Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Cliff & Clarity

At the cliff,
no Dairy Queen.
No airport.
No cinema.

Just the Confused,
with their dusty feet.

At the bottom of the cliff,
the No Longer Confused
in their matchless silence.

In between,
an empty space that is not empty.
Each entrant fills it (briefly)
with flight, adrenaline, instant regret, or transport.

As with all spaces 
of sudden clarity and 
illumination,
you cannot live there.

Just when you so want to tell the world
--yes, that recently rejected world--
what you know,

Here comes gravity the motivator,
solid ground the schoolmarm,
and permanence the principal

to shut you up,
lest you warn those wide-eyed others
on their way
behind you.
_____

 

19 comments:

hedgewitch said...

I really like the way this speaks directly and with great authority to so many human questions, which I hesitate to label 'existential' but which are part of the fabric of our existence, and of who we are--in both a smaller and larger sense. The first two stanzas are just brilliant in setting up your premise, and the rest of the poem manages to equal or exceed them, providing the inner murk with a bit of rather celestial light. (And I love the Dr John.) Great stuff, Shay.

Shadow said...

It is but a brief flash, isn't it...

Mama Zen said...

This is freaking amazing.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Well, Shay... I'm quite dumbfounded by your brilliance today.

I will simply say: Huzzah!!! for the pleasure of your poetry.

said...

I just watched Dazed and Confused a couple of days ago (that song is on the soundtrack, which I presume you were thinking of when you wrote this).

Your poem is brilliant and perfect and impressive, which I'm sure you get bored of hearing. But it's true. Even better than it being so well written and pleasurable to read, is the fact that it could apply to so many different situations and circumstances, depending on where the reader is coming from.

This is insanely clever:
"Here comes gravity the motivator,
solid ground the schoolmarm,
and permanence the principal"

I also really like the way you set the tone in the first stanza (somewhat playful, but still, very serious) ... and also this:
"Each entrant fills it (briefly)
with flight, adrenaline, instant regret, or transport."

Fantastic work. Consider me warned.

But sometimes I wonder which is more a "plunge off the cliff" ... jumping, or not jumping. What is truly brave, and what is truly stupid?

TexWisGirl said...

wow. what can i say, but amazing? again.

Jim said...

Death I know, but I hearing suicide here, Shay, aren't I?
Most of us see it, some up close. I saw lots of meditation and no shoving so I shouldn't be murder.
Authority seldom halts it, counseling might.
..

brudberg said...

I think in the hard school of life the discipline is harsh... and life always have the same end I think... great thoughts here.

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

I think you've got it! I immediately remembered having read somewhere that the few jumpers over cliffs who don;t succeed in killing themselves report that once they are mid-jump they feel a sudden wish to change their minds ... which, for most, is too late.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Wow, the no longer confused. I imagine clarity arrived midflight. Terrific write, my friend.

Sioux said...

Shay--That last stanza--my favorite. (And Dr. John--the perfect song to complement your poem.)

Outlawyer said...

So clever--a perfect tone of analysis and the content too--well done. Thanks, Shay. K.

Marian said...

Wow. And so yes, no sharing wisdom with other to alleviate anyone else's torment. This is just right on, Shay. I love it.

Susie Clevenger said...

Oh my, what we've learned stuck in a void where we can't share it with those behind us is a powerful image. I feel people have gone mad feeding on only what they want to hear. Scary times along the cliff.

Buddah Moskowitz said...

Some lessons (the ones that really matter) are the ones learned the hard way. la la mosk

zouxzoux said...

"Like" 😉

Jennifer Wagner said...

Wow! Sharp, Shay.

K9friend said...

"At the bottom of the cliff, the No Longer Confused in their matchless silence." Wow!

Pat
Critter Alley

grapeling said...

empty but not empty. damn. ~