Sonnets

I write sonnets to hold myself together.

Month: November, 2014

240 volts minimum

Context — Should I be envious of people who only create from a place of peace?

 

A physicist once said that matter’s waves
of energy transmogrified to stuff
that’s big and thus predictably behaves,
until in smallness rules turn truths to bluffs.
The underlying oscillation hints
that items built of matter–namely, me–
may vibrate thus, may ebb and flow in stints
from skyline highs to earthly tame degree.
When choice I make removes the things that surge
the climb and thus accelerate the drop,
adrenalines that normally converge
toward juicy life themselves run dry and stop.
Experiments of being wholly pure
fell life’s potential crests too premature.

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Annals of the Afroasiatic Pioneers, Vol. 1 #37

Context — Send in the little guy to get the big guy.

 

37.
The window through which she’d just one dog tossed
was open wide to welcome evening breeze,
but closed by metal netting, crissed- and crossed
defense against mosquito-borne disease.
Unfortunately for Abu, it failed
to serve its function, as a gaping hole
in no way this dog’s entry did curtail,
and thus a bug could easily just stroll
directly through the window, toward its prey,
while wing-to-wing with thousand closest friends.
And so BLING flew that unimpeded way,
a wingless bug in flight, the girl pretends.
The forest howls from darkness briefly met
a thrilling YIP! as pup turned air cadet.

Dating’s overused safety valve

Context — I’m at the age where I know people who’ve suddenly ended up single in their late twenties unexpectedly, and are now reestablishing their independent identities.

 

Another lesson passed from pastor on
to friend and then to me was not to date
yourself beyond the point where denouement
should logically in marriage conjugate.
Just take a moment, think of couples who
have spent so many years together their
commitment escalation’s overdue,
then one big conflict causes disrepair.
Were rings on fingers, what are chances both
maturely rise to point where conflicts sow
a bond beyond their fears, through trials growth
their partnership ascends to new plateau?
The conflict resolution forcing band
should speed maturing angsty boy to man.

Annals of the Afroasiatic Pioneers, Vol. 1, #36

Context — Off to extract Abu for a nighttime test.

 

36.
In no time flat they found themselves before
the house and humble home of young Abu.
They snuck away from front to backside door
and sat to quickly plan what they would do.
As Stella whispered plans, she gauged response
by checking change of puppy panting pace.
And all the while sitting, heard the taunts
of distant creatures in night’s carapace.
With plan selected, Stella threw the ball
of fluff that trusted her since rescue from
the log months back, a life she could recall
compared to this one, well, was deaf and dumb.
She got a chill and shivered. Life apart
from listlessness and teasing warmed her heart.

The William Rule

Context — We understand compound growth for retirement funds. Yet we forget to apply it to humans.

 

A wise friend shared some words with me and tea,
exposed miscalculation many make:
to think projected future’s certainty
is to forget humanity’s opaque.
Our plans depend on snapshot views of life
as fueled by constructs made of folks we know,
imagining a girlfriend as wife,
he said, forgets that people ebb and flow.
For every year we change in slightest ways,
profession to proclivity to place,
compounding this with time means dossier
is shifting floe behind familiar face.
To foster love that troubles perseveres,
commit to reattune your love each year.

The Real Roots of Midlife Crisis response

Context — I liked this Atlantic article on The Real Roots of Midlife Crisis, and felt compelled to summarize it.

 

Atlantic’s foremost feature topped sidebar,
called “Real Roots of Midlife Crisis.” I
was hooked by its assertion’s life’s subpar
when plans from decades past are torn awry.
Our happiness declines from twenty to
age forty-five at rate one-third strength of
involuntary unemployment. View
of life recovers, wisdom lengthens love
and comfort with uncertainty, sangfroid,
and tolerance, thus incubating joy
beyond the mental hooks on which hang flaws
for daily motivation we’ve employed.
High time prepare against despondent nerves:
at thirty, I’m declining down u-curve.

Annals of the Afroasiatic Pioneers, Vol. 1 #35

Context — People test people.

 

35.
While settling to bed, an air remained
unsettling and incomplete. Both stirred
instead of nodding gently off, they strained
to shake the air that made them feel interred.
“Hey BLING,” said Stella quietly, to test
if pup was subject to an equal haunt,
“you think Abu is different from the rest?”
She filled ensuing silence, “Yes! A jaunt
is what we need to really verify
if he’s as wedded to adventure as
the two of us, we’ve got to clarify
he’s got precisely what we think he has.”
Unclear if understanding was the cause,
BLING rose to go, and stretched his limbs, and yawned.

