3 haiku on spring

Feels sooooo good!
First warm day of Spring
Steps lightly

======================

Shining Bright
Birds sing in mid-flight
Spring sunshine

======================

Looking clearly
A glass wall separates me
from Spring outside

 

4 haiku on aging

Daily progress
with pain in every step
These “golden years”

+++++++++++++++++++

Unable to sit
Unease prevents stillness
My restless legs

+++++++++++++++++++

Time goes faster
Losing track of days
One more bare limb

+++++++++++++++++++

Once, clarity
of a happy, sad youth –
memory fades

spring morning rain

Spring Morning Rain

The beat of the
windshield wipers begins
and holds steady
as the dark clouds
of the worlds concert hall
slowly open
to the rhythm of the rain.

Passing headlights
provide the light show
joined with
the whoosh and hum,
a tire chorus
on wet pavement.

Spring’s early morning
experimental symphony.

why i write poetry

I cannot say I’m a great poet.
I’m not even sure I can say
I’m a good poet.

But, I do like words
their power to
evoke and invoke
feelings and emotions
pictures and memories.

And so I struggle
ever so humbly to
express my self into being.

office balloon

A half-deflated balloon
decorated with

colorful stars and
“You’re So Special”

tethered to its cubicle

now
bobbing and weaving

now
drifting listlessly in

currents of stale
recirculated air

its metallic surface
reflecting the

bright
white light of
office fluorescents

“I don’t make mistakes”

“I DON’T MAKE MISTAKES”

“I don’t make mistakes!”

Hmmmmph!
arrogant, ballsy fraud.
Elitist, cock-sure punk.

The claim
itself a mistake
waiting to humble
the utterer of lies.

Pop the balloon
of ego
(or is it id?).

Beat the
empty piñata
there’s no sweetness within.

Drink the curdled milk
soured by
time in the slow
heat of ignorance.

Remove the clothes
made dirty by
the ejaculation of foolishness.

Wash clean
the soiled
soul.

Rinse the body and
dress it in the clean
fresh clothing of
righteous humility.

Walk out into
the quiet morning of
birdsong
welcoming you
to a new life
where others sing
your praises,

as you practice
patience
for the mistakes
of others,

when they look
fearfully to your
criticism
only to find

the warmth
of the sun,
blue skies of kindness
green grass of compassion

in the welcoming embrace
of
forgiveness and understanding.

I was born….

I WAS BORN

I was born in 1960. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  I will turn 60 in 2020.
I turned 20 in 1980. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  I will turn 80 in 2040.
I turned 40 in the year 2000. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

All of my present has been
neurotically ricocheting
back and forth between
my past and my future.

I turned 40 in the year 2000.
When I turn 00
I will return to
what I was
before I was born

At peace.
At home.
In total oneness with
existence and nonexistence.

the writing blahs

The hand lies
limply on the page

Pen flip-flopping flaccidly
insipid, impotent inspiration

Desire, a
vacuous turncoat
betrays me

What to write.
What to write?
What To Write!

nothing.

Night Rain

Night Rain

Splashes and Rivulets.
The rain dances then flows
washing, cleansing the
streets and sidewalks
by lamplight
while the city sleeps.

The sins of Winter
washed into the gutter and
time moves slowly.
I stare impatient
by the window
waiting for repentant Spring.

LOL 2

Another poem – this one’s about laughter itself.

Laugh Out Loud 2

Laughs Like Potato Chips

Laughs are like
potato chips
you can’t eat just one

Ha is not as infections as haha
or hahahahaha…
You can’t have tee without the hee
or teeheeheehee

It’s harder to grin
from one side of the mouth
easier with both

If you laugh without sound
you’re in very much danger
so wheeze, grunt, snort or chuckle
laugh until your weak in the knees

If the belly stopped after one shake
when it shakes with laughter
you would die

lots of laughs
are better than one
and laughing out loud
is better than death

LOL

There is a long proud history of bawdy humor in literature of all types including poetry.  I’ve decided it’s time I give it a go at low brow humor.
Laugh Out Loud

Body Music

Farting is the sound
of the body’s marching band.
Its trumpeting brass,
thunderous drums, and
the delicate squeak of the clarinet.

Gaseous humors
released from within,
expelled with force or
slipping out through the cracks
in a hissing wind.

Grand multi-sensory experience –
whether earthquaking, embarrassingly obvious
or silent and deadly;
a bowel-shaking satisfaction
will always make you smile.

