Friday, November 04, 2005

Three New Poems:

Hey all.

This last week has been full of very intense learning for me. It's felt like hell but has shown me many good things about myself. Not all comfortable but all good. It is amazing to find out what I'm capable of and how the work undone in myself can affect others.

If you want to know more - email me and i'll tell you all about it.

Three poems came out of it for me.

Poem - Everyone Knows Anyway.

Hunger never hurt me so badly

As when there was the possibility of food

And I am undone.

I had forgotten that I had forgotten the last time I ate

That dull ache becomes a part of you.

I understand how men can see mirages in the desert

I see them everyday.

It was real - i swear it.

I could almost touch it . . .

I lean forward.

Isn’t the intensity of this feeling what it means to be truly ALIVE?

No.

It’s just what it means to be empty,

To rattle in the gentlest breezes.

You know, I thought you were water?

And I tried to drink you dry . . .

I'm sorry for that.

Emptiness distorts everything.

Now, come close . . .

This is the look of a parched man shown water

This is what masquerades as love.

The empty heart of rattling tin

Never sang but to be filled.

So, is it to fill or be filled that you're wanting?

You might as well be honest about what you need.

Everyone knows anyway.

I held a feast with my bowl

Insinuating hospitality and a generosity of spirit

But my bowl was empty

There may be no shame in emptiness

But i still lie about it most days.

You see, this is the game where I pretend to love you

And reach my hand across the table

As if to give you something

But then snap it back

Full of the food that was on your plate

I have found this to be an excellent cover for theft

The camouflage of generosity.

I fool people in this way at least 12 times a day before breakfast.

At least, i tell myself that i fool them.

Emptiness distorts everything.

Afterwards, i find most people quite boring.

I have done terrible things for which i can’t seem to forgive myself.

Why is it that nothing hurts me so deeply

As how I have hurt others?

Why is it that the heaviest weights i feel

Are those i have burdened others with?

I hid behind the school door in grade 3

And waited - with revenge in mind - for older my brother

When he came I hit him in the stomach

And broke my own heart.

They say that the center of a black hole

Must be the heaviest substance in the universe.

But I think it is regret.

Maybe that’s why black holes suck in everything - even light.

Emptiness distorts everything.

I remember my life before I met those who didn’t want to forgive me -

But demanded I find trust again in myself.

There was nowhere else to look for it.

Life is leaning on me hard today and asking,

“How does this feel?”

You see, this is the game where I pretend to love you

And reach my hand across the table

As if to give you something.

So, is it to fill or be filled that you're wanting?

You might as well be honest about what you need.

Everyone knows anyway.

But

Take that same hand

It’s empty anyway

And reach deep into the long shadow you cast - unexplored fullness!

A thousand doors unopened.

(You will find yourself to be a disconcerting territory

but you are not ugly)

Reach in deep - If you can’t find what you are looking for there

You are lost forever.

What have you got to lose?

Only your self pity.

You will have to let go of your cherished belief

that someone is going to protect you.

No one is going to save you

or do the work of growing for you.

No one is going to show you the way.

This is the start of your survival dance.

Stand up inside yourself and answer:

“Where is the brook

That filled your heart

The spring that poured endlessly over?”

I can only tell you one thing:

The direction you need to go is down.

You will have to dig where you stand.

With your hands if you need to.

The dark topsoil will be an immense loneliness.

Impossibly heavy.

But there is water underground.

This is no mirage.

The songs of praise to water

Sung by a thirsty man

Are not love songs.

They are the songs of longing

And desire.

They are songs of wanting.

Of emptiness.

Only those who still sing

Once quenched, water dripping from their mouths,

Sing songs of love.

Only those who have learned the survival dance

Are pulled aside by the elders to learn the sacred dances.

Stand up inside yourself and

Dig a hole, six feet deep.

Bury your ideas and baubles

Your theories, attachments and trinkets

Your hopes for the future.

They never cared about you anyway.

Bury your child’s heart

(you will grow another one - both older and larger).

Walk - barefoot - in tall grasses

And love nothing that cannot love you

Believe in nothing that cannot believe in you

Feed nothing that will not feed you.

I understand how men can see mirages in the desert

I see them everyday.

It was real - i swear it.

I could almost touch it . . .

Emptiness distorts everything.

So, is it to fill or be filled that you're wanting?

You might as well be honest about what you need.

Everyone knows anyway.

____________________________


The Call and Response

Are you seeing what people really need

Or just what you're wanting to give?

And why do you want to give it?

My mother offered help to her own mother

But didn’t like the job that was needed.

“I understand that,” came the reply

“but if you really want to help me this is what is needed.”

This is what is needed.

This is the time for broad shoulders

Not the intimate conversations you crave.

Are you seeing what people really need

Or just what you're wanting to give?

And why do you want to give it?

Is it because without your advice

They are sure to meet disaster?

Is it because you have an idea

That won’t do without them?

An idea . . . - astonishing possibility!
Conception

Fire in the head

The love at first sight.

The seed waking.

This first birth inside happens inside you.

You carry it in your belly.

The second birth happens in the hearts of the Others

When it is welcomed into the world.

It must be wanted.

