Poetic Angst

By: Bela Johnson

May 31 2016

Tags: , , ,

Category: communication, inspiration, mindfulness, musings, philosophy, Uncategorized

17 Comments

Aperture:f/2.2
Focal Length:4.15mm
ISO:64
Shutter:1/30 sec
Camera:iPhone 5s

Hearts worn fragile on expectation
can’t survive this world unwhole;
transform stagnant, rout out tension,
shake the body and warm the soul;

Creation seethes with complication,
chase of swordplay-brandished past;
in this age of subtler doings,
heed the chances slipping fast;

Survey all with keen awareness
while the pall around us lurks,
all will perish, none escapes it,
what was valued now seems cursed.

Seed the ground with brief renewal,
dig the holes and plant the trees;
earth births fire as well as water,
brings all structures to their knees;

Since you ask me what I’m feeling,
read these words that conjure depth;
yet instead you crave more banter,
sweet libations on the breath;

While I hunker down with rawness,
speaking seems quite needless then,
knowing well this deep reflection pours
unceasing from the pen.

17 comments on “Poetic Angst”

  1. Fabulously deep and intense, Bela. As always, I need to read your works multiple times; twice at least for meaning, and twice at least for pleasure. What do you think, in this ‘age of subtler doings’, is it natural to lose one’s sense of purpose, and how to accommodate it? It seems so many confront this later life condition, to live and yet what for – the others; is that enough? H ❤

    • You don’t stand alone in this, Hariod – my husband feels the same way! In fact, funny enough, I do as well – I often write the words, but have to edit multiple times to garner clarity from them before sharing with others. (The feelings and theoretical meaning is clear as I am writing, but the expression of those qualities is another issue.) The ‘poetic angst’ is often that those words are necessarily sparse and pared down. Prose gives us a bit more latitude to wind into and out of thoughts and theories. And I don’t mean to be obtuse, but after a virtual lifetime of writing poetry, I attribute the words as purely to deep source as possible. And I try not to alter the meaning too much 😉 Blessings, dear one. ❤

    • Oh, gosh, so much for replying to a comment in the comments section. Better to do so below my post, as I can respond more fully (being a visual sort). In this case, I only addressed your confusion about my word jumbles and not your questions!

      Regarding subtler doings, I think we are entering a time where motives of the collective are less clear, though perhaps it has always been so (easier to filter through the lens of memory, or so it seems). Yet in this age of Snowden’s revelations and drones and all manner of ‘secret spying,’ not to mention stealthily eliminating perceived ‘enemies of the state’ and such, it may well be easier to lose sense of purpose in the sheer overwhelming confusion of it all. The question, ‘do my actions matter?’ becomes even more obscure and one may well feel unsure of what direction to take. So often it is the (very) subtle ‘action’ of prayerful intent and mindfulness that will get us through and perhaps create subtle shifts that guide humanity in another direction. Though personally I harbor no illusions about how and when that may or may not occur.

      Your second point ‘to live and yet what for’ hits poignantly upon a current that runs unceasingly through my subconscious almost full time. It is less about why “I” am living and continuing to do so (though that is also real and present); rather why ‘people in general’ live, especially given the life of ‘the average person,’ though it is unfair to assume from appearances. Still, the sheer volume of consumption of even the most frugal among us is staggering. How can the planet support this kind of burden? (It is becoming clear that it cannot, but it doesn’t prevent willful perpetuation of the species. We do, by and large, follow biological directives in that regard.) These are the challenges of the times, no doubt. The ‘hows’ may even be obvious, yet the Powers That Be are still addicted to greed over reason (has it ever been so?). And this is only teasing one hair from Medusa’s gnarly head.

      Be well, and do know your kind and thoughtful nature is most appreciated. Aloha! ❤

      • Right here: “So often it is the (very) subtle ‘action’ of prayerful intent and mindfulness that will get us through and perhaps create subtle shifts that guide humanity in another direction.” – This is entirely how my life is guided now, in the sense that (what I call) harmlessness is the guiding principle. It feels too insubstantial or passive to be called ‘a sense of purpose’. It just sort of descended upon me, so it’s not volitional, and it’s not even morally driven, I have to say. Nor is it consciously altruistic, and in any case, it is, as you say, such a subtle thing that it’s as good as liminal. It’s almost as if were I to try to care for people and the environment then that very caring itself would somehow get in the way through its effortful-ness. I don’t know if this makes sense to you at all?

