organon

My Poetry

34 posts in this topic

Stephen mentioned that I might post my poems in a single, collective thread, and I find it an excellent idea. Additional poems may, as they are created, be added to the thread. Comments always welcome.

--

On Visiting a Cemetery

One day I walked through iron gates

Through which some came one way alone

My eyes roamed o’er the spread of land

The ordered names there set in stone.

I walked the rows, and read the names

My legs moved forth with even pace

Beneath each stone, now still and gone

What once had mind, and pulse, and face.

I stopped at one, now deep in thought

Another would have done as well

The name not in my memory now

But rather what the stone did tell.

Beneath this plaque, now matter lay

Once with lungs quick with breath, with eyes

Perceiving all that ‘round him stood

And at day's end, no longer would.

And though the time a different one

Still day like this, with air and sun

And on that day, his light did leave

From life, as soul from flesh did cleave.

And once did leave, could ne’er return

And nothing more his soul might learn

Existence done, no further fete

The journey played, his time complete.

Yet though now dead, and ne’er to live

Again, what if his mind might think?

Now knowing what would come to pass

Now firmly grasping that black brink?

Would he look back upon his days

And say “Alas! What have I done!

The sunlight that moved o’er my skin!

My eyes that o’er the earth might run!

“I did not know that which I owned!

This life that might have earned my love!

This tree, this earth, the thoughts of men!

Oh God, that I might live again!

“To live each day no less than I

And that sweet life should have deserved!

Rejecting fear, embracing pride

Treating that life as though a bride!

“And now, alas, my time is done!

My body cold, no honors won --

No pride of soul, no joy, no life!

I’ve lost it all, my breath, that wife!

“Throughout each day, she ever stood

Before an altar in white gown

Her body straight, her form ideal

And yet with ever deep’ning frown!

“For as time passed, and years moved by

I did not come to meet this love

I somehow fell into the depths!

I somehow lost the light above!

“And light as I think I once knew!

Once in the days of long past youth

But this -- somehow -- it fell away!

Oh God, to live again that day!

“The day on which the path began

That took me from that church of light

Into the graying world of doubt

And farther from the path of right!

“And by this ‘right’ I do not mean

A duty from a world above

But rather knowing life, with joy

And with each sight, sealing that love!

“And what is it that caused this loss!

This cleavage ‘tween my is and ought?

The thought that such life could not be!

By God, now I will find this key!

“I can recall, during my time

Some moments where my joy did surge

But only that -- a moment -- then

The joy lost strength, the gray did merge.

“What was the nature of this foe?

This thing that took from me my sight!

What is the beast that rose against

That glory which was mine by right?

“Alas, I know that which it was!

It was no beast that took my life!

It was the false that took my mind!

It was ideas that left me blind!

“The thing which said, ‘It cannot be!’

‘Men in this realm cannot be such!’

‘No blacks and whites, but only grays!’

This was the nature of that haze!

“And all it would have taken was

To call these to the court of light!

And from me fog would then have fled!

And that dear wife, I would have wed!

“And now I have lost my own worth!

Now without hands to take the earth!

Now without eyes to give me sight!

Without the joy that was my right!

“And fault for this was mine alone!

It’s to myself I owe this moan!

I did this fog myself condone!

My life lost, and the guilt -- my own!”

And now this pale, unhappy ghost

Returned to that from which he came

A void, where he does not exist

As all men someday will the same.

And then I asked, “What shall life be?”

And saw another, shining ghost

But one who did not give his days

To less than what might be the most.

“I heard his tale,” he said with smile

“That wife he left, I took with pride

And on that day, when her I took

I that foul fog with thought defied!”

O noble soul, O proper Man!

To drink of life thus deep and pure!

Who did not give his soul to loss!

Who with firm hand opened that door!

The door through which that bride was met!

Her bright eyes brimming with glad tears!

The one who you did never leave

Throughout the scope of all your years!

Heroic soul, golden in form!

It shall be yours I make my tone!

No minute lost, no day unsung!

No thought within but Reason’s own!

To think that one might lose one’s life

To that which does not have defense!

To thoughts which if identified

Would be released with laughing pride!

And then did I to myself speak

Upon the earth an oath I swore

To hold that dear wife by my side

To take her and with her abide!

“By all that is, I swear this now!

