Pity the Pitiless

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Photo by Peter Lewis on Unsplash

Pity the Pitiless

You will never know true love
You, who weighs all things by gains
You’re left a wealth bereft of
Substance and joy, your void reigns

You, who weighs all things by gains
Born into meaningless means
Substance and joy, your void reigns
Stranger to spring’s renewed greens

Born into meaningless means
What is sin, you call a win
Stranger to spring’s renewed greens
The want you chase? Frail and thin

What is sin you call a win
You’re left a wealth bereft of
The want you chase; frail and thin
You will never know true love

You’re left a wealth bereft of
Compassion; lost, you taunt fate
You will never know true love
Your flock divides, wielding hate

Compassion lost, you taunt fate
Lies, scapegoats fuel your sad boast
Your flock divides, wielding hate
Both them and you suffer most

Lies, scapegoats fuel your sad boast
But spring sun will have her turn
Both them and you suffer most
You will never feel the burn

But spring sun will have her turn
You will never know true love
You will never feel the burn
You’re left a wealth bereft of

You will never know true love
To hold her hand, knowing God
You’re left a wealth bereft of
True gold, searched by dowsing rod

To hold her hand, knowing God
Surrender to selfless need
True gold, searched by dowsing rod
Not obtained through hate and greed

Surrender to selfless need
Unlocking joy none can buy
Not obtained through hate and greed
Treasures few can quantify

Unlocking joy none can buy
You’re left a wealth bereft of
Treasures few can quantify
You will never know true love

You will never know true love
You’re left a wealth bereft of
***

Written in honor of the peaceful worshippers in New Zealand who had their lives violently ended by a hate-filled man who was enabled by hate groups emboldened by greedy, racist, selfish, corrupt leaders (I’m sure you know the one leader I’m thinking of. I won’t give him the satisfaction of writing his name.)

Shared at dVerse Poetry–a Piece of Written Art, hosted by Victoria C. Slotto. We’re still dabbling with the pantoum form here.

Kinship with Saplings

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Image by author

Kinship with Saplings

Yūgen is said to mean “a profound, mysterious sense of the beauty of the universe… and the sad beauty of human suffering”.

Yūgen suggests that beyond what can be said but is not an allusion to another world. It is about this world, this experience. -source, Word of the Day: Yūgen (幽玄) from Just Think of It by David R. Woolley.

1.
The seed yielded to gravity,
falling to rest upon the good earth,
breaking its protective shell,
becoming primordial seedling,

stretching tendrils into the soft soil,
rooting as probe and anchor;
shooting upward in trunk, branching,

dividing, multiplying,
uncoiling in fractals
incomprehensible to what birthed it,

unfurling green leaves to capture the sun,
collaborating with wind
to compose meditative melodies
reminding all within earshot to breathe,

relinquishing oxygen
as a liberating reminder that
speaking to define this phenomenon

is unnecessary

nor does it necessarily
improve upon the silent
newborn rustle.

2.
I’ve never been content
or comfortable in our world,
never knowing my place
within it.

And so,
just as with writing my thoughts,
I’ve never had my voice ring forth
with a declarative

“Aha! I am now a poet!”

or “It’s all clear to me now!
I am an author of fiction!”

or “People laugh at my jokes,
therefore I am a humorist!”

When closing upon
defining my place in the universe,
it slips from my grasp;
I remain unmoored.

My voice crystallizes
lost among the icy mist,
dispersing as yūgen, and perhaps
that is as it should be.

For, though I have no idea
who I will become tomorrow,
today, I am a tree.
***

Originally published on Medium as Kinship with Saplings.

Special thanks for my good friend Tre for providing the seed to this poem.

Sage’s Laughter

Sage’s Laughter

Reaching the summit was of no small feat
Great Sister’s reception felt bittersweet
The young man bowed to her respectfully
The old woman shrugged an indifferent beat

“Great Sister,” he greeted her fretfully,
“I come to you troubled, regretfully.
Life seems meaningless, yet death do I fear.
I pray you change my heart’s trajectory.”

The old woman peered through somber veneer
Her response, sincere, and yet still unclear
“Your fear of death is a fear of pre-birth.
If your life lacks meaning, why are you here?”

The young man searched her words, seeking their worth
He puzzled their weight, finding only dearth
“I climbed this peak seeking your renowned sage
but you made it clear I serve as your mirth.”

Great Sister stood fast in his bleary rage
“My child,” asked she, “recall your pre-birth stage.
You cannot; for none of us know that time.
The same is death; an unreadable page.”

