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Exploring Society In Poetry

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Personal Tao – Chapter 18
Poets, Madmen and Fear

Is it Madness

Expressing yourself truly? Or Hiding from what others think?

It is madness to live in fear
It is de-humanizing to be ruled by fear.

Living to fear means not living as yourself.

How can a person discover a Personal Tao if they cannot be themselves?

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Exploring Society with Poetry

Our Humanity

Painting

Shades of sadness
Hues of happiness
our palette of humanity.

The process of blending emotions
is the making of our heart.

We cannot just tear apart the canvas
as if to remake ourselves
in a new color.

Casey Kochmer July 2006

Personal Thoughts About the Poem

The words I just blurted out were from watching a friend struggle with a relationship. Our humanity is always an unfinished work. So much I would like to teach, however, like this poem: enlightenment, peace, heaven arise from the artistry we learn from the challenges in our life.

Four people, so distinct and separate.

The picture reminds me how we are each in our own world,
no matter how closely those worlds overlap.

Casey Kochmer 1981

 

Our Civilization

Broken Stars

Walking a summer road, following humanities trail.
Revealing light of constellations amid
scattered stars of broken glass.
Glinting remains of pepsi, 7-up and beer bottles.
Wondering if a lesson is to be found…
Nothing else comes
As man made stars destine me
to silently and hypnotically move along.

Archaeologists document:
The history of any culture is told in garbage.
By this account modern civilization
has already thrown away its tale.
Leaving me to understand:
The time of lessons
just passed on by.

Casey Kochmer Nov 2006

Personal Thoughts About the Poem

If we are to be measured by what we throw away. Then I must ask:

Why not leave behind beauty?


Carving of Lao Tzu
Tang Dynasty, Late 7th/early 8th century

Our Smiles

 

Taken in Washington Square Park, capturing a smile in motion.

Casey Kochmer 1981

Faces

Watching
Watching Rush Hour

Watching
Hard Faces, Stone Faces, Gargoyle Faces
Etched in Stone Faces
Going from A to B Faces
Thats the world we are making faces

Look at me, I look away faces
Look at me…
And its so so sad
but no one is at home faces.

Rush Hour pulses

I sit on the ground
watching faces pass on by
I am invisible, as long as I don’t break
the barrier between you and me faces
as faces Stumble and Tumble to
the beat of the traffic rumble

It all seems the same
The going home I don’t care faces
The banana republic shopping bag faces

I smile and people return to me the:
pass on by Quickly,
pretend not to see you,
leave me alone faces.
But, once, once every few hundred
pass on by faces
a glimmer of hope,
a I will smile back at you face.
Just a thank you for the smile face

Pass on by
passing the smile
passing on hope,
we are all people together
here and now
Face

Leaving me with a wondering
about the future face
wondering
How many smiles,
How long to melt
all the rock hard faces
with a: I will smile at you
just because
face


Casey Kochmer 2003

Personal Thoughts About the Poem

Just watching the rush on the streets of Washington DC…
Inner peace is never in a rush.

A Parting Smile

Casey Kochmer 2008

I was left speechless by this statue

Even stone can embrace spirit if the hands crafting it share spirit. This statue dates from the 12th century India. She adorned a temple and honored the gods with both music and dance in her carving. More than anything it was her face that captured my attention.

The smile shows in dancing we touch grace of life,  even when we are stone.

Speaking Out and Spoken Word

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Personal Tao

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Under the Moon
Our Nature in Nature
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