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  phase 6: zêtesis kai hairesis

POEMS GROUP 24: SAMSARA
Samsara - continuous movement

Category 2: Insistences

Section Index


  1. I Used to Be Able to Function
  2. I Know
  3. Air Dried Age Tilapia From the Salton Sea
  4. Undeniable
  5. A Book of Family
  6. Not Alone in the Night
  7. Grandfather
  8. Partial Artist
  9. U & I
  10. Jesus is a Zombie Now
  11. London Statues
  12. Stonehenge Anthropology
  13. Selfie Psychology
  14. Portwenn Isaac
  15. Oxford
  16. The Wall
  17. Countervoices
  18. Friendships in Age
  19. Friendships in Retrospect
  20. Human Tree
  21. Here I Am


  What's Related  
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Phil John Kneis:
SAMSARA - INSISTENCES I:
I USED TO BE ABLE TO FUNCTION
Corvallis, January 27h, 2016 - P#653


I used to be able to function
as a poet
as an artist
back then, I knew
what I had to do
back then, life was clear
and may thoughts were focused
perfect it wasn't
well,
so it goes,
I guess



PJK
January 27th, 2016 / March 9, 2017







Phil John Kneis:
SAMSARA - INSISTENCES II:
I KNOW
Corvallis, March 9th, 2016 - P#654


I know
who I am
I know
what I want
I know
---* maybe

cannot sleep
cannot focus
is this the new life
In the promised land
of plenty?

plenty of work
plenty of distractions

I am
who I know
I want
what I know
Maybe
---* I know

(---* needs an explanation here, let's make it up, and declare it, bupkis)

life is still good, don't get me wrong
I've no intention, being a whiner, that kind of stuff



PJK
March 9th, 2016 / March 9th, 2017







Phil John Kneis:
SAMSARA - INSISTENCES III:
AIR-DRIED AGED TILAPIA
FROM THE SALTON SEA
Palm Springs, March 20th, 2016 / Corvallis, March 7th, 2017 - P#655


air-dried aged Tilapia
from the Salton Sea
littering the rim
of a scenic soup
of sublime
presence
with their finely ground bones

and yet
from afar
all you see
beautiful mountains
the bluest see
the whitest beach

pretty
as a picture
only



PJK
March 20th, 2016 / March 7th, 2017







Phil John Kneis:
SAMSARA - INSISTENCES IV:
UNDENIABLE
Corvallis, May 9th, 2016 - P#656


you may well go through life for quite a while
and everything's clear, more or less,
and everyone's near, so you'd hope,
and that biggest fear, far away -

yet there's no denying
there shall be crying
there shall be pain
it'll all seem in vain

build your box early
your panic box
your box of pain
your box of deniability:

death's coming right behind you
who it finds first, age may tell, but there'll be surprises
there's quite a number of graves
you'll be standing in front of,

words escaping you -
how could they?
you've had all the time in the world
they should be in your box

you will lose them
the longer you live:

it's the transformation of life into death
your task then, the reverse operation, for yourself, for others:
to turn death into new life, into purpose
that should be in your box as well

pack a lot
you'll need to know
what you need
and you'll need to know
that every time you meet with someone
could very well be the last:

this is the true difference
between a child and an adult:
you know it is coming
you should be prepared

maybe you can make the box
your palace of the mind
where you have your memories of people, places and things
accompany you in your lonely desperation

just know, this is life
life is death
death is life
that, really, is all you need to know,
this simple, basest transformation,
it is all that's needed to facilitate
your descend into madness.

I'll be there waiting for you,
because my life is about to be transformed,
any day now,
I know,
I'll get a call,
and someone dear
will be no more
but a memory.

need to prepare a place for him in the box.



PJK
May 9th, 2016 / March 9, 2017







Phil John Kneis:
SAMSARA - INSISTENCES V:
A BOOK OF FAMILY
Corvallis, June 1st, 2016 - P#657


a book of family
lovingly described
all members
fixed, in a moment of time
faces fixed, unchanged by time,
places fixed, unchanged by time,
dramatic attitudes, hopefully, adjusted by time,
and all remains is nostalgia
and even if it's in your memory palace
you carry it with you
it will hold you
it will confuse you
it will anchor you
for what is to come

a book of family
all members
visible
going back
generations
and generations
and suddenly
you do not recognize these people anymore
and yet, they do belong to you
and they are legion
and you are them
and you are everyone
and everyone is you
and the whole is part
and the part is now whole



