And so we watch and so we learn/With eyes wide for our dreams to yearn

Posts tagged ‘penseive’

Having a Coke with You

Frank O’Hara

is even more fun than going to San Sebastian, Irún, Hendaye, Biarritz, Bayonne
or being sick to my stomach on the Travesera de Gracia in Barcelona
partly because in your orange shirt you look like a better happier St. Sebastian
partly because of my love for you, partly because of your love for yoghurt
partly because of the fluorescent orange tulips around the birches
partly because of the secrecy our smiles take on before people and statuary
it is hard to believe when I’m with you that there can be anything as still
as solemn as unpleasantly definitive as statuary when right in front of it
in the warm New York 4 o’clock light we are drifting back and forth
between each other like a tree breathing through its spectacles

and the portrait show seems to have no faces in it at all, just paint
you suddenly wonder why in the world anyone ever did them

I look
at you and I would rather look at you than all the portraits in the world
except possibly for the Polish Rider occasionally and anyway it’s in the Frick
which thank heavens you haven’t gone to yet so we can go together the first time
and the fact that you move so beautifully more or less takes care of Futurism
just as at home I never think of the Nude Descending a Staircase or
at a rehearsal a single drawing of Leonardo or Michelangelo that used to wow me
and what good does all the research of the Impressionists do them
when they never got the right person to stand near the tree when the sun sank
or for that matter Marino Marini when he didn’t pick the rider as carefully as the horse

it seems they were all cheated of some marvelous experience
which is not going to go wasted on me which is why I am telling you about it

And in reading this I know that I love you. That the mere minutes, every shred of time I have been blessed enough to have, to know you, watch you smile and hear you laugh, are never going to lessen in value for me. You are golden, beautiful, human masterpieces, flawed and real and vivid and confusing. And I love you. I will always love you, all of you, and I will never stop thanking the stars for the chance I had, to know you.

The underlined parts are the parts that I most found moving and profound, just because it seems poetry can be read either as a whole, or as a collaboration of words seeking to connect with others who feel something as well.

I hope that maybe, maybe, you felt something, too.



Travel: It Changes You

You know when people ask you how something has changed your life? And expect a nice, 100 word answer? Hehe, sometimes it isn’t so simple 😛
Because the thing that people don’t realize is,  is the fact that travelling has been one of the defining elements of my entire life. Literally, I had crossed 2 continents before I’d reached my second birthday. The first few years of a child’s life massively influences them in every way, studies have proven it. Babies imprint on people, things and places, whether they remember or not. My feelings towards a Russian refugee who helped my parents with me during the first 6 months of my life are inexplicably deep, tenderness to that only a handful of my blood family share. In the way some kids grew up in a city or rural town with their close family, I grew up with misadventures across Hong Kong and China, St Petersburg and Amsterdam, Turkey and Portugal.

Winter in Edinburg Scottish Highlands Loch Ness Edinburgh Castle

Kids start primary school with a few friends from the neighborhood, I began feeling foreign and strange, missing my best friend from Edinburgh. In the way the old folks have kick-knacks on shelves that “No, don’t touch that, it’s fragile” we have Zambian wooden carvings, Russian dolls, Indian drums and Moroccan cushions. It was much as part of our family as religion is to others’. Just as my family settled down, and Time in Oz > Time Overseas, and our world shrank to ours and the neighboring state and travelling became a distant dream, we took off for 2 months in Indonesia. My sister and I, who barely remembered more than lingering fragmented memories of Before, truly discovered budget travelling with a backpack. It completely opened our eyes, our conscious minds, to how wonderfully easy it all was, to catch a plane or a boat or a bus to wherever your finger landed on a map. Especially if you took the cheapest option and paid attention when the locals started haggling. Not only was this incredible adventure more economical, it was more real. We learnt the language and met people and went to the least-visited tourist sights. I think it had the most effect on my littlest sister, who was 3 the first time, 6 the second. We made sure to show her, when we flew over the coast of Darwin, to explain how we weren’t in Australia anymore, and she took to it all like a duck to water. Watching your country fade by, with the scuttle of clouds under sky more impossibly blue than you’ve ever seen before…it gives you a profound message of exactly how small the world really is, how easy it is to find your place in a brand new city with fragmented communication – smelling and hearing and seeing things more vividly than you thought possible. Your senses go into overdrive when you travel, you learn to drop ingrained expectations and habits, to adapt to new (or less) road rules, to manners and reactions in everyday interactions, to savor everything that is new, different or even slightly the same.

