30 Blog Posts in 30 Days: Day 3

Just write something, for God’s sake …

Word of the Day: Lambent

Lambent (adjective): (1) playing lightly on or over a surface;  gliding over; wavering, flickering (2) softly bright or radiant (3) light and brilliant

USING LAMBENT IN SENTENCES

The young man gazed absently on the lambent river, as his canoe gently glided with the current in the early hours of the morning.

Their bodies lay exhausted, lambent and musky, as the city in the night swelled all around them.

They looked into each other’s lambent eyes, filled with love and longing.

Poem of the Day

LEVIATHAN
by Pablo Neruda

Ark of forbearance and anger, derelict
Night of the brute, antarctic outlander.
Nearing or passing me — an ice-field
Displacing the darkness — one day
I shall enter your walls, I shall rear
On the sunken marine of your winter, your armory.

Southward, there crackled a holocaust, black
With your planet’s expulsion, the domains
Of your silence that moved in the algae
And jostled the lump of the ages.

Then, form was, alone, was magnitude
Sealed by a world’s agitation, wherein glided
Your leathern pre-eminence, mistrusting
The gifts of its nature: tenderness, power.

Ark of our passion, inflaming
A hummock of dark, as with torches.
When your blind blood was quickened
An epoch of ocean still slept in its gardens.
And in an immensity the disfiguring moon
Divided its track with a magnet of phosphor.
Life sputtered,
The mother-medusa, blue in the flame,
A tempest of multiple wombs.
And increase grew whole in its purity
Like the pompano’s pulse in the sea.

Among waters, your congress
Of mastheads and spars was disposed

Thought of the Day

How the Id compels us! What atrocities and mass destruction is caused by the repressed aggressions of powerful men! Neruda’s poem is about the slaughter of whales.
I remember once stopping traffic to move a turtle out of the middle of the road. The woman driving the car behind me looked at me malevolently, as if to say, “You’re going to save a turtle? And whilst doing so, waste minutes of my precious time?”
I wonder, at times, how a human can become so callous … and so fixated on her own wildly inflated ego.
And I also wonder why it is in this culture that a man cannot empathize with animals–small and helpless animals–without feeling emasculated. Why is so necessary for a man to be hard-hearted?
I don’t like this aspect of our mid-western culture.


30 Blog Posts in 30 Days

My goal is to write thirty blog posts in thirty days. Each post will consist of a Word of the Day, a poem from a famous poet (public domain only), and either a thought or a verse (or two) from yours truly.

First Post: October 11th, 2019
Last Post: November 9th, 2019

Wish me luck!


Every month or so, I’ll send a newsletter via e-mail to my subscribers. More often than not, it will contain a list of my new blog posts.  You may find something in it that interests you! Or more likely, you’ll be bored to tears and curse my very existence. In either case, you should sign up. You may unsubscribe at any time!


30 Blog Posts in 30 Days: Day 2

Just write something, for God’s sake …

Word of the Day: Otiose

Otiose (adjective): (1) being at leisure or ease (idle, unemployed); (2) without profit (sterile, futile); (3) lacking use or effect (4) of a deity:  remote and aloof; not concerned with the details of the world

USING OTIOSE IN SENTENCES

Changing my cat’s behavior so that he won’t bite my ankles is an otiose endeavor.

My otiose days lounging on the front porch without a job have been surprisingly relaxing, despite the fact that I have no money.

The otiose Babylonian god, Marduk, cared very little what happened in the ancient world.

Poem of the Day

SELF-UNCONSCIOUS
by Thomas Hardy

       Along the way
        He walked that day,
    Watching shapes that reveries limn,
        And seldom he
        Had eyes to see
    The moment that encompassed him.

        Bright yellowhammers
        Made mirthful clamours,
    And billed long straws with a bustling air,
        And bearing their load
        Flew up the road
    That he followed, alone, without interest there.

        From bank to ground
        And over and round
    They sidled along the adjoining hedge;
        Sometimes to the gutter
        Their yellow flutter
    Would dip from the nearest slatestone ledge.

        The smooth sea-line
        With a metal shine,
    And flashes of white, and a sail thereon,
        He would also descry
        With a half-wrapt eye
    Between the projects he mused upon.

        Yes, round him were these
        Earth’s artistries,
    But specious plans that came to his call
        Did most engage
        His pilgrimage,
    While himself he did not see at all.

        Dead now as sherds
        Are the yellow birds,
    And all that mattered has passed away;
        Yet God, the Elf,
        Now shows him that self
    As he was, and should have been shown, that day.

        O it would have been good
        Could he then have stood
    At a focussed distance, and conned the whole,
        But now such vision
        Is mere derision,
    Nor soothes his body nor saves his soul.

        Not much, some may
        Incline to say,
    To see therein, had it all been seen.
        Nay! he is aware
        A thing was there
    That loomed with an immortal mien.

