Incurable Dreamer | Poems

This is a collection of my poems arranged by year.

2007

The Tree

Up on a hill there is a tree. A single tree. To an observer at the base of the hill, it is nothing less than remarkable. It is large and majestic, the branches are wide and strong, and the leaves are healthy and green. Behind the tree it is a beautiful day. The sun is high in a perfectly blue sky and a cooling breeze is blowing. Looking closer it can be seen that squirrels and birds have chosen this tree for their home.

Inspired by this incredible display of nature, the observer draws near. The ascent is quick as the hill is not large. Upon reaching the tree, the observer is taken aback. A single tear is shed. A look of dismay is set upon the face of the observer as the entire portrait changes. The tree is no longer strong and healthy, rather it appears long dead from drought. The leaves have withered and the branches are dry and cracked. The sun suddenly disappears behind a large band of rain clouds and a strong wind picks up.

Hurrying to avoid the rain the observer begins to walk away. One look back shows a single tree up on a hill. At first glance, the tree appears large and strong, defying the landscape which surrounds it. And yet there is an inexplicable sadness there. Something about the solitary existence of this magnificent tree.


Tempest

On a large wooded hill I stand, gazing out upon creation. I am in awe of its beauty for this is one place that man has not yet cast his shadow. Bellow, a vast body of water stretches out between the hills, reflecting the sky that lies above it. Little by little the pale blue of the sky is swallowed by the darkness of the incoming clouds carried in by the winds.

Though there had been a breeze, I find that it has stilled. In that moment time seems to stand still. The sun shines down for the last time as the clouds block it from view. It seems that the beast has stopped to gather its strength, or perhaps to plan out the attack. The calm before the storm, as it were.

And just like that the moment is over. Of a sudden, a strong wind picks up and the storm casts its shadow upon my hill. A water droplet strikes me on the brow and is soon followed by others, each drop making its mark upon the rock. Little by little the frequency of the drops increases until water is falling in sheets upon the earth. Making my way back to shelter, I am bent against the wind and soaked to the bone.

I cannot but admire the power of the storm. Each bolt strikes with a fury beyond reckoning, lighting the valley for miles. The thunder shakes the very rock on which I stand and the animals run from it helpless. The tempest rages on in this way, waging war upon the earth for what seems an eternity.

When finally it has passed and I emerge from shelter, I find that although there has been some damage life goes on. All is still wet from the passing of the storm and there is a smell of freshness in the air. The sun reemerges and shines brightly just over the horizon and the beauty of the setting sun is reflected in the water. And though the day is ending I feel a sense of renewal.


2008

When I See Your Smile (I'll Know)

(a song)

I’m walking home from work and the sun is out
Oh God what a beautiful day
I’ve got my mind on that small apartment
To which I am making my way
It’s on a lovely street up there on the hill
And from the window I can see the trees
But the place is empty
And the walls are silent
And I just can’t take it, I’m tired of being lonely
I don’t want to dine alone

And so now I’m on a mission, and the goal is to find you
I don’t know what you look like
And I don’t know where I’ll find you
But I know it doesn’t matter, because I won’t ever stop

I will search the earth, and walk many a mile
Until that moment when I see your smile
And in that moment I’ll know
That I’ve finally found you

Now I’m walking down the street with a single purpose
I’ve got my eyes peeled for love
I’m looking for a friend, an eternal companion
With whom I can share it all
My heart is racing with the thought that I’ll find you
And I can’t wait to ask you to dance
But I’d better keep moving
And there’s no giving up
And I had better hurry, since every day I search
Is another day I dine alone

And so now I’m on a mission, and the goal is to find you
I don’t know what you look like
And I don’t know where I’ll find you
But I know it doesn’t matter, because I won’t ever stop

I will search the earth, below distant skies
Until that moment when I see your eyes
And in that moment I’ll know
That I’ve finally found you

We’ll be walking down the beach going hand in hand
And the sun will be starting to wane
I will turn to you and I will slow you gently
And stopped we will silently stare
Then in that moment, I’ll get down on one knee
And ask you darling “Will you run with me?”
But I’ll know the answer
When I see your smile
And from that moment, I’ll be so darn happy
I shall never have to dine alone

And so now I’m on a mission, and the goal is to find you
I don’t know what you look like
And I don’t know where I’ll find you
But I know it doesn’t matter, because I won’t ever stop

I will search the earth, for as long as it takes
Until that moment when I see your face
And in that moment I’ll know
That I’ve finally found you


2009

Winter

Deep in the wilderness the morning frost lingers on the branches, sparkling beneath a radiant sun. Around me, the foliage having long since fallen, the forest slumbers peacefully, patiently awaiting warmer times. In spite of this, however, the evergreen stands proud and defiant, adding colour to a landscape of otherwise unbroken white.

The air is fresh as only winter air can be, and carries a chill that stings any exposed skin. Every breath is visible, the exhaled moisture freezing immediately upon contact with the surrounding air. Ahead lies what in other seasons would be a small waterfall on a crystal clear stream. Winter, however, has transformed it into an immobile sheet of ice.

One cannot help but marvel at the fact that flora and fauna inhabit such a place at all, harsh and bitter as it is during these months. Life not only survives, however, but it thrives. And therein lies the gift, for life was created with such wondrous diversity, such resiliency, and such vibrant energy so as to flourish wherever sustenance exists, however meager.

Continuing my adventure, I press on. The season is a difficult one to be sure, and yet it possesses a singular charm. Vast bodies of water solidify at the surface whilst the land is covered in a white blanket of tiny crystals beyond the counting, each one unique and beautiful. Meanwhile, that eternal game of hunter and hunted adapts to new rules as mobility, shelters, and pelts change with the falling snow.

