Grace has fled the world of men.
She cannot abide where she is shunned.
Sensitive as the wings of Monarchs
she flies only where the sun rises
and where the gales of avarice are tamed.
Where men conspire in shadows to ill,
Grace turns quietly aside.
This world, lost as it is in illusion,
cannot behold the virtues of Truth,
for, companion to Grace, Truth is antidote
to the poison of hatred men quaff like nectar, and
which they dispense as food among the many.
Immune to their own poison, they offer
only the justice of fools and cowards.
The wise, instead, drink at the table of the virtuous
the elixir of Grace and Truth
in silent admiration of the nature of life.
Undisturbed they see the world’s powerful as
mere shades of men lost in catacombs of delusion,
and that such shadowy specters are unable to gain
entrance into the glories of life’s sacred spirit.
Dead, blind, and dumb, the Predators of Men
alone walk the benighted way of the Fall.
Pity those of worldly might for theirs
is the spiral of the wingless eagle
who from his high perch of rock
was by the wind of his own contempt
cast down upon himself and thence
into the wailing abyss of his own design.
Some long lifetimes down the way
men who marry destruction and pander disdain
to lift themselves upon their high towers
will at last weep the tears of God
that stream like blood from the wounds
by which they wrecked themselves and their heritage.
All souls are bestowed with the path
that leads by Grace to Truth and Peace,
but which only the humble and the wise may walk.
Without Grace, none may find that Joy
that surpasseth all possession and renders the ego
but an empty state of shadow.
Without that Grace, men die again and again
by Kevin Trammel
In order to live in this world another must sacrifice that you may continue. The plant that gives you a smile of pleasure and provides the nutrients for your body has given its life to you. The sacrifice of one’s parents in bringing you to your fruition is not know-able to you. Friends and those one loves who smile and cheer you on in your peculiar tastes simply because they can see it brings you real joy have given you from the cup of their own vitality with love. The earth makes room and provides from its children for your continued being. The earth has a place for you until it no longer does — then you become the sustenance for those who remain. Life is a circular stream from sky to mountain to river and on to the sea… and back again.
The one who pushes the merry-go-round is waiting, smiling, longing for your return.
Time’s furnace swallows
all our loves
and holds them in
an iron crucible.
As the years pass
is the matter of truth.
If it’s gold
for the way is made.
If it’s ash,
then smear it upon your face
and walk boldly —
you are blessed
in your freedom.
If the smoke has not yet cleared,
look to the one
who sent you here.
by Kevin Trammel
Why these tragic songs of love
that end with sorrows everyone knows?
Love answers all, even the questions
one hasn’t yet learned to ask.
The Black-eyed Susans wept into the frosty glen
That winter met unvisited, untouched, untrod.
The sunlight caught in a cup of lily
Was drunk only by empty sky,
Which smiling held forth but its cold grace.
O, touch the soft shoulders of these two unknowing lovers
And pull their hair back from their eyes
And gaze into the depths of two souls’ uncast journies!
Away they went, those two, to travel far,
Later well met in wonder: they’d been given wings each.
They gazed one upon another with childlike delight
Moved by a spontaneous song of former warrior lovers.
Marvelous the might of those who walk their path!
The old lullaby of a love song dwindled in the hall…
And the wine! O, pass it round!
Come, let us hear that tune that flies on the air like incense.
-Kevin Trammel, January 2020
no fear if You break my heart a thousand times
but do not abandon me in contempt because of what I have here become
for in this garden every flower has its roots in dirt
-tr. Vraje Abramian, “This Heavenly Wine”
Jami also says (ibid.) “… our Perfect Friend … has no one’s name in his book of judgement, and crosses out no one’s name in his book of Mercy.”
She pours out the
last grains of rice from a clay urn.
Gently she lays the cup inside
and rests the lid back in place —
its faint, empty drumming.
-KT, 1/27/2020; based on the film, Ip Man
One overcast day she felt sad and drove to the coast. There, six dolphins came in to play among the waves — on a single wave, six dolphins body-surfing!
Leaving, she felt whole again. She knew the dolphins had come for her and her heart sang.
I know a friend whose heart has walked the same path as my own though we’d parted some time ago… hearing of it, my heart sang.
-KT, from an old dusty journal from the Winter of 1987; West Coast memories
I walked down to the orchard today to see what had become of the few persimmons which we had left on the tree prior to the engaging activities of the holidays. The tree was barren but for the dry and empty “caps” of a number of the fruits that the birds must have devoured. What a delicious mid-winter feast they would have enjoyed. While the cold wind was blowing, while the snow was gathering ice on the branches, they ate of the glowing red fruit of summer that had lingered all the way to solstice. I came for persimmons but there were none to have. Instead, I enjoyed in reflection the delights of winter bearing birds coming to this precious tree for refreshment.
by Witter Bynner
Though wisdom underfoot
Dies in the bloody fields,
Slowly the endless root
Gathers again and yields.
In fields where hate has hurled
Its force, where folly rots,
Wisdom shall be unfurled
Small as forget-me-nots.
Such gleeful delight. What a way to greet Solstice! Thank you, Gus.
This is what Venus and the Moon cooked up last Sunday (July 15) for all to see in the late evening sky. This was taken in Northern California, in the Sierra Foothills.
These two have been performing a marvelous dance all week, with Venus moving off to the south, parallel to the horizon, but not too far away, and then coming back again so that last night she was directly beside the moon across a perpendicular line from the horizon. It’s been beautiful and profound to watch. Sappho would have been giddy with wonder and would have written many poems of two sweet souls at play in the gardens of love.
overcast like mourning robes
five white horses on a small hill
tears of rain soft upon the window
I’ll be reading with Taylor Graham, El Dorado County Poet Laureate, and Michael Paul, at the El Dorado County Public Library in Georgetown. If anyone reading this happens to be in the area, come on by. It should be quite an enjoyable event. More details on the El Dorado Arts Council facebook page.
Posted in Poetry
Waiting on sleep, gazing
up through the window at
the bright cold and clear night —
Orion strides in magnificent stature
adorned with incandescent jewels.
And there is Sirius, and over there the Pleiades,
one a trumpet sound of light
the other a demure pool
of lambent mystery.
Ah! A plane crosses, a poor cousin
passing only briefly, like Icarus,
amongst the high shoulders
of the astral gods!
With a rake I spread
the last embers of the bonfire
like fiery butter
and I stand basking,
gazing down into
a sky-full of red stars
Christmas lights brightly jewel
the frosty fence in morning calm —
a car with one lone dawn soldier
passes by, leaving
only drifting steam that curls
slowly, lovingly, above that diadem of
colored star-bright gems.
Pine cones leaning,
sitting buddha-like along the path —
monuments to beetles,
whole planets to fleas,
menorah-like jewels to my own eye.
I can’t get over how they wait.
So quiet here in the still woods.
On what secret do they attend?