B. Royce

The Poetry Of Brian Faulkner

1,154 posts in this topic

I hope this is the right place for this. It is a poem I wrote back in the early nineties. It was written with young people in mind, but I think more mature people may enjoy it, too. I add, it could not have been written without the great influence of Ayn Rand.

Ours

The house is silent.

The air is heavy.

The dusty draperies

Stiff and cold.

But life, outside,

Our_ life, our secret,

Springs and sings

By the high stone wall.

They said, "If

You go beyond it

Down to Hell you'll

Scream and fall.

"You'll slide in sin,

Go down forever;

You'll twist in fire

And drown in greed."

But Hell is what?

Who really knows?

That massive hill

Is what we need.

"Thar mound", they said,

"Is much too high.

It isn't good;

It shouldn't be.

"Your eyes and knees

Must seek the ground;

Your head must bow

In humility."

We rise in darkness,

Me, my sister;

We lift the window

On what will be.

Afar we see

A silver star

Fire off where

No others are.

It doesn't wait

For something's call

Just goes, and

Doesn't fall.

Say! Do you see?

It's gone for good!

Like you and me,

Gone for good!

"Yes! I see!

Like you, like me,

It's gone for good!

Gone for good!"

"Stop this singing!

Don't be smart! God

Knows what is

In your heart!

"Don't let Satan

Make fools of you.

Heed this lesson;

Believe! It's true!

"Lights go on down;

Bright longings fail;

Such is life from

Day to dark day.

"Ours is never

To test and question;

Ours is only

To hope and pray.

"Selfish joy means

Burning sorrow;

Clamp your lips

And seal your loss.

"Make no proud music

For poor tomorrow;

Just do your duty

And bear your cross."

Now is anger,

Twisting anger,

Stinging eyes

Held dry and tight.

See our faces,

Me, my sister;

Read the mirror glaring bright.

See the straightening,

See the sharpening,

See the grasping,

Proud and sure;

See the lips

Ache to freedom;

Hear the taking,

"I am pure!"

Out the doorway,

Down the pathway,

Through the bushes

Curtain still,

Running feet

Spurn the Nothing,

Turn to Something

Nigh the hill.

Far from death

And far from fearing,

Coming, nearing,

Sudden, bright,

Ageless face,

Calm and searing,

Cleaves the clearing,

Killing night.

Now, the Wall,

Set to pen us;

Fear of Hell

To make us stay.

Look! the birds,

Branches swinging,

Might be singing,

"Here's the way!"

See! It is!

Right before us!

We were blind!

Lies aren't strong!

Winging eyes,

Almost flowing,

Skim the rim

Above the wrong.

All we are

Flies up skyward,

Seeks the star

That never dies;

Sees the hands

Reach up for freedom;

Hears "I have it!"

Clasp the skies!

Clasps the trees,

Clasps the branches,

Slanting up

Beyond the wall.

Wall of evil,

Wall of dying;

What care we

How hard we fall?

Hands are sweeping,

Bodies leaping;

O'er the wall

We're flying far.

Through a fountain,

Up the mm--ountain!

All we take

Is what we are.

Depth is passing,

Height is lasting;

Eye of Freedom

Beckons still.

Heart's desire

Needs the fire;

Look up higher,

Have your fill!

Who would doubt

Their eyes their seeing?

Who would want

A better boon?

Grip the rocks;

No more dreaming.

This is real,

Not a doom.

Yes, I hear them,

Just like always,

Wailing "Love!"

While hunting youth.

"Love!": to hold us,

"Love!" to mold us,

Love of guilt

To smother truth.

But we live,

And truth is rising;

Youth is smiling

To think and see.

What's ahead

Is hard of telling,

But no more "cure"

Of humility.

Nay! to praying;

No! to hoping;

No more shaming

Behind the wall!

Light is seeking,

Right is streaking;

Kicked-off burdens

Slide and fall.

One last measure,

One more pleasure,

Climb for treasure,

Grasp, and draw!

Sure the hour,

Pure the power,

Golden shower

Now is law.

Look! the world!

"Yes! I see it!

Gleaming, laughing,

Smart and tall!"

See! those lines there!

Silver runners!

Here's our treasure!

Stays, and goes!

Stays, and greets us;

Goes, and leads us;

Life's completeness

Ours to hold.

Aims the mirror,

Aims the steel,

Aims the spirit

Straight and bold.

All our singing,

All our grasping,

All our leaping,

Ours to bear.

High the beauty,

Low the duty;

Leave the Ghost

And breathe the air!

What we are

Stands, self-making---

Minds unbreaking,

Brash as steel.

Where we go

Reason knows it,

Leads the souls

That shall not kneel.

Rays of "I"

Climb to gladness---

You and I

That here have won.

Things of might

Sweep beyond us;

Here, around us,

Feel, the sun!

Brian Faulkner

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That was wonderful! :) I'm going to qoute you on my dormroom door.

Did you specifically choose that short clipped style with many verses, or did it just seem to fit? If you chose it, why?

~Aurelia

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That was wonderful!  :)  I'm going to qoute you on my dormroom door.

Did you specifically choose that short clipped style with many verses, or did it just seem to fit? If you chose it, why?

~Aurelia

Very glad you liked it. So, I'm going to a college dorm? Hey, first time.

Which stanza(s) did you have in mind?

After I read Swinburne's "Winter In Northumberland" (part one of Four Songs of Four Seasons), with its masterfully-handled short lines and close rhymes, I was filled with such deep delight I just had to try something of my own. My first thought was simply to express the cheerfulness of a new day, and the first stanzas were the ones about the sun ("Far from death" to "Killing night"), and I expanded from there. The last stanza I wrote was "Where we go...Reason knows it...Leads the souls...That shall not kneel".

Thanks for asking, and may you enjoy your door the more.

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Which stanza(s) did you have in mind?

I was thinking of the children's escape. The form you used gives a hasty rythem to the poem. It works very well when they are running away, you can almost feel the ecstasy/thrill of a mad dash away from all that is stifling irrational death. It's very beautiful how you use the form of the stanza there to dramatize the actions of the characters. I always appreciate when form perfectly follows function.

I was wondering whether you had explicitly thought of doing that, or whether you wrote it because it sounded right. I'm not a poet, so whenever I write poetry it's the latter. I am curious to know if you are a professional writer and if professional writer's think about such things while they are writing.

As to my door, it's much more beautiful now. :)

~Aurelia

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I was thinking of the children's escape. The form you used gives a hasty rythem to the poem. It works very well when they are running away, you can almost feel the ecstasy/thrill of a mad dash away from all that is stifling irrational death. It's very beautiful how you use the form of the stanza there to dramatize the actions of the characters. I always appreciate when form perfectly follows function.

I was wondering whether you had explicitly thought of doing that, or whether you wrote it because it sounded right. I'm not a poet, so whenever I write poetry it's the latter. I am curious to know if you are a professional writer and if professional writer's think about such things while they are writing.

As to my door, it's much more beautiful now.  :)

~Aurelia

Yes, I wanted the children's escape to be fast like a shooting star, without any doubts, just the certainty of being right.

I am not a professional writer, though I've been writing poetry pretty regularly since I was 14 (44 years ago), though I wrote my first poem at 8.

