Friday, February 19, 2010

In Praise of Christ

Which man or hero does the goddess praise,
To whom, harsh Clio, do your trumpets rise?
No god, for empty soar the royal skies.
Upon whose mortal image shall we gaze?

Our poets clash each universe in words
A symphony of noise transports the heart.
Yet silent lies that harmonizing art,
Which animates the mountains and the birds.

The sun whose chariot anoints the sky,
The cloak of winter melting into spring,
The rosebuds and the roaring rivers sing,
The lyric Cosmos revels to reply.

Whom first to praise but Progress who appoints
The human will to govern all the earth,
Who, from the very moment of his birth,
Evolves to dignity his bones and joints.

Who grew from ash and dust a universe,
And stirred a soup, the birthing womb of life,
With Chance, his mistress, nay perhaps his wife,
He spins an epic poem, time the verse.

With them shall we sing Liberty and Love,
For any joy we know that it takes two,
The human will, unfettered, sets the true,
With rockets we have cowed the skies above.

I sing of Darwin and of Galilei,
Who loosed the bonds of magic on the mind,
And sought the laws of nature, it to bind.
The superstitious past has passed away.

Their minds released the prisoned will of man,
The flow of human greatness burst the dikes,
No flash of Jove the shrewd inventor strikes,
As ships ply oceans, wings the heavens span.

Now Washington and Jefferson I praise,
The Founder and the peaceful first reform,
Grand Lincoln and Frank Roosevelt adorn,
New Deals and unity from honest Abe.

And with Columbus shall I chant the deeds
Of Carnegie and Custer, brave in heart,
Rags rise to riches, valiant when the dart
Of natives scalped the passion that he bleeds.

We sing of Davy Crockett in the wood,
And Eisenhower, leader of the troops,
The unknown man whose wife’s head ever droops,
And William James, who preached pragmatic good.

Yet fame of pastors blossoms as a tree,
A star from Bethlehem proclaims good news,
A humble God, himself with man to fuse,
To loosen pride and evil’s tyranny.

Oh Son and Savior of all humankind,
Conceived of God, you shall receive the crown,
For on a cross you bled, without renown,
To heal the sick, give vision to the blind.

That man, when he will conquer all the earth
Which threatens Heaven, with a triumph just,
And batter down her hubris to the crust
With penitence and mercy, second birth,

The Cosmos with right order will he judge.
You shake its vast foundations to the core,
You banish those who challenge you in war,
Forgiving penitents, without a grudge.
-Tyler William O’Neil
-February 19, 2010

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Love of Valentines

A violet cascade of rich perfume
Pervades a little letter full of love,
Red hearts and lips upon the flowers bloom,
Exotic chocolates melt the skies above!
Oh, love, to taste another’s beating heart,
Caress a body supple, warm and smooth,
To burn with Venus, struck by Cupid’s dart,
To have another, soothing and to soothe.
No- Love long suffers, lacking want and pride,
It follows virtue, and seeks not its own,
Embracing Truth it banishes the lie,
Bears, trusting and enduring all, alone.
Gold shines as trials purge the muddy dross,
Love burns, a fire, and it bleeds, a cross.
-Tyler William O’Neil
-February 14, 2010

The Riddle

The musket shrapnel severs limb from limb,
The blunt explosion darkens day to night,
The bleeding gashes tear his life from him,
Extinguishing his home, his love, his life.
Some live for glory, straining in the race,
Their muscle carves the prize of ash and dust,
Some scheme for riches and the pride of place,
Yet gold and favor both corrode to rust,
Some seek the thrill of pleasure’s biting taste,
Enflamed they revel, and they soon combust,
Some plow papyrus, for Truth’s lettered face,
To find opinion, falsehood, and mistrust.
Yet I pursue the riddle’s end of life,
The cross of love dissolves the pain of strife.
-Tyler William O’Neil
-February 14, 2010

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Lord, Melt This Rebel Heart

Lord, melt this rebel heart with strings of steel,
May fire soothe the prison bars of ice,
May falsehood-fattened lips consume the real,
The sight of faith replace the groping dice.
For You embrace me, You who know my words
Before I form their image in my mind,
Before I take the wings of flighty birds,
Ahead you know my path, and it behind.
Where can I run with many hundred horse,
To gallop from Your all-embracing love?
If Heav’n anoints the finish of my course,
If Hell consumes the horrid end thereof,
Run from Thee fast, my soul will to turn to find,
You are my love, in heart and soul and mind.
-Tyler William O’Neil
-February 6, 2010