Polite society is no place for me.
Let the face bunch up in laughter
and let the ears tingle.
LET IT RIP! (and of course)
pass the nose-plugs please.

for more laughs….
http://mentalfloss.com/article/52419/11-literary-fart-jokes

Inspiration In Unlikely Places

Temple of Industry 2009

My ears tingle from
the klatter and klang
Sturm und Drang…..
orchestra of rust
….. in…..

A concert hall of corrugated steel
over block walls
under a steel frame roof
blown by the wind
in a symphony of sound,
a joyful noise unto the Lord

The abandoned temple of industry
a holy shroud
baptized by peeling paint
once wet… shiny… new…
now cracked and broken
hardened by life
dry… damaged…
decay from neglect
a slow discard of memories
….. soon forgotten…..

Now the doors are thrown open
“Free Admission!”
“Welcoming All Worshipers!”
a gathering of misfits, undesirables and homeless,
insects, rodents and birds…
the garden within.

The heart finds redemption
in this arcane recital,
hallowed and profane
within the unsuspecting shell
… of shadows and shades.

Sturm und Drang

the forgotten valentine

THE FORGOTTEN VALENTINE

Hearts and candy
Baked goods, cards and flowers
A saints holiday,
… the saint would not recognize.

Pagan cupids,
fleshy child-like innocents
with winking mischief,
ready with arrows and bow
to slay the expectant heart.

…… while other hearts
go unfulfilled
longing for companionship
like dry ground longs for rain.

… and winged cupid’s
in their flawed judgement
fly by… mocking
… saving their arrows
for the select few
and not the ones in need.

How cold is it?

WINTERS COLD

Winters cold lunges
clasping onto the unwary passerby
winters icy grip claws furiously
looking for any weakness

The traveler, wrapped in soft cloth
armor of futility
shuddering and struggling to keep out
the frigid beast

Winters cold, unrelenting in its search
finding exposed skin
like a wild animal, shakes it’s prey
tearing and biting the blood-filled shell of life

The traveler….. gasping, heart beating rapidly
slowly stiffening as the last vestiges
of warmth reluctantly flee
the beast boldly triumphant

….. until…..

The traveler ducks into an open door
homes welcoming hearth & warm familial remedy
the winter beast rears up wounded and repelled by warmth,
releases its hold then roars into the night
searching for a new victim

 

[in memory of the bitter cold of almost two weeks ago when temperatures here in Akron, Ohio literally rivaled those of Antarctica especially when factoring in windchill]

a wonderful video

Award-winning writer and photographer Teju Cole talks about – and reads from – his work of photography and texts, ‘Blind Spot’, which sprung from a period of semi-blindness: “So this is a book about the limitations of vision… when we’re looking at the world, there’s so much that we’re missing.”

new untitled poem

(untitled) 1/29/19 1AM

… with bigoted clam-shelled-shut heart
pinched accusation and fervent digit all gesticulation…
… their unctuous moral fortitude, no reverence for creation
razes the standard none can achieve
happy to fail, happy to fall
into the boiling cauldron of righteousness…
… reason lost.

Who will avail the good, decent, compassionate
and forgiving soil?
… planting seeds to each grow its own kind
fruit bearing and fruitless
watered by streams of untethered acceptance.

Virtues are best left in deep shadows
where they are not exposed to the light of…
… haughty self-aggrandizement,
bleached by self-promotion or discolored by false humility…
… left in the heavy darkness when eyes close
and sound fades to sleep…
… perchance to dream.

 Anatomies of Pain #2

Choices

in memory of Rod Geiser December 2018

Choices: How Long Does It Take A bullet To Kill?

Choices: Years
It takes years of modeling behavior and molding thought
inspired by wrong perceptions and misplaced values

Choices: Months
There are months of despair
Choices: Weeks
There are weeks of frustration

Choices: Days
Persistent anger for days

Choices: Hours
Decisions made over the course of hours
Choices: Minutes
Actions taken over the course of just minutes

Choices: Seconds
It takes only a second to fire a gun

Choices: Instantly
In an instant the bullet will pierce the body

Choices
…and the destiny of shooter and victim
are irrevocably changed.

Choices
Change MUST come
Politically
Socially
Culturally
spiritually

Choices
Choices I must make
Choices You must make
Choices We must make
The time is NOW.

… on… learning to lose….

