Our Science

Modern Law---
Earth rotates---
All things were wrong,
Galileo.

Separated from God
For one moment---
The Earth span
And I felt our science.

I awoke to a cold sun
Gray in the windowsill;
Creation's rhythm unsynchronized
So that all on the earth teetered.

All of our daily chores 
Frustrated, providence hadn't
Ordered our goings to or fro.
All were given unto chance.

It felt like vertigo.

Refuting an Idiot

The idiot said on national TV
Disparaging religion once again,
"It is religion that separates us
"And maligns the human spirit!
"If we just got rid of it, people would have peace."
His raging lunatics cry for a third of the earth to be lobotomized.

Oh, yes, I read how Prods and Papes
Hate each other in Ireland.
Eerily, I see a different truth.
How Blue and Red hate each other
In America,
And Democrat and Republican
Hate each other.
No... there is bitterness enough
To be expelled from a man's house
Should you consent to the wrong flash of insignia.

Or, shall I talk to these idiots
About race? How mobs burn down Manhattan 
Because of skin color
And stores are looted because of class struggles?

Really, maybe we ought to be adealistic.
Then, perhaps we'd have peace
But the idiots I referred to
Have managed to give Hitlerian mindset
To atheists, who assume themselves good atheists
Only, throw the unruly Jews--I mean Christians---
Into the Gas Chambers,.

Should I ever talk to that idiot
I don't think I could speak.
He's an excellent rhetorician
Who turns a news article about how Hitler was not a Catholic
And sources it in a debate
To prove that Hitler was.

Frankly, I'm about tired of it
But in that little microcosm I cannot understand---
Why do Catholics and Protestants hate each other?
I liken it to something that isn't religion---
It's just hate, and hate comes in many colors.

Are We All Solipsists?

I

Is poetry an expression of the self?
Or is it an expression of the truth?

II

Are all our minds just solipsist teacups 
And no man, however penetrating
Can truly know what is in another man's heart?

Is all our poetry simply an expression of self?
Or does a stranger share in our sufferings?
Can there be an utterance of the truth
Something true for all men
Or even just two?

Can there be an expression,
A word uttered that is truly understood?
Can the best poets be penetrated
Or are we trapped in eternal silence
Of the solipsist called our soul?

We reach outward, but do we truly see
The world for what it is?
Do we share our sight
Or are all men that of blindness
And can only see what is seen for them?

Are we truly alone
In our bodies
Our souls an isolated remnant
Which travels,
And it is only us and our sufferings?
No one to reach out to
No one to truly know us
Nor no one we can truly know?

Are we just solipsists?
The answer, I do believe
Is no.

I Told You So

You're only genius
If you're a woman.
Or if you have melanin in your skin.

Dr. King cannot be quoted by
Me. Despite the fact
That I have worked so hard.

No, I offend.
Unintentionally I write honestly
The way I see, the way I feel
But it is offensive.
Therefore, I get threatened 
To be expelled from houses
For my violent speech.

There is no hope for me
For I am of a different time
When talent and work---
Not what's in vogue---
Established a man.
For if I were a woman
I'd be published.

The thing that makes me angry
Is that I spent the past twelve years
Working hard
And nobody will understand the work
I wrote. So why even bother publishing them?

So, I watch the world burn.
I watch people censor one another
Because nobody listens.

So, silently I write.
Is it for myself?
Am I forever to be the solipsist?
Are the postmodernist lies
Going to be the ones who tyrannize?
Is it that we are all just solipsists?
Selfishly saying 
And unable to truly understand one another?
Then expel me from your restaurant
Censor me on Google.
I will watch the world burn
And silently think,
"I told you so."

Notes Handwritten in My Book

Notes handwritten in my book.
Angry I am that it must be the professor's
Instruction. Underline, map the rhymes scheme
A random thought---obviously too nuanced
For a student to write.

Then, as I read it, I hear about the writer's
Mom and dad, her brother
Her time farming.
I begin to understand that the book was not
Indeed, a professor's aimless notes
Being forced into a student's book.

No, they were studiously
Put there, engaging with the text.
Yet, there are only half a dozen poems
Analyzed.
Why was not the whole book written with
Pencil, and such studious notes?

Suspect, the book ended up at the local store
And I purchased it.
With some stranger's notes
It is in my possession,
Where I will keep it,
And study it.

Partly, I wish that stranger's notes
Were written over the whole book
For it is a shame to see it go back to the store
Where I could buy it.
If every book, page to page,
Could be so studiously gleaned.

A Portrait of Humanity

Working Title for New Book

I

Alex, your love for life exudes
And your love for meaning in the little things.
Like a child, you look upon the world
And see greatness, you see unexplored
Alleys in every nook and cranny.

The strangeness of the world is still fresh
In your youthful mind,
So your sense of meaning is founded
Upon a love for life and its victuals.

Grow older, though, Alex,
For one day you will,
And looking upon the turtles
Chirping their love songs
In the spring
You will at once find all things artificial.

The aspirations of love
The charters of worlds gone and far
Of new lands, and sailing over the world's edge
It will be a far off thing,
When standing before the turtles chirping
Their mating hymns.

To which, life will be somber and melancholy,
Yet, it will be sweeter, for the Turtles singing their hymns
Will bring you the knowledge,
Sweet it is, that within their happy little tales
Lies the force of life, and the gay little charm
Of something deep within every living thing.

And when you find that,
You will have found all wisdom
And all charity.
You will have stumbled upon the outer breath of God.

II

Jacque, you cry for a storm
Against the church.
You ire, and are indignant.
Aught had such indignation at a time.

You wish sin to be removed from this world
And believe with your heart that all sin finds its root
In the institutions of man.
You see it, for they have always rejected you.

You rage against a machine
That neither you nor aught fully understand.
Yet, the machine, dirty it is---
It brings upon its apparatus 
The sustenance of the poor.
It is a place to tell dark secrets.
Those secrets told, they will
Vanish with the wind.

Yes, you and aught rage against
It, for it never accepted us.
But, as black and dark the machine is
It makes men civil
And protects them from themselves.

For in all things is sin,
And to take away sin from a man
It takes mercy, and a covering of skins.
For our shame is bare before all mankind,
And these institutions are the places
Where the spinstresses weave our cloth
And wrap us so we are no longer naked.

