The Desolation Poems

Poetic Forms Used in English



Begin being great Greek
Penile penis great land
Bacchus feasting quaffs broods

Penial purchase red blooms
Dance the lanes and strike deep
Great man lesser wine God

Pendicle curse reverse quite soon
The earth fills up rest subside now void doom
Success Priapic kills Bacchus wounds divine plans

Soon erect the phallic prizes rivers running bright gore
Standards members right here pure pendentive hard groin
Build high build big space exists for man beast

Wish concrescent cool dreams
testis conchoid seas dream
Pubes pubis poets preen

Phallus come erect grow
Water semen swim drown
Save pubescent small worlds

(Tailed Italian sonnet with 8 short lines interspersed)


Tucci explored Tibet in the early days
high in the mountains vastness.
The Portala, did not yet soar to full height.
The civilization
of maroon-robed monks. dark rooms, flickering light,
even then, chanted, droned
ten thousand strong, deep rolling thunder through ways,
winding around mountains, debouching like bays
of supernatural
elements more earth than sound, predicting flight,
encouraging the rocks
to move, shift, to animate with cries of night
the darkness behind the sun
the black space shimmering with the stars, inlays

like blue mica in the alien salt soil.
High in the thin air
human loneliness voices, longingly bleeds,
through the haze filled valley
where the land, laced with light, is made of blue voile.
There is silence, and the cry -- always seeds
to attracted the wanderings of travelers' toil,
the yearnings of God, eternity's needs. There

they choose a child from which

to mold a God to worship, teach, as all
might wish to be, both taught and worshipped, fall
in dust to honor, call

by names divine, compassionate, the sum,
imbued with peace, the tragedy of wisdom.

#269 SONNET (16 Line Variant -- G. Meredith)


The drum beats sound, the lucid flames die down
the beat beneath midnight, the day's last ground --
if peace does not descend at last, then round
silver spangles of love's lost dying crown

will fall on earth, become the dew, the dross
the way of lover's lying silent, lost,
and flung forever on the humble cost
of madness, mildness, moist green, grizzly moss.

Arise in lightness, crown the day, the way,
the Tao, the Chinese vow that suits one's life,
and shelters one from foolishness, they say.
In gentle concord, nature's way, no knife

will pare the night, no cries will rend the heart.
Sweet death was sent to ease the awful hurt,
And though it might seem, and become, quite curt,
still, listen! Listen! Listen! Know your part.

#270 AUBADE (Donne)


Round and bright, dim and gone, the sun
moves heaven thus
through wide and wild space not chosen by us.
It charts its course across the earth. Moon run!
Resist the glow! Let it not chide
thee, fetching star apprentices
to demand thou twinkle and learn to ride
self-sufficiently as in offices
quite different then thy dark and secret clime
pay no attention to sun's daily time.

And as the moon, my love, be strong.
Commit to think
darkness around the light is but a wink
which will recede charmingly lashed and long
as if blue butterflies hide thine
eyes and fly to announce to me
that I, forever loved, will open mine
only on the nights and days you bid me
look. There will be no morrow, no yesterday.
When our hearts, side by side, together lay

we will dream and know that each I
is the sun is
the moon. Brillance and reflection like this
will create eons of high alchemy,
of bliss. As two or single, we
will shine through dark and light thus
in constancy. And spin through space and be
light, darkness, planet, stars, moon, sun to us
and shine for all mankind love everywhere
as we move gently, gaily round the sphere.

#271 REVEILLE (Wheatley)


The bugle, the drum, and the sun rise before nine,
beating across fog-shrouded land. They refine
the night from the day, the soul's flight along
the dark mists in the land of dreams, from the song
the birds sing, cocks' crow and the moon that dyes
each night crossing the lurid darkness of skies.

But the silver moon at times braves the gold rays
of sun's and summer's days. Crescent she plays,
or round she roves, reluctant to resume
her secret, sullied darkness beneath the plume
of night. Beckoned by tattoo she agrees to display
that her casks are no longer open to tap the day.

Wily moon sounding her faint ensorceling lyre
thinks herself a fit substitute for the fire
of dawn, the lighting of primary skies
the flamboyant resplendence of sun's daily rise.

