Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Night Back Home

The vividness of the silent dark—
After light
After noise
After distraction—
Glimpsed as the door to the outside world slams itself shut.

The stillness of an empty place—
After traffic
After stress
After confusion—
Refuge for a tired mind when the day has screeched to a halt.

The coolness of a lonely bed—
Nobody
But yourself
Disturbing your sleep—
Distant dreams the one piece of satisfaction that won't come.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sharklike

If I can smile sharklike about a simple thought,
I'll sleep soundly, silently, stationary, still swimming,
A sea of ideas steadily streaming through the gills of my mind.

If I could be cartilaginous, flexible-boned,
I could squeeze, slip into my mind's undiscovered crevices,
Explore beyond the slim cracks between the slats of my understanding.

If I could sense the electricity of your heartbeat,
I could snatch up your whole heart swiftly like a hungry predator;
Instead, like a filter feeder, I suck in a million minute morsels.

The Thor's Prayer

O Thor who art in heaven, loud be thy name.
Thy lightning come, thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily dread, and thunder us deaf, until we have forgotten our deafness.
And lead us into Ragnarök, and deliver us from the world serpent.
For thine is the hammer, the thunder and the glory, amen.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Fluff

A sole sunlit speck
Descends in a gentle arc.
Can't tell what it is.


Cottonwood seed fluff
Won't melt the way snowflakes do:
Don't try to eat it!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Elegance

A plant with no rainfall
Holds its water dear.

Leaves fat like swollen fingers:
Water not, waste not, want not;
Save not, grow not, live not.

Flowers like tiny white sparks,
Sparse: enough and no more.

In an economy of beauty,
Meted out discretely,
Restraint inflames passion.

Cloud Cover

Clouds blown, smeared out like sand dunes:
Too dim to photograph, but bright in my mind,
Which feels as smeared out as the clouds look,

Disappointed as the dark sky would be if empty,
A vast, inky sea with no sandy-shored islands.
I feel the same placid let-down for the moon,

Which fails to show at the appointed hour
Merely because the sky dislikes being bare,
And shrouds the view from my lofty overlook.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Horizon

Evening horizon
Starts to glow red like embers,
Looking east: moonrise


Image

Monday, May 12, 2014

Wave Reflection

Shadows flashing
From sun and cloud.
Wide waves swelling
From the wind and motion,
Shimmering light
Reflected back;
Suddenly I notice
The world is now fluid,
Itself the glossed surface
Of a vast lake.

Feelings muted
From realization,
Self harsh-questioned
For inartful action;
Something deeper,
On the edge of sensing,
Dreadful to feel,
Indescribably bobs,
Draws me within,
Irresistibly pulled.

Submerged in the water,
Ceaselessly shifting is
Reflection of a truth
That can't be grasped.

One that, when cupped
A moment in the hands,
Loses all depth,
Becoming once
Clearly seen and useless,
Captured and lost,
Well-defined and
Vanishing forever,
Dripping between
Sieve-like fingers.

The sun breaks free,
The wind whips up,
Forming ripples,
Tiny-sparking:
The same pattern
Never repeats.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Bjorn Skol: How I Looked for Love



I drove madly up and down the streets looking for a woman I knew I would find against impossible odds. She had dazzled me, disoriented me, loved me, and left me in the space of about three seconds, and I just had to find out if there was more to it than that. Something cosmic and life-changing, even revolutionary and unchangeable? Whatever it was, I knew it was there, even if it couldn’t be. No matter how unlikely, I would find it.

My rational mind had many things to say about this: you’ll never find her, what will you actually say, you probably don’t have anything substantial in common anyway, of course you realize this is nonsense, right? But I’d effectively lost my mind. What that meant when it was intact as a backseat driver wasn’t abundantly clear, but I didn’t need the thing to guide me, anyway. That was the point.

Clearly I was able to function without it. She couldn’t have gone far, right?

My mind didn’t answer. Typical.

Of course it wasn’t far, she could only have gone so far. Cars were fast, but bikes were slow! It was obvious. But the lakeside corridor was easy to traverse by bike, being mostly flat. But I couldn’t be pressed to worry about such details.

