Passing Thoughts

Everybody I know looks older now,
much older,
and many have fallen away
like last year’s autumn leaves.
I walk through the noisy light of day
wrapped in a quiet mist of memories
rebounding from the unhearing
as wasted words, phantom vibrations.
Silence is best as I watch your sorrows unfold.
After decades I realize it is not my help that matters,
but my empathy,
and have come to be resigned
to its being as unknown as I am unseen.
Perhaps I, too, walked blindly through kind knowing
by souls of living history in my time,
trailing eddies of wasted empathy
in the wake of my blazing urgency.
So now, I look back with understanding and see,
but can only shout to your budding future as silence.
It seems our lives must be this way
so you can discover your anguish
with the same freshness as I did mine.

25 June 2017

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SAME OLD, SAME OLD

SAME OLD, SAME OLD

I have given you the secrets of the human universe.
Did you notice?

You can’t change people,
only they can change themselves,
though they usually would prefer to die
than have to.

It’s not Trump’s fault,
the preference for TV over books
inoculates ignorance and bigotry
against learning and knowledge.

In American politics:
bigotry is allowed to shape the argument,
and money is allowed to control the voting.

Everything you know is wrong,
and you know everything.

It drives me crazy and breaks my heart
to see so much stupidity and cruelty
in our human world.
That is why I hate people.

The graveyards of our war dead
are garbage dumps for capitalist expansion.

I think back to all the times I was kind and unkind,
and I wish I could go back and fix half of them.

21 June 2017

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Love for a Mother

You know how you fall in love with a woman,
young, or at least never a mother,
still with that leanness hinting of girlhood;
and you have your times and adventures,
and wonderful moments together
enjoying all the sweet pleasures that come from love;
till the day comes when you realize –
you’ve grown familiar,
your routines are habits,
life has reached a crux,
will something be added?,
will something be lost?
And she turns to you one day in all her loveliness,
sitting leaning back, soaking up the sun at the beach,
as beautiful as you’ve ever imagined her,
and she says “I want a baby.”
“Of course,” you say, “I love you,”
and it takes a great deal of that to make a baby.
It is then that you learn why nature made love so engaging;
for love’s purpose is to remove the functioning of mind
from the process of reproduction.
Soon, she is absorbed completely in herself,
with life revolving around her three concerns:
what am I feeling?,
what am I eating?,
what am I wearing?
And you, dear boy,
are now a forgotten accessory of a former life,
a life completely taken over by the alien invader,
the explosion in the belly of your former manhood trophy.
You are no longer the practice child,
your second mother has gone,
your role now is to fetch and carry,
to bring what is needed for the comfort of her egg;
and so are children brought into this life.

Time passes,
it never seems that long in retrospect,
and the whole spectrum of this fresh childhood
flashes through your life, and your children grow,
to lose their fascination with your presence,
fading into a smattering of phone calls and birthday cards.

You glance up,
releasing a breath you may have held for decades,
and you see her again,
how beautiful, this mother you’ve married,
a bathing beauty you can still see so clearly
within that soft layer of maternity,
her mind abuzz with families of distractions,
seeing past you like a breeze she walks through
after decades of silent practice with each other.
Time and intermingled living add such depth
to what endures in our affections.
Ah, the young lovers, lost in each other,
how little they know of this love for a mother.
This trophy has taken you
from merely being a man to truly being a hero.
You see that girl who could dance all night,
you see that woman of love beyond dreaming.
You catch her eye, and ask “now?”
She smiles that smile, and walks your way.

3 April 2002

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Worst Disease and Best Health

Capitalism is the worst disease for a planet.
Addiction is the worst disease for a body.
Bigotry is the worst disease for a mind.
Greed is the worst disease for a soul.

Compassion is the best health for a soul.
Rationality is the best health for a mind.
Moderation is the best health for a body.
Socialism is the best health for a planet.

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Young Love

Children touch all the buttons
with dirty little hands, cling
forever fighting weaning
and after suck has ended
sulk sullen seeking second mothers
rebirthing them as love’s evangelicals,
shouting praises of amorous physicality,
lingering languorously on love’s lips and nipples,
iron pinpricks of rootedness awash in pendulous sensuality.
And old men sipping coffee quietly in corners,
stroke ears, raise eyebrows a hair,
remembering the first awakening –
just for a moment –
faint echoes returning to forgetfulness;
and old women walk by
passing hands over fruit
laid in open boxes
mellow sweetness to the sun
squeezing sensing softness
mindlessly,
while chattering one and another
as they stroll through the market.
And each writes their verses on flakes of light –
leaves of memory –
like a forest burning, a crumbling cascade of color
peppering autumn’s wind,
fading to the earth of innumerable beginnings –
again unknowing.

22 March 2004

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I Will Be Great Again

I need attention.
I can’t and don’t want to progress,
So the country has to be pulled back
And you have to regress
So my world-view can be preserved
By everyone else conforming to it.
Then, I will be safe, honored, important,
And my pitiful innocence can be exploited
By the big moneymakers of the day,
And I can share in their success with envy,
With satisfaction that those who tried to pull away
Were held down and kept from gaining what I lacked.
And I will feel powerful again,
Not weak, and alone, and left out.
I will be among the deserving.
I will be strong because they will be weak.
I will be popular because they will be gone.
I will be smart
Because no stranger will be allowed to prove me ignorant.
I will be great again.

25 February 2017

Mandala Jesus

Mandala Jesus

Jesus was an old man when he died.
What were his kids like?, his wife?, his girlfriends?
What kind of love and gratitude
brought Mary Magdalene to his feet?
Is there any way left of recapturing
the humanity of Jesus,
or are we stuck with the mummified wrappings
of religion, fantasy and cult?
How did it feel
to sit with Jesus drinking at night
meditating on the course of human events?
The dreams and visions of Jesus were those of a man.
Perhaps we deify him
to avoid the burdens of paradise.
“The kingdom of heaven is within you.”

11 January 1983