But dawn beats reveille for emerging day,
he will not service the moon; frightens away
her pale outcast, transparency by strong
light, exiles her with the cry of the bugle's song.

#272 DANSA


To throw away your merry heart

is to declare it but a bauble
to pirouette before a bull
red with love and banderilla's dart
to throw away your merry heart

is to let your peaceful life wobble
upon the sands of time, blood full
running where there is no festive cart
to throw away your merry heart

where many living corpses hobble
is to play the lovelorn lunatic, dull
witted, less than an inspired part
to throw away your merry heart

#273 BALADA (A dance song with insistent refrain)
(based on Dryden's Roundelay Form)


I saw Garcia Lorca's Blood Wedding last night.
Flamenco dancers clapped and shouted, loved again,
died. Passionate and proud, costumed in black and white,
their heels clicked, knives flashed, their hearts exploded again,
blood blooming on white lace into incandescent light.
Destined to do this again and again. Again,

died, passionate and proud, costumed in black and white.
Their heels clicked, knives flashed, their hearts exploded again.
They rode their imaginary horses into deep night
where they fled the knowledge of destiny again,
blood blooming on white lace into incandescent light.
Destined to do this again and again, again

they rode their imaginary horses into deep night
where they fled the knowledge of destiny again.
Chained to their passion, they ride on, while Lorca must write
of their possession-born creed, of knives again,
blood blooming on white lace into incandescent light.
Destined to do this again and again, again.

Chained to their passion, they ride on, while Lorca must write
of their possession-born creed, of knives again.
Lorca's own blood flowed in the men of earth's rite
of bloodletting to quench Spain's thirsty soil again,
blood blooming on white lace into incandescent light.
Destined to do this again and again, again.



The sere bushes, green branches, yellow flowers --
part of their charm is the burnt brown that cowers
in the breeze in among the green leaves of the stems
near the rough seas that sparkle blue-black as gems.
Their burnt heads and sticky stems attract the bees.
They must be sweet, those green bushes, brown stems, sere
and sticky yellow flowers,
dancing, awaiting showers.

They clack and rustle near the rocks, smiling seas,
green, paper-ruffled currency, pay their fees
to stand tall, bare and brown, not rare, in the glare.
Their roots from the gravel and sandy soil bare,
gritty, edgy, high above the wine-dark waves
where the gull-white sails of the frequent yachters
hover behind the last leaves
to turn green on summer trees.

Perhaps they think about their hours as slaves
to the sun -- bright yellow flowers casting caves
for bees to seek brown honey, sticky waters
hidden from the gathering winds: the daughters
from winter's furious icy, blue-black gales
who will come soon, fluttering along autumn's
colors, brilliant reds, enclaves,
arrogant as new braves

who've missed the battle by withdrawal, paint naves,
flamboyant, ignoring the wiles harsh and sere,
the bright yellow flowers clinging to the hems
of the sea-rocks. Farewell guardian bowers.

#275 CANZONE (Auden)


The scarred bones of death burnt to dust this day
smell of must and decay even though love
may have led the way around yesterday.
Dance with that awful thought in mind today:
laugh, smile, endure so that you'll finally know
that the must of the odor on your last day
will rest in the grave with you and stay by day
and seep by night from jar or tomb as the will
of the wind fingers the crypt or vault's strong will,
or fine chiseled stones made for eternity's day.
Dance on the wild shore, the wilderness of this world,
speak with the creatures who shed tears for this world,

plan to know the chaos, the sorrow snatched world.
Revolve in your present shape and seize each day.
Circle and circle the green and blue hued world
up through the clouds, on to the moon, a new world
where the emptiness of space dust may gust love --
or worse. Challenge the fears round the wide world,
know that humans created their fears and the world,
their singularity. For they cannot know
what their imagination pretends they know
about the dust and the must and the whirling world.
Walking the woods, their ankles kissed by the will
of the bowing flowers, they mistake what will

open the closed hearts and the stubborn will
of an earth spinning onward in beauty's world.
Where, no matter what designs the human will
records as their hope and presses, they will
fail to see to the end of the crimson day.
For nature's will is a dinosaur's will
the strength of mountains, the ice-falling will
of the arctic, beyond the temperature of love
beyond the knowledge of where the illusion of love
ends. Somewhere in the seas or volcanoes all
safe from man's hold on voltaic needs, know,
O, God, know what humans are born to know.

