i have grown older & debatable if wise enough
to know that we must be careful with mishandling
the sharpness of the needle of (dis)illusion,
threaded with the veins of the lovely unfamiliar
i know that we do not spend enough time
pondering the breaths of our loved ones &
how many it takes before they consider
themselves alive – there are more than
enough of us, indecipherable & endless,
appearing as just arms and legs, already
i know what is impossible & merely
feigns movement, that we feign movement
in digging our fingers into yesterday &
with those peels hope, to decorate
but i also know that what our bodies portray,
our hearts betray & that we are being
looked after, from the edge of the cosmos,
His feet dangling, dropping stardust onto
some other galaxy
Today’s prompts are a My blank, the blank poem (filling in the blanks with your topic of choice and naming the poem as such) and writing a poem that states the things you know from Writer’s Digest and NaPoWriMo, respectively.
I’ve learned a few things in my day, some of which I have applied and most of which I haven’t. Such is life. The one thing I do know is that we don’t ever get it right and we don’t ever know everything, if anything, at all. The moment we feel otherwise is when we have really gone past the point of ever really having any wisdom. Speaking of which, knowledge is finite, it’s fallible, it can be and usually is, mishandled. Wisdom, however is sacred, it’s spiritual. There is something ( I prefer and am fully convinced that there is Someone, instead) that collaborates with you in order to put forth a beautiful work which is your life.
I choose the word collaborate deliberately. This life, with it’s strange happenings, up and downs, serendipity, coincidence, makes for a story more fantastical than any fiction. No human can create that on their own. We need a Divine Writer. That begs the question of why do we try? It’s an empty pursuit and we will likely search our whole lives through and once on the other end of it will never really come to what we longed to discover.
If you haven’t already, then it’s time to look for something new. Many questions will be answered, while others will not be, however, the ones that aren’t answered will have just as much purpose, if not more, than those that are. We can know but so much through reason before we must look elsewhere for more. Don’t fall into a “fatal repose”, as Blaise Pascal termed it. This avenue must be explored. Believe me when I say this for I’ve explored and found more than I could have ever imagined.
Jean-Joseph Rabéarivelo (4 March 1901 or 1903 – 22 June 1937), born Joseph-Casimir Rabéarivelo, is widely considered to be Africa’s first modern poet and the greatest literary artist of Madagascar. Part of the first generation raised under French colonization, Rabearivelo grew up impoverished and failed to complete secondary education. His passion for French literature and traditional Malagasy poetry prompted him to read extensively and educate himself on a variety of subjects, including the French language and its poetic and prose traditions. He published his first poems as an adolescent in local literary revues, soon obtaining employment at a publishing house where he worked as a proofreader and editor of its literary journals. He published numerous poetry anthologies in French and Malagasy, as well as literary critiques, an opera, and two novels.
Rabearivelo’s early period of modernist-inspired poetry showed skill and attracted critical attention but adhered strictly to traditional genre conventions. The surrealist poetry he composed beginning in 1931 displayed greater originality, garnering him strong praise and acclaim. Despite increasing critical attention in international poetry revues, Rabearivelo was never afforded access to the elite social circles of colonial Madagascar. He suffered a series of personal and professional disappointments, including the death of his daughter, the French authorities’ decision to exclude him from the list of exhibitors at the Universal Exposition in Paris, and growing debt worsened by his philandering and opium addiction. Following Rabearivelo’s suicide by cyanide poisoning in 1937, he became viewed as a colonial martyr.
The death of Rabéarivelo occurred just prior to the emergence of the Négritude movement, by which time the Malagasy poet had established an international reputation among literary figures such as Léopold Sédar Senghor as Africa’s first modern poet. The Government of Madagascar declared Rabéarivelo its national poet upon independence in 1960. The legacy and influence of his works continue to be felt and his works are a focus of ongoing academic study. Modern Malagasy poets and literary figures including Elie Rajaonarison have cited him as a major inspiration. A street and a high school in Antananarivo have been named after him, as well as a dedicated room in the National Library of Madagascar. Read more here and here.
The Three Birds
The bird of iron, the bird of steel
who slashed the morning clouds
and tried to gouge the stars
out beyond the day
is hiding as if ashamed
in an unreal cave.
The bird of flesh, the bird of feathers
who tunnels through the wind
to reach a moon he saw in a dream
hanging in the branches
falls in tandem with the night
into a maze of brambles.
But the bird that has no body
enchants the warden of the mind
with his stammering aria,
then opens his echoing wings
and rushes away to pacify all space
and only returns immortal.