PJK
June 1st, 2016 / February 19, 2017 / March 9, 2017







Phil John Kneis:
SAMSARA - INSISTENCES #:
NOT ALONE IN THE NIGHT
Corvallis, June 8th, 2016 - P#658


you're lying here
next to me
I seek your hand
to be holding it
in our nightly embrace
of lovers mortal but love eternal
seeks one animal the other
in the comfort of the huddle
the cuteness of the cuddle
the warmth of the partner
that's all that matters
between us here and now:
we're not alone in the night



PJK
June 8th, 2016 / March 9, 2017







Phil John Kneis:
SAMSARA - INSISTENCES VII:
GRANDFATHER
Corvallis, July 7th, 2016 - P#659


For J.


you gave me perspectives i needed to hear
you gave me music I needed to hear
like an occasional teacher, your gifts and impulses
shining still strong, pushing me on
never give up
never stop criticism
never be lazy
I remember this,
my grandfather-ish wise old friend:
that power is always corruptible
that the system works through the laziness of everyday folk
that church and politics is one:
he became my black sheep
and I became everyone's:
the trickster, the one creating difficulty because of love -
thank you, for showing me the role.



PJK
July 7th, 2016 / March 9, 2017







Phil John Kneis:
SAMSARA - INSISTENCES VIII:
PARTIAL ARTIST
Corvallis, July 8th, 2016 - P#660


life happens
to all of us
to us of all things -
the blame is the key here

we all blame life
for getting in the way
of dreams

life happens
but is a chance?

do dreams deep down
matter more
than life all around us?

look at me,
this partial artist:

in the first:
part of my life used to be an artist,
part of me is not any more

in the second:
I still am partially an artist
at other times, I'm probably not

in the third:
I may well be partial to art
but maybe less so than I used to be

in the end:
we all play roles
and maybe I'm learning
that playing just one of them
is not quite enough

and somehow, I feel, I am all those things
don't tell me, I'm normal, please



PJK
July 8th, 2014 / March 9, 2017







Phil John Kneis:
SAMSARA - INSISTENCES IX:
U & I
Corvallis, July 26th, 2016 - P#661


I am me
I am no-one's category
no-one's fantasy
of constructed identity:
you may see me,
think me this,
think me that,
you may see me,
but you see yourself
you see your preconceptions
and your vain attempts at understanding:
you see yourself
and I see you
as you may see me
and I may see you
and not know you
like you don't know me
like I don't know you
you are you
you're in no-one's category
no-one's fantasy
of constructed identity:
you are I
and
I am you
and
we
are
human



PJK
July 26th, 2016 / August 13, 2016 / March 9, 2017







Phil John Kneis:
SAMSARA - INSISTENCES X:
JESUS IS A ZOMBIE NOW
Corvallis, July 26th, 2016 / March 9, 2017, 2016 - P#662


Jesus is a Zombie now
returned from the dead,
to persecute those who are different
to punish the poor
to reward the rich
to punish the sick
to exploit the planet
to bless the fortunate
and blame the unfortunate for their fate:
maybe I misunderstood earlier
but somehow
the Sermon on the Mount
sounded different
back then
I assume



PJK
July 26th, 2016 / March 9th, 2017







Phil John Kneis:
SAMSARA - INSISTENCES XI:
LONDON STATUES
Glasgow, August 26th, 2016 - P#663


Nelson Mandela looks askewly
both at Westminster Abbey
and the Houses of Parliament

The Mahatma ignores the Abbey
and directly looks at Parliament

Winston Churchill
has the Abbey completely behind him,
keeps half an eye on Parliament,
nods at Big Ben
and looks beyond the Thames
beyond England



PJK
August 26th, 2016 / March 9, 2017







Phil John Kneis:
SAMSARA - INSISTENCES XII:
STONEHENGE ANTHROPOLOGY
Glasgow, August 26th, 2016 - P#664


I prefer solid engineering
over much-ado-ed mystery:
here are stones
assembled
ingeniously
to mark the day of Sundance for the Celts
not easy
but not other-worldly either
just human
very human



PJK
August 26th, 2016 / March 9, 2017







Phil John Kneis:
SAMSARA - INSISTENCES XIII:
SELFIE PSYCHOLOGY
Glasgow, August 26th, 2016 - P#665


I see you
take a picture
of Stonehenge
in the background
because you need to have
your idiotic grin
in the picture too
while not even looking
at Stonehenge:
this demented derangement
of selfie culture
the omnipresence of narcissism
and the celebration of self
over substance

at least Whitman, who sang himself, celebrated himself,
did some work, and wrote some poetry, earth-shattering one at that.
we shall only celebrate the act, the art, the deed;
we shall never celebrate the artist, the mere reflection;

Oh Muse, what do these know of you?
Tell me of a human of future times -
will there still be achievement, or only narcissism?



