Ascension

 

Ascension

As magnet urges back metal

Home ushered your re-entry.

You became an Anti-Icarus

Soaring to an azure beyond &

We, eclipsed in tremendum,

Tried dragging your presence

Down like an amber plastic piece

Tangled in the arms of crooked trees.

Psycomachy

Psycomachy 

As Achilles demanded Agamemnon

Repent to save the Greeks

So do you bid me to fidelity.

You draw me to yourself.

Wounded

On hands & knees

Soiled with the dust of fate

foes closing in behind.

You supply the grape & I partake

Seized by my iniquities.

You say you desire me

That you’ve chosen me as your own

But I’m a stallion in a haze of abandon.

I kick and jostle when you approach

As concealed scars splinter and re-open.

These mortal coils

These mortal coils

I see man wrapped in mortal coils

Like lifeless cobwebs, over the mind it is spun

To reach the soul it has only just begun

The world’s sweet temptations, its lies, its untrustful hand

drags us slowly beneath a pit of burning sand

How sweet would you mortal coils be as valorous shield so certainly

But these coils are bare. Their nakedness allows life’s battles to

rot our resilience and bring closer us to our knees

Could our own strength be that bulwark

Can we, as that tragic Prince of Danes, shed our ‘old’ mortal coils

yet not die — but fight through life’s toils —

With a higher guide by our side?

 

#Note: I am taking a semi-hiatus from this blog for writing purposes. I will only be posting poems once a month over the next three months. The regular weekly schedule of posts will resume in January.

Jonathan Rowe

Furtivus Anima

Furtivus Anima

A thirst of affection seeks
the unrepentant soul.
Like Helen drawn by Paris’s charm,
the Light pursues an avenue to the heart.

My inmost being is rebellious.
It halts heaven’s advances with barricades
of human will and stone walls of human id,
making no room for the beckoning of glory.

I yearn the Light’s abduction;
for it to lead me to that place
hidden from the searching gaze
of my condition.

May this heart of mine be ransomed
with the blood-price of redemption.
May it be rescued from profane restoration,
keeping me in bondage to the Divine.

Cross-Roads

Cross-roads

I

As Dante descends

the bottomless spiral

of abyss,

so am I racked

on this subliminal

wheel of flesh,

tortured by crude

implements of carnal desires

 

II

Life is a cross-roads

between righteousness

and depravity.

Each path lures me

like Ulysses to the Sirens.

But I am not a faithful lover.

I take pleasure from both

when I see fit,

yet am always left unsatisfied
 

III

As a broken cistern

half-full, half-empty,

I await the Light to scorch me

bare, then fill to overflowing.

For I have taken up my cross,

I have crucified myself,

yet like Christ, I thirst.

Free will flails and nails me,

pierces my unguarded side.

I am slowly dying from indecision,

but still, I thirst
 

IV

Domine, libera me malo,

I hear my mind say.

But why not deliver me

from the cross-roads of life?

For it matters not that one way

is straight and the other narrow,

both tear me clean down the center

 

V

In this ethereal war

for the soul,

I am exchanged as a captive

between spirit and flesh.

As an unfinished vessel,

I steer in the current of goodness,

but corruption’s tides

always turn me back.

And within these trade winds

of confusion, I find my life

is not my own
 

VI

In the midst of this purgatory of self,

I taste divine reason’s sweet liquid.

The old conflictions pass away;

new resoluteness is born.

I have seen the path to Paradiso

and started its steep ascent.

Though I get knocked back by detours

of folly and baseness, I press on still,

guided by the Light’s committed hand,

my soul in pursuit of its perfect majesty

Shakespeare — a tribute to thee

Greetings.

Recently, the United Kingdom celebrated National Shakespeare Day, and annual celebration of the birth, life and work of one the greatest figures in English literature. For more than 400 years his classic plays have been immortalized as literary genius. From the internal complexities of Hamlet and Macbeth to the grand histories of Richard III and Julius Caesar nearly all of Shakespeare’s plays still resonate with us today like a still-burning candle.

Even while there are still questions over his authorship, we must not allow this to spoil or make us look differently on the plays and particularly the sonnets that have been composed. Often upstaged by the plays, the 154 sonnets that were written show Shakespeare’s ability not just as a playwright, but as a poet.

Here are some Shakespearean sonnets recited by some well-known actors:

Al Pacino reading Sonnet 150

 

Stephan Fry reading Sonnet 130

 

Patrick Stewart reading Sonnet 116

 

Kim Cattrall reading Sonnet 103

We’ve reached our goal… now what?

In the past few years, I have watched with Obama’s election and re-election and the progression of South Africa and have pondered on how often nations or people groups will work for generations to achieve some sort of goal, whether it be equal rights, democracy or independence, and once that goal is reached and the euphoria dies down they’re left the fundamental question: ‘‘now what?’’ I’m sure you’ve seen an example of this somewhere today, such as in Egypt where attempts are still going on to unseat the government put in power. It can be spotted in the history of Africa after liberation as a prime example.

The point I’m trying to make is that we as humans have a tendency to accomplish something and then don’t know how to build on it afterwards. In sport countless teams or athletes will have that moment of long-awaited glory before flopping the very next season: Everton F.C.  in the 2005/2006 English soccer season, Manchester City F.C. currently, Jensen Button… the list goes on. In literature the success of J.D. Salinger’s novel, A Catcher in the Rye caused the author to become more reclusive and not publish another novel.

To have some kind of meaningful life we need to update our aims constantly and never be satisfied. Always be ready to answer the ‘‘Now what?’’ question in all situations before it causes us to digress and stunts our inner growth.

I  wrote this three-haiku poem in the light of Egypt when it overthrown Mubarak and had elections, South Africa’s present state and as a connection from Civil Rights era to now for African-Americans:

Struggled gains

Today in freedom

we meet each step conceited

delighting in our gains…

Yet, our young soles lie wounded

scarred by memory;

bleeding, from our history…

Today in freedom;

we walk masked from growing pains

brought with struggled gains…