Sample stanzas from Part Five: A Renaissance


Winter mystery, dark form locked in ice,
Silent prisoner of time (still as I),
Dream-borne, shadow deep and still, entice
Me, wakening, to wonder while I lie
Attentive through the deepest breath and gaze,
Ruler of sweetest sounds and motion's grace
Whose subtle powers challenge me to blaze
New paths of curiosity.  Embrace
Our moment, brave imagination; pierce
The veil that hides me from myself.  Aware
In this seductive silence, sleep not.  Fierce,
Alert, be mindful of the hunter's snare.
    The captive in the ice seems more immense.
    Night closes round, intensifies suspense.


A spot on my most quiet horizon grows
Against the rising sun, and grows.  A cry,
Faint, rushes from a morning sky.  She flows
Toward us, our sea-bird, sounds now, winging by,
And lands, stretched, spreading ’cross the icy form.
What journey have you made to meet this morn?
With what strength did you pass our winter storm?
Where is the flock within which you were born?
A hunter's misfired arrow splits the ice
And, from the captive freed, a fresh bud leaps,
Unfolds, seeks light.  Released from winter’s vice,
Sieze opportunities while winter sleeps,
    Black doe!  Come out!  Eat, drink, and stretch; take wing.
    Rejuvenated, help me greet the spring.


We climb, pulled forth by energy and dreams,
Pulled through familiar hesitations, lost
In the midst of climbing.  Harsh, the past screams,
Impotent to break our spell, night's thin frost
Melting in the early sun; these mountains
Have no heights to stop our surge, my swift doe.
Lead me ─ Yes! ─  toward crests where springs, like fountains
Overflowing, burst from the midst of snow.
Great Morning, breaking over sleep's domain,
Ignite this resting place; this hope surround.
Light caves where bears – our primal fears – have lain.
With overwhelming dawn . . . what is this sound?
    Remembrance, flashing through me, sudden, clear:
    This song, this thrill . . . before.  I have been here!


Is there reality within my trance?
Across receptive fields Semeuse swings high,
Her seeds in flight throughout her work and dance,
Life-bearing arc of arm against the sky.
Semeuse, one with her fecund, moist plateau,
Feet gentle, warm on liberating soil,
Back muscles rippling, strong to sow
The rhythms of our future, love and toil.
Semeuse, both fair embodiment and source
Of change, of new-found power: her hand, her plow,
Firm strokes, arousing tenderness, a force
Soft whispering, “Now.  The time is now.”
    A yearning seed takes hold in me, Semeuse:
    This throbbing need you’ve planted . . .   Muse?  Come, Muse!


The vision fades in morning shades.  Where once
Ice formed – inflexible – clean water flows
And doubt, companion to exuberance.
Monastic grace expands, explodes, and knows
Libidinal passion for the world,
For conflict, creeds and freed minds clashing, fire
To test endurance, and a flag unfurled:
Our challenges and hopes.  Semeuse, inspire
The Violent to control his blinding wrath
And to reflect; inspire the Sensitive
To be as brave as he is true.  Our path
Must lead through thorns and flowers; strive, forgive.
    I'm drawn away, Semeuse, fire in my heart.
    Open up, my searching Mind, and make a start!

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The center point revolves, appears unchanged;
Though herd-sounds fade, fear stays, and I’m alone.
Guarding the gate, a stranger; he seems deranged.
But past him, in a town of wood and stone,
Is safety here behind a higher wall,
Within an order carved and held in place?
No, no.  We run and fall and rise and fall;
We strive but there’s no “winning” of this race.
There’s still a father sought, unfound.  Peace turns
To desperation, calm to storm.  But here
Find rest where troubadours have passed; one learns –
In clear Urbino, Mantua – to steer.
    And then, one day, perhaps, our hopes come true.
    Safe day, great ape, will we swing freely too?

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“Who are you?”  I don’t know . . .    “Hmmm.  True, it seems,
And brave: a life lived free of answers.”
Semeuse?  Seed-sower!  I have searched in dreams . . .
"And mine . . .   We’ve reached a time for dancers.”
Red in a golden sunset, Wanshee drums,
Our black doe at his side, and seems to make
The mangrove glow around his tribe.  He hums,
New wells spring forth, and dancing children take
Their cue as Wanshee sings: "Warm Mother Moon,
Light playing on the ice we crossed, caress
These voyagers; they will ride your glaciers soon.
Mark generations of courageousness.
    Yes, Searching One, Semeuse shines for your dance.
    Lift to our drums; our swift doe's joy enhance."


