Wreath of Sonnets

Дата: 18-12-2004 | 00:50:36

                                              To Jena Spurway


This way of minutes miserably mixed
With their own blinks misunderstood
By birds and trees, this eye-born sisterhood,
Whose lisps and whispers ripen in betwixt,
While nature hastens to complete a list
Of symbols that pull down a dusty hood
O’er wrinkled worlds that lately love to brood
On past, not having present to persist.

And if sometimes they happen to perform
Some droning dance which smells of here and now,
With springing forms and circles staying warm,
They start to tremble on a pointed prow
Of universe and dream of their home
In whirls destroying leaves to leave a bough.


In whirls destroying leaves to leave a bough
The small transparent boat is all on end,
It doesn’t matter whether sea or land
To choose – it would be stranded, anyhow.
The things have grouped together to allow
No pass for it and, like a gluing hand,
Their sick perception struggles to amend
Its constitution, to a shading sough.

And, full of odours of a fallen fruit,
Refusing both to curse and to kotow
Through all the modulations of pursuit,
It blocks the creek where many of a scow,
Entangled in the tunnel of a flute,
The tree of time intends to disavow.


The tree of time intends to disavow
All breathing forms, creations of the word,
And when it ends to ravish and to cord
Strange, subtle ones – then it directs its brow
Towards itself and, having stopped to bow,
Strikes with the flat of its reversing sword
The stagnant dells, and pinches the brass chord
On the world’s lute that does endure somehow.

And so it stands and multiplies its arms,
And stiffens fingers, and imprints a fist
Upon its trunk, and presses bloodless gums
With lips of clefts, and feels not in the least
How it has harmed and how it still harms
Its own growth through cumulating mist.


Its own growth through cumulating mist
Sees every soul that never waits an answer,
And, as reaction, multiplies the stanze
Of plashing waves that wandered, howled, and creased,
And reared like an omniform blue beast,
But now lull reflection cast by Cancer,
Orion stretching like a dreaming lancer,
Great Bear from the starry woods dismissed.

And curves of sails repeat with some declension
Dense brimming curves of billows and, displeased
At their half-successful imitation,
Go round like eyeballs of the diseased
Or claws of eagles, and discharge the tension
Of thorny things too tired to insist.


Of thorny things too tired to insist,
Some grow enough to spring a velvet flower
And some still go on to fall or hover
If they’re inclined to darken or to feast
Among their crumbling castles, ever seized
By fear that they’d spend the only dower
Of total chance, and that the grapes are sour,
And that in landscape something would be missed.

So they reflect, to move or to restrain,
While mist is changing colours, and a sow
Triumphantly reclines on sprouted grain,
Revelling crying crows make a row
And fields refrain from modulating rain
On dragging forth their red decaying plough.


On dragging forth their red decaying plough,
The ploughmen of years drop down dead,
Recurrent shower bends his silver head,
Still mumbling vague and undetermined vow
Concerning future: ‘twill be fruitful, how –
He wouldn’t say, he was himself misled
By music of reverberating lead
That hits the ship within the only clow.

Thus feelings, having set and fixed their aim,
And paid for it like Faustus Lenau,
Have never strength to chase it or to claim
Back their past where they could die or dow,
The blade of passion stabs them all the same,
Stuck in the mud to be a blooming bow.


Stuck in the mud to be a blooming bow
Of images, illusions of the mind,
Ships always leave their better winds behind
As if they do not need them in the slough.
Frail memory is dying to endow
Dim sketches with retouch of any kind,
Its fervent fingers hurry on to bind
Thin legs of past, the future’s sacred cow.

All broken visions gather in the central
Immobile juncture of the thoughts that ceased
To pay with pain their ever growing rental
Under the sun that slides from west to east,
Disputing that the time is transcendental,
Amid the meadows mellowed and appeased.


