DISTANT TRAINS

Distant trains whistle low and away –
While crows in treetops insist upon their greater importance.

Jesus says, “You’ve forgotten everything that’s real about me –
By insisting I have the power to “save” you –
But I don’t.”

Distant trains whistle low and away
Taking people away to camps –
The same people whose grandchildren
Are now maniacally creating camps for other people.

Those raucous crows up in the treetops have been insisting upon their importance
Like politicians who create “reality” shows –
Where they lead fools by their noses
Down entertainment ramps to political slaughter.

It’s a mindless show put on to entertain an essentially mindless audience –
A performance filled with rage and spit –
Literally, an “All-American War” against reality –
So that God can’t be seen through all the smoke and carnage –
So that God won’t even decide to show up.

These days –
Lives lived without beauty are no longer seen as tragic
Because Americans simply don’t care –
Now that the truth is a commodity for sale
And love simply another word – just like any other word.

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FIREFLIES

Fingers intertwined with fingers –

Fireflies in the fir trees –
On fire – but with a “cool” flame.

Legs crossing legs
Turning into afternoon kisses –
The romance of the young
Coming out of the sea.

It’s too soon to know what we need to know –
And by the time we do, it might be all over –
The crowds leaving –
Applause only a memory.

Yes, it’s memory time
But the memories have flown away – like birds –
Migrating –
Flying away like time –
Suddenly and forever.

She said “I love you”
A long time ago
When there was green grass
Open eyes
And breath as sweet as flowers.

Suddenly, a letter arrives, posted long ago –
What does it say?
What could it say?
Given we’re in another place, another time?

 

WE ALL KNOW WHAT TRUTH IS

We all know what Truth is – when we hear it –
It’s shocking –
Especially to the person who first expresses it.

We all know what Love is –
Sweet –
The sweetest thing ever –
Even more than the earliest appearances of mother
And, certainly, more than an elegant blue Tiffany box
Containing the hoped-for gift of our dreams.

Beauty is on the rise, too, isn’t it?
Coming in like the tide –
A surprise to be opened first thing in the morning –
Discovering the friend you’ve waited your entire life to meet –
And it’s you! –
The person you never expected to encounter “face to face.”

Sometimes, people come into the world surrounded by radiance –
With the kind of beauty that shows they’re one of God’s best friends –
They stay awhile – but aren’t recognized by anyone –
Even though they’re “seen,” in passing, by literally everyone.

You can identify them by the spiritual “odor” they leave behind –
When, later on, you start wondering –
Really, who was that?

THERE’S NO BEAUTY WITHOUT

There’s no beauty without naturalness
And, of course, goodness.

There’s no beauty without a love that’s alive
And none, certainly, in the bleak lands of the unjust.

There’s no beauty without reciprocal respect
And none when facing violence.

There’s no beauty without generosity
And none, of course, beyond the outer limits of joy.

There’s certainly no beauty without spontaneity
And none at all when engaged in worshipping one’s own ego.

****

When natural beauty walks into a room – everyone holds their breath
Because the presence of beauty makes everyone glad
For this unexpected gift.

When God eventually sends us a follow-up to Jesus –
In female form –
Everything will have to be re-thought, re-experienced, and re-imagined
Because of the presence of such new spiritual beauty –

That’s when we’ll be able to modify all the old forms
Of capitalism, religion, laws, and customs –

And when the world will finally start becoming fresh
Once again.

AN ECSTASY OF LOVE (for Marguerite Porete (declared heretical by 21 male theologians))

Just as there’s joy beyond joy
There’s also love beyond love.

You’ll discover this when you die to everything except love –
That is, when you eat, sleep, and work only for love.

Suddenly, a door opens
And a long-lost parent from heaven walks through
And asks for you

Only you – and nobody else.

When your spiritual mother or father recognizes you
And says “Come” –
You do!

Love beyond love is where flowers come from –
Where birds travel to in winter –
It’s also the place where fresh water enters the world –
That is, love beyond love is a “spiritual rain”
Coming down sufficiently to drench us –
Inside and out.

Love beyond love is when God begins talking through you –
When you open your mouth and what comes out is what God’s been feeling –
Because you are no longer you
You are God come to life inside you –
Like Marguerite –
And that’s when you start looking, sounding, and smelling like
Joy!

