The Arts that sensuously address
The raising of the consciousness
Bloom in a spread of themes and tones
—Geology of various zones
Some scale the great volcano—sky,
Flame, precipice, immensity.
While some tread, in the charming vale,
The villages–and–vineyards trail.
The grandeur group (though kindly) tends
To mock at its more modest friends,
While they, in turn, are quick to spot
Pretension in the peak–proud lot.
But both despise one who resigns
The glorious vistas, the green vines
For Phlegrean Fields that gall each sense
With flat glooms round mephytic vents,
A matter of tastes and temperaments.
Knowing how much has been lost already, how much
that is owed to Being, still unborn, morose, I brood,
crisscrossed by jealousies, betrayed by all—
then weary of tourneys, of posting banners for such
in a world that will not change, its factions cease to feud,
while we remain no worthier of a better. Thus, grown old,
absurd, I wait for laughter to validate the jest:
if that be real, we may be fools that much less.
And while the evening weaves all into its own bed
of shadows, Venus, in violet air, gives out a flash.
From this concrete perch, through these primate bars,
I reach beyond where reason’s faith has led,
these fingers reach that vagrantly would catch,
for keeps, the scattered recompense of stars.
—Charles H. Renning