Tag Archives: miscommunication

Don’t Say a Word

Don’t say a word; let the silence between us
deepen and swallow us whole;
forget who was in control,
who had the more meaningful role.

Don’t say a word; let not speaking remind us
of what can be better unsaid;
better to not be misled,
or say something ill of the dead.

Besides, talking never was easy to do;
our love was a sentence cut off half way through,
each word like a weapon used only to prove
that I believed me, and that you believed you.

Nothing but silence is left to us now;
no need for explaining or wondering how
the things left unspoken worth talking about
weren’t worth the time figuring out.

Don’t make a sound; let the calm quiet take you
out beyond the reach of my voice;
you and I both made that choice,
opted for different noise.

Don’t make a sound; even the slightest whisper
might shatter our reason tonight;
and keep us together in spite
of what we both know to be right.

Besides, all our talking has come to no good:
our love never grew up the way that it should,
but used words like weapons to tear us apart,
each comment a dagger in each other’s heart.

Nothing but silence is left us to share;
no need for pretending to bother to care.
The things left unspoken we both didn’t say
won’t matter much after today.

09 FEB 2006

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Thus fails poetry

What can I show you in mere words
requiring some shared frame,
a reference we both use to describe
a common ground only imagined
that in the vanity of hope we craft
of veiled illusions, archetypes
that may at best, sleep undiscovered,
buried in our separate egos?

What chance, if I fail to meet you
at some halfway point, by trying
just to tell you of my vision,
using concrete words we both know,
is there for our split subconscious
to agree on deeper symbols,
hidden glyphs or long lost mythos?

Yet you would insist that showing
best conveys intended meaning,
makes connection worth exploring
between minds that seek no merging.

Thus fails poetry.

05 JUN 2005

“I gotta use words to talk to you.” — T.S. Eliot

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My Generation Waits

They do not call us Boomers,
born too late to wear that name,
and Generation X we’re not
having slipped into life a bit too soon

Each generation bides its time
Seeking its voice and words to say
But in the waiting we seem stuck
Adrift in some self-wrought malaise

The roll of my peers, so much caught up
in decades outside our recall —

the sixties, that we barely saw

the seventies, our childhood strife

the eighties, when we came of age,
barely surviving the complaisance of greed

the nineties, that we’d lief forget

And in the absence of great cause,
we manufacture strife and angst
to disenfranchise our own selves,
disown our own, and silent, sleep

While other generations’ seers
and sages, poets, pens now silent, lost
await rebirth among our ranks

I call them out and wonder why
they do not answer, are not found:

Faulkner, Cummings, Hesse, Frost
Williams, Roethke, Breton, Plath
Lewis, Huxley, Sanburg, Hughes
Cassady, Steinbeck, Fleming, White
Eliot, Cocteau, O’Connor, Maugham

must you all wait, in restless graves,
denied rebirth this time around?

01 MAY 2004

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Zen and the Art of Arc Welding

Split ends of clock’s tick and flee
from the circle of power where union is meet
in a cooper’s wheel, hard and hot like fire
from welding’s arc and concentrated blue flame.

It’s not so much the trip, he says, 
but the fact that you are traveling together, 
down dark and musty paths that lead
to places only memory maps can ponder.

The time, she says, the time is passing by
like blades of grass — we see the green in toto,
but each separate tine we step upon 
like grains of sand on a beach.

He speaks of love and power and control. 

It’s like this: isn’t it defined as someone who is freaked out
by the fact that they might be
under the control of another?

And isn’t it so: that when you ask someone
to admit they are controlling you 
that you’re looking for a reason not to have control?

Love, she said, is not about control – 

it’s not a question, at least, of how much
you control and mold and shape another, 
but how much control you have over Self. 

I cannot, she said, taken responsibility
for the fact that your life is unfulfilling,
that you are unhappy.

That is not my business,
and by asking me why I must control, 
asking if I do want control, 
you are making it my problem 
without giving the responsibility to change it. 

Furthermore, I cannot change it, 
even if you or I wanted me to. 
Because, she added, it is not in my power
to change anything except myself.

So, he asked, is it like that? 

Then who is it that must suffer, 
if you do not allow me to pick the lice from your head, 
and yet do nothing yourself about them, 
and so if I am to be close to you I must then be infected?

You choose, she replied, to suffer, 
rather than to ask me, to command — 
the lice or me — 
or accept infestation as the price you pay
for what you want. 

For that, that is your choice, 
the only thing you can control. 

If you ask me to make the choice
between cleanliness and you, 
or dirtiness and solitude, 
you are hoping to influence my decision
by controlling me, which IS control. 

Hope, she said, is control, 
if it is by hope that you want to change me. 

Your desire for change in anyone but yourself is control,
for you have externalized upon me
your need to control yourself,
your desire to have the world conform
to a pattern you perceive yourself by,
rather than changing your perception
to admit yourself into the world as it exists.

You and I, then, he answered, cannot strike a compromise?

The only compromise you make, 
that you have the power to make, 
break or negotiate,
is with yourself,
between what you truly want and desire 
(which, when considered and balanced
 with the desires of the flow of the universe, is Truth) 
and what you are afraid to face
in yourself and for yourself,
that is,
alone and tired,
destitute and cold,
you FOR and BY YOURSELF
are willing to accept
as your reality.

We need each other, you see,
not as pillars or beams to support us in our weakness,
but rather as parts of the same soul and being that share,
because of their own fullness,
the journey we all make together.

01 SEP 1995

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