Was there a reason?

Was there a reason

And if so, what was it?

Can you explain

How we got to this place?

When things happen

That defy description

We assign meaning

Attribute actions

To some greater plan

Those who enjoy

Their sense of mystery

May even claim

To understand

The whys and wherefores

Of existence

Both good and bad

I too have done my share

Of anthropomorphic

Solipsism

Casting of nasturtiums

And other such malapropisms

Until I am left

With the notion

That I simply

Cannot understand

The world in which we live

If by some miracle

You know what I mean

Then draw me a picture

Using your words

To remove me

From my indecision

Perhaps a map

That we may both use

To find our way back

To something that

Closely resembles

A reason for us all

To believe

Failing which

I will take payment

By alternate means

In the universal currency

Of coffee or pizza

Seeking midnight solace

In creature comforts

That some deem

Earthly delights

At least my senses

Shall feast

While the rest

Is silence

In search of something

Looking up the ancestors

Tracing a family tree

Am I in search of them, my love

Or really in search of me?

Finding pairs of twins who married

Sailed off across the pond

Only to find in a generation

Home was what they’d scorned

Trying to cram onto scraps of paper

Names and dates and more

Wondering why they had chosen to scatter

Themselves from shore to shore

Picking over the bones of stories

Scraps of my family lore

Wishing I’d asked before someone passed

A couple of questions more

Chuckling over the old intrepid

Tales of derring done

The girl who ran guns in place of her brothers

As they’d only blab to mum

The lady highwayman; army driver;

Girl of a thousand smiles

The one whose paintings went down with the ship

The ones who ran quite wild

How would I fit, these elderly legends

How would I measure up?

Putting myself into clogs and sabots

Filling old boots with luck

Knowing the secrets that spring from boxes

Hidden on dusty shelves

Of births and deaths and marriage and proxies

Chicken-scratch bibles and tombstone kells

The hideous source of a score of quarrels

Love letters from the wrong side of a war

Black sheep and politics; actors and brothels,

Family heirlooms and so much more

Mystery facts are now uncovered

A lady who lied for years

Pretending to youth and no old lovers

To soothe a new husband’s fears

Learning why some names were missing records

During a time of strife

Who had migrated and waited and waited

For news of their family’s life

Postcards and poems and brochures and programmes

From concert and theatre and prom

Knicknacks and geegaws and troubles and trinkets

Collections they handed down 

Sepia prints and chemical glass

My ancient faces scowl

Melancholic in rented clothes

They are caught dead in now

Window to the soul

My mystery turns on the strength of my lashes
– but gaze in my eyes and you’ll see such strange flashes
of wisdom and truth – all that mankind may seek.
Try to tell me what’s there and these eyes make you weep.
I shall never divulge what is hidden in depths
that one might yet term ‘limpid’, another ‘quite vexed’,
for I, one large conundrum, can seem to some men
while opinions differ – what I think of them.
But you’re itching to take a quick peek ‘neath my brows
I can tell. ┬áDon’t be shy, but step up – try to browse.
My thoughts are my own, and quite safe from your view
as what you’ll find reflected is dreamt up by you.

Of Shadows and Consequence

Magic and mystery, people do say
Cannot be ‘stood in a year and a day
For reason is hardly a weapon that’s fit
To dig a deep hole – reach the bottom of it.
So first you must study some musty old tomes,
Learn spells without cause, try to rattle the bones.
A sortilege-seeker next you will become
With the bang of a gong and a meditate-hum.
You’ll start to see spirits, and hear things at night.
Some voices bring comfort, yet others, a fright.
But never again will you fancy yourself
To be home all alone with the books on the shelf.
And if it’s a mastery that you would seek,
Hear ye this now, heed the warning I speak!
For Pandora, though ever a curious piece
Once open’d, found never again would know peace.
Her conjuror’s box, though enticing at first
Then took on the weight of a burden, a curse.
But knowledge is power, I hear you declaim,
Please listen, sit down while I try to explain.
Once started upon the path you would rush down
It will not be possible to turn around
So be very sure that you’ve made up your mind
Or you may not enjoy what it is that you find.

Some questions are not meant to be asked

When I was but a little lamb
I rarely pondered why I am.
And yet as now my whiskers grow
I wonder, do I want to know?
Philosophers do quite a bit
Of reasoning on this subject…
Perhaps it’s better left alone
The answer to me’s an unknown.
We humans are a curious lot
And choose to prod more oft than not
At puzzles plagueing to our mind
Not fearing what we seek to find
And rarely pausing in our quest
To ask if knowing why is best?
Some things are meant as mystery
Still others, such as we can’t see
Or comprehend, though try we might
To find solutions to our plight.
Yet knowing not as I do now
Is lesser agony somehow
Than understanding finally
What little point there is to me.