No Master, No Servant

Alone among the pines

No servant

No master

only the mountain

ascension starlight left behind

when celestial fingertips

brushed our dreams.

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Fire-side Harmony

Fire-lit we see

the bliss that lay beneath the sea

for harmony is a shifter thing

a hope no mortal hands can bring—

that we, coddled in the blanket bliss

can only paddle glimpses soon to miss;

we lack the fins, the constitution

to see the ease be shunned.

Martel and van Over have friends for dinner an...

Fireplace. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Long Journeys

Gold paths contain fine meals,

thousands to the dollared flesh

divined by rare suit gestures—

even time’s hand a sacred cost.

 

To the bursting, cries the chef

as I lay my body down,

waiting for the planes

to burn this hollow out.

 

Snow frosts the window panes

beyond man’s wheels,

ice gathers undertone, underfoot

scaling climbing souls.

 

Is it déjà vu?

 

Nestled in the mountains

I dip within the brook,

at once sinking to the chill,

yet sunward bound.

 

There is a drink of maple

spread beside the banks

where this tired spirit

might ponder yet the lost.

 

There is silence in the breeze,

the break of waves like men

signaling open seas beyond clouds,

an open breath for crossing.

*Welcome, one and all, to the the Waking Den, and to my latest offering to the good times over at dVerse Poets Pub. I hope you like what you’ve seen, and I look forward to reading your works as well, but I’ve also got a big announcement to make, and in case any of you lot missed it yesterday, I thought I’d leave you all with a link: https://cianphelan.wordpress.com/2011/10/17/the-hollow-march-begins/. Forgiving the giddiness of a younger writer for a moment, I also add: more announcements to follow in the days to come – exciting no?

Thank you for all your support! It’s a lovely community we have here in this blogosphere.

People, Peace, and Past

For these United States, yesterday was a day of remembrance. Ten years past, terrorism struck the heartland in one of the biggest horrors the nation has ever witnessed. It was one of those moments blazed into the psyche. Into the soul. Hardly a person can’t be turned to and asked, “Where were you when the Towers fell?” In many ways, it was a moment that defined this generation, for this and many other countries as well, as it kicked off ten years of war, fear, and globally shifting ideas of security.

Suitably, the dedications yesterday were far reaching – the connections, the memories, and the tears all treated with the highest of honors and dignity. Today, on this, the Monday of Quotes, the Waking Den would like to share, in the same vein, a few words throughout the ages on people, peace, and the past…

Our country is not the only thing to which we owe our allegiance.  It is also owed to justice and to humanity.  Patriotism consists not in waving the flag, but in striving that our country shall be righteous as well as strong. 
~James Bryce

Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding. 
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

The real differences around the world today are not between Jews and Arabs; Protestants and Catholics; Muslims, Croats, and Serbs.  The real differences are between those who embrace peace and those who would destroy it; between those who look to the future and those who cling to the past; between those who open their arms and those who are determined to clench their fists. 
~William J. Clinton

Man is harder than iron, stronger than stone and more fragile than a rose. 
~Turkish Proverb

The past is our definition.  We may strive, with good reason, to escape it, or to escape what is bad in it, but we will escape it only by adding something better to it. 
~Wendell Berry

Cover Up

Image by and copyright Walter Parada.

Red rivers ride

fluttering flags.

A smile and a hand, freely offered

belie the tip—

it’s not a stick you know

that I’ll stick you with,

not a dream doused with dreamers.

God or Man

the mortar drips

beneath the marble—

just a dab of purity to hide

stained hands,

strawberry walls—

Humanity

drifting.

* A piece for this week’s edition of One Shoot Sunday. This week features an interview I had with the talented Californian photographer Walter Parada. I was very grateful for the images he chose to share with us, as I find them all to be absolutely striking, from his landscapes to his portraits, and on to the image featured above.

The All-Song

Beneath the microscope

metaphysics sang,

the organism of

meditation

Peacefully

shameless self

altered secretless

wisdoms in non-judgment

to the scope of everything.

* My latest contribution to the wonderful One Shot Poetry Wednesdays! Once you’ve had a look, check out some of the other One Shot Poets as well–they’re a skilled bunch of poets, with a strong and supportive community.  Enjoy! And while you’re at it – vote for us in the Shorty Awards…we have a chance to take Number 1 in Art!

For the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Portrait of MLK Jr, by Betsy Reyneau, care of Wikimedia Commons.

I’ve been bad. I know I have. You see that “Quote of the Week” section on the blog and you think, “Hey, that Chris guy, he gives us great quotes each week…” But I’ve not been keeping up. The poems have been flowing, but each week when the time comes around to drop the weekly quotes, they seem to slip right out of my remembering. Bad Chris.

Well this week I’m getting back into the habit, and what better day to do that with than Martin Luther King Day?

MLK is a tragic and inspirational tale for us all – a man that pushed society to the brink, moved a nation with his words, and gave hope where before there had been little. He was but one face and voice in a movement crowded with them, but his is the one we most often hear echoing through the halls of time – reminding, humbling. A clergyman, activist, and leader in the stylings of Mahatma Gandhi, King was a Nobel Peace Prize recipient. Born on January 15, 1929, he energized the civil rights movement both before and after his assassination on April 4, 1968, at just 39-years-old. He was a Christian man, and a colorblind one; he opposed war, and fought to end poverty.

The man, the inspiration, the paragon of peace and advancement that was Martin Luther King Jr. was a master orator, and writer, and so today, I would like to share with you a few of his words. At the bottom you will also find a video of his legendary speech: “I have a Dream,” as well as the news broadcast from CBS’s Walter Cronkite that aired on the night of his murder. I can only imagine what it must have been like to be sitting there that night and suddenly be greeted with such a thing…even if King himself had predicted it. Even if he’d known.

So please, as this day passes you by, take some time to reflect on what this man once said, and on the messages he preached, which still ring as true today as they ever did, and ever shall, so long as man draws breath upon this earth.

“Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars…Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

“Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.”