Poems

Free Fall



I think of you: and step into the air
That holds me so, if losing now its grip
As I accelerate into the glare
Which bubbling I taste, begin to sip
As gliding, veering closer to the sky
I catch within the nearing firmament
A last glimpse of the view below as I
Am falling upwards, somehow in ascent.




© 2017 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri
db.59@live.com






Let the Trumpets Sound



The fairest in the land, in every town,
Her beauty, still as much a sorry sign!
That random chance alone yet wears the crown,
Each curtsy, every bow, to see it mine…

Still, sadness is the path to growing wise,
And e'er the higher court of great appeal—
Its beneficence clearly in her eyes;
A place if lightly mocked, they do reveal.

© 2017 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri




Some Care, Anyway



Not dynamite—this is a lesser force;
It is the opposite, a gentle blast
And gladly too; in any case, of course
Whatever the effects, they do not last

And yet there is a certain trait they share:
A fifteen thousand feet-per-second bloom,
And so approaching, exercise some care
On finding out her beauty fills the room.


© 2017 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri

At the end of Adam Hall’s The Kobra Manifesto, his agent, acting as negotiator
at a southeastern USAF air base, brings a device, seemingly a walkie-talkie,
back to the heavily-armed group he has been following. As he informs them,
to bring the discussions to a prompter and perhaps more favorable conclusion,
the device, at his earlier direction, has been set to go off in five minutes.




By Every Right



What message in that chilling prophecy?
As from some ancient almanac and strange,
Thought wrong by every right and destiny:
Some poorer moment subject to the change,

However brief within the greater scheme
Of things, within those minutes quite undone,
As in that interval a lesser gleam!
When somehow she does not eclipse the sun.

© 2017 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri





Ozymandias



More solitary than an orphan’s reach
That vigil, that the shifting peaks repel—
A site of none left even to beseech,
That only knew command before it fell...

A chill within his silence as it passed,
Both reverie and agony as well...
Long desiccated by the arid seep
Within that shimmer, somehow left outside
Each lesser century that fills the deep
Oasis there, the one of human pride…
Perhaps to slake some greater thirst of man;
As such, ignored by local caravan.
He looked away, as at the sudden blast
Of windswept sand, as though more left to tell.

© 2017 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri







Coney Island



Lost in this lunacy that will not cease
In which you’re deaf, and cannot comprehend…
Or else your hearing, somehow my release—
That having heard, you fear the dream may end?

What measure of reality’s denial,
That leaving is a choice of mine to make!
Somehow to heaven destined, even while
I shout for joy, and helpless to awake.

© 2017 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri
db.59@live.com





And The Winner Is


Not secretly but by acclaim
To offer crown, the ballots cast:
A rose the gentle showers tame,
The summit’s gleam at twilight’s last,

Both sides of some dispute withdrawn,
The pathway to a highest note,
A birds’ duet across the dawn...
For her instead, they cast their vote...

And all the same, save whose the crown,
Perhaps restrained by modesty
Or just inclined to looking down:
Her vote—again!—for poetry.

© 2017 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri





The Prize



Some sad and others in their denouement
Instead quite wretched--all too many, they,
In years before you I might look upon,
As when you’re gone, could turn some other way

For light: some that amused, indeed, a few;
Or just the upshot of a hungry mind...
Some great, perhaps, if not compared to you
The prize worth all the rest of it combined.

© 2017 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri



Within Your Plan


Your look, tonight: what is the source?
That tells the brave to run and hide,
Whatever arms laid down, denied,
But pulls the glutton in, perforce!

‘Draw near’ and ‘go’ in like degree
And thus transfixed where I began…
Both joy and awe within your plan—
My look? That you should come to me.

© 2017 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri





The Parole



To love you? Not at all a living hell,
Whatever wayward crimes that did precede:
For under-worlds with deprivation swell
And here am I without the slightest need

So restless, Hades! too, with fitful care;
For me instead a perfect calm’s prevailed,
Completely freed from going anywhere…
Once having seen you, and my heart impaled.

© 2017 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri





Her Example

If mostly in the prudence of the ways
With which she goes about each day’s routine;
A little in the humor she conveys
Belying any other thought unseen—

And ever in the sure and honest light
In which her work and pleasure reconciled!
A model of decorum, this despite
A beauty that impractical, and wild.

© 2017 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri
db.59@live.com




That Bright Fault


Last night, it wasn’t you—I must confess
But somewhere else, an all-surrounding fault,
That guided me to sleep, with light caress
Until I was enchambered in its vault

For once the gentle whispers not your own,
The ones I sometimes count! with hope of more
Last night it was the sea, the stars alone;
The sands beneath us, nestled at their door.

© 2017 Dave Blanchard…to Francesa Neri





Private Diana



Observe the hunter, steadily and slow
Approaching now, her prey yet unalarmed!
No sign tonight of dainty Cupid’s bow;
To catch this quarry, she is better-armed.

No arrows, here, as for some lesser heart
Incapable of rampage or unrest!
For her, instead, a tranquilizer dart--
And point-blank is the range she likes the best.

© 2017 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri






With Which If One



As with the sun, with which if one could be,
So often does it seem, here now with you;
What life before, in your proximity
Well-lit indeed if lost to view,

Whatever other sights once mine.
Your fate, the ages more you have to shine,
My own a smile; if in that moment blinded,
Since then by every dawn, their glow, reminded.


© 2017 David Blanchard……to Francesca Neri






The Entrepreneurs



It seems we’re always trailing the demand
From far-away or from our neighborhood...
Although we run more shifts than we had planned,
And maybe more than OSHA thinks we should

But peddling our wares--well, it’s a dream!
So please remember, if there seems to be
Loud bells and whistles, constant soot and steam,
This non-stop 'hum': it’s cottage industry.

© 2017 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri
db.59@live.com



Caput Mundi




As full of any insight as to cry
“I breathe! I breathe, as though by some design”
Nor much of drama, in the quiet eye
Of mortal struggle and a will divine...

And so to say, if from some tenement
As far away as any crypt in Rome,
Some gladiator’s, where a saint paid rent:
“I love you” as a whisper, and a poem.



© 2017 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri




Where Daylight (xxiv.–La Belle Dame avec Merci)


As though in counter-point now to the gale,
Its shrieking settled to a softer moan,
He rose to leave--now turned, as though his tale
Demanding more. With effort in his tone,

Its substance lighter in the massive hall,
He spoke again, a torch now in his eyes:
Most lovely, and indifferent, too, of all
To love, save it should profit her, the guise?

Or yet if private, one of greater good--
A heart that anyone can see her wear…
Not gaudily, as all the world would;
Instead—where else? Her face. Look for it there.


Quite gaudily indeed, the breezes through
The door, now as it closed; the distant view.

© 2017 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri db.59@live.com


The Return



What is the rush? The avalanche will wait,
Each sudden stroke of half a million volts
That turns the sky to day however late,
That from the earth to heaven sometimes bolts…

These tremors--each, I promise--as before,
If naturally a neighborly concern:
They will be there! like puppies at the door
When, shushing and embracing, we return.

© 2016 Dave Blanchard..to Francesca Neri





The Coupling


A gentle drum beat, were there any sound...
Both slow and sure and not a moment’s peace;
Within some inlet are these moments bound
Until the moon, the winds grant their release:

Thus bound and unrelated to desire,
Upon some highest tide of the sublime,
I look at you each time and I expire—
The inspiration, in a moment’s time.



In Adam Hall’s The Mandarin Cypher, investigating the 'death' of an English rocket scientist and now, at one in the morning,
expected to reach and board a heavily-guarded oil platform, as the South China sea water fills around him in
a submarine's escape hatch, the agent naturally monitors—expiration, inspiration—his breathing.

©2016 Dave Blanchard...to Francesca Neri







Equilibrium


Forever doomed, alas! the seven seas
To seek repose, or even simple rest...
By what—the many moons, their depth, a breeze
By awesome updrafts even now possessed

And so the hurricane. I am instead
With you tonight, as always, pacified;
Forever spared each distant thunderhead,
Those elements! that long to be beside.

© 2016 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri

db.59@live.com



The Better Half


How one might claim! as though a mouse that roared,
This wordless bond, without a bitter laugh:
A pauper who this palace can afford,
This place in which you are the better half...

When heavens to the earth, or if the earth
The font of light, then to the dark abyss
That lovely source, should one compare the worth
Of yours, compared to anything in this.

© 2016 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri


The Appearance



Through the shadowed grottoes, heaving
Pushed by tides and lunacy
Only for a time relieving
Wild thirst’s hegemony

Til a lightly-laden swallow
From a distant journey nearing:
Myrtle-laden; now to follow
All the storm clouds disappearing...

Ebbing now, again gigantic
Come the swells, their embassy,
Reaching now from some Atlantic
Ancient half-shell nursery.
© 2016 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri



The Competition




Sometimes at dusk her aspect incomplete,
A work in progress in that western sky
‘Neath which the artists chosen to compete
Still loiter at the image, with a sigh

The Birth of Venus and the Sistine done,
Each drawing now from even deeper fonts—
However vague within the spreading sun
Their subject, and another Renaissance.

