Saturday, November 19, 2011

La Vida Es Un Sueño

A strange man from a distant land once told me, via a means resembling the subtlest hand theater, evoking strings of an orchestral idea as if by subtly adding veins beneath the flesh, plucking them under one by one, overlaying by degrees and passing over seas through thinning silver clouds, his hands spoke silently with minnowing gestures articulating phrases plainly understood for their universality, which shaped a story in the air about a cloaked and hooded man upon a camel or horse, it wasn't clear, striding for days across the rippled dunes of a half-blown desert, until every night, when they dreamed together in a heap by a depression in the red rock, their being the center of their own dream, each was revealed behind closed eyelids the same titanic body of water awaiting them after many days travel across the shared landscape of the real, and during one early morning while they passed over the blowing sands, the man remembered an old poem which a wizened Spaniard had taught him when he was nine years old.

Life is but a Dream, and there is only one, without a dreamer, for what we are is the dreaming, every one of us being dreamed, and dreaming also but with ourselves the center of our own dream. I dream the universe; all that I dream is I; I who both am and am not as I; and while dreaming the universe, with you perceiving it—you who are not as I but am as I—for we are the dreaming without a dreamer, and there is only one Dream that is life.

“This poem arose from ancient philosophies beyond the east and has been reputed to contain the literal truth as the masters of old came to understand it,” the donkey brayed as they approached the coastline—as if to make fun of the masters or not, the man wasn't quite sure—as they gazed clear eyed through the spray beyond the horizon over the sea shore.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

BRIGHTER EYES


Think about it. Think throughout it;
Think within it, think without it:
Most everything you've ever heard
Was from the lips of men.

Most everything you've ever read
Was penned by them alone.
Chances are you yourself are of the race of man.
The chance is great that what I write
You will not understand.
But have no fear, this tale is told
For others who may hold a secret deep inside,
And only they know the truth held within the lie,
And with time and understanding the lie will shed its skin
To free the dormant spirit that incubated long within.
And men will age and not grow wise
And lose this world to brighter eyes.

Legend has it we can see within the darkest cave,
But who has passed the legends down
From in between each grave?
And others claim that some of us have skin as black as night
And spirits that are evil, and hair that is snow white;
Just because they're legends, child,
Doesn't mean they're right.
But don't you weep or lose the shine born within your eyes–
Because they are just legends
You can see through their disguise,
And only you can see the truth hid well behind the lies.
Man will misinterpret everything until he dies.

Remember children, there is nothing that we have to hide,
For man has hidden it from himself
And seeks with vision blind.
So though it may be woven throughout this very verse,
All that man can do is rant and rave and curse
And laugh at all these words and think they are cliched–
While silent and nonplussed, truth shines within arrayed.
For man is just a creature trapped in paradox
While we walk freely through its realms
With the keys to all its locks.
Man is either kept imprisoned within one of two extremes–
And if lucky finds balances so brief they become dreams;
Or he's crushed within the grindstones shifting in between–
While the rest of us just live our dreams
By balancing extremes.

Of course it's true that in a way we can see in the dark;
Just how exactly dark it is becomes the curious part.
Look at them with torches lit, straining to improve sight.
The shadowglares just frighten them
And further mock their plight;
And in this corner of the world
I close my eyes to see the light.
So I suppose it's true, we can see in the dark,
Which they've confused with shadow
And therefore missed the mark.
For shadows throw patches of fear on the walls,
Illusory phantoms that hunt men down halls
And will stalk them forever in labyrinths lost
For the grimmest of fares–sanity's cost.

In a world that is mad and only a dream,
In echoes of sunlight and refractions of scream
We undrown through memory recollecting lost seeds
To harvest an anchor thrown out to the sky;
Motionless branches, remembering trees,
Roots freely breathing in mineral dreams;
Half of this passes straight through his eye
And he thinks he's seeing it all–
The biped has lifted his heart from the earth
Held his head high, and severed the contact
That once used to be a cherished embrace;
Now he's a walker of wastelands, imprisoned
And forced to support the divorce of his race
From his paradise lover as he treads on her face,
Wildly in search of her eyes that erase
As he scuffles and trods up the croplands to waste.

But enough about man, we know his ways.
It's not necessary to see through the haze
Or to smell his pollution and taste the hard rain
Or hear the cacophany and feel all the pain;
It is evident alone from the loss of one thing–
That last unnamed sense called the sixth has been slain;
Or stunted, at best, in the least of the race; or at least
They seem sparse in the worst light of space–
The one that they utilize too far in this place,
To come to decisions to jump at a ghost;
You know the one, suffused and
Diffusing in all concentrations,
Worshipped by many throughout all the nations,
Remembered by few and forgotten by most:
You know, the Sun...our holiest Host...

