quod in mente

verses in various meters about sundry themes.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

FALL 2013
It’s been a while, but I have lots of snippets in notebooks. For now, I present some dactylic hexameter purloined from reading Horace.

— I am a book in fashion, with praises from the reviewers,
Soon to wander stalls, or end my day in the refuse.

* * *

— Wasting time in vulgar adversarial comments
— Death alone can halt the blazing destruction of envy

* * *

—Take away his wine, and the worthy poet is silent.

—I was asked to introduce an unworthy person

—I’d make do with even less, as long as it’s steady.

—There is a friend with a treasure chest, and full of opinions

Full of success who knows what is best for his lowlier minions.
—If you want to be my friend, then what is the matter?
Warn me of myself, my friend, take care not to flatter.

—Only vicious people find delight in such honor,
based on falsehood, fragile glory, bright for an hour.

—By a word we receive an office, rising in fortune,
by a word we lose it all, by evil detraction.

—Strumming musical harlots, music people can dance to,
too far away, half a day, for such a prodigal fellow.

—While his soul is abroad, the cattle graze in the corn-field
Ordinary matters don't disturb his reflections.

—We who live on the rural routes are kings in our wood-lots
Streams run fresh unlike the city’s poisonous sewage

—On my land I relax and wear my stockings in stitches
Not to exchange my liberty for Arabian riches.

—What I know can change again in my sleep before morning

(more snippets derived from Horace)
— How long in the earth should a poem ferment to be ready
to be appreciated by these connoisseur critics?

— In learnéd prayers, the choir begs for aid. (Iambic pentameter)

(based on book of Sirach, dactylic hexameter)
— All things in doubles, and He has made nothing defective.

(based on reading from Amos)
— With our boxes and devices, endlessly idle
Finest ointments, endless ointments, sumptuous parties,
Joe’s in jail, and no one cares, no one bothers to see him.

(more Horace, dactylic hexameter)
— Hammers and nails and funeral trucks with lively commotion
overpower the voice inside with total distraction.

— Critical intellects manufacture genuine verses
by removing weightless phrases, stupidity, vagueness.

— Hellebore removed my melancholic disorder,
Leaving me saddened by the loss of my fondest delusion.

— No such thing as perpetual possession it passes
heir to heir like waves push waves to the line of the beaches.

— Second-raters behind me, I’m the last of the first-rate

— Are you free of fear of deadly autonomous train-sets,
mocking nocturnal goblins and magical dreamscapes?

— Are you forgiving to your friends and milder in manners?
Do you number your birthdays and truly show you are grateful?

— Who could refrain from laughing at depictions of mixtures,
pigs with wings, impossible things, and Dalian creatures?

— Simple stories satisfy, not wrongly embellished,
Needless details are removed by the time they are finished.

— Fear of mistakes can lead to a blunder of opposite species,
Careful not to be too cautious, hiding from stormclouds.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

2011 Verses

To some war is chocolate, to some its strong wine
But only when winning, only some of the time
Its no game of cricket, of that I am certain
But I'm glad no longer to see the Iron Curtain


Stuck in a room for five years or more he suffered from boredom
Watching his image and changing the channel to see what he looked like
Then came the choppers, to make him a martyr, he knew they'd be coming
The episode after the killing was done is well hidden from mortals.
Circles continue and violence resumes in Kandahar city.

(about posting these things in facebook status windows and then deleting them in five minutes)

The reason I delete these things is clear
I do not want to crowd computer screens
When folks wake up they'd think I was a hog
But one or two's enough, so I delete
the things composed, they're down the drain.

The house next door's for sale for o'er a year
and crackheads smoke their crack in the garage
or maybe they smoke pot, they've left their pipes
the owner he says live and let them live
No violence yet, no gangstas driving by
Of ordinary men no more expect
than ordinary virtue in life's trials
and if they laugh when monks would rather not
just let it be, for laughter soon will pass.
Homer was a rapper with a flow that exceeded
All the later worser loser wannabe rappers
He could string a thought along without losing rhythm
telling stories without written notepads to steer him
He could rhap for weeks, and rhapsodes strove to repeat him
Homer certainly had no taste for magical mushrooms
Blind as he was, he could not win his glory in warfare
There must have been battles of rhapsodes, Homer's the winner
Winning glory just as great as King Agamemnon

Friday, June 26, 2009

Philosophical Verses # 4

Harvey Natalis, of Nedellec, defended the doctrine,
Harvey would write in response to opponents of Thomistic teaching.
Busy was he as the general of the Dominican Order.
But what they called the doctrine of Thomas was more Aristotle,
properly dressed to fit the Creed professed by all Christians.
Failing to distinguish between the fact of existence
then, and the whatness and essence, that dictionaries expound on.
Real existence cannot be swept away all that lightly.

