Rodney Goddard Aller
Rod selected these poems from "Lane's End"
by his mother, Catherine Aller
|On a Sundial||Offering||Interpretations|
|February Fourteenth||Swimmers||The Incomparable|
|Content||Tablecloth||David and Goliath|
In sun or showers,
By day or night,
Snowflake or flowers
Or moon-lit hours,
The Eternal now
Be thy delight.
Blow, blow, thou winter wind!
Snow, snow, thou snow, in chunks!
I'm warm at the heart and I'm light in the mind;
The sap is back in the maple trunks.
Then shake! ye bough!
And roar! ye gales!
And frost! ye window pane!
In two weeks, now,
They'll hang out the pails,
For the sap is up again!
It's little I reck of the weather alarms;
It's little I care about winter scenes;
They know for a fact at the Maple Farms,
They told me to-day, South Canaan way,
If I'd a world to choose from
I know that I would take
This corner of Connecticut,
This lane along the lake.
And if, for occupation,
I could have my favorite one,
I'd tend a garden full of bees
And herbs and flowers and grass and trees,
In rain and dew and sun.
Or else, on winter afternoon,
By all the world forsook,
I'd choose this house, this little room,
This fire, this chair,
A smooth round stone for the occasion served,
One of a million from the river bed,
Shot from a circle to the mark unswerved
And prone upon the earth a lie fell dead.
For every empty boast - Truth's circumstance;
manifestation small of fact well known;
And all the lies that walk the earth advance
Only to meet at length a smooth round stone.
(click for Hubble view of star)
The wheeling clocks of heaven have unrolled,
Waning October with its mist and flame;
The altar fires upon the autumn hills
Have burnt themselves for beauty and are cold.
Soon there shall come a night of silver frost;
We shall look star-ward 'till we see again
Up-rising from the empty arms of earth
The great Orion whom the skies had lost.
Gallant, imperial, in glory dressed,
He'll stride upon the night, and we shall see
His high right shoulder where a queenly star
Clings to him, and has laid her head to rest;
The oldest star of heaven, and loveliest.
Oh million watchers of the ancient skies
Giant and goddess, fantasy and fears!
A million morrows hence, and still with awe
Man shall behold, among those blazing spheres,
Majestic mystery, a timeless law -
Beauty immortal through the long light-years.
Keeper of dreams
And hungers of the heart,
Who sees the start
Who weighs the worth
Of all our gleams
All the seeds of joy
that bore no bloom
That faltered in the far pursuit
Of an inscrutable and lovely truth -
Fair in all gloom,
Frail as a rainbow wraith,
Accept at last
From these undaunted years
All we could ever give you -
Hope and Faith.
Anger - it is a loose and easy tide,
Rolling in shallows,
Breaking upon the stones
Of hard and stubborn facts
That show a different face
From either side.
It does not move the still,
The deeper zones,
Where trustful love
And lovely truth abide.
Justice is stronger,
Is a nobler thing.
It has a way of sweeping surely through
Passions, and surging charge and counter charge;
The gusty strife of petty issues
Levels along its swing
With steady swell of the eternal true.
There are still waters, friend,
And there are seas of gallantry and grace
Beyond this tempest;
Fertile waters, warn,
Beyond this troubled place.
Make for a deeper haven from the storm.
Strong swimmers, both,
Unhampered, you and I,
Who would not drown another
With a lie.
The master Leonardo painted it -
But my good work is there;
Fold upon fold of linen, broidered fair,
The level creases in and out
Laid smooth with care.
True art, he called it -
And he knew the worth;
Smiled when he said perhaps sometime they'd say
We'd done - between us -
The most famous table-cloth on earth.
Said other things, his own strange way:
How all of art, reaching to touch the skies,
Must take the common stuff of every day,
To make a vision clear to others' eyes.
Even the saints, he said, must pass the salt,
Drink from an ordinary cup.
He used the Prior's longest board
With four stout props to hold it up.
He painted different thoughts on every face,
Thoughts no man there could speak:
sorrow, confusion, horror, fear -
Look, you can trace,
Along with ordinary things and near,
Courage, sublime and meek;
The peace of God that comes from Heaven;
Black smouldering hate.
|There they are, upon the plaster wall,
Jesus and Judas, the Apostles all.
It takes the common things to make the unseen
And so, beneath the face of Christ,
He put the wooden bowls, the bread, the wine -
And that long clean white table-cloth of mine.
Meshed in the inarticulance of words
the luminous secret shines.
Anomaly in this:
The bars emit
only deflected shadows of a Light
no word confines.
For words are symbols that exist in time;
Unable to perform beyond-time act;
At once the prison and the key,
Turning a fretted gateway in the opaque mind
down passages where broken prisms bend;
Frustrate to free
forever timeless, wordless fact,
In the beginning, in the end
only by One - the Living Word
Granting Omnipotence its farthest star,
And systems infinite, by law decreed;
Truth by such calculus is cold and far;
Love is interpreter for human need:
And though Love's symbols may be flung
The face of measureless immensities
We should have wandered to a woeful loss
Had One not come and taught us what
Let logic in the atom be compressed -
Whereat profound significance conclude -
But there is down within a robin's nest
That speaketh softly of infinitude.
Keener than Kant
Or Plato, Wiser than Socrates.
Gather your sons of glory -
He is not one of these.
He is no code,
No system of thought,
But philosophy may not contain,
Theology cannot explain
his way with man.
He spoke in a dying language,
But since the world was begun
Never man spake as this man -
Under the sun.
Rodney G. Aller
Selection of Poems by Cassie Cammann, Rod's daughter
Last night the stars hung over head,
I did not seek
you for an argument.
BILL OF RIGHTS
Not if you
wanted to could you untwine
Nor do I think
that death us two shall part
Poem by Catherine Goddard
I’d like a little place
for lying down
I’d like a little couch
before the fire.
I’d like your special
chair of yellow leather
You must have slippers
make of soft morocco,
And I can see our amber
light that flashes
And if it’s cold, to make
my comfort full,
If all these pleasant
THE CHAIRS ARE ALL TOO BIG FOR ME.
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