I have written a great many lines just because they "sounded right". Actually, in the final analysis, they MUST sound right, or out they go. Often, I have to completely change the original wording, or even re-arrange stanzas, to get the meaning right, but it must still sound right.

What do I mean by "sound right"? When I write I want to represent three things: an idea, some aspect of reality, and my emotions connected with these. They must all flow together and, since emotion moves, there must be a direction. Whatever that direction is, whether up or down , more intense or more relaxed, that end point, if you will, becomes one of my standards for what sounds right. At the same time, if the subject is, for example, a noisy place, there must be hard, metallic, banging, pounding sounds; or if a quiet meadow, watery-sweet soft feathery sounds. At the same time I want to be as clear as possible without taking away from the pleasure of speaking the poem. For, if there is no joy or delight in the speaking of it, in my book it is not a good poem no matter how great the ideas. A poem must be a pleasure to speak just as a painting should be a pleasure to see, and as music to hear. At the first it must be sensually alluring. :)

You say, Aurelia, that you write poetry, but are not a poet. So, you don't write it often? or you don't write stanzas with meter and rhyme, or it is not one of the most important things in your life? or?

I assume that you have favorite poems. Do you return to them frequently and read them (aloud, of course)? Has poetry been a long-time favorite of yours? Where do you rank it?

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What do you mean by "some aspect of reality"? How do you differentiate that from an idea? I would think that an idea is the recognition of reality.

You say, Aurelia, that you write poetry, but are not a poet.  So, you don't write it often?  or you don't write stanzas with meter and rhyme, or it is not one of the most important things in your life? or? 

I assume that you have favorite poems.  Do you return to them frequently and read them (aloud, of course)?  Has poetry been a long-time favorite of yours?  Where do you rank it?

I'm not a poet because no matter how well I might understand poetry I have no talent or great passion for it. I am primarily a scientist, but I find that the creativity necessary to being a scientist is simliar for being an artist or a writer.

I sometimes write poetry, but not very well, and only for me to read. Writing is very important to me, though, because it's my preferred way of expressing myself. So, I have taken a lot of writing classes through high school and now in college. In these classes, one of my favourite subjects is the function and necessary form of different genre, including poetry. Which is why I asked you about it.

I actually don't read very much poetry, but yes, I have my few preferred poems. I mostly read novels, the type you'd find in a "classics" section, but I have favourites in every genre. I read anything I love out loud and multiple times if I want to, including novels/non-fiction/poetry/plays. I'm kind of young, 19, so nothing has really been a long-time favourite. :) I started getting interested in all forms of writing about 5 years ago.

~Aurelia

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I should have said "physically concrete" (as opposed to abstract idea---not meaning that the abstract is not based on concretes).

I read many things out loud myself; I even found that much of OPAR reads quite well aloud.

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The following poem was written around the same time as "Ours". I wanted to see what i could express with even shorter lines and fewer different words.

A Snow Song

White snow,

Bright snow,

Light snow

Falling.

Slow wind,

Low wind,

No wind

Calling.

White trees,

Bright grass,

Light hands

Catching.

Eyes clear,

Eyes sweet,

Eyes bright

Laughing.

Grand clouds,

Glad clouds,

Huge clouds

Sweeping.

Joy sound,

Joy deep,

Joy high

Heaping.

Brian Faulkner

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After reading so many English poems in which "all good things come to an end", especially in regard to the seasons, I thought I'd turn things around.

Seasons

Old Summer sags, and whispers, "'Las".

I see her breathe in the slowing grass.

Stirs the Autumn her skirts of fire;

Winter's hands reach, freeze desire.

Spring swings 'round with radiant grace,

Young Summer catches, passions face!

_____________________________________

When the movie "Beauty and the Beast" was showing I got this idea for a trick poem.

"Beauty And...."

The added bliss

Of a double kiss

I multiply by four.

But should thou hate

This kiss of eight

Subtract me twenty more.

Divide by two

The dozen, true,

Then mirror thrice the six,

Upon my head

"....The Beast" be read

And faken you befix.

Brian Faulkner

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"Beauty And...."

The added bliss

Of a double kiss

I multiply by four.

But should thou hate

This kiss of eight

Subtract me twenty more.

Divide by two

The dozen, true,

Then mirror thrice the six,

Upon my head

"....The Beast" be read

And faken you befix.

Clever, that. :)

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First Love (1982)

Though a sad day goes,

And a sad night comes

(For my Dear's not here with me),

I will bring up living

Our first-love's giving,

When out of the sea came she.

Her leap was as sweet wind was,

Singing sweet, and where white waves

Rushed downward, shedding brightness at her side,

Her spirit-wings went soaring,

The song of her was Pride.

Her face flamed into rapture

As she plashed upon each wave;

High billows swelled against her,

But how low to one how brave.

Her hands, in easy motion,

Caught a foam-bell at her knee,

Caught it up, and leaning shoreward

Blew it shining clear to me.

So light a thing, so fragile,

Yet it sailed above my hand,

While climbing through the combers

Strode all Beauty to the sand.

She, who saw me rising,

As in worshipping I rose;

She, whose tender love-poem

Was the pureness of no pose,

As I closed the reach between us,

Going softly through the tide,

Said to me, spoke words to me----

Great love-words undenied----

"Sing, O Man, make music,

Say desires here;

Our hearts have blended rhythms,

Our eyes make flames appear.

My limbs, and all my body,

My yearning blood and will,

For reign of thine are ready,

Thy loving lust to fill".

Huge waves crashed over gently,

Huge roar of them was sweet,

While flying bubbles shattered

All their flakes upon our feet.

Our hands were like half flowers

Feeling glad again to rise,

Then the petals pierced together

And the sun shot from our eyes.

I knew her dreams were Passion;

I knew her name was True----

True Love Of Full Possession----

That all my longings drew.

And though how scorched within me

My thirst kept welling up,

I knew my soul abstracted,

And speech spilled from my cup.

O Sweet Warm Mouth so perfect,

So justified to be;

O Rare High Brow a-shining,

Whose thoughts Love's deeds will be;

I sign my lips upon thee,

I sign my life and soul,

Shut out all gods but Beauty,

Make you my only goal.

Now with these waves competing

My coursing veins aspire

To be in your veins beating

Until my blood turns fire.

A universe of pleasure

Our bodies were, our minds;

We freed ourselves past measure,

Then sought a deed that binds.

And though such deeds devour

Until all flesh have rest,

Our minds, that never tired,

Were each to each addressed.

I questioned her, she answered;

We disagreed, and laughed.

Then word to word was mirrored

And we held ourselves not half.

Her strange bright eyes and body,

Her shimmering burst of hair,

Her silver globes of sweetness,

Her golden lyre fair.

And then, ah, yes, that silence:

No touch, no sigh, no moan.

Only Time not passing,

But I and my Love alone.

Such then, so much, and not lesser,

Our triumphing love-at-first-sight;

And now, as the tide goes ebbing,

I'm standing up glad and light.

So, as these waves slide outward,

Now, as these winds depart,

I'll steer out a song far southward

To the singer who has my heart.

"O Holy Flesh Divinest,

Of earthly mind and pride,

O Worthiest and Wisest,

Whose pulse is in my side,

Your "Yea!" to me be taken,

And so my "Yea!" to thee,

That past this day, half-shaken,

Sad days shall no more be.

Brian Faulkner

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I really like this one. But is it correct to infer from the title and first stanza that it is implied that the lovers were eventually separated by the choice of either one or both?

