Psychebabble (or, When I die I want to be made into a nice chest of drawers; or, There’s no man speaks better Latin)

Nothing is speaking to human consciousness:
not the gusts of Olympus blustering our brains;
not the gush of the Ganges bubbling our bodies;
not the snowflake stars dusting the black, or the silences between them, no—
we are just talking to ourselves—

Mother: What, Dan?
Me: Nuthin, I was just talkin to meself.
Mother: Well shur ya couldn’t talk to a nicer fella.
(Well, mothers are supposed to love their sons,
and I suppose most of them do.)

No—we are just talking to ourselves,
our brains rustling: crown of thoughts
a crown of leaves, branches spreading in our heads,
rooting down in the dumb limbs,
spine-trunk, root-nerve, sap-blood, leaves
greening and browning and new buds blooming,
fruits and seeds,
breezes the branches make themselves
by growing (a flung violin makes music too),
and “Timmmmburrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr”!—

Ah the mouths we all are
Tongue-soft and tooth-hard
Spit-shined and enamelled
But red raw and rotten
Suckling and snapping
Laughing and grinding
Talking to ourselves
(Fill it and fill it—
I’m teaching myself Latin!
But there’s always a hole in the middle)

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On Reading the Classics

I read Homer and have a thought
Perhaps that Plato also had,
Marvel at Horatian odes
That Marvell loved centuries ago,
Admire a line as did Augustus,
Thinking Virgil did him justice,
Esteem some sentiment in Ovid
Which that same Caesar lamented,
Laugh at Shakespeare like the rabble
In Elizabethan taverns,
Smile at Sappho like a slave
Who hears her singing from a grove,
Commune with minds famous and lost,
And add my echo to the host.

words

              words
echo with the ghosts
of almost wholly-lost
              worlds
                            but for them
                            nothing remains
                                         at all—nothing
              words hold
though only airily
              the fragile bones
of yesterday
                           loose as breath
                           but holding yet
                                          and tightening

An Ode on Facebook

[Just Poems has just joined Twitter! To celebrate I post this poem about that other well-known social media site.]

You who enjoy the famed pastoral form
Might like this ode on Facebook, blue and warm.

Swift-dawning springtime field! Webpage, wake up!
Ads open in the screenlight, banners drop
Their soothing symbols onto thirsty eyes,
The keyboard chirps its song, the keen mouse flies.
All through the logged-in woodland bees of code
Buzz, hum and bumble with their data-load
And links like pixelated pollen spread,
Filling the air with stories to be read;
And fertile flocks of updates too take flight
On wings of whimsy, singing of delight
In this online demesne, ambrosia-sweet,
Where victory’s not diluted with defeat.

Sing, Site. What’s new? Achilles brave checks in:
“In Troy with Ares #forthewin”;
Crafty Odysseus, wand’ring near and far,
Stops for a craft beer at a hipster bar;
The urban muses raise their photo-herds—
A thousand pictures paint a million words;
Orpheus shares some blogger’s quote profound,
A cropped snapshot of nature the background;
This nymph you worked with once, but don’t know well,
Is pregnant and is showing off the swell.

Ah friends are they not grand, these selfie-ish feeds
That crown with glory’s garland sheepish deeds?
And can’t pitch-perfect profiles spurn the shade
And pipe forever on where no flowers fade?
Or are the cows for crueler climates meant?
What is it haunts this forest, Harvard-sent?
Do doubt, barbarian of foreign breed,
And thought, that exiled, poking, choking weed,
Rob us of depth as buckets drain a well
When they discard fair fashion like a shell?
Are storms foretold in CPU-fan wind?
What does the freezing of the page portend?
Ah stream of duck-loud nonsense, honey-thick,
Is it that life is ended in a click?

Old death goes viral in remotest glade
And cares not for nor spares your proud parade.

Two Rhymes in May

Pissing in a well
Darkness shot with light, winking and wandering—
It must make sense, or else why wonder?
Wonder is fixing the next meal, surviving
In a world that has no face under
The veil—that has no veil.
Sense is either every sensed detail—
Each loud and tangy, bright and smelly tickling—
Or else it is the bladder’s abstract brother.

Lines in defence of abstraction
A boat chained to a pier will not get far,
And thought tied to the here will not go there—
                               Let it wander!
The world makes no sense, but it makes much else—
Explore that great expanse within yourself.
                               Let it wonder!

Two Poems

Nameless, that is what I must be.
But even “I” is a name, and even “be”.
Anything which only is,
I must be as anything which only is.

                                               first thought: “which is like this”

                                               second thought: “which is in this way”

                                               third thought: “which only is”,
                                               might be called the final thought
                                               because it was the chosen one,
                                               but that too is a name.

                                                                       A poem to be called “Final”

Nameless, really,
Slip your name,
                                  the heavy breath of others on your birth,
                                  the heaviness of your own thoughts, of “your” and “own”.
                                  There will always be thoughts,
But let them rise like bubbles from the deep
And free themselves in empty air, leaving the surface calm,
                                                                        the water more fully water.