You wish to strip the cloth
From men
When you wish to dissolve those institutions.
For aught do understand it,
But certainly, those institutions are good
Because men need to cover their naked shame.

III

Cleopatra, your domain is yours
Who gives words of strong guidance.
Your ire is just, your indignation furious
But your favor like a copper piece,
Choice among the coinage.

Silent and swift, your judgment comes
While strong are you to battle.
You lead this one, and he goes there.
You lead that one, and she goes here.
They all hearken to you.

Egypt is guided by your strong bow
But strange are the Satraps who preside
Over the prosperity of our world.
For much strong gain,
The flows of the Nile overflow your head
Yet you strive, even though the rewards are dim.

For the fruits of your kingdom are small,
Small among the kingdoms,
Yet you man your post with dignity of office
As a Prince among princes.

The war comes, and allies flock to your aid
For your reign is good, and just
Though there are kings above you
And kings above them.
The peoples are wary
Yet you keep your subjects under the yoke
Of hard effort, and strength
For you join yourself with them
And thresh the corn, 
Beating out the fitches
From the fold.

IV

Atalanta, you stand among your thorns.
Everything you touch withers and dies.
Your anger and shame behooves you
As the food you feed the nations
Wilts and does not satisfy.
It is ashes in the mouth.

You make haste to do good
Yet only grief and shame come from your deeds.
Your good is only ashes seeping from clenched fists.

How the nations love you
Atalanta. They cheer your fame
But they curse the name of man
Who challenges you.
You, like Death, bring the shadow
And the grey of the thunderstorm.

Your benefactor is rude in his abuses
And your lover is unkind.
Slowly, your creeping vine tangles itself around
The world, as you stand among your
Thorns, and pluck the Corolla of the Rose
To shape it into your deign.

Fortunes you cannot make.
And it flees from you;
All things die and wilt in your hands.
For the rose does not prosper
For you do not proceed with
Diligence. Your garden is fertile
But you slack hand makes the bulbs stoop.

V

Sela, I see your strength
And bitter rage.
You course through the seas
O' Bitter One,
Ruler of a Thousand.

When Cyrus came to Babylon and Ecbatana
The peoples fled from your tyranny,
For your wrath was kindled
And your ire, your wrath
Your broken pride, it caused the peoples
To flee from their cities
And they allowed Cyrus' forces within the walls unhindered.

The Medes hate you, O Sela,
As your hideousness is made the Form.
The peoples lament
While you set sail on the ocean,
Mighty Princess of the North.

You grow to hate
So you draw forth your oars
And pillage the coasts
Causing all things beautiful to age.

O! Sela, the world has become yours through Scythian war.

VI

Bitter David, I see you unravel
The mysteries of a song.
Your heart in melancholy turn, studied
What would become vanity.

Your daunting effort goes noticed
By those who love music too,
Of ages gone by.
Stand at the age where deep
Calls out to deep;---
But the Cypress in its
Mourning replies,

"Death has taken over the valleys.
"Meaning doth sing her lute
"In the Elburz
"And armies travel through the Gate.
"For the sun makes his revolution 
"Over the mountains
"And on one side is day
"And the other it is night."

Yet none do draw the wisdom
For men are marked out for their sins
In youth.
For a man's sin is discovered
And it is now altered new,
So that David, your effort was in vain.
And with it the Cypress
Mourns, for even the work of man
Is besmirched by what's misunderstood.

VII

Hera, you were strong in 
Courtly abodes, where the messengers
Could keep your stead
And give you the sustenance you required.
For it was the infidelity of Zeus
Who led you to your humble position.
This the peoples knew
And gracious was their kindness toward you
In your low estate.
Completely innocent you were
While Zeus made off and courted
Danae. They were but men.

You required rest;
So with Artemis and Apollo.
Yet, you instead wished to smite
And like Prometheus steal the heavenly fire.
You thundered, and your rage flung
For the thunderbolts, but Artemis and Apollo
Were sick of loves, and cried day and night
For peace. Yet in your wrath
There was no peace,
But made war as Egypt's vine.

Then, you established your house
And cast your thunder at Cyrus
Not Zeus; no, you threw down lightning at Cyrus
Just as Cyrus had feared.
Who would free God's people?
Yet you, seeing yourself as a god
Smote the one who shew the most kindness on you.
For Artemis and Apollo's sake
Cyrus rose early to counsel thou, Queen.
Yet your fury hath spilled onto him
Who was your greatest ally.

Furious art you that one had told the truth?
That war among the Titans would ruin
The happiness of your children?
This will be your ruin;
And alas, God has told me it already is.

VIII

He came down, that Aeneas
With his cloud,
Shrouded in the mystery
Of faith. "What liberty do I have?"
He wondered, wishing to appease God
Through the Meogic of the Law.

The mystery is, that a wise man
Can tell his riddles
Without repudiation.
That a man who has it in his mind
To create worlds
May create them.
That a man, struggling to overcome
Sin, does not have to abstain from anything
Except what is sinful.

If there be a train of bitterness in the heart
That is sin. If Aeneas, you strive with Achilles
And Odysseus and Virgil
Then strive not with them
For they make you doubt.

However, stories contain in them wisdom.
Hercules the right of passage for every man,
And Bulfinch, a Christian
Spun many a myth with joy
For it was his work.
For a man like me has very little use in this world
Except to look at it
And turn over its riddles.
It does not have to be divine...
Yet prophetic nonetheless
God speaks, and it is my joy to write.

Yet, you ask me a question...
I suppose the answer
Is that beauty is an utterance
But since there is so little beauty
Any trace becomes an idol.
Yet I see no thing for me to do
Beside utter beautiful utterances;
Such it is that I do not sin.
No more than Spenser or Wordsworth
Or Coleridge.
But, since there is only ignorance right now
Any truth uttered will not be trusted.
In fact, an utterance of truth
Could set the world ablaze
For men are spun their dreams by Morpheus
And not by the poets anymore.

IX

The shadow within you
Oh River of the Jordan
Flows like the Styx into the recesses
Of cold, imagination.

Passing through desert lands
The ashes of millions
And the starving bodies of billions 
Flow through your wise deltas.

