Saturday, June 27, 2009

An Ode to a Cool Cat

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I know this may be blasphemy

it may even be unkind

but I’m not going to miss Michael Jackson

or Farrah Fawcett.

Nope, neither one.

Their Lights shown brightly for the world

to see and their fountains of success

poured out for others to drink from,

if you know what I mean.

But they’re gone now

and how will we remember them?

Michael as the amazing entertainer

(and the creepy child molester)

Farrah as the chick with the hair

and the red bikini.  

 

No, I won't miss them.

You know who I do miss right now?

I know it’s silly, maybe,

but I miss Mr. Rogers.

I do. I really do.

 

He was the coolest of cats

the most serene of dudes.

He was all about

“No Drama” before Obama

even thought of picking up a basketball.

Mr. Rogers, man, that cat

always told you what he thought

he’d sit with you and be with you

and tell you just how things are.

He’d play a little jazz for ya, just enough

to make you want more.

He’d have friends over for quiet little visits

and look into their eyes and just be

fully present for them.

All Mr. R’s drama lived in that funny little

"Land of Make Believe" with that cranky little king

And sweet little Daniel Stri-ped Tiger.

 

I could use a little Mr. Rogers right now

singing his cutesy little songs about

taking my time and doing things right

and not rushing through an experience

or a sensation or a feeling

or you know, a life

just to get to the next one.

 

I could use a little Mr. Rogers right now. 

Maybe I even want to be Mr. Rogers

right now.

Chill out, I’d say.  Relax, man.

All is well, dude, all is well

And all manner of things will be well. 


June 27, 2009 

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Invitation By Oriah Mountain Dreamer

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THIS POEM WAS NOT WRITTEN BY ME.  
I WISH IT WAS.


It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.


I want to know what you ache for


and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.



 

It doesn’t interest me how old you are.


I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool


for love


for your dream


for the adventure of being alive.



 

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon.


I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, 


if you have been opened by life’s betrayals


or have become shrivelled and closed


from fear of further pain.



 

I want to know if you can sit with pain


mine or your own


without moving to hide it


or fade it


or fix it.



 

I want to know if you can be with joy


mine or your own


if you can dance with wildness
and

let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes


without cautioning us


to be careful


to be realistic


to remember the limitations of being human.



 

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me 


is true.
I want to know if you can 
disappoint another 


to be true to yourself.


 

If you can bear the accusation of betrayal


and not betray your own soul.


If you can be faithless


and therefore trustworthy.



 

I want to know if you can see Beauty


even when it is not pretty


every day.


And if you can source your own life 


from its presence.



 

I want to know if you can live with failure


yours and mine


and still stand at the edge of the lake


and shout to the silver of the full moon,


Yes.”



 

It doesn’t interest me


to know where you live or how much money you have.


I want to know if you can get up


after the night of grief and despair


weary and bruised to the bone


and do what needs to be done


to feed the children.



 

It doesn’t interest me who you know


or how you came to be here.


I want to know if you will stand


in the centre of the fire


with me


and not shrink back.



 

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom


you have studied.


I want to know what sustains you


from the inside


when all else falls away.



 

I want to know if you can be alone 


with yourself


and if you truly like the company you keep


in the empty moments.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Dramatization in One Act

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WARNING: PROCEED WITH CAUTION


THIS PLAY IS RATED RPM for Really Painful Memories



The Setting: A white Cape house in Suburban America and Route 95 North


Narrator: A woman was once married to a man who was trained as a Special Ops Commando: Rage and Control Division. He specialized in interrogation techniques, machine gunnery and flame throwing. She didn't know this when she said her vows.


Scene I: The Living Room


The woman is folding laundry, say, or leafing through a magazine or maybe writing out the dreaded grocery list. He'd strike up a conversation which would lull her into thinking that's what they were doing, you know, just having a conversation, when suddenly he'd, like, slip her a mickey or something and she'd be dragged off to the Mind-Fuck Garage where she'd be strapped to a chair and the questions would start and they were questions with such odd angles, questions with such dark and manipulative undertones, questions formed in such a way that no matter how she answered them, she'd be wrong. For a long time she believed he was really trying to get to the truth, when all along he was just trying to intimidate and hurt and weaken her, which made him feel strong.


Scene II: The Kitchen


His skills with an AK47 were legendary. Oh, but he was good. Oh, the chaos and the crying that would ensue, the woman and children lying bloodied on the cool tile floor, limbs torn and clothing shredded and fires in the windows and no way to escape and all the woman could do was shield as many small bodies as possible with her warm and bloodied one and hope it would all end soon.