© 2016 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri






Home Security


Though ‘change is good’, they say, I can’t deny
How safe I felt, from every threat before!
Those endless waves of people passing by,
But kept at bay by every wall and door...

That, massive, could stand up to any blast,
The combination to each fruitless spin—
A vault beyond all reach: so here at last,
Of course you’ve thrown it open, from within.

© 2016 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri
db.59@live.com




Master of the Universe



Where is my skateboard? now that there’s a need...
The ball-and-jacks, with which I wish to play?
The spell you weave, it works too well indeed,
Now that I’m growing younger every day

What difference, even, mere proximity?
‘Together’ or at times, instead, ‘far-flung’
It doesn’t really mean that much to me…
Of course I’d choose less waiting, being young.

©2016 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri



Where Daylight (xxviii.—The Cloisters)



Upon the breeze, a descant there
At once bewrays these common things,
The songs, that is, those utterings
That would the lovely morning share;
Now lifts them up, these robins’ songs…
As, stealing to the tower bell,
It now reminds the noon as well
The cloisters: there, where it belongs—
Where softly now the cloisters frame,
As if some distant mountain brook
As e’er the murmured flow mistook,
As though a chant: it is her name.

© 2016 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri




Where Daylight (xxxvii.—The Flaming Sword)



Our innocence at least this much contends:
We should be strong!--and with a saddened smile,
Give ear to hearing how this somehow ends;
And sentenced, then await the coming trial...

If quite ashamed, as at that flaming sword!
In case some doubt remains of our reward…
But bravely then and through the day despite
Each sovereign hour, until we re-unite.

© 2016 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri



No False Modesty



She doesn’t know: perhaps she cannot see.
That clueless tone—if I were blind as well
And listened, would I deem it modesty
Or simply this: she cannot even tell?

How wonderful, the flight of fancy found
Within that face, for anyone who sees—
And yet, beyond a sigh! bereft of sound,
Or any prideful words, except for these.

© 2016 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri



The Brink’s Job



Though years ago, the road’s not far:
Where falling from an armored car,
Its back doors suddenly ajar,
A fortune, freed: and there you are.

A bumpy road, that yester-year!
Much smoother since, and still more dear
The same event, if just as clear:
Each time I turn, when you are near.

Note: As luck would have it, Joey Coyle did not survive his windfall by very much.

© 2016 David C. Blanchard…to Francesca Neri
db.59@live.com



Remedy



You make the bad times better and the rain
That falls more often than it should in life
Less dreary; less as troublesome, the pain!
And less as overwhelming, any strife

You are the best, the only remedy,
Whatever pain and suffering that waits,
And surely for the greatest misery:
The kind each time that you’re away creates.

©2016 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri



On Dr. Phil



Whatever guilt of mine, if no offense
But ‘boring’ her sometimes, then let it drop;
And let me argue here some innocence…
Now, wait—they heard your side, already, stop:

She says—to quote—I am a ‘little boy’,
But all the world treats her like a ‘star’…
Just who am I, you ask, to so annoy?
Well, who is she? if not my cookie jar.

Well, look at that! The audience agrees…
And what a great one! Thank you one and all
Now off you go, and exit that way please.
I think they plan to make up in the hall.

© 2016 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri
db.59@live.com


THE COMPLAINT (ii.)



Not sadly as November bids farewell,
Its destined trip too lengthy to allay,
Still less some frozen agony of hell,
The warmth and joy returned with every day...

So for the sun: if something of a drill,
At least no cold and never-ending blight,
The promise of her every morning—still,
A chill, to need to leave her every night.


© 2016 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri




To Which By Now



Her sigh is like a scent of early spring
Of flowers, in ascent along the hills,
To which the buds do also blindly cling--
Those tastebuds of the eye her vision fills

Nor fragrance that the April breeze or May’s
Can take away, no more than meager verse
Could show how far aloft that fragrance plays…
How deeply, how unlikely to disperse.

© 2016 Dave Blanchard….to Francesca Neri





Engagement



Each time a joy, to see you now arriving,
That gentle sweep on top of which a crown;
What other fare on which I’d been surviving
Now lost within the cascade of that gown

No pedestal except of heaven’s doing,
Nor loss but what it was we could be starting…
But time to go, at least this joy ensuing:
That lovely curve, the view of you departing.

© 2016 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri





In Memory of Joyce Craig-Lewis



Alas, at home! where ladies ought to be
Where they should cook, and finished cooking clean,
And then, one blushes, start a family…
Not be the heart of such a final scene.
A first alarm--another two are raised
Without a mother now, this thanks to you
If bitter thanks! and let those saints be praised
Already given over for the two;
So more the hero, are you, lady? Then
Your heroism—let it nurture men.

To the first female firefighter in Philadelphia, an eleven-year decorated veteran,
lost in the line of duty.


© 2016 David C. Blanchard…to the Philadelphia Fire Department



That For You



Perhaps these words, upon a battered page
Unearthed in years to come will help the case
Or simply this: the fact you never age
Convinced it long ago to find its place…

It’s looming near, the evening’s dinner date
But every thought to scold itself berates
The notion that we’re somehow running late,
When time that waits for none for you awaits.

©2016 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri




Nor Price Too High



More important than the eyes that glisten
Ages after common sense would plea
Sue for peace to any that might listen;
But lost instead, another casualty...

Yet her gaze, that no-man’s land of wonder
Trenches littered, long and rife with mold,
Of little weight, what landscapes torn asunder—
What matters is her heart is purely gold.

© 2016 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri





Cartolina



The view is awesome, and the weather’s fair
The people great—this is the place to be!
And lots to do! although I mostly stare
For now, still stunned at all the scenery…


You call it lazy, I would only claim
A way to keep in touch with every friend--
For every time I look at you’s the same:
I see you, and a postcard’s what I’d send.

© 2016 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri







Hibernal


Fallow at that wanton stretching
At the sound of autumn’s call,
Empty by the later etching
Hung in dark November’s hall

Are the blackboards, every field:
Bid farewell, and say adieu,
Gone until some distant yield;
Now to dream, because of you.

© 2016 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri




Entwine


The way these autumn’s brambles cling
As though at winter drawing near,
So is the way in everything
Her constant presence must appear…

What neediness of hers is shown!
In all the ways she would entwine;
That is, each time that I’m alone…
So does she cling, to every thought of mine.

Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri



But Grist For That Mill



Not ever really one to 'be impressed'
Instead, impression’s what I’ve always made
As countless perfumed letters could attest,
If most...well, rather dully, I’m afraid!

And yet I soldiered onward to impress,
So often making headway, prized anew
Or simple dent to herald more success!
Until now, crushed and pulverized by you.

© 2015 David C. Blanchard….to Francesca Neri


The Bargain



To hold you so! what would I not renounce
Upon the earth...my country, all its rights?
Some far-off treasure, all my own accounts;
The chance at last of any other sights?

And yet should any call me ‘traitor’, know
If forced to choose, the culprit would be sad—
Thus giving all away to hold you so…
And for how long? if that was all he had.

© 2015 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri




No, Not Another Eros

What, here, and now? Your wish is my command
Nor simply for the wishes lately done!
And yes, I have the subject well in hand—
But now you ask for some comparison...

Shall I compare thee to a winter’s day?
It has its charms, made clear in such relief...
A settling for warmth that, far away,
True passion turns away, to see as brief

What, Eros—she, who never had a soul?
Who bound with common rope the nameless dead!
Who nameless shall remain, should I extol
Who knows?…say, someone radiant, instead

All right, all right—then like a winter night;
The dead of winter, when a guiding star
Has led one wise man to another site,
In clouds as nearly kept.
Now, there you are.                           
© 2015 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri



Even How It Glints



Not just forever, as each naive infant’s
Prepared to try to learn at last to walk...
Nor in the setting sun’s increasing brilliance
Nor even how it glints across each rock

Not simply always as the cup arising
The trophy lifted, strike a lengthy claim;
‘Beyond this all’, I found myself surmising,
Somehow before I’d even heard your name.

© 2015 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri




Iron Curtain

Oh dear but what a lovely day
To see a—what, a curtain drawn…
Around one’s lovely getaway!
The dragnet and the roadblocks on

All right, the goldfish, and his bowl...
Though no, they didn’t see this car,
Those heroes in that last patrol
Who’ll want to see you in a jar…

The dallying was not that smart,
Nor very bright, this whole charade
Well, let’s not set ourselves apart
Some anger at this slow parade

A U-turn soon, if not too late,
The only chance of getting clear,
And skipping that which would await—
You asked for it—remaining here.             
© 2015 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri



Con Il Ultimo



Soffice, l'ottono nel cielo
Che si impregna con il ultimo

Respiro di estate,
La pioggia comincia,
Come un gigante
Sacramento.
Spero--nello stesso modo
Posso solamente spero

Che come semino,
cosi raccogliero.

