poetryrepairs #235 v17.03:036

RALPH MONDAY : 'Bergman's Island' & Other Poems
Those Days Are What We Are
Holy Theotokos Save Us
Sunday Morning a Century After: A Homage

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Those Days Are What We Are

I live in the past now, most of my life drawn out behind me like a tightened string between two Campbell’s soup cans, the voices winging back and forth between two boys whose vibrating voices are ghost whispers fading into white sound. It is so much safer there, back in the 1940s, 50s. People are polite, women are ladies. I can live a Norman Rockwell existence, eat turkey at Thanksgiving with a whole family, open Christmas presents and slide down a snowy hill. Everyone is alive—all my dead family and friends, smiling, waving just like they do in the photo albums—no need to worry about a heavenly resurrection, or silent Eve’s foraging among the trees. I can ride the bombers with pinup girls and take out Hitler’s madness, be the hero that I never was. I can go to the drive-in and watch Henry Fonda in a black and white world protect the boy from the mob in Twelve Angry Men. I can eat real popcorn with real butter, have a Baby Ruth that is as round as the end of a Louisville slugger. Drive a candy red convertible 56 T-bird out to lover’s lane and pin my high school sweetheart, the love of my life that I lost long ago. When I am done dream weaving, caught in my own spider’s lair, I can drive home to the house I never had, listening to The Teen Queens singing “Eddie My Love.”

poetryrepairs #235 v17.03:036





Holy Theotokos Save Us

In the cathedral empty of true feeling, the icons are beautifully silent: blue and green hues, golden halos, the choir in perfect harmonies taking us across time, space, to the beginning days when the naming began, where we began that which brought us here— Why is it that we cannot remake childhood myths into adult acceptance? Why are we broken and torn by stories of the damned? The Trinity intoned and like rote childhood conditioning, I murmur most Holy Theotokos save us— from our own evil we are taught, from the two that ate the forbidden, the ban passed down from birth to death like stars that never cease shining so we are broken on the rack signs everywhere: in malls or bedrooms or social media or all the flickering images passed by like kaleidoscope snapshots which define the words sung out in church hymnals of that mythic time when we were never given a chance— but perhaps salvation is loving those outcast, like us, pardoning the unforgiveable, accepting all that is broken by broken words, knowing that we are really plucked as a wet body from wet earth, that if the words are cast off they cease to matter.

poetryrepairs #235 v17.03:036





Sunday Morning a Century After: A Homage

I Not so complacent in her dressing gown, the sensuous world remains mused upon, thoughts common to many still not dispersed by sun, moon, heavens above, trinity eternally present, each spring revived in cathedral dreams. For a moment the ancient calamity stilled by wide water, until the quiet dead in muted voices pass as a transparent procession in a forgotten carnival parade. Then no modern science can stem Jerusalem’s return to this day, crossing of water, where dreams speak now of a quickened kingdom inhabiting not only the mind, but a crown of blood, a cross, a tomb, of mind. II Is it conditioned conscience that makes you reward the dead? Is the divine a thought made manifest by the dreams of others? Can you not find in fields, fruited trees, the burning sun, fit things for worship? The self, a century’s disciplined lens for thought, made material gauzy spirit quick in divinity within. To exalt, those eternal seasons must be tempered in recognition of all autumn souls who have felt the presence in stirring suns, sap returning to the bough, a measure of human joy and sorrow, summer’s heat, winter’s crusted beard. Reality is formed of mind—nature is the soul of thought. III In mind’s myth any number of gods was theogony formed, motherless, the land itself ancestor, eternal queen where gods enthroned, sat with attendants musing intermingled blood, human and divine. Not even science, a world spanning web, a tomb and cross, can banish the return. Longing for heaven dissipated as the Italian, the Pole, Gaia from dark moon, beamed lack of virginal connection for the spinning orb passed eternally through heaven’s gates. The sky a conduit joined to earth by pencil flame, seat of gods labor of return, love found in wet leaves— paradise translated by mother’s tongue. IV “When the green cockatoo is gone,” she says, “contentment flies astray. Why do they not return from dark autumn’s embrace? Have they no knowledge of paradise eternal?” Century’s two wars destroyed paradise when mind could no longer comprehend that savage desert dervish feasting on a sacrifice. Apple’s birth polluted by an aged, impotent god, the land barren, not even all the church choirs, seraphim, could undo the wreck, that and two thousand’s end, Darwin’s dance, physics’ deep peer into the heart of darkness, epiphany of matter— May follows winter, endures as swallows preening on green branches awaiting song. V She says, “For serenities’ sake my mind must know whence I am gone what follows.” Obliteration is now key. The time long past when gods walked among us like a welcoming balm. Zeus, Mithras, heaven’s hill banished by thought’s realm. Embrace now lover’s caress, autumn’s leaves, sighs on wet thick nights, for this too shall pass, all left but a memory of those remaining behind as Achilles sought Timê and kudos as an ointment for memory lost in the above world. These passions drive the sphere to bloom, maiden to dream of eternal love’s embrace; they are unthought faith, desires in far setting suns where girls sense their recurring equinox. VI Is the eternal a static haven? Do tender leaves never know autumn’s red? How can that which remains forever green excite the lover when new seasons are needed? Rivers run to the sea yet they return whence they came. The sun forever knows its dumb circuit in horizon’s sweep. The heart of paradise is seeker’s thoughts, not naked Eve before the tiger turned away. Those that voice heaven’s choir deprave this moment’s eternity. Asleep, or shook by waking dream, October’s slanted light gives witness for dark sorrows returned after winter’s barren crust. There in sprouts on forest floor the knowing awaits all. VII The old god speaks its charms in rings of light with naked men, bare women, equal as their swanlike dance blends through tattooed drum beat. A shapeless white moon, burgundy evening sun, ungendered conductors, symphonic nature’s metronomy keeping time as in the first eyelids of morning, these twinned dancers measure the earth’s turning tune as a cathedral beneath bare feet. This is the fire burning in heaven, angelic, that makes of rock a pew, of leaves, choir book. Let this be thought’s funeral—where men and women drink river’s communion cup, the dawn’s blessing brings sacrament’s earliest kiss where they go and come from liquid fog. VIII She returns to silent waters, whether in dream or Darwin’s reality, a procession of ghosts walk backwards through time’s gates, all that have ever been. She is but a flicker among them, shade not quickened by Calvary’s hushed call. The wilderness of bird choirs, flowers and orchards shall be all final rites watched over by heaven’s hanging lights—this is enough, the savage old mother a soothing maiden and crone. She would hear their disembodied, still tongues, fly with them to know if Orphean songs quicken their step. They, like the morning dew proceding darkness, do not pause—fellowship ambiguous, baptized by still, black waters.




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read more poetry

RALPH MONDAY : 'Bergman's Island' & Other Poems
Those Days Are What We Are
Holy Theotokos Save Us
Sunday Morning a Century After: A Homage


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