"Feeling Fog Feeling God" - Eugene C. Bianchi


"Feeling Fog Feeling God" - Eugene C. Bianchi

“Just sit there right now.
Don’t do a thing. Just rest.
For your separation from God
is the hardest work in this world.”
--Shams-ud-din Muhammad Hafiz (1320-1389)

Sounds awfully pious like a preacher 
bent on getting our lapsed hides back 
into synagogues, mosques and churches. 
Yet that sainted excommunicate Jew 
Bennie Spinoza, grinding his lenses 
in The Hague, found God everywhere 
as did Persian poet Hafiz and Catholic Aquinas, 
who thought getting separated from the divine 
impossible or at least a very hard chore 
especially if you don’t block nature from 
seeping into your soul, aware or distracted.

Today a soft Georgia fog rose from the Oconee
gently spread over oaks, dogwood, sweet gum 
over scampering squirrels and my garden 
bench to tap on my chest for re-entry. 
This is an old man’s fog less rushed and 
insistent than its cousin that streamed over
the San Francisco Bay in my youth, cascading 
through hills and hurrying by me to 
push inland for new ventures and dreams.

Just then three clean-cut young Mormons in dark ties 
and short-sleeve white shirts interrupted my musings 
to tell me about the splendor of the latter days. 
I offered them a vaguer mist as maybe godly 
though bright with doubt, when they were ready.

Later I explained all this to cat Max who 
mumbled assent, but wondered where he could buy 
Spinoza’s glasses, so I reminded him of his built-ins.

"Feeling Fog Feeling God" is a selection from Gene's new collection, Chewing Down My Barn: Poems from the Carpenter Bees. His website is http://www.bianchibooks.com

"My mouth is dry" - Emmanuel Brahmstein

"My mouth is dry" - Emmanuel Brahmstein

My mouth is dry
My stomach turns
The world turns from gold to green, red to black
I cannot quench my thirst
Sweat running from my brow lets me know my heart is working
A decorative array of bottles keeps me company
At any given time I collapse
Emotion suffers because of devotion
Devotion to misery and pain, loss and not letting go

Will I wither in this place?
My mind drowned out by music and alcohol
My soul trying to vacate my body
I wish it would
I wish there were 12 platforms to find

But I have been a failure
I haven’t been me
Who am I?
What a cliché of existentialism
But seriously who am I
Others see in me more than I see in myself
Yet I’m here with fresh materials to start again

There are so few people in the world who can cause you to salivate
To moisten your mouth, throat, and body
They can come in any size, shape, and so on
But we rarely recognize and hold on to them
Time befriends us momentarily until the end
That moment where slits in the wrist must be made
Where thoughts collide against one another
Where the heart weakens with a-fibrillation
Where the stomach begins to turn towards nausea

There is no drug or substance to escape the one that held you most
It’s hold is forever binding
It’s intoxication flows through the bloodstream infecting every part of you
And when it’s gone the dehydration of the heart and soul begin again
Sweat now accompanies panic
Asphyxiation grows
And one can only hope that perhaps this time it is for real
That the soul can be released through the miracle of a heart attack
Since that’s what it is.
Better to part on good terms than on questionable ones

But I have no luck. I have only the misfortune of living every time
My eyes open and I hear the silence

Another failure, so I must try to fail again, even better
Such a mobius trip of irony, ailing, and thirst

More poetry and other writing is at Emmanuel Brahmstein's site. The cityscape is by Jeremy Mann and more is here.

"For the Oates" - Jay Morris

"For the Oates" - Jay Morris

Haiku One

The crippled phoenix
Stumbles toward resurrection
Breathing future ash.

Haiku Two

Tower of bone white
Hold in the sins of eons
Babylon is sand

Haiku Three

The pervasive tongue
Speaks in the bright alchemy
Of coalesced dreams

Haiku Four

Do you know the Oates?
Engineer of drunken birds?
Haiku mastermind.

Haiku Five

Poetry bridges
The gap between our ages
Peer, mentor, and friend.

"For the Oates" is part of a series of poems by Athens poets about other poets.