© 2015 Dave Blanchard...to Francesca Neri
(Note: At least once knowing some Spanish, I came across 'ottono'--that is, brasswork--thinking it meant 'autumn'. My mistake!)




Il Volo



Rising somehow to the ceiling!
Rolling through the corridor…
On the sofa, still appealing,
By the mantel; now the floor

All these boxes almost crushing!
Lying in the darkened closet
Silk and all your footwear, rushing,
Feverish for some deposit

Right beside that vase of flowers
Soon upon the soft duvet…
Up against the wall, these hours
So they toll, while you’re away.

© 2015 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri


Those Nearer Clouds



Not in that vaulting thunderhead
On massive updrafts e’er remade!
Nor in the softer, later spread
Of sunset properly displayed...

These, others billowed, soaring may
Elicit comment at their might;
And yet though near, more wondrous, they
That hide creation, at your sight.

© 2015 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri




The Speculators



Then tell me, overjoyed as you may be,
In little things and larger satisfied,
Had I not won you quite as easily,
I pray of you, would I have really tried?

You say no prize as precious could be earned
That only luck or heaven could supply!
Well, since by luck, at least, most likely spurned,
I have the answer. I’d have had to try.

© 2015 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri





The Pre-Apology



Then tell me now…but know, that at its hearing
Your answer as some arrow proven true
Could bring an end (--and thus its truth endearing,
To one at least once proving so to you!

To draw more breath, as you had drawn that bow?
When of this breath the world would be rid)…
But tell me, I would cry! for I must know
If you’re displeased. And what it was I did.

© 2015 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri



That Lightning Bolt



There is no magic in your gaze tonight
I am afraid, no mystery to claim…
Nor has there ever really been! despite
Each newer miracle that one could name

That yours has worked--and working is the key;
As common as Times Square’s, or lightning’s source…
The question: What gives yours its ‘mystery’?
The answer: mere electromotive force.

© 2015 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri




As In Each Moment



Of mere inertia made, the lazy heart
So satisfied to linger in one place!
The cottage of a paradise apart,
The shadow of predictable embrace

And yet such rest is harder on the mind
That lives to soar, as in each moment when—
That is, those dreams of moments, unconfined—
When somehow not on you, but free again.

Then give those dreams their flight with this parole:
That had I seen you once, but lost that sight—
The very destination of my soul!—
If gone, then yes: they would have found their flight.                 © 2015 Dave Blanchard....to FN


The Carousel



How hard, if sweetly so, to summon each—
Each lovely picture of my memory,
These other jewels I should not beseech,
Each different in her bright identity…

I see them now, a baker’s dozen, more:
One smiling, one perplexed, and wondering too;
I'd almost run to them, your tears ignore—
Nor any real choice, since each is you.

© 2015 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri
db.59@live.com


Whoever That Some Love



Though in sad grandeur, as at some slow dirge,
The pity at the rest of life, deprived!
They quicken at the sight, the chilling surge
The one begun the moment you arrived.

Whoever that some love of his professed
In days to come, in warmer tones than me,
Then give him, give them each at least this test;
These goose-bumps now arising—ask to see.

Note: In Italian, la pelle d'oca: a certain response, as at fear or awe, to strong emotions.

© 2015 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri




Introduction to Woman: The Opening Lecture



We’d first observe the plain anatomy:
A neck bejeweled, hands and sometimes feet--
A certain...all-the-same-ness, that we see,
Until we first converse with those we meet

Though rarely vast distinction to be drawn—
No gleam inherent, or some extra sign…
No wondrous glow, save hers; now, moving on,
The consequences of a little wine…

© 2015 David C. Blanchard….to Francesca Neri
db.59@live.com



Below



Above this sea, an over-arching still—
The heat that holds the clouds, that always will
Though now, below, a soft and fluid breeze
In which they move, the sea anemones

More gracefully than clouds that labor so,
Nor with a passing shade of those below
That, slowly dancing by the empty beach,
Remain unseen, somehow more out of reach

That all the greatest ages cannot move,
The way to me you slowly come to prove
That something more than mere mortality
Is near, within the undulating sea.
© 2015 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri



The Refrain



Though something of a prospect from the first,
The better prospect, clearly, to refrain
From letting it somehow become a thirst,
For thirst if left unquenched’s to die insane--

Desire that upon itself must turn!
What ease and comfort, had we never met,
Some life without you, free of such concern--
A greater life, if graver horror yet.

© 2015 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri





Winner Take All



What use remains now of the other four?
Their outing done before it first began—
Lame, slow or old: for each a real chore,
Each finished far behind, an ‘also ran’…

With you, to Sight, each winner’s circle's rose!
It holds the best of each within its clutch—
A banquet...now a song of seeing, those…
A fragrance…now indeed, a certain touch.

(And may the best horse—perhaps for the Triple Crown!—win later today at the Belmont)
© 2015 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri
db.59@live.com


And When As Bright



From dust, they say, each one of us commencing—
Though yours, your dust was in this starry sky
Not long ago, the nebula condensing
In storms from which a lightning bolt must shy

In brilliant tones if all the while cooling;
Now hard indeed, the effort to discern
The others, when a single one is ruling…
And when as near-consuming, in its burn.

© 2015 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri




Near Her Own



Near to the heart the salve a mother’s song
Will spread, by then in unheard lullaby
That choirs prolong;
Near to an infant daybreak drawing nigh
The dreams that years recall;
Near to the morning sun, an ancient arc;
And near to ours, this in its slower fall,
That which the sun now spreads—and at the dark,
Another star close by each newer gem
Each moment laced in them
As in a frieze…
Til near a certain beauty, each of these.

Note: the 'ancient arc', that, of course, of Icarus.
© 2015 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri



Common Sense



Her pleas to knit our flag, these pleas abhor!
Keep her away from midnight rides of yore,
From British vessels laden with their tea,
Nor near a General on that river shore,
The crossing etched in Christmas history:

No less a threat if one as plain to see—
And hers must etch riposte to liberty
For in the opalescence of that gaze,
Obedience at last no tyranny
Nor free, what will remaining it betrays.

...with a respectful nod, of course, to Tom Paine’s original pamphlet of the same name--
the exercise here, rather, an excuse to use the word 'opalescence'.
© 2015 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri



The Discovery



Where has she gone? Where is it that you hide?
Nor even knowing all I’ve done is look—
The one who should be at my very side:
What shore, what distant shore or hidden nook?

Still, let me try, no matter what’s opposed,
To find you somehow, this despite the cost--
For--peek-a-boo--your eyes were only closed!
Alas, but opened now? Now I am lost.

© 2015 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri



I Squali del Fiume



In Camden sono
Certi squali vicino a fiume,
   Una baseball squadra
Di recente battistrada...
E dove loro giocano
È molto strano:
È pulito e ben tenuto, dove loro sono;
E anche secco completamente!
Abbiamo investigato, quella notte
Ritornando dalla mare.
Ma piu tardi, lo sarebbe
Un fiume attraversabile?

Non facilmente
Con quelli ostacoli pesante,
Se in la notte, risplendente
I ostacoli girando
Attorno lentamente
Presso il fiume,
Sempre volteggiando.

For CDN

© 2015 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri



It Looks Lovely (on You)



I can’t complain—no judge would set me free!
What court is there that would not see me swing?
For giving simple voice to what I see
When justice would demand instead I sing

And yet no threat, since none will ever hear,
These lips of mine forever frozen tight
That could say 'Well, another color, dear'...
The rest is silent…call it joy, tonight.

(Note: To swing--i.e., as in the old West, from the gallows!)

©2015 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri




The Crevice



What, crevice? or the summit’s stand...
Upon that lofty summit where
Now falls away a tired stare
Which, gaining speed in its descent,
Seeks harbor from the firmament:
Too great, the beauty close at hand—

That holds me countless hours, too
Ensconced within this fissure’s seam
To watch the slowly-ebbing steam
That represents my breath, what’s left
To help enjoy my world’s cleft;
To call my own its bright, unchanging view.

© 2015 David Blanchard………to Francesca Neri


Eletto



Remote, the slightest chance that here
Upon a planet quite as vast,
One path can come remotely near
Another one...and yet at last

What youthful spirit cares or knows
Of distant probability?
And so, in spring, the flower grows,
Now blossoms, too, that she will see.

© 2015 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri



The Ice Breaker



Good Lord, a face! as on the Bering Sea—
Her love—whatever swells, however somewhat tossed,
A dripping ship advances steadily
Its trailing passage draped in spindrift frost…

A newborn swaddled so, the trailing path,
The shattered chunks and shards now far astern,
Now bobbing free of winter’s leaden wrath
Until some far-off, warmer month’s return.

© 2015 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri




Where Daylight...
(Epilogue
--The Goddess)



That ancient look! the one who turns away,
As if reproving what she lingers near…
Unmoving guard, seems even more today
A lady, turned away to hide a tear

Now pouting at some equal. For our guard,
Who even now must serve the better view
However great her beauty, still as hard,
The ancient price of worship she once knew.

