You add and subtract words,
take away and add stories.
But what do you do with emotions,
real and imagined?
You ride a boat and go fishing
while your cousins play ball.
You play with a trout and the trout wins,
you return home for a blueberry pie.
Why should not life be thriving?
“There is only one thing you should do. Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple ‘I must,’ then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse.”
-Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters To A Young Poet
You are alone but with strong spirit
The world is bitter and suffering
You understand and offer to help.
With a tiny voice you do not feel helpless
You start to talk and write
The pages shout a new life.
“I have found that sitting in a place where you have never sat before can be inspiring―I wrote my very best poem while sitting on the hen-house.
“How much one can learn in an hour?”
“Perhaps watching someone you love suffer can teach you even more than suffering yourself can.”
-Dodie Smith, I Capture the Castle.
note: I just finished reading I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. First published in 1948. A love story. Meta-writing.Very good read. Enjoyable.
One truck arrives, one truck leaves
hauling and dumping dirt soil and uprooted trees
catalogue of losses: shades and shelters.
What is real?
What is illusion?
Sharpen the pencil, begin writing
you don’t need a giant wave to rise.
When I don’t know what to write about
Drained after a heavy summer
I think I should write better, perhaps
Distinction of things I do daily:
Writing, health habits, diversions,
Knowing changes start at the edges
One ant step at a time
I turn to the kitchen
And boil some eggs
How do you approach tranquility,
everything is crumbling around you?
Forest and streams are full of resources.
you will find failures of absolutes.
You will walk in absence of sounds
darkness not filled with hallucinations
“plod on” is a common virtue
stamina of will, be calm,
you are not alone.
When sky closes its windows
you are a frightened soul sobbing into sleep
feel insignificant, tamed and fireless,
drifting into fairytales.
Then you travel and don’t see ghosts
but landscapes and mountains
with indescribable shapes and colors,
walkers singing many songs and stories
the world, a cauldron, sharing a common bond.
Memory sometimes is like a heard conversation
you wonder if it’s real
or like eating watermelon
sweet and mouth-watering.
leapfrogging upwards and downwards
stopping for ice cream
You can start writing a letter
to a lost friend
like stroking the guitar strings
singing a praise or prayer,
like photo-shooting with a stranger
from one street to the next
not knowing if you will have
chicken dumplings or caviar and oysters
You will be all caring
composing a quilt of your past
the present is a daily memoir
how you live, wander and wonder
not tied like a lovely bouquet.
“Craft and consciousness matter. But a poet’s attention must be open to what is not already understood, decided, weighed out. For a poem to be fully alive, the poet needs to surrender the protection of the known and venture into different relationship with the subject ⎯ or is it object? both words miss ⎯ of her attention. The poet must learn from what dwells outside of her conceptions, capacities, and even language: from exile and silence.”- Jane Hirshfield
note: the passage taken from: Nine Gates, Entering the Mind of Poetry by Jane Hirshfield
During certain moments of clarity
friendship looks similar to writing
a “stubborn self-discipline”
writing simple descriptions
“ a pond, a stone, tools”
to repair a chair
and being together,
Writing is never precise
misplaced punctuations, dangling
words with no meaning,
forgetting to return calls.
Have to go she says
“she breaks off abruptly”
“little drawings of twisted trees”.
Both can fall over a bridge.
note: quoted words are from the book, The Story of a New Name, by Elena Ferrante.
scutters like autumn leaves
looking for words
under the boulders
from dry twigs
misty trees from spider webs
lonely words inside a secluded soul
flowing voicelessly in the river
How can I spin
the words into silk?
How can my imagination
seed the clouds
rain spilling in torrents
washing over the obelisks and memorials
first try and second chances
and try all over again?
note: Mrs. Abstract and I are driving through the rain on the way to Oregon.
I’m currently reading Ray Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles.