Friday, March 28, 2008

POEM - My One Great Fear

When I am forced to face my untimely death,
when i am made to still my holy breath,
I am certain that a poem - perhaps my greatest work of art -
will float shadowlike across my embattled heart
while I am unable to grab paper and pen in time
to scribble it down and make it mine.

Friday, March 21, 2008

POEM - Instructions For Morning Sun Salutations

1. Stand quietly and remember to be faithful to the morning, which is nourished by
gratitude and fed on the fresh imprints left by last night’s vivid dreaming.

2. When you reach up, arch backwards; imagine yourself as a bridge that unites
good with evil, faith with unbelief, strength with weakness, love with hatred,
life with death.

3. Grab a whole fistful of air, then bend forward and abandon all control.

4. Pull down as much hope as you can with two hands and one spacious heart.

5. Hang there momentarily in silence and measure all the contradictions within you.

6. Step or jump back and commit yourself to the struggle of all hopeless things.

7. Lower yourself down with the grounded knowledge that the warmer air and flowers
have not deserted you; that the dark eyed juncos are returning from the south and that summer announces its arrival in a whisper.

8. Push up into the belief that light is a shy creature and loves to play games;
that the two of you are cousins.

9. Step or jump into the wisdom that humans are not carbon-based but are forgiveness-based and even the shortest friendship outlasts the longest night.

10. Rise with open arms and be faithful to the morning, which is nourished
by gratitude and fed on the fresh imprints left by last night’s vivid dreaming.

Friday, March 14, 2008

POEM - Spring, Today!

Rain tries to assuage the winter pain
whose edge is blunted, arranged, and splintered,
So even the grainy hardness of ice is made soft,
While tips of stoic tree limbs that are held aloft
Take on the shape of human hands -
pleading against sky’s cool field of blue,
Up toward a light that tiptoes in on the back of the cold,
Furtively, so deep, so despairing and old -
Now it seems bolder, more nascent and gold.

And the birds! Oh, the birds
These colorful clowns of the air,
In cameo roles, appear everywhere,
Unaware of what transpires below,
Far too embroiled in their own dramas to know,
As they make themselves known to me and then as they go,
They take center stage for a curtsy or bow:
The stern hollow knock of the woodpecker’s beak.
The sweet loopy voice as holy cardinal speaks.
The spastic brown flurry of effeminate sparrows.
The watchful stare of stony faced crows:
These are yawning signs that everything in and around me, grows.

Meditation II

Today while meditating, something startling happened. I am a perpetual beginner at mediation and I know others say the same thing. We all have a hard time observing, not judging, breathing without our monkey-brain jumping up and down creating a ruckus. One technique is to imagine your thoughts floating on the surface of a river, as you, the observer, try not to direct them, or engage them, but just watch them float.

Today, something else happened. Today, I felt (and I can’t really explain this) for one split second, perhaps even for one microsecond, that the universe accepted me, nodded to me, smiled at me, and approved of who I was, of who I had been and of who I was becoming. It was a just flash: hardly worth writing about actually. It was a flicker, like a shadow that passes, I could no more hold onto it than I could reproduce it.

I just smiled. No one was around. No one noticed. No one could verify if what I had experienced was a moment of bliss, of rightness. As soon as it came, as soon as I could get my lips turned upward in a gentle smile at the grace that was just bestowed upon me, it left and I was left with my brain again scrambling to balance the rest of the day.

I was already busy, back to toting up my hurts and snubs. Back to making a list of the friends and enemies in my life, and how to reward and punish each. In short, the three year old who runs loose in my brain was hard at work, building walls, fortifying boundaries, proclaiming lordship over all he surveyed.

I was back into the primordial darkness of my own personality and it cast a pall like the pre-dawn “iffy” light that makes everything one drained color.

I must learn to love the loneliness of truth seeking. It is not a well-traveled path amid the distractions of daily life. It is a one sided conversation that often resembles those conversations I have with myself in the confessional of my car.

It is easy to demand things of others in an attempt to fill in the gaping hole of my ego - who I think I am, what I believe I deserve – but at the end of the day, knowing even for just a second that I am a part of everything else is heady stuff.

The presence of friends and loved ones is intoxicating enough to want it always, but I need to learn over and over again that I cannot dwell in the love of good fellowship, warm feelings and even love. It is the brokenness of me that wants it all, that creates illusory worlds to manipulate what is real. When I am satisfied, the three year old is satisfied.

Acknowledge and appreciate the love in me. Acknowledge and appreciate the love in the other. And on those wonderful times when food can be dragged into the equation, we should feed each other. That is all.

I must share who I am with others out of the poverty of my life as well as my abundance, from my broken as well as my whole pieces. Then I must simply let and observe the three year old wreak havoc: the one who demands that everything be static; the one who wants to be exclusive, cruel and mean; the one that ultimately inflates the swollen puffiness of my silly and bulbous ego.

This is the child who wants to box up the universe into me, alone; to deny the expansive beauty of something that is not owned, is not bordered, is not controlled like a universe that holds you and me in the palm of its hand and every so often nods at us in approval at who we are, even if we don’t feel worthy.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

POEM - My Wish For You

The grace of a breakfast, prepared for you;
The first sip of coffee after the aroma
has reminded you of an old friend;
The hint of sunrise, before it is light;
Restful sleep;
Fits of laughter, and a fistful of smiles
from the most remote strangers -

And a heart which finds a home in stillness.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

POEM - Meditation

All mankind's troubles are caused by one single thing, which is their inability to sit quietly in a room.
~Blaise Pascal, Pensees, II, 139

How do you know the silence?
Is it a cathedral whose spires greet the morning?

Is it a room that is kept locked,
one you stumble into against your will from time to time?

Words are very hungry things and need it to live.
Are your words cherub faced, round and content?

Or are they thin as gruel,
distended belly grossly protruding?

How do you acknowledge the silence,
the whispery shadowy face of it, the dimly lit smile of it?

Does its heart beat just below your beating?
Does it breathe just below your breathing?

Does it live deep inside you as your hottest wish,
one that nags at you? And why dear God, does it frighten you too?