A DAY AT THE FAIR

Emerging from under the shadowy tunnel

into the blinding sunlight of the September fair

builds more child-like suspense in me

than any movie soundtrack could.

 

Suddenly, all those twenty-two years

melt back into the sevens and eights

where oceans of cotton candy and

rivers of soda pop were mine to sail through.

 

The loud hums of the stereotyped amusements,

from Mexican dancers to redneck farmers

whistle through the air like a swarm of bees,

and I hadn’t a care in the world.

 

I roamed about like that, in half a daze,

so filled with the happiness of the afternoon

that I nearly forgot the Ferris Wheel,

and anyone who knows me knows

that I’d never forget the Ferris Wheel.

 

There’s something beautiful

looking out over the plane of the world

at a point that no human was meant to see

where the air tastes fresher than spring

and the Earth seems perfectly still.

 

Even if it is just for a moment,

before the basket of humans makes another spin

and we all have to step off the ride

to go home again.

——

 

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SLIPPING IN AND OUT OF DREAMS

When you start walking through walls, do you finally realize that you are in a dream? Personally, I struggle to even remember dreams, much less realize that I am in them. I’ve been trying to take stock of them when I wake up over the past couple weeks, and I’ve gotten a little better. Now I can usually remember the endings of the dreams, and if it was really vivid I can usually remember the major plot points, but I still struggle with beginnings.

Not that dreams really have beginnings. I doubt there is some voice over that says “one day our weary hero was walking through the woods, blah blah blah blah” like some cheesy 80’s movie. But let’s take, for example, a dream I had about a week ago. Somehow, I got to a point where these massive, titanic beings were chasing after me, literally bursting through buildings to get to me. The whole world knew, and the everybody was trying to help me get away from them, but I had no idea how I had gotten to that point. Was I the scientist who made them? Was I carrying some secret? Was it some other reason? I don’t know. But I am certainly curious.

The other interesting thing I’ve been trying is to slip in and out of my consciousness and dream states more quickly. Often times, I will wake up—or be woken up—before I mean to start my day. In many cases, I will have been woken up out of a dream, and will want to fall back into it. If I have to get up to do something, I’ll lose track of the dream, but if I can relax my mind into a resting state, I can often slip right back into the dream I was experiencing. Sometimes it takes a sharp turn because of this. For example, if I was dreaming about picnics, it might be that while after I wake up, the picnic leads me to a circus fair or something.

Anyways, that’s just my two cents on the topic. Do you have any recommendations for remembering dreams? Let me know!

 

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THE END OF DAYS

If all men are dogs,

Then are all women frogs?

And are all mice men?

What’s that make children then?

 
But we all drink water;

We all have a father;

We all feel the pain

That’s driving us insane.

 

The pain of being alone,

Stuck inside a world

That’s bigger than our own.

 
Do you remember the days of old?

The days when our family

Was more valuable that gold.

 
Days before the calamity,

When we became preachers

Of goodness and chastity.

 
In the days where our leaders

Didn’t sell us out to greed,

And the land was our teacher.

 
Those days when we were free.

Free to be, you and me.

But those good days have long gone past,

The end of the world has come at last,

And machines order us throughout our days,

Because we let them put us in this haze.

——

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THE KOI

The cold, dead eyes of the koi

Make me wonder. How exactly

Does such emptiness also carry

Such infinite wisdom?

 

They vacuum away at pebbles

In stagnant, green waters,

Hungry for their feed.

Their pillowy tails look

Like silky clouds, drifting lazily

Through an empty summer sky.

 

My eyes get lost

In their broken speckles

Of orange and black and white.

Do you think we will ever learn

To see past color

As they do?

 

It is almost as if

The hardship of time,

Who pillages our human lives,

Was repulsed by their intricate scales.

Scales, not unlike those of Themis,

Who rebuffed the wicked

In olden days.

 

Oh, what I would give

To know what they know;

To see what they see;

To live as they live.

For I too am a fish,

One from a bigger pond,

And faster currents,

And if I’m not careful

They will suck me away

As they have many others.

——

 

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LOVE POEM #36 – THE TRUTH

I would compare you to a summer’s day,

If the Cali sun could match to your heat.

But the truth of it, love, I cannot say

For all comparisons would feel cheap.

 

Your eyes are like marbles; your lips like wine;

Your tongue like honey, and your hips divine.

Your hair like a river; your teeth a light;

Your smile like silver; your legs a sight.

 

Your mind’s like a dagger stuck in my side;

Your kiss makes me stagger and swell with pride.

Your stare makes me shiver, and turn to stone,

But for you I’d wither away to bones.

