O’ Thought: the priceless treasure of a man,
Conjuring bold images beyond the day.
Lead us to an open time and plan,
To show us, a new and better way.
What shall be a poet’s place,
Amidst mannered hearts and sighs.
Or on a blood-stained battle space,
Where the body, not Honour dies.
Writing poem in a bowery stall -
Cocktail set, or Rampart's mission,
Which will give a picture of us all,
And tell best of our true condition.
Or in a rough and tumble social scene,
Taking life from each and more,
In society's all consuming scheme.
And smashing pretensions to the floor.
Or shall he rest in calm stillness then,
And reside in poetic word’s delight.
To muse, and rhyme, in a quiet den,
Within the silent cloak of night.
Where shall he find his destiny,
His paramount poetic abode.
What concept should he strive to see,
To build a celebrated Ode...
Looking for answers in the sky,
For how many tears were shed.
When the false prophet's lie,
Fomented death wherever it led.
And then against his lies and harms,
Good men swore to stop this abomination.
Then with force of honest arms,
Gave life back to each honest nation.
Can poetry show us the heart and soul of Man,
Born of freedom’s thirst and godly might.
Can hold the breach against tyranny’s plan,
To know the triumph of the right.
How far to quest for poetic light,
That dims even the living Sun.
Where to search for a prophet's sight,
To discover the universal One.
And what of good, his dreams of youth,
As he faces each challenging test.
Can he build his search for truth,
To help readers enjoy a poem,
And discover therein, their very best.
What could be his baptismal font?
A wild Caucasian mountain scene,
A quiet place for thought,
In the rainy on a lovely Paris Pont,
Or someplace he's never been.
Which fetching smile will his inspiration be?
Or convoluted allegory will he find.
To mold a master poesy,
And fulfill his searching mind.
How far shall he extend his earthly grasp,
To gain a bold universe of thought.
Which pope or prophet shall he ask,
Amid the ravages they have wrought.
His Greeks with rhetorical discourses,
Edify him with their multi-mythic vision.
And marshal all their poetic forces-
Shield him safe within their fold,
From biting cold derision.
There he could search for poignant rhyme and rhythm,
Weaving metaphor and meaning into words well knit.
His Hellenic muses in concordance with him.
As they discover songs of exultant thought and wit.
With his heroes of poesy’s throng,
He could converse, debate and linger.
And dream of great poets gone,
Eulogizing the departed bardic singer,
While lamenting his sweet parting song.
Then as closing Day becomes tomorrow,
Forces of barbarism’s darkest night.
Reveals its denizens of hate and sorrow,
As Kriticos battles Metaphor and Rhyme-
In a raging metaphysical fight.
But as in the "Davidsbunde" of Schumann’s dreams,
Marching as culture’s warriors brave.
With lyrics overcame those verbal Philistines,
Trumpeting ‘round that ragged scene-
“This poetic art we can and will also save.”
Can the poet, learning thus,
Against such a verbal Tsunami tide.
Defeat an ocean of wit, vainglorious,
Brimming over with Vanity and Pride.
Then defeated Kriticos, his cutting words of hurt,
Remaindered, and with his bloody forces sorely beat.
Marked as vile and despicable-
Then sent down to Ennui,
His dark schemes marked down for defeat.
As the Davidsbunde of poetry celebrated,
Their poignant lyrical victory.
The halls of Olympus reverberated,
With cheers and praise for poesy.
The poet stands proud in their demise,
And rests his cause, triumphant and victorious.
And yet a touch of pity stems from their vale of sighs,
Defeat is sweet and revenge vanglorious.
Now shall he yearn to wander in solitude,
Seeking life’s lessons in word and rhyme.
Touched by ideas, and action’s magnitude,
Discover thoughts more than just sublime.
What drives his questing passions 'bout,
What words give a touch of tear’d emotion.
Which phrase will make his condition stout,
While penning a thoughtful rhythmic notion.
The poet makes a paean to Mythos fair,
For one chance to see beyond his view.
And his cadenced pleas were answered,
For the poetic things he would love to do.
Then once, by chance discovering,
At a crossroads of contemplation-
In the darkest secret part of night.
Without knowing if he would ever see,
Any hope of his poesy recovering.
Out of a silver midnight mist arising,
A quiet ghostly Orb came into sight.
Above and around him most surprising,
A precursor of Genius in the silence of the night.
The Orb, sent a shiver or a tightening feeling,
Like an austere chill on a wind-swept hillock high.
