Let go of your dependencies; let go.
Let go of what has gone forever more.
Cut free of insecurities; and so,
lay claim to your capacities. Be sure
that what you have, you have in all good faith;
all good faith, that underwrites the absence
of certainty. Believe in what you have.
Believe in the goodness of good intents.
Take hold of opportunities; take hold,
take hold of that which offers more to come.
Seize the moment; as the nettle. Be bold
in your intent; for pluck outplays a strum.
. Let go of insecurities; and so,
. become an opportunity to grow.
To the reader: To be a free agent assumes a level of independence that few of us have license to acquit. Over time we accrue a host of responsibilities, dependencies and expectations that nail us to the floor. Up and leaving is not so easy. Before departing on a free-spirited journey there are things to do. Leaving behind a trail of unfinished business is hardly inviting a warm welcome upon your return. Sure, let go, but take good care … of things before you leave.
To the poet: Strength of message can be bolted to a sonnet. In this free-flowing lecturette I’ve assembled a few commonly known phrases; then, replaced any expected conjunctive using a generous spray of repetition. The repeated elements, through the creation of emboldened space, establish room for emphasis. I’ve not repeated the message, simply repeated the pattern surrounding it.
‘Tis one thing to be untaught, ignorant
of facts and figures; as to be naive.
Quite another to be belligerent,
to bludgeon truth and blatantly deceive.
One can accommodate some innocence,
show a little slack for lack of nous.
Such is not the case for arrogance:
long since the boarder; banished from the house.
For those with space to wonder, give them keys:
grant them all access to rooms full of room
To badgers and bullies who shoot the breeze
give to them the basement; dust and a broom.
. We learn to be wise, to know and believe,
. to stand in defiance of those who aggrieve.
To the reader: Knowledge without the balance of skills and understanding is as useful as a one-legged stool. Content can not stand alone. Context provides a subject with its reference-point. Our conservative school systems have for decades trained and rewarded the content-collectors to the detriment of children with more broad and practical forms of emotional and social intelligence. The know-all is a renowned nuisance … often a drag on the multi-talented team.
To the poet: There remain some clunky-lines that hold their place by virtue of adequate fill. In the absence of better content they suffice; for the moment anyway. Otherwise, and after some serious editing, this sonnet has some redeeming features. The context of consonance works well as belligerent emphasis. And I quite-like the line that gives “a little slack for lack of nous”. A poem is more than clever words; for them, we turn to a dictionary; with them, we build vocabulary; for more, we turn to art.
Spent last evening with invisible thread.
Beneath a crocheted installation,
a gossamer of words were spun and said.
And so wove the night, an incantation
of elevated thought, lifted to a lilt:
hoisted on updrafts of spinnakered air.
As carried by a cello, music spilt
in generous play; danced without a care.
Awash with mood, a manuscript of lines
described the evening and caressed the night.
Suspended hours – hung – as Art designs:
poised in proportion for fanciful flight.
. Spent last evening with invisible thread;
. an entanglement of thoughts, it could be said.
To the reader: It was the gentle ambiance I remember. My home-town (Canberra) was celebrating its Centenary Year with all manner of auspicious events and occasions. One of which was the launch of a book: The Invisible Thread. An evening of ‘light’ entertainment: readings, interspersed with musical interludes. The invisible thread by nature has an unseen presence; nonetheless, it’s strong with connective pull by association.
To the poet: In 2011, I wrote a sonnet (TG-S51) on the same theme. It’s interesting to compare the two. The first unravels the concept of ‘thread’ as an object; the second is much more metaphorical in tone. The second sonnet (TG-S220) plays with a thread’s connective symbolism. Both string together a short narrative. By way of footnote, a few edits (recently applied) gave this sonnet some extra tug.
Sadly, the remains are but frailties:
crumbling pillars and collapsing pylons;
fragile columns; diminished faculties;
cancerous concrete; corroded irons;
frayed exposure; unravelling dimensions
stripped of the scaffold that prevents collapse.
Footings, as anchored to loose connections,
probabilities reduced to perhaps.
Platforms of understanding turned on edge:
uncertainty – an awkward intrusion;
short-term remedy – with no long-term pledge;
a mortarless mix – dust and dillusion.
. Crumbling columns collapse; ruins remain.
. No rhyming couplet can loosen the strain.
To the reader: Dementia is a cruel affliction. The brain retires its function and loses its grip on day-to-day realities. Learnt routines are no longer spontaneous, simple sequences are interrupted and confusion increasingly describes the state of mind. As problems compound there’s a step-down effect; delusion and dismantling go hand-in-hand; finally, connections become tenuous and recognition becomes featureless.
To the poet: My father is suffering the slow decline of dementia. In the beginning stages he would read my sonnets with editorial license, holding on to rules but glossing over nuance that could no longer catch his attention. Years on, the crafted string of words are meaningless. His highly analytical brain has lost its refined capacity to decode and decipher. And so, I write about him; the subject of my thoughts.
It’s the noble cause that warrants journey;
so traversed, deserves a destination.
It’s not the distance, for its own sake, earns the
merit – might just call that transportation.
It’s the rough road, made of grit and gravel
that carves its credentials in the landscape.
It’s the ruts that give substance to travel;
the ruggedness of route that gives it shape.
It’s persistence gives a path persuasion,
makes possible a new course of action.
It’s that step, as steeped in preparation,
that gives the next stride its satisfaction.
. Distance, as travel, is all but pretend,
. Substance, the measure of a journey’s end.
To the reader: The journey and its destination. The ‘long and winding road’ that through a series of encounters leads you back to yourself renewed… it’s this road you most fruitfully travel. It’s not the high-road, it’s not the low-road; no, it’s the middle road that offers guidance and a pathway to discovery. A worthy road must do more than transport it must transform.
To the poet: According to the Buddha, it’s better to travel well than arrive. Likewise, the writing process must not treat the end as its purpose. The end does not come forward without a journey. As words seek expression they uncover meanings and reveal conclusions that are in the present formed of wonder; they deliver surprise. So, wonder and surprise are partners in the narrative of life.
It’s clear to you, I am an open book;
an easy read with all my plot laid bare.
All of me is gesture, betrayed by look:
a tilt of head, a glance of eye, and there
am I revealed… all parts of me are script.
In truth, then, I am nothing more than stage;
all of me is theatre, so well equipped
to assume a role, animate a page
with action, to be read by likes of thee.
So well trained in delivery of lines
I believe myself impromptu; falsely,
to be playwright of my own designs.
. Every thought is preceded by an act.
. It’s from gesture that meaning we extract.
To the reader: At the sub-conscious level, we have social receptors that monitor the quality of our relationships. Our senses collect an array of information; this quantum undergoes neural processing before translation into an appropriate response. Our brains filter out what’s unnecessary and appropriate what remains as useful to the circumstance. That filtering process isn’t invisible. There are many cues that provide evidence of subtle subterfuge… to the astute, we are an open book.
To the poet: The success of this sonnet relies on how well it portrays an impromptu script. The poem’s plot sits (more rightly flits) between two layers of consciousness. The reader (you) is encouraged to scrutinise the writer (me) for signs of ingenuous intention. I am betrayed by give-away gestures that make me nothing more than a scripted actor; a fake, from an open-book masquerade.