BY JAN HAAG

ART & POETRY - ACCUMULATIONS

POETRY + ESSAYS + MUSIC + TRAVEL + FICTION + TEXTILE ART

INTRODUCTION + HAAG'S BIO


The Desolation Poems


Poetic Forms Used in English





#100 TERSANELLE

3-25-98


Black girl, dogging me, chanting her voodoo
rhymes, that sound like two big men and a crime.
Bland-faced, smile-faced, solo, no common clue.

I resist with heart, mantra, frozen time,
her hostility, chants, her grunting moans,
rhymes, that sound like two big men and a crime.

Sun filtered world, no transmutable tones
from slithering malice, her hovering,
her hostility, chants, her grunting moans,

Hawks ascending in visible whistling
spit. I wheel as a crow to free my ears
from slithering malice, her hovering,

well scrubbed, flaming, intentional, bright tears.
"Don't you spit at me!" "I ain't never did
spit!" I wheel as a crow to free my ears

and my sight from vehement spite to rid --
black girl, dogging me, chanting her voodoo.
"Don't you spit at me!" "I ain't never did!"
Bland-faced, smile-faced, solo, no common clue.




#101 GLOSE

3-26-98


"...poems of sounds so pure and liquid
travelers cross deserts with them..."*

Syllables to paint the world's glory,
from ensorceled brain to tongue they slid
secreting in both song and story
poems of sounds so pure and liquid

they shimmered in the mind-locked pool,
water crystallizing into gem,
melting so subtly, slow and cool
travelers cross deserts with them.




*Texte adapted from: "My aim is to sound so pure and so liquid that travelers will take me across the desert with them..."
Letter to Theodore Roethke, September, 1937, Selected Letters of Louise Bogan,






#102 ITALIAN MADRIGAL IN TERZA RIMA

3-27-98


The blind children of our television's age
of scorn for human life, and especially death --
they see not the consequences of their rage.

They shoot to kill, to eliminated all breath,
not knowing fragile bodies once stopped will lie
silent forever in the still arms of Seth.

Who is Seth? They, not old enough to descry
life and evil, death or eternity's tax,
sit incarcerated in cells and defy

the tears that rise from the ignorance that racks
their hearts as children unable to face facts --
wanting home and mother's dinner, their small wage,
wanting to wander fields, laugh, to smell the sage.



For the people of Jonesboro, Arkansas, victims of our age.




#103 RONDEAU

3-28-98


Let intuition lead us through the dark
of the imagination's gentle park
where the extraordinary wit of light
prevails to shine within appalling night
and frighten away the ominous bark

that marks the frozen heart thumping, quite stark
in contemplation of the smallest quark,
in exultation of gathered insight.
Let intuition lead us

like high, trilling birdsong that we might hark
the evanescence of music's path, mark
each newborn act, transmute it into rite
like the high wind lifting, gliding each kite.
Let intuition lead us.




#104a SICILIAN OCTAVE II

3-29-98


The ancient Chinese were obsessed with fine writing;
Hindus are ensorceled with sound, sonorous speech;
Tibetans enhanced their land's visual charm citing
Om Mani Padme Hum on mandala, rock reach,
on thangka, stupa, choten, stone -- lighting
paths with Siddham, Gupta, Lentza to beseech
the winds, the Gods, the trees without indicting
earth's initial capacity to teach.




#104b SICILIAN SESTET II

3-29-98


The southern boy gripping the old black man's hand.
a flash on tv as fast as rela
on a State visit to the slaves forefather's land,
tripping down steps suited, together, bella,
the fragile ex-prisoner, the harassed man,
love for each other, Clinton and Mandela.




#104c SICILIAN SONNET

3-29-98


The ancient Chinese were obsessed with all writing;
Hindus are ensorceled with sound, sonorous speech;
Tibetans enhance their land's visual charm citing
Om Mani Padme Hum on mandala, rock reach,
on thangka, stupa, chhorten, stone -- lighting
paths with Siddham, Gupta, Lentza to beseech
the winds, the Gods, the trees without indicting
earth's initial capacity to teach.

The southern boy gripping the old black man's hand.
a flash on tv as fast as rela
on a State visit to the slaves forefather's land,
tripping down steps suited, together, bella,
the fragile ex-prisoner, the harassed man,
love for each other, Clinton and Mandela.




Inspired by the image of Clinton and Mandela on the March 26, 1998 tv news broadcast, both CBS and PBS and probably all the others, where Clinton, on his visit to Africa was descending some stairs holding the 79 year old Mandela's hand. It was so touching, that at the first glimpse (on CBS) tears sprang into my eyes. An image of human compassion and unity and brotherhood far beyond any of their well meaning, well spoken words. The image should be made into a poster and sold throughout America and Africa.




