Gazing Eyes of Experience

Gazing Eyes of Experience

Eyes gazed

Into the mirror of

What these days

Have meant.

Energy spent

And expended.

So easily gone.

Eyes crazed

Into the fears

In many ways

Eating at

The grief of what

Cannot be done.

Or, of what will

Become

Of the future.

Eyes glazed

As words are read

On the screen.

Words of love and care.

Words there

In the gaze.

The best glance

By eyes

That gazed.

Simon C.J. Falk 10 November 2017

Sick Man’s Stroll: A Kind of Rehabilitation

 

 

 

Sick Man’s Stroll: A Kind of Rehabilitation

Sick man’s stroll

Variations of

An ambling gait

And a staggering shuffle.

The slow stroll

Moves along

Like a metronome

On easy tempo

Gradually

Bringing breath

And circulation into

A kind of rhythm

But oh,

To cross the road,

Turtles could pass by

As try, we do

To gather a little more pace

Into the race

To the pedestrian island.

All that is now needed

Is a dowdy hat

And a shabby old cardigan

With turned up cuffs,

Buff or beige,

And with pockets

All sagged from

Hands, hankies and

Whatever else,

With traces of lunch

Lurking between the lint

On its surface.

And we amble on

Willing the legs

To return home

To their former vigour.

Can we handle the rigour?

Of this new metered life?

Calculated, paced, slowed

Oh, who knows

Where this stroll

Will go?

What of tomorrow?

Forecast of a shower,

Some shuffles between

The sleep.

You know what I mean?

The slow creep

Of the stroll to rehabilitation.

Simon C.J. Falk 10 November 2017

You Are Where Your Mind Wanders

You Are Where Your Mind Wanders

Sitting

In a peaceful garden

Soundings of

Birdsong

Enter in

Interjected intermittently

By automobiles

Rolling on by

Under a warming blue

Sky.

But, the inner eye is

Elsewhere

Harbouring another care.

For

You are

Where your mind wanders

Where your heart ponders,

Regardless of the place

Occupied by your face.

Listen

Be still

Allow the sound to fill

You, with present concerns

Here and now.

Furrow not your brow

In troubles elsewhere

You cannot be there.

Let the scampering ants

Scarper away your troubles

And chance

Yourself here

Mind and heart clear.

Sitting

In a peaceful garden

Breathing free within

Allowing solar rays

To fall upon the skin

And sounds of birds on ear

Just hear

Here.

Simon C.J. Falk 2 November 2017

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Holiday Time

Holiday Time *

 

The creaky gate is

Silent now

From the swinging children

Who had entered

In to retrieve

That out-bounded ball.

No more sandwiches slip

Between the mesh of the fence.

Parents, pressed and stressed,

Do not stride upon

The asphalt that

Has borne the same kind of cargo

For decades.

Teachers no longer

Stand sentinel

As students file out to

Awaiting family cars.

School yard comes to rest,

It’s holiday time.

 

* Holiday time would be described as vacation in some cultures.

 

Simon C.J. Falk 24 September 2016

Fissures

Fissures

 

Fissures break out

onto the face

We work hard

At saving,

Making the mask

Purposeful and perpetual.

Yet fissures

Crumble its façade.

Fault lines emerge,

Atolls of anxiety arise,

Ditches of depression

Sink in shadow.

The posturing persona

Tires,

As the real mantle

Rises from the core,

And the soul stirs,

It’s flame flowing,

To the face.

 

 

Simon C.J Falk 24 September 2016   Forthcoming – “Yearnings”.

Time

Time

Ticking and tocking in its metered way,

In and through our lives.

Moments become memories,

En route to eternity.

 

Pink Floyd recorded it in a ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ song.  Mitch Albom wrote of it in his fictitious fable, The Time Keeper.  My acrostic above muses around it.  How do we experience time?

 

Simon C.J. Falk 6 August 2016

#postingforpeace A Glimmer of Glory

A Glimmer of Glory

A response to a powerful post on DamyantiWrites .

 

A Glimmer of Glory

entered in

as I looked

at my inbox

within.

What within my eyes

did I spy?

A sensitive soul

with a plaintive cry.

Someone had been hurt

by hateful din.

Why must we let

the hateful and violent win?

Why battle at all

between them and us?

For there is always a fall

And someone to crush.

A call from the pain

was sent on to read

Will we enter our peace

And to the caller heed?

Need we add to the gall

and the hate?

We can add goodness and kindness

then spate

of peace will flow from our pages

to pass on to elders

and to younger ages.

That battle will cease

and bile will abate

And we will find peace

and release of the hate.

We may not change kingdoms

States-folk or leaders

But we can influence friends

In our social media feeders.

The pathway to our peace

Begins between you and me

little by little

we can become free.

 

Simon C. J. Falk 4 August 2016

 

 

Poems That Changed Your Life

One of my friends (who, incidentally, used to work in a bookshop – what a job!) recently posted about books on another sharing platform.  The question posed was: “Have you ever read a book that fundamentally changed the way you thought or behaved? What was the book and how did it change you?”  I thought it a fabulous post and naturally joined in.

