Monday, July 13, 2015

The thin line running through



photo by darkday


I walk to remember                          ( I am the hawk )
how far it is & how long it really takes
                    to get there                           (any where)
 
in the heart,
of the city, on the back
street, behind the old plant repurposed
by graffiti artists              ---                   a park, hides
                                            forgotten, as most things,
                                where i play  pipes with a hammer
               & thrum drums by touch to a beat - the creek
      sings to, as it burbles under the bridge // homeless
men gather at     --       to breathe the same sun's heat.







words: hawk, beat, heart, artist, touch, breath

48 comments:

  1. "I walk to remember
    how far it is & how long it really takes
    to get there"

    The opening is a beautiful poem all by itself.

    Love the sound in this: "thrum drums by touch to a beat - the creek"

    It's so cool that you perform your work aloud.

    The accompanying artwork is amazing! I'm headed off to look up the artist now.

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    1. Your bold white poem is really sad. I think everyone feels that way ... like they're "playing me" somewhere, in a tiny place, along a thin line. Life just takes over, and there isn't much room left for a person to be himself. Also, we play ourselves, in the sense that we hurt ourselves all on our own. We don't even need help from others.

      I love the "I am the hawk" parenthetical. It's like we create these tough alter egos that enable us to endure life, but they're not really us. We're all broken, sad, and tender on the inside ... just pretending to be bad-asses on the outside. At least, that's how I interpret this. I'm sure it could mean many different things.

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    2. I scribbled the first 3 lines in the margins of a book over the weekend after a 10 mile walk from one end of the city to the next. It was cool, I took back roads and short cuts I had never taken before and found this park with musical instruments tucked away - almost forgotten.

      Hey, I am a bad ass. Ha. Yeah, I hear you. We build personas to protect, to impress, to whatever. Somewhere in there, we are.

      I def dig the art. I spent some time looking through the pictures to find the one I wanted, after I was done writing. Glad you found the thin line as well - and saw it as a continuation off the title - was intended this time.

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    3. I'm jealous of your park. I had an experience like that once. There was also an art show going on at the same time as the live music, hidden back among the trees. Definitely one of more pleasant memories.

      What book were you reading? I take a book everywhere but never seem to have time to read it. I guess that's a freedom that comes with having older children. Mine are still so little and needy.

      I am not a bad-ass at all. I only play one. I'm a superb actress ... afraid of the stage, though.

      The thin line made me think of A River Runs Through It. In your poem though, I wonder what the thin line is. An arrow. A split, as in a broken heart. A division, as in a heart being pulled in different directions. A line for writing on, or a line of poetry. Notebook paper itself.

      "where I play me, homeless" ... It sounds like this is definitely your group of people, where you feel most comfortable, among the honest, the real, the raw. And you said you lived like that at one point, right? I have a friend who was homeless, addicted to drugs, etc. and she says she never felt closer to God than when she had nothing, including no responsibilities. It kind of makes sense, really. Plus, she's the nicest, most giving, loving person. She just embraces life with pure joy. I love being around her. There's just something so clarifying about being stripped of everything and everyone, down to your basic essence, that allows you to 1) be who you really are, and 2) have a genuine relationship with God. Until you can do these two things, you probably can't have a genuine relationship with anyone. Maybe. :) I'm just thinking "aloud" here.

      I like the way you put extra spaces around "I am the hawk." Like, you can only be that version of you when you keep yourself padded with enough space. And when you're wrapped up inside parentheses. That obviously has to connect to "any where" (another extra space, but in a different place ... in the center, in the heart). So space around you and space in your core, in your emotions. I can completely understand this mentality. Also the need to keep telling yourself who you are; if you can make yourself believe it, then maybe you can live it out. Whoever you decide to be at the moment. But then there are those lonely moments when you forget your character, when you're between belief systems and decisions to be certain people. It's this unbelievable hollow, sad place. You're just, nothing. It's kind of scary, really. I see it in my daughter's eyes sometimes. I fear what I'll pass on, genetically, to my kids. I have so much bad stuff inside, and I'm trying not to teach it, but I can't do anything about the DNA. Anyway, she has that feeling of loss, of emptiness. She's so smart; she looks at this world and knows it's all so bogus. I have to guide her through this, give her the skills to keep going, even if only for other people. It's hard enough to battle depression as an individual, but then to have to help your child fight it ... that's a whole other level of misery and pain.

      I think we can all understand why the park hides, and why the creek sings. She's obviously bipolar. Drums, hums, hammers, sun. Men, graffiti, street. Whatever it takes to stay away from the heart/of the city.

