• csalisbury
    2.7k
    New Poem (the title also serves as the first line)

    As You Came From the Holy Land
    (stanza 1)
    of western New York state
    were the graves all right in their brushings
    was there a note of panic in the late August air
    because the old man had peed in his pants again
    was there turning away from the late afternoon glare
    as though it too could be wished away
    was any of this present
    and how could this be
    the magic solution to what you are in now
    whatever has held you motionless
    like this so long through the dark season
    until now the women come out in navy blue
    and the worms come out of the compost to die
    it is the end of any season
  • Brett
    3k


    2nd, final stanza :

    Why must it always end this way?

    Always the same ending, same style or format, nothing new. It feels like there’s no other way.

    A dais with woman reading, with the ruckus of her hair
    And all that is unsaid about her pulling us back to her, with her
    Into the silence that night alone can’t explain.


    Her silence, the silence about her, pulling us back into a silence deeper than the night. The commotion about her head. Who is she? Is she the woman reading a poem, the judge?

    Silence of the library, of the telephone with its pad,

    Heavy silence, books silent, telephone silent, words, words, words silenced.

    But we didn’t have to reinvent these either:
    They had gone away into the plot of a story,
    The “art” part—knowing what important details to leave out
    And the way character is developed.


    We don’t have to make it new or start again. There is the format, the structure. Churn it out.

    Things too real
    To be of much concern, hence artificial, yet now all over the page,


    Everything’s been done to death. It’s become meaningless, an artefact, like the movie. Now it’s everything, this empty, meaningless style.

    The indoors with the outside becoming part of you
    As you find you had never left off laughing at death,
    The background, dark vine at the edge of the porch.


    And there’s nowhere to go, to escape the dead repeated style that you perpetuated yourself, even though you knew. You always knew what was behind all that, the empty silence that you ridiculed. But look, the wildness of the real world waits silently at the edge of your artificial world.
  • csalisbury
    2.7k
    Missed last night.

    Stanza two:

    you reading there so accurately
    sitting not wanting to be disturbed
    as you came from that holy land
    what other signs of earth’s dependency were upon you
    what fixed sign at the crossroads
    what lethargy in the avenues
    where all is said in a whisper
    what tone of voice among the hedges
    what tone under the apple trees
    the numbered land stretches away
    and your house is built in tomorrow
    but surely not before the examination
    of what is right and will befall
    not before the census
    and the writing down of names
  • csalisbury
    2.7k
    Stranza three :

    remember you are free to wander away
    as from other times other scenes that were taking place
    the history of someone who came too late
    the time is ripe now and the adage
    is hatching as the seasons change and tremble
    it is finally as though that thing of monstrous interest
    were happening in the sky
    but the sun is setting and prevents you from seeing it
  • TheMadFool
    9.2k
    I tried each thing, only some were immortal and free.
    Elsewhere we are as sitting in a place where sunlight
    Filters down, a little at a time,
    Waiting for someone to come. Harsh words are spoken,
    As the sun yelllows the green of the maple tree....
    csalisbury

    the idea is not to be immortal and free
    it is to be finite, mortal and yet see
    don't try to be the magnificent sun
    yellowing green truths in the sunlight is fun
  • Brett
    3k


    As You Came From the Holy Land
    of western New York State


    You came from your pilgrimage, where you sort resurrection, the assurance of God. Did you find what you went looking for?

    were the graves all right in their brushings

    Was it as it should be, everything in its place. Was death locked in place, where it should be. Was it as you expected? it? Did you get your answers?

    was there a note of panic in the late August air
    because the old man had peed in his pants again


    Or did you feel the doubts, the decay in the air, did you see that there is only this life and it ends not in glory but in slowly wasting away.

    Was it relevant any longer. was there turning away from the late afternoon glare
    as though it too could be wished away


    Did your faith fail you, or did you ignore that as well?

    was any of this present
    and how could this be
    the magic solution to what you are in now


    You found nothing. So how could you believe there us a future in it? How could that be the way to live, how could it solve your problems?

    whatever has held you motionless
    like this so long through the dark season


    This thing, the thoughts, this idea that you believe, that stops you moving, growing, is darkness a solution to darkness?

    until now the women come out in navy blue

    You had believed in the healing power of God.

    and the worms come out of the compost to die
    it is the end of any season


    And now you know there is no God, no heaven, nothing. Nothing comes from death, after death there’s nothing, never has been, never will be.

