Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Twilight of the Idylls

When Beauty fainted, that vacuum filled
with the dissonant hymnals of self-singers.
Lines of superior saying turned into howls,
decaying the Fair One to rust and bones.

Oh!...for that unexpected quiver of image!
Visions poured from vessels of quiet grace...
Visions inside that moved into new worlds,
thoughts and complex feelings now moving
into atoms of air and onto sensuous pages.
An alchemy recasting dream into metaphor.
Quiet miracles of inspiration becoming other,
becoming nature's dreams on supple words.

The sense of word as shaman's conjuration,
changing curved petals into forms of trances,
changing heart wounds into colors of flowers,
has now been replaced by words self-pitying.

May the gods and spirits prevent my defiling
of art into bone-dead murmurs from a diary!

Once more the quick vignettes of brilliance,
those words uncarnal yet birthing effusions
and building clusters of magical new seeing.

But is it too late? Have the cynical years
ruined our mode and path to the Garden?
Have exquisite hues of that archaic saying
withered completely into mausoleum dust?

Even lamentations are beautiful when lost
in moments of uncanny, idyllic utterance.

Keats made Odes that altered time's pulse,
remaking space to hold his slow wonders:

O, for a draught of vintage! that hath been
Cooled a long age in the deep-delvèd earth,
Tasting of Flora and the country green,
Dance, and Provençal song, and sunburnt mirth!
O for a beaker full of the warm South,
Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,
With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
And purple-stainèd mouth,
That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,
And with thee fade away into the forest dim --

* * *

Twilight falls on worlds and into sensibility.
Time grays tonalities of conception and saying.
This Age is on me, confusing and obscuring.
So I light a candle to mark my ardent location:

In this city of fountains and cafes serving strong coffee,
yes, here where some move quickly and others dawdle...
I could not help but write a name on a moment of sunlight
cauterizing the late morning with a soft flame of joy.

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