Pages

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

CONTRIBUTION



















Note: Today's poem is an encore presentation...one I originally posted way back in 2011. Time flies. Which is what this one is all about. Among my current readers, I am certain there are many, perhaps most, who haven't seen it. So please add your comments, if so moved, to the "vintage" comments already staring back at us like a sepia-tinged photo from the past at the bottom of the page.


Everyone who was alive in 1885 has jumped ship.
Where'd they go? We don't know.
But they've taken their secrets with them.

And you and I, fast becoming museum pieces,
are on that same journey from the relevant to the obscure--
eyes soon to be staring from a sepia-toned photo
in the glass encased confines of the local historical society.

And what have you contributed to the dialogue, my boy,
and will any of it survive the fuzzy TV snowstorm screen of time?
And what would they know of the real you
if indeed a name or a photograph survived?

Still, you'd like to be remembered--and don't know why--
though you think it has something to do with being loved.
And you're content to write shit in silent protest of your solitude.
And you feign indifference in your involuntary celibacy,
telling yourself that ass isn't all it's cracked up to be--
though in truth it's just like food--no big deal until you have to go without.

And you wonder at what exact moment did you cross the line
from "so fine" to something more akin to what the cat drug in.
And why didn't anyone warn you of the impending disaster?
Now, generally, you avoid mirrors, though sometimes
you seek them out with a morbid curiosity.

In elementary school we sang "Frere Jacques"
and "When Those Caissons Go Rolling Along"
in our gruffest soprano voices.
"Play That Funky Music White Boy"
had not yet seared its way into our psyche--
the circadian rhythm of time still on the verge
of breaking into a more primal beat.
Now, all the young women are turning bi-sexual,
SO TIRED of waiting for guys to call...
and the beat goes on.

Dawn's curtain rises above the prairie.
Actors resigned to their fate
begin to stir and vie for parking spots.
Sweeping west, reptilian eyes blink and greet the sun.
Palm fronds sway in the breeze,
and your island dreams are dashed
in the swell of concrete--the shimmering heat
rising to meet the sky, and you and I
are no closer to our first hello and our last goodbye.

Day is done. The local TV newscasters--
so Shirley Temple serious--
so imbued with their own sense of self-importance,
as if anyone will give a damn
about the words they mouth from a teleprompter
ten years from now...or even next week.
Surely, my boy, YOU can manufacture
something with a longer shelf-life.

Or maybe not.

Maybe just another face in the group photograph
turning yellow with age--
waiting for some stranger
contemplating the swift passage of time.






65 comments:

  1. I hate how good this is, yet I love it.

    Damn you, Timoteo! (LOL!)

    ReplyDelete
  2. BUBBA,
    That's the nicest hate message I've ever received!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wowzers, this one is so true, it freaks me out! So many great lines: "silent protest of your solitude", "the snowstorm screen of time", the reptilian eyes (loved that one!!)....this poem is so good - and so true - that it hurts! Ouch!

    ReplyDelete
  4. "And you feign indifference in your involuntary celibacy,
    telling yourself that ass isn't all it's cracked up to be--
    though in truth it's just like food--no big deal until you have to go without."

    Do you have to point that out? I mean really, I am doing a pretty good job of convincing myself of that and you have to poke holes in my little fantasy land. Thanks Tim.

    And reminders that we will all die and become forgotten & obscure. It might be true, but geez. (I do love how you craft these deep pieces full of grit though-primo my friend)

    ReplyDelete
  5. SHERRY,
    It hurts so good?

    KKRIGE,
    I'm sorry, my dear, to be the one to provide such a harsh dose of reality. LOL (Anything I can do to help, let me know!)

    ReplyDelete
  6. If no-one remembers us, were we really here?

    ReplyDelete
  7. grave stone
    this lonely dog visits
    daybreak

    ... there will always be.

    _m

    ReplyDelete
  8. It wouldn't be so bad to grow old if we were as blissfully unaware of aging as we were when children. :)

    I loved this, Tim. It's real and with that lightness you add that makes even the ugly truth bearable...

    ReplyDelete
  9. nice..our biggest foe, taking ourselves too seriously ;)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Cool write! It's amazing how society has changed

    ReplyDelete
  11. TALON,
    If we can derive poetry from the ugly truth, then there is beauty even in that!

    LORRAINE,
    Exactly. I'm thinking of a line from a song by Prince: Life is just a party/and parties weren't meant to last!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Bravo! What a fabulous poem. That's life ... good and bad ... we all have our time, then not. The culture changes. Sigh! An accurate picture. The touches of humor and irony and priceless.

    Have to tell you though, I for one and having a ball at this time - being almost defunct - no one pays attention to me: hey, there's freedom in that. Recognize I'm in a minority.

    Very well done. Had to read it twice for the pure pleasure if its rythme and reasoning.

    ReplyDelete
  13. This line caught me...>>> And what have you contributed to the dialogue, my boy,
    and will any of it survive the fuzzy TV snowstorm screen of time?
    >>>

    and kept me reading.

