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  phase 6: zêtesis kai hairesis

POEMS GROUP 24: SAMSARA
Samsara - continuous movement

Category 4: Turnaround

Section Index


  1. Dialling Phone Numbers of Dead People
  2. Alone for a Night
  3. Living Alone
  4. Crossroads
  5. Syllogy XLIII: Septingenti: Fear Not
  6. World-Life-World
  7. Unlimited Love
  8. I Have a History in the World

  What's Related  
  Subsequent Pages - Poems  
 






Phil John Kneis:
Samsara - continuous movement (SAMSARA) - TURNAROUND I:
DIALLING PHONE NUMBERS
OF DEAD PEOPLE
New York / Corvallis, March 27th, 2018 - January 8th, 2019 - P#696


For G.L.



when in New York
I instinctively took out my phone
to call my old professor
whose love for the city
was a love supreme
with all this jazz
and all this greatness
and the unparalleled amalgamation
the world reflected in the city
as this city is the city of the world
urbs urborum
a true cosmopolis

a city built
by the imagination
the ideas of all those
huddled masses:

the words of the city
in the city of words

such a powerful idea
explained to me
by my dear professor then

I remembered him
upon arrival
hearing the subway amble on
from Queens to Manhattan

I tried to dial him
his number was there
his sweet, loving face still there:

I know he is dead
But I cannot bring myself
to delete the number

maybe, from the beyond,
he would appreciate the gesture

see, the older you get, religion seeps in,
and to connect to all those dear people now dearly departed
the thought of an afterlife
is such a consolation

I hope he saw me
I miss him so much
New York's not fun without him
but somehow, he's with me
internalized
within my mind



PJK
January 12th, 2019







Phil John Kneis:
Samsara - continuous movement (SAMSARA) - TURNAROUND II:
ALONE FOR A NIGHT
Corvallis, September 28th, 2018 - January 8th, 2019 - P#697


alone
in the house
night has fallen
without remorse
the mind still races
there's no relief
there's not a refuge either
except the inner reaches of the mind

my love is far away from me
what some call codependence, I call partnership
and she is far away today
my night is solitary
missing her breath
her body
her warmth
her thoughts, before sleeping, on the end of the day
this connection so vital, that here to explain
is pointless to those
who've never been there:

this crazy notion of a soulmate
oft abused, oft ridiculed,
seen too much as a romantic dream -

it's real with you
you are the mate
my soul needs
to go on
in the night
in the dark
when all the poisons from the mud hatch out in my mind
you should be there

I should be there
when all the poisons from the mud hatch out in your mind
in the dark
in the mind to go on
your soul needs a mate, just as I do
I hope I can be it for you
still, after all those many years

attached we are quite
soulmates conjoined
in a world that's disjoint
disjoint
disjoint all over
and does not seem to care a bit:

in this cold, dark place
the little cuddle
in the night
so precious
to me
to you
but for me,
salvation

I know you need to be
far away
right now

I will wait
and attempt to manage
my insanity
as much
as I can

my love,
my life
go out to you:
so that you can know:

you are not alone



PJK
January 12th, 2019







Phil John Kneis:
Samsara - continuous movement (SAMSARA) - TURNAROUND III:
LIVING ALONE
Corvallis, March 22nd, 2018 - January 8th, 2019 - P#698


It is the quiet that gets to you.

Sure, put on music.
Switch on the television.
Make noise.
Talk to yourself.
But in the end, towards the night,
everything switched off, it is just you.

Cleaning up at the end of the day for yourself.
Cleaning the kitchen for yourself.
So that you find it clean in the morning.

But it's only your approval that is sought.
No bathroom talk.
No bedroom talk.
No sleeping noises in the room with you,
even when you are wide awake.

Silence indeed has a sound.
It is the sound of your mind
going crazy day after day.



PJK
January 12th, 2019







Phil John Kneis:
Samsara - continuous movement (SAMSARA) - TURNAROUND IV:
CROSSROADS
Corvallis, June 4th, 2018 - January 12th, 2019 - P#699


am I at a crossroads?
feels normal, somehow,

the walls crushing in,
I am a foreigner in an alien land,
and sometimes, home keeps calling
rather convincingly

I have quite come to embrace this life
between two continents
at home in two spaces,
sadly not physically,
but still:

am I an immigrant - or an itinerant?
am I an emigrant - or an exile?

I'd say, I am neither
and these categories are quite
from another world
and time

yet still

it is aging that cannot be defeated
that cannot be ignored
and family is more
than the odd phone call or skype

where have I been?
where am I going?



