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A Collection of My Original Poems with Commentaries

Writing poetry became my major composing activity circa 1962, & Mr. Malcolm Sedam's creative writing class in 1963-64 deepened my interest.

Water Ripples

Water Ripples

"A Spring Dream Phantasm" with Commentary

The Western romantic notion of hearts and flowers, or brooding the loss of love, of the ecstasy of sexual liaison, loses it power in the face of reality: the soul belongs to God, the Divine, the Ultimate Reality, and no one else. After the heart has suffered over loss of human love, nothing can mend it except the awareness that the heart was not created for human love; it was created for only two purposes: to pump blood to keep the physical encasement going, and to finally give that love this heart so easily manufactures along with the blood to the Creator of that heart, the Divine Source, the Spirit, or God. And although two souls might find each other and prosper in an affectionate, life-time relationship, if they do not make that Creator of Hearts central in their lives, they cannot truly love each other.

A Spring Dream Phantasm

At the edge of the water
We sit together
Talking about heaven & earth
Poems & love.

You ask if I still think of you
While you are away.
I throw a stone into the water.
My answer is the ripples.

Commentary

This short lyric features many aspects of the Eastern philosophy known a Zen or Zen Buddhism. The simplicity of the peace emphasizes the depth of thought and feeling. When thought leads directly to feeling, Zen meditation begins. The poem is from an unpublished manuscript and will likely appear in a forthcoming collection, tentatively titled, “Light Sweeping.”

First Movement: 75% Water

At the edge of the water
We sit together

A pair of perhaps erstwhile lovers sits at the water’s edge. The speaker does not reveal what type of body of water it is: it could be a fountain, a lake, a small pond, or a gently meandering river. The speaker allows the element"water" to speak without limiting it to any specific type of earthly body. The human body is made of about 75% water; thus the human attraction to that element is strong, regardless of the form in which the water might appear.

Of all the elements—earth, water, fire, and air—water is the most poetic. Not only does it make up the largest part of the earth, but it puts out fire and easily converts to air through the agency of fire. Of course, the ultimate poetic nature remains an opinion. The opiner can always use his own persuasion to persuade his view.

Second Movement: Philosophically Speaking

Talking about heaven & earth
Poems & love.

Now opens the revelation that the pair is talking philosophically about pairs: "heaven & earth” and "poems & love.” Without revealing anything either might have said about those pairs, either as pairs or individually, the speaker implies that the two differ significantly—but that implication awaits fulfillment. The world of maya is composed of pairs of opposites, with which each being must contend just to keep body and soul together. They are not required to enjoy that contention; they are not required to contend unduly with rough, unbecoming characters. They must however contend.

Third Movement: A Question

You ask if I still think of you
While you are away.

The speaker then announces that her partner has asked her a question, a rather leading question—a question that makes clear that they have been apart. The partner has asked if she "still" thinks of him when he’s gone from her. The"still” insertion implies that for some reason he is sure she has thought of him and probably continues to do so. It is likely he is not prepared for her answer. The arrogance of some individuals leaves them open to responses, which they may prefer not to contend, but as usual, contending is a necessary activity in the world of maya. Delusion runs rampant, and especially encircles egomaniacs who seldom see beyond the mirror of their own mind.

Fourth Movement: The Image of Wavelets

I throw a stone into the water.
My answer is the ripples.

Her answer is the image of many water wavelets resulting from her having thrown a stone into the water. What happens to the wavelets? At first, they are strong, moving quickly out from the center of where the stone broke the surface of the water. But then as the wavelets continue, they grow slower and fainter, until they stop altogether. Sure, she thought of him at first, but then the thoughts diminished as the wavelets diminish after a stone in thrown into water. But . . . just imagine the tranquility, the peace, the beautiful silence of not thinking about him at all! That’s what the speaker wants everyone to realize. And now that the human longing and suffering have gone, there is time and a silent space in which to turn the heart and mind to the Divine. The perfect peace and humility of the speaker would buckle the knees of one less dense and perforated by disease. But the speaker does not expect an intelligent response of her erstwhile companion; she obviously knows the limit of his sutured brain. He has built his castle on sand, and she knows that it will quickly sink, despite any kind word or thought she might offer. Thus, she chooses silence.

Let the water do her talking! Let the ripple be her answer!