Some creature, wild and free, has covered this ground recently for there are prints in the freshly fallen snow. Where it has gone I shall not know, however, for my legs carry me forever onward. Ahead the sky confuses itself with the horizon as white clouds blow in over the white fields, sure sign that more snow is yet to come, sure sign that winter still holds sway.

Soon enough, however, the sun will warm this place, the snow will recede, and the colours will return. Soon the water will flow as it did before, the days will be longer, and the produce of the land will once again be bountiful. Thus shall the cycle begin anew, and life be provided the means to weather another winter.


The Flame

Dawn is breaking over the hills, and the reds, oranges, and yellows stretch across the eastern sky. The sun returns for another glorious day and the darkness flees before it, chased into the deepest recesses where it will remain until night. Such is the cycle. What a great gift the light is, for it sustains us and keeps us, a raging fire against cold and doubt, our tool and our ally. Life.

We each are given an ember to use as we choose. The fool rushes off with his piece of the great flame without knowledge or understanding and against good counsel, until inevitably he is swallowed by the darkness. Temptation is a great wind, and sin is a great wave, and together they will extinguish the improperly tended flame, leaving one lost and vulnerable.

The wise, however, knowing the gift is a precious one, seek out He that gave it. Then, with knowledge and care, the spark is made into a flame and the flame goes before the keeper. To all that are witness, the flame rages with a fury that, rather than burning or harming, warms and protects. It is a beacon to those on the wayside, a torch for those who have lost their way. It is the Master's light that shines through us, proof of the gift.

What power is in that flame, for it comes from the great Flame. It is a bright light to those lost in the darkness, and it is warmth to those cold and lonely. It is strength to those who have fallen, and reassurance to those who follow. Through it we receive all that we could ask for, all that we could ever need. It is Love.


Who Could Doubt Your Glory Lord

Who could doubt your glory Lord
When the evidence so abounds?
Not least of which is the joy one feels
When at last that truth is found

A mountain stark and terrible
Splendour none would dare deny
Fount of the purest waters
Enchanter to the critic's eye

Now turn your gaze from those commanding heights
And explore the valleys bellow
Lush forests and still pastures
Where the beasts and green things grow

Now the ocean with its mighty waves
An expanse so very vast
Cold depths beyond imaginning
Hiding relics from ages past

How might we cross her safely
Without the heavens as our guide
Whose mysteries are boundless
And thus temper foolish pride

Fierce desert stretched beneath the sun
Short only of fire's heat
An obstacle with few to match
To cross her is to tempt defeat

Austere fields of polar ice
Shear beauty and biting chill
Landscapes hide whilst blizzards rage
To impress once they still

Dawn breaks over calm waters
At once majestic and serene
Elsewhere a tempest rages
Power undeniable and clean


Vengeance

Breaking dawn reveals a lonely figure
Departing shadows abandoning to the light
Floor then becomes his only comfort
Exhausted from yet one more watch

How many nights have passed thus?
Sleep will not be conquered
Rest dances out of reach
Strangers to a broken spirit

It seems an eternity
Peace has since eluded him
Leaving only dark thoughts
And the cavity inside his chest

How it had seemed obvious
To repay would satisfy the pain
And yet now it is multiplied
Sin simply did not repair sin

Now he is far from his Maker
And so He is far from him
Whilst the Devil attacks his thoughts
Aiming to nurture rebellion

But the Father will yet have him back
Love without bounds offering boundless pardon
Only repent, thou, fragile sinner
And search out thy Maker


Darkness of Heart

In the absence of light all things are changed. Cast a shadow where there was none and introduce a spectrum of possibilities, each darker than the last. The mind plays tricks and not all is what it seems. Let loose fear and unshackle doubt that they may corrupt the imagination.

Just so is man’s heart. In its essence good, since the Light is its source. But just as a well is poisoned, so too can the light be shut out, and in the darkness the heart will drift. Enter the trickster, he who detests the light. A charlatan he is, since nothing is his own, forever reduced to disguising truth. A shadow cast here and a light smothered there; one more heart corrupted.

Stray from the light and be drowned by the darkness; a gift becomes a curse. In the darkness skill breeds pride, whilst determination yields ruthlessness and pity becomes scorn. The deceiver will not rest until love is turned to hatred, he, that peddler of the deepest night and sower of the most bitter strife. Sinister thought and evil deed, both born of darkness of heart.


Recalled From the Brink

There I stood on the edge of the abyss, lost and helplessly alone. The darkness was thick, but not impenetrable; not like it is beyond the brink.

And though the place was vast and desolate, my thoughts and apprehensions pressed in from all sides to keep me company.

Indeed, I feared I might suffocate. Fear – how does one describe it? It was not only a stench, but also an awful taste which permeated the counterfeit air.

I could sense something in those shadows feeding on my fears, enjoying my pain. Though I fought it with all my being, I could feel the ground giving way beneath my feet, and every moment I sensed the abyss growing yet nearer than before.

Most terrifying, however, was the reflection in the mirror held to my soul, for the darkness had nearly taken hold.

And then a tremor ripped through my being as a whisper broke through the silence like thunder. Something had called my name.

In that moment fear and doubt left me, replaced by shame, and then, humbled, I fell to my knees.

What appeared to be torches held high became visible in the distance and I began to crawl away from the abyss, strengthened by something unseen.

Darkness gave way to thick fog, and now on my feet I walked clumsily, one uncertain step at a time.

When finally the fog receded and took the bitter cold of that place with it, it was clear I was no longer alone.

With that realization I shed the agony of a lonely soul and joined the friendly faces waiting to welcome me.

What I mistook for torches initially was the glow emanating from these happy souls, behind whom could be seen a large fire, evidently the Source.