All the emotion of an Angelus church bell pealing,
Amid the post meridian splendor of an antediluvian sky.
Conjuring secrets, only gods could know,
Ideas encased in an empty hollow feeling.
And recollections saved from long ago,
Evoked, here and now, only for this revealing.
The poet asked, “Help me Orbic spirit:
To find mankind’s forgotten poetic light,
Draw me to its Metaphor or even near it.
So I can spin webs of poetry in the night.”
“If you seek a poetic and rhythmic plan.
Your bi-cameral mind and I will conspire-
To meditate and sing an audioic plan,
Where psyches merge and then acquire-
The poetic majesty of our heroic man.”
Seek the embering glow of human spark,
That kindles life within us all.”
The wispy Orb urged him to embark,
“Come, travel -
Travel beyond your mind's rational wall,
See the world anew, where passion says it all.”
The Orb raced ahead, and faded fast,
Like a cloud descending below a rustic hill.
Try as he might, as in a dream surpassed,
Running with all his strength; as in a test of will,
As evening faded into chilling midnight blue.
Courage-driven to see his questing through.
Then he found himself abandon and alone-
Lost - amid a hundred wild mountain dells.
Feeling like Earth’s last forgotten man,
Facing Dante’s fate in a banishment of hells.
Questions arose in experiments untried,
More than when this quest began.
Where is my mythic genius Orb?
More a hindrance, than help, he cried,
What answer is my poesy’s master plan.
He chased the Orb to a high peak, which made his spirit sag,
The Orb flew up and beyond the edge, then faded fast.
The poet stopped the race at last, and stood-
Alone on a rocky outcropped crag.
Frozen in fear and dread of howeling night,
As if chained to a stubborn repeating thought,
Prometheus like, vulnerable as a wind tossed kite.
A slave to the bold concepts he had wrought.
And Orb's ripostes he cared not to pursue,
Why should a poet verse at all?
When words like the morning dew-
Vanish as a bleary morning pall,
When all the reading's through.
But then, remembering his hero Heracles,
He knew his poetic quest was right.
Steeled as with Tireseus’ vision of the blind-
And armored with Apollo’s visionary light-
Conquering dank foreboding darkness,
And supporting an unquenchable gift of Mind.
Tormented long suffering Prometheus-
Freed by the poet, from his mythic custis,
Still bent and chafing from his chains.
While wounds from harpy injustice,
Ravaged his skin and swollen veins.
He spoke as one of Knowledge and Experience,
Paid for by his isolation, sacrifice and tears.
“See the world through logic and common sense,”
He offered, from knowledge of a thousand years.
Then the poet and his renegade demi-god,
Exploring by wits alone, and their mutual decree:
Mountains, dales and each seaside esplanade,
In the highest spirits of life; joyous and carefree.
Conversing on the soaring mind of Man,
How gifts of knowledeg and bold perceptions-
Granted promises of our race's grandest plan.
And taught us to live by our grandest conceptions,
The poet asked the Orb to join their peripatetic clan,
“Walk with our college through endless swirling mists.
That teases the mind gently, as it lingers just before us,
Lofty demi-god, ghostly orb and questing man-
In our luxuriant and fertile verbal forest.
Discover with us: gems in hidden intellectual trysts.
Then old and hoary Prometheus,
After suffering his torment forever and a day.
Echoed what he saw of us,
“I gave so much to your humanity, and modern man-
Yet he acts like a fallen demi-god, and throws it all away.”
The Orb draws our attention up,
To the latest evening starry night.
To the grandest point in all the sky,
“Look to the Zenith for Apollo’s light.
It matters to me what mortals read and do,
Poems and rhetoric are gifts of love,
Drawn together like a Capulet and Montague-
Each are free to embrace the intellect’s light,
Be my promise, or if you please-
Forget me, and then Mind eschew.”
Then poet’s words renewed, now ringing,
Expanding, swelling clear and true.
“Life is the only song worth singing,
Till breath and spark of life are through.”
“The reader’s the one to verse about,” he thought,
“A single body’d mind, or a universe of nations.
Listen for each quiet whisper-
Or a hear the roar of a gathering shout-
The repeating song within one beating heart-
Or echoes reverberating from all relations.”
The mountain passes give a paternal sigh,
And shows him the majesty of the starry night.
To the grandest point in all the sky,
Where Apollo directs him to the Light.
The poet's mind flashes as the dawn,
Floods his semi-conscious being.
Its sound and connotation can't be wrong,
When it conjures universal meaning.
