Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Three Poem Drafts


My foe was wise in dark and ancient art,
and so I learned that strange and eldritch way,
a witch's brew from stormy-shadowed heart
when madness rules and thought begins to fray;

I cast a curse upon his evil deeds,
a horror formed of death and hate and time;
I cast it like a sower casts his seeds,
like poets that with art foreshadow rhyme,

and doom I brought upon his kind and race,
a torment like to hell and like to shame;
I cast a pox and plague upon his face
and malice like a devil on his name.

For long we cast enchantments back and forth
that burned like raging flame and froze like ice
from ageless sea of white in arctic north,
and oft my cunning mind sought new device,

but greatest of them all was endless death
that flowed around and through him like the sea,
and then I rasped my last and mortal breath;
at last I found my foe and he found me,

for in a mirror hostile filled with woe
reflected back at me his face I know.

The Echo

The echoes call from hill to hill in game,
in chant, that never stays the same,
that moves like cats in pride through day and night,
now here, now there, now swiftly lost to sight,
and games the echoes play from hill to hill,
enchantments void of stays or quiet rests
like motion-capture of some choice of will,
now here, now there, now of the void a guest,
and what is this, the song that I have heard?

Like bird that calls on high,
where falls the day gone by,
this is the song that I have heard:
a voice cries out, "Word, word, word, word, word, word."

My Love, You are a Cumbrous Boat

My love, you are a cumbrous boat
that rides, or rather parts, the wave;
and all the barnacles that coat
your hull are sent to cuprous grave.
As vast as titan, large and vast,
you lumber over storm and glass;
behind you disappears your past,
and all is foam where'er you pass,
and truly you could be at sea
an aircraft's landing-strip and home;
your eyes like some bright ecstasy
are where the fighters nest at home.
My love, you are a cumbrous boat
that barges through the ocean fog,
which circles you like endless moat,
and you, as graceful as a log,
are on the sea like floating isle;
beside you Moby Dick turns pale;
you roll around in planet-style,
as big as mountain, big as whale.
And how impressive are your sails
that whip around in canvas sheets,
which shine at sea like slime of snails
and flap in wet and noisy beats.