These globally infected times can clear or further fog our vision. Lao Tzu, the widely praised chinese poet captured this illuminating wisdom centuries ago. Not just optically, austerity reveals how the world currently is and what genuinely drives people around us. Still, truth is often difficult to face and optimism feels good, but for the sake of survival and our genuine happiness we must weigh on the realities of contemporary culture, lifestyle choices and common interest as much as to mentally escape into fictional idealism.
Above all, we must learn to appreciate beauty in the mundane. And for that we must switch off our inner critic. Flow with the environment like a sailboat on a calm sea through your powerful imagination.
Poetic potential untangled
During the slow unveiling of 2022, hopefully the final Covid pandemic year, I want to shift your perception. The most certain way to success in life is to work on our attitude to ourselves and the world. We daily experience, feel, and are also translators of everything that happens. What comes out of this semi-automatic process adds on to who we become and how we are doing in the present moment. So, genuinely answer the ubiquitous “How are you?” with how do you do now.
Catch the rogue mindset at its seedy spinning of reality.
The sensual eye of a poet expresses feelings through words that do not come from the rational wiring of the brain. Those mystical webs of stanzas come from a liberated land of creative connection with the unnamable. Life is tough for everyone in its vicious and often spiralizing forms, rich or poor, black or white, Eastern European or Asian, we all live through strange times. Together, we need to create meaning in this chaos of ceaseless change.
Your life will be transformed once you are able to see through things. Beyond physicality a poet in each of you can impregnate their spiritual aura of existence. Is it real? One has no idea and it does not matter as long as the resulting joy means eons to you personally. Our imagination is not animated virtually by an algorithm, it is the flow with the chaos or merging with the stillness surrounding us. Let’s dream, transform and see the world through the poet’s lens.
Seaborne breeze wafts kissing my cheeks
While, so sweetly, I close my gazing lids
Opening my trenched self to the air divine
Flying high as if my soul drunk too much wine
My bacchanalian inhales of each sensory element
Imbibe the minutely chiming electric moment
An apian goddess rises from the changing sea in stillness
Far beyond just being, she expands the meaning of nowness
Weightless through her liberating breath, empty yet full
Fearless in thought yet innocently playful, a freed soul
Her united spirit shatters all artificial resistance
Rested, simply being true becomes our only sustenance
Time strides by and humanity is stuck in vain desire
To slow its movement, change bathing in the divine
Belief, while the ocean currents swallow all, even kings
Accept, I am but a butterfly endowed with fragile wings
Now bliss while past wounds are recalled though memories
I watch like a sated cat envying the bird that he flies
All beauty and liberty are shared not just for kinks
In their curves the poet’s heart rises and sinks
Bliss and inferno take turns, yet no fear
Mires the liberated mind, and eternal creeds
Just like myths entertain, fill our empty needs
With content that is not really there but feels near
The truth we crave, desperate, yet not meant to learn
See the world like a poet
When walking through a city I grasp poetic nuances in unexpected things. That cute humanised rabbit sculpture on the canvas of extramundane architecture, that large-breasted angel on the ancient stone wall, the naturally crooked tree fronting artificially perfect shapes of the medieval architect’s plan, that meeting of night light and shadow on a church wall, that man musing on a river bank over glistening reflection of the sun on the water’s face, that vintage art book store full of wonder, even a bird savoring the day sounds poetic to my open ears funneling amazement into my ecstatic heart.
Symbols speak to us. Some have universal meanings (Jung called them the “collective unconscious”), yet there are also symbols uniquely expressing something that only our individual self can illuminate to others. We all need more light in our mundane existence. So, tell me where do you see poetry on your everyday passing through your city?
Imagine yourself as a cat, stretched wide, and basking in sunshine on a warm terrace or a playful squirrel. What would their songs or words be if they could write? Here is my basic example:
Lucky squirrel, luring little rascal
Unashamedly playing up our feelings
Approaching, tossing her regal tail
Her fear wiped off by that fluffy brush
Endearing, so I share my delights, no hush
This savvy beggar casts a shadow over other animals
You see, we humans are unfair to squirrels sans tails —
— the creepy rats, unwelcome on streets and in parks
Shy underdogs fed by trash, living off canals
Brooding through their reeking stinks, yikes!
But squirrels, unafraid like cats just ask
For your picnic basket, noon or dusk
I adore their ease of being, courage, the push!
Cats that can stand on two feet without ever falling
More, they always get what they want, then running
Off to another sentimental human as if in a rush
Poetic inspiration: How we create more joy
Poetry is unchained love. The fire of the heart that burns through your chest when you hear that song. Something about it levitates your mind.
Greek mythology envisioned lovers in vastly impossible quests, so let the Luna mother fifty daughters with an eternally sleeping shepherd. Fantasy ascribed her many Godly names, Diana, the Moon Goddess, watching in silence over her Endymion asleep in eternal bliss. Divine spirituality moved the mystics’ pens, but passion awakens anyone’s creative chest.
Poetry is like an analog photograph. It can be expressed in black and white or throw a rainbow of colors through the lens sensitive to light. The sun shines through joyful poems, while the dark night and overcast gray winters imprint sadness, even melancholic meaninglessness in a poem. Let it be what it is. Express emotions.
Nature paints poems in tune with her seasonal cycles of life and death. The mood sways from gray to green, through red to chestnut in the fall. It is all the colors that make her beautiful, so let them come out as they shift.
What poetry is when it touches us most is honesty. Curiosity and a genuine conversation with oneself, others, lovers, parents, and a cathartic release of the subconscious and unconscious material in the mind. Like dreams poems can seem nonsense at the first encounter, unless one connects these subliminal expressions with reality. However surreal a poem may sound, there is a grain of truth in it. Just as in Dali’s paintings, there are more fascinating stories than just some strange objects whisked in the psyche of an eccentric with moustache and bulging eyes.
When poem is not about truthfulness than it is a playful game with words. And that is great. Play unleashes our inner child so we feel unafraid, liberated from the ego and uninhibited because of others’ opinion. We just are, happy and creative through action. There are no rules in contemporary poetry. Free verse allows for your freedom of expression.
Sometimes it is plainly much easier to see beauty in everything. Like when the sun shines, the world is calm and people around you are healthy and happy or at least they appear so. On gray days, when facing unprecedented challenges, falling with an illness, being in pain or threatened by crime or war, we have to work harder on the poetic vision slumbering deep in our hearts. The spark that ignites the fire though dwells in your own will. You decide whether you will show yourself fireworks or stifle even the tiniest chance for happiness. Illusions do not have to break us but inspire joy. Look up at the luna. Moonshine is not the sun, but only the reflection of light in the dark depths of each night.
Whenever you can, choose to see the world through the heart of a poet. Weep and laugh at all that speaks to your soul. Become the lover of it all now in this fleeting moment for now is what counts for the future.