kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
I think one makes belief as one makes love:
think drystone walls of balanced masonry--
think of the hand that fits and shapes the glove--
think every stone cradled by gravity
secured in place by virtue of its weight
and no two are alike, but each is key.
I find I shy away from all the freight
attached to "anchor" as a term of praise--
but still each kindness settles into place:
a piecemeal ballast for my listing days,
or bearings set toward a kind of grace--
something to trust when cast adrift in haze.
So: tell me who I am, as seen by you.
Tell me a story; I will make it true.
kaberett: Reflections of a bare tree in river ice in Stockholm somehow end up clad in light. (tree-of-light)
-- two ways to break a world.
The first: an end by force; to grind to dust
and scatter to the heedless brilliant stars.
The second: love, and warmth, and gentleness.
This time an egg: the smooth horizon's curve
that shelters and thereby defines your dreams
will unchecked choke: a softer, smaller death.
Instead: take heart and hope; so startling bare
your fresh-cut teeth, and stretch across the shards
of every fear that held you small and close.
Bewildered, daring, raise your face anew
to unimagined unexpected skies.
If this is breaking -- oh, then let me break
and, having broken, break, and break again.
kaberett: a patch of sunlight on the carpet, shaped like a slightly wonky heart (light hearted)
So much is circumstance and happenstance. I'm stuck on trying to convey my sense of wonder at the fact we've made a ritual of that phrase, when what we are boils down to stellar waste suspended temporarily in an astonishing coherency of water (or, smaller still, of space). And yet: we pay a flippant formulaic lip service to chaos; we take comfort from our small familiarity with mundane chance, from our ability to render down the world to form a habit. But that requires practice lest we twist and catch and tear, like clothing on an unexpected nail: so poetry's a habit, and so's love, in that I'll wear them both and through neglect forget how not to stumble on their edges, how not to trip on my own flighty cleverness, how to respect the work required to wholehearted and carelessly believe that I'm alive, in just the way that I forget to breathe and yet keep breathing. Still, it seems that when I slip I stop or stall into this strange intensely awkward vulnerable hope I'd not at all intended to display; yet here I am, and here perhaps I'll learn to find my balance and, having found it, find that I can't stay.
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
The chambers of my heart are lined with mirrors
that repeat and multiply beyond perception
each and every scrap of poison gifted me.
Fuck self-reflection. If I were an oyster
I could coat this grit with self-recrimination,
employ it as a scaffold to support some greater truth,
some greater beauty, smooth the lines
of pain, the whispering self-loathing.
Even stone will, with sufficient patience, wear away.
And in the darkness of the empty cavern
drips echo as they filter in through cracks
beyond perception. Nonetheless they leave their trace:
these grim uncompromising monuments,
these fragile archaeologies of guilt and hate.
Or, from some lofty self-assured perspective,
an entirely different metaphor's presented:
cruelty exposed--diminished in its endless repetition, neutralised
through being bathed in light; and stalagmites
are evidence that love, like water, can create
not just destroy, in furious flood;
can fertilise; can bring new shape and life.
Nevertheless. From here it seems
that stalagmites and pearls and hearts alike
are simply evidence of our belligerent last-gasp defence--
the hopeless scars left by our dying dreams.
kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
It's all too easy to dismiss, diminish
your sharp-edged individual brilliance
as untidiness, as more work than
you're worth. Try this:
Needs direct sun with good support,
for preference, south-facing walls;
and well-drained soil and fleece in frosts
and water when the weather's hot.
Slow to flower, rarely fruits;
give the thing at least five years.
Mind the thorns, the strangling vines;
mind the poison the sap bears.
Grant me leave instead to make this promise:
yes, you're brash and loud and take up space;
perhaps you're snide, opinionated, lacking grace;
but darling, what you don't quite seem to grasp
is that your weaponry can be defence
and ornament at once; can, in point of fact,
be precisely why it is that you're beloved.
kaberett: Photo of a pile of old leather-bound books. (books)
Words are the piecemeal sacrifice I make
upon the altar of humanity:
I'm half-convinced that if I merely take
sufficient care in choosing them, there'll be
some minor miracle. I'll burst awake
from dreaming myself lost and, lossless, free.
This could be all. What else is there to say?
Well, everything, of course -- unless I mean
to halt. A truth: I've learned the only way
to changelessness is death; to be unseen,
ignored, unmade. Fear craves silent decay
of self. Of hope. Of all we might have been.
So we'll know loneliness; we will know grief.
Now: here begins the hard work of belief.
kaberett: photograph of the Moon taken from the northern hemisphere by GH Revera (moon)
Read more... )

