Beknighted

(Upon reading Don Quixote)

 

The stubborn whitewashed walls
Of my old mind’s house cling to me: I must ride.
Lead me forth dubiously, dangerously, undecided and undaunted.
I will be Mr. Grey-No-More beside you,
Bonfiring the false oldness of mockery.
You! In your ramshackle armour,
Cardboard sword,
Batter my mind with your outworn words,
And never worn shall your welcome be.
Make me mad as you are mad,
Inflict your ramblings on my senses,
For I cannot see giants as clearly as I must,
And enchantment flees my approach like some wild thing,
When I would rather romp with it.
Enfeeble my arms , and let life bruise me in passing:
The rough-and-tumble of reality has yet to rattle
My skeptic, armoured heart.

I wonder as I wander through the fields of my thoughts,
Marveling at the holes left behind
In the windmills of my mind.

Two

The two feet that carry me
Through my Sunday-blessed,
Sun-blessed world,
They carry me past those two squirrels,
Chattering in their tree-war.

Those two dogs, one black,
His brother white,
Chasing eternally cheerful
After the ball, the ball,
The wonderful ball
Look look look there it goes –

And the two lovers talking
Side by side under the sleeping bag
On the stage in the park.
They know they have a good thing,
However their hearts came by it.

And there were two robins,
But now there are three,
Worm-grubbing with sidelong glances,
Maybe to balance me,
Here alone in the afternoon:
But they’re wrong, for I am sitting with the sun,
Chance companions,
Both beaming,
The two of us.

None of which is to say
That I would never seek another
To walk by the side of.
And she and me
Would walk under the sun where
He waits, expectant, now that I have someone else,
Waiting for his own beloved moon.
That’s the way the world works.

Storm Baptism

Storms in the sky-deep, a tyrantous roar,
Drumming the heavens a-tremble,
Like God-spoken waters on infinite shore,
Waves rumble.

Ira diei: the thunder’s reply,
Promethean flame full of glory.
Lightning, fire-phoenix, will flash and will fly,
White fury.

Blazing and hammered, the sky-deeps will flow,
Noah’s water released once again:
A baptism on our repentance below,
Cleanses sin.

 

Ye Knight Bertram (in imitation of Spenser)

(A quick note. The “v’s” tend to be “u’s” and vice versa. There are also several “j’s” as “i’s”. If you think that’s ridiculous, you should read the original Faerie Queene, by Edmund Spenser. It’s way harder.)

The gentle knight vpon his fire-hearted steed around that lake
Did canter, spear in hand, precaution against foul mischief’s hand
Awaiting th’revelation of his foe’s abhorrent shape, the drake
Which fire breathed against the good and helpless people of the land.
Good Bertram was his name, yclad with yron’s stout and stvrdy band,
Forthsent by Faerie Queene the euil, fiery snake straightway to qvell,
Right brauely did Bertram, iollie knight, obey her stern command.
Beside the fire of euil Discontent it’s ne’er safe to dwell;
So waited he, beneath the moon, that wicked dragon to dispell.

Before the moon had passed its midnight mark, vpheaued from the mere
The dragon, jaws a-drip with coals of uengeance, enuy’s lvstful flames
Belched and blooming red into the siluer night, to others deadly fear.
Not so our Bertram; that good knight, like wise men all, his terror tames
And couches spear against the drake’s aduaunce, denying all his claims
To souereignty ouer the people of the queene. With horrid howl,
For, brauely striking strongly, Bertram in one foot has made it lame,
The dragon slithers near and lashes with his deadly tail foul.
The knight has fallen, hands warding off dragon’s poysonous iowl.

But glory be the Lord, who ‘bandons not his own, gvarding saints
From death at hands of deadliest foes. With forearm strong by faith in God,
Good Bertram grips the dragon’s jaw, and might applying, reacqvaints
His foe with pain, both breaking bone and tendon tearing, though clawed
His body vnder talons fearful is. And lo! The drake, vnjawed,
His black and wicked blood outpours onto the shore. Vnto the throes
Of well-deserued death he giues him: Hell did greet him, who the sod
Now bites in mouthless pain. Braue Bertram gets him vp, and straight he goes
To prayers of thanks to God, who uictory to Bertam’s hand bestows.

Psalm 148 (Free Verse)

Praise the Lord from the heavens
Be cosmic bread, leaven of glory,
All seven spheres tune ears to hear what the moon and sun
Have begun to sing in the star-deep sea of the sky.
Let firmaments, assured of enduring,
Remember the commands and decrees
Of the Lord who ceded them their high boundary.
And then tip-top over, to the downward plunge,
Back to the sea, that roaring mirror of the skies,
Leviathan, still unhooked, bows his heads with their fiery eyes;
All, to the last glittering drop of minnow, those flashing haiku,
Sing of a king.
Weather storms and dashes out the dance meter,
Vaulted clouds pour out, roar out
The praise of hail and sled-snow and chain-lightning
And the fire’s glow.
Earth, green womb, mankind’s tomb, takes up the chorus
Among the harvest,
And in the forest, smallest to largest,
From the oaks to the apples, from cricket to cattle,
Dappled birds winging, singing,
Cry to the king,
Men and their armies, judges, rulers, wise men, prodigals, fools,
Lovers in harmony bow the knee
Only to the Lord.
Glorious is He!
Exalting his horn, night to dawn,
Saints who praise, beloved of him, bosom-close, bounty-laden, all!
Remember, then render
Praise.