POETRY Circles

Discussion in 'SHOWCASING' started by RiverNotch, Sep 28, 2015.

  1. Here's a wee showcase from a showcase, with a few new things. I seem to be getting better at this. Seem to. Maybe I'm not.

    I - The Road
    The Road
    A Dream
    Portraits and Phantoms
    The Wandering Dream to the Waking Man
    In the Sand

    II - The City
    Browsing through the Blue
    Spectrophotometry
    Blackout
    Vision of the Future
    Despair

    III - The Heavenly City
    House of Cards
    The Concert
    Seasons and Spirits
    Rituals
    Song of Death

    IV - Wisdom
    Song of Life
     
    #1 RiverNotch, Sep 28, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2015
  2. I - The Road

    THE ROAD

    The Road knows no bounds --
    It courses through the City then
    flies through the field, into the woods
    that wax and wane, until
    there are no more bees to craft the combs
    and again, plains, City lights,
    and another round of running.

    A DREAM

    Cities standing
    on the scalps of giants, still,
    dreaming. I wonder:
    when will they scratch their heads,
    pick the nits?

    PORTRAITS AND PHANTOMS

    Who is it? Who's knocking on my door?
    Heartbreaking rhythm going floor to floor,
    spreading like my bleed, oh, that crimson tide:
    another hard hello to bide.

    Black and white, chamber seething musk:
    its foundation, cheerless dusk.
    See how it sleeps, the emperor beast,
    lying in his sensual feast.

    Who is it? Who's interrupting me?
    But your rainbow fingers are electric glee:
    oh, how they make me too clearly see
    the subtlest signs of self-willed sin.

    Needles, hundreds of metal pricks:
    ooh, your mouth's my dirty fix!
    Sting me, bind me, wrap around me--
    Prometheus, give me your gin!

    Who is it? Who's embracing my form?
    Heaven's gift, a Holy water storm,
    all these implosions, messing with my ride:
    another sweet goodbye to bide?

    Orbs of glass, shoot the smoking gun:
    come on, my dear, we have to run!
    But here it comes: an ungodly flash,
    and we are swayed into ash.

    THE WANDERING DREAM TO THE WAKING MAN

    Through roads paved with the corpses of friends,
    we left the black wilderness behind
    for a little township rising by
    the river Lethe, the river of oblivion.
    Here we are. I remember,
    on this long journey,
    you were the stone on which my flames of passion bloomed,
    guarding my olive-halls from the hot hands
    of my temper, my lust.
    Steady companion, you always scouted
    down three-headed roads and returned
    with a map and a lamp in hand,
    and, when the victories of the road came upon us,
    you twined your tender voice around my paeans
    in perfect harmony.

    But you can share my load no longer
    and all your dreaming days are done.
    You miss your waking home's beloved light,
    where your eyes shine brighter than the stars
    and your tender frame is ever cradled
    warmly by the rosy hands of dawn.
    And my two feet can never stop:
    my soles are full of holes, never-healing ulcers
    carved by the gadfly's knife,
    and filled by the hands of greedy time
    with the sharp stones along the river's banks.
    Their only cure, a gift of nectar and ambrosia
    found far in the east, on the other side of the world,
    beyond exotic lands of men, beyond the coasts,
    beyond even the beard
    of the old man of the sea.

    So now, I leave you waiting
    at the township's docks,
    waiting for a well-tarred ship of horn
    adorned with flowers,
    with asphodels and poppies
    and hyacinths and adonis,
    flowers of love and death.
    I give you four golden gifts
    for the long journey ahead:
    four tender kisses firmly planted
    on your lips, flowing through your mouth,
    your tongue, your throat, to your
    heart. May they sustain you.

    And now, the grey ship arrives.
    I can hear its brazen bells
    ring to the songs of the seagulls
    circling round its silken sail.
    The time for you to pass away
    and the time for me to be forgotten
    comes. Goodbye, friend.

    IN THE SAND

    To move forward --
    right in front, left behind
    left in front, right behind
    -- is to be Apart
     
    #2 RiverNotch, Sep 28, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2015
  3. II - The City

    WAKING VISION

    We'll drift down streets
    of cold, corrupted stone
    when all old loves are dead,
    and new loves leave the birthing beds.

    BROWSING THROUGH THE BLUE

    Someday, my wall
    will be filled not with baby butt-faces
    or future models striking poses
    but with sickness.

    Someday, my wall
    will be filled not with pictures of yummy caek
    or memetically calculated heartache
    but with sorrow.

    Someday, my wall
    will be filled not with doodled-out distraction
    or silly slogans for inspiration
    but with silence.

    Someday, my wall
    will be filled not with the stench of a wild night
    or empty promises of morning light
    but with sleep.

    SPECTROPHOTOMETRY

    A column of light
    broken by streaks of blackness
    well-measured,
    each interrupting
    band a disappointment,
    a disease,
    a death in the family--
    traces of lead, silver, cinnabar--
    with the whole being
    just a perfect circle's arc
    pressed and stretched
    into this pillar
    for the viewer's convenience.

