Study the past, if you would divine the future
I watch the world, sipping my mellow wine,
& from things deeper mysteries did glean,
Sensing the Hesiodic voice divine
To sing what has become & what has been;
& in that song,
My life’s true charity,
Distinguish right & wrong for all posterity.
The answer is we learn from War
Life shall burn where’er it flares,
So let us learn from it no more
& bend our swords to ploughshares,
Come deem them righteous rulers, awe
To those who show clear cares,
Friends, let us concentrate all strength & mind
On loving Mother nature & her kind.
This is no simple shepherd’s song
Once sung in Sicily,
For right or wrong we bards belong
In stranger company,
Sat at the feet of godhead, pledg’d before infinity.
Ye Bards! this is what sunset should look like
From Delphi, blood-orange, immaculate,
I urge on thee come take this healthy hike
Up to the trench where Pegasus placed foot;
Come curb your thirst!
This Castalian Spring
Shall make ye poet first, & then a druid-king!
But only if ye persevere
Thro’ twenty years of training,
Sing lyrics when the skies are clear,
Write renku when them raining,
Embrace the decades full austere,
Ever be abstaining,
From all the crude distractions of a life,
Whose only succor comes with thy true wife!
Deem women, where the Muses dwell,
Heart, twinkle, touch & trust,
Art’s dewy dell more musty cell
When lusting them non-plussed,
My love lies with me as I write, without her I am dust!
I landed me beside a gorge of green
& greys & beige in rugged rock ingrain’d,
Beholden to a beauty rarely seen,
& in that moment holy bliss obtain’d;
Where silver lines
Swept ‘cross the snowy tops,
Below those hoary pines to roaring water drops.
I saw the twelve Olympians
Resume their former glories,
Mars & his rude centurions
Are banish’d to old stories,
Satanus & his minions
Beaten, & what’s more is,
Their dark endeavours ever put away,
The celebrating Gods before me play.
This hymnographic psaltery
Was slowly pass’d among
The company, a symphony
Of poetry & song,
Sing Plato, Aristophones & Xenophon along!
All afloat thro’ rootless modernity,
Ilmarinen’s anchors of intension
I’ve plung’d into this vast posterity,
Found everything frozen in suspension;
This bardic art
Both past & future sees,
As summit mistlings part, gyr falcons drink the breeze.
I climb’d the mountain fast & free,
Upon the peak-caps turn’d to see
The universe unveiling,
Futures luteus flew to me,
Of Nostradamianical content
Mimesi messianical frequent.
Actions, places, names & dates,
Bejimbling in a dream
Of allied states, of psyche’s gates,
This is the saffron stream,
Hu preaching on a Pendragon thro’ star-fleec’d snorts of steam.
Desquamately descending Olympus,
Some tousl’d, fretless urchin on the slopes,
Some tenderfoot searching for Maecenas,
Some lively cornucopia of hopes;
Down happy trails,
Orpheus in these heels,
My song & subject sails & with my spirit seals.
It seems the years of World War Two
More a modern Trojan War,
Enough to elevate our view
Over all those wars before,
Herr Hitler & his surly crew
Denied that cancer-core,
As far from them, & those who courted Mars,
We whistle to Tchaikovsky in our cars.
As soon as I stood sub-montane
I raced off round the bay
To board my plane, like sugar-cane
This poem by me lay,
Awaiting editorial some golden, doric day.
Ye men shall speak of us with sheer disgust,
How on Earth could we have let War happen,
To thee I leave this tryptychrie in trust,
So things like these should not occur again:
A grievous weight,
Beginning on this date for all futurity!
Warfare hath flown, per dans cette terre,
Le mort caches sont bien,
Borders are open everywhere
To every European,
Whose ancestors dark trials did share,
Hauled below the Scaean
Unnumber’d, multitudinous, immense –
How many lives robb’d of life’s innocence?
Asoka’s edicts I have seen
War’s monuments may you,
Days pass’d have been disturb’d, obscene,
But from the gore their grew
This peaceful pearl, this precious planetary parvenu!
When two traditions meet in epic song,
There history & poetry converge
Upon a point called nexus, whence among
Man’s consciousness progressive senses merge;
Tilling the soil,
Planting these sapling shoots,
Which over time uncoil as fields of figs & fruits.
So grow, ye lotus-burnish’d gold,
Ye zest-infested lemon,
Go store these tales of glories old
For future to look back on,
Five thousand years must now unfold
Before this age is run;
Half-way, of course, some Homer might arise
& half-an-age in poesy realize.
To thee, old friend, our baton pass’d,
In thee lives Homer’s throne,
The years roll fast… eftsoons… at last,
Thy song shall set in stone,
Scratching the zephyrs’ tapers with thy breathless stylophone.
My friends, interdependent every one,
Mankind must now exist & sing & laugh;
Obama stands before a rising sun
Below the world-immortal cenotaph;
So many names
Oerframe him, etch’d in stone,
Ash-flashes in the flames of Heaven’s vulcan groan.
“Seven decades long before us
Death fell newfound from the skies,
Souls firmamenting speak to us,
Their lamenting, silent cries,
Flying voices in a chorus
Of miseries & sighs,
In future days let peace all problems solve,
& morals, science, ever outevolve.”
The leader of a new Japan
Agreed with all there said,
An honest man, a kido-san,
He drops his solemn head
& shed a tear for Hiroshima’s hundred thousand dead.
These are the last stanzettas I shall write,
So many inky scribbles on a page,
Leaving the path, & stepping to the right,
I reach the velvet roads of middle age;
A perfect time
To set my spirit free
From histrionic rhyme, my mistress melody.
Last stroll I took, thro’ bluebell woods,
On our fern-life’s fairy frond,
Burst butterflies from bubbling buds
By the Younger’s gorgeous pond,
To sing, like Templars under hoods,
My song, here & beyond,
In summer sun, yet rising, still alive;
Soon all is done, aye, in a line or five.
While sat amidst the garden joys
That are my task’s reward,
With perfect poise my muse employs
This moment, soul-restor’d,
I’ll cast my pen in level lake like Arthur’s Elfen sword.