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