Poetic Philosophy Ryder


Oh your smile’s grace
and talon’s aim
does it know the taste
of a wanderer’s pain

it’s just the Conifer’s gain

running sand
through your hands
hourglass palms
sour psalms
a crying sinner’s
cast-iron brand

because you see
so freely
on prisonwatch
with scrying eyes
a prying kind
the system’s plot

like a weedy lot
to which genocide
is quite alright
you’ll be back to haunt

soon again

Poetic Philosophy Ryder

What Matters?

This question certainly presupposes some
mattering to be had.
But to toss this jest,
and do some supposing,
let us gander that it seems
many things have mattering to be had.
The essential maybe
is that the innards of all these things
are one single something
that we call
or another abstraction.
The firm fact
is that all that really matter
are the passions that distill
these abstractions
into existence.

Poetic Philosophy Ryder

Tide’s Tickle

whence my spirit roams
sighs a cove
where the tide tickles the
atomic fjords and fractal shale.

granite spires spurn sea,
the cove’s shadows nestles
meandering sea weeds

ancient gnarls of scarred lore
swashbuckle the wind
quench the currents
squelch the undertow into rising mist

wise saetas languish everywhen
on the buffeted bluffs

::            ::            ::

the mind empties
at visuoinfinity
before and above
the cartographer’s employer.

Poetic Philosophy Ryder

A Gnome with a Pipe

This is an ode to a gnome

with a metal pipe

that he clangs in the sorrows of the night

and keeps me company

in bitter insongmia.

I wonder what he does when he’s not

orchestrating his creaks

in the warm walls.

Maybe he hangs out

with the gnawing rodents

eating wires

by my ears

when I rest.

Poetic Philosophy Ryder

The Craftslife

There is an art to making tables.

To imagine

and to form

with pressing

hands and hours – that is life.

Concrete seeps into your skin,

your arms fortify,

your mind dances naively,

your brow curls with a lover’s squint.

To make a fossil

is a strange act

of godliness.

The leaf sheds its secrets,

its community

into the table.

People will sit

at this settlement

and ponder

and eat

and work

and one day become fossils themselves,

after many pressing hands and hours.

Poetic Philosophy Ryder

Potter’s Wheel

The wheel spins
with vigorous kicks.

Shaping the clay
with sliding hands,
you make a dream come real.

It turns and turns, you watch it glide

and a stain go round:
before you, then not;
and then here again.

When your legs tire,
hopefully when you’re done with your dream,

but not always,

it stops.

But there will always be someone there

to start it spinning

once again.




This poem is dedicated to a philosopher with a rural mind,

a brilliant craftsman whose legs grew tired before his dream was done.

Poetic Philosophy Ryder

Regarding the Poetry of Adam Lanza

In the plight of the unspeakable events of Sandy Hook, we seek meaning.

As a poet,
I naturally grope for meaning through the unknowable.

But as a philosopher,
I naturally try to define what exactly it is that happened.

But what happened is truly unknowable

So philosophy requires a definition of poetry. Our plight is circular:
surround-sound reasoning,
for philosophy is truly unknowable as well.

But we must try. For poetry is many things, and these many things happen every moment of the day. But poetry can also be found densely packed into a few minutes, in screams and sirens, in the grooves of a Bushmaster rifle. It is the smell of gunpowder in an elementary school. It is found in dreamer graves.

In short, it is found in RAGE:
The fury of the collective why;
penetrating questioning rife with smoky ennui;
and the acid in our throats and the wail in our eyes.
It is the wordless humor you must discover to stave suffocation from this sort of poetry.

When we open our eyes and realize this isn’t a dream, when we search in the now still heart of Adam Lanza for whatever in a lord’s name was his festering IMPULSION that pinnacles every notion of cruelty ever conceivable, and when we consider it perhaps as a deepseated, nauseatingly deformed utilitarianism that murder is good if it causes worldly change — that is where we you’ll find the sting of poetry.

There are many other places you can find poetry.
You’ll be able to hear poetry in the pitter patter of solemn dirt
Poetry reeks of the moss that will grow between the cracks of bullet holes
One feels poetry in the quiver of a broken mother, the shiver of a cold sweat and hot flashes.
Deep in the nooks of inquiry, nestled in wisdom’s cradle, and among supreme lucidity and fog alike,

In short: in the greatest depths of horror
there is some truly potent poetry.

But Lanza’s poetry might be found in a very different place,

behind our leader’s tears,
in his ancient motto that won our dreams
four years hence — and even won it again.
To think the most powerful man in the world
got there because of poetry.

The poetics of hope,
rest in our flimsiest notions
that maybe one day
there won’t be another Adam Lanza.

And so,
Regarding this weary journey of Lanza’s poetry,
I conclude:

Poetry is the most exact description of the indescribable,

it would be easier to say what poetry isn’t.

This isn’t poetry.

This is, of course, philosophy.