#105 SICILIAN QUINTET

3-30-98


The sick dread of childhood bobs in the mind
like dark swollen rivers where sunlight evokes
the hidden places. Where one cannot now find
the sources of the dread, the terror provokes
the hideous awareness of the blind.




#106 TERZA RIMA

3-31-98


Within the envelope of my joyous heart
I keep the sealed letter of your sad harms
hoping the warmth of its pulsing beat will chart

a new calligraphy, new runes, new charms,
elevating your mood to spontaneous
delight, in thoughts to over-write alarms,

making a palimpsest as full, glorious
as the twiggy tracery writ over by blooms
sparking the world with springs notorious

sweet smells, sweet scents, filling all the gloomy rooms
with new patterns on new wrought, intricate looms.



#107 SENRYU

4-1-98


The vacant whirlpool
The lively mind-pool of man
Vortices vanish.




#108 BLUES STANZA

4-2-98


Oh I will live content on the back porch of hell
among the milk and the shoes. On the back porch of hell
I'll polish up heart and soul until the knell.

Whose to say "Yes?" Whose to say "No" today?
Nobody pushing, nobody pulling today.
I'll settle right here until I get under weigh.




#109 LONG MEASURE

4-3-98


"...compline? It's a time of day in a breviary, I believe, a mediaeval time of day, no doubt."
What the Woman Lived, Selected Letters of Louise Bogan, 1920-1970, 1973, p.90


In the mediaeval part of the day
in echos, darker, larger, rough
hewn, in shadows of Venetian
squares, but further back, back -- enough!

Directly preceding the Gothic
of Chartres, Amiens -- long faces, spires,
hooded eyes, stone -- falls the night shade,
the cumulative effect of the fires.




#110 ECHO VERSE

4-4-98


They dismissed me from the top priority in hell.
My sins were small, even when I felt quite well enough
to gad and carp and caw. As a curlew, sharp beaked, is
found on shore, so, at sea, all birds who are are enough.
In hell
Enough
Is
Enough
Nor were angels keen to see me arrive in heaven.
Their nets were out for certifiable, pure gold, too.
But base metal, as a human is, they cried: "Let be!"
So cry curlews, pelicans, and cormorants: "Let be!"
In heaven
Too
Let be
Let be




#111 ENGLISH SONNET II
THREE SICILIAN QUATRAINS AND A HEROIC COUPLET

4-4-98


Don't be choosey about life. When the time
comes, allow its remembrance to surprise
you: the odd friend, the bright hope under grime,
the haunting-as-a-nightmare, benign skies,

the forbidden places that you have breathed,
the forgotten dreams fulfilled, the yawning
serenity that unfolds opens, wreathed
like a Sahara vista when fawning

passion is outlived, when budding flowers,
poking through dirt, are observed, honored, left,
at the woods' edge unpossessed, their powers
untested. Heaviness, unwarped, unweft,

slipping all living stuff. Don't be too choosey.
Let remembrance surprise you, prettily.




#112 SPENSERIAN SONNET

4-5-98


By God, you can see why the Hindus conceive nothing
to be the substance of the universe
as moment by moment you approach the thing
no one sees, no one hears, a guess, a fear, a hearse.

Sing out, sing out in clarion, hovering verse.
Greet me, whatever you are, sing me to sleep,
remove consciousness, the hijinx, the curse.
Lower your gyrating search into the deep,

invisible world where the upsurge will swiftly reap
the blossoms of May, of Shivaa, great Shakti.
and nothing -- nothingness. Let slow blankets creep,
cover my corpse with moss green filigree

to sleep and sleep and sleep in Nirvana
where nothing hides but ghost images of Maya.




#113 SEPTET

4-6-98


The child's frozen soul stood mute,
clinging tight to the silence,
arms clutched behind her body,
her head like a broken lute.
Tongue-tied, ashamed of her fright,
articulation had not
been taught her. Yet she could write.




#114 ITALIAN SESTET II

4-7-98


Call up, evoke the last step in the world before dawn.
As the dark fades away in the gradual, soft light,
the birds whisper: "Who, who?" "Is it still dark?"

The magnolia blossoms, yet cold, tremble, yawn.
All must forego the comfort of the night.
Who wakes? Who dares unfledge the melodious lark?




#115 LONG HYMNAL OCTAVE

4-8-98


Confusion rides my every thought.
I twist in the night, I reel in the way.
I would howl from the cliffs, wring the sky wrought
with lightning, hurl my rage, and say
unimaginable sorrows, hard fought,
scrubbed, rinsed, dug up and buried decay.
And yet the light still shines on the yacht
of each new voyage launched each new day.