For today living and dead live in graves, know
their place and their home on earth, not without will,
humor. Scraping out crypts, the living know
where old bones of new dead belong. They know
that the bones of the dead know this frail world
is too narrow for living. Still they know
the arriving bones need reverence. They know
where to bury the new dead each brilliant new day.
There are too many homes for the dead, and the day,
which breaks with sunshine, with blue tears, will know
the night, where there is nothing to do but love
the dirt, the dark, the fear, the clinging to love,

the clutch of the dying, the dead, the clutch of love.
O, God! Yes they will hear the "No!" and know
that love is only the barest semblance of love,
a pitiful green guess of ghostly love.
The overwhelming greed of the living will
sings, dances, gyrates round, prating of love,
exults in the do-nothing energy of love.
Lie by me, be my love, luminated the world,
the world within world within the small world
jabbering compassion, jabbering passion, love.
Love passes by the coin of mercy day by day.
And theygo on sweeping away bones by day,

piling ancestor bones, yours and mine, in day-
light heaps. "Farewell," they have cried to the world,
those old bones, having given up their will,
their burnt ash and their must. For they know
you can read about love in books -- fine ghoul's love.

For the people of North Cemetery, Manila where 5,000 poeple without other homes live among the dead -- and have for generations.

#276 SHA'IR or SJAIR I
(in Malay from Indonesia)


After Hamzah Pansuri of Sumatra (16th/17th Century):

Satukan hangat dan dingin,
Tinggalkan loba dan ingin,
Hanchor hendak saperti lilin,
Mangka-nya dapat kerja-mu lichin.

When hot and cold combine,
When greed and desire have faded out,
When all wanting melts like wax.
Then your road will be like glass, like smooth stone.

translated by Burton Raffel

Give up desire, criticism
yearning, greed. Give into the wind
and cooling rain. Your path will be silk,
smooth, transparent as glass -- and quite free.

#277 SHA'IR OR SJAIR II (Indonesian Malay)


On the pathways of galaxies
On the war roads of great Xerxes
When one human must, in his need, seize
The way wends ever more slowly to peace.

#278 SHA'IR OR SJAIR III (Indonesian Malay)


When did the earth's great ball begin,
so frail, so soon covered with sin
by mankind's two-legged disruptive kin?
If God winks we may again grow pale fins.

#279 CANSO


Who is my lady love?
Who is the one so fair?
Whose smile is the sun shine?
Does my grey morning dove
"Hoo," mourning in her lair?
Come from the night to fine

day, dance with the red birds,
waltz with pinking thistles,
feed on honey with bears.
"Nay, nay," cries my love, "herds
of sorrows ride crystals
that pierce the heart who dares."

Angels will guard above,
lucent beyond compare.
I bring more than just nine.
There's a delicate glove
that will guard you from care
and the crimson wine's vine.

"O," she cries, "I hear words,
but they sting like nettles
to one on earth who fares
quite alone and thus girds
her heart's blood that drizzles
through the wounds that she shares

with betrayal." She ran
like the deer, with too much
to fear, and remains lost
behind the fern's green fan
hidden in a dark hutch.
Unendurable cost

with velvet and slime can
terrorize but a touch,
spread like slippery earth mossed,
incite permanent ban
in the muses as such
to insure all gets tossed.

When there's little from Jan
and the going is dutch,
a shy muse can be bossed.



Thus, her morning canticle she sung,
"Sleep, my love. Sleep just a little more.
Let the angels kiss your peace
and your ears their songs of joy."

"Behold thou art fair... Awake, my love,
for little songs hover in the air,"
cried the irredeemable
beauty of the rising day

"I shall be here but a little while,
before my wiles are absorbed by night.
Sing! Sing! I live on the ring
of your clear voice spiraling

high to the sky clouds, the galaxies.
Rest in contentment, but come with me.
Come with me home, home. Please come.
Let the angels kiss your peace
and your ears their songs of joy."




