Friday, December 29, 2006
I’ve been helping a very dear friend of mine through the emotional trauma of child abuse. Not professionally of course, just as a supportive ear and as a kindred spirit who experienced his own share of abuse and subsequent healing. Her experiences have touched me deeply and I needed to write about them, if for no other reason than to try to purge myself of her suffering. The following poem is strong coffee and I caution readers who have suffered sexual abuse as children, that they may not want to read on. I’ve tried to be as gentle as I can with this horrific subject, but it is not easy to write about.
Time does not march on
it slides through fingers like sand
Slips out of pockets like a lost key
and leaves behind a trail of dust called memory
Within which one can become ensnared
The bedroom door creaks open, again
Much too late for a child your age
And that certain but unwelcome light
touches your nightclothes
and places not ready for light
A familiar footfall echoes
the promise of more attention
than you could ever dream of
even in your nightmares
and too much weight for
your tiny soul to bear
You cast yourself a lifeline of
Mother Goose rhymes
to make time go fast
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
All the king’s horses . . .
No mother to speak of
No mother to save you
She lost her mind along
the road to hell
before you were born
Sold her soul
to keep from going mad altogether
and placed her heart on the alter
to the God of fear
And then one day
you watched your life pour
out of her wrists and pool
upon the kitchen floor
The day life became too sharp
and stayed that way
Why she lived is hard to understand
though a child's love is boundless
But no amount of soap can
wash away the stains
And still you bleed
still you bleed
And so you've thrown up stone and steel
An impenetrable fortress
to keep you safe from love
while the muffled cries of your
banished heart go unheard
And locked the door you did
indeed for all eternity
Meanwhile, your life has slipped
through your fingers like sand
and out of your pockets
like a lost key
But the promise of
forgiveness waits for you
by dennis tkon Copyright 2006
Sunday, December 24, 2006
I dreamed a thousand
lifetimes in becoming
Saw my reflection
drink from a thousand pools
deep and dark
And thought I’d never see
my kite again. But it
did not return to me
The wind claimed
so much more
Wearied, who should
but pause to drink
the night and gulp
the vastness of these
questions; a serious
remedy for soul
in search of
Stars; liquid reverie,
pools of genius so
enlightened; Your banquet
Untouched by hands
in need of washing
So I rise to meet you
Set aside my demands
and touch your face
with eyes closed
familiar curves, a
distant memory from
a thousand lives before
Drink sweet water
from your hands
Thursday, December 14, 2006
I remember it like my name
You stepped into my life
Just stepped in
And changed gravity
Your lips moved through introductions
But the buzzing in my brain
Kept your name a secret
There were no flowers to give you
So I shook your hand instead
Perhaps a moment too long
And the world disappeared
What passed for a floor was now air
Which I could no more walk upon
What passed for my life was now a wound
Which required you
In time you came to love me
With flames that would consume most men
And like the phoenix I was reborn
Each time in your arms
You breathed for me
I loved you desperately from within
The cage that held my heart
As I groped madly for the key
But a malady of faith kept my
Fingers curled tightly around iron bars
Cold and unforgiving
But love like this knows no end
And my flesh burns still
Though without you to cool me
And my heart asks why
By dennis tkon copyright 2006
Thursday, December 07, 2006
1. The first poem I remember reading/hearing/reacting to was … Jack be Nimble. I was two or three. My dad would recite it incorrectly in order to get a laugh – like this: Jack be nimble, Jack be quick, Jack jumped over the candlestick and burned his diddle! We’d laugh uncontrollably and repeat it over and over together. He usually gave me the chance to yell DIDDLE at the appropriate point in the rhyme. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize it wasn’t called a diddle until about 6th grade. We’ll save that discussion for another day.
2. I was forced to memorize paragraphs of Shakespear in school (8th grade) and just fell in love with his form and formula. I think Shakespear taught me to love words with double meanings. He was the master of double meanings. “Tis not so deep as a well, nor as wide as a church door, but ‘tis enough, ‘twill serve. Ask for me tomorrow and you will find me a grave man!” Brilliant.
3. I read poetry because I’m not dead yet! Seriously, I read it because when I find a good verse, stanza, line, metaphor, or poetic idea, I’m both transformed and transported. It takes me places I can’t get to with an SUV or a rope. If people were eggs and we received a good crack, poetry is what would run out of us for sure! Poetry is just a vehicle that lets us experience what’s inside without a sharp blow from a garden tool.
