On Writing a Memoir, Part I

I’ve posted this to my other blog, innerwoven.me. In case you’re not following me there, I wanted to share here as well. Why? Because I need your help, dear readers! Help me pull the book outta my head and onto “the page.” I appreciate you all!

innerwoven

poets-pen.jpegSo, dear friends, I need your help. I’ve had a book percolating in me for some time now. But I need your help in pulling it out and getting it down. I’m inviting you, my dear readers, to help guide me on this journey.

Many of you have faithfully followed along with my often random, esoteric ramblings, with grace and dedication. I am utterly gratified to be in this with you. Truly.

Of the pieces you’ve read, what has struck you most? Deepest? What are the bits and bobs that have most touched you, made you laugh, or cry, or angry? I mean, the kinds of bits you’d read more of were they to find themselves between covers? So, this is an open invitation to you, my beloved readers, to walk with me toward some as yet undetermined goal of a memoir.

I appreciate you all so much. Your input…

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Summer’s Repast

The Fairy Pools 20.jpgHer voice is always clearer
when she breathes her way
to late sunset-thoughts,
and a thousand possible songs –
ready to sing, but with no
urgency to sing them.

They’ll wait, and when you’re not looking,
they’ll groom themselves
into symphonies of days where casual
melodies of lazy, guilt-free sun
harmonize your life. 

Hush, speak slower. Say only 
what words bring thought and chance,
laughter and hearts to find the same story.
Never let a single sentence pass
without introducing yourself as
someone ripe for more of the same.

Forget what losses brought you
to this place. Remember only that
which formulates in the bubbling folly
of untamed rivers of remembrance.
They always have much to say
when one is tuned to hear
riddles in the waltzing water.

But, if sing you must, let go
the notes, large or small,
ripe and raw, trembling with anticipation
of summer’s repast, tuned and teasing.
And, above all else, don’t sing alone.

These are the days well fitted for 
the songs of neighbours.

Robert Alan Rife, May 29/18

_________________________

Photo: The Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye, Scotland, 2016

Chasing Fog

Art yet to come.jpg

Let us strive to understand why

artists of different stripes, through all our times,

have sought out darkness, terror, and woe.

Is this alone enough weight to serve the best

grist for the mill,

the most creative soil?

Some see hope only in pain – best straw for the man,

scare for the crow,

leaves for the tea.

But love yet remains the hottest kiln fire,

best ink or brush, chisel or note, key or bow.

Unrequited?

Better still.

The lover writes, paints, sings, sculpts, dances

her way to unleashed creativity, effortlessly

producing beauty in saying so.

Lose that love and comes a torrent of page-busting pain,

notes of mourning and loss,

all the colours of the universe distilled into singular grey.

Art becomes the dense power of the black hole,

sucking energy from anything unlucky enough

to be in proximity. It is pulled in,

crushed, passed through the dark,

then, released again, purified in travail.

Let the art come then from orbital gravity –

two heavenly bodies in mutual dance.

And, sometimes, great art still issues

forth from the flinging wildly into endless space,

victim of some heavenly collision.

The sculptor trains his eye on her flowing

body, chipping away what stone blocks

the way of the visage that drives him.

Shoot an arrow through her and the same

tools are used to take his own life.

Then, the composer, matching them both,

crushes grisled notes onto a tear-stain’d staff.

The musician throws note after throbbing note, dying

as on cloth all our emotions in each one. She loses a hand

to prepare the way for the still

broader statement of the one who writes of her loss.

It is all an exercise in drilling holes in the sternum

to siphon enough life-blood for the great gushing

onto page, stone, canvas, or staff

one’s gratitude or grief;

tears or triumph;

grist or glory.

There is good art in the good. Perhaps even better art in the bad.

There is art within art. Light from dark from light,

we find the most lasting thing tucked in

the gravitas of every moment.

Baffling.

Unnerving.

Discouraging.

Beautiful.

The artist must find the kernels of beauty tucked

in a backwash world,

like chasing fog in the dark.

 

Let us begin.

Death’s death

Live! Live! Not one minute

more to solemnize the squaring truths

of the dark, exasperating. Exsanguinating.

The probing luminant, juggernaut

of dawn brought down as a quickening

shade of brilliance over the tar-black,

songless night – now gasping out

its own greying reminiscence.

Kicking against the goads, a denouement

of despair, decay’s quietus comes to mock.

But its voice is too dry now for anything more

than the androgynous whisper of a skeleton.

The bones rattle and try in vain to spark, to scare,

to survive the day, already here.

Death, this needy after-thought, this choking

wheeze of duskish, tight-lipp’d groaning –

it can no longer hunt, its legs are

broken, a dislocated shoulder no longer

suited to hefting hopelessness.

Spring! Spring! O antediluvian Spring! How

many are your salted children, lined up

outside your garden wall. Someone

has unchink’d the tangled gate and trodden new

footprints – fresh, ancient and deep – in the Virgin soil.

We come too, having hid ourselves in

the wisp of your blood-colour’d sleeves.

Droughted, now, a tomb and the perfect surprise:

breaths in lungs once shut, re-sighted eyes,

and in the first of all new hours,

Someone has made light work of death.

 

 

 

NaHaWriMo 2018 Bids Adieu

Alas, we come to the end. February, along with National Haiku Writing Month 2018, bid adieu. A parting kiss, a tip of the hat, and a thanks to all.

* * *

Day 22

Just five syllables

away from finding five more

to finally fin…

 

Day 23

The first winter snows

fall late in February

to a Springing earth.

 

Day 24

Go ahead and pull

the trigger of your lover.

She is still hungry.

 

Day 25

Lacerated flesh

smells of burning horizons.

All in a day’s work.

 

Day 26

Souls, in hollow steel.

An industry of madness

makes tiny men rich.

 

Day 27

It seems we eschew

the pulchritude of gladness

for want of power.

 

Day 28

Today, I shot kids.

Thanks be to God that I can

live where I am free.

NaHaWriMo 2018, part 3

Day 17

I cannot say why

the page seems a mystery

to a breath of ink.

 

Day 18

If there is but one

desire, given to all men,

could it not be love?

 

Day 19

A rotund excuse

it takes to suffer one’s pride

for want of one’s rights.

 

Day 20

A curious thing

this stand of winter flowers,

blooming out of rhyme.

 

Day 21

When the clock stood still,

two arms aimed at journey’s end

couldn’t stand the strain.