GONE TO THE GODS

Death comes sneaking up like a cat
But I escape it by leaping into the air, twirling three times –
I play better than any death-cat.

Some days, I hope Death forgets to come –
But then I remember that Death never forgets –
Death always licks its plate clean.

Since I’ve recently been granted a new grandson in the world –
Will Death now consent to “punch my ticket” –
Scheduling me for a fast ride into oblivion.

As I approach closer to Death
I’m open to accepting its help in loosening my ties to the world –
Shedding old habits like flowers flung back into fields
Or bright coins – thrown out for strangers to be surprised by.

The last things to go will be my beloved books –
Every room in my house wears them with emotional warmth
But, one day, those shelves will all be emptied
And no one will know I ever lived here.

I hope I’m long gone before Death arrives
Who’ll be quite surprised at missing me –
Death thought I would be a tasty snack
But its teeth hit only air –
Because I’ve gone ahead to the gods –
And my own pregnant invisibility.

WELCOME TO THE KINGDOM!

When you’re a baby, you’re the entire universe –
And there’s nothing else that matters but you.

You’re given a beautiful mother
Who takes care of all your needs –
So you never forget her face.

Then, slowly, surely, everything starts coming into focus
Until the day you’re finally able to see yourself –
Along with all your limitations.

The surprising pain associated with becoming aware of those limitations
Leads to constructing a fantasy “self”
That you can almost believe in –
A splendid “ego” useful for dressing up your more primitive, negligible self –
Someone capable of surviving and succeeding in this world.

Eventually, you become a “real” puppet – like Pinocchio –
Who can “pass” –
Manipulating the world from behind a curtain –
While it’s only in bad dreams you realize the rest of the world
Is the same as you –

Puppets!

You exist through an unreal “person” or “persona” –
Unaware of having an alternative, even if asked.

Entire religions are built around the existence of a few chosen people
Courageous enough or insane enough to become their “true selves.”

But established religions never explain it that way –
Instead, they say such people are “gods” or “super-beings” –
And that if you’re willing to turn yourself over to them, they’ll protect you –
Most especially, after you die –
And then you’ll be able to “live forever” – whatever that means.

Gurus and other hotshot spiritual hustlers
Ask who “you” are –
Knowing you’ll have no answer –
And that you’d have to “die” to obtain one – and there’s no chance of that ever happening!

Actually, it’s quite simple –
There are no religions or spiritual “masters” available to help you –
There’s only you.

To discover your “true self” you’ll need to give up everything
You are, have, and want to be –
And be willing to be your naked self – and then look at that!
Then drop that, and keep dropping all the that’s which subsequently appear –
Until there’s nothing left
Nothing, at all –

When you discover the magic of being “born again,” as Jesus recommended –
Even then, you’ll need to be very careful not to let this new state of being
Develop into a more advanced kind of Ego.

This is why humbleness comes first –
True humility –
Someone used to being overlooked.

Then, when you finally start breathing freely again –
When you can “see” actual reality,
Including, most importantly, the reality of “yourself.”

That’s when God will suddenly appear and say:
“Good job, little one,”
“Welcome to the Kingdom!”

WELCOME TO THE KINGDOM!

When you’re a baby, you feel you’re equal to the entire universe –
Because there’s nothing that matters – except you.

You’re given a beautiful mother
Who takes care of all your personal needs –
So you’ll never forget her face.

Then, slowly, surely, the world comes into focus
Until, one day you can actually see yourself
Along, of course, with all your limitations.

That’s the day you’ll commence building a “fantasy” you – i.e., your “ego” –
One that you’ll be able to almost believe in –
Hopefully, a splendid one – “dressing up” the negligible you
Into a “someone” demonstrably able to survive in this world.

Eventually, you’ll be a “real” puppet
Able to “pass” – just like Pinocchio –
Manipulating the world from behind a curtain –

Only in bad dreams, however, will you suddenly realize that the rest of the world
Is the same as you.

You continue existing through this “person” or “persona”
Because you know no alternative.

Entire religions are built around a handful of exceptional people
Courageous or insane enough to trust in living as their original “true selves.”