"A Book of Frost" with Commentary

My original poem, "A Book of Frost," features postmodernist vagueness while zeroing in on the specificity that jump starts the incredulity of the postmodernist mind confused by its own clarity. "Poetry makes nothing happen," says Auden. "Let’s keep it that way," I say.

My poem, "A Book of Frost," spins out the postmodernist’s vaguest notions of clarity; its specificity offers the confusion that jump starts the incredulity on which the postmodernist mindset is constantly being erected. If lies become truth with repetition, then repetition becomes the enemy of clarity, despite the animosity that will always prevail in the hater for the hated.

This poem is dedicated to my daughter, who despises poetry, and who insists she cannot understand poetry. Despite remaining an avid reader her entire life, and now serving as a middle school librarian, her preferred reading material has always been prose, and luckily for her chosen profession, she never needs to bother engaging ideas above the level of grade 8. She, of course, is far from alone; the field of public education cannot tolerate in depth scrutiny and critical thinking. Without the ability to think critically and deeply, poetry remains a locked door to blank minds.

But then, lot of people do not “understand” poetry, thus, appreciating poetry remains far beyond their capabilities. Fortunately, or unfortunately as the case may be, that does not keep poets from writing the stuff. Yet, too many editors, especially online editors, remain clueless regarding issues such as fairness, open-dialog, free speech, and political realities that push against their geographical and ideological biases. Bias is the enemy of enlightenment. Enemies of enlightenment can never appreciate truth and beauty—thus, the ugliness that continues to litter the landscape.

A Book of Frost

for Lyn

"one pays a price for calling out one's betters" —Linda Sue Grimes

Each winter sprite has walked the air a slave
To circumstances she once deemed her joy.
New rime that lined the stillness of her cave
Fetched folded hands of time to hold her buoy.

If sudden gales mount rushing at her back
Forcing chills that numb her mind to stone,
She will tame and temper every track
And feel the fasting marrow of the bone.

With pains she strains aloof becoming strong
Yet slowly limns the glad road down to time
Where never any being can belong
Without a pardon for an unknown crime.

Now she is slogging unbowed through the storm
To fling the book of frost to light and form.

Commentary

My original poem, "A Book of Frost," from my collection of poems titled Turtle Woman & Other Poems, is an Elizabethan (Shakespearean or English) sonnet. And like the Shakespeare writer it does not pretend to be full of itself, yet it fills the atmosphere with fuzz and fizz and other non-sequiturs, trading today for an amplified tomorrow.

First Quatrain: Life's Vicissitudes

Each winter sprite has walked the air a slave
To circumstances she once deemed her joy.
New rime that lined the stillness of her cave
Fetched folded hands of time to hold her buoy.

The speaker is an individual experienced in life’s vicissitudes who is addressing an individual much less so, that is, one with such naïveté as to expect the material world to give her all her heart-&-soul’s desires. It may be unfortunate that parents are not perfect, and equally unfortunate that children also are not perfect. Yet, living together in some semblance of peace is all that can be hoped for in the busy world of Maya delusion. Passing on precepts will, however, always exist on this cold planet, even if prayer seems passé.

While tomorrow waits for no one, especially the slow, it does hesitate to bend toward the meager talents of the bombastic, hypocrites who litter this mud ball of a planet. Many children will step on the graves of their parents and feel nothing, but they will still tread on in contempt and will continue to shrink their brains in the alcohol of animosity. If "Generations have trod, have trod, have trod" as Father Hopkins has averred, they will continue to tread, to tread, to tread, and no force will buck them lest they smile.

(Regarding the unusual spelling, "rime": The spelling, "rhyme," was introduced into English by Dr. Samuel Johnson through an etymological error. For my explanation for using only the original form, please see "Rime vs Rhyme: An Unfortunate Error.")

Second Quatrain: Victims of the Mainstream

If sudden gales mount rushing at her back
Forcing chills that numb her mind to stone,
She will tame and temper every track
And feel the fasting marrow of the bone.

