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Charles Cingolani

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Everything posted by Charles Cingolani

  1. Small Town Poems ~

    Cities have long been an object of poetic contemplation. This poetry about a small Western Pennsylvania town attempts to reawaken the past and infuse meaning and newness into happenings one takes for granted. It expresses awe at what is seemingly trivial, it slows down to express wonder at the commonplace. It does this with plain language that penetrates beneath the sensual surface of the events of everyday life for the hidden, mysterious component that reveals the beauty of life’s experience. These poems are more than a nostalgic recounting of memories and occurrences. They have to do with the essence of reality and as such they are insights into the way people see things and the way they live in small towns across the nation. The Butler Pennsylvania Poems
  2. Visit to Antietam ~

    Visit to Antietam by Charles L. Cingolani I Alone I arrive, walking from Frederick over the gaps, across gentle hills out onto a knoll overlooking this burnished landscape. Before me I see countless writhing rows of indiscernible shapes gathered in terrible rituals mid fire and smoke that darken the sun. From distant corners I hear the rhythmic thudding of cannon, and from fields astir with figures converging the eery muffled rumbling of drums. From behind, hoofing sod aloft couriers gallop past straightway up to lines of men where a ruffled slanting flag is held, to a figure mounted, with sword drawn, about to unleash his flexing array to collide with columns coming on. I watch them shift, align, then clash head-on as distant volleys crackle in long orange ribbons where smoke is rising— after which shattered lines rejoin like healed limbs, smaller now but whole, to lunge once more into spiraling bursts of yellowy orange. Is that a cornfield on the distant plain not far from where a white church stands? I see stalks moving like men advancing and falling back in wild infernal whirling, while savage yelling rips through space. Before my eyes that field of buff cornstalks being reaped now by frenzied swathings slashed now then shredded, ravaged in fiery geysers spewing red and orange. I see you, men in blue, your backs to me— barrels and bayonets glistening in the sun your lines plunging forward like waves, cresting and curling to splash in smoky spume onto a road that cuts the fields in two— Facing you there in sunken trenches long streaks of reddish gold bursting in continuing ordered alternation repelling your forward drive-- You fall where carnage itself piling high staves off all further senseless slaughter. And far off to my left a long snakelike movement bloats at a bridge behind which the hills with fire erupting become hell's crucible spurting its ghastly flow of fiery orange what seemed to be a thousand pores down at that stony arched crossing. On this side amassed, clotted lines surge and retract ramrodlike, propelling one small bluish artery over into that brimming inferno to thrust its way forward, unscathed, as if 'twere led through a red fiery sea inside some slender shielding sheath. As they advance random shooting stutters, from farther distance fired. Then of a sudden out of nowhere at my left, one last yelping onslaught, one final vicious blitz. What had advanced seeks refuge now falling back to that bridge, as if to protecting water. As with the suddenness of their arrival, the spirited gray chargers now quit the field, scampering up over their hill to regroup and await the hour of fiery retribution. Then a moaning quiet settles over the twitching fields while nightfall settles in... II From what vision am I awakening? These are but fields, hills. There a church, a bridge. I must linger here, listen to silence, hear it speak— of homage, of gratitude, of loss. Silence hovering over sacred soil, its canopy spread over rituals once performed here to form a sanctuary to enshrine that offering, that atonement, that oblation for a had-to-be war of our own making. Forbid all levity here! Bar all distraction! Ban every cloaked entrepreneur! Granite, even marble disturb. There is no enactment, no fitting into frames. Silence alone befits this hallowed space— . . . as does the hidden violet that blooms for you in spring, for you who left your life here that dire September seventeen eighteen hundred and sixty-two. You, unknown, unsung brothers mine from Georgia, Connecticut and Carolina. . . . as does the windhover riding on air on wingsbeats stalwart and soft holding perfectly still above the plot where you fell, a crest of valor, a living marker cross emblazoned on high for you valiant brothers mine from Maryland and Iowa and Tennessee. . . . as does the lark climbing aloft on eager wings as morning dawns trilling scales of gratitude to you for daring to die for convictions you held, contrary, insoluble-- that war alone could settle for those before you, for those who followed, determined brothers of mine from Texas, Mississippi and Colorado. . . . as does that ancient tree on the slope still standing there on weary feet, the agéd veteran, presenting arms, saluting you whom he saw fall, himself to fall, last of all, gallant brothers mine from Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Arkansas. . . . as does the solitary girl walking across the fields with grace, her head erect, her feet treading light on soil moistened with a spirit soaked into it with your blood there shed. She takes strength from it to live despite loss, grief and pain. Your gift to her, dear brothers mine from Wisconsin and Alabama and Maine. . . . as does the murmuring stream that winds through these Maryland fields, that living, pulsing emblem, that watery banner unfurled, Holocaust inscribed thereon but Antietam called, that plaintive name for the deed you rendered: the cleansing required to be one, to fuse us together, cherished brothers all together from Virginia, Ohio and New Jersey. III As I turn now to leave mighty towers of white clouds rise mid rumblings of distant thunder off to the west beyond these silent fields. On parting the pace quickens. There is no laming. Led by a knowing hand to this temple of silence a fresh awareness of what here was wrought has been instilled, awakened. The bravery, honor, courage, the horror, pain, the dying— knowledge such as this waxes, transforms, makes happen. Farewell, holy fields. Farewell, brothers mine whom I have found in the stillness enshrining this hallowed ground. I found you alive, arisen, have heard your voices begging, clamorous, pleading that what was here begun be completed, be done. That finally we become one in our thinking, our dealings, in the living of our lives— that the struggle find end in the change required of heart and mind to make us worthy of this our home, our land. Source
  3. The Battle of Antietam