Physiologus was a grand old man
who started a trend in mythology.
Ysengrimus, the Wolf born of Nivardus
regarded his co-womb mate Reinardus.
Talking animals reached an apogee
here and in Panchatantra's Indian

Jackal. There were Monkeys
who advised, Panthers who talked
giant Whales who spouted,
Caxton the Cat who pouted,
Shurley the Kit who stalked,
Chanticleer with his keys

jangling the morning without any warning,
and Phoenix roasting and rising from ash.
Reinhart Fuchs came along and became Renard Fox.
Ant trailed Cicada seeking secret clocks.
Hesiod's Hawks and Shelly's Nightingale so rash,
O Filomena, Philomel singing:

Leave the beasts and the plants and stone,
free from your O so human moan.
Let the Partridge sing in her tree.
Let Quail's fragile question be free.
Let Rabbit tremble and survive.
Let the ten million Crows alive

swarm to early breakfast, "Caw" in the sky,
rest in night's earthy, spiritual cry.


Contain your urge to attribute, O man.
Study your sad soul's ornithology.
The house Cat and the Bird can both teach us
with considerably less fuss from us.
We owe Animals an apology
having ruined their homes, thieved their life span,

penned them, mocked them with keys,
besought them, bought and hawked
them, heartlessly touted
our prowess and shouted
our hunting skills, then mocked
each frail beast as it flees.

Apologies are accepted as forewarning
we know the Dinosaurs fate will rehash
each vulnerable body despite man's time locks
secured as he tries to outwit the rocks.
He, just like the industrious Ant he mash-
es, will be gone like the wind that is whistling

with times inevitable tone
under the earth's terrible groan.
Man, says the Beast, forget your me,
me, me. There's enough time to see,
for earth to recover, re-loan
her nurturing laws that have shown


that if you consult the Bear and the Toucan,
Ginkgo, Equisetum, biology,
the Mouse, the Roach, the function of "estrus,"
(females -- missing in the OED, plus
most other male-written dictionary,
but "rut" is there, you can be sure, to scan.

Balance missed.) On your knees,
man! At last God has balked
at your often flouted
barbarity. Clouted,
savaged, hurt, with pain rocked
seeking on earth to squeeze

past the esurient brute who stands obstructing
the road to compassion, the crimson sash
of love to bind wounds formerly treated by stocks.
Listen to the Birds, Beasts, Plants and the Rocks.
They are fed up with your lust, your greed and your trash.
Listen closely, new life can be stirring

down times inevitable clone.
Learn something of why there's a drone
Fed on honey, the great Queen Bee
repopulates the land and sea.
Hurry, there's energy to hone.
Hurry, get on the cosmic phone!

Our present vision requires etasis
There is no such thing in life as stasis.



I want to write a Beast Epic.
I want to write a Beast Epic
about Mama Moo, the black cow
but neither she nor I know how.

She stands on the high hill, green
as far as the grass can be seen.
Thirty acres of grass and one
small house in ruins, plus the sun,

and the rain and the moon going
round. Alone, chewing, re-chewing,
ambling as a black cloud might drift.
A black cloud huge as she might lift

a thousand pounds with her great black
head, her huge and watchful eyes, black
as might be coal made of velvet
shining with pleasure as we met

to talk about the weather. She
would moo and I would smile and be
peaceful as she stalking the land
chasing a bee, pawing the sand.

For thirty years, the succulent
grass satisfied all wants and lent
an atmosphere of paradise.
Only one incident, a slice

of which I'd heard occurred
in her life. She'd had a brown furred
daughter. Together they walked green
hills, gazed at the sky the clouds seen,

slept in the night's sweet gentle breeze,
did, as two big cows, what might please
them. One day a man she knew as
the owner brought another as

dark as he. He raised his long gun
and shot her daughter, then hung
the body to bleed. "The meat," he
said. The red grass he did not see.

Mama Moo mooed through that spring night,
and ate little grass by star light.
It happened many years ago
Did she remember? I don't know

Such is my Beast Epic about
Mama Moo the cow, black and stout.