Somewhat rudderless, clueless victims of mainstream pollution will gather their politics into a faulty, tenuous grip on reality, as their inconsistencies prevent their ability to fathom and spring forward because that’s the way the world rolls. It is funny yet admirable how the worst of the worst still contribute, still offer plenty of balm in time of sorrow, still deserve love and attention—although less of the latter is better. People in fine leather coats cannot see the same skin of the cow, especially while fine dining on filet mignon. But the weather will continue to fluctuate over the horizon of distrust, and leaky, breathless hagiography will implode the wicked as soon as evil bends over the branch on which the bird of swooping memory begins to croon.

Some bright prodigy may come along and convince the unconvinced that changing sex is indeed impossible on the physical level. And their argument will satisfy even those who deny any other level exists: just because I think me a lovely dancer does not mean I can dance. I may sing to the cloud on a dark rainy day but the cloud will spill its contents and continue to float away anyway.

Third Quatrain: The Language of Non-Striving

With pains she strains aloof becoming strong
Yet slowly limns the glad road down to time
Where never any being can belong
Without a pardon for an unknown crime.

All the unknown crimes of the world may land on one's doorstep, but who will imagine that the dusty past will cause a sweetness and beauty to blow past them? The speaker has left that admonition to the Divine Essence because she has finally discovered the futility of language among the crowd who are not striving for enlightenment. Guilt may play out on the stage of superficiality as clumps of sins choke the breath out of lesser evils. While mystic leaves may flutter in the breeze of brazen desires, the true wish will gather its bunch of roses and make off like a bandit in the parlance of clichés.

Despite the elevation of a university education, the true test is in the street and in the home. Divine fissures may form to encase the light of heart while the dark brained will remain on the cusp of fire and brimstone. What will literally work figuratively will never assuage the desire to remain better than those who are, in fact, better. But trying to escape the pond scum will always remain the drowning man’s prerogative.

Couplet: The Big Dog of Karma

Now she is slogging unbowed through the storm
To fling the book of frost to light and form.

The speaker is probably being overly optimistic in the couplet. Even Shakespeare often allowed his desire for closure to blind him to the fact that not every story can end happily. Not every book can end with an “a ha” love and roses moment. Not every poem can even end with a couplet. As any sonnet ends its drama, this one seems to simply stop. Maybe a repeat reading will offer some clue to true nature of the cold that can both freeze and burn.

Be gentle and kind to the older generation, younger generation, and they will be gentle and kind to you. Hate them for all they could not give you, and you might find your keister being bitten by the big dog of Karma. Nay, the big dog of Karma will bite your keister for everything you do and everything you do not do. Instead of blowing past ancient concepts, try finding out what they really are, why they exist, and how they can help you. You know you need help, so go out and get some. Defend your feeble thoughts by turning them out and taking on sturdy ideas that will cause your heart to rush and your face to blush that you came so late the party.

Signing of the Constitution

Signing of the Constitution

"Liberal Mud" with Commentary

My original poem, "Liberal Mud," focuses on the nature of the much abused term, "liberalism," currently applied to the American political party, whose policies would curtail the nation's freedom and even enslave its citizens instead of liberalizing the constraints of government.

The term, "liberal," has been much abused. For example, in contemporary American politics, the party that claims the label of liberal is the party whose policies are formulated to control every aspect of life of the citizens of the United States from healthcare to business practices to what each American is allowed to think. That party even seeks to quash freedom of religion, which was a major impetus leading to the founding the country.

Under the guise of "liberalism," that party claims large swaths of the citizenry who have fallen for the corrupt concept of "identity politics." For example, the party claims huge numbers of African Americans, women, gays, and young voters. The party appeals to many of the uninformed/misinformed in those "groups" simply by offering them government largesse and claiming to represent their interests.

A common misconception is that the Democratic and Republican parties switched policies a few decades ago. That lie has been perpetuated by Democrat vote seekers because history reveals that the Republican Party has always been the party of freedom; it was, in fact, President Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican president, who issued the Emancipation Proclamation that freed the slaves during the American Civil War.

As has averred: "Many believed the Democrats had a change of heart and fell in love with blacks. To the contrary, history reveals the Democrats didn't fall in love with black folks, they fell in love with the black vote knowing this would be their ticket to the White House." As they have experienced the result of luring the votes of black folks, Democrat politicians have worked the same old lie to get the votes of the other identity groups: women, gays, young voters.