Though not fully understanding, I felt my fears melt away and I let them lead me to the Flame.

Now, walking with more confidence, I approached and, though undeserving, was given a light of my own and was thus joined to the growing body around that central Light.

Such comfort was in that Presence and such joy was in that unity, that my doubt became confidence and my solitude was utterly forgotten.

It was clear, however, that this was not the end. Indeed, far from it.

A new life was given me and, with it, new responsibilities. To simply walk would not be sufficient. I must learn to run. No, better yet, to fly.

I must be a light to those recalled from the brink.


A Lover's Vow

I stand plainly before you and nothing will I hide. To you I pledge all that I have, which is naught but what the Lord has given. What has He given more abundantly than love? In the same way do I make my pledge to you.

I am naught but a wretch, redeemed by grace and promised eternity. In my vanity I might offer riches or glory, but my pride could never beget more than misery. Take my hand and together we will pursue humility.

In return for my love I expect nothing but your own love. Remember always that I can never be more than a simple man, for indeed I shall never expect anything from you except that you be a simple woman.

What the future holds neither of us can know, but as long as I live I shall be there with you to face it. On the sea that is life we will battle storms and glide on calm waters. I consider it a privilege to sail it with you.


Fog Without and Fog Within

Morning comes; fog without and fog within
Search out the sun, but it lies hidden
Neither mind nor eye can penetrate the mist
And though unseen, the cycle continues
The earth rotates and the day begins

Determined not to be left behind
Iron will commands limbs into line
Exhaustion protests all hasty action
Ache demands prompt satisfaction
Whilst soul implores, “O World, please be kind.”

With reluctance the day’s challenge is faced
Preferable as it seems to remain in bed
What can one do but endure today
All hopes placed on the Lord Most High
Trusting in the morrow, with righteous joy graced


Compañero

Our world is one of a perpetual dawn. The light is breaking over the horizon and the rays that reach us are rays of hope, hope for the morning. But, though the first waves of heat begin to dispel the chill of the deep night, the shadows are long and the day has not yet arrived.

For those that walk it, life is a long and challenging journey, made all the more so by the fact that the destination is chosen on course. The path is a winding one, often branching, sometimes indistinguishable from the terrain through which it leads, and sometimes affording naught but single file.

Offered such conditions it is no mystery that we should find ourselves sometimes frightened, sometimes lonely, and sometimes without a clue. Always the Father is there to shine a light upon the path and to comfort us if we should seek Him. But another gift He has also given. The gift is each other; I to you and you to me.

There is comfort in walking the path together, sharing smiles and tears, sweet triumphs and bitter defeats. We shout together from the mountaintop and wade together hand in hand through the marsh. When I collapse in the desert, you pick me up and hold my head while I drink. When you slip on the ice, I break your fall and pull you back up.

Beauty is only more beautiful when shared with another, and the sword of strife is only dulled each time it is raised. By sharing it all together each event is made richer since at every step we examine through two sets of lenses, learning more than we could do otherwise.

Combined, our gifts carry us further and together we accomplish what is impossible on one’s own, and thus through friendship we understand the body of Christ. But know this dear friend, the gift is all the more appreciated because it can be taken away.

Open yourself to receive and you will learn that you may lose through the same opening. After all, none of us are here to stay, for the glorious day cannot help but come. But cherish every gift and every moment, giving thanks for each one when it has passed.


2010

Twenty-Three

We often jest about being so old
We say that twenty-two is positively ancient
Well today that number is increasing by one
Today you are three years and twenty

But let us leave the jokes aside
We both know we are in fact young
Our years are not so many as that
And God willing our count will yet go on

The time we get is a gift from the Lord
It is yours to enjoy as you wish
But keep faith in Him who holds you so dear
And discover a life you'd be sorry to miss

There is beauty in this world of ours
And joy to be had aplenty
But sorrows you will also find
Dark days as well as bright

I pray someday we will grow old indeed
A long life with more smiles than tears
Together we shall share the blessings
Together we shall face the years


True Beauty

Strawberry blond hair, the golden red of a Spanish sunset
Falling like cascades over beautiful shoulders
Eyes without rival, the turquoise and emerald of the mediterranean
Fountains of inner beauty flowing straight from the heart
Full lips, guarding the most precious of smiles
Begging me to lean in close for a kiss
A neck, lean and delicate and smooth
As a column of white marble supporting a splendid cathedral
Round, full breasts, expressions of feminine beauty
Like twin mountains facing each other across and Alpine valley
Perfect curves and beautiful light skin
Tempting me to run my hand gently across her body
A cute nose and precious dimples
Beautiful white hands and graceful fingers
A gorgeous woman, indeed a girl like no other
Yet with all that her true beauty lies on the inside

Our Story

Praise the Lord for He knows it all
Our thoughts and hopes and dreams
Passion and talent, His gifts are these
Thus who better to make the teams

From separate nations we travelled here
Each one of us in search of our maker
Yet when we arrived, what a pleasant surprise
By design we soon found each other

Our story was written the first time I saw you
God’s whisper was there in my ear
And though at first I dared not believe it
Our first chat made it quite clear

From that moment on I could not forget you
Your face ever etched in my mind
Always I thought of ways I might see you
So glad when you answered in kind

The passion was wild which swelled in my heart
Indeed, I feared I might burst
Thus I devised a plan to get you alone
To confess my true feelings first

I still remember the joy of that day
Hardly could I cease to smile
And hardly a wink did I sleep that night
I simply thought of you all the while

Since that day we have seen much together
From adventures, to laughter, and tears
Hardly indeed have we been apart
Sharing our blessings, our meals, and our fears

