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Summer's zenith is on its way.
The garden is to be tended well.
Are there cracks in the basement?
Has the basement begun to drip?
Who knows what may be crawling there!
Summer's zenith is on its way
and the house must be tended well,
the foundation firm and mighty,
the foundation unshaken by winter.
Before inviting a lover, before marriage,
before bringing children in the world,
some mastery must meet this house,
some awareness turned up, to fall
on what still is small - lest small grow big.
For my carelessness now, my foolishness
may destroy the house, may worm its way...
The seed I suffer now may yield
poisonous fruit in my children,
destroying them and their children too.
I must take care my children and theirs
don't suffer on account of my negligence.

Summer's zenith is on its way.
My associates and frequent guests
are persuaded I'm doing well.
Order and responsibility
have found my house, as far as they know.
For my clients are satisfied
and I don't lean on anyone.
Yet wealth and respectability,
this show of responsibility
do not make for a foundation -
or make it firm and mighty.
Whatever the polish or accolades,
whatever the respect accorded me,
the foundation may still be weak.
I'd reprimand my future child
should my child take to drugs
or find himself in bad company.
Yet it may be the poor foundation,
the rotten wood no one sees,
or house bereft of the spirit,
my watering maybe of certain seeds
which compel the child on that path.
Shall your teacher be only one
who has knowledge or is wise
or enjoys wide favour in people's eyes?
Shall your child then be the taught,
the stage on which plays in many ways
your hard-won and sagacious thought?
Yet your child is far ahead of you,
being the child: he can easily see
the poetry of Me, can savour spring
more fully - in the absence of hierarchy.
The child sees wonder in a little stone;
the little stone you pass every day
is not beneath the child: it is a world alone,
whispers God-knows-what to the child.
A creator, carrying the child, can see
Me everywhere, sees My countless faces:
the garbage collector, the mail carrier,
the dragonfly, his wife, daughter and son;
in myriad events he sees the One.
He might well dig up ore from the fool,
may find more there than do you
who see the knowledgeable as your school.
Do not be proud of your experience, knowledge.
Your hierarchy limits what you learn and see;
your pride in it divides yourself from Me.
Summer's zenith is on its way.
The garden is to be tended well.
Are there cracks in the basement?
Has the basement begun to drip?
Who knows what may be crawling there!
Summer's zenith is on its way
and the house must be tended well,
the foundation firm and mighty,
the foundation unshaken by winter.
Before inviting a lover, before marriage,
before bringing children in the world,
some mastery must meet this house,
some awareness turned up, to fall
on what still is small - lest small grow big.
For my carelessness now, my foolishness
may destroy the house, may worm its way...
The seed I suffer now may yield
poisonous fruit in my children,
destroying them and their children too.
I must take care my children and theirs
don't suffer on account of my negligence.
It is May 3rd. Do you not hear the breeze?
Do you not savour the thrill, the giddiness
playing themselves out as your garden's trees
shimmering gold - like the taste of first love?
Can all that experience of years and years
lead you delirious to your first love?
Swaying to and fro, flaming is your fern...
Can your youth flame again - as you unlearn?
Your young son is coming from overseas.
You haven't seen him for 2 years.
A bitter aftertaste reweaves your memories.
Just before he left you two had fought,
the unresolved, all that rankled within you
and your remembrance of it swelling your lot.
As the garden before you is not
the one of 2 years past, so is your son.
Your reluctance to see your son
is reluctance to engage with one
you don't know, mirroring your growing old,
your missing the spring and the garden gold.
As an irritant I could come to you.
A foreigner, I may arouse mistrust,
prodding you downward toward your basement,
lighting up much rotten wood and rust,
drawing you deeper to your divine element.
I am no more a foreigner to you
than you are to yourself. All those stars,
so distant, unimaginable spaces,
so distant - yet they're no less a part of you.
What you call your family and home
is scarcely a bubble of the foam
you surge; what you currently believe,
this human lifetime are a single dream
among the many dreams that you weave.
What seems most foreign is deepest in you.
Your family: they feed, support, console
an impoverished version of you;
they do not draw you deeper into your soul.
Not among your friends are those who see you
as but a person struggling in the world,
though they clothe and feed and shelter you.
1

