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Sonnet 18 À La Shadorma (6a)

SONNET 18 À LA SHADORMA

Well worn words
Shall I compare thee …
Words worn smooth
Words sucked dry
Yet I revive them, gift you
Immortality

~~~~~~~~~~~

Shadorma November

Dragon Heart

DRAGON HEART

So still she lies, as if some shell abandoned, blear-eyed from sleep
Shipwrecked, abandoned to some soggy dotage caked in mire
Be not deceived, imagining vacuum where once was fire
Thoughts and feelings spark yet, drift dreamily, aimless, ancient, deep

Take heed, both wise and foolish souls; fair warning: t’is best to creep
Past lightly, with harnessed breath; waken not the dragon’s ire
No less than fearsome monster, prone to bouts of fey desire
Exceeding duties as guardian, this dragon now feeds on sheep

Protection for that heart of mine once long ago rudely spoiled
That dragon, turned to basilisk, has festered and gone awry
Too far too many empty nights left red-eyed the dragonfly
Wound itself tighter and tighter till inextricably coiled

A dusty heirloom, tucked away, out of sight, a feathered wing
This fragile heart, free from defence, defiant, still dares to sing

Reflections On Government

REFLECTIONS ON GOVERNMENT

From simple language much may be inferred;
America’s lust for pleasure and commotion
Like Britain’s anal culture, I’ve a notion,
Reveals itself within the very word
Used when our nations’ rulers have concurred.
Whilst here the House is said to “pass a motion”
The other side of the Atlantic Ocean
“An act of congress” is the term preferred.
But though such speculation may be fun
The world goes on as it has always done;
It’s true: “A rose by any other name
Would smell as sweet” and so we must conclude
That whether we get shat on or get screwed
The end result is pretty much the same.

The Four Immeasurables

THE FOUR IMMEASURABLES

Like atoms whirling in the depths of space,
Impelled by mighty forces, powerless,
Infinite beings, sparks of consciousness,
Migrating ceaselessly from place to place,
Are driven by their cravings to embrace
The pleasures they mistake for happiness,
But desire brings them only more distress;
The very pain they fear they have to face.
To think: “Their sorrows come, not from Above,
Or whim of Fate, or cruel external facts,
Or others’ malice, but from their own acts;
I wish all creatures, though unknown to me,
Freed from unskillful acts, could happy be;”
This thought is called Immeasurable Love.

A creature in his time has many lives,
And now and then in blissful heaven dwells,
But just as soon may fall into the hells
Or, demi-god, be hacked to death with knives.
Now see him as, a hungry ghost, he strives
Without success to eat the food he smells,
Or squeals among the pigs a farmer sells.
The wisdom from these sufferings he derives
Is small indeed, or so we may surmise
To see him waste his few short years on Earth
In foolish deeds that lead to fresh rebirth.
Thinking: “All creatures share this misery.
I must find out the way to set them free,”
Immeasurable Compassion will arise.

If many pass their days in lust and hate
Some make attempt in virtue to abide
But we, half of the time, blinded by pride,
Give them no praise but merely denigrate.
Others find peace that seems to be innate
While we must struggle hard against the tide
And feel ourselves to be most sorely tried.
If we begrudge their carefree, happy state
What little peace we have we will destroy.
To feel resentment at a man’s good name,
His happiness or virtue is a shame;
When envy of his virtue we disown
And greet his happiness as if our own
Then we will find Immeasurable Joy.

We say we long to leave Samsara’s game;
Why is it then that we remain attached?
Each thing we fear seems by another matched
That keeps us circling, moths about a flame.
In seeking praise, we run the risk of blame;
Our gain becomes a loss if from us snatched;
And from the want of pleasure pain is hatched,
While envy soon breeds slander out of fame.
If we think well on this we need not be
Impaled upon the horns of hopes and fears,
Aversions and desires, joys and tears;
By leaving craving and dislike behind,
And by this means alone, a man may find
Immeasurable Equanimity.
…..
…..
——————————————————————

This set of sonnets is a chunk of Buddhist theology which I wrote while studying Tibetan Buddhism in Northern India. Don’t begin jumping to conclusions, though. There’s more to the story. 🙂

Ode To Hela

ODE TO HELA*

Spectral poet days past and buried in the mud,
Dramasis III, Prince of Ancient Egypt,
Priest of Thoth, Devourer of the Crypt,
Floats silent unmarked rivers of blood.

Ripped down the curtains in the time of flood
In a frenzy, as flamenco pangs of separation gripped;
Repetition winging homeward as the bark was stripped:
The death of each treasure producing a new bud.

Slowly now he floats, the tide is sure;
Time’s destruction indestructibly pure;
Now is the step from your last to your first breath.

Open-handed she came, lost-legged she went,
Back to the sundered land from whence she was sent;
Hela, the Green Queen, Goddess of Death.
——————————————————————

* Hela is a fictional character, the Asgardian goddess of death in the Marvel Comics universe, based loosely on the Norse myths of the goddess Hel.

Reflections On Government

REFLECTIONS ON GOVERNMENT

From simple language much may be inferred;
America’s lust for pleasure and commotion
Like Britain’s anal culture, I’ve a notion,
Reveals itself within the very word
Used when our nations’ rulers have concurred.
Whilst here the House is said to “pass a motion”
The other side of the Atlantic Ocean
“An act of congress” is the term preferred.
But though such speculation may be fun
The world goes on as it has always done;
It’s true: “A rose by any other name
Would smell as sweet” and so we must conclude
That whether we get shat on or get screwed
The end result is pretty much the same.

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