    Visit to Antietam by Charles L. Cingolani I Alone I arrive, walking from Frederick Over the gaps, across gentle hills Out onto a knoll Overlooking this burnished landscape. Before me I see countless writhing rows Of indiscernible shapes gathered In terrible rituals mid fire and smoke That darken the sun. From distant corners I hear The rhythmic thudding of cannon, And from fields astir with figures converging The eery muffled rumbling of drums. From behind, hoofing sod aloft Couriers gallop past Straightway up to lines of men Where a ruffled slanting flag is held, To a figure mounted, with sword drawn, About to unleash his flexing array To collide with columns coming on. I watch them shift, align, then clash head-on As distant volleys crackle in long orange ribbons Where smoke is rising— After which shattered lines rejoin Like healed limbs, smaller now but whole, To lunge once more Into spiraling bursts of yellowy orange. Is that a cornfield on the distant plain Not far from where a white church stands? I see stalks moving like men Advancing and falling back in wild infernal whirling, While savage yelling rips through space. Before my eyes that field of buff cornstalks Being reaped now by frenzied swathings Slashed now, then shredded, Ravaged in fiery geysers Spewing red and orange. I see you, men in blue, your backs to me— Barrels and bayonets glistening in the sun Your lines plunging forward like waves, Cresting and curling to splash in smoky spume Onto a road that cuts the fields in two— Facing you there in sunken trenches Long streaks of reddish gold Bursting in continuing ordered alternation Repelling your forward drive— You fall where carnage itself piling high Staves off all further senseless slaughter. And far off to my left a long snakelike movement Bloats at a bridge Behind which the hills with fire erupting Become hell’s crucible Spurting its ghastly flow of fiery orange From what seemes to be a thousand pores Down at that stony arched crossing. On this side amassed, Clotted lines surge and retract Ramrodlike, propelling one small bluish artery Over into that brimming inferno To thrust its way forward, unscathed, As if 'twere led through a red fiery sea Inside some slender shielding sheath. As they advance random shooting stutters, From farther distance fired. Then of a sudden From out of nowhere to my left, One last yelping onslaught, one last vicious blitz. What had advanced seeks refuge now Falling back to that arched bridge, As if to protecting water. As with the suddenness of their arrival, The spirited gray chargers now quit the field, Scampering back up over their hill to regroup and await the hour of fiery retribution. Then a moaning quiet Settles over the twitching fields While nightfall settles in. II From what vision am I awakening? These are but fields, hills. There a church, a bridge. I must linger here, listen to silence, hear it speak: Of homage, of gratitude, of loss. Silence hovering over sacred soil, Its canopy spread over rituals once performed here To form a sanctuary to enshrine that offering, That atonement, that oblation For a had-to-be war of our own making. Forbid all levity here! Bar all distraction! Ban every cloaked entrepreneur! Granite, even marble disturb. There is no enactment, no fitting into frames. Silence alone befits this hallowed space— . . . as does the hidden violet That blooms in spring, For you who left your life here That dire September seventeen Eighteen hundred and sixty-two. You, unknown, unsung brothers mine From Georgia, Connecticut and Carolina. . . . as does the windhover riding on air On wingsbeats stalwart and soft Holding perfectly still above the plot where you fell, A crest of valor, a living marker cross Emblazoned on high for you valiant brothers mine From Maryland, Tennessee and Iowa. . . . as does the lark climbing aloft On eager wings as morning dawns Trilling scales of gratitude to you For daring to die for convictions you held, Contrary, insoluble—that war alone could settle For those before you, for those who followed, Determined brothers of mine From Texas, Mississippi and Colorado. . . . as does that ancient tree on the slope Still standing there on weary feet, The agéd veteran, presenting arms, Saluting you whom he saw fall, Himself to fall, last of all, Gallant brothers mine From New Jersey, Rhode Island and Arkansas. . . . as does the solitary girl Walking across the fields with grace, Her head erect, her feet treading light On soil moistened with a spirit soaked into it From blood you shed there. She takes strength from it to live Despite loss, grief and pain. Your gift to her, dear brothers mine From Wisconsin, Alabama and Maine. . . . as does the murmuring stream That winds through these Maryland fields, That living, pulsing emblem, That watery banner unfurled, Holocaust inscribed thereon but Antietam called, That plaintive name for the deed you accomplished. The cleansing required to fuse us To make of us one, Cherished brothers all of mine From Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio. III As I turn now to leave Mighty towers of white clouds rise Mid rumblings of distant thunder off to the west Beyond these silent fields. On parting my pace quickens. There is no laming. Led by a knowing hand to this temple of silence A fresh awareness of what here was wrought Has been instilled, awakened. The bravery, honor, courage, The horror, pain, the dying— Knowledge such as this waxes, Transforms, makes happen. Farewell, holy fields. Farewell, brothers mine Whom I have found in the stillness Enshrining this hallowed ground. I found you alive, arisen, Have heard your voices Begging, clamorous, pleading That what here was begun Be completed, be done. That finally we become one In our thinking, our dealings, In the living of our lives— That the struggle find end In the change required Of heart and mind To render us worthy Of this our home, our land. Copyright © 2006 Source
  4. German Fairy Tales ~ in German and English

