Flowers other than Gold

The naivist from impoverished lands,
like a simple cow, proud and easily tricked,
corralled from her plants and vegetative state,
thrown into a world of manifest profiteering,
is betrayed.

Our beloved architect,
prosaic savior,
enlightened scribe,
gritty American,
watches through the glass,
the melted panes,
spared the shattering
of Krystalnacht,
and presents hefty insights
that he’s made up
from the heated security
of his imagined usefulness.

For what self is in need,
so desperately of its own history,
colored by myopic polish,
exclusion, and exaggerated relevance?

No, self is now, America,
and our past is behind us.
And the chrysanthemums lie,
neither broken nor sown,
a token of the imagined
tragedy that we use
to hide our plainer sight
of the sadder art,
the longer art,
the myriad betrayals
within us.

[Prompted by Steinbeck’s “The Chrysanthemums”]

(c) 2017 Emma Gabriel


The Three Oceans (poem)

Salum et Aequor

The turbulent and smooth oceans lie over a third,
and each in perfect rest of the other;
repose and stasis are just ripples upon the folds,
occluding broader currents, syntactical, gnomic supports,
sine waves twisting in helical intricacy, yet bridged
throughout and within, by shuttered, visionary geometry;

An absolute coextension of “affirmo rescindoque,”
yet lacking architecture to fall short of that hubristic ghost,
while aimed manifold to infinity, but ensnaring itself into itself:

How negations became divided past their modalities,
their constructively probabilistic angularities,
their relevance, divorced from the context
of their reticent incompleteness, their share in nothing,
so still they concretize densely amid absent particularity,
extended and defiant toward any other directionality,
that the miracle of their undoing is more abundant
than the unlimited beyond water’s rest.

And seeking its abnegation into the unknown, karmic mysteries
that show dread Maya’s smiling and Nataraja’s dancing;
and Sri Hari, supine to his primordial Sakti, the vajra is molten
across countless potentiality, resplendent in all excellences,
manifest inversely while diametrically, as multifarious wellspring,
given freely still, so germane enough to a human sense of wisdom,
poured out in due measure to our own nature and stewardship.

Yet being not oceanic, either–for appearance
never satisfied its absence, though visualized in hypotheses,
vainly strung about, and as elaborate denials of their mortality–
the nexus, lonely apex of all knowledge, is one of limitation,
formed up and sifted across cold lenses, borne in the delusion
that principled inspection is not merely its own antipathy,
neurosis, cast in a harsh craft of gross gnashing upon the outskirts,
penumbra to the angels’ song, least dust to burn and expire!

Just seizing on the fires that blaze across open fields of wind, alight and singing,
where every living chord rings fully, symphonic freedom beyond thought,
pulls in embrace, scented memory, all affections, preserved and appreciated,
and known forever, but through us just the mundane.

Priest Rendition [05-04-17]

© 2017 Emma Gabriel