March On, Oh My Soul

I am re-posting previous work during March.
Since 2014, I’ve published 30 original poems
for National Poetry Writing Month every April.

You can read more by clicking the NaPoWriMo widgets to the right

Lines Composed upon the Finished Perusal of a Large Volume of Poetry

The worst will be found toward the end of the book
When you’re scanning the lines of a weighty anthology.
Centuries have shaken what works can be shook,
What is old is refined—and I make no apology.

Angst-ridden ramblings, so fashionably bleak
Start appearing somewhere past the middle, I fear
With those modernist psyches, whose raggedly weak
And depressing confessions sling mud in the ear.

Like the scribblers of Suicide, brimming with bile
Or the autodestructive self-pitying boozer,
Whose quaint observations enshrining the vile
Are a crime against life and an art for the loser.

You ideologues, with your axes to grind,
Propagandizing causes in militant styles
Ought to stay in the hills, where the struggle is defined,
And spare us the old dialectical wiles.

The Feminist scribe, with her sex for a mouth,
Ever pressing her case, for fallopian reasons
Grows saggingly sterile. Her muses fly south
With the passing of harvests and goddessless seasons.

Absurdists, surrealists, and nihilist mystics
Whose hymns to destruction make glory of chaos
Should leave the black humor to God and ballistics.
Your poems, like Judas, are bound to betray us.

The Freudian flirt (whose neuroses abound),
And the Jungian shamans (their animas, too),
Ought to rest on their couches. Why should they be found
By the wellsprings of Spirit, whose guidance is true.

The art-lover’s lines gild a frame around Knowledge.
Their poems are like an art history course.
As they flit past the idols they studied in college
Their name-dropping odes are a grand tour-de-force.

Sixties drug-revelers, love beads a-jingle
And brothers dashiki-clad, howling at Nixon
No longer strike chords in my soul. Not a single sitar lick
Nor visions of hippie-chick vixen.

You rhymers and rappers of rhythms in sample
Whose words like a kick-drum send shock through old Whitey
Now cease from your chanting. The genre is ample.
Your gangstering paeans are too fly-by-nighty.

Revived Roman legions, who relish things Latin;
Your martial convictions inspire the hero.
But while you are looking for cities to flatten,
Remember: old Julius was nobler than Nero.

The theme of World Peace. This crops up near the ending:
A desperate hope for New-Agers and liberals,
Who cherish a dream of reality-bending
Through networking, magic, and energized crystals . . .

But what can be shaken shall perish, forgotten.
Anthologies show us that truth is enduring.
All praises and laurels shall prove misbegotten.
The Word become flesh is the most reassuring.

So I leave the anthology, closing its cover.
Three-quarters at least seemed like nonsense to me.
Yet still, I admit, I’m a poetry lover.
Let time do its work and in future—we’ll see . . .


Poetry Marches to Data

Data DrivenI am re-posting previous work during March.
Since 2014, I’ve published 30 original poems
for National Poetry Writing Month every April.

click the NaPoWriMo widgets to the right

Today’s DATA-DRIVEN offerings (Data is so very poetic):

backseat data-driver

data-baiting data-hooks

born 2b data-driven

gaining the data edge

immeasurable outcomes

kiss my assessment

paradigm paradiddle

     the adverse event

     thinking outside the data-driven box

     elemental parental health

intellectuational linguistics

     data talks— celery stalks

Marching Toward a Fall

I am re-posting previous work during March.
Since 2014, I’ve published 30 original poems
for National Poetry Writing Month every April.

You can read more by clicking the NaPoWriMo widgets to the right


Eutychus Awakes

 Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus,
who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on.
When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story
and was picked up dead.
[Acts 20:9]

Ye Olympian poets, hearken well
while the fall of a tragic youth I tell.
My Lydian lay, unsung by Homer
in pastoral ages far and former
shall warn and chasten your Patrician ears
recalling bygone Hellenistic years.
Pardon the insufficient gravitas—
the intention here is not blasphemous . . .

Saul, since Damascus and the desert days
had progressed to his apostolic phase;
a minor Asian town, Trojan Troas
lent him their ears. What we came to know as
Western Judeo-Christianity
was birthed in near-comic humanity.
But Saint Paul was completely serious;
feverishly focused, quite delirious.

And so the first story he narrated;
second, then a third story related,
foreshadowing from Moses’ law the Christ
and Gentile nations grafted in, or spliced
as shoots from a wild rebel olive tree;
the Eternal One who is Trinity . . .
and many other holy mysteries
he taught and unlocked with scriptural keys.
By his third story, some eyelids fluttered
the lamps burned low while his truths were uttered.
The allure of Aegean night was deep—
but he offered something greater than sleep.
Among them one languished, less than alert,
a young and exhausted Grecian convert.

Eutychus nodded, his frame barely propped,
in the night-freshened window. He had stopped
heeding Saint Paul who was preaching Jesus . . .
thus, the youth surrendered to Morpheus.

Unfortunate, weary, his tired head nods;
still exegeting from beyond, Paul plods.
Finally, the liminal threshold reached
E. falls— to encounter the power Paul preached.
His toga billowing as he plummets
from peaks of Christological summits,
he descends to gather cryptic renown
along with a dubious New Testament crown.

Was E. bored to death by St. Paul’s discourse?
Descending from grace—did he stay the course?
Or was his revival a first holy fruit
and an arrival by alternate route?
One wonders, in retrospect: was he saved?
—or is this a picture of mankind, depraved,
fallen in slumber, oblivious, dead
until Truth’s unkindness touches our head . . .
Like Lazarus, this one had to die twice
We ask: how many more deaths would suffice?
Did he talk to the Lord while departed?
Could he fathom what Jesus had started?
Like Luke’s blind man, the sin was not his own,
but that God’s power be openly shown.
For his pains, a two-fold resurrection:
rebirth, through Paul, and divine election.
(Unless the whole thing was allegory—
mere Jewish fable or pagan story . . .)
Don’t censure my Lydian levity
nor discount apostolic gravity
lamenting the youth bored to death by Paul;
we discern, in Eutychus, our own fall.
Revived, he learned, before the rest of us,
the difference between Christ and Morpheus.

If there be details still to verify
or vague scenarios to modify,
we shall, in heaven, request to hear it
from the lips of Eutychus’ own spirit.
(And then we can corroborate with Paul
The how and the who and the wherewithal.)

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