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[ NaPoWriMo - 2019 Collection ] Proverbs

For in much wisdom is much grief:
and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.  
~ Ecclesiastes 1:18, Holy Bible, KJV
 
Forward
 
What is a Proverb
but common sense—
recorded experience
of life and legacy
for the next generation
to heed the cause
 
Through patterns we create
an anthology; pithy compilations
outlining morality—
behavioral blueprints
drafted from Being—
advancing or repeating
dependent upon attaining
vibrations attracted
by our very thinking
 
Each volume rests
in the great Library Room
of Elysium; contained herein                 
are mere observations . . .
or perhaps, memory
 
I. Nature’s First Green
 
i  Wisteria in Snow
 
April's green linen jacket
donning Saucer magnolias;
marbled pink umbrellas
of scented organics
 
Cocooned Wisteria unfurl
lavender wings from dormancy—
inverted hyacinth sleeping
as bats over a lambent lawn
 
Then, snow—unannounced;
her magnetics appealing
to vulnerable blooms;
their frost bitten corolla
so once brightly birthed
darkened now by touch.
 
What we learn letting go—
surrendering our lives unto fate
is the price for knowledge:
 
experience, inevitable death
wisdom through rebirth
 
ii  Wisteria in Sun
 
Light paddled
between visibly amassed clouds—
golden oars dissipating
vapors of falling flakes
 
Violet larvae surviving
the unannounced invasion
stretched from their cocoon
into a warm rescue
 
Those defoliated, shriveling
death glistened black—
crepe papered flora, oiled
mummified in afterlife
 
Seasons advance regardless
break boundaries before them;
I think Normandy, soldiers
far as one could see—
 
all relentlessly pursuing
freedom despite bullets
bodies, and bloody beaches—
 
Victory eternally guaranteed
by its Survivors
 
iii  Wisteria in Wind  
 
so it lingered past March
that zephyr's chilled contact;
shifting growth as an ocean current;
wisteria swinging upside down—
 
purple scales under sunlight
shimmering from afterbirth;
mimic schools of fish, turn all at once
amid erratic bull kelp bush—
 
a chrysalis network, plum bulbs
promising more fruit to come—
hatchlings for beauty's sake
before death stakes its claim
 
crowning something else Life;
some recall burgeoning lavender—
others only shriveled flora;
neither view can alter Truth
 
because their vines remain
seeds rooted in earth:
second-sight chances
coming round again by birth
 
iv  Wisteria in Rain
 
April torrents, deluged water walls—
vertical curtains sweeping yards;
ban hammered drops shattering
against concrete earth;
 
 
sodden clusters, heavy like grapes
leaking rainwater from lavender flesh;
umbilical cord vines writhe—
twisted spines among hedgerows
 
Slow motion waves roll caterpillar bushes
under command by winded rain
chanting upright, floral prophecies:
Tulip, Daffodil, Hyacinth, Peony;
 
but, first, Wisteria at prayer—
extravagant florets, corky bark,
velvet seed pods meditating
simultaneous, ritualistic, gratitude,
 
mirroring palm fronds, fully humbled
for Spring's triumphant coming—
no less blessed or holy
than Jesus entering Jerusalem
on the bones of palms
 
v. Wisteria in Sunset
 
Leaking lavender blue
ribboned oil jettisoned
across the treeline;
fuschia decadence bleeds
 
Sunset's burnt sienna
against greenery—wisteria
ladies in waiting, Geisha
heads bowed ceremoniously
 
Evening retirement, Ra
fully adorned, regal-robed
purple flowing after him—
Chinese corollas wait,
 
twined counterclockwise
amid hedged American holly—
dusk pulling them behind
its sooty stole, an ashen twilight
 
Flora burgeons from within
survives multitudes of darkness—
yet remains wholly bloomed
throughout their appointed term
 
Before death transposes color,
leaving a twisted cork vine
shriveling above ground
until another lifetime;
 
As humans, failing to blossom
into our destined purpose
 
vii Wisteria through the Window
 
Head chains, dangling violet flora
adorning branched hair;
beyond lies tangled squirrel nests
sleeping bats, all silhouetted
 
against cloaked age-rings
with century-old secrets.
Last week chrome yellow leaves
crowned barren lit barks at dawn.
 