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Here is a poem which might be sub-titled "Eden Revisited"

Stand Straighter

Stand stranger, O Love, stand stranger,

Stand straighter, and lift up thine eyes.

The wings of the sun sweep about us----

We, the gift of the earth to the skies.

We have done what the god has forbidden----

We have leapt to the boughs of our tree.

Yea, now the danger of height be unhidden

We laugh with how easy we see.

Fear was God's name, and of olden

We bent for halt steps of his feet.

Now the dareways of life wave open

And faints in our ears his half beat.

He has crawled under dust at our leaping,

Lies blind in the dust, and is dead.

Brave Sight takes his place and, out-leafing,

Glances true My-space ahead.

Brave Sight, that is stronger than Heaven,

And purer than peace in a grave,

And though Joy's not yet wholly unladen,

We are free, and we are not slave.

Step up, make it real----your desire;

No low-quitting effort should hide.

Reach lips in the name of our fire

Not curses of Hell can divide.

We have life, O Love, we are mortal,

And our blossoms of right are in hand;

Mid haloing rings of embracement

Our time-taking souls command.

Come, let's foot off this little dim shadow,

There's a full glad world to view----

Smooth ways or stony to march in or seek in,

Strong ways and first ways and true.

Yes, this is the grace of our_ giving----

That in choosing we use what we are,

And the courage of thought undeceiving

Outleaps any error by far.

Up now, the mountains await us;

They list for the beat of our feet.

"We are coming, Beyond, we are coming;

Thine existence shall soon be complete.

"We are coming, far birds, we are coming;

Wing out thy songs upon air!

Forest and River, we thy meaning deliver;

For the plans of REAL makers prepare!

"O Earth, O Rich Matter, Sound Being,

On Thee we do set out to win,

With Inquisitive Eyes now all seeing

And Masterly Thought without sin."

Stand stranger, O Love, stand straighter,

Show proudly the lust of thine eyes;

The praise of the sun pours upon us----

We, the gift of the earth to the skies!

Brian Faulkner

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Here is one of the most light-hearted pieces I've ever written. The words and the original music came together as one; however, since I don't write music, that part stays in my head. As a poem it reads a little fast, but I think you will still find it enjoyable.

............................More............................

I was looking for someone to love more than anyone I'd ever loved before;

From the east to the west, from the north to the south,

.................................................from the mountains on out to each shore,

All around the world, yes, I did roam,

And now that I've found you, Dear, I have my home.

Home is here, where you are, in your presence so bright;

.................................................I think night is a thing of the past.

Even dawning is dimmer when your eyes are glittering------

.................................................actual DAY at last!

Yes, I've found you, Dear,

Have you, hold you, Dear,

And I will never want more.

You are thoroughly, wonderfully, happily, totally,

................................................all that I mean by "more"!

I was looking for someone to love;

Right here, not below or above;

In the world that I know with the sunlight aglow

.................................................on the circle of everything good.

And I knew I could find you, I could;

Oh, I could and I should and I would.

I'd never stop trying and peering and spying

.................................................until I had found you for good.

Down each avenue, subway, market too, I went looking for you;

Buses passing by, copters on the fly, cabbies waving "Hi!" might hold a clue.

I was looking for someone so rare,

Who'd never a worry or care,

Whose eyes were ablazing with what is amazing

.................................................of everything e-ver-y-where.

And boy! she was happy to dare!

To dare to be true to the beautiful mind

.................................................that is under her glorious hair.

And,

I was looking for someone so strong,

Who would never do anything wrong,

Who'd sing the free way of her spirit each day

.................................................in her own individual song.

Into each library, romantic gallery, searching so thoroughly well,

Antique-book-coffee shop, jewelry store, auto-shop----

.................................................you might be there, who could tell?

I was looking and a-looking, and a-looking and a-looking,

.................................................looking all the night and all day.

Center of the universe, aim of all that I am worth,

.................................................oh where can you be? I did say.

Skipping through a mall so big, then out upon an oil rig,

Back into the fact'ries and warehouses, too;

Did you have a law degree, or were you trading companies,

Working somewhere sure to be, oh, where were you?

In the crowds around the town you might be suddenly found;

By a statue all alone you might be standing like stone;

Or walking to a tower fair, a turning door a-going there,

The marble floor a-gleaming there--- faint dreams of you.

Then riding up an escalator, strolling to an elevator,

Up atop a skyscraper, would I find you?

I was looking for someone to love more than anyone I'd ever loved before;

From the east to the west, from the north to the south,

..................................................from the mountains on out to each shore,

All around the world, yes, I did roam,

And now that I've found you, Dear, I have my home.

Home is here, where you are, in your presence so bright;

..................................................I think night is a thing of the past.

Even dawning is dimmer when your eyes are glittering------

..................................................actual DAY at last!

Yes, I've found you, Dear,

Have you, hold you, Dear,

And I will never want more.

You are thoroughly, wonderfully, happily, totally,

.................................................all that I mean by "more"!

Brian Faulkner

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.......Showdown....(2002)

Through shadows I go

A-walking real slow;

Heavy thinking 'bout you

And wanting to be with you.

Not a star in the sky,

Not a plane passing by;

Just the wind in my hands

A-wanting to hold you.

Then I picture your face

All a-smiling at me,

And I see how you stand

So proudly and free.

Then you walk down the street

And the dust whirls near,

And afar though you are

I am sure I can hear,

"You were wrong, so was I,

Let our quarrel go by;

I was right, so were you,

So let's end it anew."

There's a spring in my step,

There's a light in my mind;

Yes, a warrant is out

For the face I will find.

Only me, only you,

With our love-weapons true,

In the sunlight of we-----

All the clouds breaking through.

No matter the pain,

Or the long time apart,

You're always the right

Bright star of my heart.

A-walking fast

Along we pass;

Wind in our hands

It understands.

Now closer in

I see your eyes,

Desire gleams

Under the skies.

At last we stop,

The final stand;

Be quick to draw

At Love's command.

Firm lips now part,

Four hands spread out,

Just who's to win

There's not a doubt.

We're face to face,

We are the law,

We close our eyes

And then----we "Draw!"

Our arms like rings

Around us cling,

Our hands are squeezing

Everything!

Our lips a-blur,

Too close to miss;

We gun us on down----

With a fiery kiss!

Then crack! thunderbolts crack!

And a raindrop laughs on my frown,

And I see that you, oh you,

Are really not really around.

Through shadows I go,

A-walking real slow,

Heavy thinking 'bout you

And wanting to be with you.

Not a star in the sky,

Not a plane passing by,

Just the wind in my hands

A-wanting to hold you.

And I picture your hair

A-waving so free,

And I ache for your voice

To sing back to me,

"No matter the pain,

Or the long time apart,

You're always the right

Bright star of my heart."

Then you'll lose every chance

To stand there alone;

I'll be taking you in

To make you my own.

We'll be locked up in love,

Steel dream-bars aglow,

With no visitors' rights

For the shadows of woe.

And we both will agree

To this boast that is true:

"There's no top gun but me,

Unless it is you."

Now walking fast

With open heart,

Nothing between

But lips that part;

If we're to win

The final stand

Be quick to draw

At Love's command.

We're face to face,

We are the law;

We close our eyes

And then-----we "Draw!"

