Ron Starbuck

 

 

(USA)

 

 

 

Le Campane Della Chiesa di Venezia

 

The church bells of Venice

 

Somewhere the Venetian

moon has hidden itself,

and the saddest songs

 

of the sea birds

have followed it

far out of sight.

 

The gulls soaring high, ask

with a questioning cry, when,

when will you ever return?

 

We answer smiling,

as if to say a part of us

remains, always,

 

even now –– a vision

–– a sound, our many

dinner conversations,

 

embedded, like a sea shell

in the stone steps, where

we walked.

 

The church bells

of Venice have the longest

memories; we believe.

 

We linger in time,

endlessly listening to

their sacred sounds,

 

 

 

ringing as they have for

centuries, each bell

in its own solitary voice.

 

Although, some may say

the sea remembers

even more,

 

as moon and tide

pull us back

into ourselves.

 

We hear the bells marking

history with a sound of

laughter and sorrow both,

 

of yesterdays stretched

along moments uncovered in

intimate interludes.

 

Each day unfolding fully,

tomorrow patiently waiting

as an actor in the wings,

 

begging us to remember

each step taken

on the ancient stone

 

streets, where ten thousand

steps are taken and cross

each other, each day.

 

 

 

Passing by one place

or another, with a sigh,

a troubled lament,

 

felt, as we stroll hand

in hand over each bridge

and canal.

 

There is so much to see,

so many memories that

enter into

 

our sight. We are haunted by

those who have walked here

before.

 

We are moved by the

remembrance of

ancient beauty,

 

layered now upon

the bones of our own

memories,

 

and the sad, sad

songs of the sea birds

calling us back.

 

 

 

Le Campane Della Chiesa di Venezia

 

Voices – Voices

 

Like the poet, Rilke, with each breath taken, I have heard

and half heard the angels calling out from the depths;

 

–– let them speak, as the whisperings of holy messengers,

 

in the unfathomable nighttime before dawn, upon the air,

in a quickening of flesh.

 

These are the forgotten memories we may all one day

recall, more often then we suspect, subtle and obscure,

 

–– traveling on countless pathways of neural light,

 

crossing our thoughts with distant remembrances that

arise out of the silence of the saints.  These are the voices

I heard once before,

 

–– in a church north of Pienza, when we travelled in Italy,

 

where lighting a candle and bowing her head, Joanne

offered with a sad smile and a small hope, prayers for

a close  friend, who was ill at the time,

 

–– struggling in life, and in death, as we all do.

 

In every church and chapel, we entered that journey,

she repeated the ritual, and in each one, I heard, the

same order of murmuring voices.

 

Not that I could understand their musings, far from it,

since they spoke only in hushed tones, in the ineffable

and intangible –– tongues of angels and heaven.

 

Verse after verse, follows each breath we breathe; they

flow in as a chorus; every word coming quickly, expressed

ever so faintly, not always distinct.

 

Flowing sinuously over the body like soft fallen rain,

running over the earth and washing away.

 

–– Vanishing.

 

And then they return in a shower of lyrics, in a moment,

or even years later, each word rushing in with such a

haste, anxiously waiting in expectation to take its place.

 

Out of this silence the poet within conceives unknown –

unheard languages of the spirit, new words and verses

flowing out unhindered as a blessing.

 

Encompassing the wonder of life, from the waters of

Mnemosyne that pour forth,

 

–– let the memories speak.

 

Each poet writes in their own angelic tongue, and

humankind listens, or they do not. Do you?

 

Sometimes, the angels speak too fast, and they are rarely

kind or generous in their time. We cannot write the words

down, quickly –– enough.

 

–– Something is always left unwritten.

 

Words and images, thought after thought, come and

go on –– it all overflows, and you can never know what

the angels may honestly want you to write,

 

–– since they do not speak plainly.

 

You must seek the beloved; only she can translate

such language as a muse, and something more dwelling

within us.

 

It is truly unexpected, how even the stars fall

silent in her presence.

 

One day soon, we will all become fluent

–– in her angelic tongue.

 

 

 

walking on dark water

 

The Myth of Er

 

Hear the sound of thunder, touch the quaking

earth, journey into oblivion, drink of forgetfulness,

and move upward to your birth, fare thee well.

 

Walk upon this dark water, travel upon the hidden shore.

No crystal sea, but brown and thick as southern

molasses, lost souls grabbing at your ankles.

 

It is not an easy thing to be done, water

cold and icy. Pitching back and forth

like a ship lost at sea where one

 

may easily lose their balance. And far

from what anyone may imagine, there

is no miracle at work here, only hard work.

 

Like raising the dead, a hard resurrection,

many resurrections.  Dancing with

the blind dead that cannot see,

 

or hear, the dead who

do not wish to live in any form,

make it twice as hard.

 

Would you really, even if you could, come

back into this life, here, now? I would, yes.

