Home   |    Biography   |    Excerpts   |    Readings   |    Contact


THE MOON SHONE OVER THE HILL and other poems 2010
(this book can be purchased at lulu.com)



It is one of the wonders of the world.
Yet how much less conspicuous might it be
Were Shakespeare's work not there to adorn it
With writing of such crafted majesty.

His work and that of Keats and Coleridge,
Along with others of note and renown,
Each attempting to create the sublime,
Make the greatness of the Imperium.

Some of these are genius, there is no doubt.
But their managing to achieve such heights
Is dependent not just on their talent
But also on that language which is theirs.

Without such wealth of beauteous words and sounds,
Without such luxury of syllables
And accents to make both rhythm and rhyme,
There could be no 'winged chariot',

Could be no 'caverns measureless to man'.
Nor could any one make love with words as
'In my craft and sullen art', or discourse
So eloquently and so forlornly

With a raven on a shelf. Let there be
No worship of writers as if alone.
The might of Shakespeare would be somewhat less
Were there not such words as 'incarnadine'.



The house is full.
The lights have dimmed.
The conductor is on the stage.

It would take magic
To describe that magic
Convoked when the orchestra plays.

How can mere notes,
One asks oneself,
Both separate and conjoined,

Take one from mere
Humdrum thought
To greatest feeling can be endured,

Even by, sometimes,
Invoking a vision
Too terrible to be realistically perceived.

For who could, for instance,
Ever want to find themselves
In the midst of a battle arrayed

With the neighs of steeds
And the clash of swords
Not just in their face but all around.

And yet with drums played loud
And brasses choired
They can find themselves right there,

Carefully insulated
From all but the pleasure
Of the dreadful chaotic scene.

Or who could ever
Want to find themselves
Witness to such moment of pain

As when some paragon,
Struck down by tragedy,
Their loved one there beside,

Breaths that one
Last breath on Earth
Before their life is gone.

One can only ask oneself,
How melody can
Enable such a scene to be so ravishingly enjoyed.

Or when the music suggests
That one is watching
The rising sun edge out the black of the night

How rustling of strings
Can connote such stillness
More poignant than could be ever real.

Or how, with just
A few chords in a row,
It can so fill one's being with pride.

The concert now has ended
And the musicians each have gone.
The hall is quite empty and quite bare.

So will the earth appear
That one sad day when
The music of life is not there.



LAMENT FOR A DYING WARRIOR and other poems 2009
(this book can be purchased at lulu.com)



A garden in the spring was I,
One that was blossoming forth.
My petals were fresh with scent
Just fashioned to be adored.

He was older than I
And a good deal more mature.
Handsome he was, I think,
Though I am not absolutely sure.

He swore my beauty was so great
That just for him to look at me
Was difficult to endure. I was not at all
Accustomed to being so admired.

Such feeling of self-esteem and worth
Did I imbibe from his appraisal
I felt I could not help but give him leave
To take that satisfaction he desired.

His eyes were after similarly glazed
But not with such fervid appreciation as before.
And I was left to wonder what had changed
Since he had obtained what he desired.

But that was then. And now is now.
Relationships similar to that,
Even a husband of several years,
Have since then come my way and gone,

And now I will play, as often as not,
A different part than I did then.
Now it is I that will be, sometimes,
The one that is on fire.



A poem is a thing of splendor, made
Of words that flow in step like marching men
Whose wealth lies not just in their metered pace
But in the wealth of passion they can bring.

The sylvan groves ensconced in forest's depths
Where deer may graze and linger unafraid,
The raiment of the sky that towers above,
Bright blue sometimes and etched sometimes with stars,

The sight of she who love has ringed in flame,
Even the specter of the world at end,
Do all bear beauty for the inward eye
But more when pictured by the poet's pen.



ON THE BEACH and other poems 2007-2008
(this book can be purchased at lulu.com)



A pale cast of moonbeams seeps
Through the dense mist of meandering cloud,
Barely illuminating the forest's leaves
Deep asleep in their spell of night.

Then the dark furrows of cloud
Edge away and the dazzling orb,
Regaled in its most resplendent night time opulence,
Streams its full radiance onto the forest below

Bringing into the scope of natural vision
Not just leaves and branches, but trunks
And bark, stalks, hoods of mushrooms and other minutiae
Strewn amongst the folds of the forest floor.

The orb rises, gliding across
The raiment of enchanted stars,
Its being, just like those of the forest and stars,
Under a spell of powerful enchantment.



I stood upon a lakeside shore
And watched a heron make its way
From high up on a leafy branch
To wade amongst some nearby reeds.

