War is Hell

The battlefield still smolders,
oppressive gray smog hovering
The landscape is scarred,
ravaged reminders of war.

Origins borne of uncertainty,
fear spurred by righteousness
and a disgust of imperfection,
prolong the futile fight.

Subtly, imperceptibly,
defenses strengthen,
confidence renews
but the opposition
will not be silenced.

War is hell.
Unfair, biased,
blinded, deceitful.
Sacrificing the innocent,
destroying potential.

War is hell –
especially when….
the battleground
is the Self.

(Image: www.smithsonianmag.com)

Harmonics

6:30 a.m. alarm sounds.
“Time to wake up!” conditioned Compliance commands.
“Just a little longer,” Sensibility suggests.
Guilt, like an incessantly annoying child
tugs on Conscience:
“Come on, there’s lots to do!”
Body does not respond.

Sleep wins
and dreams come:
homeless,
relying on friends,
no food,
backed up toilet,
children’s wide eyes fearfully imploring
When is this all going to end?

Guilt propels a return to consciousness.

8:25 a.m.
“Up and at ’em! There’s a good soldier!” Compliance attempts to be chipper.
“There’s really nothing more important than rest,” Sensibility suggests.
“Can’t lie in bed all day!” Guilt counters.
But body is MIA.

Dreams surface again:
Setting up house in a thoroughfare,
people coming and going, oblivious to intrusion,
co-workers indifferent,
eyes scolding; convicting.

Guilt mutates to rage,
Body wakes up with a choking cough, and gasping,
reaches for the rescue inhaler
and sucks in, desperate for air.

11:11 am.
“That’s it! Up you get!”
“No! No! Rest is needed!”
“The day is wasted! There’s no getting it back!’

“SILENCE!” A new voice emerges.

A collective intake of breath.

“Breathe,” comes the message. “Just breathe.”

A unified sigh.

“And breathe again.”

Tempers cool, and emotions begin to settle.

“What’s going on?” Guilt wonders.
“Just trying to stick to routine,” Compliance explains.
“It’s always been this way.”
“But she’s ill now,” Sensibility adds, “and there needs to be concessions.”

“Breathe,” the voice reasserts, and all sigh again.
“Just be in the stillness of the moment.”

Stillness has no voice.
Its language is compassion and infinite,
infinite wisdom.

“And surrender.”

Compliance sobs with the release of such enormous obligation.
Sensibility gratefully gives over the burden of responsibility,
and Guilt…..well Guilt is little,
and happily snuggles up to Unconditional Love.

“There, there,” Voice soothes, “isn’t harmony so much better?”

Body concurs and rises out of bed.

As a Tree

Confined for hours at a time to my bed, I cheer myself by contemplating the trees outside my windows. There is something in their stoic beauty that both calms and inspires me.

Be as the tree a former meditation instructor taught me.

If I were a tree
my roots would run deep into the earth
and spread in all directions
grounding me.

Present.

My trunk would be wide and solid
weathering all storms
supporting other life
a tower.

Strong.

My branches would reach up to the sky
and dance with the breezes
and bend with the changing seasons
and bow to Nature.

Flexible.

If I were a tree
I would be calm, yet strong;
have heightened awareness, yet be rooted in reality.

I would yield to change,
yet stand proud in my own existence,
growing with grace.

If I were a tree
I would live in harmony
with Nature.

Present, Strong. Flexible.

Fully alive.

(Image from: www.nbcdfw.com)

Self-Delusion

I am driven,
a woman obsessed.
feet digging in,
body pressed forward,
the sweat on my brow
blackened by the relentless dust
whipping around me
in the prairie heat.
I drive on,
fatherless,
husbandless,
solely responsible
for my cargo
the horses heeding my commands,
everything, everyone
I treasure
on board.
I am a pioneer
delivering us
to the promised land.

I am wounded,
bleeding,
my prone body
curled on a mat of straw
back towards the others
teeth clenched
in silent pain
determined
not to show my need.
I will not be a burden.
so I feign sleep
and brace myself
against the jolts
and try not to gasp.
Lie still,
Be brave,
the journey is necessary
and soon we will arrive
and all will be well
and I will stop,
bleeding.

We children
are both afraid and
joyous
The ride is bumpy
and never-ending
and we try to be good
and not complain
but our spirits long
to play
to get out of this wagon
and find cool water to
splash in
or play hopscotch
in the sand.
But we are obedient
and so instead
find laughter
in the moments
in our own company.
Believing,
trusting,
that all is for a reason,
and the end is near.

I am a young man,
and I have goals,
and dreams
beyond the confines of these wagon walls.
I have a vision
of a life fulfilling,
of purpose,
and gold,
and I am ready
and able
to fight
I am willing
to strive,
fearless
into the unknown
yet I am trapped
held captive
by my elders.
overlooked.

I am the faithful,
God-inspired
all-believing,
hopeful,
prayerful,
trusting in higher power
caught in a web
of pleading, asking, forgiving,
accepting, and wondering.
What can I give of myself?
What does God need?
Am I not good enough?
Have we sinned?
Are we being punished?
Are our needs only trite,
and we selfish?
Must we bear this cross
to be received
in Heaven?
Is there a reason
I pray for strength
so that I may be more worthy,
more deserving,
when the judgment day comes.

I am a mother,
worried,
caring,
hoping for the best
catering to all,
barely a child myself,
bearing each experience
with borrowed strength,
selflessly focused
outward
drawing, drawing,
from a well
seldom replenished.
Tired,
oh so, tired.

I am an old woman,
frail yet wise,
enduring the rough ride,
surrendering to the knocks
knowing that as in all things
this too shall pass.
I am silent,
guarding my wisdom
for the imploring only,
acknowledging the value
in each journey
in each interpretation,
knowing that in the end
we are all deluded
and that the destination
is in the here and now
not tomorrow
not at the end of some dusty trail.
In each moment we have arrived
and so have I.
Patient and accepting.
Life is as it is.
Amen.

Immortality

Time passes,
shadows shift, waning
light made precious
by beckoning end.

Once believed in forever,
guaranteed tomorrows –
fallacy now shattered
by mortality’s knock.

New souls, born
of promise, eyes hungering
for what shall be, ignite
a fire of hope in me.

Will I be remembered
when life has begot more life
and I am faded ancestry –
will my essence linger?

Flesh rots, memory
fades, but the spirit
has its own calling –
will mine rise again

in trait, or disposition,
or with fresh complexion
and renewed intention –
an immortal circle?

(Image:  livingwisdom.kabbalah.com)

 

 

 

 

 

Mystical She

Like silk

whispering across my skin;

a gentle mist

kissing my soul;

kindness unburdening me;

warmth, and cinnamon spice;

She comes.

 

Of the Earth, is She

whose heart beats with mine

a rhythm of life

renewal

and deepest bliss

 

Her essence luminous and night

shimmering at the water’s edge

or pulsating at the core

of darkness

Alive.  Very much alive.

 

No fanfare proceeds Her,

No choir of angels.

In stillness, know Her.

In openness, receive Her.

She is here.

She is here.