Time shall lend its -- O so golden -- thread
Space will bend its -- O let it embrace --
embroidered light

High on the dark side -- the shadowed side --
of the moon, shyly lurking behind
sun's filigreed --

fancifully bursting -- flare of gold
let me lie there -- silently -- grow old.
Wind wander home.



The only hunting I do
is follow the soul's
twists through corridors of sorrow and laughter

The wild game is illusive
shyly mocking, chase
cantering, cleaving, crocheting and rocking.

Resting in sleep, rising in
gallop, girding, it
grips, rides my laughter, test my pain, leaps over

river-wide splits in the sea.
Peer down O soul! Peer!
Set me aside in a still water pool, clear

from the maples of autumn
hung from the boughs
glimpsed through surface of still lakes, silent waters.

I will be gone, I will be
the reds and the golds
are but leftovers of greens, greens feed the beasts

Ah, beasts I will leave alone.
They deserve peace more
then the bee buzz of my soul, quiet refrains.

#285 PALINODE (after Stesichorus)



Helen is my sister's name
She started all the Trojan fuss
She stays at home and cleans the muss
Her real name is grace or flame

Helen's hair is blond and gold
Active, she whirls about the world
Angry, too, she always stays furled
You would never think her old


She lights the world with beauty
Invents never ending duty
Devotes her life to joyous song
Dictates quite annoy-ous, wrong

For a sister named Helen
I've learned to be somewhat quellin'
To smile, to cry and be cheerful
She means well, and is fearful

#286 ITALIAN SONNET II, (with Sicilian Sestet)


When I recall the innocence of dreams
of hopes now scattered with gathering time;
when I understand more, perhaps, life's mime,
mute before "morals" and man's other schemes;
when I see beaten humans bow before teams
urging to hold a man guilty, 'til a crime
can be found -- then O God, the first stone, the slime
has been cast, the law subverted. Who deems

himself pure enough to castigate
another man, strip him of privacy?
Four years of relentless pursuit, of outrageous bait
to trap a man on a technicality!
Bow your heads in shame America! Sate
your lust! Witch-hunts rage now as in our infancy.



Judge him guilty, President or any man.
Squeeze until you concoct a trace of a crime.
Sell it to the world for a cyberspace dime.
"American Justice," the world read and ran.

#288 IAMBIC TETRAMETER QUATRAINS (after Marlowe, Ralegh, Donne)



Come live with me, and be my love,
and we will outside pleasures move
to golden lands and sacred nooks
which seem alive, but just in books.

There will we honor hope and the sun,
bright evening light, maybe what's done
in flame like the red of sunset's ray
fending the cold, while fish delay.

Surface world's yet do play God's wrath
though brooks are still beside the path
where birds are mute and silence grim,
luteless, you hide behind the scrim.

Do not from me conceal crimes both
of nature's angels, Gods who loath
offenses washed by laws, or sea
through which life swims free, fine,sans fee.

Among the weeds, reprieve re-seeds;
a veil to all its pow'r impedes
the opiate, opalescent debt
and treacherous deceit, black as jet.

With breath comes death, eternal rest;
the greeds do die, and are confessed
as curious traitors lying cries
for those too shy with guested sighs,

Come be with me, I am your gate
beyond, beneath, by which bleeds fate,
all glory moves before my eye,
my love, my sacred wise one, I.

See: A Quatrain Quartet (Marlowe, Ralegh, Donne, Haag)



Kenneth Starr,

rare rat, tenth Seth, he ken tee, net,
tar, rent, rate ten nether star nets,
ran near tears at tea ta sear rear, see!


William Clinton

will win, tin, tan, ton, wim, wic motion
all wall, mall, nation lit, Toni wit.
Not ill, no nil nit clit. I am a man.



The sky was Indian Summer blue.
The weeds grew up to seem like tears










The celestial basin spills
the sky Indian-summer-blue.
The weeds grow up to seem like tears









#291 VERS


Nobody mentions or admits to
what fun it must be, being the most
powerful man on the planet, to
stand in the hall with your pants almost

dropped and be licked by an overweight
chippy, what glee it must be to thumb
your nose (or cigar), to throw your weight
against sex, the titillating thumb-

up to behavior quite wild and talk
to guys on the phone who know the rules
and will with hypocritical talk
deny to the world their own bent rules.