Thought of the Day

Our attention can either be projected outward, toward the world, or inward, toward our own psyche–toward our inner world–our thoughts, emotions, memories, and imagination. This poem reminds me of people who take walks with earbuds in their ears, likely listening to podcasts, or the day’s news, or something similar, so enrapt in whatever it is to which they listen, that they do not engage in the world flowing around them and in which they move.
I don’t suggest we shouldn’t engage our time fully. It is amazing that we can listen and learn about nearly anything that interests us through modern technology, while we walk, drive, wash our clothes, etc. But we should also learn to listen to the world, and to let it flow through us … that is another kind of learning–a learning for the soul.
If I walk upon a well-worn path, with the intention of quieting my mind, and watching the world, I see things in it I haven’t seen before, even though I may have walked the same path a hundred times before.
It may be worthwhile to consider Hardy’s poem. Perhaps, we will look back with regret one day that we didn’t spend more time discovering the world’s beauty teeming all around us, if we would have just stilled ourselves for a time to watch and listen.


30 Blog Posts in 30 Days

My goal is to write thirty blog posts in thirty days. Each post will consist of a Word of the Day, a poem from a famous poet (public domain only), and either a thought or a verse (or two) from yours truly.

First Post: October 11th, 2019
Last Post: November 9th, 2019

Wish me luck!


Every month or so, I’ll send a newsletter via e-mail to my subscribers. More often than not, it will contain a list of my new blog posts.  You may find something in it that interests you! Or more likely, you’ll be bored to tears and curse my very existence. In either case, you should sign up. You may unsubscribe at any time!


30 Blog Posts in 30 Days: Day 1

Just write something, for God’s sake …

Word of the Day: Hokum

Hokum (noun): (1) pretentious nonsense; (2) a device found to elicit a display of mirth or sentimental emotion from an audience and therefore deliberately used to impel persons to a desired action.

Fun Fact: hokum is likely a combination of the words hocus-pocus and bunkum.

USING HOKUM IN SENTENCES

The pot-bellied politician jiggled as he spouted nonsensical hokum to the disapproving committee.

Beatrice was a rich, old lady who knew next to nothing, but loved filling the ears of anyone who listened to her with the most absurd hokum.

Jeremy listened to his wife’s irritating hokum with feigned attention.

Poem of the Day

A PSALM OF LIFE
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

What the Heart of the Young Man Said to the Psalmist

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
   “Life is but an empty dream!”
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
   And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!
   And the grave is not its goal;
“Dust thou art, to dust returnest,”
   Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
   Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
   Finds us farther than to-day.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
   And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
   Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world’s broad field of battle,
   In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
   Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
   Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,–act in the living Present!
   Heart within, and God o’erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us
   We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
   Footprints on the sands of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another,
   Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
   Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
   With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing
   Learn to labor and to wait.

Thought of the Day

If you wish to be present in each moment, and not live in the shadow of the past or in the glow of the future’s rising sun, remember that life is fleeting and our years all too short. One should always be mindful of one’s own mortality, not because one should wallow in morbidity, but to remain vigilant and aware that each and every moment of one’s life is extraordinarily precious.


30 Blog Posts in 30 Days

My goal is to write thirty blog posts in thirty days. Each post will consist of a Word of the Day, a poem from a famous poet (public domain only), and either a thought or a verse (or two) from yours truly.

First Post: October 11th, 2019
Last Post: November 9th, 2019

Wish me luck!


Every month or so, I’ll send a newsletter via e-mail to my subscribers. More often than not, it will contain a list of my new blog posts.  You may find something in it that interests you! Or more likely, you’ll be bored to tears and curse my very existence. In either case, you should sign up. You may unsubscribe at any time!


There is a Seed in the Darkness

Here one can neither stand nor lie nor sit
There is not even silence in the mountains
But dry sterile thunder without rain
There is not even solitude in the mountains
But red sullen faces sneer and snarl
From doors of mudcracked houses

The Waste Land, T.S. Eliot

There is a seed in the darkness,
buried in the pitch.
Must you quell the murmurous spirits,
the slandering multitude
the garrulous bobbing heads tossed upon the sea
where the one drowns the other.

Seed of my destiny.
Seed of eternity.
A mirror of youth
before the world broke the bridge
to the heralded ages.

But I am the quiet gardener,
and I am the silent hero.
There is a seed in the darkness …

an echo of the word not yet spoken.

I Am the World To Your Dream

I am the world to your dream.
You are my sorrow and my song.
You ride the shaman’s conjured wind.
I am a lover’s net.
I catch your butterfly notes
and drink them all like moon’s milk.
How I love you! I bend your smile
over rustling treetops, and in your dawn
dreams the longing of nesting sparrows.

You are the blue mountain of all my fevered thoughts.
How I love you! Our souls like vines
entwine the virgin’s oak,
born not from yesterday or the morrow,
and in its primeval marrow
flows a gilded honeydew wrought from the flames of love
and passion’s fire.

