reflecting on the Japanese concept Gojou: the five passions
Grief, Part 2
For those most widely stricken with this wound,
no closure comes until we’re through death’s doors.
Let others gauze a sill of resolution —
and I’ll admit I’m growing caulked by scars —
but the main cut still rives the floor and ground.
What drives the world besides desire for more?
This muscle. Engine of our lengthening stretch …
Gain, and prevail, and grasp — still never enough.
(Beyond intelligence, the wishful soar.)
So scant the pith of taste, so slick the touch.
Self-satisfied stupidity irks worst.
My fist pounds futilely on its deaf wall.
Then hypocritical prevarications.
Then puffs of baseless yet superior airs
pass casual, vacant acid on kind skins.
Can feelings and the words once used for them
like mirth, good cheer, and joy and gaiety
breathe past the numb fume of our sophistry,
connote, and signify, without some sneer
that scorches even the pink lungs of the child?
A Use for Anger
I realize I’ll never turn serene
in ways the godlier and wise ones own.
What good I do gets fired and fueled by rage:
my slant revenge on those who once demeaned,
returning work of worth beyond demand.