Saturday, February 27, 2016

They Seem Ashamed Of So Many Things I Am Fond Of

[for James Larkin Pearson, Shelby Stephenson and
most of all, to Valerie Macon]

they seem ashamed of so many things I am fond of:
words that grow wings; that have no double entendre.
things that shine, frost on a winter window pane's

unexpected design, for instance, they decline.
what if my ferns and flowers are ice
and not a horticultural wilderness objectified

filled with crimes committed by the symbolists
or a drum beat and beat and beat for the deprived?
who still could cherish beauty if they were let alone

to enjoy it on their own and that, for free.

what if I don't even like their kind of poetry
and wonder at it as though it were devised
by the devil himself.

a recounting of wrongs to the point of madness.

what if I love love only words only
for their innocence and childhoods made of snows
and the lives of the poets

who knew this.
what if I see the moon for its vanilla cream gleam
and not for her mythologies in a thousand indices

overlearned by those advanced at school
and full of such disdain for the untrained eye.
who honor darkness

as though it were Light. and who cause much pain.
Lord make my flight from them swift.

I wonder why they cannot be happy with pure song,
with any rainbow tinted music.
why must they use and even abuse things

confuse things
seeking to control and to despise;
making a nightmare game of it

in their coteries shutting us out
and delighting in the click of the gate
above all other sounds;

foster children of beauty
if at all who strip the jeweled sounds,
the brides of irony

sniffiness even
for those who don't comply
and don't intend to.

who stand their poetical ground.

they grow cleverer at
making their faintly damning praise
ever more meticulously intellectual.

the Snow Queen's vetted vassals
short on praise for imagination,

and for the enchanted stream.
oh God, for anything dreamed.

how can we be called, the same:
by the name of "poet"
I ask the few green corners of earth

they have not sullied yet with
ever devolving newsspeak, socialspeak
population speak

and implore the Heavens

not to forget us, out of reach
those individuals who write for love,
not power. in this, a murky Hour-

for by my reckoning
despite the prizes that they get
it only makes them fret

no matter how long their resumes become
if they've lost simple Song.
unspeakable, the joy of merely singing.

mary angela douglas 20 december 2015;rev. 27 february 2016