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  • I'm just putting this here to gather all of my relevant work so I can find it more easily. Perhaps one day, with a good deal more work, it will turn itself into a slender paperback.
  • Song of the Sage In imitation of Tolkien The world was old, and ruined walls Had told the tale of countless falls, Unnumbered tears, and silent bones In buried graves and catacombs Of cities dead when Rome was young; When Troy was lost, and poets sung. Alone the Evening Star gave light When Epicurus rose by night. Alone he trod on grassy leas And scanned for Law in changing seas; He grappled Chaos to the hilt And knew it for the lies it built; He wrung the truth from every blade That turned bene…
  • The Heron O Heron wan in water wading! Thou opus of untailored fashion— Sure-footed on the shoreline's footing— A tulle train, dawnlight's glisten, Gowns thy form in matchless morning! Heron! Ready in verdure reedy— Agéd angler, weedmidst waiting, Patient, still in silence stolen From the olden deep unending 'Til the wide world's wild breaking— Hunter haunting on the march and interstice of world and world; Sea and sky, blade of beak Azure upon azure rending— Virtue of a vise unyielding. What cr…
  • Iowa Fields to Epicurus I saw Ilium gleam As her walls, in a dream, Watched her sons return home on their shields-- Saw the marching Greek host In the corn, and the coast Of Asia in Iowa fields. The philosophers spoke In the shade of the oak As the willows and cottonwoods reeled In an October gale Blowing hearty and hale, Pages flipping in Iowa fields And I wrote out your name On the face of the stream, Writ in water but never repealed-- Made your garden to bloom Like the yucca, festooned; Flowe…
  • Hermarchus Seeing the bust of Epicurus Ho! I--Master, I held from grief. We laid Your body to its rest beneath the sky And sun. What then to grieve? Thy atoms fly Scattered, thy soul at more than peace which said "Death is nothing"--but here! Thy sculptured head Is wreathed with leaves of bay. Ah, how can I Fall to grief? Your students with laughing cries Honor you--your 'membrance blesses their bread. Should scholarchs fail, and birds alone here warble-- Should vine and olive go to sage and sor…
  • This poem is written in the form of a sestina, with repeating end-words. The first stanza sets the pattern; each subsequent stanza recycles the words according to the one before, in this formula: 5, 2, 4, 3, 6, 1. Because the second-line word goes second in the next stanza as well, its position never changes. That word is "garden"--stable, reliable, unaltered. The scene of the poem is the city written about by Lucian. Abonoteichus - a dialogue Scholarch: By winds and waves that storm our coast f…
  • The Lighthouse Perched on shores of treacherous shoals Where water heaves and, crashing, rolls Beneath the beam that scans for souls, The weathered prow and turning lens That mortal after mortal tends Stands firm unto the end of ends.
  • Hymn to Venus a fragment Strange star! Light, lingering in the West, whoso Wouldst gleam this eve o'er silken river and The silt hills, and thread the hanging grotto Of dew-laden boughs with thy shimmering strand-- You, who call forth the sun upon the morn, Setting fire to heaven, spreading light And vital heat to the meridian! In wondrous light all things on Earth are born, Reared, and given to passionate delight In the sweetness of life! Cytherean Maid, keep you by night to some secret Tryst? …
  • Just a bit of silly rhyming fun at the expense of the dour lechers who've slandered Leontium through the ages. To Boccaccio: A Rebuke I mark it, sir, and wonder at it dully, To find the lady's name maligned so fully On evidence begot anecdotálly; A pond'rous load to hang by such a pulley! Was our Leontium so fierce a bully, Who sent him off peripateticálly Pouting, old Theophrastus; when her volley Charmed a grudging kindness out of Tully? And have you, sir, the gall to say she sullied? Who scat…
  • I mentioned Horace's epistle to Numicia in another thread. I wrote this poem as an Epicurean response to his question. ___________________________________________ Firewood While walking in the woods, I am at pains To pause at each cold circle of burnt stone. A totemic blending of the profane And sacred: a human altar where none So human live—where memory and time Are sacrificed in their concentric rings, The ageless for the transitory. Each Ring is a dolmen, or a stele of lime, And tells of the …
  • And...I think that's all! I'm happy to see signs of maturation as I read through them. I only recently read Horace's Ars Poetica for the first time and I'm trying to take some of his hints. Back to the blank page.
  • Note; I shared this poem with Elayne on her blog, and felt it proper to get her feedback before I posted it here. It is an elegy for her father, disguised within an ode to Archimedes. _________________________________________ The Physicist The waters of the Tuska-loosa run Down south into the Gulf of Mexico, And carry the quiet griefs and the tears Of multitudes to the sea—to mingle Here with waters wept in forgotten times. I think of one such now—of Syracuse On old Sicilian shores, and of her s…
  • Thank you! I am happy to have reconnected you with a memory, Elayne. I remembered Pickens County from your Dido poem.
  • I'm taking a break from reading epigrams, and have decided to try my hand at writing one. No. 1 On a cold marble statue of Epicurus I see you there, old friend, looking as stony as a Stoic. This is "absence of pain", to be sure; yet where is the pleasure in it? My heart beats hot blood.
  • (Quote) And I thank you for it! What a great find.
  • Hexameter I shall not tuck a poem into the recesses of the temple of Artemis, nor like wheat stuff it into the sarcophagus of a king— In hope, to germinate by a strange alchemy the seed of common thought Into revelation. Why, Heraclitus, this ploy? The seed of a thing Is so much mystery in itself! All things change; leave to the oracles These frivolous wasting hare-brained schemes. Time is our sooth-sayer, and nature The only genuine article—and as for wheat, I should much prefer To see her trem…
  • And I might as well post this one, too. I wrote it while surveying on a golf course last week. All of my poems are Epicurean in a way, though not explicitly. The Cypress Stump This broken nib, standing perfectly erect Within this inky pond, seems to speak of One more thought unsaid or line Unwritten. The heron senses it, too, If I do not mistake. The old marsh has not done speaking. The fairway and the green lie all around, But between these courses of the Linksman's paradise, the older Eden Whi…
  • Thank you, Bryan! It doesn't seem to come naturally in English at all, and it must have taken enormous dedication in Latin as well. This is one reason I won't believe St. Jerome's story about the insanity of Lucretius. A difficult and elegant poem cannot have been written in odd hours by the semi-lucid. It was the dedicated, painstaking labour of months and years.
  • The Hessian Monk The Hessian monk was a lad of eighteen, And his cowl and psalter were black The Hessian maid wore 'er hair in cascade Like a river of gold down her back The Hessian monk would sigh as he prayed Pater Noster and Ave Marie While the Hessian maid piled books at the stall With her father on Old Market Street The Hessian monk was trained by a scribe In the parchment and language of Rome The Hessian maid saw him coming one day And she blushed and lost hold of a tome The Hessian monk w…
  • Chrysalis To my Grandfather A fortnight past you went to rest In blankets soft as vermes-silk, And lingered hopeful of the milk That brims the flowers sweetly blest And nursed you there a further hope– Unfolding wings, an end to strife– Dim visions of a second life With nothing left to lose but hope Of all this I was scarce aware Until I saw this very morn The butterfly–what it had worn In hue and color richly fair And as I watched it float and dance A friend was near, and gave report That he ha…