Friday, May 31, 2013
Music of My Memories
I try to throw my surplus stuff away,
Yet drift about, a silent wraith, and sigh;
For though I find new candidates each day,
I find myself unable to comply.
Each piece is fraught with memories, alive
With melodies that grasp my beating heart,
To dance a rueful, self-reproaching jive --
And all my best intentions fall apart.
As reminiscence steals my grand resolve,
And silently, nostalgia takes its place,
My plans to purge my spent surfeit dissolve,
Into an anthem time cannot erase.
I walk among lares and penates,
That sing the music of my memories.
How odd that, just as I was struggling with decisions about what "stuff" to toss and what to keep, I should stumble on an old phrase for household goods: lares and penates -- referring to both household treasures and benevolent Roman household gods. It does seem that, sometimes, I worship at the altar of my toys...
Posted by Mick at 1:37 AM
Monday, May 27, 2013
An age ago, the rifle in his hands,
Spoke in righteous anger, and duty-bound
To fight for liberty in foreign lands.
Still, late at night he hears those bitter sounds.
He screamed inside each time he fired a round,
And saw it pierce a target in his sights,
And watched an enemy fall to the ground;
The vision haunting long and lonely nights.
His sense of duty led him to enlist;
His courage kept him steadfast in the fight;
He understood a truth so many missed:
That freedom's as much a gift, as a right.
He wasn't born a soldier, bathed in strife,
He became one to save his way of life.
For Memorial Day. For all who served and all who still serve.
Posted by Mick at 7:28 PM
Saturday, May 25, 2013
Pass It Along
Each day I read wonderful, profound thought,
Painstakingly painted in great detail;
Epistles intricate and deftly wrought,
A breath of beauty, destined to exhale
Words that seem freely to flow from the heart,
Caressing strings of my lyrical soul,
With musical sentiments, that impart
Ardor to uplift, condole, or console.
Somewhere in the message is a request,
To "pass it along," (if I am a friend).
I rarely concede to such a behest,
Though I do not wish the missive to end.
I affix it to my passions and cares,
And then, I "pass it along" in my prayers.
I get many messages each day, on social media and in e-mail, copied or linked from sources usually undefined, each asking to be forwarded, shared, or cut and pasted into a new message to my contacts. Many indicate that I will do this, if I am a friend of the person passing it along. Some are truly beautiful. Some are tasteful and timely. Others are biased, bigoted, or banal. Few are original with the sender.
If the message is something I find compelling, I may comment on it and I pass it along to someone who can really do something about it...in my prayers.
Posted by Mick at 11:24 PM
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Silence in My Soul
My ears endure a rude cacophony,
Cascading in a massive wall of sound,
Until it's only noise, and suddenly,
It dominates my aural world's background.
The images emblazoned on my eyes,
By sources digital and print and live,
Comprise a complex mix of truth and lies,
Bewildering, no matter how I strive
To understand, to comprehend it all.
I inward look, and listen to my heart;
I search its wisdom, hearken to its call,
And seek the simple truths it can impart.
I tell these simple stories with one goal:
I write to ease the silence in my soul.
At times, the sheer volume of noise and surfeit of images overloads my capacity to process it all, and my whole system shuts down. At these times, I look inward for answers and write about what I see, what I hear, what I find on that journey. The stories that comprise my poems and messages are simple. They are written to ease the uneasy silence that touches my soul when I shut out the name-calling, finger-pointing, blame-fixing, and innuendo-casting cacophony which inundates the flood plain of my life.
Posted by Mick at 12:35 AM
Friday, May 17, 2013
Islands in the Ice
Although I thought myself an isolate,
An island in a wind-swept frozen sea,
And captive to my geologic fate,
I yearned to move about and wander, free.
The rimy current coursing 'round my girth,
Imparted false progress, as though adrift;
Yet, I could feel my feet, deep in the Earth.
Mobility would never be my gift.
Although I languished, aching just to meet
Other islands; just to touch, shore-to-shore;
When I envisioned roots, instead of feet,
Conjoined with an immense, shared ocean floor,
I saw that we are one. To be precise,
I simply had to look beneath the ice.
At times, it seems that glaciers separate us and we have no common ground on which we can meet to share and solve our mutual concerns and common problems. Yet, if we seek deeply enough, searching our roots, we find the bedrock that connects us all. We simply have to look beneath the ice...
Posted by Mick at 2:10 PM
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Early this morn, when my eyes opened wide,
The morning light shimmered, silvery white.
I crept to the window...I looked outside,
And shivered at a remarkable sight:
Icy white curtains adrift on the wind,
Splintering sunlight and dazzling the eyes,
Ice touching fire as it tried to rescind,
The advent of spring, which winter denies.
Dashing and swirling across the new green,
I saw denizens of winter cavort,
Sprint, scurry, scamper -- a silvery screen
To hide the new spring, winter's last resort.
By late afternoon, the brief blanket's gone,
And our march toward summer plods slowly on...
