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Poems By Poet Warren Falcon  11/23/2014 11:04:01 PM
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Warren Falcon   Best Poems From
  WARREN FALCON (04/23/52 - xxxx)
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Loose Train Haiku #9

a star's all child's play now
late night track lilt wheels
tilt toward melting darkness
Warren Falcon



Madly Singing For The Mountain

for Andy Linton & Philip Whalen

...arrived via email this morning while I was reading Madly Singing In The Mountains, An Appreciation and Anthology of Arthur Waley. Waley did more than any other single man to introduce Chinese and Japanese literature to the Western reader. His translations were the first of Asian poems that I read in my youth, taking them with me always on the mountain trail, do so still when in Mexico where one can honestly sit beside a well, hear the desert mountains hum, near up to that poem/place and remember those old poets who waited months and years to hear from a fellow friend and poet via tattered letters born by foot and horse over mountain ranges through all kinds of weather...

Email, there's no time or travel in all that, so one has to conjure travel, the endurance, and will to keep moving, in other ways, so this arrives from afar in the morning wind chill through the Autumn window:

XL. 'Into my heart an air that kills...'
by A. E. Housman (1859-1936)

Into my heart an air that kills
From yon far country blows:
What are those blue remembered hills,
What spires, what farms are those?

That is the land of lost content,
I see it shining plain,
The happy highways where I went
And cannot come again.


Dear A. you haint sent me the Housman poem before but I am glad that you did...certainly sums up the inner weather and appoints one the always present task of contentment even if inner and outer matters are not in balance (if ever) (I gave up on balance long time ago...I rather see-saw, jee and haw, one ass at a time, testing each step for sure-footed-ness enough) ...

...time for you to get to those blue remembered hills and their equivalent within, the rough land therein to roam, find perhaps a view for a home, or rock, or glen, or stream and on and on...Taoism (not the kow tow and such but much there is indeed to bow to...funny and right that nature makes an old man naturally bow (and I'm bending more everyday, old knees can still pray despite my conscious will to curse) , bends him forward in advancing age bowing all the time in or out of mind) makes so very much sense to me in my old(er) age why I crave now some land beneath me, trees, hills, and a sky which is not quadrangled and tangled with wires and contrails, and a well would be nice and a porch and a nearby trail and a door without a lock for who would want to keep wandering spirits out, call in the fox and see what mischief is brought...and there keep humans far away/absent which may make my bitter heart the fonder for the fools that others and myself be and have been...nature's been the better friend so far (and books) , and you and others few who don't vex me much nor seem to be vexed by my past pissery and now growing, finally, curmudgeonly-leewardly-ness and cuss.

Remember this that I wrote when in the Blue Ridge much vexed by many and myself and reading via Waley that old fool and wise wiseacre Li Bao/Li Po? I'd been much in my cups and could not sleep inside that night so slept on the back porch hung over the stream flowing beneath, its good and non-judgmental company, lulled enough of me to slumber beneath the hard lumber of that old porch...woke up with the Waley book opened to Li Po's poem 'Alone And Drinking Under the Moon' (there was no moon that porch night) , managed to focus in the dawn light and read it again...then grabbed pencil and wrote:

Of Li Po Waking The Morning After (Cerca 1979)

'Let me be forever drunk and never come to reason!
Sober men of olden days and sages are forgotten,
And only the great drinkers are famous for all time.' - Li Po

'We share life's joys when sober.
Drunk, each goes a separate way.' - Li Po

Waking up among these frail green things,
by the stream I hear the hornets singing.
I do not fear them but I fear the sting
of light as day creeps into my shade.

I have read of sad and joyful things
under last night's moon and now I weep
for the Immortals fading from light
to light with their pockets of pine bark
and resin to chew, their wine of sorrow
to drink in their, and my, sorrowful season.

I am homesick for the earth as
these old poets knew it,
a thin veil of mountains,
winter birds pecking at suet,
some girls dancing, and a wife,
some young sons to pull the reeds up
fishing and weeping for my exposed
wino bones while I sit, drunk, pronouncing
upon the deeds of state. Pitiable.

