Archive for April, 2008

Trust Fund

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written 4/28/08

A man frets, as generations of others have before him,
About money. Truly, his needs are great.
But, this morning, he sees dark ribbons
Of foliage flowing laterally from ground
To crown around the shade of a barren,
Red-leafed ornamental. The ribbons
Are clustered with roses. If the man visits
A locale only extant in dreams, and there
Discovers the cash that his great-grandfather
Was swindled out of in the old country,
Decades before he was born, and upon
Awakening, is drawn to these roses, is it
Possible that the grandfather’s treasure
Will be found in the weavings and counter-
Weavings of that dark foliage? Is it
Possible that the earth is possessed,
Not only of the wisdom to make dreams
And roses, but also miracle — even
The miracle of delayed, and somewhat displaced justice?
The scent of the roses ribbons through ribbons
With a perfume that is as fresh as this
Present instant, and more primordial
Then all the old worlds of grandfathers.
Truly our needs are great. But our wealth is greater.


Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written 4/27/08

This hemisphere of the planet tilts splendidly
Into gnarly April, and one bright morning,
Children with tiny voices, like hysterical nests
Of birds, rat the blue air into frenzies
Of inarticulate shrieks. Now we awaken
From a dream where our reason has been
Despoiled by images fraught with filaments
Of blood. A strange barbarism has afflicted
Our hair. Henceforth, our heads will be the wretched
Exteriorization of these ragged entanglements
Of our secret welked and knotted longings.
True, blue skies have always messed with logic,
No matter how carefully parsed and parted.
The meteorologists have smugly assured us of that.
So why do we listen to this dermatologist
Who describes with perfect aplomb
How “the cuticular fibers have been reversed
Due to nocturnal rubbings,” earnestly diagnosing
Our seized-together, catastrophic mass,
“As just another, unfortunate case “interdigitation.”
“A process,” he will say, as if it calmed us,
“Exactly analogous to the manufacture of felt
From the wool of lambs.” Hair felting,
Plica neuropathica, Uncontrollable Hair Syndrome —
No reasonable linguistic application
Can mitigate our distress. A tornado of twists
And kinks is erupting from our skulls,
And incessantly reminding us of those filaments
Of blood, those shrieking birds, these vast, blue
Sheets of inexplicable splendor, all these innumerable
Emblazonings of garbled foliage and juvenile flowers
Announcing the advent of another unruly spring.

Allowing and Resisting

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

Trust Fund

Birth Pangs

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written 4/21/08

The concertmaster assembles the instruments,
Tuning them to the sun. Hammers, concrete, iron,
The bang and rumble of the builders, hoards
Of supplicants humming blue sky white.
So that we may gather, together, under the marble dome.
All over the world, hatchlings hungrily
Chatter in their nests, and roses are coaxed
Open by aspiring bees. These first chords
Announce to the assembled progenitors
That the monstrous primitive is deposed,
That the alligator in the spine of the politician
And the pope and the soldier has at last
Completely swallowed the soporific of flag
And crucifix and weapon, as the song
Of the blossoming human is espoused.
Now the symphony swings into its first, sweet feminine themes,
Embalming the sleeping reptiles in honied peace.
To hear such music, is to be the sun. It is to be,
For first time, under the porticoes of the temple,
Golden in golden light. It is to feel
The cacophony of the assembly — the pounding,
The hungers, the explosives — consumed in
The harmonious present. It is to sit, alone,
Among millions, in the center, enveloped
In the tent of that gaudy sari, silence,
And in that flowery wrapping, to be free.

Temple Opening

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

Birth Pangs

The Secret Plus

Friday, April 18th, 2008


Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written 4/14/08

This April afternoon, the blue of the sky
Is like the body of a young woman drowned
In tatters of white cloud shredded by
Conflicting winds. Who was she? Daughter
To what direction, whose invisible eyes
Now stare into the trees and across the waters’
Deliriums with such beguiling agitation?
Like a dancer, with no will of her own,
She is slave to a transparent turbulence,
Her gestures expressive of something as deep as the breath,
Her white limbs tossing wantonly aloft,
Signaling a spouse of like agitation,
A young man drifting deep inside our longing,
Drowned also, but drowned in red and in
Cloisters too darkly intense for any description.
Young woman, young man, both wedded to emptiness,
Sharp winds that pierce the sky and pierce our lungs,
Towards what wild cloister do your bodies tend,
So violent with the frenzies of the spring?
How do these turbulent clouds and trees and waters
House nuptial chambers where your conflicts end,
Your agitated longings killed in calm.

Sri Raniji

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008


News Heard Upon Returning from an Ecstatic Migration

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written 4/5/08

Those mornings when he sat quietly, facing east,
And let the sun, exuberant embosser,
Paint the worry of darkness from his features,
Was it then, when seeing the sky blue each leaf,
When happiness overwhelmed him with birdsong;
Was it then, when he decided to return?
Was it then, when he first breathed the exhalations
Of the forgotten ones, his own dead crowding his pulse,
And spelling their woes? Was it then,
That the Flesh-Man, defying the Man-of-Words,
Saw suddenly the procession of the Mothers,
Each one dragging the umbilical tale of a birth,
Mute histories of trivia, blood, and trouble?
They turned and faced him with this accusation:
“When did your human disappear,” they asked him,
And this half-avian, half-storm-cloud orator
Content himself with the poetry of flight?”
Was it then when this fabulous composite
Heard their hubbub from his perch upon the wire?
“Life, even here,” sang the Mothers through his body,
“In the roil of these trivial cosmetics,
“Of mortgages and sound-bites and deceits, is all we own.”
Theirs was the sweetest intoning of consternation,
A sound that shook the feathers from his wings,
And pressed his penitent forehead to the ground.


Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written 3/31/08

Unlike the human heart, the air holds no energy
Of emotion, and yet certain immeasurable,
Invisible shapes have been embedded upon
Its histories of birdsong, and sunlight, and blossoms,
Leaving eddies in its currents, which flow
Into the body-human, and activate our histories
Of feeling. Now comes a moment
We imbibed as a child, when we heard,
On a similar sunlit morning, a similar
Eddying of greenery ruffled with the spontaneous
Twitterings of sparrows, a sound like our own name
Called by our mother, who was young then,
And filled with hope and worry. Ah . . . the human
Heart! Filled with its tiny, fragile bones,
The remains of all those aerialists, who every
Moment flit about in the denser foliage
Or our yet more fragile nest of vesicles,
Holding the body suspended, immeasurably,
Invisibly, in the branching intensities of its story.
Listen. If you are quiet, you can hear your name
Embedded in the very air, that infant cry
At the sudden surprise of birth, enriched
With a young mother’s sweet, post-partum sigh.