Sunday, June 18, 2017

Time is Money?


Time is Money?

Time is more than money, friends,
although you won’t believe us.
We live where time and money are
equated.  It’s atrocious.

Time was there, when money wasn’t.
Time will be, when money isn’t.
Haughty lord or humble peasant—
time is what made living pleasant.

Time is what we lost, as we
exchanged it for the coins that clink.
We’ve lost the time for elders, kids,
for leisure—and to sit and think.

We once had time, in part or plenty—
time for joy and time for grief.
But now we’re robbed of all. I’m asking,
“Who, of time, has been the thief?”

Men are harried and distracted.
Women’s lots are even worse.
Children cannot pay attention.
Yet I sit and type my verse.

When we focus on the present,
past and future fall away.
Time is there, and yet it isn’t,
be it night or be it day.

Should we hurry sex or eating?
Can we speed up love and care?
When the mantra is “efficient”,
who, to pause and see, can dare?

All of art and much of science,
all of nurture, learning, teaching,
all of wisdom—these are timeless,
born from disregard of clocks.

Surely time, like space, has function.
But time and space will still be there,
when you and I are vanished, mortals!
Time and space, we all could share.

But time, like other things, is now
a source of profit.  It’s a factor
that’s essential.  Watch your timing!
Otherwise, you’re not an actor.

See the worker, who must watch
the ticking clock—because the boss
is watching, there are deadlines and
to fuss—delay—entails a loss.

See the businessman, who strives
to squeeze, from out of time, his cash.
No time remains to pause, reflect
on things that don’t affect his stash.

See the parent, with her bills.
working hard, to feed her kids—
and so much more.  No time for her
to stop—or she’ll be on the skids.

In places, it’s the poor who race.
The middle class can take it slow.
In other places, burghers run—
or they’ll be middle class no more.

Run, run, run!  Run, run, run!
Run, run, run—and don’t ask why.
Run, run, run!  And run some more!
Run, run, run—till you drop and die.

No use for you, if you don’t produce
and don’t consume and pay your taxes—
unless you’re Donald Trump.  He hires,
and when your time is up, he axes.

“You’re fired!”  Now, you might survive
or not.  It seems it matters little.
“Go find a job, you useless bum!
Or you’re the wood we’ll have to whittle.”

Jobs and business, bosses, profits,
bills to pay and loans and rent—
these are now our lords and masters.
With amusements, we’re content.

Time is money.  Money's all.
Who has time to pause and question,
"Why this racing?  Who is gaining?
Where's the truth and where's the fiction?"

2017 June 18th, Sun.
Brooklyn, New York 
----------------------------------------------------
 
Related:  Hop  (a shorter poem, for reading out aloud)
http://thedailypoet.blogspot.com/2015/04/hop.html  

   

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Dawn and Dusk-III


Dawn and Dusk-III 

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10155498300923777

At dawn, we’re born; at dusk, we die.
And this repeats—we know not why.

As night bears day, so day bears night.
The darkness yields in time to light,
And light in turn gives way to dark,
As dawn and dusk, these turnings mark.

And see—the hues that arc on high,
As birth and death ignite the sky.

How sad, the dusk!  How hopeful, dawn!
It spins—this planet that we're on.
It spins—and yet it seems to pause,
As dawn and dusk suspend its laws.

It’s morning, then it’s noon and then
It’s afternoon and eve again...

******
   
So seasons come and seasons go—
In age, with speed; in childhood, slow.

And so it is with living things.
Of life and death, the poet sings.
And each of these, she wonders on,
When gazing up, at dusk and dawn.

The winter brings its cold and snow—
And yields to spring, when flowers blow.

How long, it seems, in warmer lands,
The summer lasts!  One understands,
With age, that all is passing, so
One bears the pain and pleasure more.

Our autumns come, with scents of musk.
We rose with dawn; we ebb with dusk.
  