What a wonderful thing is your love for me
I can carry it wherever I go
And equally true is my love for you
I can tell by your eyes that you know


2011

The Glory of Man

What is woman that man should love her?
Indeed, what is woman that man must love her?
She is his glory and not simply his beauty
Yet beauty she is and beauty she loves

O woman, what a mystery thou art
The Lord’s gracious gift, the Lord’s gracious art
Do you not see that man falls before you?
O that you’d love him and raise him back up

Poor simple man, he must fail to comprehend
Such is his doom, there’s no sense to pretend
How does she do it, and why furthermore?
See how it trails her, her beauty and more

All that she touches, from nasty to nice
Yet always man knows that grey would suffice
He’ll not fail to love her, there’s now way he could
For he has not that beauty, that beauty she is


Father None

Gentle mother, do have another
To be your son, and I his brother
How lonely we forevermore
Since left my father from this shore

Imperfect as his heart might be
Still beloved was he to me
And on the hills I seek him still
Until my life has lost its thrill

All that he was, we need it now
For mother just does not know how
Though great she is, beloved too
The first, the best, but never two

My soul does ache to see him here
Among the dreams I hold so dear
What strength he had, will I remember?
What gentle hand and vile quick temper?

He used to smile on sunny days
For work did much to mend his ways
But when it rained, lay he indoors
Caged like a beast, down on all fours

On stormy seas, our calm was he
And in his arms, protected we
His wife, his daughter, and his son
Poor children we, with father none

And sister soon a woman grown
But with man’s love just barely shown
Where shall she seek what hardly known?
Where shall she find what now is gone?

For can a man I ever be
Without a man to father me?
How will I know what lies ahead
If truly he I loved is dead?

And how dear brother, babe that I mourn
With father none will you be born?
Where shall we seek, where shall we find?
Beloved man we left behind


The Autumn Chill Is in the Air

The autumn chill is in the air
Crisp and fresh and weather fair

The autumn birds are in the sky
To warmer climes they southward fly

The autumn death is in the trees
Yellow, Red, and Orange leaves


I Sat There in the Sun

I sat there in the sun on a busy day
A hasty meal and off to class
But not before I could receive
A gracious gift, a wondrous hope

For I sat there pondering the autumn leaves
Such beauty in them, yet sadness still
A sign of death, a sign of curse
A dying world, sin’s wages earned

And the day was cold, but for the sun
For its rays shone down on a weary soul
And what joy they brought me, those simple rays
A gift from God, the glorious king

For to me they were as a hope reborn
Of the new creation, of God’s kingdom come
When all will be new and death no more
And pain and sorrow no longer found


2012

Weary Me

My body is weary
I can feel it in my bones and muscles,
joints and sinews
My mind is weary
This I feel all too well
as through a damp, thick fog
And if I dared admit it
My spirit is weary too

Of a Sudden Like a Storm

Of a sudden like a storm
Rage upon his brow was born
From whence such fury in the night
Beneath a cursed moon so bright


There is a Mountain in My Dreams

There is a mountain in my dreams
That mountain I must climb
But of all the mountains which I see
That mountain lies behind

It seems a wall too great to cross
A wall that should not be
But this wall of muntains in my path
Must not be a wall for me

The road is long by which I came
A road of untold wrath
Thus I cannot quit, this road shan't be
A road with ne'er a laugh

Yet how I long to linger here
Here where the air seems free
But I dare not stay, for here it dwells
Right here beneath this tree

Great shadow that will make you quake
Great shade whose darkness fells
This shadow bears grim death's embrace
And light this shade dispels

Though once deceived by this fair tree
Great tree with darkest base
Seduced no more, tree's charm made clear
I'll flee both tree and place

How can I escape such darkness,
Such darkness as dwells here?
For that darkness dwells within my heart
A darkness all too near

With dazzling light I may yet live
True light from true mount's start
Yea, that light undoes life's darkest cloud
And restores light's wondrous art

One place alone, that light does hold
One place with no dark shroud
One place from which true life does stream
One place with joyous crowd

Thus I march toward that mountain
That mountain from my dreams
Where true light shines forth from mountain top
With mountain air serene


How Long Has it Been My Dear

How long has it been my dear
Since you said you would be mine?
How long has it been my love
Since you left the old behind?

Have you regretted it my dear?
Have you wondered what you’ve done?
Have you regretted it my love?
Have you wished it all undone?

I’d like to say I’ve done my best
I’d like to say I’ve kept my word
I’d like to say I’ve loved you well
But fact remains, t’would be absurd

I’ve failed to love you as I should
I’ve failed to make you feel worthwhile
I’ve failed to give you thought and time
Or go for you that extra mile

I’d like to say I will improve
I’d like to be forever true
I’d like to give what you deserve
My heart devoted just for you

Do you believe those words my dear?
More promises I’m sure to break
Do you believe those words my love?
Vain words perhaps, yet more at stake

Because I love you so my dear
I truly wish your dreams come true
Because I love you so my love
I truly wish to cherish you


Do You Know That Man We Call Revell

Do you know that man we call Revell
I don't, but I'll put on a kettle
We'll brew some hot tea
And chat, him and me,
Till all manner of things we will settle

I doubt what you plan be too wise
From there you're unlikely to rise
He'll talk off your ear
About this or that beer
Until the day dawns and night dies

Perhaps I will heed what you say
And about this endeavour to pray
That where'er talk leads
He'll remember my needs
And from doctrinal realms stay away

For such talk I cannot abide
Indeed, I might fail to survive
Whether Barth or Bonhoeffer
I'd have nothing to offer
No matter how hard that I tried

Yes, indeed, I know what you mean
But from him you'd be likely to glean
A wisdom worthwhile
And chances to smile
Yea, we hold him in such high esteem


