If Love Is…Then I Am

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If “love is a credulous thing”

And “cannot be cured by herbs”

Then gentle Wisdom, help me sing

Of the folly in your proverbs.

If “beauty is truth, truth beauty”

And that is all I need to know,

Then I shall sift through the acuity

Of love’s stuttering staccato.

If “hope is the thing with feathers”

And love knows no bounds

Then I willingly keep the tethers

Of your soulful words and sounds.

Poetic Tendencies in Paragraphed Pondering

half clockThe sleepiness of today is marked by my affinity to stare placidly at nothing in particular—including but not limited to the computer screen, my soft black boots, the whited walls of my inferiority, and the hopeless wonder of my future. Life becomes a series of musts and nevers—a pendulum of yes and no. The ticking of my clock sways with each heaving sigh. A spatula in the road forked by life’s quizzical infinities—it’s never as simple as the compass pointing due north toward the shredded wheat that we are told never to eat. So, my eyes look to the sun marring the horizon line of my heart. The glow of its wonder leaves my mind to turn over your words again and again—in a Ferris wheel of possibilities—life’s sweet stomach-churning, butterflied mess that I never want to tidy up. Instead, I let it clutter the surfaces of my heart and mind, which arguably are one in the same. The mind, the center of a man or woman, is the lodging of both logic and love; there is time and space enough for each to make its residencies permanent. So, I let the slicing pendulum slow its whetted pace to a dull passing. The austere dichotomies of monochromatic love engender the maladies of my conundrum’d heart. Black. White. Tis not so simple, for I “doth protest too much” as Gertrude insists is annoying, and I tend to agree with the good woman. But still…as Hamlet reassures his mother, “she’ll keep her word.” And so, I do—I keep my word locked away in life’s endless timepiece where there is plenty of space. There is room enough for variants of grey in the black and white world of my sleepy youth. There is room enough for a clock that no longer ticks or tocks. There is room enough for reason and passion. There is room enough—

 
 
 

Collecting Dust

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Love’s harkening uncertainty

Covers me like a cobwebbed-

Attic – things kept in

Moldy boxes – just in case…

 

One day

Someday

Never.

 

I am the old prom dress –

Ripped, tattered, torn –

I am those tarnished trophies,

Broken, blemished, worn.

I am the captured memories

Lost, forgotten, forlorn.

Extra! Extra!

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Newpaper’d finger-
tips. Smudges
on my heart.
Columnist
and critics
questioning
my art.

Love in lessons,
front page
news —
Words in flavors,
hatred’s subtle
ruse.

Black and
white and
read
all over —
Bleeding
your thoughts,
I’ve lost all
composure.

 

 

 

Ready? Begin…

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I pledge Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.

I say this pledge every morning. In unison with my students, we stand with our hands over our hearts in respect and reverence for the things we are to remember. I wonder if they are fully aware of the profundity of this pledge of this allegiance that tethers us together as Americans — as citizens of the great United States. I think not. They are roboting their voices in unison – monotoned, droned, Novocained to the impervious nature of these paramount utterances. By saying these things, does that make you any more or less American if you actually mean it when you say it? Sometimes I try to recite it as if it were the first time or as if my voice wasn’t metallic and inky, but the struggle with that is timing – pacing – uniformity. We MUST stick together or this whole thing falls apart. Is that really true? Who am I to say in earnest or even in true honesty because I, myself, am a fluxing flowing void of psyche and obligation. One MUST say this pledge. One MUST stand with hand over heart and RECITE from memory – from five years of age until you no longer bleed blue. Well, I bleed red, white, and blue; but I don’t like saying the pledge. Does that make me a bad person? No, of course not; but I can’t help thinking that it is a slap in the face to those who have fought for my rights for my un -, sub -, or under-appreciated freedom – it’s nothing to sneeze at, but these poppies keep pollenating my sinuses. God bless you! No, let’s leave Him out of this, shall we? Can we? Is that at all possible? I think not. What if I lived like I truly believed in this pledge? What would my day look like? Would I do things, say things, appreciate things differently? Or would I continue to robot my way through the unsatisfactory endeavor to achieve what Jay Gatsby and Willy Loman couldn’t? That elusive, slippery little lie – the great American Dream of happiness and contentment…I haven’t found it from saying things, from mere recitation. Perhaps, I must put my money where my mouth is…but the casting shadow of Lady Liberty is long and wide in the sunset of my dreams. So, I will continue to perform in the most allegiant of efforts to entertain, sustain, maintain the proclivity and profundity of that Star Spangled Wonder hanging in the corner of my classroom and my heart.