You set my trammels free
and cut my clutching veins
and drips my naked blood
into your body’s vessel.

You transmute all my mute transgressions
into green emeralds and gold.

Your face ripples in the ebon offing.
My outstretched fingers,
stretched beyond miles mortal
fan your form angelic

and whole again I’m born.

Pantheist

I longed for thee when first I crawled to consciousness.
My dreams were all of thee when in the chrysalis I lay.
Oft myriads of my kind beat out their lives
Against some feeble spark once caught from thee.
And one hour more — and my poor life is gone;
Yet my last effort, as my first desire, shall be
But to approach thy glory; then, having gained
One raptured glance, I’ll die content.
For I, the source of beauty, warmth and life
Have in his perfect splendor once beheld.

Miss Frank Miller, from C.J. Jung’s Psychology of the Unconscious

*****

Do my words have an ear?
Do they have a mouth?
To whom and by whom
were they spoken?

I have a pantheist’s ear,
and I have a pantheist’s eye.
The god I worship I call Friend.
The goddess I call Beloved.

In all things do I see
god and goddess.

You may sin against god
because you may repent
and absolve yourself
of those sins.
Time’s ledger will balance.
The scale will be even;
on one side good (absolution)
and on one side evil (sin).

But when you sin against your goddess,
You will have her blood on your hands,
and her blood will burn like an acid,
and you will forever be scarred.
Time will pay the evil by you done
with punishment equal to your crime.

You will pay dearly for it,
despite her nature to forgive.

Gentle Heart

See the mountains kiss high heaven,
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister-flower would be forgiven
If it disdained its brother:
And the sunlight clasps the earth,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea–
What is all this sweet work worth,
If thou kiss not me?

Loves Philosophy, Percy Bysshe Shelley

*****

Upon my deathbed I lie inert—
dormant like a wintering tree,
enfeebled heart and mind aground,
command lost and naught to follow—
When I hear you sing.

Your song lifts me out of lumbering shadows—
out of the soft, dark earth
and melts my glacial melancholy.

Toward the window I creep—
the window a stage—
and pull the curtain back
and wash my face in your dun-colored dawn.
In you, beloved, is all the world.
You are the sea
into which my every river flows.

You sang for me at my birth—
My first breath indrawn.

What revelations did you sing for me
when my back was turned
through all the sullen years?

And when I am gone from you?
Will you be there at the last?
My last breath exhaled?

(Why trouble your brow with such thoughts?)

I dive deep into the present,
not by habit and not by wrote,
no longer do I drink from that ramshackle well of brackish memories
(No longer do I tease my darker angels—
I’ve toyed with them long enough.)
Each moment is a fullness,
each moment is a depth,
each moment is precious
because of its finitude.

Each moment is a joy and sadness
Such joy as this! To love you!
And sadness compounds the joy. Why must it be so?
To know that all the flowers that spring
from your eyes must someday wilt—
Bittersweet is love if thought be true.
But ’tis best to trust and love.

Rose Petals Fall

One of the loneliest aspects of time is transience. Time passes and takes everything away … But the opposite is also true when you are having a lovely time and are really happy; you are with the person you love … On such a perfect evening or day, you secretly say to your heart, God I wish this could continue forever … Even Faust begged the moment to stay … ‘Linger awhile, for you are so beautiful.’

Anam Cara, John O’Donohue

*****

(Rose petals fall)

Brushed by the hand
of a goddess in her garden,
a chalice of life and longing
among her chosen flowers–
by chance,
or by fate,
or by fortune,
or by whim,
or by caprice,
the rose petals fall
.

(one by one)

The days and I are one fabric–
the years too long,
to encompass in a thought,
to hold in the hand,
unless I roll them all up like a bolt,
but then the old layered memories are gone,
not gone, but hidden,
in dusty, jewel-encrusted boxes,
in brittle photographs,
in words scrawled on napkins,
in rooms no longer visited.
Where is the laughter? Where is the tea?
The servants have fled
for emerald pastures.
They left without a sound
without a footfall in the night
to mark their secret passage.

(two by two)

But then there was you
and I held your petaled hand,
your petaled heart–
let my heart not fall without you.

To say that I love you.
To say it!
The sound flickers like a candle,
carried in the night,

searching from room to room
from unshuttered window to door unhinged,
from creaky floor to startled misstep,
a votive offering to the moon,
“See here, moon! Add this light to your light!
I have light to give!”

Please dearest,
Let my heart not fall without you.

If I Could

If I could reach
into the past
and pluck a petal
from that ghostly flower
I’d pull you back
and tell you that I loved you.

In your dying hours
I saw that you tried
to do the things you loved
in life, but you were so tired.

Death hung around your neck
and pulled your head down
so that all you could do
was stare into the dim morning—
dimmer now,
grayer now.
You crawled into the bitter end
with all the life left to you.

I pluck you from the past, dear one
and make you whole again.