Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Speechless

He brought me here to make very sure
I would never take it lightly again
that I would feel it deep in my soul
that pat answers will never do.

He's stripped them all away.
I can't hide behind them any more
and I stand here naked in my mind
the world's evil gazing upon me.

Helpless I begin to see it
for what it really is. It is evil.
My heart for once perceives
the terror of its malice.

And here, exposed, I know it,
that speechlessness without which
I am unfit to speak
to the subject of evil in this world.

11 comments:

Tuirgin said...

Sightless

And with those evil, burning eyes
Of this evil, burning world
Spreading its arid desolation
Through my eyes, into my heart,

My lover put his finger to my lips,
And with his lips he closed my eyes.
What I took as outward looking in
Was inward looking out, magnified

Six billion times, with mirrors moving
At every possible human trajectory.
In my silence and blindness my lover
Showed me the evil in this world

Is the decay of sickness and death
Infecting, subverting, turning away
The essential life by which the world
Has always existed since its first breath.

In my silence and my blindness my lover
Showed me the subversion of death to life.
In my silence and my blindness my lover
Showed me the raising of life to love.

Laurie M. said...

Ah, Christopher, now that's poetry! The evil really is within as well as without.

Thank you so much for sharing.

Tuirgin said...

I had fun responding in poetry. People should do this more often.

I hope what came across was that my poem was meant as a sort of continuation of your poem (yours? did you write it?). Following the ideas, adding on to it, embracing and responding to it. That was the idea, at least.

My wife made the comment that she was having a hard time believing I wrote something that was "somewhat uplifting at the end." ;-)

Laurie M. said...

Wow, tag team poetry! Cool.
I'd just assumed this was something you'd already written that spoke to a similar experience. I really touched that you've chosen to respond in this way to my own clumsy expressions.

As for the uplifting end, I'm detecting the hope of the Gospel like a beacon in the darkness. Very lovely.

Tuirgin said...

At one point in time I felt that my vocation in life was poetry. Then life got really messy and I stopped writing. I don't enjoy writing as therapy, although many people find it tremendously useful. Poetry, like all the things I love most, is a matter of technique, aesthetics, and work in the best sense. The act of writing poetry requires a movement of the mind towards the poem he is trying to pull out of raw words. It changes the writer, like prayer. Seamus Heaney talks about it being an argument with one's self.

Anyway, I haven't written poetry in years. Until last week when I got the idea for an anonymous project. I wrote for that, and I wrote today. It feels good. I hope I can continue with it.

Laurie M. said...

Well, as I've said elsewhere, it is my husband who always encourages me to write poetry. It is not my natural bent and I do not pretend any proficiency. I do find, however, (and I think this is why Paul tries to get me to do it) that it connects my brain with my heart in ways I don't normally allow. It helps me communicate from the heart, a heart that is unaccustomed to being given a voice. I think perhaps it will make me a better writer someday.

I think it might be a bit therapeutic too. There is something stabilizing about bringing the heart and mind together to some kind of understanding. So often we (or maybe it's just me) operate as if we were ruled by two independent people - a thinking self and a feeling self - with one or the other taking the lead depending on the circumstances. It's interesting to see what comes of uniting them, and that's what my little forays into poetry have felt like.

Tuirgin said...

Once upon a time competent poetry writing was a fairly wide-spread skill. Poetry used to be important in many ways. Today it exists as sentimental doggerel filling greeting cards and worse, as a relatively private language for self discovery, and as a form of (often academic) onanistic obscurantism. In a few hard-to-find dark corners meaningful literary poetry is still being written.

Poetry as a language for self-discovery need not be technically brilliant, nor aesthetically sublime. The benefit is in how poetry thrives on images, associations, and layers of meaning -- as you were commenting, this stretches our perception in ways different from the normative mode of our daily existence. (If I weren't so tired I'd re-write that in English.)

My mind just started kind of humming white noise. I need sleep. One last thing... Don't discredit your poetry. Technique is something that develops just like with any other skill. The fact is, you have something to say in your poem. It's central image is strong. It isn't built on a string of clichés, but on a true thought. It's alive and strong enough that it formed the basis for my own poem. The silence in my poem is meaningless without your poem. The whole thing depends on your poem from the very first word of it, "And..." Your poem gives the silence that teaches to speak, and mine attempts to give the blindness that teaches to see.

Anyway... off to bed.

WhiteStone said...

Laurie, I enjoyed your poem AND the ensuing conversation.
*smile*

Ancoti said...

Just saw this. Loved it! A soul of a poet is a good thing to have.

Laurie M. said...

Andy,

You are a dear, dear man. Thanks for the kind words.

Valerie said...

Beautiful poem Laurie. I love the portion especially about the pat answers. We're so quick as a people to give them and yet they always leave the hearer empty.

Great conversation in this thread!