it’s a beautiful, extremely blue-skied,sunny, ice cold windy day here in san francisco. san francisco tends to be a “dark” city, with so much fog, clouds, and rain. It’s different this year. We had our first sunny summer that I can remember since moving here 44 years ago. I loved every sunny second of it. I was thinking I might have to buy a special light box to fight off SAD, seasonal affective disorder, which I think I have. But this year, nature has been my treatment. Of course, the well being of “me” is not necessarily the rest of nature’s good fortune. The plants and animals need water. I am aware of this, but choose not to wax polemical against global warming at the moment. We all know humans have made and continue to make big-time mistakes. As a species, I think our learning curve is just slightly behind my own. Up against the slow learning curve of our whole species, I do not feel quite as slow as I sometimes do surrounded by the smart people I know personally, or read in books and magazines. All in all, it’s a little frustrating. And of course, there are the slow learners who are in positions of power, and that problem, combined with greed makes for decisions that impact regular people (like you and me) and our mother earth in particularly bad ways…
Well, look at that. I’m “waxing”, without having intended to. We are all so inter-connected, so it’s hard not to care alot, even if I’m sometimes trying to take a break from the enormity of what’s going on… my heart still knows.
It is the knowing, and the not knowing, and the darkness that this poem is about.. It’s not exactly happy, but there is some “resolve” at the end, and that, I’m pretty sure, is a good thing. Also, I think it is in the darkness (the parts hidden from our selves) that we can uncover and learn the most important things. It often doesn’t seem this way to me. But I think it’s counter-intuitive. And also, I admit to a fear of the dark. So, it’s not easy to stay there and learn what the lesson is. I usually spend most of my “dark” time feeling sorry for myself and strategizing distractions.
I wrote this poem at our Poetry Kalyana Mitta group a couple of days ago. The “prompt” I gave the group (as we sat in my living room) was to first do a “free write” about the room, or something in the room, along with whatever emotional resonance was going on in that moment for each of us, and then to write a poem from that. My living room is very multi-colored and full of interesting possible objects to spur a thought or a feeling. I love how when given a prompt, each person comes up with such a wildly individual take on it. You can tell from the poems that got created that there was an initial seed from which they all came, and yet the variety of poems are amazing, and so wonderful! I’d like to invite the other poets from the group to share their poems too.
I live in this room which speaks in light, shadows, contours and colors.
Red, for instance. Ochre.
I know so little,
Then, what I know changes
or the object of knowing changes, shifts, reveals something new…
light slanting in different directions,
what I think I know, what I knew, what I…..
Below, old patterns re-cycle, repeat —
fractals — who I am who I am who I am who I am who I am
It looks like we’re going down
Ochre stains the walls.
Blood red saturates
the chair, the rug, the Mexican tin heart
No way out but through
Going down means going into
the human heart
I’ll pay attention this time.