Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Always Sometimes Once Never

Always is read
in the eyes
in plate and mug
of the heart.

Sometimes waits
coin on the counter
says he paid already
prayed already
sometimes shifts in his seat
red in the eye.

Once takes breath
holds breath hopeful
once rolls a large stone.

Never twists knobs, watches
toys with himself
plays with the moment
never looks away.


Radagast said...

Your poems are always good, and sometimes (as in this case) truly inspired.

-- Radagast

Alok said...

I am not sure I got the full meaning to this ... Intriguing ... what bothered me was the red in the eyes ... to me it was red from crying ... but were they the tears of repent (he is a good guy ... he prays and doesnt even twist the knob) ... are they tears of sorrow .. but then he lives in the present ... never looks away (in the last strophe) ... they cannot be tears of joy ... are they tears of ... not sure ...

I would appreciate if you can give me some hints ... i hope the stanzas are not to be read separately as always, sometime, once, never ... though I must add the title sounds brilliant ...


Inconsequential said...

Thought provoking :)

I like sometimes!

Not sure I get the 'message' but do enjoy the read...

And yes, a damn fine title! Like a questionaire...

"Do you XYZ..."tick Always, Sometimes etc etc


ish said...

Thank you radagast

Thank you too, alok. A quick overview of the thoughts backdrop.

Stanza 1 ‘Always’ … from Ecclesiastes: "... he has put eternity into man’s heart." It is something of humanity greater than the sum of humanity’s parts.
Can it be seen in a person's eyes? Maybe so.

Stanza 2. is about where most of us 'sit'. Perhaps the man is ‘religious’ … but no more than most. He is red in the eye from tiredness. His activities have gone on for a long time. What he longs for is elusive. The religious impulse is to 'do': give, pray etc., etc.,… trying to be ‘right’ (or righteous), trying maybe to connect to God, or at least to be impressive. Christianity is not really a religion because it tells a different story. It is not about what human's can do to connect to God or be impressive. God instead reaches out to connect to humans. His gift. He is the doer.

Stanza 3 is about hope. It is about what the giver-of-breath has done. Once in time - in history- the stone rolled away from the tomb door. Death is beaten.

Stanza 4 Never is too self absorbed, too entertained to give a damn. He never looks away from his obsessions. …or else he looks away, … too proud, too indifferent even to have ‘Once’ on his radar. He wants his own way.

inc., I hadn't thought the title was like a questionaire where you have to give a rating. But you're right, the idea suits rather well. Thanks for your comment.

Alok said...

Thanks Ish for the commentary .... explains perfectly ....


Jade said...

interesting, i see a sad and
lonely down on his luck guy
who likes to bend his elbow.

S.L. Corsua (a.k.a. "Soulless") said...

Ingenious wordplay, Steve. ;) From first read, the first word of each stanza made me think of 'labels' not for characteristics of people, but 'labels' for moments (i.e. how we refer to certain moments or experiences that occur/recur in our lives).

Cheers. ;)

ish said...

Jade, thanks, yeah, had in mind a kind of everyman, down on our luck trying to drown it. Worst off variety of us can't see our own poverty.

Dear souless, thanks for the visit.
Yes, moments. Moments personified perhaps, or conversely, persons in Time addressing the knobs, buttons and handles they find along the way.

Jade said...

I adore this play on words, this
tumbly, circular poem is fun
with depth.

Jade said...

i'm once, wish i could be always.