Claudius can’t see
in that autumn orchard
his reflections —
Claudius can’t see
in that autumn orchard
his reflections —
James Jowers, “St. Marks Place” (1968)
“Studies In The History Of The Renaissance”
hard gem-like flame
maintained this ecstasy
It will not last the night
a lovely light
photograph by David Raichman via Unsplash
Icarus and Psyche
Keats, what thoughts I have of you tonight
O, Hyperion! O, aching time!
thoughts of the hopes of the past —
the burden of the mystery
of the wide world
I stand alone
a sick eagle
far from the fiery noon
and eve’s one star
If Only You Knew
photograph by Hari Nandakumar via Unsplash
Whiskey Tango Charlie
at the airport lounge
nothing gold can stay
photograph by Brayden Law via Unsplash
the candle burns
the wind sits
nightfall is far
cf. Prelinger Archives Home Movie (edited)
old and grey and full of sleep
then you were
cf. from the Nationaal Archief collection, 1940 (edited)
pure of heart
I could not save myself
the lost time
and the person I was
Photograph by Les Anderson on Unsplash (edited collage)
if you ever fall in love
to the sounds of violins
and a melody that wraps itself
around your heart
look for her
one more time
cf. Nation’s Business Magazine (1970)
in the room
will not come again
cf. Maclean’s Magazine (1987)
was the past in color?
1987 was in color
bigger than life
but then again
it could have been
only black and white —
I can’t see in this light
late at night
Image by Vicki Nunn via Pixabay
That time of year
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold…
Photograph by Juliane Mergener via Unsplash
upon a violin
Sentio, ergo sum
my musical Descartes
into my heart
mercy I cried
but in her lantern slide
did see my life
as though magnified
cf. Photographs by Les Anderson via Unsplash (edit)
on rainy nights
the oxford companion to modern poetry
…the major part of his verse is published on his very sparsely visited WordPress blog.
He is still part of the Romantic school even though this mode has long been repudiated.
His work lumbers through the same recurring themes over and over again —
the failed (or failing) romance, the ever popular carpe diem trope and a kind of bitter melancholic nostalgia that this reviewer, for one, finds distasteful.
An early instructive example is “Astrophysics (Halley’s Poem)”.
Here the lover is unflatteringly compared to Halley’s Comet.
She left the poet in 1986 traveling at high rate of speed and the grandiose Galileo quotation would only gild the lily if there was a lily to gild.
His more recent work such as “And the operator said, ‘May I help you please?’” again finds the poet au fait with loving and losing.
Poems such as these have this reviewer wondering whether Tennyson’s famous aphorism is generally applicable.
Providentially his verse is interlarded with songs from the 1970s (the poet’s salad days) and occasionally (and regrettably) some hair metal classics.
We do not expect a volume of his collected works at this time but anticipate further elaboration of these leitmotifs on his blog.
National Geographic Magazine (1948)
I waited all night, I remember that
smoked a cigarette
went out and saw some friends
drove by your house
went to a bar and had a beer
got back home and tried to sleep…
I knocked the phone off the nightstand
And the operator said, “May I help you please?”
and I said “No thanks, baby tonight there ain’t no help for me —
see I just had a bad dream, that’s all that’s wrong with me
see I just had a bad dream.”
cf. Maclean’s Magazine (1962)
all along the avenue
indulging in reminiscence
and sometimes why?
George C. Laur, “Students on Their Way to Senior High School…” (ca. 1975)
The Road Taken
Two hundred roads diverged from a yellow house,
And sorry I could not travel all two hundred
And be one traveler, briefly I stood
And looked down one and thought it was good;
And looked down the other one hundred and ninety nine
And thought they were mine.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Even knowing how way leads on to way losing track,
I never doubted that I could come back.
I am telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages ago:
Two hundred roads diverged —
I took number one ninety nine to my regret,
And that is what I can’t forget.
— J.S. (cf. Robert Frost, “The Road Not Taken”)
cf. Maclean’s Magazine (1962)
dost thou think it fire?
dost thou think it fleeting flame?
thou knowest the stars in the sky
and my heart
poem and photograph by me
cf. TV commercial (ca. 1987)
Alas! is even love too weak To unlock the heart, and let it speak?
Ah, love, let us be true To one another!