It's May 12th and Mother's Day, so what does Mother Nature serve for breakfast this fine, spring day? Snow. As soon as the afternoon sun touched the new blanket of white, it was a soggy memory -- a chilling memory -- but a memory nonetheless.
Posted by Mick at 11:08 PM
Shadows in the Dust
By tasting venom dripping from the stone,
When riven is the precipice of peace,
You curse your spirit, drifting and alone,
To dancing in the darkness without cease.
Your eyes will seek for daylight, and find naught
But slowly shifting shadows dark and dim.
The poison you ingested, only bought
A chance to shuffle dust, deadly and grim.
And should a shaft of sunlight pierce the veil,
That shields the blighted stage on which you prance,
It cannot free you from the cursed nail,
Which pins you to the floor on which you dance.
Until you can forgive yourself, you must
Continue dancing shadows in the dust.
As I read the reports of violence and strife in the news, I wondered: Where is the well-spring of the terrible toxin that shrivels a soul and brings one to consider violence? We call acting with violence breaking the peace, as if peace is a great mountainside, the rock of ages which holds back the flood of poison which threatens our world. What would that poison do to one's spirit?
My mind's eye saw the vision above. I am still shivering, and sensing a faint taste of dust...
Posted by Mick at 1:56 AM
Thursday, May 09, 2013
We teach our children that all things have names,
And share our own labels, eponymous,
But something taints these simple childhood games:
We learn to slur and hide, anonymous.
Deep, innate umbrage seems to amplify
Abysmal, silent prejudice grown loud;
And we disparage, slander, and downcry,
When we can hide ourselves within a crowd.
The razor's edge of epithets, once hurled,
Slice deeply, biting down into the soul,
Of even tiny innocents, whose world,
Suddenly shattered, may never be whole.
And yet, the crowd, though none can reason why,
Still cast their darts to pierce each small cockshy.
Many words in our language sound nothing like what they mean. In my ongoing journey to rediscover parts of my mother tongue (those seemingly "misplaced" in the last three years), I found the British word, cockshy. It has three meanings that evolved into the above poem: 1. the sport of throwing missiles at a target; 2. the target itself; and 3. an object of criticism or ridicule.
Also, I really wanted to write a poem rhyming anonymous and eponymous...
I wonder, if I call someone a horse's arse, is that a hippoponymous statement?
Posted by Mick at 2:48 PM
Tuesday, May 07, 2013
Sir Cavil Meets Charity Clement
Young Charity was by Cavil beguiled;
Her white knight, (and son of her father's boss).
He greeted her warmly; she brightly smiled.
He winced, and whispered: "You forgot to floss."
Embarrassed, she swallowed her wrath, and spoke:
"I pray nothing else meets with your disdain."
He laughed lightly, as at a private joke,
And stepped back to examine her again.
He criticized her coiffure and her dress;
Disparaged decor, reviled their table,
And labeled their home a pathetic mess.
Softly, she said: "Let's go see the stable..."
Up close, she whispered, steaming his glasses:
"A stable is where people put asses."
Please pardon my pun-ish wordplay. However, at some point in our lives, we have all met Sir Carper Cavil, niggler extraordinaire and general pain-in-the-posterior. Self-important and expert at fault-finding, he thrives on the foibles of regular folk, but fails in the rarefied atmosphere of the truly tolerant and nimble of wit.
Posted by Mick at 3:43 PM
Friday, May 03, 2013
Ah, Niccolò, how could you have foreseen,
The extent to which your maxims would grow?
They flourish in shadow, move quite unseen,
And thrive on the dark seeds their masters sow.
Ruthless and mean are the dogs in your pack,
Charming, disarming, and fast on their feet,
Claiming to follow a straight, moral track;
Reaching success through brute force and deceit.
Clothing their evil in moral stances,
And to placate security urges,
To secure power, not taking chances,
Exercise Machiavellian purges.
You taught them so well, it's in their genes:
That the ends always justify the means.
Today, May 3, is the birthday of Niccolò Machiavelli. Hence the bitter tribute to a smart, but ruthless soul. It is appropriate that his name adorns the Dark Triad of personality disorders: narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy.
Posted by Mick at 12:30 PM
|It's May 3rd -- 30 degrees & snow?|
Rimy denizen of vast halls of air,
Chilly beastie of the sub-arctic clime,
With only winter's frozen breath to share,
You have over-stayed your appointed time.
Though we love your favorite color, white,
And rainbow sun sparkling through the ice,
We tire of long and blustery, black nights,
And summer's promise held in glacial vise.
So though we dream of warm, sweet summer days,
To keep us warm during your polar dance,
You'd leave us grateful, full of joy and praise,
For your departure, giving spring a chance.
Dreading days when your icy beast comes forth,
Dire, gelid leviathan of the North.
I looked out my window this morning, and somehow, "Winter, winter -- go away!" just didn't seem enough...
Posted by Mick at 11:12 AM