Tag Archives: Self-development

Self-Realization

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Self-Realization

He’s going to take a small vacation—a hiatus, so to speak—
but his family has mixed feelings toward what it is he’ll seek.
He says he must discover the words to his own song,
but they wonder why it is that they cannot sing along.
It seems this is one journey that he must make alone.
They can’t Skype him from their laptops. They can’t call him on the phone.

Organization for his  journey will be strictly alphabetical,
making for a travel plan that is less theoretical
but based on whimsey—something that’s been missing from his life
since he embarked on his career and since he took a wife.
He might start with Algeria, Australia or Agora.
And next choose Bangladesh, Berlin or Bora Bora.

Then he’ll take a plane to Cuba, to Columbia or Crete.
Until he’s finished the whole alphabet, his trip won’t be complete.
What he’ll learn on this journey, they’ll have to wait and see.
“This journey’s not for you,” he says. “This journey’s just for me.”
He’s retiring from his family for a year or two.
“I’ll be a different man,” he says, “when I come back to you.”

His family can’t believe it when he commences packing,
and when he’s gone, at first they feel that he’s sorely lacking.
But after a few months, the hole he’s left just slowly fills.
The kids take problems to Grandpa, and Mother pays the bills.
His son enrolls for driver’s ed and learns to drive the car.
A new guy comes to town to fill his old spot at the bar.

At dinner parties now his wife becomes the handy single,
so she can pick and choose occasions wherein she can mingle.
The TV’s set on programs other than golf and fights,
and no one ever chides them to turn off all the lights.
His daughters’ dates don’t have to meet with him to be okayed.
His wife does not consult on each and every purchase made.

Slowly, all his family feels less and less bereft.
After a year they barely remember that he’s left.
So when after two years they hear a key turn in the lock
one night approaching midnight, it’s somewhat of a shock
to find their old dad home again–bearded, stooped and worn,
long locks descending from a head formerly neatly shorn.

No arms reach out to greet him. No shouts of joy are heard.
They find his presence strange and his appearance most absurd.
When he sees they’re watching “Dancing with the Stars,” he’s clearly shaken,
and he’s crushed they are not curious about the path he’s taken.
In every empty room, there are still lightbulbs glistening,
but when he starts to chide them, he finds no one is listening.

When he goes to check his car, he finds that it is missing.
He hears noises in what was his den and finds his wife who’s kissing
a stranger he’s not seen before. Has his whole life gone crazy?
He takes some time off for himself and things go upsy daisy?
Then, finally, the truth hits. While off looking for himself,
it seems that his whole family has placed him on a shelf.

His son has commandeered the car, his daughters came and go,
never introducing their dad to any beau.
His old job has been filled and his family’s fine without him.
Even buddies at the bar seem somehow to doubt him.
He sleeps down in the basement while some guy sleeps in his bed.
He’s been divorced for desertion, or so the papers said.

His wife’s new husband’s given him a week to pack his stuff
and head once more into the world, where living will be rough.
All those years he quested to find out more about him,
it seems to be the truth that his life went on without him.
So though he found himself at last, there’s no place where he fits.
Having a self with no place left to put it is the pits!!

 

 

Prompts today are mixed feelings, theoretical, hiatus, song and journey.

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.”

Routes Laid Out by Heavenly Bodies

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Routes Laid Out by Heavenly Bodies

The road of the moon
on the water
is a bridge
between us
leading me
to our new self.

When I am ready
to return
to what I was
before you,
that road
has vanished

but the sun
lights a different
pathway
and sends my shadow
ahead like a door
I seek to enter.

The oldest moon,
the sun at its birth
or just before its death
create  in us
just the suggestion
of a road.

That is why we rise early
for the sunrise,
gather for the sunset,
spill old blood,
howl howl
at the open moon.

This poem meets both prompts today. The NaPoWriMo prompt was to write a poem about a bridge. and the WordPress prompt was  “When the full moon happens, you turn into a person who is the opposite of who you normally are.  Describe this new you.”

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/the-full-moon/

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