Friday, March 24, 2017

Four Poem Drafts

Of Your Eyes

How splendid shine your limpid eyes,
lucid-wise with heaven's gleam.
I dreamed of loves, but they were lies:
unless they die, they merely seem.
For never love was ever true
save newly born again like ray
that plays at dawn upon the dew,
imbuing it with Easter day.

A fleshly love will fail at need;
it heeds not motive but its greed;
but when from flesh a love is freed,
an angel's light bursts from its seed.

Dead Pan

The breath of the world had stopped, had stayed,
that once on the foaming wave had played,
that once for the sailing ship had made
a rapid voyage home.

The ship was a-drift near land, near isle,
and all were awake, a-watch the while,
and clear through the air, by league and mile,
a voice was calling out.

"O Thamus," the voice said, strong and clear,
"Buthrotum now draws close and near;
when thereby you have come to steer,
announce that Pan is dead."

O Pan, who with shepherds danced and played,
O Pan, to whom rustics roughly prayed,
O Pan, who with shout the host had stayed,
O Pan, you are now dead!

The gods are undone, their power slain,
by God who on Cross had borne the pain,
by whose labor the light was birthed, was gained;
now men outlast the gods.

Arthur Prince of Wales

Sometimes the future
dies before its birth,
with pain and bitter shiver,
exhaustion and cold sweats;
sometimes a Spanish bride,
pure of heart and regal,
is left bereft, so swiftly,
five months only married.

The future having died,
presenting no heir to the present,
a usurping era enters,
and disaster is what inherits.

Futures found in chaos
make unruly heirs.

Hymn to St. Catherine of Alexandria

O sainted maid of splendid grace,
O lady wise of mind most fair,
with light shine down your blessed face
and raise to God for us a prayer
that we be saved from toil and care,
that in our heart's God's light be seen,
that great may be our souls to dare:
pray for us, O Catherine queen.

O word that echoes God's own Word,
inspired of love inspiring all,
your prayers by God are surely heard.
The wheel itself truth could not stall.
As Stephen won, though he did fall,
your death did not your life demean:
refuting those who us enthrall,
pray for us, O Catherine queen.

Each angel in each rank and choir,
apostle, martyr, virgin, king,
rejoiced when you endured the fire,
and of your faith forever sing;
their acclamations thunderous ring,
as, near the Queen of Heaven seen,
you stand nigh Throne where cherubs wing:
pray for us, O Catherine queen.

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