When funnel clouds clip rainbows
in our world, where the vestiges of Eden whirl
in a mash of mangled parrot wings
or Iris, smithereened to make
We can see why rainbows flinch;
They don’t make it very long.
Banshee decibels defign, the decimating means:
Locomotive grinding wheel , cone of writhen hate,
vicious biting vapors, Hell-
Each bashing is a moment-ary
From icon wrenched
Violently constr ue d, arch
From Arch etype
(The sky is reeling odd tonight!)
I’ve read about those pristine days when rainbow shard was rare.
Lions still ate lily-pads, and rattlesnakes were raging fads
As playmates for the nursery.
Prisma-ash is pollen now,
Coursing through our breath,
Twisted beauty permeates, and I like eating meat.
The eyes of flies are pigment parks in geodesic dome,
Black radiance with chandelier, stuffed in honeycomb.
Oil on the parking lot, mimics Northern lights:
Borealis flares in beaded rain, on surfaces like night.
Death implied is banking, pivoting on air
A bloodied stink is calling to a colored thoroughfare.
Gliding white as whisper, missiles cruise the dark
Pilot fish are dental floss for shearing shard of shark.
The cacti in the desert, wear a brutal fringe,
Prickle pear, with rain, explode into a floral binge.
Snow flakes falling virgin white, in the tilted world
Would we know that dance at all, if sin were not unfurled?
Now I share my paradox:
I believe in paradise, with us once and yet to come:
"World without End…"
I believe in beauty too:
"Meadows from His garden here."
But these strange shattered-glories, fallen-splendors reign
Carving raging channels, deep within my brain
Of a convoluted beauty,
Heaven would exclude.
Note: This early poem totally baffled the class to which I presented it. Several praised the images, but it met with an almost universal “hungh”. One kid said that it said “nothing” well, then added that he liked it till it mentioned God. Now I don’t know if I missed on a communication level because the poem really is too abstract, or if I was simply working with alien themes. I wanted to press a religious question with out sounding like a bible.
To be honest, the title threw them. Folks were looking for the cathedral in the poem. But it wasn’t there. I was mixing metaphors and playing with a personal symbol. We tried not to explain our poems too much –“Bad form”; But I'll help you with the title at least.
Somewhere in the nineties a tornado hit our small college town of Stillwater Oklahoma. And not just one, but four separate cones descending like teats from an angry udder. It wasn’t a national story but it did leave a lot of broken glass and shingles and a flipped car or two in our apartment complex. Later, in typical space-head thinking, I imagined shattered glass tossed and lodged in spider webs … really ….like the bits of broken glass in church windows. The rest is yours.