Roses Could Care Less

Jun 15

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote these words, which inspired me to write the poetic response to follow: “These roses under my window make no reference to which roses were the better ones; they are what they are; they exist with God today. There is no time to them there is simply the Rose; it is perfect in every moment of its existence. Before the leaf bud has burst, its whole life acts; in the full-blown flower there is no more; in the leafless root there is no less. Its nature is satisfied and it satisfies nature in all moments alike. There is no time to it.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson courtesy Wikipedia.com

Ralph Waldo Emerson courtesy Wikipedia.com

Ralph Waldo Emerson – Emerson’s Essays, page 48.

Roses Could Care Less

The Roses under my window,

Could care less what you think,

They splendor us with blossoms,

In reds and whites and pink.

 

They never seek approval,

They do not want your thoughts,

Sharing fragrance gracefully,

In garden rows and pots.

 

A Rose knows no tomorrow,

Its past does not exist,

Its fully present beauty,

Is something people missed.

So, the question is, if you were to accept who you were, what you have, how you look, who you are as of this moment; could you see your own beauty? Why can’t we be at peace with the present? If you spent less energy trying to run your life to imitate or impress others would your life have more joy? If you spent more time in gratitude for all that you have at this moment in time would you have less stress or more? How would your life be if you were in a state of “Fully present beauty?”

Here’s an assignment for you.

Ask yourself the questions above. Write about them. Then, make a decision about the life you want to have. Now, you’re thinking, “That’s going to be hard!” Well, I say, no, it’s easy. That way, I don’t have to say, “No one said this was going to be easy.” Because I just did. So there. Start writing. It’s easy.

 
Steve Dahl 
A New Kind of Poetry 
Copyright Steve Dahl 2015
 
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Suicide by Comparison

Jun 10

When I see someone much better than me,
There’s something you should know,
I put them on a pedestal,
And take a step below.
 man looks at himself in the mirror
When I see someone who really shines,
And everyone’s in awe,
I feel the envy, wince with pain,
And draw the shortest straw.
 
When I see someone that does it right,
And seems to have it all,
I die a little deep inside,
And feel so very small.
 
When I see someone with so much skill,
As blessed from head to toe,
I give up all my power,
My ego’s in control.
 
When I see someone much better than me,
I really should not care,
Suicide by comparison,
Is really not that rare.
 
When I see someone with gifts galore,
I need to let it be,
And recognize my gifts within,
And be impressed with… me.
 

This was inspired in part by a glimmer of insight I had while reading Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Emerson’s Essays.” In it he talks about the human flaw of trying to please and appease others. He says that “imitation is suicide.” I think in today’s media-driven world, we are constantly comparing ourselves to each other. We must have a bigger car, a bigger house, a bigger bust, a bigger, and well, you get the picture. Emerson has clearly predicted the many challenges that society continues to face as we seek approval from others by imitation and comparison. Imitation and comparison is a dead-end game you just can’t win.

Steve Dahl 
A New Kind of Poetry 
Copyright Steve Dahl 2015
 
 
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That Inner Voice

Jun 04

And the wise man said,

“Follow your inner voice,”

Seemed like good advice, since,

lips red shhh brunetteThat gave me plenty of choice.

 

I have an inner voice of course,

Sometimes it’s rather meek,

At times it can be loud and brash,

And other times it’s weak.

 

But…

 

That inner voice is not alone,

There’s some I quite admire,

The problem comes when all at once,

Young Businesswoman with Her Finger on Her LipsThat voice becomes a choir.

 

 

One hundred voices singing loud,

With such divergent views,

“Do this, do that, say yes, say no,”

How is a mind to choose?

 

“Your inner voice will lead you well”,

The wise man softly said,

But if I do what they all say,

I think I’ll soon be dead!

 

There is a choir of voices between my ears belting out song after song of “yes and no” and “right and wrong.” Quite often, this choir wavers from the harmonious.