Now, phthalo emerald adjusting
its wordly afterbirth, life in flight—
revolving doors, seasonal returns
nonstop: Evolution - Death. Birth.
 
Amid transforming chaos
quiet beauty reigns- Wisteria,
blue amethyst telegraphs
signalling through windows—
 
heralding ceasefire to winter feuds;
transmitting warm deliverance
great tidings of joy dissipating blood
for those who waited faithfully
 
regarding lovers, or fathers returning
from war — as promised they would
 
vii Wisteria in Death
 
Glorious their banners!
flying seasonal splendor;
burgeoning armies growing—
championing a maiden's honor
 
Its climbing carpet, lavender
observes atop trellised decks
germination by drunken bee—
upon both rose, wildflower alike
 
Such is short-lived, this sight
—as numbered days decrease;
soon the bark shall release
withering floral debris
 
Prolific tendrils molting
hollowed cicada shells;
parents with an empty nest—
having only memories now
 
How our lives do mimic
Wisteria in death—
where measurements of time
are equally given to each
 
It lies within us, choice—
purpose, focus, and joy;
without which we become
but angry, bitter seeds
 
alienated from happiness—
future lifetimes on "repeat"
 
viii What Remains
 
Advancing heat—billowing
wind more warm than cool;
languid moods anticipate
our hottest recorded summer
 
Remaining hours from spring
await their appointed time;
charted blossoms emerging—
pollination still alive;
 
Wisteria's corked bark dangles
emptied, dormantly asleep—
dolor until another lifetime
when reward will double its fruit;
 
having lived so fully
this incarnation of now—
wholly offering forth
as seasonal beauty does;
 
releasing without contempt
that which must always go;
faithfully returning each season
heralding cyclic growth:
these are lessons for Us
about life, love, and trust—
 
open hands—acceptance
in what cannot be controlled
 
II. The Giving Tree
 
i. A Sapling's Tale
 
So begins a tale
from one fertilized seed
gestating in winter's tower
beneath fortressed leaves
 
April's placenta'd heaven
burst forth, drenching soil
splitting pod, liberating root
delivered the sapling to earth
 
Pollen gifted it yellow—
symbolizing lighted growth;
its patterned bark would never
know such darkened world
 
Wisteria's withered fronds
floral-scented dropped—
became petaled carpets
protecting during frost
 
Mother tree, central hub
mycorrhizal networking snag—
nurses infant radicels
with carboned nutrients
 
Ancient matron, transmitting
conifered messages of wisdom—
vibrational being, sentinel sage
ensuring her species survival
 
How parallel are we humans
regarding our next generation
 
ii.  History  
 
Everything is beautiful
from soil level, crowned
ancestors, cacophonies
sung by busy insects;
 
boned branches crack
under an animal's weight
distant cousins, perhaps
same species, nonetheless
 
Growth dissipates light—
canopy leaves filtering sun
shield against rain and wind
protecting their young
 
I was born prior to houses
surrounding this land;
survived construction workers
felling generations before me
 
Descendants, now wooden walls
housing Be—ings, providing
raised floorboards, crown molding
wood stoves for warmth
 
But, there were forests—
forgotten languages; distress
signals about drought, disease;
mycorrhizal networks of family
 
Think not you are invincible— 
something stronger always exists:
nuclear weapons, human ignorance
Mother Nature's wrath
 
iii. Evolution
 
Growing up in shadows
countered with light, I observed;
infancy of seasons-
how they matured
 
Oftentimes struggling
for life - surrendering to death;
this brightly new hope crushed
underfoot by a playing child
 
Floods, drought, man's
touch, machine intervention
grading access roads—
animals stripping bark
 
What else can we do
when rooting inward:
immobile, small, dependent;
realizing destiny deals her cards
 
Some draw an ace, perhaps
hearts - bearing fruit;
others, not so lucky—become axed—
remains burned, or body used
 