Our arms like rings

Around us cling;

Our hands are squeezing

Everything!

Our lips a-blur,

Too close to miss;

We gun us on down----

With a fiery kiss!

Then crack! thunderbolts crack!

And a raindrop laughs on my frown,

And I see that you,

Who? Who is that standing there?

Oh my God, can it be?

Yes, it is she! it is she!

"I am the law,

So I came on back."

So am I---------Draw!

Crack! Crack! Crack!

_____________________

Brian Faulkner

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Dedicated to the spirit of Ayn Rand and the greatness of New York

.................................Make Way!...................................

Out of the house, onto the road, flying through dawn, aglow,

In my grand car, away, aiming on straight, I go!

The greening gray of trees flows up and down the moon----

Pale slice slid 'round in leaves with piping tune!

Now hills go sliding back as fact'ries glide my way,

And steel towers' stacks vie up to graze the day!

Long trains now dive on by where tunnels roar their might,

And pile-drivers clang! to hold the earth so tight!

Then puff! O Breath Of Steam, while pulsing thunders grow;

Around this p'rading place the only song is-----"Go!"

Big bannered trucks, now gun it; horns, like trumpets, blare!

The start is near----I'll make it. Park. Stand up. Look there:

Walls arising, ladders climbing, cables, cranes, stretched to haul;

Wires sailing, pipes connecting, mixers spin before the call!

Sirens, then re-hailing men----adjusting belts and eyes:

"Up", they wink, "link together; up and up till rise is RISE."

But wait; the boss, he's here. He motions all to stay;

His calm gray eyes like granite, on this, the job's last day.

"It's up-time, it's praise-time, and time to hail the plan.

I'll start. The pride of earth is not itself, but man.

We are the deed----Achievement----strapping down to grow;

Man's work is all our glory; not just tell, but know.

And ours, it's so inspiring, and such high theme for song,

Days past pass into present to make our future strong.

From soft red hills out-taken, glad-tossed into the fire,

This dust of earth, now solid, lies waiting man's desire.

The sky-arm swings a belt out to eager hands that catch,

And soon that waiting single will find a grating match.

So tightly, now, one pulls it; hooks it, clamps it in;

Waves up and up and over; sky-arm roars to win!

Dull bit of dust now wakening, points a finger----there!

Now on atop the shaftway to land a master's care.

Hat's orange within sky's blue, his tan fist opens, speaks;

The aim of life is perfect, sky man is what sky seeks.

He's mounted, reached down under, bolted all secure,

Then waves the fire over to make them one for sure.

Fire, Flame---his Prometh'an name---he's not far by;

To jet the 'ought' of he who thought he knows just why.

His boots out-edging beam-edge, in ripple-blowing clothes,

Flame swings above a cloud-head, stops, and bends down, slow.

He kneels, grins---he likes it---visors, sets, takes aim;

One measured "Yes!" goes torching, and seals the steel frame.

Our hands lead lasting charges, eyes are sharp to see;

Our swelling, swagg'ring motto: "Bring it on to me!"

Once, this lot was only rocks and vacant space,

Empty, lost, in need of man's fulfilling grace.

He came---the self-made maker; said, "I want it here",

His shining eyes of reason speaking profits clear.

His shoulders high, yet easy, knew weight just wouldn't count;

His brow---the brand of sunrise---nodded Risk to mount.

With black, great eyes o'ertaking, glad to clasp and bind,

He stood, live as lightning, and calmly flashed his mind.

His speech of 'Man, Self-Starter', each my-way sharp'ning word,

Must sire a mind-souled spire, so he could see his word.

Softly, then, he vowed it, '...gold tower raised to Pride,

Foe long-range traders pushing through what able men decide.'

He spoke of business stacked, horizon-poised for flight,

Where level hands steer ventures to treasures half in sight.

A place where men of purpose can merge their life's decree

With every plan that promises a house of wealth to be.

Height over shimm'ring height he sang them, stainless, one---

Glassway, stoneway, steelway, Man's way leading sun.

Off then he went himself to plan; his conscious goal:

To weld the greatest trademark of man's creative soul.

Days on days together ideas rose and blazed;

His workroom was the world, his plateaued desk upraised.

No gift, no luck, no secret; just logical thought, and then,

Life's clear cold eye was speaking as he stood firm with pen.

Mountains, forests, beaches, taken, struck in fine,

With thirsting laws pursued the cause of earth's new grand design.

Marble, granite, concrete, wood and ink and sand,

Stainless steel and plastic, together came to hand.

Nights on nights together, leaning skyward, through,

His life was one 'Forever!' that drew and drew and drew!

Forty, sixty, ninety----just fifty floors to go.

He couldn't stop? He wouldn't stop('Now push, and go!')

Through flashing days he drove it---the line of perfect sight;

Down slender hallways dashing, then out, to angle right.

Then up and on to follow, in glowing even glide,

The mind's new flight of triumph, with pilot Pride to guide.

He soared up through the present, he edged the future, light,

And yes, his hand was burning to strike the gold through night.

For weeks he worked, then months; then four, then five.

Just two more days to go, then strike it real alive!

Joy stood him like an I-beam, braced, without a sound,

As if his body was this body, sky to ground.

But then he saw it; 'Hey, this topmost angle, not quite right.

It throws the whole thing off somehow, but, it should be right.

'Step away. Come back. Not right. Do it again.

Yes, that's good, so clear. It's still wrong; do it again.'

He halfway penned the finish, paused, then-----didn't sign!

For pulling down below him were humble things not fine.

From ninety, to the top, same beams and same mistakes.

If walls upgre as then he drew, the shining vision......

He faced the truth unfailing, 'I've taken 'safe' for 'right',

Blacked in a low-way standard and copied what I got.

'And added more material, dense weight that wouldn't hold;

Fitted youth with aged untruth, to sink as it were old;

Let live a thick tradition, set foot-like wings to fly,

Gave joy a state of sorry fate and shut away the sky.

'Too easy I had thought it, as if mere will were flight;

As if delight in seeing height itself was height.

Now, error's not immoral, but close your eyes----it's fact.

Look at it square and take it; re-think, then act.

'Yes, useless all self-rending; hands, repairing, win.'

Up to his bending flight he went and hauled it in.

Each line that backed around in wrong-way cross display

Was flicked aside, or crumpled up and thrown away.

He pulled in stacks of hours, ripped apart the false;

Old-fashioned bars of iron flew straight on down to loss.

He stood, he grasped the problem; the question questioned through:

'How this? Why that? Can it be done? And this, where to?

How much? What kind are these? How far? And what is this?

And where're you going, and what's your central purpose? Focus!'

On into night he answered, one single lamp turned high.

Invention's pace set all the place on high and high and high.

'Now this join up to that and these, and every part to whole;

The whole's the spreading context, so give it wide control.

'What? you're getting tired? your back aches? So? Irrelevant.

You know you're going to get this. Yes, I'm going to get it.'

Loved inch by inch he sought it----this rearing searing line;

Winged ledge by ledge he got it----'The shape of truth is mine.'

Then, o'er slanting table neat, last paper standing by,

He looked out glassways clear on all things whole and high;

Whole and strong, silent, sharp-edging night's veiled fall.

And what he saw was titans, unmoving, straight, colossal.

Soaring, independent, thought climbing after thought climbing,

Individual, standing alone-----hundreds-----ready for Start's time.

