Poetry… The creation of godly words set fire in the soul of Christ, then branded on the soul of Man.
In a crack between past and present, sits a young man on the snow melt creek near a monastery in Tibet. He meditates the world of words that has passed him by. A monk from the monastery on his way to town notices the young man alone, notices that he cries. He goes over to him to see if he’s alright.
He asks the young man if he could be of service, help him, and ask the youth if he is injured. The young man answers the monk saying that yes indeed I’m injured in the world’s worst way imaginable. He explains to the monk that his father forced him to play sports his whole youth, football, hockey, basketball and all the other school sport availed to him. His father was a true believer that this is how a young boy transverses from adolescence and gallantly sprints his way strait into manhood. I don’t understand the monk says; were you hurt playing all these games, is this why you’ve been crying the monk ask? Yes the young man replies, I broke my heart bone. The monk delivers a crackling laugh and then informs the young man he does not have a heart bone, to which the young man replies, “Exactly” I only have the bone, the heart has been encapsulated inside the bone and that is why I cry. He explains all he ever wanted to do was to be a writer, that’s all be a writer. But now all this hardness has developed around my heart, as hard as a bone that’s covers and prevents the writer inside of me from getting out. I always wanted to write but my father scolded me whenever I had tried, he forbade me and belittled me with gender jokes sprinkled with fairy slurs, and now I’m afraid it’s too late for me.
Oh! I see the monk says, but what on earth makes you believe it’s too late? I’m just curious is why I ask. He explains that he’s now twenty nine and has never had any formal training in literature, such as composition, punctuation, creative work shops, how to even begin to compose a short story. I have never written anything longer than a line or two in fear of his father’s reprisal. He tells the monk he believes people who become writers begin earlier in life, you know during their exploratory years he says, they’ve been trained for years, they know what they’re doing, they know the do’s and don’ts of writing. The monk burst out laughing really load, to which the young man is instantly insulted by this, but then as the monk stops laughing and asked the young man, this is what you believe truly, this is your fear? This is what brings you to tears. Of course the young man says, how am I to learn this craft that I know I would love, to be like all those who have been trained in this art. It’s too late, too late for me. Imagine he says if you were not trained in the art of fighting wouldn’t you get beat up by someone proficient in that art? The monk locked eyes with the kid and tells him that it’s not the trained body that makes the fighter although I will agree that it doesn’t hurt. But if I were not trained in martial arts I simply would not fight a professional fighter, for that would be suicide. Perhaps I could start with fighting someone else not so proficient, or perhaps I’m a better persuader than a professional fighter, perhaps I use my words to defeat my opponent, or perhaps I excel at the crossbow and just shoot the ruffian, perhaps I don’t need to challenge a fighters to a fight to prove myself, but rather just learn and enjoy the art of the fighting dance until I too become proficient. What are you saying, I don’t understand how this relates to me or my writing. The monk asks, are you familiar with peacocks? The male peacock is really not that impressive of a bird until the female shows up. Then he offers her all of his glory by spreading his tail feathers, yes? I still don’t get it the young man says. What does any of this have to do with what I’m saying?
The monk then tells him no matter how hard the female tries to be impressive to the male she cannot equal his beauty. Oh she tries with all her strutting, chirping, and all those things females think makes them the most likely candidate for the male. But the male peacock was created to be beautiful, and even though he is the stronger of the gender, has all the color and has all of the beauty, it’s the female that still gets to make the final decision of whether or not he is the one. Maybe just maybe you’re a female peacock waiting to become a beautiful male peacock, what do you think? Are you calling me a female peacock the young man asks? No say’s the monk and laughs, I know absolutely nothing about human females though I truly wished I did, but I don’t. Maybe one day in some way you could school me on that subject as a returned favor. But for now what I’m telling you is maybe your beautiful already, maybe your writing will come to you naturally like a big colorful tail that comes with the birth of the male peacock. Maybe your being born as we speak so that you can spread your colors, maybe now that your father no longer possess this power over you, maybe now you allow your colors to spread all over the world, maybe extensive training helps a natural writer with the art of writing but not the talent of the writing, the pure and natural ability afforded some peacocks. Maybe you train yourself on the way to becoming a great fighter, writer yes? but in the meantime why don’t you unfold your tail feathers and let me see how beautiful you are by writing me something. Turn off your mind to all these negative thoughts that bother you in this world and turn on your peacock colors.
