After Algebra (revisited)

This is an older post. I actually wrote this poem when I returned to college at the age of 30. That was over 20 years ago. I was a High School drop-out and lived on my own since the age of 18. While I was attending college full-time, I was also the sole provider of my family of 3-small children and a wife.

Funny, some things rarely change, and right-brained gravity seems to be one of my favorite themes.

Algebra and English Comp were two subjects that taught me that I wasn’t book dumb after all, I just had a very uncoordinated focus that needed some discipline. After learning how to apply my focus, I did exceptionally well. This lesson of sticking to something, never quitting, was the best lesson I ever took with me from college. I learned there is a lot more for us to discover, sometimes it just takes clear determined focus to break through to the other-side.

At any rate, the human mind is amazing, those of us who are strongly right-brained, can become balanced in the left, and those in the left, can become liberated creative thinkers. With persistence we can become far more than the limitations we so often allow to define us. I was able to acquire my HS diploma and finished 2-years of general education with some additional courses of Art and Poetry to satisfy the hungering right brain. The poem renders the true challenges I had from switching from natural creative side to the extraneous work of analytical focus and boring process memorization. Focus has always been major work for me.

After Algebra

My fears are multiplied
By unknown factors
Step by step I am searching
for the undefined variables

The variables are better left
to efforts of desire, colored life,
X-equals my joy to live;
Purple sunsets
I bend against my better judgments
to allow myself
to be yanked from my heaven,
this freedom flesh
I levitate in pastels of soft nature
I dance in a landscape
that changes by factors
of emotional reaction
But the quotients of my efforts,
are reduced to penciled structures,
black bones on a white background

I tell you, I am dead tired!
I have exercised the parts
of my faculties that makes my
neck crawl, fire between the blades
of my shoulders,
I am so right, in this world better left…
I would run for summer meadows;
Sunshine, grass, and sky,
Yet, I am in the fetters
Of methodical deductions
for another semester

The anxiety increases
by exponential leaps;
Plus, minus, minus, minus –
The negative moves
From outside in

I could care
to marvel at a dry honeycomb;
perfectly structured hexagons,
raising powers,
intellectual perceptions —
Just leave me honey of a bee
like after Algebra,
when I go to Poetry.

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6 responses

  1. I have very little time for the way we categorize people. You’re so right – we are always more than our limitations and far more than the definitions people place on us. Beautiful poem – just says it all. Thank you.

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