We’ve made a commitment to our creativity – and each Monday, we gather and create. It’s been wonderful – and I find myself finding new inspirations and being called to older ones that I’d stepped away from.

Following our group today, I kept thinking about two different poems and two different poets. The first, Jim Morrison, was the singer for the Doors – a beautiful and tortured wildman. There’s something very primal about his poetry that calls to me – raw images and slaps of feeling, and echoes of something ancient and half veiled. He places most of us are afraid to go, or where we are not willing to look – there’s something about it, an energy that I feel gets triggered in me, to go, and look one more time – to see what inspires, what enflames, and what I still turn away from. He’s best set to music – he’s Bacchus, singing the blues. Here’s one of his poems (a tame one, safe for all audiences) that I really enjoy:

Dull lions prone on a watery beach.

The universe kneels at the swamp

To curiously eye its own raw

Postures of decay

In the mirror of human consciousness.

 

Absent and peopled mirror, absorbent,

Passive to whatever visits

And retains its interest.

 

Doors of passage to the other side,

The soul frees itself in stride.

 

Turn mirrors to the wall

In the house of the new dead.

 

 

The other poet I’m being called to think about today is Robert Hunter – longtime lyricist for the Grateful Dead. And this is my favorite poem by him:

Like a Basket

 

We knew enough to begin with

but after awhile we didn’t

know enough anymore so

we put what we did know

into something like a basket

with your arms for handles

& my feet to steady it in case

it had to be set down suddenly.

 

What we didn’t tell the basket

was where to stand …

by the time we realized

it was necessary to do so,

it had run off with everything

we knew to begin with and

most of what we’d found out since.

 

The general opinion was

that since the feet the basket

ran off on were mine,

it befell me to track it down.

 

I agreed – but since I had no feet

it was obvious someone

would have to carry me.

You declined because

you had no arms.

Love is like that in the City.

 

This mood, this raw, primal, artistic mood always seems to call for the music of the sixties and seventies – I want to listen to protest songs, blues, rock ‘n roll. The Doors, Janis Joplin, Bob Marley, The Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix.

Advertisements