Tuesday, June 26, 2012
What do we brush against--with our bodies, with our souls? What brushes against us? Sometimes it's invisible. That's when existence touches us most deeply, changes us most.
a hand brushed my arm once it was as much as I could bear that's the way sometimes when the heart's connected to every cell of the body one touch capsizes a world! but what about all the years no hand brushes against my skin? what about all those moments the void instead caresses me? then the faintest stars leave livid scratches you can't tell but they're there through them my heart's blood slowly leaks away
I can't read the map of my own loneliness I have no compass needle pointing beyond no beaten path stretching ahead to follow maybe it's a reality hardwired into my DNA what I brush against I can't predict what brushes against me might mean nothing or life and death more likely I'll wind up with dozens of chigger bites they inflict a certain kind of love but I'd be happy to live without it
a Wing brushed my soul once it was as much as I could bear that's the way sometimes when the soul's connected to every atom of the universe one touch capsizes a world! but strangely enough this wasn't the only instance I've felt brushed by that Wing more and more I feel lifted as if an immense and invisible Ardor now envelopes me! surpassing even the tenderest human touch an Angel's wing-beats guide me home
I long for the day when the human race finally wakes up. Some individuals already have, but most remain fitfully asleep, tormented by bad dreams. The common denominator of these nightmares is the delusion that we're inherently separate and divided beings. But those who are awake know otherwise.
the sleepers tossing and turning in their scratchy cocoons dream they're awake I know that was me once I won and lost many battles but sleepwalking all the while so much still had to die! those hypnotic self-images parading across the blaringly lit stage set of my mind those famished eyes glaring from the pitch-black cellar of my fears I dreamed I was a hero doomed to tragic fate and what I dreamed came true
real waking isn't the fitful glare that spasmodically shoots out from a lurid clash of phantoms and shadows real waking's almost imperceptible a radiance barely tinting the soul's horizon it's not even noticed at first mesmerized as we are by the glittering labyrinth of fun-house mirrors seduced as we are by the appetite's endlessly gyrating merry-go-round real waking comes soft and silent and slow
but like an x-ray penetrating every slightest crack and corner of being until nothing's left except an emptiness that sings and shines then everything living finds a home what does it mean to be awake? just this! no more separation between us no more barriers dividing heart from heart suffering from compassion grief from love when sleepers awake we rise up joyously freed at last of our old splintered shells
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
I feel like I should have something profound, or at least interesting, to say about the following two prose poems. But really, whatever's worthwhile to communicate I've already said in the pieces themselves. Please take from them what you need today.
whenever I show up I'm also leaving there's a gaping hole of no-longer-me left behind somewhere birth was like that what an exodus! but did I have a choice? since then I've been expelled bloody and squalling from womb after womb leaving and arriving two different sides of the same coin when you find me tossed dumbstruck between grief and joy you'll know I just lost one world and discovered another
looking back it seems every moment's been a step in a dance of leaving even now though we're so close we almost breathe a single breath some part of me's already three fourths gone the pull of the horizon! the tang of the unknown! like a shark I must thrust forward or I'll die leaving's how I experience birth and death simultaneously I realize I'm never static but a sort of dreaming river my vector's forever changing as I flow
leaving's moving on but also leaving behind one day you'll read this illuminated by the void of my absence yet right now I'm pouring my whole being into these words I'm taking your hand in mine with these words I'm gazing deep into your eyes through these words so leaving's letting go but also holding dear I'm leaving you to enter a wormhole in the night I'm leaving you this tracing of my soul
Most of us are living inside a maze of dividing and constricting walls. It's time for them to come down.
I think of an old stone wall in a field at night it's like some long low creature scarcely breathing the crickets don't seem alarmed though now and then a bat flits and dives noiselessly above these stones set apart grass from grass dark from dark space from space I wish more walls were this humble mottled with gaps and holes where starlight finds passage I wish more walls were chastened by time rendered harmless and beautiful
I didn't know I was born into a labyrinth of invisible walls they were all around me and some where already inside me but I didn't know all I knew was a shadow blocking where the light came from and the unappeasable wailing of a thing abandoned a thing imprisoned and desolate trained by this harsh curriculum I learned to construct my own walls I became a world-class prodigy at walling out and walling in
but I'm finished with that now "Tear down the walls!" is my new mantra and I don't apologize tear down the walls cementing primal wounds to fresh horrors tear down the walls dividing the kiss from the lips and the lover from the beloved tear down the walls that shut minds petrify hearts blight souls tear down the walls which command us to believe we're anything except One
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Here are the next two prose poems in the current series I've been writing.
