Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Handel: Te Deum

Friends,

           It is good to write again to you, despite what life brings. I urge your prayers for a person dear to my heart who is suffering greatly now. Let us hope in the Lord God, in Whose hand there is victory and life, in all affairs and all things.

God bless,

Archipoeta


Life, and Other Miracles XV


Requiem for Civilization

Let me indulge your dark vision, you false prophets, who
see soon coming the dissolution of the world, of the firm
fundament upon which God placed the Earth, and take you
to the time when there will no more be writ a single book.

A bleak, desolate country is the one where we arrive, the fruit
of some terrible demise, war and plague that razed it with fire
and death: to find a footprint one stoops low to kiss this dear
miracle and relic of a race chosen and blessed, now past and dead.

And what do these men leave behind, our grandfather and our
grandmothers, the heritage of our kind? What ruin shall we
examine and say, “Forsooth, they were great, a sprawling
empire from sea to sea spread, and going into space above!”

Amen I tell you, stones doth speak, but what stone inscribed
shall be left for men to read? All our houses are from wood
made good for storm, or fire, or worm to eat and leave behind
weak shadow soon lost from miscare of nature for the memory.

What of the grand libraries, the books that fill them, the laws
of men and nature writ in them? With time as with death
uncared this knowledge wilts away, silent for so long it succumbs
to dew and mold, and all these monuments of wisdom to dust return.

And the grand stone pillar, akin to mighty Rome? Will this not
stand to inspire some germ to generation raised, of man somewhere
surviving and roaming? Perchance it will give credence to the child
of the stories he has heard, but will his fantasies give justice unto us?

Will they include the vast ocean of knowledge and of vice in which
we bathe and spend our time? The internets and computers that
are fundament of civilization? The great books, long lost but to
cloud sent and digitized, a library that holds more work than has any?

But all that, our epitaph, is but strawberry’s worth and mass, the
electrons that doth write our future and our past. And when all
is lost, this electronic script will be the first to fall from history,
this our finest work, and all else no human eye can read unaided.

The child will then go to rest, will dream of city that mirrors
the one lost to tragic past. But dare I say he will not be more
impressed when he turns and walks away, in that fine season
when the world is leafed with gold and red, to build anew
                                                        to follow better model?

Letters, and Other Poems XV


The Song-Listeners

The globe turns, and with it the sun behind
The mountains follows, so petty, yet enough
To block the orb of heaven, and let dark flow
Upon the earth, now to sleep and slumber going.

As night falls the lights multiply to stay the gloom
And eye delight in rays of white. But where do
Ears turn to seek relief from the silent doom,
Silent death of dark, uncut by chirp or whisper?

Who will be there to listen with me the songs
Of old, that were worthy to add a note to heaven’s
Song of glory? Who will be there to love the
Orphaned granddaughter of our God – Art?

Who will muster with me the world to beauty,
Teach it to love again what does not sell but
Richness is itself? Will no one care to pay but a
moment of attention to true masters, not machines?

No one turns their ear, busied by waste of time
On humor that is cheap, but unlimited. No more
Does their genius value hold, but the mindless
Who score points and live for nothing greater.

No one cares to listen to the poets, but to things
Which cannot even stitch their own words, but
Must resort to parrot-talk, and one so badly mashed
It offends the light of reason, the dignity of death.

Yet the poets will be the last to speak before the race
Of monsters takes the people’s place and set
The world ablaze with unholy fire that will
Heaven’s fury at last bring down on the Final Day.

Apothesion of the Ocean XV


The Captain’s Speech

A poetic interpretation of Kapitan Rick’s advice. I beg the Reader allowance for artistic license.

A fine statesmith is the Ocean, my crew,
my friends to whom I show all my art and
knowledge, still yet increasing after decades
on the waters. We cross on our track wide
and strange kingdoms that gyres cut and shape.
These are moved in million year march, like
the masses of land, by deep water that last
saw day a thousand years ago. Our craft
will tread through stellar splendor, like the
ships that dip their wings high above the airs
of heaven, but only if we work as one selflessly.

