Saturday, April 3, 2010

Summa Cum Laude (Prayer Song for Sallye Anne Hairston Maxwell)

"She delights the earth
with her footsteps,
and in speaking, fulfills
the desires of the deaf"

A flower, a synesthetic glow...
An inflorescent melody
(in search of combination)
That violates its meter
And disregards its rhythm
(as defined by classic standards)
To uphold its right to grow.
A pearl, a diamond,
Cast among swine...
Tomorrow is retrieved from the rubbish
And polished to a more brilliant luster.

A vessel, undefiled...
Well built and well prepared:-
To weather all the storms and blasts;
To sail the oceans, deep and vast;
To overcome the dark morass;
To persevere until the last;-
And with me, heaven, share.

The Flight by Night (Third Song for Charlotte)

What was the meaning of the flight by night?
Was it to escape the enemy’s oppression?
Was it in search of a rare sunbeam?
Or was it to recapture a nostalgic dream?

What was the meaning of the flight by night?
Was it a stage in a gradual progression?
Was it to retrieve the gifts of life and time?
Or was it the revival of something more sublime?

What was the meaning of the flight by night?
We must fight to overcome this frightening obsession.
We must search until we find the answer to this question.
Then, and only then, will we be free from past transgression.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Sonnet #30

"This is the Captain, this is a strategic launch!
Man Battlestations!" rings around my soul,
And rousing me from sleepiness and slumber,
Demands that I assume my chosen role.

We rise up, like a beast, from ocean’s bottom,
The hatches open, doomsday is at hand;
We push the buttons, random pick the numbers,
Then send the missiles after our command.

And afterward the afterword is zero…
There’s no one left to tell us how we sinned;
We’re sole survivors, that makes us the hero,
We build the world anew and make amends.

But how can we ignore, erase our wrong?
We pay the price; are we the best, the strong?