I am glad to have survived to this point So I could see this beautiful day Of bright cool sunshine Filtering through the trees of my canyon In this November after the first rains After the yearlong drought With the eucalyptus leaves and pine needles Speckled with gems of light, and The fresh grasses exuded from the grateful earth Ablaze with translucent green radiance From the low winter angle of the rays Combing through the quiet of life’s renewal As gentle eddies of breeze caress the fronds And carry my drifting memories Back to the afterglow of my distant glories Freed now of the agonies they required, And hope that my sins cast out of memory Have long been forgotten by the aggrieved, As the freshness of this day has forgotten The uncountable agonies across eons It has renewed itself beyond into new gratitude With its unbounded possibilities For the simple pure joy of just being.
Everyone wants to be heard, even me. Nobody wants to listen, even me. Everyone wants change, even me. Nobody wants to change, even me, but I will as needed to go on just to see how it all plays out though I already know. I am redundant except to pay, my audience gone, my knowledge old, dustbinned by new that recycles yet again, its drama riveting, the same suspense intact, pyramids ever built up as ever they crumble, linear thrusting of insect minds, of viral compulsion, detached blind in a field of light unseen. Watts happening? Refrigerate the drought to dry ice? Compress it to stone?, to diamonds? Sublimate it once again in viral aspirations?, pyramidal masturbation? Vanity dreaming its blackness mirrors light imagined endlessly returning. I watch. Symbolist Melville’s Moby-Dick turns once again ramming through our implacable fragility. Cold darkness rolls over the sinking wreck drowning all memories even God’s. I’ll go on. Failure is certain, Sam Barclay assures, but don’t quit. Just don’t say anything. It’s hopeless. Aye, O’Flahertie, the only worthwhile company is oneself. Keep on talking to yourself. Someone might overhear and tell you to shut up. Success! This castaway Ismael floats on coffined history knowing no Rachel is destined to sail its white-winged grieving heart’s succor by. But at least I’ve seen, and know. That is all.
Phillip appeared: I see you’re a modern married man. How can you tell? Your clothes are wrinkled. That could be true for a bachelor. No, they pay for wash-and-fold by the bag. They could be poor. No, vanity is totality, appearance obligation, they laundromat it themselves, you machine wash at home and get brainwiped from drying. I hang it on a line outside. Yes, except when you forget because listening is required, you wear the wrinkled badge of courage of the modern feminist man. Sometimes I rebel. Harmlessly, when your socks mismatch. What should I do? As you are, why add more suffering? I see: say nothing and drink alone unseen. Its best, love disguised as peace. The indeterminate illusion of eternity is finite even when you see through it. Enjoy, why not?
I want a dinner of sautéed mushrooms and Veuve Clicquot, cioppino and Pouilly-Fuissé, Renoir and Chateau Margaux, Mozart at midnight. Breakfast eggs fried over bacon at dawn’s riverbank sandbar campfire by the hauled out canoes, fresh coolness beckoning another paddle down the shimmering burbling ribbon to light’s wide horizon, somewhere beyond nightfall, behind the thrumming of crickets, prophesying.
I saw a world dawn today That will never see another day As sunlight streams through evaporating mist Quivering pinpoint rainbow lights Bejeweled spidersilk enmeshing forest green Deep out to vanishing sight of glowing sky Earth’s heaving bosom steaming rising light To crystallize air fractured by bird calls Overturning the ceaseless awakening Pristine indifference to our thoughts Of self-regarding nothingness grasping void That disappears all wanting And can never be all love The solidity nothingness imagines Even memories descendants are destined to forget What never was learned and never remembered Like the dawning of this world today A world that will never see another day Like this blazing taste of freedom in The glistening rainwater halo on these twining twigs.
From rain to rain, From rain to light.
Of what use is our warmth If not to pass on as love to others? To fear the world’s end Is to imagine obligating immortality. Absorb the dawning light Exhale the breath of night There is no loss no mystery Only blissful sleep bathed in light. Will my bones parch in desert sun? My legacy a dusty swirl that fades from eyeless sight? Our lost world ever sinking stern first Into the cold icy ocean of indifference While I, a misanthrope write poems of love To a world made miserable with visions from above The mindless matter of matterless minds The perennial pinings of humankind.
19 December 2019 — 19 September 2021
Here the ways of men divide. If you wish to strive for peace of soul and happiness, then believe; if you wish to be a disciple of truth, then search.
— Friedrich Nietzsche
There have been a few times in my life when I could see the total reality of our human world, and where it was going, with complete clarity. 2011 was such a time. This is not to say that I am some kind of genius or seer, but simply that by 2011 I had lived long enough, had learned enough and experienced enough to have my sense of awareness fully opened and finely sharpened to understand the full spectacle on display. It was a fortuitous combination of the flow of life and the pure luck of being. But it was nevertheless true: I saw, I knew, and I wrote some of it all down.