Originally, the term, "liberal," indicated the positive quality of allowing freedom from government overreach, and generally those who wish to unleash themselves from harsh constraints on behavior that harms no one are, in fact, liberal. The American Founding Fathers were the liberals of that period of history. Those colonists who wished to remain tied to England, instead of seeking independence, were the conservatives.

Whether an ideology is liberal or conservative depends entirely upon the status quo of the era. If a nation's government status quo functions as a socialist/totalitarian structure and a group of citizens works to convert it to a republic, then that group would be the liberals, as was the case at the founding of the democratic republic of the United States of America. However, if a country's governing status quo structure functions as a democratic republic, and a group of citizens struggles to change it into a socialist/totalitarian structure — a la Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, or any other current member of the Democratic Party — then that group would be the liberals, however, mistakenly that term would be when applied to such a stance.

Conservatism is the desire to maintain the status quo despite the nature of that status quo, but then again it is necessary to delineate what that status quo is. If the status quo allows freedom, then it should be conserved; if it does not, it should be liberalized. It is unfortunate that those terms have become so flabby, but then that is the nature of political speak: the side that has the lesser argument will always seek to convert language, instead of converting their putrid policies.

This poem hails forth in the current acceptance of a liberalism that is anything but liberal: modern liberalism vs classical liberalism. The poem might well be titled "Totalitarian Mud." But part of the point is to report the denatured use of the term, "liberal," as it decries the effects of that denatured term.

Liberal Mud

Every soldier takes to battle
His duty for survival
Marching against the rival.

The enemy muscles the air
Against all that is fair
Against putrid politics.

Liberal dust smothering light,
Converts gloom against the fight
To save freedom from the sand.

Liberal breath pollutes the way
Through politics that betray
Their fellows natural rights.

Liberal thieves convert the vote
To steal the sacred note
As enemies rise from hell.

Licking their wounds, their paws,
Leaving the press no answer
Save all the fake men of straws.

No hypocrite gives more haste
Than a mind without a compass.
It remains a terrible waste

To slime the brain’s red blood
In the bog pond of liberal mud.

Commentary

The fight for freedom never ends. True liberal thought that leads to fairness must continually be pursued to avoid its opposite, tyranny.

First Movement: Fight for Freedom

Every soldier takes to battle
His duty for survival
Marching against the rival.

These particular soldiers represent the fight for what is right, correct, that which gives the most freedom to the most people. Modern-day liberals would take away these soldiers, the fight, and the freedom and replace them with goose-stepping thugs who would enforce totalitarian rule. One need only observe examples of the Democratic party such as the Clintons, and how they mistreated the military to understand the verity of this observation.

Lt. Col. Robert Patterson reports in his book, Dereliction of Duty: Eyewitness Account of How Bill Clinton Compromised America's National Security, that Clinton's kick-the-can attitude toward taking out Al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein's nuclear facility convinced Patterson that Clinton was the "greatest security risk to the United States."

In Ronald Kessler's book, The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents, Kessler recounts how a simple greeting of "Good Morning, ma'am" to the First Lady Hillary Clinton would provoke a reply of "Fuck off!" from that future failed Democratic presidential hopeful.

The Obama White House managed to behave no better toward the men and women in uniform, as President Obama continued to downsize both the troop strength and the pay and pension of each troop.

Second Movement: Vanity Leads to Loss

The enemy muscles the air
Against all that is fair
Against putrid politics.

The great example of this claim is the winning of the War in Iraq by President George W. Bush, only to be squandered and lost under the vain, tepid, backward responses of President Barack H. Obama. Thomas Sowell has summarized the situation accurately stating:

Despite the mistakes that were made in Iraq, it was still a viable country until Barack Obama made the headstrong decision to pull out all the troops, ignoring his own military advisers, just so he could claim to have restored "peace," when in fact he invited chaos and defeat.

Third Movement: The Glass Eye of Dictatorship

Liberal dust smothering light,
Converts gloom against the fight
To save freedom from the sand.

The dust of liberal thinking covers all the furniture of a republic. Gouging out the eyeballs of freedom, replacing them with the glass eye of dictatorship. Suspending industry, encouraging the sex-crazed lazy to spend tax dollars on abortifacients.

Fourth Movement: Lies, Deception, Obfuscation

Liberal breath pollutes the way
Through politics that betray
Their fellows natural rights.

