Monday, October 1, 2007

The Gilded Hourglass

"When the hourglass has run out, the hourglass of temporality, when the noise of secular life, with all of its ineffectual activism has come to an end, when everything around you is still, as it is in eternity, then eternity asks you and every individual in these millions and millions about only one thing: whether you have lived in despair or not."

--Soren Kierkegaard, The Sickness Unto Death



About a month back, Gillian of Indigo Blue, was kind enough to list me as a recipient of this award, for sheer kindness alone. Really, there isn't much to say, except thank you, Gillian. I try, but probably pale in comparisson to what I could, or rather, what I should be.






I could easilly award every blogger who visits my site this award. But I hope everyone will understand if I pass it on to only one other blogger, and that is Maithri, of The Soaring Impulse. And not just because Maithri awarded me the Thinking Blogger Award. I have almost never seen a blogger who is so willing to write only for the benefit of others. It truly is for the blessing and welfare of the less and least fortunate on this world that Maithri writes, to help bring to light the suffering of so many in his homeland. Maithri, you have the attention of many, and this small token is also yours, I offer it humbly but in earnest, with the blessing to pass this award to one other of your choosing.




And from Maithri, I offer this sleek award to Inside Our Hands, Outside Our Hearts, of the Breathe Beautiful blog, for her breathtaking haikus, as well as her poetics on all three of her blogs. Tara, you may pass this award to another blogger of your choosing.

And here's the poem. It it is not a happy one, written a while back. It's an exposure of unhappiness inspired by those who should have been serving and protecting, instead of enfocing a law for cruel puposes. I'd love if it ever made a difference. Let me know what you think.




SymbolismE1313

It may have been
almost twenty years ago,
but I still remember it,
down the broken street
an old, gray wall behind a
brick, two-story liquor store
with the broken open sign,
eyes always drawn to
the glare of a blood red
swastika spray painted
across the grey mosaic.

It was the Nazi punk's
fingerprint, a welcome sign
to the newest neighbors
who moved right next to it,
who,
in the dead of their third night
in this stange, new neighborhod
were awakened, questioned
and a father arrested...
for vandalism--

Painting over a symbol of hate
with colorless gray paint
only a shade or two different
from the original stone face,
a substance that looked
an awful lot like blood
in black and white films
from before my time.

Twenty years or twenty more,
I'll never forget the blue and
red lights that accompanied
a dusky father to a cell
in white-out suburbia.

Fascism takes many forms
and that night it drove
Crown Victorias, lights strobing
der Fuhrer's Christmas in July
letting us know who's boss
and exactly who
will never be.

38 comments:

singleton said...

"in the dead of their third night
in this stange, new neighborhod
were arrested for vandalism--
painting over a symbol of hate
with colorless gray paint"....

Eric....
your most powerful poignant post yet....
"almost twenty years ago"
and yesterday
When are we going to change?

emotions rampant on this one, my friend,
when we can't fix the hate, hide it, bury it, camo it....
when we're punished for
merely
trying to
erase it....

eric1313 said...

Singleton

Thank you! I was worried it wasn't strong enough!

Yeah, it remembers like yesterday. A true story. The Eastpointe, Michigan, police department are a bunch of rascist cocksmokers. I was maybe ten at the time, and remember the lights waking me up in the middle of the night.

He was erasing it, defending his and his familly's sanctity. Defending his right to exist without having to acknoledge a symbol of hate that he could do something about.

Thank you, Sing. Peace...
"All you need is love"
--J. Lennon, P. McCartney

Marissa said...

Intense, powerful and amazing.

eric1313 said...

Marissa

Thank you ever so much, my friend.

Hope all is well with you. And Best of luck on your efforts.

I'm with you!

Princess Pointful said...

You are one of the most genuinely kind hearted people I've had the honour to meet... even if just through a computer screen. I actually often regret that my increasingly busy life doesn't grant me the time to engage you in the dialogue via comments that I would like.

And, agreed, very powerful words. I loved the image of the never closing liquor store as the background.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

I'll have to agree with marissa. Powerful.

This kind of thing was so much worse in London in the early Sixties.
Dusky-coloured people taken God- knows -where by punky Teddy Boys, and severely beaten up.

Maithri said...

Dear Eric,

Such powerful words and images you evoke here my friend.

I guess all we can do is continue to 'paint over' those images of fear and hatred in our midst - no matter what the cost may be.

The opposite of love after all is not hate - its indifference.

I'm so touched by your gift.

Your gentle heart, passionate spirit, and knife edged mind are all the prerequisites for a revolutionary.

Someone who reminds us all of what we are doing to ourselves and each other, and point us toward the light.

Love and light to you brother,

M.

Cazzie!!! said...

Love your words as usual Eric...and the images match too :) U R ACE!!!

eric1313 said...

Princess Pointful

Thank you so much, you make me blush. Guys shouldn't blush!

