Posts Tagged ‘thoughts

11
Aug
12

Cultivate

Cultivate

Everyone has a love –
something they love
or something they love to do.
I have a niece who
loves animals beyond measure
and the art of animation too.

I have another niece who loves history.
And I have sons who are athletes
with a love for everything baseball.
If I ask them for a reason, I might
just get a shoulder shrug or an
“I don’t know. I just do.”

And that’s enough.
Your love never needs a reason
or a defense –
it’s yours.
All we can do
is support each other
finding who or what it is
we love.

[copyright 2012 Darren King]

29
Sep
09

Calling

Everyone has one –
the churched, the unchurched,
the atheists too –
because it’s a spiritual decision to be an atheist.

We’re not talking about vocation,
or career, or making a living.
It’s about your life’s work –
your life as purpose
your life as revolution.

[copyright 2009] Darren King

12
Sep
09

Revolutions

Not all are violent.
The good ones, the really good ones,
are quiet, unassuming and take place

when no one is listening, while no one is watching.
A man sits, he mediates, he prays –
and the world is changed.

A young girl hears her teacher’s words,
sets her life on a new trajectory –
and the world is changed.

A mother prepares her canvas,
paints a metaphor for time and space –
and the world is changed.

[copyright 2009 Darren King]

07
Jul
09

Today, Here, Now – Listen

Today, Here, Now – Listen

I wanted to write something positive.
Tell you about the weather –
how blue the Michigan sky has been,
how green the grass in our yard,
the slightest cool breeze during our evenings.
I wanted to tell you I have healthy children,
a loving and supportive wife who’s also a friend,
a home and plenty of food –
like missing a doomed flight,
born on the right continent at the right time –
spending the rest of my days
converting survivor’s guilt to thanksgiving.

[copyright 2009 Darren King]

09
Nov
08

Carol

Carol
By Darren King [copyright 2008]

I didn’t want you
to have to be that person –
who walks to the edge
of the abyss
and looking down into
its murky depths
walks in
undaunted
if but to hang on
to someone you love
as if going in yourself
you could bring him back.
I didn’t want you
to have to be that person
you who are too good
too kind
and now all too knowing
of what angels know
what is there
what the rest of us
can only wonder
assuming we are allowed
even to speculate
what it was you saw.
But it is telling now and
for me a haunting glimpse
when someone recently
asked you in mixed company
Carol what is it you are afraid of
you smiled and replied softly, kindly
in the only language you know –
I’m not afraid of anything anymore.

04
Nov
08

In Somebody Else’s Shoes (or, why I lean left)

In Somebody Else’s Shoes (or, why I lean left)
By Darren King [copyright 2008]

It’s not so much
that I don’t recognize
these are good paying jobs
for an unremarkable town like this –
with no apparent downtown
and the discount chainstores
unloaded just off the interstate exit.
And I recognize people must own
the choices they make.
She’s all too young though, too comfortable
in factory life –
with her over-sized Kevlar gloves
and safety glasses clamped to her face,
fair and framed by a few
loose locks of blonde hair.
She manages herself all too well
among the hazards, the dials, the danger.
Born into other circumstances,
this day in autumn
might have been different.
But here on this cold plant floor,
her shift just starting and
lunch four hours away,
everything grey,
everything the same,
the first part she will make
indistinguishable from her last.

28
Oct
08

The Space Between

The Space Between

“And the mystery itself is the doorway to all understanding.”
-First Verse, The Tao Te Ching

By Darren King [copyright 2008]

This is the place
where things are
neither black or white.
Not so much grey really
but silver –
metallic reflects hope
like pixie dust,
there is still room
for magic and miracles,
for possibilities.
This is the place
of holy ground,
where we seek
no answers and
welcome the question.
This is the place
where we dwell
into the mystery –
between the secular
and the august,
between the heart
and the intellect,
between belief
and unbelief.

