Monday, April 25, 2016

Writing (2016)

WRITING (2016)

Ten Days (River of Tears)

Ten days of tears.
Tears of sorrow, tears of joy, tears of remembrance, tears of anger.
A rosary of teardrop beads, each one a prayer that says just keep moving,
take one step then another and you'll get through.
Floating on a holy river of tears washing away your resistance
to what is, your attachment to what was,
the salt water taste of both your denials and dreams
dragging you under with the currents.
Tears mixing the bitter and the sweet.
Standing in the checkout line at the grocery,
the thought of her clouding your eyes and burning wet cheeks.
Washing dishes in the kitchen and that song comes on,
yeah that one, and the muscle memory it invokes brings a torrent.
For ten days heavy clouds cover the sky a dull aching gray.
And then, on the eleventh day, your breath it deepens,
you feel the space around your heart begin to open, and the sky appears.
Just a little, but you know it is there, blue and clear up above the clouds.
And for a moment you smile, for the first time in quite a while,
just the hint of a smile, and your eyes begin to clear,
as the confusion rolling around in your head recedes
with those clouds and all they carry away with them.


Sweet Honey in the Rock

- for Noah -

Sun shines bright in cool air skimming across a sunny desert landscape, to a we are swimming through the depths of the cool, green water. I stroke the surface with him on my back, as we swim into shallow water. Tiny pebbles massage my feet and we come to a rocky overhang, a smooth bluff looming above us. Lifting him up to stand on my shoulders, he reaches into the recessed spaces of the bluff, and pulls his arm out covered with golden honey. Tasting it, lingering and basking in the deliciousness, the honey cascades down his face and onto his body, dripping down to the water and me below. 
The Temple of My Heart 
If my heart were a temple, 
What kind of pilgrim would I invite in to pay homage? 
The ones who drop in from out of town, unannounced 
Lighting a candle and crossing themselves before they leave? 
Or the holy day crowds, stampeding in coughing and sneezing 
Kneeling down to receive me, their minds distracted by the week ahead? 
Or the mystic, deep in ecstatic contemplation of my glories, 
Exchanging blissful energies as they wave incense before my altar? 
What kind of pilgrim would I open my doors and reveal my glory to? 
To one and to all, in the outer courts they could kneel,
But to the holy of holies only a few I'd reveal. 
Litany (verse i) 
I love Andy, the way we collide like kids on a schoolyard playground. 
I love Kimberly, her voice sultry and seductive lifting me to another time and space. 
I love Ernest, when we dance it feels like being in the arms of an angel. 
I love Monica, a deer in the forest leaping through the fallen trees just out of reach. 
I love David, my twin star brother, wise and deep in the ways of the tantra. 
I love Stephanie, lost in the safe space of her loving heart, laughter and acceptance. 
I love Patrick, a hot mess of creative inspiration, intellect and worldly passion. 
I love Nero, though we’ve only met once, in her eyes I see the searchings of my own restless heart. 
I love Reuben, riding high on the waves of conceptual knowledge and self-deprecation. 
I love Bethany, feeling her creativity, innocent and loving heart, especially in her absence. 
I love Noah, engaging the wisdom of the shadow self, funky bass, self-love and soul healing. 
I love Vanessa, wild child tossing my hair and taking me into the mosh pit of her energies. 
I love Bill, playing a fool to absurdity, and lifting my spirits as his guitar gently weeps. 
I love Melissa, doe eyed with words soft like molasses pouring through my ears and brain. 
I love Luis, his face framed in eyeliner and jewelry, passionate as Shiva the destroyer. 
I love Malika, holding hands as we watch the world burn to the ground outside our window. 
I love them all with a love that is true, and I love me, and I love you. 
Paradise is Burning 
In my paradise, a stream of water it flows, 
through the garden and out from the tree of life it grows. 
There, on those lovely shores I recline, 
with my yogis and yoginis, my deities and dakinis. 
Together we talk and we pray, we dance and we sing, 
And spent we collapse on the shores of the stream. 
And then from outside the walls, a cry we heard, “burn it down” they said, 
before they take us over, deceive us and our children are dead. 
A flaming arrow was shot, first one and then two, landing amidst the resplendence,
