I think; therefore I am
whatever in here gives a damn
and whatever lays inside the lines
that separate me from my mind.
I think; therefore I am,
at least for that brief moment’s span
until I stop and think again
and I am not what I was then.
I think; therefore I am
what separates me, what great plan
lies beyond me? Who can say?
Not sure it matters, anyway.
I think; therefore I am:
What a self-important scam!
Long before that first idea,
there was something less, still me.
I think; therefore I am
whatever out there gives a damn
that I choose to shut up tight
and imagine gives out light.
12 DEC 2016
The question was, “How can I be
more compassionate; how can my
efforts to be compassionate
be more effective?”
His answer, politically careful,
was that it was an individual
question; that each person’s
contribution was different,
that one’s answer was not
Before he spoke, under my breath,
I said, “the answer
is: just start.”
If you spend all your days
about whether you’re wasting time
or if your “talents”
could best serve
some other way,
you’ve missed the point.
The object will not ever be
to change the world,
but change yourself.
It does not matter the reward
if what you do you know is right.
One need not over-complicate
the matter; just begin,
and do not worry on
the end effect, the bottom line,
the dividend, spiritual gain.
Just do it. Start
by smiling. Now,
right here, where
you are at.
And just keep at it.
20 MAY 2013
for the His Holiness the 13th Dalai Lama
What if I thought
for just a moment
of some mitigating circumstance
that might prove
beyond a shadow of doubt
behind all appearances,
and in that fleeting instant, found
instead of solid rock,
and what if
when I reached within that mass
of disappearing mist and air
I forgot just what
14 DEC 2012
The next idea, the one that rocks,
will be born “outside of the box”,
beyond the thinker’s comfort zone,
where daring, they have gone alone
into the dark and scary mists
to reap the untold benefits.
But once they get there, settle in,
I’m sure the process starts again:
the stale taste speech leaves in the mouth,
the sense that the world’s going south,
that notions rise and notions sink
and for true vision, one must think
outside the box that’s larger now;
it seems an endless quest, somehow,
to always walk that extra mile
into the dark, where you now smile
because it’s land you could map blind
by now, at what point do you find
a new idea when your zone
of comfort includes all you’ve known,
and every inch of common ground
has been exhausted and walked ’round?
What good is having visions then,
when everywhere is where you’ve been?
08 SEP 2006
Lobotomy perhaps provides the clues:
that with what meager portion of the brain
society encourages us to use
and education bothers us to train,
we think, and therefore are, so far reduced
from what potential might be in the whole
that in our ignorance we have deduced
the object and observer’s separate roles.
What lies beyond? The best minds only guess,
and courting madness, let conjecture fly:
that limitations serve, under duress,
as a protective shield. No one asks why
in fact such armor should be status quo,
or further, why we seek to find defense
against a world we barely even know,
imagining it a cruel experience.
Let science define borders, create lines —
the territory is more than a map
that presupposes theories of design
and satisfies itself merely to slap
a label on a place or thing, and feel
sufficiently content it is defined.
Such actions no more help divide the real
from the imagined than a sandy line
splits an expanse of beach neatly in two,
or marks a boundary between mine and yours.
Besides, conditions in the lab are too
unnatural and sterile. To use “pure”
as a benchmark for quality or right
when we our ourselves are amalgam and blend
is to constrict the possible so tight
that we are left with traces, and pretend
our grasp is all the world extends to fill,
our footprint covers the whole earth entire,
our mind a mirror of some Divine will,
and all creation slave to our desire.
27 JUL 2005
The spheres of thought that tangents bring
in touch with mine are lessening,
perhaps in spite of my attempts
to cross each bridge, and burn each fence
so that the world seems more to me
a web of connectivity.
It could be that these are not times
for straying beyond party lines;
or worse, more likely, minds are closed,
so wary of thought overdose
that if a single word slips past
their brave defense, the die is cast
and they will be like Robert Service’s
fitless man, alone and nervous.
Such things occur to me, and then
I feel the urge to write again —
despite the fact that precious few
will find my voice worth listening to,
instead preferring rehashed news,
extremist views, and seats in pews
where others preach some party line.
If that’s the case, it suits me fine.
I do not write to please the masses,
or think these brief missives classes.
It’s a desert; most oases
are mirages not worth chasing.
Each one has a tale to tell:
some only sand, others with wells;
and sadly, when illusion sells
more stock than substance,
these sad hells
are peopled with a hopeless lot
who can’t or won’t let go, and plot
the quick demise of any who
would posit their heaven untrue.
20 May 2005