Archive for July, 2008

Calliope

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

By Roy Dean Doughty
7/29/08

We fly over multitudes of lights, vibration-beings
Utilizing the morning breeze to strum
Selected leaves of the ivy thicket.
Suddenly, we pause, and some of the blue
Of the sky takes shape as music inside
Our head, exactly, at first, like an F natural,
Which then splays apart, and, like beads
From a single splash, strike the momentary
Fixity of our attention, and scatter prisms.
“It is subtle,” says a voice, “in order
To keep from being overwhelming.”
The subtlety, however, is so intricately
Exquisite, that when we see the small
Head of a yellow finch peep for an instant
From all the persistent green, there is
A break and time, and a valve that we
Did not know existed, is opened in our
Hearts. Millions of tiny lights swarm out,
Bunch, turn, spiral, thin to threads,
Like flocks of vast migrations, and then
The lights coagulate again, and we see
That this immense flourishing is only
The ivy flicked by the morning’s breeze.
But what happened to all that unsequestered
Time? Did it run backwards, swiftly,
To childhood, there to discover that purer,
Earlier body, bluer and brighter,
And peacefully carnivalesque?
The thought is exquisite, but subtle, oh so subtle,
Like a tone in the leafshine, far to swift to catch.

Enticed to Bed

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written 7/10/08

Brackish hanks of thick green water creepingly circle
Round a primitively thicketed ox-bow island,
Back wash from a high tide that moves herself without wind.
On her torpid back, glops of flotsam drag long beards
Along the mucky dregs. These are slow, membranous
Movements, the trees, the water, the hazy, hot sky,
Like three sisters sharing the same soul,
One, fecund, one, languid, one aloof.
Together they enact a July ritual
Whose duration and discomfort, do not quite
Engender dread, but do hint at the presence
Of fire spirits somewhat inimical to creatures
With red inside them. What afternoon message
Is arising from this tripartite Goddess,
Burnished with amber by her sleepy Lord,
Her words evolving on the tongue
Of her biosphere for four billion years,
While her voice, the very labor of silence,
Is still a vivid shriek of new-born passion?
Her calm urgency has survived the collision of comets,
Hung enumerable rainbows on its hooks,
And weighed the very bulk of sun and day.
Yet we hear her, yes, we hear her, though she
Is deathly, deathly still, not willing to trust
Her song to the ugly noises of terrestrial muzzles.
It is the quiet itself that she commandeers
To tell her urges: “He takes me by the hair.
He tears my underthings. His nails draw creeks
Along my virgin skin.” Yes, now we understand
Why the salty flask must be drained again,
And the tide, once more, go down, and why
The fire spirits, for all their haughty rancor, are slaves
To her dark wishes. And why, in the end,
Our love for her will cause us to abandon
The red blood of our dismal self-involvement,
To lie incorporate in her brooding flood.

Early Release

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written 7/28/08

Spread out like green lace doilies parallel
To the ground, these cedar branches
Serve as the perfect infrastructure
For a spider’s web, whose silken cradle
Becomes, this morning, the incongruous
Expression for a beauty alive in the very
Gut of cold predation. A soft, green pollen
Has collected in this little hammock,
And as the breeze gently lifts and rocks
The bed, more pollen from above snows
Down to fluff its cushions. How we long
To rest in the hand of this delicacy, and be
Again, that body of spirit — as soft as feathers —
Whose assemblage of death and loveliness
Makes such a lilting motion, so that we gaze
Up, in wonder, as if, from the pellucid swell
Of gravity’s ponderous sea, we might take
One step, two, fall forward, ascend,
And soar out of the confines of flesh —
That prey for lurking spiders —
To rest our cares in this intimate beyond.
A car drives by on the street, just one
Of many, and shakes the cedar,
As, pulled back from this green otherness,
We feel the swell of a different order
Of assemblage. The canopy trembles,
And our two eyes are not glad. Just here,
At the outskirts, a small and inconceivably fine
Shimmering has signaled to us of death,
While we, still bound in the heavy reds
Of incarnation, stood helplessly below,
Rooted in mire, our vision running back
And forth, back and forth, in the green-laced sky,
Like a soul that is lost in the infinite forests of light.

