Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Beauty and Tragedy

I felt this among the traces of so many people
in the streets and museums of Hungary:

     beauty and tragedy
          in a roman catholic church,
          once a mosque,
          once a christian church,
          built on more ancient foundations;

     beauty and tragedy
          in the stone and mortar
          of a music school
          once a synagogue.

Beauty and Tragedy
Among the Traces, a Feeling
Bob Komives

Fort Collins © 1996  ::  Beauty and Tragedy  ::  ,0x34

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Sunrise Again in Standard Time

It uplifts the spirit
to walk ourselves back a tiny step toward our planet's nature
to see bright sun 
at what only yesterday
was a dark hour.

Our ancestors
(likely even their ancestors)
knew the meaning of sunrise,
of sunset,
and of the high noon between.

they begat civilization
which begat commerce and industry
which needed to divide the day and night.
Ancestors gave each a dozen hours.

Sunrise Again in Standard Time
Bob Komives
Then, they begat machines and the skills to make them, which begat a desire to give more precision to the 4 o'clock meet. But, (below and above the equator) the best machinists had trouble making their hours shorter then longer (and then shorter again) as our planet's year progressed. Until, they added the two-dozens into twenty-four equal parts, so the machinists could work their magic, and the voiceless sun would have to rise at a different hour and minute each day. But, it worked-- brilliantly. Then, further offspring, machinists and the mechanics, invented the steam engine and its railroads. They made civilization roll into a leap forward again. Their descendants, (our ancestors and their things) moved so quickly along these roads that it became a problem to know the exact hour here but not there: “When do you depart?” “When might I expect you?” “Can't you just write me down a schedule?” So, their children, our ancestors told us to ignore our personal, local high noon. They settled quite comfortably into time zones. Even breathed sighs of relief. It was good-- for a good time. Until, their children, our mothers and fathers, (at work and at play) found it hard to give up the summer. Crazy as it seemed, little by little, place by place, they pushed summer into winter and called it “savings time.” And most of us say it is good-- for a time. For, our ancestors, our mothers and fathers in adding more “unnatural” to the already “unnatural” gave us a sudden, pleasant, yearly, surprise, and (at dark times) a hope-filled metaphor. For, it uplifts the spirit to walk ourselves back a tiny step toward our planet's nature to see bright sun at what only yesterday was a dark, dark hour.

Bob Komives  ::  Fort Collins © 2018  ::  Sunrise Again in Standard Time  ::  1802

Monday, May 21, 2018

Hope Cemetery

Do a double-take.
Read this sign again: “HOPE Cemetery"
—clear, bold, and large.

Is it not true?
With death, unanswered questions become answered questions. What remains for hope's good work? 

Hope Cemetery
Bob Komives

In life, hope has much to do.
I can live with hope to lose weight, but pallbearers will know: I did or I did not.

You and I might hope to get rich.
Will we?—a boring, unanswered question. Did we?—More interesting, perhaps, but—simply—"no" or "yes." If alive and already rich, we hope to stay that way. Yet, beneath a tombstone, such hope likely turns to smile or frown.

As to afterlife
(no matter our belief and hope) we can agree nobody looks around heaven and says, "I hope I get to be here."

In quandary I asked clear-thinking friends for help. One suggested I misread the sign, but I have faith in the quality of my double-take.

"Perhaps the message in the name is for us—not them," said others. “As we pass by we remember those who have passed away, but we should also remember to treasure each day, appreciate our ancestors, our heritage, the continuity of life.” I like these thoughts but have difficulty calling them hope.

“It is obvious”, said another, “the graveyard is for jerks, scoundrels, miscreants. Our hope is that they will stay dead.” I try to be open to this view, but—as a city planner—I think of how such intentional land use would destroy tourism and real estate value.

I warm more to a suggestion that resident graveyard hope need not be profound. “Mundane items that haunt us while alive may persist into our grave. For example: 'I hope I remembered to turn off the gas on the stove.' " That thought may well hit coffin-nail on the head.

But yet another suggestion 

allows me to puzzle no more:

  In HOPE Cemetery, hopes do co-mingle.
  Both the living and the dead hope
      to be remembered well,
      to be remembered clearly.
      by those who once explored and opened paths
      that remain open before us,
    and remembered
      by those who will advance or retreat
      0n paths we leave behind us.

Bob Komives :: Fort Collins © 2018 :: Hope Cemetery :: 1613 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Seams of Ambivalence

Ambivalence has seams I but faintly see.
Do they
(as they seem today)
let exiled excitement seep in?

Or the other way.

Do I watch 
while precious, small store
seeps, seeps away?

Seams of Ambivalence
Bob Komives

Bob Komives :: Fort Collins © 2018 ::  1801

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Night's Sound of Rain

Night's sound of rain
     on roof and skylight
calls back rhythm
     on tin-tile-thatch,
     on canvas-nylon-wood
     on twigs and leaves--
          old and new.

Night's sound of rain
calls upon concern 
     for those who want tomorrow dry,
brings celebration 
     with those who crave it moist,
brings new and repeat anticipations.

Night's sound of rain anticipates 
     morning's first step outside,
     impossible to remember smells
          of vitality and growth
          of burstings and birth,
          of aging, disrepair, and putrefaction,
          of renewal,
          of perfumes that beauty hides when dry.

The hour has come.

Rise up to it! 

Night's Sound of Rain
Bob Komives

Fort Collins © 2017 :: 1710

Saturday, November 18, 2017