* * *

How to pronounce? Ha-tá-no Shei-í-chi? That is a question.
So I guess that’ll do, Hatano Sheiichi of Japan.
Mister Hatano received the Christian baptismal anointing.
Mister Sheiichi taught philosophy of the religions,
téaching ín Kyóto únivérsity courses.
Mister Hatano Sheiichi thought that experience argued
with greater strength that did reason in questions concerning if God was.
Turning toward God, then feeling His absolute holiness higher,
then at the third stage, standing directly, person-to-person.
Here we can feel the passing of time, and the time of our culture,
but in the end is time that’s eternal, the time of agape.

* * *

Losing your mind can prolong your life and untie all your tangles.
Hatha yoga can slow your combustion down to a simmer.
Subject and object will disappear in the stream of awareness.
Strange are the postures and strange are the gestures to straighten your eyeballs.
All your desires will flee from you, but again, so will selfhood.

* * *

Terror mighty be red, might be white, broken eggs make an omelet for breakfast;
Arnold Hauser worked for the Reds and fled with the others.
The Whole nasty business with Bela Kun, the bolshevik Magyar
is Best swept under the rug and flushed like a drug down the drain-pipe.
Arnold Hauser returned before he died to his homeland,
held once again by the Reds, died in Budapest, honored by comrades.
Most of his life he enjoyed the liberty he would deny to opponents
England provided his citizens papers, he freely lectured and published.
Social movements, he says, are the key to the work of the artist.
Like the smile of the Mona could all be explained by the currency rising.
Still, he would say, true artists rise above their conditions.
Queen of the sciences now sociology, making a rational order.
Never trust sociologists’s talk, for they have an agenda.

* * *

Manners make the man, and Hayashi Razan was mannered,
neo-Confucian, observing minutely good manners in all things.
He liked a will of iron and believed in seeking perfection.
Shinto he accepted. Christianity never.

* * *

Friedrich Alexander von Hayek defended the cosmos.
That’s what he called an order where multiple agents are active,
people who pool their knowledge and seek what they need by their wisdom.
Makers of wisdom can spoil the game with too many rules,
hair-splitting regulations deprive us of our own volition.
Taxes, protections, insurance, all nibble away at our freedom,
all in the name of a rational order of bureaucrat tyrants.

* * *

Paul Hazard returned to France despite the Nazis.
Why he returned to France from America in those conditions
must remain a question, but he was a patriot loyal
to the land he loved, and supported resistance fighters.
After the plagues the times were changing, an epoch of crisis,
European Consciousness shifted radically sideways.
It started with the Comet Great of sixteen and eighty,
Like the Renaissance, different though, and void of all joy.
Descartes had died and the wax was melting unwatched in the fire.
Dogmas were dull, and for the dull. The clever had reason,
dear Queen Reason, darkness called light, followed by blind men.
Every idea can flip on its back and emerge in new garments.
Victory can be defeat, and some defeats lead to glory.
Liberty, all such slogans, may have come from the rebels,
rebels who skinned their foes and guillotined their own rulers,
yet when the dust has settled, something true yet remains.

* * *

Hé Yàn was old and handed the palm to Wang Bi his junior.
This was outstanding in China, because old men received honor.
Hé Yàn was all for following nature, impulsively honest.
Others accused him of spreading the drinking of liquor and smoking
sweet bitter sap of the poppy, in union with nature,
and perhaps they were right, but Hé Yàn the poet drew verses,
in the style he helped create, fengliu, wind and the rivers.

* * *

Hedonists must have beads to tally up all of their pleasures.
Maybe they make little notches, lest they forget to remember,
how to forget how the thought of the future can mess with the present.

* * * *

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Harsadeva’s in a graveyard, perhaps in the Bengal.
Sweetness of winning an argument wins the philosopher females,
logical groupies who swoon at the sound of a logical onslaught,
Special in luck is the scholar refuting all refutation,
showing the self and the rest that is outside, that these are not bounded,
All that is said is wrong, and he proves it, including his own words.
But if it feels this right being wrong, he rather enjoys it.

