Saturday, November 10, 2007

Mask of the Poet

Many years ago, in middle and high school, I had a mask - the Mask of the Poet. I wrote quite a number of poems (not all of them good), and I exercised fairly poetic writing even in my essays and papers. Poetry was like music with words on the page - it was elegant, beautiful, flowing. I enjoyed it thoroughly and it was one of several outlets for the many things floating in my brain (I cannot emphasize the word "many") that would've been either bottled up or forgotten.

Since then, this Mask has slowly "cracked" over the years from disuse. There was a time when rhyme and meter almost came effortlessly to me, but not so now. This isn't all bad, as there's a lot of great poetry without either of those. Recently I wrote two poems, lingering shadows of this Mask.
Pandora's Gift

The great sins of our species haunt us,
The ghosts of history taunt us.
Yet while I breathe, while I live,
I cling to Pandora's final gift.

The lid was not tightly closed . . .
It whispers in our ears and dwells in our hearts.
Against all the evils that plague us,
It lets us taste redemption.

Its voice rings clear in the dark -
Words of encouragement,
Words of empowerment,
Words of unyielding optimism:

Let laughter dry the tears we've shed,
Let mercy heal the wounds we've bled,
Let love give birth to new life,
Let hope be the refutation of our sins.

Unless darkness consumes us all,
Unless light cannot penetrate the shadows,
I will cling to Pandora's final gift -
I cling to Hope.

In This I Believe

I believe we're meant to be imperfect,
That the Forms1 are mere illusions.
I believe the best of us can still fall,
And the worst of us can be redeemed.

I believe the more humanity progresses,
The more we're mired in our past;
But hope drives us to escape,
And in this we see reflected truths.

I believe that while fists are strong,
Words are stronger than fists,
Hugs are stronger than words,
And laughter is stronger than all.

I believe that life is an unending cycle,
Where we search for who we are,
And only after reaching Enlightenment
Can we then return to humanity2.

I believe in circles:
That what once was will be again,
That what is will repeat in time,
And only change is unchanging.

I believe "You must be the change
You wish to see in the world3."
I believe fate is ours to mold.
I believe in those most dear to me.

In this, I believe . . .

1. Plato's Forms represent the true perfect and unchanging versions of worldly physical objects or ideas.
2. Refers to the 9th and 10th pictures in the Buddhist "Ten Oxherding Pictures" (also called "Taming the Ox") by Kakuan, from 12th-century China. The 9th picture is completely blank, representing one transcending the self and reaching Enlightenment. But in the 10th picture, one then returns to humanity to teach Enlightenment.
3. "You must be the change you wish to see in the world" is a quote by Mahatma Gandhi.
Etched remnants of what once was there . . . enjoy. Oh yeah, I finally added Closet NS to the blogs I read because I finally got around to reading his entire blog up to date. Hurray!


Matt-CNS said...

you read my entire blog to date? wow, thanks!

Aek said...

Yup, I did.