    It always ends the same way.
  • Noble Dust
    4.1k


    Reminds me of the I Ching. Or Kairos over Chronos.
  • csalisbury
    2.7k
    final stanza:

    out of night the token emerges
    its leaves like birds alighting all at once under a tree
    taken up and shaken again
    put down in weak rage
    knowing as the brain does it can never come about
    not here not yesterday in the past
    only in the gap of today filling itself
    as emptiness is distributed
    in the idea of what time it is
    when that time is already past
  • csalisbury
    2.7k
    New Poem :
    'A Man of Words'

    Stanza I:


    His case inspires interest
    But little sympathy; it is smaller
    Than at first appeared. Does the first nettle
    Make any difference as what grows
    Becomes a skit? Three sides enclosed,
    The fourth open to a wash of the weather,
    Exits and entrances, gestures theatrically meant
    To punctuate like doubled-over weeds as
    The garden fills up with snow?
    Ah, but this would have been another, quite other
    Entertainment, not the metallic taste
    In my mouth as I look away, density black as gunpowder
    In the angles where the grass writing goes on,
    Rose-red in unexpected places like the pressure
    Of fingers on a book suddenly snapped shut.
  • Baden
    11.4k
    only on the gap of today filling itself
    as emptiness is distributed
    in the idea of what time it is
    when that time is already past
    csalisbury

    That broke my brain. In a good way though.
  • Valentinus
    1.2k
    remember you are free to wander awaycsalisbury

    This is a great challenge. To go back to the scene one would leave.
  • csalisbury
    2.7k
    Ah, I did the inexcusable & mistranscribed. The first line should say 'only in the gap of today filling itself.' Still pleasantly brain-breaking.
  • Isaac
    4.3k
    @csalisbury

    Just wanted to say thanks for posting these. I haven't got anything insightful to say about them, I just don't have an artistic bone in my body unfortunately, but I do love poetry. I know I could just go and read something new in any bookstore, but it's nice to just have something launched on you now and again. Please do another when this one's finished.
  • csalisbury
    2.7k
    Second, final, stanza:

    Those tangled versions of the truth are
    Combed out, the snarls ripped out
    And spread around. Behind the mask
    Is still a continental appreciation
    Of what is fine, rarely appears and when it does is already
    Dying on the breeze that brought it to the threshold
    Of speech. The story worn out from telling.
    All diaries are alike, clear and cold, with
    The outlook for continued cold. They are placed
    Horizontal, parallel to the earth,
    Like the unencumbering dead. Just time to reread this
    And the past slips through your fingers, wishing you were there.
  • csalisbury
    2.7k
    New poem
    'Scheherazade'

    Stanza I:

    Unsupported by reason's enigma
    Water collects in squared stone catch basins.
    The land is dry. Under it moves
    The water. Fish live in the wells. The leaves,
    A concerned green, are scrawled on the light. Bad
    Bindweed and rank ragweed somehow forget to flourish here.
    An inexhaustible wardrobe has been placed at the disposal
    Of each new occurrence. It can be itself now.
    Day is almost reluctant to decline
    And slowing down opens out new avenues
    That don't infringe on space but are living here with us.
    Other dreams came and left while the bank
    Of colored verbs and adjectives was shrinking from the light
    To nurse in shade their want of method
    But most of all she loved the particles
    That transform objects of the same category
    Into particular ones, each distinct
    Within and apart from its own class.
    In all of this springing up was not hint
    Of a tide, only a pleasant wavering of the air
    In which all things seemed present, whether
    Just past or soon to come. It was all invitation.
    So much the flowers outlined along the night
    Alleys when few were visible, yet
    Their story sounded louder than the hum
    Of bug and stick noises that brought up the rear,
    Trundling it along into a new fact of day.
    These were meant to be read as any
    Salutation before getting down to business,
    But they stuck to their guns, and so much
    Was their obstinacy in keeping with the rest
    (Like long flashes of white birds that refuse to die
    When day does) that none knew the warp
    Which presented this major movement as a firm
    Digression, a plain that slowly becomes a mountain.
  • csalisbury
    2.7k
    Stanza II

