Sonnets

I write sonnets to hold myself together.

Tag: childhood

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.

Carrying capacity looms nigh, pioneer perspectives course deep

Context — Older generations give us wisdom based on the worlds they grew up in. The pace of change is accelerating. At some point, those perspectives passed on with love to protect us in a scary world become antiquated. But only if everybody changes at once.

 

The problem’s expectations, set by us
revealed with time and wisdom to fall short
of anything but fabricated fuss
created by the elders to escort
decisions young folks made towards lives like theirs–
the Greatest Generation’s–thinking cash
accrual’s goal. Naivete prepares
us swallow lessons, age, same pith rehash.
And so me-first and jockeying grew to
perspectives dominating culture, where
economy’s complexities force you
to hoard, fear loss, distrust, and rank-compare.
With limits presaged on this greed we’ve farmed
rethink these dated memes and let’s disarm.

The happiest conceivable creature in the universe

Context — I rather like the thought experiment, what animal’s method of movement would you change for greatest comedic effect? This grew from one of those thoughts. There is a correct answer.

Just close your eyes a moment, reminisce
through memories of joyful wildlife,
identify who might feel highest bliss
from frolicking as human child might,
who’d fly as hawk, who’d bounce on pogo sticks,
a verb and situation of your choice.
Perhaps an octopus pop-lock remix,
or sloth in flight would plentifully rejoice,
blue whale massaged as Kobe cow, it’s hard
to know precisely whose euphoria
would be the greatest of the whole vanguard.
While sight imagined leaves you more glee, the
stretched eons animals have rollicked please:
they’re fine without our innovations’ tease.

Expectations make roads, nobody says you can tread on grass

Context — Quell fear with a rebranded view of the track you’ve been set upon.

You’re born and you become the object of
two overwhelmed adults who’ve sacrificed
their social lives and duties. You’re above
the all of their past selves that they’ve repriced.
And then the race begins: the race to speak,
the race to crawl, the race to walk, the race
to talk, the race of smarts and of physique,
a path dependency that’s you encased.
To view each step as moving towards a goal,
advancing also further from liked paths,
in fear that all your choices are controlled
by choices past is fearful, faulty math.
Days’ supernova possibilities
digested can themselves will your mind free.

Harold the child does things alliteratively

Context — Once when sauced I had this vision of a kid leaving a kitchen in ruins on his ascent up towards a shortbread cookie. For some reason, I only wanted to alliterate.

 

As harrowed Harold held the handle high
his eyes surmised the prize that size disguised,
sublimely seated sweet of shortbread, spied
in droves, the groves of garlic cloves surprised
him in their quantity, as wanting, he
rethought approach that broached their stinky moat
and bent in bow his bones to boost body
to altitude where gal nor dude would note.
For Harold was but two, but barreled through
the kitchen, kitsch in cabinetry, cobs
in mold to mold for guests Midwest amused,
its heights’ alight delight unreached left sobs.
For all was right when hand seeks sugar held–
addiction amplified that age can’t quell.

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