But somehow the putrid politics of the Democratic Party breathe on, polluting the environment with lies, deceptions, obfuscations that kill and maim as society turns violent in the wake of lawlessness.

Observe Democratic Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake offering looters "space to destroy" by commanding law enforcement to stand down. Of course, after making such a ludicrous remark, she then lies and says she didn't say that.

Fifth Movement: Leading from Behind Is not Leading

Licking their wounds, their paws,
Leaving the press no answer
Save each fake man of straws.

The Obamaniacs' "lead from behind”— the likes of fake purple heart winner now Secretary of State John Kerry accepts a deal with a terror sponsoring nation that will lead to the obliteration of a neighboring democracy and encourage other dictatorships to go nuclear.

Sixth Movement: The Birth of Fake News

Licking their wounds, their paws,
Leaving the press no answer
Save each fake man of straws.

Everyone suffers the abominations, and the corrupt liberal press continues to fail to hold to account those who are steering their country into a poverty stricken mess, too weak to defend itself, too dependent on government to know how to earn its own living.

Seventh Movement: Mindless, Rudderless, Moral Mess

No hypocrite gives more haste
Than a mind without a compass.
It remains a terrible waste

The moral compass of the country has been hacked into a pile of unworkable fragments.

Eighth Movement: Lack of Moral Clarity

To slime the brain’s red blood
In the bog pond of liberal mud.

The final two movements echo the adage: "A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” And the minds of so many young folks have been wasted in the dumpster of fake "liberal" ideology.

Applying the Lessons of History

Poetry and politics are uneasy bedfellows. They struggle to fall asleep, often simply through mistrust, but often because the nature of beauty remains deeply personal, and politics, by its nature, must look outward.

Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, depending upon how one looks at it, all that can be done about "politics" — identity and otherwise — is to continue to debate the merits of each policy that presents itself. One would also continue to hope that those debaters know their history and have some skill in applying the lessons of that history as they analyze and scrutinize each policy.

Sources

Satan Approaching the Court of Chaos

Satan Approaching the Court of Chaos

"untitled" with Commentary

In the early 1990s at Ball State University, a student in my honors humanities class held the belief that people who like contemporary rock music do not really like music. I explore that idea as it relates to poetry.

I would venture a guess that most people nowadays hate poetry. But enough hang on that it still pops up here and there. It would be interesting to research the trajectory of poetry as it used to influence even politics to now in the 21st century—how only its bastardized cousin, dramatic propaganda, is about all that is left of it.

untitled

for Rodney

i put my shoes on my head
& go to town in the cracking rain
my foot is the sun
the moon at noon looks like a piano
played by a tornado
congress is a canoe
that peels potatoes to make stars
our wisdom is a duck's belly
that sees with its knees
when shakespeare shakes his fist
blue nails fall out of aristotle's nose
my elbow has bitten a frog
and three dogs jumped over the house
on their way to pick cotton
at the saw mill
my shoes are ball point pens
i pick my teeth with
after dumping marshmallows along the potomac
four fat apes wrote their autobiographies
on the snout of a tire

Commentary

Why would one even bother to formulate a commentary about a "poem" so obviously contrived to mock the oblivious? Why not? They don’t care, either way. Get the chip off your shoulder and just hang with it, enjoy the chaos of postmodern thought. Keep this in mind: one thought leads to another, and on and on. Until sometimes we end up in a surprising place. Still it is not without merit to attempt to think and peruse, instead of merely glancing, feeling, and moving on without intention.

First Movement: about to blow

i put my shoes on my head
& go to town in the cracking rain
my foot is the sun
the moon at noon looks like a piano
played by a tornado

The speaker has discovered that putting his shoes on his head before heading into town has provoked an unusual occurrence. When he puts those shoes on his head and goes to town, the rain cracks. You know that rain might splatter, but who has ever heard it "crack"? Well, put your shoes on your head and head into town, and you might find "cracking rain" — especially if you can see the "moon at noon," which will "look like a piano / played by a tornado." Keep in mind, this is not a dream in a poem. This is the poem straight up.

A piano played by a tornado will remind readers/listeners of a rhythm and blues artist. Thus the square is circled or the circle squared, depending up on your orientation. (Unfortunately, the hater of poetry has just met his match. This poem is not so ditzy as it first seemed, but then they never are. Just ask "Ern Malley.")

