I am leaving this old page out here out for now. (Page down to see it.)

However, this page has been replaced by Scraps of Faith:   54 Poems of Lucius Furius . (Click on the link to go there.)

All of the poems on the old page are included on the new one.

More Poems of Lucius Furius


Email me: Lucius @ jspecht.org

Table of Contents

Girl of the Tzabarim Dance
This One Blink
The Body's Machinery
What Taxes Me
Now You Will Feel
Sickness and Art
We Remember
I Miss You
Do Not Think
Never Transplant a Poet's Heart
Pocahontas poem New (9/8/98)
George Washington poem New (3/29/98)
My Family's History New (12/21/99)
A Poem of the Millennium New (4/12/99)
John Brown New (3/3/2000)
Adam and Eve New (5/28/2000)
Oh, Dad New (2/23/2002)


Link back to 37 Poems of Lucius Furius  

Link back to main page (Humanist Art Homepage)




Babylon .................. < New, 01/30/99 >

O Babylon! Your God is a sport-utility vehicle, a 60-inch HDTV, and a two-car garage!
You delight in images of killing and artificially-large-breasted women!
Your arteries are clogged with Big Macs and a thousand pieces of Kentucky-Fried Chicken!
Your God is Technology. Your God is Progress.

Your skyscrapers rise to the heavens! Your astronauts fly to the moon!
You clone sheep! alter genes! make a mountain into a parking lot!
Your fields flower! Your grain-bins groan under the weight of the ripe corn!
But the land of your soul is a desolation.

O God of Henry Ford, the Wright Brothers, and Bill Gates,...
All the nations adore Thee!
(Pretty soon they'll be ordering Papa John pizza by cell phone in New Guinea....)
Your God is Mammon.

After the movies, after the Quarter-pounders-with-cheese, super-size fries, and a large Coke,
after the evening news, the Hostess cupcakes, golf, beers, and swimming 20 laps,
the hunger will be the same as the day you first felt it, O Babylon!
the thirst of the soul, O Babylon!



Girl of the Tzabarim Dance............... youtube video of the Tzabarim Folklore Ensemble

Jerusalem of gold, of copper, of light ... to all your songs, I am the harp.

If only I could do with my words what you,
with your arms and legs and hands, do,
girl of the Tzabarim dance.

You let your body go.
You let the music and God flow through you.
No false smile; only the subtle bliss
of one possessed by the dance.

The feeling threatens to overwhelm you;
you master it into a graceful gesture, a delicate turn.
You let the music of God possess you.

You dance like the women danced
when David slew the Philistine,
girl of the Tzabarim dance.

If only I could do with my words what you,
with your arms and legs and hands, do,
girl of the Tzabarim dance.




This One Blink


How quick we move from labor nurses' hands,
wrapping us in a diaper, to taxidermists',
artfully arranging our limbs in the casket.....
What matters in this moment, this
one great blink of God's eye,*
is not what we own or've done
but the press of flesh upon our flesh;
the feeling; our Communion.

* The lifetime of a human (70 years) is to the lifetime of the universe (14 billion years, so far) as 10 seconds are to the lifetime of a human (2 billion seconds).  

Star-stuff (
New, 11/27/98)


Sweet Earth, each molecule of me has come from you.

Sesame seed, broken into amino acids and calcium,
became my tiny bones; bananas, potassium,
the cells of my brain.

If we could trace each atom back, we'd find
Kansas, Iowa, Ecuador, Spain.

And further still, through unimaginable millennia,
these same atoms --the very same-- were flung from a supernova,
only to recombine, here, on Earth.

"Of star-stuff, are we made." Carl Sagan said.

And then (when I'm dead)
the same in reverse:
the atoms' slow dispersal:
pulled in by roots, washed by river, melted in magma,
blown, finally, to smithereens by the exploding sun....

Star-stuff, once again, become.  


Carl Sagan and the Dalai Lama



The Body's Machinery


Marco! One minute you seemed perfectly healthy,
the next you were sprawled on the floor by the drinking fountain
like a sack of potatoes.
(How reliable our machinery is usually--
just think if your car ran 60 years nonstop!....)
But, Marco, seeing you there on the floor,
I knew we live at the mercy
of neurons and corspuscles
(our own little wires and pistons)
and when they stop, we stop.

What Taxes Me

It's not any great tragedy but the mundane,
the quotidian, which taxes me:
haircuts, shaving, the mowing of lawns;
leaf-raking, tooth-brushing, driving to work;
taking out the garbage, matching socks;
flossing, timesheets, getting gas for the car....
I long to be forced to flee at night,
all wits and energy required just to survive.



Now You Will Feel

"I said I didn't love you,
I said I didn't want you,
but continued to act normal,
to extend common courtesies,
in moments of weakness--
a certain kindness.
The treatment failed.
Your sickness lingers.
Now you must feel the cold truth of my not loving you."






Sickness and Art .....<New, 6/26/99>


Of course you're right in saying that I'm sick:
No healthy person wants to kill himself....
But those psychiatrists' pills
'd kill me just as surely as this gun:
They'd kill the me that feels.


You ask how I'm doing.... I fear, not well....
By all objective measures I should be content,
but the heart mocks objectivity.
I cling to life by the thinnest of threads:
My art is the thread by which I cling....




We Remember.....<New, 7/17/99>

Do we ever really fall out of love?
No matter how badly the affair ended
some tender moment dominates the memory;
a high-water-mark of our feeling.

It's love's flood that we remember,
not low boredom, tedium, or anger.





I Miss You .....<New, 9/26/99>

I miss you.
Here at the foot of Mount Royal
(really only a hill),
which I climbed this morning,
I miss you.

I ask what's real.
In this clamour of work,
of French and English ...

It's your touch that's real,
your eyes looking-at-me-with-love,
your lips.

Here in Montreal,
at the foot of Mount Royal,
I miss you.  






Do Not Think .....<New, 2/22/04>

Do not think because I have a roving eye
that I am any less in love with you.
A knowing wink, a bashful smile, a haughty stare,
these are the terra incognita
which I, beauty's student, must needs explore.

But like Raleigh in Guiana,
in search of El Dorado, thinking of his Bess,
or Daniel Boone in Kentucky,
it is you I am thinking of, always,
and it is to you I will, Odysseus-like, always return.





Never Transplant a Poet's Heart
Never transplant a poet's heart.
It wouldn't start.
Or, if it did, would stop
at some seemingly minor shock.
The vena cava is much too slender,
the endocardium, much too tender.
It takes a life-time to learn to live
with a heart so horribly sensitive.

Graft the skin and kidneys.
Interchange the brains.
But never, never transplant a poet's heart.




Pocahontas poem New (9/8/98)


George Washington poem New (3/29/98)


My Family's History New (12/21/99)


A Poem of the Millennium New (4/12/99)


John Brown New (3/3/2000)


Adam and Eve New (5/28/2000)


Oh, Dad New (2/23/2002)



You may email me: Lucius @ jspecht.org


Link back to main page (Humanist Art Homepage)