grist to the mill
mist on the hill
words enter mind
meet-up maybe rhymed
then they chime, clickety click time
sub-lime olive green
branch bells ringing
nest like ancient amygdala
mirroring brain stripped bare
I wasn’t going to write a poem until seeing the misty weather forecast; even though I could see the mist! so the above poem could definitely be said to have been inspired by the mistYmuse, although it was more about seeing it in writing and having the proof to display.
I thank humanity for the hot air that provided the thermals for my Nietzschean Superman flight. I looked to the sun for reflection, but it is not a mirror. It just kept roaring and bellowing, with too much work to do controlling its system. I turned to leave, at least warmed by its workings; not that it seemed to increase its heat for me, it’s just the way it is. I thought I heard it whisper with a whoosh of solar wind, ‘Thank you for keeping your distance. Icarus did not die in vain. I am glad of that, for I liked him, but could not save him. For that is not my job.’
Mind On Sun, Warmth Without Reflection
flying high, as far as I can get
in my mind I imagine
it’s enlightenment or superman
farther than my sight
above the clouds and atmosphere
to space and solitude
rising on thermals
hot air of humanity
but I still know, deep down I’m grounded
using knowledge of others
what governments allow
media chooses to show
limits of time and space
in future little trace
attempts at philosophical writing
lost between classic and future
but I have searched my time, and returned
This poem was inspired by a few news stories this week, some of which I’ve already written about on here and my other travel25years.wordpress.com blog. I guess it started on Saturday with the latest NASA’s Unexplained Files, which is a repeat on the Quest channel from 2016.
Jupiter’s Moons Space Missions
It had a feature about Jupiter’s moons having a good possibility of life inside their icy oceans, and mentioned some trips are planned. I looked it up today and that inspired the top half of the poem. The good news is there are two planned, the bad news is they are not due to send back info until 2033! I think that shows why we haven’t found life beyond our planet yet, as we can hardly reach anywhere in our solar system, and it takes so long. That’s not a complaint, just an observation. The space scientists are amazing people, and achievements in my lifetime have been incredible.
A little Doctor Jekyll and Hyde wordplay fun developed in lines 3 and 7!
Amazon Ayahuasca Spirit Animals
I thought of contrasting it with an Amazon bottom half after seeing an article on MSN today about over eighty new human settlements found there where the Amazon jungle has been cleared. Of course that’s a bittersweet story. Like the new finds at Tikal and elsewhere, I hope it doesn’t mean more deforestation.
I started off thinking I’d have Amazon as the final word, mirroring Ariane, the rocket set to carry the European Space Agency’s JUpiter ICy moons Explorer (JUICE) spacecraft (Wikipedia). NASA also has a mission planned at the same time. However, it developed into a spiritual journey path, with Amazon’s centrality to the lower half more mirroring Jupiter’s centrality to the top half in line 4. Ariane is better reflected by ayahuasca, which traditionally provides the propulsion for spiritual flight journeys to the tribal people.
The middle folding lines provide a little personal info. The year 3302 BC reflectively mirrors the year when the mission hopes to send back info, and is otherwise random, but there probably were tribal people on spiritual journeys there 5000 years ago, if they arrived on the continent 13,000-20,000 years ago as thought, and mentioned here in the last blog post.
The two images are taken from another MSNarticle about finding alien life this century. The top one has a POP (PinkyOrangePurple) look, as well as the yellow sun, while the bottom one is old-fashioned greenygrey in colour, with a modern design, and the alien doing a Y!
Searching Icy Moons, Mind Inside Surface
piece of the plan
lifting JUICE dock to GEC
Ganymede, Europa, Callisto
but one full moon
what a year that could be
current-year of retirement if alive, two years after original sixty-five
flying with spirit birds in history
to all but theory
Capybara, Eagle, Gecko
CEG reached by BREW drinking
peace of the plant
The above poem is like a more specific version of SAGAS (Solipsistic Astronaut Gravitates Agnostic Space), the opening poem of 242 Mirror Poems and Reflections and previously previewed on this site way back in 2012. It’s hard to believe I hadn’t met Quest then!
When I started writing Folding Mirror poems I was looking for an ideal identity, hoping that I would find ancestors I could really relate with; maybe in line with the hippy ideal.
But I had to face the reality that the first settler-ancestors were forest-felling, meat-slaughtering, people-sacrificing humans.
They also did great things of course, such as surviving in harsh conditions, creating art and stone circles, and worshipping nature.
In other words, they lived like most human communities around the world, before being invaded by other humans with superior technology.
While the ancients’ world seems better than ours in many ways; such as freedom, space and the amount of nature; for comfort, peacefulness and human rights ours seems preferable.
Most of my interest is in humanity
but its tainted with concern,
for we seem out of control
on a global scale:
tearing down the forests,
cutting up the animals,
polluting the seas,
thawing the glaciers,
increasing the likelihood of more war.
‘by seeing Venus during the day while trekking in the Yorkshire Dales Three Peaks, alerted by the Sky at Night television programme; my first conscious sighting of a middle-of-the-day planet or star at the age of 46. It was on the same March 2012 trip that I took the 242 Mirror Poems cover photo.’
