Pocket of Pure Being & Other Poems
By Kurt Abraham
191 pages … quality paperback … $18.00
“Poetry,” the author writes on the back cover, “has the unique task of giving form to the essence by creatively revealing, through a distilled simplicity, the elusive spirit of things.”
This series of 191 poems carries one from the pocket of pure being of early childhood, to the lion in the desert of searching youth, to the realization that sharing is not in lizard veins, to the filling of the flowering cup, to how else would you know love, to being right is not the winning, to the seeing of the being, to who is this who speaks with wordless words, to meeting the fiddler across the bridge, to lifting the yoke and dragging the stone, to the creep of age, which all concludes in a riddle.
POCKET OF PURE BEING
One finds hints of a calling
in guarded silent corners of one’s being.
One would not call it “mind” at the early age.
Neither would a lad in the cinders call it Soul.
The Pocket of Pure Being grows
not quite like limbs, not like the common sort of knowing—
the stuff that grown-ups make such a fuss about.
Grown-ups or grown-downs—
the child begins to wonder,
though not exactly in those terms.
Teachers go a-striding the playground
like some prehistoric raptors.
History and fairy tales start to come alive.
Secret pockets, magnifying glasses, shells, pretty stones,
maps of buried treasure, pieces of twine.
Whether such treasures actually still exist
is beside the point,
just as Santa Claus requires no analysis.
The proof is in the presents and the season.
It all makes wonder-filled sense.
All collectibles in the child’s secret pockets,
which one either grows into, making it larger still,
or grows out of,
becoming a pedestrian little fellow.
To be in the Pocket of Pure Being
is to be at any age in the Age of Something
All the seasons come and go
yet something remains to have and to hold,
remembering the child who was no child
and the adult who has not grown old.
THE NIGHT JANITOR
The Night Janitor went about his chores
cleaning the professor’s hamster cage,
wondering, just what does the professor see—
a rodent getting some exercise,
or ivory towers and the mental squeeze?
A subtle game the Academics play—
the atmosphere can be close and stifling.
Move an inch forward, and a mile back.
Although cheery still with a government grant.
Thunder in the desert for lonely chaps.
Squirrels gather nuggets and the rabbits hide.
Caged hamsters run like they’re trying to fly.
The sweet smell of wide open spaces—
frightening to the hamster used to the cage.
Central heating’s better than snow and rain.
Or is it now, the Janitor pondered,
pushing his broom with a heavier sigh.
What would come first? He began to wonder:
A professor who risked the loss of his wage,
or a wide open door and an empty cage?
Knowing sometimes follows upon seeing
the vertical in the horizon.
The ninety degree angle
frictions into little polarized sparks.
There goes another in deep consternation,
or kicking and screaming
as if Fate had brought ill luck.
But on occasion the whelk-like cosmic spiral
can be seen whirling into the commonplace.
After all, where there is no vertical
there is extension—mile upon maze.
Here, if you chalk your way with coded glyph,
you might finally recognize a certain familiarity,
although scenes change.
A moment quivering—
not exactly a déjà vu,
and then either the familiar return of maze circling
or the courage to take
one of the filtering onion-like peels
and will it free—
seeing then in that much
of a less mirrored way.
OF MICE AND LITTLE MEN
Why self-constrict around a single book
As if God’s Universe were confined
To a lone egg in a very tiny basket.
No roses are strewn along that weedy floor.
Makes sense only to mice and little men.
Waste not the light of another dawning hour.
Time to set sail for a far distant shore.
Time to loosen the reins on the old grey plug.
Time to climb one‘s very own thread
And leave the herd feeding at the same old trough.
Time to hatch the egg and indeed be born again
Before the white coats come and carry you off.
Action is in the doing.
Thought is in the thinking.
Warmth is in the loving.
But the Will—the Will—
Is the acorn lying on the ground.
The Seed is in the rearing.