“Will you even recognize her if you see her?” I’d been asked by some sane part of my brain.

“Of course,” I replied.

“So what does she look like,” it asked.

“Well, sunglasses…helmet…uh, brown hair. I think she was white. Pretty. Kind of offbeat, maybe with some tattoos? And wearing…something tannish or brown? With patterns? Maybe pants or shorts?”

“Ha. So you just need to find a woman on a sunny day in biker’s paradise in Seattle, a very white town, who has a helmet and sunglasses on.”

“Yeah. Well, it’s not that white….plus we’re not far from the areas that have the most black people in them.”

“And you’ve seen enough black folks down here for them to make a difference statistically?”

“Yeah, I think there were like a half dozen or so? Maybe they weren’t all black, but for the purpose of this search, it’s just general skin tone that matters.”

“You’re being awfully rational up there without me. But don’t get cocky; you’re missing the point.”

“You're being awfully annoyed for being my unemotional side. What's the point, then?”

“You’ll never find her.”

“Stop being so negative.”

“You know, just get my attention when you’ve failed here. I’ve got better things to do.”

“Like?”

“Like focusing on not letting you forget rules of the road. Watch out for that kid!”

“I saw the kid.”

“Anyway, later.”

“Bye.”

I kept on without him. It. Me. Whatever. Or at least, I was still questing and driven by emotion, and possibly caffeine in my veins and soreness in my eyes from too much sun exposure and not enough water. Anyway, I was doing my own thing without paying any attention whatsoever to what the rational part of my brain was up to quietly in the background. Self-preservation and other menial, trivial tasks. Nothing so important as looking for a cosmically-intended love.

Why hadn’t I tried to find her right away? Instead of going after her, I’d left the area and gotten all the way up the hill, away from the water, before I’d realized I had to go back and at least try to find her. Perhaps that was what had done this effort in before it began.

This, of course, was the reason for my failure. It was just like the airliner I’d lost earlier: there it was, flying eastward, when I glanced away; immediately afterward, I’d glanced back and it was gone, no way to have covered the space between it and the nearest clouds. Or so my eyes told me.

Clearly, something strange had happened when I looked away, but what it was I couldn’t say. What sort of thing could cause that? Maybe that’s what happened to that missing flight in Asia. Now it’s in some other time or reality with no hope of return. Someone had even said that.

I’d have to check the news to see about any local missing flights.

Back to the driving: I watched the streets and scoured faced of the people on either side of the road, especially those with bikes. At a crowded section with cafes and lots of people, I realized it really was like a needle in a haystack. The ghost of my minds voice told me, “see?”, but of course I was still out of my mind and after its brief check-in, I hadn’t heard back.

I saw a girl in a dress with a bike laying on the grass, but I didn’t think it was her. I thought she noticed me noticing her, and hopefully didn’t think I was trying to look up her dress because she was doing something to adjust it as I passed.

I was beginning to grow doubtful. Anyway, I was getting to explore and enjoy a beautiful area and seeing some sights, at least when I wasn’t busy dodging bikes.

My doubt crystallized when I realized that part of the road ahead was closed to cars.

“A place where cars can’t go!? This is madness! How will I find her?”

“Well I’d say something but—“

“Nope, not listening, not going to give up!”

“Well you’ve been at this for a good thirty minutes, you can’t keep it up and you can’t go down there.”

“Sure I can, it’s got to be fate that we’ll meet!”

“But you did meet. You said hello. Nothing else happened until you got this fate business in your head after the fact.”

“…that’s only a minor setback.”

“Well how do you know it’s fate, anyway?”

“I can feel it.”

“That emotion you’re feeling, I don’t think it means what you think it means.”

“Why not?”

“For starters, it’s the same feeling you get when you think about going somewhere to get a good sandwich.”

“No it’s not. It’s so much bigger than that.”

“Yes it is. Just as if it were a really big sandwich.”

“I really don’t believe you.”

“But you trust this feeling? Great. Do I need to explain to you how you can’t use a feeling to justify a feeling? You sound like some kind of religious zealot.”

“I do not.”

“Yes you do.”

