There Are Moments

There Are Moments

There are moments when everything makes sense.
For just a second nothing is at odds.
Simplicity abounds, becomes immense;
earns the approval of a thousand gods.
It’s at that moment, between wake and dream,
that all things become imaginable;
all things at once adopt a common theme.
One point of truth becomes conceivable.
Clarity of thought is clean-cut and crisp;
vagaries sharpen so ‘that’ becomes ‘this’;
images emerge, give shape to a wisp;
that which is simple, more beautiful is.
. Where stems the answer to “why is it so?”
. From the essence … in the presence of flow.

© Tim Grace, 18 July 2013


To the reader: If you haven’t had your introduction to the works of Dr Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (chick sent me high) you owe it to yourself to make that connection. Through this acquaintance you’ll meet yourself at your potential best. As the theory goes, there are deliberate steps you can take on the way to achieving flow; an essence you learn to channel from within a zone of intense satisfaction with your own condition of contentment… in pursuit of happiness.

To the poet: You can’t bottle flow; it’s a meditative energy, that through active absorption describes a form of fulfilment. My gateway to ‘flow’ is through the comfortable challenge of poetry. Effort, along with challenge, is a necessary ingredient. And so, in the right mix, these energies combine to create a state of self-contained purpose. Flow, by definition, is a dynamic stream of consciousness, coursing its way through mind and soul… in pursuit of happiness.


Dust and a Broom

Dust and a Broom

‘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.

© Tim Grace, 14 July 2013


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.


Dust and a Broom

Dust and a Broom
Picture Source:
http://youtu.be/FIBOdT86XmI

Death Shrieks

Death Shrieks

Perplexed by the passage of your passing;
the path you have chosen not to complete.
Death, that easy option, that ever-lasting
expression of nothing more than defeat.
Through your dangling obituary death speaks:
“dirges from the book of unfinished works.”
No songs of joy, hymns of praise; sadness shrieks
through a minor key, morbidly it jerks
at the heartstrings, tugs a discordant wrench;
pulls from mortality a cheap reward.
Never was the thirst for life given quench
through the cut and thrust of a broken sword.
. Rest – that which remains of a life unspent.
. Rest – that which contains all of life’s content.

© Tim Grace, 19 July 2013


To the reader: In his case, suicide was an ultimate escape; a cynical determination. A deliberate departure from life’s course; one he hadn’t travelled well. Alongside a list of other broken relationships I suppose suicide was just one more; consistent with his self-absorbed character. There were no indulgences he didn’t crave and feed to the detriment of others. Eventually his ‘smartness’ wore thin, and so he resorted to ever greater forms of obliteration; the final one rubbed him out.

To the poet: I’m sure he had many redeeming features. I knew of none. As anonymous he has become the particular avenue of my general vent. In his truncated life, I wasn’t allowed the last word; the attention-seeker makes no sense of that. But now, with his last move made it is my turn to speak. The poet’s obituary can be harsh… who bears the burden?


Death Shrieks

Death Shrieks
Picture Source:
http://youtu.be/bldW5tjfmpU

So Be It

So Be It

So be it. Luck and chance have had their fun:
coins flipped, dice tossed, cards dealt with nonchalance.
So be it. In the end the deed is done;
that flippant toss invites a strong response.
As it is. You now have a given stack:
Heads not tails, six over one; King not Ace
As it is. No point missing what you lack;
take what you’re given, put a plan in place.
Be as may. Accept that which comes to pass.
Concede to consequence, be resolute.
Be as may. Be game. Be as bold as brass;
Become that which by chance allows you route.
. So be it, as it is, or be as may
. By way of luck, or chance, it’s yours to play.

© Tim Grace, 30 June 2013


To the reader: Educators increasingly talk about gamification of learning through the lens of human psychology. Observation of ‘gamers’ in action shows a persistent response to challenges on the basis of social rewards. A social-gamer gains kudos and reputation for increasing levels of skill; admired by his or her significant community of peers. Behaviours associated with belonging reward the value-adding learner; they are badged with success.

To the poet: As I move slowly through the editing process, there’s a pattern appearing. When I meet a stubborn-draft (poorly finished) the easiest solution is to rediscover the original hook; and obviously, hang everything off that – as much as it will bear. And so, the three-word stem for every second line allowed this poem to be reframed with some semblance of original inspiration. Making-do with what you’ve got.


So Be It

So Be It
Picture Source:
http://youtu.be/FeyhpQRQJew

Monarch's Nurse

Monarch’s Nurse

You are the keeper of a chrysalis.
The holder of a butterfly in wait.
Do you appreciate her emphasis;
sensitivities; condition of her state?
Are you in touch with her proclivities?
Are you conscious of her fluttering?
Do you attend to her necessities?
And, will you offer her your nurturing?
You are the hand-maiden, the Monarch’s nurse,
her companion; attentively involved:
as she ponders… as opener of her purse.
as she shudders… as closure is resolved.
. You are the hand-maiden, the Monarch’s nurse;
. holder of pleasures, and opener of purse.

© Tim Grace, 8 June 2013


To the reader: Butterflies are beautiful insects. Through stages they reach a climax of interest and intensity. The chrysalis represents a middle-stage of development when the caterpillar has pupated into a protective tissue awaiting release into its adult form. The natural wonder of an opening cocoon represents an exposed stage of life; sensitive and vulnerable. With patience and nature’s encouragement the butterfly emerges; and so completes its resolution.

To the poet: Metamorphosis. Between two stages, the chrysalis assumes a vulnerable condition; a position of suggestive anticipation. And that’s the art of poetry. Between two ideas there’s room for emergent play. Words, by association, influence interpretation; and so, meaning is subtlely adjusted. The level of cryptic subterfuge is a matter of choice; too subtle and the game is lost.


Monarch's Nurse

Monarch’s Nurse
Picture Source:
http://youtu.be/ocWgSgMGxOc

Social Offence

Social Offence

Never under-estimate self-interest:
a motivating drive that self-rewards.
Take note, observe the well-feathered nest,
lined full of comforts; as pleasure affords.
Don’t take for granted self-interest’s desire;
don’t be gullible or slow to your feet;
don’t be surprised by what Self will acquire;
don’t be the lender who has no receipt.
Take heed, be ready, keep track of the score.
Self seeks advantage, full measures the gain.
Take nothing for granted, rest not assure,
Self seeks indulgence; treats else with disdain.
. Indulgence of self at others’ expense.
. A cruel investment … a social offence.

© Tim Grace, 4 May 2013


To the reader: Possession brings them pleasure and reassurance. Put crudely, their conniving motivation is greed. They are the players who want more than is their fare share; cunning manipulators that contrive a self-serving solution. The psychology of greed would find its origins in an unresolved, deep-seated, sense of lacking… ‘poor me’ seeking restitution; ‘poor me’ retrieving what I’m owed.

To the poet: In the writing of a poem like this there has to be some emotional investment in its authorship. In its composition, it has to express annoyance and disappointment; some skin in the game. As I put pen to paper, I draw upon genuine feelings of frustration to validate my argument, to test its impact and authenticity. In its reading, I need to recognise those same unclaimed investments… the emotion must be raw and real.


Social Offence

Social Offence
Picture Source:
http://youtu.be/RZwmPBP2JHI