Friday, June 13, 2014

Kind, Gentle, Humble Joy

Get ready to have an enormous laugh at my expense.I had great misgivings about this song when I wrote it (especially that second verse ::groan::) and I have even greater misgivings now. But, in the interests of full disclosure and a complete record, I share it now with you here. I hope you appreciate the depth of my courage submitting myself to the scorn of the entire interwebz. To make the humiliation complete, I have included an incredibly low quality voice recording of myself singing this in a gloriously horrible country accent along with a picture of a lovely hillside on my computer screen because, frankly, I'm not fit to be seen right now. Bonus! It wasn't included in the original blog post!


So I must forewarn ya'll that I totally let myself be myself on this one. It is really silly and mixes bad jokes in bad taste with the kind of stuff you might think of as poetry, but whimsical... Well, I might be the only one in the Universe who thinks it's cute but I had a lot of fun writing it so I think maybe someone will have fun reading it.
Oh, also, the rhythm might not be immediately apparent. I would suggest reading it once and then saying it aloud. Because that's what you're supposed to do with poetry anyway. And honestly, I think some of the lines are really fun to say!
Oh, and it's kind of like a song, but it doesn't have any music yet. I picture (a sound picture, obviously, not the kind you see) it with bluegrass. Buckets and banjos. Yeah man.
Here goes:

Did you ever tumble
In the humble mountain sunshine
And let the grass
Tickle your --
While you were loafing
On kind hillsides?

(I did! I do!
It fills my heart
With mountain dew!)

Did you ever snuggle
On a cold and gentle Yuletide
And see love personified
Gathered around the fireside
In a blanket-bearing huddle?

(I did! I do!
It fills my heart
With mountain dew!)

Did you ever swim the sea?
Pick a flower?
Offend a bee?
Did you ever fuel your life
On simple things like these?

(I did! I do!
It fills my heart
With mountain dew!
I did! I do!
It fills my heart
With mountain dew!)

I did
I do
I think that you
Should try it too

Yeah, I'm crazy and have the lamest sense of humor ever. So be it. I have fun. Maybe you have fun making fun of me, that's cool too. What ever smokes your dope, man. Oh wait, that's not how that saying goes...

Let the flogging begin.

If You Know What I Mean

I can't tell you how excited I am to have finally arrived at this entry! I think this might be my favorite piece of all time. It is titled "If You Know What I Mean" because it is heavy on the symbolism, particularly the second half. An enigmatic little poem. There is nothing more magical than the journey to the heart of these symbols. (Except, probably, the ones I haven't discovered yet!) Seek and you will find. Blessings!


I am
I am a lion
I am the jungle
I am the trees
My leaves call the lightning
My roots tap the deep
The deep waters
The hidden well
The ancient river
That feeds the ocean swells
The sea that sees the Moon
And mirrors her motion
As if the Moon's Tranquility
Were too barren for her to bear
And so she needs Earth's oceans
To capture fertility
And encompass our emotion

I am
I am the heart of fire
I am the sacred spear
I am the destroyer of desire
I will defeat the fear
I sing the symbol song
And force the Swan to sing along
Seven Sisters burning in the sky
Seven Sisters to conquer or die
Build a lever larger than the sun
Find some place to stand upon
The stars will fall flaming to the Earth
With holy fire the world will burn
Look not to Venus
Look not to Mars
All you require
Is already yours

What Manner of Man Art Thou?

The symbolism of the sword, the shield, the ring, and the crown is ancient and visceral. The crown is obviously monarchy, the entitlement to rule that is granted by birth. However, it also weighs heavy on the head (literally and figuratively) and is a symbol of the responsibility that comes with that power. The people should be foremost in the monarch's thoughts... And actions. Which brings us to the sword. Any "true king" must not merely inherit a kingdom. The monarch must prove capable and deserving. The sword symbolizes the willingness to fight for the kingdom and to prove merit by deeds. It was not enough for King Arthur to inherit his father Uther's realm, he needed Excalibur to prove his mettle. The shield is probably the most obvious symbolism. The monarch is to be the protector of the people and the land. If you have ever held or even studied these arms you know they are terribly heavy, especially the shield. Being ruler should not be taken lightly. The ring is a trickier symbol. Generally a ring symbolizes oneness, completion, unity, eternity. However, when it is royalty the ring is also a seal. This symbolizes the monarch's word, which is sacred as given and as received. Of course, I realize this is an ideal and probably no monarch has ever lived up to what a ruler is supposed to be. And obviously, we now put more power in our politicians than their royal cousins. However, the responsibility remains the same. Unfortunately, so does the sense of entitlement. These were the thoughts and images running through my head when I wrote this...


How now? What manner of man art thou?
Who seeks to wear the gilded crown
Beneath which all proud heads must bow
To the weighty matters of state.

What jewels do you bring
To the head of the King?
What entitles you to wear that ring?
And inspire the earthbound angels to sing
"How great the head of state"

Blood is not enough, you see
You must have wisdom and integrity
With a heart of love and charity
And hate the tyrant's state

Earth's oft reigned by petty fools
And the powerful use the weak as tools
To execute their greedy rule
And make an ape of the sacred state

How now? What manner of manner art thou?
Still seek to wear that weighty crown?
Wherefore that frown does crease your brow?
Take heart and let not your people down
But listen as they intimate their pure dreams of the perfect state.