Upon my life a solemn vow!

Before such fog I will not bow!

Neither in days to come, nor now!”

And with that firm decision made

To take that wife while still she stayed

I grasped her with soul unafraid

And on that day our vows were made.

And evermore she walks with me

And so she will as I grow old

For as long as I choose to live

My soul is forged in shining gold.

And on that day, in days to come

When this fair earth at last I leave

With pride will I look on my life

And I will have no cause to grieve.

For that foul day, when I must go

And leave this dear, beloved world

My heart will carry no regret

No curse at this existence hurled.

For as long as I walk this earth

I shall not lose the joy I’ve won

For never shall my soul relent

To thought unthought, or deed undone.

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On a Better Departure

One day a man said this to me,

“O, but to sleep when my end comes!”

But such an end I cannot see!

Rather awake I wish to be!

When that time comes, and I must leave

This dear old friend, this earth I love

I would that I might, with eyes clear

Fondly farewell this glorious sphere!

What man would instead leave his wife,

(if she beloved to him being)

Not with a conscious, loving gaze,

But rather with eyes closed, unseeing?

O let me not in benumbed sleep

Go to that void, that empty space!

O let me drink Earth’s sight like wine!

O let me leave seeing her face!

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The first poem I wrote as an adult; the rhyme is not perfect in places, but you may enjoy it in any case. : )

--

To Those Who Wait

To see the sky, and move the earth

Make real a dream, give life to thought

To know, to grasp the time one lives

To make the world one’s own.

For every day may be the last,

Breath dies, though you implore

And one day, of the days to come,

The heart will beat no more

Thus every day a star should be,

Held firm before the mind!

And life a jewel, bright till it fades,

Held fearless through that time.

For every life must have an end,

A time it will not pass

And sense of sight, of sound and touch,

Will reach their end at last

Thus seize these moments, passing now,

This time in which you are!

This wondrous span where thought’s great range

Can know the furthest star!

So live you now, if life you want!

Wait not for days to come!

The time that moves before you now

Takes from a shrinking sum.

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Comments welcome.

--

To An Infant Son

Your mother is sleeping, the birth is now done;

And now you are with us, my dear one, my son.

Hello, my dear child, and welcome to Life

A life of your values, of joy not of strife;

Of love and of thought, of goals made and met,

Of the sunlit clear purpose that one day you’ll set

A life of the fullest use of your mind!

Of all you can do, with all that you’ll find!

And the price of the heaven before you, my son?

It is but to think -- for thereby, joy is won.

Before you are years; but of them, each hour!

Is rapture to he, who grasps Reason’s power.

And you will discover, that logic will bring

A fount of delight, and a soul that will sing!

So be well as you travel, my dear one, my son --

To a world of your values – a world to be won.

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To a Scientist

His eyes are steady, bright and clear;

And in his mind, no trace of fear.

His first and highest aim is thought,

He knows that therewith, life is bought.

Through his bright days, his able mind

The truths of nature, seeks to find

And while it is true, that he stands

On shoulders strong, held there with hands

Of other men, from times now past,

Who like him, nature’s truths amassed --

Know he, as them, a giant be

And as they saw, so does he see

The shining knowledge, that they set

Building thereon, to heights unmet.

And when in time, he leaves this earth,

May there be others of his worth;

Of steady sight, and active mind,

New brothers, of his sunlit kind

And so onward, this march of men

Of confident, unyielding ken.

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All of your poems are magnificient. Thank you!

I thank you. :-)

John

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Let Me Not Go Into That Night!

No longer to behold the stars,

No more to see the sun

No longer to see my love’s face,

No longer, values won.

O night, that comes to take my life!

O age, that brings my end!

By all that is, leave me on earth!

On it, my paths to wend!

If God or gods exist, and hear,

Let me now stay, not go!

And as the price, to you I swear

You will my passion know!

The passion of a man who grasps

That proper life is joy!

The joy that I’ve known, as a man!

And before, as a boy!

A joy that fills the soul with light!

A joy that conquers fear!

A mind that knows the right, the true!

And does itself revere!

Let me not go into that void!

Let me not lose the sight!

Of sun, and thought, and Man’s great soul!

Of Reason’s golden light!

Unto Existence, now I cry!

My plea, with my last breath!

