Wine and Water

A glass of wine might slake the thirst

But water, sure to rest the soul

Runs freer, less in our control,

The next draught swifter than the first.

 

Yet still we have this drink to share

Through time, across a world made small,

I drink with poets, saints and all

Distracted, dreaming, trying to care.

 

Blood.  It does not mix with oil.

Another source of cleanliness

To sluice the cuts that nonetheless

Are stinging, tinctured with the soil

 

Of all the everyday, and night,

The bringer of our rest or pains,

Should heal us as we sleep, but veins

Of running sorrow bleed us white.

 

So washing off all worry’s marks –

Cold splash of spring-fed water, or

A brassy jug of wine to pour

So rainbows shine in ringing arcs.

Kon Tiki

Between the lines the story tells

I hear an author’s voice distinct.

Convinced that he and I are linked

I hope to set such stirring spells.

 

Adventure, or a sudden loss,

Alike speak truth when men can stand

And see themselves as earth of land

And venture futures on time’s toss.

 

The rafts of dreamers, mad or sane,

Carried by inhuman streams,

Rivers in the sea, strong beams

Of balsa wood and bamboo cane,

 

Light as light and fragile, lithe,

Barely count to city minds

But when the rocks and anchor grinds

Rafts pass swift on, serene and blithe.

 

For those who share the water-rolls,

Split and crash through frantic swells

A floating scrap of wood impels

No certain theory, proves no wholes,

 

But if you have become relaxed

And let the currents rise and dip

Allowed them lift you, turn and tip

Theories convince untaxed.

Seeking Beauty

I used to think you had to understand,

To know your place in history’s line,

Your form, your pace, your isocline,

And hold your past and future in one hand,

 

The hand that holds the pen.  No more.

The pattern of art’s providence

Is far more complex, fractal, tense,

Than any art can frame or store,

 

And when I’ve walked through quiet pines

I’ve heard the boughs that yawned and swayed

That beauty isn’t something made

But something found between straight lines.

 

Hear Mozart tumble with his tune –

He knows how long to tease and tweak,

But try and numerate that feat –

Retire, and learn to play bassoon.

 

I wrote three thousand words today

In just two hours, to do what’s due,

Delineate some skill’s debut

And teach a child to make work play.

 

But that was not enough, I missed

The target I had had me aim

And have drawn out this writing game

To be the whole week’s stretching list.

 

What better?  Suffer?  Write and sob

Or inject laughter, distract noise

Forget my children, leave the boys

The girls, the classroom, drop the job?

 

I am one man – I have one heart –

And when I test it, stretch it out,

The pain is like a desert’s drought,

The muscle rested pulls apart.

 

Then only through life’s constant work

Can I find rest from doubt or debt.

There’s no relaxing here, not yet,

So I’ll pick up the pen I shirk.