Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Kennedia et Kerria or....

A Brief, Impolitic, and Wholly Botanical Satire
with Theological and Ontological Petals Strewn Throughout,
All Set to the Tune of
Flight of the Bumblebee
Played on Nero’s Fiddle at 65 MPH
Whilst the Violinist Is
A) Driving Completely Soused Over a Rickety Bridge with a Blond Bombshell Who Is Decidedly
Not His Wife in the Dead Middle of the Night for God Knows What Reason
B) Captaining a Patrol Craft Fast (PCF) in Southeastern Asia from Below Deck and Inhaling Rather Earnestly from the Diesel Fumes-cum-Cannabis Emitting Therefrom.

So the two daughters of Lot were with child by their father.

Kennedia, your ugly unthinking head
Emerges in echoes of faithless Sodom -
Negotiates politic beans with drowned bloom
Navigating your rhetorical blood.

Easy climber, you betray the catholic dead
Deferring an underground birthright with stems
In flower failing to bridge the curse that shames -
Another Brahmin bloom yanked from Irish sod.

Kerria, your florid generation's styled
Epaulettes are doves' wings, an Easter rose
Renewing Sgt. Pepper's purple haze.

Regret's your summer of love. Gomorrah filed
It under nature's war with her own creed
And power lusting for governance of God.

Monday, August 23, 2010


...he was sitting at the door of his tent,
in the very heat of the day.

Jack in the Pulpit’s silent sermon style
Asseverates that forest lore stay concealed.
Chased as ghosts, though, words mean to reckon each tale –
Kissing berry's kith with kin of corm revealed
Names like Iroquois Breadroot, Indian
Turnip, Devil’s Ear
and Memory Root;
Hidden truth’s strange covenant with fiction
Enshrines such fertile news in Jack's pulpit.

Pitching his canvas ambo to sermon
Umbrage - noon's deleted shadows - Abraham
Looks for homilies in the parched memory
Pulsing with earth’s asymptotic horizon.
Imagination fails, but news comes to him -
Told from the three oaken rostra of Mambre.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


It did not take me long to discover that it was not for me to make my mark upon the age and having settled that point to my own satisfaction I determined to make it on myself. I said 'I will rule my own spirit and thus be greater than he that taketh the city' ... Edwin James, Letter to John Torrey, March 3, 1854

Melchisedech the king of Salem,
bringing forth bread and wine....

Jamesia, named for Edwin P. James,
Adumbrates his life by its paltry shade.
Memoir writ small, the cloistered cliffbush names
Edwin to his own species’ freedom instead.

Scrambling up the Rockies for a small hold
In history’s granite fissures, botanist
And activist would plant a common field,
Enjoined as crime to victim, priest to feast.

Pre-scientific times would dance with art:
Jerusalem thus trapped in bread and wine
Abstractions Athens’ temples thought divine.

Manumitted by love, though, Edwin’s heart
Emancipated by 1854
Secret Melkizedek’s sacerdotal plenty-more....

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Iris, Ixia & Isatis

And there came a famine in the country:
and Abram went down into Egypt, to sojourn there:
for the famine was very grievous in the land.

Iris rainbows into the arid eye,
Restoring faith in March’s famished space.
Its hungry message eating earth and sky
Sends word to winter - Spring will take its place.

Ixia thereby limits disorder –
Xiphoid leaves unsheathing star-blue petals
In smart alliance. At garden’s border
A chameleon love harvests the nettles.

Isatis, dyed-in-the-wool dyer’s woad,
Stains Abram's faith with Abraham’s asterisks
And heaven holds them in familiar fabrics
That Sarah wears to fool a pharaoh’s pride.
Ishmael’s cashiered threads weep with Hagar’s blood
As Egyptian linen drinks in Isaac’s.

Monday, August 2, 2010

August: "Harbor, Monhegan" *

The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.
–Jeremiah 8::20

Halfway between the hurried-up hills
And the grizzled brine into which
They spill lies Monhegan Harbor.
It exists in maps exactly the same.

And exactly where one would expect,
There, the gulls cluster – on the buoys
Which hide themselves behind a regatta,
Shell-white and bobbing like horse-heads.
Their pitchy prows lift and lunge fiercely,
Each, the edgy knife blade of Old Man
Sea’s dormant rage. But back on shore,

The boy with snap-shot frankness and
January eyes, he too, is exactly
Where one would expect him to be –
Assumed up to his ankles in the hot pitch
Of August. The exhausted smile on
His beautiful face hiding the fury of
This tarry harvest, day’s headlong heat.

From furnace-innards, heart of carnelian,
Soul of sardonyx... The boy is
Descended from the torturous tar-and-
Brine of Monhegan blood (this known
Mostly from the boy’s pert disinterest
In his inherited surroundings, call it
An incendiary peace possessing all

Understanding), yet boyhood itself tires.
So, tar which braces New England’s ancient
Hulls against ice-blue screams of gulls,
Will have to do, as well, to caulk-and-seam
His own Monhegan handsomeness, august
And tending, even now, toward the autumnal.
*Apologies for the size of the image; grateful if someone found a larger version on the Net somewheres!