Sirens and Bird Calls

The sirens and bird calls

Merge in the distance

Becoming one to my ears

Both are alerts of an oncoming storm

I can see the shadow of what approaches

It’s outline partitioned by the bright sun

No storm ever comes as one

It comes in parts

What you choose to brace for

Wind

or

Water

or

Lightning

or

Mud

Depends on where you’re standing

Gene G. McLaughlin 2017

Stories All the Way Down

There is an idea called binary opposition that comes out of structuralism.  I don’t know that anybody studies structuralism anymore, but in 2016 after 10 years of social media it seems relevant.  Social media is narrative building on a global scale that has never been seen before.  Humans build narratives constantly and on Facebook or Twitter we can build them together 24×7.  Binary Opposition says that two theoretical opposites are strictly defined and set off against one another.  It is what we see on social media every day in the arguments that go on and on and on.  Every post and argument extends the narrative which sadly is extremely boring and disheartening to most of us.  If one side doesn’t have enough people to tell their side of the narrative it can be easily accounted for and efforts can be ramped up by bots.  An equal measured binary response.  In the digital age there are no lulls in the narrative or no intermissions. At this point I don’t think we are defining what each side of the narrative stands for.  The structure of the narrative is more important than the content.  The structure defines the elements of the narrative itself based on the corridors of human cognition that we can’t even see.  We can’t seem to stop the narrative. The momentum is too great. Maybe someone can tell me how this ends or gets reset?  I am not sure we know.  This is new territory.  Maybe I’m telling myself a narrative and none of this true at all? Maybe, but I don’t think so.  I don’t think it’s turtles all the way down, for humans I think it’s stories all the way down.  Personally I am going to do what I always do when I am clueless about the world or depressed.  Pull out some old world narratives and read them for a few years.  Books.  At least most of those narratives have beginnings middles and ends.

A Day in Autumn

A poem that feels like fall to me.
A Day in Autumn-
After the summer’s yield, Lord, it is time
to let your shadow lengthen on the sundials
and in the pastures let the rough winds fly.
 
As for the final fruits, coax them to roundness.
Direct on them two days of warmer light
to hale them golden toward their term, and harry
the last few drops of sweetness through the wine.
 
Whoever’s homeless now, will build no shelter;
who lives alone will live indefinitely so,
waking up to read a little, draft long letters,
and, along the city’s avenues,
fitfully wander, when the wild leaves loosen.
 
-Rainer Maria Rilke

I Come To Take Your Hate

This I write

To make true

Decency is not lost

Love is not diminished

Grace is not absent

I come to take your hate

I will turn the hot stone

Into a cool wind

Fire only consumes

Remakes the world

In its own image

Of ash and ember

This I do

So that you may know your own sound

Breathe

Hear your heart

The beating

Of the engine

Hear the blood

How it flows

With quiet force

The sound

Of your fingers

As you gently

Rub their tips

Together

This is the sound of time

Without the weight of years

This I give to you

Gene G. McLaughlin 2016

 

 

The Dreaming Soil

The wolf sees the man as meat

A means to hunger’s end

The x-ray sees the man as bone

What he is, but does not comprehend

The fly sees the man as stone

Ancient beyond the fly’s years

The worm waits for the man to be soil

Oblivious to any and all of his fears

The soil is a measure of time

Baking under the blazing unforgiving sun

The worms live in the layers of history

Where everything silently dreams as one

Gene G. McLaughlin 2016