On Cotton Thistle ~ repost

It was in a conversation I had with a dear friend, earlier this morning, that it occurred to me I had to rewrite the poem I wrote yesterday. We spoke of exile, loss and somehow, I wanted the poem to reflect these themes. It made me ponder the similarities to ecological succession; especially the equilibrium and accompanying insularity of stable or climax plant communities in the environment [1] I realize the poem is far from perfect. I used the prose style as before.

Sodden upheavals of community
lay in the wake of land
excavated, in the toppling
of crowns, the exile of roots.
In such evisceration of aggressive
sentiment of a floral dominance,
freshly ruptured earth lay abandoned,
bogged in tears of those feeling
entitled to such generous pasture.
Resurrected on these cleared
barrens are the flowers of Christ,
reclaiming within the sentient heart,
compassionate space for the perennial
outcasts, the invasive, the émigrés,
but they say so of any non-natives
breaching confines of insularity. 
And a man is never a prophet
in his own land, so here on
hollowed ground, preaching gospel
of love are a globulised community
of royal florets, turning another 
cheek to the sun. Bees with stingers
alight softly on sweet outpourings
of love in nectar, in purple goblets.
Here, at the crossroads of stings
and spines, nails pale in comparison.
And so it goes, the flower lives
to sweeten the life of a bee and
the bee exists to ferry love to flowers.

It has been many months of posting regularly to my blog and sometimes to social media. I find myself a bit depleted and need to take some time off, so I can concentrate on my writing. It’s been a journey this past year and quite heartening to discover that my love for the art, reflects back profoundly in the mundanity of the strange places I visit or the novelty I encounter in those which I have already experienced or even in the ubiquity of the everyday, so much so, that I wish to embroider it all into my poetry. I need to sit still for awhile and should return soon with fresh ideas and new poems.

References:

[1]~https://www.britannica.com/science/ecological-succession

Grounding in the stillness of gratitude

It’s been a while since the onset of challenges wrought by the Pandemic. The preceding months went past in a haze of sorts where we grappled with a new reality. I daresay it afforded me a bit of time for learning new things, navigating life in general and on a different plane. I find it hard to be still and still is what I had to be during the pandemic, immersed fully in the present even while mulling the past in memories or fidgeting about the future. I rediscovered myself in many ways, grew more confident about my writing and drew some of my poetry at least, out of the anonymity of the last several years. I also connected with people from the past, learned a lot about myself in those I had let go of, found support for my writing in the most unexpected quarters and if the poetry community is any measure, I found a tribe of empathetic souls to be safe around while indulging in the lyricism of language. Today, the poem is simply of gratitude. I have many ideas about the concept of time but this poem here (with some poetic license) is gratitude for the present, for today, which is all that truly exists, between yesterday and tomorrow. I think I am revisiting the ‘Tao of flow’ really, imagining it through the day 😉

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Sepulchral / Misty fields / eerily beautiful as the sounds of a stork / signaling the marshy fragrance of summer nights / Memories of the deceased too / happy and comforting as the jasmine blooms / Childhood still haunts these places like the moon does now //

Daylight / The new dawn brings in crisp sunshine / hot dry air burns away the haze of misty illusions / It’s an exhilarating walk out of the night / into the bright of leaves, flowers, people, dogs on leashes, feral cats / the stark outlines of trees and the coal tar roads / Everything visible, everything a miracle //

Gratitude / I believe in God if only for this one moment / safe from the cliff edge of reason / The day brings an escape from dreams, the sounds of the night / People of love fill my noon and after / like sunlight suffused in sounds / Buttery skin I can touch, strawberry lips I can kiss / makes even love real, makes me real //

Profound / Life in the here and now / in the acceptance of my pulse / The philosophy of my hours is simply feeling / the heartbeat in every cricket at dusk / the rush of life blood, a measure of the present //

Happiness / In the release of the yesterday of history books / there’s no time machine to the future / The past set in the evening sun / tomorrow’s star isn’t here yet / There’s only the moon tonight / I live longer in these seconds and minutes it lights up my face / or my eyes blink the stars / my breath keeps pace with the heart / This alone is life / This alone, peace //

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We live in social and familial networks, humankind is gregarious. Even so, learning to align with one’s own Centre of gravity requires the stillness of the present, learning to embrace the beauty of solitude, achieving an interiority of thought, creating space for new energy. I have always loved solitude and yet I also love being with people, until the time I need to retreat into myself. The ways of the world can be overwhelming sometimes and it’s hard trying to make peace with how things are currently, unless one is completely apathetic. Apathy, cynicism, pride, egotism, selfishness and blind acceptance take one to a place of a lack of love for oneself and other beings, which transmutes into a dark consciousness. Wrath, envy and pride is the withholding of oneself in ungenerosity, it’s a place of bad love or so says Dante. I think so too. No matter what ones experiences in life, if they serve only to diminish us and make us rigid and unemotional, they have served the purpose of extinguishing our spirit. The creative impulse is surely a coping mechanism, at least for me, to help channel my emotional energy to a productive place, to a place of spiritual flourishing or so I imagine.

It’s quite difficult to let go of things that do not serve us, like anger, hurt, pride, desire, fear etc. The pandemic dragged in uncertainty and mistrust in addition to pessimism, confusion, sadness, even denial and other such. Granted, there arrive situations in our lives that can hurt our sense of self and well being, like a virus that can cause grievous harm only in the event of an impaired immunity. There really is no reason to be afraid of the wild anomaly in our everyday norms or fight that which one has no personal business with. I struggled with a couple but poetry and art helped rescue and transmute the angst into something beautiful, like the oyster does to a grain of sand I suppose, make it a pearl.

In staying my own course but making it wide, I journey to my own special place. In this I realize, sometimes kindred spirits join us, at other times we forge a path that can be used by the multitude. It’s optimistic but there’s no harm in having an abundance mindset, which is what I am at my most grounded self. It is said that we ought to remember to love the people who surround us in our everyday and most of all, remember to love ourselves in loving them. I tend to forget the latter half of this mantra sometimes 😉 Being grateful grounds me in remembering to do so.