Tag Archives: the soul

The shadow knows

It ought to be a simple thing:
you spend years looking for just what
inspires you, makes you realize
exactly how to become you,
to finally be satisfied
with who the mirror shows you back,
and make the bold choice to refuse
your past to close you in.

It ought to be a simple thing;
and yet, once that thing is achieved,
and all the hours and pointless days
up to that point are washed away,
the wounds from battles long forgot
all healed, their scars in slow retreat,
a shadow still remains behind
and finds you unaware.

It ought to be a simple thing:
a shoulder’s shrug should send it off,
that careless smile you’ve learned to wear
to keep your thoughts close to the vest,
and yet, despite a new-found strength
spurred by convictions now secured,
the darkness creeps in with the night
to hide you from yourself.

28 APR 2013

Share This:

The Eyes

Watch the eyes: they reflect scars
that long since faded from the flesh
still mark the hard survivor’s face
with phantom traces, and though less
pronounced with each new moment’s span
can in some lights, and moods, reveal
the inner content of the heart
that needs no words to speak its pain.

Watch the eyes: in caverns not
so deep or treacherous, the lives
of countless treasure-seeking men
have been cut short, or been sold cheap,
their worth exchanged for one more breath,
a single ray of hopeful light,
the trickle of a hidden stream
to quench some secret, speechless thirst.

Watch the eyes: they can reveal
some lost agenda of the damned
that waits in infinite repose
for hapless fools to seek its depth,
and for an instant, finding bliss,
to think it some eternal shore
where ships with ancient tattered sails
find moorage from the wrathful storm.

Watch the eyes: their surface shines
with the mad heart’s reflected wish,
and can reveal to those who look
what purpose drives the mind to live.

24 AUG 2005

Share This:

Tending a Garden

The soul is a garden that needs tending:
deadheads to be snipped away, trees to trim,
stray weeds to remove, fence that needs mending,
measuring, minding each tendril and limb.

Yet what will thrive, and what withers and dies,
regardless of hours of ministration,
catches even the masters by surprise,
in spite of their great determination

to manage and nurture and plan and plot
each sapling, each bulb, each seed, each new bloom,
watching the sky and earth with a keen eye.
For nature seeks beyond what it is taught –
it finds its own space wherever there is room.
The longing soul likewise finds truth thereby.

19 APR 2003

Share This:

Work on the Soul

Work on the soul is busy work – it is unstructured, free-for-all work, meaning long stretches of silence, staring at ceilings, talking nonsense syllables to listening walls and trees; it is caterwauling at unseen demons, driving all night to the Devil’s radio, running and stomping and stretching and rolling in a ball in the corner of the bathroom weeping.

It is about space and time precisely because it has no space and time. It is finding that quiet place despite the intrusion of the outside world, beyond the realm of the noise, of the clutter, of the trains and automobiles that ceaselessly interrupt the silence of humming lights and appliances and blood forced through stretching veins and arteries.

It is hard and laborious effort that requires concentration, yet not that concentration of mind locked onto a single idea (at least not our definition of single signifying one small isolated incident on a palette of far more colorful and homogenous choices).

The work of the soul is to encompass and devour the cacophonous interruptions of space and time and yet let them live on, unaffected by our presence. When we search to find that secret, dark, silent place, we find that it is not secret, for it is populated by strangers we greet by name – our illusions of self, of others, of the two intertwined and the two in distant mirrors; not dark, for it is bathed in light – not a light directed outward so the faces of our “oppressors” are brought into view, or so the flaws of our acquaintances and lovers can be more closely examined, but a searchlight, microscopic in its laser-like precision, where we are brought face to face with our own illusions, preconceived notions, and false and hasty impressions of our belief system, a system which compared to the new view we have encountered of the universe may be reduced to babbling, meaningless chaos; nor is it silent, for with our outer eyes closed, we hear the tick and clanging of the universal clock of time, the rasping of the hinges of space, which we can only eradicate with our own song – which we can scream or whimper, call or challenge, whistle, hum or orate, knowing that our voice is but a pin drop in the giant chorus of our existence singing from before our birth beyond time until now.

from The Secret Undertown Ministry, Pseudographic Xenophoria, 1994

Share This: