Thursday, July 21, 2011


The more I try to write and paint

the more I’m pulled away by things

the more I’m dismembered

by the mundane exigencies

of underwhelming circumstance.

I’m swimming through glass.

I’ve abandoned all hope.

Like Rumi said

dangerous hope

futile despair.

I think of them both

and I sneer

like an emergency exit in a hall of mirrors.

My fate might be no more than an afterlife in arrears

but I resent being used so stupidly.

I’m looking for wisdom in a corporate feudal system

that enslaves part time people to full time jobs.

One life on earth.

One brief glimpse of the stars.

One chance to be set adrift in the mystery of it all

like the fragrance of a lover’s hair in the autumn rain.

I’m fighting an unholy crusade of one

that I’m doomed to lose

like a pilgrim that wandered off the track

with no particular shrine in mind

or way of finding his way back.

I knew years ago

when I was all elbows and windowsills

a poet’s life is a fish hook

a crescent of the moon

you had to push all the way through

to avoid the greater damage of pulling it out

once it got caught in your heart.

And there’s only been one theme from the very start

I’ve been humming to myself down this long dark road

where I’m walking with the moon

and the black walnuts don’t need to show me their leaves

like green cards or illegal passports to anywhere they land.

We’re all here alone together

among the homeless in the same lifeboat

on six billion mindstreams

all flowing into the vast inclusive sea of awareness

under a chaos of stars

in a labyrinth of wavelengths and cosmic snakepits

wandering off in all directions at once.

I used to believe

that people were born to see and be happy

but as I grew I realized

that the fairest form of clarity

is compassion.

Soften your eyes

and the diamond thaws

as if it were brought to tears

that put other jewels to shame.

When everybody’s already on death row

who can you find to blame?

Jim Morrison was right.

Nobody gets out of here alive.

But in the meantime

we can attend to the wounded.

We can apply the moon like a cool poultice

to the forehead of a fever

and raise a spoonful of stars

like an elixir to the lips

of a thirsty mirage.

We can wake a child up from a bad dream.

We can be oxygen

to those without any atmospheres

and when the world mountain

can’t find a way down from the clouds

we can be the river that shows it how.

What is our understanding of it after all

but a good guess

a stab in the dark

a firefly

a lightning bolt

a chimney spark of insight

compared to what we don’t know there is

to know of it?

Even the point of a single flower

is a whole field in and of itself.

And every system of conditioned consciousness

is having a secret affair

with chaos deep inside.

The cowards demand certainty.

The heroes are full of doubt.

Life is a succession of disconnected gestures

that somehow work out.

You find water on your way to a mirage.

Delusion was the muse of your inspiration

to head south

and the clarity of real water

was what happened spontaneously along the way.

No one likes a cul de sac

just as they don’t like angels that get in their way

but the dead ends in life

have as much to say as the thoroughfares

and no one ever walks away weaker

or more lost than they were.

The path the blind take

is just as much the way of the seeker

as night visions are

to the revelations of the day.

Try to walk all roads at the same time

and you won’t even walk one well.

Walk one well

and all the others will follow you

like the threads of a strong rope

or mindstreams flowing into a widening river

on its way to the sea

and you’ll end up walking them all.

And no river’s flowing the wrong way to the sea.

The clouds that pass over

don’t look down upon the flowers

that open below

as missed opportunities

they’ll be asked to explain to their watershed.

If things grow

let them.

If things perish

lend them your future.