Conditional love

Yes, then no

fast, then slow.

Up, then down

around and around.

As easy as the wind blows-

your love comes and then it goes.
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it. Jeremiah 17:9.

I’m everything you could ever want.

Then, all of a sudden I’m not.

Crushed by confusion,

comparisons fly:

If this man doesn’t love me,

then what good am I?
Daughter of the one true King,

the Father hears my cry.

He says his plan is greater than mine, it just takes time.
Steady, humble, UN-conditional and true.

Hard to find that here on earth,

but I found it in You.

-TLW

 

12.12.12

Believe in the fear.

Have faith, my dear.

Remember the days

of a more simple time;

when poems always seemed to rhyme;

when smiles and laughter came from someplace real-

Untouched by the darkness,

where wounds could heal

The Paramountcy of Personality in Poetry

T.S. Eliot once said that poetry is “an escape from personality” and that it should be considered apart from the poet’s personal life.  However, what happens when poetry is NOT separated from the poet’s life, but instead it is considered very much a part of its significance and meaning?  Eliot is not wrong in his conviction, but he is not necessarily right either.  One problem in the exploration of this issue is that there is no right or wrong answer, but perhaps that makes it all the more interesting to discover.  The broad and sweeping question to examine is, is all poetry autobiographical and if so, why is this important?  Yes, all poetry is autobiographical in one way or another because the issue in the poem would not be written about if the poet did not have some direct or indirect connection to it.  It does not matter how large or small the connection is, without some extent of autobiographical focus, it may seem that the poet does not have much authority over the issue, and that is why this topic is an important one in the genre of poetry.  There are certainly counterarguments to dispute the argument that all poetry is autobiographical to some extent; there are schools of critical opinion that deny the relevance of it, as there are also problems that arise from poetry being directly related to poets’ personal lives.  What I’ve discovered about critics is that something that they may find to be meaningful, others may find to be pointless, and I think that is extremely important to keep in mind when studying a poet and his work.

The poet’s personal experience in their poetry makes it more accessible for readers.  Sometimes adding personal experience to a poem is the only way to tell a story, or express whatever it is the poet wants to convey.  It is difficult for poets to veer away from personal experience when writing poetry because usually real people and real events inspire it.  Therefore, emotional reality and literal truth are sometimes difficult to keep out of a poem.  On the other hand, one problem that may present itself in the 21st century is a continuous focus on the individual life of the poet.  A perpetual focus on the way autobiography performs in poetry runs the risk of easily becoming too narrowed and limited.   Coleridge once said, “To please me, a poem must be either music or sense; if it is neither, I confess I cannot interest myself in it”.  This raises the question of whether a poem must possess some popular intrigue in order to be accepted by its readers.   Goethe’s term “unfathomable,” which he defines as ‘that which we cannot exhaust, that which we cannot come to the bottom of’ rather than that ‘which rebuts our understanding’.  This quality of the ‘unfathomable’ is what poetry must possess to be able to stand the test of time, and that which we cannot exhaust can be found or come to the bottom of can be found in the personal.

(image from www.vibeplace.com)

“Re”

I wrote this in June 2006, but I can relate to it still today.  It’s called “Re”.

The only thing you can do

Is

Believe in the idea that there is someone else who will love you.

Staring into empty space

Occupying dead air with glazed over eyes

Don’t expect those around you to be too impressed

Your personality is absorbed by transient, hungry thoughts that devour your full attention

No room for living in the moment

Unless you let go of these thoughts, you’ll be forever unavailable

Don’t check out just yet

Give it time

Time

All you need is time

To reconnect

To reevaluate

To rediscover the gifts in front of you

When the world turns its back on you

Open up

And let life love you back.

Going back…

I went through a rather dark, emotional phase in 2005 and a lot of poetry resulted from it.  I thought I’d share some:

Happy (May 2005)

Come with me,
I’m on my way to this place called happy
It’s a road that never ends
A journey, not a destination – it was hard for me to comprehend
But now it’s time to start the engine and take off with only my heart in my hand –
There’s no room in the trunk for baggage

Sick of hating you
Just want to let go
But it’s so hard to say goodbye to everything you’ve ever known
How do you heal a shattered soul?

Come with me,
I’m on my way to this place called happy.

It won’t be easy.
You’ll stumble and fall,
Break down and cry
You’ll try to turn around and run back
But there’s nothing there

Happiness is forward – it cannot be found in the past
Don’t lie to yourself, it was there once, but no longer

Come with me,
I’m on my way to this place called happy
It’s a road that never ends
A journey, not a destination – it was hard for me to comprehend
But now it’s time to start the engine and take off with only my heart in my hand –
There’s no room in the trunk for baggage

untitled, autopilot (November 2005)

my fingers are picked to the bone

i fall asleep to a dull throbbing

flowing out of my finger tips

and i wonder if its coming from somewhere deeper

Before You Jump (May 2005)

Before you jump,

pause

Look behind you.
Look down at your feet
as a chunk of dirt loosens from the earth,
and plunges over the edge
into
the vast
emptiness
below.

Now, look up,
past the blue.
Look ahead of you.

Do you still want to jump?
Yes
But

it would be too easy.

Restless (October 2005)

head is heavy, but blank;
hazy with all the thoughts, images rushing around
heart is pounding out of my chest
lump in throat
body restless
tears fill up my eyes
everything is so blury; the only sharp, distinct feeling in my heart
shaking, but paralyzed
nothing can put me at ease
frustration sets in because I can’t get control of my thoughts, my actions
i have things that need to get done, but a stronger force has taken over me
hungry but sick to my stomach
i thought i already went through this; why is it coming back at me again?

that familiar pinch on my skin seems like one solution,
but i don’t even know if that will comfort me

Solitude of Spring (January 2006)

A strand of soft chestnut
framing a tear stained cheekbone,
sun-kissed freckles,
a blizzard of brilliant cherry petals
pirouetting around heavy
staggered thoughts.

Weather Report (12/15/04)

The days go by
separated by your face
haunting my dreams

scared to close my eyes
afraid to open them

if only i could wake up
from this overwhelming nightmare
darkness fades to black

the light teases me,
as the sun fades in and out
of the unpredictable clouds

My life is like a weather report;
70% chance of storms, partly sunny.

I can’t wait to find that place
where
the sun shines even through the clouds
But that will be a sad, sad day
because the past will be
just that
past

Alive (December 2004)

I’m alive.

Suffocating
Drowning
Bleeding
Falling
Trying
Aching
Hurting
Failing
Fading
Dying

I’m alive.

But, I’m still alive.
Someday, I hope to be living again.

Red (November 2005)

I look down at the red apple in my hand, lick the sweetness from my lip
out at the red leaves twirling from the trees
and up at the firey red plane gliding over head
and can’t help but think
that for the first time in a long time
life forms a straight line
a perfect triangle
instead of the fragmented shapes i’ve become so familiar with