CLAP HANDS

I want to clap hands
And with each clap initiate a separate universe.

I want to rain down beauty
So everyone can get “heart” wet.

I want to migrate with the birds
So I’ll be able to find my way back home.

I want to light a small fire in the hearth of my heart
And substitute a “pearl” for my everyday mind.

In Roman times, pearls were even rarer than diamonds
Because ancient mining industries moved mountains to produce them –
But it’s only when holding your breath while diving
That you’ll be able to discover the iridescent beauty hidden in those deep water shells.

The sun provides infinite life over almost infinite time –
But, someday, it will go out –
Truly, it’s only the green life that matters –
Everything else dross.

I’m dying to say one new word –
One that can never be forgotten –
God, why don’t you slide it across that green baize table
So that, when I turn it over, I can look surprised!

DISTANT TRAINS

Distant trains whistle low and away
While crows in the treetops are insisting upon their far greater importance.

Jesus says: “You’ve forgotten everything essential about me
Asserting I have the power to ‘save’ you –
When, actually, I don’t.”

Distant trains whistle low and away
Taking people to camps
The same people whose grandchildren have also created camps.

Crows in the treetops are insisting upon their importance
Like politicians who create unreality shows
Designed to lead fools by their noses
Down broad entertainment ramps to political slaughter.

It’s a show mindlessly conducted for a mindless audience
Performed with flourishes of rage and spit –
A show waged against conscious reality
So that God can never be seen.

These lives without beauty are tragic –
But they don’t seem to care
Since, to them, truth is just a commodity for rent
And love’s a word useful for marketing cars.

Yes, love is a word no one dares say anymore
Because it could be taken as a commitment –
And, if so, how could we get away –
Escape unreality –
Escape everything the charlatans have wanted us to accept?

DREAMING OF THE TRUE SELF

We don’t age in dreams – or internal consciousness either
But we do in mirrors and other peoples’ reactions to us –
Teaching us what our external appearance shows.

God sees the same person at birth, childhood, young adulthood, maturity, and old age
Because, spiritually, we’re always the same age –
Which is why, sometimes, we believe we might survive
Even after our last breath’s been taken away.

If we could only remember that our “true self” doesn’t track physical age –
Whether young or old –
And also remember what our existence feels like in dreams –
We would understand our “true self” lies beyond success or failure,
Age, sickness or health.

Of course, our true self does have the ability to learn –
Especially in one’s attitude to gifts of the spirit – like truth, love, beauty, or justice –
And we’re always free to ask God to accept us just as we are
So that, in turn, we’ll be able to accept ourselves (and others) in the same manner.

Remember, don’t judge yourself by externalities –
But only by the internal feelings and intuitions
Arising out of your individually unique experience.

 

THE SECRET WE ALL KNOW

Where does joy come from?
From God, of course.

That’s why it’s so fresh –
Ocean breezes without a hint of stale air.

So open up your life and permit God’s joy to flow in
Even if your mind’s on something else –
Something past.

Joy really is a form of beauty, isn’t it? –
Often waiting in dreams
Like a flower that opens early in the morning.

Even if you’re not paying much attention
You’ll discover that joy is a bit like a car horn –
Beauty blaring you awake!

This is a secret we all know – and have always known –
Joy is the invisible name of the person you married
But almost overlooked in the crowd.

Joy is the kind of beauty that comes home –
Like the first person you kissed upon falling in love –
Like the brand-new baby that’s still you –
Newborn for the first and last time.

PEERING OUT OF TUNNELS

Why worry about what one “looks like”
When peering through cloudbursts of love?

How give up one’s “self” in order to look through God’s eyes –
Or take a “perfect shot” without aiming –
In other words, how act in this world?

How will we achieve the spontaneity of no ego – like children do –
Or be impervious as a flower taking its own beauty for granted?

And why spend life peering out of tunnels
To see whether you’re loved or threatened?

What God is, is fearless – like water –
A being who’s no “thing” – but radiates love –
Without, however, being interested in the images created inside our heads –
As opposed to what we’re actually doing.

God appears wherever nothing else can be seen –
Beyond the self – even any “God” self –
That is, a selfless “self” who sees – but can’t be seen –
Because God never appears outside “spirit,”
That is, “love,” truth,” “justice,” or “beauty,”
And why the “you,” yearning to model yourself on God,
Are unafraid of dying –
Because there, you’re actually not there –
Even though, up to now, you’ve been busily completing a spiritual self
Inside time!