    Thank you.

    Thank you.

    Thank you.

    My Potluck poem.

    ReplyDelete
  14. This was the best poem I've read so far through poetry potluck this week by far. Amazing the way you flowed so easily from detail to detail yet the poem retained such a coherent form. Agree about reading it twice; most enjoyable.

    crb.

    ReplyDelete
  15. wow ! what a rendering . I could even picture you throwing this at me and me flinching. I agree with Caribbean Fool above--this is gotta be the best thing in this potluck so far and i am glad i got a chance to read this.

    ReplyDelete
  16. This is precisely why I have switched to a high-resolution, digital camera. But all kidding aside, this is a fantastic piece. I especially enjoy the stanza about television newscasters. Really fantastic. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  17. original poison poem haha! good one! my potluck.. http://fiveloaf.wordpress.com/2010/06/04/metamorphosis/

    ReplyDelete
  18. This is seriously good! You've caught the mood of peoples' wasted lives so well and the self centred importance of the media. I love looking at those old photos and wondering what happened to each of the people...
    This poem deserves a wider audience.

    http://jessicasjapes.wordpress.com/2011/02/21/home/

    ReplyDelete
  19. The mirrors we avoid and then sneak,
    quietly and quickly to have a peek,
    The things unused or neglected,
    leave them off the list to be selected,
    and all the time spent in the sun,
    time doesn't march anymore, it's on the run!

    The poem is too good to be true or vice versa! I enjoyed it immensely.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Well, we have the internet, where nothing goes away.

    Besides, your poetry is beautiful. That is something.

    Now I have 'Play that funky music, white boy' in my head.

    Sigh.

    ReplyDelete
  21. you never fail to entertain ..

    brilliant writing,
    Thanks for caring and sharing.
    A++
    :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. AbThomas, JamiDedes,(I'm having a ball too!)Julie, (you're welcome, you're welcome, you're welcome)Caribbean Fool, Butterflies of Time, (here, catch! LOL)AzFree, (a hundred years from now, the high resolution should help) Fiveloaf, Jessica, Dan (I hope you're also publishing these great poems you leave as comments for me!) Thingy, (let's get your mind off that song--how about "Like A Virgin" by Madonna...try and get THAT out of your head now!)Jingle (Thank you, dear one!)

    ReplyDelete
  23. You never cease to amaze me with your creativity and salt of the earth poems.

    ReplyDelete
  24. It's marvellous, I just love the first line! Help, I'm but a fading image...take me with you! Great stuff, read slowly. And excellent picture.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Fantastic writing!

    "Still, you'd like to be remembered--and don't know why--"

    yeah, and simultaneously aware that remembered isn't what really matters..it is the interactions in the here and now that really count...they are all that exist.

    ReplyDelete
  26. This straight up rocks the truth. And do I know it! Loved the cadence and the way you capture those fleeting thoughts along with fleeting images. Really excellent. Gay

    ReplyDelete
  27. that was amazing...quite the romp...the things we go through to be remembered...i would rather it be for the gentle touches i leave....

    ReplyDelete
  28. Great and greatly done
    Speechless

    ReplyDelete
  29. Utterly beautiful, well planned out and well executed I think I've read it before but didn't comment. It was well worth a second visit x

    ReplyDelete
  30. Thanks: Teresa, Kolembo, Laura X, (What time is it? It's always NOW...my watch stopped this morning, so all I need to do is remember that, and I won't need a new one!)Gay,(love ya!) Brian, (nice thought)Dulce,
    (Is duality
    reality
    or just a malady
    of the brain?)
    G-Man, (you look young for your age!)
    Repressedsoul: Don't believe I published this one before...were you at one of my poetry readings?

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hmmm I always love the softness of sepia - guess it takes some of the sting of reality away

    this is a fine piece - riveting for those of us in the older sector

    Thanks for the One Shot

    ReplyDelete
  32. You caught me with this one--I'm used to your more tongue in cheek efforts. This was still full of wry humor but also serious as a coronary. I did definitely relate to this line "...Now, generally, you avoid mirrors, though sometimes/you seek them out with a morbid curiosity..." same with cameras, you'll find. Great stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  33. This is sad, true, and funny, too. Nicely done :)

    ReplyDelete
  34. I really enjoyed this poem. So relevant to us all. We all want to be remembered, but like it's said we are remembered by our actions, not what we say. Great contribution to One Shot. ~ Corbie Sinclair

    ReplyDelete
  35. Maaan...your words just stung me!! But I daresay.. I needed that sting!!
    Quite a reminder about the passage of time/life, Kodjo...
    Too good!!

    " and you and I
    are no closer to our first hello and our last goodbye." -- this really hit me! I just drifted into another world..wondering how soon will it be before... ??? brr.. the thought is quite unnerving!!

    What a fantastic poem this is!! Kudos!