4. A poem I’m likely to think about when asked about a favorite poem is . . . Jack be Nimble – just kidding. I think my favorite poem is Believe me if all Those Endearing Young Charms by Thomas Moore. It’s just an absolutely perfect poem of love. I hate that it was made into a song. It’s so much better when simply read. My favorite line: “and around the dear ruin each wish of my heart would entwine itself verdantly still.” Another poem I absolutely love is called A Summer of Flies by Armin Tolentino. It gives me chills in the most delightful way. Here it is:
I clearly remember a summer of flies,
(That’s one damn good poem if I must say so myself!)
5. I write poetry, but for the most part its an insult to what really passes for poetry. I have no formal training/education in writing, just passion. And so I continue to stumble in metaphors.
6. My experience with reading poetry differs from my experience with reading other types of literature. And that’s mostly because I read poetry in secret, hiding from everyone so they won’t see me cry as I experience unimaginable beauty and spirituality. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll cry over a good story, but it can take days for me to recover from poetry that moves me to tears.
7. I find poetry in the American Heritage Dictionary between the words “Poet Laureate” and “pogonia” (which is any of various small terrestrial orchids of the genus Pogonia).
8. The last time I heard poetry was last Friday when I listened to Dogfaceboy’s recording of “Jimmy” on her website, which by the way, is a very cool poem! Clearly, my preference is to read poetry to myself. Whether or not you agree, 87% of all information communicated is non-verbal. Which means when we listen to a poet read a poem, we get all of their interpretation, mood, tone, affect, etc. For me, experiencing poetry is deeply personal and I find that hearing someone else read it interferes with my own experience. So, when it comes to poetry, I’m a loner.
9. I think poetry is just another name for all of those drugs I consumed in college – which bent my perspective in the most delicious way, leaving me hungry for more, the moment the trip was over. It’s so simple now – words just get me high.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
If these walls could talk
They would wait, like painted soldiers
Stoically, at attention
Hep – Hut!
Bravely adorned with art hung on nails
A bizarre crucifixion indeed
Bearing witness to their own silent scream
Sixteen years in quiet reconnoiter
Observing and patient
The lonely march of a career
If they could talk
Swollen with secrets
A life caged within and spent
Like a thunderous cannon charge
Though only more slowly
A skein of yarn
Snagged on life’s momentum
Unraveled and shapeless as air
Oh, to witness the body of life’s work
The measure of a man, Ha!
Frenetic and pulsing
Yet another day discarded
The hollow clank of the refuse bin
Marking the passage of time
Like a galvanized metronome
Alas the canvas is blank
Wiped clean each day by the cloth
Of the unlived life
If these walls could talk
If these walls could talk
A great and urgent cry
Would pierce the darkness
An audible beacon of hope
Discard this mortal theme
And ascend my brother
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Beauty’s secret, revealed in the half-light of a candle’s glow
The last sip drained from lovers’ cups
The fragrance of flowers
Violets, Gardenias, Rose petals, Babies Breath
Intoxicating flavors, soothing to the lips
By Dennis Tkon Copyright 2006
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Hope to Die
Fingers crossed behind my back I swear this is the truth!
I sharpened my deceptive skills against a stone cold youth.
Trying merely to survive.
As young as four (but I’ll say five!)
If only they had heard my cries.
And so, I swear I had to lie.
Cross my heart and hope to die.
I love the thought of suicide.
by Dennis Tkon Copyright 2006
Monday, November 13, 2006
My last post featured my Ego – Center Stage! It thinks I’m trying to kill it with all of my Consciousness work and it acts up like a three-year old regularly. I try very hard to keep my ego in check, because if I don’t, it shames me. Robin ( r’s-musings) suggested in her comment to an earlier post that she tries to follow this motto “What we resist persists.” Recognizing the brilliance in her suggestion, I thought I’d give it a try. I’d been trying to stuff my ego in a box over the last few weeks without success, and its been making me depressed. So I decided to hand the pen to my ego. It worked! I wrote a completely self-centered poem and discharged all of the excess ego energy that needed to get out. I felt like a million bucks after that (thank you Robin!) and my ego has been behaving nicely ever since.
Back to the eating . . . I figured if it worked for my inner-child, why not for my inner-glutton? So I wrote a powerful poem motivated by the energy usually reserved for eating. Again, it felt very good to get all of this on paper and I feel adequately discharged (again, thank you Robin!!) I haven’t eaten any crap yet today and I don’t feel the urge to either. Perhaps we’ve discovered a new form of therapy!!! By the way, I’m not really a glutton and to look at me, you wouldn’t know I have an eating issue – but God! It sure feels that way, especially when it gets out of control. (<---- My ego made me tell you this.) The poem isn’t factual, but it captures what it feels like to be me when I’m activated around food. Mostly, I’m feeling a lot of gratitude today – it’s a relief to feel relief.
