Dead Flowers (on a Dead Man’s Grave)

Dead flowers… on a dead man’s grave….
These plastic people…
Lord… they’re tryin’ to save me
From myself.
Save me from some life that they see as damned….
But they can’t save me from who I am!

Dead flowers… on a cold, dead fire….
Guess I’ve been burned by my burnin’ desire!
Cupids arrow struck me straight in my heart…
Now I’m torn down… and my life’s torn apart….

Dead flowers… in a broken vase….
I hate my life… and I hate this place!
Despise the lies, but I can’t stand the truth….
And… I hate talkin’ cuz the point is moot!

Everyone’s talk…
Talk… talk… talk…
Talkin’ at me….
But all your talk is cheap as bird chirp, you see…?
Cuz the walk your walkin’ can’t carry it’s own weight with me….
You may think your money somehow bought and sold me,
But… I’m here to tell you… you can’t control me….
I’m a dead man walkin’ in a purple haze….
Just another dead flower on a dead man’s grave….

Dead flowers… on a dead man’s grave….
Sometimes some things in life…
Lord… just ain’t worth savin’….
And this life of mine…
May be one of those times…
But I ain’t complainin’…
And I sure as Hell ain’t changin’….

Dead flowers… on a dead man’s grave….
And just who is it they’re all tryin’ to save…?
Me from Hell? Or themselves from change…?
Seems plastic people ain’t got no sense… or no shame….

Everyone’s talk…
Talk… talk… talk…
Talkin’ at me….
If I’ve hurt your feelin’s… I guess that one’s on me….
I don’t want to hurt you… but I need to feel free….
Feel free to live YOUR life however you please….
Control yourself. Just don’t try to control me….
I don’t mean to throw anyone into a tiz….
I’m just statin’ it the way it is….

Dead flowers… on the killin’ ground….
Feel free to kiss me when I turn around….
Feel free to miss me when I’m dead and gone….
Feel free to love me… or leave me alone….

So… you can stop talk…
Talk… talk… talk…
Talkin’ at me….
Your talk is cheaper than chicken chirp to me!
Cuz the walk your walkin’ can’t carry it’s own weight with me….
You may think your money somehow bought and sold me,
But… I’m here to tell you… you can’t control me….
I’m a dead man walkin’ in a purple haze….
And you’re just another dead flower on a dead man’s grave….

Just another dead flower on a dead man’s grave….
Just another dead flower… on a dead man’s grave….

by BaHR
26 May 2014 1232
24 June 2014 0901
05 February 2015 1207
18 February 2015 1316
23 February 2015 0929
03 March 2015 1200

A Lonely Walk

Walkin’ down the road- alone….
Wonderin’ how to fit this meaningless life of mine into a song….
Can’t find the right words….
Can’t find the rhyme….
Can’t find the rhythm….
Can’t find the time
To correct the trajectory
Of my life’s tragedy
Displayed on the stages…
Written down in the pages
Of life’s little hypocrisies….
Can’t free my mind from my past
Can’t seem to draw a line in a sand
Can’t be free at last-
FREE at last….
On this boulevard of broken dreams
Seems sometime we check into motels
With our plans and schemes
And check out of what life’s REALLY supposed to mean….
And a meaningless life…
Means NOTHING….
Seems I’ve lost everything-
Meaningful-
In my life…
Since I lost you….
Seems I’ve lost everything-
Meaningful-
In my life…
Since I lost you!

by BaHR
03 March 2015 1029-1042

Recent Reads: Monkey

Finished reading Monkey: Folk Novel of China by Wu Ch’êng-Ên, translated by Arthur Waley a few days ago.

This book is an abridgement and translation of the Classic Chinese Novel: A Journey to the West….

I think it’s a rather older translation. And… it was abridged for Western tastes….

Thus… Waley did an amazing job! Excellent story. Moves along at a rollicking pace. Not too difficult to pick up some nuance…. A very entertaining Picaresque… that evolves into a fast-paced tale of redemption….

Clearly… the purpose is to display the redemptive Everyman theme that is inherent in Pure Land Buddhism…. Salvation is not hard….

This story mocks other religions… especially Taoism… which is esoteric by its nature….

And… the heroes are presented flaws and all…. In fact, much of the humor is due to the impetuous “sins” of the Pilgrims who accompany the Bodhisattva on the Journey to the West to retrieve Buddhist Scripture in order to save China….

In this story… the Bodhisattva is a whiny wimp… who constantly requires intervention from his four traveling companions… all of whom have sinned and fallen short… and thus need redemption….

In Pure Land Buddhism… the West… which is the area of India in the foothills of the Himalaya Mountains where Siddhārtha or Gautama Buddha was born… represents Heaven…. The Four Pilgrims or Disciples are all monsters… who have fallen from grace….

I think a lot of details were left out of story… and many of the names, which to Western minds would likely seem redundant and confusing… were omitted or replaced by the profession of the character…. Many of the allusions have no Western equivalent… so the more you know about Ancient China and Buddhism and Asian Culture, the more meaningful many of the details will be to you…. Many of the characters come straight out of Chinese and Buddhist Mythology… though many of the references have various alternative tellings….

All-in-all… I found Monkey to be an amazingly entertaining and informative tale…. And a brisk read….

One other comment…. Novels were considered beneath the dignity of the Literati in the Ancient Orient…. The author of novels typically typically wrote those works under pen names…. This work is EXTREMELY well written…. In a later period in Japan… indigenous Japanese literature… and prose in particular… were the purview of women…. That was because fiction was considered beneath educated men, who wrote in Chinese… in a derivative Chinoisesque style…. Women were discouraged from studying Chinese… and women were accorded the freedom to create works of fiction without ridicule…. Women also wrote in a style that suited them…. Meaning that the stories were catty… and romantic… and even sexy…. So… needless to say… the works of the women writers of the Heian Period in Japan were… interesting….

Renga (Response to Bashō’s Famous Frog Haiku)

In quiet contemplation

Pondering green pond

Ancient frog… still… knows nothing….

Renga were an ancient form of linked verse, in which the most proficient poet would start with a poem expressing the seasonal (ephemeral) nature of the human world (which was considered to be merely an illusion), and other lesser poets would contribute poems based on the original idea that explore different aspects of the ideas.

Another concept in Japanese poetry involves multiple possible interpretations…. Multiple… subtle… suggestions from single words…. Developing depth….

A Spring Hokku

Spring sunrise surprised me.

Burst through my window.

Sudden Illumination!

 

A hokku or haiku is a seventeen syllable poem that typically involves a 7-5-7 syllabic structure. The essence of the form involves kireji or “cutting”. An appropriate kireji is a word that suggests a sharp turn in the poem, thus defining the skill of the poet. Proper hokku present images drawn from a very specific seasonal vocabulary: kigo (seasonal references) defined within saijiki (collections of appropriate imagery). Appropriate words emanated from Chinese treatises and obliquely present religious references drawn from Taoist and Buddhist traditions.

I don’t speak Japanese, but….

Akiyama no
Momiji wo shigemi
Madoinuru
Imo wo motomemu
Yamamichi shirazu mo

Autumn mountain
Excessive leaves falling
Confounded me
I vainly seek lost love
Mountain pathway remains obscured

Anonymous poem from Manyoushuu… “A Thousand Leaves”

I don’t speak Japanese. I know a few words. And I can read a few characters. And… I can’t seem to leave well enough alone….

But… just seems to me a story may be hiding somewhere along this desolate mountain path….