Monday, April 13, 2009

Inspired by T.S. Eliot

Mischief ever lurks in the corners of your eyes, a smile
Underneath the smile of flawless teeth, a playfulness
Sitting, puck-like, on your brow — you thawed the
Ice that wickedly set my mouth in a Scandinavian line,
Cured my genetic dourness, taught me again to laugh.

How difficult not to be seduced, my full-grown playmate,
Ensorceled by that childlike freedom into wishing you
And I might not have to grow up! I thank you nonetheless for
Risible moments, for teaching me once more to hope, weep,
Dream, dare, let myself be me — to try for something with all my

Soul and body. What a rush! Yet insinuating itself into
Our games there was not only that better, nobler

Dream for each and both, that challenge to
Exert ourselves for something truly worthwhile, to
Earn a happiness we had not dared desire — but also the sickly
Pall of grief, of loss, of not quite reaching our heart’s goal;
Losing something precious, costly, dear; the sober wrench that
Yanks us back into harsh daylight, hard reality, solid ground.

This solid ground is firm, yes, and rock-strewn,
Hazardous, harsh, and hard on naked feet, unguarded souls.
At the core of many salt-water moments, the source of
Tears upwelling in my chest, shaking this solid body — as

If it were a small thing, dry thing, fragile autumn leaf
Tossed back and forth in playful breezes or hurled

In some divine anger (not Juno’s wrath again!) to earth —
Small at first but growing, is this grief, this sorrow:

Not at losing you, though that is ache enough to send me
Over the edge, and does, but my heart’s lament
That you, dear man, sweet man, fine man, good man with a

Heart made for love and hands for kindly deeds, should
Ever fail to see how much you have to give this world
And cannot feel — deep, deep within yourself — how
Rich your gifts and your complexity: your gentleness
Dancing fiercely with manly strength, your

Artist’s yearning after truth and beauty woven
Together with your first-hand knowledge of life’s pain;

All your openness to friendship, family, orphaned animals, a
Love of sky and water, tree and leaf, a joy deep-rooted in
Living — all of this pouring out like sand in an hourglass,

But not from one hour’s chamber to the next — no! Spilt
Upon the ground, pouring from some crack in the glass, some
Torn part of your heart, some little crack through which

Your hope, your love of self, your pain, your fear all rush
Out, soaked in seeming seconds into the earth, instantly,
Utterly gone, lost, unrecognized. You and I, my fellow fool,

Are alike in this, watching precious hours vanish with little
Real and lasting stuff to show for them. We are such slaves,
Each in his own way, to our fears and hurts, old wounds.

Terry, what would happen if we could resolve to
Hold our hearts open, our ears alert, our eyes ever seeking —
Each moment that we have — to life, not fear? What

Might then come about? What healing waters lie
Under the deceptive surface of our turbulent, wasted days?
Surely the power that set this amazing universe
Into being, into action, into a dance of variety,
Complexity, and some strange balance of compassion and beauty

Will reveal at least a hint of our potential, and with
Heart-breaking (for we need our hearts broken open again)
Invitation call us back to life worth living!
Let Shawn’s passing before us, my brother-in-law’s daily wasting --
Eaten by disease, the news of every terror on this earth

Teach us not that all is vain but that each new hurt and
Horror calls us to learn from pain, from failure, from futility;
Each moment reveals itself as fresh opportunity to be the

Men that we were created to become. Even our wildest
Urges give flesh and voice to that creative fire, that
Spirit that gives life and binds all things together.
I weep, yes, to think your dreams are circumscribed,
Contained by something way too small, inadequate.

Lad, it is not too late to take our next small step
And say yes to God, to life, to joy, to deepest reality, to
Sit still that we may listen to our heart’s deepest yearning,
To want more, and more, and even more for ourselves, for
Such (believe it or not) is Heaven’s will. Dream deeply, dare bravely. Be!

- Paul

This originally appeared in Byzigenous Buddhapalian. Paul lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This acrostic is inspired by this Eliot passage:

For most of us, there is only the unattended
Moment, the moment in and out of time,
The distraction fit, lost in a shaft of sunlight,
The wild thyme unseen, or the winter lightning
Or the waterfall, or music heard so deeply
That it is not heard at all, but you are the music
While the music lasts.

— From “The Dry Salvages” from Four Quartets by T. S. Eliot

Monday, March 16, 2009


Only those who speak up will be heard
Because there is such passion in each word.
Americans, no matter what your plight,
Must stand up and be counted, so you might
Achieve the things for which you have a right.

- Deo Volente

Deo Volente writes poetry to sort out her feelings.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Glow In The Dark

Killed it.
Always going to enjoy a Kanye show- Nina's Facebook status update halfway through the show.
Nas was good too! Especially liked Made You Look. He had an all black/Asian rock band like Fall Out Boy or Gym Class Heroes.
You could tell that not that many people knew Kanye's new album tracks yet.
Entertaining light show. Wasn't the full Glow in the Dark tour from the Americas but still awesome. a bit Daft Punk.

Was so limber on his feet. Moved really well on stage we decided. Very athletic. Barely stopped the whole time.
Easily the best crowd reaction was Homecoming (featuring Chris Martin). bit weird?
Sophie told me he used 808's and Autotune a lot for this record because he thought they sounded like heartbreak together. I thought that was interesting. Autotune does sound a bit like a robot heartbreak.
Three outfit changes. Loved all of them. So high fashion, Kan.

I enjoyed the tracks from Graduation the most for sure. Highlights: Champion, Good Life, Can't Tell Me Nothing, Flashing Lights.
Suite 13 with lots of football players.

Didn't play Robocop but gave it his all for Welcome to Heartbreak. You could just hear it in his voice. Wow.
Acer Arena wasn't totally full. Homebaked? Connie was. Should have sung on your Kanye tracks girl!

Bag raiders were there.
Every one except him on stage (band, singers, etc.) were wearing these wiggy masks.
S**t merchandise but the T-shirts did glow in the dark.
Texting the Melbourne ladies! Best way to get over someone is to get under someone else Kan!

- neha

This originally appeared in movestill. The author neha hails from Sydney, Australia.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Obama / Osama

Obama meets Osama,
Brandishing a word
As deadly as the sunlight,
More potent as more heard,
As true as it's absurd.

Osama meets Obama;
Suicide meets life.
As certainty meets hope,
Meaning meets the knife.
Absolutes need night.

- Nicholas Gordon

This originally appeared in Poems for Free by Nicholas Gordon.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Beatles

Those punks from across the pond,
Hoodlums with hair way too long,
Enamoured girls scream at their sight.

Bands that changed the music scene,
Enticing rock 'n roll revolution.
Across the waters, across the world,
Tunes remembered across generations.
Love songs with a beat you can dance to,
Everyone knows them, everyone loves them.
Some even say they're the best band ever.

- hifidel

This piece originally appeared in Acrostic.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Universal Studios

Under the sun all day long,
Not a care in all the world.
In a paradisal, sunny spot,
Vacationing with loved ones.
Everyone laughing and enjoying,
Reaching a level of perfect bliss.
Smiles on all the faces,
Around you sounds of
Laughter fill the air.

Stepping out of the car, walking
Toward the gates, with
Universal Studios tickets in hand.
Don't you think the day
Is sure to be happy and grand?
Only in Florida can one find
Such fun in the sun, all day long.

- hifidel

This piece originally appeared in Acrostic. The author hifidel is a literature teacher from Singapore.