Let me not go into that night!

Let me not now, know death!

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A note on the above poem, "Let Me Not Go Into That Night!" -- its theme is the love of the speaker for existence, an existence he does not want to leave, and its value is in this context. The appeal to "God or gods" is not rational, and on reflection, he would abandon this prayer, and die peacefully, knowing that while he lived, he drank of life as deeply as he could have done -- as in the final stanza of 'But One Day More', a poem not yet released to this thread:

"And let there be, on Death's black day,

No crying wail, 'But one day more!'

Look back upon a life well-lived

And proudly pass that final door."

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John,

I very much enjoyed your poem, " Let me not go into that night".

Great theme. Thank you.

~C~*

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Thank you, Carrie. :-)

John

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To a Scientist

His eyes are steady, bright and clear;

And in his mind, no trace of fear.

His first and highest aim is thought,

He knows that therewith, life is bought.

Through his bright days, his able mind

The truths of nature, seeks to find

And while it is true, that he stands

On shoulders strong, held there with hands

Of other men, from times now past,

Who like him, nature’s truths amassed --

Know he, as them, a giant be

And as they saw, so does he see

The shining knowledge, that they set

Building thereon, to heights unmet.

And when in time, he leaves this earth,

May there be others of his worth;

Of steady sight, and active mind,

New brothers, of his sunlit kind

And so onward, this march of men

Of confident, unyielding ken.

This one is my favorite. I really like it. It reminds me of this Lempika: post-427-1170138648_thumb.jpg

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Comments welcome.

--

On Greeting a New Day

The eastern sky turns to light blue,

The stars, they fade away

I rise from bed, and greet the dawn

The start of a new day.

I walk outside, and breathe the air --

The scent of grass, and earth;

Another day, my life to live,

Of dreamed goals, given birth.

A canvas on which I will paint

The concrete form of thought;

An empty page, on which to write

With act, what mind has wrought.

In this bright day, another step

To the bright years ahead;

A future, full of all that joy

To which Thought has then led.

For in that future, as today,

My days will shine with light;

The mark of he who thinks and plans,

And lives his life by right.

The right of him, who loves his life

Of him, who passion knows;

Of him, who loves this earth as dear

As beauty loves the rose.

So with Reason's bright crest held high

I begin this new day --

With oath, simple and proudly made,

“I will know Life today!

“The life of one who values sight,

Of one who holds as dear

The values on which life depends --

His vision, firm and clear!

“A soul that knows no trace of guilt,

Or pain, or abject night!

A soul that knows nought but the path

Of Living, pure and bright!”

And so, I now begin once more

A day on this dear earth;

A day of values won and kept,

The first, my soul’s own worth.

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Here are some single stanzas, miscellaneous jottings of poetry of various themes. Comments welcome.

--

The earth was but a rock in space

Until there came a man

And through his sight the world arose

According to his plan.

--

His body straight, his shoulders back, his eyes ice blue and stern

Exhaustion filled his tired frame; he then began to turn

A voice cried from the men before, ‘Without you we will die!’

The head turned back; the eyes were sad; he said ‘Then find your I.’

--

When angels come, to bear my soul

To Heaven’s white eternity

I will refuse, and stay on earth

No greater heaven can there be.

--

A thousand thanks, I give each day

To men who've walked before

I love my life, but due to them

I love it all the more.

--

Hard rain from blackened heaven falls

Mad thunder roars unbound

Yet calm sun lights the world I see

For I have Reason crowned.

--

Show me not the sun or gold,

But show instead her hair

Give me not the lark’s fair voice,

But for her song have care

And give me not, in Beauty’s name,

A goddess of old Rome,

For in her form and mind there sits

One of Perfection’s home.

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“Three Months”, by John Rearden.

Author’s Overall Rating (0-10): 9.4.

------------------------------------------------------------

Three Months

“Three months,” today he said to me,

“Expect but three months more.

“By then, it will have spread too far,

“And death will win our war.”

I stared at him, thought and speech failed,

Then rose, and turned, and left;

My mind, engulfed by grief and pain,

I had but three months left.

Nearby, I knew a quiet park –

I walked there, as I could –

Each step, an ordeal met and faced –

My legs, seemed formed of wood.

I reached that park, sat on a bench –

Raised my head, and looked ‘round –

And then, from my eyes came a stream

Of tears, from grief profound.