    Reveries at French Fireplaces ~ Träumereien an französischen Kaminen by Richard von Volkmann-Leander Click here for English version.
  5. Eduard Mörike Gedichte in Englisch.

    Mörike Gedichte in Englisch . . . hier klicken.
  6. Newtown, Connecticut

    Newtown, Connecticut 14 December 2012 by Charles L. Cingolani Angel of evil do not descend on this sunlit town in early morning, First grade not yet accustomed to the day, coats crowded on hooks, In corridors the scraping of boots, busy hands adjusting at desks, The bell has rung, their teacher greets, she hovering over them. Toward the windowsill a sidelong glance, the candle the wreath. Their Christmas nearing. Still so new at six. Be merciful angel, do not alight. Stay winged, pass on over. .
  7. Poetry about the Unspeakable ~ Auschwitz

    Monk in Auschwitz Thomas Merton (1915-1968) was a contemplative monk who spent 27 years inside the walls of a Trappist monastery in Kentucky. Only in his last year was he permitted to travel at any length. Even though he was never at Auschwitz this poetry places him there so as to let a generous sensitivity and tenacious faith like his respond to this horrendous calamity. Merton stands for all those who, in the light of Auschwitz, ask the question: where was God, and in so asking expose their belief to severe trial. Merton's struggle with this question was lived out elsewhere. Only the location has been shifted in the poetry that follows. Read Online
  8. Visit to Antietam