Let there be leaving taking and coming to,
drinking and drinking again,
playing fool to the wisdom of the ages,
remarking at those unkind sages
who always smack their lips for war.
Give me again the hilltop cave,
the pilgrim come to call at the door.
Fires I will then light for this age.

Who comes to me in this season for reason
besides the bee and the mite, the winding gourd?
I have sat here in one spot so long
I begin to lose my sight. Look!
The stream is growing a beard in the daylight!

No word can bring back the Immortals but for wino joys.
There is a blight upon our time. I have been faithful to it
tipping my cup. The present is sufficient but I admit
I am ready to go. My time has come.

Leave the world to the scoundrels!


Now, olding up and bending low, I can truly shout,

Leave the world to the scoundrels!

and seek a lost contentment which, truth be told, I have never found but for moments which are good enough for me then and now...

Get a hike in this weekend, the leaves are bright there I'm sure, the air there breathable and pure unlike here...lucky you can have mountains so close at foot, a dooryard away there you are forwarding into pines...city bound and nigh unto penniless I will bow to the leaves within and keep inside today...too bright out there for my hellish mind...will read instead, of the Tao (a new book from Bloomsbury) and wrestle with a poem or two...get the ubiquitous pot of beans to a slow boil clogged with bacon, 'redolent' with garlic (just a fun thing to write) , and then get to the toil I love best (once the cornbread is in the oven) , poems, and wander the stacks awhile, my trails, find an old anthology I woke up craving, remnant of a dream, something Greek and of Argos, so want some Ritsos and Cavafy to match the mood since I can't get to any woods or Aegean...

Lastly, old friend, of old Ezra - the braggart bagged and penned then sent back to his chosen exile truly an exile from the inside out - one of his last Cantos writ, says he (from where he inwardly lived) , from Hell, seeking forgiveness, redemption, pray/plead his life work (of braying with footnotes a fractured Dantean ditty) (for all his cursed insanity and bigotry) that it/he (removing his hat and bending low) moved the cultural wheel goodly forward.:

“What thou lovest well remains,
the rest is dross
What thou lov’st well shall not be reft from thee
What thou lov’st well is thy true heritage
Whose world, or mine or theirs
or is it of none?
First came the seen, then thus the palpable
Elysium, though it were in the halls of hell,
What thou lovest well is thy true heritage
What thou lov’st well shall not be reft from thee
The ant’s a centaur in his dragon world.
Pull down thy vanity, it is not man
Made courage, or made order, or made grace,
Pull down thy vanity, I say pull down.
Learn of the green world what can be thy place
In scaled invention or true artistry,
Pull down thy vanity,
Paquin pull down!
The green casque has outdone your elegance.
“Master thyself, then others shall thee bear”
Pull down thy vanity
Thou art a beaten dog beneath the hail,
A swollen magpie in a fitful sun,
Half black half white
Nor knowst’ou wing from tail
Pull down thy vanity
How mean thy hates
Fostered in falsity,
Pull down thy vanity,
Rather to destroy, niggard in charity,
Pull down thy vanity,
I say pull down.

But to have done instead of not doing
This is not vanity
To have, with decency, knocked
That a Blunt should open
To have gathered from the air a live tradition
or from a fine old eye the unconquered flame
this is not vanity.
Here error is all in the not done,
all in the diffidence that faltered...”

The final verse, Canto 120, was published posthumously. This is the entire Canto 120:

“I have tried to write Paradise

Do not move
let the wind speak
that is paradise

Let the Gods forgive what I
have made
Let those I love try to forgive
what I have made.”

Will call in the horseman and his short-legged horse, roll up this scroll, tie it tight with good cord, wrap it secure in chamois, pay the restless postman his due, his room, his board, and 'mail' this to you over the ranges, that ocean, to that high place 3 days by foot, Chidisan, mighty dragon, allowing your weight.

