Tony Vaughan RITES OF LOVE

Selected Poetry 1969 to 2005

For Howard Hart

   To be conscious
   of wonder & suffering
  is as miserable as it is glorious.
  But to feel oneself
  in everything...

 What curiosity?
 What mercy?

The blessing of dimension
 does bring
 its wildflowers
            & mischief.

        The body of joy & heartache
        is felt

by its own devices,

        a gift,

   so all beings can be

with wisdom growing.

©  Tony Vaughan, August 2005


for Mark Schwartz

The Lighted Man

is ex-communicated from
the Church of Punishment
for having
an Original Blessing.

He sees a
bird with a
broken wing
and whispers
a song.

The moon concludes
its arrival,
and swears by
The Renaissance
of Art & Healing

Hats and telescopes
occupy an attic
in the house of
storms &  authenticity.
The rainbow also has
a secret house.

The Lighted Man
stands by a
small lake.

A woman says a poem
but she cannot be seen.

A wave, a fish
for a wish.
A rocky boundary.

The shore
lives its
Biology & Thunder
where a turtle weeps
and the sky leaves
a footprint.

The Lighted man
sleeps against a tree,
staring into his own heart
so he can watch the stars.

©  Tony Vaughan, May 5, 2005


for Richard Hack and Dino

The gravity of concern
  marks the Interior
   of this little chess game.
 That a tragic or comic way of loving
 can motivate
 a sacrifice in chess
 is to make things

-suddenly dynamic

adds turbulence to doubt and persistence.

Inspired by opposing agreements

-- delinquent peace --

a quiet hour against confession & despair.

In some games
bad language
and dirty talk

   is a special way of releasing hostility

because patience is so necessary.

  In chess, the required
   spiritual side of logic
    takes time
   even when both
    sides are
    singing German songs.

The set-up in this case is

a heart buried in books

& no more ordinary moves.

A knight against a queen
   is now the end
of a jazz line.

The luxury of
 being able to
  annoy each

 other over
 a chess
can animate
the last stages of ignorance
& clever justifications.

A nasty move
on no uncertain terms
leads to a more satisfying


Regrets are common and can annihilate stamina

  and even

  clear thinking.

But to smoke a fine cigarette
over chess

 and long periods of silence

  before the loss of a rook
  to save the queen 

not the end of one game
but the beginning of the next.

©  Tony Vaughan

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Rites of Love
 Words and Art ©Tony Vaughan

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