Ron Whiteurs



                Lieder of the Seasons

Das Sommerlied

Great tideless saffron seas of Sommerfeld
With goldenrod and goldenglow in splash
Of piled flaxen carpeting; vast spread
Of endless sprawling lawns, the sensual loins
Of some blond sleeping giant, rich with down
And bloom of sun-drenched seedlings, now matured
In earthly fire. Over meadows whitened
With summer’s rampant heat I hear the sigh
Of earth’s release, the pleasures of travail
In sexual exhaustion: climaxed season
Whose solstice is our solace in rebirth.

Sing, cello, Immer Leiser wird mein Schlummer,
As ever softer grows the quiet slumber
Of Wiegenlieder’s warm and cradled cadence—
The vital pulp and vibrant pulse of summer
Whose panoply of hues in all their radiance,
And pageantry of plumes in endless number
Must yet resign to die. Sing then, cello,
While life sleep-walks in orange tones and yellow,
In tints and hues which yet refuse the pallor
Of grief, the ashen face of summer’s death.
Color! Color to paint this season’s breath?


Das Winterlied

These glazed leaves resembling ginger men,
With glistening stems like candied nuts and fruits,
These pretzels dipped and coated in clear glass
Of sugar-solvency and icy coldness;
On thistle-limbs condense the wintry sleets
As on the ground, collecting there in sheets
Of layered thickness—many ply; this ice
Congeals, like milk-white sugar crystals form
And slowly grow in size, mesmerized
By strings submerged in saturate solution
And glowing with the softness of translucence.

Ho, the eerie sight! The twilight twinkle
Of trees reflecting light, the fires sprinkle
From deep and distant stars! Shine, then, night
And burn in shivering coldness—fire molded
From tundra breezes northwold where the wolves
Howl mingling calls in windward thralls which whistle
Weird sounds in frozen nights. Eve’s delight
To wilt in melting April’s sunlit morns,
To wither with that warmth the frost-folk mourn,
To die away in sounds of sighing silence
And drain off into subterranean worlds.


Der Fruehlingesang

Fireworks of buds in bursting flower
Erect from matrix soil in phallic ploy,
In virtuoso solo, flaunting power
Against a maestro’s backdrop; teased and toyed
Till yielding Fruehling’s fruit. These herbs are verbs,
This foliage is verbiage, here sung
And brought to pastorale in crusty paen,
With waterstreams released from ducts and mains
Emptying reservoirs and repertoires
Of irrigating floods; guiding their source
Through underpaths in undulating course.

High season: Ging heut Morgen ubers Feld,
And over the field Der Wanderer, the sun,
Casts barely a shadow’s shade behind the rays
That emanate in shower from his face;
What shade there be is shaped from shifting clouds
Softening those rays of brilliance: proud,
And lending color to textured cereal grains
On kerneled stalks, or light to waxen green
Of moss and leaf and insect; verdancy
On trunks of trees with keely, fibrous bark—
This opening season’s sole hint of dark.


Der Herblichgesang

Crackled leaves and leavings; roots uprooted,
Tubers, pods, and beans in bloated harvest;
Gourds and mellow melons plump with winesap
Of nectared cornucopia. Demeter
And Dionysos here with thyrsus burrowed
Through topsoil seasons plowed with clumps and furrows
Where cluster energies in matter born
Of fleshy fruits and tissues—thick tumescence
To couch and cushion seedlings well against
The maelstroms and the gale storms here which mark,
With zestful zephyrs, autumn’s equinox.

Autumnal song, with throaty voice, full-chested—
Yet nasal—all your sounding cavities
Are concordized together. Harmonies
Aeolian sing their way through vested breast
And burn within the chest a final warmth
Before the chill of filling breezes holds
The bitter silence of a bitter cold.
The cock upon the weathervane shall freeze
And face in one direction one more season
Until the year’s new thawing moment warms
His form to life, to crow the cycle’s dawn.


About the Author

Born in the Bronx, brought up in the hills of Mahwah NJ, R. Dionysius Whiteurs has lived in the New Paltz-Rosendale region since 1966. With an MA from SUNY New Paltz, he taught English at that institution in 1970-71 and went on to a long career as unofficial “Poet Laureate” of IBM Publishing in Poughkeepsie (1980-1989). While working at IBM in the mid-1980's, he appeared as guest consultant with Anthony Fast in two broadcasts of classical music on the Vassar College radio station show, “Treasures from Captain Classics Collection.” One broadcast featured the music of Franz Peter Scubert, and the other broadcast featured the music of Karl Maria von Weber.

R. Dionysius performed regularly at the Rosendale Creative Space Co-Op from 1989 to 1992; He performed annually at the Cave Readings at the Widow Jane Mine in Rosendale from 1991 to 1997; He starred in the Igneous It performance Ox Necks in Tweed on April 3, 1992; He performed at Fountain House, NYC, and slammed at the Nuyorican Cafe, NYC, during these years; He performed at the Woodstock Guild's Byrdcliffe Barn as part of Summerjazz (FM Artist's Coalition) in 1992; He performed as main feature poet at the Outloud Festival in Claryville in 1994; He formed the absolutely amateur rock n' roll band “Glory-Hole Bishops of the Holy See” in which he starred as lead singer and song writer; He recorded four poems and interviews in 1993 for the Steve Charney Show (“Knock-on-Wood”) on WAMC Albany Public Radio; He featured in the brief biographic film Trapped in Amber by Bart Thrall of Big Time Records (2006); He hosted the 19th Annual Hudson Valley Poet's Fest in the Widow Jane Mine (2009); He was a featured poet at the 2010 Albany Word Fest; He was a featured poet at the 17th Annual Bowery Poetry Club Spoken Word; He was a featured poet at Sound, Sight, and Motion (2011) in New Paltz, and he has been published in the Rondout Review, Abraxas Magazine, The Poets Gallery, Chronogram, Hunger Magazine, Wuzz Buzzin (Switzerland), Arabesque (Shivastan Press), The Home Planet News, Heyday Magazine, Lifeblood, and in And Then Magazine.

(click here to close this window)