“No I don’t.”

“This is asinine. You’re taking a position of faith that is based only upon itself. That’s circular logic. You’ve lost the argument.”

“…No I haven’t.”

“Sigh. Well never mind that then. How about the fact that every passing minute puts her position both further away and more uncertain? That doesn’t bother you?”

“Should it?”

“I—I’m not going to answer that. You really have lost it this time.”

“I’m sure some intuition will kick in and tell me which way to go to find her.”

“Sure.”

“I bet if I just keep going—“

“You’ll run out of gas before you accomplish anything? Why do you hate the earth?”

“I don’t—hey, stop changing the subject.”

“You’re the one who changed it away from how you can’t drive any further on this road.”

I was right. I’d already diverted through a shady forested area.

“Well, I can go around and meet up with this road afterwards.”

“Do you think she’s just going in a straight line? She’s going to go off the path sometime.”

“And that’s precisely when our paths will cross again!”

“You are utterly hopeless.”

“I think you are the hopeless one here, brain!”

I must have won because it shut up after that.

I tried following a few of the bike routes that led away from the water. She probably lived closer to where I lived, so maybe she’d already taken one of those in the same direction. But it was slower for bikers gong up these steep hills, so she couldn’t have gone far that way, and I saw nobody fitting her description. If she’d gone where I couldn’t drive, maybe it was fate that we’d meet another day.

Maybe that’s what I needed to learn here: when to stop trying to do something by trying and instead letting it happen. That idea became appealing, and certainly not because I was getting tired of driving around with no plan. Though I would never admit such a thing.

That must be it, then. The universe would probably dump her right in my lap—figuratively, that is—as soon as I relaxed and stopped trying to make something happen. That was how it got you: right when you stopped expecting it.

So I had to work on stopping that expectation while still believing in it. Tricky.

I didn’t give up though: I just retraced my route and took a detour to the grocery store. I did have to pee, so what would be a good place to take care of that and get some groceries. And lunch. I was really hungry, I began to notice.

Hey, maybe she shopped at the same store. Maybe she lived in the same neighborhood and I would meet her for real any day now. Maybe, if I just kept my eyes open, I could suddenly have a chance encounter that would begin the dream life I’d just been hoping for. Everything would be perfect.

You had to believe in these things, of course, even if the evidence for them had always been absent or actually negative. That was the wrong way to think about it. For this was The Truth I was seeking, governed by orderly rules of fate, and surely I would be due some great reward for putting forth the effort to believe, right?

A Hair (Not Mine)

A long hair appears
Entwined between my fingers.
Who is the owner?

A former lover,
Or one merely wished for?

Bridges

Between two freeways
You'd never expect to find
Such a still, calm place

Don't Blink

An offbeat, pretty girl
Cycles by,
Slows,
We say hi.
Does all love
Last a blink of an eye?

Dammed Poetry by a Fallen One (But it's Alright in the Moonlight)

Sometimes a fall to the ground
Is worth any pain or debasement
To look up and notice the moon
On a mostly cloudy night,
Emerging from behind its cover,
Shining clearly and brightly
While the clouds drift past
Peacefully in the silver moonlight.

(That's enough damned poetry,
I'm going to climb back up now.)

Monday, May 5, 2014

Humble Narrator

        I narrate my life
—feeling so effusive now—
       otherwise I'd burst

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Dawning Sounds

Like dawning awareness,
Sound returns to the world:
A shower already in progress;
A firm but gentle breeze
Screams through window screens,
Pleasant and cooling,
strong and soothing,
Wafting over my body,
Purging my feverish feelings
Like imagined sins blown away;
Washed not by water, but by wind,
In the bright and brilliant clean
Of a newborn tropical morning,
Bereft of sleep by tranquil birdsong.

Waves

Gentle, foamy waves
lap carefully against a shore
of ocean-blue sky

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Rising Night

Charred flesh: a smell
Sizzling city sounds
eyestrain surrounds
Orbits
Eyes and planets
Line of lights
That rise into night
The fastest
not so far beyond
The dimmest most distant
The nearest one
Slipping downward
As night dawns
on a clear day
By Jove
A martial night