Community can be felt silently

Context — It is too easy to judge people who cannot interact with us in the way we are accustomed to being interacted with.

 

I’ve four years stretched across the spheroid earth,
my gravity one year quite upside-down
from where my feet had laid in prior’s berth
of too-hot foam in country shantytown.
My days dilate proportionate to grasp
of conversations flung at me. When tongues
unknown share thoughts, I’d naught on which to clasp,
and so deflate my eager, well-primed lungs.
Abroad, as here, one’s known by mask he takes,
gregarious, reserved, or place betwixt,
while anonymity emasculates
the man who under label is affixed.
May all encountering the foreign know
beneath their silence burns familiar glow.

Annals of the Afroasiatic Pioneers, Vol. 1 #34

Context — Canine instincts to rake together a bed hold strong.

 

34.
This somnolence inured to help our team,
arriving sans the stress of discipline
atop their minds, for Grandmum was adream
and showed all signs that she would miss it when
they entered, loud or soft, on toe or heel.
BLING dug his bed into imagined leaf,
as dogs are wont to do, not minding real
floorboards of wood (not leaves) stretched out beneath
their paws. Perhaps we’re opposite of dogs,
who let imagined objects contradict
their eyes and act as asked by body’s logs
encoded for survival. Nature’s tricked
at least one species with genetic code,
that seems from kin to kin does not erode.

Squelch my senses, darkening days

Context — Winter arriveth.

 

The thermonuclear creation eight
and one-half minutes sprint of light away
breathes warmth with which our acids replicate,
but drives off muse with brightness too passé.
Its rise is celebrated with birds’ song,
its set with colors ochre, mauve, and peach,
its entry and egress oft hourlong
to honor switch from darkness caused by breach.
We honor insufficiently the night
and lack of optic brilliances it brings,
which, mixed with actions drunken and contrite
leave scaffolds onto which emotion clings.
The blind can hear with keenness that’s unmatched,
just as heart amplifies when sun’s dispatched.

Annals of the Afroasiatic Pioneers, Vol. 1 #33

Context — ‘Shamba’ is the Swahili word for farm.

 

33.
By time that BLING and Stella made it home,
old Grandmum, deep asleep, was unperturbed,
her habit never had been to go comb
the outdoors for her girl. A tame suburb
was not remotely where their shamba stood,
encouraging the elderly to stay
indoors, and sheltered from the fearsome wood,
to not participate in nature’s fray.
And, much like humans everywhere, her fears
ensconced themselves in hidden world view,
her attitudes soon justified the years
she’d never ventured forth to find the new.
But actions molding mind deserve no blame:
dear Reader, we’re both subject to the same.

Rich brown, rich blue

Context — August highway desert dreams.

 

The straight-line gray with yellow racing stripe
extends from tire to edge horizon view,
with buttes like pioneers’ wide ferrotype
and endless skies of southwest Xanadu.
A Belgium distance left of desert weave
before arriving at next port of call,
heat shimmers try to make you disbelieve
you glide on dehydrated fireball.
With cirrus streaks at 12 clicks off the ground
to beckon nimbostratus thunderhead
you know a monsoon’s brew will dump earthbound,
saguaros quenched to stand encumbered, fed.
In quiet times closed eyes are commandeered:
eyelids Sonora’s panoramic seared.

Annals of the Afroasiatic Pioneers, Vol. 1 #32

Context — …

 

32.
of sun, as hope, that shined through thickened banks,
intoxicating childhood fantasies.
Then Stella said, “I never thought our ranks
would swell to three. So, maybe you agree?”
Once voiced, the weighty ask left Stella light,
as wispy in the wind as he had seemed.
Her simple act of being so forthright
was tinged by risk that, offer unredeemed
from girl in search of true companionship,
would crush her confidence like bully’s punch.
“You know, I heard a lonesome banyan strip
is hidden in the forest. After lunch
tomorrow, let’s go bushwhack, just because
it isn’t native shouldn’t give us pause.”

Splintering herds

Context — Changing natural patterns disequilibrates.

