Four New Poems From My Current Collection “Holly & Hemlock”

Lebensraum

See through death –
– oh, there you go:
New bones prancing upon the old.
A foreign wangling of joy
The skeleton tried to recall
(Celestial trumpets peal
Like silk in elapsed ears)
“We can take care of our own here” –
The capillaries and rivulets
With Source-aerie sparkling still.

The sun on the leaves today
Could make a barn-burner cry
Or street man sing or do magic
or swim all the streams
as Heaven slowly unlocks her fire.

But high on those wood-roads
The duchess of leaves is dying
The dryads of ease are hiding,
Enshrouded by Maeve’s hair & bones.

In the stern beds of the past
Cold queens did scoff and gasp,
And lift lanterns to indoor skies
Of future-guessing eyes.
Silent fire dropping down
Still descends on amnesiac lands –
Children swimming the confused waters:
Angry sons and cloying daughters,
Wondering where to shine their light.

9.6.15

Fire Island

I am the King of Siam.
I am Johnny Appleseed,
making fertile the tired land.
I am all the great and forgotten poets
And I am a fire in which you cannot believe
Nor quantify; that is so.

Yet here on my island does my flame
Disappear nightly into the sea’s claim.
Twined in shadows, I may restore
Because I am ready for the moon.
I contain the world in my
Submerged heart, and in my
Laughing wilds, twinned, parlayed
On such difficult shores.

Where my sip of eternity
Was as bitter as it was alive;
Where I thank all your arms
Showing me the way
Through busy twilight
Toward the high strength
Of towering mornings.

9.12.15

Autonomicon

Probed bounty had a sun
Sidled in pods of leaf –
The needed stain then splashed where
Life crawled expanses of green.
So massed was root of take, as I
Held it to my breast, life total;
And was cat-groove to what
Young table brought us through:
A sheaf of epoques where music
also swam & smiled heroic
A priori to what now defines,
But could the crimson cap truly see?
Where I walked in padded age
The archetypes spreading clichés
And romantic epiphany becoming passé?

Where a man in his currents blows
Howing a world dark in its shows
Identity of how he goes a-where
To come to this or that shore or share;
Could an electric beast sing in its times
Of things unknown he says must be?
Wilds of good could you, stepped along
In the courage of colors meant to spend us long?
The guest o’ little time
Has finally been let through…

10.7.15

Intifada du Jour

Stay in country – see
How wicks of wonder light up for thee!
Observe how freely the air bides
In darkening time where you need no license
Or name or rhyme. Mountebanks have fled!
Scoped in murmur riding their asses & jackals
to where warm hammers glow.
Bright regions rise and collapse
In the time it takes to breed an asp
(in the unshorn grove there is an answer)
But how do fallen seasons grow?

The stately stream is steered
by wolf-habitude (true)
In the seedy ranks we devalue.
The trustless fob, curling his lying trap
Squirms as the human fog burns off.
No Marys of “The Way”
Need virginal to be;
What’s left is churchless sanctity
& now coffins for songs like black hearts,
Gold-buckled, lay like dead soldiers
In powder-blue sarcophagi
And unfettered calm.

Somewhere sick and empty feels
A girl or planet or camel or eel
Where beheadings feed the trauma’d ground
And old shadows twine and reel.
The sour door now craves an entrant
And echoes such a child, my child –
In coming rooms like I just yelled
Across a golden canyon, and does
Grandmother-sight give bells to this wisdom?
Her private vicissitudes have branches, too.
(My naïve years having broken the ruse)
Where crescent moons stabbed thunderous sides
And calamity aches in closets denied.

A burst of woody care
wears before us the Atman that dared!
Laden with death-church flare,
My pink-fingered joy deepens the room.
Where the laughing brook washed me to center,
A home, youthful zeal trimming the
Wings of awe, amongst novel treasures.
Today, the escapes were internal measures.

Flushed down the mother-delta
Into a florid garden gone to pot
Where vision scorns power-abuse
In the battle to proffer the altar abstruse,
I opened my windows to October’s
Banners, the colors of a dying world
Just beginning: annihilate the poison
Spew on lake-cirque trek, oak-hewn
as cask arrives to ferment our libation
Of truth. Hale and home-grown are the wares
Of our eternal health, and strong are the bowers
That grow our germens’ stealth.

Love is a many-creatured thing
Solaced in a tarn of Spring;
My soft engine beats
In a relish of vigor
Where this darkness remakes me
In Quixotic rigor.

Is this the very structure of joy?
As again the axe of evil hits me
And I swing the wand ‘round
And exculpate them from the realm.
Once more, can you sense their collective
Perishing, that their shadows can stand no more,
And that only the bubbling love-light pours?
This, the place where infant gladness restores?

What good, then, if your:

Books are balanced
Insurance’s paid up
Mortgage is paid up
Vacations booked
Yard is trimmed
Taxes are paid up
Church-tithes given
Cupboards are filled
Charities are gifted
Friends gathered ‘round the punchbowl
Cubicles & homes are nice & tidy…
…if your freedom, dreams and children are lost?

10.17.15

chris robideaux, new poems, poetry