Second Movement: drama is comedy in a jumpsuit

congress is a canoe
that peels potatoes to make stars

Now the speaker makes a truly dramatic statement. Some entity called "congress" does something that no one has ever considered, "peel[ing] potatoes to make stars." Say what? One peels potatoes to make mashed potatoes, fried potatoes, french fries—any dish with potatoes used to require the "peeling of potatoes" — now not so much, since folks have learned that much of the vitaminalized nutrition is in the freaking skin.

But what is this congress? At this point, what difference does it make? Congress means the coming together for some purpose, and the purpose here is peeling potatoes to make stars. This is such a radical idea that peeling potatoes can make stars that the novice, idiot, hater, or beginning poetry reader will only be enthralled. The more bizarre the claim stated in a "poem" the better, right?

You must remember that those haters, idiots, and beginners all believe in one doctrine, a poem can mean anything you want it to mean. And the result of this notion: most folks believe poems are meaningless gibberish that only a teacher can explain. By extension, algebra can become meaningless if only a teacher can explain it. History can become meaningless if only a teacher can explain it. Teachers explain meaningless stuff: "God! I can’t wait to graduate and never see a teacher again!"

Third Movement: anaphylactic stock

our wisdom is a duck's belly
that sees with its knees

The third movement of this poem surely encapsulates the summary of wisdom of the pants lowering, anysexualityisok, bangandbebanged, explode the sexual revolution 60s mind set that has begun lifting entire peoples out of possibility for all those decades we have encountered from the 1960s.

Although it no doubt started centuries earlier, and probably existed from the beginning of time, the flummox of the "duck’s belly" has grossed out the spiritual, inspirited the degraded, convexed the thoughtful, and boosted the ego of the merely self-engorged. We all just venture on despite such.

What choice do we have? No one can understand everything, every minute of every day. Only those who wish to label you "evil" will even consider such a bizarre phenomenon. Just think of it: what if all you can understand comes through seeing with your knees. What would you do next?

Fourth Movement: a bard for all thyme

when shakespeare shakes his fist
blue nails fall out of aristotle's nose

The allusion to Shakespeare and Aristotle in the fourth movement elevates the poem to a new level. All the while the haters, idiots, and oblivious have sought solace knowing that they can see whatever they want to see in this poem, but now they are in deep trouble: they don’t have a clue how to figure out what Shakespeare and Aristotle have to do with anything.

They have heard their names, but the day the teacher talked about them, they just tuned out or were absent, or were in rebellion against Western culture. No one can argue against being against Western culture. Everyone knows how that thing has played out — wink, wink!

Fifth Movement: thinking below the knees

my elbow has bitten a frog
and three dogs jumped over the house
on their way to pick cotton
at the saw mill

Oh, for God’s sake: whose elbow has not bitten frog? And if you have not encountered three dogs jumping over a house on their way to pick cotton at the saw mill, you have not lived. All one can say is get a life, and life will open for you. Fairy tales do not exist for fairies; they exist for all those who cannot believe in fairies. Show the world you have a brain, a heart, and a foot and learn about these things, before it is too late.

Sixth Movement: cavities and crowns

my shoes are ball point pens
i pick my teeth with

The speaker of this poem becomes a little whimsical when he claims that he picks his teeth with a ballpoint pen. Trying to be funny? On the other hand, have you not seen executives whose teeth look a little inky? Think about it. Life is all around you; how much of it have you missed simply on your way to the hockey game?

Seventh Movement: the hot chocolate scandal

after dumping marshmallows along the potomac
four fat apes wrote their autobiographies
on the snout of a tire

The ink-teeth fellow then "dumped marshmallows along the potomac," while "four fat apes wrote their autobiographies / on the snout of a tire.” Everyone knows that fat apes can only write their life stories on the snouts of tires. Go out right now and look at your tires and see: they are there, I tell you, that’s where they are.

Lilacs

Lilacs

Four Original Poems Anticipating Spring's Arrival with Commentaries

The four poems offered here render grateful observance to the seasonal order of things. The Creator Beloved finds center stage in this spring celebration.

Versions of these poems appear in my first published book of poems, Singing in the Silence: Poems of Faith. I offer them today in anticipation of the coming of spring, 2017.