It must find the right place.

Babies die when they’re not touched you know.

Or grow to become twisted men

Monsters

A Mockery of the ancestral impulse.

There are stories i could tell you.

All possibilities must be offered up to the universe

With eloquence

And their response waited for

After all, the response shapes everything.

This is where you learn to dance with what’s real

Call and response

Patience is required here

There is an old etiquette here -

Permissions to be gained

Protocol to be followed and

Blessings to be invited

Consent to be given

From everything.

The rock that wants to be a part of the wall

Will carry half of its weight you know.

If you ask it.

It’s true.

Don't rape the universe with your ideas

And force the birth of unwanted children.

Do not force your possibilities onto the world

Offer them up instead - with open hands

An idea is only an idea

A bright spark

Until it lives in the heads, hearts and hands of the Others.

Do not rush this birth -- it knows its own timing

Would your throw this spark with no one to catch it?

You must see what has heart and meaning for you

And where the universe replies.

There are others involved here -- their response matters.

For the child there are many possibilities

For the elder only a few

You must learn to discern real hopes from false ones.

The shadow side of knowledge is not ignorance

It’s theory.

There are abstract worlds were trees stand in isolation

With roots that merely lay like ropes on top of the earth

Where the world changes in brilliant flashes

And everything is possible.

And then

There's this world,

With its harsh limits

Asking you daily just how seriously you take them.

You must learn to discern real hopes from false ones.

The shadow side of knowledge is not ignorance

It’s theory.

Stories are first lived and then told

But they lose something in the telling

A life story takes a lifetime to live.

It cannot be told in less time.

Everyday you are telling your story to the universe.

Everyday you are part of this larger story.

This is what we have forgotten.

The aborigines of Australia say that

They cannot sing the sacred song lines of Australia

While driving in a car.

More time is needed.

Remember this:

With every step you enter a new space

A larger story

Of which you are not the center.

No, you'll never understand someone's life story
Try as you might.

No one will understand yours

Try as they might.

Painfully - most will have no interest.

You will come to know the look of disdain.

You will find yourself alone in this common experience.

Other people have their own lives and agendas

That have nothing to do with you.

This is -- I'm ashamed to say -- a revelation to me.

These are not your pawns to play with

You're not a child anymore.

There are worlds inside people I will never understand

Are you trying to help because you feel that

If you don’t you may disappear?

Your possibilities will destroy you

They will exaggerate your influence.

How many men and women

Have come to ruin saying

“It should have worked. Why couldn’t they see?”

But, the truth is, with every step you enter a new space

A larger story

Of which you are not the center

There are others involved here -- their response matters.

Your job is not to create.

Your job is to call -

With eloquence

With an intense etiquette

Respect in your belly

It’s not charm that’s needed here.

It’s graciousness.

It’s forthrightness.

Take time and care

In crafting your invitations.

The universe does not understand your words

Ritual and feeling are the language here.

It wants to help you, but spiritual etiquette requires that you ask.

Your job is not to create.

Your job is to call.

Your job is to wait for the response.

This is no false dichotomy of your will

In the face the Divine.

It’s not just about you and your voice.

When i was young and foolish

I thought my voice not to be the most important

(to be honest - I thought my voice to be the only voice there was.)

Ugly demands were made

Clumsy, jagged and jangling

Reeking of desperation

(and i think this must be the most unbearable stench in the universe)

How often it was not an offer from my heart

But a cry for help

The echoing of emptiness.

And how my fear of dying from emptiness has bred entitlement

A clutching and grabbing at everything.

And then resentment -

And petty rebellions! - the major wars for minor causes.

Enemies at every corner

Who would keep me from what i want.

Protocol is how people want love.

Why not give it to them?

Why withhold your love?

No, this is not a backroom negotiation

Between you and the Lord

This is an acknowledgement of community.

That our voice is one amongst many

In the family of creation.

Life wants to express through creation

And each voice, every creature

Is an expression of this.

Offer everything up in the spirit of humility

“If this be for the highest good of all involved

May it be so.”

Slow down

Stand up

Inside yourself

Your equals surround you

Seemingly endless allies at every turn

For did any hero ever achieve a worthy cause without allies?

What hero was so foolish as to refuse allies

Or offend them with stinginess?

Did Fionn rescue Grainne without his sword,

Without the Great Grey Sea Lion or the little mouse?

A pine needle can spring a forest to cover your retreat

And slow the advance of enemies.

Volcanoes can erupt

Oil can vanish leaving corporations bewildered

Water can leave its well dry - offended by fences.

There is a place you can stand

That will carry your voice

Clean and sweet smelling

Irresistible

To the ears of allies.

You are not alone here in a world begging to be rescued.

You are shoulder to shoulder in a community of equals.

After all, with every step you enter a new space

A larger story

Of which you are not the center

There are others involved here -- their response matters.

Toss them softly

Place them gently

When you can.

The times will come when fierce urgency will not allow

Such niceties.

Remember this:

If you don't hold to your own center

You will need to be the center of another’s story.

You will try to weave yourself into their life

With sweet gifts and charming words

But lying at the bottom of this dark and dank need to give

Will be a cry for help.