How they envy the guy daring to
take on the wrath of his scurrilous
opponents and still have the fun to
do what he pleases, as scurrilous

teases are tastes shared by the top most
gods and men of the world. What's power
if not sex, rockets and TV's most
blanket, lurid touting of power

through publicity and the ratings.
While we are all more than suspicious,
they wag their long immoral tongueings.
Sweet world! Admit! Sex is delicious!

We do it to get here. He did it!
They do it! Rejoice! We, too, do it!

#292 VERS II


Shiva would have approved, and Dhraupadi
in lands less affected by perfidy.
Women will be who they are. Just as man.
It's a pity we've grown no older than
tittering kiddies, horrified near-saints
who, deep, deep in their souls, know no such taints.

Hypocrites all, where mendacity rules.
Lying in Congressional Houses fools
not a single point of the pragmatic
people who have voiced their vote in public
polls consistently, constantly to close,
dear Republicans, the matter you pose.

The only true, clear voice to be heard is
Hastings calling to impeach Starr for his
mad compulsion to unleash rumors and
reports calculated to inflame, strand
public opinion, beach the president,
bring government to a halt and prevent

the solving of real problems: tobacco,
health care, the welfare of grandmothers, sew
up attention while the world collapses
in financial hysterical sepsis.
Then point to Clinton again as the cause
of his own demise. O ghastly Starr, pause!

Consider the horror of declaring
man guilty and for four years pursuing
a crime to pin on him, forcing onion
tears, charging his people forty million
dollars to try to incapacitate
their representative-elect of State.

Hide your shameful, smirking witch-hunting head.
No cause so unjustified has been led
since Joseph McCarthy's head-hunting red.




He had a pop-out belly button
and a band(age) around his head.
His great bulldog face hung down.

O Lord, don't let me live so long that
some young squirt like me (64)
can wallow in compassion.

There was a plate upon his breast screwed
to a pale plastic, rigid shield.
He wore jeans and some heavy

high-topped, oiled boots, a plaid shirt, gapping
wide. When he got off, I could see
it was a brace behind his head

that held the plate in place over his
worn tee-shirt, under open plaid,
that forced him to bow (to fate).



According to Octavio Paz, I
must be a saint not a poet, for I
live in the silence of talking only
to God and my true self, Devayani.
We are in love, for there is just the two
of us walking this desolate road. Who

else would join us in perpetual
silence, the cynicism natural
to more than six decades of modern life
where no reliable, musical fife
plays with the obsessive drums calling us,
where all sides freely shout, but in the fuss

no truth is to be heard? I cry at night
to scrape knowledge from strife, redeem the light.
But only ghosts stretch forth hands to receive
the eviscerated blood gouts we grieve
to proffer as payment for the leaves of
autumn's gold, winter's white when the springs of

life flow from awkward nooks unnoticed by
the rhetoric, the furor spewed. And my
clean hands are gloved in gore while disbelief
shields me from the barley's nourishing sheaf.
Know nothing. Nothing! Devayani says,
as if I could don a red high-crowned fez

to whirl away my days, not only in
silence, but in solitude as well, win
stillness, perfect freedom within a cave
where nothing is to learn. But desire's slave
serves us mango liquids, perpetual
questions, scorns to say: Fear is natural.

Life is fear. Life's no answer. Life is death.
Devayani and I weep, declare our
love in a dead woman's hidden bower.


(after Cowper "Lines Written During a Period of Insanity" 1774)


Shriek, O my soul with silent pain, disturb not
sleep, nor let rain run down upon the fountain
stilled by the drying waters, flowers scentless,
withered, soon dying.

Cry at the sky, and weep for spring, which comes not;
Autumn, too, passes color lest we fall sad.
Memories fade. The night, the shade will wrap us.
Fortunate light falls.

Blackness in space will answer suns' cooled dying
beams as the drumming God begins his dancing.
Once more, again, his feet will lift the lightning
past the small heart's fear.

