Thursday, March 24, 2016

Canvas 652

Canvas 652

March 24, 2016


Gary B. Fitzgerald said...


The Second Coming

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

William Butler Yeats

William Michaelian said...

Thanks, Gary. By way of response (and perhaps because I can think of no other), I offer this short (possibly appropriate) passage, published here around four years ago:

Like unto ourselves

Are we humans basically, intrinsically flawed? I think not. I think we are human, just as birds are birds, trees are trees, and whales are whales — beings like unto ourselves, in other words, bound by our own true nature. Part of that nature demands, as it does of every form of life, that we reproduce. Another part calls upon us to seek, and to wonder. When we look up at the stars, we do more than yawn or marvel: we want to know what it is we’re seeing, how it came to be here, and what might one day become of it all. In the same way, we look into ourselves. That we sometimes draw erroneous conclusions proves no flaw; rather, it teaches us that some lessons take a thousand years to learn. I do not lament, therefore, the limits of my senses; I seek, instead, the depths of my perception. The more I see, and the better I understand, the less likely I am to do harm to others and undermine myself with fear. It is a long road. I know this through experience. The same holds for our entire race. We are not here to assume the worst. We are here to live and learn. That, too, is our nature. Barbers and surgeons no longer bleed their patients. Someday, if we survive, I think we will say the same of our crusades, our inquisitions, and our wars. And when we do, I think we might also say, “Like us, our ancestors finally understood that our work is here, and our life is now. Love.”

Gary B. Fitzgerald said...


How reconcile this paradox,
this Creator who loves creation,
with the brutality and blood
that makes it turn,
the endless flow of life,
forms granted their existence
by the eating of each other,
the bewildered, starving young
still awaiting their dead mother?

How resolve this lack of compassion,
this cruelly designed summation
by the One who loves us all,
those lost to fire and fang and flood
or blown from nests in storms?

We will reason, for we are human
and create our fine Religion
which our reason then deforms.

Copyright 2010 – Ponds and Lawns: New and Corrected Poems, Gary B. Fitzgerald

William Michaelian said...

Wonderful. I thank you again.