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Still More of Joe Dees' poetry
« on: 2002-08-25 23:48:07 »
Here's some more of my work.
Not You-thanasia: I expire!
So I take this statement personally.
Thus I must be careful, clear, precise
And shape well this first draft of heart's desire
For fickle future guarantees
Not one revision ere demise.
I love my life, and can't conceive
What it could be like to lack for it.
I plan to spend my last breath's force
Struggling to draw just one breath more
And my last heartbeat loving leave;
But one can't love life unaware of it.
I require not movement, nor pain excised
Nor sex, nor peace of sanity
But consciousness. If paralyzed,
I can still read and watch TV
Listen to music and feel the sea
Or taste an apple, or smell bread bake
Remember, imagine, communicate
Know, think, experience, learn, create.
If I'm in pain, do what you can
To dull what you can without addling my brain;
Permit me to bear the rest of it
And if I'm brain-damaged or deranged -
Even if living is dim or strange -
Please help me to make the best of it.
But if rendered vegetal, ne'er to wake
That's death, as I define the term.
So don't feed a zombie on a tape
Or respirate just to stymie worms.
Just let my flesh wither when it's cored
For it's of no further use to me.
What others need, to them afford
And powder the dross for sun or sea.
Pagans and Progress:
The Invasion of Sanctuary
At the appointed place
The brisk breeze tears onshore
With a fine salt kiss
And the sea sparkles like first romance.
The sun sets smoothly:
A golden plum leaching into azure pudding
And - surprise! - a half-moon bows westward;
A crisp white semisphere rising in the still-blue sky.
The beach foliage is packed and not-quite-smooth
But solid, like broccoli florets or coral on a reef.
Yet a bowsprit part wends its brown way through
Like a snail track through slime
The yellow snail dozer asleep beside.
Even here the roads are rolling.
The shining apple cities
Beckon, and we, the
Prodigals, drawn from the constant glow
To a brighter brittler burning
Renounce the genetic shackles of landed gentryhood
And flee the heritage for the promise.
For the darker side, the apples
Beckon too, and we, the
Prodigals, drawn from sharecropping serfdoms
To sparkling seas of prosperous possibility
Disinherit the sweat-stained toil
And the hand-to-mouth hopelessness
And flee the wasteland for the promise.
But the bright bit is poisoned
The promise unfulfilled.
The pastel best and brightest
Crisp suburbia's teflon surface
While the darker shades among us
Share, with stench and worms, the mouldering core.
Hope's mothwings bear us heedlessly
To soul-engulfing Molochs;
Our lemming strivings launch us thrashing
Into inertial tides.
From glow to singing pyre
From grey to deeper darkness
The downside of the tracks
Tastes the apple's venomous slice
As the uppercrust burns and is consumed.
Tradition flees to immolation
Chaos to desolation
And amidst the brutal frenzy
The seed dies shelltrapped and unborn.
Nothing changes. Except to decompose
In black hole urban entropy.
Beast Machine was cranking at the Wild Child.
Bammers, bouncing like a broke rack, were
Careeening off each other's bumpers.
A lone atom hung back from the random plasma
Wanting to fill the hurly-burly spaces
Release to chaos, but instead
Sitting as the singer belted incoherencies.
Was it too soon? He still limped, and
Avoided bumping his left shoulder, though the
Doctor said it was okay. He was
Still tender, stiff and sore, felt frangible
And missed his sling.
He still avoided others' eyes, too
And had nightmares about windshields
Warm dark wetness underbrow, and snapping.
The stitches were out now
And the scars didn't look too bad, but
He felt unhealed yet.
His divorce had shattered him
More deeply than the accident.
How horribly people could hurt one another!
But he knew that an unused arm
Would wither, and a heart also.
Swallowing his pain and fear, he forced the
Beginnings of a smile, and after a long absence
Once again entered the Dance.
To My Ex-Wife
Upon futher reflection
I've discovered how amazingly gone you are.
By means of your conspicuous absence
You have become the vastest void in my empty universe.
I am shorn of security
Bereft of reference.
