Tag Archives: Self-awareness

Core Identity

Judy's new haircut and thin lips

Core Identity

Whoever really gets to see
what is at the core of me?
Neither my mother nor my lover
gets to see beneath my cover.
No surgery has extracted it.
It’s not exposed in ire or wit.
It’s in a corner still unlit,
buried in identity’s pit.

Even I have not exhumed it, for
I’ve never found my very core.
Some say it’s found in meditation,
prayer or true love’s exaltation,
but I have journeyed into each
merely to wind up on the beach
of what I know must be the sea
of my soul’s identity.

Perhaps it is the world’s distractions––
all its toys and fine abstractions,
its petty jealousies and fears
regarding family and careers
that get me lost while searching for
that ladder, passageway or door
that will lead me to the root of me––
that seed of my identity.

Perhaps in death we’re rejoined with
the part of us that is our pith.
Could it be what life is for—
this striving toward identity’s core?
Perhaps the lonely death I fear
will finally serve to bring me near,
away from all those things I’m not
to that whole self I’ve always sought

 

The WordPress prompt today is core.

 

We Seem Meant to Argue

We Seem Meant to Argue

We seem meant to argue, to disagree and fuss––
to call each other s.o.b.’s, to blather on and cuss.
Somehow the world needs movement––the hurricanes and tides.
In every situation, there must be clans or sides.
There is a natural movement toward the pack or cult or gang.
Each game needs an opponent, and every yin a yang.

It may be named a congregation, a party or a cause,
but still there will be discord. There always is, because
there is something within us that draws us towards division.
Every peace march draws its crowd screaming in derision.
Some force within the universe that knows the whole of it
has decreed that everything has its opposite.

So though we may crave unity and hope one day to coin
accord between the nations, and for hearts and minds to join,
the truth is that the universe is like a pendulum.
For every radical event, the opposite will come.
if we just wait long enough, it will be peace’s turn,
but in the meantime hate will pillage, conquer, rape and burn
.
We would have it otherwise, but hope won’t make it so.
We may unite in nations, but we’ll still go toe to toe:
nation versus nation, like street gangs in a rumble.
The most sincere peace accord eventually will crumble.
Mere wishing will not bring on peace, but we can make a start
simply by appealing to that attitude of heart

that chooses to forget and start that upward swing
that can pull the whole world with it as it takes to wing.
The answer to the hatred is to start out one-by-one
to try to make the choices to set discord on the run.
To choose the dark sides of ourself is an act of treason.
We must conquer our own petty hates and choose to live by reason.

Today’s prompt is “Argument.”

Favorite Quote: Day 3: Wanderlust

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A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it. ~George Moore

This quote says succinctly what I have been saying to friends lately.  I no longer feel the push to travel but would rather stay home and think and write.  At first this made me feel old and then I started to realize that it is in the natural order of things to seek and then reflect.  It is not just a question of energy, but more a matter of the direction of one’s curiosity.  The more I traveled, the more I found that things do not vary that much.  Everywhere I’ve gone, the same personalities are sprinkled over the landscape.  Only the landscape and the percentages change.  Once you’ve found a place where there are the greatest number of people who appreciate you for who you really are, you have found home.  Then the task is to go inwards. That is where the real journey exists.


Ollie Ollie Oxen: NaPoWriMo 2015 Day 18

The NaPoWriMo Prompt: write a poem that involves an urgent journey and an important message. The WordPress Prompt: Karma Chameleon–let’s pretend that science has proven that karma is a thing. Your words and actions will influence what happens to you in the future. How (if at all) will you change your ways?

Ollie Ollie Oxen

Dreams are the playground of the day.
It is time to take that avoided journey
that sends me out
in pursuit of myself,
then gives me morning
to come in free.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/karma-chameleon-2/

To The Island

The Prompt: We’ve all been asked what five objects we’d take with us to a desert island. Now it’s your best friend’s (or close relative’s) turn to be stranded: what five objects would you send him/her off with?

