When Thoughts of Death Approach

It is night and I am alone.
Nothing can be seen.
Only silence; nothing to hear
But thoughts within my mind
Which either add or subtract the years.
 
Hourglass still slowly runs….
Remaining sand of time is slightly less each day.
Ticking clock never stops,
Hands move forward hour by hour,
Mark approaching wall of darkness
Will eventually possess everything I love.
 
I search within the breast
With every honest breath,
Choose not to turn away but face
Thoughts of my death.
Though there are aches and pains of body,
I find no fear, though fear may come another time.
 
Some presence deep within, far behind the eyes,
Waits and watches, alert to wait the outcome.
It does not slink off to hide.
I am the one who walks away,
Ego distracted by the world…
Drawn to sleep….
I offer prayer that when
Rolling stone comes to rest,
I will depart at peace, not question worth of life
But grasp whatever lessons learned,
Prepare next step and take last breath
With thoughts of gratitude and love upon my lips—
Let go and fall into the hands of the Living God.
 

Miracle of Books

Opened book and held within my hands
Flat object made from dried pulp,
Once a mighty tree, cut down, then pressed.
Thin pages blow within the morning breeze,
Dark symbols, squiggles appear like magic,
Pass before my eyes, become a portal
Inside another’s mind.
 
Another poet speaks inside my head,
Novels unfold their plots,
News conveys what happens in the world,
Binds me with others I’ve never met,
Citizens of distant lands and times.
Miraculous that shackles of time
Could be so easily released, darkness lifted,
New ideas streaming as light
Working magic as words flash within my mind.

I Do Not Want to be the Last

 I do not want to be the last
To bear witness of my family’s past,
Lessons never learned,
The tragedy when love was weak,
Forgiveness always far away.

I do not want the memories
Still surviving from those years, so long ago….
They come as drifting smoke—
Some dark; some luminous and large as life.
But never do I turn my back, attempt to kill them off,
Live again another time the scenes, the smells,
The cries still echo in my ears,
Fresh tears roll down wrinkled cheeks,
Witness yet again old sins and painful indiscretions….
That is my only legacy
Worth the salt of memory.

One day the last survivor will be gone.
I hope it will not be me.
I cannot bear burden to be the last with memories,
Spoken and unspoken.
I pray it will not be me.
No one has stepped forward to hear,
To hold within marrow of bone the ancient stories,
Listening and becoming a witness in turn.
One day, the last survivor will be gone.
Last chapter written, book closed and put upon the shelf,
Its pages slowly turn moldy, then to dust.

Already, the silence I hear is deafening.
I question God’s silence, too….
I have that right, that duty to question.
I cannot hope; cannot conceive of
Life with or without God…
Such tragedy to bear within the flames—
Perhaps God will say, “Tell me.  Where were you?”
Where was the world, still blind, refusing to learn?
It could have been prevented— the hunger, the killing,
Burning of the flesh, rape of women—
I still remember blood flowing down my legs,
Survivor of a thousand cuts; and I was lucky.
Even now the memories come, walk the haunted halls at night.
It is happening again.  And again.
I do not want to be the last, to bear the memories,
To say we never learned.

Where Even Stones Speak

Photo by Juli Junebug Michaud

Go down into the deep ocean
Inside yourself and find wheel of monsters,
Where rusted terror runs deeper than flesh,
Anger, violence, fear await…..
 
Ride down, drop to deeper depths
Over the rim to hub of the world,
Beyond limits of world’s success
Where the rational mind is blind.
 
Rest upon the bedrock,
Where matrix of good and evil
Join upon a unified field of light,
Both complex and simple—
 
Unfathomable caring is given,
Atmosphere where disorder
Blends to uniformity,
Beyond edge of shadow to Mystery.
 
Here the stones will speak;
Rivers harbor eternal spirit;
Your bush-soul will be one with wild animals,
Breathing Deep Peace at home with God.

Opening the Gate

 Rising to my feet I meet the morning light,
Open gateway to my heart,
Allow the cool breeze to pour across my face.
Between the Sun and waking body
There are evolving signs, a synthesis on shore—
Light of Spirit joined to show brighter illumination.
 
I recognize a deepening truth,
Eyes see evolving proof,
Find a fertile place for Spirit to bloom,
Plant seeds of transformation.
I pray the Spirit will nurture All in All,
Bestow upon my life a love so new,
Sacred in a focused blending—
Mind and heart and will.
 
Let the light ascend.
Let the light stream forth.
Let the love increase.

Something Burns; Something Yearns

The transcendent soul within me
Struggles for release, feels bound
By ego’s fleshly passions,
Grasping with closed fist.
Only in surrender with open hands
Will I find, not victory, but release.
I do not know why painful death
Must precede new birth.
But it is so.  Damn it, it is so.

My spirit yearns to fly,
Wants to leave behind the grief.
Here, in the middle of life,
In midst of all that is,
I am surrounded on all sides
By shackles of pain and death,
Stretched out, crucified,
Nails hammered into hands and feet.

I hang upon him who hangs
Upon cross of destiny,
Bears the world—his fearful fate
Renews itself through ages of creation,
Darkness and light gathered into one life,
Burns within the soul
As solitary star burns eternally,
Unmoving beauty changing constantly.
To be delivered, to be joined within
Greater diversity of lasting Oneness
Pure creation dies and brings new life.

Why Is Wholeness Wasted on the Moon?

 Why, O God, is Wholeness wasted on the Moon,
Knowing in every cycle its inner fullness,
Though breathless, lifeless—
Its core as cold as stone?

I weep, my burning body still longing for love,
Hungry as the starving hunger,
Would steal whatever love I find
Though love has not been freely tendered.

My heart bleeds from wounds,
Growing larger over time, thorns massive as my ego,
Causes me to stumble blindly in the dark—
Falling my only grace.

If I could reach and touch full Moon,
Would wholeness flow from fuller, greater glow?
Am I now jealous of cold round stone,
Hanging lonely, bathed in reflected light?