Good god, this sunlit sky, this Earth!

This Paradise below!

This realm of joy, for Men who live!

For those, who Passion know!

By all that is, but ninety days!

But three months more remain!

But three short months, of sight and thought!

Of Life’s holy refrain!

My soul then filled with thund’ring pain –

With dark, o’erpow’ring grief –

Good god, I have but ninety days!

When ninety years, too brief!

And then I felt that sacred love

I know for thought, and sight,

And thought, that were I to, with ink,

Inscribe Life’s glowing light –

The words with which that love was named

Would blaze upon the page!

The sunlit Passion, of Life Lived!

Defying common gauge!

And in but ninety days, to leave!

This Heaven here below!

In but three months, to leave this Earth!

To no more, Life’s bliss know!

And yes, I’ve lived, and I am proud,

Of that dear, lustrous gem –

Of my own soul, self-forged in light

Of all that which I am –

And yes, it’s true, that I’ve known Joy

The Passion of Man’s Life

The vibrant light, of Thought and Work

Of Reason, my mind’s wife –

But yet, good God! If I had Lived!

Ten thousand years, or more!

I would have loved each day no less!

Than any lived before!

By God! I do not want to die!

I do not want to leave!

For when one loves the Earth as this!

May soul from flesh ne’er cleave!

But if this world, I must depart,

In three months, as he said,

Had Earth a voice, when my heart stops,

Her shriek would wake the dead.

Copyright ©2007 John Rearden. All Rights Reserved.

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“To She Who Walks In Light”, by John Rearden.

-------------------------------------------------------

To She Who Walks In Light

Were Light endowed with human form,

Were Joy endowed with Life,

Upon the earth, in matter wrought,

Would stand my love, my wife.

A priestess she, of Earthly creed,

Her vows to Thought, and Light,

Her cathedral, Reality,

And I her love, her knight.

Her form, alive with radiant joy

She knows that she is Good

Her soul, a thing immaculate,

Be less? Ne’er would, nor could.

For what to gain, through sacrifice?

Of one’s own supreme joy?

What cause, to seek out suffering?

Why Gold, with lead alloy?

What choice is there, to one as Her!

‘Tween Reason, Life – and pain!

What choice to her, ‘tween Life and Death!

When Life’s her life’s refrain!

And what to me, this radiant form?

This Angel of the Right?

And what to me, this shining soul?

Wrought of nought but pure light?

But this, and all – I see in Her

All that I love in me

And as I know whence that love comes,

Cannot less love, than see.

And were I to ask of myself

To name that which I feel,

When my eyes meet her form, her face,

When we with act, love seal –

I would reply, Were all the stars

That are, or ever were,

To shine with all their strength as one,

They would seem dim, next Her.

And all their light, nought but a trace

Of that Joy we endure,

When comes that burst, of two as one,

Each of our glory, sure.

Good God, I love her as my life!

I love her as the Earth!

All that is Good in female form!

Pure, incandescent worth!

And were ten thousand years to pass,

Ten thousand times, or more,

My love for her, each day, would be

No less than that before.

Ten thousand years, ten thousand times?

By all the stars above!

Not time enough to see her face!

Not time enough, to love!

For as I love this Earth, and Life,

Such is my love for You.

Ten thousand years, ten thousand times?

Each dawn, dear wife,

I Do.

Copyright ©2007 John Rearden. All Rights Reserved.

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Here are some single stanzas, miscellaneous jottings of poetry of various themes. Comments welcome.

--

His body straight, his shoulders back, his eyes ice blue and stern

Exhaustion filled his tired frame; he then began to turn

A voice cried from the men before, ‘Without you we will die!’

The head turned back; the eyes were sad; he said ‘Then find your I.’

Not knowing a lot about poetry, I don't know what meter this is in. But it reminds me of one of Tolkien's poems, about a heroic elven king named Gil-Galad:

"His lance was long, his sword was keen, his shining helm afar was seen . . . "

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But One Day More

In every life, there comes a day

When he that breathes, will breathe no more --

When heartbeat's rhythm at last fails,

When pale death stands before his door.

And eyes no more to know the sun,

And arms no more make love's embrace --

No longer laughter will he know,

No longer see the earth's fair face.