#116 LONG OCTAVE

4-9-98


Do all man-made beauties contain
a heart of evil, built over
pain, capturing glories of nature's wealth
for private gain, approval's lure,
dazzling the heart of love to remain
ensnarled by outer show, impure
foundations returned by charity's stealth,
saying to the others of earth, "Endure"?




#117 SHORT HYMNAL OCTAVE

4-10-98


The pattern of morning's black
silence, of emptiness, rain
is ripped by the alarm of greed, of lack.
With more respect for gain,
and a very backhanded knack
for security in vain.
Please get rid of your protected stack,
so we can ignore your pain.




#118 HENDECASYLLABICS

4-11-98


Dus la phab, "to fall into time" (Tibetian)


Down the clear straight passage of "might-be" surges
the density of "is." Timelessness free falls
into time. The known event now emerges
as action; "will" that waited as "was" will cease
yet ever be -- seen, unseen. Holography,
real as vision, dissolves when the last piece
disappears from the pool of eternity.




#119 HENDECASYLLABICS II

4-11-98


Dus la phab, "to fall into time" (Tibetian)


Hover outside of time with dreams, with hopes free
to be or not be, choosing not as spring might
once have sought to be other than she now is.
No choice tenders the shining light of sun, moon
stars. Wind, rain move across the world avoiding
webs of spiders entangled threads restaining
febrile choice and the choiceless leach of seized time.




#120 HENDECASYLLABICS III

4-11-98


Dus la phab, "to fall into time" (Tibetian)


Hover outside of time with dreams, with hopes free
to be or not be, careful with spring urges
once willed beyond harmony seeking to see
no choice tenders the shining light of sun, moon
stars. Wind, rain move across the wild world to chime
webs of spiders entangled threads which pontoon
febrile choice and the choiceless leach of seized time.

Down the clear straight passage of "might-be" surges
the density of "is." Timelessness free falls
into time. The known event now emerges
as action; "will" that waited as "was" will cease
yet ever be -- seen, unseen. Holography,
real as vision, dissolves when the last piece
disappears from the pool of eternity.




#121 ADONIC, SAPPHICS

4-12-98


Sun's rise, moon's set, rain's wild lees, dew drops, sea's calm --
where will thunder rumble to fall from lightning
skies and shake the earth's mild desire to rest in
characteristic

bliss, untroubled, blameless, quite still in green, blue
atmosphere, clouds, winds with its longing known, lost?
Come again pale star, ride across the world's bright
imagination.

Creatures, blue born, immanent, doomed to walk, die
deviant from stars structure. Pre-set cyclones,
grace of energized planet's, spinning past fired
Cassiopeia,

bow to Ma Andromeda, cater wishes,
transit hopes, fears, all strange sighs, boundless echos
clean of substance, dazzlingly, gifted, garnished
habitablely.




#122 ADONICS

4-12-98


Limitless Shiva
cried in Adonic
splendid lament, sheer
agony, knife struck

doom, as unable
Proserpine snatched for
winter's somatic
season's cool spell, dearth,

drama's soft death knell.
Venus sets weeping.




#123 HYMNAL STANZA

4-13-98


My mother sleeps beneath the peach
azaleas, fired until
ash, ruddied by the sun's last reach.
Circling, the bird's are shrill.

My father lies beneath the cherry
blossoms, bowing, weeping,
his powdered, white bones mealed, fairy
food now from perishing.

His son is above the ground, speechless
and staring into space
his wits have gone astray, ghostless
he studies spider's lace.

The Holy Ghost has visited me,
the birds, the fairies. Infinite
unusual space surrounds the bee.
The glowing sun stays lit.




#124 DOUBLE ACROSTIC

4-14-98



Another   day   begins  in   the   life   of    Anna.
Nighttime has passed and the rains are soon to begin.
Nature  shifts  her  head eager to  seek out the sun.

May's kissing winds  will dominate the wet, the warm.
Arise    dear    Anna    and  consume  your   banana.
Nothing  will  prevent   variety's   graceful  swoon.
Nowhere  to hide from the  princely day's gusty boon.
Intense,  more   magic  than   the  wandering   Magi,
Numinous gifts are  brought by her dance to the fern,

Goddess  Anna,  enigma,  pale  princess, green  frog.





#125 QUATRAIN II

4-15-98


Cut into an apple. Fail to eat it all.
Discard it at your peril.
Brown is the fleshed blood of the red apple, dried,
still suitable to be pie-d.