Embrace the shadow?
The cold, monstrous thing
Within us? Who like Death and She'ol
Twists and turns through hideous
Forms, dark and seductive?

Within the heart lies this
The very thing Christ will exorcise.
For twisting in passions and desire
Murder and blasphemies
Is this darkening of the soul.
The Shadow,
The Doppelganger.
Latent, all feel its pressure
Those who are wise;

Those who are fools do not know it
Yet it exhumes with all of their tongue.  
It is man's perfect enemy
The shade which the white sepulcher contains.
Find it, grab hold of it,
Release it with kindness.
Push it not back down into the body,
But let the wicked beast
Be like mist which steams
Out from the soul
By the sweat of faith
And the renewing of the strength in Christ.

X

The heart-felt joy of play
One finds in youth, ever striving
For the pure emotion.
And Nero, your heart is light,
In you is joy, the turning of your marble
Toys and the marching of them in their rows.

Old, though, we find you
As you put on your wolf's attire
And with drawn leash are led through
The meadowgrounds.

Innocent, though strange,
Your boyhood's emotions flood into you
Pure, like the syringe.
You bark, you trot, you kick your feet
In the mud.
You wag your tail and I find no sin in it.

Then, the disapproval settles in.
The peoples look on you
And do not understand the spectacle,
The unstructured exorcism of imagination.
What is beautiful, what is serenity
What is joy, is now poisoned forever.

You push it down into your soul
For play was all you knew.
Play was everything you had.
The joy, the frivolity,
The utter freedom.
Constrained to your dog costume---
For you are now old,
And have chosen just this one form of play
As is consistent with sagacity---
But no-one shares your joy.

It is I who sees you are not sinning
But are filled with hearty laughter
And you feel pure child's joy.
I understand you...
But the stranger shares not your joy.

So, what was first innocent
Becomes howling sin.

XI

God of Our Youth

What the devil wants are happy monkeys
Silent, with no knowledge of future's past.
Dancing with the strobes lit, and faces pale.
Exerted with all fun and copulate 
With the familiar sting of sexual touch.
Children to be raised by their bonobos
To grow up without knowing what love is.
Silent, with no knowledge, no speech, no thought
Language simplified to terse chords of
A ten thousand word vocabulary.
No one works, no one has their property
Starved; feeding on the remaining surplus
Of past generation's stores of green corn.
Breaking down the windows of good people
To steal from them their hard earned silver coins.
At the end, hell's the deserted cities
Its deserts the overgrown farmer's fields
Its dried up river beds the State's drained stores.
This is Socialism, God of our Youth.

XII

To the Hymn of Auld Lang Syne
Not an Original Piece, but One I Can Remember Singing
But cannot find anywhere.

Keep Your Eye on the Grand Ol' Flag

Should all acquaintance be forgot
And e'ry a heart do sag
Should all acquaintance be forgot
Keep your eye on the grand ol' flag.

Should old acquaintance be forgot
And all guns hammer their tacks
Should old acquaintance be forgot
Keep your eye on the grand ol' flag.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And the nation come under attack
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
Keep your eye on the grand ol' flag.

Should our acquaintance be forgot
And men forget this song
Should our acquaintance be forgot
The days seem ever so long

But if all acquaintance be forgot
And e'ry a heart do sag
If all acquaintance be forgot
Keep your eye on the grand ol' flag.

XIII

Sir Lucan and the Sphynx

Canto I

Upon the pass there came Sir Lucan 
And His squire Beowulf the Less.
Beowulf the Less had a page
Gregory.

Gregory, the page, armored Beowulf
From head to toe.
He latched on helmet,
Shield, shoe, girded Beowulf with
His sword Gwyndylyn.
Beowulf had aegis
Strapped to his chest.
However, Beowulf's helmet was weakened
By a blow taken in mortal combat.
Beowulf had slewn a man down in dishonorable show
Of arms, where he and a knight Valiant
Took to blows in the ring of combat.

This knight threw down his gauntlet
So Beowulf picked it up.
Sir Lucan was Beowulf's 
Knight, and this knight beckoned 
Beowulf to stay home,
And not to pick up the gauntlet.
Yet, Beowulf picked up the gauntlet;
And thus, battle was struck.

The two warriors showed, down in the arena
While Lucan watched, with scowl on his mug.
Arthur sanctioned the tournament
As Page Gregory was with damsel
Thus, he did not throw in his lot to stop the tournament.

It took to blows, the black knight, 
Called Sir Rancor, first took his sword
And smote it down upon Beowulf's head.
Beowulf took the blow;
Sowith, his helmet cracked;
Thus, Beowulf became wroth
Who took his shield and smote
Sir Rancor upon the breast, and 
Smote down his sword upon Sir Rancor's head.
Blood poured out of Sir Rancors joints
As Sir Rancor took to a blow
At Beowulf's shield
Bowing the shield with his chain mace.
Beowulf, without helmet nor shield 
Acquiesced for the battle,
And took his sword and ran it through Sir Rancor's
Joint, by the armpit.
Sir Rancor fell wounded,
But took a dagger from his leg
And shafted the weapon
Into Beowulf's ankle
Breaking his shoe's belt.

Beowulf was uninjured; however,
Taking his sword, he smote it down upon Sir Rancor's head.
The knight fell, to wit, Beowulf drove his sword
Into the heart of Sir Rancor
Who lie on the ground, wounded.
Arthur saw that the knight was dead
So called the tournament closed
Where Beowulf lost all his armor
And Sir Rancor was lain smitten on the field of battle.

Beowulf expected to be knighted for the feat
However, Arthur saw no honor in this feud.
Thus, Beowulf was yet still a squire.
Beowulf saw the disdain on Lucan's face
And saw he had disgraced his knight valiant.
Lucan who would be later slain in battle
To the Caerbanog, was disgruntled with Beowulf.
For some say, this led Lucan to the Caerbanog's forest
For he would no longer listen to sweet Beowulf.
Page Gregory was not there to help Beowulf
And Lucan was furious with Beowulf
For accepting the challenge of so unworthy a knight.

