Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
The one that thinks
you should not have done it,
you should have done otherwise,
you could do or be better -
that one itself is the fetter.

That one creates one problem
or a series of problems
  then makes a resolve
to solve those problems
  and in the resolution
     creates 10 more.

Therefore a world of problems
   is perpetuated.
For every deemed good shown
  the shadow of evil appears.
Try to get control of a situation
  and the more out of control
       the situation gets,
countless consequences spawned
   which you could not have foreseen.

Only arrogance presumes
   it can improve upon the world.
Only when that arrogant one dies
   does the world as it originally is,
        sacred, appear.
A blizzard blows.
Lamplight. Well past midnight.
A few windows
still have not fallen asleep.
Monday morning
is a cyclops with a moon
and the wanderer
will be leaving soon.

A blizzard blows.
Lamplight. Well past midnight.
A few windows
still have not fallen asleep.
The wanderer sees
the faces of the beautiful dead,
faces of his mother, her friends,
faces that once calmed, comforted, beguiled
and watched over the child,
faces of friends living elsewhere.
They are strung along
like the notes of a poignant, fading song
such as the child had heard
in the bus, on his way to school.

The wanderer has been a fool -
squandering money, a careless fool,
alarmed, troubled, having to wait
for a job offer, counting nickels and dimes
in an old apartment at forty eight,
his consolation music and rhymes
and classic books, the words of sages,
the spirits of sages and poets about him,
their spirits vibrant and glowing in him.

The wanderer had been a fool
even when ease and comfort carried the times,
even when he hadn't counted nickels and dimes.
For amid wine and food he still would find
other things to trouble him: briefly glad
he'd be - but his mind would be the monkey wrench,
reminding him of things he never had,
of experiences that never came his way,
of those who fly or reside above him,
of success and fame denied him.

The wanderer a wanderer must remain
so long as mastery eludes him,
so long as his mind possesses him.
He can enjoy a wife's kisses, embraces,
warmed by his wife's and children's faces,
the mortgage paid off, the house his own,
the wanderer forgetting his wandering.
Unless he come into his own,
finding what it is that within him glows
whatever the thunder, hail or rain,
whatever storm or blizzard blows,
the wanderer a wanderer must remain.
That selfsame silence
glassy-eyed, turned
toward the bedroom window
wearing an old man's body
which the wanderer had espied
in his mother a few years before,
now lay bed-ridden for 3 days,
groaning on and off for 3 days.

That selfsame silence spoke
of worlds and worlds, of years,
the humidity, the heat of summer
turning up the volume of silence
almost up to a scream subdued...

The kind old man who'd allowed
the wanderer to stay, who like the wanderer
loved literature, soft-spoken too,
now exploded: "****! ****!"
The three-pronged plug of the air conditioner
didn't accommodate his outlet.
Teddy, his 2nd roommate of 13 years,
with a chuckle of irritation:
"We can unplug your lamp or computer.
You don't need to use them now.
The extension cord will do."

But the old man bellowed, refused.
Behind his creaking chair was more
than an outlet, but worlds as small
as dust motes, or smaller still,
worlds well beyond or behind his words...

That summer afternoon like honey had
coated his books by the bed, his Baudrillard,
Foucault and Mcluhan he long had loved.
(Had they been buffers, ships,
worlds sheltering him from other worlds?)

Well beyond the outlet, the air conditioner,
the humidity and ailing body
were those worlds, some remaining secret,
some the old man had buried or tried to forget.
Anonymous One,
with my beloved and friends dead and gone
to You daily am I more deeply drawn.
But for all the subtle delights and joy
of being steeped in You, enamoured of You,
a fierce pain is felt, a falling
when I try to turn away from You.
As a youth I had sometimes thought of You
but in selfishness still could merry be.
Self-intoxicating, self-elevating, vain
I could be and it would not have pierced me.
A part still looks longingly for that boy - but pain
intervenes deep and wide, stern, severe
reminding me of my nothingness, the nothingness
of all that selfishness holds dear.
It all feels like an ascent - a taste, a glimpse
of heavenly things, insights, secrets bestowed
by a fierce uncompromising Lover...
Let me hesitate or try turning away,
let me be careless or cling to the boy,
let pride and glory together draw near
and the Lover lashes out horrid, severe.
Two nights ago I thought
  I caught sight of you
    giving birth:
   the full moon
  through the sidewalk's maple tree
   on the other side.

Tonight a silence is
  silken indigo,
a distant star above the tree.
Are you looking at me?
Or through these eyes?
Or is restless longing
   fashioning you?

From the other side
  are you giving birth to me?
      Where am I?
      What am I?
Am I recalling you and me -
you in the flesh for 79 years,
me in the flesh for 49 years?
Am I recalling this
from within your womb?

What feels certain now
  is the night and silence
   that grief wears, grief
         piercing through
         my potted plants,
          bushes and neighbors' stairs,
            the mouth of grief
            a solitary bird singing
            somewhere down the street
              a song of marriage:
         unbridgeable distance, infinite longing.

I can't have your human face anymore.
Nor your conversation anymore.
Nor your animated eyes. Nor gestures.
Nor your laughter. Nor your tears.
Should there be a whisper of a drizzle,
   I couldn't be sure it was you
    speaking in the midst of tears.
I don't know what's real, unreal.

I can only be sure
  of ignorance,
  of grief outspread
  suffusing the indigo, distant star,
  the mystery adamant, unshakable, ever-deepening...
Sometimes the wanderer cries out, reaches out
  for you - but no glow or radiance
      abides and nullifies doubt.

Beloved, shall you show a mother's mercy,
  ever be more than a longing that would comb
    the sidewalk trees, bushes or grasses,
      killing the wanderer or leading him home?
Let not envy look to the left or right,
to a neighbour, relative, peer or friend,
nor compare yours with their delight,
nor measure your light against their light,
nor slander them, find fault, or hate.
They are not what ails you, not to blame:
you're the prisoner of your wretched state.
The more you feed the green and pride
the more the prison is amplified.
And you don't know their burdens, the price they paid,
how taxed they are, what stress and strain,
what sacrifices shadow the glory or gain.
What ails you above all things that ail you
isn't what you have done or failed to do
but the idea infecting your seeing,
permeating your blood and bones,
that you're in essence a separate being
struggling against others or the world,
that separation of "you" and "me"
the source of loneliness and misery.
Creative longing
   in wind
   along ripples, through reed and rose,
         its dark face
     sensed in melting snows,
       water enamored of no place,
               its dark joy
   vibrantly in the ice sculptor's smile,
     the ice figures melting all the while.
             Creative longing is
      when comparing loses hold,
      striving loses hold,
      clinging loses hold,
      intellect loses hold.
Unknowing, a lily is yet in bloom,
         exuberance of perfume.
Intellect grasps, plans, always prepares,
divides, derides, and multiplies cares.
      Intelligence is intelligence:
        it has no plan or thought,
   the pattern emerging and never sought.
      Most simple, subtler than air,
        it does everything and is beyond compare.
       Intelligence is intelligence.
Oozing freshness like sap of spring,
           as though a lake were glimmering
                                                    fo­r the first time,
       precise and piercing like a bird's cry
                     at twilight,
           calm and embracing like the night,
             passionate like green leaves,
                 intelligence perceives.
There's no compass in me, no needle's turning,
    but a wideness, a sky, a yearning
      that feathers neither for that nor this,          
                drawing dawn's first kiss.
   Treetops, lake, and dawn
             are beautiful,
             and the creative longing
                                               goes on...
Next page