They carried dawn on powering gray shoulders of imperious grace

While stars flicked out lightly down each quiet narrow space.

And tallest there, our brother, man's reigning soul uptown,

Hurling glory all about him with his radiant silver crown.

Aslant, back through the glass, bare, standing on her terrace,

Singing o'er an empty lot, one goal he had not forgot-------

"Through day and night I love, I love this sacred height;

I love the mind that made it rise so proud and light.

And my own joy I love, that hails this human sight:

Just sleeping dust awakened by hands of thinking might."

And slow, the factory smokestacks flowed, and woke, it seems,

Glad to be wholly speaking their fleet-assembling dreams.

Behind, a slender curl of silv'ry light swung way

Way out, then down, braceleting a wrist of the sea.

Again he pressed the ruler, he bore in steel anew;

Restacking earth was his sole worth as he drew all lines true.

Intensity gripped, all ready; Reason steered him straight;

Perseverance, 'On, go steady! There is no time for late!'

He stacked horizons golden, slant-out-winged for far,

For men whose winds of reason whip up dreams that are.

He drew this selfish glory of his, and yours, and mine,

Then cast a higher naked stone of climbing man divine.

She there, too, sky-wearing, o'er birds that veer and bow,

While Beauty sings to Daring, 'Another age is now'.

He finished; came to us; then challenged us to clasp

Ourselves to mastery in this life on earth we have:

'This paper's bright; it weighs the light of what I am, will be;

And as I stand a sky-line man, tall men stand you with me'.

Yes, then, as now-----all set and geared to go;

For when his plan was rolled out the earth began to glow.

Then we---the Builders---bore on down,

....................................we blasted, pounded, tore.

We flung old boulders far away

....................................and sunk the massive floor.

Then upward drove the loved command

....................................of Will and Skill and Aim;

While thunder spoke through hamm'ring hands

....................................the sky-arm went! and came!

We struck wide flights together with

....................................deep shouting chords of 'Done!'

In glinting, dusty weather, yes!

....................................we cheered a graying sun!

We challenged rain with mantime, ah,

....................................our passion catching hold!

Storm? We bristle lightnings---hah!

....................................they brush the air with gold!

We rise with clean-swung purpose and

....................................we climb through wind and cloud;

We scan, we thunder higher, and

....................................we lift 'I can' so proud.

So proud of high endeavor, yea,

....................................so proud to think and plan;

So proud to pass the sun with 'Hey!

....................................Here's the light of Man!'

Now lift these walls and clasp those girders; swing this granite, turn that glass;

Check the bolts and rivets holding all this rising man-made mass.

Come press this hard, thought-shapen matter; see this mind-created might;

This ringing singing body, this lifting soul made right!

This, it soars; we know it. We'll be in flight all day.

The course is straight, he set it; the order's firm, 'Make way!'

Brian Faulkner

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The Pilot's Song

On steel wings I sail the sky, I go.

A shining line of mastery I am.

I rise above the rising sun,

I claim the night when he is done;

The sky surrenders everything;

A silver-shining steel wing am I.

I fly up into the feather blue;

I glide above the mountain dew;

I even skim a cloud or two;

A going, flowing, glowing thing am I.

If storm surrounds my even way

I bolt on through and burst away.

With power-flash and thunder-roar

I lift my wings and soar-----away!

And flying, flying, flying over the land,

I look below and see a waving hand.

Out o' the clouds, into the sun,

Lookin' away, give it the gun!

And speeding, speeding, speeding, I am free!

To make my bank or go on out to sea.

Out o' the clouds, into the sun,

Lookin' away, give it the gun!

Now cities raise on up to me

Their radiance of jewelry;

I gaze, and glide on by.

New factories are smokin' low

To make the many things that go;

I near, then veer up high.

Then diving, climbing, driving over the train!

It takes the ore to make another plane.

Out o' the earth, into the blue,

Now it is old, now it is new!

And soaring, soaring, soaring I do go;

I love this place that has no trace of woe.

Everything's fine, all I can see;

Happy to sign, give it to me!

On steel wings I sail the sky, I go.

A shining line of mastery I am.

I rise above the rising sun;

I claim the night when he is done;

The sky surrenders everything;

A silver-shining steel wing am I.

I see upon a future time

When next to me one, too, will climb;

Her face will show the mastery, I know.

We'll sail into the morning air,

Or twilight air, or midnight air;

We couldn't care, we go!

Then diving, climbing, driving over the train!

It takes the ore to make another plane.

Out o' the earth, into the blue,

Now it is old, now it is new!

And soaring, soaring, soaring I do go;

I love this place that has no trace of woe.

Everything's fine, all I can see;

Happy to sign, give it to me!

_______________________________________

Triangle

Above me clouds halfway turn

Pink, gold blue, purple green,

Cool and lovely and cheer.

I walk to the edge of the ledge and stop.

Below the mountains, far far below,

A slender curl gleams

And disappears.

Beyond,

The sun is bowing....bowing.........gone.

And on a rock behind me,

Stepping out, one hand on one high hip,

The rhyme of my song, the reach of my climb,

Smiling, in ecstacy, hair flung out, pointing,

To me, to the rock, to herself.

________________________________________

Thanksgiving

She stands like April on the balcony,

Yet brighter, surer, lovelier.

And she knows her place, and lifts her hands

Through the skyway, lighter than clouds that pass,

Then down to towers, to factories, to statues,

Gently, as though touching them, her fingers gold.

And she takes them to her breasts, her lips, her forehead,

And her glad face glows, her sky eyes greaten,

And she sings, "Mine are all the workings,

All the profits, all the beauty:

This live mass, these proud forms, my body, I!"

________________________________________

Brian Faulkner

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Life

The foolish hand but air does hold;

The reckless, blood and scars.

The sure one pockets all the gold

And steers the man to the stars.

______________________________

The Revolutionary Bee

Close in the roses

The rose-bee dozes;

Oh what a shirker, he.

Asleep in the lily

The lily-bee, silly,

Yawns so languidly.

Down in the daisy

The daisy-bee, lazy,

Dreams of a honey-bee, sweet.

Up in the honeycomb,

Buzzing with Boston,

Dumping the honey, he!

___________________________

Pouring

Pouring sunlight from the bowl of night

My eyes were misty, my hands like love.

I poured it all, I could not stop it;

Day ran splashing over my feet.

________________________________

The Mind Of Man

I stand on the earth and I work out a plan

To have all I desire.

I know what to do, and I shall go through;

I am the mind of man.

I test every place, I see what is here,

Buried in deep, half-hidden.

I know what to do, and I shall go through;

I am the mind of man.

I dare all the earth to keep what it has,

"Hold tight! long as you can!

No giant rock will turn me aside;

I am the mind of man."

I blast, and I drill, I drive endless still;

It gives me nothing easy.

I laugh and I sing for that very thing;

I am the mind of man.

Pry I, and pull, till my hands are too full!

I have all I desire!

I stand on the earth with all I am worth;

I am the mind of man.

____________________________________

A Man

They fed him the word of God,

"To make you good", they said.

But he spat it back at them

And their ears were a lovely red.

They shouted the word of God,

"To lead you true!" they said.

But he only smiled, then sang,

"I walk alone till I'm dead."

And he walked alone through time,

And he rode alone through space,

And the light of a godless rhyme

Shone as the sun on his face.

