Tag Archives: suffering

What Good to Grieve

What good to grieve a faded hour?
The sun has long since filled the sky
and led to moments come and gone
as filled with life as that passed dawn.

Besides, to mourn what has now ceased,
too long, is to remain in black;
and while the new day’s wedding feast
is still a revel, see its shroud.

What good to dwell on might-have-beens?
One action to another leads,
and just as likely finds the course
that from another deed was dreamed.

Besides, the marrow of the past
makes for a poor and somber dish;
it is a ghost of this day’s meat,
and does not fill up or nourish.

What good to grieve a faded hour
when minutes live but to expire,
and, in their brief and fleeting flower
of seconds, spend no time in tears?

Besides, who would deny the dawn
and cling to shadows that must fade,
while life remains today unlived,
tomorrow’s sorrows yet unmade?

20 NOV 2007

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Nobody Wants to Hear

I could be bitter about all this shit
or at least, start to doubt a benevolent universe;
whine on in rhyme about storm clouds and sunshine
that doesn’t come out ‘cept to drink up the water.

My angst could flower under its own power,
give me at least something to call creativity,
some kind of edifice, beautiful, more or less,
a place to lead willing lambs to the slaughter.

Nobody wants to hear you’re doing fine
Thinking your happiness is just a line
To sell them something which they are inclined
to believe could end any old time

I could be bitter, and perhaps I am;
but Goddamn, what’s the point if your grief isn’t endable?
drown in your own tears, and you die expendible
one more pathetic and troubling statistic.

The blues could cover me beneath a shadow,
give me some shade on these hot summer nights,
some of kind of protection from clear understanding,
but would my demons be more realistic?

Nobody wants to hear that you’re OK
without a care for their cares and dismay
working through your special brand of malaise
seeing both colors and grays.

I could be bitter about how things are;
find a bar serving solace and fade from the light;
sing out the changes in slow minor modes:
let my mood fill darkness around me.

My holocaust could be compared to your own;
let us groan ‘neath these chains here together,
spend our time looking for some life beyond
and pretend it’s all inclement weather.

Nobody wants to know your life is great,
instead pretending we share the same fate,
wanting to think that the reason you’re late
is the same trouble piled onto everyone’s plate.

12 JUN 2006

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Recrimination

I could dredge up every wrong and each intentioned slight
to catalog the way the world has hurt me, or just might
and in that laundry list of ills imagined, or in fact,
find solace in a victim’s role to explain what I lack.
But if I fail to count as well the angry words I spoke,
the thoughtless little things I’ve done, the sarcasm and jokes,
then I have not been truthful, nor have I learned much at all;
just made excuses for myself to built a higher wall
throwing all blame for what I am beyond it, out of sight,
and with it, any hope of balance or setting things right.

Because although the world is hard and seems sometimes just pain,
there is no one at fault but me despite my sad refrain
that evil forces hold me back and do not let me grow.
Believing that is one thing, but it does not make it so.
And every time I point a finger to some separate cause,
or seek to change the world without first fixing my own flaws
there is no revolution, no epiphany or grace,
but only more confusion in my mirror’s tear-stained face.
Sure, my environment is part of who and what I am;
but unless I accept my flaws and start to give a damn
about the way that I feed into what destroys and kills
there is no way to move beyond what I perceive as ills.

They say that truth’s a pathless land, that each of us, alone
and naked, must confront our fears ere they be overthrown.
Well, honesty’s a two-edged sword with not much of a hilt;
disuse will turn its blade to rust before much blood is spilt.
Each cut made in another’s flesh will crease the wielder’s hand,
and only with much practice can the user understand
that truth, like revolution, starts with small, un-noticed nicks —
in private; and in spite of one’s brave public politics.

04 MAR 2005

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Feast During Famine

When Obiwan Kenobi felt the end of Alderaan
it was as if a hole appeared and swallowed, to a man,
the lifeforce of each precious soul existing ’til that time
and twisted, perhaps frayed, the cord of which we form a line

I wonder, when tsunamis hit, when earthquakes take their toll,
how many sense the devastation wrought, and still console
themselves that these are unknown folk of far and distance lands
and do not feel the spike that drives itself in others’ hands

In retrospect, we call it karma, God’s will, or bad luck;
but are we all so ignorant, fresh off the turnip truck,
that we must have some writing on the wall to comprehend
or find a mystic omen first, and then assist a friend?

The world is what the world is, whether nature’s realm, or God’s;
but sadly, we each feel so distant from it, and at odds
with every notion that connects us to each living thing,
and every song that all life forms but us have learned to sing.

The lost, the dead, the wounded? These poor souls have passed the test.
There but for the grace of some God, we think, we live and have been blessed;
but blessed not with just life, but opportunity to grow
and prove our faith in something is of substance, not just show.

How can we ease the suffering? How can we stop the pain?
How can we more control the world so it won’t hurt again?
A better question, one that might serve better those who grieve:
How long ’til each of us becomes what we say we believe?

30 DEC 2004

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Hell is to the North

They say the way is often well-paved and leads
down along the map. But I have wondered, lying listening
to the constant rain, about the benefits of concrete
and steel until it dawns on me.

The say that Mecca is to the east or west,
but when you’re on your knees, the direction is down –
to me, that means the South.

The sins in the cities of time are alloyed
from two parts innocence, one part greed and often,
a helping of guilt for good measure. Opportunity,
they say, canvasses more limited neighborhoods
than he used to. If you ain’t on his route, he won’t
knock.

But I know this – real chances don’t wait; they don’t
stand at the door and look in the windows. They’ll slip
in the kitchen by the screen, ’round midnight, like a thief,
and your wrought iron gates won’t help you none.

And further, when the sun won’t as much as shine
there’s not much chance of seeing the light, you dig?

You can sit here in darkness and cold, if you like,
But maybe you’ll be doing it alone.

I say, “That’s Hell.”

As for me, I shall move down to New Orleans;
and when the wind blows heavy with sweat I shall laugh –
for although rumor and sense might otherwise indicate,
the actual gates of Hell are located
much further North.

1995

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The Uses of this World

Is it any wonder that the world has turned to shit
in the minds of those who find in it no sacred benefit,
who think the earth is only temporary living space,
a proving ground for humans on their way to some pure place?

I wonder, in this maya that we say is all around,
that leads but to delusion, what else here we might have found
if thinking that our purpose was to borrow, and not waste,
if there would be religions that insist the gods are chaste.

And if we thought our energy was best used to renew,
perhaps we’d give a second thought to what we say and do,
if living for eternity meant staying here and now,
and recognizing bullshit serves at both ends of the cow

Nirvana, heaven, paradise – we long for other homes,
insisting that our purpose is to overcome our bones.
We claim superiority, and yet, we fail to see
that no more than the grass, or ants, we are just energy.

This world, they say, is suffering, and should not be embraced.
But why embrace another? Is that not a bit two-faced?
I say, love what you have at hand, and it will be your gold;
and reinvest your spirit when your temporal portal folds.

18 JUN 2003

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Procrastination

If I put those parts of me I distain
away in a box, where they can hide
from the world, if I just do not decide
their resolution, I can avoid pain

and needling from their sharp little jabs.
Their effect on my life can be reduced
to nil – I can refuse to be seduced
into picking at their festering scabs.

But they will still continue to infect
every safe part of my life; and the more
I avoid dealing with these ugly things,

trusting in the power of pure neglect,
in the shadows they will find great succor,
and fill that quiet place with suffering.

27 JAN 2003

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