    ReplyDelete
  36. And did I just write "Kodjo"!??!?! Stupid me!! Sorry about that, Tim... I just got carried away with the poem... it was just too darned good and thought provoking!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Wow...these are stop-and-make-you-think words. So happy to have found you through oneshot :)

    ReplyDelete
  38. i think all of us long to leave some kind of footprints - some kind of good footprints and we're afraid of just "fading" away like morning haze..and soon be forgotten...excellent poem timoteo

    ReplyDelete
  39. Nice to see:Moondust, Hedgewitch,(hey, I recently saw photos of a bunch of stars without their makeup--they're as plain looking as can be--it's all smoke and mirrors!)Lori, Corbie, Kavita, (don't worry--I've been called worse!)Diana Lee, (welcome!)Claudia (I think the easiest way to leave a footprint is to just step in some wet cement!)

    ReplyDelete
  40. well
    the first stanza says it all
    doesn't it (great opening strophe)

    the poem builds beautifully
    & leads to an excellent end

    guess we should just live
    in the moment
    cos that's all we have
    maybe

    good read

    later
    brother

    ReplyDelete
  41. Interesting truthful observation of life many may know it some fair better and some for the worst, and many swing back and forth in the gap somewhere in between.
    Where are you my friend? No need to answer... the poet the philosopher who is the chanticleer and often misunderstand, avoids the chaotic soup of humanity & forges his own path in reality.
    Joanny

    ReplyDelete
  42. ESTEBAN,
    Thanks so much for stopping by!

    JOANNY,
    Avoiding the chaotic soup of humanity and forging my own path in reality...I like that! I like it so much, that if I start another blog, I'd like to use that as the title... if you wouldn't mind!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Greetings, Happy Firday! Blessings…

    Friendship Awards, Enjoy!
    Thanks for the support, You Rock!
    xxx

    ReplyDelete
  44. My goodness this is powerful work, Timoteo!!💖 I can't even begin to describe the emotions your words evoke .. as gripping as the grey twilight itself!💖

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Coming from you, Sanaa, I will take that as the highest kind of praise. Thank you!

      Delete
  45. I think all humans and especially writers can relate to this Timoteo!
    We all want to be loved, and hope to be remembered in some tangible way. Just for the record....your blog is immortal!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's just the sweetest thing to say, Carrie! One of my favorite things is to find some older poetry anthologies--you can find a lot of them at used book sales--and read and feel a connection with the poets and what their thoughts were 20 or 30 or more years ago, and wish that somehow I could get a psychic message through to them to let them know that their work is still being read and appreciated. We probably all wish that our own work might someday be discovered in a similar way.

      Delete
  46. Again, the line that popped up for me is the silent protest of your solitude. Love this, Tim. I am comforted that we leave poems behind.....people can still know who we were by reading them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Except I'm not really content to write shit most of the time, even though that is sometimes what comes out--lol. Hope you are doing well, Sherry!

      Delete
  47. I so wonder... why do we want those footprints to stay... maybe it's just vanity... isn't it enough that flowers might grow from our ashes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, of course you are right...it's all ego...and as I've said before, the best way to leave your footprint is to step in some wet cement.

      Delete
  48. wow!scarey as we get older, will we have a legacy? " Surely, my boy, YOU can manufacture something with a longer shelf-life." Boy, that line echoes down the corridors of time. Feeling like we might be one of the masses of invisible people disappearing at death -- but influences can be invisible -- the person you changed unknowingly, that change affects someone else and so on. Centuries down the road, no one knows you started the ball rolling but on it rolls.... maybe. Does it matter that no one knows it was you?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I appreciate your thoughtful comment, Mary. It conjures up images of the butterfly effect, and yes, even the slightest things we do on a daily basis are affecting our world in ways that we're mostly not conscious of. This poem got its inspiration from those sepia-toned group photos in our local historical society.I have always been profoundly affected by the things I encounter in museums. I am awash in a sense of timelessness--almost in a trance. And those eyes gazing back at me from those photos...I want to know their stories...

      Delete
  49. That is the question indeed. We all think of our lives as if they are something special and the legacy that we are going to leave once we are done and gone. I think it can be much simpler to live for ourselves in the time that we have got instead of worrying about these trivialities. Something may remain of our lives, much will be lost. Would we care when we aren't even here?
    I really liked this bit: "Still, you'd like to be remembered--and don't know why--/though you think it has something to do with being loved."

    ReplyDelete
  50. Thanks for your comment. We all want to leave a legacy of some kind, and we do, even if it only has meaning for our closest friends and family. Yes, live in the moment, I agree. But the past is all around us, whether we like it or not, and what has transpired up to this point has greatly colored our thinking and shaped the world we live in today. So I think it can be useful to contemplate it from time to time.

    ReplyDelete
  51. this reminds me of the Talking Heads song, Born Under Punches, somehow ~

    ReplyDelete
  52. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  53. ... and the dog still visits. _m

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Feb. 19, 2011 comment. Loved it then and I love it now.

      Delete