"Trees are poems the earth writes upon the sky,
We fell them down and turn them into paper,
That we may record our emptiness."
Khalil Gibran

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Fabrication

“We concede all politicians lie.” Jennifer Rubin 

The Visual Tower
Marcel Broodthaers (1966)
Fair Use Principles



Have we both been lying all this time?
I thought it was only me but

kudos to us for adulting the fabrication
of our story, or what we wanted it to be
in a post-truth world.

Why think of it as diminished responsibility
when surreality is replacing the norm?
No one bothers to dig through garbage

when everything is pasted on someone’s wall.
We’ll make up our own headline.

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Words Count with Mama Zen... and thus I say good riddance to 2016 - but not without thanking the good folk of the Imaginary Garden for keeping it Real.


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Objectivity

Candelabra
Dora Maar ~ 1935
Fair Use Principles



Too many indifferent objects
take up space;
they distract vision.
Even doors are made to be closed.
I do not know how I should fit myself
between the unshelved books
and cold teacups.

I pose this question:

If no one ever loved me, beyond my object self,
would my purpose be simply material?

Intrinsic value may be the equivalent
of a paperweight,
or a dog-eared page, for all I know.

Let me rephrase.

I am not certain if love is the appropriate measure,
just another thing one has accumulated and put on display.

Ownership is a burden;
in the having,
one stands to lose so much.
No matter how I try to blend
into the furniture,
in belonging to another
I become the doorstop.

No wonder then, that there are days I am shrill,
days when I fall silent and pack my belongings into boxes.


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The Tuesday Platform in the Imaginary Garden.



Thursday, December 22, 2016

Untitled (A Praise Song)

Untitled
Felix Gonzales-Torres (1993)
Fair Use Principles


This was goat country; we pilgrims
practised the banal patterns of speech
that count for daily commerce
between mortal sacrifice and sunrise.

When we crossed the border,
there was scorched earth, a policy
of the victors; Pyrrhic, with a taste
of drought on the back of tongues.

Here stood a cracked column
rising from a sink-hole; Corinthian,
with capital over-leafed, it was built
to bear the load of civilization.

The priests suggested an anthem
would be in order, a praise song
of sorts for our deliverance;
we slaughtered them in their sleep.

We learned to tell time according
to bodily function; now we are
resuscitating language by stirring
sticks in the dirt of prehistoric graves.


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A Skyflower Friday in The Imaginary Garden.


Saturday, December 17, 2016

Catastrophe Theory

The Empire of Lights
Final painting of Rene Magritte (1967)
Fair Use Principles



This was the day of the dead, and watermelons.
I thought you had a lot to say and stayed up late
to listen but the roots of trees soon untangled
and you preferred your self-portraits in green.

It could very well be my life’s work, this canvas,
blank but for one corner dripping paint, study
of a bull or bride. This was the twilit hour.
Skeletal frames rode with capitalized death.

I have always believed that history is at fault
for not dealing better with catastrophe;
it is all muddy eye sight or colour seen only

in peripheral vision, blue on horizontal black,
with maybe a naked woman or a man in tall hat
bowing before Raphael’s Transfiguration.


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The Final Twilight, The Sunday Mini-Challenge in the Imaginary Garden showcases the poetry of Jorge Luis Borges. I have been most inspired by his sonnets. This poem references a collection of Last Paintings of Famous Artists.

Catastrophe Theory is a branch of mathematics concerned with systems displaying abrupt discontinuous change.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Beyond Salvage

Artist Unknown
Source Pinterest


There are some who read signs
of doom in acts of men and plan their defences:
believe in barbed wire constructs
but ignore the flood waters spilling through cracks
in the pavement beneath their own feet.

We are all burn victims
picking over the crumbling edges of our rubble.
We clutch at love, perhaps, a last straw
but dine on offal in the meantime because today
might be lacking in personal redemption.

Somewhere in this city, the last man awake
stares blankly at a mute screen: his feed has died
and he suffers the immediacy
of his own tragic company too susceptible to darkness
and chooses to fall upon his broken sword.

Children should be taught to swim.
Nakedness is its own protection; hold a magic lantern
to a mirror and step into your own being.
Yes, the truth, as we know it, has been shot from the sky:
Salvage the shards without cutting your fingers.


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I find much inspiration in the results of photographic competitions, notably that of International Photographer of the Year and the Street Photography Competition run by Lens Culture. As all material is under copyright, I have not included one with this post, but encourage your perusal of the links provided.



 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Saṃsāra

Untitled Sculpture
Olivier de Sagazan
Fair Use Principles



In birth, there is no beginning:

You tear the membrane for first breath,
scrape clay from beneath fingernails,
discompose your memory of the chrysalis.

This is nothing to where you have been,
you reiterate, edging away
from the grave of your ancestor self.

The pain is only temporary
and easily hidden in a well-cut suit.


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Inspired by the performance art of Olivier de Sagazan (from Samsara)
Flash 55 PLUS! in The Imaginary Garden


Saṃsāra (Sanskrit) in Buddhism is the beginning-less cycle of repeated birth, mundane existence and dying again. Samsara is considered to be dukkha, unsatisfactory and painful, perpetuated by desire and avidya (ignorance), and the resulting karma.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

A Painless Day

The Water Tank (1734)
Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin



The future arrives just as water
breaking its tension
slips over the edge of a drinking glass
and falls – you know you will feel
a cold splash on your toe
and move your foot to higher ground.

But isn’t that already in the past,
even as the words I write
for you to read tomorrow will surely
be forgotten, even by me, after?

Yet one wakes hoping to live a painless day,
a better year, only to die a good death
as if to propel oneself into a certain future
one dimly conceives perfecting all the errors
that could not be avoided a day ago.

This is the present, you said
and I believed you.
Whatever we do with it is ours.


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I am slowly emerging from a hiatus, in which I deliberately put my pen down 'until December'. I do so for the excellent prompt set by Izy Gruye in The Imaginary Garden, under the heading Out of Standard: Future/Tense

In other news, I am very proud to have a selection of my poems published on Verse Wrights. My sincere thanks go to Carl Sharpe for this amazing opportunity.