Thursday, July 20, 2017

From Ape to Ape

 
From Ape to Ape

https://www.facebook.com/arjun.janah/posts/10154857296365950 

I am a monkey, and so are you
and so are all of us.
Monkeys see and monkeys do.
So why then all the fuss?

When monkeys do not like to see
Or hear, they close their eyes
And ears, and also stop their mouths,
For truths as well as lies.

And so we also do, my friends.
That's you and I and he.
The things we do not like—those things,
We neither hear nor see.

But then a time arrives, for each—
Or most of us, I'd say.
And then, we're shocked to hear and see,
And so, like asses, bray.

So monkeys are, to donkeys, turned.
And so it is with apes.
We once had swung from branches. Now,
We're swinging by our napes.
 
2017 July 20th, Thu.
Brooklyn, New York

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Sunday, July 2, 2017

Faith


Faith

A face of beauty, like a flower’s bloom,
is but a passing thing that brings us joy
and then remains awhile in memory.
A heart of beauty—that of selfless love—
is what endures and gives to life its grace.

And though we each are like a blowing cloud
that rises and dissolves, we still can live
our lives in love—and so in partial peace,
however much the winds of hatred howl,
as tortured lives cry out for their release.

Let’s light our lamps, as sunset turns to dusk,
and through the darkness, as the planets wheel,
then guard those flickers, till it’s time to sleep.
And if we’ve tried to cleanse yourself of sins,
our slumber might be restful, long and deep.

And when we wake, it’s then another day,
with trials old and new—and yet with hope.
Amidst despair, we still can try to be
aware of all the wonder of this world—
where cruelty and kindness coexist.

2017 July 2nd, Sun.
Brooklyn, New York
  

Friday, June 30, 2017

Love


Love

"What is love?" you ask, Philibert, although you surely know.

We each can see it manifest--in actions, more than words.

Like envy, anger, grief and hope, it's felt--and then we know.

It leads outside the self and so it fills and heals the heart.

So self is sacrificed, without a thought or a complaint.

Without it, we are lost indeed--and wish we could depart.

No matter what the measure and no matter which the species,

The give and take of love is joy and pain--through all the ages.

2017 June 30, Fri.
Brooklyn, New York

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Not in Substance or in Form


Not in Substance or in Form

When you and I have vanished and those we knew are gone,

there still will be the sunrise, the morning and the noon,
and the afternoon will follow and the stars emerge at dusk.
The moon will have its phases and the planets wend their ways,
and the seasons too will cycle as this sphere goes ‘round its sun.
  
When the myths of men and women and the truths that they had gleaned
are lost and are forgotten, and our race is no more here,
the stars will still be burning in the vastness of the dark,
and the species will be rising and then ebbing like the waves
on the myriad specks that orbit in their spirals without end.

But our sun will wax in redness as the inner planets burn

as those other suns before it and those other planets did.
And the thoughts that we were thinking and the feelings that we had—
and all that gave us meaning and the works on which we strove—
will they leave perhaps their traces? Not in substance or in form. 

2017 June 29th, Thu.

Brooklyn, New York
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Uniquely (among all my hundreds of posts on this blog) this post seems to have been duplicated. This might have occurred while I was trying to get each verse line to fit within one page line. I seem to have not quite succeeded here, where I have used the "Times New Roman" font, with the "small" font-size. 

But if you want each line to fit as it should, and have good eyesight, please see the duplicate of this post, where I have used the blog's default font, but with the "smallest" font-size. That is at:

 http://thedailypoet.blogspot.com/2017/06/not-in-substance-or-in-form.html 
  

Not in Substance or in Form (smalllest font)

  
For a larger font, please see the duplicate of this post, at: 
http://thedailypoet.blogspot.com/2017/06/not-in-substance-or-in-form_29.html 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  
Not in Substance or in Form  (smallest font)

When you and I have vanished and those we knew are gone,
there still will be the sunrise, the morning and the noon,
and the afternoon will follow and the stars emerge at dusk.
The moon will have its phases and the planets wend their ways,
and the seasons too will cycle as this sphere goes ‘round its sun.

