Poets Revving Engines

NaPoWriMo!!!  It’s SPRING and it’s POETRY and the world is a wonderful place!  I feel the excitement, the bloom of emotion, the fascination of symbol and script!  It’s romantic, pedantic, nostalgic, elegiac, existential and full of potential.  WHOOOOOT! 

Okay, with all of this enthusiasm, you’d think I was about to bust out a whole anthology of poems that I’ve just written.  Sorry to disappoint, but it’s also Spring Break month (because, really, no two school districts plan this for the same week) and things at Discovery World Museum are pretty hectic – meaning that after being indoors with 600 school children for 7 hours, my ears are ringing and my head is aching and I haven’t been in my quiet, creative place all day.  Still, I have looked up the prompt from the NaPoWriMo site and consulted the Bibliomancy Oracle.   It has led me to a wonderful poem called Parable on Fish & Fire.  Coincidentally, I made tilapia for dinner tonight, and after sitting down and offering my thanksgiving for fish, I recalled the saying by Kabir, “I laughed when I hear that the fish in the water is thirsty.”   We are thirsty fish, we are celebratory poets.  We celebrate the mundane, the environment of being human.  Love, life, beauty, truth, concept and experience…we make it up and tear it down.  We’re social animals with big brains, but we’re only minimally distinct from all the other carbon life forms on this planet.  Isn’t that a riot?  Sure it is.  So let’s riot…but stay a little aware. 😉

— A Poem I Wrote sometime before 1997 —

God is a poem

Infinite in meaning

Economical in expression

Clothed in symbol and harmony

A breathing Word

Engaging all perception

Oh! The Humanity!

Internet news gives me a stomach ache.  I just feel sick after browsing through photos and videos and stories about cruelty, stupidity, fear, and all kinds of petty, human activity.  I really appreciate bloggers and others who post genuine evidence of our more noble capabilities.  Although, sometimes this is attributed to “angels among us” or some non-human inspiration.  Is kindness not a human trait?  Justice?  Wisdom?  What do we gain by hesitating to credit people for exhibiting these admirable qualities and then splashing our media with all the “awkward” examples we can fit on a screen?  Bleh…I just feel like I’ve been gorging on rancid movie popcorn.  Humans plugged into more and more machinery, morphing into robo-sapiens, give me the same sour taste.  

Please, somebody show me a living mensch!  A human being, acting gracefully.  Are there so few left?  Browsing through my photo file, I realize that only a handful of pictures actually contain people.  Is it because I find beauty in nature and form and so rarely in mankind?  

Here’s one I did uncover.  I took this shot last March.  It shows a retired thespian giving a presentation to school kids on the process of making maple sugar one hundred years ago.  He’s describing hand made tools, telling the story as if he were remembering his boyhood.  He peppers his talk with jokes to make the kids laugh and pay attention.  He is a teacher of old ways, engaging with new minds, passing on a respect for trees.  He’s not doing it for remuneration or applause, he’s doing it because it’s important to him.  And I think he’s a good example.  Can you show me others?  My stomach will thank you!

The old man and the maples

The old man and the maples