Scene III: Driving him to work in their One Car


In the end, when there was only scar tissue on her body, when she was bullet-ridden and skin-hardened from too many body blows and internal bleeding left her pale and limp and the ridges on her back were layered on her skin from too many whacks with a machete, and the thin little scars from his slick sharp scalpel cuts were silver and shiny, when her body was tough and hard and impervious to his efforts to hurt anymore, he would unstrap his flamethrower. He'd unstrap it from his back -- she could here the sound of it being unbuckled, the slick whickery sound as he pulled it to the front of his body -- and all she could think to do was run, or fall in a heap on the floor in defeat.


Once, on the car ride to work -- they had only one car for a long time, she can't remember why -- she told him she wanted to join the gym. This was not, apparently, good news. This was proof of how selfish the woman was, how she thought only of herself and no one else, how she spent money indiscriminately (a bold-faced lie but he said it anyway) and she heard the sound of him unstrapping the flamethrower and she was afraid. She was stuck in the car with him driving too fast down the highway with a three year old in the back watching everything, and he flicked the switch and let loose a long stream of burning fire -- oh, she was so so so selfish selfish selfish and the flames poured over her and she sat stunned and burned and he screamed and ranted. And as her skin charred and blackened and the burning tears came, the only thing she could think to do was throw her hot coffee at him, which she did, and it put the flamethower out, just for that moment.





June 23, 2009











Monday, June 22, 2009

How to Save a Life

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I saved a man's life
once.

Did you know that?

I remember it like it was
yesterday.

His body was slumped over
in the front seat of his car
his chest caved in and
his lung punctured and
he was, I think,
bleeding internally.

I traveled back from
a deep deep meditative
trance
through the fabric of time
and space
through the barriers of
disbelief
through decades, maybe,
of not knowing him
to meet him for the first time and
I traveled back through
the deep deep pit of his
despair.

I sat with him in the car
with one hand on his shoulder and
the other over his heart
and I said breathe, my friend,
breathe.
You can't go now, come back,
your work here isn't finished.
I'm sorry, but it's not.
It's a beautiful world, really
it is.
Step into
the Light and breathe.
And I prayed to the Gods
of the Universe and
all the angels in heaven on his
behalf
to save him from the
darkness, to save him from
himself.

And I saw the Light shine down
from the far heavens above
and it beamed through the stratosphere
it beamed through time and space and
it beamed through the roof of the car and
it beamed through his despair and
it beamed into his heart and lungs and
mind and spirit and
I prayed and chanted and
the drums beat
far off somewhere and
the choirs sang and I
whispered and rocked and
I know you don't believe me
but he pulled in a
deep deep breath and
filled his one remaining lung and
he came back from the deep
deep darkness
and the Light shone on him and
the ambulance came and
they saved his life
and I don't think
he's forgiven me

yet.


June 22, 2009





Friday, June 19, 2009

In the heart of The City

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I lay in bed last night
listening to the sound of the rain
falling asleep to the sound of the rain
like the plucked strings of a toy guitar
plink plink plink
against the window.

I thought of the crazy homeless guys
I see every day
in the heart of The City.
One of them spins in circles
begging anyone anyone
begging anyone at all
to spare some change
can you please spare
some change please
can you spare
some change.
He holds no container
no dirty coffee cup
to hold the gifts
people may give
and so
no one does.

He spins in his circles
and cries out in his raspy voice
thickened from too much smoke or
from too much crying out -
I have no way to know -
he spins with his arms
spread wide and
cries out to the passersby,
to the mute buildings that
surround him
to the Universe itself
buddy can you spare some change
please can you spare some change.

I think of the Sufis and
their spinning
spinning in ecstasy
in worship and communion with
the Great Mystery
the Great Beloved
spinning in their colorful robes and
flowing outfits
reaching their hands to the sky and
spinning in love
and I can't help but think
that if you took that
crazy homeless guy and
you put him in colorful robes
and you turned down the volume
and you let him do his thing
you would not be able to tell
who spins in ecstasy and
who spins in pain.


June 19, 2009


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Flotsam and Jetsam

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If my body was a pirate ship

-- no, that's not right. 

If my body was a cruise ship

- no, definitely not that.

 If my body was a sailboat

- yes, that's it, that's exactly right.

 

If my body was a sailboat

on the high seas

you would notice behind me

floating behind me

a trail of detritus

a trail of old cargo

the flotsam and jetsam

of a hard won life.

 

If my body was a sailboat

on the high seas

you would notice a woman

on the starboard bow 

in a white floppy hat

and a bright yellow sundress

slowly, lovingly and

thoughtfully tossing

the jetsam of the

old life overboard -

the wee pinch of flesh of the

unnecessary arguments,

the soft belly roll of

cutting remarks,

the handful of hip from

his wish to be mean,

the loose thighs,

I admit,

from too many chocolate chip

cookies. 

