Like an Error Correction

Like an Error Correction

It is you on one side

And me

On the other side of the silence.

We agree as weird as it comes

That there is Poetry

Quiet and humble beyond what

We can call by the first name.

Words, rhymes, and easy metaphors,

 Brown bag lunches, assorted, vacuum packed

nuts and yellow raisins

Crowd the library shelves…

Oh, how we color the world

With stereo nightingales and larks!

But there, way out there,

A universe moving sigh,

The never-mind,

Like an error correction.

The Night of a Family Dog

The night is crawling

Heartless and slow

Moonless above.

Nothing to guard but a wind

Playing the squeaky gates…

Nothing to throw a bark on, nothing to show for

When a push comes to shove.

The daylight breaks the silence,

Wet grass echoing bells of fog

And the cold creeps in

Chasing away the sleepiness

Of that old farmer’s dog

The Scenery of Inner Me

This is I, whether you see me or not,

A built-in chaos, too bothersome

For a good night sleep.

Mountains of blue annoyances!

Stop it! You are not the sky,

Not my sky, at least!

To many graves in my deep within,

So many that I shed tombstones

Through my tears.

So much past in my life of past dues

So many start overs, so many fears.

“Tomorrow will be a better night,

Better than all tomorrows” says the poet,

“Let it be, I shall be fine,

Buried in death and sorrows,

None of those mine”

Nothing New

The same as wherever

From bellow to above…

A man and a dog,

And the leash in their love.

My Sunday Metaphor Feast

1.
“If it weren’t for the church towers”
Old villagers would say
“the sky would crumble upon us
With none of in-betweens
But all the far-a-ways”
2.
“Who are you”, asks the shadow,
“to claim the ownership of me as your right?”
The light kept silent
As the shadow grew louder and longer
Towards the night.
3.
The pastures and the waters,
The sky in starry night.
Oh, mountains of amazing,
Oh, rivers of delight!…
4
Goodbye, balcony, rampart of mine,
And you, flocks of limousines
Grazing the asphalt on my soul!
Somewhere a trail writes its testament
On the back of a run-away sheep.
…And the moon, up there, solemn and bright
Like an Easter sermon.

Sin Has Consequences

I love the Psalms

Reading: Psalm 78
(Verses 56-64)
But they put God to the test
and rebelled against the Most High;
they did not keep his statutes.
Like their ancestors they were disloyal and faithless,
as unreliable as a faulty bow.
They angered him with their high places;
they aroused his jealousy with their idols.
When God heard them, he was furious;
he rejected Israel completely.
He abandoned the tabernacle of Shiloh,
the tent he had set up among humans.
He sent the ark of his might into captivity,
his splendor into the hands of the enemy.
He gave his people over to the sword;
he was furious with his inheritance.
Fire consumed their young men,
and their young women had no wedding songs;
their priests were put to the sword,
and their widows could not weep
(NIV).

2018-05-15e Canmore, Alberta — photo by David Kitz

Reflection
Sin has consequences. We can pretend it isn’t so, but we’re fooling…

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The Sonnet of Loneliness

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You un-spoke me into silence

you un-saw me by the sea

As I sigh beneath the thunder

Bound to be or not to be.

 

Never mind my painful rumblings,

My sleepwalking to who cares,

You unborn me, let me vanish

To my heres, to your no-wheres.

 

Though you see the whole is missing

Missing limbs or missing chains

By me being or not being

Your the sames are not the sames.

 

It’s me alone as worthless sob

Lost in crowd, this lynching mob!

The Journals of Loneliness (1) Procrustes’ Bed

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Not once, but it was almost a thought set that I learned to leave with or tortured by in my long struggle to define the today assembly or disassembly of whatever amounts to that allusive word humanity. By simply admitting that there is a struggle in that direction I am setting myself to a never ending road of searching for one, the one, answer that will finally reconcile what I see and experience to what my definition of reality establishes as a rule.  I never ventured in recording my restlessness of thought in; let’s call it, journals of a restless and discontent mind.  I shout to myself the question: “Quo Vadis?”. But that question makes no sense since I admitted that the road I set myself on is endless. How would you assign finality to something that you will never reach? For some human fellows, I am one of them, this venture, the venture of hair splitting will have a personal and deep impact upon the inner self by birthing attitudes that are supposed to fit in and harmonize with the society within our own time of existence. There is a risk that the fruit of our thought struggles will be bitter as we fall into the trap of cynicism or apathy. At the same time we face a huge opportunity that will give us the state of awe and wonder, of hope and joy. I chose the second option therefore the second kind of fruit, as you already guessed.

You see, many of our kind fantasize about a “planet with no borders”, about a “human race” with no distinction bestowed on each individual by our Creator, the heavenly Father. This somehow perceived “romantic, revolutionary thinking” is a decay process, I believe, of human thinking. It is a collapsing of whatever once made us great, made us each a universe within ourselves so uniquely conceived! This uniqueness made love between creature and Creator possible and intimate.

