Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Beholden


Beholden to holy miracles,
beholden to winds of fate--
the thousand stitch belt
threads of love and hope
for the kamikaze pilot,
a son and a nephew
a lover, beloved
a falling cherry blossom
who would fall from the sky,
though many would grieve
that a boy saw no other way
to reach peace.

A lady lost and looking
into the swirling face
of grinning madness
her final laugh not in kind
but pointed at the self-seer
seeing eyes so bright
they were as a stranger's,
and then their own--
the mirror can lie
if the mind wishes it so

A love charm handed down
from the voodoo king-priest
to the princess of the dunes;
the desert is so long
and the rains only fall
once in ten years
to quench her hot desire
to bathe her in their blessing
flowers from a world thought
long dead and buried

Beholden are these loves
beholden to our burning eyes
to see a finer circle--

To know that peace is not war
grace is not insanity,
and love will rain down
to make the deserts bloom;

Eyes closed when night comes,
breath heavy with purpose
because love is with us
tonight,
and ever after...

let the prayer-songs begin--
a soul will dance to the words
fire licks the night in abandon


Above: Art by Shaun Hyatt. A kamikaze pilot tying on his ribbons before the final flight. The thousand stitch belt mentioned above was a belt made with one stitch from each woman from a village or town, a symbol of love sent with one who chose to sacrifice himself. But one wonders how many people were tempted to ask their son or loved one not to waste their life in such a way. Often it had to be a crushing thing to know that death was chosen, a sacrifice given to a desperate government that knew it's time was short.

Below: Lady with a love charm from a voodoo king priest? Maybe so. Artist unknown. But beautiful all the same.

Three different ideas, yet all were very compelling to me, even as I wrote this piece. The genesis of this poem can be seen here.

Merry Christmas, you all. I hope Santa was good to you. Or at least, that you were good Santas to somebody else.

34 comments:

Princess Pointful said...

Ooh! Number 1!

Happiest of holidays to you, Eric, and thanks for spreading the love like only you know how.

The kamikaze pilot as a cherry blossom is one of the most beautiful images you've written... and that's saying a lot.

eric1313 said...

Princess

Thank you for your sweet holiday wishes. I wish I could live up to that--being the Santa Clause of love...

ha! Rock on, Rudolph, we're on a mission tonight... (no ho ho hoing, either)

Thank you. A few months ago I wrote a haiku that was similar, but inferior to this. This was much more original, a lot more vivid and visceral. Thanks for the superior praise. I'll try to live up to it, my friend.

And happiest of holidays to you, too, number one!

Ant said...

Happy christmas Eric! You're a top dude and no mistake... :-)

Crashdummie said...

second what princess & ant said - I'm just a sucker for everything being bittersweet yet romantic.

the mirror can lie
if the mind wishes it so


You see what you want to see, and remain blind for everything else... ignorance might be a bliss, but sooner or later, reality has a way of catching up on you.

Happy Holidays my friend.

Crashdummie said...

btw, as per request, changed the avatar to a drummer ala animal from the muppets - consider it your christmas gift.

The suprised look is for my avatar getting busted - see the stereo? What, u really thought i was that good? :p

singleton said...

"the desert is so long
and the rains only fall
once in ten years"

wow....

Merry Christmas, Eric, and may the words rock on.....

Peace~love

Enemy of the Republic said...

For some reason, I said "Amen" out loud when I read this. Hmmm.

Merry Christmas.

eric1313 said...

Ant

Merry Christmas back at you, Ant.

You too are a top notch exponent of humanity, as are many of our blogger friends.

I'm glad to know you all.


Crashy!

It's so true! We often don't see what is there, but what we want to see. And that can go both ways, rose colored specs or blackened glasses.

You got it. And I love the new avatar, even as much as I loved the old one!

Drummer girls are just bad ass! And I'll work at a post to get the blogger band happening. We'll be like the i version of the White Stripes...

Rock on, Crash.

Cheers!

eric1313 said...

Singleton

I knew you'd like it. And you saw it's root over at the Butterfly bar. You're work, too, gives me chills and makes me want nothing more than to redouble my own efforts.

I guess I did good with this one, huh?

Merry Christmas, my friend.

Peace and love.


Enemy of my repo man.

Same goes for you, my friend. I'm glad to blog with you, read with you and have a healthy banter back and fourth with you.

Amen is entirely appropriate.

Merry Christmas and may the new year dawn as bright as today did for me.

gingatao said...

"Beholden" is such a complex word with many shades of meaning and you have captured three variations on the theme with great skill. As I read more of your work I begin to hear a consistent voice singing desert mysticism and windswept eternal lovesongs, acoustic guitars echoing into a vast starry night. There is a great balance of passion, intelligence and a love for the language, a poet in other words.

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

Merry Xmas, mate.

Santa got me... Music, mainly. And Music vouchers. I'm easy to please.

Why DID Kamikaze pilots wear helmets?

captain corky said...

"To know that peace is not war
grace is not insanity,
and love will rain down
to make the deserts bloom"

Amazing lines! Hope you had a Merry Christmas Eric!

Charles Gramlich said...

Yes, I liked the connection to the Kamikaze pilot. Great imagery.

ivan said...

Great imagery indeed, to follow
Charles Gramlich.

I am thinking of the notes of a surviving kamikaze pilot, who was shot down and somehow lived.