 

THINKING IS A TOOL

Thinking is good – perhaps even better than knowing –
Because thinking is a tool – like a knife is for cutting –

And cutting is important to distinguish one thing from another.

For most human beings, thinking is an outward-facing tool –
Rarely used for cutting the cutter.

People make exquisitely fine cuts
Truly accurate dissections of others –
But, ordinarily, fail to address themselves.

Someone able to use a knife on herself
Is able to open eyes all over her body
To see through time and space.

If she keeps cutting, she’ll end up with nothing –
Which is a result God encourages – ultimate freedom!
The place where the universe begins and ends –
Where love, truth, justice, beauty, and freedom
Constitute points from which everything else bursts into being –
Where spirit touches the material world –
After taking a long path from material to spirit –
And then repeating itself
Over and over again.

BEAUTY (for Mary)

Isn’t it true that capitalism has been the death of beauty
Since as soon as anyone tries to buy beauty –
It crumbles, turns to dust, and slips out of one’s grasp.

Beauty must always be a gift, acquired solely through thoughts of love –
The kind of gift you hold onto until the end –
First, in your room, then in your chest of jewels,
And, finally, clasped in your dying hand.

This gift is one of pure joy, made solely for you.

A great deal of thought, patience, and passion went into this gift –
No one else in the world has anything like it.
It’s the first and last thought of an invisible American poet
Who nobody knows the name of.

Beauty is a spiritual light that makes the eyes shine –
Beauty is falling in love by accident – that is, “out of the blue” –
Beauty is holy lovemaking that, one night, created you, you, you!

Dear heart, only one,
You’re my beautiful true life-partner!

GOD SINGS IN COLORS

Traditional English poets were primitive
Because you could hear the “beat” but not actually “see” much of anything.

When your heart echoes that beat and starts becoming giddy –
Your eyes will still be saying you have no idea where you really are!

A poet of fountains hears cool splashing –
A poet of the mind occasionally knows what he’s talking about –
But a poet that “sees” the world – as it is –
Is the poet God listens to.

God sings all the time –
Not always in melodies, that’s true,
But listen – God’s singing right now
About a direction in which to go and friends we might want to listen to!

God also sings in colors –
But only mystics are able to see this beauty
And only mystics have a good idea what God’s been talking about –
Generally, love, truth, justice, or beauty –
Directing these holy conversations straight through our hearts.

CHRISTIAN CAPITALISM

Poets of “the spirit,” to some, may appear un-American
Because “America” stands for a boyish “toughness” –
For men pursuing women with showers of strength
And women carrying out the role of store-window mannequins of beauty.

However, the spirit, in essence, is beautiful by itself!
Which is why it’s so unknown in all 50 states –
After all, people didn’t come here for beauty
They came for money
And, for some at least, there’s been plenty of that.

There’s a surplus of energy banging around in the good ol’ U.S. of A. –
Lots of striving to make “big house” dreams come true
Culminating in hierarchies of unequals – originally imported from the Old World
But, more recently, branded “Christian Capitalism”
Worshipped by cold and intolerant Evangelical hearts
Without the necessity of any spiritual foundation whatsoever.

It’s a mystery why beauty never became more important in America –
Perhaps it’s our dedication to “first things first”
Or that we simply never got around to fully appreciating it.

Treating “beauty” in this way, however –
Imagine how unlikely we’re ever going to view “love” or “truth” –
Much less “God” in a serious manner either.

A WORLD OF SPLINTERED MINDS

The poet “drowns” himself in beauty –
But this can never happen in the West – in the land of logical thinking.

The poet greets a flower on the dining room table
Which his wife placed there that morning – just before he arose.

The internet, on the other hand, never contains actual beauty
Because whatever’s there –
Isn’t real
And, since only the real is vulnerable to dying, only the real can truly be beautiful.

So, wake up – put down your iPhone –
Beauty, as the essence of God, is waiting everywhere – just for you.

Like I said, wake up, little one –
Then, wake up again!
Because beauty resides only in that second awakening.

The poet has “drowned” himself in beauty –
But, unfortunately, he’s asleep – and completely unaware of it –
This kind of “waking sleep” constitutes normal quotidian activity –
A mental “mirror” reflecting infinite numbers of digital mirrors –
But never, ever, an actual flower!

So, this all-encompassing electronic world, completely empty of natural beauty,
Will always be a world of splintered minds.