Posted in Art

Poetry Reflection: No Man Is an Island

***
‘No Man is an Island’
by John Donne

No man is an island entire of itself;
Every man is a piece of the continent,
a part of the main;

If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less,
as well as if a promontory were,
as well as any manor of thy friend’s
or of thine own were.

Any man’s death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

***

This is a beautiful piece I have decided to share today. It’s part of my new resolution to memorize great poetry. I don’t believe Donne’s words here need expounding upon. They are very clear. Reflect. Enjoy.

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Posted in Life

My patio

I love my patio. It has become my favorite place in my home. It is spring now, and the weather is brisk and cool, and new life is coming up around me everywhere.

From my third story, I overlook the swimming pool. It is clear and blue, and deceptively inviting, as the water is much too cool to swim. But the waterfall fountain bubbles long and deep, and drowns the pace of life to a tranquil hum. I have a sort of a natural oasis up here.

I’ve taken up gardening…that is, I bought a couple of plants. They are growing nicely—nubile green sprouts boldly poking their heads above the earthen pots. On the wall, a bird has build a mud-based nest. The two parents regularly flit in and out, along with a milieu of relations that stop in to say hello. They periodically swarm the patio, marking their territory of sorts. I guess I am on their approved humans list, as they don’t seem to bother me—a subtle presence with notebook and coffee.

And so I love to sit, here at this table and write. Although, life has been so busy I can barely capture a thought worth writing. Surely, there must be something. And, so I have pages and pages where I tried to capture meaning in the everyday….The birth of a co-worker’s child, the revolving door of people in and out of my house, the conversations I’ve had, both great and small, a dinner party we’ll host tonight, and all of these people that populate my life, new and old.

And yet, they all seem to be playing some sort of larger purpose. They all seem to be part of a great symphony, and I haven’t quite caught the melody. I can hear strains and various chords, and yet, I can’t seem to capture the harmony of it all. And, so I live, each day, loving, laughing, moving, savoring each moment and tucking it away in my heart.

That’s what life is. Seasons of movement, and seasons of rest. Seasons to plant, and seasons to birth. Seasons to create, and seasons to work. It is spring here. And new life is all around me. It is beautiful. It is right. It is good.

Posted in Writing

A Fish Story

The one fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish, gathered together one night with the bigger fish to fry and the the fish that needed a bicycle, and they called in the fish that wasn’t off the hook yet, along with the one that didn’t take the bait. (The one that swallowed it, hook line and sinker, however, was decidedly unavailable for consultation). On the way, this growing entourage met up with the fish that had been out of water, who was being suspiciously consoled by the fish that well, drank like a fish, while looking looking for a “hook up,” with the more fish that are in the sea.

Together, this fishy group they inquired of the human race as to why they were the subject of such bad cliches, after all they said, “It’s all a bit…fishy.”

Posted in Writing

The Lodger

A bird flew in my window one night
And took me by surprise
I assumed it must have lost its way
In its epic dance across the clear blue sky
With carefree leaps and dizzying climbs

My open portifice there
Must have seemed as adventure as any
And it stopped in to say hello

I found myself a bit at loss
To see such a queer little guest
For how does one entertain,
Such a tiny, lively thing?
Not with fine china and pressed linens, I presumed

So I found a bit of this and a bit of that
To warm the belly of such a patron
Who sang such lovely songs
Of near and far conquests
Over pink-hued lakes and the tops of golden spires

I listened till the hour was late
And my eyelids grew quite heavy
Then I drifted into shallow sleep
For I should not want to be deemed inhospitable
To this flighty little boarder of mine

When I woke my lodger was gone
To chase another dream, I suppose
A clean caller, my guest did not leave
As much as a feather’s wisp

I shall always remember that bird
And the night it came to stay
But I doubt very much
That it will ever remember me
As it continues its epic dance across the clear blue sky
With carefree leaps and dizzying climbs.

Posted in Life, Writing

…Or Die Trying

So, my New Year’s Resolution was that this would be my best writing year yet…or something of the sort. I think I was rather exhausted after a drama-filled fall and didn’t put a lot of effort into creating a gleaming vision for 2018.

I used to believe in New Year’s Resolutions. There was a streak of about three or four years, that I made one solid resolution each year, and amazingly enough, I kept it, and came out better and stronger the next year. Then, I got cocky and started making too many, or making them too ambitious and the magic failed me, and my resolutions stopped working.

So, then I got discouraged and made my resolutions vague and half-hearted. Now, my only resolution this year was that I would try as hard as I could with my writing, with the afterthought that it would be my best writing year yet.

So far this year, my novel was rejected by yet another publisher, and the web company I was writing for folded and laid me off. It’s only February and already I’m off to a great a start on my best writing year yet.

As I scan the want ads for yet another writing job, I had this sinking feeling in my gut. What if I’m still doing this when I’m 50? Already my 20’s are gone in a flurry of college, temping and failed freelancing. What if this–blogging, writing novels that don’t sell, and chasing an endless chain of short-lived staff-writer jobs—is all my writing will ever be? i’ve sworn deep in my heart, that I will make it as a writer or die trying. What if that’s what happens? What if I die trying to make it as a writer?

There’s the cliche, “Find the joy in the journey.” I am enjoying the journey. But, what if the journey is all I’ll ever have? What if I never arrive? Will it have been worth it?

I guess every artist has to ask themselves that question. If I never “make it,” will it have all been worth it? I don’t have an answer. But, it’s an intriguing question.

…And I have to believe in my heart, that is this is that liberating crossroads, one must come to, right before that “big break.” Because I don’t think I could handle any other answer.