Wonderland

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Sometimes I feel a bit like Alice

Half expecting the inanimate to share

Their thoughts with me –

Namely my cat. She looks like

She has a great deal on her mind

In those knowing looks we share —

Yet through the pages of books,

Words – audible ones – written ones,

They ostensibly are enough for me.

How odd it seems to think that

Many lives go on without the proper

Use of these wondrous forms –

The manifestation of thoughts

Fired synapses of the profound

And ordinary. Dinah, what would the

Flowers say if they could talk? Would

They sing – would they lecture me?

Their allocutions of rest, peace,

Simplicity, beauty, fragility –

Could I ever comprehend it?

Following the white rabbit to find

My Looking-Glass Bliss

Is the only proper way to hear

Him: to hear Her…to quiet the noise

In my mind’s ear, to fall down the rabbit hole

Of the unconscious mind. In the stillness

and splendor of that Bliss, I listen with my

Entirety – my Essence – my Soul.

I am nourished by the wonder and replete

With its luster — the glorious profundity of words

And the magnificent power of their silence.

In truth, the flowers already speak

In lilts of fragrant beauty. And my cat

Says more to me with her eyes,

Than mere words could ever convey.

 


These flowers, sitting on my dining room table, served as the inspiration for this piece…along with my cat and, most importantly, the wonder of words and their importance to us — especially in this WordPress community of writers. I found myself, not unlike Alice, lost in thought of my own wonderland…this little poem came from a combining of those thoughts….now back to the everyday words like: laundry, cooking, cleaning, packing, and, of course, READING!

 

 

Stemmed Possibilities

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Life isn’t always a bowl of cherries, is it?
And if it were a bowl of cherries, let’s just say
That some of the those cherries would be
Overripe – others under, not quite ready for the taking.
And each of those ambiguously, flesh-covered
Cherries of varying forms of freshness could have
A seed in them – Oh the possibilities that each new
Bite brings! Pulling at stems – pulling apart the
Gathered and bunched fruit – tear into it and see
What it has for you – ripe or rotten – seedless or
Virile. Each new taste colors the truth you once
Held fast to – each fresh flavor nourishes a fantastic
Fluctuation of life’s fluttering finite beings. Cherries —
A whole damn bowl of them! Stop letting your eyes
And mouth water at the wonder of it all — just grab
It by the stem and savor it.

 

 

Of Strings and Stardust

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The strings call to my soul
stronger than words could ever elicit.
The mingling transcendent cosmic flavors —
salted by my tears and compelled
by your crashing waves
on the shores of my inability
to know my own heart
to decipher her needs
and control her defiant inclinations
of passionate longing –
“Move me! Make me feel!” She demands.
The strings acquiesce, inciting floods
of serene turbulence – night’s glorious
celestial embrace. My heart beats
to the heightened rhythm. My breast — rising
and falling with each gorgeously tormented
sound – each gentle nuance is like dancing atop
night’s glittering constellations, like waltzing
through the galaxy’s infinite dust of beauty,
heedlessly and magnificently bounding
from one star to the next.

 

 

Just one of the many reasons I love to read…

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This quote resinates with me. I have it proudly posted in my classroom and on one of my Pinterest boards. This is just one of the many reasons I stand by my blog’s title. Reading enables me to connect with humanity and take part in the global conversation of life without leaving the comfort of my cozy couch. I’m reading a new book that I absolutely love (I plan to write about it after I finish it. I was lucky enough to meet the author a few years back). My hope is that you too are reading something that reaches out and takes your hand in an assuring way that says, you truly are not alone.