With Apologies to Plato

August 31, 2014

“In every one of us there are two guiding and ruling principles which lead us whither they will; one is the natural desire of pleasure, the other is an acquired opinion which aspires after the best; and these two are sometimes in harmony and then again at war, and sometimes the one, sometimes the other conquers.”
– Socrates (Phaedrus Dialogues)

He said:
Come with me tonight, let us dance under the crystal moon
The air is clear and flowers in bloom
For nothing can change my love, it is just for you.
I love you clearly, I love you true.
No thought, no word and no reason, let them not sully our time
The days are shortening, I don’t wish them to fly by.
Don’t ask why or what or when.
Just hold my heart, it’s yours to the end.

She said:
It is all very well, these words you say
But that’s all they are, nothing stays the same.
To laugh and dance is all good and true
But the music will stop and so will you.
Think of all the times that will test your heart
Reason alone not to get too far.
Let us sit and think if this should be
She looked up, no more was he seen.

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Insomnia / Jet lag

August 29, 2014

I am lying awake,
Shrouded by the black cape of dark,
Eyes alive but unseeing.
Yet I see apparitions.
Ghastly spectres linked and chained
Parading in never ending array,
Ghosts from inner labyrinths,
Deformed and maimed,
Carrying with them the burden of the past and fear of the future
Unsightly and ugly they stream in never ending waves
Till exhaustion rolls over and subdues them
So they can rise in the dark once again.

I cannot will myself to write.
Staring at a blank page;
Vast ocean of emptiness,
I stare
And stare
Waiting for that moment of inspiration,
That lightening to strike across the firmament of my mind
To write that first word.
That word lacking in substance,
In meaning,
In purpose.

And when it comes,
It is a rising vast blue wave
That roars over the placidity of the page.
It carries no force, no direction.
From it fall jumbled metaphors,
Crooked catechisms,
Unformed thoughts
And dripping passions
That lie waiting to be rearranged,
Reformed and repurposed.
So I can, in clarity,
Tell of the art of the evenings,
In their russet pink and red,
The dark blue romance of the sea,
Stories of Odysseus and his mind,
The taste of a kiss, of loves and friends
That urge me to write.

1.1 Awakened

August 28, 2014

Manhattan – Day 3

August 28, 2014

Tepid day breaks over the granite
Morning streets carry their forlorn look
Their red eyes blinking in a daze from the morning light
From the avenue behind the sounds of a bus stirring is heard
Indicating that the giant beast is slowly stirring

Borges on Verse

August 26, 2014

Like the blind man whose hands are precursors
that push aside walls and glimpse heavens
slowly, flustered, I feel
in the crack of night
the verses that are to come.
I must burn the abominable darkness
in their limpid bonfire:
the purple of words
on the flagellated shoulder of time.
I must enclose the tears of evening
in the hard diamond of the poem.
No matter if the soul
walks naked and lonely as the wind
if the universe of a glorious kiss
still embraces my life.
The night is good fertile ground
for a sower of verses.
– Jorge Luis Borges

To Every New Journey

August 23, 2014

Nights are cruel beasts when they stir you awake.
In the dark I have lain awake,
Thinking about myself,
Thinking about the changes that cover my life
I think of the hour of departure,
The time when the day miraculously speeds up
And you grasp at the racing minutes in vain.
I think of the times that have swept by,
The glorious, heady intoxicating potion of nostalgia,
That dulls the pain, the harshness, the bitterness
And soothes with warm sepia glow of mawkish sentiment.
I think of the successes and failures,
The painful loves and the brutal defeats,
The hours spent holding onto dreams already lost,
And the inevitable return to them to seek solace.
I am thinking of friends, of family, of hours of useless mundanity,
Of commonplace occurrences that are suddenly all too important.
I am ignoring and am afraid of
The excitement,
The joy,
The adventure,
The uncertainty of the unknown,
That comes with every new journey.

Atlas

August 17, 2014

Whoever opens an atlas
Is seeing the art of man
Created in blindness and
Heard through song;
The melancholy song
Of home, of hearth,
Lost on the wild seas, adrift
Amongst the snow and sand.
Whoever opens an atlas
Is hearing the march of soldiers,
Hobnailed boots on turf,
The tinkle of pots and pans
And shifty feet of following merchants,
And hearing the sigh of Homer
As he recounts the world of Odysseus
Which is lost to his eyes.

To Robin Williams

August 17, 2014

And it came to him, that sudden madness
In the shifting forms of the dark, the night,
Protean, from which angels and demons emerge
That was when he remembered the chimeras he created.
On carpets, where flying across the minarets,
He shaped the voice of another, blue smoke of illusion,
There he laughed, the crazed laugh,
That concealed demons that gnawed within him.
The demons were only seen briefly, in the images and photographs,
Created in the dark rooms; few knew how many dwelled within him,
And his sheer fear of them, but he knew it well.
Dark corners within which he curled to escape them and
From which he also drew to describe the sheer beauty of art.
Art, not read through books or analyzed through equations,
But art that was truly felt, seen and heard. Art that words attempted to capture
To create the simulacrum of the original; the beauty of the sunset,
The drop of gold of an autumn apple, the love of a pretty girl.
And most of all the art of possibilities created in dreams,
The only place where men were free, thus it was true he knew;
And so in the dark, when the sad madness defeated and took him,
It was a release into a never ending dream, where he was finally free.

Sydney Spring Morning

August 17, 2014

A grey dawn has washed over the city
Sleek rain has blurred the day’s contours
Uncertain and inconstant, a sly dog circling the table,
The gloom wafts around swallowing towers with it’s hungry maws
Reawakening the desire for sleep