Mixed Signals

We should not care so much about appearance.
I read this everyday, and everywhere —
But yet we will; and brook no interference
In judging others. Nor curtail our care

For our own looks; for our own way of seeming.
We seem to want to have this thing both ways —
The moral view, that all are valid, equal;
The underlying view that always stays —

That some are better looking than most others.
We twist and squirm, for this seems wrong; but still –
We strive to be spectacular, and realize
We’ve known it when we’ve seen it, and still will.

  The same society that says to curb it
  Will broadcast who wears what on some red carpet;
  And tell us all are beautiful alike
  Within a sequined dress, behind a mic.


When I was young, I hated physical education,
Because I was not an athlete, and couldn’t be, no matter what I did.

I asked my parents why I should try, when I would never be good at it,
And they said, “Because you need to be the best you can be;
Don’t compare yourself to others.”

But everything feels like a competition, and, of course,
Sports literally is a competition.

I think that’s how we are about looks.

Many of us know what it is to try to get attention in a room
Where the really attractive people are getting all of it.

It feels like losing.
So why even try, when we know that’s not our destiny?

“Because you need to be the best you can be;
Don’t compare yourself to others.”

I also believe in the subjectivity of looks;
Different people have different tastes.

Which works out well for most of us.

There’s more to attraction than looks;
There’s more to a person than their image.

However, looks do matter:
To each of us and for each of us.

It often seems like society sends
Mixed signals –
And it does —

Sometimes laughably,
As in the vanity-based movie business
Lecturing us on how all types of appearances
Are equally valid
When you know they don’t mean it.

But the truth lives
In the in-betweens
As it often does.

It matters, but it’s not everything;
We should do the best we can, even if
We will win no competitions in doing so.

as ivy grows, so grows my heart…

beside the far green forest…

as ivy grows,
so grows my heart:
around the grounds
nobody stalks

as dead, deserted
empty shells
of autumn hopes
and summer walks

beside the far green forest where
the days of old were still newborn;
the scent of honey in the air
past city eyes that scoff and scorn

but only in the passing there
did i behold that distant fire
that speaks of rusted innocence
and wisps of smoke
that e’er go
higher

Aware

Half-frozen mud, cold bracing air
A wind that makes my neck aware
That leaves torn from the tree will die
These poor gray strays who tumble by

And like the ghostly light I seek
The morn recedes behind the line
Only of chance to risk a peek
At drifting lives
Like yours

And mine


 

(“Aware” – 11-19-2014)

Lightning On The Lake

There’s lightning on the lake tonight
The world is dark and wet
This house is full of memory
That I’d as soon forget

With loud crashes of violence
The sky attacks the earth
But can’t drive out the eidolons
To which my mind gives birth

This house protects me from the storm
The wind howls fruitlessly
There’s lightning on the lake tonight
And no one here
But me


 

(“Lightning On The Lake” – 8-17-2014)

Worth

The day is gray and wet;
I place a candle here.
I neither can forget,
Nor can remember clear.

The face, it starts to fade,
The voice, it dies away;
I struggle to take hold,
But all is in decay —

For though we light our lights,
The years win out, at last.
The losingest of fights:
Our battle with the past.

But I will not give in,
Though, sure, at last, I’ll fall —
For I loved and was loved,
And that was worth

It all

Bayshore

An autumn evening.

But a brief moment the sunset lasts
With a growing chorus of crickets then
Comes the dark

Across the bayou, lights I start to see;
And I hear from far away the sounds
Of the distant high school football game

Autumn wraps its arms around me
Sitting on the side of a hill
Looking at the shadows and lights on the water
Feeling the breeze blow my hair

And a faint smell of wood-smoke is in the air
And the scent brings strong memory
As though reliving moments in the flesh
And not merely in thought
Of bygone days spent by the bayshore
Of your golden hair catching the last rays of sunset

Occasionally, a car goes by
And I watch the headlights trailing off
Around the bend

And life, or at least my life, this life
Has unity


(Photo by me. Originally Posted 11-14-2015. – Owen)