Consider this verse sequence as a work in progress. I will be adding new sonnets every week or so, sometimes changing the order – and maybe even altering some of the lines if I think of better ones.
Some will comment these are not sonnets in the stricter sense – but they are fourteen lines of ambling iambic, most often pent up in a pentameter of sorts.
Divided into two stanzas of seven lines each, the only definitely placed rhymes are the couplets that cap lines 6 & 7 and 13 & 14. The remaining rhymes, when they occur, are – in turn – internal.
As for the style – these poems are meant to be dramatic in nature, almost short soliloquies that provide an immediate, poetic response to a seemingly random thought or encounter.
I have recorded and edited short, shareable videos that will allow me post these on various social platforms. The visuals are intentionally minimal, and framed to place the viewer’s focus on the language.
Feel free to scroll through these and read in any order you wish. Thanks for taking the time to listen and read.
With brevity being what being is,
And all our periods and purpose pared
Into parenthesis, what more can we,
In the conjugation of a grave
Still hope to be – an utterance said beneath
The breath – a hardly half-completed phrase
That silent falls, before the all that it conveys.
Yet some words have means to carry more
Than single meanings, and some in sounds
Identical are by both root and route the echo
Of their differences. So sentenced, we –
In the etymology and trope of time –
Put all such repetition out of reach,
To be in person singular, singular in speech.
Read then in red, the bible of the skin,
The word made living and the living
In letters writ down. Does not your breath
Bear as much of God, as all the testaments
Combined? Scholar and scripture will say no,
But in the verses of your sleep at night,
It is with the darkness that your angels fight.
Each man is in himself a thing made as much
Of myth as birth and bone, a story laid
Of labyrinth, madness, mercy and the long
Excursions home at sea. Tie me to the mast,
And let me howl, for I hear the hungry
Beauties sing their bloody song upon the shore,
Where desire leads me to desire nothing more.
The soul uncaged, not from its fist of ribs
But risen forth from reason, fears nothing more –
Not height’s ascension nor the silvered sudden
Of the drumming and the coming of the storm,
Nor the beckoning back of the voices
That below us we have left – these are the least,
Next to the beast itself that fears the beast.
It is the wild within us that has built
The bars – the hunger that has set the having
Out of reach. Dream into day, as through
The forest of insatiate sensation,
Hooved and horned, we pipe our perilous song.
O hear and holler – frolic, weep and feed,
When our worst freedoms from themselves are freed.
The urge is equal then – to build or break:
And whether there is might and merit more
In what we bravely make, or batter down,
Is still the constant question of the day.
Heard as the hovering gulls above the beach
Of fame, surveyed their fellows at the feast
Of bones – of soldier, oarsman, prince and priest:
Bring then your wooden horses from the sea,
The hammer silent and the swords within,
Their dark-ribbed rattle and intent contained.
When the rivets of the knotty womb unhinge,
Behold how many of your coiling city
Will this night as ghosts begin, and be unborn,
Or new masters made, from years of travel torn.
Idolatry at either end of the dial –
The boy and his long year of yearning,
Mindful of the man and the world as one.
In his school of days still learning how
To pen upon the pages of his turning,
Turning to what formulations form at hand
Increase of coinage, comfort and command.
Then the elder, who’s long since reconciled
The best of his ambition to the brunt
And hammer of his days, his book become
A glossary of loss, and the backward child
That raised him, a figure at the front of hope,
That even hope forgets, unless the world and man
Remember where both were bound, and both began.
The seed within the beast that is the sowing
Of the soul, and the root it rises to, however
Cleaned and reasoned, link to aristocrat
And animal alike. The more that knowing
Claws into the body, the more sensation claims
The mind, as though the spine were but a chain,
Reciprocal in reference and refrain.
There, each a prisoner in the other’s cage,
Schooled and creatured in this hovel of bone;
At base, all men are base, and can hurl themselves
At anything opposing, like a stone.
At best, all men are best conditioned to be
Articulate and architect for peace,
Restless equally for rest, and for release.
Nature, under the navy of her own,
Brings us from distant causes a stranger
Sustenance. Ferried fruits from unfamiliar lands,
Roots and spices whose names in Arabic
Make, in music and aroma both, our senses
Alien to themselves – here uncrated on the pier
Of our perceiving, a transport of what’s known and near.
Can an antique preference fare against
The trade and traffic of the day? What before
Was loved now lessens to the taste -
Our appetite is newly edged, freshly now
Confectioned, though in what it savors, sinks.
Were there an argosy that inwardly could sail,
Not for treasures new, but passions that prevail.
It now winds down, the hands and numbers numb,
The gears, still intricate in silence, like lovers,
Fingers folded over thumb. I will hold you now,
Forever, now that time is done. Unpictured
In our minds, a gradual magic,
The slow removal of presence and props,
We watch what fades, but feel the world that stops.
So listen now to what no longer moves,
Time’s keeping is not kept – the unmotioned
Grace of the machine is that it does not dream
It’s ending, but holds itself forever still –
Proof enough that meaning is in movement,
And in movement, which our souls may keep,
Turns chance upon us, as clocks turn toward sleep.
In warm or winter, there’s a wind that’s born
To blow you from yourself, that scatters
Into several selves, and everywhere, the one
True thing you thought you were. Now from you,
The sequential green goes from gold to gone,
What matters is made bare, to branch and bone,
A freeze and fever made of stark and stone.
Loveliness and luck, seem now a charity
That nature lends, a fruit that fades before
Temptation’s touch or tending. As all unshades,
The earth grows rich with what we, rotting,
Leave behind. Russet and rustle, yellow
And yearn, the root beneath cannot be seen,
Yet knows anew, what growing is and green.