‘I am a piece of fallen skin’
‘I am a broken hair from a spider’s leg’
‘I am from dirt the cat tramped in’
We three wait
In a corner close to the walls
Behind and beside the washing machine
We see the day come and go
And we wait
Ants wander by often, lizards, sometimes, too
The cat peers under the machine
About once a week
And we wait
One day the machine is gone
And all traces of worldly humans
Soon the plaster and brick will crumble
And we wait
We see the weeds encroaching
Pushing through every crack
The wind will never find us here
And the heat and cold bother us not
And we wait
Now there is only darkness
Every living thing has disappeared
We float away in space
Waiting for a reformation
The most important skill of a species intelligent enough to understand both their insignificance and their mortality is the capability for distraction.
The Week That Was – 1st April 1979
Would you volunteer for a fatal addiction
To an electrical pleasure, brain implant
The sum of all pleasure, constant highs
A simple flick of the switch would grant?
Would you sacrifice your suffering
The demons and devils of your daily fight
The needles that give you balance
Just to die tomorrow in orgasmic delight?
We own our own minds – and together, we can take them back from the forces that are stealing them.
The crows are building
Nests under my hat
I’ve thought long and hard
And I’m no longer scared
To be alone
Based on the titular Khalil Gibran parable. I found almost every one of his parables poetically inspiring. More coming, I’m sure!
…a fraction of atoms cohered into the elements necessary to form the complex structures necessary for life…the tiny improbable fraction of a fraction of a fraction with which we have the perishable privilege of contemplating the universe in our poetry…
Maria Popova, paraphrasing Alan Lightman
I am not what I seem
I have masks to protect you from me
I stay alone in my house
And it will this way forever be
I am simply understood
Because I am a mirror in my ways
Yet you should not trust my deeds
Or my thoughts that reflect your plays
I hide from you my darkness
My skies of purple shadow
As you ascend yourself to Heaven
It’s down to Hell that I go
Your steps are taken with caution
Whilst my madness removes my care
There’s direction to your movement
But I feel it’s not going anywhere
My friend, you are not my friend
But how shall I make you understand?
My path is not your path
Yet together we walk hand in hand
Inspired by a Khalil Gibran parable, with the last four lines lifted word for word. I found this short parable very affecting and particularly relevant to my thoughts on friendship.
Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Do you believe you are hurt?
Did your mother rush to your side?
Pause, just for a moment
Just enough time to decide
A scraped knee from a bike fall
Or spiteful words screamed in hate
The response is always a choice
Is it a pain you can bear to take?
The bleeding body is real
But other situations require more thought
Are you just responding this way
Because that is all you were taught?
In my heart I laugh at thy love. Yet I would not have thee see my laughter. I would laugh alone.
Khalil Gibran, Me Friend
Well, what is it? We don’t know
Is it even within our control?
Like electricity, yet without flow
What is this thing we call a soul?
Based on a Ray Charles quote
The slickest way to lie is to tell the right amount of truth – then shut up.
Jubal, Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein
How arrogant to believe you know it all
The possibility of knowing more has gone
Today is another first step on this journey
Hands, heart, ears, head and mind open
Nothing will deflate your inflated self faster than living in a foreign country. Being an outsider reveals your most fundamental traits – flaws and all.
Getting stomped in the public arena
Armies gather on the new social media
No bloodied nose from anonymous egos
Just a bruised ego that nobody knows
Dying is an art, like everything else. I do it exceptionally well. I do it so it feels like hell. I do it so it feels real.
The world dies each time I close my eyes
And born again when I open them once more
Yet I treat this miracle with little surprise
As if knowing what lies beyond each door
Over today’s painting I’m filled with pride; it will be equalled by tomorrow’s despair over the very same pictures.
I cursed the thieves the night my masks were stolen
Yet I found the freedom of loneliness a blessing
Now I was safe from ever being understood
Those who would enslave, now forever guessing
And so I became a madman as I let go my masks
When the sun kissed my face, I found my belief
*But let me not be too proud of my safety
Even a thief in a jail is safe from another thief
*Inspired and pilfered from Khalil Gibran’s parable ‘The Madman’
You cannot define a person on just one thing. You can’t just forget all these wonderful and good things that a person has done because one thing didn’t come off the way you thought it should come off.