The young man mused over these thoughts sublime
He asked, seeking reason within the rhyme,
“So death is a void and life, but a joke?
If true, does that make existence a crime?”

Great Sister laughed soundly before she spoke.
“The void and joke are both yours to invoke.
We are a part, not apart from the whole.
I am flock and hen; you are shell and yolk.”

The young man bowed as her words took their toll.
his heavy heart lightened by her console
Path to the valley, beyond his control
Its footfalls? Perhaps his own to insole.
***


(NOTE: Audio at the 4:30 mark mildly NSFW.)

Written for Frank’s Rubaiyat Challenge on dVerse.

Blueshifted Music

Blueshifted Music

Somewhere in-between
procrastination and care
lives a unique skill

I enjoy moving melody
a half measure sooner
than the vibration hits the ear

anticipating the motive
prior to its motivation
breaking it all down just
before the breakdown

I steep her tealeaves
several heartbeats before
her heart skips into
craving its honeyed warmth

I trace the groove
that draws her taught
and leaves her slack
before our moves

I’ve always been a
Thursday kind of guy
for in Thor’s mighty voice lies
the promise of weekend bliss

Friday’s a branded catfight
among the past goddesses

my goddess draws breath
as mine was easily lost

exhaling clairvoyant will
into her deepest wishes

I melt snow-sculptures
before they’ve fully amassed
accumulation
in her driveway

I live in the tension
in a contorted face
before the cry

don’t mistime me as sadist
for hearing the cry is still both
jarring and frightful

but the building crescendo
is everything

living in this way,
using my singularly
blueshifted power

in half-measured strides
into our future

keeps me in pace
with our present
***

This poem was shared on Medium as Blueshifted Music.

 

On Service and Serving

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Photo by Ding LU on Unsplash

On Service and Serving

What a
bizarre perverse
spectacle we must be
to anyone with the gift of
vision.

Contorting our delusions
to fit absurd collective
narrative illusions.

Your happiness is
worthless
to me
and yet

I weigh my worth upon you saying
that you are pleased by my efforts
to bring happiness directly
to your seat with a smile in my voice

fit to claw your eyes out
to minimize eyestrain.

As I strain,

monks go door to door
with empty bowl in hand and
it is filled more often
than not.

If it be a sin
to covet a neighbor’s empty bowl
then I am the foulest
most wretched creature living

if one could subscribe
to the false illusion that
somehow this is life.

But I lie while lying;
it is his heart I covet most.

I would reach into him and
feast right upon it,
right there in his face,
sitting upright, cross-legged

upon the dusty,
nutrient-starved earth, and he
quietly, peacefully

would mourn the fact that
he only had the one
heart to offer,

withholding nothing.

I don’t even count them
as withholds anymore,
for they are nothing to behold;

I place the holy magic beans
inside the divine tabernacle
and watch random gods of diversion
snatch them all away like a

school of piranha
picking clean the bones of my
counterfeit coffers.

Thus, am I served.

It would be cute
to call it being
eaten alive,

but that would play to
the illusion that the beans,
the tabernacle
and my convent with the gods
ever existed and that

somehow,
this is living.

Oh, what a bizarre spectacle I must be
to anyone with the true gift of sight.

But I am ready.

Ready to leave it all behind,
take a leap into the absence of lore,
and see for myself
what this living business is all about.

Perhaps
the best part of
my yet-to-be-told tale
will be when I ended service
and served.

My story begins on the last page.
***

(Video is only loosely related to the poem. I only included it because I really loved the movie, and it makes me feel better about things in my life that kinda suck right now.)

Written for dVerse Poetics: The Art of Confession in Poetry, hosted by  anmol(alias HA).

all the difference

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Photo by Alejandro Benėt on Unsplash

all the difference

On the path not taken
incomplete thoughts and wishes
pair with longing and regret
along elongated line-of-sight
shrinking to a point-of-light
as all paths do when curving
beyond known horizons
I close my eyes for vision

the grass is greener, and yet
the air is thick and toxic
reflection fails to muster depth
strangers call me pops and grandpa
ex-lovers commiserate
in much greater numbers, laughing
at flaws, triumphs, cuts and scars
revealed only to their eyes

pale winter sunset invites frost
breathing artic dusk breezes, I watch
my trail turns away from light
Orion the hunter claims the night
as he pursues the Pleiades
my hunt dovetails to warmer days
for the path not taken
is uninhabitable
***

Written for dVerse Poetics: Time and What If?, hosted by Merril D. Smith. Other poets contributed to this prompt here.

