Recipe for men

Solitude,
has been a recipe for manhood in my family for as long as I remember. Floors groaned at three am when my father would walk across wooden tiles that I always thought someone had meticulously jigsawed across the whole apartment.
His belt buckle, I can still hear, then came the jingle of coins in his pockets as he set off quietly to his work day, alone.

I still drive by that apartment and assume that it belongs to us, my childhood will haunt whoever lives there until I can buy it, just for fucks sake and keep it as a memory.

My grandfather was a loner too, son of many sons of mountain people wedged in a village and on the other side a sea.

He’d walk, in the early hours of the morning to his work too. He’d toil the mountains, his father a shepherd and farmer.

My uncles, all land people. Quiet men, but robustly strong men.

There’s manhood in solitude yet!

Someone tells us that we’re of prophetic lineage, Hashimi to be exact and this seems to be on the lips of other families in surrounding villages.

I hear it more than once as if it’s a get out of jail free card, but I’ve wrestled with myself in just as much quietude as my ancestors for me to believe that it’s true.

Still on the offchance it is, I think of my noble grandfather – I hope he’s my grandfather – The Prophet who received revelation in……. Solitude but was believed in multitude.

The man who was responsible for transforming the otherwise then despicable Arab peninsula – perhaps now just as despicable – into the centre of the world.

Maybe it’s solitude missing from my people, stopping them from rising to that place again.

I’ve turned too many pages to not know that great men, men who’ve had the biggest impact, real impact were always introverted and preferred the humble sifting grounds of solitude over the cacophany of noise amongst people.

And so distraction feels like an enemy sucking my marrow and I feel bad for even thinking of people as distractions.

They don’t even get a chance to develop a relationship with me before I have ignored them based on their incessantly noisy approach to being heard.

Tap me gently,
wake me softly,
brush up against me with prose,
waft past me with a perfume so enchanting you pull me out of my shell,
but don’t vie for my attention with claptrap and hyde.

I’ll find you, I’ll hear you, I’ll notice all your nuances like I noticed my home, my father, like I think of my ancestors walking alone at night.

Quiet men,
noble men,
men of fortitude,
sunken in solitude,
bathing in introversion,
aching in longing for answers to all their ponders,
too proud to ask,
stoic in acceptance of their fate.

Men that thought so much, that their hearts beat double as fast, silently away from the masses,
men who all died early.

Maybe they all die when their need for solitude is no longer met, when they can’t keep enough of themselves away from people.

Maybe they die when their secrets are exposed.

accidental poet

 

Some things are beautiful to watch.
Like a child finding an idea in the midst of play,
or an adult, even if late, falling into comprehension,
seeing beauty, truth and balance where previously everything was chaos.

Even more, I enjoy seeing everything through others eyes,
becoming their tongue for that moment,
I know how they feel without them telling me,
I know what they want to say even if they don’t know themselves.

They’d refuse to accept that I do if I told them so,
so I write it instead,
and watch them nod in agreement.

I accidentally stumbled into expression,
of imagery through words,
this thing they call poetry, prose and the subtlety of it all,
accidentally a poet where I’m meant to be anything but.

W.E.

be alone

I guarantee,
there will come a time,
you will regret not being alone.

You’ll scurry like a cockroach when the lights come on,
scathe walls with skinless fingers,
walk barefoot and barren back,
trying to flee from the noise inside,
and you’ll see people for who they are,
all cowards,
afraid to be alone.

What strength and sinew,
men and women who choose the life of solitude have,
without so much as the flutter of apprehension,
without any doubt,
they breathe.

But what spine and love,
those that choose to return,
and effuse their wisdom into the fabric of humanity,
have better yet.

Ay this,
the paradox of losing and finding your self,
to be selflessly of servitude.

Try as you may,
listen to the hucksters of academe,
or the deluded,
hypnotised by technology and science,
the secrets remain with the sages and saints,
with the barefoot troubadours,
with the barbarians and nomads,
desert folk and mountain people,
farmers and shepherds,
the loners,
those who have time,
to simmer their thoughts,
thrash open their wounds without shame,
and suture themselves in front of us all.

I’ve never seen a thing of repute,
roll of the tongue of a man infatuated with attention,
nor a woman that needs reassurance at every pulse of her vein.
I’ve not seen hands that wait for eyes to ogle,
create a thing that benefits us all.

You’ll cry a tear yet,
for not embracing more solitude.

W.E.

Feeling all and nothing at once.

I like things,
that make me not know how to feel,
or make me feel everything at once.

Contradictory things,
and nothing.