PJK
January 12th, 2019







Phil John Kneis:
SYLLOGY XLIII:
Samsara - continuous movement (SAMSARA) - TURNAROUND V:


SEPTINGENTI: FEAR NOT



Corvallis, February 19th, 2018 - January 12th, 2019 - P#700


I

say the angels
when they announce the birth of the savior
to the peasants

fear not

the clearest message
of Christianity

FEAR NOT

and if any one tries to scare the religion into you,

Fear Not, says Luke
and "there is no compulsion in religion", says Al-Baqara

how could we be afraid?

if truly you believe,
then our divine father,
carrier of divine judgments,
tells us not to be afraid.

everything else in religion
rather pales in comparison

II

it never ceases to amaze me
how self-professed confessors
of religious faith
can be so filled
with fear
and trepidation
and the urge
to convince others

true faith
should speak for itself
true faith
does not need to proselytize
true faith
reveals itself on its own

III

there should be a space
for an understanding of religion
beyond the conventional
beyond the confessional
beyond the mindless repetition of words

religion is a question
not an answer
but it needs to be asked with care:

religion
does not work
unless it is a devotion to life, to love, to it all

IV

we have
for good reason
gotten rid of all those little gods
fake little gods
with their little desires
little stories
little ambition
and exaggerated bits of humanity

Zeus is not a god, neither is Wotan,
bumbling idiots they all,
ruining the fates of their subjects
in their idiotic quest
for selfish understanding
and power

let us thus
recognize
that the new god
the all-god
the new all-father
must not be like this
but all-loving
all-caring
all-forgiving:

"Fear Not"

for if "God" is not good,
then what is the point?

V

you might well counter
that as mere mortals
our understanding of divinity
in all its aspects
would quite by definition
be limited

what we would deem good
could very well hold a dimension
of which we are completely
unaware
and what is good to us, in our limited view,
could truly hold
some potential for catastrophe

maybe it is all relative
maybe it is all a matter of perspective
but then
please
do a better job at convincing us

"god is good"
cannot work by fiat alone
but I side with Thomas:
I need to see truth
I may be just a measly mortal human
but for a human, I can seriously claim to be grown up
and I can expect
to be talked to as such:
not as a child

"do as you're told"
simply
is not good enough

VI

that does not mean
there cannot be divinity
or a sense of the sublime
and the fantastic
and wonderful
and inaccessible
and numinous
and mystical
and magical

there will always be something
unexplained
and beyond
all our understanding

and yet

we need to see
that knowledge is love
that criticism is love
that we are allowed to talk back
that we are not children
that we are grown ups
that we are
that we simply are

and the reason for us being
without any mythological layers
that very reason
whatever it is
the inaccessible
the unbelievable
the unapproachable
that which is always greater
that
in the end
is telling us:
fear not

because it is that
what we need to hear



PJK
January 12th, 2019







Phil John Kneis:
Samsara - continuous movement (SAMSARA) - TURNAROUND VI:
WORK-LIFE-WORLD
Corvallis, October 23rd, 2018 - January 12th, 2019 - P#701


here now
I have to confess
I've met an enemy so persistent
so pervasive
so seductive too, I must admit

worklife
has forced me
to cut down on art

the world of work
has colonized the world of life

without a world of life
there can be no art

or it's very difficult

it feels I've missed the road for miles initially, then hundreds, thousands

I'm missing my (controlled) insanity
to counteract
the routine
the monotony
the monotone

And yet
not all is bad
I like my job
but I shall not ever by my only thing

there's only one thing about an artist, a poet:
a poet acts

for a poet to keep being a poet, there needs to be poetry
thus let there be words
flowing
shamelessly
boldly
defiantly
anyway

what is the point of life
if not
in the end
what you leave behind?

and even if you are just doing it
for yourself:
the point is
to do it



PJK
January 12th, 2019







Phil John Kneis:
Samsara - continuous movement (SAMSARA) - TURNAROUND VII:
UNLIMITED LOVE
Corvallis, January 8th-12th, 2019 - P#702


If you cannot in principle love everyone, you cannot love anyone.

the faces
in the crowd
the many people
you see
young, old, sexy, beyond,
they're all just people,
and who am I to judge?

if I cannot see something loveable about any single one of them,
I would very well fit into
a culture of
tindering and
swiping and
superficial judgements

are you a believer in love?

should it have limits?

sex not, but love, by the way

the difference between lust and love
should we not stress
how we should love every one?

in principle?

I know that's hard to practice, even in theory -
I refuse to love Hitler, but his problem was the lack of true love -
maybe we need to learn how to love him as well
(I'm not quite there yet)

we need to see that
unlimited
radical
love
is what we need
to heal this world

as the world yearns for love
(or so I would hope -
sometimes, I am not so sure anymore.
does age make me more sentimental
or more cynical?
I do not know yet.
I suspect something in between.)



PJK
January 12th, 2019







Phil John Kneis:
Samsara - continuous movement (SAMSARA) - TURNAROUND VIII:
I HAVE A HISTORY IN THE WORLD
Corvallis, January 12th, 2019 - P#703


me, myself and I
that famous trinity of the self

am I just a strange occurrence?
here today, gone tomorrow?

Is what I do having any effect?
is who I am remembered?

do I matter, in the larger scheme of things?

I wonder sometimes
what this all means

and how it contributes to happiness
or even visibility

my cat sees these points and chooses to act
by licking himself

that could very well be
the right answer

to this conundrum



PJK
January 12th, 2019





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