Sonnets

I write sonnets to hold myself together.

Tag: reflection

A morning prayer

Today I wake and wish tranquility
has steeped into my soul from light of stars.
I hope as well that found humility,
sincerity and warmth will thwart all scars.
Today I wish that optimism brings
the energy and focus for to change
the darknesses to which our foibles cling
amidst respect that life is thus arranged.
Today I wake my gratitude the just
hold righteousness and peace in either hand,
my knowledge that with industry we must
seek ever-loving ways to understand.
Today I seek companions of compare
and welcome every help to live this prayer.

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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.

Line

Context: Last year at Camp Grounded I met a person named Practice, who shared something like the following.

“Consider this,” he said, “a simple line
can be interpreted so many ways.
I thicken here, you take it as a sign
that object’s in the foreground, ‘fore the haze.
I pinch it here, again sequentially
and pattern you interpret, but it’s just
your mind completing its potential–see
but one unbroken line! The rest is trust.
And so in curves and breaks and strokes we weave
the textures you interpret as set things,
allowing us to alter what’s perceived,
in equal measure for both pawns and kings.
The line, you see, is base that’s oft ignored
when said that pen is mightier than sword.”

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.

San Francisco, and probably where you live

Context — Sometimes in the evenings I climb out my window to stand on the roof and survey neighbors’ own faraway glow.

 

I climb through window, soles on roof, erect
and survey night’s illuminations there.
I count the homes that choose to resurrect
the day with backlit LCDs, aware
of hundred ways they might be learning in
their catatonic viewing of a show
or documentary. Still, scene’s akin
to Huxley’s hypnopaedic writ tarot.
They’ve moved here from their far-off place of birth
for jobs and friends of equal intellect,
here clustered ’cause they’ve heard it’s here they’re worth
more dollars. Yet, they’re dense in disconnect,
the automatic neighbor friendship’s farce
as vocal cord-hummed words are ever sparse.

Hairline mirror crack

Context — The instant age internalizes.

 

I’ve had a widow’s peak since I was wee,
which starting in my late teen years dropped curls.
Their whimsicality bound part of me,
and seemed to somehow also lure the girls.
I graduated, cut it short, as though
professional despite my internship,
not knowing status searches I’d outgrow
and pace of life would from discernment slip.
For now, at thirty, Christmas Eve, I fear
my hairline’s higher than it was as child
and hearing confirmation brings me near
to tears that aging’s here, unreconciled.
Life rudderless, I’m hardly more prepared
for adulthood’s pained age than when wee, haired.

Ticker tape loops about my neck

Context — Time slips these days.

 

A tick, a tock, an hour, a day, the clock
proceeds, punctilious, precise,
forever filling, never overstocked
through circularity of dial’s device.
Yet inexhaustible rotations wheel
around the watch face numbers’ dozen ticks
each passing promising some fate revealed
while nailing guilts to mind-made crucifix.
For every day that passes leaves the next
its escalating burdens left undone,
so solemn, lifelong problems still perplex
through seasons played on analog rerun.
Cathartically I’d face accrued rue’s vault
had I the clout to call time grind to halt.

Gray rhythms unjustified

Context — It’s winter.

 

My daily life won’t anger me to fumes.
I’m traffic-immunized, at work I’m thanked,
with modest budget can most things consume,
not bound by orthodoxies sacrosanct.
So how then can I justify the trough
I go through when the planets line up wrong?
Affecting all, these doldrums’ throes strip off
quotidian sheen gratefulness, prolong
tectonic grinding gray ambivalence
that every day throws modest glimmers of,
but when of sound mind dam with commonsense,
the knowledge life deserves no dimmer love.
In weeks when mindful light’s gone dark, the gray
dissolves the prided parts of me away.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

Painted faces

Context — Who doesn’t hide?

 

The painted face of clown a frown conceals,
like insecurities from high school hide
beneath the pancake makeup’s rouge ideal
that blends to blandest blank when misapplied.
The painted face of politician shows
a pearly reassurance, while inside
exposure of his costume’s seams’ poor sews
would spew the toxic stuffing he’d allied.
The painted face of me in settings dense
with people who I’ve never met, smile wide
is channel for anxieties intense,
pretending I’ve no fragile underside.
No matter how we try be genuine,
our daily lives at times make mice of men.

Respectful disagreement with the chorus

Context — It is pleasing that so many voices are trying to work out The Good Life.

 

A Rolling Stone says live to truly rock,
GQ attests that life’s pursuit is class,
the pastor asks you shepherd family flock
as Jesus would with love that’s unsurpassed.
Your teacher says it’s diligence that’s key,
your coach proclaimed that sweat is all that counts,
The Prince would posit ruthlessness decreed
and rule through power’s how you life surmount.
Our heroes, saints, and stars, our parents, kin,
and friends and guides and authors’ deadened prints
proclaim the good life’s reachable therein,
if we’re to acts advice they give imprint.
With chorus’ clamor voice here disagrees:
go follow none. Just BE authentically.

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.

Even the happy man searches out his own discontent

Context — Yesterday I wrote about one episode of a persistent searching behavior I couldn’t seem to understand. It spans other parts of my life.

 

I angered at myself when browsing lists
of properties as yesterday described,
and knew not how contentment coexists
in mind with want to greener grass imbibe.
In vein alike, I woke from stupor as
I looked at other job descriptions, not
the man who’s thankful with all that he has,
but rather whose decisions ever-fraught.
Confused I sat, reflecting why lust’s eyes
ranged far into these lives I did not lead,
when daily way I did was optimized
for joy within my means, nigh guaranteed.
The life not lived can cloy the strongest mind
to thinking lot he has wrongly unkind.

Identity is so easily decomposed

Context — The simplified Olympic rings of me.

 

As kid I thought no separation kept
myself from all the universe that served
me. Individuation slowly crept
to psyche as I wider world observed.
Upon reflection now at thirty, Venn
describes identity and concept of:
I’m overlapping circles, self is when
my stories, skills, and habits mosh and shove
each other in the center of the chart.
Why? I am who I tell myself to be,
my body’s limits anchor me apart,
my routines yesterday’s–fait accompli.
I’ll reinvent myself, these mental wings
all stem from view of self as triad rings.

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