We Wish to be Kings not Free

We wish to be a king not free
of the autocrat or tyrant’s
immortal knee on our airway—
easier to be chained than change.

From the varmint to the largest
mammalian brute to walk on fours
the wants the same, to be apex
and not the helpless lowly prey.

The rabbit dreams of being man
with .410 shotgun in his hand,
to sneak and stalk its lucky prey
and feast like king for all its days.

No matter if it eats on lucky
rabbit feet to fill it stomachs dreams.

The bison imagine a time
when they are king among the beasts
and wield a mind like Oppenheimer
to make tremble the wolf in fleece.

The wolf in its woolly clothing
fears no bison or weapons reach.

We never dream to be set free
of jowls upon our throats, but each
is happy and content to plea
and wish of finer cloth and feasts.

©J.P.V.

To be

This rusted throne of kings, this gilded smile,
This divine right of blood, this gift of sight,
This better race of man, madness defiles
This luscious home of dreams, this earthly plight,
This inherited form, this gift of life,
This other choice of men, madness defines.

© J.P.V.

My Sweet English

There are so many languages to love,
but only one English to prize
and take into ones arms with such fondness
as to spark flames of passion high
as angels might fancy to fly, my dear.

Oh, I dote on and glorify my hearts
affections for you, the English word,
and I am rightful to be wild for you
and put to pedestal my love
as you have gifted me my sweetest care.

©J.P.V.

Children Spinning

In youths youngest hour comes the dawn,
and we whirl around at the sky,
and being young and in love
with blue, tulips, and clouds we fall
not knowing that one day the sun
would forever go down,
and the children get up
and dance and sing in the streets,
London Bridge is Falling Down
and we whirl around in wondrous glee.

©J.P.V.

Hunters In The Dark Wood

Long, at last, The Vostok had pierced the darkness
and thrust Yuri into the firmament;
We leapt from spherical craft to the vault
of heaven, and waded ourselves in a bit
with legs new formed like a tadpole in morph.

In fire and sparks the Saturn 5 was born:
Mighty Zeus himself had crafted the name
and Leto surely guarded Neil and Buzz
as they blasted their coarse in a craft—we launched
Apollo, the old Olympian God
and thirty two million horses aloft.

The world and all of its kin found itself
as moths circling the television flame—
pinned to Cronkite and the radio wave,
as both Eagle and Buzz set down to Sea.

One great leap for mankind—we would follow
and pierce the darkness to glimpse the mount
and seat of Gods again. Our hearts would lead,
and our feet would follow, but the veil of heaven is
thin and the forest is dark with life.

For fifty years we’ve kept our feet on Earth
and filled the vacuum with The Kardashians,
Kanye, and the endless noise of Nancy
Grace, fairly unbalanced in her pulpit cries.

From its jeweled coffers life feeds on life.
The tusk of the narwhal was built from blood—
in its spirals eons stack up the cost.
Even the helical form of fractal
Romanesco Broccoli is bathed in the dead
of the lifeforms that could not out complete
such a splendid looking broccoli as it.

At worst Fermi has left us with millions
of civilizations dispersed,
surely we should have heard some noise by now—
some distant music from a farther room.

We have gone out in the darkness in waves
to the places between the stars
and traveled beyond that first awkward step
as Marconian ambassadors,
broadcasting our whereabouts—
a little blue planet—just left out of the caves.

If the forest wasn’t dark and the hunter
was not lurking about the trees,
surely we would have heard the children singing,
surely we should have heard the chips of birds
or the thunderous feet of some flower
become sentient now after a gigayear
spent smiling up at a dwarf sun.

Life feeds on life, and in the dark of ages
hence it has gathered about the Goldilocks
and clutched its young with something like arms,
and being reasonable decided to lock the door
rather than chance the great mistake of waving
a leg or a tentacle our way.

©J.P.V.

The Thinker

A poem I wrote while thinking about the lost statue, “The Poet at the Gates of Hell,” now known for just it’s center portion, The Thinker.

As I sit thinking of Rodin’s great statue,
The Poet At The Gates Of Hell and bards since past
in battle with follied madness—in length
and breadth at their obligations,
I too sing fortissimo at the soldiers advance,
at drums beating their muse in the fields of the dead:
the clomping boots mid-march to claim new land,
the menacing certainty of blood spilled,
the dangers hidden in the advancement.

Revolution most grand I chant,
vive la révolution, vive l’esprit de l’homme!

Underneath the concrete and glass skyscrapers weight
I’m certain that spirit and advancement endure,
gathering light at its edges as if perfume
suppressed, supine along the floor
waiting for some fortuitous windfall,
to turn silver droplets from Katy Perri’s Plastic bags—

The restless mist that goes out at evening
and plasters itself—to the Iphone’s glow
at parks and while glued in theater seats,
the mist that pins itself to the floor
or gives its momentum up to hissed dogma
underneath the concrete and glass skyscrapers weight.

©J.P.V.

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