I Promise You Nothing

Fiat 500 1963(ish)

A Journey

by Nikki Giovanni

It’s a journey . . . that I propose . . . I am not the guide . . . nor technical assistant . . . I will be your fellow passenger . . .

Though the rail has been ridden . . . winter clouds cover . . . autumn’s exuberant quilt . . . we must provide our own guide-posts . . .

I have heard . . . from previous visitors . . . the road washes out sometimes . . . and passengers are compelled . . . to continue groping . . . or turn back . . . I am not afraid . . .

I am not afraid . . . of rough spots . . . or lonely times . . . I don’t fear . . . the success of this endeavor . . . I am Ra . . . in a space . . . not to be discovered . . . but invented . . .

I promise you nothing . . . I accept your promise . . . of the same we are simply riding . . . a wave . . . that may carry . . . or crash . . .

It’s a journey . . . and I want . . . to go . .


Hiking recently I realized what a bad judge of distance I am. While carrying an uncomfortable amount of weight on my shoulders and hips backpacking a relatively short distance of 1.6 miles, halfway seemed like it should have been almost there and yet while driving home from the North Shore in the rain halfway slipped by without notice. Maybe distance is directly proportional to my comfort and ease and not a measurement of space and time.

Writing this blog has not been effortless, but it slips by without measurement of time, without a connection to the passage of days; time is not connected to the way I think about poetry and my immersion in it. I know of course that it is nearly the three year anniversary since I began Fourteen Lines. This post marks the 500th entry on a self proscribed journey to 1,000 blog entries, but I have no sense of time or true goal on this journey. I honestly don’t know where its headed or when it will end. It will end at some point, as most journey’s do, but how and when I am still unsure.

I am undergoing a different kind of journey at the moment, one I am very much aware; moving from the condo I have lived in the past six years to a house owned by someone else. It will be the first time since I was 21 years old that I do not own the dwelling in which I live. Being a bit precocious in purchasing property, it feels odd to suddenly be a renter again. This fall’s move is temporary, as there is another more permanent destination a year from now, so this dislocation compounds my inner awkwardness in that I have put 95% of what I own in a box and into storage, wondering when and if I will ever open those boxes ever again. It’s not the worst thing to become disengaged from one’s possessions. It feels somewhat refreshing to not really purge but to disentangle from it all, like diving into a cold lake, not exactly comfortable but bracing once I get used to it, knowing I can still swim back to shore and comfort awaits. This defined temporary storage will be a test to see what I really miss in the next 12 months and what I will bring back into our future living space and what I am ready to permanently let go, after having already gotten rid of what feels like a mountain of possessions the past 10 years. I have been continually downsizing size 2010 and feel I am on the right trajectory, one that if I execute it well, will leave only my writing, my music and my art for my children and friends to sort through once I am gone and the rest can be dropped off at a Goodwill with no emotional attachment to finding any of it a new home.

What journey are you are on currently? Do you mark the milestones or simply let the next foot fall in front of the other? Are you aware of the passage of time or space or is your destination undecided and not pre-determined? What companion(s) are most important on this journey of yours? If you could add one additional companion on this quest, who or what would it be, if it could be anyone or anything in this world? Have you asked them (it) to join you?


Halfway Down

by A. A. Milne

Halfway down the stairs
is a stair
where i sit.
there isn’t any
other stair
quite like
it.
i’m not at the bottom,
i’m not at the top;
so this is the stair
where
I always
stop.

Halfway up the stairs
Isn’t up
And it isn’t down.
It isn’t in the nursery,
It isn’t in town.
And all sorts of funny thoughts
Run round my head.
It isn’t really
Anywhere!
It’s somewhere else
Instead.

You Are As Good As Anybody Else

Giovanni-1973
Nikki Giovanni

We love because it’s the only true adventure.

Nikki Giovanni

BLK History Month

by Nikki Giovanni

If Black History Month is not
viable then wind does not
carry the seeds and drop them
on fertile ground
rain does not
dampen the land
and encourage the seeds
to root
sun does not
warm the earth
and kiss the seedlings
and tell them plain:
You’re As Good As Anybody Else
You’ve Got A Place Here, Too

 


As A Possible Lover

by Amiri Baraka (1934 – 2014)

Practices
silence, the way of wind
bursting
in early lull.  Cold morning
to night, we go so
slowly, without
thought
to ourselves. (Enough
to have thought
tonight, nothing
finishes it.  What
you are, will have
no certainty, or
end.  That you will
stay, where you are,
a human gentle wisp
of life.  Ah . . . . )
.                         .  practices
loneliness,
as a virtue.  A single
specious need
to keep
what you have
never really
had.