But those religions never explain it that way –
Instead, they assert that such people are “gods” –
And, if you’re willing, they’ll “protect” you,
Enabling you to “live forever” – whatever that means.

Gurus and other spiritual hustlers
Ask if you know who “you” are –
Knowing you’ll have no answer –
That you’d have to “die” to discover one –
And there’s little chance of that ever happening!

Actually, it’s simple –
There are no religions or “enlightened masters” available to save you –
There’s only you.

To discover your “true self” you’ll have to give up everything
You are, have, and want to be –
You’ll find your “true self” by taking a good hard look at that well-developed ego,
And then drop it, and keep dropping anything else that appears,
Until, literally, there’s nothing artificial left.

That’s when you’ll be “born again” – just like Jesus recommended –
Being extremely careful, however, not to let that develop into an even more elaborate ego.

This is why humbleness comes first –
True humility – so you can be
Someone unimportant – but someone who’s real.

That’s when you’ll finally be able to breathe freely –
When you’ll be able to see reality –
Including, most importantly, the reality of yourself.

Finally, at the end, God appears and says:
“Good job, little one ….
Welcome to the Kingdom!”

GODS COME AND GO

Like the wind –
Like passing thoughts –
Like faint memories of the future.

From the beginning, people were fearful of being alone.

Before people made anything, before planting fields of wheat,
Before brewing beer and having fun, and before establishing permanent places to live –
They created “Gods”
And placed them high up on a shelf – served by priests –
Who then required reciprocal services, in turn, from everyone else.

When a God dies – the city also dies along with all the surrounding countryside –
Then, finally, the people’s very identity starts dying –
Because they believed in the wrong thing –
Because they didn’t understand that freedom comes before “God” –
Because they didn’t appreciate that God actually is freedom!

No person possessing an ego will ever see the real God
Because the ego is blind to itself – and to everything else as well.

No person lacking freedom will experience joy either –
Because joy thrives only in a world of unlimited freedom.

Historically, archaeologists have discovered Gods living inside other Gods
Like Russian nesting dolls –
There are also ladders inside our souls that go nowhere –
Because where there’s no spiritual orientation there can be no freedom either.

People have forgotten their love of God
So no longer remember what the opposite of despair looks like –
Instead, they’ve ended up inside materialistic media mirrors
And a desire, mainly, for morning to night entertainment.

This is how America ends.

POETS ARE BAKERS (for National Poetry Month)

Poets are bakers
Kneading wonder words into the food we need.

Sometimes, though, poets can start believing they’re even more ancient than the gods
And attempt to create greater worlds than those gods were ever able to achieve.

Poets’ most critical work, however, is discerning fresh uncharted paths
That they can barely see –
And have rarely had the opportunity to walk on themselves.

Poets also are carpenters
Building worlds not yet in focus – much less existence –
With unsettled words
Plucked out of the sweet invincible air.

Poets use words like nature uses colors –
And diligently work to design magic glasses
Through which “reality” may be seen.

Poets – humanity’s last surviving “world-makers.”

THE REASON THE GODS ARE ALL MALE

The reason the “Gods” have all been male
Is that God is secretly female –
The male myths serving to protect fragile male egos –
Delicate as champagne glasses hurled into stone fireplaces.

Also, the reason men have a need to feel super-male
Is an atavistic fear of returning to the Mother –
Consequently, they’ve been devolving into “cartoon” men,
Slapping one another’s’ backs and butts –
And absolutely refusing to grow up –
Peter Pans on steroids.

As a result, the men, unfortunately, have been getting dumber,
While, at the same time, women, in general, are becoming more intelligent

The men have done this to themselves.

As the women, inevitably, become stronger and freer –
The men have been spending too much time “playing” at being heroic
In computer games and as sports spectators.

When “the purest-hearted girl in the world” finally arrives
And starts explaining everything to us –
The men, hopefully, will start maturing naturally –
And the world, in turn, will be able to breathe a much longed for sigh of relief –

That is, when the men – who understand how to build (as well as destroy)
Eventually relinquish their childish rages and adolescent destructiveness
And start joyfully constructing
Solid homes for all God’s children –

Men and women together.