hahahahahaha terrible trite sonnets to get me used to the form you do not want to know how many times I had to rewrite this so that it managed to actually contain quatrains INSTEAD OF ENDLESS ENJAMBEMENT
kaberett: curled decorative end of curtain rail casts a heart-shaped shadow on a wall (heartfruit)
Anything to declare? Yes: one heart,
a little worse for wear, well-loved,
or maybe better; careful owners, some
dog-ears, sparse annotations. Or: everything,
particularly interest (passion? politics?--
beloved, take your pick). You asked. That is
enough. Please. Claim whatever fits.
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
painsomnia, noun, inability to sleep
arising from somatic symptoms.
insomnianger, noun, inability to sleep
because of rage.
insomnia, noun, inability to sleep
for reasons unclear, or perhaps uninteresting.
Deferential diagnosis is required.
Morpheus' border guards delight
in lengthy - endless - questioning.
O innocents, ye need not be afraid.
It is the rest for whom these gates are barred.
& so beware, be wary: caprice
is the only arbiter of guilt.
kaberett: a patch of sunlight on the carpet, shaped like a slightly wonky heart (light hearted)
Per the tag, this year (after [personal profile] jjhunter) I aimed to write fifty poems, one a week with two off. The tag currently stands at 53, which is a slight underestimate (posts that contain multiple comment-poems only add one to the total).

Poetry is a thing I come back and back to. I fell in love with it, properly, during my GCSEs: Keats, who showed me how to write a certain quality of light; Carol Ann Duffy, whose poetry pointed out to me that I'm an abuse survivor; Stephen Dunn and Simon Armitage and Monica Ali and on and on; close analysis didn't kill the poems for me, it made them more alive. It taught me to look at the world differently. It taught me the value of saying & meaning two things on their own, and both at once. It made me more okay.

And then I picked up a copy of Staying Alive, and that was... more-or-less that. In it I found - among many, many others - Machines, which is significant enough to me that I'm going to get the final couplet as a tattoo; I met Mary Oliver's Wild Geese for the first time. The reason I am so drawn to "beloved" as a term of endearment is in large part due to Late Fragment.

We were encouraged to write poems during GCSEs, and I wrote a few. And then I... stopped, pretty much until the year I took off from university: I was scared of failing, to the point of shying away from making the attempt - but poetry (like so much else) can only be committed by those
Who only by moving can balance,
Only by balancing move.

Read more... )

The greatest gift of all, though, is this: how often it is, these days, that I find myself reaching for a poem to express my thoughts and emotions (because by using poetry instead of my own prosaic present I get to call on the layers and the nuance and the intertextuality, and the meanings that flourish in the distance between author and readers) I realise that the poem I want is one that I have written.
kaberett: a watercolour of a pale gold/salmon honeysuckle blossom against a background of green leaves (honeysuckle)
Alright, let's make-believe that I'm a tree.
So dream: what storms have broken me?
What fruits adorn? What loving scars
graffitied in my skin, how warped
or changed with time? Do I give shade and,
later, warmth? And most of all:
please say I'm safe. Please dream me sound.
kaberett: curled decorative end of curtain rail casts a heart-shaped shadow on a wall (heartfruit)
I love you means
that I would have nothing of you that
is not freely given; that
you have no obligations, are
not beholden unto me, that
you owe me
nothing.
kaberett: a patch of sunlight on the carpet, shaped like a slightly wonky heart (light hearted)
We practise with building bricks and breccias.
Just so--a castle. Just so--in my embrace
if only I hold fast enough, you'll be transformed--
your fragments grown into a plated armoured whole--
your red unblinking eyes your sturdy heart.
As with all complex structures, engineering is required
on every scale from child's play to mountain range;
chance and happenstance tend tenderly toward decay.
With these hands I thee knit together
or a sweater or a scarf; with these hands I thee play
music, best I can; I write for thee solemnities
in careful lines. I create for thee this waxing
waning love, albeit it small, or great--
and at close of day we'll sweep
the sawdust from the floor, we'll bank the fire,
we'll knead the bread--from these quiet domesticities
is all love made.