 

Because, love, I’ve found that the truth of you

Is that nothing on Earth can match your hue.

——

 

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WISE WORDS (AND OTHER HAIKUS)

Writing

I am a writer

And I talk about problems.

I think I’m cliché.

 

My Room

My room’s a forest

Of cloths and books and papers.

Tread lightly alone.

 

As Long As…

Trust me, you’re safe here.

As long as you obey me

And do as I say.

 

Trophy Shelf

Look at my trophies:

The greatness of childhood,

Now covered in dust.

 

Wise Words

Grandfather, help me.

I feel I’ve lost my way.

Then make a new one.

——

 

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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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LOVE POEM #25 – THE GUISE OF THE EYES

I have contemplated for many years

The most intriguing features of my love.

Is it the lips? The hair? The hips? The ears?

Or is it a gift given from above?

By my design, I claim it is the eyes.

The long proclaimed windows to a man’s soul.

But the beauty in them is in the guise

Where we use happiness to mask a hole.

Because there are some voids no one can fill,

And in the end we are faced with regrets

But having that one who will love us still

Allows us to cope with our life’s defects.

And it is through their eyes that you will find

A love so strong that it will make you blind.

——

 

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PEPPERMINT NOSTALGIA (AND OTHER HAIKUS)

Snowflakes

The icy snowflakes

Fall like a flower’s petals;

Bring winter to life

 

The Monster

The monster is here

To reign terror over us.

I can’t control it.

 

Taste of Pain

You cannot tell me

What I should do with my life

’til you taste my pain.

 

Bittersweet

She tastes like honey

And she can move like sugar,

But, boy, does she bite.

 

Peppermint Nostalgia

I smell peppermint.

It reminds me of my home

In between the rain.

BURNING THE CANVAS

“Make your mind a blank slate,” the monk told us. We were sitting in the wooden temple, performing our daily meditation cycle. It was around 6:30 in the morning, though the bells had yet to chime. I focused on my heartbeat, calming myself. The goal of enlightenment was a difficult process. I had been told to make my mind a blank slate, in a few moments, the monk would instruct us further.

“Now, make your mind empty,” said the monk with a quiet yet firm tone. It was at this point that most disciples struggled. How, in fact, does one create nothing? I was sitting with my legs crossed in the lotus position. My hands were at my knees, palms facedown so that my fingers slumped down, fully relaxed. Every disciple was given the choice of meditative positions, right down to the direction they faced, to further calm their mind. The idea was to become one with the world. In history, but one monk had become fully at peace in this way, but he became unable to speak after his awakening, and in truth he departed from most human communication in general.

I focused my mind. I could picture the blank slate before me—an empty canvas, endless, with no sides or edges. I could feel my heartbeat slow from a normal speed. Thump. Pause. Thump. And so on. Then, I attempted to remove the canvas from my mind, until nothing was left. At first, I tried to condense the canvas, to put it inside a box equally infinite, and make the box disappear. But how could I possibly erase something that was infinite? After that, I tried to eat away at the canvas from the middle, like a fire as it burned from the center of a paper to all edges. In my mind, I could almost feel the heat, as the sparks became a flame, and the flame became a wall of fire, and finally the wall of fire erupted from all ends of my mind. I held my breath, to snuff the oxygen out and force the flame to go out. I could feel my heart rate quicken, straining against the lack of sustenance. But the fire had spread to far. How could I compete with a flame the burns infinitely?

I recreated the canvas in my mind again, each time attempting to remove it in new ways. Each time, failing. By the time the bells struck 7:30, I had become drenched in sweat, despite remaining motionless the whole time. My mind had become a battleground against the forces of itself. By the time the clock struck 8:00, I was grateful our meditation session was at an end. I exhaled deeply, and opened my eyes. When they had closed, the sun was still below the horizon, yet now it had brightened the whole day. The monk crossed the floor of the temple to me, and put a hand on my shoulder.

“You are making good process, Seigfried.”

“I don’t feel like I am making progress,” I lamented. It was exhasperating.

“Why do you struggle?” The monk’s question seemed rhetorical, but I knew he expected an answer.

“I struggle because when my mind is a blank slate, it, like my imagination, is infinite.” The monk made a small smile, revealing no teeth, but clearly happy with my answer.

“If your mind is infinite, perhaps you should seek not to remove infinity, but to alter it.”

“I have altered it!” I gasped, “I burned the canvas away and then tried to snuff out the fire, but how does one snuff out infinity?” I turned away from the monk angry. The monk nodded to me, but I could sense his smile had disappeared. He walked away to leave me alone in my own thoughts.