© 2015 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri



The Secret



Within that lovely triune sight
Of thou, thyself and thee
Tis said somehow no longer quite
Am I myself to me…
It may be so, but not a peep,
That one of us should be
This much improved; so e’er to keep
This to ourselves, are we.

© 2015 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri



And Yet Already East


If in another country we had met,
Would I have wondered as I looked away
To contemplate those borders of regret
Where many journey, wishing not to stay,

What caravans of yours? that might obtain
Or temperament extending, too, for days...
With other baggage in an endless train;
Or what of mine might bear an angel’s gaze!

And yet already rather east it would
Have been of Eden—so what else but try?
And thankful, too, for every single good
To bear—for all the wonder in your eye.

© 2015 David C. Blanchard…to Francesca Neri



Beautiful Springtime



Do not say even sometimes I am ‘bored’
Whenever I might seem to be at rest,
For when it’s me you find you’re looking toward,
There is a different word that I’d suggest--
The word I’d use is board, nor silly pun:
For there's a callousness in seeing you,
The knife-edge of that sight, when I’m the one
Each time so neatly, that you break in two.


‘Beautiful Springtime’: Wing Chun, the only kung fu system
originated by a woman, a Shaolin nun.

© 2014 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri




On This Her Royal Visit



Such sweet contempt! as though you hadn’t heard;
My lovely wit not even worth a smile!
Each corner of those lovely lips unstirred...
What youthful courts, where laughter out of style?

What palace, where its absence not remiss?
Finds more a home, at least, than here it could,
Whatever hospitality in this,
This humble! so lack-luster neighborhood.

© 2014 Dave Blanchard :)…to Francesca Neri




By The Light of the Fire



Awaiting your response, I find that my
Remaining interests elsewhere quickly fade,
That for the boundless favor of reply
If possible the rest I’d simply trade
And staunch this budding agony, denied;
This awful silence into which I’m cast…
So put the precious magazine aside,
As I have now, whatever book,
Give voice! that sweet, uncertain look,
I pray, unselfish look of yours, at last.

© 2014 Dave Blanchard………to Francesca Neri



Free Fall


I think of you: and step into the air
That holds me close but losing now its grip
As I accelerate into the glare
Which bubbling I taste, and start to sip

As gliding, veering closer to the sky

I catch a last glimpse of the firmament


That disappears from view below as I
Am falling upwards, somehow in ascent.


© 2014 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri



Product Launch



ANOTHER HOME RUN!--so say the reviews:
"How blessed are we"; "Makes life worth going on"...
It looks fantastic--more of that anon;
But useful? How are we defining 'use'?

A "grand slam", sure, but useful? Not as such;
Though yes, I like my heart to skip a beat—
That part is fun, but what’s not quite as neat?...
It runs a little scalding to the touch.


© 2014 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri




The Prison



What deprivation at that sudden loss!
When I must close my eyes to fall asleep—
Now in some dungeon, left to turn and toss,
Bereft now of the vision I would keep…

And yet as though a dream, the sight of you—
Your radiance so nearly some mistake
That drifting off seems nearly coming to…
What torture, sleep!--still, let me never wake.

© 2014 David C. Blanchard…to Francesca Neri




Each Brighter One



The first was automatic, something new;
The second more by choice, and not as fast;
The third and fourth: the product of the two
And each one even greater than the last

And time! so often slow, a prisoner
In chains, instead with silken wings did fly
As though each one a dream that did occur—
Each smile of mine, as you went walking by.

© 2014 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri




As in Amber



What fragrant splash, a scent of distant pine,
Of distant time outside the honeyed glow
Preserving these, perhaps by more design
Than other treasures were quite long ago,

Preserving these: each phrase this deftly curved;
Those eyes of yours, that glisten in their deep--
Nor ever clear, which are the more preserved
These words by them, or they, that these will keep.

© 2014 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri

db.59@live.com



Though I Would



O stun me if you must—permission granted
And never mind to ask to paralyze,
Though I would sometimes opt for just enchanted
Instead of always caught up in this vise...

And yet you call it laziness and sigh…
I ask you: must you be so quick to judge?
Some chores to do? And yet you wonder why
When I see you, I cannot even budge.

2014 David C. Blanchard…to Francesca Neri




Where Daylight (xxvii.--Within the Blue)



To say ‘She is alike’, this is untrue…
Compared with what?—that giant shaft and bright
That bides its time within the hidden blue,
At last to part the clouds with brilliant light?

And yet for all of that as to the sea
The simple rain, that brilliant light to her...
Alike? She is instead its cause to be,
And even more, whatever lovelier.

For Julia Maldonado Flores: and get well soon!

© 2014 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri


The Gift of the Magi



O keep each lock that cushions you
Reclining so, that lovely wave!
No price, however well you’d do,
And pay no mind what others gave…

Preserve it, thereby sparing me--
Who’d likely sell his soul to find
A cushion made as perfectly—
And freely, too, with you in mind.

In admiration of O. Henry’s brief tale, in which two exchange gifts,
for which no immediate use left remaining


© 2014 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri


This Havoc Wrought



What, this again? You do not speak;
But turn once more to hypnotize—
And let them now such havoc wreak
That slay the slain, those lips and eyes…

Where else but in the Lord, my trust:
What good, whatever else gone by…
Through feast and famine, boom or bust,
No doubts—now you, and knowing why.

© 2014 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri


That Fade Amidst



A shower, sometimes, or a single flight—
Each pretty too; that is to say, if seen
And too if seen, more distant now the light
That fades amid the midnight serpentine,

Those constellations that each shooting star
Repulse, unmoved at all, for drawing near…
The way that any thoughts besides her are
Undone, if brightly, in that atmosphere.

© 2014 David C. Blanchard…….to Francesca Neri




You In That Dress



Yours truly, they’d have found him on the floor
The ceiling fan still circling last rites--
What he had seen, no sign of anymore...
What foul play?--to guide the azure knights

Assigned. At last, some verdict would arrive
To chase the outline, and the yellow tape…
And life returned, perhaps in time to thrive
And somewhere, his expression still agape.

Note: In some small tribute to J. Wambaugh’s The Blue Knight, “azure knights”,
i.e., police officers investigating the scene of the crime.
Also: ‘outline’ for chalk outline, and ‘agape’, of course, for open-mouthed awe.
‘Yours truly’ is a colloquialism for the first person, namely, the author.


© 2014 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri


The Naivetè



How could you see, or even hope to guess,
The bustle intervening constantly,
The time you call your own becoming less,
Converted to some other energy

How could you, in the bright routines you grace,
That keep a frantic world occupied
How would you know a moment of that face,
The still, the perfect peace that you provide.

© 2014 David C. Blanchard...to Francesca Neri




The Vortex



It’s there again, that helpless pull I feel—
A drawing inward towards you I’d resist!
Some tumult yet those precious lips conceal,
That now degrade my orbit, lately kissed

Beyond that beauty, that has no beyond—
That draws me now, immovable, I move
Now into some new dazzling demi-monde…
It must be that new fragrance! I approve.

© 2014 Dave Blanchard...to Francesca Neri




Then In That Light



Abrupt within the fragrant stir
Of daylight breaking on the glade—
Though stately, too, since it is her,
As now another one displayed—

Two limbs unfold…and now a third;
A fourth to come, if not as soon:
What could it mean, each finally stirred?
But in that light, already noon.


© 2014 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri



The Uncertainty Principle



How insubstantial here the intersection
Of time’s long boulevard with empty space,
That dead-end street; what glimmer of perfection
Illusion only. Caught in its embrace,

The theory goes, our ever-shifting view;
Nor ever in one place, or place to go…
Then let me never near this state of you!
Nor in your arms, to find the theory so.

© 2014 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri




Then Richer



The house-cat feral, and the fallow fields,
The irrigating clouds that may appear;
What tuna, what the far-off ocean yields,
Instead of certain cans you used to hear

Three meals, shelter, and the clockwork shower:
Or all of nature, should the tending stop—
Then richer yet to dine at any hour;
And never watered, then how sweet, each drop.

© 2014 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri

And for Mooch, a visitor fed--and, on March 2, 2013,
the mother of six: Milo, Brownie, Fluffy, Crystal, Bamboo and Graze;
named by two young ladies and in new homes since.



If Such Steps



How lovely, then, to see her go!
What regencies of grace aside,
On errands hence, as e’er below
New order in that every stride;
And if each step although profound
Might otherwise cause some reply

As merely 'here upon the ground',
Each one she lifted must deny
Must cry ‘unjust’, uplifted so!
Although no real need to cry:
As much as here they may astound,
Still, hers—well, they have seen her fly.

© 2014 Dave Blanchard……to Francesca Neri




The Sign at the Winter Inn



No symbol of a public house, that place
Whose opening gave charter to the town;
And crowded generations that erase
Each winter night, the darkness bearing down:

Your beauty in its mesmerizing scope,
As though forbidden, in its vaulting height!
Looks down upon me now, as though designed
The badge of all unwelcome--and yet hope…
There in the gleam upon that face,
Hope nearer now, on such a night,
That in these wings, I will my shelter find.