Shiva! O Shiva your delight will weaken
hopes left and hopes to seek beyond effulgence.
Nothing remains but light consumed in darkness.
Great is the Goddess.

Radiant Shakti, dance! O Shakti dance with
Shiva because you are the light! And bringing
Shiva to climax creates the world, the light in
night, all of nothing.

#296 CENTO

from Paul Valery's "Introduction to the Method of Leonardo da Vinci"
translated by Thomas McGreevy


He who has never completed -- be it but in a dream
-- the sketch for some project that he is free to abandon;
who has never felt the sense of adventure in working
on some composition which he knows finished
when others only see it commencing; who has not

known the enthusiasm that burns away a minute of his very
self; or the poison of conception, the scruple, the cold
breath of objection coming from within; and the struggle
with alternative ideas when the strongest and most universal
should naturally triumph over both what is normal and what is novel;

he who has not seen the image on the whiteness
of his paper distorted by other possible images,
by his regret for all the images that will not be chosen;
or seen in limpid air a building that is not there;
he who is not haunted by fear of giddiness

caused by the receding of the goal before him; by anxiety
as to means; by foreknowledge of delays and despairs,
calculation of progressive phases, reasoning about the future --
even about things that should not, when the time comes,
be reasoned about -- that man does not know

either -- and it does not matter how much he knows
beside -- the riches and resources, the domains of the spirit,
that are illuminated by the conscious act of construction.
The gods have received from the human mind the gift
of the power to create because that mind, being cyclical

and abstract, may aggrandize what it has imagined to such a point
that it is no longer capable of imagining it."

See: Paul Valery's Paragraph, with Notes for an Analysis by Haag




On my sixty-fifth birthday my
clematis died. In class I could
hear chalk on the board through the wall
from the room beyond -- tap tap swish --

at the window, the wind, wild -- swish --
unseen, moved the trees -- tap swish tap --
I met the Sanskrit gerundive
for the first time. Any root can --

tap tap swish tap -- take any form
tap swish tap tap -- at any time.
A bee got into my trousers,
stung. I stumbled, dropped my -- tap tap --

favorite, mellow-pitched, ringing
snifter; a falling chestnut -- tap
tap swish tap -- shattered it. I took
my life -- it was enough -- tap tap

swish tap -- I took my life in hand --
tap -- Nalla said: "If this is my --
tap tap swish -- dharma, I will do
it -- swish tap -- as my own purpose."

In drumming -- tap tap tap -- I learned
patience -- tap tap swish tap -- enough
to practice -- tap tap -- to let life
unfold as it will. Let music

play -- swish tap tap tap -- let music
die into silence -- swish tap swish
I backed off from goal to process --
tap swish tap -- I listened -- tap tap

to Sergio lecture that death
is the seed (path) of life -- tap tap --
Let nature grow flowers -- tap tap --
set more time aside for Sanskrit,

avoided the path of the bees -- swish
tap tap tap tap -- stay out from -- tap --
under the chestnut, be pleased -- tap
swish swish -- to drink from any glass.

I counted my blessing every
morning, wrote Sanskrit letters -- tap
tap swish tap tap tap -- every night.
Still the Gods were not happy -- tap

swish -- The world economy fell.
The Republicans -- tap tap tap
tap tap tap swish -- pressed to impeach
the President. Blue volcanoes

exploded anew, millions -- tap
swish tap tap swish tap -- of Russians
starved -- swish swish swish tap -- not once did
the rich think they were at fault -- swish

swish -- "The poor have always -- tap tap --
been with us," they philosophized
in Christ's name -- tap tap -- nonetheless
the president, head of earth's -- tap

swish swish swish -- most powerful --
nation, did his job with -- tap -- grace
and humor, outliving the -- tap
tap tap swish -- scandal, the storm -- tap

tap swish tap tap swish tap tap -- The
bamboo, wings spread -- tap -- like a swan --
swish swish -- heavy with rain -- tap tap --
stood poised for flight -- tap tap -- weary

of the world's problems. "If I were --
tap swish tap tap swish -- to create
a world," I said to God, "I'd do
it differently." -- tap swish tap --

