Friday, May 14, 2010

Florid Functionalism

Faint with the hot sun, all birds again retire
loveliest in August, spent, but waiting for the harvest.
October arrives with its crickets and grasshoppers,
ready to rake in the leaves and autumn’s fire, weeds,
inauspicious food for the hungry cats. When frost first came,
did you feel like a watcher of the skies?

Feral, the animals wild, screech in the darkness.
Under a glass ceiling, in your conservatory,
neuralgia returns; just outside the greenhouse door you go,
chyle and chime, finding a way around pain,
the body’s algorithms working themselves out.
Inarticulate, the crickets continue; you think, “another day will come.”
Orion, like a soldier stands, and from its spirit,
nerveless and silent, you draw a new confidence.
Apples hang from the bough once again
like medicine, and you search the garden for hops
inquiring of the grasshopper’s leadership in stridor,
sensual summer now over. In spite of this freakish felinity
maybe the birds will come back.


Black Widow

Gravitational interaction, action and reaction, by natural
order and purpose, science tips religion: the wave lengths of
sound and light opposite on this gossamer planet, (address of insects.)
Semblance of silk and ruff or shroud, each web opposes gravity.
Arachnid, once anansi, as if you had hid all wisdom in a vegetable,
modiste and milliner of a tall shrub, pretty branch, or high corner,
equipoise of forces steadying each delicate costume apiece,
rid earth of every metaphor therein. You have outwitted us again,

Great Scot! You’d have us, were it not you were so easily outwitted in return.
Ruck crowd of flies beware, it’s no wonder you’ve been so likely to scare us;
a very tailor you’d make, were it not for your venom, a veritable dressmaker.
Dowager, what property have you that you would not have had past your better half?
Ilk of the eight-legged, also, and ignominious, as though other arachnids had cast you off,
eidolon of evil, no spider-man, you’ve been cast from their race, a spinning contest,
nocturnal time-keeper; in such rubiginous hour, who doesn’t need religion now?
Take your time, pest-killer. We’ll keep you in our garden but only for mutual benefit.


Double Helix

Helix unfurled, unraveled into a line, corkscrew and staircase straightened,
evening draws nigh on Mt. Ranier, as if the weather could be any wetter.
Unreal in this surreal world, the mountain in the mind is bending, (like Dali.)
Rollicking hills wind up in spiral fashion, like the rim of the Van Gogh’s cut ear.
Incensed by no lovely scent, but by his once favored doxy or his colleague, he
sloughs off the now dead skin as though the lobe could be reborn,
tears it from his body in an act of lunacy; or was it cut off in an untried brawl? If only
incense could sweeten that bloody smell. About what could the friends
converse from that point onward but maybe the converse lobe still held in tact?

Hope sinks beneath the weight of suffering; there is no way into the mountain, no
entrance except by runic lettering and moonlight, and the hero in his armor,
tears streaming down his cheek, faces the wind of the snow-covered peak,
entranced by its tentacles, mesmerized by the effects of at least one avalanche,
refuses to back down or leave the mystical rock before him, still flinching,
original sin neither entity nor object; there is no thought except victory,
number now that the foothills are so far south; the frostbitten wind pierces his skin,
yeti of a winter morning, abominable snowman; there is no mind of winter, only
minutes before the pilgrim—a minute pinprick on the edge of the universe—might die.


Idiomatic Indemnity

Igneous, this sapphire bracelet was born of fire, and
defeatist, I accept the mountain’s future eruption,
ignoble ambitions relegating me to a sofa cushion.
Obloquy follows politicians, but we escape such recognition,
macho moments reserved for muscle men and comic book characters.
Ablutions of the morning, aftershave and Ivory,
take the place of heroic tactic. We watch TV.
Ignominious defeat does not enter in our morning ritual,
cache of hair product, unfolded socks and ties, and make-up mineral.

Ignominy might meet us yet, as we shuffle out to the mailbox.
Native American creeks have been obliterated by driveways.
Daub on a little bit of hair gel and brush your teeth.
Ecumenism, in the name of unity, will drag us out to church,
macro lens photos of our double day of rest make moments a little Kodak.
Nativism serves tradition and through such our interests. We go out--anywhere.
Ileum stages of breakfast or lunch will find us walking in the park.
Tact will find us yet and make us better men. Give us a
yeoman job, and a solid piece of work; (and we will go far.)


In Memoriam, Sir Walter

Jealous gods in their Roman attire
encircle him in their holy light;
jealousy wears its emerald crown,
unaccustomed to a darker sight;
neither gold nor silver will stay their power,
east of Eden, west of hour.

Jejune heroes find themselves detained by Circe’s wild enticement,
and wiser ones follow fair Diana’s virtuous advisement;
raging clouds run before the wind and come to naught;
grumbling and ghostly like false love they’ve left him;
Olympian heirs and heiresses foraging for their flock, so find the
nautically-bound bard, bent on leaving to seek new worlds for gold.

Joy, like a wounded vassal, has swum out past the breaker,
all for the unrequited, whose pulse grows daily weaker.
Ubiety waxing philosophical, sets the sailor at ten o’clock,
niveous banks that were a season, send rivers down a mountaintop.
Tears shed in secret are so, like a flood of sorrow and woe in spring.
Years beyond his prime and infancy of love find him in his dotage.

Jeremiads, long and plaintive, all that’s bereft him, vie with eulogy,
elegy, and the lie that’s left him. Ill-born, he finds himself,
unblessed and pathetic, now one who would be beheaded.
Destiny has bought him a cursed love only, though it were sweeter,
erring yet never erring, while it did last; cursed is he who embraces now a body
stranger, returned to dust, such scorn burnt to embers with the ashes his sorrow’s lust.
Perjury was never his modus operandi, his vow, his name, beyond reproach.
Raleigh, death is proud, avenge not, fear not, the advance of death’s wailing coach,
insomuch that you’ve been faithful and true, justice is sure to right you.
towers of treasure, and the milk of Gods was yours, while love was with you.

Angelic Cynthia never fails the sea.
Nighttime sailors seek a course by such brightness and the stars,
days are no less, though it may not be apparent.

Jesus and jellyfish could never have been seen to walk on water,
erstwhile heaven could not see to see.
Truer words could not have been
spoken. You are a poet of an silver
age. Though stabbed in your bravery your soul lives on; thus
moonlight beckons all of us to shuffle likewise on.


Argument

for S. P.


Katabatic, the cool air, drives the kite to a disappointing end,
anticlimactic as the desultory weather. Just now
the black rook does not wait for the sun’s descent
arranging his feathers like a pack of cards;
but the seer stands and waits for a sign by sun and nascent moon;
apprehension rises at the spin of every star.
Tranquil is the black bird, who would overcharge us
if he had a mind toward money and, for its brilliance,
cheat us of a dime.

Kites would cheat us too if they had the time,
impolitic as fools, disintegrating in the rain.
Sage as fate, the wind moves, meaning nothing;
macabre as murder, the seer soothes, meaning
everything and nothing; but so do sophists avoid
torpidity and some hold stock in revelation.

Laura L Close