Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Three Poem Drafts


The mistletoe clutches the strength of the oak,
least of all things and the object of joke,
but a sprig, almost nothing, eternity broke:
Contempt of the small is the death
of the great and the wise.

An intellect burning with malice and hate,
and thrown by a god with the blindness of fate,
the world then did learn -- but it learned over-late --
Contempt of the small is the death
of the great and the wise.

The wealthy will founder on the dreams of the poor,
the clever be fooled by the fools they ignore,
a Child in a manger shall rule every shore.
Contempt of the small is the death
of the great and the wise.


With old sepulchral light the moon,
harsh and vivid, plenilune,
stares with glaring eye on all
touched by traces of the Fall;
the night is dark, the night is bright
with unilluminating light,
with unchromatic, pristine white.

Bystanding stars look sadly down
on stark and shade-infested ground;
the eye is witched, its vision lies,
the light from every corner shies;
an original sin, like a stain, overlays
the compline earth as it petitions and prays:
O present help, assist our ways.

The moon resides in orbit high,
but higher orbits yet may fly;
the stars that in the evening wake
but gems of diadem do make
for regnal glory, and light most sweet,
that spans the world and night defeats,
the moon itself beneath her feet.


Speak to me, O Muse,
of the man of many turns,
who over-wandered
when he had destroyed the holy city of Troy,
who saw the cities
and learned the minds of many men,
who endured great sorrows in his breast
while taking his life in his hands,
and the return of his companions.
Ah, even so, he did not save his fellows,
for all his ardor for it --
for they died in frenzy,
having eaten the oxen of Helios on high,
so that he took from them their return-day.
Of these things also,
from every source,
O goddess, daughter of Zeus, speak.

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