LOVE POEM #55 – TRUTH LIES

I was tripping, falling in love,

when I saw you through the stained glass

of the yellow church window doves.

You were standing on sunset grass

bidding farewell to the preacher,

and as I crossed the brown tile

the sunlight engulfed your features.

You looked like Apollo’s angel

and if I am to know myself,

then it must be that I know you.

For your eyes held the vatic health

that prophets see happiness through.

And though I’m no sight for sore eyes

you’ll find my love is where truth lies.

——

 

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MANY HATS (AND OTHER HAIKUS)

Rile

Winds brushing through leaves

rile like men, and begin

knocking down their trees.

 

Cat on a Chair

With flat, black ears arched

(their curiosity piqued),

she bats at the fly.

 

Many Hats

My new favorite hat

is a charade of secure.

Won’t match my outfit.

 

Saved

Turn water to wine

and you’re the messiah, or

an alcoholic.

 

The Break Up

She said “over come,”

but I really just wanted

her to come over.

——

 

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DISCUSSING THE INFERNO

I’ve never really been one for writing book reviews. That’s what the Los Angeles Review of Books (LARB) is for, among many other outlets. But I did just finish Dante’s Inferno, and talking about it is effectively a book review, so settle in. If you haven’t read it, Inferno is basically what you would expect. Dante, guided by his senpai Virgil, enters and traverses the bowels of Hell. He listens to many, many different sinners, along with their stories. The plot is leading up to him reaching Heaven, but that doesn’t actually happen until after Inferno.

Ok. Cool. Plot summarized. Now to the fun stuff. The Inferno is a really interesting read, because while it is very “of its time” (literally, you would not believe how many then-contemporary Italian political references there are), it also contains many aspects that can be extended to present day political life. I mean, human nature doesn’t change THAT much, does it? If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve seen a few quotes that pretty directly relate to the modern political climate. What I found most peculiar about Inferno though, is how Dante treats sin.

Today it seems like there is no middle ground. You are evil, or you are good, and if you are sinful, then you can never be virtuous. By contrast, in the book, there is a split. There are those people who never look back, and are bad through and through, but there are also those who were great, but punished for their sins. The proof that they were great is that Dante speaks well of some of them. Speaking well of somebody who inhabits Hell, not Heaven, seems a bit…wrong, right? But I think that’s the crux of the story—that despite our flaws and short comings, we can still be good people, if we act in a manner that uplifts humankind. By contrast, if we instead turn our backs on humanity and virtue, and live a life solely for ourselves, that greed will consume us and damage everything around us.

A bit of pride is good. Too much pride is dangerous. The Greeks used Icarus to portray this, among others. Dante used various Popes and historical figures like Brutus and Cassius. Yet those men, if Shakespeare’s tragedy is to believed, were trying to defend democracy in betraying Cesar. They were punished, but their actions were, in many ways, for a greater good. What do you think? Where would you draw the line? Let me know in the comments!

 

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THE WOLF’S REMORSE

Lo! Through the years, I’ve become a skeptic;

Rusting unburnished, like th’aged Ulysses.

The sharpness of my mind has turned septic;

The breath in my lungs has become a wheeze.

Yet the strength in my fist still begs to fight,

To once again tear Grendel limb from limb.

The sins of my past haunt me like a wight,

Could it be that I earned a curse from them?

I know it’s sin to commit murder, Lord,

I hold thy commandments by my bedside,

Yet they had caused injury further, Lord,

And so their punishment was eye-for-eye.

 

But now I hear my Geatish men burning

At the hands of an insatiable beast,

And I wonder if these Christian learnings

Are just the ruse of some fraudulent priest.

For it was my will that slayed these monsters,

Not the holy relics of olden times.

Mayhaps it be you were an imposter

To convict one’s enemies of false crimes.

 

But what the truth is, Lord, I do not know.

All that I can do is reap what I sow.

And if this cruel dragon would kill my men

Then I think it’s high time I kill again.

——

 

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PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE

I pledge allegiance to the flag

 

My young eyes followed

Each word on the board dutifully,

As we spoke,

Because I had been told

That’s what a patriot would do.

 

Of the United States of America

 

My home.

Well, my country, at least,

My home was there, too,

But just down the street,

Next to Mikey’s house.

I had never been to somewhere like Texas

Or Tennessee.

Ma said it wasn’t safe there.

 

And to the Republic, for which is stands,

 

And what exactly

Do we stand for?

I wondered.

Uncle Rob and Mom

Were arguing over that

Just the other day.

“You poor people

Are all the same.

Fat. Lazy.

And so irritating,

Begging for my money.”

He had spit.

I remember the contempt in his eyes

When his gaze fell on me.

 

One nation, under God, indivisible

 

Of course, the divide in our family

Was made long before yesterday evening.

Mom had married a Muslim.

And because he translated God

To Allah

Uncle Rob acted like dad was a terrorist.

Then again, so did my classmates,

Which is why mom drops me off

Nowadays.

 

With liberty and justice for all.