Dr. Seuss on a Sugar Bender
Sugar is my enemy
Although it sort of grows on me
My stomach disproportionately
To what my waist size ought to be
Ate six donuts in one day
How much more now do I weigh
Contributing to tooth decay
I wish there was a thinner way
How much crap can one guy eat
And did I really need that treat
Surrendering to every sweet
Goddamn! I really miss my feet
The snacks that I should most eschew
I seem to buy and bite and chew
I’ll eat the paper package too
And then the bag before I’m through
My hunger to be un-unique
Has put me up that well known creek
Alas my boat has sprung a leak
That’s what I get for being weak
My cat waits by my feet for crumbs
As I consume tremendous sums
I push the food beyond my gums
With filthy-food-encrusted thumbs
Spaghetti-O’s a bag of fries
The promises to me all lies
A week’s worth full of useless tries
The ride to work and two more pies
I drive my car to foreign towns
Hit bakeries and make the rounds
My secret life of pie and pounds
Alone with just the chewing sounds
By Dennis Tkon Copyright 2006
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Sometimes, the best thing we can do is just let the ego hold the pen and have at it. My ego has been a royal pain in the ass lately. So I thought I’d let my “self” sit this one out and see just what my ego had to say, if given his own voice. The results were surprising and can be viewed below.
“There is no greater Sin after the seven deadly than to flatter oneself into an idea of being a great poet.”
“Another and unexpected development in modern poetry is that writing the damned stuff is now often more popular than reading it. Poetry has become the favorite nostrum or therapy in this narcissistic age. I have looked into the matter carefully and can report that there are now 2,578,000 more poets in the United States, Argentina, and the Western Isles of Scotland than there were thirty-five years ago.”
For a wonderful treatment of the above subject, and a thoroughly enjoyable review of what’s wrong with poetry today, may I suggest you read the Worden Report.
Here’s my ego-laden poem – It’s a fun jab at myself, but believe me, I very much needed to say this! All I can say now is that after I wrote this, I feel so much more honest.
It's All About Me!
I am an egomaniac
my “I” did say to me
Admiring every syllable
In blissful reverie
My opinion, this night’s headline news
supplants the cataclysmic
Of course! But what would
you expect from one so narcissistic?
Arise the Sun! Be still the Moon!
The Earth turns as I say
The stars dance ‘cross the heavens
In my grand celestial play
My inventions go un-patented
No fear of duplication
Nor can I spare a moment
out of my self-adoration
I needn’t say I love you
For such words are insincere
Besides we both know who among us
I do hold most dear
Excuse my lack of humbleness
But apparently I suffer from
An ego-sized inflation
Be gone all those who criticize
I will not be diminished!
By now I guess you’ve figured out
my therapy’s not finished
By Dennis Tkon Copywrite 2006
I unscrewed the top of my head today
Just for fun
Placed my dome carefully on the table
Fished around with a tiny teaspoon
You wouldn’t believe what I found in there
My first dog’s name
A linoleum floor I don’t recognize
The one egg my dad ever cooked for me
The textured pattern of my grandmother’s carpet
A garden where dead things grew
The incident with the crutch
The window I broke and lied about
And things too horrible to admit
I screwed the top of my head back on
By Dennis Tkon Copyright 2006
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Underneath a foot path worn
Quickly loves first kiss forgotten
For this love though do not mourn
Eyes now open light first seeing
Skies of teal, so heather blue
Turn the page on love now fleeting
Look back not lest you review
Come upon the broken hearted
Coiled up where love once sprung
Bonds that joined now long since parted
Echoes faintly love’s bell rung
Do in time think to remember
Chance perhaps will come along
Soft still glowing loves red ember
Dash a crimson rose love song
Monday, October 30, 2006
Why not just one donut? Was it necessary to eat two this morning on my way to therapy, after I had promised myself that I would behave starting today? It was a new week God damn it! One would have been plenty – but two brought me closer . . .
I close my eyes and breathe in slowly through my nose and hold my breath – remembering the rush, the slow descent, the tide of calm rising within me, carrying me away from this godforsaken place as the drugs fulfill their intended purpose – their only purpose. I let the air in my lungs grow stale. My cells innocently protesting this unexpected deprivation. I let the feeling mature – it delivers its own pseudo-high. Again I crave more. Closer.
