Been A While…


I haven’t posted since… February or so?  Didn’t check the date on my last post, but it’s been a while.

I’m thinking I’d like to start posting semi-regularly again.  I don’t know how often people stumble across this site, but I like knowing my poetry is out there for people to read, regardless of whether or not it gets commented on.  I like to imagine the occasional web surfer stumbles across something I’ve written, and they can relate to it in some way.  Maybe it brightens their day.  Maybe it doesn’t.

But in those moments when you feel something, deeply, you are alive.

I haven’t been writing as regularly as I used to.  I still have plenty of time to do so, but there are a lot of distractions in the modern world, and I find what little I am writing hasn’t been of a quality I’m willing to share.  Not that my judgment of such things is unbiased…

Still, perhaps the simple acting of writing, every day, regardless of what comes out, will help me tap back into that inner wellspring of inspiration which has been running dry these past few months.

This is a call to my muse!

Sing to me!

Published in: on July 23, 2010 at 4:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Bits And Pieces Of Me

Hi.  I’m in an odd mood, tonight.  I’m digging through the archives and pulling little bits and pieces out of old poems I’ve written over the last 10 years and throwing them down here in a jumbled heap.  It might just make a mess… or it might show you emotional snapshots of me at various points in my recent life.
Enjoy, and as always, I welcome and encourage your comments.  I derive a great deal of pleasure from sharing my words with friendly, intelligent people, and hearing their words in return.  My hope is to move you to feel something, anything, unlock some secret cavern within you that perhaps you’ve never explored.  Or maybe help you revisit old, familiar places now layered in dust…
Whatever the case may be, I hope the experience is uplifting.

“Angel, pull some strings.
Help me get some wings.
These mechanical things,
Won’t lift my heavy heart.”

“Robot, don’t be sad.
The outcome’s not so bad.
Through all the fun we’ve had,
You never fell apart.”

In deep blue distance great whales sing
The praying mantis’s
Subsonic canvases
Hold lurking tusk and golden wing

Battery Head said her heart is an ocean
Embracing the world in a sea of devotion
Caressing all shores with waves of affection
When love is within it’s in every direction

She said, “I have a task,
One simple thing I ask:
While I adjust my hat,
Will you please lift the cat?”

The giants roared with laughter
That echoed from the rafters
And said, “Imagine that!
He cannot lift the cat!”

There in the cradling heap of moss
Ivy shares in old stones’ loss
And blankets one-time castle’s crown
With kiss of leaves as walls fall down

Origami is
So fragile and beautiful
The way we fold our lives
Into complicated shapes
Origami is
So tragic and laughable
The way we fold our lives
Into impossible shapes

And I cannot forget her
In the moonlight, planting seeds
I am fertile soil
For the brave new fireweed

White Dog on a rainbow
Kaleidoscopic skies
Raindrops like bright comets
Trailing vibrant dyes

Then she played the Queen of Hearts,
And he laid down the Knave,
And the Joker rolled his eyes and said,
“You’re too far gone to save.”

Vague and awake we sift through the fog
Into depths of abandon flood rivers or gods
A memory of something thump thump in our chests
Falls under the moss and in time we forget

“Time heals all wounds,” but that is a lie;
Some wounds remove the injured from time.

Like I said, just random bits and pieces.  Hope you’ve been entertained.  I am asleep on my feet.

Published in: on September 11, 2009 at 2:26 am  Comments (3)  
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Circle of Seven

Stone cave
Bone in cave
Bone cave
Meat in cave
Meat cave
Wood in cave
Wood cave
Star in cave
Star cave
Stone in cave 
                                                                                                                          I will explain this one, because I have found when I shared it with a few people it completely confounded them.  Trying to explain my meaning is something I rarely do, but I think in this case it is worth doing, because I put a lot of thought into it.  The exercise I set myself here was to say as much as possible with as little as possible… basically, I was trying to capture the entire cycle of life, from birth to death, and beyond, as minimalistically as I could.  So, line by line –

Stone cave:  the sort a caveman might dwell in.

Bone in cave:  the remnants of his food.  A reference to the food chain, survival of the fittest, the interconnectedness of things.

Bone cave:  the ribcage of the caveman himself.  A reference to structure, order, which naturally leads one to ponder the opposite forces of chaos.  Also, perhaps a bit of an existentialist thought here, in the sense that we`re all trapped in these bone caves… our bodies.  What is consciousness, and how is it connected to our physical selves?

Meat in cave:  the caveman’s heart in his chest.  His lifeforce, and his love for his mate.  His desire to live, and pass on his genes.   Also, providing for a family.  On a somewhat more sinister note, this is also a very simple reference to the fact that to another meat-eating creature… the caveman himself is just more meat.

Meat cave:  perhaps not the most flattering description of female anatomy, but it is accurate (What?  I didn’t design them!  :).  This line also represents the caveman’s thoughts, his desire to mate, his instinctual lust.

Wood in cave:  have the children gone to bed?  Given that last line, I don’t think I need to explain this one.  Use your imaginations!  ;)  Branching away from that (haha, get it) this line also represent technology.  Sort of like how we go out into the natural world, harvest things there, and then make them into new things… bringing these new things back to our caves for comfort and convenience.

