Thursday, March 23, 2017

Star Travel (Matta), Sonnet #343

The speed of light is molasses
Dripping from an overturned jar,
A slowness nothing surpasses.
Not quite the songbird stuck in lime,
We can fly, but we can't fly far,
Unless we do away with time.
I stand on a comet of stone,
The tri-star Alpha Centauri
Irradiating, blinding me.
I'm here because I am alone
In no known age or century,
(Yet no metaphysical zone),
Where all is either late or soon.
I leave to catch a passing moon.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

On the seashore there are two visiting apples (Rene Magritte), Sonnet #342

Too late, the tree stump silences the ax
Under a root stepping down like a foot,
To render the blade motionless and moot.
Are the visiting apples ripe, you ask?
One wears a green, his bride a purple mask.
Are they real fruit or molded of old wax?
They totter on the sand inching nearer,
A mute duo smiling and curious,
Not quite what we see, perhaps spurious --
Nothing on the beach is any queerer.
Yes, a cupboard tree holds a waiting bell
And a new dollhouse with a bright red roof --
Articles no apple would buy or sell,
Only mourn, and doing so vanish -- poof!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Zone of Avoidance*, Sonnet #341

That is where the seventh dimension sleeps,
Tucked like a few mice in a cardboard tube.
The density of the galaxy seeps
What's beyond its mass, but no amplitude
Of star or nova can penetrate there
To reach my retina. Oh, but we care!
It's maddening, this secret extension
Of nothing we know and will never guess,
Like a rule the gods forgot to mention
That demands of us a No and a Yes.
A pretty phrase, the zone of avoidance,
As if we've chosen not to be bothered,
Decided that child will not be fathered,
When we'd rather ignore our ignorance.

*Note: The "zone of avoidance" is the area
of the sky that is obscured by the densest
portions of the Milky Way.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Divided Consciousness Nos. 1 and 2, Sonnets #339 and #340

Divided Consciousness No. 1, Sonnet #339

The stones think as though they are thought silence.
Ask the big guy and he'll mouth a nothing
He's sure will seem like astounding nonsense,
As if a pretty rock knew how to sing.
He assumes you will understand the sound,
At least that it was real, if not profound.
His minor lobe chatters like a mad bird,
Ideas made sentences like light made seen,
Each thought a secret of the grand absurd,
Pitched higher when it's noble or obscene.
They never speak or look at each other.
What an obfuscation that would create!
Each thought like second thought would obviate
The first, like Cain gunning down his brother.

Divided Consciousness No. 2, Sonnet #340

I, that insistent I, is all I am.
I have witnessed it from beyond idea,
When my senses didn't make any sense,
When I felt like stone, a virtual sham.
Drop me in the deepest chasm, a sea
Seven miles deep, when all is present tense
And the lights fracture color into eyes
And the tones of drumming drown in sighs.
It comes back on me, it all comes back,
Eternal replay of the last moment
Until there is no next second, all slack;
The next I of me will never be sent
Until I bang my head twice and collide
With myself and decide I haven't died.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Parade (Peter Blume), Sonnet #338

The invention of the assembly line,
The conveyor belt, the repetition
Of a single simple task by one man,
Produces all that is useful and fine.
Let me push the button of ignition
On armor as heavy as a tin can.
No bullet can penetrate my new skin,
Sleek and silver and exquisitely thin.
I'm so perfect now a parade of me
Runs past the smokestacks of the factory.
I'm joined by a smart, lock-loaded army;
As we march through every neighborhood,
Geese stepping, bright phalanx of right for good,
We stare down the decadent and smarmy.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Mobius Birds (Escher), Sonnet #337

With a wing-beat the cormorant
Is airborne, static, and distant.
As I am the threat he glides
To a dead limb and settles down,
And memory of me elides
In a croaking flock of his own.
Their migration looks like a race,
Ragged but with erratic grace;
The leaders constantly change place,
Not to draft others, but to chase.
They'll burst from their path to make way
For an Arctic tern or osprey,
Wheeling around until they find
The Mobius they've been assigned.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Army Men Attack, Sonnet #336

The military objective: to knock the chip
Off the mysterious stone's shoulder, then tip
The whole evil mass over and bury its white
And gaping, bespittled gob out of human sight.
The soldiers, rigid with fear and umbrageous rage,
Are all innocent, young, exactly the same age.
Their memories are identical, none recalls
How his father fought the same war with the same balls.
Though they are many (the stone is ageless and numb,
Impervious to thought, its nervous system dumb),
They're dry sticks waved over dry soil by a dowser,
When what's needed is a six inch field howitzer.
They break against the stone, bounce back, and charge --
Small men to prevail over what is merely large.