My Book: The Awful Deed is Done

This is not a Christmas post, as it should be, but now I’m almost finished with an arduous project that has consumed untold hours and years of my life for no other reason than the simple fact that I wanted to answer an age-old and really rather incorrigible question tackled by some of the greatest minds — far greater than mine — down through the annals of history. The result is a book wrestling with the question of just what it means to be human, and now I realize, all too late, how foolish I was to begin this venture.

Once I began this journey, though, I could hardly give up on it without discovering what might lay ahead. And I can honestly say I’ve learned a good bit, so not all has been lost. And I’ve even managed to come to at least a partial answer for myself, so I suppose this is good, too. When I started I allowed myself to imagine the finished product would be something of interest, and even benefit, to others, but I now have grave doubts. Besides, for those who are interested in the same very ancient and very basic question of what it means to be human, perhaps it is better for them to make their own journey anyway.

I say this because for me the journey in and of itself has been as much a part of my conclusion as the bits and pieces of answers I picked up along the way. This is probably true of most ventures, really. You kind of tend to grow into whatever it is you’re after, or think you’re after, which may, of course, change over the course of the journey. Actually, this happens more often than not, and this is good. One would expect, for example, that if your goal is to become a better cook, then you actually grow into a better cook in and through the adventure of cooking, which can be rather hilarious at first, than you do by simply sitting and imagining what it means to be a good cook.

So does this mean I’ve become more human? Or even a better human? I would like to think so, but to tell the truth, I’m still digesting my own conclusions to the matter. At any rate, when I am finally completely finished, I will likely have it all printed up with a nice, glossy paperback cover — or, who knows, maybe even hardback! — then place it on one of my bookshelves next to truly great works, if I be so bold, all so I can look every once in awhile and see my name on the spine next to an important sounding title, maybe like, On Being Human: A Multi-Discipline Journey of Discovery. Yes, that’ll probably do!

And, hey, everyone needs an ego boost every now and then! Who knows but my children might be impressed … especially if they don’t actually read it! And it might provide a conversation piece with visitors, who will also never read it, and they may leave my humble dwelling with a slightly higher, though unwarranted, view of me. This, too, never really hurts anything, unless you let it go to your head. I’m not likely to do this precisely because I’ve read the damn thing too many times already. I know the texture, flow and content all too well. 

I don’t mean to sound too self-deprecating. I actually do like my conclusion. Perhaps I should just publish that in, say, small booklet form. The problem is, it might land in the hands of some far wiser individual, which means almost anyone, who would then question how it is I made it from point A to point Z. To answer this would, of course, require all the previous material, and I know s/he would not want to be so burdened, especially when s/he would do much better to simply read Plato and Aristotle, which is, by and by, almost always the case when you get into philosophical matters. Begin with Plato and Aristotle, then if you need to go further, stick closely with those who stuck closely with them. The rest has been (mostly) drivel.

At any rate, as I said, it is done. The awful, years-long deed it finished. Now, perhaps, I can return to what I do much better, for I am not a philosopher or theologian, an anthropologist or psychologist, scientist or mystic, no. In the end, I’m an ordinary man, who should never have approached such a daunting question to begin with, but now … now I can return to my love of reading and writing poetry, offering an occasional commentary on some current event, even penning a short story every so often, as well as continuing to enrich the dear relationships in my life, carrying on with my daily chores, and nurturing my over-active imagination at night when I lay my tired head to rest.

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Songs of the Bard

Solemnly the bard calmly sings though the days
Punctuated by nights filled with the light of stars
With pale moon that makes lovers swoon so soon,
And the tune is new with each rising of the sun,
So that the poet has just begun a fresh new song
Sung long as the minutes grow into hours of light,
Slow and bright, taking flight from earth to sight
Of heaven, where time is known but not shown,
And eternity sweeps over his soul filling the hole
In everlasting joy and welcome peace as he plays
His part, bringing art to the beauty of his duty
Happily welling up to an overflowing blessing
In the heart of a bard, who counts hard moments
As joyful messages of certain growth and vision
Beyond the present into an unknown tomorrow
Laden with hope and promise of new beginnings
Never ceasing but increasing in love from above
. . .
Solemnly the bard calmly sings though the days
Punctuated by nights filled with the light of stars
With pale moon that makes lovers swoon so soon

How Does the Poet Explain?

How does the poet adequately explain his poetry
Without much pain, at the risk of sounding insane?
If the poet could explain her melodic words
Flowing serenely in rhyme and fine rhythm,
Then she may as well have written in prose
Rather than posing as a poet, you know it?
Poetry is an esoteric world of its own
Where the seeds of thought are sown
To be shown in an exquisite garden
Of variegation of creative creation,
Not in straight farm-like rows to plow,
So how, O how, does the poet now explain . . .
Poetry is potently mysterious
While making mystical sense
To the avid, passionate lover of metrical verse,
And it’s nothing to rehearse,
But to engage and fascinate!
It is to attract and grip and rivet the very heart,
But play no part in essays and academic articles!
Indeed, how does the poet amply explain his poetry
Without much pain, at the risk of sounding insane?
No! Vain is the task of trying and without any gain!


Note: First published in early November 2016, now republished due to some renewed interest as well as for the enjoyment (and edification?) of new reader-followers.

An Unexpected Departure

Many days washed away during an unexpected stay
In a place secluded from the pace of ordinary ways
For the repair of mind to find fresh peace and solace
And a newer lease on life and serenity unfurled
In this world of painful woes and watery wishes
And now to see what may yet be in store for me
With hope … always anticipation in an emancipation
From baseless fear with God so near and angels dear
Yes, with this I have made the return
With hope that burns right brightly!
After days washed away during an unexpected stay

Up From the Deep Inside of Me

There is something deep inside of me that I have not even seen;
It has been held in spiritual keep all of these years, pure, clean;
Numinous fire burning through prior ages and pages of history,
It is not of me, from me or by me but it is quickly becoming me;
Spirit untamed and wild, nothing mild about her, yet like a child;
And the lowly gods whirl their heads trying to keep her in bed,
But in vain and it drives them insane; they cannot stop this train
And my clouds are full of rain ready to shower upon this world
Into which I’ve been hurled on purpose for a show in this circus;
Yet my tongue remains wordless but with earnest I try to release
What is roiling and boiling inside me rather than to bide my time
Because the clock chimes daybreak and it’s ready to break forth,
This something deep inside of me that even I have not yet seen


Note: Originally published in January of this year, now republished due to some renewed interest as well as for the reading pleasure of new blog followers. Blessings to one and all! (And, by the way, the above is as true today as when it was written two months ago.)

An igNoble Sonnet

Hast thou bequeathed thy love to another?
Perchance given thy heart to my brother?
And wouldst thou be so cruel as to leave me
Forsaken of all love as if dead to thee?
Oh, how high and haughty thou hast become
To be so naughty to leave me thus lonesome!
May the gods smile upon this wretched soul,
And Panacea apply her balm to fill this hole
Thou hast left in mine own heart torn apart!
Ah! The game of romance is such deadly art,
And I not an artist be, so thou must see
What great extent is thine own cruelty;
Yet shall ye turn away thine eye from me
For the sake of playing harlot so shamelessly?


Note: This is my own paltry attempt at Shakespearean sonnet, being 14 lines with 10 syllables per most lines… Try it at least once, right?