From birth none know their fate:
flora, fauna, animal, human;
it's been said:
"Only good die young"
 
But you're wrong;
 
elderly are wizened resources
too often forgotten and ignored
 
iv. Appointed
 
I wasn't planted by hands
but earthen sod, soft
from rain; a footstep
pushing me underground
 
Then darkness, perhaps cold
who can remember centuries ago
those mysteries of the womb—
how bones and branches grow
 
Survival becomes nature's lottery—
her die casted declaration war
upon life's lot; roots choking
out each other's passage rites
 
Life is precarious; no breath
guaranteed between breathing—
that empty space deciding
whether you continue living:
 
suffer felling, cleared
for constructed death;
because strength knows
nothing more than weakness
 
about our appointed days
be it nature or man—
despite charting them ourselves
 
v. Purpose
 
When nature comes foraging
on your forest skin—
you breathe, willingly submit  
as squirrel, raccoon, deer,
   bear scratching its back
   across our roughly hewn bark—
 
bird, chipmunk, roosting owl
red tailed hawk, circling—
masking carnal appetite
for his daily bread
 
Steadfast Sentinels
even unto Death
until creation fells the aged
into an afterlife 
alive with organisms:
 
soil fungi releasing enzymes
assist invertebrates, insects
digest decomposing debris
 
Carpenter ants nest
inside decaying wood;
shrews, moles,
insectivorous birds dine—
feed their young
 
My legacy has purpose
sustains woodlands that birthed me
toward generations to come;
 
pray tell, what is yours—
 
"A good man leaveth an inheritance
to his children's children:"

 
vi. of Knowledge
 
Everything cooperatively—
not good nor evil separately;
but, all things combined
into a singular entity: knowledge
 
Light and darkness together
create possibility forming
contrast pertaining to understanding
 
Fire along with ice, nakedness—
cold, heat provided experience:
peace, unrest, gratitude, also regret
 
Before there was only this nebulous
existence in potential of choice;
until my fruit coursed down your throat
 
altering DNA, transforming ignorance;
pray tell, would you select unwind—
undo every learned thing;
 
or, choose more discernment
through yet another bite;
 
Everyone on Earth has
you're never alone
 
Neither am I
 
vii. of Life
 
Ancient Baobab: puffed up
miraculous survivor—
as salamanders
reveling in fire
 
Its dry trunk houses
water of Life, sustains existence
with Healing Fruit—
deprivation's portent
 
Green roots amid blue soil;
basis for living organisms
flourishing health
 
Every tree becomes weighted
during season-unless seasonless;
a constant provision:
 
Black Madonna
sheltering eternal innocence
from enlightenment—
 
where experience would lose
itself among the known—
dissipating desire to learn
 
Point is, doors open before us;
prayers become miracles—
if we're careful what we ask
 
Sometimes despite our self
 
III. Rules of the Game  
 
 i. Caturaṅga
 
O! ancient ancestor—
Indian strategist
of military divisions:
infantry, cavalry,
elephantry, chariotry
 
Rajas backs to each other
on Ashtāpada's field;
its unknown markings
whose lost meaning still
retained through tradition
 
once played with frogs—
yellow and green, shellacked
resinous by scale insects
before leaping upon squares
 
No Queen dare defend—
but Mantri counselled;
nor Bishop blessed
just Gaja, an elephant;
 
Ratha, Ashva, Padàti:
Chariot, horse, foot-soldier;
games evolve, mirror
patriarchal reflection
 
It's been said,  
Chess struggles against error—
 
perhaps reason enough
rules subtly alter their hold—
sparing a monarchy's ego
 
ii. Shatranj
 
Mâdayân î chatrang 
(Book of chess) measures
etymology in evolutionary steps
 
Shāhs, Persian Masters
Warlords, grew victorious
at the game—yet no Queen
was ever afforded her place;
 
adapted rules, instead
belaying sudden defeat;
from surprise capture
to warning requirement—
 
referred now as 'Check'
that courteous announcement
for imminent Death
 
Altered again were draws—
stalemated matches
avoiding easy arrest
by an executioner
 
called 'Mate'—
deemed all or nothing;
 
