Wise Words with Bruce Wise


 

Niagara Falls
by Reid Wes Cuebal
“Squeezed, like the words in sonnets, in its frame of banks…”
—Eduardas Miezelaitis (1919-1997)

Niag’ra River in upstate New York,
between America and Canada,
rapidly flows thirty-six miles northward,
as it falls several hundred feet down,
draining Erie into Ontario
in rain and/or sunshine, day after day,
whatever the weather scenario,
whether skies are blue or white, bright or gray,
generating the occasional news
story from its prismatic silhouettes,
offering tourists spectacular views,
and residents millions of kilowatts,
this massive movement of water, millions
of cubic feet over shale and limestone.

 

Reid Wes Cuebal is a poet of New York state. Among his favourite Hudson River poets are Mantyk and McGrath.

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Nocturnes
by B. S. Eliud Acrewe
for James Sale

1.
The misty evening settles down
and clothes the riverside with poetry,
as with a veil.

One loses all the things one loathes
and glides along as in a dreamy myth.

Within the narrow length of my rowboat
with long and narrow oars,
I travel on
reflecting moonlit wavelets, off,
afloat in quietness,
all meanness leaves, is gone.

Alone, I drift.
The fascination grows,
as darkness overwhelms the city’s scenes,
where here and there are seen the faintest glows,
the ornamental blobs of golden sheens.

In circles,
round and round I pull the oars
and reach to find within
the heart’s deep cores.

2.
The beauty of the evening solaces.
Poor buildings lose themselves in the dim sky.
Warehouses are transformed to palaces.
Tall chimneys turn to campaniles nearby.

The city seems to hang upon the night,
as thousands lower shades and blinds for sleep.
I drift past towers, ships, and cars.

Twilight dissolves into an emptiness so deep
it fills me with its grandness,
and reveals more than I ever thought
I would see.

Upon the massive canvas time puts its seals
here in the midst of vast—
eternity.

3.
My boat continues past Chelsea’s shore
and flows on under Battersea—
the bridge—
down to th’ Houses o’ Parl’ament–
and more, oh, so much more,
beyond the river’s edge.

A thousand thousand images go by,
and so do I;
and so I say good-bye
to Cremorne Gardens.

As I go along alone,
life is so long.
I say so long.

But nature sings exquisitely in tune.
I hear the waters flow and fold and flip.
I had not thought this time would come so soon.
Beyond the rowing arms
the oars drip-drip.

It is the hollow chafing of a husk—
this vision of the city in the dusk.

4.
This journey down the river’s curves—
it wipes away the worries and the tears,
it eases and relaxes upset nerves,
it frees one from the onset of one’s fears.
I’m moved by fancies that are curled around
these oils diluted thin with turpentine,
these worlds polluted thick with smog and browned,
these frothy waters tossed and turned to brine.

I’m vanishing forever in this
dark.
Released from personality,
I move along
far from where I did first embark.
My spirit travels in an open groove.
My soul is stretched so loosely on the Thames.
The times are scintillating, diadems.

 

B. S. Eliud Acrewe is a poet of England. T. S. Eliot observed some of the ugliness of London in Preludes. Acrewe, on the other hand, accrued contrasting observations, influenced by the American painter James Whistler, as well as Eliot.

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The Sundial Bridge in Redding
by Alec Subre Wide

The Santiago Calatrava Sundial Bridge
in Redding, California, was inspired by geese.
Above the Sacramento River, it emer-
ges, a white tower rising up out of green trees.
It flies in steel, cement, ceramic tile and glass
with granite accents in lines, angles, curves and vees,
pedestrian, superb, unique. While salmon pass
beneath it—cantalever-spar and cable stayed,
a pierless composition nearly shadowless,
its sweeping gnomon pointing north, secure and staid—
assaults the sky and climbs beyond this slender ledge
by starchitect conceived, construction-worker lade.

 

Alec Subre Wide is a poet of bridges, both physical and metaphorical. One of his favourite bridges is the Millau Viaduct, which like the Roman aquaducts of yore, reveals architectural elegance and utility.

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The Millau Viaduct
by Alec Subre Wide

With its spectacular, white-silver, silhouetted lines,
the Millau Viaduct, across Tarn River Valley, shines,
when seen beneath the solar glow, a most impressive feat,
whose highest towers rise up past eleven hundred feet.
It is the tallest, cable-stayed bridge—spanning—in the world,
built to alleviate the summer traffic flows unfurled,
from Paris south to Barcelona in vacation months;
it is marked out by its simplicity and elegance,
developed and designed by Foster and M. Virlogeux—
a combo of designing Brit and a French engineer.

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Surfing on the Internet
by Esca Webuilder

One’s ever looking for a site upon the Internet,
that manages to pass, with flying colours, Turing’s Test,
that is concise and rational without too much BS,
that is not full of fluff nor the obtuse self-righteous cess,
that’s interesting, new or good, with things one can check out,
that’s not an echo chamber, nor a loud, incessant shout,
that’s signal-to-noise-ratio is high as it can be,
that is insightful, useful, filled with comment quality,
that covers many topics or domain-specific trends,
that does not leave one peevish at its ziggurat-butt ends.

 

At the beginning of summer, the EU fined Google $2.7 billion for its monopolistic practices, which Esca Webuilder thinks are even worse in the United States of America than they are in Europe.

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In Beijing Air
by Lu “Reed ABCs” Wei
“The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes…”
—T. S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

He strode across Tiananmen in blue athletic shoes,
as if he were defying gravity—Mark Zuckerberg.
He ran above the reddish brick, as if upon the air,
a smile at his mouth and eyes, as if without a care.
His face was as a book that showed his untold happiness;
there was no violence at all, no wretched crappiness.
His arms and legs swung out from his brown tee shirt and black shorts;
he with five others ran along—a picture-perfect post.
The misty atmosphere so white, so bright, o, quite a sight,
as if he breathed the smog of Chinese cyberbully might.

 

Lu “Reed ABCs” Wei is a poet of things Chinese. The word brainwash was a calque of the Chinese word xǐnǎo, which American soldiers picked up during the Korean War.

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Their Journey to the West
by Wu “Sacred Bee” Li

Colonialist Chinese, in their journey to the West,
explore the Dragon Blue Hole in their underwater quest,
like as the Monkey King, who stole the gold-band iron rod,
they sent depth-sensored VideoRay Pro 4 on their pod.
These searchers in the Paracels discovered it was steep,
the roughly circular sink hole, 300 metres deep.
The Monkey King storms into hell; he claims this hole is his.
The grand Celestial Emperor asks Buddha for his wiz.
The Buddha has the Monkey King escort Monk Xuan Zang,
but will he ever get the Sutras to the Falun Gong?

 

Wu “Sacred Bee” Li is a poet of Chinese literature, especially that written before Modernism, Postmodernism, and New Millennialism.

 

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