It came to be that Beowulf and Lucan had a quest
Together. To shut up the Nile Dragon
Who would attempt to Swallow the Daughter of Zion
On that day. Beowulf and Lucan left 
In their armor, and Gregory
Left Beowulf with these words:
"Lucan cannot be trusted,
"Do not believe a word he says
"And be wary and wily of the things he does.
"For Lucan is a savvy knight
"Who only thinks of himself."

Beowulf considered it,
But knew it was not true.
However, Lucan was furious with Beowulf
For smiting the knight Rancor.
Thus, Beowulf and Lucan set off on their journey.
They would crusade down to Egypt.

The Nile Dragon knew that they came,
Thus he employed Nebo and Abaddon 
To come 
With the Elf Meogic
And thus, cause Lucan more anger
At his squire.

Nebo came with his daughters
Seventeen Thousand
And Abaddon came with only himself.
The two were chosen to be Pharaohs
Kings of Egypt,
And if they would slay Beowulf
They would retain Egypt
For themselves.

Canto II

It came to be, that in the salt valleys of
Meggedon, Abaddon sought
To conspire and therefore slay Beowulf the Less.
Lucan and Beowulf---Gregory not behooved to come,
For he could not---
Were on steed, Beowulf with Chantz
And Lucan with his steed Crevan.
Where Beowulf camped,
Abaddon snatched him from his bed
And took Beowulf to a village
Where Beowulf would dream half his life away
For sleep was better than the waking hour;
Beowulf was captured by Abaddon
Hencewith, he was brought to the low valleys.

Now it was Abaddon who travelled with Lucan.
Abaddon filled his mouth with many flatteries
Toward Lucan.
The two set out on the quest, but
Abaddon was foolish, and no wisdom was in him.
He did not slay Beowulf
For he enjoyed the man's riddles.

Thencewith, Abaddon walked with Sir Lucan
Through the valleys of Meggedon
Until they came to Africa's Gate.
The two passed through
But Abaddon was exceedingly happy,
And more foolish than Lucan remembered
Beowulf to be.
However, Lucan fell to love Abaddon---
Because of his joy---
Like he were a son, and so pardoned Abaddon.
For Lucan was enchanted.

They walked for days
Through the desert
With its barren crags
And salt rocks.
It came upon the warfield, Nebo
And his hordes of Daughters.
Nebo, on his steed with leather skin,
Was untransmogrified by the elf jewel;
Thus, showed himself for what he truly be.
He was leathery, and his ears a point;
He was fat, and round, and gluttonous,
His teeth were yellow
And his lips were thin.
His skin the color of ash,
He had a face which was horrible
To behold.

Lucan mounted up on Crevan, 
And hoisted her javelin.
"Beowulf, I have enjoyed your company
"On this journey, yet now I go out to ride
"Against this beast."
Abaddon creased his lips into a grin
Because he had loosened Lucan's armor
When placing it upon him
As was a squire's duty.
Lucan hoisted up, and flung for Nebo.
The seventeen thousand daughters of Nebo 
Flung down the mountain
Into the bowled valley.

The battle was gruesome
As blood poured into rivers
Through the ravines.
Lucan had slaughtered so many
Of Nebo's daughters.
Nebo, thus, flung into a fit of rage
And transformed himself
Into a Giant.
Lucan fell to a flight yet
Lanced the Giant's foot;
However, Lucan's armor joints came undone in battle
And he was bare before the Giant's wrath.

Abaddon danced a wicked dance
And joined the fight against Lucan.
He rushed at Lucan on Chantz
However, Chantz knew 'twas Abaddon.
So, Chantz stopped in mid gallop;
Sofore, throwing Abaddon off his back.
Lucan retreated toward Abaddon
Trampling him with horse's hooves
Seeing that he was not Beowulf
But was Abaddon. Lucan fell into a sore fright
That he was without his squire.
Thus, Lucan galloped as fast as he could out of the battlefield.
He had found himself in the Nile,
And so discovered the black, fertile soil.
There began to grow a vine from it
And it shot out large, and heaved itself
Upward. It grew tall into the sky
Like the Tower of Babble,
And it sprouted smaller vines from without it,
Lit; it were starflesh.
The Sphynx was spreading his vine
All throughout the world
A verdant weed, it
Raised into the sky, and spread itself across the entirety of the earth.

Lucan felt frightened,
As he drew back on Crevan and galloped 
Toward his dominion.
Lucan was no coward but saw that this vine had spread
Throughout he whole of the world, 
And who was he to fight it?

Howsofore, there came one who was beautiful.
He took Lucan by the hand,
And told him,
"Do not give up on your son
"He needs you and your love at this very hour.
"For, Egypt is spreading its vine throughout the whole of the earth
"And you must help him
"By fighting back the fear
"Of this vine,
"To showing him that he is still loved."

Lucan had received a vision of Beowulf
Encased in a place where he was rendered useless.
Thus, Lucan had to go rescue him.
For Gregory could not
As only Lucan's love could free Beowulf from his curse.
Only Lucan's forgiveness, and alliance
Could free Beowulf from this unholy trap.

Canto III

It came to be that Sir Lucan travelled into 
The heart of Egypt,
To the Tombs of the ancient Pharaohs.
The Sphynx prowled
With shifting shoulder blades.
There rose mummies
From their crypts
Five of the pharaohs of the past.

The Sphynx spake,
"Lucan, if you can beat me
"I shall spare thee from the Caerbanog.
"And thy squire Beowulf shall live."

Lucan, upon Crevan, hoisted up his javelin.
"I will be angry with my squire
"For fighting his feud with the Knight Rancor.
"However, I see that he is a man.
"And he has made his own choices."

The Sphynx spake, 
"Choices, yes.
"He has made many choices,
"And smote down the knight Rancor.
"And for this, we see you cannot forgive him."

The mummies flung toward Lucan
And it was all Lucan could do to stay
Upon his steed.
He would slash the mummies
He would kill them
Only to have them resurrect themselves
With their moving limbs.

"You do not know the moegic of Egypt.
"These are stronger than Orcs
"And cannot be killed
"By one who harbors anger."

"Beowulf was my friend,
"My companion from long ago.
"Now, he is broody
"And sad, and I do not know if I can love him the same
"For his sadness is of his own making."

The Sphynx said,
"Then, Lucan, he shall die."

Lucan fell upon his knees
As Crevan Whinnied.
"He will die?"