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10155498300923777
  
2017 June 13th, Tue (first four stanzas)
June 14th, Wed (last six stanzas)

Brooklyn, New York
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Two related poems, from 2006:
 

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More related poems, from 2014 and 2015: 
  
  

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Walls of Sin

 
The Walls of Sin

I can weave my words in verses.
I can try to write in prose.
But until I see some action,
I will never find repose.

My words may lull my readers, 
Or wake them up from sleep,
But until the deeds have followed,
Their impact can’t be deep—

For words are far too easy,
And deeds are often hard.
For every verse I fashion,
I find a broken shard.

It tells of visions shattered,
It speaks of things undone.
How many are the losses
For every battle won? 
   
Our spans are so uncertain—
Except in that they end.
We seek some satisfaction—
Before we are at end.

What action do I look for?
Should it be yours or mine?
It’s an ebbing, of the madness,
That might need a grace divine.

But no god will come to aid us
And no leader, heaven-sent.
We can wait for gods forever.
We can follow—and repent.

I am looking for the vision
That can see the trap we’re in.
I am waiting for the action
From the heart that’s cleansed of sin.

For long, a tide’s been rising
That brings us more of lies.
We can work towards its turning,
But only if we’re wise.

We are busy with our duties
Or sundry pleasures, so
We limit heart and vision—
And query, even more.


Can truth be gleaned from fiction,
Or virtue born from vice?
Can warmth be found in beings,
Whose hearts have turned to ice?

If we see the faults of others
But not our own, we sink
Towards a dark suspicion
That stems from how we think.

If we note the act of evil
But not the ones of good,
We feed the fire within us
With more of kindling wood.

The anger and the hatred
Can burn away the soul.
Could Yeshua or Gotama
Make such a being whole?

   
We sicken from the slaughter.
We hide our hearts away.
So darkness is ascendant.
What hope remains for day?


But see, the ones who're shielded
From mayhem and from worse
They too have lost their senses,
And they can't be cured by verse.
  

When people cease from hearing,
A deafness then prevails.
The orphans may be screaming,
But all their pleading fails.

When people cease from seeing,
Then blindness is their fate.
What end is there to hatred,
Except in more of hate?
 
We need a gentle cleansing
Of body and of mind.
We need to turn from hating
To relearning to be kind.

Towards the ones we care for,
We might be soft and kind.
But what about the others—
That we’ve put out of mind?

We can’t be saints or angels,
But should we yield to rage
That blinds us to the spirals
That churn through every age?

Should we close our eyes to madness,
Be cocooned, within our nest?
Should we tend to duties, pleasures—
And wave away the rest?

Do first, that which is local.
But then, look up and see
What's past and what is distant
And how they came to be.

The future is created
By what we now will do.
And all the past is present
In thought
and feeling too.

Can a being, who’s conditioned,
Be free of habit’s snare?
If we’re driven by the madness,
Can we learn again to care?
 
We are trained, from when we’re children,
By the candy and the stick.
So we grow up to be zombies
And we make each other sick.

But as those who are discerning
Grow in number, it will turn—
This tide that has been rising—
This fire, in which we burn.

Can we find an end to conflicts,
When we’re not at peace within?
Can we see the pain of others,
When we’re blinded by our sin?

It is feeling that will free us,
But not what is expected.
It’s the heart that is within us,
Whose call we have neglected.

It is thinking that will lead us,
But not the thoughts implanted.
It’s the sense, that was within us,
That the nonsense has supplanted.

It is action that will heal us,
But not the kind we praise.
It’s the action of refraining
From running through the maze.

This maze is our creation.
It’s the prison we have made.
When we cease from blindly racing,
The walls of sin will fade.

Observe your own reaction
That traps you even more.
Inhale, and see it rising.
Exhale, and let it go.

When the cattle are stampeding,
The one who pauses dies.
So also truth can perish,
When all around are lies.

But when there is a slowing,
Proceeding one by one,
Then truth is heard and spoken,
And sanity has won.