    Not even
    the subtlest implication
    of the circle must exist --
    light is a line, not a wheel,
    and the dutiful scientist
    asks no questions.
    Today must become yesterday, as
    tomorrow becomes today,
    and the dates on the calendar transform
    into memories, stories
    warped for the message,
    marks on the line graph.

    And our tests return
    no statistically relevant results.
    Try again,
    if you can.

    BLACKOUT

    What sweat!
    My flesh melts.
    My fat crackles.
    My blood boils.
    Smoke rises --
    the flame consumes the wick, and I
    am rendered bald! dumb, then,
    at last, hollow
    in the dark.

    DESPAIR

    I am the leaves of fall.
    I am the corn after harvest.
    I am the ash of the harvest.
    I am the chaff in the wind.

    I am the bite of the wind.
    I am the snows of winter.
    I am the waters of winter.
    I am the sinking earth.

    I am the unwelcome earth.
    I am the stubborn seed.
    I am the rejected seed.
    I am the whispers of lust.

    I am the children of lust.
    I am the flames of the forest.
    I am your hope in the forest.
    I am the coming of fall.
     
  4. III - The Heavenly City

    HOUSE OF CARDS

    Empty pockets and empty tables,
    what a night. On the mantle to your right,
    a deck of cards, covered in shadow: what,
    too lazy to light a fire? It's wintertime,
    you'll freeze to death.

    I told you, your houses lead nowhere:
    you know what cards are made for.
    You gotta invite your friends,
    call them to your table,
    earn some debts then place your bets
    and play--
    then you'll start talking sense!

    THE CONCERT

    The spotlights on the stage
    are burning blue on blue.
    Their eyes are set afire in this light.
    My hand is loose –
    the cold air stings me.

    The spotlights on the stage
    are glowing green and gold.
    Their flaming eyes are smothered by the dark.
    I squeeze your hand –
    my hot sweat stings me.

    SEASONS AND SPIRITS

    I can feel the heat of summer swinging
    with your every humid whisper.
    Writhing on your radiant temples
    are my fingers, greedy wine-stained serpents.

    Smells of freshly-drafted cider
    ripple from your noble dimples.
    Bothering spirits blue with autumn's bite
    follow this scent to steal our love away.

    Blossoming flames and heady beer
    refill your shriveled bosom with hot blood.
    The fearless rhythm of our winter love
    conquers the silver blind beyond.

    Flowers are blooming on your skin again:
    your vernal musk, your honey's wax, returns.
    A glen of cherry cordial lies
    dreaming sweetly in our cellar.

    RITUALS

    month of May --
    the fool buys latex
    for flowers

    bottle of wine
    and soul from the radio --
    a pear tree blooms

    tyrian sky --
    the briny fisherman
    hauls his catch

    two sea waves
    break each other --
    a perfect love

    SONG OF DEATH

    So, the world is round!
    It has its ups and downs--
    A water-wheel
    Guided by the Miller and His Son,
    Begotten One.

    Round and round the circle goes
    With the river's flow,
    And how the gears and axles spin,
    Guide the milling stone
    Grinding corn.

    Soon, the spokes break down,
    As mold and age corrupt the round--
    A brief command!
    So arrives the Son
    To pull us out.

    Then, to each, a place is given:
    Either the oven
    To cook the family's meal of bread
    Or the central hearth
    To give them warmth.
     
  5. IV - Wisdom

    SONG OF LIFE

    1 - The Comet
    In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth: as his spirit hovered over the face of the waters, he said, "Let there be light!" and there was light. And all the rest of the world followed out of the void, like the tail of a comet chasing after a star.

    2 - The Creation
    And from the waters and the earth God created man, forming him with his own hands, in his own image: and he breathed in him the breath of life, and he blessed him with the garden of paradise, and he gave him his word. Then, the LORD God made three women.

    The first was formed by the word of God from the light, and she was the true companion of man: her name was Desire. But Adam saw her creation in his waking, and he found disgust in her flesh, and disease in her blood, and destruction in her bones, and he scorned her. And she left the garden in despair, finding refuge in the dreams of man: she remained a virgin, with perfect youth and beauty.

    The second was formed by the word of God from every inch of flesh and blood and bone of Adam as he slept, and her name was Lilith. She saw herself as the true equal of man, but God knew that she could not cover him to receive his seed, so he exiled her from the garden. And she became the mother of the Lilin, the demons of the night.

    The third was formed by the hands of God from the rib of Adam as he slept, and she was named Eve. And man and woman left the garden together, after they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil: and man and woman died toiling, as they became bearers of wisdom.

    3 - Night
    The air is always flat this time of night,
    flat and cold and quiet, like the lake outside
    in wintertime. I slow my breathing down:
    I don't want to break the ice.

    When I go to bed, I never shut my light,
    a sun lamp. Why does no one let me walk outside?
    There, the twisted trunks of oak never shift,
    unlike the shadows of my bed.