As in: -- tap tap tap -- some days all
the busses run on time. What you
look for is at your finger tips --
tap tap swish tap tap swish tap tap

Every decision seems just right.
Where ever you look is beauty. --
tap tap swish tap tap swish tap tap --
People finally realize

that all they need -- swish tap -- is some
where to sleep, something to eat -- tap
tap -- a cloth against the cold -- tap
swish swish swish swish swish -- they don't need --

tap tap -- the world economy,
growth, capitalism, goods -- tap
swish -- and services. They don't need --
tap tap swish swish -- spending power,

possessions -- tap -- nor full-time jobs.
Indeed -- swish swish swish swish -- doubtless
they need more sex. Clinton -- tap tap
tap tap tap swish swish tap swish -- saint

and martyr, who didn't know he
had volunteered -- swish swish -- to be
chosen -- tap tap -- as scapegoat to
the times -- tap tap swish -- doesn't know

he will be talked of in times -- tap --
to come -- swish swish -- as he who sparked
the world's consciousness -- swish swish swish --
about sex, the fun there was to --

swish swish -- be had in the hallways
of life sans -- swish swish swish swish swish --
the fallacious rules -- swish swish swish --
we impose -- tap tap tap -- upon

ourselves -- swish -- which passion -- swish tap --
rightly declines to obey -- swish --
If only it could -- swish -- there might
be fewer of us -- tap tap swish swish --

and if there were less of us... Ah! --
swish swish swish -- I take my leave -- swish
swish swish swish swish -- the sounds like rain
from the other room stopped, the wild

wind stopped tormenting the tossed trees,
the bright bamboo, as a swan, rose,
becoming the golden sunset,
planting death's seeds along its path.



I saw a Nova last night about Andrew Wiles'
proof of Fermat's Last Theorem. It began in smiles

and moved quickly to tears -- Wiles' tears followed aptly
by my own, for it celebrated a wily

illumination of the mind, the frequently
unutterable joy -- profoundest joy to see

ideas in air manifest, take shape, like Bohm's
visions of implicate order -- a metronome

ticking, the analogy of music, lighting
the darkness of an empty room, slowly pushing

away the shadows, bit by slow bit, single, tiny
calculations, one after the other, piney

scented hints from the natural world, walks along
the river, the path of sunlight and faith, belong

with the giggle of the childhood dream: he would solve
the unsolvable. Persistently to revolve

for seven secret years the implosion of his
heart's desire, the exploding, almost static fizz

of concentration, attention, meditation,
focus, was his infinite, sole delight. To shun

even a hint to the world of his projected
goal, sustained him. Working in sunlight, he was led

through here-to-fore unexplored corridors of mind,
linking and testing, guessing, pondering to find

the Tao. And he did. Through hesitant steps, narrow
misses, bird-walks, wrong turns, false whispers from sparrow

similarities. Ah yes, and then one day... You must see
the Nova to see bliss, the unique joy to be

that suffuses his human form in his God-like,
solitary, climb to resplendence, a fragile dike

against the stress of being human, strife enmeshed,
sorrow imbued, struggling with flesh, at once refreshed:

"The Gods have received from the human mind, the gift
of the power to create...."



A song of mourning sung by a chorus accompanied by dance and Lydian mode flute music in the presence of the corpse; also for pet animals and birds...

We've come to mourn your pussy cat, your bird, the life
you lost to time, to fear, to frenzied future pain.

Death is the seed to be strewn on the path by the river where swans nod their
heads, where the music, the melody lies still beneath the moss.

We've come to mourn what you have lost, the falling leaves.
the rain, the dew, the moon, the sun, its gone, its done.

Death is the last of quotidian time, it will mark a small place when it
comes with a kiss, quiet, pleasing to pass generation by.

We've come, to dance, to play the flute, to march upon
the silence, dark futilities, the still, shorn grave.

Death is the mother of new life. It seeks time, it seeks sorrow to motivate
peace, the desire for the Lydian mode, soft, voluptuous.


Copyright © 2002 Jan Haag

Jan Haag may be reached via e-mail: or








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