Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Alchemy of Water & Wine By Rudolph Lewis

Rudy runs the Nathaniel Turner website. He has kindly given me permission to print his poem here.

i  mastery & security

Whose gold is this? challenge the poets

of the South, in that golden key that opens

the golden door to Paradise that fruitful

land closed to fairy tales of Science

& Time. Its hollow ridges, roaring cataracts.

No matter. Centuries, millennia are

behind us, a sloping mellow shade, a swarm

of fireflies. An alien, I’m moved to tears.

Her cheek was thin & pale, her eyes hung

mute. I fell upon my knees & kissed moments

of golden sands, the bugle horn sounded, glowing

hands smote chords of might, the spirit dawned

in dark hazel eyes. She Goddess of Water

flushed rosy red like the northern night, her

bosom shook with a storm of sighs by my

obeisance. She’s life, crimson as a robin

tender as fingers on a mother’s breast.

ii  courage & forgetfulness

Stirring fanciful visions, the chord of

self trembles out of sight, touching gateways

of a barren shore. Come to me: kiss me: take

my hand, let’s roll in silent embrace. No

that is not it at all—only mad men sleep

with goddesses, these fancy fathoms of

tangled braids nourish grow coarse as clay

.We are better than Dog, dearer than Horse

wiser than Clown who drags down with novel

force, eyes glazed heavy with wine. Gold gilds.

Fool’s head whose heart is at the root of bitter

fruit, I pluck Traitor from my bosom. I die.

iii purification & fertility

My Beloved, better no trader boat ever

floated a European flag, yanked from

honest Nature’s rule. Would there be now

shallow hearts, puppets, servile tongues

preaching down a daughter’s heart, jingling

guineas of hurt snarling at heels. Thickets

whisper wants & lies that warp living truth

We scorn comfort for the poet’s song. This age

of tears have left me dry, the clanging discord

of crows flapping. Must we drug our memories

put to proof rain is on the roof? Dogs hunt us

in dreams. Staring at the wall, the lamp flickers

shadows rise & fall, tender voices cry. Hang of

the heavy-fruited tree, the spirit leaps within

iv  slapstick & frolic

There’s no shame in love, whether the Beloved

is goddess or savage of burning mellow moons.

I will not hide from life; I will cling to lips

that drain trouble dry. I fear not my weakness

though a market of suitors overflow her

court. They fall & roll upon the ground.

I get sick & tired the way the world talks to

a supple jointed  people about the magic

sails of common sense, the awe of nods

& winks, a world bounded more and more by

war drums. But that is no matter. Shouting

knots of stillness & rest, sunlight will yet leap

rainbows & brooks, shower a hungry people.

(c) Rudolph Lewis 18 July 2005

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