Beware of the Sword of Neptune, not the mere
lead by coward’s hand fired into you - the
sea still coats my eye in tear, in dread awe
and dread fear. But you shall yield it well
and avoid its heavy blow – I will let you not
be dispatched without a fight that sets highest
price for breath of man on Earth. Here but
two factions, two borders divide the affairs
of men, life and death, and you shall be the
third division to exalt one and fight the other,
till you reach refined perfection in sight of God
and fellow mate. Here is the home of water
and fire, here empires were won and lost in
single day. Yet the sea remains as kingdom boundless,
resisting the borders of men.

                                              Remember,
I am second after God. the Master of the Sea,
but I am on constant vigil, just as Jesus is.
I am here to live and dine with you, to taste
the best spices in the world: true hunger
and generosity. Remember, I have chosen
you, not you me, and I trust you with my life.
Live and write furiously, for should even all gale
press upon the sails, the gates of hell will not prevail
against this blessed piece of heaven, worthy as she is.
My ship is yours, the boundless ocean your abode.
Be not afraid, and take the helm: guide her home.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Special Note: Golden Liberty, Elections, and Thunderstruck

Friends,

          As you might have heard by now, presidential elections in the United States are happening today. Many have been frustrated by the most expensive election in all history (surpassing even some famous Roman elections, in which whole swaths of land and treasure were exchanged in a spectacular show of bribery). But I urge you to enjoy this grand folly. It reminds me of the Golden Liberty of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, when once every two decades or so the whole nobility would gather at Wola outside of Warsaw to be courted by dignitaries from all of Europe, in hopes of winning the Polish crown.

 Jan Matejko: Poland at the Zenith of Her Power, Golden Liberty          

            It was likewise a spectacular event, with plenty of treasure changing hands.

            But, as Matejko's title implies (he ranks, by the way, as one of the finest artists of all time, along with Michelangelo and Bernini, in my estimation), this was when Poland was at the apex of her glory. Perhaps this election will be remembered as having happened at the apex of America's glory, after which all events inevitably led to the marginalization of this great nation.

            Nevertheless, I believe we can still reform. It is not too late. Go, and vote. Some excellent music to get you motivated to exercise your power: "Thunderstruck" by AC/DC and "Fortunate Son" by Clearwater Creedence Revival.

Pax in terra hominibus bonae volumptatis,

Archipoeta





Letters and Other Prayers XIV


The Word of God

Lord, again I say: You speak the Words of eternal Life!
You Word is changeless, ever fresh, like the dew of Heaven
finding source in boundless ocean of Thine Mercy! Amen,
amen, I say, the joy of so long ago alights again on hearts.

My mouth will ever bless You Lord, Creator and Savior,
my tongue shall ever sing Thine praise. As David did so
many generations ago, I take harp of voice again, blessed
according to Your Word, to the thousandth generation!

The question You, my Christ, spoke in Getsemane long
before my soul hath breath of life, shakes it as if I were
witness to Thine tragedy: sight, sound, speech granted
to the believers even now opens my eye, ear, and mouth.

And all the fiery teaching of the prophets still challenges
my conscience, stays the stray from unstoppable travesty,
reminds the wicked of high Heaven’s vengeance: what
other Word so relevant remains, spoken three millennia ago?  

It is the Word of truth, the word that speaks with knowledge
of He Who hath molded the hearts of men, Who knows
their every dream, hope, and desire, knows their ways,
so far below ever His own folly, from which springs life.

Yea, forsooth, life is writ in what is mistake in our eye,
but higher perfection in the Mind of God: the scroll
of being writ in every living drop thus responds to
the glow and touch of the Lord, becoming all that teems.