The poems celebrate the resurrection of the earth and offer gratitude to the Divine Creator for His abundant love for and skill in manifesting newness and warmth after a barren season of decay and death. The final word offers a brief description of each state of "Delight," literally "of light," as dramatizes in each poem offering.

Invitation

"The season of failure is the best time for sowing the seeds of success." —Paramahansa Yogananda

Into my garden of weeds
Come, Eternal Gardener—
Teach me to plant & prune fine foliage.
Show me where to set the lilies & tulips
& where the roses should grow.
Guide my choices of herbs and vegetables.
Give me knowledge of fertilizer and fences.
Into my garden of words
Come, Eternal Poet—
Make my poems exude divine ardor.
Fashion my thoughts to bow at your feet.
Make my images spout living waters
From an enlightened fount
To refresh all who dip a cup.

In My Spiritual Garden

"The ordinary man considers solids and liquids and the energy manifestations of the material world to be vastly different, but the yogi sees them as various vibrations of the one cosmic light." —Paramahansa Yogananda

In my spiritual garden
I walk with you when the sun is medicine
And the rain suckles the beets & corn.
I walk with you between the rows of memories
Where love holds you between peppers & tomatoes.
I walk with you along the fence
And touch your hand & step across
Thinking of you as I pick the peas,
Still thinking of you as I weed
The beans & cucumbers.
I walk with you & with every silent step
And every moment of your absence
That would weaken the faith of one
Less in love, my love grows deep
Like the roots of the bamboo & my love
Grows straight like the stalks of asparagus.
In my spiritual garden I will always grow you
In the medicine sun & the suckling rain.

Divine Gardener

"Let my soul smile through my heart and my heart smile through my eyes, that I may scatter rich smiles in sad hearts." —Paramahansa Yogananda

After we scoop the soil
over the seeds
& sprinkle the water
& pluck the weeds,
you will tend the growing
& tempt the eye with green
& yellow peppers,
& tempt the tongue
with onions & corn,
& invite us to taste your flesh
in cucumbers & tomatoes.
I will stand at the edge of the garden,
my lips & tongue tending the silence
I learn to thank you with.

My Divine Beloved

"The soul is individualized spirit." —Paramahansa Yogananda

When spring comes
Tilling the ground
I will plant seeds
And think of you
You are earth
You build my body.
When spring comes
Showering young plants
I will sing with raindrops
And think of you
You are water
You carry my life.
When spring comes
Warming my limbs
I will brown my skin
And think of you
You are fire
You inflame my heart.
When spring comes
Swirling on the wind
I will lean into it
And think of you
You are air
You clear my mind.
When spring comes
Rising from winter's tomb
I will sing devotion
And think of you
You are my Divine Beloved
You revive my soul.

A Concluding Word: The Four Stages of "Delight"

The first stage of "Delight" opens the heart to joy with an "Invitation." The mere possibility of joy further opens the heart to faith. The Divine Creator created the Creation and rooted it in love.

The second stage of "Delight" observes the growing of divine qualities in the heart and mind that correspond to the soul's eternal atmosphere of love and delight. The observer commands a rare space on the earth, acknowledges the efficacy of the soil, and renders gratitude for the order of all things "In My Spiritual Garden."

The third stage of "Delight" continues the rendering a gratitude that results in the ability to further learn and grown in body, mind, and soul qualities. As it recognizes that it is only "My Divine Beloved" who exists, the soul bows and flows into the cosmos of Divine Reality.

The fourth stage of "Delight" cognizes "My Divine Beloved" as the doer of all things, the creator of all things, and the only Reality. The body, mind, and soul unite in the wisdom of the Beloved's presence, experiencing the ever-new bliss of soul revival.

© 2020 Linda Sue Grimes

Comments

Linda Sue Grimes (author) from U.S.A. on May 04, 2020:

Thank you, Brenda! I appreciate your response and kind words.

This piece has always been one of my favorite original poems for its simplicity in the way nature seems to have cooperated with the speaker's thought and feeling. The alignment of human emotion and natural phenomena can always result in a poetic expression when the poet is fortunate enough to have captured the moment. It is even more precious because it is so rare.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on May 04, 2020:

This is a very good poem.

The stir of the water with ripples is an amazing ending.

Thus your explanation describes how it eventually fades to nothing.

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