 

At the time,

When I rocked back and forth on my heels,

Hand clasped over my heart,

I did not know the term “irony,”

 

But as I would learn,

In my public schooling,

The ideas of “liberty” and “justice”

Are riddled with it.

 

Where was the liberty

When my father was executed

By Mikey’s dad,

The “self-proclaimed” patriot?

 

Where was the justice

When my mother grew weak and weary

From over exhaustion,

While Uncle Rob

Grew fat

With his riches?

 

“For all,”

Echoed through my mind,

As we took our seats in class.

The tattered walls,

The creaky floors,

The wobbly desks,

All reminded me

What a perfect lie that was.

 

There’s no justice for us.

——

 

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THE FLIGHT OF THE SKYFISH

Now, we find the skyfish has taken hold.

His once clouded scales have come alive

In a shimmering rainbow, bright and bold,

And he swims in the sky for all to see.

 

I watch as all the voices around me

Light up like they had just seen a lover.

There are festivals for miles to see

Each with their own, new, succulent delights,

And the children run with their skyfish kites.

I wonder how many have read my books?

Has the pen been overcome by websites,

Who stole His words and used them as their own?

 

For this is not the world I was shown.

He gave me words to make the truth shine through—

To bring eyes to the magic paths He’d flown

Yet in the stead of my books I see blogs.

No one reads the words I’d carefully logged.

Still, I hear His voice calling out to me,

Over the screeches of the demagogues,

Like the low hum of thunder on the wind.

 

He flies out to find all those who have sinned,

To drown the ranks of rot and filth and lust.

He purges their ranks until they have binned

The infectious bacteria of life.

A man proclaims love to his brand new wife

But his eyes drift to his secretary.

She, herself, took an oath against the knife

To join her blood in with His covenant.

Though we see the truth that has come of it:

That the weakness of man poisons His sea.

 

Yet still He calls to me from the big blue;

I wonder if pride has blinded Him too?

——

 

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THE DISCOVERY OF THE SKYFISH

Once in a blue moon, the skyfish appears,

But only to those who go to wander—

And even the wanderers do not see

The glory that is in His great visage.

 

He first caught my eye after the Spring rain,

When the sweet showers of April sunk in

To combat the drought March brought to the roots.

He was hiding at the edge of my sight

Behind blinding rays of the newborn sun,

But because I chose to shield my gaze

He granted me the knowledge known only

To those who see both the Heavens and Earth.

 

It was knowledge that no words could describe,

For in all the words that fill my journals

I have chipped away but a small pebble

From a mountain that dwarfs King Everest.

And yet I have been given this sentence,

Which knows no beginning and has no end:

To make His word—that is, the word of God—

Into a word that humans understand.

 

But with the volumes of books I have writ

More and more people have turned to my cause.

They have found His glory; His clouded scales,

And for the first time, Man has found its peace.

No children cry for their long dead fathers;

No wives waiting for their husband’s return.

There’s no violence against those who are queer—

For to the skyfish we are all mere kelp.

We all live, and breath, and bleed the same way,

Even if not all of us appear green.

 

But the quiet that fell over the Earth

Is a silence that I have found eerie.

——

 

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THE HEAVEN OF EARTH

Why is it that humans look to heaven

When all ’round them they can find their brethren?

What’s more is what they can find down below

With a sickle, a shovel, and a hoe:

Nutrients that have more glory than God.

It’s something that I have always found odd.

To turn to the ever cancerous sky

Who’s one redemption is when the clouds cry.

And we could find fresh water in rivers-

Though one must look out for things that slither,

For while mother Gaea can be loving,

She cannot prevent our cousin’s hunting.

Still I’d first trust destiny in her hands

Than under the fist of a Christian man,

Who has crusaded with a zealous pride

And burned innocent crops while on his ride.

 

The irony is that with every win

He has indulged in the cardinal sin;

That in his search for greatness and glory

He lost the teachings that he held holy.

So stick to the land and I think you’ll find

This heaven of Earth is one of a kind.

——

 

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LETTER TO THE CHIVANT BRIDGE SOCIETY

The blood had pooled in the middle of the road, crawling slowly through the cracks around the body. The body, that of a young man aged 26, was sprawled out with his head slumped to the left. He was well dressed, in a black coat and a white button down shirt with thin blue stripes, stained crimson from his wounds. He must have been thrown out into the road quickly after his injuries occurred, because a thin spattering of blood led back to the sidewalk. It had occurred just in front of Auguste Rodin’s Hellfire Bar and Grill, at roughly 1:15 in the morning, based on the temperature of the body and the state of the blood.

It wasn’t until later that we found the knife. Or rather, parts of the knife, which appears to have been shattered by an unknown force (one theorist suggests that it was probably caused by a sudden change in temperature from extreme heat to extreme cold, though the cause for this occurrence is still uncertain, and has been rapidly dismissed as impossible). Unfortunately, even after reconstruction, the knife has given us little to no information on his death. It’s a short, thick blade, with a well worn handle, yet in spite of this there are no traces of fingerprints, DNA (aside from the victim’s blood), or even a brand name.

