Look past the faults.
Keep moving forward.
original content and images ©j.g. lewis
So, I make mistakes.
An oversight or three, here and there, or an error or lack of judgment can (and will) happen. My lack of foresight simply happens.
We do not learn from our mistakes, but rather we learn from the experience.
You cannot prepare yourself for all probabilities knowing a mistake is a likely possibility.
Experience comes from noticing what you are paying attention to.
Maybe this Moon
with the power it bleeds
will illuminate more
Maybe this Moon
it simply cannot forget.
Some of us will relate
while others regret.
Maybe that Moon knows
what it is all worth
and sets an example
for those looking up
from this earth.
I'm like a pencil;
Still I write.
is a writer/photographer in Toronto.
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No space, no time for indignation.
No place for pride, nor gentlemen
of such ambition.
Nothing remains safe or sacred
in the mesh of sound bites and
Nothing is permanent.
Except for the scars. Nothing is
everything and then
not at all.
It is all about the power.
All concepts requiring brave
thought overshadowed by a
recklessly tending to so many.
Politics, like commerce, once an
honorable vocation. Now a lowly
We continue watching, transfixed.
Withered victims writhe upon society’s
sidewalks of faith and hope.
promised. Promises passed over.
Collateral damage in everyone’s
war. A domestic crisis where
is everything it once was.
©2014 j.g. lewis
than cash . . .
why can’t our lives be guided by poetry?
a more consistent thought lately.
I’m reading more, I’m writing more,
I’m believing more. Lately.
It is poetry month.
Why now, I don’t know, and why just one month?
Why not every month?
It matters not; but it does.
Here, as well, people are sharing their work, their words,
and people are talking about their favorite
I am not sure if most people talk
Doesn’t it have to rhyme?
Not all of the time . . . not for everyone.
If not a poem, then
is mainly misunderstood.
But how? The language is so direct,
it cuts out the crap, rarely are there ums and awes,
any hesitation is purposeful.
Poets do not stumble on words. Poets respect words, poets
Words are currency, for a poet. Why not for everybody?
celebrates language, any language . . .
I must admit envy as, recently,
two people, here on this screen, shared a poem
(in fact, a poem about poetry) across the ocean,
in the language in which it was intended.
Okay, it wasn’t envy. It was jealousy: pure and simple.
For I have always enjoyed Neruda,
(I keep a small volume on my office desk to remind myself, in the middle of
the day, when I’m infected by the banal corporate culture [an oxymoron?]
I open the pages to remind myself how words are to be used, correctly).
I enjoy Neruda, in the only language I know.
I read translations.
what is lost in translation?
How much more wonderful are his words
in his native tongue?
Perhaps I should learn Español?
Or maybe I can be satisfied in knowing
I don’t really know,
(and they really know not each other)
took a few sentences,
to share, both a language
and a poem.
Separated by an ocean, and time zones,
and communicating not with lips, but through a screen,
two people shared something in common.
That is how powerful poetry
and should be.
It should bring people together.
Lovers, warriors, politicians and their prey
might better understand themselves and each other
if they thought more in poetry, than in whatever else
they might be thinking.
This is not a poem.
This is simply
caffeine-free morning thoughts,
nothing more really,
than a long-winded statement
I like poetry
(in April, or any month)
and maybe why
you do too.
@2014 j.g. lewis
Originally published on Rebelle Society, September 2014 www.rebellesociety.com
Above photograph features EPITHALAMIUM by Pablo Neruda
“Sometimes the moon and sun argue over who will tuck me in at night.”
Perhaps it was last Friday’s equinox, or the fact we are wandering through an infrequent astronomical stretch, but again the daily pull between the sun and the moon has captured my imagination.
A reccurring cycle, whether bathed in sunlight or consumed by darkness, the gravity of the two celestial bodies exerts a constituent force on the soul. The sun is more evident — a greater amount of time is spent in its presence — since it is always there. Yet the sun only burns, it never changes, the surrounding atmosphere dictates or influences its power.
The moon, however, is different each night; it’s always changing. Never is the moon the same as it was.
I remember, as a child, my friends being fascinated with textbook constellations, always searching for Orion, Aquarius or the Big Dipper. I was content with the moon; not only was it obvious, but never afraid to show itself as it was. Whether full, half-hearted, or crescent, it remained true and dependable. Even with its slightest whispers, or a new moon holding back its light, I always knew it was there.
The moon is a motivator. When there is nothing left to talk about, to write about, or think about, there is always the moon. I’m not alone in this inspiration. Thoreau, Frost, Collins, Poe, Yeats, Laux (I could fill paragraphs alone with poets soothed or intrigued by moonglow) all found paper and pen as the moon spoke.
Over the past year, pages of poetry have spilled out of me in the shade of the moon. It has been an unidentified, almost mystic, dynamic I’ve not experienced before. The force wasn’t previously familiar, but I’ve always known the place where the moon resides.
I think I’ve spent a lot of my life hovering within a darkness. Maybe I found comfort there? A foreboding sadness, I might have even thought it was a normal means of dealing with negative situations and emotions, all the while still trying to convince myself I was searching for happiness. I continued looking for the light instead of realizing the true brightness was already there, inside of me.