#126 COMPOUND ACROSTIC

4-16-98



Mistress  Ann  reaches  into    her   seventies
Ascending slowly, gracefully,   one   by    one.
Numinous  energy   emerging        to       rev
Nascent     ascents   of   the   spiritual  eye.  
Intuitive  stretching  for teaching  to   learn
Not  to falter  on the cool, tree bordered taut
Ground which shows unquestioned, fidelity's way,


Answering the great soul, the sphere, the mango
Nutrients blessed  by the sun, the falling rain,
Nature's rocks rounding - the path of an Essene.




#127 ANGLO-SAXON PROSODY

4-17-98


Songs for the singers, sighs for none
salvation sings simply for one

Symphonies of splendor
stagings for the moon's silver lore

Powerful singular sensed beauties
caught and shimmering, silence for the trees




#128 AE FRESLIGNE II

4-18-98


Isle of Manx in Irish Sea
peopled by the Celt and Gauls --
my ancestors whiteish be
they hear dirges, lais and calls.

Druids they were and Druids
they be until time runs out.
While boiling blood and fluids
mine old prosody, puns doubt

the persistence of the sod,
telescope their hopes on stars,
bow to kiss earth for their God,
swear by the vengence of Mars.

But lasses and laughing lads
know their loves and know their style
of Asian moms, roaming dads
loosed from the drop of that isle.




#129 HEROIC SESTET II

4-19-98


The adjective survives to describe blue and yellow,
the noun can do the job as well, like red.
Any color both noun and adj will, like jello,
tell tales of sky and lemon, blood -- and bread
is white or brown or, at times, blue spotted mold.
Penicillin can be gotten from the old.

Colors range through every shade, hue and light.
Words cover the spectrum equally as well.
Would you rather eat a noun and verb by sight
or gobble cheese and butter, smell the smell
of biting an apple full of spurting juice?
In dieting a word can be of use.

Remember the preposition, the participle,
the adverb and the tax on syn as well.
What a feast for eye, ear and brain to tipple:
drink up color, drink up sound. Words will quell
the thirst, the appetite, the passion for
the chocolate, sugar, the spiced and bloody gore.




#130 ALBA

4-20-98


I longed for night, dreaded bright, cruel day.
I had prayed for my shining knight, kept men away.
Years gathered deep, like intricate, turfed, green lawn
bedewed with magical mist against dread dawn.

My prayers were answered, my hopes were richly fulfilled,
My knight arrived and my days were mown, weeds killed.
We lived in the dark, desperate for day to be gone
as the light shone across the park at pale dawn.

His wife was at home, his heart was vowed to me.
Our love couldn't meet the day, couldn't be.
In his quandry, like a young, brutalized, torn fawn,
he let death come into our bower as dawn.




#131 ALEXANDRINE COUPLET

4-21-98


A dark and gloomy day, pigmented by the moon --
who failed to set, who failed to leave, who would not swoon

into the thickness of the night, into the cloud
that dark, with glimmering rim, invited like a shroud

of sacrilegious candles lit to shine along
the way of strange behavior, odd, eccentric, strong

and motivated, misalignment, across the dune
which even the isolated, lonely, haunted loon

forsook, and pushed its dark head into the lake, bowed
by the shocking ineptitude of time banging and loud

-- ended inevitably in darkness to prolong
what would otherwise end with a resounding gong.




#132 STANDARD HABBIE

4-22-98


A mouth of salt to cure the world's ills --
it burns the gums, the tongue it kills
like bright fire filling the ancient gills.
Excessive brine
will forever end all brain trills
except for the sign

of the dove and friendship's pure trust.
Consider your advice's thrust
before you bestir the torrid gust
of change, of the new.
Perhaps its best to lie in dust
sanschance to rue

the cure of the salt, the cure of the tongue
since one has for ages quite clung --
especially when one was quite young --
to ways of the land,
not ways of the sea once we were strung
mortal on the sand.




#133 BLANK VERSE

4-23-98


The unstable moon in the splenderous sky
wakes even the birds at night with shifting light,
with its promise of day, its tease of illumination.
O be not the moon, don't wake me from night's
dreams, dark promises. I am fragile in light,
have sought through life to reflect the midnight sun.
I have won considerable peace in being
asleep, in running, silence, avoiding bird
song and amorous flight. O moon, stand perfect,
still, bright, but don't wake the birds, don't wake me.




#134






Copyright © 2002 Jan Haag
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Jan Haag may be reached via e-mail: jhaag@janhaag.com or jhaag@u.washington.edu






ALPHABETICAL INDEX BY FORM

of

POETRY FORMS USED IN ENGLISH




BY JAN HAAG

ART & POETRY - ACCUMULATIONS

POETRY + MUSIC + ESSAYS + TRAVEL + FICTION + TEXTILE ART

INTRODUCTION + HAAG'S BIO



21st CENTURY ART, C.E. - B.C., A Context