Blood on the Rose, Part B

John stood next to the mahogany coffin casting his gaze first to his beloved Sophia, then to the painting erected on an easel behind where her head lay. It looked as fragile as his beautiful wife, except there was power in the pictures – the bright red petals, the solid green stem with wicked little thorns … and the blood. It was his blood in the painting, dripping from one of the thorns. Sophia had performed quite exquisitely in this, her last painting.

The rose he had plucked for his soulmate had died. The flowers in their garden had all died. Sophia had died. Everything around John was death … except, perhaps, for the artistic creation that, for some mysterious reason, seemed to speak so resonantly and compellingly to his heart. This was probably an emotional response to the fact that this was her last painting … but no, John knew better.

This is iconic of life, John thought to himself. This is an exquisite representation of Beauty and Life, but for this reason it hurts … it hurts like hell. There is life in this world, but life is like wax in the fire: it melts away and is gone. John turned back to his beloved. Or maybe that’s not quite true. Even wax, when melted, still exists; it simply exists in another form, melted instead of solid.

He paused for a moment as another tear may its way down his already tear-stained cheek. Maybe life is like that. Maybe we do go one, but just in another form or manner… At any rate, one day I’ll rest with you, whatever that means. I wonder, will we know? Will we be conscious? Will we finally be able to live Life? On the other hand, ‘It’s not death that man should fear; rather he should fear never having lived, John remembered reading somewhere. Ah, but how do we really begin truly to live? Am I living now, or is this simply existence?

“As a well-spent day brings happy sleep,” so said Leonardo de Vinci, “so a life well lived brings a happy death.” Yet to John nothing seemed happy about Sophia’s death. And as he remembered her in her last hours, she was not happy. What could have made her happy anyway? John turned back to the painting … back to the blood on the rose.

With all assurance now gone and the future empty ahead,
We sing another dirge while for Hades we make our bed;
Though true it is we fight long to belong to life ever-living,
Yet death stalks us and keeps us from ourselves deceiving

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How Does the Poet Explain?

How does the poet adequately explain his poetry
Without much pain, at the risk of sounding insane?
If the poet could explain her melodic words
Flowing serenely in rhyme and fine rhythm,
Then she may as well have written in prose
Rather than posing as a poet, you know it?
Poetry is an esoteric world of its own
Where the seeds of thought are sown
To be shown in an exquisite garden
Of variegation of creative creation,
Not in straight farm-like rows to plow,
So how, O how, does the poet now explain . . .
Poetry is potently mysterious
While making mystical sense
To the avid, passionate lover of metrical verse,
And it’s nothing to rehearse,
But to engage and fascinate!
It is to attract and grip and rivet the very heart,
But play no part in essays and academic articles!
Indeed, how does the poet amply explain his poetry
Without much pain, at the risk of sounding insane?
No! Vain is the task of trying and without any gain!


Note: First published in early November 2016, now republished due to some renewed interest as well as for the enjoyment (and edification?) of new reader-followers.

My Own Ars Poetica

Poetry may be a masterpiece of the heart torn apart,
Or the disconsolate word flow from a hole in the soul,
Or may be the sudden eruption of happy presumption;
She may be the lover’s cover in nearly numinous hover,
Or the sad ‘goodbye’ without really explaining why . . .
Poetry may come from the gut of a man caught in a rut,
Or the revelation of feelings long held in captivation,
Or may be exaltation of the contemplation of nature,
Or she may raise the hymn of otherwise silent praise;
Poetry may be sitting at a bar or wishing upon a star,
But above all, and with whatever else might be said,
She is testimony to the elasticity of the human psyche,
And in the end, poetry simply is . . .


Note: Inspired by an article written by Ken Craft kindly shared by Robert Okaji

High Calling of the Artisan (Revised)

As muses conspire to inspire poets and artisans,
Wraiths gather around the gateway of the soul
To emasculate all creativity, to frustrate the pen
Or brush, opening up the floodgate of confusion
To fixate some poor soul on some senseless sight
Or sound ‘n none that’s worth a pound of manure
And all to secure his attention on anything at all
But the intention to create; and thus making him
Into a kind of artistic reprobate who then hates
What he’s not done because he’s taken the bait
Of unseen creatures who only satiate themselves
By stilling the mind and killing all true creativity;
But the good muses pay the price and still play
On numinous harps to sharpen the wit of artistry,
Praying he will dive into the sea of his own soul
And be what he was meant to be by taking hold
Of pen or brush to begin to bring into our reality
What was not before — lyrical poem to be read,
Song to be sung, picture to be admired and more
To heal the hearts of sore humanity in its insanity;
To bring peace to the fires of funeral pyres and
To send love from above around the round world;
To be an artisan fulfilling his most high calling!


Note: First published in September 2016, now slightly revised and republished for the enjoyment (and perhaps edification) of new reader-followers. Blessings to one and all!

Poetry of Life

There was calm neath the palm tree, complete serenity,
But then you blew through in bending wind, transcending,
Offering no salaam, only aplomb at your sudden arrival;
Then you did flow like the tidal wave, but… where now?
After such glorious flow of exciting show, you’ve only left…

Line upon line so finely interwoven
And breathed across the Cosmos
Into heart sifted and adrift alone
But not made of stone in flesh
And bone, but rather radiant
And supple in rhyme and rhythm
With the multiverse of your poem

But there is the grander Poem interwoven in the Universe
To nurse hearts and souls that ne’er depart from the path
Of fine poetry in potency in probity of soul so knowingly
Open to Truth of Love that never fades in blight of night;
This is…

Poetry of Life


Note: First published in mid-June 2016, now republished (again) due to some rather unexpected renewed interest as well as for the enjoyment of new reader-followers. I would now count this as, perhaps, one of my best offerings. Blessings to one and all!

You Are an Artisan

Sometimes you get hit hard ‘n just feel like crying,
And sometimes even lying in bed hurts your head;
Sometimes you feel like curling up and just dying,
And sighing isn’t enough when you’re truly trying
To do your finest to fight through another life test
When you feel like a unwanted guest in the world
But you stand as tall as you can and give it your all
Even though it seems nobody really understands
And all you get in return are more hard demands
And so you wonder what to do, options too few,
But then you spy pen, pencil, or brush and hush,
For there they all are, instruments for your scars
To turn your pain into some kind of gain yet again
And in turn to bless others and maybe to impress
Something upon their minds and souls to unbind
Them from their own shackles with seeds sown
From your very own life blood . . .
You Are an Artisan

So Let It Be (SOC)

I long to speak your name in love and sing your way to joy unbounded
In fields of green so serene, with water brooks flowing nearby
Glowing silver among slivers of gold in untold rapture of love
Unceasing, caressing the world in peace unleashed from souls
Woven into finest tapestry — all one — like children playing
Round Maypole, holding hands and dancing, prancing with deer
In sheer exultation of jubilation in this new year without fear,
When we sing a new song where we all belong and long for heaven
On earth, rebirth of what once was dead, now resurrected
Of new dawning when fawns lie down with lions and the adder is
But another ladder of joy for babes’ hands in holes in the ground
To sounds of delight in light shining under brilliant sun
Just begun to rise in high sky where the eagles fly with doves
And angels sing above, raining down feathers of emerald blessing,
Pressing pleasure into every soul that trods the sod and swims the sea
… So let it be
… So let it be


Note: This is my second SOC poem first published in late June 2016. It seems particularly appropriate to share again at the beginning of this New Year with the hope and prayer that 2017 is blessed for one and all of my readers-followers! Also published on Pax et Dolor!