I don’t know if I’m the only one to notice this….  Have you ever noticed that it’s no longer how we play the game that matters; it’s all about winning and losing?  It’s no longer about the journey but about the end?  From the highest echelons of political office down the the humblest individual people all want to be winners – they want to think of themselves and winners and have others think of them as winners.  Winning has become everything.   And losing has become an issue of placing blame, making excuses, and/or justifying the loss.   Reacting angrily with cries of “NOT FAIR” when one loses and complaining about the loss does not reflect well on those who lose.  I think this is a major warning sign for the future of humanity.    I started thinking about this recently after a competition we had in our workplace.  The team I was most closely affiliated with lost.   They had such a difficult time with losing that they complained about it all day and following day.   I had found it so ridiculous that they should react so badly.  But, like I said, it got me thinking.

Story Of Our Lives #89

I think there may be several reasons for this lack of sportsmanship/gamesmanship behavior.    The first is analysis or maybe more precisely over-analysis.   Everyones got an opinion and they tear apart and nit-pick to the finest detail their own performance as well the performance of others.   It is a “gaze” that lasts too long and is too rigidly detailed to ultimately be of any beneficial use; except, to justify and tear down.   Now you may say, “what’s wrong with analyzing a situation to become better in the future?”  Fair question.  What IS wrong (I would argue) is that it does not necessarily make one better unless it makes them a better complainer, whiner when they lose in the future.

Another reason – and we will only see this get worse – starting with our children we teach them that everyone is a winner in events that just by participating you are a winner and so every single participant is given a ribbon or a trophy whatever the prize may be.  This is completely unrealistic and we are setting up our children with unrealistic expectation when they grow up and enter the adult world.   This is probably one of the greatest tragedies be we are, setting up our children for a lifetime of hurt, dissatisfaction, complaint, lack of acceptance and understanding of one’s position and ultimately this can lead to violence.   And who’s fault is it?  The children’s?  Absolutely not – it’s the fault of the adults to taught them.

I also think that a very likely reason is the switch of emphasis from individual performance to team performance which has only increased with the rise of professional sports.   Everyone has “teams” now – even businesses, social organizations, political parties – it seems like absolutely everything is subdivided by the concept of team.   And this  has completely changed the value of individual performance.   Individuals are not fully accepted, “you must be part of a team”, “you must support your team” I personally think this is damaging and ultimately de-values the individual and encourages group-think and sycophantic behavior.   Failure to value individual uniqueness and seeing how an individual fits in the bigger picture will lead to the downfall and failure of many groups.

Technology.  Okay I can see some of you rolling your eyes thinking, “he’s gonna start bashing technology”.   Actually have no intent of doing that.   Technology is a wonderful tool that we can use to learn, grow and expand our knowledge, understanding and acceptance of not only ourselves, but also of others.  Now, like many things humans have created, technology is a double-edged sword.   And information technology has the sharpest edge on that sword.   Media and internet make EVERYTHING more immediate (well, more-or-less until the recent battles over net neutrality).    As a species that has created these tools we are in our infancy in understanding both the benefits and pitfalls of such tools.  And there are pitfalls.   I would argue that one pitfall is that with such immediacy of all manner of information we have become less discerning in our consumption and digestion of information.   Because there is alway “this…”, then “this… again”, “this…. recycled”, “This…. regurgitated”, “this… analyzed yet again”  We are in a psychotic state of always reacting to the next thing and not stopping to digest what was first consumed.   One reason I think we do this is that with this omnipresence of new and incessantly recycled information creates the illusion that it is ALL important.   And quite frankly, it is NOT that important.  In fact I suspect probably 90 percent of all information in the media and on the internet is pointless and without value – much like our excess consumption of sugar in our diet.  We don’t need al the sugar that we eat but it sure tastes good and therefore we train our bodies to think that it is important.   The media and internet is the same way.    It is an addiction.   In fact manufacturers are continually looking for new technologies to “connect” us to the so-called information super-highway. But I suspect that at some point what will happen is that just like too much sugar causes our bodies to shut down – too much information will result in a intellectual shut-down.   All of this information with it’s immediacy and fraudulent self-importance further exacerbates the differences between winning and losing.

