Three Poems in Miniature

Silence falls
when Orpheus has lost his touch,
his lyre stilled
in the triumphant echo
of stones immobilized
by the invisible clock-hands of Fate moving
the pawns of human flesh and bone
across the chessboard
of the universe
in an endless drama
of love and war and natural disaster.


Fear shrouds the poet
in a haunting rapture of sterility
when, under duress,
he must stare down
his own mortality
in a mirror of crisp, blank pages
and wait, straitjacketed,
in the asylum of his imbalanced mind,
until the gigantic boulder
of writer’s block crumbles, wasted,
under the weight of the chariot wheels
of Time, as he never fails
to gain the lead over man
in his finitude, but never succeeds
in winning the race against Eternity.


The blank page
is the writer’s canvas,
his pen is his paintbrush,
and language the colors
with which he brings this naked form
to life, pinning down
a myriad of tapestries
with words that depict the intricate patterns
of the threads of life
woven by the visionary Cause
of all Creation out of the seeming Chaos.

The white paper
upon which a poet pens
his lyric or his sonnet,
his elegy or his epic,
is sister to the blocks of southern
Mediterranean marble
at which the Italian Renaissance sculptor chisels away,
sweat lathering his brow,
eyes burning from the dust,
as he carves and shapes the massive solid rocks,
in his passionate search for
oft-untold moments of heroism
in the annals of Greco-Roman myth
and the revelations
of Judeo-Christian self-sacrifice,
into slack-jawing masterpieces
of Art’s eternal act of transcendence,
in which she exposes
her divinely instated exemption
from the natural embrace
of the industrious decaying tactics of Time.


Originally published in Milk Sugar, June 2010.

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