~The poet uses the butterfly net of language to catch fleeting images in mid-flight~

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Bodhisattva’s View

Beyond the whimpering cry
Beyond the wounded soul
Through the cave of darkness
Where all seekers fear must go

Beyond the hollow shell
Beyond the echoed screams
Our pretenses they shall crumble
As we discover our very means

There is a true man and woman waiting
Not the ones who brought us tears
They are dressed in resplendent colors
Like the sunset after a storm has cleared

Find the wings of eagles
Fly and join them there
With the fish prize clasped in your talons
Let your freedom song fill the air

Eat the flesh that makes you human
Follow the urge that makes you fly
Know that your ultimate communion
Is also something that makes you cry

Two Salmon

Two salmon met in a river one day.

One was going upstream,

The other was coming downstream.

They stopped for a moment to talk.

The first salmon was old and had a deformed jaw.

He asked, “Why are you going downstream?”

The second salmon, who was young and agile,

Answered, “Well, it’s easy.

The water is flowing downstream.

I’m just going with the flow. So that’s the way I go.

I’m on an adventure!”

The first salmon thoughtfully considered these words

While he held position in the current.

The second salmon eyed the first salmon suspiciously

And asked, “Why are you going upstream?

It makes no sense. You’re going against the flow.

You’ll die of exhaustion!”

The first salmon gulped and responded sincerely.

“I don’t know,” he said, “ but I have to go.

It’s a feeling, an urge that I can’t deny.

I’m heading for a quiet, shallow place

Somewhere upriver,

But I don’t know where exactly.

I guess I’m on an adventure, too.”

The two fish circled each other several times;

One torn by the current;

The other torn by instinct.

Finally, they waved goodbye with their pectoral fins

And continued on their separate journeys.

After a while, the first salmon

Was surprised to encounter other salmon

Who were heading upstream, too.

They seemed to be attempting the impossible.

They fought the rapids,

Hurtled up and over cascades

And even over waterfalls

And around huge boulders

That were blocking their way.

They were cut and bruised and silly looking,

But they shared their enthusiasm

And gained much strength as they swam fin to fin.

The downstream salmon saw many wondrous things

That he would never forget,

But still he followed the river.

Soon he was joined by many other comrades

Who were also being carried by the river.

They were headed for the salty water

And a chance to swim in the deep ocean

Where they would grow to be big and strong

And have many experiences.

When the older salmon finally made it

To the gravelly shallows upstream,

They were absolutely spent and near death.

Only the truly brave and strong had made it.

In the glow of their victory,

They stayed together and released their eggs and seed.

Soon the corpses of dead fish lay everywhere

And many other hungry animals

Like bear, coyote and eagle came to feast

As the weather turned colder.

Moral: What goes up, goes up

so that others may come down.

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Poet

Pen in hand
Poised over paper
I am
Like a dart
Ready to stick the target
And release the venom
Of intoxication
I am hoping
To make you dizzy and drool
With hot flashes
And pounding heart
And all vital signs elevated
I want you to feel
The Elixir
Invade your veins
And incite rivers
Of your blooded Passion

Happy I am
To sweep away the congestion
Of your heart
And see you sweat salty beads
Of your own distilled Histories
Let my quill enter your nose
And find your brains
And pierce what you know
So that you can collapse
Upon the couch
Of the ultimate therapy
And in your confession
Be healed
Of your dimness
And your constant
Chafing concern
For security

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Before the Mast

And what of our Nature?
What can we truly say of it?

Certainly we are more than dust.
Certainly more than the baser instincts.
And certainly deeper than inspiration.
Certainly we are more real than
Cheap exhortations to piousness.

But in the dark of night
Stumbling in blindness
We need the lamp that brings light.

It is elegant in its wholeness.
The ceramic bowl made from clay,
The oil contained within,
Squeezed from a fissure of the earth,
Or rendered from the blubber
Of the deepest diver.
Then the wick,
The stem,
The conduit,
That connects the dark reservoir
With the apex.

Here, the mystery of the sparking heavens
Leaps to ignite the saturated tip.
Suddenly the flame is there
And the light chases the darkness
Into the shadows.

Are we not just this?
Bearers of the light?

The celestial arc of stars
Meets in the maw
Of a dark and fertile place.
There is nothing left to do
But squeeze the slippery fuel
From its ancient rendered flesh
And light the way forward....

We are restless mariners
Captives of our dreams
Sailing for the far horizon.