Friday, May 28, 2010

If meditation depends on language

If meditation depends on language
what does language depend on?
what language you use depends on
what speech has reached your ears
until you have made it your own
and it seems to belong with you
as much as the thought you've known

If meditation depends on language
what does language depend on?
language depends on society
that surrounds the soul in living
until death enforces a change
and again the burst of migration
submersed in mind's own station

If meditation depends on language
what does language depend on?
it depends on the soul's vibration
translated into chattering thought
like breathing always it's spinning
like a top without end or beginning
by what mystery was it wraught?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

ditty: "poetry first"

Poetry first: but what comes first in poetry?
before the word comes silence long & deep
the primal mover proves well-versed in poetry
before the silence? primordial sleep
before the sleep? the root (wot those who know a tree)
indeed the height as well (quoth those who keep
an eye out for the ways of mountains steep)
dwells in something akin to olden poetry
who lose themselves may win that golden poetry


responsive to Rachel Dacus's statement, "New rule: poetry first, everything else second."

Saturday, May 22, 2010

ghazal: "how many?"

How many lingoes & lands have our tongues voiced?
how many pleas & commands have our tongues voiced?

every cell has a voice? every cloister broods?
how many fingers & hands have our tongues voiced?

the voice's orchestra pit brews persuasion
how many ifs buts & ands have our tongues voiced?

if even God has a voice where does he speak?
how many impotent plans have our tongues voiced?

amid voiceless night what might her silence mean?
how many Custer's-last-stands have our tongues voiced?

with Raphael's account having gone awry
how many steps of the dance have our tongues voiced?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

as the crow flies

As the flow cries sweetly home
far-wandering through the land
discursively preaching "roam!"
-- to the stones' glee

as the crow flies fleet alone
meandering on the wind
recursively reaching home
-- to the grown tree

Friday, May 7, 2010

ballade: "One minute is so minute"

One minute is so minute
one hour is likewise brief
the wise were presumed astute
could they apprehend the thief?
we've barely a chance to rhyme
'ere felled in the dance of time
too costly that martian quest!
one minute on earth seems best

Our minute is so minute
our hour is not our own
a second if time's first fruit
what second exists alone?
a second is first? absurd!
it's clearly the "second" word!
does "first" last a second? say
who's flummoxed the livelong day?

A minute is most minute
and yet not small as a second!
a second would play first flute
whenever our fancy beckoned
first fiddle we play all hour
the music all ours so seems
persuasion if love's first flower
who garners the fruit of dreams?

A minute might seem minute
within it: an hour of dreams
when ravished by time the loot
resides in the lute meseems

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

rubai (borrowing a sentence from Stephen Dobyns)

The poem's intention is found both
within the meaning of its words and in its sound

the forest's dimension's unwound both
by the ascension of its birds and by its ground

-- the spirit seeks a body for expression
-- soul's lingo leads to infinite digression

the river's extension's an outgrowth
of darkling keening till light's surging sea is found