Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Life of Love

Though not a Christmas poem, merry Christmas all the same. May God keep you safe and fill your holiday with the love and happiness that cannot be found in stores and presents and parties, but only in quiet rest in Him.

The Life of Love

A man is not a husband,
a woman not a wife,
a house is not a home,
subsistence not a life.

A child is not youthful,
the pleasant is not good,
a simple word not truthful,
and bread alone not food.

This is the mortal token –
the empty and the full –
but what our sin has broken,
now love can render whole.

And so our lives are lifted
above a common mold,
when with His grace we’re gifted:
to love with fervor bold.

The Writer

Though not a Christmas poem, merry Christmas all the same. May God keep you safe

The Writer

The painter’s is a simple task:
to reproduce the skin,
and worry not upon the soul
that lies contained therein.

But for the man who paints with words,
he must, by surgeon’s skill,
bare organs immaterial
that, hidden, drive the will.

He separates the true heart
from the fleshy one inside,
and pulls a god-like giant from
the painter’s pale guide.

And then, preliminaries past,
his labors true begin:
to comprehend the man thus found
in paper and a pen.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Winter Night

Christmas is almost upon us, and today the Commonwealth celebrates with the first annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Party. And though Winter itself may not yet have sprung upon the city with full force, it is most definitely in the air. Fires are warmer, nights are darker, and the clouds are swelled with the hint of snow.

Winter Night

It is quiet tonight,
all in cotton cold gown,
for the trees, they are silent;
they let their tongues down,

and the prodigal birds
winged their way for the sun.
It is quiet, and I?
I’m the quietest one.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Ode to the Unsure Philosopher: A Sophism in Several Parts

Here's a light take on the principles of philosophy, a staple of those far more intelligent than ourselves. Just because you don't write it, though, doesn't mean you can't dive on in. The true triumph here? Working that beast of a word, 'phenomenological,' into a poem.

Ode to the Unsure Philosopher: A Sophism in Several Parts

The philosopher’s life is a difficult one;
there are so many choices to make,
and it is an arduous task to discern
the truly wise man from the flake.

Do you choose Plato, in all of his forms,
to lead you out into the sun?
Or does intuition prove Aristotle
to be the most rational one.

You could always empirically end with Hume
when searching your senses to find
if Descartes’ cogito was right all along:
to know, you must start in the mind.

Perhaps, still unsure, you may feel, with Kant,
the phenomenological call,
or, in despair, give a tug at your hair
and declare you know nothing at all.

But whatever the state of the truth you can know,
just keep this one thought in your head:
the philosopher’s life is a difficult one;
that’s why all the greatest are dead.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Fever Night

It just snowed for the first time today, and in true holiday spirit, the flu has taken to the streets. So it is that I post this in sympathy with those currently laid out on sickbeds, but most especially Margaret, who is apparently in the slow and painful process of dying of the plague, and Sophie, who would be quite content with just the plague.

Fever Night

Glimpsed in crack, the door ajar,
a fair light filters through,
while from a haze of pressing ill
and artificial blue,
the dance of sparks on firewood
is seen by fevered eye,
and on the deadened ear descends
soft laughter and a sigh.
Oh, why must mortal parts be brought
so low upon a whim,
that happiness of mind is bound
by happiness of limb?

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Girl and the Fan

I wrote this poem for a very dear friend who spent a futile afternoon attempting to turn on a fan. Her apartment had flooded one muggy summer day and the cleaning company left the fan to help dry out the floor. In her defense, it was a massive, industrial beast of a fan, but a fan nonetheless. As a fitting post script, her husband had it going within five minutes of arriving home.

The Girl and the Fan

Upon a satin stool she sits
and sheds a single tear,
for though the heat bears down about,
no remedy is near,

while in the corner, ever close,
looks on the cyclops eye,
with shoulders hunched on blocky bulk
and toothy grin so sly.

Forever will she sit in heat,
as if enwrapped in furs,
for though she seeks to turn his brow,
it is but he turns hers.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Repetition is the theme of the day. The placement of 'little' as the second word of each line was meant to lend the poem a certain flowing cadence and unity. Whether it works or not is up to the reader to decide.


A little blade of grass upon
a little hill was crushed,
by little foot in little boot
on little path that rushed,
and little thought was given it,
while little death it died,
its little stature lowered still
by little motions tried.
Then little corpse was laid upon
a little rocky grave,
its little self to recompense
the little ground that gave.
But little life will spring again
from little grains of earth;
a little blade of grass begot
in little, wondrous birth.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Words and Minds

It's about time for a sonnet. This was written as a self-imposed exercise, and so tends more towards form than content. But then I never said I was Shakespeare.

Words and Minds

Our lips were made to marry intellects,
in common thought and reason rightly shared;
our ears to usher in such sonant lects
as found their inlets open and prepared.

So syllables between the two have flown
for ages past and ages yet begun,
to link our souls that, silent, stand alone;
the lover and beloved, bound as one.

This is the native course of old design
that dignifies our rough society
and serves, with stoic duty, to align
our separate hearts in simple unity.