17
Oct
08

Veteran in a New Field

Veteran in a New Field
By Darren King [copyright 2008]

I’m not sure exactly
how these things happen.
I started out on this path
waking early for years –
a burst of creative expression
in written word,
a whole body of work produced.
But then there is the other work too –
that puts the food on the table,
that pays the bills.
This work takes precedent
as it should
over the negotiations
of sentences and syllables.
But it as if I threw my hands into the air
and became less willing to brave
the loneliness of empty thoughts.

No wonder then, I take to poets
who were farmers, or who grew up on farms.
Farming and writing –
both require a lot of heavy lifting
and waking early and lonely hours
when there is no one to help,
no one but you
to get what needs to be done, done.
Lord knows you’re not in it for the pay
and you wonder if anyone even notices,
if anyone even cares.
And then you hit a drought,
or a stone and the wheels fall off,
all seems lost,
you can’t get it back together
you can’t get it back in the groove
you were in when everything
seemed so easy.
Hope becomes a thread
from which you hang yourself
grasping for any straw,
any straw that will see you through the day,
any straw that says things will turn up.

But then the thought comes to you
that maybe the drought is
part of the process –
to slow you down
to reprioritize your day
to get your bearings straight
to remember who you are
and speak the plain language
of the land you know
but have forgotten –
to plow ahead and be brave enough
to dig a little deeper and flush out
what was already there,
what has always been there.

02
Oct
08

Honey I get it. I really do.

By Darren King [copyright 2008]

 

There’s the first life you live –
the one where you help
your little boy clean himself
after with limited success
he’s used his big-boy potty seat
and then you wipe up the
cat puke in the foyer
you swiffered the night before
after Letterman.
It’s the life where
piles of laundry rule your space
but you’ve grown to ignore
them as a strong-hold defense
against insanity.
Make the beds, wash the dishes,
vacuum the floors, you’re too
busy to make lists and by evening
you’re waiting for your husband
so you can start dinner.
And when he finally arrives he’s late
and smells of his lunch he ate
peacefully in a nice restaurant
with his colleagues –
all of whom are over the age of four.
He comes in through the front door,
unscrews the top of his head, places his brain
on the table in the hall and asks,
“How was your day?”
Your second life
is the one where you imagine yourself
among your artists acquaintances
on a sunny Thursday afternoon
in a University town,
the streets have been blocked off,
you’re in a white, tented booth
with your name on the outside,
listed above the town you’re from,
your artist booth number.
You sip vendor lemonade as
your shoulders pink over the day
and you talk with attractive,
culturally-sensitive people who
upon approaching your work
ask you many interesting questions –
none of which have to do with laundry,
the best swiffer or pet vomit.
You love your children.
You love your husband.
But at least once a day, every day,
the possibility of your second life
will see you through
the reality of your first.

 

28
Sep
08

berrying

Berrying

“When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back and get it. Leave it for the alien, the fatherless.” – Deuteronomy 24:19

I keep searching
hoping
to uncover some hidden truth
to glean a revelation
like the poet who stares into a painting
and awaits the spark
when all he sees are dots
acrylic and oil chaos
and randomness
like an unkind god.
But the Lord is kind
and the Lord gives and
the Lord has taken away
and it comes to me
my father’s death
three years ago this day.
His host returning
to the same earth and dust
no hidden truths
no revelations –
only a remembrance
and itchy plants
and cool earth
and strawberries sweetly
suspended in disbelief.

[copyright 2008 Darren King]

28
Sep
08

some choices, some luck, mostly grace

By Darren King [copyright 2008]

I like grocery shopping with my wife.
We don’t do it often. Mostly
when the children are with my in-laws.
Sometimes we catch a movie,
or we end up in a bookstore,
or a coffeehouse,
or the university town near our home.
And sometimes we go grocery shopping.
My wife pushes the cart and makes the choices.
I saunter behind her, or ahead of her.
I keep on an eye on her purse in our cart
while she inspects pineapples or kiwi or strawberries
and tells me the names of vegetables
her Grandma Dorothy grew –
vegetables I’ve never heard of much less eaten.
I check out magazines, books and snacks,
things she repeats we will never buy.
So I drink the free coffee
they offer in the corner of the store.
And it’s then I realize how grateful I am
for my life and the way it has unfolded.




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