Bright are the stars that shine Dark is the sky
Love seeketh not itself to please,
If thou must love me, let it be for nought Except for love’s sake only
And to his eye There was but one beloved face on earth, And that was shining on him.
She knew she was by him beloved
All passions, all delights, Whatever stirs this mortal frame, All are but ministers of Love,
And in Life’s noisiest hour, There whispers still the ceaseless Love of Thee,
Love is not a feeling to pass away
My heart’s so full of joy, That I shall do some wild extravagance
Love is most nearly itself When here and now cease to matter.
You who suffer because you love, love still more.
A thing of beauty is a joy forever
I love thee, as the good love heaven.
Love keeps the cold out better than a cloak.
Imparadis’d in one another’s arms.
Love is the crowning grace of humanity,
Not grace, or zeal, love only was my call,
Love’s too precious to be lost,
We love but while we may
Love will conquer at the last.
Omnia vincit Amor; et nos cedamus Amori.
To see her is to love her, Oh my luve’s like a red, red rose,
cf. Kim Rintling, “IMG_5859” (1980) (edited)
Et tu, Brutè? (a true story)
I stepped out of my office to have a cigarette.
It was about 11 o’clock and I needed a break.
I was standing near the parking lot when I noticed a large shadow.
I could vaguely hear a muffled argument.
I looked up and to my horror and surprise I saw the Little Caesars blimp
coming in fast, low and right towards me.
I could see the pilots arguing in the gondola so I started waving in what must have seemed like a futile gesture.
The wind picked up and the blimp began to fishtail down the street —would it hit me, my office or my car?
It must have been headed to a grand opening or something but my office had nothing to do with it.
I tried to light another cigarette out of nervousness but it’s difficult in the wind and then I realized it probably wasn’t a good idea to have an open flame in the area.
After what seemed like an eternity the ship seemed to right itself and it sauntered past me and down the adjacent street.
I ran inside and tried to pull myself together.
floating far away
Carol M. Highsmith, “Dramatic View of John Hancock Building, Boston, Massachusetts” (ca. 1980)
i called you on the telephone
i was on mass ave
with a guitar and flowers
on the wind
and your voice
“PHILOSOPHICAL” DIALOGUES BETWEEN SOCRATES (S) AND AN IMAGINARY INTERLOCUTOR (ii):
S: Wittgenstein at a restaurant or we can dine at home.
ii: Bertrand, can you Russell up some dinner for me?
S: Francis, Bacon sure smells great when it’s cooking doesn’t it?
ii: That hits Lamarck.
S: I Goethe go.
ii: Rousseau long!
S: Let’s play Heidegger seek!
ii: I Kant find you!
S: Hegel, what’s going on?
ii: We were supposed to go Schopenhauers ago!
S: Don’t put Descartes before the horse! We’ve Spinoza this many times before.
ii: John, Locke the front door and we’ll get going.
S: Foucault? I didn’t hear the phone ring.
ii: Hume are you referring to?
S: Camus come over to visit today?
ii: I’m Newton town so I’m not sure where to go.
S: I’ll Nietzsche in front of my house. Drive Pascal and then take the next left. Husserl can you get here?
ii: Is your house Nietzsche and clean?
S: Rousseau it is. I really Fichte this place up. It looks great. Kierkegaard-en I told you about with lots of flowers.
ii: If that’s Sartre than I’m a Hottentot.
S: Santayana wants me, Lord, I can’t go back there!
ii: Don’t Thoreau your life away!
Hillary G. Bailey, “The Last Chord” (ca. 1935)
I remember the songs you taught me
and I can still see your hands on the keys —
graceful and intuitive
and the old upright still reverberates your memory
through the light and dust
and the years
Maclean’s Magazine, 1970
parking lot denouement
the passionate shepherd stood next to his honda civic
juliet stood nearby
all the stars in the sky
time slowed down
our lives were suspended
just for a moment
at a point turning
and then you were gone
the parking lot was empty,
all the pleasures waiting to be proved
Photograph by Daniel Monteiro via Unsplash
Ceci n’est pas une intersection.
In the warm twilight
I am translated
at the red light
the song on the radio
holding, as ‘twere,
the mirror up to nature
and unravels my heart
Sports Illustrated, 1965
Non Scholae Sed Vitae Discimus
we shared a vanilla ice cream cone
under a vaulted arch
and a carillon chorale
through the leaded diamond pane window
I could hear
something about British history