My Words

Understanding the World through words

Month: March, 2014

Songs By The Riverbank

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The eternal song of the Jew,

Is that solemn song

By that distant riverbank in Babylon.

It is a song of longing.

Our song, is a collective song of tears.

As we sat down and wept while

we remembered Zion.

Wandering and haunted, always

hunted, our foes demand a song

To coo the wolf’s incessant panting.

There by the lair we sang and sang,

Those salty dreadful songs.

That ancient river is a

River full of tears—shed as we

Remember Jerusalem and our

Blood stained rocks.

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The Poet’s Chamber Door

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Poetry offers a glimpse into secret chambers, found in an imaginative yet vividly real home that overlooks the universe.

The poet piously hands you a key to enter into his concealed chamber—the one he discovered and built.

It’s the same house that carefully guards Pythagoras’ theorem, Husserl’s Dialectics and Cervantes’ Don Quixote.

It’s the house that stores great Jazz music, Mozart’s Requiem, and Picasso’s Blue Period.

All truthful artist, have selectively fashioned their own chamber keys that hide their personal treasures inside.

Within the first stanza of a poem, if you are perfectly still and your mind is free of distractions you can faithfully enter in.

Once inside, you can run barefooted on sun-drenched prairie grass, dip your toes into the sea of love or taste the fragrance of moonlit jasmine while your hand caresses the infinite sky.

You can wallow in the melancholy of sorrow, wade the lake of despair or take a train ride through the forest of transcendence, while katydids hum at butterflies.

But first, you must be willing to lose yourself, if only for a moment , concentrate on listening while quietly opening the poet’s chamber door and
Leaving all your baggage outside.

Repository of Well Kept Memories

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I met a man yesterday—
Happy, effervescent, proud.

He cracked jokes like one
Cracks pistachios with
Salty fingers in
One’s mouth.

He told me he liked to
Gamble a little,
And drink a
Bit of whisky,
And that his Father
Helped him to roof
His sunroom addition.

I told him, I’d bring him a
Bottle of Bourbon, have a
Few drinks and
Shoot the breeze
With him.

He was born in
December of 1941,
Three days before Japan
Bombed Pearl Harbor, invaded
Wake Island and landed in
The Philippines.

He has a grand stretch of
Land—and has stories for
Every parcel found therein.

People store their campers,
Sail boats, and personal items
There.

His daughter was storing her
Possessions, because she just
Went through a traumatic
Divorce.

Michael was storing his dilapidated
Sailboat. He wants to fix it up
One day and sail the
San Francisco Bay and
Perhaps live there too.

I’m storing my pop-up camper,
Because my twelve year business
Finally collapsed.

What Jerry really owns is a,
Repository of well
Kept memories.

They’re like ripe grapefruits
Jerry grows on his land—

“Ready to be picked”, he told me,
“some are bitter, some are sweet.”

Try Outs

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We had a temporary dog,
It was on probation to see if
We all clicked together as
A family.

We temporarily, named him
Charlie. We’ve had
A couple pets we’ve named
Charlie, after the morose
But affable Schulz character
We grew up watching on TV.

Charlie was a fluffy,
Adorably mischievous,
Yorkie, who always seemed
To be running on Red Bull.

The puppy literally, jumped
Off the walls, couches and
Beds, chasing our toddlers or
An imaginary fast friend.

It was trained to
Pee and pooh Indoors.

Sure, we’d take him
Out to do its
Business. Where he
Just loved to frolic
On the grass, chase it’s
Tail and work up a sweat—

Always to the cadence
Of, “hurry up and pee,
Charlie” which

He understood as,
“don’t neglect to run
around the tree a
few more times.”

Exasperated, we’d take
Him back Inside were
He’d run to the
Water bowl and
Sate his thirst.

After a while, we’d find a
Surprise on The couch.
My poor green couch
Became
Charlie’s rest stop—

where
He’d take a necessary
Bathroom break
And a little nap.

The last time we saw Charlie,
He was trying out for another
Family’s affection.

They are the
Owners of a
Lovely white
Couch.

Mothers Giving Love | Haiku

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(Painting by Mary Cassatt)

With red cheeks she bore,
Her scars tell us the story,
Mother’s giving love.

Of a sick traveler who fell in love where he was lodged, Luis De Góngora | translated Poem

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Luis De Góngora

De un caminante enfermo que se enamoró donde fue hospedado
(1594)

Descaminado, enfermo, peregrino,
en tenebrosa noche, con pie incierto,
la confusión pisando del desierto,
voces en vano dio, pasos sin tino.
Repetido latir, si no vecino,
distinto oyó de can siempre despierto,
y en pastoral albergue mal cubierto
piedad halló, si no halló camino.
Salió el Sol y, entre armiños escondida,
soñolienda beldad con dulce saña
salteó al no bien sano pasajero.
Pagará el hospedaje con la vida;
más le valiera errar en la montaña
que morir de la suerte que yo muero.
****
Luis De Góngora

Of a sick traveler who fell in love where he was lodged
(1594)

Misguided, ill, wanderer,
In the darkest night, with unsure footing,
The confused treading from the desert,
voices in vain gave, excessive steps.
Repeated beating, without neighbor,
Distinctive noise of a perpetually awake dog,
and in a pastoral hostel he is inefficiently covered
piety he found, without finding the way.
The Sun came out and, between ermines she hid,
Lazy beauty with vicious sweetness
Assaulted the not-so-healthy passenger.
He shall pay his accommodations with his life;
It would be more worthy to err on the mountain
Than to die from the luck I’m dying of.

Conversations With My Soul

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Who’s in charge of the
Imagery I see
In my sleep?

Who do I speak to
About my
Recurring dreams?

Last night, I saw
Myself in a mirror,
Much older than
I really am.

The motif is familiar—

It always leaves
Me perplexed;
With metaphors, I don’t
Fully understand.

Can’t I just
Change the theme,
Like a song
On a jukebox,
Where I select
The next band?

I prefer to exchange
Jungian archetypes for
Freudian ones—

And, wake
Up with
An erection
Rather
Than with
Pent up angst!

I Remember | Tito

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I remember, that warm
Day in spring you had
Important news to share.

I remember, the tears I
Shed knowing your life—

Suddenly became an hourglass
Turned over for the last time.

I remember, the final time
You called me—son.

Chase Away My Troubles

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The sound of
Children’s
Delightful
Screaming,

The soulful
Songs of
Happiness
And mirth,

Evokes,
Childhood
Memories,

Running,
Tagging-
Without
Care or dismay;

Are the simple
Pleasures of
Happy play.

Nothing seems
To stand
In their
Way .

Sing children,
aloud.

Let your
Laughter
Drown out my
Troubles—

Like the sun
Penetrates
The darkest
Clouds,

I need
Your
Songs to
Wipe away my
Fears,

And chase
Away
My sorrows.

Converso’s Prayer | Ayuno De Ester

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We pray to the only
God above,
For maintaining us
Safe ’til this day.

May we be reunited
With our brethren soon
With whom we shared
Our ancient feasts.

Remember us like
You remembered
Santa Ester,
Who hid her
Faith from the
Pagan king.

When the time
Came, She interceded
And saved
Our people
From disgrace.

Instead of Mardoqueo,
Amán hung on
The gallows high.

So that all could see—
What befalls those
Who maliciously
Persecute the people
Of God.