Reflection 28 (part 2)
The second half of the Reflection lightened the mood under a clear day and night sky with a previously unpublished comedy poem:
If the sheepdogs tell great jokes
and livestock like to clown around
under a smiling sun and moon
I want to go to the funny farm.
Reflection 20 mirrored Summer’s Sunset Soliloquy, which mixed balancing mental health and sunbathing in the top half of the poem; with balancing positive and negative attitudes and behaviour towards people in the bottom half.
Here’s Reflection 20 of 121 in 242 Mirror Poems and Reflections:
Strength and Death
In youth I felt strong enough to die.
In middle-age I feel my strength dying.
In old age I expect to feel death strengthen.
Cycling the Tour de France must be a great way to travel, but hard work. Travelling independently for a long time is the same, but different, in a greenYgrey kind of way. Both can be inspiring, and inspire a feeling of freedom. It can seem an illusion afterwards, but was real at the time. All feelings are transitory illusions between birth and death; probably never based on the whole truth, or actual reality of a situation; not that there is an actual reality, as every event has many angles; to be observed from the inside or outside, left or right, up or down.
Reflection 19 of Marc Latham’s 242 Mirror Poems and Reflectionswas Travelling with Janis Joplin. Janis left an unhappy youth in Texas and found fame in the California music scene, but never really found happiness, becoming disillusioned with hippy hypocrisy before dying of a drugs overdose in 1970.
Travelling with Janis Joplin reflected the Folding Mirror poem Art of Humanity, which was posted on fmpoetry.wordpress.com in July, 2011; yes, nearly four years ago. The reflection was:
searching for confirmation
only freedom to lose.
New Folding Mirror Poem
It’s only a small reflection, so I thought I’d ask Marc to create something new for all you poetry and philosophy lovers, as you may have been waiting eagerly for new material since my last thrilling appearance on this here lil blog.
Marc duly obliged, writing a poem entirely about Janis Joplin, in a biopic kind of way. It provides some factual information about Janis told through an imaginary meeting.
Marc Latham’s latest Folding Mirror poem is a fantasy conversation with Janis Joplin, who tragically died of an overdose at aged 27 in 1970.
Mirror Poem Explanation
There is no anniversary relevance for a poem about Janis Joplin in the wider world, but she was the subject of Reflection 19 in Marc Latham’s 242 Mirror Poems and Reflections, and it is that reflection’s turn to be serialised on Marc’s greenYgrey website.
So, in a first from that book, here’s a new Folding Mirror poem inspired by a reflection. It tells a story of an imaginary meeting with Janis in a biopic kind of way, based on real aspects in her life.
Janis grew up in Port Arthur, Texas and had a younger sister who attended her wake in San Francisco. Janis started her California career singing in the band Big Brother and the Holding Company. Somewhere Near Salinas is part of the Me and Bobby McGee song made famous by Janis.
New Mirror Poem
Here’s the poem:
Happiness over Horizon, Jiving with Janis
on a memorable day of bopping
round clocking with Janis Joplin
at some Hollywood palace
of debateable excellence
I asked her if she treasures
memories from Port Arthur Texas
why did I ask, you really wanna know
forgetting love Somewhere Near Salinas
I remembered my past without fuss
boredom creates blues
feeling nothing to lose
replied singer in Big Brother
but I cherish Laura little sister
With a couple of hours of battery life, and feeling that he hadn’t created enough for a World Cup Rest Day, and with four days of World Cup double games days on the horizon, Marc Latham clunked out yet another Folding Mirror poem last night.
Blondie at Glastonbury
Hi, it’s Howlin’ Werewolf, satirical comedy music correspondent at the greenYgrey inspired by legendary Blues singer Howlin’ Wolf.
Marc wrote his poem while watching Blondie at Glastonbury on television, and thought they played a great set. I watched it too, and in addition to the classic old songs, I really liked the uplifting Mile High and the heavy metallish guitar and drum solos.
Here’s Blondie’sMile High played with greenYgrey backing at Miami earlier this year:
The greenYgrey justified its Glastonbury poster headlining status with a dramatic greatest hits set: producing thunder and lightning storms during the day, rainbows, and then a spectacular sunset in the evening.
Musical bands come and go, but the weather sings forever.
Mirror Poem Explanation
However, Marc Latham’s new mirror poem kind of takes the opposite view, in a greenYgrey kind of way, extolling the virtues of thought in creatures great and small; and how one thought by a small animal such as a mouse is better in that way than all the gigantic unthinking reactions in space.
In a greenYgrey way, human thoughts are the best and worse we know, but animals have a lot of nice and nasty ones too; with the former shown by their caring for each other.
Marc wrote on fmpoetry.wordpress.com that ‘the title and last line refers to a single thought of a small creature being superior in that way to great giant stars, which just work unthinkingly by thermonuclear reactions. The last line also plays on the British television series about a vet, All Creatures Great and Small. So although the universe is mindbogglingly massive, life as we know it on Earth is the best we know for thinking.’
Here’s the poem:
Particular Preciousness of Thinking, Thought Superior to Reaction
crunch time for mortal minds
strangles infinite breath
day drags for damselfly
century crows to humanity
instinct, learning, loving, expiring
endless summer days
One’s outlook on life, age of calendar July
winter limits light
experience, remembering, warming, gripping
holding on for dear
life becomes more refined
sailing history’s horizon
all creatures greater than sun