Caveat: Poem #1750 “Brought low to earth”

The slug proceeded down the forest path.
It was a leisurely, one-footed stroll.
The sky attempted rain. But nature's math
miscalculated, missed that hoped-for goal.
Instead the damp air licked at leaves, and clouds
just hovered low and ominous, like ghouls.
In trees the birds made plots in secret crowds,
and droplets hung, undried, from leaves like jewels.
I took a walk, then, clearing out my mind.
The patterns shifted. "That's quite strange," I mused.
The randomness of things seemed all designed.
These apophenic turns kept me confused.
And meditating thus, a hole I'd dug
appeared. And so I fell. "Well! Hi there, slug."

– a sonnet in iambic pentameter.

Caveat: Poem #1729 “And”

Un-Rhymed Sonnet.
A rotated rose is nothing more than
Some reconsidered kiss, intractable;
Love creeps like cats, like lawn-mowers across
The green summery suburbs of my heartbeat,
Who tug mercifully passive, all alone
To evoke the blood of reptiles beneath
The scattered rocks of over-civilized spirit
To drain into the corners of my room.
Lovelost.  Your face as if beyond recall,
Memoriam:  As if black / cupric seas
Did separate two serpent-blue-green isles.
Lovelost.  Lost love which clings to my conscience
While I wait like zoo-monkeys in a cage
A hop and step distant from my desire.
And Rhymed Sonnet.
What's lost?  I may die tomorrow-matins
While metamorphic metaphors fly blind
Through the lonesome corridors of my mind
To leap 'gainst these fearsome, scaley satins
Which clothe a cowering lust.  Somehow your smile
Can drag old bears from under winter oaks
To shed carelessly their black hair cloaks
On the floor:  rests a love note all the while
Discarded by love-green-romantic fool;
With the ruby guts of a lizard-king
Spattered on my innards by silver knife,
Parabolic precursor to blood-pool,
Inward-facing stone, little pebble-thing.
The fool must be fool;  I must try at life.
And prose-poem.
Dream:  A rose is your cliché – an expression
of horizontal love that's no love at all
but just like some simple multicolored
leaf – pretty but irrelevant to the soul
which is more like some dead leaf.
A rotated rose is the essence of cut
summer grass – moribund like the subjunctive,
lovelost.  Trees throw leaves down in angry
disgust, "you're too beautiful, and look:
winter comes!"  I want you more than any
silly rose because, somewhat as the cupric
seas of mythic green, you trace magic on
the retina;  a residue fluttering downward
from your eyes like rusting spring
leaves – caught in a late winter drizzling.
I guess it's more your face, traceries of
sea-foam on the somber, pensive rocks, which
danse irreverent of the genius of mother
earth.  Which, of course, evokes further
souls, more, more, than silly, shy, mine.
Suppose it's best you ignore this, as an
angel properly should, but remember to
dream at night about the saintless ocean,
glycerine panic, and that muddy path
along leaf-strewn, yellow-pink, cavernous
cliffs – your name has become my most
sacred prayer, and I don't even know you.
Calm the injunction now, the heartfelt
fool, under post-priori cobalt skies,
romancing a ghost within his own imagined
kingdom.  But you're real, aren't you?
Nevermind.  Néanmoins.  Maybe it's just
that you're Parisian in spirit:
kind-of-inconclusive.  But even dark satan
brightens when you blink.  Your smile
brings only bleeding, ecstatic lesions of
joy; romantics turn away and laugh, but
only at myself.  So what's funnier, this
poem or this man-boy?  A nasty wasp of
something cupid hath stung me.  Unsting
me or not;  ice cream at the beach in
July and now the leaves fly, now thinking
thoughts about you – because now I've
seen more in the wine-blue waves than
just cold Aphrodite.
If in some further time removed, fate
could act as sea waves to wash, for one
brief mote of singular time, your lips
nigh mine, I would fall within that mote
as someone from a bridge towards…

– a pair of sonnets and an accompanying prose-poem, written originally in November, 1984, and posted on that date but now also added to these daily poems.

Caveat: Poem #1604 “Ode to Hole Pot”

Most potholes could not be compared to you:
the greatest obstacle I had yet seen.
So stealthily did you lie there, it's true,
awaiting my car's tires - you were quite mean.
The way to deal with creatures of your sort
involves a dodging kind of driving skill.
In fact it can resemble healthy sport,
but doubts and worries lurk beyond each hill.
Perhaps I sped along a bit too fast.
It seems I could have slowed down just a bit.
The luck I'd had in swerving could not last.
My god, that thing looked like a giant pit!
But in the end I simply hit the brake.
Behold, a pothole like unto a lake.

