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.

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.

I WANT TO HOLD A CUP

I want to hold a cup made by human hands
To walk on Persian rugs crafted the same way.

I want to hang paintings on my walls reflecting spiritual joy
Refined through millennia of grand artistic inspiration.

I want that cup more than anything –
A personal object – touched by touch –
That I hold next to my body – and rely upon.

I want human work to be helpful
With caring primary in all our efforts –
This is why I want God affirming us, as well as our affirming God –
Because we’re carrying out what God wants.

I want the knock at my door to be God coming home –
Searching for me –
And this is how I want God to find me – waiting at home –
Studying to become holy.

I want God knocking and knocking –
For this not to be a dream –
But real as life!

A REAL GOD

I feel a kind of joy exploding inside me
When I discover that Kevin and LeBron
Have put their money and status behind bright ambitions for minority children

In this time of political darkness.

I feel ecstatic looking at an infinity of stars sprinkled across the night sky
Similar to the numberless women “stars” elected to political office across our land –
Muslims, African Americans, Native Americans, Asians, and Hispanics –
Americans all – to the bone

In this time of political darkness.

I want to dance up and down the room, across the street,
And up to the corner and back –
When discovering how many people accept integrity and a hunger for truth
As a way of life
Upon finding the real God who resides outside most churches and religious institutions

In this time of political darkness.

THE NIGHT OF OUR DAY

People watch other people
To see themselves through others’ eyes –
But since “they” aren’t actually there
All they’ll see are actors acting out
Cheers and jeers.

Alternatively, people project “ego selves” –
And then peek out to see how it’s going
Even though their “true self’s” hiding behind that “outer self” –
Patiently waiting for its turn to surface and come to life –
Typically, however, a lot of time can be wasted in waiting –
Sometimes, one’s entire life!

So, people look at other people
In order to “see” themselves –
But this is a poor substitute, isn’t it?
For seeing ourselves
Since only by confronting and accepting the painful “ugliness” we harbor
Can shards of true beauty start glimmering and shimmering through –
Resulting in the human being we’ve always had the potential of becoming –
Appearing, at first, in the night of our day.

 

LIVING WITHOUT SPIRIT IS, IN ESSENCE, AN EARLY FORM OF DEATH

Who’s measuring the quantity and quality of spiritual energy
Remaining in the good ol’ US of A?
Who knows why our society’s life force, except for anger,
Has gotten dialed down so dim?

Living without spirit resembles being dead, doesn’t it?
Because ignoring the “light” means we’ll have to live out our lives in the dark –
In other words, lacking spiritual radiance, we’ll have lost the best of our humanity.

Babies intuit this – in spite of their lack of language –
Of course, later on, they’ll forget everything
After placing their little heads inside big adult egos.

Yet, among the rest of us, there still remains a deep hunger for reality
Or, to put it more simply, for “God” –
That is, for achieving the meaning hidden behind quotidian walls of meaninglessness.

Unfortunately, the word “God” is no longer much in use today –
Since the thrilling warmth and life traditionally associated with that term
Has steadily been removed from our everyday lives.

Nevertheless, for myself, I intend to keep on saying “God”
Because I know God’s there
Despite the surrounding fogbank of media and academic incomprehension.

I regret, however, that I’m unable to convey more of the reality of God in my own writing
Including my belief that God’s coming again
Perhaps, as a young South American girl –
So, when that happens, I expect
All the nihilistic deniers’ mouths to fly open
With awe!

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!

 

EVERYTHING A FOOL COULD EVER WANT

Western intellectuals study their entire lives
To discover a tiny taste of the holy –
But usually come up dry.

Mostly, they spend years of hard labor
Learning to “count” –
Adding up “things” (sometimes the entire world)
(Or at least as much as they can swallow)
But this often ends up with them getting arrogant.

When one of them, one day, however, decides to become a mystic
She’ll have to start all over –
Not knowing whether to sit, stand, or crawl out the door.

When she first takes this direction
She’ll be timid –
Uncertain –
But that’s a good place to start.

Ultimately, she’ll take the risk of sticking her tongue out –
Believing God might grant her a taste of honey.

And that turns out to be true.

To others, she might look like a fool
With her tongue sticking out like that –
But no one else has been able to taste what she’s tasting –

It isn’t much –
But it’s everything any fool could ever want.

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.