"From star to star I stride,

From God's to Manhood's height.

Strange worlds on either side

Touch me with a wondering light.

"I wave them a happy hand,

And they sing back with glee,

'He's Man, he's in command,

He sets his great soul free!'

"I mount with my ship the sky;

I go where I think I can.

I'll follow my mind till I die,

From beginning to end a man."

______________________________

Independent

Not with the aid of government

Was SpaceShipOne so sharply sent,

Nor did its heroes pray;

Capitalistic, atheistic,

Firing Mastery all the way.

___________________________

Brian Faulkner

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Practice

Grand piano for hands that take command,

Speaking keys and rods and hammers,

Striking new, softly, felt on steel strings,

Felt of the soul dreaming, laughing,

Ringing, as it vibes into the wood

The do-able dong! of indelible swellable song,

The fusable ding! of how thinly and fragible thing,

The beautiful beat of repeatable needable gain----

The phrase that skips in the sky-----

"Undefeated too, am I!"

Ringing, hammering, playing,

Again and again and again!

__________________________________

Night's Done

Are these mere babies' eyes

That claim all starry skies their own?

There is no crown here

......but a soft brown down

......for queen or kingly sign.

One finger points, nails Mars;

One calm palm pats the moon.

Baby smiles, and we know night's done soon.

Done soon? Done now!

Shade eclipsed by radiant lips and brow,

By smile mild face that leaves no trace in ours

Of sorrow's powers or twilight hours.

Some fools be wait till day to see light;

We but see our baby----the sun is bright.

________________________________________

Direct Perception

My professor of Mod. Philosophy

Said his senses were not right,

That when he thought he saw a tree

It really was not sight.

"'Tis but a dream", he said to me,

"Of the higher true reality."

A student, new, untried,

I mused, and then replied,

"The me you see in front of you

Is not the me that's really true.

Your eyes distort and change the facts

As even now I swing my axe.

Direct perception to attain

Grasp the blade within your brain."

A student error, alas!

For I failed and he passed!

__________________________________

I Am Real

I am real, you said, when I met you,

Not a dream that'll one day forget you.

If you're looking for a star

..........shining down on you afar

It won't get you anywhere,

..........'cause I'm not there.

I am here, I am solid and breathing,

The chance of a lifetime for you;

If you want what you want without grieving

Act to make your dream come true.

Take a step, reach out, come closer,

Swing your arms clear 'round me and hold;

Pull me in, touch lips, smell the roses;

As a poet once said, "Be bold".

You are you, I am I, just one gal and one guy

Who are gardens of joy to each other;

I am I, you are you, with just one thing to do----

Say goodbye to dreamy wonder.

For the grass is not greener on the other side,

And the moon is not brighter than sun.

Now you've got what you want don't be fearing your pride;

You've sought, you've found, you've won.

We are real, we are here, and the truth is so clear

That together so better are we;

We have love, we have life, we'll be husband and wife,

In this solid reality.

I am real, you said, when I met you,

Not a dream that'll one day forget you.

If you're looking for a star

..........shining down on you afar

It won't get you anywhere,

..........'cause I'm not there.

I am near, I am flesh, I am standing-----

A wide-awake statue for you;

If the art of your heart wants commanding

Act to let a dart come through.

Don't be wishing and hoping and fishing and groping

For things that are purer than pure;

Don't be begging and crying and wailing and sighing

And praying for impossible more.

Though I can't sing cantata and I'm not Apollo,

This singular me is sure.

Take a step, stride in way closer,

Press your arms tight 'round me and hold;

Look straight, touch lips, free the roses;

As a poet once said, "Be bold".

You are you, I am I, just one gal and one guy

Who are gardens of joy to each other;

I am I, you are you, with just one thing to do----

Say goodbye to dreamy wonder.

For the grass is not greener on the other side,

And the moon is not brighter than sun;

Now you've got what you want don't be fearing your pride;

You've sought, you've found, you've won.

We are real, we are here, and the truth is so clear

That together so better are we;

We have love, we have life, we'll be husband and wife,

In this solid reality.

I am real, you said, when I met you,

Not a dream that'll one day forget you;

If you're looking for a star

..........shining down on you afar

It won'r get you anywhere,

..........'cause I'm not there!

___________________________________

Brian Faulkner

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Direct Perception

My professor of Mod. Philosophy

Said his senses were not right,

That when he thought he saw a tree

It really was not sight.

"'Tis but a dream", he said to me,

"Of the higher true reality."

A student, new, untried,

I mused, and then replied,

"The me you see in front of you

Is not the me that's really true.

Your eyes distort and change the facts

As even now I swing my axe.

Direct perception to attain

Grasp the blade within your brain."

A student error, alas!

For I failed and he passed!

This is just great! Thanks.

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You're welcome, Stephen.

I wrote the following poem at the start of the war in Iraq, after watching a bunch of anti-American protesters.

The Worship Of Life

The love of sight is not the hatred of light;

The love of truth is not the hatred of logic;

The love of courage is not the hatred of independence;

The love of action is not the hatred of morality;

The love of heroes is not the hatred of man.

The smile of freedom is not the hindering of business;

The smile of competence is not the blocking of bridges;

The smile of knowledge is not the defilement of civilization;

The smile of peace is not the hatred of America;

The smile of life IS the smile of progress.

The love of energy is not the hatred of powerplants;

The love of cars is not the hatred of invention;

The love of justice is not the hatred of profit;

The love of victory is not the hatred of pride.

The worship of dreams is not the hatred of hard work;

The worship of happiness is not the hatred of wealth;

The worship of beauty is not the hatred of skyscrapers;

The worship of greatness is not the hatred of New York.

The worship of life IS the worship of man,

And the worship of sight IS the worship of light.

Brian Faulkner

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I wrote this in the summer of 1989, following the Tiananmen Square massacre.

Conscious, Unbound

'Round Altruist Square, in Say-We, the Red city,

Half bent down in prayer a grey crowd of half pity.

So hungry, so helpless, yet aimless and still,

They waited Mao's spirit to bow to His will.

For far below ground there He turned His dark wheel

To grind up their grain, as His flesh, for their meal.

And with eyes swerving inward and hands against breasts

They beat down their doubtings of He-Who-Knows-best.

Up on a low wall hung the image of Mao,

With face of loose rubber, rough plastic His brow.

His eyes were deep shallows, His limp lips intent;

"I am what you make me"----that's what it meant.

And bound underground there, on knees and on hands,

Around and around men plowed through the sands.

They were weighted with chains of the chant of "Deny!"

They were bitted with guilt for the ill of an "I";

They were drilled into drudges to do without dreams

And tear, while Hope trudges, smiles above screams.

From first step to last step, all night and all day,

Mao's message rolled through them to "save' and to slay.

"Your dreams," he admonished, "breed violence, hate,

And only the ignorant dare to beat fate.

And song," he commanded, "must only be sung

To pound into union the souls of the young.

"Now virtue," he told them, "is duty to need,

And the first ones must hold them the last ones to feed.

And height of attainment," this ruler extolled,

"Is sigh in contentment whenever you're told.

"But vice of all vices, and lie of all lies,

Is to do your own thinking or ask any whys.

For thought is a jungle you cannot control;

Much safer one leader to thrust up the soul.