© 2014 Dave Blanchard……to Francesca Neri




Detenzione



Once more around and dawn is running late
Again, if yet a glow, a certain song
Outside the windows seems to indicate
Perhaps the splendid moment won’t be long.

Perhaps it has arrived; I wouldn’t know.
Perhaps: for after all, what could resist
The sun arising? but this greater glow
From all the starlight you have not dismissed.

© 2014 Dave Blanchard…..to Francesca Neri





Accomplice



Believe all that you see, and half you hear--
This much you may have heard, and half-believed,
Uncertain as the rest of us, I fear:
What benefit in being half-deceived?

And so what I may say should stay unsaid,
Since you would find one-half of it untrue!
And yet for you, no words enough—instead
I pray thee, put them here, that they will do.

© 2014 David Blanchard……to Francesca Neri




Here and There



Far away, the charts uncertain
Past the marshes deep and wide,
To the sight of that great curtain
That the dizzy peaks provide--
Parting then to territories
Rich and splendid, to a sea,
Where, beyond, the real glories
Each--and here! and next to me.


© 2014 Dave Blanchard…..to Carmen Delia





The Return



What is the rush? The avalanche will wait,
Each sudden stroke of half a million volts
That turns the sky to day however late,
That from the earth to heaven sometimes bolts…

These tremors--each, I promise--as before,
If naturally a neighborly concern:
They will be there! like puppies at the door
When, shushing and embracing, we return.

© 2014 Dave Blanchard..to Francesca Neri



Across the Fall



What bells are those? and those what ages rung
That rise and fall with time’s hegemony
In disarray to far horizons flung,
Returning now; what ages yet to be...

What time that telescopes across the fall,
The ruins and the dust itself at last
Of great empires, of anything at all
Since I first saw you, in that moment past.

© 2014 David C. Blanchard……to Francesca Neri




At Each Main Event



Unequal, really, this by any measure
Nor level, any field thus in play--
Whatever contest simply at her pleasure
Who deigns, from time to time, to feign dismay

As though some challenge found in any foe:
The sky, the seas! that labor to contest
Those heights where, far above what's left below,
A smile, as she turns away the rest.


© 2014 David C. Blanchard…...to Francesca Neri




The One or Two, Maybe



So here we are, again on stage to see
If ringers (yes) can make illusion dance:
You in the deck, the queen of hearts; and me
That fellow in the crowd who drew the glance…

Two strangers, clearly, so we shall remain
For now, indeed, the full run of the show
And always smiling! never to explain
This deck is stacked, for those who didn’t know.

© 2014 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri




The Only Choice



Ah! you again and so begins the drain
To who-knows-where of all my native wit,
That plummets from the dull to the inane
As this may prove before the end of it!

This much dumb-struck, the only choice is dumb;
My brain opposed, yet does your beauty win
Again! if being near you I become
A little brighter than I’ve ever been.

© 2014 David Blanchard…to Francesca Neri





That Power Ought to Fade



The power of your beauty ought to fade
At least in me, each atom in its path--
As in these Calvins, stone-washed, color’s made
To fade away, within an acid bath...

Poor soul! regard their sad effect on him,
They should have said, those eyes so frightful blue!
And yet no chance that it will ever dim,
That fabric only deeper now, with you.

© 2014 Dave Blanchard……to Francesca Neri





Le Faux Pas



I’m sorry; you had something on your mind—
My manners I’d do better to recall
Than, seeing you, to leave the world behind
With one remaining, talking to the wall...

Forgive me; you had something more to say
My mind was elsewhere; far away, indeed
With waterfalls and cloud banks on display
But it will wait. I’m sorry: please proceed.

© 2014 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri


The Prediction



My dearest one…I almost would implore
The lissome graces on that cloudy hill,
Wherein a glade you called your home before
That claimed you once, that surely claims you still--

To ask them if you might as suddenly
Return to them as once you did arrive
Until this playoff game is through--you’ll see:
The chores can wait a little; we’ll survive.

© 2014 David Blanchard…to Francesca Neri



Where Daylight--Conclusion (xlviii.--The Angel)



O creatures! with far more to be than proud,
It goes beyond the rudiments allowed
To celebrate or falling short, to seethe…

This beauty that you blindly seek escapes
Occasion to survive it while you breathe—
Nor colors blurred; nor many different shapes;
But rather beauty in a single form,
As in a large and still-expanding storm...


And now the silence of that stormy eye.
Whatever further measured in a sigh,
She now arose, above the calmer sky,
To join the clouds, another passerby.



The End, WHERE DAYLIGHT.

© 2014 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri;
...and to Anna and Isabelle, mes belles grand-mères.





Twenty One

--A Translation



The sky is full
The church of the night
Where ever I might try to sift,
Everything is star-light

Yes, lazy, plenty
But not even with my 20-20
In the faint pull
Of their drift
Can I account the sight

But there is no need,
Because of you
I am freed
To stop with the first,
The one brightest in view
In all the grand height.

©2014 Dave Blanchard….to Francesca Neri




Ventuno



Il cielo è pieno,
La chiesa della notte;
Dovunque che vedo,
Tutto è stelle

Pigro o altrimenti,
Con il mio venti-venti,
Nella foschia,
Alla deriva,
Non posso contare.

Ma non ho bisogno,
A causa di Lei:
Tu sei la prima,
Un duomo
In quel mare.

© 2014 Dave Blanchard… .to Francesca Neri




The Forest Tiffany




She lied, who let me have her for a bride,
To say it never happened. Call it pride
That I recount the dream, the other side--
The milk and honey beauty I had known,
A cold allowance plumbed; if long since flown,

An over-flowing, first. As overgrown,
As dazzling, that forest's Tiffany
That held us in a recent reverie
Wherein the sight as clearly as would be
As if right now beheld, the naked she...

Though with some doubt displayed, but hers alone--
Upon her back, a lifted hand to guide
As oft before, though pointing now beyond
The fragile place of our remaining bond
That vanished as it happened, though I'd tried.



--to SJB.
(c) Dave Blanchard 2010


The Players



The snow now falls outside, the frozen tears
Of all the endless others made to gaze
Upon two sets--as one the other nears--
Of lips, upon this dreariest of days…

Weep not, my love; they will go out and play
Upon and all around the frozen white;
Too busy though, too busy anyway
Alas! those two, who caused the wintry sight.

© 2014 David Blanchard….to Francesca Neri



Parade Rest



Not once, not once! the march is ever made
Except of course the ranks now mis-aligned…
The sergeant sighs, as more attention paid,
The words polite, respectful and refined

So does the march of progress usually go!
From good-old-days to longing backwards glance:
Two forwards steps, one backwards; even so,
At least in her is beauty’s full advance.

In memory of Sgt. William Shanahan, United States Army

© 2014 David Blanchard……to Francesca Neri



The Sea Glass



Where else but by the waves that go,
A sea whose gleam to rainfall turns
As bright things sometimes come to woe;
This other pulse that often churns

The clouds are passing, as the breeze
Prevails on the endless blue,
As on each endless morning, these
That hold a passing sail, too

If you must ever go, agree
That someday as those vapors climb
Before returning to the sea,
Recall the gleam was ours, this time.


(Published in The Sandpaper, October ’13)

© 2014 Dave Blanchard……to Francesca Neri



The Undefeated



The wide screen and the still-intriguing score:
This much reclined, or rather nearly prone,
I hear a melody of some new chore
Escape a mouth too distant from my own,
Here prostrate in your presence as before

And so the game is on, but I concede;
As ever sadly forfeit to those eyes…
Nor waiting have you any cause to plead:
As they insist, then lady, I will rise.

© 2014 Dave Blanchard…….to Francesca Neri



If By a Westward Mountain



If by a westward mountain lake beguiling
You feel a gently sudden rush of air,
It is a sign, the sign of one who’s smiling,
If far removed, to think that you are there...

And yet escaped, a sign more accidental
Than joyous ones, no puzzle to discern--
Not very much, a sigh! of instrumental
In anything at all, but I will learn.

And when another instrument’s appealing
If by that lake or elsewhere as you may--
A rising sun’s, or better sign of feeling,
That is the instrument I’ve learned to play.

To L. and C.

© Dave Blanchard 2012




On a Close Reach



The needs of others: food for thought;
But rise and shine, for what we need
Perhaps in doing as we ought…
A lifelong rule, that golden seed

Through which each bloom at last displayed.
For noble hearts, the play’s the thing
As in a reaching sail, stayed,
As birds around her, on the wing.

Fair stars at birth at last aligned--
As at the west’s horizon, fair,
The way tomorrow’s will remind
As she of playgrounds, everywhere.


© David Blanchard 2014......to Francesca Neri


The Chain




As by the shimmer of the rolling light
The earth centrifugal and yet restrained,
So at her own, the purposes of flight
Are made to flee. And though the orbit chained

What else but bright, as lovely as the blue
Through which the light will roll, if at its sweep
At last, this cobalt that the stars pursue,
Its well-spring hidden, in the endless deep.


