Taskmaster

Taskmaster


the muse will not be
mitigated, satiated, filled
restlessly, he bids me always
to pen when i would sleep

i call him "he" tho'
in fact, "she" he may be
or even "it"-- as bestial
he often devours me whole

Phantasm? Demon? Harpy?
Fury? Friend? Foe?
Muse at my shoulder
monkey on my back

all senses or affect
any tranquility I may possess
or long for, any serenity I demand
is always answered "nay"

"Legion" he very likely is
for he or they never sleep
or take ease or allow it
driver driving the driven on

he takes my spirit to task anon
Quixote, questing, dreaming impossibly
haunts my wakings, troubles my night
tilting at windmills and at nothing

like Poe's eternal Raven
not imprecating "Nevermore"
but exhorting me "onward"
"Excelsoir" and "evermore!"

Not bird, nay, but yet hawk, even vulture-like
in wary watchfulness
knelling, compelling, opining
of what? je ne sais quoi

would that he were,
my night companion,
as Poe's winged fiend
made of flesh and feathers

Like Dickinson's thing with wings
for then I could perchance parley some
converse, rail, inquire, implore
enigmatic possibly, but living

Or, in greatest travail
cease his eternal bullying
silence his endless harangue
plunging my quill in his breast

but ever, mine is Petra-still
implacable, immovable
a fixture, with only orbs
and zeal alive and probing

all-seeing, omnipotent, still
pity-less, remorseless, relentless
like water on a stone
encroaching, eroding, erasing

further still, a millstone
of justice and retribution
a nemesis, revolving slowly
grinding steadily finer

wearing me down to
thought, emotion, specter, bone
taxing, teasing, telescoping resources
to unreachable reaches

would that my demigod ever
commended or even acknowledged
my passion-drained self
my craft-weary, word-heavy soul

Under his ceaseless, scalding stare
I will 'ere be apprentice
journeyman perhaps, but never
master, magistra, beladonna

In ages past and times to come
I will tarry not in slumber
while decomposing, I compose
in composition, no repose


~marilisa, 2/22/12 Ash Wednesday


Dreamings

Dreamings

She dreamt in octuplet
in verse, footed and free
she wept in rhyme
amber-soft, flinty and chill

words, parsed en multi lingua
ad hoc, ad limina
without boundary or shore
sea-deeps to grave-silent outer tomb

Aligheri descended to hinterland
and beyond, Milton ascended,
nirvana found, in mesosphere
between dwelt Aristophanes

what is man's soul that any art mindful?
Goethe's devouring Mephistopheles
trades Faust for Little Nell.
Valjean, redemption, for bread.

Verbum is soul liturgy
Alexandria, Bodleian, subway wall
truth? Triumph of man
against society? Nay self.

And what of paradise?
Peace, Patience, incants the Prophet
magi, shaman, fakir agree
even Immortal Qasim, Jesu
and Gautama neath his bodhi tree

ergo, in quasi pace, she waits
with holy men, demons, mortui
for portent of signum crucis
(or otherwise) let it be

morn to twilight to blue-black nacht
she travels twixt infinitum and natal sound
in the moments among
sclafen, dream and waking

desiderata, mantra
much to think, to feel, to need, to taste
mammon long passed
and sapiens still to meet

in vacuum-time, we attende
speaking nothing, everything
from world's first gasp
to final death rattle

O, to repose neath Pleiades’s
on porcelain sand-lipped sea
in grove of Venus
or temple of Astarte

to drink of vineyard fruit
vino, vita, veritas
dulce et jubilato
ascend star-pocked stair

In caelo, ora et labora
unt labora es ora
minor travesti with
much amor et caritas

clay slap-pulled is Grecian vase
marble bent asunder, woman
ochre, azure, vermillion
Titian henna-tress vixen
y Raphael's fresco sublime

rude word becomes
lyric, gossamer imitates gown
rosewood, mellifluous lute
gold becomes reliquary sanctus
and alabaster a funereal jar

From peasant-hewn grain
to celestial body
from philistine-trod grape
corpus, sangua, soul and divinity



O to repose...

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Freelance writer, Top 100 Yahoo! Voices, Yahoo! News, Shine, Michigan, Detroit), blogger, teacher, mom of 4, happily married 25 years. Graduated GVSU 1986, psychology/general education and special education. continuing ed up to present. Certified MI teacher. Writing Michigan history mystery, children's Gothic fantasy. Areas of expertise: education, relationships, mental health, nutrition, history, world cultures. Passions: faith, Catholic church, sustainable living, interfaith initiatives, living simply that others might simply live. Working on MA in EI education. 

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