Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Algebra of Mystery

The other night I saw that a friend of mine heard Ted Kooser, our nation's 13th Poet Laureate, at a live event. Mike said it was really great. It got me thinking a bit about poetry. For example, I pondered this strange thought: Do accountants receive awards and recognition for being uncreative in the same manner that poets receive awards and recognition for their creative expression? I mean, who wants creative when it comes to balancing checkbooks and ledgers? Anyways, it was just a thought. There is something magical about creativity in others and so we recognize that and honor those who share their gifts with us.

So while flying to Denver yesterday I began writing down lines that would make interesting titles for poems. I have always enjoyed coming up with titles for my paintings anyways, or titling books or creating headlines for ads. Phrases leap into my mind from all manner of sources and are then re-configured. Some are polished, some discarded and others taken whole.

Here then is a poem developed from a list of poem title ideas while on that flight. I liked the first in the list as its title.

The Algebra of Mystery

The geometry of innocence,
the diversity of time,
small portions of infinity
in disparate designs;
magical redundancy
when captured in lines.

A species of prayer
with incense and rhymes,
fragrance, illuminations
engaging minds.

The mirrors reveal
what darkness conceals
and everyone,
eventually kneels
beneath the algebra of mystery.

And to bring closure to today's thoughts, here is a quote from Mr. Ted Kooser.

"Considering the ways in which so many of us waste our time, what would be wrong with a world in which everybody were writing poems? After all, there’s a significant service to humanity in spending time doing no harm. While you’re writing your poem, there’s one less scoundrel in the world. And I’d like a world, wouldn’t you, in which people actually took time to think about what they were saying? It would be, I’m certain, a more peaceful, more reasonable place. I don’t think there could ever be too many poets. By writing poetry, even those poems that fail and fail miserably, we honor and affirm life. We say ‘We loved the earth but could not stay."

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