The Lightning is a Strobe and the Thunder is a Bass

Born from weakness, shaped in heat,
The Golden Calves appeared to him.
Their altar was beneath his feet,
And so he danced in praise of them.

Some others joined him for the feast,
And two by two more came as well,
Each worshiping their separate beast,
But all beneath a single spell;

The women bent into a bow
In praise of great fermented grain,
And close behind to praise the plow,
The men, stiff-chained, all bowed the same.

And when the sacred spell had passed,
And all the grain had turned to chaff,
From Sinai Moses came at last,
But found no altar, dance, nor calf.

~Michael Danger Caskey

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That Missing Song

That Missing Song

I came from the lip of the waning moon,
That snipped the night of starless, dark, and free,
And dipped me down through glowing white pontoons:
Reflections on the waves of troubled seas.

I went to where the cracks of sunbeams stray
Through seams of tree-lined dusk and dawn,
To cast their strings and play those golden rays,
But found it quiet: that old song had gone.

I came before the steadfast face of time,
That showed more rocky wrinkles than before;
I asked him when the missing sun would shine,
But that old man’s not speaking anymore.

I looked up, longing for the backlit moon,
But there was Venus–and her glowing tune.

~Michael Danger Caskey

Published in: on September 9, 2012 at 9:34 am  Leave a Comment  
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Sing a Song of Sixpence

Sing a song of sixpence, pockets full of rye,
Johnny with your sixpence, bellyfull of wine,
Pulling down the drink since there’s something on your mind,
Quit searching for that sixth sense, the other five are fine,
But you’re not one to think when you’re looking for a sign.

Jenny with some rue seeds, better take some rye:
Pockets full of wishes never gonna shine,
If you get your sixpence, give it to the grind;
Money where your mouth is, bread is close behind,
But Johnny’s got your sixpence, and Johnny’s doing time.

Johnny’s on the down-low, Jenny’s on the climb,
He’s looking for his chance, but the stars won’t quite align,
She’s taking what she can, but the can won’t ever chime,
So sing a song of sixpence, sing a song of rye:
Songs with happy endings always cost a dime.

~Michael Danger Caskey

Poetic Monologue

So I’ve been reading Robert Browning recently for class. Dramatic monologues and all that. So I thought I’d try my hand at one of them for once, or at least a poetic bastardization of such. If that’s the word I’m looking for. No, the right phrase is probably a dramatic bastardization. Anyway, I like it enough.

I Heard the Leaves

I heard the leaves as they were falling, once,
And they were singing songs,

Or so I thought.
The leaves, at least, were falling and they made
Some kind of noise as each of them were caught
And carried off by gusts,

But anyway,
Their song was hardly mournful or distraught,
Despite how, in that very wind that sought
The leaves, the barren branches left behind
All rattled, shook, and seemed to howl at time
For bringing such a fell fall wind around
To drag their fragile children to the ground.
However, their autumnal agony
Was drowned out by their spinning progeny:
The leaves all seemed to dance in revelry
While singing “Hallelujah! We are free!”
But I–

I see the look you’re sending me
Askance; a glance that seems to ask me why,
As if I’m sending back insanity.
I know that they could neither talk, nor cry,
Nor sing a thing, of that, you can be sure,
But bear with me some more.

Now, where was I?
Ah, right: I could not help but wonder if
These singers knew they were not long to live
And their unbound rejoicing would not last,
For freedom’s only meant for dust and ash,
Since their reward is freedom’s final price
For falling leaves that spin like loaded dice
Or flipping coins with both sides tails, or heads
Cut from the trunk and wishing they were dead
But betting for their life. These leaves, I think,
Are too too sordid; far too much like me
For me to look on them and really see
Just a leaf: an ounce of compost for the grass
In final rites for passing Advent Mass
With mourning branches shuddering above
And silent ground so welcoming below.
Christian men and women all around
Look on the sight, and hear the raspy sounds,
And say “oh, how I love the autumn day
When leaves are changing in the best of ways!”
But they ignore the branches, stripped and bare,
And buried leaves no longer in the air–
Blinded fools! the beauty’s where you cannot see!
Lift the blanket, look below, and there will be
Your truth, your beauty, and your free! But no,
It may be really foolish me. I know
The leaves were making sounds of revelry,
And this design was drawn up by the trees;
Their fall-inspired offspring must have known
Of their mortality as they were grown–
Their dance was no coincidence of wind,
With songs of Hallelujah to the end,
But that these very leaves–

I see no need:
You seem to have no interest in this–
Just like a newly-planted thought, or seed,
That died inside my heavy-handedness.
I may have spoken anthropomorphically:
Indeed, some trees may be deciduous,
And grow their leaves in spring, but finally
Re-absorb them when the daylight’s less,
But that’s not really what my story’s for–
Jesus Christ, haven’t you heard of metaphor?

~Michael Danger Caskey