Ignitio

The poet said the world would end again in ice,
But I believe its destiny will be the fire.
When all the stars go singly to their dark defeat,
And nebulae, undone by entropy’s deceit,
No more to light’s creation can aspire,
And last among the heaven’s arched and soaring heights
Fair Sol, that bloodied giant, falls upon our sphere,
We’ll recall among ourselves the wrathful Flood
Ancient counterpart, deep quenching of our sins.
The world once burned with scorching guilt, but now begins
The final forging, metal bought with Lordly blood;
The fire summons all to judgement and to fear.

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Rest

A friend of mine who was a very gifted singer and musician passed away quite suddenly a day ago in a motorcycle accident. This poem is for him.

Though the melody stops suddenly,
Brought a grief to me,
The only way to rejoin the song
Is to count the measures of rest.
Against God, who will protest?
The Singer of all right will not sing wrong.
Those who would find harmony
Must bow their knee;
No suspension remains unresolved.
Although our own resolve might fail
Our voices weak, and bruised reeds be frail,
A tear is not a sin, and grief’s absolved.

Running, Rowing

A sonnet. The rhythm breaks are deliberate.

I will not row my boat as though asleep,
Or gently drift with man’s unconscious tide.
My life is no dream, nor held so cheap:
I never had a dream in which I died.
Say rather: life is but a game, one played
Against the world, and pain, and dark, and death.
A victory is only a loss delayed:
A drowner’s lungs still hold a single breath.
I know I’ll lose one day. But laughter hides
Behind my teeth, prepared against defeat.
I do not cling. Death will not break my stride,
For home comes after game, and rest is sweet.
I will not grudge the match when death has won:
The race is ended soon, and then it’s run.

To Nathaniel, on His Birthday

He’s Dutch, and Canadian: both blonde and blue-eyed,
He plays on pianos and national pride.
“You ain’t Dutch, you ain’t much,” he’d tell me with bias:
On the whole, I would say though, God sent him to try us.

He moved from Canadia to Franklin’s new college
His departure bewailed, to the best of our knowledge,
Only by those who awaited him there.
Yep. A pain in the butt. A regular square.

But for all that, I miss him; a best friend indeed,
A man who would listen in moments of need.
Happy Birthday! Good luck on this trip ’round the sun.
God bless. And God Speed.And gosh darn it, have fun.

Holy Sonnet: in imitation of John Donne

Donne was noted for his intricate, complex, and intellectual poetry, and vivid imagery. I have deviated from the typical rhyme scheme of a sonnet: Rather than ABBAABBACDCDEE, I have followed this pattern: ABBACBBCDEDEFF.

 

 

My bootstraps, weary with my tugging,
At last give way before my law-filled eyes,
And falls the hope my self-strong soul will rise,
Or that my ills will numb from self-made drugging.
The castle that I built upon the specks
Of sand I dug so oft from other’s eyes,
Unshored by planks from mine, and filled with lies,
Has crumbled down. And I it is who wrecks
This life of mine; undone, unloving I,
Self-unsaved selfish soul, yet saved from self,
By living God I’m called to death to die,
From living death to die to live, to shelf
My lonely pride, on righteousness to hold:
‘Tis Christ’s deeds, and not mine, have made me bold.

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.