When the myths of men and women and the truths that they had gleaned
are lost and are forgotten, and our race is no more here,
the stars will still be burning in the vastness of the dark,
and the species will be rising and then ebbing like the waves
on the myriad specks that orbit in their spirals without end.

But our sun will wax in redness as the inner planets burn—

as those other suns before it and those other planets did.
And the thoughts that we were thinking and the feelings that we had—
and all that gave us meaning and the works on which we strove—
will they leave perhaps their traces?  Not in substance or in form.

2017 June 29th, Thu.
Brooklyn, New York
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Uniquely (among all my hundreds of posts on this blog) this post seems to have been duplicated. This might have occurred while I was trying to get each verse line to fit within one page line. I seem to have succeeded here, by using the default font, with the "smallest" font-size.

But if you want a slightly larger font, please see the duplicate of this post, where I have used the "Times New Roman" font in the "small" font-size. That is at: 
http://thedailypoet.blogspot.com/2017/06/not-in-substance-or-in-form_29.html 
  

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Respect


Respect

You can take me to the water,
but you cannot make me drink.
You can puzzle me with questions,
but you cannot make me think.

When I’m little, I may listen
and I even might obey.
But when I’ve grown in seasons,
I will go my chosen way.

You can give me all your reasons,
you can say what’s right and wrong.
And I’ll listen to your speeches,
but I still might hum my song.

That’s the way of all the beings
who are free to choose and err.
I can learn from all my trials,
if you’ll let me do that, sir.

If you force me to obedience—
to saying you are right,
you will lose what you have conquered
by insistence or by might.
 
For a person, robbed of freedom,
is a person robbed of joy.
I will sulk and be resentful
of the means that you employ.

So tell me what you’re thinking
and then show me the respect
that I need to make decisions.
That is all that I expect.

There is room for compromises,
for yielding and retaining.
If you’re rigid in your thinking,
I’ll be only fit for training.
 
But I also am a person,
with my likes and my concerns.
So I offer you my friendship,
if you’ll let me have my turns.

There are things that I can tell you.
There are things I’d rather not.
If you show that you are open,
you might even learn a lot.

2017 June 25th, Sun.
Brooklyn, New York
  

Friday, June 23, 2017

Baba (Dear Father)


Baba (Dear Father)

The summer solstice came and went—and now
the date approaches when you left this life
and so returned to nothingness again.

So mother too had left, a month before—
like you, before the school-year came to end
and set me free, for August and July—
too late, that year, for her—and then for you.

And so your daughter too had gone—before
you both—and left us all disconsolate.

******

Now school is ending—and there’s time to pause,
returning home—to sit within a park,
the playground of a school, bereft of trees—
with tar and concrete, where there should be grass.

So here I sit and bask in summer’s sun—
or swelter, as those summers come to mind,
beneath those skies that arced in brilliance,
beneath that sun that burned our darkened skins—
and in that land where you and I were born.

******

How close and distant were the father, son—
how rare and dear the tears that you and I
had wept, across the years and continents.

By culture, I was bred for reverence—
and more for elders than for all the gods.

But here I sit and weep, in quietude,
with little children’s voices wafting by,
remembering you, who once was little too—
and flew your kite, beneath that tropic sun.
 
******

How many children cry for parents lost,
how many parents for their children gone—
how many for a sibling or a friend,
or elder, younger—who is now no more…

So little time for joy—or even grief,
amidst the hustle of the city’s streets,
amidst the passage of a harried life…

How precious then, this time at summer’s start—
to pause and find the time to think of you.

2017 June 22, Thursday, 4:31 pm
playground, Public School 186
between 76th and 77th Streets, off 16th Avenue
Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York