But hope of consonance is mere facade
when prejudice corrupts the passage trod.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Summer Song

Well, I have tried to post once a week, and yet, somehow, even in this small goal I have failed. I have an excuse, however - I was at a wedding in California. So, in the spirit of marriage and sunny California and the fading memories of Summer days, I thought it time to post this poem.

Summer Song

Evening falls upon the timber
from the golden harvest moon.
Sing your song that I remember
Summer laid to rest too soon.

Sing a song of gold and silver,
sing the blessings of the sun,
sing beside the gentle river,
where the waters twist and run.

Make this promise as a lover,
keep this promise as a friend:
if we live to see the summer,
sing your song until the end.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Drunk Rocks

There were several clandestine locations at Thomas Aquinas College where one could go off campus to drink. Some, like the Pit, hearkened from the early days of the school, while others, like Mupu, were of more modern invention. The Drunk Rocks, in particular, was developed as a drinking spot during my time at TAC, in part due to the sudden and much-lamented demise of the Pit. It was a pleasant enough place, about half a mile from campus, with a stream running nearby and countless large, smooth river rocks that served as makeshift chairs. Most nights, one could find any combination of campfires, Irish ballads, philosophical arguments, and the like. Perhaps it was the lack of inhibitions or the unconscious mixing of students from all different grade levels, or perhaps other things, but one way or another, everyone who ever drank off campus would tell you that their best conversations happened in places like the Drunk Rocks.

The Drunk Rocks

Stones to sit on,
bottles to drink,
time to spare,
and thoughts to think.

Then bottles run dry,
while stones turn cold,
and we are still young,
but our thoughts, they grow old.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Corpse Tree

This poem was an experiment in imagery, so it's intellectual content, such as it is, is minimal. But then, who said every poem had to be deep and meaningful? If words could paint, this would produce something decidedly dark and post-impressionistic.

The Corpse Tree

There is a tree
that grows upon
a blasted hill,
so brittle drawn,

and drinks the ground
to crack it dry
beneath the blaze
and iron sky,

with twisted lines
where branches reach
their knotted bones
to fill the breach,

but none will come
and none will see
this barren waste,
this broken tree.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Yes, it's that time of year again...


Wander down the garden path, love,
linger by the wall.
Blossom days are passing fast
in winds that whisper fall.

Leaves hold yet a heady hue, love,
but there is a kiss
blushing brown upon the cheek;
a pebble in the bliss.

Stay no longer than you must, love,
for the days turn cold.
Summer’s sun is setting fast
and we are growing old.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

The Flower

And now for a little Victorian excess to remove you momentarily from the dry, terse flavor of modern prose that is so common among today's writers. Language is a vehicle for thought, and in this result-oriented age, we have traded in our Duesenbergs for Hondas. Not that this is always a bad thing - we get better gas mileage and can drive for 300,000 miles - but every step toward the utilitarian has generally been a step away from the aesthetic, and while we may be able to take more and lengthier journeys, in the end we will certainly not enjoy them as much. The trick, as in most things, is to find a mean between the two.

The Flower

The bee dips down through breaths unseen
high o’er the spreading field,
and watches for the crimson queen,
her crown to be revealed.

So many countless blades of grass,
each like the one before,
are giv’n no moment as they pass;
they hide no secret store.

He waits for beauty to display
her singularity,
and as the sun ascends the day,
there can no greater be.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Bring My Love Back to Me

This is one of my favorites, though not necessarily because it has any underlying significance. I just enjoy the cadence and imagery. The beach? It is definitely not on the East Coast. Most likely, it's somewhere in Southern California. And the girl? I'll leave that one open.

Bring My Love Back to Me

I drew us a day
in the sand on the beach,
up above where the waves
of the white waters reach.

And I thought we were safe,
in the grass and the spray,
with the clouds up above
keeping watch as we lay.

Then the wind, like a thief,
came and blew you away,
and so suddenly it
was the end of the day.

And I looked all around,
but the sand was wiped clean.
Not a mark there remained
to show where we had been.

So I sit and I wait
in the sand by the sea,
as I sing to the wind,
bring my love back to me.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

A Legacy

The days are getting shorter, and the poems, too.

A Legacy

Our words are weak as porcelain;
they linger lightly on our breath
and last no longer than the wind
that parts our lips upon our death.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Ode to a Martini

This inaugural post will kick off with a poem dedicated to two very dear friends, which, I think, captures perfectly the slightly old-fashioned, slightly British, and slightly decadent spirit that this poetry blog will attempt to maintain throughout its meteoric existence. It was written after the serendipitous discovery of that pillar of Western literature, 'A Drink with Something in It' by Ogden Nash. If you do not like your martini drier than dust, a la Winston Churchill, this poem, and indeed this blog, may not be for you.

Ode to a Martini

Oh verdant gin martini,
as dry as British wit,
a paragon of pleasure,
with grace in form and fit.

What villainy to taint you
and hide your heady truth,
to burden so with baseness
of common dry vermouth.

And onions, too, dishonor,
so only one may do:
a single, humble olive,
or rather, make that two.