A rising sun on young green leaves, and blue,
Both sea and sky, crack through our long sleep.  Land.
Your hand!  I waken to the warmth of you,
The sweetness of your body on the sand,
Semeuse.  To move, to breathe with you at last,
Expanding, stretching, free in your embrace . . .
“Receive, sweet Love, our tremor and this blast
Of soothing passion, nature’s healing grace
And hints of future joys we both will know.”
Arousing ocean breeze.  Firm touch, moist heat,
Volcanic surge that melted primal snow,
Ah!  Ah, Semeuse.  With you I am complete.
    The ecstasy of rise and fall: all this
    Surpassing simple as we yield to bliss.

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"Reflecting light from Bahdawils, we give
Her life.  Across the mountains and the sea
Have travelers come to me and said, 'To live,
Wanshee, I yearn.  Give me the power to be.’
Recall the dance of Zarathustra.  More:
Siddhartha's stillness dance.  Recall the peace
Hurabo's people knew; Arzen restore.
Thrive, living long before the ice, then cease.
Become the sun, the moistened land, the plow,
The out-flung hand of bold Semeuse, her cheeks
Flushed, blood-rushed, seeds in flight, and be here now.
Inhale.  You are the power your courage seeks.
    Just ride the wind, ride down the running stream.
    Relax.  You are a dream within a dream."

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Renaissance!  Welcome back the call to soar
Above dull creed and greed.  Firenze, rise!
"There is a form locked in the marble . . ."  (Roar,
Savonarola.  Faith your rage belies.)
". . . a captive in hard stone, a yearning form,
Potentiality.  You see?  I’ll free
From 'neath oppressive weight the latent storm
That thunders through these hands from you to me."
Yes, Michelangelo, inspired, fast-chained
Beside our tomb, your Judgment-paint is wet,
But mighty prisoners you've cut loose and gained,
We've gained, for freed ─ freed! ─ we do not forget.
    Savonarola fights against the tide
    Of our awakening.  We will not hide.

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The aristocracy of Church and State
Would be the center of the universe.
But Galileo, risking Bruno's fate,
Must speak a truth he sees; withstand the curse.
For he conceives the universe a sphere
Whose center point is everywhere, unbound,
Evolving free.  What are the views they fear?
And music!  Nature’s harmonies resound
From Montaigne's tower to Shakespeare's London stage
To mark the progress of heroic lives.
"And readiness is all."  I think an age
Of reason and of reckoning arrives.
    Deep in his own eyes, Rembrandt finds our scope.
    His face, our face: he reconciles our hope.


But still the killers dance their minuet,
And brave Hurabo seeks new strength: "Blind fools
And deaf, you dance a dance of death.  Your pet,
Beribboned, flies from 'neath your feet, you fools;
She feels the storm that gathers, rising fast.
You dragged a genius boy from court to court
To play blindfolded.  Hear the storm's first blast;
Mature, his music mimics your lame sport.
The sky grows dark behind your children's swings
In Goya's paint; wind stirs your powdered wigs
As Figaro the clearest warning sings:
'It's your grave that your injured servant digs.'"
    Madness stored through boundless suffering
    Breaks loose in Don Juan's mocking laugh and sting.

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Betrayed.  Hurabo views the field of strife:
"You helped yourself to riches and a crown,
O Bonaparte.  The boy who gave his life
For you, believed in you; now he goes down
And jealous Chaos, like the sea, reclaims
His own.  Neurod.  Again we're in your snare,
Gripped by your cycle: Pain, Fear, Greed.  Your games!
Most men, conforming, lack the depth to care.
I’ve lost all hope that justice can endure,
But I have learned in Rome . . ."  Hurabo's end
Observe: the man-child's dread despair is pure.
The dagger plunge, the final lunge, attend.
    Unwrap base funeral drums; mute wailing horns.
    Hurabo dies with flowers and with thorns.


Yet fire and cannon rumbles cannot dry
A sea of inner sound – Beethoven's sight! –
Nor mar the landscape of deaf Goya's eye.
We will not yield to either fight or flight.
"Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive . . ."
But when a peasant whips a struggling horse –
"The tender eyes, Karamazov.  I dive
Into your madness, drown." – fighting remorse
At fading dreams of that which should have been,
Nietzsche is drawn out toward a lonely shore,
And, going under, still he'd bring us in:
"Do not forsake the hero at your core."
    Quick, Love!  Rush toward the drums our “Indians” beat.
    Fidelio lives past this day's defeat.

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