TRUE FREEDOM (“True freedom is when one becomes love.”) Marguerite Porete

The opposite of freedom is being trained to respond to others unthinkingly –
So, when others think you should be jumping, you jump –
Or when others think you should be more beautiful, you try to make yourself beautiful –
Or when they think you should be more successful, you do your best to appear successful.

Yes, from birth on, people are trained to be responsive to others –
That is, to sacrifice their freedom in order to “get along.”

The question each of us faces is how to become free
Without tipping over into selfishness or destructiveness.

The answer is simple – yet quite difficult in practice –
You have get awake and then resist falling back asleep –
The answer is to give up your ego and, as Marguerite says, “become love.”

This is what God has always wanted –
But established religions demand many other and additional things –
Things that simply don’t count.

The answer is simple – yet not obvious –
The answer is – it’s not easy –

As Marguerite (the “Pearl”) says:
“True freedom is when one becomes love!”

 

DEATH CREATES BEAUTY

Death creates “beauty” since we’re unable to fully appreciate beauty
Without acknowledging the backdrop of death –
Especially when it’s shining through.

Death creates “love” because we won’t achieve our inherent capacity to love deeply
Without becoming aware of the curtain that’s about to fall –
When love, literally, “explodes” into our consciousness.

Death creates “life” because ordinary quotidian life doesn’t appear fully real to us –
So, unconsciously, when we start becoming aware of this –
Death sticks its ugly head through our window –
And “wakes us up” –
Forcing us to become totally alive!

In sum, so long as we refuse to acknowledge death,
We won’t have the ability to “see” ourselves –
Or much else for that matter.

Terror and the void are birthplaces of extraordinary “beauty,” “love,” and “life” –
So, shouldn’t we be a little more grateful for their existence?

MIRRORS ARE NO LONGER NECESSARY

The ego is a “manufactured self”
That we weren’t originally born with.

At birth, we simply arrived as open consciousness –
Innocent – without ego.

Our “ego” was primarily created in response to others –
I.e., we slowly, carefully create personhood over time
Largely in interactions with other people – and especially in response to their opinions about us
And this is true, whether such opinions turn out to be true or false.

So, instead of being unconditionally loved by God – who truly sees us –
We experience a love and acceptance that’s highly conditional
Through “others,” i.e., through human “mirrors” who constantly show us
Our “face” the world sees –
In tens of thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands, of reflections –
That, eventually, we come to accept as our “self” –
Ending up seeing ourselves the same way others see us –
Most especially, how our parents saw us –
(Who previously went through this same kind of impersonating process).

As a result, we’re incentivized – and sometimes even threatened –
Against re-discovering our original “true self” –
Because that’s not what “others” have been willing to recognize.

The price for regaining our “true self”
Is to completely drop that hard-earned, hard-shelled ego –
Along with everything else we’ve historically become –
And start over!

This might happen one day when we, suddenly, experience the freshness
Of engaging with the world like a “child” again –
That is, the day we discover and claim our original true face.

At that point, we’ll begin radiating the glory inherent in being a “true self” –
The only one God has ever thought worth loving!

MORE LOVE

If God is Love –
And we want a greater awareness of God in our lives –
Shouldn’t we try to be more loving?

Don’t all of us need a little more love in our lives –
In other words, more “God”?

And don’t all of us have a greater capacity for love than we usually admit?

So, why have we gotten so distracted
From deeply valuing the only human experience that truly matters –

That actually lasts beyond our earthly life?

THINKING ABOUT BEAUTY

One can’t “see” beauty except through love –
In fact, beauty will refuse to come into existence without its presence.

***

One can’t “recognize” beauty without truth
Because, without it, one can only make out a fuzzy, indistinct façade.

***

One can’t “enjoy” beauty without justice
Because injustice causes us to forget everything else.

***

Beauty is “fresh” … “fragile” … and always “temporary.”

***

Beauty is the most valuable thing that’s actually not a “thing.”

***

Beauty is like God – evanescent – so we’re often uncertain about its very presence.

***

Beauty’s central to what makes life worth living.