The Walk

It’s never enough to walk the walk.

The walk springs heels

heels spring teeth

and the subtle lines–

grace and poise–

they sink their teeth into the eyes

spun in lies routinely filed

hook-line-sinker

for the heart:

flesh always leads astray.

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No Kiss

It is not the beard you crave

But the lips behind it,

The kiss

It shook empires

In its youth, bitter thing

Rendered golden in that

Midas way where

Men breathe

Never seeing a

Kiss is never just a kiss

It knows not the contours

Flesh bone and blood

The Sin

One weary heart

Coaxes from quivering walls.

World Poetry Day

In case you didn’t know, today is World Poetry Day, an international day founded in 1999 by UNESCO – the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. What’s the point? Poetry of course! World Poetry Day exists to celebrate and promote the publishing, reading, writing and teaching of poetry across the globe.

If you’d like to know more, and see a few of the poetry community’s favorite pieces, pop on over to One Stop Poetry for a look. If you get a chance, share some of your own favorites as well – the more the merrier, as they say.

To that same end, for the next five days, I’ll be celebrating World Poetry Day by stretching it out over a week, each day sharing one of my favorite poems from different poets. Hope you like my choices – want to share your own? Comment back! I’d love to hear them.

To kick things off today, I open with William Butler Yeats’s “Sailing to Byzantium:”

William Butler Yeats, care of Wikimedia Commons

That is no country for old men. The young
In one another’s arms, birds in the trees
—Those dying generations—at their song,
The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long
Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
Caught in that sensual music all neglect
Monuments of unaging intellect.

An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
For every tatter in its mortal dress,
Nor is there singing school but studying
Monuments of its own magnificence;
And therefore I have sailed the seas and come
To the holy city of Byzantium.

O sages standing in God’s holy fire
As in the gold mosaic of a wall,
Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,
And be the singing-masters of my soul.
Consume my heart away; sick with desire
And fastened to a dying animal
It knows not what it is; and gather me
Into the artifice of eternity.

Once out of nature I shall never take
My bodily form from any natural thing,
But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
Or set upon a golden bough to sing
To lords and ladies of Byzantium
Of what is past, or passing, or to come.

~William Butler Yeats, 1926

Colorless

They would not toy with it, nor move it by and by,

for some irredeemable quality smothered within the sheet,

the colored tape amidst a sea of flashing life cries,

this rainbow city borne on secret chambers of the heart

no monitors nor viewfinders might seek,

and such writhe the passion, blinding hot,

its heaven lain beneath the glittering sheets,

fed upon the blood, all same scarlet–

they are mighty walls they raise between the dying and the dead,

but beneath the sheet, the flash enfolds

the bone, always bone–

the city all men walk, though the hearts might beat them down

and grind them into dust.

* My contribution to the last One Shot Poetry Wednesday before the New Year! One I wrote several months ago, during a philosophical bent following a rather long and heated discussion between several friends on man, and the world, and all that fun stuff.

And as an aside, let me just take a moment to thank you all for all the support you’ve shown this year, both to me, and to One Stop Poetry. It’s been great delving into the online poetry community, and to find so many of you so willing and supportive of reading, and sharing the art we all love. I hope the year has been as good for you as it has for me.

I know I look forward to seeing more of what you have to offer in the days to come – and I hope you all continue to enjoy what you find here in my humble little den.

Cheers, everyone.

Asylum

 

Claudio Mufarrege's "The Arrow Shot"

You bind me

But your walls, your halls they cannot hold me

Body broken but the spirit

Rise, swimming in the deep

Recesses of the forgotten—

Mind: sole reality of prison

You forget, but this soul knows,

It reaches through your gray decay

And in the darkness spring forth wings

To flight, unknown, and I am nothing and no one

But here I am,

These halls

Are mine.

* Photography by Claudio Mufarrege, from her gorgeous photos and interview I conducted with her, as featured on One Stop Poetry.

Never seen Mountains

Keeping to a “short but sweet” theme that seems to be overarching my poetry this week, I give you a Haiku. Enjoy:

Never seen Mountains;

the inner is higher than

without: nothing known.

 

Posted in conjunction with the Thursday Poets Rally.

And by the by, as a part of that, I nominate Kavita! Read any of her stuff. You’ll quickly figure out why.

Ghost in the System

There is a ghost in the system

Everywhere I look

Eyes, following

Faceless arbitrary

Being

It walks the lines that blur

Humanity from itself

Wears our skin, but

The mind is pure

Know the spy

That lurks

Behind

Surround yourself with empathy

Strictly emotionally speaking

It won’t know the difference

Creatures not withstanding

Between you and I, two in

One, imitation profound

They may take our

Bodies but they

Can never take

The Soul.

* My latest contribution to the wonderful One Shot Poetry Wednesdays! Once you’ve had a look, check out some of the other One Shot Poets as well– they’re a skilled bunch of poets, looking to form a community and support one another.  Enjoy!