Peace Maker

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written 7/9/08

The lichen encrusted trunk
And the sere-dry extremities
Tell us that his plum tree is old,
Its fruit, no longer ripe sugars
Plumped around optimistic seeds,
But rather withering markers
For the expression of something deeper,
Something corrosive, but perhaps more nourishing.
In these rusted, hang-dog leaves,
There are no more serpent-hopes with wings,
Nor web-sacks stuffed with fair-spoken promises,
Nor instigations to springtime frolickings.
But we do see a dolorous, old codger,
Shuffling about moodily in moldy shoes,
His heaven the heaven of industrialists and doubters,
An ancient yesterday’s traversal
From smoke-filled to smoke-filled room.
And as the hot, harsh wind shakes the tree,
This asthmatic antiquity,
His voice sounding distant and muffled,
As if emerging from a play-out well,
Garrulously explains about the unreal past,
Each of his stories constituting a distraction of mind
That alters for the worse the temperature of the day,
Each of his words a sound like the collision
Of oxidized metals against the fragile body,
Each of his sentences emitted slowly, slowly,
Like a moldering ember devouring damp wool,
Or like the rasping noises that skeletons make
When trying on dark flesh. His words strike us,
Strike the soft tissue inside of us,
And breed curious distempers.
Each of his tales, pointless, depressing,
And lasting as long or longer than a widow’s night.
Yet there must be, is, something still vital here, in this tree,
In its odious sights and sounds and odors,
Something that speaks of an intemperate courage,
And that astonishingly brings back to us,
As if from the battleground of every life with life,
If not a weapon that can stop the war,
At least the expiation of rapport.

Spiritual Misc.

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

Poems:
Enticed to Bed
Calliope

Divine Wandering

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

Poems:
Peace Maker
Early Release

Devotion

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

Poems:
Away
Lunch Under an Awning in the Garden

Away

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

(for Shree Maa)
By Roy Dean Doughty
Written 7/20/08

Having departed the illustrious city,
That granitic labyrinth of worms and terminations,
Where love is manufactured by our cravings,
We surrender the precious celebrity of concubinage,
Escape the inquisitions of prevaricators,
And ignore the vagabonds, who steal and the iron-lipped preachers,
Who flog us with reproachful kindnesses.
Why should we stay where our foreheads shrink
To the tiniest span, our truculence vibrating so slowly,
It is as if we were born already cynics,
At age sixty, our words all gale and straw,
And frantic with such tabular permutations
That our minds refuse to admit the possibility
Of surprise or the promise of tomorrow?
But now, now, all that has changed. Last night,
We discovered the forest. The forest is boundless.
The forest has yellow suns barely visible through
Magical half-tints. The forest is lit by lightning,
Breaking from the bodies of beasts, its vegetation
Fountaining, in every drifting breeze, with the wild
Exhilarations of fancy. As from oaks, madrones, laurels,
Pines, secret assemblies of cherubim lift, with innocent
Dimpled hands, a round, orange, barbarous moon, their white
Eyes bright as glass. Nothing could be named,
Until we found this forest, although its paths
Are infinite entanglements where logic loses
Its silken blood-thin thread. And yet here, the extraneous guides us,
Like the sermons of birds, whose language
We assimilated unknowingly, as children mimic
The gestures of their elders. Here, the phrase:
“The saint is alive, and singing,” is not symbolic.
Here, dressed in saffron yellow, she waits before her fire,
The volume of her soul so great, it sticks out of her body,
The sweetness of her voice, so fine, it pares all grief away.

Lunch Under an Awning in the Garden

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written 7/18/08

The sun is arrogantly enthroned at the zenith
Of summer and the zenith of day, his red rays
Stimulating testis activity in the cock finches
Frenzying at the thistle-feeder, the big bull
God wielding his 9 magic lingams to smite
Into 9 X 9 bits the serpent-spirit
Of the garden. Lazy wench that she is, she yawns
And sighs, and lets her Greens do all her work
For her. 9 shades of it — ivy, olive, sap,
Viridian, cricket-spit, lime, tortoise-shell,
Patina, gopher-gut — each whacking out
9 X 9 herbs for the curbing
Of 9 X 9 kinds of illness,
And 9 X 9 spectra-spells
For the 9 X 9 winged onsets.
What need has she for oaths, when not by
Mary’s milk nor Christ’s blood, she can,
In the most casual and languid of whispers,
Banish 9 X 9 elemental evils.
Excitation and inhibition — noon and shade —
And at the far, pinched end of the funnel,
Past the antechamber of deceived lovers,
Past the goblin and grail of religious psychotics,
Past the buffoons of science with their
Debilitating Opponent-Process Theories,
Past even the dispensations of the incredible
Imagination machine, lies the seed of a single
Photon, the single remnant perhaps of a dream
Almost completely obliterated by that big
Red rascal. Here it is, here she is, green’s
Green potency, almost imperceptibly tiny,
But still stimulus enough to recode the entire
Magnum Opus of our subjective experience.
Perhaps it is a tabernacle of some strange,
Translucent material, aglow again from within,
Even in this densest bunching of leaf shade.
Perhaps inside is the woman or the man
Whom we once loved, until resentment
And bitterness snapped that honeyed curse.
And perhaps, just perhaps, in the moment
Of our compassion, the curtain will part,
And the loved one will appear. Perhaps
We will feel the embodying animal
Igniting once more that blob of our inert
Heart. Maybe, just maybe the lover will
Smile, the goddess awaken, and the tussle
In the larder will be quelled,
As at last we succumb to utter satiation.

Healing

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

Poems:
Independence Day
Salty Blessing