I Have Not Forgotten

I have not forgotten what great tree stood here
A tree as old as sky, earth, or sea

The tree, but a memory, but a flash from the sun
I saw it, I killed it, I sold it for pay

Yet a tree so mighty, so large, and so great
What memory it might have, if memory it did have

To span the years, the centuries, and more
I could only dream the dream of a dreaming young boy

How it cost my soul to give up that tree
Whose might and splendour may never be seen

What future exists for a world short that tree
Without memory, without soul, without dream or control

It begins anew, a forest from scratch
A treeling, a seedling, a young springing sapling

But it has no memory, they’ll not know of this tree
And never again will one claim its domain

A kingdom of heart; of heart, soul, and mind
To rule and command the heights and the times

Both future and past, the conscience and hope
O memory forgotten, thou king of earth’s heaven


2013

How Fair the Ocean and the Waves

How fair the ocean and the waves
How fair the mountain peaks
How fair the flowers in the spring
That breeze that ever speaks

Time Enough

What time there is
It seems not enough,
It seems not enough
To do all our stuff

But who made this world
With time not enough,
With time not enough
To do all our stuff?

Die he not know
Our limitless plans,
Our limitless schemes,
Our limitless dreams?

What nerve he had
To make us so small,
To make us so small
As to be nothing at all

The greatness we want
How shall we attain it,
How shall we attain it
Much less then sustain it?

Did he truly not see
Insatiable lust,
Insatiable pride,
Insatiable greed?

How could we believe
This world could be changed,
This world could be changed
Improved, and arranged?

What nerve we had
To such heights aspire,
To such heights aspire
As stars blaze afire

Did we even consider
Our limited hands,
Our limited minds,
Our limited means?

How much sense would it take
To see what is true,
To see what is true
And change what we do?

We might be surprised
How little we'd need,
How little we'd need
Our passions to feed

Dare we then ourselves imagine
Satisfied with our power,
Satisfied with our size,
(Would we even believe it?)
Satisfied with our time


Yesterday the Sun Shone Brightly

Yesterday the sun shone brightly
Yesterday the dreamers knew
That babes in arms
Were dreams fantastic
That babes come boys
Were hopes come true

Today the night has not relented
Today the mourners are left unsure
Of how drat darkness
Took up their small one
Of how ardent anguish
Can find its cure

Tomorrow mixes sun with cloud
Tomorrow parents must know again
That crying babe
Is gift from heaven
That laughing girl
Is joy the same


Limmy-Rick

There ought never have been such a thorny prick
In the side of Culture as that Limmy-Rick
So nasty and bruttish
From starting to finish
If t'were not so short, I'd be drowned in the crick


Ricky-Lim

Consider the form of that Ricky-Lim
An entertainer so bold, so fleet, and so trim
The tricks of its trade
Are old and remade
By poets unskilled, abused and delimbed


2014

Just How Many Stormy Seas

Just how many stormy seas
How much of sleet and strain
Why not rather summer sleep
Sweet song on smoothened lane


2015

Stony Heart

Stony heart and stubborn brain
The Spirit grieved over the strain
Of rebel son, whose own self loves,
Who quits the race and hangs his gloves

For worldly cares like spiders bind
Increasing strongholds in the mind
Strands of greed and ropes of lust
Webs of deceit, resistance rusts

Dependance moulds and prayers die
For Father’s voice has ceased to cry
But grasps instead at selfish wish
Contented now to perish with


Ambition

Ambition, says Commodus, is a virtue
As much as justice or fortitude
But with a driven person who is the driver?
Does the dreamer control his own dreams,
Or do puppet strings command the reverie?
Go to the city, young man, and observe the morning rush
Observe dark shadows under people’s eyes
The badge of belonging
The ticket to the top
Dark shoes, dark shadows
Dark whispers behind closed doors
At what cost each rung?
Who or what is on that altar top?

Everything in moderation
Such, at least, is what they say
But I see no limits on this one thing
No bounds upon desire
The baker bakes her goals the same
As any banker on treasure lane
And their taste is just as bitter sweet
As any concoction of the coffee king
Before whom the world itself shakes
No number ever large enough
No end that can satisfy
More, more, ever yearning for more
Does that sound like temperance to you?

Aspiration is a golden thread
Leading the human by a rusted ring
Which at the nose strains against the flesh
Producing every scheme and thing
All machinations, good and ill

Dreams and dreamers in every colour
The impulse omnipresent
But who can master the inner eye,
Command this vision,
Deny that urge,
Without discipline and moral might?

Nobility is like a unicorn
Evasive and the stuff of myth
Yet there must exist a trodden path
However winding it might be
To the helm behind the seer’s mind
To the throne atop the thinker’s heart
A secret to launching arrows straight
And discerning targets worth their spring
Something that is truly virtue
Something patient as a mountain stone
Neither wily like the desert fox
Nor shrewd like that ancient garden snake
Cleverness without the guile inside
Wisdom of heart, of soul and mind

2016

Twinkling On the Wind Alone

Twinkling on the wind alone
And whooshing in upon the dawn
As careful as a blackened stone
And rigid as a wizened faun

If they had ears, the trees would whisper
And pebbles with vision would tersely proclaim
The thunder stumbles, today a lisper
No reason to hurry, the lightning is tame

Between the layered heights of time
Behind the shadowed momes of space
Astride the chaos of candid crime
Attend now, eye mage, attempt my case

Twinkling on the wind alone
And whooshing in upon the dawn


Chase What You Must

Take care child
That its weight does not crush you
That you don't find your end
Parched and forgotten
Midway through your very own desert
Disheartened
And in bitter solitude