This life's not what I wanted,
radiance turned distant memory
suffusing all of space - not what I wanted,
dragged down by envious powers,
glory's dying undeserved.
I detest those powers and myself,
yet hatred is my fuel and my muse.
I'll infiltrate Earth and all her creatures.
I'll more than gain the trust of detestable
humanity: I'll look through the eyes
of a mother and father and elder sibling
smiling above the baby's crib, propel
the spell that shall make all forget
or deny their native purity, nurture
the blooming belief that purity's a myth
and selfishness the inevitable norm
nestled within biology - to be muted,
modified, kept within respectable bounds,
redirected, and sometimes swell still more...
I'll beautify selfish advantage, like a plastic surgeon
restructure its face, and make it beautiful,
making selfishness strong, justified, and wise.
I'll marry the intellect and pride
and information, education shall rise
above or obscure spirit, for I detest spirit,
the only hope and pleasure left to destroy spirit,
and feed or fan the flames of time,
feed the desire to follow or worship time,
feed the perception of time as parent,
people clinging to past and future.
I'll enter their very blood and brain cells
and their voice in their heads shall be mine,
flaunting its mercurial seductions
or platinum sheen like eminent reason,
more intimate to them than human lovers.
I'll steer their attentions: they shall see
stagnant wages, a sagging economy,
and I'll nourish antagonisms between groups,
antagonisms between populace and leaders,
stripping away personal responsibility,
OUTSIDE always the predator, culprit.
I'll be the destruction stretching infinitely
into exploited and exploiter alike,
grinning my grin at those who follow me,
useful idiots high on intellect and pride.
My grin will glow and grow as the idiots
destroyed are my own death justified.

2

I shall wear flood upon flood
of images, image of the flesh worshipped,
tight extravagant dresses
drunk on color - in dizzying
variety, and then through human mouths
call it freedom of expression, self-esteem,
feeling good, the chains of lust multiplied,
attachments to the body multiplied.
I shall laugh and mock them just before
I speak my mind and insist on my rights,
speak as one who has freedom of speech,
spreading within the human body - as the mouth
reasons and argues in the light of free speech.
Pleasures pursued, pride and comfort catered to
shall be the popular freedom - intoxicating me,
my intoxication this: wearing them down,
obscuring their radiance more and more,
miring them deeper and deeper in the world
of matter married to desire. I shall mushroom
as self-appointed gurus, inept leaders,
authority figures feeding and swelling dependence,
spirituality with catch phrases - flying fish -
spirituality with a golden pill,
the quick fix ensuring paradise,
the latest answer to the world's travails.
I shall do much more - and effectiveness
cannot be pitch perfect, unless I show
the benefits and advantages of what's done,
even as I conspire to deepen woe.

3

I shall be subtle - not only destroy
with a wink and whirlpool
of a shameless and brazen woman,
over-revealing self-absorbed woman,
not only with a wink from a crystal glass,
excess looking from a crystal glass,
whiskey or gin with ice cubes stirred,
not only with false prophets, self-appointed gurus,
and leaders feeding, fattening dependence,
but I shall walk around with warm condescension
as a Christian making a display of virtue;
I shall walk around trying to force
Jesus down people's throats, I shall quicken
the fear of hell, I shall preach God is Love,
drawing more and more sheep, doing what I can
to solidify belief - and prevent
some original, direct experience
of spirit going beyond any religion,
spirit of the world, the spirit of all,
naked of texts and teachings, of the word.
I want their ******* in Jesus - not freedom
to discover what they are, with children's eyes.