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    4. Oh, and you also made the word "It" inside your poem, which flows off the title to create "the thin line running through it" ... which is either urine or, you know, the squiggly-line stuff. Maybe the men are peeing on the graffiti after they read it.

      Or maybe the IT is a breast, and you're talking about breast milk. That's the real heart of the universe. The magic. Why on earth is this not being seriously marketed? It's the healthiest thing around, and it has healing, medicinal properties. It should be in grocery stores. I need to be a wet nurse. That's probably the best way for me to ever make money. We all know I'm not selling poems or paintings.

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    5. It (breast milk) just does not have the same taste on the morning cereal. Ha. You caught the IT as well. You have a good eye SG.

      The book was a bob kaufman book of poetry - the one from after his 10 year vow of silence.

      Whew, I need to unpack the rest of your comment a bit before responding. Lol.

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    6. That's why I try to force myself not to talk. Once I start, I just can't stop. And people can't even follow my thoughts, so it's really pointless. Delete all of that; I don't even know what I said.

      Which do you like better, NOLA or 'nola?

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    7. 'nola - def like my punctuated names. Ha.

      Nope, not you - I have to unpack it for myself.
      Talk all you want.

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    8. I thought you would get me there ... I meant "New Orleans" or "granola"; which do you prefer? :) The poet you mentioned was a NOLA boy. My brain bounces so easily. It's rather hard to control.

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    9. Ah, well as much as I like granola - I would have to pick NOLA there -- cause I can put away some cajun - Used to go to a place called Boutan's and then another Prejeans. Stuffed aligator tail - and some jazz music. Oh yeah.

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  2. The opener put each accompanying line into a symbolic room filled with visions of street life and a yearning for paradise. I enjoyed this delightful piece. Thank you for stopping by. Warm greetings!

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  3. This one really hits my heart - I can see it all so clearly, the old plant, the forgotten park, can hear the pipes and the drumming. But I especially see those homeless people under the bridge - also hidden away and forgotten. I LOVE the (I am the hawk) at the beginning of the poem, and the conjecturing about how long it takes to get anywhere. Once there, I might add, it seems like we got here at the speed of sound!

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  4. This reads like an anthem of resurrection, smiles ~ Though the declaration seems new (I am the hawk), at the core is the heart that sees beauty in graffiti streets & find stories among homeless men ~ I love the beat of the drumming words ~

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  5. I like how forgotten, hidden life comes out slowly with music and warmth....there's a pleasure of discovery of the flowing life here....

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  6. Memories sometimes take one unawares. Kick you in the gut. I love this one and can so relate to it. In fact it set me off in another direction. Wistful (wishful) thinking.

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  7. We tend to move around the same spaces in our lives, and on a certain day, something new is reveal to us, not seen and not felt before. Well, that's were this one took me, anyway...

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  8. I love this X, and you got me at your long walk with creek that murmurs, always X

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  9. We should make time for those deeply introspective walks .. discovery expeditions.

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    1. Ooo, I like that - discovery expeditions. I have an affinity for the Lewis and Clark expeditions. Say what you will about the ramifications on the Indian, trust me, my heart bleeds in that regard - but the discovery part. Exploring a new world. My walk started by just picking a direction and going - and it was a lot of fun to meet people and see things I would never see in a car.

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  10. I go on frequent walks myself. I remember going back to the place of my birth and snapping pictures. I used those pictures to represent a war torn area for a school project because the area was so dilapidated, there was so much poverty, drugs are also a huge problem every street has a crack house, at least one.
    mindlovemisery

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  11. to remember how long it really takes to get there... that was what hit me most... most ways that are really worth being walked are long and cumbersome... though they take us to the real thing - the real self or to the coolest unexpected places... that park sounds very cool...

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  12. You know, Hawk is the messenger totem in American Indian lore--and how perfect for you because it seems you don't write a word without it being energy/message packed!

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  13. I was struck by the "I am the hawk" - and it made me wonder who among us can really be that person.

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  14. this poem is like a puzzle... kinda ties with the meaning I gathered - figuring yourself out; finding new pieces in those forgotten places...

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  15. I think this poem has a definite musical element...even before you bring in the sound near the end. I really like the strength of the "I am the hawk".

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  16. Visually poetic and your words light up with stunning waves of colors and perfection.

    :)

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  17. I am your dim shadow as you safari through the city, but I carry my camera too, so that I can capture the graffiti, the tribe of homeless, reflections on the creek. Very strong, but short peek into a corner of you. I like the lines /a park, hides/forgotten, as most things/.

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  18. Loved the opening lines to this exquisite piece :)
    Beautifully executed :D

    Lots of love,
    Sanaa

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  19. This has the feel of a noir film or novel, the cityscape, those sidestreets and back streets, is it sense of community or menace, never quite sure. You sure know how to create atmosphere with very few words. And I am intrigued by the image of you as a hawk - flying above all this, bird's eye view...

