Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Caves of Heaven . . .

Paris 2010

Where can I hide
                      my small self
from the wrath                              
of the universe . . .
                  its paroxysms
less like a hiccup
than a catastrophic eruption                                               
of hot and angry fissures                         
                                              blasting molten lava at my fragile ego . . .

                                       From day to day I wander
by the trembling waves of the sea . . . .                   
until a pointed tide                         
                         curves over me,
                    and grasping me in its fist,
sweeps me like unwanted crumbs from a table
to be ground into the dust of the creations . . .                 
nothing I was
                                            and nothing I am still. . .

and yet
a conundrum. . .
                                       a puzzle in which I
am left with gaping holes of                        
lacking comprehension
and a looming presentiment of annihilation                            

                                                    My small footprints leave 
a shimmering trail
in the time swept sands of existence,                                  
            a beacon for this monster of vengeance
                         to follow. . . 
my flesh raw and tender,                                     
                      a sacrifice to my neon culpability 
as I struggle along the shoals                                                      
waiting for my death .. ..

where can I hide
                                       my small self
from the wrath                                        
            of my destruction?

Paris 2010

4 comments:

Carlos said...

As I was reading to this dark heavy lines you wrote here, came into my mind a poem from a very conceptualized poet in my country (deceased in 1935) and in some others more, by the name of Fernando Pessoa... perhaps you never heard of him... nevertheless and considering all the inevitable losses, including the rhymes that will occur with my translation, says the following:

The poet is a pretender
Pretends so completely
That gets to pretend it's pain
The pain that he feels in fact

And those who read what he writes
In the written pain they really feel
Not the two ones that he had
But just the ones which they don't have.

And so, in the rails of the wheel
Rotates, as entertaining the reason
That train made of rope
Which gives by the name of heart


I don't know... but somehow as I was trying to fetch and internalize the significance of your words, I couldn't help thinking of it.

It's strange... or, maybe not.

Wolfsong said...

Wow, thank you, Carlos, for sharing this. . . I will study it and see what it means to me.

I have always maintained that our tears, themselves, are difficult for others to interpret . .. as they come from the heart of the instigator, and our own reflections of life come from one step away from others. We can only try to empathize to some extent.

This poem came to me with a vision, only. . . "caves in heaven." And I wondered why it made me sad. After pondering over that image for several days, I realized that all my life I was running from the creator . . . who as I was taught, had an antipathy towards me, and was always looking to destroy me for my wicked ways.

Yes, I was raised with an Old Testament god. It hurt me . .. that god . . . for there was no fairness in existence then . . for I would always run and try to hide . . . and I would never win . . there was no hope.

And although I am no longer beset by that god . . the feelings are still inside me as if it were part of the strata of my existence. A lone lost child, running and still trying to hide . . . from that creator who hates his creations, especially - me.

So, that is part of why I try to write poems . . . painting with words and analyzing and sharing my inner strata. And, although I am not really that good at it (I am the first to admit) . . . I lay bare too much of myself for others to see. I feel naked, sometimes, on my blog.

I look at my experiences, as from the outside, like through a window . . and I see what I feel and I imagine I am not the only one who experiences or feels those things, even just a little, for I know I am not really unique when it comes to the human condition.

So I share these thoughts in a way that are a bit oblique and hard to understand so that the pain does not overwhelm others . . . but allows them to interpret how they see themselves in the pictures of their lives. And the way they see themselves, and identify themselves, will always be different from my own self images.

Just a note .. I went through many years of deep depression and wrote even darker poems. Interestingly enough I chose not to share those because they are so blatantly painful that I have chosen to destroy those poems instead. They are not "me" any longer. I prefer to write newer poems about those feelings with a little less rawness and open agony. . . Looking through the glass. . ..

Van Syla said...

It is the obsession and the human desire to leave an indelible mark of his fleeting passage on this earth who gave birth to the art.
[Brassaï)
Pain or joy, the poet knows how to
describe those things and we readers, can only admit : yes, this is what I feel.

Wolfsong said...

Thank you, Van Syla, for your comment. It is our human obsession to not disappear entirely . . . forever. It is but our survival wish extended into the unknown, after death.

But, I disagree with the reason for art as expressed by Brassai. I believe that our initial desire to create art is to communicate our innermost feelings and find acceptance with others. Hence, the small child coming home from school with a drawing to put on the refrigerator and be admired. A picture of a happy family, dancing in the air above the flat green grass, with a smoky chimney on the roof of a triangular house and a bright yellow sun casting golden rays beneath a flat blue sky. Who can but dream. Only the most traumatized children will draw something different.

I know why I began to create poetry. It was a method of art accepted by the two most powerful people in my life . . . my parents. I wanted to find a way to communicate to these distant gods. To let them know what my most deepest thoughts were . .. to say . . . "Look at me . . . See me . . .. Love me!" It was the only way I had.

It was a way to express my deepest feelings and emotions, dreams, joys, visions. I don't know if my blog will be here in perpetuity. I don't know if I care. I haven't analyzed that feeling. Yet. I am still seeking to appease the gods . . .