2017 May 31, Wed.
(parts in blue added 2017 June 4th, Sun.)
Brooklyn, New York 

Monday, May 29, 2017

We’ll Blast You Straight to Hell!

 
We’ll Blast You Straight to Hell!

This is our god, the only god!
The other gods are false!
And if you would deny this, why,
We’ll rid you of your balls!

This is our prophet, the best and last!
No others are permitted!
And if you would say otherwise,
To hell, you’ll be remitted.
 
This is the truth, the only truth!
And everything else is lies!
It answers whats, it answers hows,
It even answers whys!
 
This is the way, the only way!
The others lead to hell!
We use these exclamation points,
For we still have stuff to sell!

There’s up and down! And we are up
And you are down below!
So toil, you slaves! And don’t complain!
Your kind deserves no more!

******

This is our race, the master race!
The others must bow low!
And those that have corrupted this—
Our purity—must go!

We are the ones who’re chosen. God
Has led us through the ages!
We’ve suffered!  Now, we own the world—
And smile, as havoc rages!

This is our creed, the greatest creed,
And everything else is shit!
And if you would say otherwise,
You must be poor of wit!

But see!  Ha ha! You now are lost!
You’ve all been led astray!
There is no truth, there is no god!
There never was a way—

Except the way that money talks,
And that’s the way we sell!
And if we find you’re in our way,
We’ll blast you straight to hell!

2017 May 28th, Sun.
Brooklyn, New York
 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Layers


Layers

There are layers of the truth that lie
atop each other—or are intermixed.
And only if we start to dig, will we
discover this, and learn to know the lie
and recognize the half-truth that parades
as all of truth, which is obscured by it.

The truth could be unpleasant and upset
beliefs we’ve held as true for many years.
We might then have to modify our “truths”
to fit with what our digging has unearthed.
As long as others do the same, our own
experiences will also have their place.

We peel the onion and our tears begin.
There’s only so much that our eyes can take.
We wash the onion, cut it, cover up
the pieces, wash our eyes and then
begin to sauté onion, garlic, seeds…
We know our pain and labor lead to feasts.

2017 May 9th, Tue.
Brooklyn, New York
   

Saturday, May 6, 2017

In Debt and in Surfeit


In Debt and in Surfeit

How troubled are our lives—and needlessly!
Our tribulations are engendered by
our own entrapment in the webs we weave.

How meager are the needs that must be met
so we may live, with freedom from distress.
The air we breathe is free—and so should be
the water that we drink.  We each can feast
a fortnight, just on rations carried on our backs.
We also need, in climates of extremes,
some shelter from the elements—and none
of us can live for long in icy cold,
without the clothes and heat that we require.
No primates ventured near the frozen realms,
except the ones who stitched and tended fires.

But that is all we really need—except
ourselves and those that give us company.
And in this last necessity, we find
a richness and a solace that had served
us well, providing culture, memory
that passed through generations—woven strands
that still endure—although we now retreat
to hermit cells, preferring to subsist
on those connections more in our control,
so keeping humans off at distances,
while drowning still in debt and in surfeit.

Till yesterday, we lived as foragers,
content and fully human—that, which we
are now no more, except in vestiges.

2017 May 5th, Fri, 6:10 pm
Milestone Park, Bensonhurst
Brooklyn, New York 
  

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Myth


Myth

https://www.facebook.com/arjun.janah/posts/10154582087620950

Who knows the truth?
Not I, forsooth!

I'll vouch for what I've witnessed, yet
In time I'll age and I'll forget.
I only might be sure of this—
That mortal life is far from bliss!

I cannot tell, although I care,
What happened when I wasn't there.
And though I've delved and though I've read,
I cannot question those who're dead!

And when I go, so goes my truth—
Unless it finds, in others, root.
But I could notice, while I die,
My truth, transforming to a lie!

We reach the pith—
And find it's myth.

2017 April 26th, Wed.
Brooklyn, New York