* * *
Herbert Lionel (also Adolphus) Hart worked in Oxford.
Cheltenham seems so familiar, a sound or a sign from my travels.
Oxford as well seems to linger, but when did I ever walk by it?
Lawyers and loyal philosophers, worked in the war amid secrets,
figuring codes, combinations of letters, to overthrow Hitler.
All played a part, with papers and pencils, an army in secret.
War was concluded, they’re back to the classroom, resuming their lectures,
books to be written, and students to form in the ways of their elders.
Some laws are primitive, something like natural, primal and binding.
Others are fences and benchmarks enforcing the primeval dictates.
Others are rules for knowing the time and the place for the judgement.
Sometimes a payback makes sense, when bad men have done what deserves it.
Vengeance so cold and impartial, from judges who sit at a distance,
what we expect from the laws, for the books must always be balanced.
That is the reason to punish, then second for ends of deterrence.

David Hartley, born in Armley, medical doctor,
saw in vibrations mechanical sources of pleasure and sorrow.
Particles move in the ether along nervous pipelines to brain-head,
then to descend to the muscles to cause them to twitch and to quiver.


Eduard von Hartmann had joined the army and soon was promoted.
Soon his health failed him and he had to leave to become a civilian.
Waiting for health he lifted a paintbrush but genius fled him.
This is not yet the worst of all possible worlds, still evolving
worse every day. The Absolute still is unconscious, unhappy,
infinite wanting, infinite willing, but still unconscious.

* * *

Nicolai Hartmann was born in Riga, in Latvian blizzards,
ancient Livonia, ruled long ago by the Teutonic order.
Hartmann resigned from the study of medicine, taking up wisdom.
Thinking of Plato, he fought on the front four years for the Kaiser.
Every good problem has deep within it a core beyond reason.
So thinks a man to his knees in the mud of futile destruction.
Being is in layers, like colors of clay in the stench of the trenches.
Out of the mud by termites emerge cathedrals of lacework.
Something new out of freezing dew on the glass in the winter,
magic of things unexpected, called categorial novum.

* * *

Charles Hartshorne lived for a long time, well past a hundred.
Classical ways in philosophy turn what lives into marble.
Change is imperfection, but the divine must be static.
Hartshorne desired that this world and its sorrows could act upon God’s heart
then in some way, He must be entangled in this world’s mutations

Friday, June 5, 2009


The verses below are written in dactylic hexameter, a meter, which is a certain way of putting words to a rhythm. For more on what this is, see the post belowPhilosophical Verses # 1

* * *

Shame is the stigma that keeps people off of the path of disgraces,
Shame is at times undeserved and at times it’s a testing of patience,
Marriage beneath one’s own station in life or debts left unpaid for,
Breaches of etiquette cut off a knight from tables of valor.
Traitors and cowards and all crooked lawyers and doctors all drunken,
Teaching us lessons of how not to act when in perfect good standing.

Nothing but Truth, for the Sake of itself, will do for the knower.

Don’t fall for tinsel and tinkling of emptiness, carnival side-shows,
when like an ocean, all things are filled without limitation,
filled by the love in the ultimate soul, in the ultimate last hope,
stop now and listen, it surely will tell you, tell you of presence.
Crimes go unpunished, for rulers are only in charge of the present,
At least here and now, yet the eye that sees all, will see all things through.

Robots with tin heads don’t know what to do and they need a command,
Archangels perfectly know what to do but must make their decisions
making them with not the tiniest space for mistakes such as we make.

Digging a well or building a shrine to the honor and glory,
kills just a few little flies that get in the way of the builders.
but in a month or a year many more will rise to existence;
Side effects can be admitted for lovers of flies and of dustmites.

* * *

Bees and wild beasts should devour my remains in the dark of the grotto
making me honey and muscular flesh, but no one should visit,
no one should carve up a stone with my name to give honor to nothing,
meanwhile, no one should try to come visit, as it will disturb me,
seeking to find pure consciousness, seeking to shun all distractions.
Sometimes a single thing will seem to us to be many,
Sometimes constructed concepts are roads that mislead to nowhere.

