Dawn

Of many names, of many lands,
praised by both Germans and by Greeks
as I ascend the earthen peaks—
rosy-fingered, my outstretched hands.
From my bed in the East I fly,
flaring colors, crowned with sunlight,
bringing an end to the dark night
as my raiments cover the sky.
Eos, Eostre, Aurora, Dawn,
by many tongues I am thus praised
as I bring the warmth, my arms raised
and my radiance shining on.

Talos Falls

The Halcyon birds rile and fly away
while the Nereids flee upon froth and wave,
floating over shipwrecks from yesterday
smashed by vengeful boulders thrown by the slave;
the slave: sentinel cast in giant bronze,
a titan overlooking his dear isle,
standing tall and steadfast through dusks and dawns
to defend his Crete paradise erstwhile,
but now, stricken, his strength bleeds out his heel,
and though his essence is molten passion
the colossus collapses, made to feel
the agonies of his mortal fashion.
Howling, he recalls the small, subtle hand
that twisted the vitals from the weak spot,
a lithe, little hand whose soft command
could not be resisted once it had caught
the crux, the crank, the crucial clutch that turned
to empty his veins of his sole vigor
and then strolled along the beach where love burned—
a great ruin, and her distant figure.

Moments

A single grain of sand
slips through the hourglass
and with it falls
whole buildings, cities,
empires, crumbling to dust
in an instant,
so brief, the demolition,
and yet so many years
to build it, to amass
the sacrifice of days, of skills,
of lives, all
now gone
with the smooth slippage
of inevitability, the giddy
evanescence of the material world,
sand unto sand, the
humanistic mandala imprinting
the earth
erased by restless winds, by
sleepless tides,
burying pyramids with gravity’s
intractable pull
and the erosion
of fickle electrons.
There is no compromise
to be found
in the sinking sands of Time.

Agony

A devil is blacksmithing down below,
hammering agonies into my foot,
laughing as he works hard, blow after blow,
while embers flare and he heaps the sloughed soot
of an unthinking life I once knew well
in ingratitude and a thankless peace,
but now, in this Hephaestus pit of Hell,
flesh is enfolded in pain without cease.
Hammer, clamps, tongs, furnace and the anvil,
clutching and smashing with Vulcan focus
to forge the leg to a fallen god’s will—
a monument of pain, aching locus
whereat there spirals the spiteful fire
that brands the soul with the maker’s design,
scarring mortal flesh, his single desire
to make what is like himself: pained, divine.

Meditations On Pain

Reality rooted in nerves,
walls of sensation, innate jail
where the clew-woven warden serves
punitive sentences; a hell.
Body horror without escape
as spooled flesh and blood both betray
the existentialist great ape
whose pained intricacies relay
agonies visceral, instant,
and terrors stemming from thought,
imaginings you cannot shunt
like blood to one side, but a clot
that causes fever in the brain
and a stroke at the narrowed strait
of the much-overloaded vein,
thoughts and blood at a rapid rate.
The pain hums like cicadas, each
vying for attention, the swarm
overwhelming, all with a reach
deep within the somatic storm,
and while we recall the beliefs
of our ancestors before us,
the pain drags us along its reefs
while we hear that siren chorus.
No escape and no compromise
for the flesh that begets mankind,
shackled as we are by the ties
never to be peeled, fruit from rind.