Archive for December, 2007

Christmas

Wednesday, December 26th, 2007

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written December 25th, 2007

Well, Mother, if you knew that the child you
Gave birth to this fine, bright winter’s morning
Would die before his time in an unjust act
Of humiliating violence, would you still smile
At his smile, still kneel down in your heart among
These humble animals and wonder at the star
That heralded his coming? The frost,
In the wake of the sun, still glitters
In the shadows, reversing figure and ground,
Making a revolution in our perception
And in our emotional body, that says,
Like an angel, unseen, for all her splendor:
“There is no iota of experience that is not saturated
By light, all is scintilla and revelation,
All is star and signal and thanksgiving.”
How hideously that message cuts a wound.
We do not wish for angels or for glory,
Nor do we celebrate mass for these daily
Crucifixions, where the Herods, without
Reproach or constraint, continually slaughter
The innocent, their sole motive
A detestation of freshness that foments terror,
While always accusing others of terrorism.
Mother, the infant that you suckle will do
Miracles, heal the torn, elevate the despised,
Enunciate the unspeakable, cheat death.
But Herod will live on, unmolested,
The king of the old, destroying his kingdom of babies,
And you, Mother, you, even as you melt
The frost, in this moment, with your tenderness,
Will be his scepter and his sword.

YOUR Christmas Story

Wednesday, December 19th, 2007

Listen Here: [audio:01- Dec_19_07YOURChristmasStory.mp3]

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Poems:
Christmas
Of a Man Sleeping in a Motley Turban

Of a Man Sleeping in a Motley Turban

Wednesday, December 19th, 2007

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written 12/19/07

Now the nights are forbiddingly cold,
Their skies a chaotic welter of too many tiny stars.
But we can imagine him, when he was alone,
In bright sunshine, almost blind, but moving
Lurchingly with that characteristic uncertainty
Indicative of searchers. The bizarre is crowded,
And he is buffeted about by hawkers hawking their wares,
By hagglers haggling for the last shekel,
By poorly attended children and pugnacious
Donkeys, one old man, timidly limping
Through the mob. He did not know anything
Back then of the others who lived inside of him,
Or of the manger with its reeking, humble beasts,
Or of the baby with the pierced white hands.
He only knew that his search had brought him
This far, and that whatever he bought here,
At whatever cost, this would be his final purchase.
He found myrrh, and bargained poorly for it,
Buying eternity dearly. That night he would dream
Of all his former selves, threaded together
Like the massive golden ingots of Caesar’s necklace,
And of a corpse wound in frankincense,
So that it remained fresh, like a newly cut flower
On its cold, stone slab. With these others,
He knew he was nearly ready for his journey,
And he awakened with a great joy starring his east,
The cry in his throat, a newborn infant’s cry.

What’s Being Born In You

Wednesday, December 12th, 2007

Listen Here: [audio:01-Dec_12_07WhatsBeingBornInYou.mp3]

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Poem: Noble Visitation

Noble Visitation

Wednesday, December 12th, 2007

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written 12/9/07

The last roses have mated with the first frost,
And this morning, blushing pink as peonies,
They lean east towards a sun, which rises late,
As it will set early, but which nevertheless
Is most meticulous in his tasks. Illumination
Is everywhere, even deep down in the tiniest
Crystals of frost, and in the translucent spiraled
Folds of the drooping rose. And with the illumination
Comes a prelude of sweet stillness, large, large and blue.
Something is about to happen.
We have seen color before,
Been impressed by its tonal splendors,
Those scintilla of joy, which shower the vision
And arouse a storm in the emotional body
That reveals the living pulse beneath the lawn.
But this morning it is different. It is richer.
The color is not over there, but in here,
In here, glowing, even with the eyes closed
Or diverted, so that almost against our will,
We are swept into the brilliance of this brief
Winter’s day, and bestowed a fantastic honor.
So many jewels in the breastplate of the grass,
As the big angel stands up, immense as the sky,
In the little housing of our bodies!
Now it is, it is happening. This is the angel that makes
The color sound, as his exuberance
Proclaims, with a warrior’s arrogance
And flourish, that everything that is is ours and grand.