Let’s see what escapes from that heart bone okay. I’ll meet you here tomorrow by cold water creek again, bring with you what you have written and we’ll see if you’re a male peacock or still trying to be a football player, or if you’re a peacock born to be beautiful. Yes? Yes the young man says, you’ve inspired me, yes let’s see what I am. And so it was they met the next day, but something had changed in the young man, he had written through the entire night, he could not stop himself. The monk noticed the young man seem to be passing through a rainbow or something as he approached. There was almost a dance associated with the way he walked toward the monk. He told the monk he believed in himself for the first time in his life, he believed in all the things you have told me about being bright and colorful, to write in my own words, my own natural state, and so I wrote something for you personally. He then added that I won’t need anyone’s approval anymore, only my own. You were right. I am a male peacock, I have a beautiful and colorful plumage, and I plan to spread that color across the universe, across all mankind. He handed the monk the short story and thanked him for his words of enlightenment, thanked him for his insight, and most of all for granting him his freedom from his own invisible binds, his father, adding I hope this helps you in turn with your knowledge of women. Then he turned and left Tibet heading for his long overdue destiny “as a writer”. The monk unrolled the scroll.
“The Pretty Little Peacock Poet”
In this light, or that light, heavens sunlight or in the romance of moonlight, there is an abundance of light in which to write by. From watersheds of endless dark we sneak a peek and seek what makes us weak. Then we write to create our own amour of light, our own amour of color.
Quills of shivering soft silk sway in amongst the summer willow winds, fanning quilted tails in a display of gleaming colors. On a springtime path near cold creek a soft smooth blue surrounds the dunes below the unfixed moon, while Everest swims ripple less in the mirrors of the neighboring waters. Moments when salted air skips across the lips and kiss the cupcake plated wet sand spilling into the hungry mouth of a poet we begin to understand. Moments when in an instant we think for a minute that for a second we understood. But in truth was it the pussy willows that seduce us into our exquisite thoughts, is it their fuzzy soft skins straining against the summer wind for one more romantic sway? Or maybe the white swirling water stones below the skin of earth where sunlight finds no worth, in a chartreuse tinted deep down cave. Here where titillating rich grain granite rain creates strange but majestic stalagmites. Alone in their dark patiently waiting for mother’s next milk dripping kiss. One more tear intrinsically laced into the matrix of time, making caves into one of earth’s most spectacular shrines. Or is it the words leaking out of paragraphs and sentences of a poet’s throat that induce vivacious colors against the heavenly white washed walls of the cave? Words need a writer to make them become something, colorful, textured and fearless, a lathering of love, a quintessential desperate desire, words that can pierce threw the hardness of that shell of boney heart. Anyway somewhere in this world these words must start. And so...
As human rain wades through us, we are aware of when we become clear enough to see inside ourselves, I think that’s what a monk tried to teach me once. But I fear that this same monk knew little to nothing about the inside workings of a woman human. How she can isolate us and seductively devour us while separating us from the rest of the human tribe. With only her eyes and desires she deserves to partake in all of the light inside of man. For in a moment she can molest us into a pure and sacred bliss. She does this simply as a favor with hot flavor because she can. Moments of fragility begin to consume us. She has no true notion of how much we owe her for her perfectly planted moments. She lifts us up into the circling fog of that blue lit hue moon, spinning us and the earth around on her axis of destiny, compelling us to melt within her sacred succumbing being. Our head hears her soul scream out loud for love, for some donation or explanation of her own imperfections and her endless exquisite possibilities. Then she beckons us, commands us to moan. Woman! This singed human form able to raise us up upon her burning wings of gentle toward the sun, then set fire to wings sending us back down into the loneliness of man’s human ground. Crashing us into our devilish desires of gushing hot moaning breath. What beauty I must proclaim, behold this miraculous miracle of God my dear monk. When her words finally reach the shores of our soul we feel everything that lives, lives in our chest and in our lives. Life trembles and shake like ocean tides, oh we are the blessed ones us men. And everything seems simplistic in the world after her heavenly sin wins us over. There is a majestic majesty that surrounds her. Her tango follows the devouring of us simulating a lazy hot summer dance on some far off blazing bent wheat fields. Blistering in her, sizzling in her, she is much too hot for us, for one single thrill, and so we again succumb to her beckoning. Trying to understand woman, between head and heart with words, with sound, within the colorful bounds of her love that breeches us as we come crashing down into her lovely earth tones. Deep into those rich soils of feminine ground. How can any mated soul that creates such a magnetic night with such an incredible soaring delight, not dare each of us to write in colors on her behalf? And so….
While lavender is at war with jasmine, envious green leaves of strawberries are at war with tangerine birds of paradise, blood red predator’s war against the meek yellow streaks of prey, while you and I fight for our lives, can anyone survive and not expel hot words as we speak. Woman of pure delight, a woman full of love and fight, her dark invading wondrous light, a simple compassion full of strife. She was perfectly made with man. We must avail ourselves and write about her if we hope one day to barley understand. But for a poet the following they must know so….