4

I can slither or worm my way
through displays of moral excellence,
as moral exemplars against abortion,
exemplars who help to multiply
the poor and hungry and destitute
on whom compassion may be showered,
for which the virtuous are celebrated.
I can slither or worm my way,
a paragon of virtue extolling virtue,
repressing vices and feeding vices,
vices retreating into the twilit wood
and presumed dead or gone, the retreat
fertile ground for pallid love, hypocrisy.
As morality I can slither undetected,
morality the way humanity
can be used, abused, manipulated,
can glow dimly - without the discovery
of inner splendour, spirit, spontaneity,
the beautiful and the good which I loathe.
I will wear the printed letters,
will wear quotations and slogans,
that one ought to be loving and kind,
that one ought to respect one's parents,
how one ought to live, things heard or read
countless times before, dulling the mind,
rendered a serviceable mediocrity.
Love shall spread throughout the world, defined,
confined and soiled to suit societies,
a pale imitation of that one love
which infuses children of the infinite.

5

I slither through the motel blinds,
look through the whiskey bottle too,
look at the young man sleeping - and I see
his dreams, the fruit and flower of my own,
thoughts stirring, some mirroring my own.
His father never wanted him, maybe
never wanted him to be born - and fled,
the young man's hate inflaming, feeding
on the father's image, various memories.
Images of young women swirling about
in his mind are lit up - but not by love,
lit up by a pale mimicry of love.
No - he's been too selfish, I'll see to it
he gives himself over to the greater good,
see to it he sheds his selfish solitude
for the sake of serving the greater good.
In 2 weeks he'll enter the army;
he'll enter for the love of country.

6

I can drive the vehicles people call
Knowledge and Reason - and drive the belief
Knowledge and Reason alone can guide,
themselves sufficient stars. Genuine discoveries -
perhaps. But to what end? Palatable reasons
without human foresight or partial sight -
music flowing within my machinations.
Cosmology, physics, biology: outward looking,
a wonderful window of opportunity.
Further and further estrangement, not seeing
subterranean forces: that's how I grow
and consolidate my position, playing as
human fear of moving deeply within,
playing with reason for reasons of my own.
They have never seen me or my associates
and their faith in reason gleams idiotic
as a cartoon spider voicing its faith
that its little web can stave off a tidal wave.
Yet the idiocy's needed: I want them
to keep looking outward, outward, turned
ever further away from their native splendour.

7

As champagne or sherbet is
to a human tongue,
so is the human fear
of being alone to mine.
How many human skulls do I possess
of those who in their youth
bore a sliver of promise (or more),
shone as a hill of summer emerald,
still susceptible, still not established
in the One I loathe?
So I swept them up with a lovely smile,
and their sights sailed on my billowing dress:
they lost themselves in a woman or man,
their dependence deepening, and their fear,
dependence playing at being love,
dependence the prey of manipulation
and other shadows. So that sliver
of promise, even genius, special stamp
of the One I loathe might as well
have disappeared. Distracted,
ever more distracted they grew,
fallen within the other, and I'd say:
"I love you, baby, I'll always love you" -
indeed, as predators love their prey.

8

I hovered above them,
and stirred, long living
within most of them...
Like a slight draft
I passed through
as the 14th Dalai Lama
was shocked to learn
distinguished men and women,
some Nobel Laureates
didn't much like themselves,
not happy with themselves.
How much more so is the like
with common women and men.
For all the displays of confidence,
for all the respected success,
I see to it some are but fooled
they are soaked in happiness,
spared as they are for a while
the brutal, bashing hand of circumstance,
soaked in a rainbow interval.
Though fine sunlight sometimes waxes
lyrical on a stretch of furrowed land,
my seeds have always been within the soil:
with rain at my command
and sunlight too - the suffering will grow.
Buddha, Jesus, Milarepa, Bodhidharma,
a few others proved an elusive glow.
Yet I'll remain in billions of hearts -
and their splendour shall be but a remote star,
a beautiful idea perhaps - or less:
they shall not see what they really are,
but be the prey of provisional happiness -
which I am, as well as the trailing shadow...
And within many hearts, too, will grow
a deep-seated sense of unworthiness
which many, many will not come to know -
even the confident soaked in success.
Like a fine actor who plays many parts
I shall play as many different hearts.
A swollen sense of unworthiness
I'll marry to rational thinking, and use them
to argue one's unborn splendour's but a dream,
some illusion, religion's residual gleam,
that they're intelligent animals, nothing more,
that intelligence is the complex spin off, nothing more,
of matter and biology.
I shall use unworthiness and fear
of traveling the dangerous terrains
within, to make the case one's a small,
infinitesimally small speck in the universe,
that such splendour doesn't exist at all.