"THE RULES OF THE GAME
taught me the rules
of the game":
 
Maintain a quiet strength
 
iii. Xiangqi
 
Combatant armies;
pawns vying death against
their General's enemies:
 
Guards, Ministers, horses
chariots, soldiers, cannons—
sans placement of woman
 
No Queen protected any interest
among status quo boards;
only sancong—three rules
dominated her subservience:
 
father, husband, then son—
created by man to work
beneficially toward men alone
 
She is socially-segregated chattel
often physically ill-treated—
forever under philosophical
and religious norms
 
“Chess was life in miniature:
a struggle, battle."
 
Especially for women
 
iv. Gamit 
 
This opening Sacrificial move
upon their machination's altar—
accepted, or deviously declined
until a more advantageous offering;
 
compensation rarely equals
any gambiteer's artifice:
compromised pawn structure,
holes, positional deficiencies
 
Life is mirrored by stratagems
wanting ahead—
 
Italian il gambetto; Spanish gambito;
French gambit; English advantage;
makes no difference in definition:
put forward your own leg
to trip someone else up;
 
simple ruse, tactical ploy—
mere rules of the game, you see:
 
'Be the chess player, not the chess piece'
 
v. Goddess of Chess
 
Caïssa
Thracian dryad—
goddess, Sacred Feminine
soon crowned Queen
o're masculine tournaments
 
Apollo and Mercurius
at war upon armored howdahs
arrowed centaurs capturing
trophied favors as their own
 
She was the beginning—
an effeminate entrance
into forbidden arenas
permitting male counterparts
 
Becoming its most valued
destructive piece above all others
claiming meager stakes
on that harlequin board
 
Empowered with a double-attack
moving in agile silence
protecting her King
until time to say,
 
Checkmate
 
"Life is like Chess.
If you lose your Queen,
 you’ll probably lose the game."
 
vi. Nomenclature: 
 
rules for naming systems
from relatively informal conventions
centering around political
and/or philosophical dominance;
 
theoretical linguistics connect
global existence: commonality
experienced through identification;
 
etymology reveals derivation
evolution per society—
namely among men;
 
History repeated itself over time;
no man without woman—
nor perfect Eden
unless contrasted by choice
 
In the beginning was Ferz
Wazir, Vizier, Hetman, Lipp
until—finally a Queen
under Isabella I's reign
 
During such troubadour tradition
called courtly love, she arose
more powerful than any predecessor
essential to her king's survival;
 
if lost, nothing of value remains—
as though Adam, alone
holding only Eve's bitten apple
had he chosen obedience instead
 
"Long Live the Queen" 
 
IV. Endgame
 
i. Moving Forward
 
The first checkerboard memory
wasn't its squared colors;
but, pieces: wooden, chiseled
sculptures of importance
 
Splintered sun pitted
prismed light against darkness
atop an alternate stillness
present only during morning hours
 
Thick, almost chewy smoke—
Wilke High Hat and peppermint
candy gorged other aromas
before fading quickly
 
I didn't understand
what was happening;
thus, waited, statuesque
 
My father's patient hands
staging those carvings
from his warm, comfy chair
while quietly saying,
 
Moving forward, remember
every pawn is a potential Queen;
failure becomes your diadem—
not enemy

 
ii. Anatomy of a King
 
Infinite value, Ruler
'ore endgame
 
Designating freedom via reign—
sculpted legions carrying out
victorious requirements—
allowing a captured spread
 
until his required presence;
the beautiful overture of chess
is its subtle dynamics, merit
and power not being static;
 
but, continuously alters
through game advancement
squaring against opposites:
captures, brutal gambits
 
My father's voice,
mid-morning, Spring chill
gently referencing
thoughts to ponder:
 
such irony, isn't it daughter,
how this mirrors actual conflict—
in that outside color alone
determines your enemy

 
iii. House of Lords
 
Created Gaja
 
into a vast Indian army
yet only moderate influence
against his king's enemy—
 
until arriving within Europe
this destined authoritative Bishop
during Middle Ages, religious—
dogmatic insignia, rising
 
