Category Archives: Distraction

“The Underside”

…dedicated to the many who wonder what’s become of all that is and where the bottom is…

“The Underside”

“‘The underside’ … it’s not just in tandem, ‘Once, it’s everywhere! … sigh …'”
And she was right. It seems the predilection toward
The animal appears where there is none; the tsunami’s force is froward
Where there is no place to go but straight to hell for all but those who fly
Or settle for a second-rate mortgage off the high road’s endless traffic.
And we along the shores of what’s become the greater sea who sit
And sign within ourselves no higher there, nor lower here, are aware of it:
There is no real rest from those who foment
Condescension to Creation, laced with lies
To trap the innocent, and revel in the vanishing point
Below the picture, well beneath the edges or between the joints
Of slender bones and tissues in the body politic; cries
Will rise for them and for their victims and their families,
The “taken”, “took” and “broken for which poets scribble homilies.

Once

“The tree outside the window taps very gently on the pane … I want to think quietly, calmly, spaciously, never to be interrupted, never to have to rise from my chair, to slip easily from one thing to another, without any sense of hostility, or obstacle. I want to sink deeper and deeper, away from the surface, with its hard separate facts. To steady myself, let me catch hold of the first idea that passes … Shakespeare … Well, he will do as well as another. A man who sat himself solidly in an arm-chair, and looked into the fire, so a shower of ideas fell perpetually from some very high Heaven down through his mind.”

The Mark on the Wall
Virginia Woolf
[1882-1941]

“Wife, child, brother, parents, friends…We come only to go apart again. It is one continuous movement. They move away from us, and we move away from them. The law of life can’t be avoided. The law comes into operation the moment we detach ourselves from our mother’s womb. All struggle and misery in life is due to our attempt to arrest this law or get away from it or in allowing ourselves to be hurt by it. The fact must be recognized. A profound unmitigated lonliness is the only truth of life.”

R. K. Narayan
[October 10, 1906 — May 13, 2001]
(shortened from Rasipuram Krishnaswami Iyer Narayanaswami)
The English Teacher

“Sonnet in Honour of the Feast of `Izzat or ‘Might”

Bahá’ís throughout the world gather together this evening after sunset or tomorrow before sunset to commemorate
the First Day of the Month of ‘Izzat…

“Sonnet in Honour of the Feast of `Izzat
or ‘Might”


Judge well, my friend, adduce astutely;
perceive the might of any man,
By salutation there above it all, crowned,
a tarnished name become a lyric,
A word in apposition to the current legend; manipulated Pyrrhic
Hero whose deceiving ears–offending, apprehending what demands
Command the poll and elevate a fleeting circumstance and fame;
Even the rose is granted for the sake of a specific hour, a simple song
Fossilised before the melody has ceased when so easily as on
A clouded noxious day, all verbs clot and pronouns reign
In arrogance as thoughts turn to vapours and yesterday’s gilding
Rise and fall. With nothing distilled from achievement
For want of aging, accidents deemed bold distraction
spend themselves in vain
In youth while untried strength
sustains the untended pun
Of forgery and fortune. But see this blossom
in the deepest well
And dying sees his heaven
while he knows he lives in hell.

–Once

…from: A Raison in the Sun, Act III by Loraine Hansberry

…BENETHA
Love him?
There’s nothing left to love.

MAMA
There’s always something left to love.

Have you cried for that boy today? Not for yourself and the family because we lost the money. I mean for him. And what he’s gone through. And God help him. God help him, what it’s done to him. Child, when do you think is the time to love somebody the most? When he’s done good and made things easy for everybody? That ain’t the time at all. It’s when he’s at his lowest and he can’t believe in himself because the world’s whipped him so! When you starts measuring somebody measure him right, child. Measure him right. You make sure that you done taken into account the hills and the valleys he’s come through to get to wherever he is….

“They Await”

“They Await”

They await some helpful word and know the news
Their fear falls short of what it is they want to hear;
Days’ delays, too much backlog must disappear
Before the silence and its echo can renew
The striking of the bell within this people. Still
It falls within the natural healing that smatterings
Of longing, waiting, hoping in and of itself brings
Spasms of a healing psalm to the many, and for the few no chill
Will touch the man who holds the triumph of the will to heart,
A movement, distant, upward, outward toward
The next plateau, a freshly minted meme within a percolating promise, forward
Always–never moving yet never still–magnificently arched and carved.
As with a steaming rainbow, himself the crown to every several cloud
While he succumbs to resignation and relief that only ignorance allows.

“A Summer’s Aimless Thought” or “Don’t Ask Why I Wrote This!”

“A Summer’s Aimless Thought” or “Don’t Ask Why I Wrote This!”

And so the lesser heat descends upon us once,
But, come again?…and now the skin is damp
For no good reason, nothing more than clams
Must feel through all their night’s eternity, abandoned
In watermarked enclosure, rarely asking where
Their homes are logged–no! nor even more from life
Than what is strained for food. If found, the knife
Will end it all. From accidental currents traffic cares,
From aimless waves and tides and what seals may accrue,
Seadogs innocently involved and driven by their own
Insensitivity to feelings and not so much in interest as they comb
The seabeds looking for what mindless kelp must do–
For supper–Yes! We dine tonight: the sacrifice of clams and oysters,
And budget-minded shrimp, and the choir?–crabs conveniently cloistered.