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Catalyst

What is the greatest source of inspiration?
What can really make you contemplate
and urge you forward to complete something?

Well, if you’re happy and content
you might never see the point
of changing anything,
right?

You cannot know the light
if that is all you’ve ever seen –
you will not understand it
or appreciate it’s there
until you have lived through a night –

  And what a night. I don’t plan to moralize, but I do plan to speak my mind. I lived through a night like I hope you’ll never have to. And you probably won’t have to. Most people don’t. I was just the one out of thousands who drew the shortest straw. And then I was stuck in a nightmare that lasted 25 years. A long, drawn-out sleep that left me with nothing in store and everything to rebuild.

  But I did have one thing through that time. One thing that carried and supported me. And that was poetry. If I had lived a happy life, I don’t think I’d ever have started to write. I don’t think I would’ve seen the point, since I would’ve lacked nothing.

  As it was, I lacked – not only material things – I lacked a voice and words to express my thoughts. I lacked expression. And humans are social beings. We have an innate need for words and speech, but I had no words and weren’t heard when I tried to speak. So I wrote. Everything I couldn’t say out loud I wrote – poem after poem, essay after essay – and found a voice along the way that seeped out into my everyday existence and coloured what I’d do and say.

  It’s been an amazing journey, but if I’d never had problems, I probably wouldn’t have wanted to move along the way – I’d probably just have wanted to stay where I was at the beginning. Don’t fix what isn’t broken, right?

  I have no regrets – I chose a path that advanced me, however slowly, towards an understanding of my abilities, and what I truly wanted at heart. It just so happens, that at the end of the road, what I wanted was to continue writing, since I had not yet nearly told everything I had to tell. And since I had come to be able to write fairly well, there seemed to be no reason to stop at all.

What is this stupid construct
the world calls happiness?
A soothing balm
to keep you in your place.

I’d rather feel the pain,
the sadness and the cold
the world too has to offer
instead of growing old
to see that I learned nothing
because I was content –
who on this Earth would truly
want that to be their end?

  Whenever I was at my lowest, no matter the circumstances, I always felt the urge to write. Mostly because no other solution was in sight. But that was what kept me going, and it was a sure and reliable guide to have at hand throughout that long and lonely night that was the uncertain stumbling steps I took towards the light.

  And the worse I felt, the better I wrote. Paradoxically. That’s how it goes.

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Teacher Totally Disenchanted

The more I know,
the less you seem to know.

I used to think you knew everything.
Now I know that you know a few things.
And fake a good many.

Now I know that I could teach you.
Yet I shouldn’t brag – since after all
you were the one who taught me
the foundations which I took off
and overtook you from –

I could’ve kept respecting you
perhaps indefinitely
if you didn’t so insistently
keep claiming to know more than you know
now that I know you do.

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The Prospect of Ageing

Time heals,
time mends,
time lets you
comprehend…

That grey hair
wasn’t there
yesterday!

Don’t fight
with nature,
you are it;
ever sure –

Indestructible,
unbreakable –
intertwined with nature
you will endure…

But that wrinkle –
too early…
Isn’t fair!

But YOU, you can relax;
you are not me,
so I am free
to tell you all is well –

I say to you;
embrace the cycles
nature binds us to –

And just ignore me
quietly
dyeing my hair
over here –

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Spring Burst Forth

The Spring announced itself today –
the 3rd of April –
with a flash of light
and an angry roar
it washed the winter off the ground
as it were –

And underneath the winter
suddenly the flowers, tough,
exploded from their hides
announcing: “We have had enough!”,
with birds in happy chorus chanting with them:
“Finally! Now we may live again!”

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Thoughts. Slipping.

Early.
Spring.
Fog.
Walking.
Sad.
Tired.
Drops.
Dripping.
Cold.
Thinking.
’bout what?
No knowing.

Tired.
Foggy.
Silhouettes.
Fading.
Distant.
Laughter.
What for?
No knowing.

Isolation.
Distant.
Yearning.
Mind.
Working.
Tired.
Still.
Thinking.
Changing.
Life.
Weather.
Season.
Planning.
What for?
No knowing.

Too early.
Thoughts.
Slipping.

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Evening Dew

A trembling tune of blended birdsong
in the wood at nightfall –
the setting sun, the rising mist,
the thoughts of what today’s been done –

Your graceful poise out on the porch
as you observe the fading beams of day –
it must’ve been the evening dew
that stained your cheeks – and then you’d say;

“the world is changing all too fast, and so is I,”
and turned your saddened amber eyes to me –
but I will not believe that tears could be
the substance trickling down the face of you;

the foremost of this world’s now-living men?
It cannot be – it was the evening dew.

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On Drawing K In the Shower

A monumental quality
as such there shouldn’t be
in a thing as transient
as the human body.

And yet there is a sort
of perpetual strength in
the look of your muscles
and sinews tightening.

As if you were a cliff
squaring up to meet the sea;
enduring and majestic
in its rigidity.

Yet as that cliff you are
still vulnerable too –
these years that pass away
are also marking you.

So here I am at work
attempting to preserve
through graphite, yet again,
every sinew, every nerve.

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The Broken Bond

They flicker in the moonlight,
two flames that steady burn –
the tides shifting and changing,
the wind blowing astern –
he’s one of those few people
who shift but ever burn –
and outshines all the others,
but never ever learn –
keep burning, flames, keep burning
the broken bonds out-burn –
what’s lost can’t be retrieved,
so leave it past, outworn –