Mirage

Happy National Poetry Day everyone!

Photography Luca Zanon

Photography Luca Zanon

Mirage

When answers shift like grains of sand

twists to tongue like traders in a foreign land

Truth becomes a camel

sucking sustenance deep into enamel

sifting for parsing hopes

built on childish slopes;

it will last

until the next repast

humanity colored with invisible ink—mirage

success would never dare presage.

Willpower

Affirmation of the Day: Lies are what we tell ourselves in the mirror at night. Truth is the mirror’s reply.

Will to power. Willpower. Do I have the will to achieve power? You must be the change you wish to see in the world. It would be hypocritical to have it any other way, yet the hypocritical is what we excel at. I should know. I’m just as human as anyone else.

It may be true, but can the truth be handled? The truth always has the potential for deeper harm than lies. Lies can be dismissed. Yet the truth, once known–inescapable, all-encompassing. Man comes to the crossroads: do I have the will? I have the longing–the dream, he thinks, but the will, well, I could say yes and the world would never be the wiser, I could say yes but I do think I would be lying. I would know that I was lying, even if the world doesn’t know.

History, after all, points to the contrary.

Man stands longing at the crossroads, mired in the wait, for a lack of perseverance to press forward. The easiest path is often the path that leads nowhere at all–the circular trail to nowhere.

I depend on my perceptions of reality–on the pre-conceived boundaries as set by society. Dwelling on this issue, no matter–trying to come to terms. I really on the work of others. I profess independence, yet I hide amidst the foundations of cozy uniformity. Go with the flow. Don’t think too hard, it will come in time.

Waiting, what is with all the waiting? Man can but shake his head.

Good things come to those who wait.

How cruel is that? Untrue as well–the world must be moved, and someone must take the courage to move it. So it always goes. The waiting is merely waiting for someone else to do what you might have done. Such a notion! Surely man recoils at the insinuation. Yet reality looms: I call myself free, he whispers, yet I am content to submissive docility, waiting for the changes I wish to see, writing about them, idolizing them, but never once myself for the doing.

Waiting on the world to change. Still waiting. As the song says, one day this generation is going to rule the population…and what changes?

The ultimate question put before man at that crossroads comes not long after this thought: am I weak, than? Is it a factor of strength and weakness, or do some people simply have this capability–this fortitude for change–and others inherently don’t?

All answers lie in the self. But how does one strengthen the self? Through will. How does one strengthen their will, their resolve? A much more difficult prospect altogether. The first step to believing, after all, is having the will to do so.

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.”

Spy

He walked among these shadows

in brightest day unseen–

such smiles do well enough

to put pursuers off.

Look like them,

they don’t know you if your skin

does not differ in its shade.

Each day, a mask

identity is wearing

it’s getting old and getting fast

but every day is one more

challenge for the lies.

Twist it, turn it, toss it all about–

a lie is but another word

when cast into the wind.

If they do not have the sense to see

then he has every right to be.

Crocodile tears

as the pendulum swings–

his time will one day come

but one day is another day

and Time

all too relative

to a life that never was

and ever has been.

Bliss Amiss

What bitter bliss,

this thought amiss–

dreams as simple as a kiss–

but if I gave my heart to you

I’d have to know that you’d be true–

could not ever bear to woo

the heartbreak and the pain

I’ve in this madness before lain,

hoping without gain.

I could not be like him,

cannot make trust a whim–

if I know love, than it must brim.

And if you cannot see

the simple creature that is me

I beg of you to simply let me be.

Waiting

I’m waiting on a light

That may never arrive;

I’m grabbing at the stars

And catching only dust.

Every moment builds into

Another moment lost

And still I wait,

Humming in the night,

As though the world will shine on me

In my ceaseless indolence.

Dreams unravel

It is reality waiting

Not this fiction I have woven

Into this false world.