Listen in the silence for the voices that
Speak when you are alone.
Walk slowly, as though you have no place to go….
No hurry to return home,
Refuse to be hurried or rushed.
Those who are single-hearted—
Clear focus on calm Spirit that lingers,
Pools in late hours of day in haze of the woods,
Effortless and simple as you walk straightaway,
Aware of the beauty surrounding your blessings,
Easing the aching from heart as you walk.
For far too long, we’ve been standing
On opposites sides of the river,
The bridge that stretched between our hearts
Now washed away by flood of pain and anger.
Once, we walked together,
Gazed at Full Moon and were transformed
By Source of its light.
I look back and am puzzled
That we see ourselves as separate,
Knowing as we both do that Godself
Formed the bridge, still standing,
Stretching across expanse of distance—
Strong beams that continually are renewed into Being.
You do not need to follow me…..
Just hold out your hand,
Let us allow the emotional armor to fall,
Gaze into each other’s eyes, listen,
Walk in peace with each step that we take.
I can only say that I am ready. Will you join me?
One day, after body’s breath has ceased,
Joined as One with restless ocean waves
Rising, falling, expanding, retreating
Seeking, finding God in exquisite freedom.
One day, perhaps not far away,
I shall drink from flowing streams of silence,
Sing songs shorn of all nouns and verbs,
Dance though lacking legs,
Climb high mountain to sing of purest praise.
When I got the news, I knew I had to sit down.
I would not faint, yet felt an inward failure,
As a carpenter’s folding ruler becomes smaller,
Collapses to narrow dimension, angle of the bones—
Knees, ankles, hips shudder along with breath….
All brought together in fluttering heartbeat,
The entire world now less important with his death.
He was only fifty-five, too young to die.
We had been close friends for over twenty years,
Floating downriver together after
Too many divorces, broken hearts still bleeding,
Long sleepless nights always close to the edge.
He had been traveling in Africa for research
When his heart stopped, his tired spirit
Lifted into a space where even imagination
Cannot follow, falters at dark border of unknown—
Unknowable this final trek that awaits us all.
Nine days passed before I got the news,
Had not sensed his absence in the underbrush of hours.
Now I know why some say, “You might want to sit down.”
I would contemplate his passing for days, weeks—
Questions that have no answers, turning in sleep,
Cold sweat as I remembered his deep voice,
His simple dignity released, and now the world
More dangerous than it was— brittle, uncertain
This day’s great blue sea of emptiness.
Unexpected wave of tears
Sting within the throat. Fevered breath,
Shock as though bitten by some poisonous snake
Unseen yet always lurking in the grass….
Memories are blurred— what was he wearing
Last time I saw him?
What were the color of his eyes?
Now I wonder if I ever told him of my love….
Earth has become both lighter and heavier—
Realities wrestle inside the soul, iron doors shut,
Fire that once brightly burned now turned to ashes.
Cold rain falls yet does not replenish the well.
Where once was sea, there is now dry land.
Leaves upon the trees lose their hold,
Fall silently to the ground, await the winter snow.
Over and over the Ocean refuses
To stop kissing the sandy shore.
Whatever I do to send it away merely disperses,
Always it comes back for more.
High tide and low it echoes a Voice
Framed from earliest age of the Earth—
Working and washing, pulled by Moon’s choice,
Spinning a beautiful tune of endless birth.
Standing, first in silence,
Then quarreling with each other,
We viewed the ruins,
Unable to reconcile ourselves to
Emerging common misery
Deep within our hearts and bones.
Impossible to find a greening place,
We could not bloom within ourselves,
Cut off from ancestral roots,
Could not heal from the split
Between longing for lost world and
Longing for lost Spirit.
Is it possible to be whole….
Not be divided from this conflict?
Should I separate and learn to live alone?
Can solitary wanderer still learn to love,
Become One as a part of nature?
If I give up thought of leaving,
Will I then arrive? If I stop running away,
Will I arrive and find?
If I stop searching and seeking, will I then see
What is eternally here, before my feet?