Tag Archives: sanity

What Now?: Sicilian sonnet

What now? Is there sufficient cause for reaching
beyond the edge of darkness? Will we find
ourselves subjected to more endless preaching?
Are we fit students for any new teaching?

And what good any lesson merely bleaching
the past of any stains we’ve left behind,
or drowning out the crows and vultures screeching
on ancient battlefields we’ve tilled, or mined?

Out there, far past the edge of our remembrance,
is there a quiet place to stop and think,
not quite Valhalla or fabled Olympus

but just a stretch of nothing, where the dance
is still, and with just cool water there to drink,
we fade into a single, silent us?

31 MAY 2017

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Call It Madness: mad song

You gawk and call it madness,
a sickness that afflicts
  the weak of mind,
  the poor, the kind;
by gods, you’re such a prick.

You practice looking sideways,
avoiding the fool’s eyes:
  a damning mirror,
  where you see clearer
your own decay and sad demise.

You laugh and offer insult,
never a helping hand.
  Why bother trying?
  If purged by dying,
so much improved is noble man.

You ferment malice with no reason;
no one is truly mad.
  What’s real takes practice,
  beyond mere praxis,
what’s done and been had.

Your own mind wavers
from sane to madness:
  one minute’s level,
  the next, the Devil.
A shallow life of mostly sadness.

6 APR 2017

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Inappropriate Happiness

Maybe sanity’s a side-effect of living;
some folks get it, while some others never do.
It’s just a minor irritation that can do no lasting harm;
you can shake it like a slight touch of the flu.

Besides, in a world that’s gone a little crazy,
it’s not mark of great success to learn to fit;
and to have it all together isn’t much of an achievement
when all you’re taught from birth is how to live with it.

Being well adjusted isn’t everything, you know
Keep your medications up there on the shelf
The price of high is sometimes you must be a little low
Who cares what is inappropriate for anybody else?
Make your happiness by just being yourself.

Maybe happiness is never inappropriate,
It just breaks apart the stretches in between
When reality goes on and on and never seems to quit
its insistence that we should know what it means.

Besides, in a world that’s gone a little crazy
It’s a marvel we have happiness at all
We all act so damned surprised when it sneaks up in disguise
like a parachute that interrupts free fall

Being well adjusted isn’t everything, you know
Keep your medications up there on the shelf
The price of high is sometimes you must be a little low
Who cares what is inappropriate for anybody else?
Make your happiness by just being yourself.

31 OCT 2006

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Sanity

Sanity is a funny thing.

It often seems that the more you emphasize your own sanity, rely upon it as a sure thing, compare yours to others, the more likely it is that you are in fact not sane.

On the flip side, it seems to me that questioning one’s own sanity is one of the surest signs that you are NOT insane.

It’s like the Sufi story, wherein everyone drank of the water that came from their wells. One person kept some of this water in storage. One day, the water coming from the wells changed, and everyone who drank it behaved and believed completely different from how they had before. Further, they had no memory of the water that was before, or that the water was ever different. The person who had stored up the old water, however, continued drinking from his stockpile. As a result, he saw that everyone was acting in a manner that they previously would have considered insane; and any attempt he made to convince others that they had changed was met with ridicule. He even offered them some of his stockpiled water, and they considered him mad. As you can imagine, he became very lonely — yet managed to drink only stockpiled water…until one day, he decided he would rather be insane like everyone else, rather than sane and alone. So he drank a cup of water from the wells, and promptly forgot all about his stockpile, and behaved like everyone else. Everyone else, by the way, was relieved that the poor addled and insane fool had finally come to his senses.

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