Forgiveness

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

Listen Here: [audio:01-Dec_7_07Forgiveness.mp3]

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Poem: Forgiveness

Below, Above

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

By Roy Doughty
Written 11/28/07

A night of perfected clarity, bright stars, bright moon,
A neighborhood of frozen light shafts,
Strong enough to elucidate individual leaves,
The gold of autumn canonizing the house with its nimbus.
In this moment, there is enough stillness to allow
The one lover who experiences this hunger
To forget the great sheet of galvanized steel
That is beaten and beaten by the giant,
To forget how the hoards of consumers,
Like tiny beads, are set in motion by those mechanical vibrations,
Who must go where the thumping tells them to go,
Arrogantly in the din, thinking that it is their din,
Always hollering: “I am, and I am free,”
Always puffed out with the felicity of felicities,
The automaton’s false belief in autonomy.
Yet, there is a hole, a flaw in the ceaseless beating,
And though it is only the size of a single bead,
The lover finds this hole and falls below the din.
The fall creates a deep awakening.
Here is a new level of stillness, inhabited solely by the one
Whose hunger has enveloped him in stillness.
He looks up: there, there and there, there are stars,
And there, the moon, and there the single leaf.
Here, gold is ringed by silver, and here, below the thunder,
All hunger ceases. It is here that the tiny bead at last finds freedom,
And becomes a person again as vast as the night.

Forgiveness

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written 12/3/07

“Let go,” says the voice, as if to comfort,
But how strange it is that our sleep has been
Truncated by the destruction of the possessive
Me and mine, and we awaken
With a multitude of selves choiring through
The body and even extending far into the skies,
Which have become layerings of turgid pastels —
Smudged coppers, pallid reds, depressed blues,
The conglomerations of a fast-moving storm
Whose swift subtleties intensify the night.
The breath moves outside the body, shaking the whole
House with profound rumblings, as the choir
Tunes itself to the tumblings of the wind.
Certainly, we long for the centering relief
Of a single sleep, but it is too late for that.
The fathers are restless and the corridors of the house
Bulge with ancient violations of the not me
And me, suffering enumerable territory
Disputes, each one of whose terrible wars
End in shuddering reconciliations.
Snippets of foreign tongues collide in the dark,
Each one pleading: “I do not understand.
Forgive me.” These words drag tears from
The decrepit warriors that fall on the roof
As rain. So an ocean mates with an ocean,
As personal rage is subsumed by impersonal grief.
And a surging, which takes possession of the storm,
Swallows all bullets, all bombs, and sings,
At last, in many whisperings,
Of fresh beginnings and of final peace.

Last Anniversary

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

By Roy Dean Doughty
For Takashi Tanemori
Written 8/6/07

One of the those deep purple glows where the sky
Assumes a color which huddles low and lower,
As if an uncanny shuddering of
Basso profundos were weaving dense polyphonies
Into those lonely, after midnight hours
Known only to insomniacs, thieves or poets,
Hours filled solely with this cold tide of the sea
In which our words and bodies crystallize.
He hear round, hollow moans, not of remorse,
Nor even of grief, but moans of remembrance,
Remembrance of that day when a lone bomber
Shuddered aloft with black viscous rain in her bay,
The accumulated deaths of all of mankind’s wars,
An irradiated woe bound to destroy the world.
What was born that day, lives in this night,
And occupies that hole in the lattice of the crystal
Where impersonal memories are stored.
Here rests the oldest, the darkest grandmother,
A crone on a squat, rustic throne, weaving the threads
Of the boiled bodies of children into a black, silk shroud —
Beautiful, ah, so beautiful, a night that shines
And glows, shines and flows, and makes of all colors
One color, one flag that billows over the nations,
Victorious, uniting, and tonight, after waiting decades
To unfurl, free. How can this be?
Are the children living again in this deeper tone?
And is this, at last, the color of forgiveness?