If you need help - ask.

If you have a gift - offer it up.

But do not confuse the two.

This is simple but it is not easy.

Are you seeing what people really need

Or just what you're wanting to give?

And why do you want to give it?

Is it because you are desperately afraid?

You're trying to save a world

That doesn't want to be saved

That doesn't need to be saved

Because this world is not afraid.

________________________________________________

Their Presence is a Necessary Absence:

A friend of mine was hurt

Badly

I asked if he could forgive

He told me it mattered to him

To know that they wouldn't do it again.

Their intentions mattered
Their capacity mattered.

He needed to know how safe he was.

How can you forgive someone you can’t trust?

Without knowing that

Is it safe to keep them close?

No.

Let me tell this story differently.

A friend of mine hurt

Someone else this time.

What now?

What if you sense your own mixed intentions?

What if you doubt your own capacity to refrain

From the going in circles?

What if you have peered into your shadow

And are horrified by what you see

That you could easily do?

My grandmother raised a gun

To see if she could bring herself to shoot a gopher.

It was important that she knew

If she was capable of killing.

She was devastated to find that the answer was

Yes.

How can you forgive someone you can’t trust?

What if the person you no longer trust

Is you?

Here is another story

A friend of mine caused offense

(I admit - it was not a friend - it was me)

And i was not forgiven.

This is hard

I have pushed too hard

No one rejects you but they feel threatened by you

No one rejects you unless they feel unsafe around you

This is the simple lesson.

But i have learned something else

- out of the corner of my eye -

About these people

Who will not forgive me.

It is a secret.

Something about them that even they do not know.

I will tell you.

They operate covertly

To free you.

Even they don’t know they are doing it.

Hey ho! This universe is full of tricksters.

Their face will send hatred - or worse - dismissal

But their soul conspires to free you.


Here is the truth:

There are those who will not forgive what you are.

There are those who have no interest in understanding your intentions

And the lessons you are learning.

There are those who will

-- with condescending stare or look of disdain or dismissal --

Throw you back

There are those who will never love you.

They will make their disapproval as clear as they can

Without ever saying a word to you directly

But, instead, using sideways glances and gossip

(which you can read on a growing number of faces).

You will feel it in what is unsaid.

There are cowards at every turn

There are those who will allow you no room for mistakes

Around whom you will tighten into fear of retribution.

They will refuse -- utterly -- your silent entreaties for love

Or expressed invitations for greater understanding.

They will seek to exclude you.

They will seek to make you feel small enough that you disappear

-- or want to.

They will refuse to bear the load of your own self-love.

There are those who, reeking of suspicion and assumption of guilt,

Will throw their daggers into your unprotected heart

There is also something about trust in our deeper self -- wasn't there a voice saying "don't do it"? Your instincts are good -- you've been trained not to listen. Conditioning versus condition.

This is what their daytime self wants.

Their soul sees how useless they are for you

And so seeks to throw you back

But onto your own inner resources.

A magnanimous soul.

And every dagger they throw into your heart

Lingers

To mark it clearly for you

So that you'll never mistake this again

As anything but the source of your own inner wisdom

The one thing you can trust.

Wasn't there a voice saying "don't do it"?

Your instincts are good --

You've been trained not to listen.

This is normal

But it’s not natural.

You have been asleep for a long time.

And it might take a lot to wake you up

To point -- clearly -- the way home.

It might take a dagger into your heart -

The one thing you can trust -

Marked out for you

In scars that run deep.

While they think they are hating you

Their souls are -- silently --

Removing all the possible barriers to your own self-reliance

Throwing you back on your own inner resources.

They are creating a space -- as only they can -- for you to grow up.

It isn't important that you like them.

I don’t.

But you must understand what they are to you.

Their presence is a necessary absence in your life

Listen now: You carry in you an emptiness

That can only be filled with inner strength or self-pity.

The choice is entirely yours.

You will either learn to love, trust and forgive yourself

Or you won't.

There are those who will echo your inner critic

And see only your shadow

And challenge to prove that these are not the sum of who you are

There role is not to reassure you

But to see if you believe the words you say

The personalities want to see you cringe into nothingness

But their soul wants to see you blaze anew.

A fiery response to the challenge

They are calling you to fill the space they have revealed

Those who love you help you build your inner strength

Those who dismiss you reveal it.


You will still lean forward for their love

And they will only ever lean back.

You must stand up inside yourself.

They've come to help you stop leaning.

Facing them, with arms outstretched

They push you -- hard -- backwards

You're falling away from love

But, you turn around and find that they pushed you back toward yourself

Not away from love but to its wellspring

The oldest story: the one who leaves home

To come home.

Their presence is a necessary absence in your life

This is the most impossible weight to bear:

The love that others do not feel for themselves

When you ask others to carry yourself love and self-worth

You put in impossible burden on them.

Their soul knows better.

What man would willingly consent

To carrying the source of another man's happiness?

But I give mine away all the time

As if it were but a light thing.

No, they've done all they could for you.

God bless their secretive soul

This double agent

Fierce freedom fighter.

To their souls i bow deeply.

To their personalities I say:

“Assholes.”


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