As part of my ongoing efforts to ‘kill the part of me that cringes’, rather than the part that is cringe, and to not let the perfect defeat the good, here are three poems I wrote in October.
It’s cold and I miss you.
Amidst my den of abstractions –
warrens made narrow with worry –
my underground palace, where
increasingly I take my rest,
amidst the pull to focus and
the push for production,
amidst obsession over process
and mud grey light,
jasmine choked by concrete
and spit from great height,
I clear space on my desk –
ten minutes, untimed –
to sit with the thought.
Today I nurture a quiet emptiness,
holding love close to my chest.
I feel languid, lost, lightly at rest.
I linger on the cosmic ocean.
I sense that I’m in many ways a hamster,
hydrated and wheeling.
I wonder what’s missing (though of course I already know).
Caught in montage, I am blown about by the present.
I struggle to make it all fit.
Spiritual decrepitude? In this economy? At this scale?
I marshal troops to the border, fix my eyes to the whale.
I catch wind of a great tension; my body pulls tight.
I won’t pan for meaning under pale moonlight
nor will I gargle glass or put up a fight.
I leave myself,
carried by currents,
away from the shore.
Some days I’m only good as a vessel for awe.
I crack a punnet of blueberries with some real intention.
The day unfurls ahead of me as soft, lush carpet.
I slip off my shoes, not dwelling on imprints.
Within two hours, blood separates from snow,
and we are left only with theories.
Amazing how far we get
even without them.
That’s what I’ve been thinking, piling stones in my cave.
There’s a sincerity quite distinct from the truth
which I channel sometimes,
in situations off-balance.
It is a sublime defence against authority –
myself and the others.
It always ends in a declaration, I find.
Something like “I will not lose sight of
the fierce beauty latent in the everyday”,
intoned with great solemnity, and several
pinches of salt.
A phrase like a talisman,
to rest upon in revolt.