Kid by the Boats Lush Greenery at 70 km/h Classic Architecture in Bali
And this is doubly the case when one travels by oneself to the other side of the world. To be completely alone, and completely free, in a completely alien environment…it is one of the most incredible and indescribable life changing experiences. When everything, down to the weeds in the cracked pavement, the direction of traffic, the language on the tv’s, the clothes, the music, the buildings and the weather are utterly brand new, the metaphor of soaking things in on a wonderful family holiday is akin to playing in the rock pools and then being swept out to the ocean in a storm. You see so much, you don’t have time to absorb a fraction of what you’re hearing, everything that was your bedrock of support – lost at sea. It’s a psychological onslaught combined with an ecstatic sensory input. The textiles and aromas from crafts that are a blend of Incan and European worlds, ocean, sierra, rainforest and desert climates – waterfalls and glaciers that went thousands of meters in every direction.

Living with teenagers who only knew a tiny square of the universe, so small and yet so rich with heritage and history, showing clearly in their eyes and their blood. And then there were others, explorers like myself, who understood the joy of flight and the thrill of travel – and bonding with them, sharing our adventures with like-minded spirits, together from so many places in a moment of coincidence. It was 12 months of magic, 2012; a Balinese Christmas and a germanic Argentine Easter, India on the phone and Bolivia across the river, where I never stayed in the same place for more than 8 weeks solid, travelling from almost the Antarctic circle to within the tropic of Capricorn…and when I went home, my world shrank to a 50 km radius. Ire turned back to my secure family, friends who had never left the city and going to the beach 15 minutes away a special occasion.
Skyline of my beloved Cordoba The Igazu Falls. Sheer awe-inspiring magnificence. 300 year old remnants of spanish missionaries Buenos Aires at night Bariloche, in the foothills of the Andes Los Caballeros celebrating in the Intersection La Boca, Buenos Aires The Puerto Marino Glacier, in all it's icy glory Northern Markets in the Hills of Salta Guitarists that we were, in a cross-cultural group session

When you travel, you are bombarded by the majesty of the chaotic life on earth, until you learn to adjust your sails and navigate the winds of the universe. Your mind expands more, than you ever thought possible, to span oceans and languages and cultures – you see how much more there is to the world. How much more there is to living.


To run, to fly, far away
To seek it out, another day
To drop this idle stillness dead
To flee its ever growing dread
For I am not a tree of stone
I grow not roots, I only roam
Escaping darkness and the pain
Wash it away in foreign rain

I never know what cometh yet
Wide-eyed I watch, in a way forget
Living in the speedy life
Of things to come, avoiding strife
Avoiding bonds that break & bend
Attachments that hurt /you/ when they end
From it I run, seek fresher air 
It cannot hurt me if I don’t care

And so I dance in days to come
Escaping the terrible tedium
I daren’t reflect, for suffering
And tearing pain my heart tugging
Will drag me down to a level more
Mundane; feet on a dirty floor
Who could abide such stagnant air?
When whole worlds await out there?

Run forever and run some more
Never look back at what was before
Until the scars have faded to be
A little more than memory
The little box of regret will grow
What’s done is done, and on we go
To find a something new to face
To run from life, ‘cross time and space


Teenagers. We’re all searching for something, finding something to search for in that time between being a ‘kid’ and being ‘grown-up’. Something changes inside us, something seems to be missing, lacking, empty, not right. It doesnt matter who we are or where we are in life. Sure, we can think that, but if you really look around, really, we all are the same. So alone together, bound together and breaking apart, like a shoal of fish in the ocean, a swirling mass of individuals fighting and searching for something, within ourselves or in the world around us. Some people search for love, for intimacy, for success where they were taught by their parents and teachers that it matters. Some fight for a cause, rebel against the laws structured around us, searching for a better time, place. Others look for that place in booze, in drugs, in sex, in fighting, on the internet or buried within other worlds, striving to be different, to find that utopia our senseless souls promise us exists, to fill the hole we sense inside, around us, as we awaken, like butterflies blinking blearily only just learning how to see and feel the world around us, emerging from the chrysalis.

The greeks had a legend, saying that when humanity was made we had two heads, four arms and four legs. But when the gods saw how incredible these being were they were afraid, and cut the in half and now people spend their entire lives searching for their other half. Which some people do. But just look at our society. Our lives don’t have perfect fittings beginnings, ends, or halves. Too many divorces and broken marriages to pretend – if humans were made to have true-life partners, we would have been monogynous like penguins. Fall in love, boom, thats it, your life has just been signed, sealed and delivered. But we’re not. We don’t find that perfect match as soon as puberty finishes messing with our bodies. We don’t – we keep searching, trying boundaries, testing and exploring unknown waters, searching for Something Better. Its what makes us human! Some may argue that they don’t look, they stick with what they’ve got. Thats still, finding, making, trying to create something better, with what’s in front of their eyes or how their eyes view whats in front of them. Always trying to find It.