 

Were prides to fall apart and cubs all stood
alone, their youth would bear calamity.
Were pods to cease existing, dolphins would
be mavericks drifting, stripped of amity.
Were flying V’s transformed to flying slash
with mutiny of members, looking out
for selves, they’d leave a cloudy balderdash
of jet streams vying alternating routes.
Were penguin, fat with blubber, waddle from
the belly warmth of strangers, arctic snow
would pierce his hide until his frame succumbed
to reaper’s natural adagio.
When man departs who reared him and withdraws,
we toast his gutsiness and give applause.

Annals of the Afroasiatic Pioneers, Vol. 1 #31

Context — Resonance’s delirium.

 

31.
“It’s all affected me since I was young.
My duty’s to become a worldly sheikh,
regain the face we had before we’d flung
ourselves across the world.” Right then, heartbreak,
as far as it could be felt by a child
enveloped Stella, who had long without
a standard parent ever reconciled,
no mother, father figure. Left in doubt,
she there, with Abu, jointly understood
they longed in ways to see the wider world,
they sought in ventures meaning, wondered could
they forge themselves in wilderness. Thoughts swirled
above their heads as if they’d conjured clouds
of dreams between them, heads as hills with shrouds

The picnic sonnet

Context — This one’s just for those who understand it.

 

To help some folks craft what they will achieve
in education from where sun does scorch,
a missive came that bade me up and leave
in half a fortnight from my homey porch.
With holiday aligned to interests mine,
I thus convened a Tuesday picnic so
I’d see the faces that I’d like enshrined
in smiling memory of SF’s glow.
With each reply my heart grew quarter-sized,
as Grinch against his will was won anew.
I knew responses were supporters, prized
their sentiments although they’d work curfews.
I toast Sebastien, Alison, and Crow
for loyalty to come and say hello!

Annals of the Afroasiatic Pioneers, Vol. 1 #30

Context — Nobody has a simple story.

 

30.
“At home,” Abu began, “I’m one of eight.
My parents heard their cousin’s sister’s niece
was near to an inherited estate,
as diabetes hit. Her man, obese,
was ousted from his title to the land,
my family was left in foreignness
of Tanzania, food and home unplanned.
Imagine,” he continued, “sore in this
is me, forgotten as my family coped
by squatting on some land and planting crops,
subsistence eked out on a plot that sloped
so much your standing view was of treetops
the next plot over. But they still upheld
the family honor, as they felt compelled.

We harbor civil war

Context — A new friend described the tension elaborated on herein. I hope he is wildly successful in his marriage of the two.

 

There’s folks in California northern here
agreeing with what Vedas say in script
that souls in repetition reappear
until transcending all that’s derelict.
Geneticists, on other hand, propound
millennia of ancestors controlled
dimensions, penchants, habits that abound
in frail body vehicles ensouled.
Affliction thus corporeal against
resuscitated pneuma, wise with age,
experience this time’s by body fenced,
and limited by ancestors’ writ page.
This conflict stews as chowder in our lives,
in cycles both enhances and deprives.

Tailored shirts covering fools’ hearts

Context — The difficulty of saying is that one cannot un-say.

 

The finest shirt, French cuffed and cotton, pressed,
portrays sophistication none denounce.
Yet when the shirt of thread is dispossessed,
its sole unraveling takes ounce by ounce
aesthetics first, then function, cancer that
a scissor snip can slow, but never stop.
I worry that in world aristocrat
rogue thread is unintended malaprop:
to fly ideas fancifully as if
they came in passing, unconsidered, may
if seen as overstepping, cause a rift
in fabric, as in trust that’s cast away.
The yarn you pull to weave could wreck what’s on
the cloth: beware the heart-fueled lexicon.

We are better as an Enterprise

Context — Time affects minds affects bodies affects actions. Ain’t nothing affects a spaceship.

 

What tardy signs of aging plague our days?
The stiffening of joints, the ossified
perspectives where once thrived the polyphase,
and matte where once beamed glow and gloss inside.
Its territory known increasingly,
its navigator tires of the details,
its habits overwhelm unceasing plea
of world’s rebirths, but nothing countervails.
With body as mere vessel to explore
the planet Earth, commanded by the mind,
we’d act more freely if thought commodore
of spaceship made to research humankind:
from Frankenstein’d galactic alcazar
steer endless expedition through our stars.

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