Copyright ©2018 William Ruleman

Sample Poems

AFTER THE BREAKDOWN:
A BENEDICTION

 

No more let Mind extol its vain

insistence on Activity,

or martyred Psyche welcome Pain,

or Feeling show passivity

toward Will’s impressive reign.

 

No more let Heart’s timidity

suffer Super-ego’s cane,

or Reason force Love to stammer and cry

because she cannot be sane.

 

                 --from A Palpable Presence (2001) 

 

 

ONLY FAITH

 

Hawthorn flowers frothing forth,

spirea spilling onto the lawn—

a life lived once is not enough.

Roses flourish, then are gone,

and yet return another year.

And this, we feel, is only right:

 

Re-appearing, they counter our fear

that nature will be devoured in night.

But what of those of us who die?

No one sees us rise again.

Only faith can tell us why—

belief that our souls and bodies are hurled

into another, better world.

 

          --from Profane & Sacred Loves (2002)

 

DICTUM

 

The Lord disdains all platitudes

Belovéd of the multitudes.

He loves the tangled, whimsical phrase;

To Him a pun’s a hymn of praise.

The unctuous moral, the bland corrective

Fill Him full of harsh invective.

A children’s book of nursery rhymes

Delights Him far more than The Times.

 

          --from From Rage to Hope (2016)

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LUDWIG II AT NEUSCHWANSTEIN

 

I see him reading in the full moon’s glow,

The crags above so like his own decaying

Molars, while the woods and fields below

Convey the gentle day’s spent ardor, playing       

With his thoughts, which meet the chill of night.

Aside from Wagner and architecture, reading

Provides his greatest passion and delight.

For hours, until dawn, he goes on feeding

Upon the pages as a vampire does

On flesh and blood. And so his dreams are fed.

And no great majesty that ever was,

No heroic deed or love, is dead.

 

And lacking love himself, and home and wife,

To castles real as dreams he gives his life.

 

                                --from Munich Poems (2016)

 

 

THE RIVER TRAUN

 

These swirling pale green waters flow

Forever on and do not cease;

One knows the restlessness they know;

One also feels their inner peace.

 

We know ourselves as strangers here;

This is not our homeland; yet

This swirling pale green river here

I will not easily forget:

 

It lingers in my memory

And urges me to make this rhyme

And so becomes a part of me,

This ceaseless river, mocking time.

 

                    --from Salzkammergut Poems (2016)