Sonnets

I write sonnets to hold myself together.

Month: May, 2015

Flight at Camp

Context — Reflection from my night of reentry after Camp Grounded.

 

Amongst the redwoods pecked by birds’ red heads
there echoed syncopated knocks. The birds
in cunning chipped from nature new homesteads
in bark, while we tried do the same in words.
We tethered selves to one another, mesh
of social filaments’ complexity
reached Moorish richness as each one afresh
pursued connections not through tech’s debris.
In food, in play, in pause, in awestruck eye,
in touch, in skill, in cuddle puddle’s slack
we each found ways to knotty selves untie,
then salvaged threads, patched spots where mesh had gap.
It strengthened hard, became an aileron
to steer beyond smalltalk’s automaton.

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Unconscious doctrinaire paths

Context — On the way down Yosemite’s Four Mile Trail I looked north across the valley toward the greatness of a two thousand foot waterfall. My eyes saw it but my mind was elsewhere. In that visual I realized I’d never intentionally made a choice to try or not try to be a bigwig.

Eight thousand feet from eye to waterfall
quadrupled height the water fell. Yet glaze
preoccupied view with stigmata’s pall.
That darkening concerned my dossier:
I’d spent my school years reading of the greats—
Ashoka, Christ, Mandela, MLK.
That hero-worship soon indoctrinates
desire to rank oneself. It did conflate
inspiring eminence with grounding fact.
And so I grew to systematically
doubt choices made, as each one could detract
from greatness. Pain’s source? Just fanatic me.
Removed from falls, I saw whole close concealed,
thereby revealing own Achilles’ heel.

Pain to pain, dust to dust

Context — Shaking off work at Yosemite, I realized something.

Deep space drowned out my mental static. I
turned modern Tricorder to “off” and went
to nature’s bosom. Post-traumatic, my
gray mass was yet a-warbling discontent.
I tried maintain the vacuum stillness brought,
accentuating bird and hue and view,
yet smallest lapsed attention soon begot
unwitting replay of pasts I’d subdued.
Attention failed to focus reattain
while pounding ever-downward bruised my heel.
My eyes, I swear, saw beautiful domain
yet can’t recall a single slide from reel.
I, concentration on my foot constrained—
in fluke therefore transcended pain with pain.

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