Two Poems

I’ve begun to collect poems in a single volume under the title “Stammerings.” I think it is a worthwhile project. Tell me if you agree, sampling of two poems:

Stammering I

Whose chariot is that beat back against the skies

What reason revs where follow hungry eyes?

In civic courts I’d questioned every use

Of what is or of what is abuse,

Saw carried heaven-home too my silent cries.

The little leavings that no saint can dare refuse,

Departures from attention to the Muse,

That subtle drowning in the embers of desire

Twirled playground slides, trivial trip-wire,

To which the Four Last Things would sound Old News.

What protest can be made when we awake

Within the Matthew Arnold dreamsea, rake

Of grander chums misrule the gotten world

Wound up within its loaded gun, spring-furled

Fruit-gnawèd roots, Ygdrassil its own Drake.

They instructed us to not consume the God

If we were sick, a leprosy outlawed.

Sick, in hospital, we were not brought

The Host, hands hovered over us like hot

Wings, noli me tangere not anointed.

Objects slipping in a seam of glass,

Partitions merging separate states of gas,

A cyclone in an apse of building wings

Lifting leaves across where wind should sing,

Aeolus chorus harps our ribs make pass.

Some hidden birds in these wind-folds, or houses

Pulling jesses at heart’s slain defenses

Can’t between these gusts too roughly that

Draw down this doorway, up pelagic mat,

Wrap lightning round and kill all nervous senses.

In this place too might I have been, if places

Were the matter of our vent discord,

Like Thomas sowing Summa’s seeds, her shoots

But straw; or John the Cross gone up, the Mount

Of Carmel topped, stooping, ties his boots.

Strange Fire

Not enough to slay that which still burns

Abihu and Nadab slay what is burnt,

Steal altar fire to incense all heaven and earth,

Play God in priestly roundelay amirth.

That holy flare on Horeb nouncing doom,

And the high altar’s shewing stare personate,

And shadowed too in womb Apostolate,

Still here consumes those thought it they consume.

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