prisoner

I have not sinned
against a god nor man
nor woman
harmed no beast
—cared for Mother

why do I suffer
these sins of others
the revenge of Man
sins against me
—why am I prisoner here

admit they say and
confess – to what
I did no wrong
I harmed no one
—and yet I’m here

yet I am punished
forced – I sit alone, told to
feel some shame and
remorse and
—guilt for my breath

my dignity
my humanity
they took all from me and
I suffer – I do – I am alone in
—my pain without sympathy

why am I punished
made less than
human – no son of god
son of man
—fuck it all – fuck them all

try harder they say
love this god they pray
why must I see their way
It’s their way I’ll suffer
—the goodness of Death

prisoner by bill reynolds. 5/31/17

Look around. Mind what you see.

T – Tercet: In Real Time (NoPoWriMo #24)

The tercet is a poetic stanza of three lines with a rhyme. While there is no specific rhyme scheme necessary and some even venture into free verse, I prefer to not to dig in unplowed turf. However, I did play with this and came up with rhyming lines one and two in each stanza, and using mid and end line rhymes in line three: aab2, bbc2, etc.

***

In Real Time
By Bill Reynolds

Not to be seen, heard, or specifically smelt.
We know it’s there, cuz experiences felt,
No gods can stop it, no power to quit.

Some sew it wisely, while others just wait.
The outcome’s the same, we share the same fate.
Fight back as we may; that is only delay.

Wind we can feel, the rain we may taste.
But the passage of time, we have little to waste.
Let’s consider the past; make choices that last.

Perpetually running, it passes in silence;
Everything changes, nothing is timeless.
Reality speaks loudly, but time passes proudly.

***

Thinking of time, be looking both ways.
While minding the gaps, watch only today’s.

K – Kismet (NaPoWriMo #13)

Kismet (kiz-met) means destiny, or fate; or a power that is believed to control what happens in the future. The word kismet come to us from Turkish, originally from the Arabic word qisma (keese-mah), meaning portion or lot. There is so much poetry about, or related to, kismet that it seems to be its own type within a genre.

Specks: Coincidence meets Kismet
By Bill Reynolds

Among the billions traveling through space…
Two specks of dust without direction or purpose,
None aware of another, simple lifeless vectors of eternity
on pointless, unrelated journeys to nowhere.

Each born of events eons past in both time and distance,
mindless entities uncaring, without purpose or reason.

Unguided, random, alone, on endless journeys to
nothingness, absent of all consciousness, awareness, or
desire in the vast universe of both
loving and frightening utter insignificance.

They do not know, do not feel, do not see, do not care.
Mindless and might be as well, not to exist at all.

Set apart in time and distance, spirits within–
Still unfulfilled, unknowing of self, unknowing of others.
Closer they loom but continue to wander,
thru time and thru space with nothing to ponder.

Then a fire starts to burn. There is something.
A light. A spark. A slowing from forever’s pointlessness.

Slowly, one at a time, a special day, each glides to a stop…
With spirit and magic, of others around they’re now more aware.
Spirit knows life and begins to evolve,
with wonders and mysteries yet to resolve.

They notice things now, a rhythm, a beat they can hear;
There’s movement within, fluid awareness begins.

There are noises and smells, they feel things
And notice more, it’s like nothing before.
Now being, now joining,
Each has become, part of life here on earth.
Each morphs into a part of the soul of a child.

Each has one life and each grows to a person…
with love and with needs, and all that should follow.

What was that fire? Where did it start?
Both still in the universe, but no longer apart.
Each gradually feels more awake, more abiding,
Each strives on and on, to be with one who is living.

People and places and sights and sounds.
Emotions and tastes and the hearing of life.

The specks found common goals, one mission in life,
to find something missing, the whole of it all.
Through the eyes of their hosts, each speck meets the other.
Instantly their kismet arrives, as love for all their lives.

Their kismet has sent them to be as they are,
from that moment on, they’re forever together.

Now fully aware of why they are here,
the hosts of the specks become a great couple.
In love and now bonded together as one,
they move through this life, both sharing a fate.

A journey of eons with circumstance shared…
the past has been long, their future’s eternity.

Has coincidence brought two lovers together?
Or was their kismet at work without a conclusion?
The humans may pass, but the specks live forever.
Their love will go on, into ever and ever.

 

What is our kismet?
Seek your destiny — but look both ways, and mind the gaps.

The universe is important. Click here to learn all you need to know,
in about four minutes. It’s well done and funny.