"Of course, a man cannot bear the despair
"Of having one so close to him
"Perpetually angry.
"For, Beowulf is entrapped by his own despair.
"And that despair we are using to fuel
"The spreading of this vine
"Which shall feed on the world's joy
"And it shall replace all joy with despair
"Just like your son's.
"For his grief is a weapon
"We use to throw down the nations
"And to give them no joy henceforth.
"How can a man who is innocent
"Have no joy? It can only be
"That Pharaoh's vine
"Recompense the world
"Double for what it has done to Beowulf."

Lucan then spake,
"What has the world done to Beowulf?"

The Sphynx spake,
"The world?
"What had it done
"But cast him into shame
"Through its unforgiveness?
"Beginning with yours
"Which was harbored long before
"He smote down Sir Rancor.
"For, you had resented him
"Ever since he had chosen
"Gregory as his Page."

Nebo and Abaddon receded into the corridor
And drew their swords.
"Now, see, Lucan, I can save you
"From the Caerbenog,
"The Fairy lORD
"If you defeat me."

The Sphynx grew haughty.
"What are you Sphynx?"
Cried Lucan.
The Sphynx said,
"I? I am the flow of the times."

The five mummies flung forth
To maul Lucan
And Abaddon and Nebo 
Attacked her
At once.

It began to grow into a horrendous feud
As the seven fought mortal combat.
No matter how much they fought
The seven prevailed over Lucan.

Lucan saw the Sphynx 
Prowling like a lion
From without the battle.

"Yes, Lucan, I am the Zeitgeist.
"I am the thing you cleave to.
"Surrender Beowulf,
"For he is not your son."

Lucan cried out a mighty roar,
"Beowulf is my son!"
And so she threw her lance
In a mighty strike against the Sphynx's 
Chest. It sunk deep into the Sphynx.
The Sphynx was smitten.
He fell dead upon the bier of the golden
Tombs. The Sphynx was dead.

There came from time the Caerbonog
As it spread forth from the vines.
For the vines were the Caerbonog.
It lit its fiery glow,
Yet, Beowulf flung from his sleep
Where the Caerbonog hid him.
Beowulf took Lucan
And galloped with him
From without the Pyramid.
The whole of Egypt quaked,
As Nebo and Abaddon
Rushed from the tombs.
Pharaoh was dead
And the mummies were crushed 
From beneath the pyramid's falling Aedicules.
The Caerbanog was spread throughout the whole land.
Abaddon and Nebo disappeared from without the pyramid.
After which, a quake,
And the Caerbanog fell 'pon
A hard fall;
Its verdant vines
Turned to ashen yellow.

"Wot not you that thou would have perished
"To this cruel vine
"Had you not saved me from this
"My spell?"
Spake Beowulf.

Lucan saw that the deuterocanons
Of the analogs of Fairyland
Were now altered.
The Caerbannog was defeated.
Thus, Beowulf could live his happy life.

Thus, Beowulf lived happily ever after.

XIV

I Saw Truth with Her Lover

I saw Truth with her lover
In the dark;
I took my raiment, and galloped far away
To where I slew a knight in combat
And took his woman from him.
I had then found a tree
Of which I wished to make her a garland from
Yet the tree bled and spoke.
He told me of a wicked sorceress
Who made he and his lover into those trees.
I had found, also, that the knight I slew
Had two brothers.
I found too many enemies
Yet was I angry with the Truth
For her adultery;
For why would she be in another's bed
And not mine, when I was her betrothed?
I had not seen t'wasn't her
In that bed, but rather the apparition of Morpheus.
For Truth, she seemed, slept nude with Hecate
Yet it was only a magical spell
Which made Truth seem a whore.

XV

Trivia, riddle odes
And weave webs of lies.
Every word you speak is
Invented from the world,
You make yourself more ancient than Hecate
Who stands with her torch.

You occupy yourself with every fact that contradicts
Strange, ancient wisdom.
The Love of the Two Peaches
Is constructed, born a twelvemonth ago.
Yet, it is born as ancient wisdom.
Trivia, your weave a web
Of factoids.

Wisdom can still be purchased
So the ancient accents are known.
Paul Revere did ride a midnight ride
Yet, Trivia, you make Boston's Massacre 
Riot control---
It was a massacre.

Auld Lang Syne replaces "You're A Grand Ol' Flag"
And Trivia, Mnemosyne is silently demented
So all acquaintance is forgot.
Good men are turned into Joseph,
Yet all his mourners are comforted
For great lies are being spun by Trivia.
It soon becomes apparent
The Love of the Two Peaches
Isn't ancient.
Neither was the City of Sodom one which stood ancient.

For there is truth:
And it is hidden
By you Trivia.

XVI

Sing, oh wary ship traveler.
Cyrus sees your weary eyes
As the watch prowls the street
Asking for bribes, and stirring the 
Little townsfolk into their homes.

Prosperous was the land you fled to.
Prosperous, and kind
Until Sin's dark shadow grew over the basin
Of the gorges.
O! If you only knew our freedoms
If you only knew.

Cyrus, stir the Medes
Stir the Medes
Stir the Medes.

Cyrus spoke,
"I would cut them to pieces
"And rip out their throats.
"I would ravish the town squares
"And purge the evil of this land.
"I shall not spare their children.
"I shall not spare the rod.
"For I destroy even the Babes
"When I go to war."

O! Babylon! Prepare for war
For the peoples desire the law of Yah
And scorn the laws of Sin.
From the East, from the North
From the South, comes the armies
Of Persia and Media.

Sing o strong ones
For freedom is meted 
And the war shall be fierce.
Weapons shall unsheathe their naked steel
And in one night the battle shall be lost
For thee, o Babylon.

For the barren ones in the East
And the Barren ones in the South
And the Barren ones in the North
Are ashamed of you.

XVII

Dark and ancient truths
Which still burgeon in the world today.
American soldiers slaughter children.
Iraqi soldiers violate women.
War still gets fought by civilized countries.

Were you offended by Cyrus?
Yet our modern wars are fought just the same.
Children die in bombings,
Women are violated
Men slaughter one another.

What justifies war?
What justifies the crimes attributed to war?
War is the supreme evil.

What justifies it?
When is it justified to commit all atrocious evils?

Surely there is a time,
But now is not it.