It seemed the bird was not aware
I stood right there so close to it.
It preened its plumes with careless ease
Then cocked its head as if to hear.

A flight of crows was poised above,
Their cries resounding in the air,
But that I think was not the sound
The bird did hear or listened for.

What struck me most as I observed
This creature different from myself
Was what great beauty it possessed,
Endowed in every attribute.

No artist ever could have drawn,
No matter how deliberately,
Even one single feather there
With such perfect intricacy.

Or could have such a frame inferred
Of skeleton and ligament
To so well serve that creature's need
To wander Earth's environment.

I did not have to reason hard
To tell myself what seemed so clear:
This was a being like myself
Proud, poised and individual.

I watched it move into the reeds
Step be step, each step cautiously.
And though at last it slipped from view
My mind was still absorbed with it.

I mused that had it noticed me
No wonder would have fuelled its mind
At such a marvel to behold
As mine was fuelled with seeing it,

Or any sense of what I was
Or how I happened to be there.
Or any thought of what great stage
We shared in brief proximity.



(this book can be purchased at lulu.com)

Robin, the main character in this drama, lands on a planet which has advanced medical technology in the hope that they might be able to cure his girlfriend, Veronica, who he has had to put into hibernation because she has a fatal brain tumor. These are the three poems he has made up.


Long have I wandered
The stars and planets.
The wonders of the universe
Have been mine to see.
Not merely have I looked down
Through the canopy of mists,
I have actually stood
Among the earth's green.
But nothing lovelier exists
I swear, Veronica,
Than your lips.


My world is all Veronica.
The deep luster of her eyes
Is its field of stars.
Her smile is its sun.
Its fairest wood and
Fielded valley is her body.
Its precious atmosphere
Her solicitude and love.


What is love.
On which side of madness does it dwell.
Is it all, as might seem, grossness,
Fresh fed by each renewal of beauty
We perceive and would possess,
Its loftier attributes merely
Harmonies (overtones) of that one basic step.
Or is it, rather, in truest essence,
Ethereal, and our need, our distance from it,
Measured by how much our satisfaction,
By that triumph we call satisfaction,
Is momentarily eclipsed. And yet we cannot,
However we dream of its perfection,
Whether with recollected (Oh Veronica)
Or imagined bliss, even touch that wealth
That the tawdriest reality can invest.
And yet, whatever else, this much certain is:
Love emblems something transcendent
In the very basis of nature,
And we are sails to its timeless wind.



(this book can be purchased at lulu.com)


HECUBA: . . . Oh no, must I look again. If only it were enough to remove one's eyes ever again to divorce the inward mind from visionment. Or if I could, like the dissolving earth, seal up in fond forgetfulness old memories' store, and in some abyss of its uncorrupted bower, unhinge these thousand chains that hold me on the rack of being. Least of all give me that sweet restorative of sleep. There is a world in heavy slumber not even the hand of Zeus can touch. Look, see, there on the pavilion, treading the silent marble, where the high lords of Ilium have assembled at his call; there stands Priam, in his aged arm uplifted the massive blazoned sceptre of the god. How those white hairs become their golden throne. And there stands Helen, that star of western isles. See how she shines on Paris like a bracelet on a god. How strong the vision grows. Yes, it is so. See, there, where Troy rings the horizon.
WOMAN: Oh my queen.
HECUBA: Some nightmare moon, which for a moment in eclipse had dimmed the powerful world, now edges towards oblivion, its spokes of death and horror dissolving in the inky sky.


In the following soliloquy Menelaus
contemplates meeting Helen for the first
time since she left him with Paris to go to Troy.

MENELAUS: Have I so long the perils of this aged war endured to lose her now. Must I relinquish out of pride that which out of pride I have fought so hard to regain. Or is it I have but the outer circle of her being stormed and not the heart within and that my formidable courage, fearful of her beauty's scorn, falters. The thought that by some amorous pursuit I might regain her love dares on the deepest longing of my soul. Yet I know too well how that fond hope but lives in bare imagining. If only I could kill her, I could thus my torment end. Or if the temper of her flesh were not to seek another Paris. Once back in Greece her prerogative of exalted birth, in that respect, must make her will indomitable, let her swear what she will. Helen. Say by servile entreaty I could win her back, as desperate ends require desperate means. By Zeus, though pride fought within me like a Heracles, I would do it. Or if by force I could again her incomparable spirit move to be my bride, this sword would be like a god's will. My best hope, my best hope, is that the fear of death will move her love, for I've made it certain that she's heard whose mate I've sworn she'll be if not my own.