15 Jul 2005

Ollie Ollie Oxen Free

I crawl within myself, at times,
hide in the folds
of my innermost curtains,
soliloquy silently
and dream about the end of the world.
And yet, I get places.
I pretend to be fragile,
act like I’m invulnerable,
reach for things
I never really wanted in the first place,
all the while
being myself in all the manners
they didn’t mean
when they told me to be that way.
No one can tell me why.
I often wonder
if anyone really knows
a tenth of what he speaks about,
or if it’s all bluff,
and that’s the only real craft
in the whole world.
But still, things get done.
I am no one to talk,
in fact, I am no one,
really, because
I am only special
like everyone else is special —
and maybe you are no one, too:
but you know,
if you do be it
in just the right way, it can be
something to brag about:
understanding your infinitesimality
lets you see how wide, wide
the world can be,
how innumerable the possibilities,
even if you only
dream of doing something about it,
crawling out of yourself
strangely metamorphosed.
Ollie Ollie oxen free.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

14 Jul 2005

Use yourself then by degrees thus to worship Him, to beg His grace, to offer Him your heart from time to time, in the midst of your business, even every moment if you can. Do not always scrupulously confine yourself to certain rules, or particular forms of devotion; but act with a general confidence in God, with love and humility.

– Brother Lawrence

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

Fire, guide me through the darkness, and let me not forget from what my soul was forged.

Air, breeze me through the days, my invisible ally, friend to all who would wish to fly.

Water, quench my thirst for what is greater in this life, rain down upon me as I run on.

Earth, ground me to what are the sureties of this life, how there has always been love.

For from the dust of the earth we were formed, though we lay lifeless until the breath of God breathed upon us: and with that fire, air, and water mixed together, we rose a living soul: made in the image of the infinite, in the image of love itself.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

12 Jul 2005

LOOK at the wonders of the Lord, the world He has created, how it is delightful in His eyes, and it can be in yours, too, if only you choose to believe. SEE how He saves all who are lowly upon the earth, for blessed are the poor and meek, and all those that civilization has thrown away. WATCH as He turns the heart of those corrupt, and makes them saints who were once of the vilest of wrongdoers, the worst of sinners. KNOW that there is a God, and it might not make sense the things that go on, why there is so much pain in the world — but not even death is the last word, and there shall be justice. BE content to know the Lord, and need nothing else in the world: the world will not understand you, but you shall be sons and daughters of God. GO into the world and be as wise as serpents, and as harmless as doves, and do the will of that which is above. LOVE with all your strength, then love some more; you will find that you can do this beyond your means, and find then your means increased.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

11 Jul 2005

Dreams are free, if all one does is dream them. O how they cost to fulfill.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

When did fantasies of flight slip from my imagining?
More and more I grow solid and earthbound, even in my dreaming.
Less do I long for wings, my feet ever firmer on the ground…

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

9 Jul 2005

It is for us, in whom the Christian Church is at this moment partially embodied, to declare that Christianity, that the Christian faith can do that for the world which the world needs. You say, “What can I do?” You can furnish one Christian life. You can furnish a life so faithful to every duty, so ready for every service, so determined not to commit every sin, that the great Christian Church shall be the stronger for your living in it, and the problem of the world be answered, and a certain great peace come into this poor, perplexed phase of our humanity as it sees that new revelation of what Christianity is.

– Phillips Brooks

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

Umberto Boccioni: Elasticity

Click on the pic for a larger version.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

8 Jul 2005

Sometimes, I get fooled, too: and I think that everyone is a statistic but me.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

I have in dreams at times imagined that I was better than I am, and sometimes, those dreams came true. No, it was not like how I thought it would go, and there was always a lot more pain involved than I believed was absolutely necessary, but there it was: I became what I believed I could be. It took a lot of prayer along the way, and before I could chance to begin, it took a dose of complete honesty, that I needed first to see how completely deficient I was in the virtues I had thought I subscribed to. I think it has something to do with what JC had said about the truth setting you free: when you can stop making excuses for yourself, especially to yourself, you have a genuine ground from which you might start your climb. But it is possible. People can change. Progress is taking it one day at a time, with a lot of miscalculations along the way, but breakthroughs come. Perchance arrives the time when you look at yourself in the mirror and recognize this new person is you — and believe, if just for a second, in miracles.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