In everything, the glory of the Lord is written, His Glory
endures forever! All that is, however ancient, is as naught
to the eternity of the Word, spoke before the world was spoke.
May Christ Jesus be glorified, now and forever! Amen.

Apothesion of the Ocean XIV


Colossus quondamque futurus[1]

A reflection on the greatest nation in the world, tied with Poland. An appropriate piece for future Independence Day celebrations.

The cynics show the tarnish settled upon
the lady’s bronze arms, gilded green with
money’s color. They show the perversions
admitted by doctors, bankers, teachers, to
spread disease, theft, and ignorance, that
bind Liberty in heavy web and grinding chains,
from private anguish to hellish spectacle by
glass eye converted, all-present and controlling.

And though the golden door seems more
battered by rams made at home, by storms
that needed not wreck the house, divide it so,
though the hinges seem to creak with painful
groan, that speaks of long neglect and selfishness:
yet still the multitude of world crams the door
and noble threshold of this land.

                                                  Yes! Still the
citizenship of this republic has the weight of gold,
and gleams as gem holy and unknown: key to
privilege enjoyed by none other, to belong to
and be defended by the greatest sword, longest
trident of the world. Though tarnished in our
eyes by constant stream of grime and filth, the
millions seek and see the Dream of father’s lore,
that is between the silver stars and blue of seas,
in the earth that raises wheat oceans and promise
of beginning.

                     Hope long abandoned as child’s
play, as story to shroud the sad state of things,
is gathered as treasure, as Christ’s pearl and
close to heart caressed, to serve as balm, sweet
reminder when those here already fling abuses.
Thus my father twenty one years mixed his toil
with this land, made it his own by work of hands
and constancy of heart. Here he founded with
mother our family, and within short time matched
those at home in happiness and prosperity. Such
power did God give to this nation, to use mere
widow’s penny as foundation of empire! O Lord,
I still feel the heat, if see not the fire, of this star
amidst the nations - if misguided, then slowly
righted, and with it the rest of nation-family.

Let Liberty remember her mother, Charity,
and honor her father, Justice, with shake of
shackles, that loosen old and dreadful bonds.
For if she but liberate herself, she will ope wide
the solemn portal she guards of shining future
for the poor and forgotten of the world.


[1] In Latin, “The Once and Future Colossus”

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Vivaldi: Compilation

Friends,

            A most excellent compilation of Vivaldi's work. Enjoy.

Archipoeta


Life and Other Miracles XIV

An especially long poem, in the spirit of Halloween. Beware!

Archipoeta

The Kingston Cavaliers

Gather round, ye children, this eve is of all Hallowed men
and Hallowed souls of Heaven. Before the feast of Heaven
it is said that devils roam the world to wreck havoc, before
the truce of God that stays even the wicked in their lair.

Come close, for night abounds with visions that would
make the weaker man cringe in fright. All unseen for one
night becomes visible, as much as men can bear. Tonight
then, I shall tell ye of the legend of the Kingston Cavaliers.

You know this wood is known as Indian Wells, but scarce
know why and how it got its name. Long ago the first nations
of this land found their home here: a village and tribe many
and peaceful, untouched by the disease of the Englishmen.

Those farmers that came into the mountains made peace,
and were friendly to their neighbors. And this valley,
blessed by God gave plenty to them both: prosperity and
happiness filled the people, until the war of independence.

Then the farmers were called to arms, and brother against
brother set, one for Crown and other for Congress fought,
calling the first nations to their side. The nation of the valley
chose no side, but gave aid and comfort to the loyal of the King.

When the regimen called Kingston Cavaliers was coming up
to fight at Saratoga’s hills, they switched to fight for George
of Washington, and vowed vengeance upon the allied of the
Brits. Through the valley, friendly to the King, they pillaged.

At last they came to the village here, known by the English
as Indian Wells, for the river-land and hills were filled with
wells of sweet and flowing water. Land so rich lay here that
it swelled with fruit and gave onto the people rich harvest.

