Sonnets

I write sonnets to hold myself together.

Tag: imagination

Annals of the Afroasiatic Pioneers, Vol 2, #30

Context — There are many kids of intelligence

 

Linguistic mastery is but one face
of all intelligence a body has.
Its kinesthetic face allows for grace
and tonal face births unexpected jazz,
its numbers side perfected by savants
allows near-instantly computed sums,
its introspective side dissects your wants,
and geospatial side makes true maps’ rhumbs.
As many kinds of smarts exist as lives
are postulated for a cat to hold,
yet placement test would eight of these deny
and simply ask retell what has been told.
Evaluations sadly thus exclude
assessment of the boy’s full aptitude.

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Us, if known nothingness

Context — If sunset ended the universe, how might we fill today?

 

With neither rapture nor apocalypse,
tomorrow simply ceased to hither come:
we knew precisely twelve o’clock eclipsed
our world back to interstellar mum.
Work stopped without a future left to serve.
In instants, life lost sense of scarcity.
All peoples said their peace, left naught reserved.
Folks cleansed themselves with prayer, errs set free.
Most lacking time to travel out to where
their loved ones dwelled in distant places, they
sought solace from their neighbors, offered care
of human warmth they’d let days’ grind decay.
It took catastrophe to strip facade
so each treats each as delegate of god.

Math reinforces my hunch that we are not alone

Context —

13,800 million years ago the universe went boom
13,200 million years ago the Milky Way happened
4,540 million years ago Earth came to be
3,550 million years ago life started as cyanobacteria
65 million years ago emerged the first primates

So many years ago, the Big Bang boomed,
thirteen-point-eight, well, billion, more or less.
Two-thirds the time since then passed, then Earth bloomed–
at least, into one rock it coalesced.
Another billion years, then life was formed:
bacteria that fossils show’s like ours.
Mutations’ prevalence helped those deformed
evolve past ever higher complex bars.
The primate came just sixty-five mil years
ago. Let’s look at ratios. Divide
that into age of universe: it nears
two-hundred times! 3 billion years supplied
enough to make such beasts as us. There must
be others hid in interstellar dust.

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.

Cellular infusions of brilliance

Context — When the sun breaks through days of gloom these images flash through my mind.

 

Perpetuality of spring, invade
the gloomy nooks my body’s caverns house,
mosaically leave viscera inlaid
to multiply the beams sun’s sheen endows.
Create in me a parquet floor of jewels
as intricate as Moorish alcazar,
mathematically refracting, drying pools
that are black thoughts’ ink-tinted reservoirs.
Construct me from resuscitated stones
whose flesh was forged from starry mass like yours,
shine holiness to unembalm my bones,
transmute biotic body’s walls to doors.
So bellow biochemicals to glow!
Grant confidence to conquer earthen woe.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Space is just airing

Context — What if object-oriented physics is actually just a convenient shortcut for a more complex web of reality?

 

It’s easiest to think the steps we take
are movements through a world material,
impacted dirt unfailingly opaque,
resisting step without ethereal
suggestion or an accidental tell,
as if to keep us mum from questioning
if we are on the mental carousel
assuming that our eyes’ suggestion things
are real’s just a shortcut from the brain.
We’re not sure how existences exist.
Another way to think is space attains
the form of fog when passing through is mist:
space wooding, misting, tea’ing, Brent’ing; crux
is space as constant, ever-present flux.

Material, companion, blueprint

Context: Raw materials alone do not a building make.

 

From binge to purge to living far away,
and coming home, reflecting on my deeds,
in time I’ve moved beyond naiveté
about beliefs and habits, tastes and creeds.
Proclivities thus understood, I think,
brings rebar, lumber, glass to vacant lot
where life I’ll build with these joys interlinked
will weather fires and floods that life will plot.
Materials are key, but incomplete:
I lack a way to architect the blocks
because my future visions all compete
despite each one perfection in its stock.
A dozen lives of good could manifest–
what’s built depends on who I brook as guest.

The Chorus’ hand makes queen its pawns

Context — When real life in retrospect is always a palpably identifiable human story, why do we pretend there aren’t narratives to our single days?

 

The elderly retell childhood with ease,
their flings, dates, jobs, moves, best shenanigans.
They tell us time moves quickly as it please,
past want to set when things began. Akin
to Fates they wrote about in ancient Greece,
who hidden from protagonist would sing
for audience mercurial caprice
that they delightfully each act would bring.
As grandpa sits reflecting decades gone,
his story Everyman’s, it’s hard to think
that some believe that people aren’t but pawns
aboard prodigious board, where Fates’ hands clink
a piece from checkered black to white to black
as bade by shifting cosmic almanac.

