The Breaks

mace life

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Saint John and The Frog

I was thumbing through an old poetry notebook of mine from 25 years ago. In an unfinished poem, I found a reference to this passage from the texts of Saint John of the Ladder.

It wants to be shared. What am I gonna do, post it on Facebook?

When we draw water from a well, it can happen that we inadvertently also bring up a frog. When we acquire virtues we can sometimes find ourselves involved with the vices which are imperceptibly interwoven with them. What I mean is this. Gluttony can be caught up with hospitality; lust with love; cunning with discernment; malice with prudence; duplicity, procrastination, slovenliness, stubbornness, wilfulness, and disobedience with meekness; refusal to learn with silence; conceit with joy; laziness with hope; nasty condemnation with love again; despondency and indolence with tranquillity; sarcasm with chastity; familiarity with lowliness. And behind all the virtues follows vainglory as a salve, or rather a poison, for everything.

Saint John of the Ladder, The Ladder of Divine Ascent, Step 26, “On Discernment”

November

It’s hard to find the moments
that I need, when the clouds
settle down and are quiet,
when the wind is the right
shade of blue, when all
of the people float over looking
like dogs or butterflies,
gathering dark
underbellies of rain.

Now you weep and I despise
myself, beyond atonement,
culpable for the starlight,
pushed to the brink
with the falling leaves.

 

J. Kyle Kimberlin
10.31.2017
Work in process, probably.

Creative Commons Licensed

Unseen

We keep passing unseen through little moments of other people’s lives.

– Robert M. Pirsig

New poem coming from me today. The poem and I are going to get a few hours of rest first.

Oraciones por los muertos.

Flores por los muertos. 

Flores por los muertos. 

Los muertos están cerca.

Quality Time

Who would have thought that the term, “quality time” came from deep in the notebooks of Albert Camus. At least, he gets the credit today.

“Find meaning. Distinguish melancholy from sadness. Go out for a walk. It doesn’t have to be a romantic walk in the park, spring at its most spectacular moment, flowers and smells and outstanding poetical imagery smoothly transferring you into another world. It doesn’t have to be a walk during which you’ll have multiple life epiphanies and discover meanings no other brain ever managed to encounter. Do not be afraid of spending quality time by yourself. Find meaning or don’t find meaning but ‘steal’ some time and give it freely and exclusively to your own self. Opt for privacy and solitude. That doesn’t make you antisocial or cause you to reject the rest of the world. But you need to breathe. And you need to be.”

― Albert CamusNotebooks 1951-1959

Dog’s Birthday

Today is Brookie’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Brookie! She is a best friend and she is 6 years old. She is a wonderful dog. In honor of her day, here are two poems.

First is the Dog section from my longer poem A Terrible Thing.

The Dog

My life is a dance of ten or fifteen years, and I love
to hear my voice ring out into the all-too-silent world.
You can say so much with your silence, like the wind,
but a dog is a turning leaf and a sound.

There is a long river of light when the day gets old
and I grow tired, thinking of my food and where I sleep.
I am not afraid because the pack is with me.
I do not rest alone.
But you will, Man, and it makes me sad.
I have seen our tracks in the dust up ahead,
where they go from many to few, to two then one.
Mine don’t go on very long, but I have no words to tell you this.

~~~

What The Dog Owns

They say that we should live
in the moment, cherish and be
present entirely, the moment
being all we have.

And the future, the infinite
possibility, vast and strange
un-writtenness of it, dark swirling
Maybe of it, belongs to God.

But the past, with its happy smells
bright fuzzy motion, sudden pains
and great meals, long sleepy
afternoons, belongs completely
to the dog.

2017-03-25 20.13.29

J. Kyle Kimberlin

Creative Commons Licensed

The Twilight Sky

Each night is a change
bringing longer darkness
down from the mountains
east of home.

Nights follow shorter days
with angled sunlight.
Little bats flutter up
like troubled thoughts
into the twilight sky.

I stand up at 9 o’clock
and go out alone.
Night after night
we are together
then I’m alone.

Every night is longer
by degrees of solitude
and grief until I stop,
look back before I drive away.

God knows what might
be gone when I return,
when nights are forever
and lonely, and January bitter
toward the end of time.

 

J. Kyle Kimberlin
3rd Draft, 10.11.2017

Creative Commons Licensed