My introversion depends on it,
there’s a crosswire somewhere,
alone is my cocoon,
yet I apparently need my intellect to get there,
that’s at least what Myers says.

But this is more,
or maybe God chose an optional extra for me,
means I throw out the category I’m meant to be in,
and am switched on by a feeling,
or a signal that I was meant to feel something yet didn’t,
to activate my withdrawal to silence.

I don’t know how not to feel,
even about the sinisterism of all things interconnected and unimportant,
rippling off other things,
mundane as it may seem,
it carries with it a history of influence,
a DNA of repurcussion,
inescapable tragedy and elation from ancestors.

There’s nuance to notice,
I said ‘that make me not know how to feel’, I didn’t say ‘that confuse me’,
I’m glad my soul structures it this way,
I’m rarely confused,
I’ve spent too much time inside to be confused.

My liking them,
these things that make me not know how to feel,
or tsunami me with feelings,
are gene codes for comprehension,
there is no being without them,
every body feels them,
I’m just constantly micro managing them,
and no one likes a micro manager,
except when they’re confused.

W.E.

I’m not socially awkward, I’m socially unwilling

Sometimes I wish I could dance with the rest of you,
but to waltz into conformity,
leaves me two left feet awkward,
stumbling over myself to find a foot in mediocrity.

I’ve been guilty of looking down on others,
and what a bitter lesson it is,
to taste my own bile,
and stare straight at a victim in their eyes.

I’ve no boat big enough,
to carry my remorse out to sea,
the most restless winds,
won’t blow my shame away.

So when I see how easily,
everyone makes the same mistakes,
it hurts to be reminded,
to have a replay reel of who I am inside,
flickering perpetually,
a self fulfilling prophecy is inevitable,
if I don’t pretend not to know how to dance.

That’s why I shy away.

I can love with the best of them,
boy can I love,
I can laugh and play,
I fight with a rage so turbulent,
it attracts even those who hate it,
but looking at innocence is too much for me to bare.

This comfort with the quo,
is the mediocrity that pains me,
alas, solitude is a great shackle to wear,
and if all else fails,
a great anchor for this flailing soul that won’t behave itself.

If the boat isn’t large enough,
and the winds aren’t strong enough,
the sea bottom is surely large enough,
to swallow far greater than me,
far worse than me, far better than me.

Here I am all Pharaoh like on display,
waiting to be swallowed whole.

All this,
admittance,
ownership,
accountability,
and still no acceptance.

How then,
did I find solitude in separation,
calm in introversion,
whilst others are out wrestled by urge and inclination?

How do I pause when others impulse?

There are still a few of us,
who shun the outer for the inner,
but society has been a frequent customer,
of the comfort world.

We’ve learned to avoid pain so well,
that we’ll inevitably stagnate and whither,
if people don’t remind us,
that it’s OK to see some ugliness,
some bad shit,
some gross stuff inside you,
not to accept and parade it as acceptance,
and contentment with ones’ self.

Rather, it gives you the incentive to improve,
to learn – in the process – what it takes to get away from all that unsavoury stuff inside.

Any process that allows you that,
will inevitably add value to your character,
be it in a month or twenty years.

Pain is not there to be avoided,
it’s there to jolt us into growth,
a reminder to manage and push through it for adaptation.

Avoidance, only limits exposure,
and lack of exposure leads to oblivious ignorance to a better way.

I recluse,
cocoon into hermit disregard,
to bathe in pain,
because I want to grow.

How’s that for a dance with ones self?

W.E.

Quiet rapport

I’m patient like that.

Where others will demand and hold you to account,
I know vulnerability waits for a soul to be ripe with sincerity before it spreads itself,
before it undresses.

I know that if I bottle my anxiety and show a face of indifference,
I run the risk of losing many,
but the ones that see with the eye of their heart also know me from a thousand thousands.

I’m patient like that,
because I know where I’m from and how I’ve travelled to be here is beyond just forty two years of worldly existence.

I’m not just matter and that’s what matters,
but I never let that matter to the point that it’s all that matters.

We matter said no one of intelligence and worth except who think their lives are but a series of what people owe them.

I’m still patient for them.
Waiting for their poems to undo themselves.

I’m always a poem away from myself.

W.E.

release

Give in to being overwhelmed,
or don’t,
you’ll be overwhelmed either way.

The reality is,
choice is only a comfort idea.
The mature person knows,
it’s a thing ordained.
Is it hopeless?
Hardly,
rather, it allows you to focus on what’s important.
W.E.

Image Credit: Brandon Kidwell
http://www.brandonkidwell.com/wisdom-for-my-children