Your comments, too, are always insightful and very fun to answer. It's all good, so don't worry, you're a heck of a lot busier than I, but one day, you'll have more time, time to discourse and to come up with new neologisms, like media-rific. Haha! Somebody finally sprung that on you!

ehhmm.

The liquor store bore witness to all manner of crime performed in the light of that neon sign that never went out. It was quite a symbol, I thought, of something that fuels some of this negativity.

thanks for the visit. Peace out!

eric1313 said...

Ivan

You're probably right--their only crime was being different and a minority among an often-frustrated majority.

Times change, but ever so slowly.

Thanks, and of course--peace out.

eric1313 said...

Maithri

Not a problem at all. Glad to acknowledge your fine work at exposing the plight of sub-sahara Africans and the tremndous AIDS?HIV crisis. I'm very glad to mjnkow you, and this was a small token, really.

Thank you for coming by here and reading my work. A revolutionary, huh? I like that.

Peace, friend, peace.

eric1313 said...

Cazzie!!!

Glad to see you too, your little jet plane avatar burning up the sky! My words are for sharing. And the images? Well I share them, too.

Peace out, everybody! Later!

Crashdummie said...

Congrats on your award eric, you truly deserv it (the symbolism poem just reminded us why you got it).

Kinda funny, cuz I quited Kierkegaard too...

ann said...

powerful stuff here

a very thought provoking post
especially since facism is
rearing its ugly head again in
Europe

congrats on your awards

karma lennon said...

Very intense and very powerful. Some people don't want peace, it's so much easier for them to hate.

And congrats on your awards! You deserve them.

Blancodeviosa said...

amazing imagery my friend. you paint a perfect portrait with you eloquent words. i am glad it had a happy ending.

i once had an experience with a weirdo in a laundrymat. he was there reading aloud his nazi propoganda while we all just studiously ignored him. he then singled me out and gave me the nazi salute.
i was floored! everybody was casting eyes at me and i felt guilty about it as if i had actually done something. later i saw him again and he did it again. i was perplexed as to the reason he kept singling me out and then a few days later it dawned on me. i used to drive a volkswagen beetle. he was saluting me for driving a german car. he did it everytime i saw him (he lived somewhere in my neighborhood, i guess). now that i no longer have the car, i haven't seen him.
what a fucktard!

SpongyBones said...

One of the best one's I have ever seen. Moves ya from the very begining and paints a picture of how unfair our society can be.

JR's Thumbprints said...

The only Crown Vic I've had the pleasure of cruising in -- was my fathers.

mystic rose said...

eric,
a hugely touching poem this one..,
and powerful in expression.
hatred to that point is something I cannot understnad and that people feel it in such a passioantely personal way too.


thanks for leaving a ocmmnet cos I see you are quite the poet here.. :)

mystic rose said...

the quote up there, I understand what it means, in what vein it was said, but yet it seems when we think of life, that it has to be more than that.. to expereince the joy of living, and the satisfaction of a full life with loved ones.. for everyone. And yet for millions it isnt so, due largely because of the actions of other humans, theres too much oprression and aggression in this world, thank goodness for the actively compassionate ones.

eric1313 said...

Crashy

Thank you much, friend. We had the psychic link going on!

Kierkegaard is quite quotable.

Cheers


Ann

I hope that the fascists get squelched as is their just deserts. It is very strange, though, that so many millions can die and people yet want to believe it didn't happen. The fail to see that they themsleves want to make it happen, so how could it not have happened before? Aside from the footage and documentation that prove it did take place.

Thanks for the visit!

Peace, all!

eric1313 said...

Karma

Thank you. It is a lot easier for some people to hate. That's what they were taught when young and they hold on into their adult lives.

The past means nothing to them, it seems...


Blancodeviosa

What a fucktard indeed!

That's the level we're talking about with these folks, they see a German car and think you are a neo-Nazi.

That's an anti-commercial for German engineering if I ever heard one.

Let me say it again: Fucktard, indeed!

Peace!

eric1313 said...

Spongybones

Thanks for the shout, man. I wrote it a while back, and reworked a lot of it before posting it. I wanted it to be just right. Glad it was.

Peace


Jim

Glad of that. I figured you never got the ride to the station treatment. Me? Once or twice when I was a young hooligan. Non violent pot offense, you see...

And I knew you weren't ever one of the boys in blue. They discourage anyone with IQs higher that 120 from being cops. Bloggers are quite safe to talk to in my book.

Peace out

eric1313 said...

Mystic Rose

Thanks and welcome. Your site is likewaise filled with some sweet smelling verse, to pun it up a bit...

Glad you enjoyed it and it did it's job.

The quote set a tone. I rarely use quotes in my posts--more often I will use one in a response, or as a line or a title. I think living in despair causes anger and even unreasonable hate in many--kind of the "dark side" theory.

But you are right--we need those who actively have a care for this world and the people around them.

Thanks for your visit. I will see you again, Mystic Rose.