PJK
August 26th, 2016 / March 9, 2017







Phil John Kneis:
SAMSARA - INSISTENCES XIV:
PORTWENN ISAAC
Glasgow, August 26th, 2016 - P#666


following a television show
can sometimes be utterly fun:
we were lured in by the landscape
and admired
the beauties of Cornwall:
why not
sometimes
be playful



PJK
August 26th, 2016 / March 9, 2017







Phil John Kneis:
SAMSARA - INSISTENCES XV:
"OXFORD"
Glasgow, August 26th, 2016 - P#667


just the name
inspires all
and in days of stupidity and lowest sense
this one here still holds promise
even if
ironically
its name is dedicated
to an ox
crossing a ford.

the mundane in the highest -
philosophy has become worldly, at last
(or rather, bovine? I kid)



PJK
August 26th, 2016 / March 9, 2017







Phil John Kneis:
SAMSARA - INSISTENCES XVI:
THE WALL
Glasgow, August 26th, 2016 - P#668


some time ago,
a mightiest emperor
put up the last defense
against those north of his, Hadrian's, wall
the wall is still standing
his empire, not

some time ago,
a frantically determined (deranged) leader
put up a wall
right through Berlin
to be shown as his success
at his regime of terror's 40th birthday
which proved to be its day of death
he died in Chile
should have been executed like he executed others

some time ago,
a pretender to the presidency
speaks of a "beautiful wall"
of useless a purpose, other than to demonize the other
I fear for the life of the empire
that gives him full reign
history is not on his side,
no matter how loud his trumpets are whining.



PJK
August 26th, 2016 / March 9, 2017







Phil John Kneis:
SAMSARA - INSISTENCES XVII:
COUNTERVOICES
Glasgow, August 26th, 2016 - P#669


this island
has a bigger force
yet also smaller ones -
so shall the smaller ones simply give up?

the big one speak of tolerance:
tolerate this: a different culture than yours
existing side by side

good luck



PJK
August 26th, 2016 / March 9, 2017







Phil John Kneis:
SAMSARA - INSISTENCES XVIII:
FRIENDSHIPS IN AGE
Eichwalde, August 28th, 2016 - P#670


you cannot save
the friend that goes wrong
that goes awry

even if in the most horrible way:

friends are conditional:
on unconditional love:
once that love questions why there shouldn't be conditions it may not be unconditional anymore 8/27/2016



PJK
Eichwalde, August 28th, 2016 / March 9, 2017







Phil John Kneis:
SAMSARA - INSISTENCES XIX:
FRIENDSHIPS IN RETROSPECT
Bamberg, August 30th, 2016 - P#671


so,
while I had thought I'd found a kindred soul,
I'm finding though, we've never shared a world,
that things I thought would matter,
would matter differently to them -

that is quite normal, is it not,
and yet,
a sudden realization
at a critical juncture,
a moment of quite some revelation ,
may show as well some truth about yourself:

where can you go
and where need you hold a stand:
what can you ignore
and what can you not let stand:

yet out of friendship's love,
no confrontation should be sought,
but quiet disengagement -
a much less heroic gesture
but a quiet sign
of disbelief
and of hope,
an attempt
not to burn bridges prematurely
but to let them remain untraversed
for a while
now

good-bye my friend
I feel you never knew me
and neither did I truly know you:

this is a poem of capitulation
just as much of realization
than really, truly, separation:

for there is still love
there is still care
there is still dedication:

yet there is more confusion now than understanding
and time is running out
and I have lost all energy of understanding
for now



PJK
August 30th, 2016 / March 9, 2017







Phil John Kneis:
SAMSARA - INSISTENCES XX:
HUMAN TREE
Eichwalde, September 5th, 2016 - P#672


I'm like a tree

But unlike a tree

I need to fell myself

To

Rest



PJK
September 5th, 2016 / March 9, 2017







Phil John Kneis:
SAMSARA - INSISTENCES XXI:
HERE I AM
Corvallis, November 20th, 2016 - P#673


here I am
in a strangest country
with the strangest people

yet thinking back
my home's even stranger
with the strangest people

in between two worlds
the strange becomes normal
and home becomes relative

and me, myself,
my home becomes people
and ever expanding



PJK
November 20th, 2016 / March 9, 2017





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