Saturday, September 02, 2017

Three Poem Drafts and a Poem Re-Draft

(The fortnightly book will be delayed another week.)

Afterstorm

Flotsam and jetsam are scattered around;
the heavens were pouring, the air full of sound,
the lightning was flashing as bright as the day.
Now moonlight is falling on the crest of the wave.

The world is all water; it rises and rolls,
fishy and briny, bitterly cold.
Rushing in circles, the racing sharks play
as moonlight is falling on the crest of the wave.

The storm has gone quiet except in my soul,
where it rages with violence and still takes its toll.
How long it will fury, no prophet can say,
but moonlight is falling on the crest of the wave.

Rome is Dead

-- Rome is dead; its pillars fall,
they crumble down to blowing dust.
The rabbits bound in ruined hall,
a shell, a long-degrading husk.
A lonely pier into the seas
is stretching boatless, unremarked.
Upon the hills the careless breeze
heeds not things buried by the park.
The temple formed for sacred rite
by gawking tourist's heedless tread
is unrevered, its holy might
a souvenir; yes, Rome is dead.

-- The heart is stirred by Latin word,
the hand inspired by Roman deed.
The names we have in splendor heard;
from press of time they have been freed.
This temple stands, a church now made,
and Christ now rules, a greater king,
where once to Jupiter they prayed
or to Minerva hymns would sing.
All things recall; that power still
constrains the world like earth and sky.
Where Rome has stood, it ever will:
Rome is dead, but does not die.

Providence

The scent of tea,
the sound of rain,
the rose in bloom,
the bursting spray,
the green of spring,
the golden grain,
the soaring gulls,
the children's songs,
the country church,
the quiet lane,
the lover's hope,
the help of grace:
such providential treasures pour
from holy heaven's open door!

Autumn Rain

I did not listen; morning light
and rain had washed my thoughts away;
the night before did not secure
attention for the coming day.
The tea was hot, the bagel good,
the scent of autumn rain was strong;
forgive me for the pointless wrong:
I did not listen as I should.
The words I heard, and understood,
but meanings spaced between the words
were lost; I gazed out on the woods
and memory leaves the rest in blurs.
The tea was hot, the bagel fine,
the scent of autumn rain was strong;
I did not listen; now I long
to hear between the spoken lines.

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