XVIII

Let me fight our wars in verse.
Purge the violence from our souls.
Let me...
Let me speak of rebellion
Of slaughtering
Of killing
Of being unkind.

Let me tell you of war
You who wishes to kill the children
You who wishes to violate the women
You who wishes to plunder the spoil
From the homes.

Men die---
The very strangers I sing about
The very souls who occupy my verse.
These men, they die
Picking up the rifle.

Let me tell you the raw, uncensored
Emotion of war.
What kings feel when they send their troops into battle.
Children are to be dashed against the stone.
Women are to be ripped apart
Their breasts ripped open
And their bodies made into a heated flash of fury.

No... what I write ought to be offensive
Because you burgeon close to war.
These things you all will be guilty of.
So, let my poesy purge you of the evil.
Show you the guilt.
I'll draw you close to suicide
I'll draw you close to homicide
And then you can inch back
And say, like it were a dream, "I had never done it."
To know the feeling of a man's warm blood
Upon hands---
I do not know it, but I know the feeling
Of battle.
I will show you,
And let you meditate on it.

For is my verse offensive?
It ought to be.
For both Woke and Nazi youths
Will die with one another's
Fluids upon them.
Blood, guts and the ravished .

My poem should be offensive.
For war is offensive.
Do you wish to walk to the brink?
Do you wish to learn the regret
Of having taken another's life?
Of having violated someone?
Will your conscience ever be made whole
After knowing and tasting violence?

So I say, eat with trembling.
Drink with haste.
Prepare your hearts for war.
And if it doesn't come
Give a sigh of relief.

XIX

Xenophanes, you poetically, and surgically
Weave your origins of doubt.
You find God to be cruel
More like man than actual deity.

I see the traces of wisdom in you
How you want an origin of God's being
And callously say,
"Christ is only two thousand years old."

Yet, ancient was the deity Who gave Moses 
Law, and more ancient was the deity
Who gave some of which to Abraham Hammurabi's law;
El is Hebrew for God
And El is traced to Mesopotamia
To be worshipped at the time of Melchizedek and Abraham.
El, it turns out has a Son.
The Scholars at Oxford and Yale
Say, "It is the cult of righteousness."

Yet, I say it is not so.
What cult of righteousness springs up in China?
What cult springs up in Greece?
As if this God's truths were universal
Found throughout West and East
And firstly discovered in the Middle of the world?

Greeks found Word, Charity, Agape
Chinese found Tao, Filial Respect, and Universal Love.
Jesus is the Word, is the perfect picture of Filial Respect and Charity and Love.
How cultures found morality independent of one another.

Yet, there are those who contest it.
And Xenophanes, you find them
Secreted in your doubt that man had anthropomorphized God.
And that is what causes you to doubt.

Yet, I see the same notions springing up in separate cultures
Meaning there must Be.
What is there? 
What can be found?
If it's there to discover
Who put it there?
And these my God answers
When He took on Human Flesh.
No other satisfies it;
Yet predicted at the beginning of human civilization---
When one man and another agreed upon their social contracts
And thus forth bore rule---
Is the fingerprint of my God.
That El, the nameless deity
Had a Son
And from this sprung what academics call "The Cult of Righteousness."
And then I find philosophers discover those same truths.

I say to myself, "The evidence is overwhelming.
"And then add to it the Heavens and Isaiah's scroll;---the stories written in the constellations."
I find one hundred percent proof that God is the Hebrew's God
And that God's Word put on the Flesh of Man.

XX

Cyrus, I understand you
The way you think.
I know you from the inside
How you have petulant doubts
Yet rage at the heathen.
I know your rage against God
And seek to destroy Him.
Yet I also know you secretly wish
To use his laws to exact vengeance on this world.

You do not believe in God
You do not...
But His laws are enticing as an engine
To siege the Capitol
And to tear down walls and bulwarks;
To stir Media and Persia
Against Assyria and Babylon.

I know you from the inside
And your rage which burns toward the infidel.
Religion to you is a tool
The Messiah an engine which you will use
To usher in your reign.

Alas, I stand here
Arguing with you for the second time
As you tell me, "On your death bed
"You will say as Jesus said, 
"My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?"
Yet you take slaves,
While you dash the infants upon the rocks.

Christian you do not hate---
No, you love God's people.
For it is in you to love God's people.
Yet you rage against God as Satan himself
And you move upon your holy quest to purge
Sin's temple from the world.

I see you in my thoughts and visions
And I am like you
So it disturbs me greatly.
I am gentle, and meek;
You are a warrior
Believing in the law of my God
Right down to the tittle---
Yet you do not believe in God.

Such a strange doubt in you
That I feel in my chest
But I do not understand why you believe in my God's law
But not the God Himself?

Is it, like so many Jewish men
You like the burdens of lamb stew and drink oblations?
I say to you,
You will be used to purge the land of its idols.
That is what you wish.
Yet it is I who shall prosper in the LORD's name
For I will declare my portion
That your rage may be just
But it is not a wholesome intention to 
Desire to fix the world.

XXI

Alas, I call you Cyrus in this book.
But you are not Cyrus.
You are Nero.

XXII

Gahanna was shrouded in mystery
As the Styx flows through the Acheron;
Descended into the deep
Son of a king, you trifle there.

King of the scouts
The minstrels sing of you
In the woven dreams of Morpheus.
The gum of Acacia is upon your thigh
Yet I rejected it, for such is the disease
Of mind, which your magic spun
Through dirt and vulgarity.

You sought me, and you found Cyrus.
You found me, yet you were but a boy
And our lives crossed on the banks of the Susquehanna.
I do not know what powers are over me...
Only that an Acquaintance, a man my equal,
So says David,
Whom I had counsel with in the LORD's house
Will betray me.

Forsooth, such a strange thing to be
That it was a happy accident
Which brought you to my humble life;
Yet you should be one plotting against me.

XXIII

The Savanna is rubicund
With delightful golden grains.
Most gorgeous are her valleys
With the hills among the rolling veldt.

I, the animal, enraged
By Serengeti hunger
Am driven into mindfever
Where I cannot perceive
Nor understand;
No, I am crazed by possibilities.