        Still, I do believe what you say, and though it may sound self-important, I sense that simply bringing to the party a small cake of harmlessness does indeed “create subtle shifts that guide humanity in another direction”. These shifts can be tiny, seemingly inconsequential, but even the development of trust and love between, say, myself and my now departed Border Collie, somehow makes the world a better place, still now, even though she’s gone, as the trust and love don’t die with the body – same with your recently departed friend. Of course, there’s more than these instances, but you get my drift – our drift – I know. H ❤

  2. Your words so wonderfully express my feelings. Incredible!

    • Hariod, I do, indeed get your drift. Nothing whatsoever to dispute. The effortlessness and harmlessness you speak of are both with me, as well. The shifting that has transpired in the last 10 years of my life has arisen quite without effort, yet was also the byproduct of many years of (first) self-study and then simple mindfulness. Should the Dalai Lama never have uttered the word, I think I still would be this way. Yet that’s hard to tell, for the impetus he generated from bringing his teachings to the West has indeed instigated a tidal wave of untold awareness in the Collective. Is it aging (hormonal shifts certainly play their part), or is it simply the natural course when years have been spent in the quiet? So much to ponder, so very little time … All appreciated, as you know, I trust. Aloha. ❤

    • Aloha, Paul! Not sure if you refer to Hariod’s words or my own – or both – but you are welcome – whether for the post or instigating the banter 😉 Love!

  3. Your poetry, as Hariod says holds depth, deep meaning, and I can so relate to your words on your first words.. ” Hearts Worn Fragile”…
    I read through both Hariods and your replies to her comments.. I too am wondering right now as the way our Earth’s progression will pan out. In fact I often THINK far too much.. And should concentrate more on the NOW..
    My own escapism from the turmoil’s of the Earthly daily grind is to dig deep holes, plant, and weed well both plants and thoughts that invade the mind..

    I marvelled at your beautiful photo, as I do each time I look up to the sky, yet our skies are so often a colourless grey.. I too ‘Survey’ ponder, and prune, Knowing that there is a Divine Plan at work even though we can not always See its path.

    Those ‘Deep Reflections ‘ that ‘pours unceasingly from your pen’ I am ever thankful for.. For your words make me realise I am not alone in my wanderings as I too ‘hunker down’ , knowing perhaps too much within My BEing that our Human selves destroy so much more than they ever build.

    Mother Earth will be here long after we have destroyed ourselves.. And every Good Mother knows when her children need disciplining, and I think she is getting very near her tolerance levels 🙂

    Loved this, Blessings Sue ❤

    • Aloha, Sue, and thanks so very much for your kind appreciation and your thoughts. A couple of points: funny enough, when we lived on these islands 25 years ago for a couple of years before returning to Maine, I remember mourning the loss of grey skies(!!) The sky was always a brilliant blue, and rains were warm and passed fairly quickly. I missed the woods (which the Big Island displays in higher elevations – we were on Moloka’i before) and the cool grey mists that hung over the treetops. I guess as humans we often look to what we lack instead of what is in front of us – no harm, no foul. Just awareness, I think, is enough to sharpen dulling senses.

      Bringing me to my second observation, which is your statement that you ‘think too much.’ I believe I’ve had this exchange with Hariod in the past, in that the ancient system of the Enneagram is what made me aware that people have predominant motivations which can be identified. There are the ‘head’ types, the ‘gut’ types and the ‘heart’ types. Of course we all possess (and identify!) with a predominant Type, but we don’t ‘select’ it, it is an inherent part of our soul pattern. And we all possess elements of all three Types. Anyhow without getting into it too much (as it’s only one tool in the shed), ‘thinkers’ are driven by anxiety and worry more than ‘needing to be needed’ (‘heart’ types) and/or their ‘gut’ sense. When I counseled people for 30 years, it became obvious how helpful this model could be in cutting to the chase, assisting others in awakening to their true potential. What helps head folks is just what you employ: getting your hands in the earth, grounding the body, even using the drumbeat to anchor a jittery mind. So whether or not you fall into this category is not for me to say. But I can affirm your actions, regardless. There’s a Lot for anyone to be jittery about in these uncertain times.

      It seems we share the sentiment that Mother Earth knows how to care for herself, even if most humans do not. She is more in charge than anybody imagines, and when it’s time, all will be renewed. Her origins were in fire, so it makes sense that the planet is warming up again for a good cleansing! Meanwhile, we plant, we harvest, we sow and reap and listen and learn.

      Blessings to you, dear one. May peace dwell in your heart.

      • Thank you dear Bela.. Yes I worry less these days as I have learnt from my past errors in ‘Overloading’ my brain lol… A nervous breakdown saw me change a lot of my behaviour patterns.. Learning to meditate, and focus on the Now.. Learning to listen to my Gut rather than my head and to let go of worrying about the past or future..
        Being empathic also can have its downfalls as well as its merits.. But I think I have learnt lots in this life time.. As I can now learn that I can empathise without taking on board the emotions as my own..
        It look a long while for me to understand that I was not always feeling my own emotions.. 🙂

        So its good to know that I am grounding my self in our dear Mother.. She is wiser than any of us knows..
        And I know despite all the ‘Fear’ mongering of those who are using Global warming for the own ends, that She will be just fine..

        Given a few more millennia, less the populace of many of us who are bent on destruction, she will heal beautifully..