"Yes, yes, all those patches. But we didn't have sex with any of the girls. That was not offered us."

This is why some, when hearing "Lt. Colonel Custer", may have said, as in the old song, Please Mr. Custer/
I don't want to go."?

The "Chicken Chow Mein" joke is really tempting here, but I would sully a fine poem and a rather deep blog.

Five5six said...

'And grieve that there is no other way'

Echoing another Japanese epic on those words...

eric1313 said...

Gingatao

I thought so too. I had to keep going when I wrote the first stanza. It would not have worked so well had I not tied in three different stories, sacrifice, a vision of self, and one seeking love even if it cannot be found.

Funny how you never start with a plan, but one works out in the process. Thanks for the visit, as always.


Crushed

It sounds like good gifts. Music, within boundaries of personal taste is always a great gift. I actually got a camera this year, which I've been wanting for some time. I'll have to put it to use very soon.

Thanks for the wishes and the drop.

And a happy soon to be new year to all of you.

eric1313 said...

Crushed: Yeah, the helmet thing is a bit of a waste isn't it? I can understand ribbons, belts and swords, but a helmet? Right...



Captain Corky

I thought that tied all three up nicely, too, and put a good spin on them. Thanks for the compliments and comments.

Peace out.

eric1313 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
eric1313 said...

Charles

Thanks. That was how it started, and I was able to pull a lot into it. Which I was glad about. It's nice when they work out without struggling through it to make it work.


Five5Six

Yeah, I forgot a bit about that being in there, but I was without a doubt thinking Final Fantasy 2 when those two lines came tumbling out.

Hey--we are a product of our influences. I am no exception, for sure.

Peace out, everyone.

eric1313 said...

Ivan

It did summon a lot of thoughts to mind. The visual art I put with it worked out, too.

That's pretty poignant, that they would be wrapped up in the physical glories of pre-kamikaze, trying to use it to get women and the like. The sake would have had to have been worth it.

As for oriental food jokes, I'm starving right now, and I think I'll go warm up some leftovers. I have a few egg rolls and some fried rice that are sounding really good right about now...

Peace out.

karma lennon said...

That line about peace not being war reminds me of a line from "Rent"-"The opposite of war isn't peace, it's creation!"

Interesting poem you have here, lovely and meaningful. Hope you had a good holiday.

she said...

1313/mr poetry: -amazing!-

very fluid and precise. classical beauty in the arrangement of words and breaks; in depth and layers of meaning; in powerful word images surrounded by gentle/tender ones

& enjoyed bukowski's poem on your sidebar (found it!)

and - i just always appreciate a part science, part poet type mind. one foot on solid ground; one dancing around the universe

merry christmas to you! much love and an incredible new year! ~s.

Narnie said...

Such an interesting pace in this - it changes with each stanza and leaves us quite literally dancing. Lovely stuff.

eric1313 said...

Karma Lennon

Thank you for the words, my friend. I'll have to see Rent when it plays next somewhere around here. It also reminded me of 1984, about doublethink and the like.

You, too, have a great weekend and New Year. Talk to you soon.

eric1313 said...

She

Glad to see you, I hope my blog didn't give you too many fits trying to log in. It might be some of the widgets I have--namely, the one that shows random books from my library. I suspect that one of a lot of havoc, actually.

Thank you for your awesome praise of my work. As an instructor, your word carries with it a lot of authority and weight.

And the Bukowski poem--that's one of my favorites by anyone. I hold it as one of my models as to the perfect poem.

As to my knowledge of the stars, well, I'm just blushing over that. I love it and I've read everything I could get my hands on since early childhood. It's served me well.

And you too, have a great New Year.

Peace out.

eric1313 said...

Narnie

Welcome! Thank you for the comment. It does change pace a bit, but if you pause slightly between stanzas, it flows well.

Talk to you son--your work, like your friend Gingatao--is exemplary and I love reading it.

Take care.

the.red.mantissa said...

the imagery of this poem is so vivid and visceral ... "falling cherry blossom ..." and "the swirling face of grinning madness ..." wow. powerful.

eric1313 said...

Mantisa

So glad to see you on this fine holiday season. I trust you are well and agitating for change and saner ways of doing things.

Yes, I really love this poem. I felt strange when I was writing it, like a holy spirit was passing through me like lightning. It was a wonderful thing and I hope to feel it more and more.

Bemused said...

I can't believe I didn't see this one. I hope you had wonderful holidays and I'll get in ahead of the rest and wish you a Happy 2008!

eric1313 said...

BeMunsed

Thank you for the wishes! You too have a great year. I'm sure you will.

And I'm glad you liked the poem. My posts lately have been really good, I thought. Nice to see some agreement in that area.

Danny Tagalog said...

Eric, much rewarding stuff to chew on here!!! Can't digest it all right now as in an internet cafe with a car motor running outside. See you soon though - off back to Tokyo in a couple of days. Happy New Year!!!!

karoline said...

To know that peace is not war
grace is not insanity,
and love will rain down
to make the deserts bloom

i luv this...let it rain...

eric1313 said...

Karoline

Rain it shall. Indeed it shall.

Thank you for taking the time to read down my list. This little patch of poetry is some of my finest work possible.

Bless you and all of yours.

eric1313 said...

Danny

Thanks for the quick read. I hope your holiday at home went well.

I'll be here when you get back, churning out the works, as always.

Peace