Sunday, April 17, 2011

"Things" : (A Writer's Alchemy)

Photo courtesy of Central Penn College: "The Boyer House"

The thing is

When one ventures from the abode;
                That comfortable home in our cranium
                What we previously held back,
                We tend to, (and tend to see)

The things
that weren’t there before
                But always were:

The mossy outcrop where a plastic bag
clings to a twig, and waves as the star spangled banner
of disregard

The fenced line between two pastures
The opposition of juxtaposed ownership
And different aspirations

…Coy ones in hats
Feuds and friendships

The cables between telephone poles
That traverse the horizon, carrying text
Homes with gazebos, never used
Back porch clutter
Unkept lawns, a garden, a gnome

The thing is
                These things make us, tell a story
They show we are here, and we have placed
Something, anything on ground or reached for sky
                That we knew we’d never reach
A welcome mat to our homes, hearts, and our minds

The lineage we have
                Ingredients for the recipe of me
It’s a cosmic soup, but the past ones
                Have such an enigmatic effect, as a dim light
                In the Gobi desert of our conscience

The lone spot in barren land
The Unavoidable;
Circus elephants in the room:
                The tree line of family.

The thing is
                This tree, can be
                Elegant, elaborate, laced with royal branches
                And pretty leaves
Or low, to the ground, just trying to be
In a world of devour and survive

Recessive, or Progressive
Painful, or Pleasurable

But that’s not the point
                Or a tip to wait

The thing is
                This beauty and tragedy lies in every entity
                All the living and all the dead
                There’s poetry, there’s decency
                There’s a place to dig deep

and yet

We must respect the lining
The black lining
The white lining
The shade of grey

The thing is
                 We begin to realize
                 Eyes go wide, open and unable to slumber
                 Insomnia lends to obsessive voyeurism
Because beauty and ugliness still wage a war

The thing is
                There’s things we don’t know
                That we’ll never understand, but strive to

But at the very least

We’re doing to try.
Writing to reach “We.”
That (I think)
Is The Thing.


  1. yeah i think it is the thing as well...this is an excellent write...seeing that which is there but we barely notice it and bringing it out in our writing...

  2. "The mossy outcrop where a plastic bag
    clings to a twig, and waves as the star spangled banner/of disregard..." an intricate and compelling weave of the strands we try to separate and remake with such perpetual Penelope-like perseverance...yes, the way to understanding is to meet the elephant in the room and see how he got excellent poem, I enjoyed the experience of it very much.

  3. Your poem is a tour de force of the principle of opposition: fences, tree lines,coy ones in hats. Not only the beauty and tragedy, but beauty and ugliness possess each of us as individuals, as in I am an "us". Perpetual balancing act.

  4. I like the way you express yourself. I would love to hear this one read aloud. Great job.

  5. what a wonderful transverse from life to words...many wonderful images woven into the contemplative nature to keep it tangible, breathing...excellent write~

  6. If you can still your mind and observe is there no longer any seperation between you and the elephant in the room?

  7. Thanks for the feedback as always, friends. Some excellent commentary; I knew that this would strike chords with those addicted to words. You've all grasped the essence of my intention: That yes, opposition and division exist, and the normally visible is akin to invisibility, but the individual has the power to coalesce these things with writing, and with relating to past into present. Hence, we shine light on the things that are ignored, and put the elephant where it belongs, in the untangled yet beautifully intricate jungle of our text

  8. excellent write bryan...Because beauty and ugliness still wage a true and the thing is we always try to catch with our words and make their life shine through and paint it with our moods without destroying the feeling..i enjoyed this tremendously

  9. WOW -- the star-spangled banner of disregard. That is so cool.

    Honored to meet your talent in words.

  10. I could so relate to the first few verses, and that made me to continue the read :) It is beautiful, and like Jannie says, an honor to meet your talent in words :)

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