“Wee, sleeket, cowran, tim’rous beastie,
I’m truly sorry Man’s dominion
Has broken Nature’s social union!”
Robert Burns, “To a Mouse”
Rhyme and Verse
“The beauty, the mystery, the random organization of life, these are the precious memories we honor in scribbling the hearts song, line by line, verse by verse. These are the unspeakable utterances of eternity.”
The Ode to Anactoria
One man has his cavalry, another has his legions,
yet another has his ships, on all the earth
most beautiful to him. But to me it is the
single thing one loves.
How easy it is to make this understood
to anyone, for, far outstripping mortal
loveliness, Helen left her man—
and a good man too!—
Left him and went off to Troy, sailing
away with no thought for her child or parents,
not one glance back, but he led her astray,
Love did, at first sight.
The eyes of brides are easy to turn, light things,
lightly swayed by passion—which makes
me think now of Anactoria,
who isn’t here now.
I would rather see her lovely step
and her twinkling bright face
than Lydians process in pomp and
The fires of day have been. Dogs
bark at smoke-shadows rising into
a night sky that vast, is clean. Afar,
the stars echo our presence. We
dwell on island-space, villaged in
an ocean of time. Too complex to
be written, the universe is also too
simple to be understood. No pattern
cannot be mistaken for the real.
The light is gone, now there is only
the darkness, and its thundering
atttendant, silence. No motion, no
intention, disturbs the vast inertia.
All possibility exists simply, perceived
by mind, occurring somewhere then,
and therefore now. Thought dissipates
without echo; there is no response, no
– James Farned
Warmth abated, love belayed
Why? For what sun, nor moon
A galaxy distant pants
Cold. Nearsighted searchers launch: away!
Time immortal, beyond.
The faint echoes wither, and die.
Bright dawn still as shadows wander
Away, away my love does reason.
– James Jordan
Aloft on wings of Arabian steeds, Sailing downwind
o’er ancient spring desert, wildflowers bloom.
Why take the rains from Gobero, monsoons narry ascend!
Parched beasts crawl to their ancestral doom.
While the children lay down to die,
on beds of rainbow petals.
Brother, sister, mother, give their last sigh,
beyond the grave clouds cannot meddle.
The lost villages and buried worlds of yesterdays treasure,
have uncovered for so many, future’s uncertain gain
marking linear maps and straining many an eye
employing minds that seek unearthed pleasure
but are no greater or less sane
than those who eons ago most certainly understood, they too would die.
– James Jordan
Coplas a la muerte de su padre
O let the soul her slumbers break,
Let thought be quickened, and awake;
Awake to see
How soon this life is past and gone,
And death comes softly stealing on,
Swiftly our pleasures glide away,
Our hearts recall the distant day
With many sighs;
The moments that are speeding fast
We heed not, but the past—the past
More highly prize.
Our lives are rivers, gliding free
To that unfathomed, boundless sea,
The silent grave!
Thither all earthly pomp and boast
Roll, to be swallowed up and lost
In one dark wave.
Thither the mighty torrents stray,
Thither the brook pursues its way,
And tinkling rill,
There all are equal; side by side
The poor man and the son of pride
Lie calm and still.
Where is the King, Don Juan? Where
Each royal prince and noble heir
Of Aragon ?
Where are the courtly gallantries?
The deeds of love and high emprise,
In battle done?
Tourney and joust, that charmed the eye,
And scarf, and gorgeous panoply,
And nodding plume,
What were they but a pageant scene?
What but the garlands, gay and green, That deck the tomb?
– Jorge Manrique
To One In Paradise
Thou wast all that to me, love,
For which my soul did pine
A green isle in the sea, love,
A fountain and a shrine,
All wreathed with fairy fruits and flowers,
And all the flowers were mine.
Ah, dream too bright to last!
Ah, starry Hope! that didst arise
But to be overcast!
A voice from out the Future cries,
“On! on!”– but o’er the Past
(Dim gulf!) my spirit hovering lies
Mute, motionless, aghast!
For, alas! Alas! Me
The light of Life is o’er!
“No more- no more- no more-“
(Such language holds the solemn sea
To the sands upon the shore)
Shall bloom the thunder-blasted tree
Or the stricken eagle soar!
And all my days are trances,
And all my nightly dreams
Are where thy grey eye glances,
And where thy footstep gleams–
In what ethereal dances,
By what eternal streams.
– Edgar Allan Poe