Though (and this is how I lost you)
When here, you blended seamlessly beneath my arm
As solid as the firmament, and as taken for granted
Now my heart cries out inconsolably
To abrupt dread lonely nothingness.
Nobel Prize Acceptance Poem
Ladies and gentlemen of the hall
Honoring hosts, I honor thee
Seekers of subtle foundations all.
This is what poetry means to me:
In all honesty
The finest songs 'twere ever sung
Passed morning minds elusively
Or flowered nights that sleep then plumbed
Or burned by fiery garret walls
Yesterday, or last century.
Poetry must be pure;
Egoless or ego all
And in the cleanest and the best
That difference spans no width at all.
We tremble when the lines are true;
But when we tremble constantly
We can be sure we misconstrue
That what we crab is poetry.
Our magick may be laid in reams
In wildest sanest throes of dare
Or polished fine, for years it seems
When even God seems not to care
And when we strongest strive
'Tis only silence settles there.
Muse...cannot be reduced
To crass cliches' cacophony
Or to kitsch puns' profligacy
Or to twinned resonant syllables
That terminate pointless lines.
But when soul's sibilance strings our words
And when our deepest hearts are stirred
True poetry is heard.
Our rimes are us distilled
Yet we are one of many there
When muse decants our will.
We sing pan-personal
When we by miracle succeed
And we pen poetry.
Perhaps the whole wide Universe
Is striving now to know itself
And we are the privileged part
The Universal Seeing Eye
Armed with life and with sentience.
If such be true
Then life has meaning
And we are ourselves
Our reason to be.
Baybridge Nightfishing Epiphany
The two deep blues are split;
The lower one moves with the neap tide.
it is the still upper blue
I attend to tonight.
And it dawns on me
As I bait a teetiny minnow
How opposites attract, and how
The smaller things are, and the larger
The more they resemble each other.
The world is like a cell
And the starry light mites
Circling a galactic center
Are as electrons orbiting a nucleus.
The stars twinkle with Brownian motion
As I realize that, like quarks
The Universe Itself possesses Charm
The Gift of the Wise
The Sun and the Semen
The Moon and the Blood
The Quake and the Firestorm
The Fire and the Flood
The fear-fettered Soul
By Self-Knowledge set free
These are the Treasures
I offer to Thee.
Each End is Beginning
Each Darkness a Dawn
Each Life is a Circle
A Quest we're all on
And for Loving Living
Live Love is the Key;
These are my Secrets
I'll share them with Thee.
The Truth told by many
But by few believed
Is "Each Boon that's Granted
Is Blessing Received."
So Do As Thou Wilt
Without Harm, and Be Free
And in Certain Seasons
Come Dancing with me.
Yes, under the Moon Bright
By Flickering Firelight
In Gaia's Great Garden
Come Dancing with me.
Myth and Imagination
Muth, clotted creature of blood memory
In Dreamtime where Snakes lie and Tygers be
With Bearlike arms enfolds us from gone days
And knights us Hunter, Scavenger or Prey.
The shifting glisten of a moonlit lake
Towards spiral lines of silver butterflies
Holding the moon to stymie hungry skies.
Life is a starving infant
And Death...Death is the
And the whimper magnified
By stark contrast
With the ensuing silence.
One would wish the whimper back.
Despite the pain
Triumph permeates the cry.
A symphony of textures
Goddess, you come to me tonight as dream nymph.
Not quite Jean Harlow, Monroe or a young Mae West
But hair blond and breasts of cream
You romp in silken scenes from silent movies
That in the twenties Anais Nin might have made.
Coquesttish even in your wantonness
You arch and shrug and stretch - and tug -
And touch me with electric fingers.
Our nipples brush and harden.
You wet my mouth with your moist kisses.
Suddenly I am Lawrence of Arabia with horns
And a moon shines on your brow
As you draw me into the desert tent
Through the film, and into you, my oasis.
Veils fall and titters morph to moans
As we roil rhythmically, in tune with inner tides.
I awaken spent. And thank you, Goddess
For your bestowal of succubic blessings.