Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Sententiae


“Aloneness is alienation, solitude communion.”

“Solitude is the companionable presence of God.”


The Anchorite (1881) by Franz Ejsmond

Monday, January 8, 2018

The Short of It (more)


I listen to broken grass…

I listen to broken grass
Dried out by summer
Popping underfoot like
Frozen grass in winter.

***

Forbearance is silence…

Forbearance is silence,
Virtue of the meek.
Silence is complicity,
Oppression of the weak.

***

I like my coffee hot and black...

I like my coffee hot and black—
hot hornet stings,
black squid ink—
heady broth of
bitter cumin,
red pine smoke,
dusky forests,
blue lightning.

***

I like my tea hot and sweet...

I like my tea hot and sweet—
hot thermal blooms,
sweet billowing mists—
suffusing beverage of
crow-black herbs,
white-petal clouds,
distilled memories,
prophetic dreams.

***

THE JEWELER

Afternoon is a jeweler
Setting hours in gold,
As silver glinting waves
Slap the garnet shore.



Scottish shortbread fingers

Monday, January 1, 2018

Odds and Ends


This blog is a personal journal for public consumption:



Seated Figure (1989) by Ang Kiukok

The Short of It


You are the reflection...

You are the reflection on the pavement of a rainy day,
Mirror of the sky painted briefly by shadows of a bustling world.
Where is my soul but in your image?
Eternity will reveal your beauty glistening in the memory of water.

***

How dark the sky...

How dark the sky,
Bright the water
When silver fish
Reflect the moon.



Aphorisms


APHORISMS

A theory works until you try it out.

A theory corrected by experience is no longer a theory.

Wisdom is life experience applied to well-considered judgment.

Witness does not require words.

A partial truth is always more dangerous than an unalloyed truth or a varnished lie.

When you do not say what you mean, you cannot be trusted in anything you say.

Darkness arises from the absence or deficiency of light, obscurity from its excess.

Religion is a hat the devil wears to cover his horns.

Murderers are cowards who take advantage of a moment of weakness on the part of their victims.

Tinker to tamper is but one small step.

Do not surrender one handhold until you have grasped another.

When a pot fails to boil, turn up the heat.

He who builds the future without regard for the past is like one who looks into the mirror and promptly forgets what he sees.

Populism is an incomplete and degenerate form of democracy.

The government that lacks transparency evades accountability and in all probability has something to hide.

Under a tyranny the law is misused as an instrument of injustice, persecution, repression, and oppression.

The law used to perpetrate crime and to sanction impunity for crime is the misrule of law.

Correctly construed, the rule of law protects and upholds human rights and our God-given freedoms.

The rule of law creates, builds, and sustains just societies.

Originally published in The Penmen Review (October 16, 2017)



Thursday, December 21, 2017

Three Winter Poems


WINTER DAWN

In first wintry morning light
The window sill peeling paint
Has grown a beard of ice
Overnight. Glacial darkness
Now is luminous chill. Wan
Beams bounce about, silent.
Walls, doors, bed, and sofa
Glow like the full moon.
Hidden behind the horizon, a lantern
Reddens the sky, blue and gray.
Winsome, time turns, smiles
For the photographer, who
Traps the moment in amber
As eternity enters the room.


THREE MILES SOUTH OF THE CANADIAN BORDER

When Ragnarok comes, it will be bleakest winter. Snowstorms will pour forth incessantly, clotty ash engulfing the air. The sun will evaporate, the moon and stars join permanently with darkness. Rivers, lakes, oceans—vast expanses—will densify into sludge. Hills, trees, the entire land will disappear beneath rising snowy heaps. Wild animals, bony, starving, will wander about the whiteness. Domestic animals will perish from bitterest cold and neglect. Shuddering, everyone still alive will wrap themselves inside fireless caves.

When the world ends, it will all take place at the epicenter of all wretchedness, nexus of all misery, and seat of all gloom…three miles south of the Canadian border.


WINTER SOLSTICE
December 21, 1989

I am prisoner to conversation with an old man with a broken nose, mute with catarrh, sedentary and limping.
The window is squealing like a small animal, trapped.
Outside in the empty parking lot sits an abandoned car, dried out extinct turtle.

Dryness scrapes skin off the flaking season lying lifeless, electricity gone dead.
Clouds cast to the ground feeble eyes of a pallid man.
Trees written in charcoal thrust into the sky, exclaiming, “I am turned into a pillar of salt!”

Winter breaks its stony face against the hammering wind,
Dust and rocks mix with air,
Grass grinds like pebbles underfoot.

A warm room withers faster than a disconnected leaf.
Memories scatter twigs across the carpet.
Deaf to clapping, hooded thoughts wander.
Only blue sparks crackle in recognition.



Thursday, December 14, 2017

I climb...


I climb…

God, my Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet swift as those of hinds and enables me to go upon the heights.—Habakkuk 3:19

I climb the mountain swiftly like a sure-footed deer.
Chaos, noise, smoke, trains, ceaseless phalanxes rising disappear faster than pebbles rattling down a ravine.
Silence joins along, footfalls in his wake.
Awakened by sudden quiet, dark spirits of the forest shamble beneath a behemoth of shadows. Spotting no visitors, they turn back to probing the soil.
Clouds raise chins, disdainful at the intruder.
The guardian of the heights briskly snaps his cloak.
The sky bends its diaphragm, filling the lungs of the vault.
Rushing forward, winds burst, monsoon springs. The sun thrusts his spear.
At the summit a doorway opens to quickening vistas all around.
Who will stay beside me to gently touch my shoulder, telling me I am not alone?

Originally published in Cecile’s Writers (July 17, 2016)