"Close eyes and breathe deeply, then tone down your mind;

Tranquility waits you when thought's far behind.

Those 'beasts' are not wiser, nor happy, nor free,

Who think that they're thinking or dream that they see.

"So give up, good people, these urges to know,

For I will be with you wherever you go."

From first step to last step, all night and all day,

Mao's message slid through them to slave and to slay.

The wheel ground slowly, it groaned through the wall;

The plastic and rubber seemed laughing at all.

The whole crowd of pity half-lowered their eyes,

A half-blank within them and no strength to rise.

But to lift up light eyelids and to trust that first sight;

To shake off the shame-belt of the rust-reign of fright;

To lash back with tethers of cowing now done,

Swear life to Sharp focus and rise with the sun;

To grasp a sound vision, sound here and sound there,

And boast, in defiance, "I'm blind to the Square!"

To turn on false faces, false places, false ways,

And follow one's logic straight through the maze;

To break through the wall there of "damned till you die"

And know that its "iron" was always a lie;

To pry out the sin-wire they stuck 'round your birth

That not one desire could climb to bright worth;

To reach down inside you, reach deeper, attain,

And rip out the sentence "Life is but pain";

To level right Anger's pure curse on Mao men

And vow not to ever know "nothing" again;

To walk with eyes open, one's self as one's guide,

And claim, as a master, the hard ground of pride;

To switch on the sacred high beam of man's light

Till all that seemed sunken soars into sight;

To clasp, in grave rapture, grand sign of Ayn Rand,

And squeeze out the essence of all that was banned;

To drink in completeness, in sweetness, in youth,

Of choice that is reason and life that is truth;

Then raise, with rare measure, thine egoist tone,

And, glad-mouthed with treasure, set out----alone.

This is man's promise, conscious, unbound;

His sure staff---existence, his clear brow---his crown.

No fist can take it, no laws thereof bind;

The claws of the ages cannot change the mind.

So, under the death-round of Altruist Square,

The mind, though in torture, saw what was there.

Then out of the duty-to-people defeat,

From under Red hammers that crush with their beat,

From under Red sickles' soul-slit control

Where self-love is hated and no love the goal,

From deep in the wasteland of cant against man

In the souls of the "sinners" daylight began.

And down underground there, by candles' dim glow,

Those thinkers were speaking, clearly and low.

"My evils are many, for I thought and I thought;

Each day a tough question for those who knew nought.

"I asked, why is giving a blessing, but trading a sin?

If all are all-giving then who is to win?

And why is there giving if all men are nil?

Each year there's more beggars, but nil is still nil.

"And who shall give lastly, and how shall who choose?

And why are they heroes who life learn to lose?

If all would have virtue then all men must die,

And if this is life's meaning I now ask you, 'Why?'"

"My sins, my fellows," another held forth,

"Was working with passion for all I was worth.

I outsped the daylight to finish each task;

I loved to be competent, joyed to be fast.

I did more than any had e'er done before

And planned a way faster to make even more.

"They told me, 'Go slower', and sat down to pray.

I said, 'I am working, get out of my way.'

Then shifting a lever and getting up steam

I roared into midnight and left them to scheme.

"This sharpness of tongue, this swiftness of hand,

This is the thing for which I am damned.

Yet I have bequestioned this 'virtue' of 'slow',

For if slower is better then why ever go?"

"And mine," said the youngest, "my evil is one---

I wrote a great poem of me and the sun.

Just me with the highest, just me in the light,

With no brothers nigh us and no things of night.

"No guilt and no shadow, no meekness, no shame,

Just sunshowers laughing with 'Me' the refrain.

So great, and I knew it, so perfect, so pure;

And this, my own judgment, they could not endure.

"They said I was vicious to praise my own soul,

That they were my victims whom I must make whole.

But I begged not forgiveness, nor sought them to please;

I sang for my happiness, alone and at ease.

"They said, 'Someday surely the proud ones will fall'.

Then why are they angry who have none at all?"

Then one, who'd ne'er spoken but through hard eyes of coal,

Put things together and set down the whole.

"Men's thoughts are their conquests of all they can scan.

This earth and that starway take spirit from man.

He gives to all forces, all things of all kind,

The touch of first purpose----the aim of his mind.

Their use for his living, their use for his bliss,

This use is their heaven and man creates this.

"His motive's pure profit---for no men the same---

But no creed of needing and no need to blame.

Hard work, and so challenging good men may rise,

While he who is masterful draws up their eyes.

"Yes, men can be heroes if work is man's heart,

And if each end accomplished strikes another to start.

For men of high virtue each morning is one----

To stand up in gladness for the things to be done.

"The raking of oceans, cutting down trees,

Exploding through granite---his hands are for these.

Scooping the earth up for truckloads of ore;

This, too, is his virtue, to take, and take more.

"Pipe lakes into deserts, turn rivers around;

Give them direction, 'For market you're bound!'

Bend steel over chasms, sweep concrete o'er streams,

Plant signs on the highways---DRIVE FOR YOUR DREAMS!

Raise towers and statues and smokestacks and light,

Then lift up new cities like gems in the night.

Like gems, and like silver, like gold pile high

On the desk of the trader with that look in his eye.

"If these would reach climax, if triumphs you'd see,

Then one thing is certain---man must be free.

For no man can prosper, and each man must need,

If he's not the reaper of this, the soul's creed:

"MY work, MY achievement, my worth without strife,

My strength and my nature, their whole cause----my life.

Self-love is my virtue, self-will is my right,

My reason my standard, my pride and my light."

Now sharp eyes grew sharper, and firm lips more firm,

And many heads nodded to thank and affirm.

Then softly, through whispers, they lofted a plan

To shine on the people the spotlight of man.

And when the nightwatchman had drunk a drunk's meal

He dreamed a 'twin brother' was bound to the wheel;

He dreamed there were angels who rose against Mao

And felt something human in his 'twin brother's' brow.

And up 'round that Square came the rebels of light,

Wrenched shoulders half-lifted, scarred faces gold bright;

Some struggling, some gasping, some covered with blood,

Some weakened with famine and fleshed with fouled mud;

Yet all with eyes hardened 'gainst pity and fear,

And only "My will' the wisdom held clear;

And over the canting of man-eating Mao

The gale is rising, "I, I avow!"

"Individual......Separate......Sole,

Apart......Independent......One",

These words fill their mouths with music

Till the whole square rings to the sun!

And they swing to the stunned in spirit,

And to children who have never seen good,

And with stern eyes steeled to the future

Bid rise who still should.

"Oh grey-beyond-greyness faces,

Oh slow-dragging ocean of fear,

Oh bending, breaking people,

Are you not sworn to hear?

Then hear but this once in your lifetime,

Hear but this once for yourselves----

Prepare a desire self-seeking

And never betray it to others.

"For the spirit of life is not kneeling,

Nor slighting your sight for the blind,

Nor crawling, nor serving, nor giving,

Nor waving your wants behind;

Nor smiling for any man's mercy

(His 'kindness' in begging the same),

Nor purging your mouth with praying

While twisting your soul with shame.

"The wailing of praise for a Mao-false

Is only a death-wish turned,

And the earth-loving grasp of reason

Is ever the hope you've spurned.

"Somewhere by a lake or a mirror,

Alone in your days of youth,

The light of the sun was in you

And you gazed on the face of truth.