        And like you dear Bela.. Yes we sow, plant and harvest.. And as a human species we are reaping now what was once sown..
        And hopefully we shall learn, grow and expand in our vibration through our mistakes..

        Love and Blessings.. I am so grateful for our friendship

        Sue ❤

      • Sue, many thanks, once again. Now this: “It look a long while for me to understand that I was not always feeling my own emotions.” What this brings to mind for me, also born empathic, is the sheer sensitivity humans are capable of, when all the noise is cleared away. And how that sensitivity develops into empathy; how it channels in that direction, what its genesis is. How as souls, if you will, we incarnate into families with familiar patterns, not that our infant selves recognize or remember; how as children we learn in our case to attune to those on whom we are dependent, assuring our continuation in this precious life.
        I often wondered what would have happened, had I had a more stable family life, but in the end I am just as thrilled to have learned what I did early on. So the emotions of others may or may not be an echo of my own past creeping back through the veil – I mean, really who can say – but if we are all One as I believe Creation to be, these disturbing remnants are not separate from me anymore than I am separate from my avocado tree 😉
        And the beat goes on … ! I love these meaningful conversations, and feel so blessed to have found this pulsing community amidst the chaos others choose to call ‘reality.’ Many, many blessings, dear friend! ❤

      • You so understand exactly what I think Bela. My own family I was born into, but as I look back in hindsight, I chose the exact right place to grow, learn tolerance and how to it felt at times to be rejected. And later totally rejected by my mother. Yet loved by my Father..
        Without that grounding I would not have been so empathic to those whom I later supported as a support worker. Or been able to hold my own and speak freely with those in High places who thought themselves above others.
        So I think there are no mistakes in our choice of parents, But there are always forks in our roads in which we can detour. And obviously to which they detour from also.
        Each of us as you say are ONE, each part of the story as we unfold the many layers as we learn to expose ourselves back to what we have long forgotten to use.. Our Hearts..

        It is now beginning to unfold around our world as we are once again being challenged and tested to connect to our hearts, through compassion as we see events unfurl around our globe..

        We who ‘See’ the bigger picture know that the chaos is only a means to an end.. And I am blessed with friends like your good self and others whom this Web has linked me with. For it shows me that we who think alike are many.. And I believe in Miracles when I dare to believe in my Dreams..

        Bless you Bela.. Sue ❤ ❤

      • Thanks, sweetie, for sharing yourself so fully. Yes, blessed we are! May you experience peace as we cruise into yet another weekend. ❤

  4. The angst over earth’s evolutionary progression is spot on, Bela, given the fact that humans are virtually powerless against forces of Nature. It echoes so powerfully in your words, ‘survey all with keen awareness…all will perish, none escapes it….’. Yet humans continue to gloat over deemed superiority as the centre-piece of creation when in the infinite timescale of universe, and finite timescale of planet earth that came into existence a mere four billion years ago, Homo sapiens started evolving just around two hundred thousand years ago; based on fluidity and limited range as a specie, humans may be around for another few hundred thousand years or so before reaching its evolutionary conclusion, consigning itself to an insignificantly minuscule fringe in the fabric of the cosmos. Keeping such a scenario in view, the least we should be doing is to go about our lives utilising earth’s resources as sustainably as practicable, thereby doing our facilitation to enable smoother succession for later generations. That’s about all there is to it.

  5. Aloha, Raj:

    My husband and I view a few documentaries, and I’m trying to remember if it was Frozen Planet or Planet Earth (or something else) that demonstrated how this planet was birthed in fire; how many years it then took for life as we know it to begin, and how Earth will once again cyclically reduce to a fiery matrix. Of course we broadly knew the timescale you mention, but this filled in some of the blanks.

    My own genesis is through a long line of deniers; not uncommon, I think, to a large majority of the human race today. The thought that somehow if I close my eyes to it, it won’t exist has desensitized the Collective to a very perilous point. On one hand, I cannot fault others for wanting what they perceive is ‘the quality of life’ select others (often American) enjoy, but this model based on rampant consumerism has led to a more rapid degradation of the enviroment than most could have envisioned. We are a young nation; too young to be taking directives from, I’m afraid. On the other hand, a nation with this kind of resources has a moral obligation to utilize some of its wealth to correct myriad insults to the planet by modeling and utilizing more sustainable methods of supporting the sea of humanity that now amasses like lemings on the edge of the perpetual cliff.

    If more could wipe the mist from their vision and admit certain truths to themselves while ‘going about (their) lives,’ it surely would improve the quality of life both for them/us as well as for generations to follow. It is challenging to continue sharpening our appreciation for what becomes known or habitual, and it seems unfortunate that it often requires threats to bring that pencil to a fine point. It is why mindfulness can be such a powerful tool as an alternative to self-narcosis.

    Many blessings, and thanks for your valuable comments.

  6. Quite a write this one!


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