    Like the shadows of my bed, the wilderness at night
    is home to demons fanged and clawed. But outside,
    at least, the horrors are familiar, real and steady
    in their motives, while my bed-sheets
    shelter only water.

    I've been swallowed whole before. I remember light,
    cold moonlight, crashing through the winter ice outside,
    filling my lungs, choking me, washing away my steady,
    never-failing faith. Then I was pulled up
    by the rooster's crow.

    4 - Morning Light
    Crowned bird, crow! Call forth the sun!
    And sceptered moon, sweet silver moon,
    see the world waking? Your time to rest!
    Return home to your chamber in the ocean:
    light a fire, enjoy your dinner,

    and don't forget to feed your fish,
    leviathan and your fellow stars.
    Then, when your brother rises high,
    sleep, moon! Let him rule. How the waking world
    waits for the music of your dreams--

    The waking world, the sensual world:
    where is the winter? where is the night?
    In this golden light, I am free
    to walk, to sail, to fly through this garden,
    and feel for the face of spring.

    5 - Wandering Dreams
    Under the shade of the old oak tree,
    we were gathering flowers, you and I,
    hyacinths blood-red and the marble lotus,
    when we were made one. And the serpent,

    whose eyes dreamed of ocean, filled our throats with song:
    but our tears were true -- our tears, clear and formless,
    altering no earthly colors -- and our love was pure --
    our love, the drifting scent, the passive cry,

    the questions and answers united, mounting high
    over hill and mountain. But our mother
    still burned white-hot with anger, when she saw
    our pale and perfect bodies breeched with wine

    and shards of glass: with blood-red petals, leaves of grass.
    Foolish wrath: were we not freed to love?
    Foolish children: so we were, but with time
    comes movement: summer, autumn, and the cold again.

    Even before death, there was already thirst:
    where we went for peace, far from the prying eyes
    of the beasts and the beetles, behemoth's song
    found its purpose. In the quiet heart of the garden

    stood alone the pomegranate tree,
    bending low with its fruit. And as the leaves fell
    and the summer wept, its blood-red seeds were sown
    deep into your flesh, then watered with ocean.

    6 - Afternoon Rain
    "Whispering wind, listening wind,
    what could compare to the loss of my love?"
    "The loss of a son", he says. "Your mother
    burned with an even hotter fever,
    when you left." And an eagle flies overhead.

    Dewdrops fall from the clouds,
    and father's eyes twinkle like the stars--
    they are the stars. But for whom does he weep,
    I wonder? Meanwhile, the sparrow's song
    grows soft, as the gold turns to ash.

    And from a whisper to a whirlwind,
    from a drizzle to a rainstorm, he continues:
    "With this grief, we could be doves again.
    We are destroyed by love, like the flower
    bearing fruit. Now listen to our songs!"

    7 - The Judge
    When man lost his arm, his father was reborn,
    his father the wise and watchful god,
    and when his father rejoined the heavens, the instrument returned,
    fully formed: from the blood-red seed of the pomegranate tree
    to the trunk of the tree of life,
    the old oak tree.

    There are no questions to be asked;
    there are no answers to be given.
    Death flies at the face of life,
    as the body returns to the waters and the earth,
    feeding the fish, the fowl, the flowers,
    the trees, the beetles, the serpents--
    and the spirit flies over the face of the waters,
    returning to God the breath of life,
    as the soul is lost unto the hands of the multitude...

    Only comfort. Man lost his arm three times.
    On the first, he lost his way,
    but he found his freedom.
    On the second, he lost his home,
    but he received his love.
    On the third, he lost his life,
    but he bore the multitude...

    Be still: here she comes,
    walking down the milky way.

    8 - The Prophet
    Today, my navel outshines me,
    for today, it is a dying star
    huffing its desperate last breath.

    The immense pressure of gravity's hands
    ever squeezing its fiery core
    at last compounds its every facet
    into a heavy hole in time.

    Its shell of gas and light erupts
    into a splendid rainbow of dust,
    of carbon and oxygen, iron and nitrogen,
    of water, earth, wind, and flame,
    of all the material elements.

    And this great cloud of stardust scatters
    beyond the world of my humble body,
    beyond the womb of mother earth,
    beyond the weirs across the heavens
    to create a brilliant legacy for their father
    by calling forth the comet.

    9 - The Waters of Death
    And the Word of God released the waters above and the waters below. For many days and many nights the windows of the heavens were opened, and the fountains of the earth overflowed: and the waters of death mingled with the waters of life. And the waters swelled and swelled, so that all the surface of the earth was covered, even the tops of the mountains, and all the spaces of the heavens were flooded, even the seats of the stars, and all the beasts of the earth were drowned, even the fish and the fowl: and the bodies of all living things floated on the face of the waters, then blackened and bloated with rot, then sank again into the seas, and upon the wet earth, and even unto the waters beneath the earth: and all the world was rendered formless and void...