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.

 

ONE DAY, SITTING UNDER MY FAVORITE TREE

I understand
We need light for clarity as well as its disinfectant powers
And darkness to grow underneath consciousness.

I understand
We need sweetness to lure us to habitual goodness
And sour to teach the necessity of a few bitter lessons.

I understand
We need pets while young to teach us about love
So that when we’ve grown up, we won’t fear vulnerability.

I understand
We need strong appetites both for learning and life,
Hearts that yearn after greater emotional consciousness,
And minds unafraid of any categories of emptiness.

One day, sitting under my favorite tree,
I hear a song I’ve always yearned to hear –
Starting low and steadily becoming stronger –
One voice – swelling into many –
Suddenly, I hear myself
Singing along with the rest of the world –
Aurally blossoming in a personal/communal joy –
One soul, one world, one God –

All of it – hopefully – in harmony!

A TIME OF BOOKS AND PENS

Life in the modern world is like a fire truck roaring out of the station,
Sirens blaring, leaping down the street to greet a new emergency.

I want to live in a time with fewer emergencies –
A time of books and pens.

In such a time we’ll prefer politicians whose main ambition is to fix roads
And who don’t view politics as a gladiatorial contest.

We’ll cherish prosaic problem solvers
And ignore charlatans and mountebanks.

We’ll establish schools that excel at increasing children’s competence
And instill a love of civic duty
So they’ll grow up to be like first responders – able to meet life and death situations.

We’ll value workers who thrive on keeping the city’s water running clear and clean
And, out on the farms, people who produce healthful food.

We’ll encourage lifetime love between our young adults
So that our grandchildren can thrive.

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.

WHEN MEN ARE FREE TO BE BEAUTIFUL

When men are free to be beautiful
And women become inspired by the bravery of Alexander –

When men start reflecting on the beauty of their surroundings
And women train night and day for competitive contests –

When men write poetry about their love of the natural world
And women burn with desire for stellar accomplishments –

Is the time when men and women will start switching roles –
And, then, switching back again –
Especially since such roles will no longer exist –
Nor the traditional hierarchies either –
And people’s historically stubborn egos will disappear forever.

When everyone becomes free enough to be their “true self”
They’ll also be free to ask what God would do – and then, actually, do it!

This is the spiritual space Jesus embodied himself,
Then perfected, and, subsequently, died for!

Now, two millennia later, it’s become somewhat easier to achieve –
Not, of course, a “gimme” –
But, certainly, more possible
Now than then!

HER SLIGHTLY FADING BUT ALWAYS FAITHFUL LOVER

You wake up and, magically, you’ve become someone else –
Someplace else!

You can do this at least once in a lifetime –
As well as every day, and every second if you really want!

Falling asleep is traveling where the dreamgods live –
Falling asleep is where love can no longer even be imagined!

So, you need to wake up and, then, wake up once more
Awakening out of ordinary awakeness –
Listen, you can do this again
And again and again!

God keeps slapping you gently on the face, saying,
“Wake up, wake up, little one” –
And so you do, but only reluctantly.

Descending through God’s universe-sized face and approaching my wife of many years –
I see her smiling quizzically and starting to laugh –

Because she recognizes me –
She knows who I’ve always been
And has a good sense about who I’m about to become –

That is, her slightly fading but always faithful lover.