Shadows on the Sea

The shadow stretches
And grows
As the sun sets
Into the sea,
Until all is darkness.

From daybreak
Until dusk
The clock ticks
Tocks, clicks
Down to the docks.

Seconds and minutes
March in formation,
Precise, steady,
A perfect procession,
Never deterred
From the destination.

Inevitable, equitable,
Never early or late,
Arriving just
When it means to:

At Camlann,
In London Tower;
On the Senate floor.

In an Athenian jail cell,
A Dakota doorway;
In a cornfield in Iowa.

At Missolonghi,
In a Paris apartment;
On board the Ariel
— or was it the Don Juan? —
Sailing into the west.



This poem was originally posted on FreeVerse Revolution.

Dreams of Poems Already Written

Allen was in Asgard reciting America and
Singing the Buddhist Bible Blues for All-Father Odin
While Bobby and Baldr compared notes concerning
Daily dreams of darkness, depression, and death.
Byron rode up and down Bifröst bridge
Writing a poem about Don Juan
(No, not that one, the new one!)
Marcus Aurelius read the mythologies of Midgard,
Studied philosophy with Plato,
Admiring the stoicism of Socrates,
As Rimbaud wrote rhyming prose about Ragnarök,
Containing nothing but the truth,
Delivering it to Valhalla for the consideration of
Siddhartha, Thor and Wōđanaz.


Poem #3 for National Poetry Writing Month (aka #NaPoWriMo)

Living Life by Candlelight

“All these people that you mention
Yes, I know them, they’re quite lame
I had to rearrange their faces
And give them all another name “ – Bob Dylan, 1965

It goes unspoken,
But sometimes it’s written
Delivered by an electric horseman
Riding a Siamese kitten

It’s always been understood
By those who’re in the know
The zombies don’t often believe it
‘Cuz it doesn’t often show

Their life is led by candlelight
They don’t know who to trust
As they spend the night in the tub
Watching their toy trains rust

Don Juan’s sitting next to Lola
Playing hard to get
Holding out for younger flesh
As he drinks himself to debt

Lola envies the Zulu princess
‘Cuz baby got more back than he do
But she don’t pay him no mind no how
As she paints the building blue

Byron and Shelley are arguing again
Over whose turn it is to speak
Lola’s about to come unglued
‘Cuz Juan’s been visiting the Superfreak

Byron’s writing Layla a letter
To explain why Shelley can’t play
While Shelley’s sending a postcard
To explain why Byron couldn’t stay

The zombies want our secret
So that they to can be like us
But if they don’t wise up soon
They’re liable to miss the Magic Bus

13 July 1995

To Lord Byron on the Nature of Immortality

(c) Newstead Abbey; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

To Lord Byron, On the Nature of Immortality

You wanted to be a hero,
An uncommon want
In a world whose clay footed heroes
Are gleefully toppled by the mob.
A risky ambition
For someone with just one good foot
To stand on in the first place.

But you saw it as a challenge,
In that oddly quixotic way of yours,
Mixed and hidden within the melancholy noble
And shielded by that satirical tongue.

You swam the Hellespont,
Swimming for Glory, as Leander for Love.
You traveled the continent
In search of adventure. And something more.

With two good feet on the ground
You could have been a fearless warrior
Or an adventurous sailor,
Like so many of your infamous kin.
Lord knows they knew nothing but success.

But who would be a poet
Who had anything better to do?
That’s not how heroes are made.
Wars are the hero makers
And that was the one game you just couldn’t play.

That is until Greece called you away
From that last attachment in Italy
To war, leeches, and Death
In the swamps of Missolonghi.
They still call you a hero there today
Naming streets and babies after you
And erecting monuments in the mud
Near to the spot where you expired
Barely aware that you had a life
Before you stepped on their soil.

10 August 1998 – 8 April 1999