The Master Shaper’s Tools

If only I could understand these words,
If I could hear what you hear,
If I could listen as you listen,
If my mind could sort the sounds,
Just as yours does, and see
The impression they leave,
These ideas sneaking below the surface,
Creeping in discreetly, so that
Without knowing that you know
You feel the hidden message.

With words come death and life,
Pain, pleasure, or reluctant rage,
Fear or friendship freeing
Minds from what matters,
Speaking persuasive spells
Straight to the simple soul.

At times, the words knock
Before they enter – but often they just
Break down the door
By force of some black magic
Rarely understood.

If I could understand
And if I could show you
How these words shape you – and me too –
Would you realize, or change
Or shrug your shoulders, shake your head
And let them go on
Shaping –
Never suspecting
They might really be
Misshaping.

 


© Samuel Birrer and Serendipity, 2019.

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I exist without humility

Stephen Crane said to the universe “sir, I exist”
Anonymously, to shake a solitary fist
To say that we, humanity, will persist
To live and fight and struggle – and resist
The flow of things
Most could never be so humble and so brief
Or end this life with “I am a leaf
On the wind” in old-fashioned belief
That there is meaning, not just grief
In the flow of things
A man said to the universe “thy decree
Is unjust as anyone can plainly see,
It has no order or clemency,
I know better, yes far better than thee
And thy flow of things”


© Samuel Birrer and Serendipity, 2019.

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Ziphozonke* — Small Burdens

Always bubbling Childhood dreams emerge Floating gently Heavenward. Iridescent jewel-knitted Luminous memories now offer Prayerful quiet repose Subtly tingling Under vernally woven xyloid yearnings. *Ziphozonke is sometimes used as a Zulu name. It literally means “all the gifts”. I also like this definition of the term from the Urban Dictionary. In response to Glo/NaPoWriMo Day […]

via Ziphozonke* — Small Burdens

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Ordinary Blessing

LightInTheLord

glowing orange dawn
imbues the dullest morning
with benediction.

 


© Samuel Birrer and Serendipity, 2019.

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Molten to Solid

matter
molten to solid
a transition occurs
slowness or swiftness
might seem
unimportant
the start and the finish unchanged:
molten to solid.

what
after all
is the point in postponing
the final stage
of transformation?
what does it avail
to spend a second more
in curtailing
molecular motion
putting particles in place?

experience however goes to show,
that cooling both methodical and slow,
promotes a structure beautiful and nice,
as winter’s greatest artwork, flakes of ice,
well-formed and fair in each reflective face,
and edged with strong and equilateral grace,
all angles set and classically aligned,
each lattice point and plane distinct, defined.

apart from these   there exist
some    glassy entities
malformed,
crazed,
aslant,
quenched in the blink    of an eye
no fair chance of good formation.
unbalanced, things such as these
grope in the dark
for a structure
but    never find a satisfactory shape
struggling for interior order
but too cold
too immovable
to attain any thing but
a    sluggish    gesture    of    despair.


© Samuel Birrer and Serendipity, 2018.

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Perspective

An ordered perspective
on a chaotic system,
words and sentences,
numbers and tables,
precipitate
from raw
unkempt
haphazard nature.

Patterns settle out
kaleidoscopically,
a desk, pen and paper,
concentration,
review
and edit
making sense
at least superficial.

A changed perspective
on an ingenious system,
charts and graphics,
colors and references,
emerge to
brighten
enlighten
curious humanity.


© Samuel Birrer and Serendipity, 2017.

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Phase Transition

Sublimation,
Glass transition,
Sintering and liquefaction,
Substance changes
In extremis,
All predictions are but guesses.
Observation,
Experimentation,
These reveal what alteration
<> <> <>
Has taken place,
What new-formed face
Appears upon each change of phase.


© Samuel Birrer and Serendipity, 2017.

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Crystalline

A potential randomness (seeming…) gives way to order.

Points, angles, planes arranged in three dimensions
Like a freeze-frame of carefully-choreographed dance
I’d say “ideal” if that were true in fact –
Rather often bits and breaks occur (blemishes, some say)
But “defects” do not damage the design:
Each merely adds its own imprint
Presenting no broken building but
An architecture even more ornate,
With grandeur greater than what grew before.

Meddling, muddling minds
Struggle to see some sense in structures
Alighting on little lies to lead them along
From ignorance to appreciation
From misunderstanding to model
To hierarchies of half-truths.

A potential randomness gives way to order (meaning..?)

 


 

© Samuel Birrer and Serendipity, 2017.

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Rising-Rhyme

beginning buried in blackness,
bit by bit, bright beams breach the barrier,
thoughtfully shining thread-like through the silence.
inside, in the center, something stirs.

a love lay listlessly in languishing twilight,
till finally, freed by phantom faerie force,
a soul sparks and sputters, struggling to survive,
a life lifted, laved in glowing lamplight
from a far, fair, friendship felt afresh.

a will with wonder wakens,
where will it wend, by what winding ways?
resolved and restless, reaching,
fearful, fumbling fingers find the fleeting fault
carrying caution, catching the crevice.

seldom-flexéd sinews start to stretch,
wresting walls away to reach the well whence
the daring daylight dripped into the dark.

scraping, straining, strewing stones aside,
a creature climbs from a cloistered cavern,
singular sight, shimmering in the sun,
brought into being, blessed, beatified
by the being who believed and, breaking bonds,
let light and love unleash a lonely life.

a beginning behind,
adventure ahead,
the arisen rests,
and softly sleeps.

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The Crying Echoes

gunshots
break great ragged holes
in the foggy dew,
prayers and protests rise from precious snow,
the blood of men
mingling with the blood of the land,
echoes in their descendants
lament lost cities –
cry, the beloved country,
for what might have been
cannot now be
instead, this.


 

Acknowledgement:  The phrase ‘cry, the beloved country’ is taken with gratitude from the 1948 novel of the same title by Alan Paton.  It is a favorite book of mine.

I would also like to include a link to the song referenced in line three.  The song and its historical context are the primary inspiration for this poem.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39ePrOYFfUQ


© Samuel Birrer and Serendipity, 2017.

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