Mother’s tears are in the watering
Father’s love is in the shining.
But the Will—the Will—
Is the sapling hardly to be found.
The Tree is in the standing.
The View is in the blessing.
The Life is in the spreading.
But the Will—the Will—
Is squirrel burying acorns by the pound.
Mother Truth has a tale to tell—
how very patient this nest-building bird,
sitting long cold hours to keep another warm,
cherishing another’s silent will to stir.
Truth so sits on one’s own incubating head,
waiting for another kind of a new born cry.
Mother Truth’s eye is on her own impending wish
during all those demanding kicks and sighs.
Waiting long for one to finally ask the Way.
Infinite her patience might as well be—
Patient friend is Mother Truth indeed
for such slow learners as the likes of you and me.
PIPER OF DRIED UP GULCH
The question that never comes occurs
In the town of people who never know.
Children somehow do survive,
Growing up and growing old,
Where people never know to ask
And never ask enough to know.
It’s all pretty much a toss-up—
Everywhere there’s need to know.
Needs spring up like cockroach armies,
Ants and termites begin to show.
Ill winds blowing raise no questions
where some news comes but is always old.
Come, let one call the Piper.
See the landlocked, bleak, and dull.
Whistle a waft of waving willows
Blowing scents from distant shores.
But who’s to call and lure the Piper?
And who’s to hear lamenting songs?
Should the drawing luck just happen
Pulling words from dying oaks,
Should some old and clownish Mayor
Swagger peacock to the fore,
Grinning childlike crunching numbers
Counting fingers, hands, and toes,
And should the podium pounding Mayor
Ask Who and Whence and How and Wither,
Shivering like an iceberg breaking river,
While dropping hammer to the floor,
Then weep we must for Piper piping
Gloomy tunes through jailhouse doors.
Restless is where restless wants
to find some peace where peace is not.
Peace is where the wants are few
but the need to give is restless too.
Restless is the empty cup
and restless is the filling up.
Peace descends when love provides
both ebb and flow of every tide.
Good Citizen—red tape hoops and loops
never bothered you as long as you could leave
walk free of any need to salute click heels
pledge oaths of smiling cheese, indeed,
one’s heart goes out and wonders
of files in cyber carts and bureaucrats
with benefits too good to lose to drop.
“Good Citizen,” the politician cries.
Now there’s the joke of party lines.
Ignorance itself is welcomed bliss
compared to subterfuge of tricks
thick enough to launch a fleet of ships
while stuffing full some well-heeled trips
for those who smugly tip the girls
who bring the drinks who wear the pearls.
Good Citizen, a mother once told
a wish and now a herd of rascals bold
enough to grab to hold to squeeze the life
of those who vote and pay each toll
sucked down the bottomless rabbit hole
when all the time their smug stale speech
is hardly worth the space to reach
across the aisle of painful breach.
Oh, Good Citizen—and mother—the one
who raised the boy who once shipped out
waved from deck to shore, smiling now
the grin that’s etched on heart and space
worth more than trip to flowered grave.
No life’s worth that worthless run,
as mother holds in thought her only son.
Good Citizen, you are not alone.
Your son in heaven hears heart’s note.
Your love sounds when all guns go out.
You stand now and you know this—
Those who pound podiums loud with fists
failing to see life’s sacred bliss
thinking of themselves in history books
will fade while your love lives and proves
who stands on hill who thrives who rules.
Oh, Good Citizen, be thou strong
enduring as hard as the day is long—
Chains of egos fashioned small
cowboy generals revolving doors
insider skills with money galore
like packrats with a secret hoard
recede now retreat, as silence falls
while mothers are now standing tall.
Mother’s heart is a funny thing
with its tiny small yet cosmic ring—
that knows so well the inside out
of hidden arks that float and soar
where wings brush gently on the door—
Welcome, Good Mother, strength of things,
Welcome, Good Citizen, the Chorus sings.
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