March 3, 2024 Poetry

Rare Thoughts

Rare Thoughts Artwork by DALL·E
An emanation of Narcissus

The Virgin with wide eyes and glossy hair

            the grape leaves filligreed in oaken beam

      add depth and heft to contingent contained thought

            the sculptures fill a niche within the mind

	          while gracing nave and sanctuary

		☨ ☨ ☨ 

Narcissus distilled pure presence in his life

            to create Goldmund

      cured him of his blindness and set him out

	          to wander, assignate, witness the dead

		        detect the Earth-mother in every stalk of the field

      know the world in its fecundity

	          its convulsions and resilience

            an empire that grows from a cloister cell

			      an epic spun from an iota

		☨ ☨ ☨ 

	          Narcissus’s heart with universal compass

		        thus gathered the world in mouth and hands

		☨ ☨ ☨ 

      Who among us is so small dimensioned

	          as to lack a second nature that ventures windward

		        into whatever storm it must?

		☨ ☨ ☨ 

The errant quests of Goldmund are wisps scarcely recalled

	          ineffable as tumbling verses, as a kiss in fleeing mists

      As for Narcissus, he persists

            and clasps these fine-traced lines to his capacious soul

			      a sacrament to love

		        a benediction through the age

Rare earths
I pace an iron ground.
     Oaks stand as monuments to a relentless soil
          where paths once beckoned to the forest.
     Every branch bears some mite and
     every mite some phage
in spontaneous generation from the despoiled dark

That sloppy veneer carrying currents of half-life metals
          emits pesky questions like sparks from the welder’s gun
     toward our debonair indifferences
     swept into the savage winnings of card sharp compositors

Nitrogen now bubbles from toiled roots
     I’ll be panting from some busted ionic bond
Whoever manages a barricade to bring a moratorium to the world’s madness
          rings out and we shout back in chordate solidarity

Dear oaks
     Don’t stand in my way.
Let me have that silken kiss of stone

Zyklon Briefing
They meet in basements.
They find one another in a college symposium.
They gather in a penthouse.

The plans were to seize rebels among the villagers.
The plans were to drive out the villagers.
The plans were to gun down all the villagers.

Posters around the city extol the leaders’ unflinching devotion.
Social media demonize the despised encroachers.
Videos flaunt the murders.
Newspaper reports suppress the murders.

Investigators cannot identify the unearthed remains.
Historians single out rogue actors.
Citizens deny any knowledge.
Schoolteachers skip over the relevant years.

Selection begins for the next victims.