But what I also knew by then was that such moments of insight come with the realization that one is existentially alone: nobody else, however conventionally close and loved, can truly know your experience or feel your truths. And this is always true though one is usually oblivious to it because one is bedazzled by the moment-to-moment immediacy of their enthrallment with their desires and fears and emotions in the ever-changing ever-flowing kaleidoscope of personally experienced life.
So to be fully aware is to realize that one is a perpetual outsider, like Meursault in Albert Camus’s brilliant novel L’étranger. It’s not that I wish to be apart from people I conventionally love — children, spouse, family, even friends — or from the clubs I wish to be a part of, like that of the political Ezekiels ardent to bring about the socialist utopia of brotherhood and sisterhood they can so easily imagine and which few if any are prepared to actually bring about; no, it is simply that the conscious experience of being alive — and knowing — is completely unitary even as we are myriadly interconnected as social beings, as a species, and as organic forms of life.
So my instances of being prescient can only illuminate reality for me, they can never affect the perceptions of others, nor alter the course of human events. In that sense I am Sisyphus, and Meursault, alone in a world of implacable absurdity despite its many miraculous beauties flung across space and time like a spiderweb bejeweled with droplets from the first rainfall of the year now glinting and sparkling in the sun of a fresh new dawn.
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Zionism is racism, which is why so many Americans support it. American political consciousness has as its consensus a rainbow coalition of varieties of racism; and racism is a religious faith whose sacrament is money, whose mythology is real estate, and whose original sin is genocide.
Global warming climate change is the coming Great Flood for which we will ever be absent a Noah, because there is no True God to inspire a True Noah. God is dead because we are our own gods, who are dying in the rising tide of entropy seeping out as the lifeblood from the body of the True God we have murdered.
So many of those whose lives will be cut short, and whose dreams will be cut off, are innocent of the crime; but it is ever the privilege of wealth in its pyramid death cult to sacrifice abundances of young life on the altars of its mausoleums: glorious memories imagined that will only blow in the wind as dust in the not so distant unknown.
For some: ideas liberate the mind, and time offers promise. For others: ideology cages mind, and time is a sentence. Gratitude is the experience of Everlasting Life, and No soul immersed in gratitude is ever alone.
The warmth of sunlight on skin, the brush of cool breeze against the cheek, the ringing of birdsong through the trees, the blushing of day into night before the eyes, the slow cascade of wispy cloud down the mountain, the sparkle of moonlight in the brook, the density of quiet in the dark, are all the eternal caress and lullaby by the Mother, always sustaining a refuge of love, always welcoming home her lost children.
I stretched my legs and curled them under the blankets while the cat pressed his weight down into them, walking and coiling above. I ringed them into a bowl, a plush crater, and he settled his body pressing against them. And thus we slept through the late night dark into the bright of morning: connected in the eternal.
The struggle for life is real, but we misuse it. Wisdom is life lived in the calm of grateful awareness.
If I am moderate in my speech, it is ignored in favor of existing biases. If I am immoderate in my speech, it sparks thought which is met with denial and a hostile defense of ignorance, which is always threatened by any truth however moderated its appearance. So to be truthful to myself I must offend the delicate sensibilities of your falsity.
Socrates was insufferable, and was insufferably responded to. Plato was elegantly snobbish in playing Socrates without hazard. Shelley was Dionysian, but with his lordly airs could never be Euripidean; his Ionian reflection was Keats, that flowering of the sublime into the radiance above Wordsworthian mulch. Bukowski, that guttural Boudu, played at Diogenes without his wit or insight. Ginsberg, as frenzied Whitman, played Kerouac in the feminine; Kerouac played Ryokan as cool jazz Nietzsche; Ryokan was pure moonlight on the river; and Camus was the river of conscience into Melville’s sea of morality. Our taste in poets, for those that are true poets, reflects on our flaws not theirs. True poets are diamonds of imperfection forged out of the coal of humanity.
When Ozymandias is forgotten we will have let go and been enfolded.
“Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep forever.”
— Thomas Jefferson, unrepentant slaveowner, in 1781, 80 years later came the Civil War.
May 2021: In Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem, Israeli mobs shielded by Israeli soldiers expropriate Palestinian homes: more living room for Greater Israel.
Israeli airplanes, unopposed, bomb Gaza 84 years after Guernica, retaliating for Palestine’s right to exist: infants, children, women, men die, civilians all: blown up, buried in the rubble of their homes, bleeding away in hospitals denied pandemic vaccines: all eyed hungrily by bulldozer blades eager to raze more living room for Greater Israel.
