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JP Jan 2023
Here, alone in this house
I pause to recognize:
I am surrounded by riches.

Every little thing reminds me
of some small happiness
taken for granted.

This life we have built.
These changes that have come for us -
none of them by chance.

Surrounded, still we wait to greet what's next;
to see what will come through the door
that we must always leave

Inspired by "The Guest House" by Rumi
JP Jan 2023
stay stuck in the past
or fawn for the future?

are pain relived
or attempts at relief?

serve as containers
for uncontainable things?

release weight
we need not hold?

are our souls scream
to be heard?

How many poems
capture the beauty
of being human
in equal measure
to the struggle?

I'd be a more honest poet
to do so.
JP Jan 2023
Arriving at the plateaued top
of the grand journey.
Here, the exertion of youth lifts -
that time of pushing and grinding uphill
to gorge on life and force a place in the world -
and suddenly you're still you
but peace and contentedness are flowing
through a body that has known
so much strain.

Suddenly you can see vast possibilities before you
stretching to the horizon
where the path fades into the unknown.
No, don't rush to the downhill that awaits -
as lovely as it will be
to feel the wind in your hair -
linger here a bit.

Feel how strong you've become
from the climb,
and admire the scars that mark
the falls and healing and
continuing on.
Try not to fight nor coast,
but move across the middle of this life
with a newfound balance between
push and pull;
effort and surrender;
fight and peace;
knowing and wonder.

Drink in this place
before cresting downward,
pulled effortlessly
to the end of your path
where the horizon awaits
your arrival.
JP Jan 2023
Why carry this weight?
Does reward await
some years ahead
but...before I'm dead?
Is there virtue in the same pain
felt again and again,
that same old song
I've been singin' for so long?
JP Oct 2021
an old man pulls into the campground
and early, when it's quiet still.
he has a bushy, wild beard and shaggy hair
spilling out
from under his hat.

with bottles cradled in his arms
i quietly point him towards
the recycling bins.
he thanks me and says,
"have a good one."
i reciprocate
the pleasantry - "yeah, you too."
and his eyes flash and shine,
"oh, god yes! another adventure, ha!"

i smile lightly and hobble along
if i have just encountered
a truly free man.
JP Oct 2021
i want to heal,
to become
a gentle friend
to myself.

to let the quiet pressure and
guarded being break away
like the dam bursting
for the river
come to life again.

letting life move freely
as it must,
and holding all things so lightly -
in reverence and sorrow -
and always at peace with letting go
as we must.

when i let my father go
he dances in the treetops.
when i let my shame go
i dance across the soft ground beneath him,
and will dance until my feet lift and
leave the ground,
without a trace i was there,
and i join dad in the treetops
and we are the wind.
JP Nov 2019
When this dis-ease flairs
the world is small,
I am in a dark tunnel;
eyes open but not seeing,
moving forward but stumbling,
weary legs shuffling through the motions.
All I know is the cold, gritty stone
that scrapes these searching hands.
All I know is this dis-ease.
In the distance there’s a pin of light;
so little to look forward to.
I’m tempted to lay down
and stay here.

What if I remembered,
the whole beauty of my-self?
Would my eyes, once blind,
shine life’s light into the dark tunnel line?
Would my heart pump fiery blood
into my legs
and muscles come alive?
I’m running now.
Hands curl into fists
to pump at my sides,
with purpose now.
Would the pin of light
get bigger and bigger
until I’m standing at the mouth?
The edge of the world
sweeps below me.
I step forward slowly, warm
where my light meets its source.
The sun and earth have been waiting
for me to come home.
Beautiful and alive,
I remember I belong.
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