By Melania Daniel
Bruised and broken is learning
What life is really about;
All this longing come to nought,
All this aching discomfort
Ends in unsated yearning
Of fine youth turned stale and stout;
They whom misfortune has sought,
They moored in a stormy port
To know the grace of earning
In voices that softly shout;
The way life’s victories are fought,
The racers slowed to a trot.
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The sea is a hungry dog/that churns inside your head/while he consumes your whole and spits you out/to taste the ice-cream on your stout/smorgasboard of devotion/unyielding to his mauling/while ocean lays you bleeding on the beach/and pirates celebrate/a low laid private’s finish./Then faithful doggie falls besides you like the sea/ wave in flat out growling loyalty/guarding and reclaiming its shipwrecked commodity,/Sea people love their sea.
Oh dear, dear. Who knows, who knows, what the mind can get up to in sleep. I woke from a dream in which I was writing the above. Yesterday, a friend from school days visited with me and our conversation got around to the poems we memorized as part of our English Language lessons in elementary and secondary school. Then she went on to recite, without a pause, one she said she frequently recalls when walking along the beach in Saint Lucia, a favourite by James Reeves.
Friendships motivate us to continue on and conquer any drift. Mentors, guides, friends, models, encouragement, a community of support, a helping hand – all nice and necessary things that help us keep going.
“Somewhere in the world there is a defeat for everyone. Some are destroyed by defeat, and some made small and mean by victory. Greatness lives in one who triumphs equally over defeat and victory.”
― John Steinbeck,
“While one may encounter many defeats, one must not be defeated.”
― Maya Angelou
“Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure.”
― George E. Woodberry
My late mother.
The live and kicking. Nice, good people. Near and far friends. You don’t cry. Just hum or sing the same chorus for everybody. Same feeling, same old song.
And honey, I miss you
And I’m bein’ good
And I’d love to be with you
If only I could
(Alternative title: writing fail or that old poem I am trying to rework but not succeeding)
How ripples spread far
across the surface of a pond
when pebbles drop,
how slowly holes fill up.
We buried the neighborhood stray
for its dubious honor bestowed on our doorstep,
deathbed unoffered – to the sudden sullen moments
of our mother’s humming, we knew she’d lost
her favorite pastime, an anchoring eyesore
to moan her life’s vexations.
The chronicle of life’s woes we crave
an end to, say good riddance to trifling
annoyance and then chin in hand sit
crying at the endings we so wanted.