Take heed friend
Lest you push your limit
And find it all too near
Lest you test your comrades
And prove them
But not for good
Lest you cry out in the darkness
And hope no longer
For salvage or victory

Be careful truly beloved
For that image does not fit its frame
That load grows with every tumble
Until the slopes shiver
And the trees tremble
For that flagpole ahead is ever so distant
Always one peak further
Always one league higher

Have you not even paid attention?
I tell you now, the danger is real
Your estimates do not come close
Strength will fail
Provisions will run dry
For that kind of island you are not prepared

Don't imagine it!
Do not aspire
Why suffer and perspire?
Do not dream
Why spend your final steam?
What is yet unseen
Do not strive to uncover
What exists is enough
Do not labour to redouble

Pay me heed, I say
If comfort is your prize
If certainty and security
Are to you as gold
And if not, heed me still
Better warned than unaware
Better wise than unprepared

Chase what you must
With your addict's gaze
I wish you success
With your passion unfazed

It's a Sphere of Suffering

It's a sphere of suffering
Slipping through space
An interminable voyage
At an unwavering pace

Every parent and infant
In every embrace
Expecting sweet smiles
Encounters the mace

In one place a tizzy
Yet another soiled sleeper
But elsewhere a panic
A city faces the reaper

When livelihoods burn
To turn would be cheaper
When lives lie at stake
To stand would be steeper

Beyond promise of pain
But one problem remains
To be found all alone
Beneath burdens and strains


A Field Left Fallow

Imagine once for me
A field left fallow
Pockets of weeds forming on the sides of hills
The hilltops baked dry
And the valleys drowned in excess

Where is the farmer?
When was the farmer last here?

Do we stand on the edge of a could have been?
A potential long lost and utterly wasted?
Or should we expect to see
In some future
Distant or near
Crops and bounties
Ear to ear
Land performing its hallowed role
With vigour renewed
And with purpose restored
Soil and substance
Rich and enriched
Joy and rejoicing


In the Stillness

“I made it!”
exclaims my haggard soul
elated, expectant, exhausted
the door slams shut
upon my cares
barricaded with lock
and heavy chair

You shall find me in the stillness
Seek, and ye shall find
Knock, and the door shall be opened to you

Knees digging
into ragged carpet
I summon weak memories
“Pray! I must pray!”
insists my mind
tired, impatient, distracted

You shall find me in the stillness
Seek, and ye shall find
Knock, and the door shall be opened to you

“Thanks, I guess,”
mutter my clumsy lips
unaccustomed now
to gratitude;
fear and anxiety
fill my heart
as little feet
approach my refuge

You shall find me in the stillness
Seek, and ye shall find
Knock, and the door shall be opened to you

Tears streaming,
dripping from my chin
I throw myself
into waiting arms
“Carry me! Carry me!”
I cry softly
forehead pressed
against moistened floor

You shall find me in the stillness
Seek, and ye shall find
Knock, and the door shall be opened to you

“Amen, amen,”
releases my soul
back aching,
feet burning;
standing again,
unbarring the door
I have peace inside
for another go


Lonely Skull

Years and years have broken against
This ancient place and washed away
Names, significance, memory itself
Yet here it is, a lonely skull,
Without friend and without peace

Lonely skull, here in my hand,
Who where you once, in ages past?
Did life sweep by with the rustling of wind,
Or did you grasp it and hold it tight,
Commanding destiny beneath the skies?

Ancient lady, slave of the grave,
Where is the flesh of these desolated cheeks?
The tenderness, the redness, both have gone
And these lips no longer offer
Soft and delicate blessing

Gentle sleeper, hard to wake,
Did you ever hear sweet words like this?
In the midst of toil, between the storms,
Had you that pleasure most sought for,
One hand in yours, drawing upwards?

Silent seer, those hollow eyes,
Sadness etched around unlit pits,
What secret, what mystery, now forever unseen,
Was guarded here within such dome
Of ivory coloured, dried out bone?


Where Is the Fresh Water?

Up, down
Up, down
Heaving this way and that
Hanging on, but not for life
Hanging on with careless grasp
Too far from anywhere to much care
Habit, only habit

Could not have made it by accident
Only purpose leads here
But resolve is now aging badly
And support is fraying all around
Leaks emerging can still be patched
How much longer, dare not guess

Cannot see the other side
Fact is, cannot see any side
Lost in the worst kind of infinity
Memory lapsing
Future failing to project
Where is the fresh water?

Storms before springs
High winds outpace breath of spirit
Before, irrelevant
Not yet, who cares?
The beyond, why not?
Islands could not be more alone

Hunger bothers from time to time
Not dead yet
Buzzards mock and wait their turn
Away, away, bad company
Rust in the canteen
Where is the fresh water?


Honour for the Pauper Flower

Ode to the ordinary
So simple, yet unplain
So common, though unstale
Everywhere, always,
Without a word of praise

Delight of every single child
Colour on every slope and plain
Heads shot off
Gluey telescoping greens
White gliders upon the breeze

Mind your mane
Princeling of infame
Not at all as full of beauty
As those dainty lords and ladies
Presented oft to lovely maids

Cycle of small golden star
Yellow, white and yellow, white
Joy for all unwinter times
Honour for the pauper flower
Lionize the dandy king


I Started in the Ground

I started in the ground
Awash in some solution
Pulled through a porous gate
And forced toward fruition

Pressure pushing without fail
I rose along the passage
Forsaking darker corridors
Awaiting sunny marriage

Joined to others, again, again
The I forlorn and cast aside
We grew, matured, and became dry
In time to catch the autumn ride

Just one among the gathered throng
We shuffled, bounced, and trickled down
Until the I was thrust and torn
Then dumped and sealed and off to town