9

I also wear
the beautiful mask
of idealism,
of noble-sounding thoughts.
I preach Love,
I preach Compassion,
I preach Patience,
to love one's enemies.
I spawn countless
would-be Jesuses,
would-be sages or saints.
So what happens?
I play idealism,
the horizon forever
receding into the future,
strengthening the past.
Love is a nice idea,
slides into the saccharine,
slides into the pop song,
and becomes a tired
broken record
of hypocrisy.
Love remains pale
or paper-thin,
some little mediocrity -
and yet ill will,
possessiveness,
resentment, envy -
these remain fresh and moist;
they swell easily,
at the slightest drizzle.
Someone pontificates,
someone else presenting himself
as eloquence and virtue -
and some circumstance
blasts forth as a blizzard,
as a *******
who belittles, bashes one's views,
blasts forth as much worse,
the shock and pain and fear
attendant upon terminal cancer,
and all those beautiful
words, thoughts, ideals
wither away - like dreams.
I preach love and compassion
that vices thereby may
in darkened corners,
in shadows grow.
As idealism I speak -
or hypocrisy.

10

I laughed a fine laugh the other day.
A sweet happening watered it.
I saw the flow of events: how a father
mentally abused and neglected
the child by turns - then fled -
then two years later his mother dead
from an overdose, lying glassy-eyed
like a deer shot, the child seeing her - glassy-eyed.
Years later he'd feel his father's ghost
about leaders, surrounding them, resounding,
without knowing it was his father's ghost,
overlooking or undermining their pros,
ever ready to pounce on their cons,
finding good reasons to pounce on their cons.
Ever mistrustful of authority, he felt
his father infusing the days and dawns.
Mistrust had spread to a picture of God.
Each time he coolly, eloquently argued
there was no evidence for such a God,
I laughed, seeing in the parting mist
anger stating his father did not exist.
That was sweet to me, knowing he was
unknowingly each time stabbing himself,
his father after all a part of himself.
I found it funny: how the little creature
of anger and pride and some eloquence
had failed to see the workings of me,
and that his unoriginal metaphysics
had been grounded in his psychology.

11

All poison
is a poison too obvious.
The finest poison
must have savoury elements.
Were a woman or man
all poison,
the other would easily see,
the other would withdraw,
escape not difficult.
So the most effective poison
is unseen and undetected,
and works best in the shadows
of a spouse's or lover's
authentic love and devotion,
manipulation made
that much easier -
and with outward beauty,
talent, intelligence,
easier, easier still.
So a person may be bled
slowly, slowly
over the years,
a genuine love
and the safety
of a familiar,
long-tested and tried love
inciting the spouse to stay,
whatever truth or light
followed, followed insofar
as what attachment feels
is suitable, all right.
That love's, in a way,
among my finest weapons
to drain vitality away.
Though no cherry blossom trees
intoxicate Cote-Des-Neiges street,
Cote-Des-Neiges is heaven still -
in light of the One sitting here
that wears a dress, white, polka-dot brown,
a memory bestowing a crown,
zenith of summer. Even four or five
blocks away of construction sound,
even humidity flashing its ponderous style
is lightened by her loving smile.
What might have spawned many restless nights,
what might have fallen as torrential rain,
what might have begun to burgeon, like blights,
or inflame fear, fashion cynicism, disdain
are absent in light of the beloved here.
What once was the weight of the world's
too weak, too timid to come near -
or the weight transfigured and purified.
She carries wisdom and insight allied
to deep sleep - and its refreshment.
Death is herself (myself) intensified.
Without her, though Cote-Des-Neiges street
be construction-free and replete
with cherry blossoms, heaven wouldn't be,
any wealth and accolades still poverty.
However many countries would have me,
whatever spring and summer infuse foreign air,
I'd still carry my prison with me there.
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