My Mind

Personal website of M.G. Daniel. Sharing poetry, my writings, snippets from my life and whatever's on my mind.


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The fool’s creed?

I didn’t know of Padraic (Patrick) Pearse as a poet until a couple of days ago. I am fool-140229_640.jpgguessing that name is not popular in the UK at a time like this – given recent events –  and his poetry may not be presented for public celebration.  Regardless, I read and was touched by his poem, The Fool. Perhaps it speaks to an interior conversation I have, about when to accept the fall as something that goes with the territory, brush the dust off and keep going in the same determined direction, or decide it’s time to pack it in, give it up, drop it down, let it go…and so on. Gwaaad, I have been foolish, as in this chunk of Pearse’s poem:

Ye shall be foolish as I; ye shall scatter, not save;
Ye shall venture your all, lest ye lose what is more than all;


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A String of F Words (that mean fondness)

By M.G. Daniel

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Loves, let us learn to love with love – and freedom, not with fear or fights or fisticuffs or threats or throwing shade or fuming (about posts on social media for example), thinking we can truly know the message or meaning of another’s thoughts. Loves, love. Not with constant finger-pointing, fright or festering fury, forcing famines of affection, or forgetting our form, for it is forever Love. Loves, will we find fidelity if we go fast and too furious fanning flames of fantastical fables in the fluttering green eyes of faithful fiends, falling into furrows flailing and fixing failures, or furthermore fathering the flight to fame and fortune of fillies fleecing the folly of forsaking, the fated and the fêted:
Frenemies
Foreigners
Financiers
Families
Futures
Friends
Fulsome fools
The flight of the foraging, flapping about your foyer, forging peace, fomenting fun.


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An impending doom

I have been meaning for some time to read all the winning poetry collections of the Cute Baby Small Baby Shoes Shoes CharmingBocas Lit Fest but only manged one so far – read last year. I finally got into a second one, Tiphanie Yanique’s Wife, the 2016 poetry winner. She does have a deft and delicate hand. There is one poem that refuses to leave my mind, and I don’t even think it’s the most noteworthy of the collection. The things that jack up our adrenaline can do that to us: danger, a small sense of impending doom in an otherwise tranquil mind, one traumatic experience in a sea of 1000 beautiful ones. Sharing stanzas 1, 4 and 6 of the 6 verses of that poem.

Things the baby put into his mouth
by Tiphanie Yanique

Your shoe, my shoe and the baby’s own shoe, all with the grime of
street baked into the bottom

The tiny white book with its twelve brown matches, each waiting to
ignite a hungry blazing tip

The chewy black electric cord and glinting steel prong all attached to
the heavy glass dome of the blender


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Who’s a prodigal wanderer?

I find nothing helps me see the flaws I need to fix or weak spots to work on in my poems like having them published, anywhere. Nothing like hanging the garment up on the public clothes line and stepping back to be able to see that stain the wash missed. So this one here is an oldie, long in the making poem. Or more correctly, never really put through significant revision, which I am trying to do now. Do tell me what you think – comments indicated for my eyes only are treated with utmost privacy.wanderer-1471454_960_720

Prodigals

By Melania Daniel

 

Returning home,

What do we hope to find

Between eternities of visits

Or since that time we left –

Can we fit in the moults, sloughed

By the tearful parting?

 

We approach, laden with gifts,

And doubts, and feeble knees,

Wobbling through this hometown.

The corridor between the eyes and memory

Is crammed with tears, nostalgia flutters through the stomach.

Mobbed by airy hellos rushing out of ever-opened windows

We break down in claustrophobia, some withered face is gawking

Vague reminders of yesterday’s camaraderie, names

Dart across the memory, eluding capture for the familiarity

Our greetings lack, our childhood monikers so well-remembered.

 

A grimy tot sails paper boats on the high tide of a gutter and

Beneath the eyelids school days float by in fuzz, we barefoot

On the melting tar of the only street, still one-way like a sock,

Life in this place a dead-end

Daze of splashing toes in steamy puddles

After copious midday showers, when the hot street’s breath

Clouded on the mirror of a humid day, in night’s slow

Recurring dreams of certain city fortune,

We could not see ourselves in the hazy future of this village.

 

And there it is, unchanging – home, you squeal,

Eavesdropping echoes question softly, home?

A family reunion awaits you, fumbling

Through initial moments of clumsiness

For what’s right to say, sibling togetherness and laughter

Delicate as the cake baking in the oven, one loose remark

A harmless howl could send this spirit slumping flat.

Concern for the progeny a new flavor

Mother’s fussing over again,

Did she mix the right ingredients? She’s sure

Something unsaid is missing.

 

Soon we get up to leave,

Regretting to all we have to go so soon

And leave behind the best day of our lives,

But we’ve got to work tomorrow.

I’m thinking with the final wave

It’s no better out there,

Still no comfort here

The voices mutter

And I understand why

Prodigals are wanderers.


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A nice little chunk of a long journey

I like the lit streets of big cities and the hum of small towns. I’m reading “In The City of Light” by Larry Levis and sharing some of my standout bits of that poem.

Descending, I looked down at light lacquering fields
Of pale vines, & small towns, each
With a water tower; then the shadow of wings;
Then nothing.//
My only advice is not to go away.
Or, go away. Most//
Of my decisions have been wrong.//
When I wake, I lift cold water
To my face. I close my eyes.//
A body wishes to be held, & held, & what
Can you do about that?//
Because there are faces I might never see again,
There are two things I want to remember
About light, & what it does to us.


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The mental mind

Ubber blogger Make It Ultra (MIU) is having a poetry contest, accepting submissions from today until January 8. Do check it out. I was thinking of submitting an old poem of mine, Random Thoughts, previously posted here. Simply because MIU has a lot of content about psychology and mindfulness stuff – a great blog. And also because the stories that inspired me to write Random Thoughts had to do with mental illness and fears of it.

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In my sixth form college years, I travelled by bus to get to school and always noticed a man with long matted dreadlocks walking around and around a small traffic island in the middle of the road near my bus stop. He seemed to do that everyday, all day. An older friend later told me he was his contemporary, they called the ‘madman’ Dockey and that he was once a supremely intelligent student and highly respected person in society. I left it at that. Later, I was a teacher and one of my supremely intelligent students told me how his friends frequently cautioned him about being, to them, overly interested in the problems and issues of our country; joked and said they did not share his zeal for wanting to brainstorm solutions because thinking about those things could make people go mad; and often laughed at him because they felt he was ‘too bright’ for his own good.

A jump of a few more years and these two stories merged in my head and out popped that poem:

Random Thoughts

This yelping puppy of a mind wags a trail of

Thoughts tugging owner in the lead, energized on

Enthusiasm, love of country obsessive,

For its own good, excessive; it went, chasing manes,

 

Charging the shadow of its tail it went, off in

The traffic of possibilities, brains scattered

Custom that drifter now walks, chains and padlocks on

Dreadlocks, weights his mind he mutters, lock it in the

 

Kennel of his skull, so it won’t stray; he circles

Lampposts for a piss, walks concentric, won’t go off

On tangents, the town’s eccentric; when people laugh

At him, it may be envy; they call him Locky.