Philosophy, poetry

the old man and the boy

an old man walks
along the rocky
road of an orchid

he carries a silent staff
amber eyes drink the
severed psyche of the boy
he sits down to watch

– come and listen
he beckons the boy
naive feet beat
against the ground

– it’s the sound of a frog
wizard like wind whistles
through hair and bones

the boy fidgets
baby rabbit brain
inside young man muscle

– it’s the sound
of your warrior
a damp dialect dribbles
from his throat

– huh?
childhood chaos unfolds
vacant voices shift
in virgin ears

an old hand
ploughs through
knots in his beard

– cry like a man
burn with regret
listen to angst unwind
in your bones

he says

 

PhilosopherPoet

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Philosophy, Prose

into the jungle

It was the first night. I was in a car with three three other men. We were greeted by a dark skinned, 6 foot tall behemoth. His beard hung from his face like a heavy scroll. He bent down. He peered into the car with abyss-black eyes. The first thing I noticed were the tight leather gloves cloaking his hands, ripe for a killing. Continue reading

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poetry

magician

spices scatter
hand twitches
mushrooms jostle like
coins in a purse

he skips around the stove
– every minute is theatre
he wields a wooden spoon
with wand-like intensity

aroma oozes into the room
heart thunders in ribcage
eyes flicker and fold between
ingredients & mayhem

– a fine meal is like drinking
mead with the gods
he told a friend

now rice pours on to the plate
like course notes from an hourglass
he hums a song
it flashes through the steam
the somber notes fall down
arranged in empathy

 

 

PhilosopherPoet

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poetry

reflection

there’s a long road ahead
headlights vibrate news back
to me through the windows
and contours of night

there’s a raindrop kissing the glass
it feels heavy underneath
fragile eyes and folded hands

something’s gotta give
make room for the aftermath

 

PhilosopherPoet

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Rantings

Canadian nuances – Part 2: Worshipping the sun

I arrived in a miserable, rain swept country. In the first four months I was stuck in a job I took out of sheer desperation. I woke up in the dark, left on the bus at dawn, and watched the lethargic sun rise out of the horizon. I worked in a hardware store all day. Often on my lunch hour I had to wade through the angry rain and the frigid air into the toasty Tim Hortons a block away. Sometimes a single slurp of coffee and the sugary bite of a doughnut can kindle a little more life in your eyes.

After six months I began to realize the reason Canadians love their coffee. It feels like a weapon in the cold weather. A swig of magic potion to banish the evil spirits swirling in the wind. I quickly started to figure out that using coffee shops as landmarks helps you learn the layout of a city. Another thing I figured out…winter was miserable.

Some say that hindsight is perfect sight. Looking back at myself in the first Vancouver winter, part of me thought β€œOh shit, this is forever.” I’m now writing this in my second winter and the fondest memories I have were sitting outside in the sun on my lunch break. I remember my step mother sending invisible prayers into the sky, asking the sun to come back. Ok, she wasn’t actually praying, although I could feel the urgency in her voice whenever she spoke of it.

For some reason I denied missing the sun at first. Perhaps, I felt stress from too many other areas in my life. Now that the sea of stress is slowing down to a trickle, I can process more of the details that were so bewildering to me in the beginning. I can be a little more honest with myself at the same time. Ladies and Genitals, here it is…I crave the sun.

Allow me to rewind the storyline a little… I’m from Durban, South Africa. For those unfamiliar with the place it has amazing weather. The sun is as plentiful there as the rain is in Vancouver. It’s not the safest city in the country, but if you took away the crime it’s very close to being a warm, balmy, idyllic one. You have very warm and wet summers, and cool dry winters. The summers were way too hot and humid for me, but one thing I now realize is the sun was always around.

The sun (in South Africa) felt like an angry mother-in-law. In comparison the sun in British Columbia feels like an excitable nephew. In Durban if you stayed outside for too long in summer you’d often get burnt, maybe even garner a few blisters in the process. In Vancouver you stay out too long…the most you’ll get is a bigger smile on your face.

My advice to other immigrants can be summed up in three words…it gets better. It really does. In my second winter I no longer feel hopeless because I now have the radiant memories of summer swimming inside me. I have fantasies of lying in the sun, soaking it up again. While I write this and have multiple sun-fuelled braingasms, I’m reminded of a memory…

It happened last summer. Having just arrived home from work I took the graphic novel I had been reading and took a short walk to the local park, about 5 minutes away. Once there I sat in the balmy sun and read for a bit. It turns out my brain was too weary to read a great deal, so I closed my book and lay down on the grass. I closed my eyes and began to listen to the fragments of chatter all around me. It seemed like I lost track of time after a while. It must’ve been about an hour I was lying there. What stuck me afterwards was that β€œhalf sleepy half calm” feeling that seeps down into your bones. Some memories are worth listening to, this is one of them.

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poetry

visitors

his face is an alloy
he keeps his dreams
buried under the
enamel coat he wears
for unconscious
visitors

tonight is different
he writhes in the
stagnant sheets
with a hollow head
thoughts bounce
inside and echoes cascade
into archetypes holding
his stare and turning
the prayer shaped
hands into fists

only strangers can tame
a swollen psyche
it feels like a bruise
but heals under
a canter of laughter

hours will
tell you its time
to rest and let
the kernels of misery
climb out your spiderlike
hair

follow the purr
of the shadows where
the thrum of journal music
collects folds chuckles
whirls twitters and pours
into the pliant chamber
in his skull
tremors and calm
daggers evanesce
much like the tea
that wakes him

the soft milk
glides over
the soldier spoon
chemicals coalesce
his eyes newspaper
the events

the headlines rinse his thoughts
and stay as a reminder like
that gypsy laundry laughing
in the backyard

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poetry, Reviews

winter succubus. | WritersCafe.org

she ekes at my psyche 

trailing icy fingerprints
through the hallways of my heart,
while whispering the truths that hurt –
the ones i know better
than to acknowledge…
she knows the chinks in my armour,
after all, she cut them all out
in the first place
in winter months
her thoughts hold sway
and i recede
lost
quiet
huddled within the safety
of my trusty bolthole
she prowls the perimeter
keeping watch
and while her insidious murmurs
can slide through the floorboards
or between the planks i nailed
over the only way in
(or out)
she herself is unable
to ghost her icicle touch
along my pale flesh
now if i can only hold out til spring…

Β© 2010 jenniewren (J.W. Bouwman)

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