Always We Want

Always we want a call to arms, alarum to muster,
A clarion call, a suitable polarization, the shiver and rend
Of trumpet and bugle; a secret whistle in the round blue night;
A perception of banner or device to point our action,
Craft thought, throng columns of heroes alike in kin and owning.

Have we not sought on the soft hills of home,
Mantled in pasture and produce for mills,
In deep timbered dells dank with mould,
Belled in the hollows of the earthen world,
In silted slopes joyous with grasses?
Have we not ranged the vaulting peaks
Where fissures fall precipice on precipice to the plain
And our five-fingered grasp outfling our vision
Chasm by chasm to the arch horizon?
Walled in rock in straits in passes

Have we not strained and pitted in the reddened gale
Reeled and shocked in jags of fire,
And thunder bowling in the rolling troughs
And tempest hurtling in the huddling crags
Withstood the yawning weltering spumy days?
For many a noon northering, many a moon,
We trod between perpetual plains
Of ice alike aloft and low:
Did we not bow and brave and stay
The slicing extinguishing continental snow?

Broadly we stand in the realms of men Observing and heard in meet and council. Noble the laying of ministries, state, law, Endowment of power and wealth, election of the best, The selfless, to know the common need, and serve. We have asked our fathers for their wisdom’s store, Rattled the prisons of the past Scanned history's misty shore And where on promontory, harbour, or bay cast Have we descried a bleached jaw Or lantern face from former war, Picked dry the chains, the sword, the crown. Thence, whence, Riding the electron's ephemeral gleam, Precisely we measure, catalogue, count. Strange pulses we identify, shadow, leaven, Entrain to round and service. We code our dreams on the threads of the universe And strung with starry beads and giddy temples We shoot our engines to the limit of things And find not whispers not thunder Nor mark, nor beckon But moondust and silence. We have shook the skin of the seer's drum Lay an ear along the parchment; brush A nerve on wool myths; sound and plumb Images and ego; from phantom flush Enchant the green shadows subliminous Into approximation; in mantric hum Know one star's breath, a chill of gems, Float along the thunder flash, Touch the liquid crystal hush. Always we want a call to arms, a sounding conch, Streaming passion, steadfastness, faith from the fullness of a horn, Echoing the labyrinthine ways, dimly retracing dichotomy, Division and decision, moment of moment, the breaking thread, The rapture of the yelling blaze, the slow inertial swing To point the new star, portending passage, oneness, quest. Decked children of an older dawn — Red-clothed, many-armed, golden-gowned, wrought In many hands, let power flow our hearts to fill And thrill the slinging hyperbolas of thought. Our standard be the eyes that owe The total temper of generations, mettle To bear the elements' siege, the heel Of overlords, the error's pain; sight To forecast our ventures; hearts to sing
For action at the action's breath;
Breath to sense the universal still
And trace the whispers of a rallying sound
Feel the shadows on the gathering ground
And know the marches of our widening will. — krm