dark clouds

there are days
when dark clouds
of despondency
hang overhead
all day they just hang there
taunting me
with their heaviness
threatening rain

all i can really do
is accept them

fighting causes such pain

why should i be cheerful?
what is this expectation
that life is a smile and a laugh?

life is a hard journey
and a cruel test.
when the vast ocean
finds itself
in a tiny jar
it doesn’t complain
but it hurts
to be captured in something so small

why did i come here with no wings?
just these legs
that stick me to the ground

at times
nothingness seems appealing
and then i get yanked back
into the beauty
of all this
and i forget
this despondency

when the world throws arrows

when the world throws its arrows of discontent
keep still
when the thunder rages
and the dark clouds loom all around menacingly
keep still, keep still
when the chaos of the storm arrives
and destroys everything
keep still, keep still, keep still
when the madness, the mayhem, the raging
spins round and round
like a wild tornado
and sucks the world into itself
keep still, keep still, keep still, keep still

and when peace returns
and silence covers the valley
keep still
don’t move from stillness
don’t move from silence

chased by ghosts

chased by hungry ghosts
even the cold wind
following him everywhere
the crisp leaves
cackling behind him
dragging him backwards
always backwards
the moaning
of the past
like a siren
in the fog

in the end he relented
and stopped all fighting
lay down and let the ghosts
catch him, let the clouds
envelope him

and in that envelopment
he dissolved
the ghosts dissolved
the cold wind turned to warm glow
and the leaves lay still
and peaceful

Ah! if only it were that easy
to rid oneself of the past.

fallen from the sky

there are times
when i slip back into a story
and i forget the radiant
nature of presence
in those times
i feel like a bird
fallen from the sky
waking up in a cage

most of the stories
are about failure
and a life missed
and they always carry the weight
of poor me

to be ruled by stories
is a kind of lottery

and I refuse to be
subjected to a crap game

so i wait, patiently
until the story clouds pass
and some invisible hand
opens the cage
and i can once again
fly free

be kind to your experience

you find me in a moment of sadness
when my heart aches
for those lovers wrenched apart
by fate’s cruel hand

life can be
so very mean
it makes some
thick skinned and they try and
tough it out

but it doesn’t work

we all have to soften eventually
so do it now
better to soften up now
than at the end

be kind to your experience
and hold yourself
gently and lovingly
as you would a child

i can’t see any other way
to get through this.

the metal whales in the bay

the metal whales
sang their sad songs
in the san francisco bay
all night we heard
their mournful pleas
as they slid quietly away
to unknown places
i couldn’t help
but feel the melancholy
of their existence
and a great tenderness
was upon me
by the morning.

embrace your aloneness it is your liberation

only when you have
embraced your aloneness
can you truly
relate to another
the path of love
is really
the recognition
that each of us
is utterly alone
when a human being
is unaware of this
they grasp and clutch at each other
desperate to feel safe
but when one has embraced
the truth
all grasping stops
and only the luminosity
of this exquisite agony
remains
each of us utterly alone.

shackled by shadows

we search this world for meaning
terrified of the void
but there is a black hole
inside each of us
it spins invitingly
and draws us into
our own destruction

the one who seeks liberation
gives himself willingly 
to this spinning void
and in his death
he is resurrected into freedom

but the one who resists
the one who fights
for his survival 
is forever haunted by it
and will spend his life
shackled by shadows

to defeat death
you must die before you die

two terrors

i must reluctantly confess
i have two terrors between which
i swing like a pendulum
the terror of existence
and the terror
of non-existence

i am a man
trapped
and yet knowing
the trap is of
his own making

this is existential agony
and the only answer
is to stay perfectly
still and listen to the sound
of what is.