a better way than simple rule of thumb
but we test things here with a smart plumb
this village comes equipped with its own bars
the line we follow will not leave each numb
our minds are freed by pale light of the stars

the vision we're shown is not yet absurd
we listen but we don't hear the straight hum
our time we halve or quarter or even third
the music is not of the sort we'd strum
yet we are caught in a type of verbal scrum
our thoughts are shaken by the constant jars
our heads reecho to their deep inner drum
our minds are freed by pale light of the stars

in each heart there resides a rebel bird
that has the hardest time in keeping mum
we count the times its hatching has occurred
but don't confuse its egg for some rich plum
our bodies trap us in their private slum
we see the rich speed by in their smooth cars
our mouths may open but we remain dumb
our minds are freed by the pale light of stars

prince who has heard the engines beat and thrum
do not be hasty to condemn these wars
your thoughts do not add up to the full sum
our minds are freed by the pale light of stars

My Serenity Character

Your results:
You are Malcolm Reynolds (Captain)

Malcolm Reynolds (Captain)
Wash (Ship Pilot)
Zoe Washburne (Second-in-command)
Kaylee Frye (Ship Mechanic)
Dr. Simon Tam (Ship Medic)
Jayne Cobb (Mercenary)
Inara Serra (Companion)
River (Stowaway)
A Reaver (Cannibal)
Derrial Book (Shepherd)
Honest and a defender of the innocent.
You sometimes make mistakes in judgment
but you are generally good and
would protect your crew from harm.

Click here to take the "Which Serenity character are you?" quiz...

praise all our ignorance

these are the eyes that have not seen
the ears that have not ever heard
the sounds of music nor any word
of all the billions that so far have been
these are the faces of a sombre mien
all of them identical in the huge herd
and here the hands imitating bird
that have not touched the living green
at all events we've not had much
to do with matters set so far apart
that messengers cross in the night
nor would we to our bosoms clutch
the serpent that would swiftly dart
kill and then flee far from sight
instead we venerate the bright
creatures that have fled the hutch
and which will rise up with a start
when with temerity we'll touch
these beings of the mind and heart
and bring them softly to the light

there's a simple transformation

if we ask for something concrete we will get it that's the fear
but the work that we've been doing will content us not at all
as the leaves return to branches in the greening of the year

what we did when we were younger didn't mean a lack of care
but when we had little setbacks the noon sunlight didn't pall
if we ask for something concrete we will get it that's the fear

if we sang the songs of twilight they were all that we could bear
the world then seemed a large place now it seems to us quite small
as the leaves return to branches in the greening of the year

what we did was not the matter what did matter was the dare
that we faced the harshest times with standing up serene and tall
if we ask for something concrete we will get it that's the fear

if when there's a sudden stalling we consider why life's queer
then there'll be some moderation while we hasten to our fall
as the leaves return to branches in the greening of the year

so that there can be no question let's remember life's not fair
yet there are some simple moments when we hear the magic call
if we ask for something concrete we will get it that's the fear
as the leaves return to branches in the greening of the year

reading term papers

words put together but they tell no tale
instead they drive the reader up the wall
there's not a lick of sense in them at all
but no one here can understand my wail
too early in the day for either wine or ale
but not too soon for an internal squall
to make me want to run along the hall
instead i wonder just where did i fail
to teach just how to set the story down
all parts combining with coherent sense
instead i want to tear my thinning hair
it's not that the writer's a fool or clown
but that they seem so thick and dense
still there is solace in the cool noon air

a cooler day

after this rain cool breeze and sun
colours never faded in the least
blue clear above to furthest east
day continues on its steady run
such clarity will when all's done
promise great rejoicing and feast
all pain and suffering then released
whether or not the race is won
so here and there smallish birds
flit and peck and day rejoices
at their continuing evidence
for life is more than simple words
more appears in their voices
than in ordinary speech or sense

04 April 2007

No hay para tanto

No sigo porque ya no paso
a la vida siempre doy risa
para mi no hay mucha prisa,
el cielo siempre esta raso.
Nunca pregunto si, acaso,
los que siempre van a misa
piensan hacer una pesquisa
para establecer único caso.
Las horas ya se van fugando
hasta donde nadie sabe,
pero hay porque cantar;
ya la vida se va nadando,
nunca en un cuerpo cabe,
y a todos se van plantar.

