Selections from Living into Words
Those who dare to dream
Must bear that dream,
Living into words.
What is Poetry?
Tell me what is poetry?
What is the poet?
The living Word become catalyst
And what is the poem?
That which the poet leaves behind
for you to find
A way into poetry
Tell me where is art in all of this?
All of this is lost in art
the poet speaks of life.
In Each and Everything a World
"To see a World in a Grain of Sand" -William Blake, "Auguries of Innocence"
Behind each and everything a world:
a world to open up
if you would go in.
a world connected and related
to each and every other.
a world seen and unseen,
and yet no less real or unreal.
a world closed to closed minds,
only refused to be seen.
Behind each and everything a world.
Come, come and look,
behind each and everything a world,
if you would see.
Come, come and look.
No one will ever know
the true extent of your glory
They fail to see you now,
ever standing before them.
You exist as an object only,
In their cluttered landscape
you have no objective reality.
You exist, and they know this,
but so do ghosts, and shadows, and lies.
You exist as matter to be
recognized when passed by
Understood perhaps in your colors,
your texture, your form,
But never known for what you are:
an indivisible entity of worth and majesty,
Forever invisible, unsubstantial,
to those who fail to see.
You, a Galaxy
"Whoever says You does not have something; he has nothing. But he stands in relation." -Martin Buber, I and Thou
Open the depths of your oblivion to me
I would see your soul of spirit formed matter.
Being naked, your expanse of stars and vacuums
Spaced a universe, ordered by unseen principles
Dancing from pole to pole in silent gravitational truth.
Let me peer into your vast galaxy and feel time pass
The distance spanned an unutterable touch,
Your wonder observed without knowing a thing.
Wide My Arms to Reach
"I take part, I see and hear the whole." -Walt Whitman, "Song of Myself"
Wide my arms to reach, wide to wrap the earth, its members
in protective, caring embrace.
Come to me children so I may love you and tend to your needs,
that I may help you grow to find your full potential.
Come to me men and women of ages and generations
far or close to me, let us come to some agreement to build our world.
Come to me animals and insects that you may regulate and fuse
with us the cycle of life and death in one breath.
Come to me inanimate rocks and trees, mountains and seas,
you my foundation, my self-same extended corporeal glory.
One microscopic dance of atomic energy moving in and out,
forms and flesh and states and members intertwined.
One astronomic dance of planets and suns exploding and
Imploding, expanding and contracting ever outward and inward.
One Life of substance formed and transformed, uncreated and
undestroyed, matter and motion forever.
Wide my arms reach, wide to take in all in me and see my place,
insignificant and weighty in my own time to breathe a moment of eternity
through my own sovereign lungs, free for a moment bound to time,
to stand and shout my piece and part and dance around my sun before I lay back absorbed,
undone my fate with indifference drawn back into the void of timeless expanse
to take my place amongst immortal fathoms on end without end.
Wide my arms reach, wide to take in all in me and see my place.
The Loving Art
The ties of relation are born
As the creation of being springs
Forth, flesh begets flesh
A beating heart the start
But an art to build a beginning:
A life to take, to shape, to form
These hands resemble, a part
To guard and yet set free,
To gently push if must be
Let fall, the all of parenting
A loving partnership must bring.
Of this sing, celebrate and give thanks
In tribute to the revelation,
A son or daughter through to maturation
This the promise from the start,
Guided to fruition, the loving art.
The Atheist Saints
"A saint is a theater where the qualities of God can be seen" -Rumi, "Sheikh Kharraqani"
I am an atheist saint not ashamed to doubt god face to face,
for divine I AM, most holy my flesh and blood intertwined
to form the nebulous soul, which is no soul but my own
identity tried and worn until it fits, and I know it.
The sacred I step, in and out, every day, on my way through life
to see the deep of things and say, "it is good." Come feel
the wounds in my hands of hard work building paradise, and
come feel my side pierced by ignorance and human frailty.
Nirvana is my porch overlooking the starry expanse where I rest
gazing out the whole, Eden is my garden grown wild and
bearing untamed fruit not out of reach for those who dare,
Atman is my centered frame of mind knowing perfect parts in unity.
I spend hours of devotion in the Vedas no less than the Kabbalah,
the Bible rests against the Koran in peaceful order. The prophets
Mohammad and Jesus are no more prophets than I am a prophet,
and what they had to say I have to say in a new tongue for new ears.
Come my friends and rest on my lap and I will tell you tales
of god’s birth and death, of human arrogance and hatred,
of bloody coups and usurped thrones and the faded outward
glory of cowards and tyrants crowned, of all that's past and future borne.
Touch my flesh and know your flesh the same, taste my knowledge
and my love to leave or take as your inclination leads,
speak divinity with conviction and a god you will become to walk
your way through this illusionary world with grace and humility.
Saints and sinners we stand bearing our own redemption in our hands
to wash away all hints of impurity through the fires of trial and triumph.
Walk boldly, do not look back upon the burning cities of the fearful.
Walk boldly and lead by example your inner divinity.
The Atheist Saints go marching on, my brothers and sisters shine
Go to Hell
Christ is dead
you fool, said the poet.
For Christ's sake
don't cry, said the poet.
My head raised.
The fucking meaning
is in your heart, said the poet
not in some dead guy,
not in some old body.
How, I thought?
Live your own life,
be your own Christ, said the poet
get off your ass,
seek out the suffering.
Yes, I said.
Don't thank me,
don't follow me, said the poet,
go to hell,
bring with you heaven.
This world mine, and its peoples mine, part and parcel
intertwined in one rough hewn unity.
I am of this world, body formed and fed by this world,
a natural being built of this world like other natural beings,
Come smell my atoms and touch my energy
in motion we dance together.
I move through this world to touch this world,
and kiss the hurt to heal this world.
Flesh of my flesh, bone of my bone,
One life to live, we share.
I take the child's hand in mine to reassure in kindness.
I take the man or woman's hand and speak soft words.
I take my time to cause no damage or see no damage done.
I breathe in a gentle air to soothe the passersby.
Of this world and for this world
I move and seek to know this world.
I love this world, so proud of this world,
a pity it all stands to burn…
Voltaire, It Is Not So Simple
Across the tended garden flowers bloom
Pruned, watered with care
He makes a wish upon each hope and
Weeds and weeds to see his stalks grow strong
Fenced in with a stone path, isolated perfection
Etched into the unknown terrible outside
The gate, a squeaky hinge but no lock
He trusts enough to protect
He waits and waits to see his garden bloom,
But the vermin crows bulldozers angry men
Moving endlessly in the distance coming closer
Petal by petal blade by blade his heart colors
Porous seeps the sweetness, a fragrance
Almost brings a smile to his closed eyes
If not choking on the looming air,
Oh Voltaire, how impossible it has become.