And the gleam of that gaze was selfish

And your eye sought nothing beside,

But you turned away, soul-shaken,

Out of fear of the love of pride.

"Sometime in the night, unsleeping,

When no one around you stirred,

You saw how a shadow flickered

And wondered, 'A Mao or a bird?'

And you crept to the open window

To see for yourself 'what's true?'

But fancying scorn from others

You doubted your eyes clear through.

"At the edge of an everyday field,

Where the lines of a road ran straight,

You ached with a longing to follow

And vanish away from your 'fate'.

And the tears on the road were not sorrow,

And the end of the road was not pain,

But you stood there hearing the thunder

Till 'try it!' was washed out with rain.

"Again, in the silence, the stillness,

Again, when no one could see,

You touched the glow of your beauty

And thought but a gold word----'Me'.

And you savored the concept 'sacred'

Till it thrilled your heart to its core,

But then savaged your joy for a 'saviour'

Till you could not love anymore.

"This only one life you have going,

This final sole chance that is yours,

If you pass it or find it not worthy,

Or shudder in tight your mind's doors,

When your last days walk in to take you

And the last hour looks on you clear,

The dreams you forswore will forget you

And sing not one note in your ear.

"Now, in the low wash of failure,

At the bottom of life knelt down,

With all that is left you of living

And all that was free that is bound,

For the love of the thought of 'I can",

With never a thinking but yours,

Make real one desire self-seeking

And never betray it to others."

Brian Faulkner

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My Own

Here from my waist, going sailing on for glowing flowing miles---

O beautiful waving gold, O giant Wheat,

My work of thought and hand and ringing dusty steel,

My ocean of sunlight under the blue sky,

O Wealthy Solitude, perfectioning of love,

My real world's self, promised, fulfilled.

Yes, O Wind, now lightly

Flare out your melodies on these yellow fields,

Earth staff and I bar.

Stir and sway along in holy song of soil and you

And my great deed between.

O loyalest song I see,

Whirling away like a hymn from me,

I made you possible, and you fill me,

All around me, waltzing of sweet heads o'er,

Hearing the great plain floor----

"Whispering wonder, glad to be under,

The world's good, this lover of man."

Now soon to burn in long hours of thinking,

In the planning of builders for up-towering towns.

Yes! and with grandest statues of heroic manhood,

Soon! O Wheat, soon!

And one a woman, looking up, proud, independent.

For rational ideas have been sown,

And very real people choose light,

And the glory of life is re-known,

And the wave of the world is bright.

O Song sailing at my waist,

Waiting my word of thought, my hand, my whirling machine,

My joy of triumph and my love of work,

O Life cresting at my waist,

My Own!

____________________________

Solitude

The time is come when night is here

And all is dark and still.

I walk a way where no one goes

With only stars above.

On high I wander in peace.

A part of the night I am.

The quietness grows and grows

In strong solitude.

I walk upon a high wide hill;

There's solid rock around.

The earth and sky are at my side

And calm is everywhere.

Here, here I stand in peace.

A part of the night I am.

The beauty of being I know

In strong solitude.

__________________________

I Do

"The pure man plies not for himself one day."

No! that is a bad bad moral! False!

And also, in each soul-suck Ed'nish fiber, damned!

Heed it not, O People; waste not life!

Curious, examine out its root

With star-blade logic and laser-beam sight.

Now morning-glories of manhood scale the sky.

Up, you builders, lift! and ledges, shine!

Sun, wind, feathers, hail together!

See the Master soaring over worn-out night----

Truth-Master, Right-Climber, Self-Maker, Man!

He loves to cry his immortal song, "I Can!"

"Day one, day two, and every day all through,

I work for me and what I love, I do!"

"The pure man plies not for himself one day?"

Nay, then he is a weedy man,

A faded, used-up, baseless man.

O trowels, flowers, towers, what say?!

________________________________

Song Of The Airplane

With wings of steel o'er the ocean

Sailing straight on, I go.

A single line of motion

Is all I am or know.

Strong is the engine inside me,

Drives me lightly afar;

But stronger the mind that guides me---

O Man, I know what you are.

Though day has fallen behind me

I'll raise it again, ahead.

I take on the night coming to me

With never a tremor of dread.

With wings of steel o'er the cliffheads

Sailing straight on I go.

A single line of motion

Is all I am or know.

I see the bright stars---they are nothing!

Inside me are two brighter, far.

They see what will be in the future,

And nothing, oh nothing will bar!

Dark boulders of mist are now shifting;

Some violence here there may be;

But their roughness shall buffet vainly

This calm pure spirit in me.

I climb the wild breast of the tempest;

I soar through its madness and roar.

The power of joy is inside me;

O Pilot, I know what you are.

With wings of steel o'er the mountains

Sailing straight on, I go.

A single line of motion

Is all I am or know.

I see the low dawn, it is breaking;

My wings it is rushing to see.

But Man is the sun in me LEADING,

And I am the triumph of He!

________________________________

Brian Faulkner

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Non-Stop Express

Though I'm three thousand miles away

I'm standing beside you today.

For deep in my heart I'm doing my part

And whatever I can I'll pay.

I'll pay with my breath while I live;

I'll pay with a poem and a song;

I'll pay with my caring, daring to give,

That you in yourself will be strong;

But more than the soft sweet wings of a dove

I'll pay with the non-stop trolley of my love.

For it goes on forever without end,

Swings through each winter to springtime's bend,

Rushes through summer, cool, like a friend,

Rolls again faster through leaves all gold,

Then back into winter to beat the cold.

My love's an express surging through the night,

And it never stops because you are its light,

A light up ahead of me, puling me on,

On through the darkness into the dawn.

It's like I'm hypnotized,

But no, I'm magnetized!

You're the law of nature I cannot defeat,

So I'll just give up and lay me at your feet.

________________________________________

Real Daytime

The inner beauty of you is always there

No matter what color your hair.

And yet I sense what is true----

That the outside reflects the inside of you.

And my heart is proud and full

Because you are so beautiful,

And my eyes are glad with sight

To see you so calm and bright.

But without your dear dear face

Your hair would not know its place,

Like a sunrise without a sun

With no real daytime begun.

Your eyes, your chin, your lips, your brow,

I loved them first as I love them now,

And if you sort of, kind of, care, yes, I confess,

I truly really love your hair.

But I'm not superficial, that's a waste;

A picture of your hair without your face

Just wouldn't, couldn't do.

I always love the heart-stopping daytime of you.

_____________________________________

Brian Faulkner

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Non-Stop Express ...

Brian, I have question about this poem. I noticed that the 1st, 4th, and 5th stanzas are all four lines, but the second and third stanzas are 6 lines and 5 lines, respectively.

For the four line stanzas: The 1st stanza rhymes lines 1, 2, and 4, with the 3rd line standing apart. The remaining two stanzas, the 4th and 5th, rhyme the lines 1 and 2, and separately rhyme lines 3 and 4.

For the longer stanzas: The 6 line stanza rhymes lines 1 and 3, lines 2 and 4, and lines 5 and 6. The 5 line stanza rhymes lines 1, 2, and 3, and lines 4 and 5.

There is, then, tremendous variation here, in terms of stanzas, and also within stanzas. I'm assuming all this was puposefully done. My question is, what lies behind these choices of structure? Is there an explicit goal you have in mind, or are these consequences of other esthetic choices that you made?

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