Sonnets

I write sonnets to hold myself together.

Tag: intense conversation

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.

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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.

Garnered suggestions on ascension to 30

Context — I milestone-aged recently. My coworkers offered their thoughts on how to make the decade thrilling and rewarding.

 

Advice from friends upon ascension to
the magic age of thirty is to be
reminded that in play is 22,
to face life with an active strategy,
to take up meditation, tend a plant,
to work out, score a partner, and to freeze
before that date in case you later can’t,
then with it have a baby, try foresee
toxicities and weed them all away,
go hard or home, eat well, dismiss your fear,
call more, text less, and rise above the fray
to treat them as the finest brilliant years.
My friends, my thanks for pooling wisdom so:
’tis thrilling recipe. Now tally ho!

La Bodeguita Del Medio

Context — #66, after a particularly fun date with someone who had a cold.

 

Prohibited from candy corn and treats,
resenting veggies and your sister’s stunts,
you mustered help from strangers with receipts,
avoided all parental rule affronts.
Our erstwhile hosts were quick with dish and check,
and burdened by the fear of parchéd throats,
then goaded by your panda probe, I wrecked
decorum, worried what such lapse connotes.
And yet your walk appeared to energize,
since symptoms of the sick weren’t even shown:
a beauty stretched from dress, to hair, to eyes,
as if you’d subbed for sick a healthy clone.
I hope you’ve, sleepy, acquiesced
to slumber, shedding worthlessness of stress.

Shard of the reverberating urban story

Context — rural America brain drain.

 

With brain too large to fit her birth’s small town,
her valediction speech marked final part
with Hillsboro, to college from godown
to fill her head while trickled dry her heart.
For four flash years she changed taxonomy:
community from family tree to fern,
its leaves abuzz. What home lacked spawned from glee
at having people everywhere she turned.
Post-second graduation, seasons fell–
a swelling freeze that isolated leaves
in ice. Aloneness housing’s walls impelled,
adulthood youth’s community upheaved.
Her loved ones parted once for brain, and twice
when friends for jobs their tethers sacrificed.

The anticipation of a correspondence

Context — #51. Partly the compunction of missing a hello, partly the joy of sleep, partly the anticipation of renewed engagement.

 

a purity of company amidst,
i’m basking in the humor of the crowd,
unconscious till departures that I missed
the message that your prior had avowed:
a wednesday’s sleep, a midweek gift of peace
recharging juices brackish, stale, and sour
had promised to your cortisol decrease,
your mood improve and appetite empower.
tis bliss for me your hunger is to say,
in clearest ways that “say” translates to “write,”
emerging from our evening soiree,
exchange beyond the wedding’s simple rite.
so I, in moments quiet, dark, and late,
await your brain’s debut of words ornate.

Discovering the buried glacial parts of people

Context — I was on a trip to, as we called it, discover the source of California’s water problems and solutions back in March 2011, driving through the Central Valley when corresponding with someone far. #50.

 

my life, consumed by voyages afar,
bears fruit in distant lands you cannot hear,
where, Hardy Boys outshined, we find bizarre
contraptions, gizmos, pipes, great dams, and weirs.
but further craze is boiled when we ask
of politics, laws, governance, and price
as if we’d gone to toil to unmask
their subterfuge in allocating ice.
you mention lack of luck and tortured soul,
and blame the dialing down as part of time.
rejecting that is my continued goal:
to know the you you keep as clandestine.
fatigued, i prize what you and I discuss–
though time may pass, i know advantage: us.

Stressss

Context — …

 

The dead in deadline lines your mind, the grave
gargantuan and ghastly, grizzled ghoul
from filter fog advances, face concave
and cut with foolish failures, ridicule.
Approaching closer still, you see beyond
the caverns carved in look, and breath aborts–
you’re frozen, yearning, cannot correspond.
You see it’s you before you who reports.
“The grind,” your future past coughs out,
exhaustedly. Her crater cataracts
tell quietly of how she’s been devout
to work. Once prose, whose words her work redacts.
As minionlike to work you yourself veil,
life catalytic cortisol curtails.

Serendipity six

Context — I’ve had 5 random how-the-hell-are-you-here run-ins around the world. In a wide-reaching conversation initiated by my boss at the only bar in the Nairobi airport lounge, I ended up discovering that the girl sitting there knew me. She became number six. We mused about the evangelical dominance in Solomon Islands and coping strategies on life. She demonstrated one by cleverly ordering two beers at once upon getting the bartend’s scarce attention. May 2014

 

The serendipity was number six,
perhaps most powerful of the sextet.
Discovery historic paths were mixed
in interweaving stories, perplexed. Yet,
at once parts shared and parts distinct, as when
two souls collide in transit, work-inspired,
and discourse to the dominance of men
swings to, then fro to Christian island friars.
Indeed it seems improbable to share
the formative experience of youth
and in an airport bar two-fist lay bare
the times we’ve used to calibrate our truth.
You made me, at departure, somehow miss
your warmth of company and parting kiss.

Island talk

Context — I never really belonged in business school. I found somebody else who’d also spent time on Pacific islands and we reflected together over a meal. It was formative for both of us. He was considering a book on the experience at the time. Sonnet #41, written May 3, 2010.
By blankets blue reflecting daylight haze
both stuck in place defined by what it’s not,
they tanned their hides and brains into malaise
atop forgotten atoll ocean dot.
In prior lives they’d made all kinds of New,
brought music, dance and deepened thought to air,
yet on these islands heads bent straight askew,
creatively confused when talked the pair.
With happenstance alone, show the excuse,
a mental heritage each shared with word,
engendered authors’ thoughts of written truce,
their works raised twice, with each man’s circles heard.
Compendia of thoughts await to give
our battered island voices chance to live.

Nocturnal correspondence with a brain I admired passionately, #2

Context — I once kept an improbable correspondence alive with a brain I admired passionately. I pleasantly lose myself in her creativity. We lived far from one another. Wrote this on the evening March 13, 2011, and originally numbered my 49th sonnet.

 

fatigue and fervor, boxing gloves on fist
throw blows atop the parquet ‘tween my skull,
with neither happy just to coexist:
for navigating, one’s enough to scull.
the clock’s each tick a darker night invites,
a looser gaze and heightened heart displayed,
till point past prime when rising sun ignites
the wish that missive butterfly bliss stayed.
two feelings locked, as black holds white from yin,
melee in muck and muddy those in view.
one pines for slices of your mind wherein
their warmth allows me sleep to then eschew.
this daily bout has left you well enmeshed
in routines that now leave me well refreshed.

Nocturnal correspondence with a brain I admired passionately, #1

Context — I once kept an improbable correspondence alive with a brain I admired passionately. We lived far from one another. We considered me flying out to go camping together. As that never happened, banter kept us alive. Wrote this on the evening March 12, 2011, and originally numbered my 48th sonnet.

 

a clever physicist could find us out
by mapping ‘lectric traces coast to coast,
but layers of cryptography throughout
psychologists to hackers full engrossed
could never disentangle fore to aft:
above the rank and file naught and one
is code infused with riddle and with craft,
a language minds in concert have begun
to fill the empty physicality
to bellow cobwebbed cortex into glow,
until in presence, his locale agreed,
it’s shed for lengthy looks, its use outgrown.
before before live oaks we resurrect
allow us to ourselves in quips protect.

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