* * *

Consciences of little children may tell them not to kill tadpoles,
Tadpoles are murdered, and that would disturb them, by rocks thrown in water.
Voices of grownups who teach, who correct them when they might be stupid,
Voices are needed outside of their childish notions of evil.
Grownups as well may be stupid as children, and need some advising,
Conscience alone is blank as a slate, and needs some informing;
Rebels oppose any voice that is bigger, commanding allegiance,
No magisterium ever could satisfy, none but their own one.
Grownups desire their amorous pleasures while not paying their pipers,
wanting their chocolates and puking them out instead of not eating.
Humanae vitae was timely and wise, a warning to sinners,
cake can be eaten but then you don’t have it to eat in the meantime.

* * *

All attachment to ideas must be destroyed,
even to emptiness, or the denial, negation of nothing,
You must proceed to destroy the thought of the thought of non-thinking
If you wish to achieve whatever it is you set out for,
But if you mess up your mind as instructed, how then to remember?
How to remember negation of ego, for who shall remember?

* * *

All of us see how computers can simulate things interacting.
cities that grow and people that move in ways that astonish us.
Entities held together by sparks in circuits and logic
so harmonious, virtually real and incredibly detailed.
Scientists mad have made up hypotheses that this our cosmos
also displays the features of games that are played by another.
I used to wonder how fingers could move when my mind so commanded,
how the incredible light hit my eyes and then understanding,
Harmony was pre-established in all of the things put together.
Measure and weight and modality penetrate all things united.


Luke, it is said, was writing the Acts when Paul was in prison,
writing when Paul was in prison in Rome for his faith for the first time.
History is the arena where experts investigate souls of abstractions
far from the putting on of the mind of Christ to the Father.
Dogmas to Harnack are flotsam and jetsam, less worthy than gnosis
stating the value of each individual. That was the message.

* * *
In some utopian vision, James Harrington dreamed up an ocean
ruled by the wealthy, along with a king, and elected officials
from all the people in turn. The state would grow wealthy and larger
Harrington hoped. Well, the king got in trouble and Harrington also.
Stuffed in a prison, he went quite insane, or some say unconscious,
released for good reason, perhaps in a coma, perhaps just demented.
All my good friends take warning, and don’t mess around with a monarch.
Quietly live out your life, and leave off political scheming.

* * *

William Torrey Harris was the czar of the schools
back in the day, when the factories needed new fodder.
Schools should teach their unfortunate victims the art of withdrawal
Drawing away from the crowds of the others who call for attention.
As the unfortunate graduate sits by machines without souls or compassion
formed will his soul be to work one-and-one with iron and with copper.
Whether that man worked a day in his life in the mills that he raved of
I rather doubt.


Friday, May 15, 2009


The verses below are about the thoughts of philosophers (their last names all begin with “H” for now). The verses are all in dactylic hexameter—four feet of dactyls or spondees, one dactyl, and one spondee. To make it simpler, I have mostly kept to five dactyls ending with a spondee). Here is an example of this meter: Down in a | deep dark | hole sat an | old pig | munching a | bean stalk.

Hákuin Máster of Zén was íce shattered bý the bells’ rínging
Óver the hílls under Fúji, and súddenly hé had satóri.
Róomfuls of óne-handed cláppers appláuding the máster’s satóri.
Súch a long tíme had Hákuin lónged for his cértificátion;
Líght was his fírst enlíghtenment, réading béautiful sútras,
Thén he télls of the béll and the íce, agáin was enlíghtened,
Héavier thán befóre, it was “trý and trý” for satóri.

Some laws are written and others are hidden so no one can know them
Men who are miners know where there’s treasure and how to derive it.
Minor to major, analogies help, comparison also.

Back in the day when they turned on the light of the mind they had high hopes,

Make a few laws and forget what was said by the ancient tradition,
Let clever lawyers direct how things run, and then who needs religion.
All men are good men and we can control hidden workings of nature.
Laws cannot change hidden thoughts and desires in the hearts of the people
knowing what feels to be right and eternally true, but laws that are man-made,
Laws that impose what is ugly and crooked, inspire no allegiance.

Memory collective, selectively drawing, rejects things that don’t fit
into the story the group has narrated for some noble purpose,
blanks out the bad stuff that fits not the mythmaking aims and ambitions.
If you see something that you shouldn’t see, recollection will fail you
Scratching your head in dismay, as the memories slip from your vision.

Miner’s were dying in tunnels exploding and gases were noxious.
Coal was as black as the darkness before the creation of lightning,
divers had bubbles in bloodstreams and troubles in rising
to the high surface of oceans when too deep in water.
Elements, atoms and molecules have been invented by clever
scientists who then regard their own concepts as very much real things,
empty abstractions that serve as distractions for true contemplation.
Puppies and oaktrees are not heaps of atoms no more than ourselves are.