the loneliest part (is knowing)

the loneliest part (is knowing)

knowing is the loneliest part
(for it is knowing
that you are
alone)

it’s lighting the wick after dusk
(the wick’s initial spark
cutting through tangled
colorless murky thickets)

my lantern lights a moonless night
unknown banished from amber sphere
(my amber sphere is weak
and clearly finite)

margins of its influence dim
(for the margins are too frail to divine)
beyond lies entangled nothings
randomly pierced by pricks of light

(each nothing entangled
as knotted terrain; each pin-prick
of light, a home or villa)

each, a distant lonely lantern
(each lantern,
a wick’s spark,
cutting)

lighting a range; the loneliest part
(for the loneliest part
is in knowing they are
alone;
surrounded by loved ones,
they may not know it,
but they are,
utterly and completely
alone)

look to the sky and you’ll find more
of lanterns lit eons ago
(eons later,
their light dots darkness
like notes from sheet-music)

each one a voice; an unheard song

living verse that died without bridge
(for the living verse we hear
leads to a divine bridge,
a cosmic chorus of a song
heard in its entirety only by
the Infinite,
the Alpha,
and the Omega)

unrehearsed, the ballad plays on
its meaning dims where our light ends
knowing is the loneliest part

(for knowing this
is knowing that
I am alone)
***

Inspired by this Oatmeal comic and this tweet.

Shared at Real Toads

Happy New Year, everyone. See you in 2019.

 

for my dearest intrepid

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Photo by Steve Shreve on Unsplash

for my dearest intrepid

you and I are more different than alike
born under the same sign in different
eras and regions, our intertwined fate
indifferent to lineage, chromosomes

we share no bloodline, only profound love
for your mother and sister, and yes, still
I instilled my values upon your heart
hoping you’d call upon them in moments

of your greatest need, of unseen hazards
dovetailing with the inexplicable
born from my inevitable absence
(we rarely have say in Final partings)

we have differences and share likenesses
both from broken and imperfectly-stitched
families, mended by golden-lacquered truths
my truth lied in helping you stand alone

but while I drew strength from isolation
you forged alliances with other hearts
each heart fortifying your own backbone
foreign course, yet I admired your route

your unique journey led you to a path
not so different from mine; I know it well
a quest to find answers from a father
leading to an absence of resonance

while I can’t truly know your emptiness;
for it is a similar, but different
flavored void than my own quest for my Truth
if you never knew it before, hear me

I will end this crime and tell you the Truth
it’s what he should’ve told you long ago
and what I should’ve known you long needed
for you (as you are right now) are enough

you are you; your differences are beacons
as lighthouses, cutting light from darkness,
rock from sea, known earth from cosmic secrets
I pray our similarities guide you

strengthening, enlightening your journeys
without fogging your way towards your own Truth
for, you see, my dearest, intrepid son
we are more alike than we are different
***

Apollo’s Lament

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Image source: NASA

Apollo’s Lament

Two dozen or so of intrepid stock
have seen the far-side with their own two eyes
a vastness and a full-body away
the furthest a man has ventured apart

“Where are you?” she asked, with penny for trade
soft lamp painting crescent upon her face
within arm’s reach, I would answer with touch
feeling’s believing, whenever we lie

Those men could only boldly go so far
detached, yet still tethered by their baggage
toting food, water, their breathable air
carbon scrubbers, to stop self-poisoning

“Where you going?” he asked, “party’s this way”
I’d be there soon, I lied, convincingly
insulated from the December chill
I yield my toxins to the evergreens

Apollo wears many hats ardently
His archetype arcs winding remote course
an arm’s length of two-hundred thousand miles
rising alone, each on this lonely earth.
***

The clip below isn’t related to the poem, but it fulfills my obligation to mention the holiday season. I hope you’re all having a fulfilling christmahaunakwanzaka, or whatever.  

Liberating the Moment

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World outside my kitchen window.

Liberating the Moment

She missed it earlier
but examining the November storm
from behind the sanctuary of
coffee-sweetened kitchen window,
before the late-fall deluge wiped evidence,
wispy-warm poems rose
from every chimney vent
clear to the far tree-line, each
an ascending esoteric-buttressed declaration
of internal warmth and acceptance.

She smiled,
squeezing me extra tight
as the rain shushed the trees,
shooed the expelled steam-dancers,
obscured the looking-glass,
embracing the roof overhead
with white noise.

We observed the rain in silence.

Seizing the moment
would’ve been ideal; instead,
we let it breathe,
the evergreens and barren trees,
the chimney vents and fogging panes,
she, embraced by me,
all exhaling in equanimous unity.
***

Another one for toads.