Tag Archives: purpose

These Three Things: triad

On these three things the world depends:
life purpose, effort and one’s friends.

The first provides velocity:
forward motion, destiny.
The second supplements one’s sails
when wind and tide desist or fail.

The third reminds us to respect
those in the world whose paths connect
with our own journey, for a while,
and share our sorrows and our smiles.

Without these things, the world is flat;
and our adventure, nothing that
is worth much. Neither time nor health
is substitute for this true wealth.

07 JUN 2017

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Let’s Toast: stave

It makes no sense to soldier on;
the dusk looks so much like the dawn
that even should the sun eclipse
there is no cause to do backflips
or celebrate the coming day.
But come, let’s toast life, anyway!

Each day begins and ends the same;
with no specific cause to blame
except that living tends to drone
and carry on. You’re born alone,
and by exception find your way.
But come, let’s toast life, anyway!

You buy and sell each moment’s art;
it can’t survive, if split apart
from what creates it, the bruised whole
that struggles to maintain control
and tolerate each passing day.
But come, let’s toast life, anyway!

In vain, we seek to understand;
inventing myths, and gods, and man,
as if we had creative strength
except to measure, width and length,
the box we’ll fill, returned to clay.
But come, let’s toast life, anyway!

What is the point of this charade?
Just prancing horses, on parade,
whose blinders lead just straight ahead
and walk until they fall down dead.
We know this, but walk night and day.
But come, let’s toast life, anyway!

05 JUN 2017

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Wake Early: rhopalic verse

Wake early, quietly, deliberate;
look closely, carefully, attentively.
Pay greater attention, specifically,
to whispers: lingering, ephemeral.

26 APR 2017

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Bargain debasement

Always thought that I would be 
important to humanity; 
save the world and all that kind of stuff. 
And if the end came, when it did, 
I’d be right in the middle of it 
Talking loud and acting kinda tough. 
But that was then, and this is now, 
and standing here at last, somehow, 
it doesn’t seem to matter any more: 
The high road’s seemed to wash away 
(it wasn’t that great anyway) 
and I’m not all that keen on keeping score. 
Kings and pawns are all the same. 
Nobody wins, it’s not a game; 
No trophy case, no “win one for the team”. 
And any kind of evidence 
That any of it makes much sense 
Is either mild psychosis or a dream. 
So let the world come crashing down, 
right now, while I am still around; 
I knew that I would witness the demise. 
And if it starts right down the block 
I wouldn’t be at all too shocked; 
I’ve met the perpetrators on both sides. 
And when it’s over, what is left 
to steal, or burn, or somehow wreck, 
won’t tremble at the mention of my name, 
but more than likely, for a sec, 
will just breathe deep and then reflect: 
the more things change, the more they stay the same. 
JUL 14 2010

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What good is art

What good is art if it does not instruct,
or for our “better angels” cast new wings
beyond utilitarian design,
reminding us that beauty without form
is doomed, under the sheer weight of itself
to force its rigid framing to collapse?

Art is like all religions, in that all
are but a generation from extinct;
the evolution of a form requires
that it do more than simply change its clothes,
grow gills and fins to swim in altered seas
or learn to hunt new game to feed its young.

What good are schools if they do not provide
a context beyond simple black and white,
and offer views of different paradigms
where parasites are not the food chain’s end?
That corpse is sucked of marrow, and its bones
are far too fragile to host us for long.

The arts are an essential to the whole:
without creative outlet, we are chained
to follow, sullen, on pathways not our own
in search of some elusive, unknown truth
that if found, will be meaningless, or worse,
to our imagination’s limits, dead.

What good is any dogma that insists
on praising uniformity’s facade
while damning the poor souls behind those bars
whose torment is to see outside the cage,
and fed on lies of common brotherhood
to mutate into monsters, thugs, and whores?

True culture does not denigrate the arts
if it intends to do more than survive;
and Beauty, unappreciated, dies,
its empty shell an ugly, barren waste.
What good then is mere rhetoric that claims
some great prize as its end, by any means?

16 May 2005

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Between Something Worth Saying and a Voice to Say It With

One of the biggest personal challenges I face as a poet is striking a balance between form and function, or between pose and purpose.

What I mean by this is that as an artist progresses in their technical ability, in their experience with the creative process, and in the journey of self-discovery that ultimately results in maturity (or vintage) as an artist, we often say they have found “their voice”. To experience someone who has found their voice is to listen to the sound of a tree, to know that what sound comes from them originates from unseen roots in the soles of their feet and radiates upward and outward. Such voices rumble with a kind of authority that masterfully, yet without effort, blends the personal and the universal into a single stream of consciousness that, even if you don’t agree with the flow, you cannot help but be affected by when you hear it. Some artists never quite achieve that level of sophistication (although sophistication is not exactly the right word here), and you can sense it. They put on a great show, and to most observers they appear to be something quite special. But to other poets, I think, the distinction between a Voice and a Stage Whisper is apparent. A lot of people sham at having a Voice. They speak as if they had one, or as if trying to convince others they are someplace at which they have not yet arrived.

The problem is, of course, that the destination changes. And like any relationship, the voice and the words it finds to speak are often troubled by the little things. The two questions, “where am I going?” and “who am I going with?” always seem to be asked in the wrong order. As a result, the line between message and medium is often blurred, or lost altogether. I don’t think, for example, that Sylvia Plath’s intention was to inspire legions of pale, depressed, overwrought and hyper-sensitive ingenues who dwelt forever in the house of sadness and tragedy. Or that TS Eliot really wished for everyone who followed in his footsteps to mimic his worst traits (overbearing and perhaps a bit poncy and academic) and somehow forget his playful side. But that’s the way it goes, particularly when those who TEACH poetry approach it from an academic standpoint and by necessity must focus on only a small part of an entire persona in order to come up with a punchline for their Doctoral theses.

More to come later.

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The Starting Point

Like all Capricorns, I suppose, I am continually attempting to fashion some kind of theory of the universe. In conjunction with that astrological impetus, my real world experience in information systems technical support insists that this theory include a practical user’s guide written in language that can be easily understood (or at least understood if one possesses the proper prerequisite understanding). The musician that I am provides the cement that ties the ideas together, while the philosopher crafts the thoughts that the writer puts into words.

You’ll notice that I didn’t say my being “pagan” gives it any sort of spiritual veracity or inspiration. That’s because unlike all those other traits I identified above, it’s not an action. It is a state of being, not a religious inclination or activity. Besides, there are so many labels that could be, are, or have been applied to ideas that these labels make no more sense than an endless stream of acronyms paraded by a Silicon Valley wunderkind in front of a Neanderthal who just got his first wheel built. And I don’t consider this a “pagan” piece of thinking – or rather, I do, but I suppose not many other so-called “pagans” would agree. Maybe that’s because it’s not just the anti-pagans that have a far too limited interpretation of what that Latin derived word REALLY means. This work is not about that.

It is about expanding, not constricting.

It is a philosophy of energy.

This is an on-going work.

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