    Visit to Antietam by Charles L. Cingolani 1. Alone I arrive, walking from Frederick over the gaps, across gentle hills out onto a knoll to view this burnished landscape. Before me I see countless writhing rows of indiscernible shapes gathered in terrible rituals mid fire and smoke that darken the sun. From distant corners I hear the rhythmic thudding of cannon, and from fields astir with figures converging the eery muffled rumbling of drums. From behind, hoofing sod aloft couriers gallop past straightway into throngs to where ruffled flags slant, to men mounted, with swords drawn, about to unleash their flexing lines to collide with columns coming on. I watch them shift and fan then clash head-on as distant volleys crackle in long orange ribbons where smoke is rising after which shattered lines rejoin like healed limbs, smaller now but whole, to lunge once more into spiraling bursts of yellowy orange. Is that a cornfield on the distant plain not far from where the spire stands? I see stalks moving like men advancing and falling back in wild infernal whirling, savage yelling ripping through space. Before my eyes that field of green being reaped now by frenzied swathings turns brown, then grayish, is slashed and shredded, then ravaged in geysers of fire. I see you, man in blue, your back to me in haste your lines plunge forward like waves, cresting and curling to splash in smoky spume onto a road that cuts the fields in two Facing you there in sunken trences long streaks of reddish gold bursting in ordered alternation repelling your forward drive you fall where carnage itself piling high staves off all further slaughter. And far off to my left a long snakelike movement bloats at a bridge behind which the hills with fire erupting become hells crucible spurting its flow of fiery orange from ten thousand pores toward that stony arched crossing. On this side amassed, clotted masses surge and retract propeling one small bluish artery into that brimming inferno to thrust its way forward, unscathed it seems, as if being ushered through some slender shielding sheath. As they advance random shooting stutters, from farther distance fired. Then of a sudden, from nowhere at my left, I observe one last yelping onslaught, one vicious blitz. What had advanced seeks refuge now falling back to the bridge, to protecting water. As with the suddenness of their arrival, the spirited chargers quit the field, scamper back up over their hill. Then a moaning quiet settles over the fields, as night sets in. 2. From what vision am I awakening? These are but fields, hills. There a church, a bridge. But linger here, listen to silence. Hear it speak of homage, of loss, of gratitude. Silence hovering over sacred soil, a canopy spread over rituals once performed here, a sanctuary of silence enshrining that offering, that oblation, that began to make us whole. Forbid all levity here! Bar all distraction! Ban every cloaked entrepreneur! Granite, even marble disturb. There is no enactment no fitting into frames. Silence alone befits this hallowed space as does the hidden violet that blooms for you in spring, for you who left your life here that dire September seventeen eighteen hundred and sixty-two. You, unknown, unsung brothers mine from Georgia, Connecticut and Carolina. As does the windhover riding the air on wingsbeats stalwart and soft holding perfectly still above the plot where you fell, a crest of valor, a living monument emblazoned on high for you valiant brothers mine from Tennessee, Maryland and Iowa. As does the lark climbing aloft on eager wings as morning dawns trilling scales of gratitude to you for daring to die for convicions you held, contrary, insoluble until that war you waged for those before you, for those who followed, gentle brothers of mine from Texas, Mississippi and Rhode Island. As does that ancient tree on the slope standing yet on weary feet, the aged veteran, presenting arms, still saluting you whom he saw fall, himself to fall, last of all, gallant brothers mine from Pennsylvania, Ohio and Arkansas. As does the solitary girl who with grace walks the fields, her head erect, her feet treading soil moistened with the spirit soaked into it with the blood you shed. She takes strength from it to live despite loss, grief and pain. Your gift to her, dear brothers mine from Wisconsin and Alabama and Maine. As does the murmuring water in the stream that winds through these Maryland fields, the living, pulsing emblem, the watery banner unfurled, Holocaust inscribed thereon but Antietam called, our awful reminding word for the deed you rendered the cleansing required to join us, to fuse together, cherished brothers of mine from Virginia, Colorado and New Jersey. 3. As I turn now to leave mighty towers of white clouds rise mid rumblings of distant thunder off to the west beyond these silent fields. On parting the pace quickens. There is no laming. Led once unawares to this temple of silence, a fresh awareness of what here was wrought has been instilled, awakened. The bravery, honor, courage, the horror, pain, the dying. Knowledge such as this waxes, changes one, makes happen. Farewell, holy ground. Farewell, brothers mine whom I have found in the stillness hovering over this hallowed shrine. I found you alive, arisen, have heard your voices begging, clamorous, pleading, that what was begun here be completed, be done. That finally we become one in thinking, in dealings, in the living of our lives that the struggle find end in making ourselves worthy of this our home, our land. Source
  9. American Civil War

    Visit to Antietam 1. Alone I arrive, walking from Frederick over the gaps, across gentle hills out onto a knoll to view this burnished landscape. Before me I see countless writhing rows of indiscernible shapes gathered in terrible rituals mid fire and smoke that darken the sun. From distant corners I hear the rhythmic thudding of cannon, and from fields astir with figures converging the eery muffled rumbling of drums. From behind, hoofing sod aloft couriers gallop past straightway into throngs to where ruffled flags slant, to men mounted, with swords drawn, about to unleash their flexing lines to collide with columns coming on . . . Continue reading the poem.
  10. Music Lesson

    Quote from Monk's Progress ~
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