A rough rough draft of something that caught my ear while flitting through my mind. Been reading Shakespeare's Henry VIII; I'm sure that influenced me. Of course, it needs plenty of editing, but I don't think I'll change it much: One of the things I like best about it is how the rhythm naturally causes you to emphasize the most important words. I suppose rhythm is generally meant to do so.

I took out a verse that I thought was too awkward but contributes irrevocably to the course of the poem, so I'll have to figure out how to work it in, in better form. In unrevised form it is as follows:

Sweet words will not assist you when there is famine in your fields
Flatterers can only hinder you when your reason fails
Propoganda cannot help you when toil has no yield
Force will only shame you when hungry children wail
Deception will not aid you when your people are in sad state

As always, I welcome kindly-intentioned criticisms, comments, and questions from all comers.

It certainly isn't the best thing I've ever written, but I like the way it flows. The last stanza is seriously flawed. And the stanza I left out? Aaawkwaaard... I always intend to come back to things like this but never do. Good thing I'm not trying to be Queen!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


I think this is the most beautiful dream I have ever had.


I was walking with friends at the Oceanfront. We turned into a dark shop; I don't remember why. We were greeted by a friendly shopkeeper who spoke at length about his shop, his work, and other things. The shopkeeper was a painter and his work lined the tops of the walls (which seemed rather taller from the inside than the out). They were all of animals. This one an alligator, that one an armadillo. We admired the shopkeepers work a while and spoke with him a time. He told me about a tree by the beach. I went looking for it. My friends didn't come with me; they wanted to admire the art more. I was walking down the strip. The streets seemed endless and all the shops were the same horrible red and white. Sure, here the shop was white and the sign red, and there the shop was red and the sign white, but looking down those endless streets it was just the same persistent, nauseating sea of glaring white and oozing red. I walked and walked down those streets. Even though I never got tired, sometimes I did think I would never reach the beach, just walk on forever until I couldn't even tell left from right or the street from the sky, until my brain was just a blur of red and white and red and white and red and white and- GREEN! Oh glorious green! And what's that? Blue too? Yes, just when I thought I'd never see the sea, there was the beach, and between it and me the most glorious tree I'd ever seen! It's branches twisted and curled into impossible shapes. It's roots grew as thick as my leg and as high as my head before plunging to unimaginable depths beneath my feet. From between some roots of the tree burst a beautiful fresh water spring. I knew it was fresh water, even without tasting it. Amidst the permeating sting of the salt from the ocean I could smell the clarity of the spring. Like if you were a vacuum swimming in a matter stream. I looked up and noticed that there was a maze of boxes all around the tree. Then I realized I had brought one with me. I put it down with the others, assuming that they had been left by other visitors to the tree, assuming that that was the proper thing to do. I was just about to drink from the crystalline spring when all of a sudden- well, nothing happened really, I was just all of a sudden trying to remember how to get to the tree. Why should I be trying to remember how to get there when I'm there already? Oh, I'm not there, I'm in bed. Well, I'd better remember how to get back there because I've got to taste that water! 

In case you're not familiar with mythology and archetypes, the tree and spring are symbols of the Divine, Spirit, the Word of God. Trees are "The Tree of Life" on which Odin hung, crucified, to gain wisdom, the "Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil" which began mankind's journey away from the Garden and back to God. The spring is the "Font of Wisdom" such as the home of the Muses. The boxes I believe to be preconceived notions, dogmatic labels we put on our spirituality. Once you see clearly the Word of God you see what particular name you call It, what particular rituals you use to praise It are trivial. People have killed and do kill, hundreds, thousands over these things. But they are trivial to the mystic. Clearly this quest for the Tree represents finding the fresh water of the soul in the stinging salt of the material. When life feels like it is droning on and on, when you feel like the salt of sadness will wither you utterly, Mother Father God will make Its presence known and refresh your spirit. I don't think it's an accident I read/reblogged this tonight. Oh, sisters and brothers, I was full of the sads tonight! I felt my life was painted in that doleful red and white. I've been feeling completely out of touch with the spiritual, which is a completely foreign feeling to me. Dear God do I feel empty. No way back to be seen. My friend told me tonight that when I can't express myself I should turn to the Holy Spirit and I just thought, "Where is She?" To me, intellectually, that is a silly question. "Everywhere. Within you. Everywhere. Always." is what my better self whispers to me. But my ego self still cries "Then why do I feel so empty?!" Oh the dark night of the soul, my friends. I am blessed. Why do I feel so bereft, so alone? At least now I have hope. Whenever I think I can't go any further, whenever I think I can't take it anymore, whenever I feel like I'm about to be caught in the cold clutch of disaster, God just makes it okay. Somehow, God always just makes it go away. So I will have faith. And I will trust my feeling of connection will come back one day. Soon. I will regain my voice one day. Soon. I will have the words one day. Soon. And I will will hear the whole Whole sing. And I will joyfully sing along.