There is no substitute for it, you know;
it doesn’t grow on trees, or wait,
like opportunity will, for you
to make a stab or take a chance.
Just what it is, is hard to say;
at least, descriptions formed by words
most often tend to miss the mark.
It doesn’t fit well in a box.
It isn’t what you think it is;
besides, it’s not so stuck in time
that mere conveniences apply
or easy labels stay affixed.
There is no substitute for it; and yet,
its absence most won’t even note.
Like air, that seems so commonplace
until it’s missing from your throat.
04 AUG 2020
Last year about this time I dug into nanowrimo and started writing an autobiographical novel. Sadly after about a week I ran out of time, steam, focus, and purpose, although not necessarily in equal proportions nor in that exact order.
This year I find myself with even less “free” time. Between the 12-hour days driving to and from and working in Shreveport, I’ve got about three hours a day during the week to hang with Sondra, eat, and pet my dogs. Weekends there’s usually at least one gig, shopping, the endless house task list and catching up on sleep – again not ranked in any meaningful way.
So I’m not writing a novel this year. By next month, I may have some more time to at least blog/journal regularly, but there’s certainly no guarantee there.
Thoughts are of course coming fast and furious. I don’t have time to catch them – and catch and release doesn’t really work with ideas, most of the time. I’ve begun to better understand impermanence, however, so their loss affects me less and less. I never really owned them in the first place – and besides, who was it that thought them, anyway? That person is dynamic, and he who waxed philosophical yesterday is as real as any other historical figure.
What was I doing while others were sleeping?
What did I dream while I seemed wide awake?
Something or Nothing, doubt or believing?
What falls like crumbs when the world starts to shake?
What was it moving while all things were silent?
Who was it whispering there in the dark?
What in the stillness of time felt so violent,
Lighting the slumbering world with a spark?
Who is it wondering, who asks the question?
Who takes a step and declares it a path?
Who testified, and who raises objection?
Who hears the riddle, and who starts to laugh?
What was I doing while others were sleeping?
Was it me dreaming, or was I awake?
There in the silence, a moment of weeping,
Mourning the ripple now lost in the lake.
29 OCT 2018
There is no plan of study,
no readiness assessment,
no work at tilling fertile soil
in preparation for it;
enlightenment just happens,
like a sudden strike of lightning.
There’s no way to see it coming,
nor a warning bell that sounds.
There is no path toward it,
no life of worthy action,
no certain way of being
more conducive to its coming;
enlightenment is sudden,
almost random, never plotted.
There’s no one way or another
that it finds you in the end.
It’s not warm and fuzzy lighting,
nor in any way a comfort.
No one’s happy struck by lightning,
all at once, you’re caught on fire.
When enlightenment arrives,
your life is totally disrupted;
once it happens (for an instant)
your whole everything is changed.
22 AUG 2017
There is no religion for the whole of “god”,
just some small and all-too-human scraps.
We are not equipped to know the universe,
nor much more than we hold in our laps.
There is nothing that is end-all, be-all
that we can imagine. Only fools
seek a formula that folds it all in;
we know not the game, or half the rules.
There is no united, single pathway,
nor a sole, most sacred mountaintop.
All we see are ripples and faint echoes,
not where things begin or where they stop.
We are at the shore of a great ocean,
thinking that our buckets hold the sea.
Salt dolls sent to measure depth and distance,
we dissolve. That’s how it’s meant to be.
There is nothing sacred that is separate;
just some shattered fragments, nothing more.
That we cannot put them all together
doesn’t mean we’ve failed. There is no score.
It is not religion that imagines
some connection that escapes our sight.
The small gods we carve out in our image
leave us blind and deaf out in the night.
There is nothing missing from the picture;
only our misjudging of the frame.
Drawing rigid lines between each other,
we each die dividing up the blame.
25 JUL 2017
We either seek to view the world today
through some past generation’s worn and tired lens,
or try to filter what is past and gone
with some new, modern sensibility.
In either case, the picture loses sense;
we only see with skewed perception what we like:
a world that suits our purposes as is,
or one that our reforming might make right.
And while we fight and scrape to prove our case,
what happens to the time that is?
The Now, the only time that is, is lost
and gone before we live its span.
What is the point of living in denial?
The world is what it is; each second’s span
is neither from the future or the past.
It slips away like water in your hand,
and your contention neither gives nor takes
a jot of weight to yesterday’s long gone
nor to tomorrow’s not yet been
if you neglect the presence of today.
24 JUL 2017