I’m disgusted at my weakness. Feeding a hunger not of my gut, but of my soul. An insatiable hunger to know you God, now that I’ve glimpsed your face, felt your touch, know your love. But the cage I occupy provides so little room – barely enough for a man to breathe, the crushing press of its bars a constant reminder of the price of ignorance. A sentence without forgiveness - the price of choices made blind to your love. I pray for my release daily. I pray that I may celebrate the love and compassion, which fill me in this tiny space – my corner, my universe.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
But not today. There’s too much work to do. I hear you! Work can wait, it will still be there, but perhaps your passion may be fleeting! But then therein lies the dilemma. If I set work aside to write, there is a cost – the consequence of unfinished business. And when I do write, knowing that it is not leisurely creates tremendous pressure – so little time, your words must be perfect – Hurry! I rush my thoughts onto the paper and take no pleasure in what’s written. Of course it is not good. What did you expect?
I dream of a day when I'll wake up, alone. A writing desk in the corner. Paper. Pens. Time. Solitude. Amen - my prayer for today.
Monday, October 23, 2006
I summered in your garden
before life happened
There, on the hill by the lake
There were no other gods yet
Your door, open
Love spilled out
across the grass
I did not drink deeply
there on the hill
Dark clouds gathered
The voice of false gods
on the breeze
Outside the garden
a season of rain
Love’s compass fast
Empty circles turned
And you waited for me
There, on the hill by the lake
The grass strong
in your garden
Above your door
by D. Tkon Copyright 2006
Friday, October 20, 2006
Vacant lands I've crossed before.
Desolate, unyielding, unforgiving of the unforgiven.
All paths converge here in this moment of insignificance.
The ultimate decision begs definition,
yet to be constructed from a universe without choice.
Silence mocks emptiness.
Emptiness breaks silence with a triumphant cry of despair.
Echoing off of nothing, witnessed only by the moment itself.
The door slowly swings open, moved by forces unseen.
Momentum's pull beckons, tugging at my limbs without regard
for my need to cling.
The door closes silently behind me.
The moment having passed below the threshold of my awareness.
All is as it was before.
Indeed, I was there all the time.
Two footprints mark the spot where I stood.
Memorializing my progress, ahead of those laid down before.
Yet, another moment has come to pass.
I breathe in and prepare for the crushing weight of the next approaching moment.
It grows and swells with the anticipation of its own arrival.
Fully matured, it demands acknowledgment.
I feel the urge to cling.
Before me, an open door awaits.
by D. Tkon Copyright 2006
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Its hard to compose when your ego keeps tasting the words and phrases as if they were dipped in cream. I wish I could just write about me without it being about me. My inner critic needs a vacation.
I think I'll mediate on it for a while . . .
Monday, October 16, 2006
“I’m going to die" was all I could think. It was impossible to search for a way out. The chamber was filled with junk. Every effort to move caused something heavy to fall. I found what felt like a table top or a desk. It was clear of debris, so I sat down. My heart pounded inside my chest like a drum. My lips and fingertips went numb from hyperventilating. "I'm going to die!"
I wondered how it would come. Would I die of thirst? Hunger? Was one better than the other? How long do these things take? "Oh my God! I'm going to die in here." It seemed as though I pondered my fate for a very long time. I struggled in my mind for a solution and groped the darkness for an answer. Several times I cried. I sobbed. Then I cursed for wasting water. Finally, I was quiet and so began the long process of waiting for death. I don't know how much time passed. At some point, I stopped fighting in my mind. I accepted my death . . . and I surrendered.
[Surrender is a glorious feeling. I learn this over and over again in both my wakeful life and in my dreams. Surrender is the moment when suddenly, you can breathe under water, you can fly without falling, and the crushing press of darkness is unveiled by a torch on the horizon. And so it was in my dream.]
Almost instantly, a tiny dot of light appeared far off and away. The dot offered no illumination, it just was . . . there . . . hovering. Less than the head of a pin if that's possible. I'm on my feet and moving towards it. For all I know, its a hundred miles away. As I approach, it grows larger. Still not giving off any light, just shining in and of itself. Finally I am at its source. Its just higher than my head and in front of me. I swipe at it with my hand, which connects with debris knocking it aside. More light appears. My heart is pounding again! I do it again and again, until I've cleared an area roughtly the same size as the hole I used to enter this place. The junk I've been moving was simply blocking the light, which apparently was always there. Light is flooding into the room like air. The hole is clear and I can get out if I can reach it.
Suddenly a small boy's face appears in the window. He reaches his hand in to me and effortlessly pulls me through the opening. We're standing together now in an ancient city. I don't recognize this place but I'm struck with the feeling that this place is holy. We walk through the city and come to a door that's ajar. He pushes it open and invites me in. The room is dimly lit by several candles and a small fire in an arched hearth. A family I do not know is taking a meal together at a plain wood table. A place is set for me and I join them. The dream ends.