spring storm

across the sky we find but little light
the rain is falling steady cold and grey
we're told that this is a long wet day
it will be cooler yet over the night
street illuminations do not seem bright
instead a pall hangs upon each way
it's not clear whether to go or stay
even the vulture will not take flight
i break my fast with cereal and tea
i watch the wind moving tops of trees
this seems to be part of a giant jest
somewhere a river flows down to sea
the reeds are swaying in a gentle breeze
and life is not set up to be a test

03 April 2007

some final lamentation

if in the end we do not choose
between the fire and the flood
we silence calls about the blood
and all together cool the fuse
there's nothing left here to abuse
the law has fallen with a thud
the bomb turns out to be a dud
and all our anger seems a ruse
instead we turn and look for light
the journey takes us to the east
but nowhere can we find our rest
there's no surcease even for night
the human tide turns to the beast
and no hope rises in the west

outside my office window

the memory of green will not sustain
through the long winter the dull grey
provides a chill even on brightest day
the sleeping trees awaken all my pain
there's never hope from snow or rain
it seems a tragedy bare branches sway
even the squiirrels don't seem to play
sunlight itself appears to groan and strain
now here these greens dark and pale
varied colours of the morning flowers
tell us that grey skies cannot truly last
the wind now soothes it does not wail
we have some perfect gentle hours
and throw our suffering into the past

Esbozo de un soneto

Nunca creo que saldré ileso
de las trampas que no toco,
aúnque tengo en mi coco
inteligencia y no queso.
Sin embargo, con mi seso
es posible que vuelvo loco,
porque hace ya muy poco,
no recuerdo mi último beso.
Sé que no hay para quejas
en el caso de mi olvido
porque es cuestión de gusto.
Más, mirando bajo cejas,
recuerdo a donde hayas ido
y un beso será justo.

long before the sun

fog on the ground at our departing hour
the dark weighs more than we might think
still we see in the distance a golden tower

we hope for that revivifying shower
to let the thirsty earth awake and drink
fog on the ground at our departing hour

in shadowy corner the small beasts cower
we note their eyes they never blink
still we see in the distance a golden tower

the hillside hides the city and the flower
no light comes through the smallest chink
fog on the ground at our departing hour

the lights of cars don't blind but glower
above the sky seems a deep pool of ink
still we see in the distance a golden tower

so we may have the joy but not the power
we're far from falling but still on the brink
fog on the ground at our departing hour
still we see in the distance a golden tower

a crashing bore

and suddenly silence and the screen's blank
face a steady amber light glows it mocks
my urgency that's the first of the shocks
hope has been low since last atlantis sank
the fields of mind are fallow weeds are rank
the ship of joy has foundered on the rocks
once mobile feet are prisoned in the stocks
there is no laughter outside the closed bank
time moves and outside we can see the light
creeping from eastward like a comic thief
and in the distance railway horns announce
that trains are coming and will take the right
of passage on that route the diesel's chief
while calm and justice weigh out by the ounce

02 April 2007

The human race

To run the simulacrum of a race
in microgravity high above the air,
eyes focused firmly on our sphere
feet on a treadmill in outer space;
that seems so odd in a small place,
a little hut located just up there
where burdens should be easier to bear;
this is a gesture of enchanted grace.
What thoughts come looking on this ball
where human life seethes and explodes,
while racing in a city far below?
Emotions formed running in free-fall
give sense and meaning to imagined roads
which we on earth may never truly know.