I also think we need to look at religion and how it has become an unwitting disciple to the secular concepts of winning and losing.    Many religions view their followers as “the chosen one” with some notion of reward for being part of that group and yes I have seen many that reward people for following while condemning those who have a different way to go.   I once volunteered at a homeless shelter for nearly 4 years.  Over the course of that time I saw clients rewarded and given favoritism and opportunities just because they learned to talk the talk – but look out because one slip and they were gone.  I used to laugh at the news letter for the homeless shelter which was used for soliciting funding and support – because their feature story was for someone that was actually kicked out of the shelter because of a mistake they made.   This would happen on a regular basis.  There was talk of unconditional grace and forgiveness at the shelter but I hardly ever saw it.   Yet it goes on because it has become a community institution.  It’s existence has become more important than its mission which is sadly what can be said of most religions and religious organizations.  These institutions reward the “winners” and disavow the “losers”.

Celebrity is the final thing that I think causes us to understand the value of losing.  In our media and “image” driven culture Celebrities are adored and worshiped.   Throughout the history of humanity Celebrity has existed.  But with the rise of media celebrity became more entertainment driven.  And not only the building up of celebrity but also the tearing down of celebrity.  This is a cultural disease that MUST be treated.  How does celebrity contribute to the malaise of winning and losing?   Celebrities are revered, even worshiped.  They are people that others look up to.  And because of that, even though they try to deny it – they are de-facto role models for society at large.  So many people see celebrities as the only ones who’s voices matter.  Many people strive toward celebrity because celebrities are “winners” –  But this is part of the great lie.  And media technology and the internet displays every single moment of a celebrities life – and for those who follow any given celebrity they “see” what is and isn’t acceptable they judge their own lives by what that celebrity says and does.   And when a celebrity falls out of favor people simply move on the the next celebrity – because there’s always one just waiting to take your attention and adoration.  It’s all part of “winning.”

Is there any good news?  Can we bring the “game of life” back into balance where winning and losing is less of a criticism and more of an evaluation of where things stand?  Yes.  I’m happy to say there is good news but it will require self-discipline our each of our parts to self-regulate our consumption of media and information.  It will require that we look outside of our own beliefs and ideas, seeking to understand and accept differing viewpoints.  It will require we be patient with ourselves but mostly with others; because in our current self-centered cultural milieu it will be difficult to see others progressing as fast as ourselves – so we must be patient with them.  We must learn to lose and as we learn to do that and accept loss then we will be able to help others in the process.

We need to understand and accept the following facts; yes, we need to do our best but there will always be someone better.  Someone will always interpret the rules differently than you.  The rules are always changing.  The winning moment if over so quickly – it’s only a temporary high.  There are ALWAYS more losers than winners.   You will lose more than you will win.  Acceptance is not defeat.  Learning to lose is a great gift.  Losing is something that should be taught with grace, understanding and compassion.  It’s okay to lose – that’s life.   To be a good loser – that’s grace.

I’ve recently been watching old Olympic films.  One thing that struck me is the Oath that is taken.  To be more precise. the Oath when it was first taken in the 1920 Olympics.  “Chivalry”, “Honour” and “the glory of sport”.    These apply to everyone.  These qualities are the great equalizer between winning and losing.  It is about individual values and the value of the individual (whether they play on a team or not).

We swear. We will take part in the Olympic Games in a spirit of chivalry, for the honour of our country and for the glory of sport.

Final consideration: when you win – you’ve got no place to go. When you lose you always have someplace you can go.

Well, this has been one of my wordier posts so if you’ve made it this far – I am grateful and eager to hear your opinions and views on these ideas.

… on… winter….

Winter has been a favorite season of mine for a long long time.  The things I always liked about winter were the cold, ice, snow and wind….   But winters have been milder (thanks to climate change) so I find them less enjoyable than previously.   Looks like we’ll have a “green” Christmas – for at least the fifth year in a row……  I remember when Christmas’s were always “white” with snow.   Oh well, that’s life.  Last week we had some snow so I was able to get out and enjoy it for the couple of days it lasted.   Today’s image is proof of that.

When winter comes
Its cold dark embrace beguiling
We search for warmth

Wind howls coldly
Wrapped in sweaters of warmth
Hide in hovels

Winter Storm

Winters Solstice
Boldly we soldier on
Bring On The Night

Light only flickers
Dancing a tarantella
A dark long night-scape

In the northern hemisphere Christmas is also closely aligned with the Winter Solstice – the darkest time of the year when days are short and nights are long (unlike my friends in the southern hemisphere where this is the beginning of summer).

In honor of the Winter Solstice here is some music by the underrated Tin Hat Trio.  The track is titled THE LONGEST NIGHT from their recording Book Of Silk.

… on… time….

