Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Three New Poem Drafts and a Re-Draft

The last word of the last line of the third, by the way, is deliberate: to tale, i.e., to tally. The Gubbio reference is to the wolf in the famous legend about Francis of Assisi.

Thorn in the Side

Lest I take the lesser road,
spur me in my side;
lest I arrogate myself,
puncture all my pride;
let no willow rod be spared
to spoil this wayward child,
yea, though it be a bitter pill
to drive a man half-wild,
lest I wander, ever lost
in lands of lie and fear,
or trap myself in mirror-glass,
that maze of death and tears!


How devilish the devil is,
how filled with devil's wiles!
Let out the trump of virtue,
the devil only smiles.
Each hand manipulates the world,
each word is laced with guile:
How devilish the devil is,
how filled with devil's wiles!


The wideness of God's mercy, like the all-extending sky,
sublimely outextends any mercy in my eye,
overrules this little world like heaven's endless vault,
and beyond each mountain's snow-crown looms and overexalts.
And the boundless blue above, by sweeping light reminds
that I am not the one who judges all, and rules, and binds;
that from Heaven I cannot bar whatsoever folk I please;
that, yea, the slimy worm, and such slithering snakes as these
may play in God's own land with peace and even grace;
that that murderer, the lion, may with the lamb share place;
that the wolf that once mauled calf may, like Gubbio's distress,
snuggle there with calves and by those calves be blessed;
that though it be by fire, with smoke upon their tails,
saved may be the wicked, by a grace no man can tale.

The Narcissist

So fair is his existence,
no eye resists;
a third of heaven would turn traitor
and give up bliss
for but the lying promise
of his kiss.

The Devil is a lovely creature --
and he knows it.
All creation and his smile
show it.

His beauty is so great,
his style so nice;
his smile sparkles so,
like starlit ice,
that God might die to make him --
if that's the price.

Yes, the Devil is a lovely creature --
too bad he knows it,
and would to God he had the grace
not to show it.

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