In isolation, I took to story, and traipsed through worlds impossible yet true, living life from infantile thru hoary, under skies: gunmetal to deepest blue, in lands where trucks were known to be lorries, and ancient cities breathed as though brand new. Where neither time nor bars could imprison, I found my phoenix had now arisen.
Up high and dry on a desert plateau,
where robust patches of grass dot bare soil
and rare oases form a green tableau
while desolate sands will not storm or roil.
The rippling temple flags, their color shows,
contrasting colors concrete as gargoyles.
The scrubland’s beauty is without dispute.
Here flags and flowers colors won’t dilute.
My memories of autumn are clearest —
the harvest time, when fields had turned amber,
with desiccated stalks – devoid of spirits.
And in the grain, we children would clamber,
’cause cleaning out wagons was time cherished.
Those short days are now brighter and grander.
It was an age of colossal machines,
and kernels of corn and tiny soybeans.
There’s more than one undiscovered country.
Hamlet’s is no place for old men to aim.
I urge a fight for foreign shores, bluntly.
Don’t let false gods go staking early claims.
They’ll have one sitting on the couch, glumly —
the fast-path shortcut to the pyre’s fierce flames.
If you can feel the breath expand your chest,
then pick up your pack, and start stepping West.
[Ottava Rima is an open form of Italian origin. It uses 8-line stanzas with a rhyme scheme of abababcc. English language ottava rima are frequently, but not necessarily, written in iambic pentameter. Historically, this form was most often used for long heroic narratives.]
The savior stained in service washes clean.
She needn’t worry that blood will mark for life.
The crimson blot doesn’t equally demean.
It’s unkind to those unjust with the knife.
The spotless mind doesn’t glow from good hygiene.
We are told tales: Orpheus and Lot’s Wife —
that tell us, to remain naïve is bliss
and you can’t escape thoughts you can’t dismiss.