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Showing posts from September 17, 2006

By What Write

It’s an unnatural act
A deed quite untoward
Denying life, the prime fact,
And the business of living
To pummel a keyboard
And pretend one is giving

As though one’s best thoughts,
Than mere words far more nimble,
Could ever be caught
Or fill more than a thimble

As though it would matter,
Granting wisdom unequaled,
As though hordes would flock
To the art or its sequel.

Juvenal wrote
Out of frustration
So he claimed
After must gestation
Of frustration ingrained
Not only did he dote
On obsequious scriveners
And writers pretentious
But also on livers
Of modes ill-portentous.

Such savage indignation
Fires determination
Of many an ink-stained wrist-cramped wretch
But that life leaves so pained
Satiric inclination
Suggests one should stretch
For more joyous inspiration.

Others, like Orwell,
So he claimed
Wrote from a sense of injustice ingrained
As a desperate warning
Of dark future gathering
As a basic defense
From obsequious blathering

But as Orwell admitted
We toil and perspire
Above all for adulation
Imagined, desired

Though the…

Owed To Romans Earned, v.2


Beauty equals truth—
A judgment unknown
Where attacks are not critical
On paper alone.

To a gentle poet
From a gentler place
Comes this message proxy
With irregular pace
And hesitant rhyme
On heterodoxy
In a more brutal time
From those who would know it.


Running on the verge ill bodes
For poets dangling, like properties,
Whose owners want odes.

To whom much is given,
Should know when to seize—
Or what—and how avid—
Or risk being riven
When betrayed by a sneeze.

Poets, like a cat, tell lust
“Have no shame!”
The pet drones “Yes!”
But risks the blame.

To those loaned fame
Danger is rife
Not only to those
So brave or absurd
As to follow with deed
What had merely been word.

For history teaches
That support thus contracted
Is tacit and fragile.
To the furthest reaches
Of musings extracted,
Each facet must be agile
Lest the price be exacted.

Better to be sweet-toned
To patrons here present
With alexandrines well-honed
Over dormice and pheasant.

Better yet an epic,
Moral, patriotic—
And, dear Scheherazade,
Scorn the exotic…

Owed to Romans Earned

Running on the verge ill becomes
Poets dangling, like property.
To whom much is given,
Should know when to seize—or what—
And how avidly.

For history tells that such support
Is at best tacit—
From whom much is expected.

Juvenile satire can tell us little.
Or perhaps too much.

Better a martial epic—quick and
Or an oration that bends in awe
Of the power that gusts past us.

Sweet-toned to present patrons;
Hellish rulers past presented.

Or as careful as can be
A tightrope act
To avoid a black, lonely shore
Or crushed like a chick pea.

Copyright 2006