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Indifferently as Stars Cast Forth

Cosmic Sonnet

Indifferently as stars cast forth their light

To distant galaxies in timeless warp of space

Even to endless involutions bright

Of the dark margins of the universe,

To cold planets, icy moons, and the dead

Matter of primal time and origin,

My faintly illumined thoughts of you traverse

The dark reaches of my mind and region

Of timebound memory, rare quanta bred

Of all sensa the scintillating trace

Of my extinct imagination, whose inverse

Proportion of gravitational dread

Pulls me reluctantly to your starry legion—

Dark matter that will never come to light.

The Floral Art

To Julie on Our Anniversary

Who would have thought this garden would have grown

So elaborate, with sweet fragrant herbs,

Aromatic blooms, roses of every known

Variety, colors of such mix to disturb

The quiet mind and excite the heart’s own

Substantiality, where even curbs

That border and contain newly wild blown

Seedpods unite the pathways in superb

Configuration of the floral art.

Here I have watched you for twenty years work

With trowel, shears, and hoe, tending with glove

And patience the tender crops, the sweet dark

Earth and sharp bitter thorns you hold with love

To protect your hands and secure my heart.

Déesse Entretenue

Judy Martin Meyer


How I shall miss the brilliance of your days,

Your bright laughter, the blue vivacity

Of your eyes, your smile, quick velocity

Of temper when you disapproved of ways

You would not accept or understand, ways

I often exposed for the audacity

Of your vexation, dark ferocity

Of your tight reaction; taut body, gaze

That darted dangerously in a maze

Of attack and retreat, like the short flick

Of a doe’s tail, when she, ready to run

At the next threat or provocation, stays

Poised yet to hold cover and avoid the gun:

So you and she shall ever be more quick.

Language Lesson

Walking with my father down elm-lined street

Of our neighborhood in steel-locked Pueblo,

Colorado—true melting pot, hot sweat

Of labor, smelter, pig-iron, steam from low,

Bent backs of emigrant workers—was sweet

Linguistic voyage with exotic stow-

Aways we meet along the way, who greet

Us in their mother tongue in prideful show.

He spoke twelve languages and dialects,

To each his native tongue, as I watch, stand

By crazed wife beater, vicious drunken licks,

“Was he German, Dad”? “No, son, Austrian.”

Listen in awe to clasp this verbal mix,

The thick finger of his rough, heavy hand.


© 2006-2008 Frank Cebulski

Proteus: An Account of the Sea

Aux metamorphoses des choses caresseės

A damp lip of wet sand lifts against a bone.

A sea map in a swirl bats about a tufted grey feather.

A shell's sliver, pearl husked, scrapes a brusque stone.

A brace of kites brace against the wind in weather.

A pink stone incommunicado creeps among kelp web.

A twist of stick a journey takes in dark sand.

A piper darts, starts, turns, stabs at the new ebb.

A lace of paper flowers the water at the end of the land.

A line a line a line of pelicans delays the fast wave.

A blue of sea a pattern plaits among wisp foam.

A small wind a corner takes a circle makes a sea cave.

A bend of grass an arch turns from crisp sand to sea loam.

       A gull struts, halts, hunches in a slow wedge.

       Indocile, three dogs leap at the foam's edge.

Sonnet V from Mediterranean Sonnets

© 1988 Frank Cebulski


Achilles spun into his life at death,

     The only deed he truly knew the last

     He could not undo: a whirlwind fast

Against the writhing day he shook his breath

Into a dust at Troy. Why bother death

    With such as he, whose story Homer cast

    Into the sieve of time to drop him past

Identity into the daimon sheath

Of dead appearance with imagined act.

     In the scaly corner of several walls

     Ash basking lizards flit against charred man's

Revery: "Even they know more by pact

     With hugging earth to remake lost falls

     Than I a promise to myself my hands."

Sonnet XXXVI from Mediterranean Sonnets

© 1988 Frank Cebulski 

Rustic by Glade Light

In russet seclusion, rustic by glade-

light, I, overenamored by bough bend,

by leaflight, jade look longing to eye-rend

you, your visage inpouring, that green shade,

that blue moss, my leopard bower invade;

as cover then your eyes as foliage blend,

my covey in circlet brightened to fend,

friendly, fiercely, from all darkening raid.

Sometimes dark I am discovered, and you

hovered as haven fair natural face

fast love's wild retreat to sheltering lair;

sometime azured by your eyes, false found, who,

hidden in fear, fears time's fear, love's true pace,

whose ferreting gaze all blood natures bare.

Sonnet LI from Mediterranean Sonnets

© 1988 Frank Cebulski

The Sons of Canaan from Sidon

(The Phoenician Discovery of the Amazon)

We, the Sons of Canaan from Sidon, set

Sail with full hope, the flower in our mouth,

Blossoming like many tongues Holy Seth

The lotus of energy steers south

To regions in the stone of memory.

For Pharoah Necho round the land of Ham

We rowed for the Pillars of Hercules,

From deepest Egypt, sacred to Amon.

Rose on our right the orchidean sun

We daily blest, but unmindful Ba'al cast

Us out, bounded by deep-swirling Ocean.

Strange dolphins sneeze in the grey, wide waters

Of this river. Nature drips from her trees.

In great beauty of bounty we are lost.

Sonnet LXXVII from Mediterranean Sonnets

© 1988 Frank Cebulski 

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