they say it's better to bend and bend so not to break the green branch does this but the dry one snaps in two yet sometimes breaking's the only way to change how would the chick get born if the eggshell didn't break? and what about that glaze of ice splintering on the pond each spring? if I can't break with ghosts from the past I won't grow if my heart was never broken I couldn't offer you safe haven there now
on the other hand some things shouldn't break but they do and we can't always fix these friendships for instance I remember one that shattered into a thousand bleeding pieces no matter how long I searched I could never find them all other treasures we wished stayed whole are bones vows dreams fine crystal castles in the air families certain toys and the human spirit
then again a break can be a gap in time or space which let's us rest and opens up to unexpected worlds when I take a break I stop pushing too hard and plodding grimly ahead freeing my soul from the constricting carapace of cause and effect I come back home to the reality of here and now a break can be a widening crack in my prison cell's wall it can lead to a breakout a hairsbreadth escape as liberating Light pours through!
heaven and hell and everything between course through me in waves yesterday I danced on the foaming crest today I founder in the turbulent trough I'm not a granite cliff but a sort of walking ocean through which ceaseless waves rise and fall much is lost in those waves much found when a wave takes me it engulfs like my uttermost reality when it throws me down I splinter into shards of yet another shattered world
I think I was conceived smack in the curl of a breaking wave there's this rawness in me this need to thrust onward this oneness with the surge and tumble it's a rootlessness a restless becoming don't be fooled when you watch me standing quietly or sitting still I'm cascading wildly somewhere far out at the glittering edge nothing but towering sky above unplumbed depths below
One day you'll wave as I pause briefly silhouetted alone on the glowing horizon and I'll wave back but I won't return I'll keep going I'll keep going until only my absence remains just an empty space filled with the rising sun I'll keep going borne by that final wave which carries me beyond all others beyond even these breakers of love and grief horror and gladness I'll keep going until I find you again
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
I was in a dark place when I wrote "Smiles." Mostly (not surprisingly) smiles have a happy association for me. Yet everything has its dark side too--even light (shadows), and there are times when I become more aware of that aspect, and have more need to express it. It's all part of the Great Dance.
so many smiles I've drowned in then they went away like a beached fish I flopped around on the shore of their absence gasping for air other smiles stayed but I didn't I pulled back so far inside not even a bloodhound could find me when you smile my buried wound might gape wide again in response it looks like a smile but it's not it's a cry for help or pity or just the lament of an animal knowing it will die
somewhere there's a smile which never stops -- the primordial smile of the universe life and death are submerged in it cruelty and kindness the deepest trust and the worst betrayal that's why a human smile can mean anything that's why when I smile at you you should open and shut at the same time we often mean well but when a predator bares its teeth you better be wary you can't be sure
the withholding of a smile can be a weapon sharper than the keenest blade children get sliced to pieces though they still walk and talk and pretend to be whole if only we could recover the unsullied truth of a baby's first smile! if only I could splice your smile and mine into a changeless and serene embrace! I can't escape the smiles that enthrall my soul and the smiles that plunder it every day every day
On a happier note, I never stay in a dark place too long. I arrive at a "turning point" -- a moment of truth when I'm able to change course and turn back toward the Light. Sometimes this metanoia can be a terribly hard rite of passage, but it's alway possible. All that's required is my soul's total and unconditional surrender.
turn I tell myself but saying and doing are two different things I want to go on the same way as always even though it always leads to a dead end or worse turning means surrendering the known and risking the unknown turning means letting go dancing clueless pivoting my fate on a wing and a prayer there's no growth without turning without turning I'd calcify into a breathing corpse
how effortlessly the swift turns skimming over a pond and the oak's branches they're parables of zigzag becoming! no straight line calibrates life what can't twist and turn petrifies what won't open out to possibility clenches a denying fist turning's the way I incarnate my love turning's a kiss I exchange with the universe! turning and turning I align my soul with the wisdom of the stars
turn with me now though every fear screams "march straight ahead!" turn like a river's course like the tide at its ebb like this Earth as it spins through an ocean of space turn to face me then turn away then back I see now there's really nothing but turning I see now a single changeless direction doesn't even exist! when a butterfly emerges from the cocoon and spreads its wings that's the way it sings "I'm turning!"