The Pilgrimage / Phillip Neal Tippin

          Part 16

As waters cover the sea, Like
Woods cover the trees, As
Fields cover the wheat, When
Wests are covered in East.

Bound to be one
Whose words fail him.

Wary of words,
Forgotten, unknown.

In the House of Commons
He struck down religion,
For now in common things
Lies the Uncommon Good.

Impugning the potager 
Is a gaunt grandeur,
Children need a tableful.

Losing the locus of my control is hard to watch, the
While, weakness, theoretical, theatrical, palatable, 
Useless, so aiming for an ugly unnoticed death.

The resting eye
Wresting authority.
Oh, arrest again
Bring to rest in
The Author’s

Deadheading the daybreaks,
At the quick of the morning,
At the cusp of the light.

          Part 17

She kept her finger on the thread in the dark,
Spun in the sun, strung for the touch.

I could sink into the poetry like I
Sink into an Irish inn in storm.

The danger of living it, 
But living it out in theory,
Simulated meaning.

I must follow You
To the fold 
To rest.

Such a sheep,
I’m tender and tame
Sleep, shade, shelter,
Tinder my flame.

An earnest chasing down 
Through borrowed books
In the teeth of life 
Makes double sure 
I know nothing but

Sung in some register
With rhymes clef-tied,
Yet, all stave high.

The un-health of dreams
Worries my waking.

          Part 18

I have packed to a dry track by passes
Soil, healthy as a garden, worn as a path.

Summer undeaden’d some,
Some to dead winter readier clung,
Past clinging, bud barren hung.

A night unslept
Strains the
Weary reigns
To a slack weight

I’m supposed to feel it—
I suppose that’s the feeling
I get, being possessed by it.

I’ve tailed myself here
To find what I’m about—
Apparently disengagement.

Mix the meter with metaphor
Trap the meaning in tetrameter,
Brow beat by dactylic feet,
Meet out lyrical licks, and dub Keats.

These houses hold our questions,

Symbolize sin
To make it seemly,

          Part 19

The monarch light
Might come of a morning brightly
Or drift ‘tween leavèd eaves on
Its solitary wings après midi.

Mere word stretches.

Naked lyrics are
Blatantly un-rapped,
Unbacked by dropkicks.

Felt autumn after
The summer melt
Left gold in the folds
Of the Collegiate Peaks.

Avert your eyes,
It’s important what you don’t see,
If you think by seeing you know.

It has grown to this, so
Let me be diligent to work
To ripen day to be picked
In evening and eaten
With thanksgiving together.

Mound upon mound,
Word upon word,
Left after digging.

          Part 20

Not better but mending,
Closer attend, 

Bite in the life of words—
Hound yourself
Or be hounded.

To prove I’m earnest
Would be your proof
I’m sadly misguided.

We live among cold
And windy things,
Dusted and drowned
On wallèd feelings.

For those who remember
And count now as nothing:
Work, in the face of it, keep
Midst the Spirit of Peace.

No good looking off into the strain
If you don’t come back again.

The articulate
Came and left unmet
By articulation.

All poetry and supplementary material: copyright 2020-2021 by Phillip Neal Tippin. All rights reserved.

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