Empty Chair (Some poem from between about 1971 and 1980)

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To the Longstreet family with love;

 

Empty Chair

 

A moth fluttering in the room.

 

The unseen observer

waits for the moon.

 

The table,

the chair,

 

holding the sun and the moon

and the stars

 

from falling.

 

………..

 

Poems from the Browntown Cafe

Quietly;  near dawn,

four souls,   half asleep,

 

fire rumbling,  fire consciousness,

rumbling in two drums.

 

Sound of the creek;

wallpaper clinging to the walls,

 

two roosters crowed in the dead

of night,

perhaps these chickens parallel us,

 

simultaneously,

breath, breath, breath, breath,

taps the universe.

 

The dogs pounce on the door,

 

A baby cries.

 

Cats in the kitchen

stealing bread.

 

my cup is on the bookshelf.

 

…………

 

Cats and people

crounched in the Browntown Café,

waiting for dawn to be served,

some dreaming,  some awake.

 

…………

 

When the big changes come…

waiting;

leave the mind to itself,

be here now,

don´t expect me to say

or do anything,

laughing,    laughing,

even when the tears come – laughing!

Leaves on the ground,  snow,

It feels like spring,

buds in the winter sun,

 

Browntown  1972

 

………..

 

View From The Mountain

 

We pick and choose

our way

down the mountainside,

down into the chaos,

 

Our words

and what we see

and feel,

caught in the swirl,

and composed

into what we are,

 

sunlight glinting off

the clouds shrouding the mountain,

 

the grain which runs

through everything,

 

all creation,

in the heart of

a single rose.

 

………

 

Hot Night Itch

 

There are people

and things

I have known

and do not know

tossing together

in the hot night itch.

 

 

Three Rivers, California

1971

 

……

 

Past Lives

If our past lives

are revealed in our fantasies

and dreams,

 

If reincarnation is a reality,

 

we´ve met each other before

so many times on the other shore.

 

Once I was a cruel soldier

and ran you through

with a sword of hate,

 

Another time,

I was a stone,

and you were a tree

and you embraced me

for a lifetime.

 

Our lives are parallel,

 

We´ve come down the same

stream together.

 

You don´t know

who I am,

 

And I don´t know

who you are,

 

Now

Trying so desperately

to find one another.

 

……….

 

To Dylan (the day of his birth)

The unborn child,

the unborn self.

Did it ever exist?

 

Lying there, in the cradle,

so helpless, so perfect.

 

What do you know?

Absolutely nothing;

no concepts,

no words,

no thoughts.

Will you ever be the same?

 

On the journey

from light into darkness,

darkness into light,

 

Spurts of energy,

Love and

Joy,

 

Everything in a swirl,

As the moon

came over the mountain.

 

 

10:11:76

Full moon

 

……..

 

Peeling Off

She twisted

her way

down

 

Blue

 

A bird flying by

 

The old railroad

brown shacks

with silent stovepipes

across the creek

 

Steel

and sooty, red-grey gravel

 

but what matters is

 

this cloud floating by

without a trace

 

of peeling paint.

 

8:76 Sandpoint, Idaho

 

……..

 

Sky Blue Sky

Quartz veins running through shale meat,

shattered and tumbled down, patches of skin, swirls of grass and moss, dry brown clusters of Great Bull Pine needles strewn about,  A winged seed, (seventeenth or eighteenth century) fell into a crevice where it sprouted, took hold, and grew for two or three hundred years, the sun rose and set a few thousand times, clouds passed, snow and rain, the moon circled the earth a couple of thousand times, there were several droughts and hard winters, a great fire swept over the mountain and burned the tree, gnarls grew around the scars, a man came and girded the tree with an axe,  the tree died hard and died painfully,  the bark fell off and turned the grain grey, when most of the twisted limbs had fallen off and lay scattered on the rocks, a pair of osprey wove a nest in the trees arms, they raised their young and taught them to fly, screeching in the sky blue sky.

 

Eagen Mt.

 

………

 

Hobo Creek

The flow of the water

 

around and beyond our bodies,

 

up through the shale

peeling off the mountainside,

 

across our hips

and breasts,

 

running through our hair,

 

You can feel it in everything,

 

In the sunshine,

In the water,

 

In the cool breeze

blowing through the cottonwoods,

 

These naked children,

squirming specs of light,

 

dancing

in the eyes

of God.

 

……

 

After Christmas Poem

So it´s over now

and we´ve seen it,

 

The lights and

the feast and

the gift giving,

 

The misty glow we put on

when it peaks out,

is consumed like booze,

 

The trimmings and

trappings are still

lying about,

 

It´s raining

and the snow is going fast,

 

The next day

I´m alone for a while,

And feeling low,

 

But it´s alright,

 

It´s always like that

when you´ve been high,

 

Then I think about my friends

and how good they´ve been to me,

and how much love I´ve seen in them,

and it´s beautiful,

 

and it´s alright.

 

 

12:26:76

Eagen Mt.

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Enigmatic Beauty

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Enigmatic Beauty

 

I have seen you

Disappearing into the shadows,

A mere glimmer in the periphery

Of my vision,

Brief glimpses,

Often caught

In moments of inattention,

Your faint traces

Alluding to a beauty

So unfathomable

It may be fatal to behold.

 

How similar you are

To those fabulous,

Yet imaginary birds

That flit so shyly

Through the tangle

Of secret branches

In the dark forests

Of my mind,

Singing so sweetly

In my dreams.