If I had you, your plains would be mine
And I would be the lion
Within his Pride.
There would be only nature and I.
It would be of no use
For only the air of the veldt
Could satisfy me
Should I be satisfied by you.
I would desire nothing more
And would never wander from my bounds
In the safelands,
Where poachers could not find me.
For I will stay upon your plains
And meander among your hills.

XXIV

There is an Amazon in the forest. 
Lusty she is, bare, exposed
Easy to take and be pleased.
Yet, she will tear you limb from limb
And take your leg upon her gnashing teeth.
She will bite it, with blood down her chin
And her hair is knotted with the blood of men.

Pleasing she seems far away
Until you come close to her
And she is too big for loves.
You cannot marry her
But become her slave
Where she will malign you
And break your spirit.

I say, I have seen the Amazon kingdom
And it is frightening.
All men stay indoors
And are frightened to peep
Out the lattice, 
For the giantess walks among them.
Elephant for steed
And lust in her eyes.

XXV

Though you speak untruth
Sor Juana, 
And always turn the right for the worse
My love for waxes
Like the moon,
But it shall never wane.

Violent, you protected your blessed young
Though worthless men tried to steal
Your fruit from you.
And he is blessed
The fruit of your womb.
For you had taken your wounds
And stripes, and your joy was made fruitful
A man, more intelligent than I.
More blessed than I on this earth.
A man who possesses the sea
And all of beauty..

Though you do not speak
Words which are wise to the ears
Your zeal and love for your child
Is a light to my eyes
And a longstanding gem
And treasure in my heart.

When men malign your name
I speak in its defense.
For there is speech---
And what of us have not been silly in our years?---
And then there is action.
And though you speak
I know you act upon your better nature.
And for that I love you, Sor Juana.
And I always shall.

XXVI

Cain, you present your grain offering.
Your two hands labored day and night
For the produce of the field.
You present your offering
And say, "Look upon my fruit
"It is good."

Lot, however, gave his beloved daughter
To appease the lust of the Sodomites.
Broken by this, and also the loss of his wife,
Cain, you look upon him and say,
"What had this man done that was good?
"He gave of his women to be maligned by Sodomites."
Lot, who loved his daughter,
Felt maligned an entire lifetime
For this sin. He had cried day and night
Yet, it was either her, or the Holy Being.
For, they would be slaughtered
By lust, had Sodom's lust not been appeased.

Oh, Cain, you look upon him, disgusted.
Then you say, "My brother is poor
"Why had not my mother killed him in the womb?
"For he grew to be a lazy shepherd
"And does nothing all day, except peer
"Into the stars of heaven
"And spin Idle tales by which he wishes to teach the peoples.
"He is lazy, and is a degenerate.
"For I know his sins, that he has done far
"More wickedly than I.
"Therefore, why had not my mother buried him
"And his poverty in the womb?
"For I am rich, and right,
"And have grown my crop by my own sweat.
"And all my brother did was stand in the green field 
"To tender his flock."

XXVII

Censures of the Ass

He wants evidence for God's existence;
Beauty comes under attack, censorship
Threatens to destroy all things of conscience.
Evidence, he claims, yet it is his whip
Which tortures him like the mad Catholic.
Holy is his crusade, holy and thick;
Offended and driven mad by beauty
That the mountains are hoary and frostbit
That the trees are wooded, and the ponds green---
He, with his unholy, black candles lit
Sings his prayers to the form of ash decay.
Angelic voices he forbids to pray;
Evidence is what he seeks to destroy:---
Art he calls pretentious; beauty a ploy.






	

Odes of Strangers XVI

Cain, you present your grain offering.
Your two hands labored day and night
For the produce of the field.
You present your offering
And say, "Look upon my fruit
"It is good."

Lot, however, gave his beloved daughter
To appease the lust of the Sodomites.
Broken by this, and also the loss of his wife,
Cain, you look upon him and say,
"What had this man done that was good?
"He gave of his women to be maligned by Sodomites."
Lot, who loved his daughter,
Felt maligned an entire lifetime
For this sin. He had cried day and night
Yet, it was either her, or the Holy Being.
For, they would be slaughtered
By lust, had Sodom's lust not been appeased.

Oh, Cain, you look upon him, disgusted.
Then you say, "My brother is poor
"Why had not my mother killed him in the womb?
"For he grew to be a lazy shepherd
"And does nothing all day, except peer
"Into the stars of heaven
"And spin Idle tales by which he wishes to teach the peoples.
"He is lazy, and is a degenerate.
"For I know his sins, that he has done far
"More wickedly than I.
"Therefore, why had not my mother buried him
"And his poverty in the womb?
"For I am rich, and right,
"And have grown my crop by my own sweat.
"And all my brother did was stand in the green field 
"To tender his flock."

England’s Difficulty Analysis by Seamus Heaney





Tile: The title is half a phrase common among Irish Nationalists. “England’s Difficulties are Ireland’s Opportunities.”