© 2013 Dave Blanchard…to Francesca Neri





As On Them, Of Beyond



Held hostage in the sea of autumn’s splash,
The deeper pull of its retreating tides,
I linger now, as on them glimmers flash
Of snow and ice beyond, of March’s ides.

So do these seasons start again anew,
Each plodding step; it cannot slip away,
That heavy fate and one unransomed too--
When elsewhere, you! on such a lovely day.


© 2013 Dave Blanchard…..to Francesca Neri



Canopy



No guests your ladyship may deign enable--
Upon the dais, with some favorite dish,
The canvas of a banquet hall and table
Encanopied in gold--could claim a wish

More realized than I, who still awaiting
The invitation, find in every crumb:
Each glimpse of you, a lady celebrating
The sharing, and the happy fate of some.


--in appreciation of Ivanhoe, by Sir Walter Scott


© 2013 Dave Blanchard….to Francesca Neri



This Much of Heaven



Though I should die of joy at the exchange
To learn of your return, that you are well;
When I may pray whoever did arrange
This much of heaven, hardly freed from hell--

That they remain attending to the one,
The one aglow in beauty at their side…
Then let me in the coming task abide--
Your journey finished, and my thanks begun.

© 2013 Dave Blanchard………..to Francesca Neri




A Triumph, Resounding



What single spark of summer lunacy!
That leaves the last horizons now aglow--
It seems, indeed, more of a victory
Than fell to those besieging Jericho

...to see your face, the lunacy began
Your face, that moonlit dream the break of dawn
Would not let slip to humor any man,
If little humor, once the lines were drawn


My walls have finished trying to impede,
What’s left of them but mantle for the sun
That in your standard shines as I concede—
And happily, in knowing I have won.

© 2013 Dave Blanchard…....to Francesca Neri





Beyond The Pale



The styling and the posing left behind,
Left far behind, upon this morning trail--
Or so I thought, yet now surprised to find
My luck, at least today, beyond the pale

For now another poser comes to view
Parading what was borrowed from your eye,
A simple shade of light and shallow blue
That in its greatest depths now fills the sky

© 2013 Dave Blanchard……to Francesca Neri




La Giaconda



Old Leonardo’s lady with a smile,
La Giaconda challenges the eye:
What attributes of hers that so beguile?
What promise in those lips that made him try?

An inner beauty there, nor one to rush
And thus painstaking, something of a chore;
Of course were you the subject of his brush,
Her smile would be the artist’s, evermore.

© 2013 Dave Blanchard……to Francesca Neri




STS – 107:
In Memory, the Space Shuttle Columbia



You said if you'd been born in space,
Then you'd have tried to reach this place
Now paused to keep a later rendezvous…
The first one scrubbed--a wash, across the blue.

What moment you were satisfied?
Twelve kids with heroes but denied
Their promise, turn their heads to see
Your face again, if naturally--
You'd promised you'd return; you'd never lied

Though lift-off compromised your plan
The worst-case calculus began
When you were young;
Your doubts you grew to hide.
You knew the risks, of going slow
You knew the odds--the odds you would not find
A greater meaning than you leave behind

Near certain--if the sum of what we know
Is now increased, however far below
Of what you called the heavens, in each line
You brightly wrote, and writing there, refine.

For Rick, William, Laurel and Ilam; David, Kalpana and Michael.

Note: Ten years ago, like millions of others, I woke up to see nothing but
live video of the traces, lingering, in the bright, now-empty skies above Texas.

David C. Blanchard © 2003


The Night Sky



Here in an arid night whose roots now bend
To choke whatever light yet makes it green,
I find myself less anxious to pretend
I had not heard it, or had never seen

What of it? So another one before me—
A nothing ever; just another stair
You walked upon in coming to adore me
Nor in his absence, I, beyond compare:

And yet the others, let them burn as cinders
Upon what sky of yours dwarf stars may burn,
While in my own no supernova hinders
The far-flung crystal,
At the world’s turn.


© 2013 Dave Blanchard……to Francesca Neri



The Cliff



Again, some eagle, lifting from this peak--
My guest departing, crimson, now, its beak...

Earth, air and water; water, air and earth.
These were the only ones, as I recall;
And so the question, from my very birth
But human nature's--what would top them all?

Well, now there is a fourth, to crown the rest,
If stolen from the gods, each now ablaze--
Their fury leaving me still more impressed
With what I'm here for now: your merest gaze.

(c) 2013 David Blanchard.....to Francesca Neri


What Fate Demanding



Were I to want you, then what else must wane?
What else, that is, would have to disappear
Within that landslide--what small breath remain
That you, so far away, could even hear

What I—now quite undone—had tried to say?
What else but fate demanding then its trade:
My wanting you at all could be the day
Your own desire, at last, must start to fade.


© 2013 Dave Blanchard…………to Francesca Neri



Where Daylight--The Statue



O false beauty! that can never fade...
As beauty should, to find its place
As though much attention paid,
Could ever be, beyond this face--
Yours, frozen, freezing…

These lines, fast glint that stopped the blade
That chiseled them, to find some air
Hold silent now our own parade;
Must hold the next still waiting there

As you must do—
As you, for some small reason,
Are made to.


© 2013 David Blanchard……to Francesca Neri



The Director’s Pitch



Your beauty makes the others sigh
But I don’t care--a movie star?
Those looks, you ought to be
Those looks that catch the roving eye
And then go running free
Like Jerry Rice, or Google’s car--
The prototype-with-bugs...
We could meet for drinks, or tea
Whatever, kisses, hugs
A movie star? Of course you are:
So angel--act for me.

©2013 David Blanchard……to Francesca Neri


Forth One Spring



You were a lovely chord, I think, at first
Held lovingly until the melody
Burst forth one spring, as spring itself will burst
And soon with soaring verse, and lovingly
As near a hymn as God would do--

As high each final note as ever soared,
And now indeed a soaring anthem, you...
And so an overture to me--
A hint, that is, of what you move me toward.

© 2013 Dave Blanchard…………..to Francesca Neri



The Visitation




My heart is calm; and yet at fever-pitch
My mind, to look at you and wonder so:
What message from an angel could enrich
One’s life that also deals such a blow?

You are a visitor, from far beyond,
Yet heavy-laden are your words, and few:
That we must part, the sun now having dawned—
The morning rush! and Eden lost, anew.

© 2013 David Blanchard………to FN



The Dreadnoughts



Now slowly passing by in winter gray,
The clouds maintain their cold and steady way
Like dreadnoughts, on this sea of arctic air.
I catch my breath now, on the sea-bed where
The nettles all around remind
To walk, and look above, is walking blind.
Yet somewhere there, so we are told,

Our angels wait. And so, sometimes, we try,
So far below, for all the cold,
To break that heavy ice beneath the sky—
As had a child; and massive prows, of old—
…at least to offer up a silent ‘hi’.


© 2013 David Blanchard……to Francesca Neri


The Commission




What heavy tax upon my eyes and soul...
Each time I look at you assessed a toll,
So much the beauty, and the wonder, so--
Until the greater cost, when you must go.

What high commission that collects each sum!
Above the fray, as though a touch divine…
And likely just, each portion coming from
This wealth beyond imagining that’s mine.



© 2013 David Blanchard......to Francesca Neri



The Law of Conservation



I’m not as old now, lately, thanks to you
As typhoons in a roiled latitude…
Or in the surge that cracks the frozen shore
Of Iceland, or the tortured slopes before
That goddess of poor attitude,
Mt Pele, in her pouring rage, is through...
You come to bid each clock I see rewind,
You hold off time’s advance, where others fail;
Each slightest touch transformed somehow beyond
The measure of a man, of all mankind.
Somewhere the costs, what newer age has dawned:
A soft and fearsome thing, what they regale.

© 2013 Dave Blanchard…………..to FN





The Clearing



As dense the brush that hindered these,
Each silent stride among the trees,
So was the impact of that cloud
That somehow fewer still allowed
That somehow raised a single care
Ascending to the promised view,
The fog, descendant of the blue
Now lifting--there a meadow, you,
The clearing in this mountain air,
And in these trees; the singing, too.



© 2013 Dave Blanchard………to FN




Where Daylight (xxiv.-—The Academy for the Blind (ii.))



The sun retreating now again, she raised
Her face, as if some longer term arranged;
I stopped beside her, paused, and now I gazed
Above as well; now also felt short-changed,
Less so, perhaps.
“She was my closest friend”
My guide began, a gleam still in her hair
Despite the clouds.
“Sometimes she would pretend
For me, she could not see, yet didn’t care!…
Though often clumsy…what she didn’t know”—

Now in her voice a softer shade of mirth—
“Was I could also see her though,
As I have said, I have been blind since birth…
Nor said I, ever once, a word for fear
She’d think me mad...”

At this, a sudden show
Of sunlight
“…or that it might disappear”

© 2013 Dave Blanchard………to FN



Spring Forward



Nor even as a dream, the hour lost...
I looked below, and past the boulevard
To see the winter sunshine now advanced
Beyond the void, and coming down as hard
As had the rain, competing with the sleet
The night before…
Still gazing out, I chanced
To see a building’s doorway by the street
Wide open at this early Sunday hour—
Invitingly, if somehow with that power…
As, smiling now, I realized the door
Was only something’s shadow, nothing more;
Some promise of the distant shade in store.