A perfect contraception forms a perfect contradiction. Like a crevice heading for the center stone of dark, searching for light in the deepest cracks of night, inside the breaking dark it cannot see the breaking light that follows. Consider the picturesque swans on the Serengeti, where camouflage has denied their pink and blazing feather of fire, they stick their necks up and out like loose spaghetti and say to all, come on you hungry little killers, but be warned… I mate to the sky like angel wings, yes indeed I unlike you dirt walkers can fly and sing. Everywhere we look it’s the same, love vs hate, white vs black, and death vs life, then without notice peace attacks. Of course we wonder about everything that is woman, and so we must wander into everything she is. Speech vs silence, happy vs sad, sex vs birth and with all the smell and taste and color that a poets can add…We raise cupped hands to our mouth and yell! come to me wanderlust, come to me grace, come to me woman with a steel embrace, and then just leave me lying cold and alone on some forgotten dirt slab, so those words that I so desperately need and must have, fall out my mouth and onto the paper ground, dead, used and bruised, but oh so true, and so fatally said, for sometimes us humans only find love that’s already dead, and so…
A silence sweeps itself quietly across the drifting snow of thoughts, but in the still we know spectacularly clean with a slight sheen, white and bright and fresh and clean, it comes with a warning Black Death can be its subplot. A poet stirs a poem so perfectly that it breaks the heart bone and heals a sick soul. It creates a home that can withstand cages of all the ages. Oh yes you know these words I speak of, all the famous and non-famous words used and unused in our heads, our poems, old poems in young hearts, words of soul waiting in the silent wings of utter stillness, making themselves available for you and I to ponder, to take advantage of, to molest, even the millions of I love you’s. This is who we poets are, warriors who give words their deep colored scars. And so….
Absurd vs. of course, south vs. north. What is everything? All the beginnings that spawn all the ends after all the middles are completely colored in. A dull brass sacs with a single low down sound that strays way below the soul as we write about everything we’ve done, about everything we know. Created our own new style, found our own passion then turn up the dial, to be in love for a while as you defile every last syllable. There you have it, everything under the coincidental stars, explain to the rest of us what you’ve become, what you have done and who you are... this is the Poets life, a way for a Poet to write instead of fight. Poets explain contradictions while starring strait into the dark part of the sun. We believe in justifying the wrong, and when it’s gone, sit all alone dead center of night, all alone soaked in the broth of our own darkening delight. I surmise pain is the Latin frame for words, words maimed and stained and where words first began to bleed their own names. We must cut ourselves, wound our blood into observation, and elevate ourselves into the grace of elation. Then along with the ancients, make mouth darts out of quills, tattoo our lives on every side including the sadness that we feel. In the end, we must be Poets. Know that loneliness rides bareback, judgement runs strait uphill. Satisfaction is some far off musical tune that never reaches a poets ear. In the end upon the dying of light compel and will yourself to set down for one last shining night, a phrase, a last line, a word, one last syllable that creates the brightness in color and light as you near the very edge of your life. Then simply say this is the end of time but “This was so real and this was all mine”.
Never is time left more alone or defenseless than when one loses the quill, those intricate wordy feathers of a peacock crawling up our spine or the backside of skin hill, located directly above our ass because contradictions always last. Solitude walks and talks and reads only to lost lovers, it seeps into the very last drunken crack of life’s cover, and then when it attacks you, that’s when they’ll all ask you, was it worth it, all of everything, the beginning, the end and the colored in middles, was it worth it? All of the long gone lonely nights of the years? The tears crying so hard they lost their salt. All of those times alone with only your fears, while others laughed in gayety, you drank your word alone in hard whiskey sunken in a vat of cosmic beer, alone with your very own made up sayings. Yes… I say yes, mornings alone are best seen from the darkside under a secret blue moon, within the arrows of a crystal cold breeze, as it awakens you to the way life forever flees, shivering down your spine one last time one last molested word. Oh yes, yes indeed it was worth it! Pretty little Peacock Poet locked in a mortal battle against the colorless and bound up sound, a few soft stroked words carved out of the shape of a crystal poet’s mound, breaking that bone that surrounded our heart, releasing that first start of our fire lark.
I hear a slight and soft rustling sound behind me, and so I look up. She’s standing there in the hallway, half dressed in half sheers. She motions to me to come hither with only her index finger and half a smile, she turns and walks sexily outside and awaits for me under the fabric patio cover, under the fabric of the moon, and under the fabric of our two lives. I drop my pencil as I see her moonlit silhouette and I remember why and where all these words came from. Mmmm, she looks so dam beautiful. Thank you sweet lord…. for making her the woman and making me the man. One more time she’ll make me smile and then make me so weak that it will be so hard for me to even stand. “Woman” oh my sweet and dear lord, what a beautiful plan!
For my Monk friend who help me to define color and sound and helped me find the beginning and THE END.
“Oh very young, what will you leave us tonight” Cat Stevens.
~Dan Van Fleet 01/10/2015