Mind World

It seems to be a world of swirling clouds
that shift their shapes as if in gusting wind.
Their quickly changing color thickly shrouds
a surface that’s unseen as they’re not thinned.
I stared in wonder at the world on screen,
at each swirl that looked like a hurricane,
aware that what—in fact—I’d seen
were current fluctuations in my brain.
Electrodes made a movie of that world
that’s in the cosmic darkness of my head,
electrical activity which swirled
transcribed by sensors so it could be read.
Beholding enthralled, I was an astronaut
who stared from orbit at a world of thought.

Mario A. Pita

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Supports

We’ve gathered to support each other, speaking
about the ailment we’re afflicted by
and found, in talk, support that we were seeking,
our friends and families could not supply,
as no one understands like those who’ve known
firsthand our challenges and can reply
in ways that make us feel we’re not alone
through gatherings on which we can rely.
But like a bridge requires more than one
support to stand across a rippled river,
we need supports beyond just talk—like fun,
which gives support that talking can’t deliver:
to better face afflictions that may sting,
we gather to support through play—and sing!

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Mario A. Pita

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Autumn Run

As leaves on trees were turning golden brown,
a runner passed beneath them with her hair
tied in a pony-tail, a wind blown crown,
of hues just like the trees, soon to be bare.
Yet she was in the bloom of youth, life’s spring,
with decades still to pass before its autumn,
with ages left until the years would bring
a running out of time for hair of auburn.
But when I saw her hair and matching leaves,
the two became for me a haunting pair
suggestive of how time runs by and leaves
like foliage that’s blown away by air.
Time ran and blurred for me the young and old,
in a runner’s hair, like leaves, of brownish gold.

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Mario A. Pita

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Swan Rescue

Strolling by a reservoir, I saw
a swan attack another one: it bit
as though the victim had defied a law
and needed to be punished and submit
to violent retribution he deserved,
to persecution he had to permit.
I felt compelled to help as I observed
his neck was pulled as if for breaking it.
I may have saved the poor swan from a bully,
and I hoped someone too would interfere
with us—the human race—so we live fully
freed of the violence breeding woe and fear.
They left in peace, and I felt hope’s not gone:
we’re no less beautiful than is a swan.

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Photo: Lori Wilcox McCray

Mario A. Pita

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Remnant

A brain that had the ailment I now suffer
was on display—preserved within a jar,
given with the hope that it would offer
help in understanding what is far
from being understood: the brain’s role in
the ailment they experienced, like me,
crossing now the turf where they had been.
Their gift may help us find a remedy.
I held the brain that once held so much woe,
of someone who, like me, could only guess
where their afflicted consciousness would go,
to other realms or maybe nothingness.
I thank them, and, whatever their belief,
I hope they went to bliss—not just relief.

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Mario A. Pita

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Depictions

As I can’t eat a photograph of rice,
images of You have failed to feed,
and clinging to them has a hefty price,
distracting me from what I feel I need:
Your presence like the air that I inhale,
invisible unless it’s clothed in things,
like smoke or clouds, as images all fail
to show transparent air inhaling brings.
The images of You to which I’ve clung,
though wonderful, are of a narrow breadth
and can’t be like what air is to a lung,
sustaining life invisibly through breath.
Though oxygen is given by a tree,
there’s nothing like that from idolatry.

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The Treachery of Images, René Magritte, 1929

Mario A. Pita

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Vocal Brilliance

For Damia

From somewhere that I couldn’t see, I heard
a singing which then struck me as sublime
although I couldn’t make out any word
in pitches that would softly fall and climb.
Arriving in the darkness on my street,
I realized that it was coming from
my rental building, unexpected treat
of just a voice, without guitar or drum.
I recognized the song sung from a porch
as one about the dark night of the soul
and felt it lit my own soul like a torch,
relieving its thick darkness as of coal.
I thanked my neighbor, like a rare song bird,
for the gift of light that can’t be seen but heard.

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Mario A. Pita

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