Troy Camplin holds a Ph.D. in humanities from the University of Texas at Dallas. He has taught English in middle school, high school, and college, and is currently taking care of his children at home. He is the author of Diaphysics, an interdisciplinary work on systems philosophy; other projects include the application of F.A. Hayek’s spontaneous order theory to ethics, the arts, and literature. His play “Almost Ithacad” won the PIA Award from the Cyberfest at Dallas Hub Theater.
Descending from the mountains, down the plain,
Into the valley, I have found a cave
To live in and to contemplate my pain
And joy, the love and strife designed to save
Me from my selfishness, to be reborn.
Do not mistake my constant strong desire –
The animal is transformed to adorn
The unity whose friction brings the fire
Of love out of apparent fleshly lust,
Erecting a true temple to embrace
The higher life of love and joy and trust
That life will lead me right and bring me grace.
When I want to make love to you it’s so
Our spirits can emerge and merge and grow.
Made, and Made Anew
The stones are worn with even, weary waves –
The ships are rusting by the rotting dock
That constitutes their cold, collective graves –
As weather runs down every object’s clock.
I look at you, your each new crease and gray –
The sand swirls, eddies up around your feet
With waves which wash so no sand, stone will stay
The way or where it is with every beat.
And yet our children play and chase the birds
That live with what the waves stir up. The seals
Are nursing pups. Sea grass will feel the herds
Of deer who make for cougar mothers’ meals.
Destruction is a part of nature, true –
But first things must be made, then made anew.
She had the words. She knew she had the words.
They forested her, dimmed the light. Her limbs
Spread, palms outstretched to block her movement. She
Had no idea which way to go. She cut
The roots, expecting she would float away –
She tumbled, crushed the touch-me-nots. Brown seeds
Shot out from curling pods. Forget-me-nots
As blue as bluets made mere scents of crushed
Herbaceousness the moment her trunk landed.
So certain, she set out, discovering
New lands – she named new things – but she will not
Return to tell us what she saw. No blaze
Was ever made. She’ll be forgotten, turn
To soil, become the forest floor, mere food F
or fungi. The words will mould, fertilize
A future poetry upon her bones.
She had the words – for one of future’s branches –
Should other poets trim the tree just right
With all their wind and lightning, rhythmic storms
That shape the art by felling forests. Then
She’ll be discovered, newly unforgotten.