But what is it? This thing we crave, unknowingly throughout our life. Some seek it in fulfilment, in actions and deeds and achievements. Others call it God, or variations thereupon. Love, joy, cheap thrills, danger, adrenaline, enlightenment… but when your heart rate returns to normal, its gone. A memory, a fading glow inside. So back we go, like wildebeest, trekking across the savanna to that unvisionable destination as the predators attack periodically as we stray across their territory, heedless of dangers, if only we can reach that perfect paradise that somehow we’re so certain of its existence. Fighting, living, thriving, searching, testing, daring, trying, questioning, breathing. What for? Why should we? What is the point? Because we are human, and that is what makes us what we are. “Fumbling in the darkness with unseeing eyes” – and yet still searching, because our souls tell us that there is more. More for us, more of life, more meaning and feeling and fullness.

Now, I may be just a teenager, thinking naive wandering thoughts;

Discussing such ponderous things as death and eternity, reincarnation, matamphychosis, libertinism, suicide. Pretending that the books we read were nothing to the ones we would write ourselves one day. Talking of life as if we had experienced it to the core.

But, still. Its my mind and its our world and maybe, if we think and share and speculate enough, maybe, maybe, we could understand a little more, and see the world a little clearer. Maybe 🙂

Growing Up

Do you know what’s interesting? How people grow up. How people think. Just, imagining back when you were 7 or so. (For some that’ll be merely a handful of years, for others the dinosaurs were still evolving :P) But, remember how grown-up you felt? Like you were big and could handle anything. And then when you were 12. Leaving primary school/being in middle school and starting to look at boys and going out and doing things by yourself. Most definitely grown up. And looking at the 7 year old babies, how so much less mature they were. And then there’s you now, at whatever age you happen to be in. To quote Andrew Blake who probably quoted it off someone else, “You’ve never been as old as you are today.” or something like that. And it’s true. Things happen in your life, over the years, change your mind and how you perceive the world.

We, as individuals, are constantly changing, the same way a teenage boy is constantly growing – and although its difficult to measure in small doses, and easier to see after large intervals of time. I think maybe that’s part of the reason teenagers get so cocky; because they’re thinking new thoughts with bigger, opener minds, and they can see that they are, and how much more similar they are, and independent, from the ‘Adults’. So, they start thinking that they’ve matured Enough, and that they should be treated the same as The Grown Ups. I don’t blame them, everybody wants to be important, independent and treated like a grown up – even 7 year olds. But that’s the thing I’ve been coming to realize. It’s not that simple. There isn’t ever any stopping point, a marker that says Done. There’s always something more, wisdom experience or understanding, that matures you that much more. Think about the Adults in the world around you – sometimes, they too have nofuckingidea what to do, what to say, or what the solution is to the curveball life’s thrown at them. 😛

It’s like those head-spinning physics theories, about 7th and 8th + dimensions. They could quite plausibly exist, but it’s incredible hard to imagine the idea of existing with extra dimensions, simply because we have no idea what it could possibly be like. Our minds cannot fathom an idea it has never encountered, it can’t imagine something so alien to anything it knows. There’s been examples made, of 2 dimensional and three dimensional worlds, but for more modem world examples; try and ask a lifelong nun to describe the sensation of French kissing. Or a man to describe the pain of giving birth. Or even a child who has lived on a farm inland all her life to describe the ocean in all 5 senses. It’s impossible. Not their fault at all, and I’m sure there are things a celibate nun has experienced that a boy-happy teen party girl hasn’t. But that’s the great conundrum of life really, getting more, be it experience or wisdom or understanding. Or maybe I’m just an a-typical Ravenclaw 😛

Back to the point though – we can’t imagine anything beyond what we’ve already experienced. So how can we imagine or be any wiser or more mature than we already are? Simply put, time. Just keep living, living life to the full, living and experiencing as much to the full as you can. And accept that there’s still more, that there’s always things you don’t yet understand. Yet.

Seasons Change

One of my most recent poems that I’m rather fond of. Can you be fond of your own work? It’s sorta a watered-down word for proud, I suppose. 😛

Seasons come and seasons go
These flowing currents, where do they go?
A gradual change so grand it seems
Winter summer autumn spring
A transition of such extremes
How can we measure such a thing?
In clocks and rules and meters fair?
How does it go? It doesn’t care

And so we watch and so we learn
With eyes wide for our dreams to yearn

Seasons come and seasons go
Time passes as energies flow
The little minutes tick slowly by
As the earth turns in its might
Yin and yang twists in the sky
As day is taken by the night
And I can only dream and sigh
Worlds of the past live in my eye

And so things change from past to now
Only to watch, we wonder how

Seasons come and seasons go
In worlds they swelter while others snow
Leaves of brown sink to the earth
And dust-trails dance apon the breeze
While I watch new green life give birth
In rains of lands beyond the seas
Worlds revolve beyond what we know
Lead from the start how seasons go

And so things blossom and branches grow
Laden with gifts of fruit or snow

Seasons come and seasons go
And so life turns, ever so slow
Lives in parallel they dance
In chill and heat, in wind and land
We must seek out given the chance
To find new shores on which to stand
And learn the variance of place
Contrasting life through time and space

And so we rest and so we fly
Until all ends and seasons die