About Garnet David

Musician, Muser, Part time Poet, Ruminator, INTP (Introverted, iNtuitive, Thinking, Perceiving), Capricorn, Gay, Gardener, Cat and Dog lover, Cat owner, Dilettante.

times

…times we fall through
moldy, scratchy thatch
to stiff, pine planks,
losing memory, stones
and sonnets. forgetting.

There is a strange emptiness I often feel at the first day of cool stillness in Fall. Today is overcast. The wet air leaches warmth, persistent in its chill. Persistent and immobile. It is here to stay, moving in. Memories of languid, long, endless Summer days float just beyond reach. The reality of suffering in the South is no dream, however. Their’s is aching, palpable emptiness, loss. They have no luxury of daydreams.

Yet this calm chill comforts me, reminds me all things change. It is time to recharge, request a new sheet, a clean slate. Time to move on, shift gears. Let Summer memories become the dreams they now are. Let tragedy’s lessons sink in, brand their mark on memory.

The garden outside my window is still rich with green textures. The long, fragrant, golden trumpets of Brugmansia herald (and hope for) a few more sunny weeks to come. All is not lost. But never the same.

At work I am having to work closely with those in power and money, the trustees who support my orchestra, but also control it. I used to assume they were automatically corrupted by their power, but I’m beginning to see their genuine interest in my art, in the success of my orchestra, even though I may not always agree with them. They know things about money and success I cannot know from my position. They have experience we can use. Our orchestra needs them, whether we like it or not. It’s never black and white.

Thinking of events in the world, in the US, my country, I feel frisky with a new kind of hope. The suffering of millions in the South will not be in vain. Our eyes are open. We see the chilly, calculating responses of our current administration, which seems to be more of a power machine than human leadership. And we also see the fervent, human response, the support given by millions; human responses, neither conservative nor liberal, just human. We see each other’s hearts, that we are not so different as we thought. We see where we could go if we came together to solve problems.

Our enemies are not each other. They are the power systems which corrupt and mislead. We cannot afford to be mislead. We only have each other. We only have each other and one small planet.

The chilly air settles into my bones. It’s time for action, for change. Especially since I’m late for work.

Memories

Conch/Bug shadow

Memories give us amnesia
about what we could know:
spooks telling truths
in cunningly coy
closed, secret sessions.

They wrap us in myths,
conjuring dreamy, alluring
vapid mirages
                         which may guide us-
                         beguiling as
                         stars in the distance
while receding further, further
as we approach.

Memories shatter moments
of fragile truth, (unwillingly)
drawing us
irresistibly, to their
tinseled cocoons.

They corrode love’s
fresh childish rapture with
sugar and rust
syrup and dust.

Memories lock us in
windowless rooms
as we stare longingly at
faded, curling photographs
of the way
we once wished
we once dreamed
we might have been,
but may never know-
for haunted oldness coats
new moments like thick, black grease.

Now forget all this
and peel open your heart.

I wasn’t too happy when I wrote this. I had been rejected by a long term lover. But it has a certain bitter truth to it about clinging to the past.

Seasonal Poems to Warm the Soul

Happy Winter Solstice! I may not be religious in the traditional sense, but I understand and cherish the importance of the “spirit of the season”.

As many of you know, Jesus wasn’t born in December, but his birthday was placed near the pagan Roman holiday of Saturnalia by Constantine to encourage pagans to join the church. The celebration of light and rebirth appeals to all.

Over the years I’ve written various poems for the season. Some are just ruminations on the mood, some are about the solstice, but all, I think convey universal sentiments. I’ve linked to some and printed others in a list here. Enjoy.

Poem, with photo of yellows roses in snow

Rhythms of the Seasons

Noël

Sacrificial Tree (two poems)

Jingle Ironies

A Simple Gift

Inspire Beauty

Beauty calls and yearns for your attention,
it gives rise and dimension to your soul,
a reflection of your truest goals.

Lest we forget, our hearts are fueled
by a love enduring beyond our lives.
And beauty is its chaperon,
a spark through the dark nights
on the long walk
to the light of the mountain top.

All we have is each other.

May the comfort of love be with you.

Incandescent Nectar

Poem, with photo of yellows roses in snow

Anybody read German? When Ralf and I lived together, he transtlated this poem of mine so we could print out cards for both our American and German friends. The photo is one i took of roses he gave me, which I thought looked stunning against the snow.

This poem was inspired by Rainer Maria Rilke’s Sonnets to Orpheus. His mystical style touched me deeply. I read a version which had the German and English side by side. So I picked up a little German, too.

Gulfs

Closing in is the problem.
The gulf is nauseating, the grand canyon is
filled with choppy hands reaching through the surface.
Slipping home across black ice,
one becomes an object of ridicule,
the butt of the joke, presuming so much
about tattletale fortune, bumping into lightposts
while searching for the way home.
Little barbed telescopes take notice
but hardly translate those tiny photographic crumbs
into the sieve through which your insides melt
as your breaths whittle away your body…
or like being beamed out from the inside,
particles of small gut disintegrating into gelatinous
wormcastings, mucousy, fibrous, sticky,
all evaporating into stainless steel cans
or a Ferris Wheel spinning out, or training to hover
a bit more like the spark from a match just
before it becomes fire. The incense smells familiar
filling out the scene, attaching a clear sky
and grass and some flowery warm air which is
sunned incompatibly with your white skin.
Tanning oil smells reach up, crotches wide with aches
tidal wave Romulus desires, cartilage lawns
wafting pleasant compost smells, coconut guile.
Sedentary floss for one tartar free breath
scales the icy surface under the tripod
making walking impossible. There’s only one
way, and it’s not kosher, or maybe it is. The gulf is
only a transition into deep grief, only part way,
but washing the tears away helps
to dry up the river, which in turn shrinks the gulf.
Then angels appear along the shore as the sea recedes,
quiet little creatures who barely speak
at least not directly, and they hover around
(though you think it’s all you,)
and you’re released of the burden
momentarily. They beckon
and seem to languish at your stupidity,
but they forgive you, and bear your burden for you,
they actually float it off your back onto theirs
though you usually don’t even notice.
Again, you think it’s all you,
but deep inside, you know it’s not.
It’s they and you together, making a new compound,
a new gas, which fills balloons
and floats them up into the blue coconut sky
and takes words with them into the
burning sun, the warm, vapid joy
of turning, spinning on the bottom of a top
with the center always having been there,
careening wet jalopy red chitty chitty bang bang
hills are a live, chim-chiminy banisters
and soot covered steeples, please, sir,
may I have some more, doubting thomases,
lost beavers lodged under logs, thinking
we know what we’re doing. Songs
tell us all we need to forget, but we forget to forget
after 30 seconds, or a phone call.

The ice is slippery, except where it’s not,
and anti-lock brakes give you the jitters
since there is no dress rehearsal anytime.
When the plug’s finally pulled the brakes smell
burned and all that money slips away, no value left.
But not the coconut creams, no, they
are dry by now, having salted their duty,
and stuck to those once swollen nipples
encased in lemons puckers with shy smiles,
crusty filmed, neutered embryos, maggots
writhing with life, dead to the world.
They too, pass through the sieve.
When does the butterfly drown?
How often? How often?