Peace--everyone

Enemy of the Republic said...

That last stanza says it all: it sums up Jim Crow laws, Dr. King's description of negative peace, the 4 percent of the country (rich bastards) deciding the fate of the rest and definitely, institutionalized racism. Dr. King wrote in Letter from Birmingham Jail: (paraphase) whatever happens to one directly, affects us all indirectly. More people need to see that what happens in Detroit or name your city will sum up America and eventually the world.

Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...

Thank you eric for many things. But this thank you is for the award. I do appreciate it. Although, I am sure there are many othters that are far better deserving than I.

The posted poem below is strong and evokes much emotion. It would be a good one to type up, copy, and drop around the city. Wouldn't that be a kicker.

eric1313 said...

Enemy of the Republic

Right on. We all share this heritage, the good parts and the bad. There are those who see the above behaviors as somehow right and proper.

It shows us to be animals if we allow some to behave like animals with impunity.

Likewise, it shows us to be benevolent spirits if some of us are willing to try and make amends for the past.

It shows us to be human if we apolgize for error and grievances, no matter the magnitude.

eric1313 said...

Inside Our Hands, Outside Our Hearts:
That's why you can offer it to another yourself, incase my judgement has somehow failed, which I don't think it has.

While yes, I could also offer it to Dawn at realbigwings, Ivan, or many others, I chose you because your poems are well thought out, subtle and make a person think--at least, they really make me think aboiut their meanings.

Smile and pin this up with pride and offer it to another with the smae blessing to offer it to yet another! It will be fine.

Beside, not everyone will accept awards, so I wanted to be certain it was accepted. I knew you'd appreciate it.

Peace and love

Trevor Record said...

Hmm, interesting...

You know, it's funny, I don't even think of the swastika as a symbol of fascism. When I saw the word fascist it sort of made me slap my head, because all my life that symbol has mostly represented racism.

(Perhaps this is the work of actual fascists who want to distance themselves from the nazi branding.)

neko said...

mr eric

a sad ebb (or E1313, if you like) and flow of words, to be sure!

a poem of misplaced passion and repression.

isnt there something about ... evil triumphs where good men turn a blind/indifferent eye?

striking and powerfull.

Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

I liked this, and also the picture at the end.

Ant said...

I never really know what to say when commenting on poems (too left-brained or something...)

But I like your style, and will continue to read and appreciate.

There's a whole lotta love in this blog! :-)

Pythia3 said...

Painfully remembered, eloquently written and very well expressed.
You have painted yet another picture full of colorful images and minute details - gray on gray - using ancient symbols of black on white.
Your spirit comes through. I feel your childhood fear at the horror of that night.
That saying; the eyes are the windows to the soul, may also refer to perfectly placed "I's" on the poet's page revealing his soul, through his words.
Thank you for being an inspiration.
Lindy

eric1313 said...

Trevor

It was from a point of view of somebody looking out their window at night and catching a scene. The man was returned home the next day after being bailed out of jail--at least the real life scene, charges were dropped quietly. The liquor store guy called the police and and complained that his store was being defaced. I was twelve and hated the police all ready when it happend, and found out later it probably was him. No body else called the police or even saw it before their was an arrest.

It was suburban police. And their mentality--any chance to bust someone and give them a hard time about moving into this city. Thye were like the welcoming squad, in their eyes. It was very sad to see that their were people who laughed about it. Some people are deadened to anything wrong, and some are numb from the length and depth of the problem with rascism in this local area of southeast Michigan. It was the US end of the underground railroad before Canada during the American civil war, but it is as racially divided as any part of the nation.

Didn't mean to lecture, but it was a good oportunity to mention a few more specifics. Peace out

eric1313 said...

Neko

How right you are. It was a child's eye, and later things were done, such as an apology.

It was dogs in uniform atacking the different colored sheep, I hate to use any cliched expression so I. Things were done, but it happens a lot and new cases come up in many different cities in this area and good people do say things but everything takes time.

eric1313 said...

Ultra Toast

Thanks. Maybe it could go with a series of poems of similar nature, about exposing different aspects of this corrupting culture.

I hope that pic's not copywritten. What a travesty.

eric1313 said...

Ant

Thanks for the visit, Ant. It's OK to say anything. This one was hard to find words for, in that you can keep looking for a long time and not gather quite enough to express everything.

I hope you enjoy what you read here! Thanks for the visit.

eric1313 said...

Pythyia.

Well said. You live in the city itself and you know what I'm talking about. The police uniform hear gets used by people with as much interest in disrupting the lives of people they consider undesirable as protecting their community at large.

Thanks for reading, Lindy. It's a stark picture of a sad truth, and it was not easy to write, either.

You understand, I'm sure. I would hate to come across as condescending, so I tried to just stay level and allow someone else to observe. as I did. I wish I would have done more now, but the road top hel is paved...

You know. Hate top go there, even if it's sad and true.

Take care. Change will happen one day.