  1. Seamus is saying that he moved like a “Double Agent” among the “Big Concepts.” That is to say, that he sympathized with both sides. A double agent usually has no allegiances.
  2. He’s meditating on the word “Enemy.” He likens it to a machine’s hum, that is distant and in the background. Likening the Irish Rebellion to a “Machine” in the background of the nation. Much like our current Conservative movement is a hum in the background of national politics. It’s there, and Seamus Heaney is talking about how he moved through both camps, the IRA and the English. How he moved between each circles, really understanding the conflict. The outbreak of civil war a hum like a machine’s engine.
  3. An allusion to Nazi Germany. “When the Germans bombed Belfast.” Probably to obfuscate the poem’s meaning. Or, likening the environment to something like World War Two. It was a big deal to the Irish and English. Maybe something we fail to realize over here across the pond.
  4. This line is synthesis between the two major events, the Irish Rebellion and World War II. Both had their explosive moments, and both were probably whispered about. It seems so far away, but a likened analogy is that of the Conservative movements today, in the United States, silently, like a machine hum, in the background. It’s ever present, and there are whispers about it from the grown men. Seamus is speaking of it as a child, maybe remembering the bombs in World War II. But, also, remembering the ambiance of the modern day Irish Revolution. Perhaps he’s hearkening back to a day when the two sides were working together. Quoting “England’s Difficulties” as a unifier, making analogy that during World War II the two fronts were united.
  5. There was an active propaganda war against Ireland, where the Germans funneled propaganda into the Irish homes. Seamus is talking about listening to the propaganda, with half way zeal. The fact is that the propaganda wing of the Nazi party was trying to turn the Irish against England. It is what the poem is talking about. And Seamus is half sympathizing with the notion of rebellion, and half not. Hence the half quotation in the title.
  6. Lord Haw was a man who broadcasted Nazi Propaganda into the houses of Ireland. Obviously, being likened to an artist. In hind sight, we see that the Nazis were one of the most terrific forces of evil in history, and there is hardly a byword more synonymous with evil than Adolph Hitler and the Nazi Party. However, under the fog of war, people were questioning their allegiances because they hadn’t the full knowledge of the extent of Hitler’s Evil. They were caught up in a haze, and even Seamus sympathized with them. It’s likely a source of shame for him.
  7. The last line is certainly a reference to the IRA and English confrontation. Not to Nazi Germany, as Seamus was only a boy at the time. The poem is an analogy of the Fog of War, and how no one truly knows who the good guys are until the dust settles. Seamus was carrying envois for the Irish Republican Army and the British. Seamus was showing himself conflicted at his time—yet he hides the act with allusions to World War II, where he could not have possibly had contact with German troops, since they were neither in Ireland, nor was Seamus old enough to truly be a part of that war. He would have been only six years old when the war ended. So, the story is an allusion to World War II and likening it to the modern crisis of the IRA bombings in England, how Seamus had half sympathies for both sides of the conflict, which is common among intellectuals and truly gifted men. One cannot fault Seamus for having sympathies, as there is a Fog of War that doesn’t allow the truth to be expressed, and it is likely the issue we have today where many philosophies and ideologies are being espoused, yet only time will tell whose are the right. And that does not mean force; it merely means whose side was in the right. Which can only be known after the dust settles, and the fog of war lifts.

Thoughts: What’s fair is that the work is allowed to be expressed. We tend to forget this as modern day citizens, with our certain moral philosophy, that under the time of crisis, we do not usually know who or which side is correct. It is simply the whims of the atmosphere, and perhaps, embarrassingly, you’ll find yourself on the wrong side with sympathies or half sympathies. An appropriate poem for the modern world, to take a step back and read the masters. Seamus’ experience is very familiar for today, when we have similar crises in our time, and allegiances might be muddied.

Heaney, Seamus. Selected Poems 1966 – 1987. Twelfth Printing. Faber, 1990. pp. 54.

Censures of the Ass

He wants evidence for God's existence;
Beauty comes under attack, censorship
Threatens to destroy all things of conscience.
Evidence, he claims, yet it is his whip
Which tortures him like the mad Catholic.
Holy is his crusade, holy and thick;
Offended and driven mad by beauty
That the mountains are hoary and frostbit
That the trees are wooded, and the ponds green---
He, with his unholy, black candles lit
Sings his prayers to the form of ash decay.
Angelic voices he forbids to pray;
Evidence is what he seeks to destroy:---
Art he calls pretentious; beauty a ploy.

An Analysis of the Ides of October





  1. The Narrator of the poem had satisfied all her debts, “Paid for” all the happiness by the “Ides” of October. That is to say that she has no debts.
  2. She “used” to feel the presence of the child “All around [her].” Emotional and in the past tense.
  3. The poem then begins to draw some unique imagery. “Slough” means “Snake’s Skin”. As if the snake’s skin was a charm of some sort. The poem will get into further imagery, likening the Narrator to a mythological portrait. That of a woman wearing a Snake’s Skin and hedge of Roses.
  4. She wears the snake’s skin. Drawing an almost mythological figure for the narrator.
  5. Drawing from the emotion of bearing a child. She is “Flushed” like a “Peach.” Further making the portrait of a mythological birth, being that the narrator uses terms like “resurrection” in contrast to the sun. I sense no mythological foundation or framework in the poem. The woman is being likened to the Virgin Mary, this mythological figure carrying someone important. Not to the line of idolatry, either. It is simply a feeling, like the Narrator were the virgin Mary, or some figure like such.
  6. The figure has roses wrapped around her waist. She had made love in the “Ides of October” and bore her child in June. She is likening herself to a mythological figure, with roses wrapped around her waist and a snake’s skin as a sash.
  7. Now the narrator is in a New October, where she places the family portraits on the “Spanish Chest.” Likening to the archetype of familiarity, likely something she had growing up, or has sentimental attachment to.
  8. “Imagery”— Describing the child. Since the man is absent in the work, the imagery describes the child with “Emotion” “Animated” in his “cheeks.”
  9. She alludes to the “Moon” nursing the “Stars.” Emotion driven imagery, drawing the metaphor of the poem that she is nursing her baby.
  10. The Silk Worms’ nests are likened to the narrator’s child’s hair. “The” is used, setting the child apart from the mother, solely focusing the poem’s emotions on him. It strengthens the emotion of the piece, yet creates the awe stricken wonder of the scene.
  11. The imagery here is esoteric, likening the child to “Death”. Drawing the imagery from the cocoons, where the larvae must have metamorphosis before there is “Birth”, or the becoming.
  12. The child cries, and his lips tremble.
  13. The child loves his mother. The emotional impact of this verse is where the poem’s tension is weighted. She is describing the love of her child for her. Perhaps the poem a metaphor for Postpartum depression.
  14. The child’s fingers are nude, grasping the mother’s breast while giving suck.

Thoughts: It seems the poem is a metaphor for Postpartum depression. The last line really draws the feeling of the mother, while the thirteenth line draws a draws a metaphor on the baby’s love for the mother. I must admit it’s a bitter poem, but woven are the images of the snake’s skin, which is perhaps foreshadow. Perhaps an affaire brought on the pregnancy, which is alluded to by the absence of the father. The poem expressing the melancholy of Single Motherhood. I think the poem is expressing the wisdom of a mother with a child. She is like Mary Mother of Christ, but on the flip side there is a Cognitive Dissonance entangled in her single motherhood. It’s wielding dual emotions, the conflict of a mother in her situation.

Milton, Gabriela Marie. “The Ides of October.” WordPress. https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/132705124/posts/8322. 2020, 8/14/2020.