    So each found himself caught in a net
    As a fashion, and all efforts to wriggle free
    Involved him further, inexorably, since all
    Existed there to be told, shot through
    From border to border. Here were stones
    That read as patches of sunlight, there was the story
    Of the grandparents, of the vigorous young champion
    (The lines once given to another, now
    Restored to the new speaker), dinners and assemblies,
    The light in the old house, the secret way
    The rooms fed into each other, but all
    Was wariness of time watching itself
    For nothing in the complex story grew outside
    The greatness in the moment of telling stayed unresolved
    Until its wealth of incident, pain mixed with pleasure,
    Faded in the precise moment of bursting
    Into bloom, its growth a static lament.
  • csalisbury
    2.7k
    Catching back up : 3rd & final stanza:

    Some stories survived the dynasty of the builder
    But their echo was itself locked in, became
    Anticipation that was only memory after all,
    For the possibilities are limited. It is seen
    At the end that the kid and good are rewarded,
    That the unjust one is doomed to burn forever
    Around his error, sadder and wiser anyway.
    Between these extremes the others muddle through
    Like us, uncertain but wearing artlessly
    Their function of minor characters who must
    Be kept in mind. It is we who make this
    Jungle and call it space, naming each root,
    Each serpent, for the sound of the name
    As it clinks dully against our pleasure,
    Indifference that is pleasure. And what would they be
    Without an audience to restrict the innumerable
    Passes and sipes, restored to good humor as it issues
    Into the impervious evening air? So in some way
    Although the arithmetic is incorrect
    The balance is restored because it
    Balances, knowing it prevails,
    And the man who made the same mistake twice is exonerated.
  • csalisbury
    2.7k
    New Poem (and heads up, this poem is made up of very short stanzas, will probably take around two weeks.) The poem is called 'Absolute Clearance' and it begins with a quote.

    "Voila, Messieurs, les spectacles que Dieu donne a l'univers..."
    -Bossuet

    Stanza I

    He sees pictures on the walls.
    A sample of the truth only.
    But one never has enough.
    The truth doesn't satisfy.
  • csalisbury
    2.7k
    In some vague hotel room
    The linear blotches when dusk
    Lifted them up were days and nights
  • csalisbury
    2.7k
    And out over the ocean
    The wish persisted to be a dream at home
    Cloud or bird asleep in the trough
    Of discursive waters.
  • csalisbury
    2.7k
    The times when a slow horse along
    A canal bank seems irrelevant and the truth:
    The best in its best sample
    of time in relation to other time.
  • csalisbury
    2.7k
    Suffer again the light to be displaced
    To go down fuming
    "So much is his courage high,
    So vast his intelligence,
    So glorious his destines.
  • csalisbury
    2.7k
    "Like an eagle that one sees always
    Whether flying in the middle airs
    Or alighting on some rock
    Give piercing looks on all sides
    To fall so surely on its prey
    That one can avoid its nails
    No less than its eyes."
  • csalisbury
    2.7k
    How it would be clearer
    Just to loaf, imagining little
    (The fur of a cat in the sun):
    Let the column of figures
    Shift, add and subtract itself
    (Sticks, numbers, letters)
    And so on to median depth...
  • csalisbury
    2.7k
    Until a room in some town
    The result of a meeting therein
    Clasping, unclasping
    Toward the flustered look
    Of toys one day put away for the last time.
  • csalisbury
    2.7k
    "I put away childish things.
    It was for this I came to Riverside
    And lived here for three years
    Now coming to a not uncertain
    Ending or flowering as some would call it."
  • csalisbury
    2.7k
    Teasing the blowing light
    With its ultimate assurance
    Severity of its curved smile
    "Like the eagle
    That hangs and hangs, then drops."
  • csalisbury
    2.7k
    (end of poem)
  • Noble Dust
    4.1k
    "Like an eagle that one sees always
    Whether flying in the middle airs
    Or alighting on some rock
    Give piercing looks on all sides
    To fall so surely on its prey
    That one can avoid its nails
    No less than its eyes."
    csalisbury

    This poem didn't hit me as hard, but this stanza did, but maybe only because it's very musical. But also the phrase "like an eagle that one sees always" reminds me of feeling like I "always" saw hawks (not eagles) growing up. So I guess that memory brings the stanza into focus for me. For what it's worth.
  • csalisbury
    2.7k
    Back to it. New poem, much longer stanzas. Called: Grand Galop
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