To the Island

If I sent you to an island, it would be for your own good.
It wouldn’t be unwillingly, with chains and ropes and hood.
I’d lure you off to be with me, surrounded by the sea.
You wouldn’t have to talk or walk or be in love with me.

The objects that I’d give you are a camera, notepad, pen
and a computer with no wifi to connect to where you’ve been.
You’d live in the present with the details of your life,
examining where you have been without the daily strife.

With no Internet distraction, no ringing of the phone,
sometimes you find a part of you that you have never known.
There’s something that is lacking in what’s crowded in one’s brain.
It’s hard to find ourselves when we must live the whole world’s pain.

In the morning, you would walk the beach, move inward with the tide,
examining what treasures the waves conceal inside.
A stone shaped like a check mark or a continent or heart–
it’s hard to suspend looking, once you’ve made a start.

You may take photos of them or collect them in your pocket—
something to make art from, or a picture for your locket.
Another way to get inside is what you write about them.
If you have secrets, it’s inevitable that you’ll out them.

The sea’s part of something larger and each treasure is a clue
connecting the whole universe to something within you.
This is why each object plucked up from the sand
is part of you that you’ve reclaimed—there within your hand.

What you see in what you find is what you have inside.
Perhaps it’s something you don’t know or that you know and hide.
The very fact that it is here revealed for you to see
may mean that you are ready to finally set it free.

The sea with all its treasures and its recurring tide
is also found within you—safely tucked inside.
So look into a mirror—a metaphor, more or less;
if you are wondering if you’ve changed, you won’t have to guess.

You’ll look for things within yourself as closely as the sea
and find out more of who you are and who you want to be.
You’ll see the changes on your face that say you’ve become wise.
Deep worry lines around your mouth and laugh lines by your eyes.

And once that you have found yourself, you’ll find yourself again;
for you are always changing—refining what you’ve been.
Tucked off on an island like a wallflower on a shelf,
perhaps you’ll find the whole wide world there within yourself.

And when you see the world within, you’ll want to live in it,
for it’s a world that you have power to change as you see fit.

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Just a few of the more than 30 heart-shaped rocks I’ve found. I’ve photographed many more than that.

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What do you see in these beach finds?

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This check mark shaped stone was one of my favorites today. I also found one in the shape of Africa, which is alluded to in the poem, but didn’t take a photo.



NaPoWriMo Day 28: Looking Glass Menagerie

Looking Glass Menagerie

I am trying to escape the menagerie—
all those selves I hold in front of me
as well as the ones I have let escape.
Those that run ahead—
the ones that are my future selves—
are here, hidden in the portrait that you see.
Domineering, perhaps. But seasoned with
an awareness of what might have produced
all of the parts of myself I try to reign in.
This has produced a certain slowness to connect.
The natural is seasoned with a desire to honor dreams
of what I hope to be. When I look in the mirror,
I see them all: my mother and my grandmother
and my sisters. We demand, are stubborn.
Sometime we are martyrs, stifling tears.
Then suddenly, I pass them by like memories
of nightmares: all the anxiety attacks,
illnesses and heartbreak.
We are all wonderful performers,
using bad luck to fuel good.
The belles of our own ball,
we push back the grim news
of what we fear we really are.
Headstrong, we reach for what we can be.
Utterly addicted to change,
Tony or no Tony,
we are the stars of our own lives.

The prompt today was “to find a news article and to write a poem using (mostly, if not only) words from the article! You can repeat them, splice them, and rearrange them however you like. Although the vocabulary may be “just the facts,” your poem doesn’t have to be — it doesn’t even have to be about the subject of the news article itself.”

With massive tornadoes, politician campaign funding fraud, murder and mayhem being the main stories of the day, I was hard-pressed to find any good news to write about. Finally, I chose a very long theater review in the NY Times which I picked at like a foraging chicken, picking a word here, a word there. Above is the resulting poem.

Here is a link to the NY Times article from which  I drew words : NY Times Article