not yet enlightened

afternoon light calm on the green
no movement now but equipoise
the absence of the girls and boys
seeing only what must be seen
a moment now peaceful serene
before we turn to learned joys
far off the bustle and the noise
but closer now the human scene
what if we turn to inward ways
paths leading deeper in the mind
to sunlit groves as yet unbought
we are not actors in these plays
a different purpose we will find
from that which once we taught

not for what's said

a drop or two no more the message rain
to come or not to come that's hard to say
clouds promise much but this is an odd day
the wind is light but trees appear to strain
there's a signal but one not clear nor plain
april is here and then shall come bright may
the promised showers we hope are on the way
we need to wash away the deep dull stain
so time and tide may not for any wait
but still we're driven to meet the deadline hour
there's none but us will pay the butcher's bill
or not if that's what's to be decreed by fate
while captains play at chess in the dark tower
naught's left but fumbling in a greasy till

the truest purpose

there are no gifts that have not been earned
nothing comes easy but that which comes belongs
not to the multitudes not to the great throngs
but to those who worked and swore and yearned
those who were not for one minute turned
from the right path by thoughts of ill and wrongs
but in their hearts kept going the old soft songs
and for the goal with greatest ardour burned
now in the morning though the sky be grey
inside each human heart it's a bright sunlit blue
the story's known although it's not been told
this is the proper time and the due noble day
it matter's little what shade or what outer hue
the heart is filled with warmth the mind with gold

just before sunrise

there's something out there made of dark
the lights of shops and houses and cars
lights on the streets and lights of bars
don't repel it they don't even make a mark
while up above the stars seem to skylark
down here we have our battles and our wars
our collaborations and our sudden jars
and not one of us to the power of night will hark
and yet as dawn struggles out of the east
in the dim moments before return of sun
we seem to feel a thing other than dread
still we know that the sun will slay the beast
it's half-day's reign will soon at last be done
and the night worker will now seek his bed

01 April 2007

the cricket plays her old guitar

to be and not to seem that's the true end
our anger and our joy must be held down
the foulest one may turn out our fair friend

we aren't allowed to posture nor pretend
speak in the country as we do in town
to be and not to seem that's the true end

whatever we understand we must defend
the hero has the same rights as the clown
the foulest one may turn out our fair friend

it never matters what any might intend
we show a smile we also show a frown
to be and not to seem that's the true end

we're told to borrow and we're told to lend
the judge's robe becomes the scholar's gown
the foulest one may turn out our fair friend

what we receive will not be what we send
the workman's cap will not become a crown
to be and not to seem that's the true end
the foulest one may turn out our fair friend

there is no heresy

there's much to do and little time we're told
to do it all in and yet we each must find
within our hearts and deep in every mind
not just firm metal but the purest gold
the year changes from cold to hot to cold
and yet each day we're at the same old grind
driven by fear that we'll be left behind
and find ourselves to have become too old
now here's the deal at least we're so informed
the numbers change and so do all the signs
trees and machines mark out the hectic times
and yet we know that every heart that warmed
at sight of flower's been caught on age's tines
leaving us here with pale memory and rhymes

my folk of rain and calm

there's something here that soothes the tired eye
not just the calm and softness of the rain
pearl-grey and soft the clouds reframe the sky

we've waited and we've wondered at the drain
of strength and water from the tired ground
creek feeds to creek and river flows to plain

now here our steady quiet magnifies the sound
from radio and from bird the moments change
as we have come to value all we've found

all that's familiar does not now become strange
the world has turned the winds have taken cloud
the clouds have played their role in the exchange

and yet we know that nothing seems so loud
as all the growth that's brought together parts
into a complex whole of which nature is proud

and which brings comfort to the driest hearts

welcome all that comes

if we ask more than nature gives we lose
not only for the moment but for all
life does not answer our most urgent call
the thing we know is that each may refuse
and not need to give us any plain excuse
life's a wild dance not a sedate spring ball
green in the flag will never seem to pall
we need to act and we have but to choose
each time we face the rising eastern sun
each time we see it sink down in the west
we know the wheel has made its proper turn
and does it matter who has lost or won
or simply that each has faced their test
and come to understand and see and learn

at last some rain

let rain come the yellow haze covers
all of the earth at least all we can see
spewed forth by the calm dark tree
the germ-cells seeking their lovers
a sign that all of life now recovers
and from these forests down the lea
the heavy air smothers fly and bee
yet overhead a hungry hawk hovers
it's time to cleanse the natural spaces
wash off the pollen let green rise
each branch of nature does its part
but still the grey hangs on our faces
the dullness closes all our eyes
yet spring rejoices in each heart