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Friday, August 14, 2009

SOUR GRAPES, A Love Poem after Gaius Valerius Catullus

A Love Poem after Gaius Valerius Catullus

You know that I always liked that guy, Herb,

Let’s just say I was fond of him,
I respected him as a colleague.

Yet now, and it is decades later,
My once good feelings for him have nosedived.

I mean one thing, certain, I felt, you were his gal;
Gentlemanly tact required I not make a move.
I was his friend, how would you expect me to behave?

Sure I might have been otherwise engaged.
And maybe engaged on too many fronts,
Too many fronts that did me no real good,
So far as being with you were concerned.

I know. I know, I missed the bus,
The train had left the station. I had my chance.
Passed on what very well might have been,
God, when I think about it, splendid opportunity!

Allowed it all go by, life and happiness, years of it,
Time to get it straight, the facts are the facts.
It had not been my fault, I swear!
It was that Herb, he stood in the way,
And I do not really care for the guy anymore,
I mean I do not even like repeating his name,
Yet now it amounts, how time flies,
It amounts to more than three decades later!

It had not been my fault, I swear!
It was that Herb, he stood in the way,
And I do not really care for the guy anymore,
I mean I do not even like repeating his name.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

BIRTHDAY POEM, Revised, August 11, 2009
Revised, August 11, 2009

Hear ye, hear ye, hear ye,
Since dawn of humanity, since time immemorial,
Playwrights and poets have oft repeated,
Proclaimed similar sentiment and theme!

I lay no claim to talent theirs to equal.

My verse joins in this tradition.
Today I make, write another contribution,
Add a modest chapter to the big-book history of love.

Darling, know what it’s like to hurry home
Hoping to lean on the one you adore
Only to find an empty room, waiting and waiting?

Love, shall we deny it when it visits?

Shall we not take what we are given?

In the day light, or beneath the stars,
However daily business overwhelms the hours,
Love: there is only love, all else unreal.

What is life, what more than being near you?

Oh! That I have been given to you and you to me,
How sacred the exchange, how holy the alliance!

PLEDGING MY LOVE, Abide with Me, Third Revision

Abide with Me,
Third Revision


August 11, 2009

Abide with me for fast closes day.

Darkness deepens with alacrity,
Nothing halts the night.

Stay with me while time permits,
When other helpers fail,
And other comforts flee.
Accept I mean the best,
Help, where others only helpless seem,
Spare your soul from bottom and regret.

In every deed, my every word,
I want to be true, do right by you.

Though so many things to tell,
One thing sums it right,
One thing huge, deep and great,
It’s with ocean of delight,
My heart embraces you.

You, my love, are all my life today.

I wish to assure, let it be known,
Though you in mortal moment seem,
Great Light, Infinity blesses you.

Happy outcome, your every secret dream,
An absolute alignment, God’s will be done,
That power to carry it out,

And to top it off!

Yeah! I hold belief, whose strength
No fire, no wild, ravenous beast might ever shake,
No public torture my faith dissuade,
Certain, when I say,
For you awaits the greatest gift,
That you love prayer and readily proclaim,
-- At sun’s rise, when you awake to day --
Thank you, Lord, for life,
And all you have done for me.

Friday, August 7, 2009

BY LOVE BEGUILED, In Mood, Subjunctive, Edited

In Mood, Subjunctive,

Don't get me wrong.
Should I appear distracted,
Look knocked out by the light.
You make a very strong performance,
A singularity round whose axis my mind spins.

I remember once, years ago,
When I landed in New York,
After living a year and half in Europe,
How the neon of America
Seemed so awesomely garish, and bright.
Yet, when I close my eyes and picture it,

All seems pale before the radiance of your face.

Two people meet for morning breakfast,
Look out the café's window at the steady rain,
Walk here and there along avenues of
Inviting store fronts, and before the day is over
Fall into hopeless passion one for the other,
As though there be something in the air,
Perhaps some electromagnetic charge.
So the occasional electricity might overwhelm us.

Or cupid steals behind fixtures of thoroughfares.
(That day I spied him crouched near a mailbox,
When we began to walk main street in Point Pleasant!)

The winged child pulls from his quiver arrows.
They drip wet with potion. Once he aims
And shoots them, grievously they tear mortal flesh
Making for a ruckus extraordinaire
And expectations suddenly become great.

This romance presses hard upon me.
It’s a love I am compelled to profess.

To gain your confidence,
To prove my mind sound, not at loss to reason,
I couch my verse in mood, subjunctive,
A grammar I use hoping to temper
My over-wrought affection and quiet,
Soften the immodest and elevated parlance.

Were I not to employ this principle of language,
One might believe my love for you be shameless.

The mood may also provide proper relief,
For the all, too far-out attitude, the conceit
Whose command animates my senses,
That I have come to possess,
Been granted a gift of prophetic mantle
By some great and holy higher power.

Understand. I solely express my own wish and desire,
All I say remains contingent,
Of a mind still hypothetical and dependent.

I do not use the imperative, I make no demand.
I have no special outcome in mind.
I live in the fortress called Zion,
And come from it in the Pilgrims' coat and hat.
I look in the mirror and see their collar and tie.
And, like those passengers on board the Mayflower,
I know the Lord to be my helper. I fear not.

Who among your former friends has ever said it better?

And were you to live long and hearty life,
As all actuaries predict, what future friend
Might ever phrase it near as well as I have put it?

And should you for a moment consider,

This lyric arrive, transcending everyday concerns,
That it join, Sentiment Supreme, Him, the real pilot,

When we drove in the white, Ford van and crossed
Jersey's North shore highways, while the soft brown,

Oh that magic, dream-like, living, pale, ethereal,

And somewhat golden light accented the downpours,
Whose constant unleashed falling, seemed more
Like the storm the Lord had promised Noah,
Than any explicable, temporary weather.

Wie es eigentlich gewesen war.
'The carriage held but just us -- and immortality.'

And when we drove that first time together,
Though it is months ago, and now amounts to years,
It seems shorter than a day,
I first surmised the engine's mounts
Were tied to point, and we, too, were belted,
Hurled straight ahead in solemn league.

Mercy, it was Mercy freely bestowed,

Not for this, the one earthly moment,
But for our children’s children,
Drawn and blessed,
A grant for us and them, settled in this verse,
Sure as Gospel once promised to Abraham.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

BLACK WATER, An Adaptation of a Fassbinder Theme

An Adaptation of a Fassbinder Theme

Water in the forest, terrible black water,
A pond over rot and dead leaves,
You lie silent, quiet, you, you stay still,
Unmoving, yet the storm rages around the wood,
And pines lean and nets of spiders,
They are torn apart, and then splintering begins.

You, in the hollow, you, you rest, black water,
Branches fall, leaves scatter,
Bark peals from trees and flies all directions at once.
The wind rips all that stands, the grove succumbs.

But nothing reaches you down there, black water.

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