Language is truly a gift from God, it is not merely makeshift
filling the weakness of instinct in humans, a sort of invention.
Words have the past and the future all packaged in sonorous soundings,
words are traditional legacies handed on down from the ancients.

Looking inside my mind and my heart and my memory traces
I can’t find anything good inside so I look to the outside
Looking to do some good deeds to fill up the emptiness inside

Makers of coffins impatiently wait for the death of the people
if they will feed their own children, provide for their loved ones,

If I can find a true Zen state of Mind when I look at a landscape
Is it not true that a beautiful girl can be just as entrancing?

Foreign traditions insinuate into the Mediate Kingdom,
Breaking all family ties and destroying the ancient devotion,
trampling down bonds between brothers and sisters and fathers,
no help expected from hermits who seek only dark desolations.

All that is left of the past and the gone are the forms of awareness
Big shapes existed but never persisted and time is so careless.

If you have eyes that can see in the dark, then stop and observe this:
Realm of the ghost and the mind interacting with lowliest matter,
acting in nature and going beyond it to build up a city,
while the Slovakian underground program for space exploration
plans daily flights to the noosphere’s outermost reaches.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


(written in second Asclepiadean meter)

Embryo, you are distantly
seen from space just a dot
some little dot with soul.

From high clouds you are just a speck,
from the moon so are we.

Even dots can aspire to live,
later, some kind of life,
and I am still a dot.


(see below for how this meter works)

She brings bread from a far-off land,
She brings bread from the sky,
Bread from the sky she bears.

I am one of her goats that graze,
under moonlight I wait
for her to come again.

I've one wild turkey in the yard,
One big wild turkey
takes off like a jumbo jet.

In the dog-house a crazy cat
runs out when I approach.
She stops then looks behind.

She saw that I was watching her.
She has no fickle ways.
I've been the restless one.

Look, says she, I'm alone and you
keep your distance from me,
untrusting crocodile.

You surmise that the dreams, they come
from the unconscious place.
You might as well have said
that they come from the Land of Nod.
Dreams come, and who knows why,
then slip away and decay.


(in iambic pentameter)

Once blacks sold blacks to whites for jars of rum,
so every one’s to blame for what was done.
They’re proud to feel so guilty of the past,
their doleful looks don't mean they feel a thing.


(written in iambic pentameter)

If space
Were made alonely but no things were placed
like crows in trees in "ex" and "wy" and "zee"
or wolves for whom crows watch and stand on guard
or dolphins none broke non-existent seas,
no changes cut the thread of fluid time,
my own eye watching not in that cold dark,
I would not mind, it would not bother me.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


(Written in 2nd Asclepiadean meter, which is represented like this:
— — | — ˘ ˘ | — ˘ | —
— — | — ˘ ˘ | — // — ˘ ˘ | — ˘ | —
A meter often used by Horace).

Way back in the beginning all
Emptiness, O so Empty, nothing at all to see.

Sky came first but the sky was dark.
It came out of the deep. There was no up or down.

Look as hard as you can for light.
Floating, you cannot see. Vision is useless here.

Now you hear just a hint of wind.
Feel it touch on your skin. Someone is here, and there.

Deep above, yes and deep below,
Up and down, all is deep. Deepness awaits the word.

Such a wonderful world we’re in.
Such a wonderful world, wonderful, beautiful.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Home in the Mountains

(Written in Alcaic meter, favorite of Horace, and thoughts drawn abundantly from the traditional song "Rank Strangers". For an interpretation of the rhythm of Alcaic meter, see the graphic below.)

I love the country, you love the city life.
You hear the pigeons, I hear the turtle doves.
We once were children in the school yard.
Now we are busy as we can manage.

The sun will rise today on my mountain home.
Once more I wander, tall as the trees have grown.
Where are the old folks gone away to?
Voices of strangers tell me nothing.

By crystal oceans, bright in tranquility.
They're gone from their old posts, to the shining sea.
So when you ask where have they gone to,
That other shore far away from nowhere.

Turtle Eggs Up

Turtle eggs up
a cupful of turtle eggs up
into the sparkling green

(by Maestro Jack)


(written as an example of Alcaic meter, used by Horace. The above image uses musical notion to show how to read it in an appropriate rhythm.).

