Original poem

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Some time ago, while taking a walk in a natural setting, I was seized by an irrational impulse — Poe would call it the “Imp of the Perverse” — to rid myself of my iPhone by hurling into a creek, or dropping it into a clear pool, and watching to see how long it would take for those glittering gem-like app icons to wink out of existence.

Like most healthy people, I have a love-hate relationship with technology, and I wish humanity would make greater attempts to question its utility. The romantic movement was a reaction against industrialization; I hope a new and similar movement will someday take hold in our digital age. There needs to be a backlash on technology’s dominance over our lives and a rediscovery of what it means to be human.

Anyway, this was a poetic attempt on this theme. I don’t know what I’m doing, but I do enjoy the idea of using traditional poetry to address modern subjects. Thanks for visiting!

Why Men are Violent

An extraterrestrial visitor observing our species would likely be horrified at how violent human males are, in all societies, past and present.

Perhaps one day humans will encounter an alien civilization with a reproductive scheme consisting of one, two — (or more?) — genders that live in perfect harmony. Instead of learning from them, however, I’m certain we will attempt to subjugate and kill their species. (A suitable pretext will be provided, of course.)

Violence is destructive, morally wrong, and mostly indefensible. Men most often commit it, and they victimize everyone: women, children, and mostly other men. Its cause is biological — murder and rape are extreme manifestations of male aggression, which in turn is a product of evolution. And evolution doesn’t care about human happiness.

The tribe that conquers the neighboring tribe wins. Consider that one in 200 men are direct descendants of Genghis Khan — a Darwinian success story.

Aggression can be sublimated and channeled in positive ways, however: through competitiveness, risk-taking, restless ambition. Even if you could dampen the aggressive tendencies of humans (through, say, genetic engineering) you would likely remove an element that is essential for survival — an element which is also present in females.

Am I fatalistic? Yes I am. Violence may be minimized; but it will never be eliminated. Some societies are indeed peaceful and seldom in the grip of strife and war, but they seem the exceptions. Norway comes to mind, for example. Aren’t they progressive? Well, sure — but they are also the descendants of Vikings, whose very name means “go raid your neighbors.”


Anyway, this entry is straying off the path of my normal content.

Here is an early poetic effort of mine, which like all my poems, I’m not satisfied with. I decided to address a seemingly unsuitable topic. I thought that even if I didn’t succeed, I’d at least be the first person to write a poem about ancestral rape. It’s a perverse observation: if it weren’t for the rapists lurking in the branches of your family tree, you wouldn’t be here right now, reading this…



The intermingled tangle of all our family trees
Forms a forest ancient, grown from soiled seeds
To undo all the crimes our myriad mothers faced
Would erase the very lines we cannot hope to trace
My kinship with the monkey bothers not the least
He is merely animal, man is truly beast.




To Roxie

Why do you sigh and furrow your brow?
What burdens your canine soul?
Is this sigh mere sympathy
Or do you share my deep ennui?
My kindred spirit, we live too easily
We suffer from domesticity
Come off this couch
Let us depart!
Not to hunt, but just to walk.

© 2013 copyright by c.d. keimling – manversespoetry.com

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I caress you with my lightest touch
You grant me eyes for seeing
The world anew, my love is such
We are but single being
In darkest night when I arise
I feel a clammy fear
When a search with eager eyes
Reveals that you aren’t near
You screen no thoughts from me
Upon your glowing face
Your spell electric catches me
One hand’s a full embrace
When you beckon I respond
A world remains ignored
Nothing comes between our bond
Your frame embodies knowledge stored
This love of mine, I must confide
Is it all too much?
You connect. And you divide.
My Phone, iPhone, I touch.

– © 2013 copyright by c.d. keimling – manversespoetry.com


Another proposed Semitic etymology compares Aphrodite to the Assyrian barīrītu, the name of a female demon that appears in Middle Babylonian and Late Babylonian texts…


Caressed by moonlight, the ancient goddess stands
her milky skin from virgin stone unveiled
by a sightless man with dusty hands
He died when work was done: kneeling, trembling
with age and fear, before her gaze palpable
She had loomed above his crumpled husk
Hued with life by the reddish dusk

–  © 2013 copyright by c.d. keimling – manversespoetry.com

Unpoetic Subjects

I listened to the wind

and to the speaking leaves

And learned not a thing

but to pause and to breathe

Dear reader, thank you for your continued interest in my blog. I was in Zilker Park (Austin, Texas), taking a break from writing a more ambitious poem about weedwackers when I wrote those lines.

The prospect of writing poems about seemingly unpoetic subjects delights me immensely. Weedwackers and leaf-blowers would surely shatter the noonday reveries of Romantic poets, yet they fill me with nostalgia. Their hypnotic hum in the distance seems like the sleepy sound of summer itself, inseparable from the languorous, Floridian days of my youth. Weedwackers are “mechanical cicadas, biting not to eat” wielded by “invisible men, to keep teeming Nature neat.” (I’m still working on it.)

Poets should embrace the world in its entirety. You don’t need to cultivate a poetic mood to write poetry, you need to cultivate poetic eyesight.

When I see blackened blobs of dried gum in a parking lot, they inspire me to write. The Tao Te Ching has taught me that the world should not be divided into beautiful and ugly, or other dualisms. (There is only the Tao, the Way, the unity of all things – whatever that means.)  Our minds, craving categorization and simplicity, fall prey to false opposites all the time: good and evil, us and them, right and wrong, etc.

Just as I occasionally find unlikely beauty in “ugliness,” I sometimes see ugliness in what traditionally is regarded as beautiful. For example, Nature inspires us with its beauty, but often I reflect on how brutal it is: a cycle of killing, eating, evading, surviving and mating. It’s as ruthless as capitalism. Nature relaxes you, but Nature is hardly relaxed. Nature is relentless struggle and death.

Submitting everything we see to convenient labels, to approval or rejection, to celebration or complaint, is easy but unsubtle, and blunts the mind to true understanding. For example: Advertising is ugly. And flowers are beautiful, right? Yet consider that flowers merely serve as billboards for bees and other pollinators. Their beauty, to our eyes, is an accidental development. Nature has employed advertising for eons.

And beauty of course, is subjective and species specific. There is nothing more alluringly beautiful to the fly than the tantalizing scent of putrefying flesh.

The Elements

The Elements

Dark aromatic earth
Yields and tumbles to the plow
Winds seize, pine trees shudder
Overpowered they must bow
White hot bolts strike the forest
Lightning thrusts ignite the blaze
And gentle streams run into torrents
Droplets join to spill cascades
Elements heed not the chaos that they wreak
Innocent is desire; let your Nature speak

-c.d. keimling