Tag Archives: Poetry

Truth, Nonsense, Freud and Christmas

It has been far, far too long since I last blogged. It isn’t that I have been out of ideas that need writing, but more that I’ve been re-thinking my approach to expression and found it intolerable to be doing something that I no longer understood. But here I am again, but then Kierkegaard did say that the ethical would re-establish itself, and so I’m re-kicking off with a poem. It’s slightly sonnetish, and deliberately confusing because I think that it expresses an important sentiment which is worth pondering slowly – I don’t like microwave meals and I don’t like microwave thinking.

Truth, Nonsense, Freud and Christmas

The nonsense of the verse is there to hide
The truthful words which do not live inside.
For words are not the prophecies of old
And rhythm is not order to behold.
But why then try to resurrect the dead?
Or build a Babel reaching to the sky,
If not to reconcile the ego to the ‘I’?
Or come to terms with something that was said
X number of years ago – Perhaps done
In jealousy? Cain struck his brother down.
A killer must return to the crime-scene
To see the ghost of Christmas-yet-to-come,
And echoes of what hasn’t been.

Among the Dead

Here’s a sonnet inspired by Ozymandias, Jerusalem and Jesus

 

What went ye out into the wilderness
To see? Two vast and trunkless legs of stone,
Untouched by age or time’s corrupt caress,
Wandering their un-living desert home?
A grave is all that man has ever made
To last, to remind him that he is dust.
The finest of his works and words will fade
Away as sure as darkness follows dusk.
A fool could think to build a house of sticks
To shelter from a howling hurricane,
Or seek a Babylon to hold the name,
But ye have built Jerulsalem with bricks.
So bow not down before the crumbled head.
And seek not the living among the dead.

The Scream

Have you ever heard a scream
From that place between
Waking and sleeping?
The thunderous silence of a midnight dirge
To mourn the loss of
What you never had.

It’s the despair of two star-crossed lovers
Lying alone together, their world ill prepared
For love that never
Dies.

It’s the godless and unholy roar
Of Heorot’s pain:
A raw and tender obscenity screamed in search of
Heroes from a foreign shore.

It’s the rumble of this fragile earth
Of fire and stone,
But
There is no balm in Gilead
To soothe creation’s groan.

And no amount of drink
Can ever stop the sound,
And no endless reel of daytime television
Will ever fully drown
The Scream.

Image

 

Open-eyed

Sometimes there’s a moment when
A rabbit ventures, for the first time, from the warren;
It sees the world for the first time in light,
Taking in the everything that now manifests itself
In the bright and unclouded future.
That was me.

I remember the first time I marveled at a bird
Sitting on the stump of a tree in the woods.
I remember my eye meeting hers and being
Entranced by such humble magnificence.
Little over a minute ago that eye had seen
Sights that earth-bound men could only dream.
To me that sparrow was a seraph from somewhere else,
A messenger of God making contact with me.

Dreams come to an end,
And those first feelings of magic fade away to shadows
Of another life, leaving only the misted memory
Of a sparrow on a stump.
But moments like that do not die;
They remain the living essence of that child in the woods
Open-eyed.

Gargoyles

Image

Disfigured demon faces.

Ugly bat-like wings.

How could it come to be that these should be the things

To guard our sacred spaces

And hide our holy places?

 

And that is what fear is – a gargoyle, a voluntary evil,

A demon that makes us turn our back on what we truly feel,

A bat – a vampire, a remnant of the un-living, pain that’s yet to heal.

 

The longer that we turn away

From the monsters in our minds,

The firmer grows their grip

and the tighter grows the bind

on all that we hold dear.

 

Next time you see a demon

On the doorway of a church

Look inside your mind and find

The Devils favourite perch.

Two poems for the price of one.

It seems like ages since my last blog entry so I’m going to do a 2 for 1 offer to make up for lost time. I’ve written two new poems in the last few weeks and they’re both going in this one entry.
They’re going together because they both deal with similar ideas and sentiments.

The first is a description of a courtroom in which our attempts to excuse ourselves from our own decisions are sitting under judgement from an authority higher even that truth. We know that the judge is higher than truth because it is truth that the lawyer unsuccessfully hinges his argument on. I opted for a slightly naive sounding rhythm and rhyme structure for the piece because it adds a feeling of inevitability to the way it sounds when I read it.

The second is inspired by the times when I am tempted to think that the trials of life are at least partly to blame for my lack of resoluteness. It ends on a slightly more positive note with a Kierkegaardian leap of faith into the unknown which is really all that we can do when faced with the utter loneliness of existence. The final stanza in iambic pentameter was fun to write. I can see why the great bard was so fond of using it – expect more of it from me in the future.

________________________________________________________________________________________________

What to say when all is said

And answers, in the sinners seat,

Sit silent at the Judges feet,

Their zombie presence like the living dead.

 

A lawyer makes his final plea:

That answers may yet turn out true;

That there is yet much work to do;

That in the end the truth will set us free.

 

But no amount of argument

Can ever have the final word,

For all is said and all is heard

And we still wait for final judgement.

________________________________________________________________________________________________

If only streets were paved with gold,

And clouds of Colgate white

In Bombay Sapphire skies

Were more than lovely lies,

Then maybe this damned emptiness

Would be a little easier on my soul.

 

If only life were not a strain,

And you and I could see

The final end of pain;

If we could eat the fruit and be like God,

Then I could know that life were not in vain.

 

But here I stand and that is all I know;

It is not given to the blind to see.

So take my hand and show me where to go;

I’ll leap and pray that someone catches me.