Liberated from beastly constraints
granted unlimited range
across civilized diagonals—
self-ordained Lord's House
 
Funny, isn't it, my father would say
how organized doctrine infiltrates
even innocent war games—
solidifying historical placement
 
through the endlessness of chess—
simply to crush an opponent's mind
 
iv. Unbiased
 
Vaulting Knights—
distinctive strategy
outflanking maneuvers
by faceless calvary
 
Steel-clad, iron thunder
of their charge
jumping all blockades
to break opposing forces
 
Neither Bishop nor Rook
does it mimic; but, ancient
oldest defined movement—
steadfast, unchanged perfection
controlling both colored squares
equally across board;
 
Because, as my father said:
 
"Despite black and white;
color is unbiased on a battlefield—
everyone bleeds red"

 
v.  Castled
 
Ratha - war Chariot;
fortification on an elephant's back—
folk etymology homophone for bird
flying 'ore direct course
 
Moving its arbitrary numbered
paces in any orthogonal direction—
vertical and horizontal unobstructed;
a Dragon King breathing victory
 
Feathered corvine creatures
taking the shortest route;
stealing small, shiny objects
to decorate their nests
 
My father's low musings
break silence—
 
'As the crow flies', unswerving  
 no beating around the bush; be
 aboveboard, compelling, precise
 
 but, remember-retain your guard
 never underestimate the obvious
 that is its strategic strength'

 
vi. Divergent
 
Metaphorical legacy prevails
more than another piece—
Padati, foot soldier, Pawn
portrayed a weakened link
 
It marks the course
for Kings and Queens,
Bishops, Rooks must wait—
Knights jump 'ore its stance
regardless of any move
 
Conversely known as peasants
this infantry brigade, poor
in education's afforded luxury:
first to charge, also fall
 
think Normandy's
sacrificial altar—gambits
initially laying themselves down
since conflict was born
 
Officers are only as strong
as their frontline soldiers

 
came my father's voice;  
 
 Strength underestimating weakness
 typically loses the game;
 
 Pawns are the soul of chess.

 
vii.  Impartation
 
Sculthorpe Parish, Norfolk
England, early morning
in April, wisteria flinging
itself over the trellis;
 
picture window showed
rubied cherry blossoms
contrasting lavender blooms;
despite floating snow
Spring had burrowed through
 
A half-naked elm cornered
some forest realm, transmitting
information into her
rooted mycorrhizal network—
 
much like my father
insisting this game be learned
 
To stay one step ahead
of life and boys,
he said
 
Even six-year-olds know better—
it was his Love language, legacy
more importantly, impartation:  
 
by thinking multiple steps ahead
I'd survive anything
 
Afterward
 
What are Proverbs
but experienced moments
becoming wiser
than you were
a-second's blink before
 
Stumble, pull yourself up
with Universal apron strings
amid this second-chance space;
 
some absorb truth; others deflect
knowledge—grow resentful, bitter
seeing unjust punishment
by an all-powerful Deity
versus accept responsibility
 
Life offers infinite direction—
blueprinted situations
we charted ourselves
to learn every action—
thus reaction—stems
from only one of two emotions:
 
Love which releases—
doesn't demand presence
or attention, gracefully respects
someone's freedom—
lets them live peaceably;
 
and,
 
Fear that holds on—
won't let go; pursues
pleads their own desire
infiltrates another's sacred space;
attempts temple desecration
through jealous, subversive acts
fooling the innocent—
 
all in vain. . .
they realize too soon—
miserable intent
becomes a karmic sentence
 
no matter pleading forgiveness—
such cyclic wheel must finish
 
As my Father said:
 
Therein lies the difference
between those who prayed
for their enemies' happiness
 
and those who spitefully
cursed them

~
Ahavati
Written by Ahavati
Published | Edited 23rd Feb 2020
Author's Note
This NapoWriMo is dedicated to my Soul Twin, JohnnyBlaze, for his unyielding love and support.
All writing remains the property of the author. Don't use it for any purpose without their permission.
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