Art and Poetry

Untitled (August 2008)
letting the light in
In Prison (March 2009)

I am filled with the need to do something sensible
I am filled with the dread of the perceived inevitable
I am fired with the passion of a love unconquerable
I am filled with the poetry that runs a blood river
Deep within me, moving through me
Coming out in ways where I’ve been wounded.


Untitled (August, 2008)
mm-art-berkman
Sasha the Survivor (2013)

An evening like this: summer sunset
cricket song, peachy sky
reaching up the vaulted ceiling, cathedral clouds
clouds shaped like mountains along the Yangtze River
improbable, fairy-tale bubble domes, drifting closer
stilling to stalagmites all along the stretched horizon
quickly darkening to throw this garden into bas-relief
The air no cooler than my blood, and still, so still
The tiny humming of mosquitos hovering in my line of sight
I will remember this when I cannot see the sun for days on end.

 

Untitled (September 2008) 
Marius Mason Self Portrait
Self-Portrait 2014

words stagger drunkenly towards truth
meaning circles in a dervish spiral
spinning, coming closer to the center
reaching out to grasp the bigger picture
beneath this night sky, blackened and still
blanketed with stars
what hand moved this chaos into beauty?
each point singular, unique and self-sufficient
but collectively, contributing its own fire unto the
whole
and all of it so huge past understanding
a wonderment of firmament proportions
rooted in the Earth, my toes dig in to hold me
stretching up to touch this light
with hands aching to be more
I am a tree, the bridge between,
And revelation slams into perception
like a comet skipping on the edge of atmosphere
And She is there in pieces
within me and without me
She speaks to me in stars
you are the everything and nothing
of your own desire and detachment
be with Me
and We
are Beautiful.


“SEX AND REVOLUTION” 
mm-
11 (2011)

as I move my hands my lips across your supple
body blending everything becomes bewildered unpretended
in these moments of ecstatic rhythm
reggae sweat your breath so still
lingering upon my lips
your body mine the last of the wine
spilled between us in a kiss
an offering not offered to some other god
but shared
these moments of ecstatic rhythm writhing
in abandon Dionysus could not have taught me
mysteries more powerful than making love
all acts of pleasure consummate rebellion
all conscious nakedness can shuffle off this mortal coil
and by expanding span the growing chasm between
Self and Not-Self
eliminating borders to abandonment’s continuum
a communion of surrender and resistance
which is survival and our happiness
think this: distances are dangerous
illusions of distinctions are conclusions of
extinction
we must be in love with the world become it
to save it fro our own self-hatred
lover, i caress the whole in you with every touch
turning us away from sure destruction
bring your lips again to mine
and seal our sweet conspiracy of sex
and revolution pleasure is our bread and wine
and Anarchy our paradise
chaos comes into the inner heart surrounds the world
around just at the moment we dissolve our barriers
against it in these moments of ecstatic rhythm
we become the everywhere and everything
at last, uncontrollable and free

&&&

from Fifth Estate #332, Summer 1989


“Help” (2009)

“Refuse no one the good on which he has a claim
when it is in your power to do it for him.”

mm-there-goes-the-neighborhood
There Goes the Neighborhood (2011)

Book of Proverbs, Bible

“Refuse none help that cry for it”
And it is celebrated virtue
So exhorted for a thousand years,
But still the trees are mystified
That in their general innocence,
Their generosity and grace
That lifts us all,
Their cries for no more help
Than to be left alone in endless peace,
Each Bodhisattva bridging Earth and Heaven –
These cries
Fall into the graves
Of human ears
And seal our fate,
Entwined.


“Lion” (February 2009) 
Frida Kahlo (October 2009)
Frida Kahlo (October 2009)

I have been a lion on the plains of Africa
Matching sinew against sinew,
Timing, speed, all considerations
In the meditation of the possible
Measuring the balance,
Risk and resource,
Gain and gamble,
Life and death.
Now I am a lion on a fabricated rock,
Dozing in and out of dreams
Golden eyes reflecting faces
Indolent and gazing,
They at me,
Me at them,
Shadows of ourselves
No longer wild.


“Pain” (February 2009) 
Marie Mason images 001
Defend or Die! (2011)

I bear a present witness to the face of misery and madness,
Tortured souls who across my eyes and sweep the soul aside,
Collectively to hide inside the anus of the body politic
Drenched in offal, horrified, the soul forgets itself
Remembering nothing of its shining, lofty ways upon the wind.
It weighs terrible and heavy, a constant painful witness to this misery and madness that
We embrace as “civilized”
But we are better than we are, and once we were
This pain deforms us, even as we hide in it
Oh, let it me a chrysalis and not a cage!
As we remember once again together our constant and true nature –
Forever Wild & Free!


