“Let It Heal”

“Let It Heal”

Let it heal; it’s been there long
Enough to found a nation; take a last and second look,
Then shut it down and walk away. It wasn’t curiosity cooked
The cat but simple needs and nowhere else to go.
You’ve memorised the song,
You’ve got the tune so move along to other less auspicious paths
To plots and bedtime stories where you know you’ll tend another scratch,
Another scab or lesser wounds. There’ll always be another bus to catch;
The city’s full of them. No motley cast
Of clowns has ever dulled your swollen wit,
And just around the corner―there it sits,
The perfect way―a proper dénouement to end the latest holiday. It fits,
You know, you’ll always profit; today the last, tomorrow’s penultimate to sit
This number out soon enough occurs to you, and there
You’ll be with just enough emergency to pursue some new found energy
To spur your little nudge of natural synergy
To face what is, and what’s about to scare
The Jack and all your sister’s cornflakes out of Jill.
The whole thing’s got to heal, and given time it will.

5 responses to ““Let It Heal”

  1. Someday, I imagine, people will not only enjoy the flow and exuberant thrust of your words but, perchance ,have the benefit of multitudinous footnotes to cypher-out the attributions…

  2. By the time I got to university, I was already wondering whether poets deliberately employ obscurity in order to enhance the effect of their art in the same way that in the West, often I found as a private observation that it must have contributed to the allure of attraction and even of numinosum in the desperate for the few who had any time at all to contemplate anything near the meaning of life. Such numbers increased dramatically after the establishment of even the possibility of a middle class, the growing bureaucratic amorphous mass of humanity that began to collect as an outgrowth of culture beginning with the first stirrings of the nationalistic pies that grew from fallow fields that had been left in the West with the withdrawal of the Romans and doggedly persisted to the point of glory with the first crusades and empires by the time the failure of those crusades brought back the unexpected realisation of the growth of nations over that of local fifes and petty tribal and familial holdings. The final loss of Constantinople in 1453 and the complete cut of all routes to the riches of the East had been strangled and atrophied, one thousand years in the making. In direct proportion to national growth this middle class, this parasitic bourgeois rose with a vengeance with its steam derived from necessity, the very “mother of invention” that came when the monarchs and their aristocracies had the need to run their now vast holdings with some degree of order over and beyond the mere fact of having conquered any given area in that part of the world. Even Constantine had seen the same writing on the wall when he vowed that he would conquer the whole of Rome by the “sign of the cross” rather than annihilate the legions of functionaries who were by his time almost universally Christians who could read and write and who had become indispensable to the running of an empire, something that seemed to escape the emperors Maxentius and Licinius who had clung to the by then outdated policy of anti-Christian sentiments and even persecution. Narration in prose and poetry became as much a political necessity for Constantine as they had for Augustus, and in both instances, this mean license to create with the proviso that whatever was created must glorify the newly established order. In the same light, at least in England, Richard II gave such license to Chaucer to create a little something in English while later, the Tudors did the same with the likes of Marlowe, Jonson, and Shakespeare. There rose a political need for the art of writing and when this need was articulated, by the rising poets of their times, they surpassed the expectations of even their royal patrons. The beauty of the language in and of itself became as potent a weapon in the written word as the content. Of course, more could be said concerning the whole of this simplistic explanation as to the rise of certain victory in the arts, but suffice it to say that today, at least in the English language, we hold Chaucer to be the Father of Middle English and Shakespeare that of Modern English, and it is possible modern times to see the influence of the writers of poetry, in particular, the lyric poetry of the song, short (lyric poems meant to be sung) in the present rate of change within the language right up there with the effects of technology. Both of these ideas you have beautifully covered within your site to a degree that should be helpful to anyone who takes the time to read what you write every day.

