Category Archives: challenge

When Rivers Change – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

VJs Weekly Challenge – Habit

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Photo: found at wikimedia.com – Nowitna River

 

“Life is like a river, sometimes it sweeps you gently along and sometimes the rapids come out of nowhere.”  Emma Smith

When Rivers Change

When rivers change
as rivers do
unstraightened into bends,
sweeping earth from
side to side and back again,
they subvert and challenge
every shibboleth and quasi-truth
embedded in the byzantine routines
of our quotidian humanness,
which until that moment
remained unnoticed, hidden,
in the accepted drudge of
our self-created lives as
if this were the only way to live,
and for evermore.
Not so, shout the rivers,
today your habit is interrupted,
you’ll need to go by another route.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

Paul, pvcann.com.

19 Comments

Filed under challenge, Free Verse, life, nature, poem, quote

To That Place Again – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

VJs Weekly Challenge – Subtraction

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Photo: beliefnet.com

 

“God is not found in the soul by adding anything but by a process of subtraction.”  Meister Eckhart

 

To That Place Again

How many valleys and ravines have been
that perfect sense of standing on the edge
seeking subtraction by addition,
rather than simply surrendering
the me of me for the real me,
unravelling the complexity
of my false true self,
offering substitutes two sizes down,
placating the demons of acceptance,
rummaging the garbage of life
for hollow platitudes,
a reductio ad absurdum
that returns me unfulfilled
to that place again
of self emptying towards
onement.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

Paul, pvcann.com.

26 Comments

Filed under challenge, community, Free Verse, life, meditation, mindfulness, poem, quote, Spirituality

Of Vulnerability – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

5 Lines – Afraid

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Photo: independent.ie

 

“Huxley feared that what we desire will ruin us.”  Neil Postman

 

Of Vulnerability

Not crawling or slithers, lead or blade,
neither fist nor foe really matter
in the grandest of schemes,
it is more the inner, the self, the real,
of vulnerability we are afraid.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

Paul, pvcann.com

34 Comments

Filed under challenge, Five Lines, Free Verse, life, mindfulness, poem, quote

Contemplative Action – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

VJs Weekly Challenge – Action

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Photo: pixabay.com

“A person sees in the world what they carry in their heart.”  (adapted) Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Contemplative Action

The thought before the step,
seeing with the heart
while resting the mind,
standing, walking, sitting
with feelings that arise,
resisting pathologies,
those old avenues so familiar
that flow like winter rivers,
to burst that bubble and
dispel that echo,
to know the tender deep
intangible organic love
that awaits a birthing
as gift to the world,
in step.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

Paul, pvcann.com.

16 Comments

Filed under challenge, community, Free Verse, life, mindfulness, poem, quote, self-development, Spirituality, Uncategorized

Life Became Him – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

5 Lines – Exchanges

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Photo: Auschwitz 1, the former Polish army barracks which the SS commandeered as a prison for Polish army officers, Poles, Jews, subversives, and others. This is a substantial complex of brick multi-story blocks, unlike Auschwitz 2, which was mostly wooden blocks. I found the place sombre and still, a place of  confronting horror. This is the place where the Catholic priest and subversive Maximilian Kolbe exchanged places with a young Jewish man because he was a husband and father and had a future to live. The commandant agreed to the exchange. Kolbe was starved to death, although he was given a mercy injection after three weeks.

 

“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.”  Elie Wiesel

Life Became Him

Quietly he ventured an offer to
the commandant lusting for reprisal,
one young father not ready for some version of heaven,
and persuaded, the commandant exchanges the two,
the priest is starved in the doorway of eternity.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

Paul, pvcann.com

29 Comments

Filed under challenge, Five Lines, Free Verse, poem, quote, war

That One – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

5 Lines – Holiday Party

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Photo: metrotimes.com

 

“At a dinner party one should eat wisely but not too well, and talk well but not too wisely.”  W. Somerset Maugham

 

That One

That one in ten,
before the mulled wine hit the nose,
that holiday party everyone remembers
when the spirit of generosity
touched every conversation and heart.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

Paul, pvcann.com

8 Comments

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How Much? – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Word of the Day – hovel

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Photo: pixabay.com

 

“We only have what we give.”  Isabel Allende

How Much?

Am I really my brother-sister’s keeper
that I must set aside something of
myself to lift their burden,
to alter the fortunes of every hovel?
Isn’t this the origin of the retort of anger,
that I must somehow be responsible ,
that I know I dress their plight
in a shame all my own,
sermonising, offering beads for gold,
paralysed by guilt,
always asking, “what can I do?”
but never asking of myself,
“How much is enough?”

©Paul Vincent Cannon

Paul, pvcann.com

33 Comments

Filed under challenge, community, Economics, Free Verse, life, mindfulness, minimalism, philosophy, poem, politics, quote, Restorative Justice

I Paid – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

5 Lines – Wishing

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Image: sapient-horizons.com

“Whoever controls the media, the images, controls the culture.”  Allen Ginsberg (and not Jim Morrison who borrowed and adapted this).

 

I Paid

I paid $2.50 for some nicely packaged plausibility,
a pyramid of lies so clever my mother would
denounce me on the strength of my invented life
where I will never again trace the strands of who I was
leaving me wishing for truth and integrity to rain down hard.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

Paul, pvcann.com

27 Comments

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Advent Herald – prose by Paul Vincent Cannon

dVerse Poets – Prosery – Jim Harrison

Linda at dVerse has invited us to take a line from the work of Jim Harrison – “A cow is screaming across the arroyo.” taken from his poem ‘Cow.’

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Photo: Pixabay.com

 

“Moo may represent and idea, but only the cow knows.”  Mason Cooley

 

Advent Herald

A cow is screaming across the arroyo as the weaners are drawn aside. The cattle-hands working the herd, the weaners easily pushed across the arroyo to the feeders like children to a lolly counter. I listened to her screaming, a gut-grief heartfelt, and though I cannot speak it, a warning was implied. Burgers or breeders, the children are consumed. And as I walked reflecting, I wondered about all the herding of life, this arroyo is not the Rubicon, but a die was no less cast.

I came to the creek-line with an angel or devil, I’m not sure, but I left the gate open and the screaming cow dove through. She spoke so clearly as we passed, “Those who lie or sup from the manger will be crucified one day.” Startled, I ran through, I’ve been wandering un-herded ever since, across that arroyo.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

Paul, pvcann.com

 

59 Comments

Filed under challenge, farming, Free Verse, life, mindfulness, nature, prose

That Melolagnia – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

VJs Weekly Challenge – Music

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Photo: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

 

“When life or love gets dull, adjust your sensuality.”  Lebo Grand

 

That Melolagnia

His deep bass
voice
shivered her spine
and his strumming
made her faint,
all that four-four
was a beautiful play,
and he played her to the edge
of the clef.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

Paul, pvcann.com

39 Comments

Filed under challenge, Free Verse, love, music, poem, quote, relationship, romance, Sex