So with lust of greed in eye, they ransacked the village, these
men known as the Kingston Cavaliers: raping and slaughtering,
babe from mother was pried, thrown into well and river alike
to die with the nation: massacre done by brutal sword and fire.

One family escaped with child just like you: last son and last
daughter of the people of the valley. Looking at earth and home
razed by marauders they cried: O God, these monsters lay low,
let your justice be done, and this land curse with rock and sceptre!

The Just Lord gave them safe conduct through the night, to
their allies in the West, but then turned to the Kingston Cavaliers,
sleeping sound after feast of corn, pig, goat, and squash taken
from the ruins, lying as if mocking high heaven with treachery.

God said: “This sentence I pronounce against the Kingston
Cavaliers: not one of them showed mercy, not one shall taste
My Mercy. All shall die from brother saber in their slumber,
and roam the Earth as exiles until they burn in eternal fire.”

Thereupon a Yankee company spotted the Kingston Cavaliers,
and taking their chance within the night, killed each redcoat with
cut of saber to the heart. By the mourning the massacre was
doubled, the land a hellscape, a place filled with despair and sorrow.

The Cavaliers laid unburied, and by some divine Punishment,
their remains turned into stone, and sunk beneath the rich earth.
It rocky tract of land became, an unsuitable farm, until some
American bought these hills, and pulled again from them grain.

But all that lived here had no peace, all who farmed saw strange
and harrowing sight as the plowed the ground: mother with child
on her back walking listless in the night, a mouthless cry of child,
even the spontaneous fire that brightened distant phantom house.

Men have died of strange poison in the ancient wells found,
blood instead of water was spurting from the ground. And all
these horrors multiply on eve of Hallows-day, as you roam
the roads in search of sweet treats, in festive and merry garb.

Yea, beware! Beware the sceptres of the accursed Kingston
Cavaliers! I dare ye step outside the threshold of house in
the darkest hour of the night, or even be away from bed
and ready light then: lest you hear their whisper that heart stops.  

Friday, November 2, 2012

A Special Note: Matthew Gordon

There is an excellent blog written by my friend, Matthew Gordon, detailing his journeys through the world of literature. Well worth your consideration: http://matthewgordonbooks.blogspot.ca/

Archipoeta

Widor: Fifth Symphony Finale

Friends,

          As New York returns to normalcy, the people are coming back, the schools open, and the music flows again. For your pleasure on this feast of All Souls, the piece that lies in my heart as the recessional used in our graduation ceremony. It is my hope that the joy of this peace will give happy conclusion to a stressful week.

Archipoeta



Life, and Other Prayers XIII


The Throng of the Blessed

Let us rejoice with Heaven above! Sing praises to God,
o New Jerusalem! Take rest from your noble toils,
which raise high the golden spires of our Mother City,
give thanks and prostrate yourself as blessed throng!

Forsooth the Beloved Prophet who seen the days
to come, beheld the saintly fortitude of men and women
like you and I, who gave their sin up to the Lord, washed
clean their soul in unsoiled Blood, which brighten us.

Behold, all ye wicked of the world! Repent and be who
we always were: the blessed of God destined for Heaven,
who by His Creation granted onto us privilege of free
will, capable of loving, capable of affirming His Will.

Yea, though sinking into sin, the Lord in awesome
humility hath descended, taken the life-giving Cross,
reaffirmed and defended our right to affirm, accept
the light of eternal life, even at the tribunal of death.

For who but Dismas crossed with Christ into Paradise
that day, followed by the whole of Israel made perfect
by the Perfect Sacrifice? Amen, I say, the clemency
of God is unlike that of men, as rare as free gold.

Was the gold that men so worship ever alive? Did it
bear the breath of life in its cold lump? It is rather
the earth and its salt from which life touched by God
hath sprung, plentiful in the bosom of the Lord.