    After all these years, it is not at all difficult to come to these conclusions whether or not they are of any use to me or anyone else, for that matter. I have no doubt that poetic license with the very meaning and use of words was the especial bailiwick of both Chaucer and Shakespeare, the last of whom actually coined hundreds, if not perhaps two thousand words which at the time could be called his neologisms but ultimately never left the language from his time onward. At least especially when considering anything written in the Victorian Age or the whole of the 19th Century, I am certain of this habit of personal significance that colours the meaning of otherwise common words to the point of enabling the denotation to become influenced by the connotation to the point that the denotation in time in and of itself is changed. Insofar as we are so very forgiving for such liberties today as we more readily accept the lexical and grammatical habits of so many who have made their mark on the language, it is probable that the English language will now begin an even greater directional diversity in usage, in vocabulary, in denotation and connotation of words than it already has and it is equally probable that we are witnessing what for all intents and purposes is the beginning of the inevitable, the birth of yet another stage of the language equal to, if not superseding what took place in the limited times of both Chaucer in 1388 and again with Shakespeare and company by 1616 (with a little help from King James in the creation of the new translation of the Holy Bible between 1604 and 1611).

    The average reader in these periods not only allowed a hitherto sacred suspension of belief, but encouraged poets and novelists to lean in that direction for the simple reason that most “readers” and “writers” were of a class that had newly won the benefit of leisure time to do both, and certainly had nothing better to do. In time, of course, such addictions to poetic largesse with no particular regard for meaning and/or concrete necessities to respect the “proper” use of words as they might have functioned in the various modes of poetry that began to sprout like weeds after the restoration of Charles II, on the one hand, and on the other, the sudden and decisive break from the past dogma of the bourgeois and the aristocracy as their ruling factions lost control of both the privileged few and the growing mass of populations of the poor at least in the Christian West the vital nutrients of the founding Prophets waned in favour of whatever remained as the skeleton of true belief literally lost its flesh in favour of lip service to virtue. All of the above, we know as Bahá’ís, was the precursor and prelude to the Advent of the Manifestation of The Báb and through that Gate to that of Bahá’u’lláh.

    It was in no uncertain terms that the advent of the beginnings and fruition of all three major revolutions―America, 1776-1789; France, 1789-1815, and Russia, 1917-2000―spawned the beginnings of the ascendency of prose in all six modes―exposition, description, narration, argument, and persuasion and nurtured all to where they are today, creative, yes, but presently out of control and even radical in the effects of the deterioration of the integrity of the language. In time, of course, a romantic flare, wordiness, words apparently appearing for the beauty of what they are with no regard to the purpose of content, these and other poetic and prosaїc conventions have been touted by the universities and of course, as you well know, by the traditional publishers of literature, yet battered by the gradual increase of discontent with medieval thought and forms almost to extinction. The first cheap paperback in history, Lost Horizons, was published as recently as 1939, and has fomented an avalanche of writing even if only to satisfy the needs of the upwardly mobile portions of society who have increasingly liberal amounts of spare time in which to read and through such reading to glorify their own stations as a newly enfranchised segment of society who wish to appear to be both educated and even erudite, and, equally, a greater and greater number of those souls who by now are just crying for the opportunity to create, to write, perhaps, even, to be successful in the production and reproduction of thought and considerations giving new meaning to the original and succinct question posed as early as 1603: “To be or not to be,” which inclusively involves the very process of writing, itself as a meaningful function of what life is all about.

    Your tireless contributions to the field of education for those who would be free of the strictures of both universities and established book publishers exemplifies the value of taking another look at the creative processes of writing, publishing, and whatever reading can bring to both the public health as well as the societies investments in its own health and future creative growth. Frankly, Alexander, there are not medals big enough to be awarded to souls like your own who have dedicated so much time and energy in the direction of no mere personal aggrandisement, but in the need for healthy, dispassionate, unprostituted practice of art not for its own sake, but for the good of the population as a whole.