they battered down the walls, and with steely resolve pushed through the gate. 
Smoke and the sound of carnage arose from the garden, 
until nothing but ashes smouldered on the shores of the stream. 
And all grew quiet as the hordes moved on to other conflicts unresolved, 
In the garden nothing stirred, but raindrops fell like tears on the ashes there. 
And the yogis and yoginis, the deities and dakinis, 
Were nowhere to be found among the ruins. 
As up through the ashes a green shoot emerged, one and then two, 
and the rain and the sun it nourished and they grew. 
Round the Fires by the Shore
- for Noah -
circumstances they ebb and flow, 
the waters have been like this 
as long as anyone can remember 
people yeah they come and go, 
wearing away at the shore 
putting lines and stories on its face 
but high up on the beach sits a 
temple not made by hands where 
the flames of the true self reside 
i see the kids round fires in the night 
exchanging bottles and stories there 
a still place a refuge inside
they go out and surf those waves 
where the waters they crash 
and find new stories 
to bring back to the shore 
some stories of loss, 
hopes dashed on the rocks 
and others of gain, new 
treasures brought back 
to share with their friends 
in the lights that flicker 
you can see in their eyes 
the experiences they've had 
as together they laugh 
and sit round the fires 
of the temple by the shore
Explosions in the Sky
Lots of great conversations around freedom these last few days, all the differing perspectives and observations revealing so many varying realities.
From his experience, freedom revolved around autonomy, creative expression, and finding the confidence and safe space to express himself openly. He had learned early on the safety of practicing invisibility in a normative environment. And the judgement of others when he let his guard down.
But expression can never be happy in seclusion, for it is social by nature. And thus, to his point of view, freedom is expansive, challenging him to ever greater transparency and openness, not only with himself, but more importantly, with others.
All this crossed his mind as they got on the elevator, the mostly white guy with tattoos and a glossy new pedicure, following his black friends Dez and Trey, and the cute queer mixed race girl from the Indies.
RIding up to the roof to watch the fireworks, midway a white couple gets on, headed toward the laundry, the woman saying to her man as though he and his friends couldn't hear, "we should have taken the stairs".
Trey looks down knowingly at his friends, wry smile on his face, familiar with experience as the couple gets off, taking their dirty laundry with them. He and his friends ride up one more floor, walking out onto the deck, explosions in the sky as patriotic hymns play from the bandstand down below.
And he remembers someone saying one time, "freedom don't mean nothing until everybody's got some". He sings along with the songs in an exaggerated voice, "for where'er you go, you will always know, that those caissons go rolling along", sincere and parody all at once, and looks into his friends smiling faces in the colorful glow of the rockets red glare.
Rainbow in a Black and White World
White, white, white, white, white, white, white. 
White is the color of the new-fallen snow. 
Black, black, black, black, black, black, black.
Black is the night of lovers under a new moon sky.  
Brown, brown, brown, brown, brown, brown, brown.
Brown as the river mud squishes between your toes.  
Anthropology, criminology, ethnography, phrenology,
Oppressors and oppressed dance in revolutionary fervor.  
Separations, reparations, declarations, inhalations,
Fictitious fictions of nineteenth century pseudoscience flags unfurled.  
Boy, boy, boy, boy, boy, boy, boy. 
Flags on a rocket ship shooting to the moon. 
Girl, girl, girl, girl, girl, girl, girl.
A meadow full of flowers shining in the sun. 
I'm a boy, I'm a girl, I'm a boy, I'm a girl.
I'm a rocket ship shooting from that meadow in the sun. 
Black clouds cross the sky, white hail stones dropping down,
Brown earth, crushed flowers, scattered petals on the ground,
The ice it melts, the clouds retreat,
A rainbow springs from mud beneath my feet.
Bereft of nuance and without sight, the world sees things in black and white.
Yes, I'll continue to expand my view, and maybe even challenge a thing or two.
Along the way, like Marvin Gaye, singin' "What's going on? What's going on?"
I tell you what's going on. A rainbow is forming above this stormy land,
A rainbow made up of us boys and us girls, and us boy girls too,

