Monday, June 25, 2007

Monday Poetry Train #5

Sounding Central Truth 
by Joy Renee

What do you mean by denying a
Truth that is right before your eyes? 
Just because a neighbor neighs a lie 
And it seems easier to agree than to 
Say the emperor has no clothes? 
It is the naked truth that we must see 
And we must say what we have seen. 
We must retrieve the words from that 
Place where they reside, where they 
Are not yet hide-bound, where they 
Abound in unsounded musings. And 
Tell it from the crazy place where truth is. 
Write it from the dark place where light burns 
So hot it consumes itself. Where the weight 
Of reality draws real things into the 
Hole of no escape--the Event Horizon-- 
Where abide the convent of Graces 
Hidden from those who know their places, 
Who scorn play for duty, who know they are 
Safe only where none can accuse them 
Of abusing their faces by exposure 
To pleasure and beauty. Beware of 
Safety if you mean to defy the 
Word of the herd and speak from the place 
Where none worship the face. Decry the 
Lie that others live by and live to 
Conspire with Creation’s desire for 
Passion and wonder. 
Embrace the All. 
Consummate the meaning.
Sing the secret from your center.

(c) 1998-2007 Joy Renee

I wrote early versions of this poem in the late nineties as the half-decade of intensive reading in comparative religion, mythology and cosmology began to coalesce for me into the faint outlines of a new spiritual path which I could give my assent to. The early nineties had seen my painful break with the fundamentalist doctrines of my upbringing coupled with the startling realization that I had never learned to think for myself.

As I set out to learn how to think, I discovered that it wasn't only the sect I was born into that was guilty of spoon-feeding thought. The phenomena of group-think and herd mentality was everywhere from the peer-pressure at school and church to team-spirit, school spirit, patriotism, product commercials and corporate conformity. In the work-place, on the air-waves at home, church and school, and even in the halls of academia where some of the most meticulous thinking about thought was achieved, the attempt to impose boundaries on what was permissible to think and to enforce those boundaries with tactics both subtle and blatant was everywhere two or more people gathered.

This poem was rooted in my contemplation of the the complex interrelationship between conformity and creativity, between form and freedom, between composition and concept, and between the medium, the message and the mind. And let's not forget, the meeting of the minds, for the conundrum is that creativity involves bringing something new into being, which requires thinking outside the box but the only way to communicate between two minds is via a preordained (previously established and agreed upon) formula whether a language, a ritual, a culture, or a composition. And to further complicate things, these forms are constrained by the physical construct of our bodies and brains.

The title of the poem is the closest I've yet come to naming my spiritual path. Sounding central truth is my discipline for it is both passion and compass. My medium of choice is story and its components of grammar, word, rhetoric, character, conflict, climax and resolution. I seek always the epiphanic moment.

Note that all of the meanings of the word, sounding, are fully intended in the meaning of the title and the poem. Sounding as in making a noise. Sounding as in measuring depth. Sounding as in diving deep. Sounding as in touching bottom. Sounding as in testing receptiveness or comprehension. And the connotations in the word sound are here as well--sound mind and body, sound principles, sound thought, audible sound.

Thus the choice of the accompanying video of a diver swimming with whales and dolphins. Not all of the meanings of the word, sound, are reflected in there but many are and the evocative nature of its composition informs and deepens the meanings in my poem. What if your muse is like a whale that must measure the depths of Being's sea, to plunge to it's floor to feed, to rise again to breathe? How far down are you willing to follow? Past the point where the light of the known reaches and only faith and hope remain? Past the point where the lungs collapse and only the oxygen stored in the tissue remains? When your muse sings of its findings will you hear and respond? Will you find a way to transmute its song into a form that communicates beyond the boundaries in spite of the boundedness of form? If only your muse and you perceive a Truth, is it still true?

Visit more Poetry Train riders:

1. Robin L. Rotham 2. MyUtopia 3. RED GARNIER 4. Rhian / Crowwoman 5. Susan Helene Gottfried 6. Ann 7. julia

7 tell me a story:

Robin L. Rotham 6/25/2007 10:42 AM  

Holy crap, Joy! Outstanding poetry, and that post belongs in the Blog Hall of Fame. It's so right on, I can even begin to comment -- just, YES. :D Glad I dropped by.

Red Garnier 6/25/2007 2:39 PM  

WOW!!!! I loved this!!! Just makes me want to SPEAK UP AND SHOUT, truly it does!! THANK YOU FOR THE INSPIRATION, JOY. I always find that in your blog. =)

Rhian 6/25/2007 4:06 PM  

One of the aspects of your work that i enjoy so very much is the contemplative force of it and examination of the human psyche. The digging for answers, for truths. I thought this was quite the profound questions: "If only your muse and you perceive a Truth, is it still true?"

But then i completely believe truth is a relative concept. And I've recently accepted that true Art is the creative process, not the end product, no matter how loverly it may be. The end product is the weak leftovers we use to try an communicate that creative process...if that makes sense. okay - yeah - you inspired me to babble. Wandering off now, muttering to meself....

Susan Helene Gottfried 6/25/2007 4:41 PM  

I'm standing on a chair and, for a change, it's still over my little rock-and-roll head...

Ann 6/25/2007 4:50 PM  

Wonderful poem, and post. Thank you for sharing it.

Julia Phillips Smith 6/25/2007 7:04 PM  

Very thoughtful and thought-provoking post.

I really love this line from your poem:

"Just because a neighbor neighs a lie"

That is brutal! But in a good way.

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