 

F – Freedom and Fairness (NaPoWriMo #7)

F – Freedom and Fairness (NaPoWriMo #7)

What do I want? What do you want? How do you want life to be? What will you do? Equality, fairness, and love should guide us. My friend, Karen, asked me to write a poem about freedom. I did. It has a dark shadow, but the shadow has a crack in it, so the light gets in.

We didn’t start the fire refers to the Billy Joel song, Timothy Frances refers to Leary, the beast is the oppressive government, Tom down is to be subservient. In terms of rhythm and rhyme, this thing is all over the place. 

The Freedom Dream is Dead
by Bill Reynolds

What do I want to do?
I wanna be happy.
I want you happy, too.
My dream is a happy world.

Imagine that.

How do we want things to be?
Let’s be fair, and hopefully free.
And just, and true, and honest, and imagine…
For all, equality and rights
With love we can see, for all brothers and sisters.
Life is not fair, but are we?

Imagine!

What is this happiness we pursue?
In all fairness, what can we do?
Freedom? Liberty? Is that all?
Equality? Justice, et al?

Can you imagine?

It’s just a damn dream for too many.
And our dream is dying the fastest of any.
One million paper cuts, delivered with slashes,
All hope is lost, the beast burns us to ashes.

As for my dream? It is dead.
We fought all for naught.
Now I feel a dread.
Selfishness won. It owns us now.

I can’t imagine.

Resistance is failing, the world is darkening.
Evil and greed are the name of the game.
Profit and loss the new moral code.
Money is god, ready for more of the same.
The worst from the beast is yet to be told.

Imagine died too.

We didn’t start the fire, we can’t put it out,
Feel the heat from the rich man’s ire
Burning a hole in my hopes and desire.

Timothy Frances, where are you now?
To destroy this beast, please tell us how.
Or do we Tom down, and let it go on?

My dream may be dead, but I will go on!
Resist, resist, resist, fight for rebirth.
Resist until we have new life on Earth.

Imagine a future, resist to the end.

Look both ways and mind the gaps.
Life has no guarantees, but we can work for fairness.

 

DEATH

The inevitable & unavoidable conclusion to life.

The inevitable & unavoidable conclusion to life.

During late October many cultures begin preparing for the first days of November. They remember the dead, acknowledge the end of harvest, and prepare for the dark days of winter. It begins with Halloween, then All Souls’ or All Saints’ Day, The Day of the Dead, and Samhain. Many believe it’s the time of year when we’re closest to the other world and death itself. The Fairy Tree story that ends this blog tells a wee bit more.

death6

It’s our only certainty—we die. Beliefs about what follows the end of human life range from nothing to Paradise and 72 virgins or reincarnation. Let’s not forget the whole Dante’s Inferno thing. Our beliefs about an after life affect our choices while living.

While no one has told of their experience following permanent death (we have near death accounts), there are stories with bits of information. Little of it is dependable or useful. Theories abound, but the database of the deceased is void of demonstrable facts. Only the dead know, and they’re not talking.

Efforts to resist death seem logical, but are eventually fruitless. While many consider death a condition leading to afterlife, most people (not all) avoid dying as long as possible. An exception is when living prolongs a life of hopeless suffering. Others choose death through martyrdom. We disagree about our right to die (whole other blog) and we normally work hard to keep living.

death4In the United States, more than two-million people die each year. The CDC reports the top four causes as heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease, and accidents. I say, smoking, smoking, smoking, and driving plus illicit drugs because they are the major producers or triggers of those four “causes.” The root cause of most preventable premature deaths in the USA is smoking (so quit).

It can be difficult to determine the difference between a still living or recently deceased person. Without more information, we can only define death as an absence of life. Our legal descriptions require a physician to certify the time and cause of death. While absence of all brain activity normally defines death, court cases fog the legal definition. When there are uncertainties, we gain information through autopsy.

death3

While we’re fascinated with death, many of us avoid serious discussion of it and find it morbidly unpleasant. The death of friends, loved ones, and people we hold in high esteem represent the ultimate, painful loss. Our own death signals loss and aloneness, which is sometimes comforted by religious beliefs.

death2

Yet, we sing of death, we write about death, and we (should) discuss it. We often honor death’s inevitability with both art and science.

Since first hearing it, I’ve liked Ralph Stanley’s (died, June 2016) rendition of the song, Oh, Death, which is a plea with the Grim Reaper for another year of life. It was made famous in the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou? Hear a short version by clicking here.

From a list of ten poems about death, I selected two by famous poets. All ten can be found here.