We are all a scandal. Enjoy that fact.

Kow towing toward the West (though you are in the Far East) where you are just watching the sun come up...keep an eye for the horseman moving your way,

Warren Falcon



Marcabre Dance For A Dead Mouse, After Robert Burns and Theodore Roethke

O little mouse, why dost thou cry
While merry stars laugh in the sky? - Sarojini Naidu

Wee brisket.
Gray fodder.
Thou art today tossed down
fat with grain.
Teeth sing to poison,
paws dance behind walls
taunting cat's tongue and
my impatient demand
'gainst thy nightly
gnaw gnaw

Now brace for leaves.
Tossed from back porch to woods
Thy ballet's done, bitter fey.
Sun's up, swan song,

The cat play thee for a meal!
Wheel the poison again!
Swell fellow's passed on!
Reel, poison, reel!
Warren Falcon



'No romance involved with all that now' - Fog Drenched With Gerard Manley Hopkins's 'The Terrible Sonnets' Discovering Heitor Villa-Lobos

Awakened to this this morning, Bachianas Brasileiras No.1**

I remember the first time I heard it - in college, thanks to Elaine, a library copy and a suspended moment at the dorm window watching fog pour up from a deep Tennessee valley, socked in again, which often happened on Lookout Mountain, weeks of thick late Autumn fog, gray white-out cloud-light leaning into the un-lit quarter, philosophy books stacked, Pre-Socratics, Church History, Clement, Polycarp, Gnostic wind howling just beyond the pane, the un-modulated whistle of said insistent storm playing the Castle In The Clouds in fierce Sinai song, Bachianas Brasileiras, No.1, conducted by Villa Lobos himself, nothing short of revelation that my too young to be so weary self had no idea existed but upon hearing within pinnacled gale, then, nothing could prevail against my landing oriented-at-last by mostly cellos and fog spinning in the Brazilian folk rhythms I would spend my entire life descending toward, stumbling forward, misstepping after, 'my kingdom for a macaw, ' become a slack-jawed shamanista entranced by dirt, green overhang in forest din, daily feathered by birds all kinds in twining limbs above.

No romance involved with all that now, I am an almost old man more rapidly untangling string by string, out-cello-ed in the end, and yet again, by an innate longing to land, go under, dwell within, peaking out, over strung, finally done with Polycarp and company, at one with my Hopkins book still, sufficed -

Terrible Sonnets to accidental Grace.

Rendered, I yield.

I am peeled layer by layer to pomes-penny-each
glottal stops of 'soul, self, come, poor Jackself, '
be advised once more, 'jaded, let be' -

while not forgetting to go with Lobos rhythms,
leave 'comfort root room' finally escaping
John Calvin's dire and doom -

'let joy size At God knows when to God knows what;
whose smile's not wrung, see you'

and raise you One.


The sonnet entire, #47, by Gerard Manley Hopkins:

MY own heart let me have more have pity on; let
Me live to my sad self hereafter kind,
Charitable; not live this tormented mind
With this tormented mind tormenting yet.
I cast for comfort I can no more get
By groping round my comfortless, than blind
Eyes in their dark can day or thirst can find
Thirst 's all-in-all in all a world of wet.

Soul, self; come, poor Jackself, I do advise
You, jaded, let be; call off thoughts awhile
Elsewhere; leave comfort root-room; let joy size
At God knows when to God knows what; whose smile
's not wrung, see you; unforeseen times rather—as skies
Betweenpie mountains—lights a lovely mile.

**Copy and paste this link to hear Heitor Villa Lobos Bachianas Braseleiras No.1:

https: //www.youtube.com/watch? v=fL3rH0tCsJg

***Copy and paste this link to hear Laia Falcon, my cousin in Spain, sing Bachianas Brasileiras No.5:

https: //soundcloud.com/a-impulso-concertante/laia-falcon-canta-bachianas-brasileiras-n5-danca-de-villa-lobos
Warren Falcon
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Poems By Poet Warren Falcon