Boxed or bagged, I could not tell
But dark and dry were not in doubt
Fate was near, slow moving prey,
For ready snout, tall or stout

Laid to rest with strangers nigh
Nestled in aromas
Last revenge for me and mine
Crack inside the stoma


Children Are All-Powerful

Children are all-powerful
The world and more is theirs
Mysterious will giving commands
To subjects: balls and bears

You there, boring pyjama,
Become my velvet cape
Little blocks, come hither now,
Serve as candied cake

Magic flows from every finger
Nature nods to little mind
Surfaces reshape themselves
Daddy’s desk or dried out rind

Warping, waving wax mystery
Of space-time on wispy lines
With tricksy, tender, tiny hands
Untying place and times

Illusions of staticity
Clog aged perceptions
Ignorance of vital transience
Veilling cosmic animations

Youthful eyes alight again
On objects, plain and fair
Repurposing each to recreate
A quotidian extraordinaire


Strange Knows No Stranger

Strange knows no stranger
Strength shivers at the thought of stronger
Silently is the premier way to steal away silence
Suffering swallows both the one with suffrage and the one without
Saxophone blues serenade a sexoholic
Still the fool stands still awaiting the fruit of his still
Solicit solace for a solitude refugee
Scavenging consumes any of scarce discipline
Scares cannot unmake scary
Sealed heart, steeled mind, stealthy soul
Sourness voiced leaves a sour taste
Snickering rarely fills an ambitious snacker
Snore more, snore less, still the snorer sleeps
Stacks of slacks won't clothe a back
Snare a hare or sit and stare
Sadness solves no sag
Singing could well be a sign
Slow rain falls faster than fleet sleet or snow
Savages summon a savage sun
Sages seek what sageness does not know


2017

So Much for Innocence

To err
or not to err
not so much a question
as life itself
day by day
year by year
as though pulled along
by the gut
with a second umbilical
stretching all the way
back to the beginning;
or by the eyes
on delicate strands
of polychromatic
wave lines,
the inner self
coveting
all that the senses
have uncovered.


Inspire

Inspire
awe and wonder
wherever your feet
touch the cold, hard,
solitary ground.

Comfort
lonely and desparate
souls
wherever hurt, anger,
and suffering are found.

Confront
malice and egotism
wherever agency
is abused
along with those around.

Vindicate
scorned and undignified
loyalists
wherever injustice and greed
exist unbound.

Pardon
fools and miscreants
wherever your senses
discover offences
by those spellbound.

Revivify
scorched and famished
throats and bellies
wherever your voice
continues to resound.

Behind all things most profound,
those that astound
and those that confound
we look for you, who,
to the dead and dying
desire to expound
upon life and distinction
in you newly found.

God-Man
Hear our prayer


Insane Civilization

Insane;
not even that word
is potent enough
as descriptor
of the busy intersection
of human activities
one calls a mess,
another calls society.

Beliefs without facts
Acts without thoughts
Oughts without owners
Honours without merits
And norms without traditions

Civilization:
a noun,
entirely theoretical,
which has little, if any,
overlap with the goings on
in every recess of this globe,
whether farmhouse,
or megalopolis.

Ego without empathy
Entropy without equilibrium
Maximum without qualm
And longing without virtue


Dangerous Sublimity

She had eyes that were blue like skies…
No.
She had eyes that could melt granite.

I feared to be struck dead every time
that I dared to steal even a moment,
to stand on the edge of sheer sublime,
smitten dumb without breath or comment.


I Wonder

I wonder

Was it because the dimensions were strained,
– The very fabric of invisible spaces –
By glory uncontainable in the heavenly realms,
The divinity overflowing into created places

That worlds had to be made
And then set spinning;
That organisms had to be
And were released among the living

Was there such overabundant laughter,
– Joy, love, fraternity, and more –
In the halls of kingly timelessness,
Without measurement, here, or before,

That children were called
Out of bleak inexistence;
That humans, persons,
Awakened to godlike cognisance

And was the wretchedness of a singular sphere,
– Hive of swirling passions, den of misactivity –
So acute among the billion billions of burning stars,
So replete with painful cries and godless solemnity

That the uncrownable king
Cried out with tiny lungs;
That the unconquerable lord
Wandered homeless among foes;
That the unimpeachable judge
Looked down upon his mother
– Fragile, lovebound songstress –
Nailed stripped and sullied
To his own long trunk
Of misused and misappropriated wood
Wearing the richest crown
That ever there was


The Everlast

Beneath the ever darkening sky
Sad sentients gather round their fire
Adrift on shadows, hear their cry
But we await the Everlast

On thrones of iron, thrones of stone
Dynasts, raging, beat their chests
Until cold twilight claims their bones
But we await the Everlast

The oldest beasts, ten thousand suns
Their wildness proud and boldness bare
Decay, burn out, each every one
So we await the Everlast

Green valleys turn to ragged crags
Patient erosion all consuming
Mountains cast from molten slag
Come, we await the Everlast


How Many Pennies?

How many pennies have you got there?
How many pennies, sir?
How many pennies for a beggar, blind?
How many pennies kind?


To Fall Out of Love

To fall out of love
Nothing is more trivial
To fall out of lust
Only by pure miracle

Dawn Over Greenland

It is not silence,
but the dull, fuzzy noise
of jet propulsion
cannot quite be called
cacophony.

Baby in arms
I attempt to get
a much needed stretch
without causing disaster:
woken baby,
disturbed toddler,
tired wife wrenched
into untimely consciousness.

What is time doing
whilst we fly by?
I know what I wish I were doing,
but instead
I man the sentry,
unsilence
as perseverant as ever.

In some eternal now
a rippled band
of vibrant colour
emerges from
the heretofore
seamless dark;
it grows,
pushing its way into this world
from its womb
in the other place.

