Wednesday, December 30, 2009


all of us
dam people
counting years
mixing cement
for hydro construction
we don't collect the tortures
they find us
like puppy dogs dripping with disease
a parade of horrors
down Main Street
like wanting
or clinging
or ignoring
or fearing
or demanding
or stealing
so we build our dams
to hold back brimming waters
with morals
or fantasies
or rationalization
or isolation
or expectation
or religion
our cozy little roughshod dams
might let us
get some


Midnight Whisperer said...

I loved this! When I first started reading it, I thought "surely Jason wouldn't spell 'damn' wrong"... then I got it. Forgive the slow mind at 3am. Great Poem!

Terri said...

Except that in sleep the horrors take on different forms; in our dreams we cannot escape them.
As always, Jason, a beautiful photograph. The punchy words were... unexpected, considering its prettiness.
You certainly have an eloquent way of delivering truth.

Karen said...

You are so right - we don't seek our tortures, they find us. I find you choice of tortures interesting in that they all involve other people, not just self-destruction, and our dams, apart from isolation, are of the mind. Very interesting.

Atrisa said...

Dam, like the wall, is after all just a defense for all the reasons mentioned. Magnificent!

Shadow said...

i knew there was a reason for this wall around me... jason, this is excellent!

Four Dinners said...

Maybe we are just another brick in the wall after all?

We find our own tortures indeed Karen.

A Happy and peaceful New Year to you all.

4D x

for I am so many things.. said...

boy I have been building dams that's for sure!

What the heck is sleep anyway, tortures follow me there!!

Good one!!

awareness said...

then, dammit! Someone pulls the plug. Sleep becomes an illusion. We are awake, rushed by the flood of waters flushing past......

Wonderfully visual poem.

the walking man said...

I prefer to know what I am surrounded by and swimming in than to sleep. Sleep is after all overrated.

JR's Thumbprints said...

We construct those obstacles during the day; At night time, when asleep, we ignore them.

Anonymous said...

Midnight Whisperer, I'm glad for the confusion. :) It heightens the "aha" moment.

Terri, I very much appreciate the comment about delivering truth eloquently. :) Thanks! And I completely agree. I meant "sleep" in its mix connotations. Sleep is restful, but we also used it to mean checked out, like asleep at the wheel.

Karen, what an astute observation. It's true that pure self-destruction and self-loathing is foreign to me. My struggles are with other people, not me. What would be words encompassing self-destruction? Inadequacy?

Atrisa, a desperate defense, yes. Sometimes I envy those who can honestly build contentment with them.

Shadow, somehow I think that yours don't feel particularly complete or enduring to you.

Four Dinners, we don't need no self-control.... (And, teacher, leave them kids alone.)

For I am, I wonder if the more we aware of dams, the less effective they are. Mine don't hold water.

Awareness, your name says it all. The spell breaks when we are aware. The cement crumbles.

Walking Man, I think I'm 50% of the way to accepting unsolved complexities and loose ends. An improvement over 0%.

JR, that's the trouble. Water flows over the top and erodes the foundation.

Miladysa said...

Happy New Year x

Vesper said...

We need these dams... but I don't know if for a better sleep or for an easier living...

Happy New Year!
All the best to you and your loved ones!

Meghan said...

Wow. Yet another fantastic piece! I love reading these. Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year and have a great 2010 keeping up the writing.

Anonymous said...

Miladysa, Happy New Year!

Vesper, I'm very wary of cooking up counter forces to push back against things chewing on us. I want to attack the problems directly (but tend to fail). (Happy New Year!!)

Meghan, many thanks! I hope you have a wonderful year!

Aggie, best wishes for your new year! I hope you've been well. :)

SzélsőFa said...

sometimes it's the dams that cause most of the trouble :)
a thought provoking poem indeed.

catvibe said...

Somehow I missed this very fine poem. I like it very much.