Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Poems

If Poetry Is Dead, So Am I . . .

This post is about poetry but I need to get to that subject by asking you to take notice of my on-going survey to discover what You  want to see on this blog.

So far, there are 76 votes and the top selection is a desire to know more about my writing life.

I’m extremely certain (but would be fascinated to be proven wrong) that the top response will change when more folks vote

My writing life, right now, is full of blogging four days a week, writing a new Fantasy Short Story every Friday, editing about 40 posts from Behind The Scenes into an expansion of my short novel, Notes from An Alien (still Free), and preparing to write a second book of poetry ( the first book of poetry is also free :-)

Oh! I also pen some verse every Monday to read at the Poetry Slam at Raglan Shire in the virtual world Second Life

While there are pundits who brazenly attempt to demonstrate that poetry is dead, there are plenty of articles defending the idea that poetry is very much alive

I only have 18 posts on this blog about poetry, a mere 2.2%.

Does such a low percentage mean I think it’s of lesser importance than my fiction?

Hell no—my second book of poetry will be a distillation of what I’ve managed to learn in my nearly seven decades of life in this body that’s driven by a soul

The first proposed etymology of the word “soul” ends with “of uncertain origin”.

That uncertain origin of the word soul seems to hint at the purpose of poetry, which I could characterize as helping us discover those feelings and thoughts that seem to hover just far enough beyond our conscious minds that they can often feel like something we just don’t have time enough to consider seriously

Let me demonstrate with one of my poems:

In the beginning,
I rush towards
Reunion—my inner
Eye spies a
Gleam that
Dazzles into
Words that

Far short…

I wrote that poem about my attempts at writing poetry

What could that Reunion I seek be?

What is that Dazzling Gleam?

Why do the words feel like they fall short?

It’s been said that poetry is the form of writing that expresses the unexpressible

Perhaps another example would help:

Heat; opposing
Passions—space is time and
Time is lost.
Blood should flow and
Brains should shatter—
Heart is dead but beats in

What are the passions producing such heat?

How could space be time and what made me lose time?

What’s with the figurative reference to blood and brains?

And that last line, Heart is dead but beats in Pain:

Ever felt your heart is dead?

Painful feeling, eh?

If you’re someone who loves poetry, my questions might be interesting

If you feel you can do without poetry in your life, those questions will, hopefully, encourage you to reconsider—perhaps explore a bit—familiarize yourself with the valuable attempt to express your unexpressibles

I’ll leave you with a poem by William Wordsworth, written in the early 1800s but, to me, powerfully applicable in our excessively materialistic culture:

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not. Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.

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Writing from Your Center ~ Authentic Authorship

My Best Friend is someone I’ve never met in my “real” life—the one where I feel my body and hear the cacophony of a world in travail

She lives in Australia, I’m in the U.S.A; but, we communicate

She knows I’ve been struggling, deep inside myself—struggling to hold on to my Authentic Self

She sent me links to two videos today.

They’re both Coleman Barks performing Rumi.

Whether you’re a Reader, Writer, or Publisher, you’ll benefit your authentic self by reading Bark’s translations of Rumi’s poems.

I’ve written before about the importance of poetry for any writer

And, I now have four posts (including this one) dedicated to Rumi

The first video below was done in cooperation with MythicImagination—exploring the need we have to know we’re on the right path

The second one in cooperation with IntegralLife—blending the Blues with ancient poetry

If you can’t support the idea that human life can be lived in resonance with a Realm far beyond mere bodies and mundane activities, don’t watch these videos

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Select as many as you like:

Fifteen Years Ago ~ A Poetic Expedition

The About Page is, usually, the second most visited place on any blog—people want to know who’s behind the words

Today I want to reveal some of my writing from fifteen years ago—major revelation of who I am

All the poems in this revelation are also in my book, Is Your Soul In Here <— for sale but also free to download :-)

Though, Is Your Soul In Here contains additional poetry of mine

The name I gave this writing is Nine Tempestuous Moons ~ The Story of A Relationship.

My poetry in this work was all about my reaction to my daughter’s mother.

The Writing I wove it into is by Bahá’u’lláh.

Bahá’u’lláh was banished and exiled for His Teachings and His earthly life ended in what is today Israel, in 1892:
The Words of His that I wove into my poetry are one phase of a spiritual journey He wrote called The Seven Valleys.

The poems of mine in Nine Tempestuous Moons were the spiritual result of a relationship journey I was destined to make

Perhaps this Poetic Expedition may speak to you………
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A Tribute To My Virtual (Real) Friend . . .

Regular readers of this blog know well my work on Book Island in the virtual world Second Life.

Some of you have read the guest post I did for Joel Friedlander, Second Life: Virtual Book Promotion and Word of Mouth.

Some folks claim that friendships in virtual worlds aren’t real

I would say two things:

They didn’t use the right virtual world.


They’ve never been in a virtual world.

Perhaps a quote from that guest post is in order:

“If you’ve never experienced virtual reality, the first, obvious yet often-overlooked, fact is that there is a real person behind every virtual person. You may be sitting in a fake coffee house, ‘drinking’ fake coffee with a 3-D representation of another person, but that other person is ‘there’, responding to you

I have a friend on Book Island named Donjuan Writer.