Amid the meadows mellowed and appeased
The tower-clock of time is slow or silent,
The present is encircled like an island
With humid airs that have already breezed.
On goes the busy wind, a hair-stylist,
Whose rushy hands are quick, but hardly violent,
In azure shrines he found his lonely aisle, and
Old frescoes with recognition glimpsed.

For time collects its power from the things
And pushes on the sun like a huge tire,
And other suns to this one tightly links.
Supreme reversibility of fire
Has total strength and future but, methinks,
The ardent heads of poppies go higher.


The ardent heads of poppies go higher,
Because they have what other creatures miss –
Much concentration of enfolded peace
Intact within accelerating gyre
Of images which all of air hire
And all of land, just to express the bliss
Of chirping their eternal vocalise,
Like shabby puppets jerking on a wire.

Illusions have to hide their real size
To redirect the universe again,
For its perception not to be precise
When they the fields of ages start to scan
Like tumbleweeds that have much tighter ties
Than cypress-trees, in spite of their span.


Than cypress-trees, in spite of their span,
And so on, because they’re made of matter
Quite different from undecided patter
Of heavy drops upon some rusted can
Or crimson rays that gaily lift a ban
From singing, jumping, whispering – the latter
By quality, perhaps, is somewhat better,
But all that matters forms a single clan.

Though there exists a mere alien sort
Of things that cannot wander in the mire
And always give immediate retort
When anything intrudes upon the spire
Of their existence, firmer than a fort,
Than ripe, discursive, meditative brier.


Than ripe, discursive, meditative brier
Of days that weren’t predicted by the life
Absorbed in counterpoint of rest and strife,
Proclaiming, like a vigorous messiah,
Its crazy maxims o’er the fumy pyre,
Washing with its own tears its bloody knife –
Those, other things for ever dance and thrive
As do Aglaia, Euphrosyne, Thalia.

Their being, unrestrained by lofty order
Of elements that rules a beast, a man,
A planet, is more passionate and colder:
In their marble woods where panting Pan
Merged music into death, the last flute-holder,
Oblivion unfolds its fiery fan.


Oblivion unfolds its fiery fan
Considered by the sequences of theses
To be life minus memory, but this is
Too simple, and they obviously can
Do better, if reject their former plan.
Without this the definition misses
The point, as do at dawn the scarlet scissors
That slash the night’s flamboyant caravan.

Unchained perception running on the edge
Of heads and tails, suppresses its desire
To cleave the coin with its smoothed out wedge.
Our term has definitions given prior:
Life minus future - sounds like a pledge,
For time, as has been promised, will retire.


For time, as has been promised, will retire
With withered bushes and unflourished plants,
With all this globe that curses and enchants,
With human mind, an inconsistent dyer.
The next will start: indeed, it will be dryer
Than our time with its belated grants,
That lives on dying memories and chants
Its metaphors to a translucent lyre.

The next one will reduce its own presence,
Say, to a horse that here never ran,
Or to a bird with subtly seething essence,
Or to the ocean, this richly tuned organ:
It can exist when either grows or lessens
With everything that finished or began.


With everything that finished or began
The constellations, totally unbound,
Will bump into each other with a sound
Resembling tumbles of a crashing van.
The reason is a moth on a tartan,
The soul is like a skinny hungry hound
Which puts a quaking hare on the ground
Before a sporting vegetarian.

But everything will certainly return,
So bloom the tulips when the shafts have hissed,
A shoot will spring from a deserted urn
With a carven maiden kissing a harpist,
And growing real, the creatures will re-learn
This way of minutes miserably mixed.


This way of minutes miserably mixed
In whirls destroying leaves to leave a bough,
The tree of time intends to disavow
Its own growth through cumulating mist
Of thorny things too tired to insist
On dragging forth their red decaying plough
Stuck in the mud to be a blooming bow
Amid the meadows mellowed and appeased.

The ardent heads of poppies go higher
Than cypress-trees, in spite of their span,
Than ripe, discursive, meditative brier:
Oblivion unfolds its fiery fan,
For time, as has been promised, will retire
With everything that finished or began.

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