On a larger scale, the nations and kingdoms are unique by God’s design, unique and somehow human like through character traits and purpose. God addresses them specifically by name, God blesses them and God curses them. This planet would be an earth bound hell if it weren’t for nations and borders. Many of us trying to escape persecution of all kinds would have no place to hide, no refuge. What would WWII Europe be without  neutral Switzerland, without independent and well-protected England, without a powerful USA and so on? Maybe the whole world “without borders” would become a global Hitler-made “paradise” or a Stalinist “idyllic”, borderless, to-dream-about state? Or maybe a combination of the two?  How about little us? Well, let us think it over a little bit!  I did not catch WWII but I know a thing or two about the Lenin/Stalin/Ceausescu/Mao/Etc paradigms. I intentionally wrote “paradigms” with bold letters since we use a pre-set number of thinking patterns. We are either born in them or gradually grow in these patterns. Ceausescu had been drumming the slogan “creation of a new man” because, in his mind, it was the cornerstone of communism’s triumph.  This “new man” envisioned by this ruthless dictator was just a brick, one of the 25 million bricks of Romania conveniently “created” by Bucharest propaganda, meant to be no more than some nodding zombies, a quiet tax payer and “enthusiastic” communist elite worshiper. I was right there; I know it to be true! Trying to “create” a “new man” was in fact usurping God and empowering the agents of darkness.  Creating a “new man” meant destruction of the old man.  Every free thinker or everyone who tried to think for himself was a “counter-revolutionary power” and had to be annihilated.  The jails of communist countries were full not with criminals but with priests, pastors, well-to-do individuals, philosophers, historians, poets, novelists, musicians and pre-revolution politicians. At the same time, the West was refreshed by the incoming asylum seekers who did their best to make the world aware of the horrors of the systems where being unique was a crime, where the freedom to think was an unaffordable luxury and an unpardonable sin, where dreaming big had been forgotten.

What am I saying? Praise God for nations with borders, unique in culture and history, unique in the divine purpose of their existence.  Praise God for each of my fellow humans, for their input in shaping the unique me. No, we are not bricks, mere bricks in somebody else’s towers. Yes, we are rocks; uniquely shaped rocks placed in temples of beauty and harmony by the marvelous skill of the Great Builder, our Lord Jesus Christ.

With this “Journals of Loneliness” series I will focus on the terror of spiritual destruction of human beings and their communities that once made this world of ours an oasis of all opportunities and all possibilities.

I hope you will be with me as I so often feel like the poet of the Russian prairies, Sergei Yesenin:

“Whom shall I call on? Who will share with me/The wretched happiness of staying alive?”

Dare to be yourself!

 

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If we conform to the market place or editors’ demands before we conform to who we are and meant to be, all our struggles with creative writing will be nothing more than a petty rewriting of old and stale talking points.

Elma Schemenauer

YesterCanada – Historical Tales of Mystery and Adventure

Review by Slavomir Almajan

 

yestercanada-front-cover   It deserves five-star rating indeed! It is also a must-read book for readers of any age, any gender, any culture…

Elma Schemenauer invaded my searching heart with a new level of curiosity, way beyond  “let’s see what else is new” realm. She captured my full attention with Consider the Sunflowers, a captivating novel, deeply entrenched in Canada’s prairie culture with all the harmonies and  disharmonies of life in a real world.

YesterCanada comes, at least for me, as a surprise that shattered all my reservations regarding short fictionalized history stories. Sometimes this kind of stories come as a cover up for poorly researched facts. YesterCanada is a real deal!  It is not a mere attempt to fill the pages with nicely crafted words, although there is a lot of that in this book, but rather a heart’s response to so many old stories and legends of this land.

It is a master’s touch throughout every story and legend that brings to life the characters and the things that you never thought could breathe again. But they did and they did it with the author’s life.

Tom Sukanan is one of the most beautiful and complex characters in the book and the circumstances surrounding his life and shaping his destiny were, to say the least, not less complex. The restlessness he carried within drove him toward unleashing the best of him to the service of others. “It wasn’t that he didn’t care about other people. When new homesteaders arrived in the area, Tom offered to lend them a hand in building their houses. He also turned his inventive and mechanical abilities to projects that benefitted the whole community. It was Tom Sukanan who built the area’s first grain-threshing machine. It was also Tom who constructed a homemade sewing machine so that the women of the district wouldn’t need to do all their mending by hand.”  The homesickness that hit him later on morphed into one of the most intense dramas that could hit the human soul. The creator became almost one with his creation. They both became an unsung song, victims of aging without legacy, of dying with unfulfilled dreams.

The British Columbia Ship That Wouldn’t Die is a symbol, a Thing that survived its creator, carrying his restlessness that built it across the oceans…

Lillian Alling was more than a mere mortal woman. She was a heroine, a pursuer of her dream. Nothing could stand against it. Somehow a part of New York City and every place that her feeble feet touched became better and more alive.  The obstacles sometimes would be simple acts of kindness or even apparent hostile actions driven by pure intentions.  Wow!  I dare you to read this story without falling in love with its main character!

By the author’s touch even the dead come to life, not necessarily through living but through animating the bored world by a mysterious and almost unbelievable story. Yes, I said to myself, love survives the mortal being and frees enough territory to accommodate an absolutely beautiful story.

Elma Schemenauer grew to know intimately the world around her and made it more beautiful through her outstanding way of being restless for the sake of carrying the light of Christ through what He made her to be.

Thank you, Elma, for your beautiful work!

YesterCanada is a 248-page paperback including 30 illustrations and a bibliography, $19.95. Ask for it in a store or library. Or order online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo, or Borealis Press. E-book coming later.

 

 

 

 

 

End of a Poem

Picture 040“How long you live” is better said “how much”

But in conclusion, this life is nothing but

A totally unprepared speech, in a new tongue,

Started from scratch…

Your Tears

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Always here at the shore of my dreams…

Your tears, darling, resemble a sea,

A shore less sea, if I may say so…

There is nothing to hang your dreams on,

Nothing beyond, nowhere to go…

 

As you cry or whisper your will

I can see some timelessness here and there,

Don’t dilute those live particles of love

Don’t waste their touchlessness just everywhere….

 

You see, one plus one seem to equal two

In this betrayed loneliness of your eyesight…

Where is my place in your cry, darling?

Whose darkness is flowing through this night?

 

Listen, this silence is melting on some sandy shore…

I see more in your tears, a lot more!