Here I thought we could ask a similar question: Have you ever read a poem, or poems, that changed the way you thought or behaved?  Can you share the poem, or poems, and what was the change that occurred? 

There have been numerous poems for me.  I keep returning to two specific ones:

Rudyard Kipling’s “If

If you can keep your head when all about you   
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too; …… 

Oscar Wilde’s “The Ballad of Reading Gaol

I never saw a man who looked
With such a wistful eye
Upon that little tent of blue
Which prisoners call the sky,
And at every drifting cloud that went
With sails of silver by….
Yet each man kills the thing he loves,
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!….
Then there is Emily Dickinson’s “I heard a Fly buzz – when I died
I heard a Fly buzz – when I died –
The Stillness in the Room
Was like the Stillness in the Air –
Between the Heaves of Storm –…..
For Kipling and Wilde there are two things that strike me.  First, is the quality of their writing.  It impresses me and challenges me to better expression.  Second, the depth of what they share.  They move to weighty matters of our very human struggles.  That also impresses me.
For Dickinson, I love the way she plays with the presence of such banal things. Someone is dying, meanwhile a fly buzzes.  This hit me with great irony when we were sitting for school exams. We had been examined on Dickinson’s “I Heard a Fly Buzz” and, in the background, flies buzzed, cars parked, the sun shone.  It struck me that Dickinson was teaching me that the poet can appreciate the weighty and the light, the sublime and the banal, all at the same time, and write of it to boot.  Wonderful.
Many years before that a poem changed me.  But I was the one who wrote the words down.  It was called “Drought” and has been posted on this site before.  What struck me about the process of that poem was that it was the first time I felt the rush, the animation, that comes as a poem emerges from the cocoon of our creative self. I loved that feeling and have loved feeling it again since then.
Have you ever read a poem, or poems, that changed the way you thought or behaved?  Can you share the poem, or poems, and what was the change that occurred? 

 

 

Another Side of Loneliness or ‘On Living Life to the Full’

Another Side of Loneliness or ‘On Living Life to the Full’

 

Paul Murray, who is a poet, scholar of Christian Spirituality and a Dominican Friar, writes in his book, Scars: Essays, Poems and Meditations on Affliction (Bloomsbury: 2014), on both the gift of our uniqueness and the loneliness that can be felt along with it.  Part of our lives are unique to us alone and others cannot perceive, think and feel exactly the same way that we each do. By the way, I’m fine at the moment.  I just recognise having had this experience before and wondered if others may identify with this in some way.

 

‘On Living Life to the Full’

 

When you heart is empty

And your hands are empty

 

You can take into your hands

The gift of the present

 

You can experience in your heart

The moment in its fullness.

 

***

 

And this you will know,

Though perhaps you may not yet

Understand it,

 

And this you will know:

 

That nothing

Of all you have longed for

Or have sought to hold fast

Can relieve you of your thirst,

Your loneliness,

 

Until you learn

To take in your hands

And raise to your lips

This cup of solitude

This chalice of the void

 

And drain it to the dregs.

 

(All rights to Paul Murray, OP and Bloomsbury Press 2014)

 

Interesting that I had read this, as, in recent times, the author Hannah Kent tweeted on her @HannahFKent account “My favourite new word: Waldeinsamkeit (German, noun). The feeling of being alone in the woods, an easy solitude, connectedness to nature.”

 

I partly covered what Murray is talking about in a closing section to one of my previous posts, “The Great Alone

How do we hold them,

Their damp, dark spirits,

In the fog,

When they realise

That we each

have an alone

that is unique to ourself,

and no other human

can truly dwell

with us

in that beautiful

yet alone

place?

 

Simon C.J. Falk 10 June 2016

Still Responding to ‘Still Alice’ and Others We Know

Still Responding to ‘Still Alice’ and Others We Know

Some time ago I read ‘Still Alice’ and was struck by the plight of the story.  I also know a number of families who have, or are, journeying with a loved one who has a dementia-related condition. This is partly a response to all of this, and also, to a fabulous post ‘Still Emily’ from the Bookshelf of Emily J.  

 

Still Responding to ‘Still Alice’ and Others We Know

Still

Spinning the cycling conversation,

We were last here

Around five minutes ago.

Still

Asking the same questions

And heading down the same trajectory,

As the narrative arcs out

And returns

Like a jet

Waiting for ground clearance

To finally come

To rest.

Rest

There needs to be rest

For this person

And their loved ones,

From this demented process,

The ‘in and out’ of reality,

Where

Some moments are Ok

But others, oh

No!

Who is this person

Behind the face

Of one I thought

I knew?

Maybe it is I

Who have the problem?

I can be a bit,

You know,

Lost in my world.

But wait.

He’s

Not following

The plot.

The poor family

How can they

Stay with this

Still?

Still

On the journey

The merry-go-round

Of thought loops.

But the go-round

Aint always so merry

Just round.

 

 

Simon C.J. Falk 4 June 2016

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