7 Jul 2005

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. But that’s not where the story is, is it? We are not Christ, our work does not extend in any way past our deaths — even if we have put something a little more immortal than us in motion, we do not tend to it in any physical way anymore. It’s one long tale to spin: our wanderings, our losings, our findings, and on, and on: you know what is involved in this thing called living. And yet, if we’re lucky, we will one day merely rate a paragraph’s worth of obituary in the local paper. When E. E. Cummings said that “life’s not a paragraph,” he wasn’t really thinking it through. All these years we cry and shout and talk and run and work and fail and jump and fall and eat and sleep: the living of it must be enough in itself, I think. We cannot count on a retrospective to sort all of it out somewhere in time, the huge majority of us; once through and there will be no more. The story of life is not in making sense of it all, but in living today in today: right now, right here, is the story. Maybe no one will ever hear it told, but it doesn’t matter, because we were there. The experience is reason enough for life to be.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

5 Jul 2005

Thanksgiving is the language of heaven, and we had better start to learn it if we are not to be mere dumb aliens there.

– A. J. Gossip

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

Seoul Subway

Another day on the subway.
A man is selling something, but I
can’t tell what it is. It comes in multiple colors,
the size and shape of shotgun shells.
Some gentleman sitting down
asks to see it, asks the seller a question,
then gives the item back —
not interested. The seller
walks around, showing the item
to the various passengers, but no one
seems to be biting. Then, the man who looked at it
before motions with his hand,
and nods. He buys it. I still don’t know
what it is; perhaps it is
something to eat. And then there’s music
to the right of me (I am
seated along the side, facing the people
opposite me, and
the windows behind them), I see
a blind woman walking slowly down
the middle of the train,
around her neck a small midi-type
electric jukebox. The sound is tinny;
it can barely be called music.
But I reach for my wallet,
raising my butt off the seat for a second,
and I drop a spare bill
in her plastic collection bowl.
She passes on through. No one else gets up.
It will be a long ride. I take a nap.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

4 Jul 2005

As if from within a flurry of angel wings, I heard a song — that is what I wish to say of where my poetry comes from. But it is as Gustave Flaubert said, “Language is like a cracked kettle on which we beat out tunes for bears to dance to, while all the time we long to move the stars to pity.” It sounds so much better in my head — so much better, in fact, before it is ever put into words. That is what many of us would desire to be able to do, is it not? Pour emotions directly on the paper? Perhaps then, there would be no separate class of beings called “artists”... or is it that some of us have such a strong vision, that even when it is hewn by our (lack of) ability to render it in the outer world, something of it still contains a fire from within, and it moves all of us? But I claim not such a thing, myself. My song comes not from in the midst of angel wings’ flurry.

Perhaps it is not even a question of talent, for looking into history, one wonders how many things received as much attention as they did — for these things, however embarrassing to humanity, struck some common chord in so many of us. (And no one, by the way, escapes the zeitgeist his entire life: such a one who thinks he operates outside the time in which he lives operates under a very large illusion.) Perhaps there are many in the world who are van Goghs that never get discovered. I would like to think so. For we are all of us, the best of us, are beating a cracked kettle while the bears dance, trying not to think of the stars while we keep in time. That the stars stay unmoved by our coming or going, whether we made any noise or not. Myself, though: I desire to make the noise.

It may be, ultimately, that in our desire to create, from where it comes and to where it goes does not matter in the slightest. For in those spectacular moments of poetry, when cataclysms of imagery rise and fall, and I wield the word as if it were Excalibur itself, I am immortal. And I need not any validation of this experience, no one to tell me I have lived. Mayhap that is how one knows, in the end, that he has lived indeed.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

2 Jul 2005

Prayer and love are learned in the hour when prayer becomes impossible and your heart has turned to stone.

– Thomas Merton

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

Picasso: Portrait de Sylvette David

Click on the pic for a larger version.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

1 Jul 2005

I do not comprehend how huge this world really is, and all you have to do is look closely to see.

I do not comprehend what depths a human soul may sink to, and really, I never want to know.

I do not comprehend how easily a human being is fooled, me included, but then, we all learn.

I do not comprehend why things are as they are, but I trust that somewhere such a why exists.

I do not comprehend how we can ignore those in need, but neither does it surprise me anymore.

I do not comprehend why we for the most part ignore the wonders of the world: look anywhere.

I do not comprehend what it is, the love God has for us — I think I would cry forever if I knew.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

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