On the man’s person there was a wallet with no identification, credit card, or any other means to give a name to his person, though he bares a striking resemblance to Mihr, a man I knew in high school. Additionally, he was carrying an envelope that was curiously addressed to a location that does not exist with the simple message “RUN.” The confusing part was that the addressee was simply titled “All.” We have attempted to find someone by this name for follow up, but we were unable.

After attempting to view street cameras, it was discovered that power had gone out that night between the hours of 12:00 am and 2:00 am. No suspicious behavior exhibited in the hours leading up to and following the event, when footage is available. Police are still searching for any information on this occurrence. If you have any information, please do not hesitate to contact us. Additionally, it would be of great assistance for you to put the word out, as we know you have a great capacity to gather information. We are at a loss for where to go next.

 

~ letter addressed to the Chivant Bridge society

 

 

*This is fictional, please nobody freak out. Side note, there are 3 references in this, based on names. I recommend you puzzle your way through them. They will hopefully grant you a little more insight into the meaning.

THE TEMPLE

At the base of the mountain sat a temple, covered in moss from solitude. A solitude so lonely that even the rocks and the trees around it do not understand it. This temple sat for many seconds of eternity, alone and uninhabited, until one day it was discovered by an immortal man. The man had walked through the dense trees and vines until he stumbled upon it by what he thought to be chance (though any knower of things realizes that there was no chance about it). For a time, the man sat too, contemplating the world around him. He would walk through the empty hallways, and observe how the walls would echo back to him.

And for a time, the temple felt happy, until the time came for the man to leave. He built a great fire from moss and leaves and tinder that were scattered about the temple. The fire heaved and burned hot, and spread wildly like an unchained animal, searching out every crevice of the temple until it finally subsided into a deep sleep. For the first time in ages, the temple was clean. But the temple was also sad, because it was once again empty. And long after the dust had settled, after the wind had taken the ashes far away, after the vines had come to reclaim their territory, The Purifier came. He came like a demon, with all his disciples. They harnessed the temple, and it became the center of their world.

The temple felt happy, at least, it thought it did. It had been cleansed again, and the people gave it detailed attention. They built pillars and statues just for it. They broke down old walls and rebuilt it brick by brick, so that it was bigger and stronger than before. They remade it so much that the temple could scarcely remember the man from long ago who had come into the hallways and made them like a home. Until one day he returned.

The temple saw the man step through the trees in amazement. The smile across his face was more of surprise than of joy, and he walked slowly up to the temple. Up it’s numerous golden stairs until he reached the main entryway, which had been had been redesigned larger and more grand than he remembered it. He saw the new tiling, and could almost hear the roar of the statues on either side as he walked past. The people looked at him in both awe and in fear as he walked through the halls—really much more like corridors now. Eventually, he came before the main room, which too had been made more lavish, and looked upon where he had sat and meditated. Instead, before him sat The Purifier, demonic and powerful, in a throne constructed of a gold so vibrant that the man had to shield his eyes to speak.

The man and The Purifier spoke for hours, sometimes shouting, sometimes so quietly the temple could hardly hear them. Of course, the temple did not understand what they said, but she could tell that they were at odds with each other. For days upon days they spoke, the man standing, and The Purifier in his throne, until finally there was a heated silence, and The Purifier rose slowly to his full height, with a grim anger on his face. He pointed at the man, and from him burst forth a flame deep blue and hot, and it engulfed the man. There was a single tear that rolled from his eye as he was burned black to ash, and he looked at the temple with a sad smile, until finally the flames subsided and there was nothing left of him.

The temple became enraged, and shook violently, and implored the mountain above her to help bring her freedom. She realized now she had not been brought kinship, but instead had been conquered; that she had been brought from ruin to ruin. That it was not for her that these people cared, but only for themselves. And the mountain granted her wish, and erupted in smoke and molten lava. The mountain choked the people, and burned them to ash, like The Purifier had done to her friend. The Purifier ran to the top of the temple, as if to escape the ocean of death around him. But the tide was rising now, and it chased him up the stairs.

The Purifier turned to the mountain amazed, but not frightened, and he said something that was passed along by the birds, to the lions, and all the way through the world to me. This he said:

“In fire I was born, and in fire I will die. But it will not be at your hands, it will be at my own. One last, beautiful purification.” And then it is told, that as the lava reached the last steps, The Purifier put a hand to his chest, his fingers tensed against his heart, and closed his eyes for a moment. Then, he ignited, and exploded into a spectacle of red and white, before being carried off with the wind. The temple screamed, enraged and pained with sadness. That it would be known that the last victory could not be hers. She sat there again, for years to come, as the mosses came back and the ashes gave way to new growth, and waited, in solemn silence, until inevitably another would come to take her again.

– The end

 

 

*A quick note, I don’t own this image, it appears to belong to the wiki.guildwars site, but I cannot find an artist to credit the work to.