Monday, November 04, 2013

Monday Morning Poetry

Two Preludes

The Siren

"The comb she holds is golden,
She sings a song as well
Whose melody binds an enthralling
And overpowering spell."
- Heinrich Heine, "Lorelai"

Lost in the passion and purity of a moment of silence
I sit transfigured by the murmurs of my heart.
Wishing for the fountain of life, I sense before me
The riddle of the Earth--the beginning of desire.

To start with a note or a word--how do I create
The beginning of my work of art--my end?
What is the feeling which suddenly strikes
Deep within my soul?  Lacking awareness

I sit, trembling before the touch of his hand--
Merely the thought of it permeates my being.
Bound to the mast of desire I force
Myself to choose--to change.

We each speak from the core of our souls--drawing
on images created in moments of inspiration.
Our passion is informed by individual reasons.
Yet, do we really know of what we speak?

I sit, dumb within my solipsistic world--
A world dumb in its unreality, for
If it is dependent on will alone,
Whose will is it to be?

I sit, trembling at the faint remains 
Of ghostly images--selves forgotten.
I am no longer.  Who am I?  Where do I go?
How do I move my body without the desire for what is?

I will conquer the tempter with silence.
Even as my burgeoning boldness grows I find
Through choice-- the source of desire within me.
Joy is the result of the victory.


“Had we but world enough, and time, This coyness, lady, were no crime.” 
― Andrew Marvell

The sight of books wearing colored papers like party hats
Leads me to meditate on the distance between the books
And the stacks.  The time is spent in carrels, and that's
not inconsequential for the readers whose studious looks
are defeated by the the books piled on the sidelines -
The ones with the colorful favors  just beyond their spines.

Readers cherish the time spent perusing books in 
the Babylon of culture that houses folios. But is it sin
to while away the moments of your life in another world?
The Borgesian maze that is home to ideas that are furled
in books of all sizes and languages lures too often-times.
While entry fees are paid with the cost of missed deadlines.

- from Preludes of the Mind, 2012 (2007), James Henderson


Brian Joseph said...

This is some great verse James.

Carrels expresses a set of thoughts and feelings that I can really relate to. I have also paid some of those entry fees!

James said...

Thanks for your kind words - all us who love reading and libraries can share the experience.