Thursday, September 4, 2014

Morning Becomes Elektra

sculpture by auguste rodin

Morning Becomes Elektra

“If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it
--blame yourself for not being poet enough to
call forth its riches.”--Rainer Maria Rilke.

you become a septuagenarian
                     and the media is laden 
                                  with the news of the deaths
                                  of younger men;

you have served your Masters
for at least fifty years          & you are allowed to retire;

you mount some of the new technology
& put yourself out there as a person,
                                           a poet,
                                           a philosopher,
                                           a photographer,
                                           a pariah,
a gadfly, a sage, a fool, or a prankster,

you begin to see that the road ahead
                 does have a specific destination,
                 & you can almost recognize it on clear mornings;
                                            a threshold,
                                            a stargate,
                                            a hole in the ground,
                                            a nifty niche
in a stone crematorium oven, or
                 a shining city of white domes & loved ones,
                                            infinity, the key, the answer,
                 or complete darkness,
                 oblivion, emptiness, nothingness--

as the Road Behind stretches
beyond the rear horizon,
beyond memory or grasp,
                 peopled by your children & grandchildren
                 & steaming harried hordes of strangers;

you can hear the growls & howling
              of that mysterious pack of beasts
              that dog your heels, but never
show themselves.

So your only logical reasonable logistical choice
                                is to passionately couple 
              with the Moment,
              with each new breath, finding sweet inspiration
within the mere awakening into each new day,
eagerly seeking out pods of your personal Joy;
               the cat on your lap,
               the Asian tea steaming in a red China cup,
               the electric blue of the Southern sky
around the glaciers on Mt. Rainier,
               the wind in the cluster of fat maple leaves
dancing on that hundred year old tree next door,
               the special way the morning sun creates
geometric shadow designs around your newly stained
deck railings,
               the warm memory of that kiss your younger wife
gave you as she left for work,
               the incredible taste of hand-picked tomatoes
out of your garden,
               the look & smell of your backyard lawn
after the sprinklers have soaked it, watching
               the mist that rises out of the heat
from the morning’s embrace;

then after the two hours of succor & sustenance,
you sit down at the feet of the iMac demi-god screen,
& you anxiously prepare to contact
                the cyber-community, all those folks you 
                almost love, even though
you’ve never actually met them
in every tiny corner of the globe.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over on dVerse Poets MTB FFA

Would you like to hear the author read this Rilke-inspired poem to you?


Claudia said...

smiles... it's cool how close we're connected even though living in different parts of the worlds... one of the joys in blogging... love the rilke quote - it makes a big difference if we're able to see the riches we have...the fulness... you def. see with the eyes of a poet

brudberg said...

The road behind and the shorter road ahead is written in the clear way Rilke would have loved.. and yes.. the friends we are across the globe.. I love that.

Myrna R. said...

Beautiful poem. I can relate so much. Retirement is an interesting experience and we can make the best of it. Loved how you express this.Really, really enjoyed reading this. You're such a good poet.

Brian Miller said...

i am glad you choose at the end of it all to connect because i think there is power in that....and coming to that realization as well of the importance of just embracing the moment....

Unknown said...

it wasn't until I truly felt in my heart, that I was a poet, I started to live. I declared it long before, but it was at a time where my life was mainly composed of searching for who I was... that journey takes a lifetime, but it's good to feel like you're on the right path... And ah, that's the JOY of blogging, without interaction, the web is nothing; that feeling of connection with people whom you've never met really is magnificent. And that's why I am so happy to have dverse, twitter, etc. etc. and why I make it a habit to swing by even when I don't post myself. Whether a piece is all metaphor, fiction or the happenings of yesterday/tomorrow, it is a peek into someone's heart.

Joseph Hesch said...

Ah, my friend, isn't it a wondrous world in which we live, you and I? We've seen so much and yet find we can "see" so much more in this other world where we live with all those folks we never met. I always enjoy visiting you in whatever place you live. Pacific Northwest or some dusty town in the old West.

Grace said...

Sounds like a lovely day to me, smiles ~ I am glad you keep yourself busy with writing and other activities Glenn ~ I hope to keep up with the pace & connections with my blogger friends for years and years to come ~ Thanks for this glimpse of yourself ~

Anonymous said...

The poetry your write reminds me
of Allen Ginsberg.

You made my day with this poem,
It speaks to life in so many ways that the heavens in the sky are becoming clear and shaped.

I love your use of words...You are my favorite poet my friend. :)

Mary said...

Ah yes, the older one gets the more one sees the destination ahead, and it looms ever closer. And yes, you have to savor the moment -- the fresh tomatoes in the garden & the friends near and far that one connects with on the internet. There is a certain appreciation, I think, that comes with the living.....

Katie Mia Frederick said...

Glad i was to see your name on the list as with experience and life of years comes wisdom too..when truly lives..

Now is forever..

yesterday and tomorrow..


Imagine if like other animals we can be like that staying born to live in life...

i think it's possible..when truth comes out.. life..

Sherry Blue Sky said...

WOW! My all time fave of yours. What a poem this is, Glenn! Superb, in every possible way. I love it.

Wolfsrosebud said...

first I liked the format... you packed a lifetime into those lines... ten years ago, i believe, it would have ended differently

Margaret said...

The choices we make, daily. Yes, the Rilke quote is a favorite. You really embraced the challenge - and what blessings surround you. Acknowledgement of the "longer" road behind, yet the fullness of the "shorter" road is still embraced sentiment is wonderful - and speaks to the Rilke quote - see the blessings.

Sumana Roy said...

love the Rilke quote...a very wise way to embrace life..this poem lives up to that and connects all...

lynn__ said...

Our lives are made of moments....great quote and attention to the delightful details of our (your) days.

Anonymous said...

I very much like the shape of this poem, Glenn, the use of space, and the content, of course :)

Unknown said...

A myriad of emotions here. And touching finish - the computer replaced...well, so much.

Anonymous said...

Scary good read here. A lot of people are never going to retire and they do not want to.

Abhra said...

First of all I loved that quote - smiles, very inspiring

The portrait of 70s have come out with rich details - loved it. I am thinking about my own retirement now.

Anonymous said...

It is interesting how friendships can be formed, even with those you have never met in person.

Anonymous said...

Glenn - this is a beautiful poem

Beachanny said...

You capture my thoughts perfectly - though my observations are necessarily different. I gaze on a backyard of crepe myrtle breaking through against all odds, I smile at a tent-like awning structure that will allow us to enjoy temperate days outdoors when it's complete, I listen for thunder to break the late summer heat, I speak French to the cat who only responds when I do, I make coffee in a dutch delft cup, and I sit in my parlor of Victorian furniture and my Yamaha grand and I feel like a Queen - back with my own things and memories again. Thank you Glenn for drawing us all into the love circle that our poetry group provides us these day.

Unknown said...

Glenn, thank you for sharing your riches and your poetry. I feel completely sated with all those lovely I ages and words :-)

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