(Note: Time, every spring and fall, is 'moved' by one hour;
thus, the reminder: ‘Spring forward, fall back’)

© 2013 Dave Blanchard…………..to FN


Apres Le Debat



What truce that for a final peace accord,
Beyond quite understanding, passes yet!
As though this silence in the guns restored
Must leave somehow your own more firmly set...

And yet so like freshfallen snow and quite
Remote upon on a windless mountain, mum
In your impassive gaze, not so severe
As merely of some kingdom-not-to-come,

I find at least the one already here;
Of paradise, at least accorded some.


© 2013 Dave Blanchard……..to FN



Where Daylight (xvii.—The Nephew’s Lament)



She is the sea and mine the simple footprints
Left in the sands her waves obliterate
An unexpected reason for existence,
If reason now my latest still await...
Now lost within a world of indifference
Like heaven’s to the Danish monarch’s fate
Awakened from that orchard to repentance,
And yet too swiftly, finding it too late—
Nor rest again, nor sleep perchance to dream
Of lovely new illusions; nor as sad
To dream of those, as real as they seem,
As I to dream tonight of what I had…

© 2013 Dave Blanchard………to FN


The Drifters




You crash sometimes, and lap across my chest--
The spindrift follows, cries among its reach;
A final one: the seagulls now at rest,
For now at least. Two creatures on the beach

Re-oriented, drifting to a course
Where those now so in thrall must ever go:
To watch the blazing chariot--the horse
That, far away, has such an undertow.

© 2013 Dave Blanchard…….to FN



Where Daylight (xxiii.—The Academy for the Blind (1))



“She had in school no friendship more than mine,
Who taught her how to run, and then to fly!…”
She paused, now looking up as for a sign
Of comfort; then the sun broke out as I
Continued on the terrace. If quite blind,
She heard me, so, and so herself resumed,
A rustle now, of what she had in mind—
As on her face, the lovely answer loomed.
“I only meant, into a pile of leaves!
No better cure for anyone
Who for the waves of summer sadly grieves...”
I stopped. “Well, they can keep the summer sun!”
I answered her, my heart now in my throat,
The breeze now less a helpful antidote…


© 2013 Dave Blanchard……to Francesca Neri


Tango (iii.-Flashpoint Zero)


This part is simple, this I learned at one:
To crawl, just not beneath the desert sun.
Although come on no doubt some others did
And kudos to them, too: the sunshine rules
And what was it keep going Something cools,
That leaves at peace, no, pace, a pace to keep…
Yes water, this remembered thing, in pools
Some near mirage, and shortly drinking deep
You have no time the thing is going to blow
So this just carpet, me, not yet a kid...
And hanging on, the only way to go.

© 2013 Dave Blanchard…………to FN


Near the conclusion of Adam Hall’s thriller, The Tango Briefing,
the agent has thought to assemble a makeshift timer, in the hope
of sparing his own life while completing his assignment.

In the spirit of what tennis champion Arthur Ashe once asserted—‘Start where
you are, use what you have…’—the agent utilizes a teak statuette as a
tempting perch for the vulture he has managed to seize and throw into
the now-closed cockpit of the wreck. Although fatigued, now with
the statuette placed, at rest, just above the device’s detonator, he must
get away as quickly as possible, one concern residual radiation from
the upcoming explosion.

'Flashpoint Zero' is an insurance designation for dangerous cargo.


Tango (ii.--The Cloud)


Ten lines, okay, let’s start--the muse is up:
'Her eyes are like an ever-brimming cup'
And so forth. Now another one, the same:
Her eyes, again: 'an ever-lasting flame',
Et cetera...it seems to be ‘Her Eyes’,
The cargo in this…distant section, here
Right here at hand, oh God…
                                                 the bluest skies

Where mocking birds-of- paradise appear
As all the others sing the world joy
Except for you: the one they would destroy,
No, no,
ten lines her everlasting sneer,
Those eyes
well, twelve GET OUT your sole employ…


© 2013 Dave Blanchard…..to FN, and the family of Adam Hall

Note: In The Tango Briefing, halfway through, the agent begins
an inventory-- a shortwave radio report, to his director-- of the two dozen
or more gas cylinders--most intact, one or two proving less so--
that are stored in the downed plane he, after three attempts to eliminate him
and a midnight parachute drop well wide of the mark, into a featureless desert,
has finally located.

The location is being pursued desperately by several organizations at this point.
The bodies of the two pilots are outside in the dunes, three days ago
apparently having tried to run from a crash landing; though not getting far,
their last expression blind terror, something not to be expected from pilots.

As with all the author's, the chapter title is a single word; here, Frenzy.


Tango


How do you weigh it, but to say the wait
May yet provide relief for other eyes?
Or measure irony at such a fate
Constructed from such dwindling supplies

The sky is full of her by now, alone
As you remain, with little of supply...
...though with a target, yes--you are a drone
That crawled the earth; now turning to the sky.

How do you weigh it, what you cannot lift?
Though in a moment may forever hold,
The flame that feeds the desert, here--a gift
You need, yes, now return, a million-fold.

In memory of the writer Adam Hall, & after his The Tango Briefing.

In the book, the agent finds himself at the end of a Saharan assignment
to locate certain evidence (the contents--nerve gas--of a downed private freighter)
inimical to national interests. He has agreed by radio, now, to obliterate
the evidence, though knowing this will require his activating a small,
fission-based device without the use of its damaged timer; that is to say,
by hand.

© 2013 Dave Blanchard……….to FN



In This Way


What does it mean to think I’d never lose you,
If lesser loss and more than once so far,
In stories meant no more than to amuse you,
Is yet the record of a certain star?
That though it governs still, now feels chilly,
For now another, with a brighter law...
Although its ways may prove a little hilly;
As ever, fighting sometimes to a draw--
At least, whatever lesson taken from it
May grant the way to meet what’s next in store.
What does it mean, then? if I take for granted
That someday on a peak a flag implanted--
If you, your smile of that cloudy summit,
Would look at me, this way, a little more.

To FN………………….(c) 2013 Dave Blanchard



Where Daylight (xv.--The Gleam of Nefertiti)



She is the spring, the flooding of the Nile
At which the Sphinx is heard in giving thanks...
Until, to see her dripping form, awhile,
Made silent--or the gold upon the banks
The maiden light that glides upon the Rhine,
Fair April, stirring August from his rest
As if had Antony looked past the queen
The jewel of the Nile, to the west
That western shore, the realm of the divine
To find an older name for the affair
So in the shade around her passage seen
The gleam of Nefertiti, stirring there.

© 2013 Dave Blanchard......to FN
(February 5th)


Where Daylight (iii.)


What beauty that could send words so awry
Did cry, of course, for more…though I had been
From Corso d’alba to the lakes of May
Where looms in ancient guard, til then,
Each somber pass, against what few who try,
Whose peaks now on the summer heavens play--
These were my splendors all, if once again
The protests of each somber lass whom I
Would more recall…
Yet what he had to say
Of beauty—of this creature, and her power—
Dispelled what passing notions held before…
For my repast, at least a happy hour
A bargain, and the likely rate to pay
Within a tavern’s walls, for hearing more.

© 2013 Dave Blanchard………to FN


Primula



Deep-set in the emplacement where they wait,
Her eyes take in each miniature below;
Two hundred yards of void above the strait,
Her view commands the only way to go...

The one remaining passage we can use
To put destroyers through, and with some luck
Make sure our troops survive--and yet the news…
And now a plan, the only one that stuck.

A thrown-together thing, of course; as such
Not quite the most imposing of all time—
And now a storm…already out of touch.
I guess we’ll see if they can make the climb.


(In memory of Primula Niven, and the actress Gia Scala.)


On The Guns of Navarone, by Alistair MacLean

© 2012 Dave Blanchard………to FN


The Compass Point


So is the evening sun—and to the eye
So often near! or only distant as the west
Where drowsily it says goodbye
To endless day and all the rest…
The very same applies to what it leaves:
The air it cleaved, if somehow being cleft,
Still furnishes our nearest needs--this as it grieves,
In disappearing, too, for being left;
So hers, as with a compass point, or sun or air
A lovely thing, if more than each
The native of a land forever there,
Though somehow near yet nearly, somehow, out of reach.

© 2012 Dave Blanchard…….to FN


Where Daylight (iv.—The Tavern)



...Now even stranger, what he had to say:
"The question’s one of resonance—the way
A note is held…so as a singer may,
Her beauty shattered glass and so without
The burden any vanity would raise
As Caesar legions, humble and devout,
With time, deprived of little but that gaze,
She grew in gracious steps, with every page
Revealing more that perfect modesty
A ballerina leaves upon the stage…"

He paused, now staring past. I turned to look--
Whatever pages true, the mystery
For now remaining in his story-book.