Conspiracies abound in the absent light
while dust of concrete falls down into the drink.
The world has changed that seemed so safe once.
How can we fail to recall the turning.

Now move along, keep calm, to the next event.
Your sole concern is whether to buy or rent.
Today is when you are evicted.
After ten years for not paying your Landlord.

Life and decay rotate everywhere I look.
The yard will mutate some in the time I read
a book, but then I read so slowly.
Work never ends if you grow a garden.

We build in squares but its a circle world.
In small adjustments we force it all to fit.
The soul cannot abide in this a-
bode, but it falls into dust and changes.

Monday, August 11, 2008

by Joseph Keogh

Remember, pill, that thou wert dust
and to dust
you must

(my translation)

Memento, pilula, te a pulvere venisse
et ad pulverem

Sunday, February 24, 2008


There’s a place for you
in a wax museum
reserved right next
to a North Korean
with a trumpet in your hand
and singing a song
with a red star band
led by Kim il Jong,
reserved for you
by Vlad the Impaler.
He’s smoking your cigar
by his tornado trailer.
There are a few
who call evil good,
who kiss the mud
wherever you stood,
But Lenin’s tomb
is full of rot,
and you’re a monster
just like Pol Pot.

Of course, this little thing (like those below, to the meter of “Six More Miles…”) is about Fidel Castro.


When the red light
turns to green
wake yourself up
from your dream

When the light is green
keep looking ahead
because that light
will change to red

And stifle your rage
when you’re behind the wheel
when you’re in control
of two tons of steel

Sometimes its mud
sometimes fog or ice
If you looked once
you better look twice

Another little thing, to the meter of Hank William’s “Six more Miles…”.

Saturday, February 23, 2008



I’ll put on an old bearskin,
camp out in the trees,
write my songs on birchbark
harmonize with bees,
find myself a lady,
who likes to wear no clothes,
who’s really good at chopping wood,
and doesn’t mind mosquitoes

The salmon come to die,
but that's just what they do,
so my friend don’t worry
if we’ll make it through

mudslides down the canyon,
come back the way you came,
on the long bread-crumb trail
mixed with drops of rain

One worm looks at another
and sees beauty divine,
and wiggles and proposes,
to raise children in your eye.

The vulture finds its breakfast,
so virtuously prepared,
the flies sing in a choir
all counterpoint in air.

The boots go to the soldier,
whose feet they fit so well.
The toes go to the pathway,
the soul goes down to hell,

So wanderer take warning,
as pleasures turn to pain,
seek the grace while there’s still time,
mixed with drops of rain.


She’d be so happy now,
knowing how you weep,
and knowing how you wish,
and seeing how very deep—

your sorrow runs,
and though the days are long,
and shining suns are warm,
You remember that she’s gone—

In thoughts—in dreams.
Only in your deepest sleep,
when worlds disappear,
only then you are at peace.

But then you are like her,
in that state you can’t remain,
as dreams become remembrance
mixed with drops of rain.


Dig up the ground,
with a golden spade.
Lower down
a silver chain.

The ground is soft,
the trees still bare,
rare snow is mixed
with drops of rain.

I cannot breathe,
I can scarcely speak,
I know no prayer,
for this special pain.

You’re gone at last,
in a blink of my eye,
the sky says goodbye
with drops of rain.

Notes: All these little things above are written to the tune or meter of “Six More Miles (to the Graveyard)” by Hank Williams. The first thing (I) is based on the story of a man who claimed to return to the woods without the amenities of civilization in the early twentieth century and wrote a book. Later a woman joined him, but she bailed out. The second (II) started as a thought on how beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I am refuting the objection that a good Creator would not allow worms to live in the eyes of orphans. The third (III) is inspired by a poem of Catullus, that the man’s deceased wife would appreciate his love for her shown by his lamentation. The fourth (IV) is on the death of my dog, and it has echoes of a song called “Old Dog Blue”.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Outer and Inner Space (A Spenserian Sonnet)

Waiting for dawn I looked to outer space
beyond the moon past where our bold kind
has gone—nowhere—where winks no human face
and astronauts who sail there with their mind

They see the world below their feet designed
Some awesome power must that small globe protect
Yet no mad fool that power in his closed mind
can hold, but power such as that deserves respect

While to our eyes light’s course is so direct
Each mind unlike another has its train
What one sees another can’t detect
and, vision absent, argument is vain.

One eye will try to make another see
But mortal mind cannot tell mystery.