BOOKS ARE MY FRIENDS (For Laurel)

Books are my friends –
Accompanied by them I’ll never get bored
And if at times I get a bit “down,” a passing title will soon pick me up.

Books surround me with the most thoughtful people who ever lived –
Crowding around in my study
Their intrinsic seriousness and brilliance lifts my room sky high
Ready for long-distance visits to a future “me.”

If a book is empty and brings me down – I quickly put it down
And pick up another.

People without books remind me of deserts without water –
A mechanical kind of survival –
“Clank, clank, clank.”

Books are the sea we swim in
So as to relax by distant shores.

Books are magic pills we swallow
In order to change into someone else.

Books are dreams we can make real
By spending time inside them.

Books will make you an entirely new and different person
If you’re open to opening them.

WAKING UP

If the “self” is a problem
And finding one’s “true self” the main issue
How will we ever find our “true” self
Without first establishing a true world?

It’s a conundrum, isn’t it: since, in most cases, there can’t be a true self
Without first establishing a true “world”?
But such a true world can never be founded
Except by true selves.

This is where psychology merges into politics
And politics back into psychology –
Always in the context of an “alive” God
(No old, stale Gods for us!)

Love, truth, justice, beauty and, of course, freedom, are essential aspects
Of any “living” God
Who can make possible both “true selves” and a “true world.”

Everything, however, can and, eventually will, get better – it just takes time –
Along with large scoops of hope and love –
And, certainly, a lot more awakeness –

God, please help us wake up – NOW!

THE GREATEST SURPRISE OF THEIR LIFE

What if the next Jesus turns out to be a 78 year old African American woman
With a societally recognizable name
But who makes no spiritual claims for herself?

What if the next Jesus is a 1-1/2 years old child
Who doesn’t yet know who he is –
But who’s already identifiable by his ecstatic joy.

What if the next Jesus is a couple
So much in love
That their twin halos light up the entire world –
And can even be seen from outer space?

What if the best qualification for the “next” Jesus
Is a simple humanity –
Flickering from person to person
Like moving sunlight.

What if all men walked off into the night
So there could be room for a female Jesus –
With her “light” able to be seen
By everyone – everywhere!

What if a spiritual Jesus fell back through time
And started arriving – over and over again –
So that anyone seeing him (or her)
Would be in for the greatest surprise of their life.

TIME

Time is stronger than all universes combined
Because it moves
And carries those universes along with it.

Like a pill, time swallows everything whole –
So we’ll never be seen again –
We’re gone
No longer here, even in the very next moment.

Time is not beautiful because it doesn’t exist as a thing
Beauty enters the world only when time stops for a second
And, suddenly, something or someone appears
Wearing brilliant shoes.

Time is like a handshake without hands
A kiss without lips
Or a hug without a body.

Time can’t be understood
Because there’s no place to stand back to view it –
Time is flow and we’re in that flowTime, apparently, goes in only one direction –
Up or down – never, sideways.

Time has a sense of humor
Because whatever you expect usually never appears –
And frequently turns out to be its opposite.

Time thinks this quite funny.

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!

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.

HERE COMES THE SUN

Here comes the sun
Here come stars –
Flying around
Above our heads.

Here come feelings
Here comes romance –
We wear them – like rings on our fingers.

There go dreams
When waking –
Like window shades rolling up.

Also, there goes our world – a tiny bit of the universe –
Along with invisible relentless Time –
All gone – just like that!

Only God remains
Carefully repeating the questions we had no answers to.

Yes, God has decided to stay behind –
And has begun filling up nothing
With everything –
All over again.

Here comes the sun
Here come stars
What a relief to see
The unexpected joy in this chapter two!

EVERYONE WANTS THE SAME THING

Everyone wants the same thing –
A good community for their children to grow up in
And, if their descendants so choose, the same place for future generations.

People want a meaningful God to worship –
A God who encourages goodness, spontaneity, and creativity.

People want love between husbands and wives to be and remain real,
And freedom for their children to “be themselves,”
Along with friends who they’re happy to spend time with
As well as an openness to joy – (not just satisfaction or happiness)
But pure joy.

They want to experience the world getting better
With violence, nihilism, and hatefulness falling away.

They want their intellectuals to have common sense –
While still preferring to “think for themselves” –
And they’ll take all the time necessary to sort through
The value of what they’re presented with
So as to make intelligent-loving decisions.

Everyone wants the same thing –
Good neighbors – (next door, county, state, and country) –
And they’ll also want to know that, as they age, they’ll be on a natural arc
Of becoming more loving, more wise,
And more accepting of others.

Finally, they want God to be their best friend –
A God who’ll walk out ahead of them, pointing out what’s good,
What they should seriously treasure, and, ultimately,
What’s important to be retained for life beyond our physical life –
The one we can’t now see or experience, but hope will be there
When it finally comes time for us to go.

PEOPLE ARE AMAZING

People are amazing, aren’t they?
Endlessly surprising!

Right now, they’re coming over a hill
Wearing a variety of colors
Speaking multiple languages –
And excited about many things.

Yesterday they were children
Now, they’re the entire world.

We thought we knew who and what we were
But, over time, everything’s changed –
As if in a dream.

There are parents – but they’re not our parents any more –
And there’s the house we grew up in –
But, now, it appears entirely different.

Reality is deeper than dreams
And yet, because of “time,” it’s still a kind of dream –
Once, we believed love could last forever – as real as the sun –
Yet, now we know, it often fades despite our best efforts.

As we grow older, we also grow calmer –
And this can be good in its own way –
We know we no longer can hold fire in our hands –
And our eye’s intensity is also fading.

Yes, dusk is nice –
Lavenders filling up our lives –
Distant odors –
A train whistle – far and away –
Unimaginably poignant.