Welcome to Climbing Sun’s Parables & Myths, a collection of verse and poetic prose pieces traversing Sun’s extraordinary rendering of existence. You might want to prepare yourself before entering:
If you suffer with an insatiable lust that demands touching and feeling and responding to life, then get ready to drink the depths of sensual passion: “let us love like thunderstorms in a cage…” (one flesh).
If you’re a nature-person, a devotee of our Mother Earth — get ready for your soul to shatter as you tango with Sun’s imagery, “lotuses often dream / about the rich indigo tint given off / by zealous muscles shuddering…in the summer surf” (lotus inc).
If you happen to have the soul of an architect/engineer, be prepared to have your unconscious urges exposed: “an architect adept / enchanted to his flash point / by ideas of spheres and helixes and jagged spires…” (the empty field theory).
If you’re an incurable mystic, delve into the intercourse of words with the essential power of creation, finding that “your very existence is the only gift in the pinata…” (remember the question).
If you are a rebel filled with righteous anger, you will find fuel to inspire your dreaming: “…how easy peace can be especially in that instant / while the bullet they’ve marked for you still belongs to the sky” (peace is almost too easy).
But the depth in Sun’s offerings doesn’t stop there. In fact, it only begins…
If you’ve dreamed of creating Universes, know you will enter a playing field from deep-space macro to the most organic earthy atomic level, breathing “across a tongue rich with symbols / through lips blistered with the spirits of orbit” (the empty field theory).
Oh yes, a Universe awaits within these pages… and there is no way to be fully prepared…
Climbing Sun is a world traveler, engineer, teacher, and poet born in Michigan, raised in Ohio, and educated in Florida, who continues to design structures in California and South Florida. He visits the far reachers of the cosmos whenever possible, chasing images to coax onto the printed page.
Parables. The word evokes everything from the metaphor-rich teachings of Jesus, to Plato’s allegories, to Cherokee legends, to the sayings of Confucius. Sages, humorists, scribes, and common folk in every culture have added wisdom in the form of succinct stories designed to illustrate some universal truth, moral lesson, or ethical principle. Though they may not describe their work as parables, any number of modern poets such as Mary Oliver, Billy Collins, Courtney Walsh, and Gary Snyder are writing them. This is one of the noble tasks of poets everywhere: to observe, to open the inner ears to Wisdom, to corroborate her instruction, then to personalize, sculpt, and re-broadcast the insights gained.
Many of the pieces in the Parables section originated out of whimsy, and ended up saying what they wanted to say. Fortunately I listened—although for every one I “heard,” three remain languishing in my unfinished file. Two-thirds of these pieces were born during my 22-year run of guiding Montessori Junior High students to write their own truths, musings, and perceptions. It comes as a shock to discover this fact years after my last poetry class. At some point I may choose to develop this realization into a parable of its own loosely titled: What the Students Taught. So as you ingest these offerings, realize that they are in effect distillations of what was created while under the influence of these bright, diligent students.
Myths are archetypal stories that have evolved over centuries. So why categorize the group of poems herein as myths when they do not fit the definition? Is this kind of writing going outside the bounds of poetic license and if so, what gives even a longtime poet the right to call his poems myths?
In the larger sense, myths have evolved as a way of bringing comfort or insight to human beings seemingly caught in the gristmill of natural phenomena, death, afterlife, and most especially, the dramas and traumas of life itself.
Myths also seek to explain the origins of the earth and cosmos-at-large and the placement of the tribe or culture within the greater whole. In other words, these are attempts—however noble or feeble—to explain the supernatural and the mystery of existence.
So one day I woke up and noticed that for some years I’d been writing myths. This seemed as natural to me as eating and sleeping. I’ll not speculate on where these “came from,” (which would itself be a mythical exercise) except to say that in the spirit of myth-refiners down through time, if these bring a measure of solace, reassurance, understanding, or perhaps an enhancement of your place in the cosmic drama, then I will have succeeded.
lust at the farmer’s market
eye contact is the key
we keep the talk factual logical at first
then begin slipping in musical words:
numinous salacious opalescent
let us agree to ignore the succulent onions
while we pet those starving phantom dogs
gnawing each others’ lumbar discs
in front of the wild honey
we have to allow the chaos
to underscore our howls and stutters
letting double signals slip
off the overweight parts of our tongues
a fantasy is not a wholesome idea
instead you be the analyst
I’ll be the dehydrated client
don’t even try to pretend
your right leg is attracting my left leg
let us distract our cravings
with tasteful reflections:
every vendor’s bright eyes reflect
the wider world running on pain
only the racy rebels are joyful anymore
but their delight like everyone else’s
is as temporary
as these deep-rooted hungers