What I’ve learned is that you must talk to

 

each soul alone, walk them away from the

darkest waters, on to the shore,

away to firm ground, away from

 

what the dead have always known.

There’s a trick to it all! Calling out

to the dead, loving them, letting life

 

take root once more.  And then erasing

their memories as a kind of mercy the gods

have shown, Lethe, the waters of forgetfulness.

 

If I had a choice, I’d forget forgetfulness and

drink the waters from Mnemosyne.  I’d hold on

to every memory; I’d recall it all and then some.

 

 

 

Lethe [ lee-thee ]

Mnemosyne [ nee-moss-uh-nee ]

 

 

 

RUNNING WITH WOLVES

 

Let us run with the wolves of desire and memory.

Where we are not that far removed from the wildness

 

that still clings to us in dreams unfolding, before

mirrors white with winter. Across worlds where

 

ancestors inhabit our bodies with breath and

spirit, who breathe together through

 

a veiled gate that marks an entrance to eternity.

Nothing is lost here, nothing we do not already

 

now in the bright bones of our memories.

We remember well, the taste of Eden, which is

 

wilder still than our imaginations may even

now envision. Let the oldest wisdom lead

 

us onward with eyes open wide in wonder,

under a midnight of stars, tracing infinite light

 

streams of the spirit. Let us bow to the wolves’

bright passing across constellations

 

of thought and consciousness,

unhurried from one dawn to the next.

 

 

All four poems are from There Is Something About Being An Episcopalian.

 

Amazon Hyperlink: http://amzn.to/2diHVry
 

 

 

 

____________________________________________

 

BIOGRAPHY

 

Ron Starbuck is a poet and writer, and the Publisher CEO of Saint Julian Press.

 

Author of There Is Something About Being An Episcopalian, When Angels Are Born, and Wheels Turning Inward, three rich collections of poetry, following a poet’s mythic and spiritual journey that crosses easily onto the paths of many contemplative traditions. Ron has been deeply engaged in an Interfaith-Buddhist-Christian dialogue for many years, and holds a lifelong interest in literature, poetry, mysticism, comparative religion, theology, and various forms of contemplative practice.

 

 

He has been a contributing writer for Parabola Magazine. And has had poems and essays published in Tiferet: A Journal of Spiritual Literature, an interview and poem in The Criterion: An Online International Journal in English, The Enchanting Verses Literary Review, ONE from MillerWords Press (Feb. 2016), and Pirene’s Fountain, Volume 7 Issue 15, from Glass Lyre Press (Oct. 2014). A collection of essays, poems, short stories, audio recordings, and films are available on the Saint Julian Press, Inc., website under Interconnections.

 

Forming a new literary press to work with emerging and established writers and poets, and tendering new introductions to the world at large in the framework of an interfaith and cross cultural literary dialogue has been a long-time dream.

 

 
Houston: Press Release – For immediate release June 1, 2016. Saint Julian Press proudly presents a new collection of poems by Ron Starbuck, which will be available on July 1, 2016 through fine book distributors and retailers.
 

Praise for There Is Something About Being An Episcopalian:

“Ron Starbuck is poet who has taken to heart and soul the teaching in Psalm 46, “Be still and know that I am God.” Spoken in the voice of a deep listener, who seeks to embrace all souls in the Mystery of God’s Love, who seeks to heal the breach. These poems are ecumenical both in that they are unifying and in the etymological root of the word, which is derived from the Greek word for house. Here is poetry that beautifully and prayerfully makes of the world a home where all of us may dwell.”

~ Aliki Barnstone, University of Missouri

 

“Ron Starbuck has written a work of extraordinary vision and prophecy; this is a book of both profound reverence and a song of contemporary liturgy. It is a masterpiece that will transform the belief and devotion of all who experience these lines, either verbally or literally. Without doubt, this is a great work for the new Twenty-First Century.”

~ Kevin McGrath, Harvard University

 

RON STARBUCK is an Episcopalian, a Poet and Writer, and author of There Is Something About Being An Episcopalian, When Angels Are Born, and Wheels Turning Inward, three rich collections of poetry, following a poet’s mythic and spiritual journey that crosses easily onto the paths of many contemplative traditions.

He has been deeply engaged in an Interfaith-Buddhist-Christian dialogue for many years, and holds a lifelong interest in literature, poetry, Christian mysticism, comparative religion, theology, and various forms of contemplative practice.

He has been a contributing writer for Parabola Magazine. And has had poems and essays published in Tiferet: A Journal of Spiritual Literature, an interview and poem in The Criterion: An Online International Journal in English, The Enchanting Verses Literary Review, ONE from MillerWords (Feb. 2016), and Pirene’s Fountain, Volume 7 Issue 15, from Glass Lyre Press (Oct. 2014). A collection of essays, poems, short stories, and audio recordings are available on the Saint Julian Press, Inc., website Under Interconnections.

 

 

To learn more go to:

www.saintjulianpress.com.

 

Articles similaires

Tags

Partager