© Dave Blanchard 2012……..To FN


Again


It burns my eyes, this even as it cools
The rest of me, your long and lonely gaze...
A thousand miles long, though I am here,
Least likely or the luckiest of fools.
It stings, your beauty, goading me, I fear
Again to rally, and the banner raise,
To let whatever treaties might, protest
The coming storm this gaze does not arrest...
That even now reveals a single tear—
Nor my imagination as you turn
Your look—like that—upon me, so to burn
My eyes a little less, now less as cool
The rest to even gold, or golden rule.

© Dave Blanchard 2012.......to FN

Where Daylight (xii--The Plain)


What plea it might have held, the note, in vain,
He closed his eyes a moment, and resumed:
"My boy!" He paused, now calling on the doomed
She is the solstice and my past, that plain
In southern England where the painted left
Their slabs of wretched midnight to absorb
Whatever little heat the graying orb
Of winter dawn could offer as a gift,
A gift a monument should not contain…

His past? I asked at last. He looked at me
As through a glass. “He was the toast of all
For wit and valor, and the courtesy
He showed in each; each waiting liberty
He never took--that is, before the fall…”


© 2012 Dave Blanchard………To FN

Beyond the Storm


As ours upon a certain star of screen,
So is your gaze, a little, on each soul…
Although of course, whatever passing scene,
Of others mindful, with more self-control:
Not blurting out objections, as a rule,
If often thinking “Don’t go through that door”
“No, no!” “What are you waiting for, you fool?!”
Til at the finish, having hoped for more
Than simply seeing free will made again
Some pleasure-seeking storm of fleeing pain,
The way a proper critic might explain—
As any star, beyond the hurricane.

© 10/29/12 (during Sandy) Dave Blanchard………to FN


Where Daylight--The Transit of Venus (October 10th)



As when a clue of dawn disturbs the star light
So was her coming, and her path across
The winter skies, slow as a bride’s, as pure white,
Now diamond-like within a veiled gloss—
If slow, as though reflective of the insight
Her distant mother offered at the loss…
While there behind each step of hers as though
On shortened leash, a sight itself endearing
That he of all ! Poor Jupiter in tow—
Til as with dawn, the heralded appearing
With Venus turned, and showers of confetti,
The waiting weighed, as for a bride the same:
That having seen, and conquered all already,
The endless wait enough, at last she came.


(c) 2012 Dave Blanchard………to FN

Quiet! (September 30th)

What is the best comparison—
Mother Earth or Aphrodite?
For one who hushes endless song
At dawn, for love of the Almighty
Pining so for her attention…
Til suddenly there comes along
A lovely soloist's redemption,
Sweetly, softly, courtesy
Of simply this: her merest mention.

(c) 2012 Dave Blanchard........to FN

Where Daylight (viii.) (September 24th)

What uproar at the antiquated door
Now venturing outside to make its stand,
To be extinguished in the breezes or
If too late now for that, then merely fanned…
He looked at me again. "I had a note
The wretched boy had sent, late June, it was…
Elated, I had thought, yet now he wrote:"
Now is the summertime, I know, because
She is the solstice: and her every gaze
The very sun now strives to designate
The lesser or the greater of its rays—
If still in vain, somehow to recreate…


© 2012 Dave Blanchard…….To FN

Well, If They Insist...(September 18th)

When thus the grace by angels wrought,
The lovely day that you were born,
The point of epic battles fought
Of what of heaven should adorn
This heaven of a wilderness:
More than deserved, or somehow less?
In you, the answer: clearly more
And so I’ll take the choice in stride—
I may have failed, some, before…
Still, this much fuss must one abide.

© 2012 Dave Blanchard…….To FN

To The Heroes of the Twin Towers (September 10th)


There is a place the angels missed,
Too fragile for the worst of this
This middle land where hearts will break
Or be consumed, or just subsist
Or all at once, depending on the day;
Let those unhearted who would take
The measure of our rage and pain
Remember, though, that hearts are not in vain--
There were three hundred, many more
Whose fate or choice it was to stay
Until the very towers spent
And this a mending heart cannot ignore--
Let angels weep, and stay away
There is a place these others went
Most caring and most hard of heart
Who damn the devil; and this, only they.
(c)2001 Dave Blanchard...and to all responders

Fate, Away (September 5th)

What chance the sea--if you were she, the bitch--
Whose wild scorn still greater craft than these
Destroys, and yet fatigued, to punish so,
Could ever punish you, if there your ease?
Whose beauty yet some epic warnin g which
Might warn off further interlopers swept
By summer tides, or merely fate, away,
With heaving vows, and promises unkept…
The heave of waves, it tires; the tempest’s blow:
With you instead, whatever chance you’d stay,
What chance the sea would ever let you go?
(c) 2012 Dave Blanchard........to FN

On Mt. Ranier (August 28th)

Our own are petty, yet un-ended still,
Reducing each our prospects though they may
But yours—whose blame lay elsewhere, after all,
At least yours finished in a grand display:
It’s lower, now, at Valley Forge, the flag…
A lower lighthouse on that wind-swept hill
That holds a reef, the bane of lesser names—
A giant archway; hazard, as it frames
The day renamed for one it would recall…
And lovely, too, if now the granite sags
A little at the story of your fall.

In memory of Nick Hall, NPS Ranger
© 2012 Dave Blanchard

Where Daylight (August 18th)

There is within the Dolomites,
Where daylight ends its lonely march,
The trace, still, of a beauty mark
Within the flawless meadow's sweep:
A cottage, where the range's heights--
By some design, a castle keep--
Above the empty timbers arch,
Thus guarding the abandoned dark.
However long that gloom within,
Her merest look had torn it so,
The remnants scattered. She had been
Delayed by storm, some years ago.

(c)Dave Blanchard 2012......To FN

Swept Back (August 10th)

These rhapsodies, at which the others wonder—
Those smaller joys, their new estate divining,
Raised now above, although forever under
This newer realm, which, if but underlining,
Would lend their all...
As ever yours; for you, as ever, pining.


And so as though the rescue now erased
Nor ever sadly glimpsed, atop the ridge!
Upon the sandy beach, this message traced--
That is, this writing on a happy wall:
A friendly note, upon the empty fridge.

© Dave Blanchard 2012....to FN


Not So Enchanted (August 4th)



These tricks-upon-the-light of yours they play
Perhaps are better tried upon the air
Which, though it comes to town to have its way--
The sirens warning of its drawing near--
As though a two-year old! to lay it bare,
Still whispers at its leaving, I am here

Though if she’d deign, that lady, she whose eyes
Restore the light to its intended glow--
If she might one day merely come to try
She’d calm the air, its reach immobilize!
And left not so enchanted, now, as I
As simply clear, no better place to go.
(c) Dave Blanchard 2012.......To FN

The Inlet


In Maine, within the evergreens the sea
Has draped across her beauty and her chill,
Those woolen scarves, the silken tapestry,
There is a lovely plunging neckline still,
If one alas! by now so far away.
Wherein the even throb of time and tide;
Whose inlet ebb-and-flows confuse the day
As epic bluffs beneath the fabric ride...
To be inside. I think of you as her;
The coming of that flood, above my head
My birthing; and my executioner
That hour later, when the tide has fled--
Inconstance…Oh! still hoping that I may
Draw nearer to her neck, that plunging line
Whose perigee the sea--a hidden bay,
Whose wind and currents more today than mine.
(c)Dave Blanchard 2012...to FN

And Yes, To Honor (July 26th)


She serves a certain purpose well,
In light suggestions that compel
The perseverance that endures
And common sense, that may resolve
The doubt in yours in seeing hers--
Those eyes, where other worlds revolve
Yet courage too, in all you see,
The overture to luxury…
Or not, depending on the day.
And yes, to honor, come what may,
Compelled as once from clay compelled.
This most of all, if she’s beheld:
The impact of a higher plan
Of simply this: goodwill towards man.

© Dave Blanchard 2012....to Francesca Neri


The Perfect Storm (July 11th)

And now a taunt, the champion's, to you:
IS THAT ALL THAT YOU HAVE? as though a king
Upon the moors, who grinned and bore it too,
And so leaves you the fool. A weathered storm
Is what you are now, though each lightning bolt
Still echoes here, the evening in revolt
At beauty bent and naked thundering,
The bifurcating power of your form
That lifted off the canvas champions
Not long before,
Not quite as great as this--
The one who smiles, seeing how you miss.

Re-imagining Swept Away’s unforgettable Mariangela Melato
as 'meeting her match' in Zaire (that epic bout also in 1974)!

 
© Dave Blanchard 2012....to Francesca Neri

And here is the FIRST poem...of mine, that is...
the first one that the lady inspired!
--and one hers, why not?--perhaps to grant some title.



Perhaps she is the end of sight as I
Have known it, seeing her, no longer can--
What left to see, the shuttered sea a man
With sails empty, torn is left to try

Of sight a journey's, as if through a mist,
A prism'd light that tears unshed suspend,
Perhaps this way instead she is the end:
That yet at dusk persuades the day resist

In that a chance the light, in giving in,
Proves vital as the rosy air, as I
Thus given sight, now fear that I could die
Now having seen her, had she never been!

© Dave Blanchard...to Francesca Neri