 

And not knowing

Who or what you are

Or might be,

Or what trouble

You might bring,

I watch for you

In furtive glances,

In cautious vigilance,

Waiting with dark dred,

Yearning,

To see you again.

Age of Information

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Age of Information

 

In the early days of civilization

There was the secret knowledge

Of priests and kings,

Hoarded and guarded,

Information being power over others,

Useful for keeping the wealth

Flowing their way.

Thus the hierarchy was maintained,

The ignorant,

So easy to lie to,

From these

The infantry was drawn.

 

The diploma,

A certificate signifying

The ownership of certain knowledge,

Only given to scribes and scholars

In the service of the power-elite,

Those who had the money to pay,

All other truths,

Acquired by means of

Independent thinking,

Creativity or direct inquiry,

Deemed invalid,

Unlawful or insignificant.

 

But now

The technology is here,

The internet has altered the game.

All the recorded knowledge,

As well as that not certified

Is available

To any peon

With a desire to learn

Or and interest to explore,

Tuition free – no diploma required,

And we see

The emperor has no clothes.

He trembles in fear

Behind the castle walls,

Because the cat is out of the bag

And he rushes to close it,

Too late.

 

At last

The revolution has arrived.

Take back the power

And the labor pains

Of the new age

Will not last for long.

 

A Conversation Between Doves.

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A Conversation Between Doves.

 

The human mind –

so complex,

How difficult it is

to see

to hear

the simplicity

of another species.

We try

to understand the world

through concentration,

as we have been taught.

Through the waft and weave

of our thoughts,

concepts,

precepts,

unable to truly hear it.

But if we unfocus,

and allow ourselves

to listen, unfiltered,

to beyond the periphery

of our wonderful, complicated minds,

we can hear

the most simple and basic of truths,

I am here! I am here! I am here!

and another answers:

I am too! I am too! I am too!

Mirror! Mirar! Mirror!

Indeed!

Indeed!

Indeed!

It is sooooooooooo!

The Beating

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I witnessed,

the other day,

the beating of a child

carried out in rage

mercilessly, cruelly

and brutally

as I watched

from high above

on the highway

waiting for a bus.

 

Maybe six, possibly seven

no more,

A little girl

playing with her doll

in the safety of her yard

who chose to ignore

the demands of a woman

sweeping the patio.

 

The woman struck

with viperous ferocity,

swinging her broom

overhead and down

upon the head and shoulders

of that small, fragile body,

running,

crying,

trying to escape,

as over and over and over again,

the broom came down

until the handle broke

and she continued

with the stick.

 

As the scene below played out,

I watched, breathless,

numb with shock,

as if it were

some surreal sequence

in a movie.

Detached,

separate from myself,

Seeing all

until the story was told.

 

And thus the bus rolls on

and so do I,

thinking of that poor child,

so unfortunate

and unloved,

as my numbness

dissipates

and anger blossoms

in it’s place

and the suffering

of that little girl

and my own suffering

from so many years ago

fuses into one.

 

“How could you!”

I scream in silence

as something breaks

within my breast.

“How dare you!”

I cry without a sound

Releasing, once again,

an ancient fury,

suppressed

so long ago.

 

And in my mind

I punish all

who would perpetrate

such hideous travesties

upon the innocent

and devine.

I tear the God

of  my childhood prayers

from the comfort of his throne

in his serene and complacent heaven.

I slash him

into thousands of pieces,

having twice betrayed.

 

You say:

It’s the child’s fault

for choosing to disobey.

She brought it upon

herself.

Or the child,

in some previous and forgotten life,

was herself,

merciless and cruel,

causing so much pain

to others.

 

“BULLSHIT!”

 

You say:

The woman

is a victim of violence,

and thus,

is not to blame.

 

“BULLSHIT!”

 

You say:

But does the woman not

harm herself

as much as the child,

for in time,

it will be she

who shall be denied

the love from the child

that could have been

her healing salve.

 

“BULLSHIT!”

 

If I could prevent

such things as this

from ever

happening again,

I would rip the beating heart

from my chest

and smash it

on the ground.

I would tear the flesh

from my body

and throw it on the fire.

I would blast the consciousness

from my mind

Into a billion, dying particles

of blazing ash.

 

How does one forgive

such monstrous human parents

or uncaring Gods

as these,

who would foster fear

instead of love.

 

If only

all could be undone.

If only

nothing had ever occurred.

-no crime commited

-no pain suffered

-no trust or love lost

-no child betrayed.

If only

the universe

had never been created,

nothing into nothing,

before,

now

and forever,

anything,

to avoid this thing.

 

I ask,

Why does pain

yet persue?

For what purpose

does suffering

still persist?

And I ask,

Who’s voice is this I hear?

Is it the child’s

or my own,

so near?

 

And how is a lesson learned,

except by failure

to perceive.

And how can empathy

or compassion occur,

unless the pain

is known?

 

So as I look out

the window of the bus,

I see

the trees and the grasses,

all the houses and people,

all of creation,

and nothing has changed.

There is still love and pain,

ecstasy and suffering,

all intertwined,

all still here.

The good and the bad,

enmeshed,

unfolding

and passing

 

So I cradle the child

within the healing heart

of one.

I embrace the anger

that resides

so deep within.

For what else remains?

And who

is left

to ask?