“Death” by Rainer Maria Rilke (died 1926)

Before us great Death stands
Our fate held close within his quiet hands.
When with proud joy we lift Life’s red wine
To drink deep of the mystic shining cup
And ecstasy through all our being leaps—
Death bows his head and weeps.

From Queen Mab, by Percy Bysshe Shelley (became famous after his death in 1822)

How wonderful is Death,
Death, and his brother Sleep!
One, pale as yonder waning moon
With lips of lurid blue;
The other, rosy as the morn
When throned on ocean’s wave
It blushes o’er the world;
Yet both so passing wonderful!

death1Life is the time made precious by our inevitable death. May we fully enjoy the many pleasures and loves discovered and experienced while living. And may we all “…lift Life’s red wine to drink deep of the mystic shining cup…” because death is next for each of us.

Life is uncertain, look both ways.

Spiritual Poetry

I love the spiritual nature of this poem.

rainyday1

      The Rainy Day

The day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary.

My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the mouldering Past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,
And the days are dark and dreary.

Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.

       ——-By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

rainyday3

Longfellow invokes the value of our dark days and the transient nature of life for each of us.

What does his poem say to you?

rainyday2

Zephyr

Zephyr

ZThere are four brothers. They struggle to get along with each other, due to more than a little sibling rivalry. Three of them like to cause trouble. These three are selfish and annoying to humans and gods alike. They like to hide things from the sun, whose name is Sol. The three are very jealous of Sol. They think that they exist purely to keep Sol from comforting the earth and its inhabitants with his warming rays of light. Sol despises the three troublemakers, and openly favors the fourth brother. Sol knows how the earth, plants, animals, insects, and most people respond to his warm presence when the three annoying brothers are resting.

The four brothers have names, and each does something different. Of the three who cause problems, each believes his importance is greater than any of the others, and greater than Sol’s. Only one brother seems to have a workable relationship with the sun. Because he works so well with him, Sol overlooks the mischievousness of the fourth brother.

Zephyr11Boreas is the north wind. While he can be out causing problems at any time of the year, his favorite season is winter. He is cold, icy, and wild. Boreas has a reputation for causing trouble and making a mess. He is a bully known for pushing the other three brothers around, especially Notus.

Notus is the south wind. He pushes back on Boreas’ bullish winds, often making things worse for the earth and its inhabitants. But he doesn’t care. Notus is a wet wind. He carries large drops of water in his beard which he rains down onto earth when he chooses. Zephyr10He is sometimes careless. Boreas sneaks under him and freezes his rain, sometimes just as it falls, causing havoc on the earth. At other times the north wind pushes back, causing violent destructive storms. This embarrasses Notus, but Boreas thinks it is funny. To confuse his brothers, especially the irritating Boreas, Notus sometimes spreads fog over the land and sea.

Zephyr12Eurus, the east wind, is foolish and lazy. He seldom does anything, preferring the amusement of watching the conflicts arise between his brothers. When he is bored, he teams up with Boreas to create problems and confusion. Together they make a north and east wind, known as a Nor’easter. Eurus watches from the comfort of his room and laughs at the chaos he creates with his brother. He is the most evil of the three problem winds.

Zephyr9

The fourth brother is Zephyr, the west wind. He is the only brother honored by humans. They call him by his name — not so for the other three. To humans, “Zephyr” is a gentle breeze. He is a soft, dependable wind. Zephyr is loved by all inhabitants of Earth, be they human, animal, or plant. Sol is fond of him because Zephyr makes it possible for him to do his job. When the sun does his job too harshly, Zephyr pleases the people and animals by cooling them with a gentle breeze.

Zephyr8Zephyr enjoys seeing humans smile as he touches them, blowing into their faces, caressing their bodies, and messing up their hair. Often, after his brothers make a mess, Zephyr works to clean things up. He sweeps the sky clean of clouds so that Sol can warm the people, melt the frozen ice and snow, and dry the soil. Plants can grow, people can honor the sun, and animals can forage among the plants. Life goes on.

zephyr1

The inhabitants of Earth understand that they must deal with both Boreas and Notus. They have little use for the east wind, Eurus. Their favorite is the one whose name they know and use: Zephyr. As they watch and feel him at their back, they see the night fade as Sol rises in the east. Then, at the end of a day, feeling gentle breezes on their faces, they watch the return of night as Sol sets in the west. Every day, they love the work of Zephyr and Sol.

So ends the story of the four winds, the sun, and the 2016 a-to-z blog challenge.