“Still and Yet”(January 2011)
mm-sea nettles
Sea Nettles Take Over (2012)

Still, the mid-wife’s jar
sits in a corner of a solemn room
ready with the herbs, ancient and almost reliable,
for cleaning house, a tug within
that leaves & black hole, gaping,
hungry
for the time when we will have our freedom

freedom not pulled out
bloody on the hook of a hanger
illegal instrument high jacked
for a purpose larger than life
Or children slapped away,
Mothers catatonic and despondently cruel at the dead-end
Of the spectrum, parent and child alike robbed of nurture, famished,
Babies thrown in garbage dumps and children,
Sight unseen, snatched away by grasping, greedy
hands, the wealthy parasitic class came to claim the prize
or fainting, standing at the health factory, daunted by throbbing hordes of vigilantes,
Or inside waiting to be counseled into dropping
$300 bucks and a fetus
Into the corporate bucket
Of commodities and dreams

Or hand out ready, shaking a bowl
At the government
Aims to terminate a life
With no other script than conscription
Clutching Uncle Sam’s knees
Perpetual multitudes born already
ploughing, eyes cast down
Living small in the belly of the beast
Belly broadening, a serf to Greed Incarnate

mm-TooMany Nettles.2012
Too Many Nettles (Not Enough Fish)

I am sick to death
Of men forcing women
To have babies
Denying gender gifts
And raping their own issue,
Be family these enforced new lives

And I am sick to death
Of men forcing women
To lose babies
Emotional blackmail of abandonment
In convenient and slippery denial
Is this progressive?
And once again the woman bears
Or bears responsibility and risk alone

Until it is no more
A question of financial obligation/devastation
Or external pseudo moral pressing down demand submission
We do not have our freedom
Until it is an unencumbered choice
To live one’s life without entanglements
Accomplishing the hearts desire
We do not have our freedom
Until the balance zeros
For every woman, every time
The fact of imminent potential issue
Must be faced
We do not have our freedom

Until we complete the circle of community
Where all ways of living joyfully and harmless
Can be practiced in the light
Without impediment to any path
We do not have our freedom

And we do not have our freedom yet


“The Blues  Are Older Than Memphis” (January 2011) 
Marie Mason images 002
Joining Myrtle and Socks in a Daydream (2011)

From mem’ries of Eurydice
The living Orpheus retreats
In agony condemns
His gifts and disdains life
A lyre that fills with song inspired,
By grief beguiled
The breathless trees lean in and fill
With silent, watchful birds
Who
Bearing voiceless witness, sigh
This love denied
By death and second chances lost
Entangles all
Who hearing,
Are enthralled
In most exquisite and
Connective pain
(‘cuz everybody loves the blues)


“Isle of Windows” (2011)

Marius wrote this poem after hearing a story about workers becoming ill in Nicaragua from working on  rubber tree and sugar cane plantations.

The Isle of Widows, NicaraguaSugar cane workers are subjected to hazardous conditions in the Isle of Windows.
The heat rises, steam
Moves
With the breath of trees,
Into the air
Haunted eyes speak
Their questions of a mystery
The men of science come to study
This embarassing plague
This withering away
That leaves the widows wondering.
What is the science of oppression?
Dr. Mengele knew,
Lurching through the labs
Of a past that keeps repeating.
One watches without compassion.
One takes notes.
Hypothesis:
Can we demonstrate that decades
Of muscles, tortured and stretched taut,
Dessicated and starved,
Both trees and men
Carved
To pull the juices out
That make the wheels
That run the Machine –
That this is what makes husks of men?
Hypothesis:
The delicate dust, pot-pouri
This chemistry
That drapes the trees
A veil for the bride of industry –
Is it reliable to say
That this is why the kidneys
Fail?
How can we conceivably equivocate?
Data must be reproducable
After all,
We are concerned with methodology
Not murder.
But by measurement,
We engage and change
The very thing we measure.
Heisenberg knew everything.
The possibilities of multiple hypotheses
Obfuscates the issue
Like a miasma rising from the
Fermenting swamp
Of colonial relationships.
Old at nineteen
The bones pushing the envelope
Of brown skin
Internally imploding
One the Isle of Widows
One boy wants to know why he is dying.
So they take his blood,
Then shrug
And send him home to die.


“Entropy” (2012)

What do you see
In this Winter face?
The imminent decomposition of the unbeautiful?
Even so, even in that
I see that all my pieces
Have their own story.
My hands have worked a brand of
Entropy
That is much more sociology than
Physics.
My body has bourne children
who fly away from me
In becoming of themselves.
This body burned and burning,
Flies apart in exothermic birthing,
Molds again in endothermic coupling,
Touches ground and stretches to the sky,
Dissipating heat.
My hands move across the page
With words this time,
The taste, the sound of them
Drips, mists, rains in torrents,
Common-tongued as a storm on a street corner;
Cursed and shared and necessary.
Fingers pushing colors from my eyes into images that speak,
Or pulling the taut metallic strings of a guitar,
And waves flowing between notes
Falling from my lips
Joining with the air,
Streaming rising, molecules
Dispersed to dance,
Becoming something new,
Somewhere else,
Again.


Desert Lizard watercolor painting by Marie Mason

“A friend of mine sent me a really lovely photo of this desert lizard as she let me know that she was heading out for her Pacific Trail hike. I hope she has an easier time than the author Cheryl Strayed did doing the same hike. It seems like a grueling but amazing adventure. I will just be grateful to be able to walk in a straight line for a few blocks, feel grass (and not cement) under my feet, see the moon without a fence in between… and I am patient and content to wait for that day.”

-Marius, 2012