Thursday, April 9, 2009

XXIII: Books of a feather-robed sage

In the sixth gyre of the Age of Four Wandering Moons:

A new mood stirs under those yellow leafed boughs
Which shake
Within the impressed abstraction of scrolls from both
17th centuries.
A spring of words overflows the closest drawn goal in steel—
Poetry generated in a wide range of free-given street noise,
Raising delicate hopes for the strength of the resolved city.

The first two lines of the books of a feather-robed sage
Written on a thousand rolls of silk kept for all good:
Elusive time immediately experienced is frequently unfair.
Question or believe, but light travels slowly within the grave.

From the tale of the count who has not yet named a successor:
The countess arrays her daughter in her most resplendent robes
Clear-cut as laquered satin, gently shaped as the lining
Of a seashell.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

XXII. Illuminating the lotus spirit

In the fortenth gyre of the Age of the Nascent Vaunthald:

The hooded frog, a great silver boss on its iron forehead,
Stands above the red cedar temple for seven hundred years,
Guarding the imperial headdress wrapped with silk wires.
Granite clouds coiled and dusky loom over balanced pools
Illuminating the lotus spirit before the perception of every eye.

A rough devouring entity with no rules or principles
Will live unknown and dominate the hollow crown;
According to true etiquette he had vowed his constancy
To an allegiance lost not in fire nor earth but in water.

Black rain sickness will lay siege swift as a shadow,
Livid outlines forming round the mark of measuring metal
Stamped in the reddened throat of the secret usurper.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

XXI. A fatal child

In the ladder gyre in the Age of the Bunin Kings:

Behold, in a field thick inlaid with yellow patines
Of summer roses,
The flower of men, a fatal child driven by the deep power of joy,
Indifferent to restless violence surrounding the pendant world,
Ignorant of the bright sunset gold of painted pomp and blind
To the glare of glass thrones charged with mystic change.

A long entwisted circle of allies bound by sympathy in blood
To this Queen, will stand in her proper greatness and hold out
Against great thousands, when monarchs play the tyrants
In the barren mile of the Mediterranean's common age.

The Kindly Race, never-resting, with gentle work
And endless care,
Diffuse the false art of ancestral sermons wreathed
In golden theaters,
Unloosing the chained foot of cold winged Oumesan.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

XX. The ironic peer

In the second gyre of the Age of the Glass Council:

The herald of a hideous winter, careless of what he brings,
Comes with stout rage strapped hard to the locked thunder
Of heavy machinery lumbering under the inland sea.
His rude marshal counts random correlations and predictions
In a given splatter of yolk, wine, grain and gravel.

A seafaring force from the cavernous island of adamantine
Confounds him with news from all emerging nations
And a patriot's blood well-spent in a blinding landscape
Of milk-white sand overflown with the divinity of myth.

The ironic peer, drawing a line of natural light
And simple color
With a cart map and tripod compass, will guide the flagship
Through unwilling sleep, driven outward into godlike hardship.