For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move. ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

Monday, 18 October 2010

Junk Head

Ok, ok, just one more poetry post! You’re right. It's fun! I’ve found a couple of haiku I wrote in January on the Camino:

Lost in the darkness / Suddenly / The moon’s my lamp light

I come and I go / Where am I? / Outside looking in

And here’s one I wrote just now:

Restless for a rest / Still my tired feet trudge on / Arriving nowhere

I like verse which seems light but has a more serious undertow (EE Cummings was very good at this). My final poem I also wrote on the Camino – when I had plenty of opportunitites to get inside my head, if only to escape the relentless downpours…

Inside My Head

I went inside my head today.
It was a funny place.
I came across all kinds of junk.
It was a real disgrace.

Some half-digested theories
Were lying all around,
With long-forgotten queries,
The answers never found.

And lots of lovely words were there
Though most had not been said,
And heaps of intellectual books
But most of them unread.

Some much-distorted memories,
Some photos from the past,
Some childhood fears and hang-ups
Which were never meant to last.

Some poems learnt by heart at school
Were written on the wall,
But all the stuff I did at work
I couldn't see at all.

An empty pack of Number Six,
A bottle of cheap wine,
A little piece of dope, unsmoked,
From nineteen sixty-nine.

Poor Jimmy H, and Jerry G,
And Janis Joplin too,
Were jostling for the centre stage
Until they fell right through.

An effigy of Buddha
And a wise koan of Zen
Were stacked neatly in the corner
Should I visit them again.

One day I'll get a card index
And classify the lot,
But on the other hand I might
Just let them all go rot.

I went inside my head today.
It was a funny place.
I found so many things but
Of myself there was no trace.

12 comments:

Friko said...

I am incredibly moved by your 'in your head' poem.
Such a crowded place, full of icons of the past; look again, and you will find yourself in there too.

Bonnie said...

wonderful! ... and i agree with friko ...

Luiza said...

What a moving poem this is SW. Could be inside my head if we switched Joplin et al for Alabama, Garth Brooks and Alan Jackson. :)

Ruth said...

Your haiku lead the way into this Inside My Head poem so well. Very nice they are.

I so relate to the"long-forgotten queries" and unspoken words, "half-digested theories". I'm trying to do something about that these days, and really sit down with some things that matter to me. I agree with Friko though, that you are in there. But I think I know what you mean too. We are not just the sum of the things rattling in our heads!

The Solitary Walker said...

Yes, I think relics and shadows and fragments of 'myself' are in there... but I'm different now from then. And, as Ruth hinted at so astutely, we are more than the sum of our thoughts, memories and physical/mental accumulations.

Caroline Gill said...

Great idea! ... and I enjoyed the Haiku, too.

Tramp said...

Yes, a fun but earnest piece.
Keep walking, SW.
It's like peering into the loft.
...Tramp

Pauline said...

well, you're not much tidier than I - this made me chuckle. Glad to learn you didn't clean it all up and neaten everything. A little clutter is good for the soul ;)

George said...

You haven't heard from me for several days because I've been on the road, tending to a few of life's issues. In any event, I want you to know that the camino poem is very thought-provoking. Looking back over the past sixty-eight years, I see myriad fragments, most of which I value greatly. What are we to do with these fragments? Is life fragmented by nature, in which case we should just accept it and be done with it, or is there some need to find wholeness? I don't know. Perhaps these are just random morning thoughts.

Rachel Fox said...

I like 'Inside'. You could tweak it a little here and there for maximum impact but verses 3, 5 and 6 are really good and I like the end too.

Like you I'm keen on poems which seem light but are really anything but.
x

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks for all these comments. I don't know the answer to the question you pose, George. Except to say that, yes, our minds are storehouses of precious fragments - and also fragments of stuff we would rather forget, which we 'put to the back of our minds'. I think we can however strive for wholeness, for a unity to all the things in our life - both good and bad things, successes and mistakes, joys and sorrows, the whole lot. Zen can help us discover this unity by, paradoxically, stressing and giving value to the very fragmentary nature,randomness, fleetingness, craziness - and, in fact, 'naturalness' of it all.

Dominic Rivron said...

It's amazing we have room for it all.

I might write my own version just to see what it throws up.