Yes, I understand the power and importance of stillness to hear that single guiding voice but the reality is, these voices still conflict and compete. There’s the “ego voice”, there’s the “Devil-made-me-do-it” voice. ”There’s the “shame voice,” the “inspiration voice,” and the “I-can-do-all-things-through-Christ voice.” And, of course, I must love them all. For a choir of monotonous voices would be, well, quite monotonous.

I don’t want to exclude all the voices but I do need to practice my intuitive and mindfulness skills enough to decipher which voice deserves attention first. The aha moment is this: I am not the voices I hear. I am the choir director. I get to hear these voices from a different vantage point and decide for myself.

As the choir director, I have a responsibility to continuously hold auditions to upgrade the blend of voices I allow to be heard. I keep narrowing down the voices to the few, the loud, and the harmonious but the practice is relentless. Kicking an unharmonious voice off of my cranial choir is never easy but it can be done.

Oops! Gotta run. Those blissful baritones and high-strung tenors are having a nasty debate over another of my life’s big decisions and rehearsal starts in twenty minutes.

Steve Dahl

A New Kind of Poetry

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The Wolf

Nov 29

The Wolf Illustration by Dahl for A New Kind of Poetry.com

The Wolf. Pencil by Dahl

Between the trees,

His eyes appear,

Focused vision,

Crystal clear.

  

Canine power,

Gentle brawn,

And in a blink,

The wolf is… gone.

 

Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? This is the first piece of art I’ve drawn beyond your basic stick men in a few decades (Thanks to a little coaching from an art teacher, an art course, and a lot of patience)!

This guy took about three hours total time with a 2B pencil. I love other people’s art so much I decided to stop just admiring it and start doing it.

More to come. Kinda fun.

Steve

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Drop a Pebble in the Pond

Sep 24

“Drop a pebble in the pond”
The wise man told the boy.
“And watch the endless circles,water-rain-drops-ripples-blue-7417702
As the ripples spread with joy.”
 
“Then try to stop them quickly,
Stop those ripples if you can.
And see what really happens,
Catching ripples with your hand.”
 
So I dropped the little pebble,
In the pond as smooth as glass,
And tried to stop the ripples,
With each and every pass.
 
“This act is really foolish,
I can’t make ripples stop!
You cannot stop a ripple,
Once you let the pebble drop.”
 
“Precisely” said the wise man,
To the young and curious lad,
“One can’t undo an action,
Be it good or be it bad.”
 
 
 
As history repeats itself, some of us learn and some of us don’t. Like our words, our actions are not retrievable. Choose your words carefully. Choose your actions even more carefully.
 
The essence of this writing is an old Chinese parable. Quite amazing how even the oldest of words still have wisdom we can use today. Do you have an idea for a poem you would like to submit to A New Kind of Poetry? Drop me a note!
 
Steve 
 
Copyright 2014 © Steve Dahl
 
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This Un-Mindful Pace

Aug 27

If I pause for a moment,
To dwell on your word,A New Kind of Poetry - Mindfulness Requires a Little Pause
I ‘d listen more deeply,
And you could be heard.
 
We can’t keep on running,
This un-mindful pace,
We’re so disconnected,
It’s all over your face.
 
Let’s hit the pause button,
We know where it’s at,
It’s in between ears,
And beneath our big hat.
 
If we both pause together,
Then we won’t pull apart,
Then we both listen better,
As we hear with our heart.
 
We can both listen deeply,
With a mindfullness cause,
Take a breath – then another,
With a button called…
 
Pause. 
 
 
Steve
 
Okay, take a breathe! And another…. I’ve been taking this great class on mindfulness from Megan Leuchars and Christy Cassisa with UCSD Center for Mindfulness. It’s been a lot of meditating and a little yoga and a lot of shutting up and listening! Sometimes all we need to do is hit the pause button and our entire life can change.
 
You might want to check out this course in San Diego. Here’s the link. Even if you don’t live around here you can play their 10, 20 and 40 minute meditations and body scans right here: http://health.ucsd.edu/specialties/mindfulness/mbsr/Pages/default.aspx.
 
Any ideas for A New Kind of Poetry? Send ’em over!  
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