[poem] &

Nov. 27th, 2014 12:29 pm
kaberett: a patch of sunlight on the carpet, shaped like a slightly wonky heart (light hearted)
What joy, this, to learn what others find in you:
to watch people I love adore anew, to take reciprocal
delight as you illuminate each others' facets
too often hidden from my view by busy-fingered fates
and orbital mechanics. Yes: this too
expands the borders & horizons of
my familiar faithful heart. I'm astounded
by how much I can encompass; by how large
I grow. I learn from you.

Without: the patchwork of the comforting dark,
the sheets of rain, stitched firm
with nets of light we've wrapped round trees
as reminder, to help us find our path.
Bubbles, catching street lamps, float like stars.
Look up. You blaze. You, too, are a landmark.
kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
            In relief's ebb
the shifting sands of selfhood un/
cover rocks of hope/lessness.
You once said we were magnets:
does that hold?
               I've learned, I think,
why some comfort's called cold:
because it burns. Keep it
in your mind's-eye's heart for just a beat too long:
you'll find it shan't depart without
its layer of skin. It leaves you raw.
Salt stings; Weltschmerz. Stretched thin,
stretched to translucency, I've no idea
at all how I might best begin to say:
Please.
kaberett: a patch of sunlight on the carpet, shaped like a slightly wonky heart (light hearted)
They say, I think, that moments
can hang preserved in drops of amber
suffused with bone-deep memories
of setting autumn suns.
In Mass I see the elderly &
think of my Grossmutti, who
placed sacrificial flowers on
the altar, very nearly til she died
& in so doing offered up
her blood, her knees, her strength;
I think of Papa, who still heaves
his way through grassy lanes
to kneel, to genuflect, to offer peace.
And in Mass I hear the children
as they whisper to their parents
having not yet realised just how well
the church carries their voice
(nor yet been taught: above all else is silence);
in them, and in the fretful babies
this strange unwieldy future
reflects me backwards to myself.
That imperfection is inevitable
is without doubt its greatest grace:
the same is true of love.
Take heart. Take strength. Take space.
kaberett: a patch of sunlight on the carpet, shaped like a slightly wonky heart (light hearted)
For all of you; and specifically for [personal profile] jelazakazone, a bit.

I am living a borrowed life on
borrowed time, in that
the theft thereof has not been noticed yet--
my other selves are paper-thin;
they echo in the corners of my eyes,
their futures circumscribed by our own hand
and thereby written out of history.
Egal: perhaps they would be better, but
it's me who's living this, who's
strong or weak enough to hold on tight.
I will make a patchwork of my fractured nights,
my scraps of grace: as ever bound together
with the brilliant shining thread that you,
unknowing, trace.
kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
As a species, we are dedicated
to post hoc rationalisation:
the tidying away of inconvenient emotion
the reduction of the self
to an ordered
             sequence
                     of steps.
If this, then that. Well, no:
everything happens for a reason.
The reason, though, does not come carved deep into stone
(every conceivable dictator
being characterised by sublime indifference):
but is rather what you make of it.
This is what it means to tell the story of your life:
to take your whys and somehow give them form.
This is the solid ground of poetry:
two roads diverged; think, two things, both at once:
and every meaning you create is true
or true enough for now. Is this about...?

Yes. Yes, it is.

If only for this moment, we
are mirrored mirror twins.
I only wish I'd any clue
along which lines I'd break.
kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
And if the Earth should be too great a gift
(too inconvenient, too delicate, too messy)
then I will give my self to you instead
(for all the same might well be said of me).
I conceive myself in motion. I believe
myself most wholly in these momentary
scraps of grace; perhaps what scares me most
is to be still. The closest, I suspect, that I will come
is falling into orbit around your indifferent sun.

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