Category Archives: Poetry

PIACULAR’S CRY

.

Dark mist rising,

Drum beneath a keening sky

This scent of loam, of leaf, of yearning,

Of memory’s wail

And piacular’s cry...

Evanescent expiation,

Yearning’s lusts abhorred.

Penitential rumination,

But no solace nor a respite

Nor understanding toward…

Revisit and addition to an old friend during this forced virus pause.

The one-eyed man is king

In the country of the blind,
     Where men refuse the seen,
     Where oblivion reigns
           and denial rules most proud.
     Where seers prate and preen
           the falsehoods of the day.
In all the darkened corners
    One-eyed beggars see the light.

Beauty amidst Pain

Trilliums push up in my yard,
     Spring has coaxed them out.
No need to distance,
No virus to hinder.
            Just the pull of an ancient call,
            The warmth of a thawing world,
And a promise for the future.
       

And so the storm…

And so the COVID storm, this sudden surge of unexpected wave-born pain. Uncertainty fences challenge – thrust, feint…and parry.

With little quarter given amidst our grim despair,

Worry parries hope as need harries our bottomless loss.

And all the while it rains down numbers, an exponential torrent,

All lightning figures that fork and branch

Illuminating nothing.

Regret, Social Standing, and Loss

I’ve read that brain imaging studies show that when we think about other people, parts of our frontal cortex become active. Advocates of the social brain hypothesis say the frontal cortex expanded in our ancestors because natural selection favored social intelligence. I suppose social media continues that trend.

Research also suggests that before we risk something, we need to feel assured that our potential gain is twice the possible loss, as loss feels twice as bad as gain feels good. So we have a greater sensitivity to losses than to equivalent gains when making decisions. In trading situations, we will most likely opt to keep what we have because we place a larger value on things that we already possess.

And we will make many of these decisions in light of social standing.

I’ve heard that when people are asked if they would rather earn $50,000 a year while other people make $25,000, or earn $100,000 a year while other people receive $250,000, the majority of us choose the 50k. We would rather make twice as much as others even if it means earning half as much as we might otherwise. Social standing trumps simple economics.

Does this suggest anything about my regrets, which the dictionary defines as “thinking and feeling with a sense of loss.”

If my losses feel twice as bad as my gains, then perhaps I feel my regrets more keenly than my victories…

 

I would have triumphed,

Had but to try,

Only,

          I was so afraid of failure.

And in this fear, hesitation won,

          Though so briefly.

And now, the results of that barest pause,

They resonate with me yet.

No conquest has silenced the pain of that loss,

No prize has tamed its gnawing.

And the regrets of that long ago moment

Continue their taint  of my victories today…

 

Til we see Awe

I would you awe…

Not the tiny, nor small,

Nor restless profane,

Not the mundane that soul saps

The spirit to blister and crack in sorrow.

I would your eyes rise from that endless void

That levels the heights even as it fills the valleys.

If there be exaltation,

If there be wonder,

If there be yearnings that spring from our souls,

Let them be sublime in their seeking,

Believe in their knowing,

Secure in their journey

And awash in their wonder

Till heaven and earth are one…

To Push Back the Darkness

We strive so hard to share. From a technological standpoint, one thread of our cumulative history as a species has been our growing ability to communicate – more information, faster dissemination, ever larger audiences.

Threaded throughout this whole, our logic and emotions weave from the dual hemispheres of our left and right brains a warp and weft of fact and fiction that create those tapestries we want others around us to see.

And after all these cultural millennia, we still best understand these efforts through the structure of narrative. Our storytelling still resonates our shared bonding around smoky campfires pushing back the threatening darkness around us…and existential loneliness within.

And so we share. More. Faster. Broader. Hope and fear equally driving our ebb and flow.

At the end of the day, as shadows lengthen and campfires are lit once again to drive away the dark terrors of night and soul, connection still remains a wonder and a mystery, a flicker of light in the darkness… a beacon of hope,

Our yearning,

Our goal.