Thursday, June 21, 2012

Journey to Embarkation

Daejeon, South Korea
September 21, 2010; revised May, 2014

Midnight rains have stopped for now
and veils of mist envelop trees. Soft
textures of darkness hover beyond
        the pale reach of streetlight
that bathes the last bus stop
                out of Daejeon.

Late night truths come veiled in signs.
A white dog emerges from shadow,
makes his mark then passes on
        and leaves me emptied
on the path of pilgrims now
                at peace with night.

Though dawn lies distant, far beyond
my closed horizons bright midmorning
showers light, I must have faith  
        for here I am, wayfaring
stranger, watching forms
                in drifts of fog.

Too soon the rains will return
and the lullaby tap of wipers
will sooth intermittent sleep
        through the last
empty hours of night
                in a far country,

And my bus will plow steady
to causeway’s end
beyond the mudflats
        where sea and sky
merge, gray and indistinct
                at Incheon.

My brothers, we are bodies
becoming spirit, forever drifting 
mid-transit. We are always
        awaiting embarkation.
We have always already
                arrived.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

In the Aftermath of an Engineering Binge


Athens, Georgia
June 6, 2012

My muse flipped me off last week
after too many midnights, head caught
in code, tweaking time step solvers
on an engineering binge.

She said you left that years ago
for herons, shoals, and metered lines
and who but one like you might find
your mind entranced in strings of code?

I said it’s just a short-time thing
      an algorithm coding fling
      my simulation fantasy
to make a number cruncher sing.

Just fine she said, half out the door
      composing raunchy metaphor
it’s art, I argued, and what’s more
my colleagues all swear, and you know’em

my programs resemble a poem:
      they tend to abort
      a syllable sort
ambiguous functions the norm.

As I said, my muse
      flipped me off last week.
Took up with a wild-eyed type,
      my evil twin Sal

who drives a souped-up symbol –
      nineteen sixty seven
      or eight mustang
which has nothing on my hybrid

when it comes to efficiency.
She was last seen riding shotgun
      top down, streaming
      raucous lines, the kind

she knows I never use. To choose
      the wild, a touch
      obtuse and bad
career move for a muse

‘cause "Reptile Brain" just cannot write.
      So I propose
      a compromise
pour tu, cher muse, inverse haiku:

     Wake up soon and savor dawn
                    engineer by day             
            after sunset, yield to art.

So ready now to channel
      phrases, randy words  
      stoked in the queue
long overdue, when can we start?


Photography by David Noah, Winterville, Georgia