Category Archives: Poetry

The Ladder of the Ages

The Ladder of the Ages

Let every absurdity happen,

All experience occur

All outrages be known

All dreams be tested.

We are climbing up the ladder of the ages

on these rungs.

Pan Periastral

To continue on the theme of mythological imagery in poems, the poem below is without a doubt one of my favorite examples of this that I ever wrote.

Pan Periastral was an erotic love-and-sex poem I wrote in December 2006 for a special occasion and a very special person, and a philosophical statement as well. The title—with its compound meaning for Pan, including 1) the randy god and really the whole amorous pantheon (Aphrodite, Eros), 2) a Brahman-cosmological “everything,” and 3) metonymy for physical Nature—was chosen in part to refer to the strong assertion in the poem of the inseparable expression of the ethereal, symbolic, and idealized (LOVE) in the actual, immediate, and sensorial (SEX). I felt that there was no need to separate this dichotomy, because through the latter you could experience the former—in fact, only through the animal could the transcendental be discovered.

You can also tell that I was influenced by the idea of Uranus and Gaea being in love, which you may remember from the same charming illustration in d’Aulaires’ Greek Myths that I do.

Pan Periastral

In celestial arms embrace
two worlds to float the firmament of heaven.
Orbits dance in brilliance
on twosome paths of starry night.

Sun-time melts in solar stillness
when the earth and sky adore.
On the surface senses stage
an ageless transcendental taction.
An atmosphere of touch
retells ethereal caress.

A feral huntress holds each breath
— a cosmos inhalation.
Her delicate advances move
through underbrush of wild ginger,
meanwhile hunger stalks with cyclopean manners.

Lepidoptera alight on limbs
and quiver concupiscent,
butterflies with tiger eyes
that fold to hold in storms.

Bumblebees brush desperate buds
and hum to dewy ocean flowers.
In the sibilance of sighing rushes
comes a thrum of nectar’s bliss.

Dolphins crash past rolling hills
in swells by curving
inlet shorelines,
wave crests cut by petrels
screaming tempest songs for gales.

Lured by lunar rhythm hard
against the bulwark shore the sea
of azured lapping lazuli now
beats to white-hot foamy flecks, and
Aphrodite’s born again
from copious delight.

A silver disc adorns the stillness.
The moon reflects on pools blood-black,
in tidal inkwell shadow
after calm receding light.

(dedicated to Evi Numen)

A Key Without a Door (work in progress)

Last year, I wrote quite a bit of poetry but only published a couple of the poems on this blog. This year I’d like to clean up and show more of the poetry I write. Last year’s many leftovers seem like a good place to start.

I was working on this one last year. I tried adding a fourth stanza tonight, but I wasn’t as satisfied with it. Nonetheless, there’s something I like about what I have so far and I decided to put it up regardless.

A Key Without a Door

If I could write words to dance on finger tips
And acrobatic letters to unfold you,
Would you come to me alive and speak new words,
Not echoes?

If I could carve magic signs for the golems in your mind,
Could you write a new truth on your skin of clay and dust
Casting ecstasy in form?

If I could draw lines to chart chthonic power,
Could you exhume your burial of umbrage
And from the barrow grow?

Armistice (work in progress)

Composed an earlier draft on Armistice Day one year ago, but this poem was never published until now.

Armistice

Once, an Armistice,
To end all wars. But
What was the cheering for?
If peace,
The enemy won too—then
What did the veterans die for?
Peace is the enemy of war,
And we’re for war,
Whenever you say.
Peace if we must, but
Victory first.

The veterans fought
So we could win.
V is for Victory, not
Veterans.
And they come back fine. But
Finer still if they don’t; then
We talk for them.
They dress in
Flags, for a box procession. They
Parade in the ground, carrying
Crosses. What
Service for their country!

Sanctum (work in progress)

Sanctum

You won’t find the old places if you go out to find them.
The ancestors live in stories, not out there.
Stillness meets you in quiet places, but no impressions of reverence
Reveal why those buried before you trembled, or sang.

Ancient drums don’t beat outside the cities, they
Bang in the blood.
When there is only silence,
The pulse you hear is the thrum of body before time.

No maps of secret knowledge guide you.
By night, the moon and stars chart no heavens within you.
You are the future untold by astrologers.

Unknown spirits do not speak and familiars do not whisper.
We do not petition pantheons and mystics.
The in-betweens are dispossessed, the decoration stripped.

You only hear yourself, alone.
When you need to fall, words catch you.
Afraid of becoming lost, we make much noise.

Nothing seizes you, nothing draws your living spirit deep
Unless you sit still and quiet, immense and absorbed.

When there is only silence,
You are delivered into the vast presence.

All-aloneness heeds the innermost places without words.