    After all these years, I have discovered or “come to the conclusion” that what I suspected concerning the beauty of studied use of the neologism on the part of individual writers along with the traditional progress or development of the art of writing was true and should have been admitted. I never found a teacher or a professor who would admit to such a thought. Even so, in my own particular or peculiar joys in writing sonnets I found the confirmation I needed. The general public, the natural progression of pedagogues and critics, not to mention the general gaggle of publishers has seen fit to acknowledge value here only when it is obvious that the public tastes has, for whatever the reasons, accepted this or that for this or that writer, and if there were any rhyme or reason to the public perception of the role of either publishers or literary critics, not to mention teachers and professors of the language, the intension and meaning of such thoughts has been supplanted, superseded, annulled, corrupted, or entirely ignored in deference to the modern obsession with the brief, the sound bite, the snippet to replace the whole; at present, even the taking of courses in schools is often tagged “intensive” with the implication that only concentrated content deliverable in minimum time matters, if at all, and then only when these directly relate to one’s own aims and motives (be they those of the teacher or the student) and only if favourable. The bottom line with most students is, “Let’s cut to the grade or mark and leave out the ‘worth,’ the ‘pith’ and ‘marrow’ and what we may be learning to tomorrow if it just so happens that any of all this serves a purpose.” The former joys of recognition of allusion and convention, not to mention allegory, these and so much of the considerable “clutter” of literary analysis is left to pedants and those who feed on tedium and mere sophistry, and at least for the moment, excellence of any sort.

    Your comment fomented such thoughts in me for the simple reason that it is true that I write what I write with a certain “thrust” in words here and sudden full stops. It is probable that many might actually enjoy the result, but I have found in recent years that most might well feel that the choice of this phrase or that word is all a kind of unnecessary literary excess that speaks to any man of the possession of experience or knowledge merely as one collects books or recordings or both, or in short a thoroughly bourgeois bent and attitude that, simply put, is nothing more nor less that an illusion that if someone owns something, physically, the price of that object is what he paid for it, exorbitant or not, in order to simply possess what the middle class actually believes or thinks is the known entitlement of the rich but without the slightest effort to know just exactly what he owns. Such possessions have no intrinsic worth and what worth they have is in and of itself as a simple possession the true worth of merit the thing possessed. Aside from this such an academic or literary or artistic possession is or is not beneficial to himself or his entourage, his collection of “others in” the “cast of the play he’s staging and/or the flavour of the month until something better comes along which competes for the considered public esteem. Ownership is not only unworthy in such instance but can be spiritually lethal to one who cannot control his lust for collecting anything or even considers the need to embrace moderation of desire as a practice equal to whatever his education and experience may be. The present predicament of a pernicious world economy in a civilisation for whom “possession is ninth-tenths the law” and the continuance of the myths associated with racial and national superiority and/or inferiority is witness enough to the efficacy or veracity of what it is I have seen in my own life, in others, and now in the overwhelming majority of souls I see both in the news and in private life.

    If there is an advantage to writing as you do with a view toward ultimate publication, there is also an advantage to having no intention of publishing at all, or, in other words, what it is that I do. Everything I write has nothing to do with the “now” in life and everything to do with my past or my future; the past, because it is true that there has been greatness of in blessings in whatever has or has not happened in my life; the future because it relates to what is now revealed to me in preparation for whatever remains in my life. The present, in and of itself, has no value save that it offers the sanctions to acting on what one has learned and implies something of what will surely come. Insofar as most souls I know live by the hour or hours or days and even adjudge whatever happens to come to pass as of primary and even exclusive importance to be milked for what any second of life can offer in the way of personal confirmation or gain or both, it would seem that my friends are in dire straits indeed. I knew few if any who agree with this assessment openly.

    So, yes, there is an element of obscurity in what I write and at times I take egregious liberties in this simply because it comes to mind to do so along with the joy of expression, the beauty of having something to say and someone to whom I may express the same. It does not always work to my benefit or to anyone else’s, but nevertheless, it usually does a significant percentage of the time. If my poetry ever did receive some kind of recognition and even notoriety, I can imagine studies of these obscurities will come in handy for both the professor or teacher and his class, or both, and I can also imagine some future youth in his studies wondering just what the hell I meant, if I meant anything at all.

    • I PRAY you’re last sentence comes blindingly True 🙂

      And, thank you for such a rich response with so much welcome poetic history…

      • I have entirely revised the comment I made above; I must have been enormously tired when I wrote what I wrote and found glaring errors and words left out to the point that I wonder how you read the whole of it and got anything out of it at all. At any rate, I took the time to clarify what it was I said and think enough of you to have corrected the message. Your comment was most kind considering how disjointed my comment may have seemed. It’s in part the eyes and my health, Alexander; at least in part, it has made a difference in my capacity to write clearly.

      • You are an Amazing man

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