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  • Ataraxia

    "You're so cool," I say to myself.
    "Yeah," I say back, "I think you're right."

    Puttin' on a performance,
    But I won't charge a fee
    To find a path into your mind
    For a little bit of me
    By way of an arrangement
    Of words plucked out of space
    So the unknown may take form,
    Airy nothing find a place.

    Writing out the thoughts
    To know how I'm brought about,
    So I don't have to pretend
    Or be freaked out by doubt,
    Panic, or impatience
    To rush the where or when.
    The lines all come together
    At the beginning of the end.

    Mingled with the signals meant
    For someone just like me,
    Demand because I feel them
    That means they fill some need
    To journey with the heroes,
    To fashion me just so,
    So I can be the coolest kid
    And let everybody know.

    In certain scenes some characters
    Preen across their stage
    Oozing frenzied clamor,
    Recreational outrage,
    An unending flow
    Of self-indulgent crap
    Collects the sensitive hardcore
    In their own self-service trap.

    Reading current conditions
    As a seething, total noise
    Threatening to aggravate
    My legendary poise
    By shooting screeching static
    Beyond the limits of my mind.
    Only sorrow on my shoulder
    Reminds me to be kind.

    I'm sure you've got yours too.
    There's enough to go around.
    Loss and trauma always try
    To make sure you stay down.
    When they show up to disrupt
    Your steady, even calm
    Write it up, work it out,
    Pass the lesson on.

    Impermanence and suffering
    For convicts and for kings
    Just seems to be
    The nature of things.
    So flourish for your season,
    Crumple in your fall,
    Keep one hand on the tiller
    And one eye on the ball.

    Make decisions out of love,
    Always mind your manors,
    A rigorous sceptic any time
    Someone's selling answers.
    Don't buy some assumptions
    To fit in or sound smart,
    There's more to life than fashion,
    And some suits fall apart.
    Last edited by Poldy; 01-03-2021, 10:35 PM. Reason: I changed "heros" to "heroes" because it was driving me crazy, and while I was here "some space in your mind" became "a path into your mind", "through the

  • #2
    I'm glad you liked it. Thank you for taking the time to say so.

    I felt like I slipped into the dad-mode voice I use when trying to explain the world to my kids, and I always wonder how that comes across. From my chair it sounds wise when I write it and preachy about ten minutes later. (Then, in about a month, I'm embarrassed that I ever could have been so simple.)


    • DepressingPoem
      DepressingPoem commented
      Editing a comment
      Ngl there where tears UwU keep up the good work

  • #3
    Thank you for the kind word - and as someone who enjoys a good cry let me say I hope the tears were cathartic.


    • #4
      Awesome. I'm always impressed when consistent structure employed with viable rhyme produces a feeling and a message. Not so simple at all to achieve that!


      • #5
        I get you on the "preaching" thing...when I first started posting here I would get constructive criticism about that. But this sounds to me like you wrote your heart - which is where I relate to a lot of poetry - so I get it.

        I do wish I had "legendary poise" though. Will work on that in 2021!

        Also, did you mean "manner" instead of "manor" in S9L2? I have a few less than desirable habits some might describe as bad manners, so I get this too.

        All in all, I think it's a wonderful message, particularly for the start of a new calendar year! All the best to you!


        • #6
          Thank you, Paula. I apologize in advance for the length here. I do tend to go on and on.

          For a long time I managed to maintain a pretty strict policy of not writing my heart. I was content to play around with insults or be kind of nasty in other ways. Then my children came along. They started sneaking in either as subjects or audience and messed up that whole vibe. Then came last winter. Mom's illness and death nearly broke me, but writing my way through it brought me a lot of comfort. So while I reserve the right to occasionally be mean or nasty, I'm also writing as and about myself in ways that continue to surprise me.

          [Apparently Ken Kesey used to talk sometimes about how his art went from being defiant (a raised fist) to being a gesture of love (a hugging motion) following the death of his son. He didn't feel like he was abandoning his revolutionary ways because love and friendship among people was something that tyrants, despots, and those who feed on rancor and division have always feared more than anything else.]

          And playing with the homonym was just an attempt to be clever. I think manners convey a lot of information and play an important role in helping people be comfortable around one another, but I thought that "mind your manors" was a way to remind myself that our circles of influence start in our homes and that the things we are directly responsible for benefit from our careful attention. When circumstances were getting the best of my daughter way back in April I suggested that we focus on things we could actually control (like setting some limits on screen time) because fear and resentment are less likely to infect a mind that's been given a chance to order and understand itself. I think it worked for at least a week or two.


          • #7
            Much of what you've written by way of explanation resonates deeply. Death of our loved ones takes us to a meaningful place, if we let it. I'd say you've benefitted (I know I have) by embracing those realities. There is much beauty to be found.

            I've never had a policy, other than to try to learn as I go, which is why my posting bounces around from serious, to attempts at humorous, to off the cuff (like my post yesterday)...all over the map, with varying degrees of success at making sense for the reader or progress for myself.

            I love the homonym, and considered whether or not to even mention it since I've read your other works and doubted it was anything but intentional. The attempt to be clever? It works...wonderfully!

            Thank you for sharing more of your process.