Saturday, February 12, 2011
Sunday, February 6, 2011
We pray but that our souls might find release,
From all the turmoils of this earth;
To run from chaos, search for peace,
And from such solace find rebirth.
Why, Heaven high, your gaze avert from here
The veil not from thy sacred face?
Are we not worthy, timeless eyes to bear,
Or, longing, gaze on perfect grace?
Return not thence to shadows like the day
And teach us all the mysteries
Of how to love and how to pray
Before we perish on the breeze,
Or sink beyond the western seas
Into the shadows far away.
I composed these verses quite a few months ago while going through no small amount of stress, mostly self-induced. My goal at the time wasn't so much to write anything acceptable, but just to vent my recurring negative thoughts and emotions onto paper. Well, more precisely, onto my iPhone, where most of this poem was composed (fun fact: the first draft was written in about 15 minutes on a scissor lift suspended about 40 feet in the air). It isn't an intricate poem. Honestly, it isn't even one of my favourites, but it expresses my entire year (2010) almost perfectly. Hopefully in the passing of this new year, I shall grow wise enough to at least partially answer some of the questions I have. Maybe I'll write something more about this in the future…
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Why fare these men on so unseemly forth?
What drives them day by day to carry on
Amidst the tumult and the chaos of
Insanity so manifest in form:
In hatred crawling deep beneath the skin,
In carnal parasitic lust encroached,
In loss and love and tragedies adorned
With screams and cries and desperate ruined souls?
The earth has borne for oft' and ever it
Has swept its way around the scorching sun
These multiplicities of mournful fates,
These heavy yokes that shackled bind men's souls
Enfeebled by the choking mortal strain,
But they enslaved do wage this war against
The fortunes dolled to them from birth to death
And rising up, the very gods they dare
Ingloriously strike against with arms
Rebellious raised up to the heights above.
Omnipotent, scarce imposed be these gods
(Despite the valour beating in men's hearts)
By beings barred and bound from touching the
Celestial sea that spans the midnight realms
Above and floods into oblivion.
Relentless, bold, yet doomed and dying stand
They thus, these mortal men in mortal lands,
Far-thrown to distant suns and cursed to die,
In aeons darkness damned eternal lie.
What hope have you? What hope is there to hold?
In vain you strive on fighting to the end,
In death you pass, to never wake again:
A flame forever dimmed by bitter cold,
A fire that once raged on, ever bold.
But now the narrow path of fate does bend;
No virtue can such loathed lanes amend.
To death you slink and down into the grave,
Yet still you shout, "I'm saved! I'm saved! I'm saved!"
This is a poem I completed only just a few days ago but began working on toward the middle of December 2010. It all began on an extremely long bus ride back home to Louisville, KY that lasted about 15-16 hours. I was listening to music at the time (Silversun Pickups, if I recall correctly) and gazing out of the window and across the Georgian horizon on into the sky. I started thinking about the world and, more specifically, mankind and its relation to the divine. The final version of the poem (which bears not even a single line of the original) was completed a few nights ago in the darkness of my unlit room around midnight. Like the circumstances that prompted its conceptualization, the poem is one of brooding contemplation. However, it is not my contemplation that is necessarily presented, but the contemplation of an unknown individual who is analyzing the human condition and the circumstances surrounding mortal existence. But this begs the question, "Who is this narrator?" I leave the answering to you, dear reader.
Saturday, December 4, 2010
The leaves in droves went flying by my door;
How soon that sweeter breeze returns to us!
The ticks of hours passing by in score
Did mark and test my ever waning trust.
But then that sickly summer veil uphealed!
And fouler airs to crisp cool scents did part.
My friend, your gentle gusts my heart did steal
Before this lovely eve did even start.
I waited fondly, candles lit for you,
But fonder still, my faith in you was true.
This poem isn't really meant to mean a lot: it's simple with an easily understood surface meaning and an easily graspable metaphorical meaning. More importantly, it's a light-hearted English sonnet meant to celebrate my love of the natural world in the same style that the Romantic poets used around 200 hundred years ago. It also serves as an excellent introduction for this blog due to that very same light-hearted, open nature.
Autumn is possibly the greatest of the four seasons that we have the privilege of experiencing in this specific spot of the world at 38°15'N and 85°46'W (fun fact: those are the specific global coordinates for Louisville, KY!) It always brings some measure of relief with it. Summers are always so incredibly hot, especially when you are laboring under that bright and scorching sun all day long, but the cool breezes that ensue just seem that much sweeter by comparison. I welcome the first chilly whispering wind of fall, because it says to me ever so quietly: "Rest now, dear friend. You will toil no more for now, let your labors begin anew in summer."
It (along with all of the other seasons) is also incredibly consistent when you stop to think about. For at least 6,000 years it has continuously returned to us with each long 365.25 days revolved around the sun. I've only been alive for 19 years of that long historical chain and even THAT seems like a long time! It truly is remarkable how everything is held together so consistently, whether it be the blossoming of flowers in the spring; the rising of the sun in the morning and its returning to the horizon the very next day; or, yes, even the returning of autumn in the latter half of every year.
This consistency truly is amazing, yes, but that is only so because it is not guaranteed. We assume the blossoming of the flowers, the rising of the sun, and even the returning of autumn every single year that we experience and yet, not to do so seems almost absurd, after all, it has always been this way. But the truth of the matter is that we have faith that these events shall always repeat themselves year after year. Faith and belief are what we base everything on, including such seemingly mundane things as discussed above. This sonnet is essentially a praise saying: "Thank you, dear friend, for fulfilling my faith in you, and returning once again, even as I began to doubt."