He’s ultra-intelligent, from the UK, living in Sweden, writes awesome poetry, and is looking into making films in Second Life.

I’ve had many amazing conversations with him.

Recently, he told me he’d had a “breakout” event—performed some of his poetry in public.

There’s a video down there with him performing the poem and I’m going to put the words here, too.

First though, I want to give the definitions for a word used in the poem—bollocks:

1 – the testicles.

2 – [treated as singular] nonsense; rubbish (used to express contempt or disagreement, or as an exclamation of annoyance).

War On Bo**ocks

Ladies and gentlemen,
Brothers and sisters
Children and animals
Flora and fauna,
rent boys and feminists,
movement-makers and cynical bastards,
people of the world,
I declare a war,
on Bollocks.

Let us not be mistaken
this is not a war on dog’s bollocks.
“Dog’s bollocks” is our unifying cry.
it is bollocks
and bollocks alone
that calls us to action.

For too long,
bollocks has paraded itself as reality.
Broadcasted bollocks
has been viewed by our children.
Bollocks has been exposed to the peoples of other cultures,
even the very notion of culture,
has become bollocks.

We have no idea to what degree bollocks may have infiltrated our borders.
We can never document how much bollocks has gone unchecked.
And while the bollocks that springs to mind
hang before our opened eyes,
the untold bollocks beyond our peripheries,
aside from our focus,
underlying the fabric of our cares,
hanging there in the gob-smacked vacuum of the truth-filled cosmos,
continue to taunt and dare us.

There is so much bollocks in our midst that it is fair to conclude that the world rests on the top
of almighty bollocks.

To the bollocks, I say “bollocks”
and take back what’s rightfully mine;
my bollocks
my business
and the bollocks of men, women and children
are their own bollocks.

The bollocks we rise against
are the bollocks that would destroy us.
the bollocks that would enslave us,
the bollocks that would have us teetering on the edge as we slave away in a rut that has us pummeled and bombarded by bollocks
day in
day out,
the bollocks belligerently bashes, beats and bastardises
our rights to just hang about and talk bollocks.

Our rights will be etched loud and proud on our collective, human constitution,
the right to bare bollocks
in the name of world peace
space travel,
clean energy,
healthy food
affordable medical care
access to education
and the longevity of life;
the ability to travel the globe
with a smile on our faces and to smile without fear in the face of a new endeavor
an endevour into the future
the future that is free
from this bollocks.
Brothers, sisters, hermaphrodites,
hear my plea,
Bollocks to bollocks
it’s dog’s bollocks time!

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Me and My Poet Friend

Most of this blog is devoted to posts about Writing—with the rest concerning Reading and Publishing.

Some of the posts deal with the act of writing and that can be very hard to describe

I published a novel and I’m working on a follow-up short story collection—I’ve written about this process and will certainly write more.

But, long before I wrote a novel I published a book of poetry and the final book of the series I’m in the middle of will be poetry again.

Writing about how to write poetry is a task I don’t even want to try to comprehend

{ btw, you can get free copies of the novel and poetry book at those links up there… }

I have two good friends, whom I’ve not met in person, who are fantastically talented poets.

Today, I want to introduce you to the work of my poet-friend, John.

While trying to describe how to write poetry is beyond me, trying to tell you what to expect in John’s poetry is even further beyond my ability

Plus, there’s the often experienced phenomenon of a single poem meaning quite different things to different people.

One thing I can say is that the poem of his I’ll share below is worth any writer’s perusal

First, here is John’s site, Once Written.

And, here is a recent poem of his:

“Curious It Is”

Curious it is that in these few lines I find flaws
And weightlessness in adamantine words in flight
From the abstract incident and the concrete patterns of the night,
And yet, as I drown withal comes light, air, and morning, in silent thrall
That each breath brings its confession, countless dispensations of reverse
In every verse, thoughts easily dismissed as conceived; I am satisfied that here
And there again have I exhaled a truth or two. This, and as I inhale I hear
The insurrection from the gallery, the ranks of rhythm, immersed
In unintentional casuistry as much as anyone within the curse and blessing
Of abstruse allusions to possession and its loss. The final scenes are mine
And mine alone that lead me to a place somewhere in time
Between celebrated valleys of knowledge and experience addressing
Artifacts and all their codices that qualify duress and mitigate the brine
Of seas of tragedy for what the world rejects and comedy in what eternity denies.
We gather and disperse the seeds, we minor gods in ceaseless search.
No ends exist in harvests of self-satisfaction with their certainty of blight.
And which of us discerns the which through veils of light
And endless revision, design and aspiration seeded on a mountain perch
Or the imminent descent to sound the maw of landlocked gulfs and oceans?
No one here survives mortality but all will live to tell the tale
Of peoples, nations, and all such lofty wholesale tales that fail
Within the present, feed again upon themselves from springs of notions
Filled with promise and devotion, to simply prove their axioms secure:
Nor time, nor reticent imagination can define
The earthly limitation of the heavens here below a line
That pays out golden threads in pride among the weavers of this world.
How often is it so that few if any see beyond a moment’s pause
The awful symmetry between ephemeral success and devastating loss?

If it’s possible for you to relate your thoughts and feelings about this poem, I’d love to see your comments
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