Disturbance

On unstable days, the atmosphere

bears down, humid and oppressive, pressing

tightly in, constricting breath and movement,

scrambling thoughts, intensifying moods

gloomy and depressing, building up

tensions and minor irritations until

anxiety renders me dysfunctional,

and I can neither focus on a task,

nor sit still with my constant jitters.

It happens often enough that it can’t be

mere coincidence, and yet I don’t

know what to call effect and cause, whether

emotions take a barometric turn,

or the same gods’ grip shakes and strangles both.

 

Copyright 2019

T. Allen Culpepper

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Wake

Drowsy from reading, I stretch out on the bed,

near, but not touching, the cat, who likes her space,

and various pasts and futures fill my head

with thoughts, some welcome, others hard to face.

 

The window, left partially open, admits the wind,

and riding it in, the melodies of birds–

song that trills above the dishwasher’s din;

the thoughts stir feelings too  difficult for words.

 

The approach of spring always creates

unstable emotions that swirl around and collide:

the wish for freedom bound up with the need to mate;

new dreams mixed in with fear that something’s died.

 

My love craves exposure, but I’m wary,

even though you’re just imaginary..

 

Copyright 2018

T. Allen Culpepper

Against the Law

“New Research Shocks Scientists: Human Emotion Physically Shapes Reality”–headline from the Enlightened Consciousness website

 

Though lacking the patience for methodical proofs,

any poet could have told them what the shaken

scientists found: Emotions defy the laws of physics,

shoving their hands down inside our genes

to make us writhe and dance; emotions seduce us,

drag us into bed and fuck us over, but it’s reality

that wakes us up with chainsaw snores

or rancid morning breath.

 

Copyright 2017

T. Allen Culpepper