Wood cave:  the cradle or crib of a newborn, resulting from the last two lines…  Also, the word ‘wood’ refers to the power of Nature itself interwoven through our every day lives.  It can also be read to mean modern housing, sort of like a parallel to the first line but in a different time.

Star in cave:  the newborn in the crib, a new light to set the compass by in the eyes of the loving parents, and a source of joy and wonder.  Also, modern wonders like electric lights, to light our wooden caves, and perhaps even the headlights of cars when seen from a distance at night.  Stars in a dark cave…

Star cave:  the starry sky at night, another source of wonder, and also awe.  Following that line of thought, this line also encapsulates spirituality, the way we explain the wonders we encounter (such as the night sky) through mythology and religion.  And have you ever seen a city at night from a distant hilltop?  Star cave.

Stone in cave:  the moon in the sky, superstition and myth (werewolves, for starters, and follow the tangent wherever you like), and something of a Biblical reference… Jesus died and was placed in a cave, which they rolled a stone in front of.  I’m making reference to both death and rebirth, as well as tying the final line into the first by using the same words.  And going back to the second-to-last line, thinking along the lines of cities being star-filled caves… chasms, really, which are just caves that open up at the top… the stone in the cave is the concrete, the pavement, the weight of the world in a busy, industrialized, time-is-money society.  The stone in the cave might also be the stone in the pit of my stomach when I think about these things, and how far we`ve pushed the envelope of Nature… but so the cycle goes.
In all, I used only 7 different words, variously repeated, to try to capture the essence of life (in an admittedly simplified form).   Still, for the task I set myself, I feel pretty good about the results.  Each line builds on those that come before to create, by the end, a very concise, but (to me, anyway) very clear picture of the cycle of life.  Like life, it raises more questions than it answers.  I think the more I read it, the more I realize is written there… like a mantra, or a strange parable that doesn’t quite make sense at first glance.

And that’s my take on it!  You’re more than welcome to your own interpretations, and I’d love to hear them!  Thanks for reading!

Published in: on August 20, 2009 at 3:05 am  Comments (7)  
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Much More Than A Smile

  For some reason I am reminded of this most vivid memory:

  I have just climbed into my car to drive to a job I hate.  As I roll down the road past the school, I see a little girl skipping along the sidewalk ahead of her mother.  She has a cute little plush puppy on a leash.  As she runs and skips, her pigtails flying, the puppy bounces and drags along behind her.  Completely oblivious to this (I am sure to this little girl her puppy was real and alive and romping along with her) she continues to run and play, splashing in puddles, running circles around trees, dragging the poor plush puppy through mud and leaves and bouncing it over curbs and cracks in the sidewalk.

  Despite my lousy mood, I cannot help but smile.  This little girl and her joy are truly infectious.  And her mother, glancing up as I pass, catches me smiling.  She returns my smile with a warmth that shines forth radiantly, a warmth and pleasure every bit as bright as her love for her child.  She overflows with adoration for her precocious little girl, and I feel some of that happiness overflow into me.

  Work somehow did not seem so bad, after that.

  I have thought about it a lot, since then, both while working that day and later, too.  Often, when I am feeling down, this memory comes flooding back to me in all its glory-bright autumn color and super-charged sensory detail.  And if does not come back on its own, I can summon it, with a little effort, and then even the lousiest day no longer seems so bad.  But I did not realize the significance of this until a few months later.

  I was reading, as I am wont to do, about a subject I happened to be curious about at the time.  The subject was Zen, and the words I was reading were telling me about every day moments, and the beauty that exists in them.  Whether it be washing the dishes, sweeping the floor, playing with your grandchildren, doing whatever you do at work, or simply sitting and enjoying a cup of tea, with every passing moment we have the choice to be fully conscious, fully present in the here and now.  When we make this choice, we let go of hopes for the future, we let go of hurts from the past, and we tune in to the joy of the moment.  It is always right there, and always available.  Sadly, we are usually too distracted to notice.

  The author went on to say that we have all experienced moments of beauty and joy like this, every one of us, and if we just let our minds drift, we will recall them before too long.  He encouraged me to find these memories, to dredge them up from the deeps and polish them off.  I did so, and this little girl and her puppy bounced and romped their way through my memory just like they did on the day I first saw them.  It still made me smile, and smiling made me remember the stunning glow of the little girl’s mother, and how she so freely shared it with me.

  And that, too, was touched upon by the author of this book on Zen.  He encouraged me to share these moments, and in sharing them, help to create more moments of joy.  A memory that I keep for my own happiness is a beautiful thing, but a memory that I share with you to make you smile and laugh is a joy for both of us.  And every time we share these lovely things, we get better at it.  We notice them more often, remember them better, and give them away more freely.

  Thank you for reading.  Please feel free to share your little moments of joy, too, either here or on your own little piece of the internet.  Neat thing about the net, you can never really fill it up.  There is plenty of space for radiantly beautiful memories.

Published in: on August 19, 2009 at 5:06 am  Comments (1)  
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