Something Sturdier Than Shiny Hope

painting-with-light-1044985_960_720I’m not going to speak of shiny hope
it has troubled us for too long
tripping us down the stairs
leaving the bruises that stick around
——-
we want to jump over truth straight to hope
that we bought in the marketplace of shadows
that’s why it has no legs
and will collapse as soon as it gets out of bed
———
we can’t get there without touching the ground

let’s stop jumping
start crawling
stop running
start digging
stop chasing
start creating

and then, if grief and all its cousins
should arrive
embrace them like long lost loved ones
——
When the lights turn off
will we stumble
or will we have learned to believe
in our own breathe
and the dirt under our feet?
will we have practiced how to say hello?
——
we need something sturdier than shiny hope
exchange it
for the eyes of your own dawn
looking earth in the face
saying, “I remember you”
—-
mix the kernel of your true heart
a spark in the vastness
with the clay of where you live
deep with dreams

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No Lies On The Mountain

 

WP_20130604_020On the mountain
there’s no sales pitch
ego, image, or lies

the rain is wet
the sun is hot
snow is cold
rock is hard

things are what they are

You can’t change it
nor does it want to change you
It’s implacable
yet not stubborn
It doesn’t tell you what to do
or what to be

which means who you are
arises unadorned
like shards of obsidian
out of the earth

The mountain is one giant rock,
one impenetrable I AM
whose body consists of
a billion and one different I AMs
of every possible hue, shape, and texture,

And is that not the way of all things?

The mountain supports your every step
meeting you where you are
it pounds you with every step
meeting you where you are

Rocks refresh you
with their smooth, cool morning faces
and burn you
with their sharp, afternoon tongues

Rocks appear as hearts
and daggers pointed at your heart

Stones lift your sorrows
with their strong shoulders
and can crush your limbs and spirit
with their unrelenting severe gravity

Rocks feed your body and soul,
but as much as you try
you cannot drink a rock,
any more than you can drink
the sweet western wind at dusk

The mountain is not your ally
nor is it your enemy
it just is

how refreshing

(Photo is looking south at Guitar Lake from the approach to the summit of Mt. Whitney)

Tender Beauty of the Breakdown

IMG_4895The sacred mountain is calling

‘Tap, tap,’
the bell beneath the breastbone beckons:

“Come, be naked and empty
under the big hard sun
stretching horizon to horizon
of your true home.

Dive deep into the Great Inyo Sea
into the mariana trench
of your unadorned self.

Crack
like scorched soil
ready to receive

Die to all the worlds
to which you don’t belong,
leaving them to drift in the sage wind
of the high desert
as offerings to the land.

Cherish the tender beauty of the breakdown
the sweet beauty of the rebirth.”

Descent Into the Great Sea (Rainbow Home #7)

whale2Miramar, She Who Mirrors the Sea, Translator of the Many Songs, resurfaced, smiling and nodding her head, an affirmation of my new-found knowledge.

“I was the HeartSeer all along!” I exclaimed, still high and shocked from seeing my face.

Suddenly I realized that some part of me knew the whole time. Why it took me a hunt for a fire dragon in a cave and crazy journey to the Edge of the West and nearly drowning while swimming out to find a cryptic mermaid to “find out”, I don’t know.

“Always the last to know,” I said, shaking my head.

“Does the full moon ask why it wasn’t whole last week? Does summer arrive mourning winter? The big hard sun and the great sea dissolves all and calls forth new things when they are ready. Everything arrives on time,” Miramar said.

And I knew that I was now ready to descend into the Great Sea. The Obsidian Key was down there somewhere.

“Follow me. I can take you as far as the Sei. He will take you further and faster than I am able to. You will not be able to understand WhaleSong, but I will translate for you.

She applied a gooey kelp bandage to my heel, wrapping it with a seaweed cord, stopping the bleeding. Then she put her spiral shell to her lips, took a deep breath and blew hard. The conch emitted a sound so high-pitched that I had to cover my ears.

I grabbed hold of her waist and we launched towards the open sea. The sun began to sink into the horizon, the sky turning lavender, pink, and orange. After several hours of swimming through the waves, a long and very loud squeal reverberated through the water, like the groan and creak of the sea itself. A giant body emerged ahead of us, bigger than any creature I have ever seen in my life–fins as large as walls, a mouth as large as building.

Miramar translated. He says, “The time as come for you to grow your sea lungs and dive down deep.”

Another raspy ocean shriek, like the sound of steel stretching.

Miramar continued to tell me what the giant was saying: “Grow your ocean ears and bend the ear of your heart closely. Listen for the echoes of sublime bass notes resonating through the fibers of your being.”

I merely floated before this beast called Sei, absorbing the message.

“League by league settle into the soul-tide quiet depths of true voice.”

“Step away from the noise of the middle world and keep falling until you reach the mariana trench of your true self.”

“There you will find the Obsidian Key on Gold Ring, the key to your Rainbow Home. It was thrown into the Great Sea many moons ago, not by the Evil Dwarf King, nor by his henchmen. No, it was you who tossed it aside. Out of fear, out of pain, you abandoned your own home.”

“Further down is a mystery where no one goes, yet from which all emerges.

“To enter, you must leave all behind. You have seen your true face in the water, but now you must leave even that behind, going alone into the trench without image or name.”

“Quieter and quieter yet, the deepest voice emerges, Unborn and Unknown.”

“Perhaps it one voice, perhaps it is none at all. It is not for me to say. Even the Great Sea does not know.”

“Are you ready to risk yourself in deep waters?”

“I am here,” I said.

With that, the mouth of the giant beast called Sei opened. The force of the water rushed in, dragging me into itself.

The last thing I saw was the dark cave of its stomach. Then pure blackness.

With a huge splash of its tale, the beast plunged – with the HeartSeer inside – into the depths and disappeared.

Sea of Voices

img_2216we swim in a sea of voices

some we may claim our own
but most speak to us
uninvited

Pretender voices
crash like wave upon curling contrived wave
upon our shore

their steady rhythm
drums us into
a consensus trance

threatens to bury
the siren song of our sandcastle heart
throbbing to be heard

should it wash away our fortress
well, this is the nature of castles and sand
once a rock, once a distant mountain,
once carried by a river wise enough to meander
towards the sea

so we retreat to the seacave in solitude:
a mere temporary respite.

but the tide draws near
the waves crash in
unrelentingly

The sea of voices
roll along
like so much wet traffic
racing unaware
of the delightful calm below

there’s no way to halt the thundering waves

but we can grow our sea lungs
and dive down deeper

league by league
settle into
the soul-tide
quiet depths of true voice

silent and still and slow
in our hidden
mariana trench
from which,
should we bend
the ear of our heart closely,
the echoes of our sublime bass notes
spring

resonating through
all our fibers

Further down
is a mystery
where no one goes

yet from which all emerge

quieter and quieter yet
it is the deepest voice
and unknown

perhaps it one voice
perhaps it is none at all
some in and out breathe
of Being

not to be conceived
only to be felt

no, let us not drown in the sea of voices

rather, grow our ocean ears
to listen for
reverberations from the trench
from whatever edifices
we find ourselves in

drown out the superficial waves above

rather than be battered
on the shores,
risk ourselves
in deep waters