But you my friend and me it's true we see the rainbow, an expansive view.  
The black, the white, the brown, the me, the you.
At Water's Edge
working hard, harder than you should.
but that's the price you pay to dream,
the realization of imagination's spark.
a funeral pyre burns at water's edge,
the steps you take to enter the stream,
and before you know it the flow is become a holy river carrying you away
caught up in something good for once
something that feels like an old habit
from way before those distractions took hold in the back of your mind,
a corner turned a dark alley left behind.
your jewelry and makeup on point
as you slip into the water's invitation,
sadhus and temple dancers,
elephants and tigers adorned in sacred garments
follow you in procession along the muddy ghats
chasing yourself, rest in the stream
your truth your realizations your dreams.
Flowers on My Grave
Holding on tightly as the bouquet falls apart in your hands, petals dropping to the ground, those moments of caring too deeply. Yet nature is true to its calling, calling lost sinners come home.
A gandharva’s voice sings softly somewhere from the great beyond, “lay down all thought surrender to the void”. True nature says let go, let all return to the elements from which they are made. All of it, the memories, the joys and especially the pains.
Remember thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return. But until that day, I'm gonna boogie, I'm gonna boogie oogie oogie til I just can't boogie no more.
You see, here's the thing. No matter how hard I try, this time around, I know you'll never love me just for who I am, in all my crazy, freaky goodness. And I’ll never be that man created in your image. It's taken forever, but I've learned to love myself, to water the flowers on my own grave, watching them bloom, wither and fade, and bloom again, and again.
So thanks for all you taught me, I guess this is where we leave it, leave it, leave it, nature having its way with us, scattered in ashes here on the charnel grounds. And love, love it goes on in those ashes blown to the winds. I will always remember you, until life picks up those pieces and makes them into something new.
The Aesthetics of Healing
The aesthetics of healing. 
The ascetics are reeling. 
Lip gloss and eyeliner in the mirror, 
Lips that say to yourself, "you're beautiful". 
The thrill of lust without sex. 
The ecstatic space of unresolved desire. 
The lure of the dance floor 
When you're feet won't follow your heart. 
The sound of blood in your veins, 
That rushes like water to the sea. 
The taste of a drink on your lips 
As you spit it out like poison. 
The comfort of a hand held close, 
An exchange of trust, eyes open now closed. 
The reverie of a long lost memory 
Dropping down as though from heaven. 
A beautiful voice from the dead 
That sings love songs in your head. 
Om shanti shanti, hallelu hallelu, 
The words unspoken are the ones that are true. 
Full moon hangs there in the chill night air, lighting the scene as though in a dreamlike haze. Its light piercing through to hidden places of the heart, a wound that deepens knowing naught else than to speak words sincere, words both open and true, saying fear not the motives of revelation toward that which you love. Like the nightshade which opens its flower only to that light, revealing its strange beauty oft kept hidden there in the darkness. It knows no other path nor calling than to be true to its very nature, which beckons it bask in that love which is its font of inspiration. What other face could turn its gaze other than that which calls its name? Open flower! Reveal thyself.
The Taste of His Love
I imagine him falling, stumbling there on the rough stone path, the weight of the world on his shoulders.
Sweat glistens on his skin in the mid day sun as he struggles back to his feet, shifting the heavy load he carries.
And I see her too, brown skin shining in the sun, watching her watching him, love in her eyes, magnified through my gaze.
I don't know how to love him, what to do, how to move him. But, Jesus loves me, this I know.
I see them, before the world took him away, back in the darkness, lying in a soft embrace, tender is the night.
Now I hold him, and he looks lovingly into my eyes as I stroke his face and kiss him softly on the cheek.
He draws me near and time dissolves into tears on my brow as I lay my head upon his bosom.
I don't know how to love him, what to do, how to move him. But, Jesus loves me, this I know.
For a moment I am his, music plays and time stands still, shadows dancing in candle light.
And just as sudden we are back in the hot sun as I struggle to regain my senses, caught between ecstacy and delirium.
People pushing to get a glimpse, I see him through the crowd, hanging there, suspended between heaven and earth.
I don't know how to love him, what to do, how to move him. But, Jesus loves me, this I know.
His body glistens as I press through the crowd there at his feet, and look into his eyes once more.
And I remember that night, washing his feet with my hair, tears mixing with the smell of precious oil.
Leaning toward him, I hold and kiss those feet, as sweat mixes with blood and grime, the taste of his love on my lips.
(Outro) Close your eyes, close your eyes and forget all about us tonight.