#Poem – 16.01.17

You once said that I should write a poem
That covered how hard it was to write a poem
So I did;

The poets who spoke of love
Laid down the groundwork before me
They said everything that needed to be said
A thousand or more years before I was born
They took the best of it for themselves
Leaving us with what appears to be
Literary pitfalls
And romantic cliches
Because
In their own way
These people knew
How to describe you in the candlelight
And I wonder if there are any words left for me to try
And
It feels as if
There isn’t
But words will have to do
Because I think they are all I have

These words
It’s like I need more of them
Or better words
My current supply
Does not
And cannot
Encompass
The frame of mind I find myself in today
The things I want to tell you
Like my recall;
The touch of your skin
The smell of your hair
The sounds you made as I stroked your back
No
This cannot possibly come close to
A description of the feelings
I have gone through
Since first seeing you
And walking out of your door

I clearly need a new language
To describe things
Like what it’s like
To look into those lapis blue eyes
Or what the sound of your laughter
Feels like
Or the shape of your face
Framed otherworldly in the light of a wintery late afternoon
As you stood by the window looking out into the courtyard
That smile you gave me over dinner
Or the way you cocked your head like an owl
Supposedly a thing that I do myself

Words are a limited means of conveyance
Especially for experiences
Deep like these
No metaphor I can reach for
Feels like it hasn’t been done to death
No commentary on the human experience
Or the human condition
Lit up by love
Has not been said better
By someone who can say it better than I

So
What is there left to say really?
Other than how easy it is to say ‘I love you’
But how hard it is to describe how much I love you

#Poem – Apathy Zen / 26.12.16

Today feels like yesterday
Feels like every other day
Eternity has set the pace
And the future may be
Much the same
Should it ever arrive

World turns
Moon and sun rising
Stars glide countless miles
Countless miles away
Every hour, an infinity of things
Are created and destroyed
Most of which
We will never know of
Some live
Other die
Most are never born
An infinity of possibilities
People and things
Never to be

The sky slides into the atmosphere
Clouds lie
Basking on a second
Of open ended time
The things and people
Go their separate ways
Never to have met
Or
Never to meet again
Leaves fall
The trees breathe
As the waves crash against the sea
Our world;
The grand institutions and buildings
The grand ideas
That the grand people built upon
All of it is collapsing slowly
So slowly that we don’t see it
This great futile project
We’ve created
And this great futile universe
We’ve stolen ephemeral glimpses at

All the while
We’re still here
Trying to take it all in
Or taking in too much of it
In ignorance or awareness
You and I
Us and them
The Highly Improbable;
Thriving
Surviving
Or
Eking out.
Ecstacy
Ennui
And entropy.

Life,
The earth’s surface
And the wheel of karma
Slowly turning.

#Idea – Copywriting vs Relativism vs Pedantry

When you think of it, what a lot of copywriters and ‘unofficial’ grammar nazis do is basically enforce consensus.

They are the police for what is the currently accepted ‘correct’ way to write.

But…

The laws of language are not a ‘real’, natural law. They’re a kind of consensus law, an agreement.

Unlike the law of gravity, which exists whether we believe in it or not, the laws of grammar are an abstraction that exist because we adhere to them.

Consider – for some reason, at some point, and for one reason or another, we decided that we would use commas, hyphens, capital letters (etc) in a certain way.

This was all written down somewhere (usually in dictionaries and accepted style guides). From then on, this was seen as the ‘correct’ way of communicating in the written format.

…and certain people, for one reason or another, were appointed as/appointed themselves the experts of this medium.

But…

Language (as a part of culture) is a fluid and adaptive thing that evolves as people use it.

black and white bird photo
Image Credit: ThomasWolter

We have laws to enforce certain consistency and ‘best practice’ in how we write and speak…

But no one person or organisation can hope to control how that works.

Much of the slang that ’the kids’ are using will later be added to the dictionary – a sign of validation if ever there was one. Still, you could think of the OED as a late adopter in this case – these words were already alive, in use and evolving, long before the dictionary gave them its stamp of approval.

So, in a way, you could think of us writers, copywriters, editors (etc) as ‘shepherds’ of the words – guiding, but not entirely controlling, how words are used, and how they progress.

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”LEWIS CARROLL (Charles L. Dodgson), Through the Looking-Glass, chapter 6, p. 205 (1934)

Photo by Georgie Pauwels

#Poem – 25.10.16 / Fallujah

Shrapnel
Will immortalise itself
Beautiful shapes
Cinnabar tips
Of smoking metal
Scything through organic matter

Military grade
But in un-military fashion
It blossoms
A steel caress
That cuts,
A frictionless blade
Effective in application
And applied to
These frail breathing things
That developed souls and customs
And wants
(…the wrong wants)
And made their homes on the wastes

It pains us a little
But they picked the wrong place
For
The law is not on their side
There is nobody to tell their story
They have no understanding
And soon they shall be gone

And its harder to watch
As it finds their places
Their hideouts
And opens flesh
With no contemplation of the implications
How can it?
It was made to destroy itself
And others

And now there’s two brothers
Skipping across the sands
And looking upwards
What do they know
Of Ragnarok
And snow
The northern mythology?

To them, that cloudless sky
Quickly evaporating off
Into glassy sand
Is a mystery
What can it all mean?
What do they know of depleted uranium
Or napalm
The way the world works
Foreign policy
The Great Chessboard
Politics?

And as this part of the world looks up
To the upturned hands of god
Turned out in despair
As the fuel air bomb,
And the flames swallow the air

And as the dunes
Collapse into the oil
Condensed from dead matter
So long dead
And now that oil burns
And this world burns
It’s Prometheus
And petrochemical smoke
And the gods laugh
As we choke
Because some of us tried
Alternatives were sought
But power is the single imperative
The Universal Prerogative
It dogs us

 

#Idea – Post Factual Media Landscape / 17.12.16

Thinking about much of the media in this ‘post fact landscape’ we find ourselves in.
The need to be first is more important than the need to be true.
Or – as thespian-philosopher-mensch Densel Washington once said in an interview
“Read the news and you’re misinformed – don’t read the news and you’re uninformed”

What are we to do?

 

Photo by Christian Schirrmacher