– a sonnet in iambic pentameter.

Caveat: Poem #1369 “Curtailment”

The rain had washed the world all clean:
  from the trees' branches hung blinded eyes,
    but mud-scrubbed stones held the road.
A bird sang suggestions, remained unseen:
  a purple fog had captured the skies,
    but a sun peered through a mist that flowed.
I walked up the gravel road a ways:
  feeling as if reduced in size
    by the looming trees with their secret code.
That rain had fallen for many days:
              time's old load.

– a curtal sonnet. I’m not sure how well I did. I tried to imitate the form invented by the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins, with a four-foot “sprung rhythm” and 10 1/2 lines.

Caveat: Poem #966 “The parrot”

A parrot made a noise, there, leaping -
I tilted head and looked across -
it flashed some green and red, in keeping
with brightish rainbow moods; the moss,

affixed to stones below and gazing
up greenly at the raucous praising
that spilled out happy birdish squawks,
undisciplined, unlike the rocks,

whose gentle, calm enunciations
could only offer echoes, cold.
The bird was hopping upward, bold,
and tracing out complex relations

that flowers sketched against the sky,
that raindrops tapped as clouds went by.

– some kind of sonnet

Caveat: Poem #953 “The alien met along the road”

I set aside my thoughts, just walking.
The alien along the road
appeared and gave me pause, his talking -
his soulless pleadings - like a code

made up of tangled verbs and meanings
from which I got the barest gleanings.
I followed through an open gate,
his gestures seemed to show we're late,

how could I know, could he be trusted?
In dark and looming halls we roamed,
his pointless words spilled out and foamed.
We stopped beside machines, all rusted.

And he explained what he had planned,
but still I didn't understand.

– some kind of sonnet

Caveat: Poem #944 “Missing”

So I attempt to move ahead,
to set aside the brooding things,
but moods assert and dwell like dead -
like ghosts adrift on empty wings.

The spider webbing fills my head
with self recriminations, rings
of cloudy doubts and dreams, all led
across landscapes controlled by kings

who rule the shifting realms unsaid
and quite unsayable, till springs
snap shut and render into dread.

Perhaps in moving forward, then
I'll figure out solutions. When?

– some kind of sonnet, but it’s missing a line. Badly wrought.

Caveat: Random Poem #116 “Love sonnet”

(Poem #417 on new numbering scheme)

An unrequited love is best of all
because there are no compromises urged
because no complications will befall
because right from the start all hopes are purged.
Imagined generosities prevent
the flowering of jealousies unreal,
and finally the heart's desires are spent
in crafting verse the voice must not reveal.
Yet all along, new meanings can be made:
from castles, pure and abstract, words are flung
and later when those ramparts start to fade,
an apophenic anthem can be sung.
It's easy, then, to pine for that that's not;
and simple, too, to leave it: just a thought.

– a sonnet in iambic pentameter.

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Caveat: Random Poem #68 “Inchoate dreaming time”

(Poem #369 on new numbering scheme)

I fall alone. I have blacked out.
A darkness now envelopes me,
reification both of doubt
and also of uncertainty.
A dream begins to coalesce
amid the bursting stars of aught:
A bone, a wing, dark paths, endless
images uncontrolled, unsought.
A meaning seeps out from between
the tiny cracks that draw or trace
their jagged, concrete lines, unseen
upon knowledge's edifice.
I spin in space. I harbor fears.
The moon is white. I taste my tears.

– a sonnet in iambic tetrameter.

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Caveat: Random Poem #46

(Poem #347 on new numbering scheme)

There's going down. There's going up. Which way
you choose to go depends on your desire.
Desire can lead, but those descents can stray:
long corridors with many doors require
decisions once again. It's better, then,
to walk the upward path. The clouds can serve
as steppingstones, and rainbows tell you when
to turn, and when to jump, and even swerve.
Well, all of this might seem fantastic news,
but there's a problem still. You don't yet know
where you might need to stop, and catch the views -
that mountain for example, with glaring snow:
it needs attention from the angels who
you hope might tell you plainly what is true.

– structurally, it’s a sonnet (of some kind – Elizabethan?), but I don’t think it’s very sonnet-like, thematically, and there’s too much enjambment.

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