I think a lot of people live like this, searching for a destination that will never be reached because we are already there. It takes stepping out of your comfort zone and changing your perspective to see it. Perhaps, for the first time, I actually realize this.
It’s like the moon; you see the sphere in all its phases, but you don’t notice the complete power until it is full.
Always in awe of the full moon (more of romance than of restlessness), I’ve felt all phases over the past 15 months have produced a correlation between the celestial map and my direction. It began with a new moon ushering in 2014, then even more so with last April’s spectacular lunar eclipse, the first of a consecutive four such events (two more in the tetra; April 4 and September 28 of this year). Since then I’ve been caught up in a lunar wake, the push and pull, the black and white, and a discovery of each shade between.
It has been a lunar awakening.
There is more to darkness than the inherent absence of light. There is lightness in darkness, something that allows sight; still, slight, but still present. Lightness is, in fact, more present in darkness, than the reverse. When is it light, you never think of the dark. In darkness, light may be all you yearn for.
The light is right there; a light I have shied away from.
It’s amazing how your perspective can change a situation. Rather than stepping away from the darkness, I am stepping towards this light. I am allowing my eyes to open wide, rather than adjusting to the darkness. This light shines on my faults, and my strengths, and encourages me to keep stepping forward.
The more light I allow in, the brighter I become. The darkness fades. I focus now on all the beauty and wonder I finally have the chance to see.
My lightness and my darkness are my yin and yang. I’ve long known of these contrary forces and had believed I fully understood the principle, the sunny and shady sides of the street, the strong and the weak, the masculine and the feminine. But when the concept becomes more personal, you realize it’s not about opposites, but rather a matter of balance.
There are two sides to everything and everyone. One side is not complete without the other.
Like the equinox – where the realms of the moon and the sun are equal — you need the darkness as much as the light, as surely as the moon needs the sun to provide its power.
The moon is not full, not now.
It is new, it is hiding, even it has
little courage now. Concealed.
Behind clouds it knows and
thoughts it has never had before,
it waits. For what? Like you, or
I, it masks its enthusiasm with
tentative steps, a walk that can
keep you awake through the
night. Wondering. Why? When?
What will it take before it again
shows itself completely? Maybe
more time? Or maybe more light?
© j.g. lewis 2014
Some days you just don’t feel like going.
Maybe you are still healing, or maybe you are just hurting, and you know you should go, but you just can’t. Or you don’t think you can.
You know it will do you good; it always does, most days anyway. But not today, you say to yourself. Your self agrees, or it doesn’t put up much of an argument.
But it does make you think.
It’s only a mat; it’s only 90 minutes.
It sounds so simple, and still you ask yourself, why?
Why do I need to go to Yoga? Why do I need to get to class?
Why today, or why any day?
The answer is simple: sometimes you need to hear yourself breathe.
You need to hear yourself breathe, just to know you’re alive. Sometimes you need to hear other people breathing.
It reminds you why you are here, or why you are alive.
Why are you breathing?
Other times it serves as a reminder that you are not alone.
Other people too are breathing, living, struggling, and waiting: coping.
The others ones, unlike you, are strong. In them you find strength. They set an example for you. They inspire you. They might not even know it. Hell, they might not even want to be here. But, like you, they came.
Like you, they didn’t want to come.
Like you, they resented the alarm, or sat up in bed and just stared at the clock. Or they listened to the weather report and questioned why and who, in their right mind, would bother?
Like you, their minds are caught up in the now or when, the here and then.
Like you, they wanted to put it off until tomorrow, but they (and you) know tomorrows never come… not in the Now.
Now, you can no longer rationalize. And for every posture there are two or three good excuses, and for every minute in the room you can think of ten more ways to spend an equal amount of time.
Yet somehow you ended up here, as did they.
You may have nothing in common with any of them — other than they are here, or they struggled to get there — but you made some sort of commitment, and they did too.
For that you are thankful.
Because today, or any day (or just that one day last week), you needed them there. You needed to hear them.
If they were breathing, so too were you. And if they were trying, why couldn’t you?
But then, or now, you didn’t need an answer; you are here anyway.
So are they.
And you didn’t want to be there, but the fact is, they are.
It reminds you.
It reminds you we all are human. We all need to try, to cope, and to push ourselves further. We all need a little inspiration and, on those days when you can’t find it in yourself, there’s probably somebody there to inspire you.
For some unknown reason, nothing else matters. You are here. So are they.
After that, everything else matters.
You are not alone.
Can’t you hear them breathing?
© j.g. lewis 2014
Sometimes I still struggle.
Sometimes I need to be reminded why.
unforeseen shard of fuchsia,
fibril against the monotony
of the day.
before the ashen dome
for the night.
just enough to satisfy, a
need for brighter landscapes.
traces of optimism,
interior lights pressed into action,
exhaust spews into the damp chill
of the city.
as night falls, so too the
last gasp of winter.
seasons end, another begins, a
need for warmth.
we seek optimism.
cold dark thoughts relegated to
the intricate concealed wrinkles
of the mind.
we accept the totality of our loses
forging new perceptions.
new thoughts, and language, a
time changes, we too, in increments.
the night inevitably lost to dreams
of serious moonlight.
did we not notice, do we not
one less hour. one step
closer, the prelude, a
just enough hope.