Poem: Would Joy Pervade Us?

erector-set-motor.jpg

WOULD JOY PERVADE US?

What if the machinery of time were just a
little motor somewhere like one of those

Erector Set motors behind a little curtain
near an open window on the third floor

whizzing a little as its gears turn and
everything that occupies any kind of space

grand small macrocosmic microcosmic
danced to its frail tune even those deep space

barely squintily visible planets and star clusters
where we have no idea at all when they

might break for lunch or lie down to die
and the machinery of time of course

never runs down nor speeds up nor
fluctuates in any way though we often

experience its intrepid doggedness at its
task as either swifter or slower and by

God’s direct Power as sometimes altogether
non-existent though those gaps be rare and much

sought after among the clackety-clacks of
what we take as real life

And so here’s this little machine after all
by flapping curtains on a wooden stool say

a really small machine of no imposing size
clickety-pinging along really modestly

and millennia of jungles lift their teaks
and crashes of ocean bash shore-rocks incessantly

And yet if this little contraption were to
short out or simply cease altogether

and go still maybe in a
worrisome puff of smoke and distinct

electrical odor then would all existence just
collapse or would as it were invisible

cage doors open to evocative melodious choir sound
and we’d flow out or in to some

timeless place on earth where things would
halt their progress towards decay

or would they? Or would we all simply
be expanded and ascended into a

sweet pure timelessness yet continuing to
breathe and breed as before or

would that curtained window there on the
third floor then be all that is?

4/23/07 (from Invention of the Wheel – work in progress)

About danielabdalhayymoore

Poet, artist, collagist, publisher, hoping to save a little bit of the world through ecstatic utterance... ordered in balanced lines and unpremeditated images...
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7 Responses to Poem: Would Joy Pervade Us?

  1. glandheim says:

    No rhythm,
    No rhyme,
    No poem,
    Outta time.

    Like

  2. glandheim says:

    Good poem! The second one, I mean:-) Concise, to the point, and it rhymes!

    Actually, I kinda liked the first one, too. It had nice imagery, interesting ideas. It was late, I was tired, I didn’t really read it closely, just scanned it. Same problem tonight.

    Hope I didn’t offend. I’ll drop by and actually give your poem a real read in the next couple of days.

    Cheers!

    Like

  3. Irving says:

    Who puts oil in the motor,
    drop by drop to keep
    time running
    smoothly?
    Or is a drop of
    divine love all it
    needs to run
    forever.

    Ya Haqq!

    Like

  4. glandheim says:

    OK. It’s mid-afternoon, and I’ve had all my meds:)

    My first impression is that little motor reminds me of a rodent, with its tail flowing out of the picture towards the viewer.

    This should have nothing to do with the poem, but it affected my perception as I was reading. The flow of the words put me in mind of a little tree-dwelling rodent, starting at one of the lower branches of the tree, then following it up, changing direction as the ideas fork off to another branch, and scampering up and around the branches of the tree, sometimes backtracking, chasing ideas as they fork and converge, until the poor little rodent finds itself near the bottom of the tree again, on a different branch, looking at where it began.

    Your words flow nicely, and the ideas do not take off in random directions, as they appeared to do when I read it, half-conscious, before going to bed. Each fork that you take into different directions of ideas is for a valid reason.

    The imagery is excellent.

    There were a couple of places that felt disjoint when I read it, but I didn’t stop to note them because I wanted to experience the poem as a whole. Going back and re-reading, I can’t find them. I’m sorry. If they are really there, that would be useful to you to know.

    I just read it again. Sorry. The confusion must have been on my end.

    I read your blog intentions. Criticism is important. I’m glad you feel that way.

    Like

  5. GREG: I wish all critiques were as creative… yes, the motor did look like a rodent (I’ve since reduced it to sharpen its focus), and your description (unrhymed!) was a poem… Look:

    The flow of the words
    put me in mind of a little tree-dwelling rodent,
    starting at one of the lower branches of the tree, then
    following it up, changing direction as the ideas
    fork off to another branch, and
    scampering up and around the branches of the tree, sometimes
    backtracking, chasing ideas as they fork and converge, until
    the poor little rodent finds itself
    near the bottom of the tree again,

    on a different branch,

    looking at where it began
    ____

    This may give you some idea of my approach, divergent from your own, in regards to poetry… the velocity of an unrhymed line moving with some energy onto a next line as the thought progresses… the heartbeat beneath it all… the spirit-light guiding the flow, God willing.

    I also appreciate your reflective self-correction, and am touched by it. I was a bit put off by your first quatrain reaction, but perhaps to be expected from a little white dog with beady eyes 🙂

    You’re a lyricist… (have you read Auden for expansive formality?)… and I have a lot of respect for traditional forms.

    Thanks for what’s turned out to be an interesting exchange…

    Like

  6. glandheim says:

    I thought I owed you a real critique after my snippy initial comment. It’s one of the great dangers of blogging – writing to strangers as though they are familiars. You don’t know me, so you had no reason to know that I was poking playful fun.

    Your response told me that you have a sense of humor.

    Thanks for turning my prose into a poem. When I wrote it, I was aware that it was a terrible run-on sentence, but as I started to edit it I realized that the flow of the sentence was essential to the commentary. I guess that’s the poetry in it.

    I started writing poetry, myself, as an exercise to improve my prose. Now it is an end in itself. I am but a hobbyist. I virtually never do a rewrite. If it needs a rewrite, I throw it away.

    I haven’t read Auden since I took a graduate course in Modern Poets. I just dusted off the text, and looked at a few passages I liked when I read them thirty-some-odd years ago. You are right. I should study him again.

    In the meantime here’s a stanza from Auden’s “September 1, 1939” that I think you will like:
    .
    Defenceless under the night
    Our world in stupor lies;
    Yet, dotted everywhere,
    Ironic points of light
    Flash out wherever the Just
    Exchange their messages:
    May I, composed like them
    Of Eros and of dust,
    Beleaguered by the same
    Negation and despair,
    Show an affirming flame.

    Like

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