Gifts of Thirty: Option 2

Context — Someone wonderful turned 30 last year. We lived in different cities. I described my gift in 5 sonnets, released over the course of this week. #3 of 5

 

The second is a full embrace of one
of our cities–the pick is yours–to test
how life would feel were we to have undone
the barrier of space between our nests.
We’d for that week live like we’d both just moved,
attending open gyms, trying routines
for exercise, to see if we approved
of how life felt amidst the big betweens
we witness one another having. Time
would feel almost endless, now I fear
while writing, so much listlessness would prime
a fight, which in its mending would cohere
us further. By the end the other’d know
his or her love for lover’s lived borough.

Gifts of Thirty: Option 1

Context — Someone wonderful turned 30 last year. I described my gift in 5 sonnets, released over the course of this week. #2 of 5

 

The first is a pursuit of family:
a liberated week in which we both
fly to a spot where I’m the inductee
who meets and greets whom you’ve to date been loath
to introduce me to. You’d get to see
the people whom you hold so near and dear
in time and place where their improved esprit
would, over recent heartache, domineer.
Location, certainly, would be your choice
though now I’d think an Arizona or
Chicago sojourn best for such rejoice.
I’d see firsthand your mirth as we explore
the bridges where your family divides
and places in your heart where it resides.

Gifts of Thirty: Preamble

Context — Someone wonderful turned 30 last year. I described my gift in 5 sonnets, released over the course of this week.

 

The knowledge that you view today as an
inflection point from downward dip to cloud,
caused consternation as I tried to plan
a gift to suit occasion so endowed.
Unable to attend in body, I
was further pushed against the ropes, myself
advancing on myself critiques whereby
I’d ask if what I’d found was sold on shelf.
If answered “yes,” returned to drawing board,
if answered “no,” then three more asks were made:
is it of proper depth, could I afford,
and could it help her turnaround? Okayed
was only one, which in these verses shall
be shared in three example rationales.

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.

The days in which I am an ice core

Context — Some days are just different.

 

Today I’m flypaper without its stick,
attracting all the ice without recourse,
I’m tiny trace of apple arsenic
in skin beside the sugar flesh, perforce.
Today I’m penguin puffed into balloon
who’s waddling away from warmth of peers.
I’m unassailable silken cocoon
that guards as soul itself reengineers.
Today I’m frozen like a fish filet
left ugly when it thawed and then re-iced.
I’m holy wall with cracks from root decay,
chipped barrier to endless poltergeists.
Today I woke up cold inside but sought
not single pleasure heat could me have brought.

Eye blink

Context — dinosaurs lacked the Haber-Bosch process and didn’t emit CO2. If they were around for an entire human lifetime-equivalent, we would just have been born. Dinosaur names aren’t iambic (i.e. ig-WAH-no-col-AH-sus) so forgive me for changing the meter and relaxing the syllable constraints so it’s readable.

 

The stygimoloch (demon, horned, from Styx)
existed in the late Cretaceous age.
With quetzalcoatlus wings intermixed,
both ground and air had macro macrophage.
Iguanacolossus was whale of land
to demon as old as demon to us.
I clarify so you don’t misunderstand
improbably lengthy time length discussed.
Triceratops (young torosaurus) ate
the foliage that mammoths left behind.
Post-millions moons of feasts, we excavate
its bones. Once, Gaia’s climate redesigned
itself. Despite ten-thousand year romance,
mankind’s supremacy on earth is chance.

Enveloping stillness stills cerebral time

Context — Sometimes we sit still.

 

The air was frozen in a temperate
sensationless enveloping. It left
no sound of sound, its silence’s cassette
subsonic, undetectable in heft.
That purity like vacuum cut the wave
of thought that trickled endlessly to mind.
It left a space like empty pre-dawn nave
where prostrate souls arrive, each undefined.
The unawareness of my body made
such perfect sense in retrospect: become
aware of masks to ruin masquerade,
or words to deconstruct an idiom.
My mind so quiet that I couldn’t know
from where next thought could possibly have flowed.

Thanksgiving Oolong Divination

Context — One Thanksgiving we tried to divine our futures using tea leaves. Sonnet 29, 11/26/09

 

When Giving Thanks, tradition to the wind!
A gathering of family from afar
surrounded saucer, cameras and grins
alight as tea is spooned to cup from jar.
The zodiac is banded ’round the rim
inside the teacup, fortunes each have space
that’s told when design is obscured, made dim
by laggard tea leaves floating off the base.
My christening attempt blacked moon and glove,
tarot holdovers kept for modern sage,
which foretold lack of passion, worthless love
and search for justice–challenge of my age.
Enjoying thoughts steeped in this platitude,
we’ve jumbled hopes and fears with gratitude.

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