Perhaps the answer's waiting there,
Beyond his sheltering door.
Among the wind swept mountains bare,
Or hiding on a lowly valley floor.
Eschew the warmth to wander thus,
Searching the Versifier's Grail.
From snowy far Hindu Kush,
To a cot beyond Dublin's Pale.
'Round every aspect of the swirling earth,
From parched desert to fetching shore.
This globe becomes his test of worth,
His mind, his psyche, and more.
He wandered roads barren and sere,
Searching for his raison d'être
With Endymion and Selene shepparding near,
Giving all his mind to repay his poetic debt.
Consigned then, to highway, field, and ocean,
Seeking universals in the dust of earth.
He sweeps his World for its newest notion,
Thus honing skills, and testing the mettle of his worth.
With great pity his Orb appears again-
And takes on the search with him,
Helping without critique or blame.
Spirited that poet through mountains foreign,
Driven thought alone, to answers of every kind.
And somewhere along his poetic quest,
Along a mountainous roadway pass,
More than a recreation; more like mythic test.
The sudden appearance of it seemed abrupt and fast.
Before him, chapel bells one quiet Sunday morn.
Peeled a loud proclaiming call to Mass,
Where faith and truth are born.
And from life-to-life the sacrament is passed.
His ghostly Orb turns the poet to spirit wind,
Flowing swiftly past the faithful few.
And makes the altar stone, his prison inn,
And the golden tabernacle, his silken pew.
Within that blessed rock,
The poet partakes each rubric sound.
Then above the granite altar's oaken rail.
Feels the weight of the chalice down,
And feels the touch of an unfamiliar grail.
This chalice holds another light,
A golden promise and a plan.
This one holds steady and true,
For all the ages of the universal man,
It tells of a Teacher of the Right.
Search sallow eyes of the parish priest,
Gazing down at this poet's stonework tomb.
Seek better revelations than the least,
Who hopes to find salvation in a granite womb.
The padre's look in stark surprise,
Revealed by the poet’s upward glance.
Sensed with grey disbelieving eyes,
His vision’s double take is more than like a dance.
Devoutly in that granite space,
As water and wine poured in.
Into that silver sacrificial place,
The poet’s psyche is white of sin.
He mingles down with blood and wine,
Drenched in a new Apollo’s Light.
He savoir the very ends of time,
After clouds of a dark Chthonian night.
Wild thoughts beyond the rubrics stream,
Beyond the altar rock below.
Then whisk him from that doubtful scene.
Was that the truth, or will this poet never know?"
Then the Orb whisks him away-
From his sacred rubric dream,
He flew back to his highway path.
Freed from that sacred chalice scheme,
And spared its prayerful aftermath.
The open road welcomes his racing heart,
As miles meld through land and shore.
The road becomes his better part,
And, he becomes it more.
And then at once he’s all of it,
From coast to a distant mountain.
The rolling thunderous call of it,
Drenched in its concrete fountain.
Feeling a million miles long,
Its tangled ribbon strength beheld.
Wheels rolling their thunderous song,
As an infinitude of stone and concrete meld.
Being everywhere at once,
His poesy gained life anew.
This questing not anyplace at all, he said,
It's in the dreams we do.
As he approached the edge of the earth,
The Orb sensed fear, and urged him even more,
“You have done well this far, my charge,
The sea is greater than any land.
Poetry is but a string of words ‘round-
Intellect’s vast ocean, with rhetoric as its shore.
The poet flew with wind and wave,
From land to sea, and oceans wide.
Spreading thoughts in rhyme that humans crave,
Sowing words of nations and their people’s pride-
And with each revelation done,
A new poet awakens and arises.
A new day begins as new rhythms come,
Bringing joy and literal surprises.
This is where Intellect’s answers lie,
Not scattered through place, or time.
But on pages that cast dour hearts-
Up into an infinite and glorious sky.
Where quietude drowns ignorance bare,
He finds a contemplative spot.
With ever more experience to spare,
His poetry can forever be his lot.
Then he reaches deep within a searching heart,
Seeing ideas he dared not see, at some distant time.
Capturing each morning's golden part,
And gently wrapping it in mist of poetic dew.
Catching words in rhythms of our thoughts,
And casting them in phrases to make a rhyme.
The poet feels his pages gently turn,
Both reader and writer and know the thrill-
And as Intellect pleasures them all the while.
Dancing eyes upon both yearn,
Delighted by words that make a smile.
© 2012, R. L. Lyons, all rights reserved.
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