Triumphally does America’s largess to Zionism clear out another Western Expansion to echoes of Crazy Horse: “My lands are where my people lie buried”; raining hellfire on infidels to White Supremacy. USS Liberty continues to sink: the Associated Press Building is bombed; Americans, too, like Abraham of yore, must be willing to offer blood sacrifices on the altar of Biblical Glory: more living room for Greater Israel.
The Conquest continues because empty souls with blank hearts cling to tribal hate with loaded guns.
When will “God’s justice” rain down on us in retribution for our lush sponsorship of Zionist war crimes?
We have forgotten Nuremberg, and “never again,” only 76 years ago: so I tremble for my country.
Bright sunlight falls through clear air with fresh coolness in the shadows touching skin with warmth as imperceptible eddies sway green leaves gently beneath a blue sky under which an unmeshing fragmenting spray of white wispiness skims over the hillcrests framing my canyon ringing with the songs of thrushes, the darting sparkling forays of twizzling hummingbirds, and the chirping calls of White-Throated swifts swooping all about to and fro from their attic-hidden nests through corridors of tree fronds with scattered emerging hints of drought yellowing, while Brown Creepers flutter by in their nervously butterfly-like dropping flight hops; and all is under the confident and commanding eyes of Red-Tailed Hawks, a pair, wheeling majestically so close overhead, their shadows whisking across the panorama arrayed to view, their tails glowing gold with translucent sun, their arcing wingtip feathers scribing crisp the moment flashed to eye onto the crystal of memory.
O Nietzsche! Reading your words is like gargling with gravel to sift out gold! I am sinking in my deepening dotage awash in memories of youthful debaucheries! Is this deserved punishment for my unintended cruelties and ignorant harshness, or rewarded grace for my clumsy kindnesses and stumbling harmlessness?
I marinate in memories of your presence, my fulsome love, flesh-instilled beyond the force of thought, punished by the absence of presence irredeemable by time, rewarded by the presence of absence of fading spirit, the scent and hunger and skin-feel of that lost eternity of your warm smiling gaze enfolding all. My candle flames melting the cold hardened wax of the past lofting its vaporous luminosity into the pitch blackness of all futures’s oblivion, a flare along the passage from the unknown to the forgotten. Stars are the luminous hot bubbles of light in the roiling cold boil of existence into nonexistence, time into timelessness, space into self-absorption, substance into void.
Smoke from extinct rainbows burnt in offerings by dead souls to imaginary gods lifts memories of lost oceans into night’s blackness to fall slowly rolling down from canyon rim hillcrests the cool mist diffusing space disappearing before penetrating earth’s thirsting embrace, submerging this island of forest in an ocean of quiet whose silence can be heard far past distant unseen horizons beyond which the sun is being reborn in the womb of eternity, as hummingbirds sit hunched on their perches snoring. The singing light of day again will wake me soon, for all I know.
Smelling burnt haze Morning sunlight Warming back Hot coffee aroma Steaming face Jays squawk Chickadees cheep Hummingbirds twizzle Pale light caresses Smooth barkskin, leaves Green fading to dull rusts Silence, mostly Police siren far far away Downwind stillness After deep night cold fog All our sins infected air Drying, burning, flooded away Nature claws back At our flawed caresses Sleepwalkers everyone Sad unseeing Paradise shrivel Staccato minds Illusions coiled Atomize As we all sink Beneath fantasy clouds Fragments floating on the sea Of a void, avoid What could be Voices calling out deafly Ears awash in echoes Falsely, drones Of inner emptiness Engulfed by ignorance Despite the richness Embracing us Cocooned in shells Of helpless absorption. The world collapses from our loss of soul.
The Coldness of Distant Burning
The morning’s hazy sunlight smells of burning From far off distance past last night’s cold deep fog
Coffee aroma steams waking in my face The spreading sunlight soaks warmth into my back
Jays squawk, Chickadees cheep, Hummingbirds twizzle Pale light caresses smooth eucalyptus bark And drying leaves that fade dull from greens to rusts
The silent air hints of sirens far away This downwind stillness infected by our sins
Of dying life, burning lands, flooding away As Nature claws repelling our failed caress
Sleepwalkers everyone sadly unseeing Paradise shrivel with their staccato minds
Illusions coiled so tightly we atomize To sink like stones under fantasy’s clouds
Our shattered world floats as fragements on the sea The once so certain is now a void of dreams
Unrealized castaways are droning still Engulfed by echoes from shallowness within
Despite nature’s richness embracing us all Cocooned in our shells of helpless absorption