The Senate of God is not a handful, who hold a
morsel of power over men, but instead it is the
princely plebs that holds sway over self, and shares
in authority over universe, firm from the Author’s hand.

The coin of God is not the dead metal, but living
charity, received and scarce repaid, a debt unsatisfied
yet forgiven with joy. Amen, no bondage exists there,
where men like play unlimit themselves in generosity.

The house of God is filled with every chamber,
a dwelling prepared from the foundation of the world,
and the joy of Heaven is incomplete without full
complement of God’s children, waiting for us.

Hear the mighty cheer of Godly host in your
slumber, but shake of sloth and forge ahead with
sure and guided step, this holy consent you grant
with love to arrive home, at last, before our Parent.

Letters, and Other Prayers XIII


Requiem for Justice

See the majesty of law abused, and used
To beat and kill the innocent; see the word
That was to truth convey lie instead,
And obstruct the justice it was meant to bring.

So is justice raped when children are
Put in jail, when families are ripped apart,
When penalty know no penance, nor
Mercy its child – then is freedom stolen!

These men and women seek its whole destruction,
And build in awful construction a new tower,
And the columns that were raised to justice house,
Are now razed, her ashes scatted, for the thrones of criminals.

It is they who hijacked her august crown
And scepter, the rod that kept the races quiet
And protected the poorest of the nation – these now
They use to press, and harness the masses in slavery.

Thus the coin that could not buy the air of heaven
Nor water of ocean, nor shower of rain, nor
Piece of land buys the thing by God’s Will
And Blood denied to Satan’s hand: free human will.

You, the evil servants doth the Savior’s glory
Mire in your filth and pure corruption!
But wait, you proud villains, you fools by the power
That is not your own made numb and stupid.

For I am the voice crying out in the desert,
The voice that proclaims the holy jubilee,
And manumission to the men bound by fear,
The women bound by tears, and children by manacles of money.

Behold in my hand the standard of Christ,
And in my word the authority of Truth,
For I was called to bring the nations to the Lord,
And make them worthy of His steps among us again!

Therefore I say: arise, you holy penitents!
Arise, and let your life engender life lost
But in this world, and not the world above, where
We, the heirs of God, will build His throne on Justice.

Apothesion of the Ocean XIII


California, California

Another hymn to add to the river of poesy and prose about the fabled land. Dedicated to Morgan.

O California, golden California! Your myth
glistens with sun’s splendor in my mind, of land
crowning America, yet slipping her grip, republic
found and established ever in its right and independence.

What glow of promise you exude that guides men
through ages to the Pacific shore? What metal gilds
the gate that limits and encloses vast, worldly port,
that speaks of a new nobility soon to be unlimited?

It would seem ancient Arcadia far outshines you
as land of Socrates and Plato, and Hesperia ranks
far above you as father of Cicero and Caesar: men
who ruled the world or watched it fall apart in chaos.

Yet some destiny is written for you in yellow ink
with diamond grain upon Cilo’s still unrolled book,
a prophesy of prosperity to rival all of China’s might
an oracle of power magnificent to shrink the whole Pacific.

Does Civilization’s progress end at this end of world
that greets the sinking sun? It seems it is here she took
sand and taught men to craft it into machine to unite
the world in unseen link, perfecting science and art.

Will she take up in Sacramento’s valley long abode,
or soon move upon the waters to the islands? Make
great circle or return again by way she came, enticed
by the universities men build for her luxurious palace?

Perhaps she will prefer California as her throne
and rich domain, grant easy loaf to the scores that
toil beneath the burning noon, and not rise until
her work is done, or cut short in war by men’s mania.