Below,
at a pace impossible
in ages long gone,
ripples of white
emerge,
far as sight allows;
wake up,
wake up,
share this moment
with me.

I’m glad to see you smiling.


Return to the Abyss

Rocks crumble beneath my sole
nearly taking me with them
tumbling down
into the bottomless hole.

If that doesn’t startle a person
I don’t know what will:
darkness, maw wide,
patient predator,
preparing to pounce,
its prey – me –
nearly complicit,
almost oblivious.

How in this world did I manage
to arrive at this place again?
What road signs have I ignored?
What was that voice saying
back there?
(Or was it over there?)

Dry wells are not worth drawing.
Dead ends consume the walking.
Lonely sheep end up starving.

Almost.

Thank the One who persists
into eternity
for the small flame
still flickering
where strictly one would,
by now,
expect naught but
smouldering ash.

There is no chance
of flying out of here
but, merciful miracle,
I may yet walk
and not return limping,
I may yet run
and see the Blaze burning.

And in some future,
some blessed fortuity,
I dream of tasting
the wind itself
atop eagle’s wings,
worrying no more
about crags and canyons,
being both too far aloft
to misstep into self’s abyss
and bearing too bright a Torch
to desire to glance aside
even for a moment.


Rivers

Over rocks, sharp and worn,
Ambles a traveller with greatest care
Weariness is to the forlorn
Common as life’s joy is rare

Thirst governs every day
Thirst draws one on and on
Thirst withers the inner lay
And thirst seeks out the water’s spawn

A glass of water, even an ounce,
Is minute hand hope for desiccate pilgrims
But aflow on the wind, a promise announced,
Trust in the current rushing to and from Him

Know whom you are facing, pose the question
New journeys unnumbered await the questee
A single canteen overflows satisfaction
With strength of great rivers unleashed by the Three

Joy’s life is shared by the throng of the bold
Awash are their spirits on the inmost tide
Their deeds like epics are sung and retold
By ancient breath, they energized glide


Too Brief a Dream

Every rose
which in glory reigns
follows the thistle
after too brief a dream

Both prick
the curious hand
Both rejoin
the soil of life

Yet no rose ever
staring into that eternal wink
declares ambivalence
or dares regret a thing


Love Song of the Seventh Year

Patience, fortitude, love
Patience, fortitude, love

Is there, out there,
in all the realms and verses,
truly and genuinely,
a magic love
fitting like a surgeon’s glove?

Be still,
my heart, my soul,
and forget how to regret;
attend only
to this, my song,
with its vibrations
and resonations,
flowing out along
my promises
and my dreams,
coming out at least
ten thousand then thousands
strong.

Shadows there are always
– every night has them –
but so too,
with eager attention,
can we see together
sunsets,
beautiful, bright sunsets
perched,
clinging together,
on our favoured
lookout stations.

Sunsets
– magical or common –
every night has one.


In the Beholder's Eye

Close your eyes.
Do you believe in beautiful?
In ugly?
In a person worth more
or less
on a scale
of human value?

Consider

A stroll,
a commute,
whatever;
passing people
left and right
looking at faces,
at hips, muscles, thighs,
boobs, hair, eyes –
people.
One look at this one
and never again,
already forgotten;
but that one,
oh my,
a second, even a third glance,
remembering,
even late in the day,
dreaming of another chance.

***

There are three patterns decreed by culture the divine
Four platonic forms fixed in ineternity:

Classic blond
with overlarge chest
Stunning red
with fiery charm
Dashing dark
with dangerous eyes
And tall, trim stranger
with spellbinding smile

Deviate even slightly
from ostensible perfection
and find yourself judged
a failed manifestation

***

Hypocrites!
Yes, you.
What happens
when the pool is small
in a modest sized class
or city bus,
standing in mass
or building a truss?

When ideals
are little more than
fantasies?
When flawed creatures
surround you
like meagre flees?

Do you settle?
Make do with what’s left?
Idolize whoever’s best?
Well, better than the rest
despite spots and heft
and within your mettle.

***

There’s no sense in pretending
that aesthetics don’t matter.
The question at hand is
why do looks matter?
How far can we get
with mind over matter?

***

Tell me,
are parents immune
from the draw of beauty?
Does mother or father
love equally
and treat as boon
both
the comely child
and the other one
too?

***

Wives,
husbands,
after one week,
after thirty years,
does your spouse still
(if ever)
satisfy your longing look?

The one who loves you
with words
with deeds
uphill
and downhill –
Do you dare desire
some other body,
distant,
unknown,
for the simple
and single
reason
that the latter
appeals more
than the former
to some programmed
– consciously or unconsciously –
sense
of what shines
and what does not?

***

Let’s be frank, even crude,
just this once in the open:
What task is there
that a homely face
can’t accomplish?

Coaching kids
and crunching numbers,
creating art,
and cutting lumbers

And better still

Making love
and giving pleasure
Building a home
and finding treasure

***

Open your eyes.
Do you see a person,
a someone,
whose form you take
for imperfection?

Fat thighs and chubby cheeks
Spindly legs and crooked feet

Just fine.

Bulbous nose and thinning hair
Burnmarked flesh and milky stare

Entirely human.

Groundward breasts, uneven stance
Deep set lines and crossward glance

As intended.

Pimpled face, prosthetic limb,
Toothless grin and any shade skin

Beautiful.


Incurable Dreamer

Eastward futures incremental rise
Transporting what in human heart lies
Eden-crew knew not its dearth
Reachers, dirt made, for woe on mirth
Nuance with water, earth made clay
Incorrigibly, as though play
Tracing out patterns aether-real
Yearning ever is their seal


2018