 

If my body was a sailboat

you would notice behind me

a trail of flotsam

a trail of old cargo

ejected by simply

surviving the last 

storm –

the rocking and rolling

that tossed me around

the rocking and rolling that 

cast me out to sea -

the embarrassing self-pity

the fear of not-good-enough

the deep grief and sadness of

bone-deep

loss.

 

If my body was a sailboat

on the high seas

you would notice behind me

flotsam and jetsam

floating on the water

dissolving into the water

the warm salty water

of the deep blue sea.

And if my body was a sailboat

you would see a fine sailboat

battered and scarred but

very seaworthy

now sailing to the sunset

deep into the sunset

with far less cargo -

useless and weighty and

unwanted cargo -

carrying only what is treasure

carrying only what is true

carrying only who I am

and who I may one day become.


June 16, 2009


Monday, June 15, 2009

Metaphorical Mix

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After another stormy night
on the wine dark sea
I arrive at shore
in the early dawn
feeling plucked
like a guitar string
that's buzzing and humming
from stem to stern
from port to starboard
from root to crown
that's buzzing and humming
with a
funny little
rhythmic little
cha-cha.

June 15, 2009

Sunday, June 14, 2009

What if


What if 
I am pouring out my 
Love Heart
sending out my
Love Corona
like radio waves 
to the peoples of 
the planet Earth -
Love One Another
Love One Another -
like a pulsar (or maybe a quasar) 
from the vast reaches of space and

what if 
I hug the ex-junkie every Saturday morning
and smile my love and hope and peace
at the homeless guys who hold the door for me and
what if 
I recognize fellow travelers who
are on the Path of Light
who vibrate at a higher frequency
from most everybody else and 
what if
I pour my heart out to those who are hurt
and frightened and offer them a safe space
to just be and 

what if
day after day
I keep overflowing 
with happiness
and keep pouring out 
this Light
and keep on reflecting the 
Love of God
and what if 
I keep shining
as brightly as I can
to Light up the darkness
for others to see and
what if, 
you know, 
just what if
right at this moment
just at this moment
I'm burning like a lightbulb
that shines its brightest
that burns its hottest
just before it
blows out. 

June 14, 2009




Sometimes

Sometimes -
you should know this
so pay attention -
sometimes when I wake up
in the morning
I look in the mirror
and I think I look beautiful.

Sometimes - 
pay attention please - 
I walk through the subway
burnt hair/shit smelly subway
and I want to love everybody
the sad, the mad, the confused, the lost
and I want to bring them all home and 
light them up like
God-candles.

Sometimes -
this is important -
I curse at people
who cut me off in traffic.
"Stupid fucking bitch!"
I yelled last month, twice
with my son in the car
laughing at me.
One woman waggled her finger at me
which was totally fucking infuriating
and hysterically funny
all in the same moment
and I confess I can't remember
if I sent her any 
Love Energy to counteract the 
Dire Energy I hurled at her
with my words and my spirit.

And sometimes - 
you listening? -
sometimes I bless the slow driver 
in front of me, surround them 
with soft white light,
wish them all the happiness
in the world whether they "deserve" it 
or not and they always, always
soon thereafter, turn off the road 
and make their way home or 
to their next appointment
unaware of what's just happened
to them.

Once -
only once, mind you -
I sent deep, dark, poisonous arrows
into the belly of another woman
a woman who made one of my 
dearest friends cry - no, I mean
made her sob and weep 
for hours. I watched this mean woman 
walk blithely by me and
before I could stop myself
before I knew what I was doing
before I knew if it would matter
I sent those sharp and deadly arrows 
deep into her belly where they lodged (I think)
and took up residence,
burrowing into the soft flesh of her womb.
I keep waiting to learn
that she has cancer.

So sometimes -
I'm sure you understand why -
sometimes I think
I might be a little bit magic
sometimes I think 
I might be a little bit witchy
sometimes I think
I might be a little bit crazy
sometimes I think
I might be a little bit nuts. 

June 14, 2009

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Meeting the Man



I met Jesus, once. 
Did you know that? 

It's true. 

We met in a space 
of timelessness
and formlessness
where He stood beside a gate
and invited me in.  

It wasn't any old gate
you know
it was particular
and real
and I went inside and
He closed it behind me. 

Aren't you coming?
I asked Him. 
No, He said,
I have more work to do. 

And He smiled at me gently
and left, 
just as simple 
as that. 


June 13, 2009