Perhaps the east of this empire will fall, and this best
or only part shall remain as last promise and mystery,
rise as second Hyperborea to match and excel the
legends of the past. God alone can speak the verdict.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Special Post: Superstorm Sandy

Friends,

        As you know, New York and its surrounding suburbs in other states have been absolutely devastated by the flooding and winds the recent storm has brought. Only now is the full extent of the damage being assessed, with my alma mater closed for already four days, along with so many NYC schools. Good friends and aquaintances, especially in the Rockaways, have had trees destroy their homes, basements and ground floors submerged, and loss of power likely to last for a week or more.

        I ask you to please consider us in your thoughts, to implore the Mercy of God where the wrath of nature has caused the City that never sleeps to fall into an eerie stupor. I especially urge you to pray for the repose of those 71 (and counting) who lost their lives in the storm, here in the United States as well as in the Caribbean.

        A deep sadness has caused me to write a small momento of the destruction that has transpired. Please, if you so wish, read it with contemplation.

Stay safe,

Archipoeta

 
The Earth Ender
 
From nowhere did the cyclone come, beginning
as a sickly storm, slowly dying over cooling ocean,
but then a fierce power seized it, made it grow, and
Sandy became frankenstorm, unlike any seen before.
 
People thought it would be like Irene, menacing yet
unable to spill the sea over wall. Half the city fled
to return to unshaken home, and now they held same
hope that this storm should pass without sad thought.
 
How wrong! How wrong they were, as they saw it
transform into hurricane as wide as Texas, larger
than all England, churning unstoppable, so mighty,
the frightful wrath of God to pierce the heart of city.
 
O why, o why Lord, did you smite us so? Perhaps
it is this bit of Earth that stubbornly forgets Him Who
made the world. But if it was so, quickly did we know
this will be a punishment to flee at tall yet paltry cost.
 
Even the rich, whose greed is never satisfied, closed
the market of the world, despite losing country's worth
of gold. More than this they stood to lose once the wave
crept up and over barrier into pit, tunnel, and treasury.
 
When it came, it was the fury of the wind that wrecked
the ground, uprooted trees whole, scattered signs about,
until at last the hidden tunnels and canals filled to brim
with brine, mixing and making stew of shit and car alike.
 
Behold this Earth ender, that reclaims the land for ocean,
with rain and gale repeats the feat of Noah's time, and we -
we are helpless, unprepared, watching all liquify, be wiped
away and obliterated, amidst the unpierced darkness of the night.
 
Requiem for My City
 
My city! O my city! That I should sleep a safe night as you
fall beneath the ocean wave, and become fine fish-house
devoid of men! A deep loss and sadness banishes sleep
as I speculate what calamity lies behind the silence of phone.
 
I struggle to know what has become of the shore I love,
that now hides, since the ocean spilled over sea wall,
emboldened by a fiersome wind, that teemed with mothers
and their children, strolling in the gentle glow of afternoon sun.
 
The capital of the world, unwalled against any foe, born
of commerce and people brought by the ocean of Atlantis
to build a daughter far grander than her ancient mother -
now is buried by the same water that gave it splendid life.
 
Where families flee, the water fills the gaps, visits homes
and hidden trains, makes cars and buses drift away -
the roads and streets that brought life-blood into the city
are now clogged with trash and creeping stench of crap.
 
My alma mater that never closes, not for sleet or snow
or any other type of storm, for week now will be shuttered
blocked by surreal sight of river where there ought be
track of subway, trees where there ought be free passage.
 
That I should see you so, bereft of a people so great,
not one light left, not single spark of brilliance to rival
the sky above, since a mighty fire with tongues of rainbow
color burned last link of island to the rushing river of energy!
 
I see even in my life how my city shall die, though its citizens
return to lift vital underworld and golden tower from the water.
The sea shall be repelled, the claims shall be paid, and the poor
shall return to beg beside the sidewalk, this all just a memory.
 
Yet when at last my city shall be abandoned, its schools
and hospitals empty, the opera mute and the senate too,
her only monument will not be the exile's longing song,
but the endless pitter patter that speaks of the columns
                  built four centuries, standing here no more.