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  20. What a cool find! I am a musician by trade--and I love finds like this--you are the music!

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  21. Loving 'thrum drums by touch to a beat' - marvellous word 'thrum' :)

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  22. Beautiful poem. I love the introspection while looking out at the world, seeing it like a hawk. The images are wonderful and exemplify your talent.

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  23. I read this a rap. The rapper is young enough to remember the joy of the struggle, but old enough to want some peace. It has a lot of energy and soul. Loved it. ;-)

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  24. It is not the destination it is the journey. It is all the side roads we take that usually bring us those wondrous surprises. A hawk is free to soar and he likes to take in the view at different perspectives. You must walk to remember you are the hawk as life is caging you in...and you need to spread your wings..to take in new sights and sounds..to feel the beat of your own heart...there is life even in forgotten places...music can be found anywhere...even in a pipe and a hammer...

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  25. The title makes me think of a sword, the way one might have been "run through" without even realizing it for a few seconds.

    "behind the old plant repurposed" I love homophones, so I can't help but think about the life cycle of a flower and the way it's able to stimulate new life by dying.

    Same thing here: "a park, hides," since "park" and "hides" can mean more than one thing. Something parked, pausing, reflecting, considering what to do with its camouflage, thick skin, shedding tendencies. To abate the creek, the creak. The noise. Aging process. Slow things down, push them back. Is it possible? Does music make it go faster or slower? I think it makes things pause. Especially when it's the kind of music best suited for the individual, bagpipes and trashcan drums, or whatever.

    I just found "graffiti heartists." And inside "heart" is "he art," of course. Graffiti he art. I like that. Beautiful notion. And also "Graffiti sings, 'Gather.'" At the river, or creek, as it were. "Men gather rat(s)." Nicodemus. The Secrets of NIMH. Mrs. Frisby. Such an inconsequential little field mouse, and yet, not.

    To breathe the same sun sheet. Sun sh eat. Backwards tea, almost. And then almost Tao.

    Nothing can be grasped fully until one grasps that nothing can be, grasped.

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  26. Quite moving! This was an emotional journey in ink. Thank you for sharing.

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  27. A moving, compassionate piece! I am struck by the extent that you know yourself..even though I think you are not very old. Hawks are very astute.

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  28. Playing the pipes, beating on them to the burbles of the creek reminds me of how I will play the violin to the sound of the wind or rain, or birds singing in the morning. When I lived in Philadelphia, there were quite a few hidden, some almost forgotten, small parks - some barely the size of a quarter of a block. You would fnd the odd business person or student, but mainly they were spaces used by the homeless, the students, those wishing to hide from the asphalt and cement - who in summer absorbed the quiet green or songs of the small fountains. it was there I began to play my violin to nature. Never a crowd gathered as these people knew I was talking to myself but they listened as they listened to the few natural sounds around them. I like this poem so very much. and like you, how far my journey from there to here, how moving and like the hawk, sees so much below in just a distant glance.

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  29. HAWK swirling SUMMER SKY
    EYES of mine following
    wings of golden brown
    highlights over evening
    moon.. the flow is i the
    flow is we.. US we fly
    asWell in Sea
    GULL breeze
    alight in night..:)

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  30. The 'I' becomes 'It' - a full circle - like a womb... Like that identity yet not yet identified... And in the womb... quietly waiting for birth ...'this heart where I play me'...all fractured but hoping to be whole...The back streets and park are the veins and the pipe and drums are the blood coursing through the veins...The hammmer may be a new belief system emerging... without the sickle...The creek burbling under the bridge where men gather are equally looking for that precious water to withstand the heat...
    A poem that seems to re-connect with some old journey unfulfilled. A fascinating piece of writing.

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  31. Back again... Granny Smith in my response on Veiled Songlines is the pen name for a lady who responded to many writing prompts. In the words at the bottom of the poem, there is a link to her blog.

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  32. I think this is one of my favorite poems of yours that I've read so far. We should all walk so as to not forget what is most important in life. Peace, Linda

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  33. Just like a journey, life too must go on............

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  34. The inner city scene you showed here is one of sublime beauty to me. I realize that living it 24/7 would be anything but sublime, beautiful.....but, still, there is a haunting sentimentality about the worlds we have created in our efforts to simply live on.

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  35. I appreciate your work for the layers it always has....the poems within the poems....the layers of words and meanings, the multiple ways of looking at it and reading it. It's stunning how you do it!

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  36. Interesting and filled with free spirit and art......loved the texture...

    sorry to be too late to comment....

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