Then might he wail, “But one day more!”

“One day to know fair life again!”

But one more day, to know this world!

One day, to know the work of men!

“For there are things I have not done!

A man that I have never been!

O never have I lived life full!

O but one day to live again!

“To live with Passion, Joy and Pride!

To be the man I once dreamt of!

Who did not yield his soul to loss!

Who in his soul matched gods above!

“But one day more, give me but this!

To see the deep blue of the sky!

To know the Joy of life well-lived!

But one day more before I die!

But old eyes fail, and heartbeat stops,

And into death's embrace he goes,

Crying throughout, “But one day more!”

But the grim scythe he does not slow.

You men who live and breathe today!

Recall his wail, “But one day more!”

And know each day, of years, of life,

That guiltless Joy that life is for.

And let there be, on death's black day,

No crying wail, “But one day more!”

Look back upon a life well-lived,

And pass with pride that final door.

Copyright ©2009 John Rearden.

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To a Lost Love

Now lies the form in which she lived

Inert, without a breath.

Now lies she still, and evermore

Lost to the hand of death.

O elements, that in you held!

A soul that shone so bright!

A sunlit day, with it compared

Would seem lost in black night!

O heart! O dearest wife and love!

O self in female stamp!

In losing you, I lose myself!

The end of my own lamp!

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To a Lost Love

Now lies the form in which she lived

Inert, without a breath.

Now lies she still, and evermore

Lost to the hand of death.

O elements, that in you held!

A soul that shone so bright!

A sunlit day, with it compared

Would seem lost in black night!

O heart! O dearest wife and love!

O self in female stamp!

In losing you, I lose myself!

The end of my own lamp!

This poem has an excellent form for the depth of feeling to be expressed, but unfortunately there are some awkward mistakes. Because of these mistakes, the poem seems more like an intellectual exercise, artificial, and not genuine.

Line 4---the phrase "lost to" implies the person or thing which values that which is lost. She is lost to us, or me, or the living. She is not lost to Death. On the contrary, Death has found her. One could say, "lost in"---that would make sense.

Line 8---here the rhythm is lost. A minor reversal fixes it; to wit---"Would lost seem in black night." Note here that you use "lost..in" correctly.

Line 10 & 11---the "myself" in line 11 cancels the meaning of "self" in line 10.

Line 12----a lamp does not "end"; it flickers, goes out, is snuffed. One could say, "the smoke of my own lamp", the smoke implying that the light of the lamp---its life---has been snuffed out.

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No, Brian. Not here. I consider this, in a sense, my thread, and request that all comments made here, if any, are of a benevolent nature. And I find none of your comments to be of value.

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No, Brian. Not here. I consider this, in a sense, my thread, and request that all comments made here, if any, are of a benevolent nature. And I find none of your comments to be of value.

If you do not value truth, then your thread is dead.

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If a mind such as yours can post such comments here, I may make it so.

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Comments always welcome.

Organon, in your request to Brian it seems you are in contradiction to your earlier statement. I offer that instead of trying to discard another person's critical comments of your work that you objectively define why you wrote your poem in a certain way or change the poem if you agree with the criticism.

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Comments of a benevolent and rational nature, Ray; I did not specify this, I do so now.

For example, some of B. Royce's "insights" (let's see if I can take less than 180 seconds on this):

"-the phrase "lost to" implies the person or thing which values that which is lost. She is lost to us, or me, or the living. She is not lost to Death. On the contrary, Death has found her. One could say, 'lost in'---that would make sense."

Lost "in" death? Or to be "found" by Death?! Lost to death is the correct form.

"Line 8---here the rhythm is lost. A minor reversal fixes it; to wit---"Would lost seem in black night." Note here that you use "lost..in" correctly."

"Would lost seem in black night"? And he criticizes me for awkwardness. "Would seem lost in black night" is the preferable form.

"Line 10 & 11---the "myself" in line 11 cancels the meaning of "self" in line 10."

No, it does not.

"Line 12----a lamp does not 'end'; it flickers, goes out, is snuffed. One could say, 'the smoke of my own lamp', the smoke implying that the light of the lamp---its life---has been snuffed out."

By the "end of my own lamp", the speaker means: in a sense his life has ended with her death. "The smoke of my own lamp"? Good god, no.

John

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