The dawn light is welling in the dams –
Hold it back a little longer.
The thunder is rehearsing for its roll –
Don’t give the cue, don’t let it blow.
The dragons on the moon are all asleep –
Let them dream, let them hunger.
The gargoyles are watching from above,
As are the dwarves from down below.
If we can only stop the Disc from spinning,
Maybe we can stop the ever-grinning-one
Do you reckon ?
No, I know, that isn’t how it works,
And none escape from he-who-never-shirks,
Come the beckon.
And so the Disc must turn,
The dawn must gleam,
The lives must flow,
The turtle swim.
It isn’t fair, we scream,
Because we know:
It isn’t fair, it’s only Him.
So cuckoos are winding their clocks up,
And pine trees are counting the years,
And you, who saw it all, yet laughed at seers:
You are not there, you are gone –
Yet still it goes on.
You know, some say that no-one truly dies
If someone else remembers them in once-a-while.
My friend, I think you’ll live on in disguise
However long that we can read, and we can smile.
She asked if we could correspond –
She asked of me in Garamond.
She wrote how long her pen had dried –
She wrote it out in Franklin Wide.
She thought my slugs were growing cold –
She thought me that in Goudy Old.
She wept how I was needed back –
She wept it all in Cooper Black.
She’d search through slab and Monolith
To strike upon her perfect glyph,
And thought I could be just her type:
A heavyweight, not Candy Stripe.
When I wrote back, she liked my scans;
No Dingbat, I, nor Comic Sans –
My quick brown fox was framed and pressed,
And from her font my text was blessed.
She inked her heart across my page,
Italicized, in 10-point gauge,
In boring secretarial –
But god, I loved that Arial.
I flew upon its static chill,
As if she’d signed in Baskerville.
Her monotype shall answer me
As fine as Blackface Chancery.
Composited in forme and mould,
Our love is set in Gothic Bold –
We’re written on such plates as these,
My mistress of the matrices.
I place my serifs on your sort,
Your metal hot, your kerning taught.
You shape my bowl and soothe my stem:
My Century, my Requiem.
“And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other…and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.” 1 Kings 7:23
There’s so many reasons for faulting the Bible,
From cud-chewing hares to the gross genocides.
There’s so many reasons, it’s scarcely a libel
To call God a fool, and a mean one besides !
There’s so many reasons for calling it tribal,
And local and ancient – the worst-of-all guides.
So many bloopers and so many slayings,
Just so many errors and terrors astounding –
Why do you focus on one of its sayings,
By claiming the value of pi is worth hounding ?
You won’t get the faithful to doubtings and swayings
With petty point-scorings that don’t allow rounding.
My bow is of dull brown wood,
For gold does not spring:
My arrows have less divine good,
And more barbs to sting:
My spear is aimed not at cloud,
But targets more solid:
My chariot’s unburned and proud –
Efficient, if stolid.
Examined, explained, demystified,
There’s no room left for your god of Zion.
With science and reason, his will is defied –
For mine is a chariot of iron.
Speckled is your Öyster and freckled is your Crüe,
Spıñal is your Motör and Hüsker is your Dü.
The diacritic critics may de-tittle in their punditry –
But I say, let umlauts roll with wänton-döt fecündïtÿ.
The ‘n’ in Spinal should of course have an umlaut, not a tilde, but the WordPress font just isn’t up to such awesomeness.
Whenever I’m stumped for an effortless rhyme,
Whenever the words won’t fall easy,
When wheezing about on the gravely climb –
So that’s when the words come to tease me;
Late-night linguistical lethargies seize me,
Whenever the trumps are the harder to find.
And oozing from creases all over my mind
Come scuttle the lazy, the sham and resigned: “Who needs a poem to rhyme ?” so they whisper, “Nobody else is much bothered these days.
You labour at making all endings the crisper
But is it all worth it, the pittance it pays ?
Every poet, from preacher to lisper
Has long since rejected this overgilt craze.
Why must it be you who won’t flinch at their goosing ?
Still clinging to structures when others are loosing.
Oh, haven’t you seen all the standards reducing ?
And haven’t you seen all their rhythmless fame ?
All of the while, so your petty obtusing,
Is leaving you sleepless and out of the game.” And so on, and so on. I hear them, I hear them;
At three in the morning, it’s hopeless to clear them.
For all of their carping and mocking and chiming,
And trying, so trying to foul and coerce.
But still my resistance I’m loading and priming
To shoot down their posy and prosy-like verse.
If only, if only I unearth some rhyming,
Some trove of concordance to echo my timing,
Some anything, anything with the right sounding –
Some something to stifle my wheedle’ing head.
Something to root for, to bring their confounding,
Something of proof that will shutter their hounding,
Anything splendid and outright astounding –
Anything quick, or the voices will spread !
I must end the poem, I must end the pounding,
To let this poor poet at last go to bed !