2012 Marking Time
I’ve been fascinated with concepts of time and our perceptions of it. I just saw this wonderful film that is an artful exploration of the subject of time.
It is titled THE END OF TIME by Peter Mettler…. It is mostly image and music but there is some spoken word. And wow, the spoken word has so many quotable quotes I would just say watch the whole movie. Here is a trailer to entice you.

Did you know that the root word for time and weather is the same in many languages? With that in mind here are eight questions and possible answers arranged in an hourglass shape.

Q: Are you rushing because you are Late?
A: I am getting wet.

Q: Do you like the hot afternoon sun?
A: It is 3PM.

Q: Are you really 85 years old?
A: The sun is setting.

Q: What time is it?
A: It is snowing.

Q: What time is dinner?
A: The wind is blowing.

Q: Where is the sun rising?
A: The dawn comes early.

Q: When does the moon rise?
A: The temperature is dropping.

Q: Do you have the time?
A: Can’t you see the clouds in the sky?

… on… lessons in rust….

Hello again everyone.   As many of you know I have a preoccupation with the subject of rust in my photos.   More than a few of my photos feature rust in some form.  Today is no different.   I’ve been thinking about why I find rust to be such a dynamic subject.   Part of it is (as I’ve written on my previous blog) the Wabi-Sabi aesthetic;  Finding beauty in the imperfect, the flawed and discarded.   But it also goes beyond that.   I think rust has many lessons to teach us.  No only about the inevitable end of all things but also how we can come to terms with the inevitable end.   Rust is strong.   It’s strength does not lie in speed, or the forceful blow to its subject.  Rust is gentle.  It does not seek to hide – it is visible in its destruction.  Rust takes it’s time; the object of its affection is coaxed into its corrosive embrace.

The Way Out Is Through

You and me like all things must end.   It is the nature of things.  We are mortal.  That means we will not live forever no matter how hard we try to extend the time we have.   I don’t care how fit you are, how free of disease you have been, your physical fitness, or your emotional health.   You will die.  In fact, you might say you are already dying.  And that’s okay.   There is beauty in the process.   What?  Yes, there is beauty in the process of dying = it’s all in how you look at it.   You can approach it with grace and appreciation for the time you have and the inevitable end or you can fight it every single step of the way.   I once heard a woman say, “I do not plan to grow old gracefully, I plan to fight it every step of the way”.   I’ve always found that viewpoint rather tragic.  But that is the prevailing viewpoint in western society.  In fact the exception in western culture is that you must fight it and with medical and technological advances you can fight aging, disease etc.  But that is all a delusion.  In the west we have become masters of delusion and self-deception.

Why do we find Autumn to be one of the most beautiful times of the year?  Autumn is the season of dying.   The leaves on trees are the most colorful just before they die and fall to the ground.   And this change seems to happen rather fast but the change actually started  at the point the leaf first came out and reached maturity on its branch back in the Spring.  Our lives are the same way.    It’s not just the newborn and young that are beautiful.   Beauty is enhanced through experiences that are both good and bad.   Rust is like that; it is one of those experiences that may seem to hasten the demise of something but it does not know that.   It just is.   It is a part of nature.  A part of life experience just like disease, physical and emotional discomfort.   Those things exist to add to our beauty.

Catacombs In Rust

You find me
Slowly you Change my life
I love you

**************

I feel your presence
your corrosion adds beauty
glory of Autumn

**************

Your rough embrace
Enhances my life through change
I welcome you

**************

The color of love
Textures the smooth beauty of life
Open arms tremble

**************

Sing a song of rust
A slow ballad of decay
Autumns dying love

***************

Sound of slow scraping
Crippled dry dusty fingers
Wabi-Sabi world

****************

Illusions of age
You teach strength through weakness
Beauty in Frailty

Face The Colour Of Your Fears

Your music moment provided by a band I recently discovered and had to buy all their albums – Do Make Say Think – A TENDER HISTORY IN RUST from their album You, You’re A History In Rust.

Album version


Alternate version

****Hey!  if you have short form poem or haiku about rust and the ideas I’ve written about, please feel free to post in your comment.  😉

… on…swallows play….

 

Field For Swallows Play

Field For Swallows Play

Where have all the swallows gone?
wings clipped
caged spirits
songs silenced
ghosts of freedom

murmurations
of grace and dignity
gone gone gone
hiding in dark shelters

feathers tremble
hearts quiver
waiting for the noisy,
angry hunter to leave

fire burns the fields
arrogance tears down shelters
bringer of death
the enslaver comes with a mocking grin
noisily waving a flag