And this is the reason they have brighter eyes;
They know what they see, they do not disguise
Their bodies’ awareness with fear or with lies.
The stories out told about them aren't distorting
The truth you see, they're replacing it and kid
You're not the only one beginning to get the picture.
Skin that is ebony, blacker than pitch, hair that is whiter
Than wilderness snow, and cruelty that is fabled
Across history you know. The hush of a polar hillside
Holds their secret; if you hold a mirror to their name,
You get the word; if you read between the language
Of their game, you get the meaning. And they never
Stole the holy grail. Pretty soon you know,
They'll be accused of having ripped out people's eyes...!

Think the next time you listen, or read
The carefully cultivated, immaculate lies.
And balance your options, plant your own seeds,
And water the fruit that it breeds.
Tend your own garden and mend your own business
And careful... your steps are on stones
Where their owner feeds, for he has freedom
Of speech and freedom to press your bones
Into a printing machine that spits out
Certificates of ownership–deeds inked with your blood.
We leave our signature every where we've been.
There're signs of us in leaves out there you've seen.

And no matter what you believe, there is something
Outside that harbors us, protects us, loves us, preserves us
And seperates us into enclaves–each deserving its own fate;
Able or not, each to its own ability,
To transgress its own state.
And those whose eyes have drunk of the grail
And seen with vision clear, will fulfill their chosen
Destinies that they have held most dear.
And the rest in the end will be left without fire
While trapped in an endless galaxy...
While brighter eyes, between the frames,
Exist in actualized fantasy!

The moral in this cryptogram is equal to the curse–
It's up to every individual to tell the genuine from the worse
Reflection lost amid a myriad in a labyrinth of mirrors.
Among the countless echoed ghosts
Only one is without error;
Instilled with pure faith, this one hatches in the world
And spreading a cloak out, dissolves into darkness unfurled
Under starlight and coiled up in a cavern
The secret is hidden and learned in reverse
By the few who have made it from the beginning
For whose ears and eyes this story's been told
To dispel all fears and understandings of old.
And though the chances are slim men will comprehend–
Remember, that this was not for them alone penned
And most everything I've written here
I never heard from them.

Think without it, think within it,
Think throughout it, think about it.
For all that they have done without it,
Brighter eyes will never doubt it.

Monday, October 17, 2011

HOUSE OF WINDOWS

It's when you begin noticing the small things that it gets you.
I mean, by that time, you're hooked, as the saying goes.
Snagged is more like it, I guess it's lucky they don't use hooks.
More like being netted, really. Usually happens in larger groups,
the rest get left behind. You know how it is. But then,
it's only a matter of time, isn't it? Isn't there something
about the Grim Reaper carrying an hour glass? I don't know.
If not, there should be...huh. Maybe Father Time is the Grim Reaper,
maybe they're one and the same. All I know is what I saw
when I finally took that walk around my block.
Well I guess I only been here three and a half months,
and it was winter when I moved in. I always do get restless
after the Ides of March. I went for a walk out under the platinum clouds.
It was just on the verge of raining, but somehow I knew it wouldn't.
It's a nice, quiet neighborhood. Lotta elm trees.
I hooked a left at the first corner. As the concrete sidewalk panels
flowed under my feet, I looked down and noticed first a few,
then dozens more furry gray caterpillar looking things.
As I stepped carefully to avoid crushing them,
I noticed what appeared to be small, lamprey-like suckermouths
of a darker brown which they anchored themselves to the sidewalk with.
They were all in an inchworm position, a whole fleet
of suckermouthed fuzzy gray caterpillars clinging to the sidewalk,
as if against the wind. After a few more strategic strides
they were gone, and I kept walking. I looked down to make sure
none were clinging to the cuffs of my pants. All clear.
I felt relief. The thought of them bothered me.
I did not discover any more such clusters throughout the neighborhood,
that day. Nor have I ever encountered any since.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

PLASTIC OWL EFFIGY


We discovered the entrance to a universe halfway up a hiking trail.
We were exploring one of the canyons along the mountain range nearby.
We've made it a ritual every winter to hike up the trails after dark.
There is no one else to bother us or get in our way sledding back down.
A blanket of snow is draped across everything in gleaming silence.
Sticking to the well packed path is necessary to prevent sinking too deep.
We drag our sleds behind us as we wind up the trail with light sticks.
Placing them carefully at bends in the path as markers, little glow posts.
Facing our mortality in the winds of night on a mountainside is a blast.
Sharing the forest with night creatures reminds us of our relationship.
Our relationship to the occult sky and the starpoints spread out above.
The kinship felt with the wind answers the question where do we roam?
Anywhere we please so long as we can carry our hearts and eyes along.
Off a bend in the path about a half mile up the trail we spotted an owl.
It was up on a branch in the half gloom, starlight reflected off its eyes.
Unblinking it regarded us in what some would consider a baleful stare.
As birds have always been our spirit guides, we knew better than this.
Owls in particular are indicators of portentous probability, to us.
This one proved to be something more as it flew away through the gloom.
It looked back over its feathered shoulder at us indicating we should follow.
Its aerial path took it between older trees deeper into the sighing forest.
Having been literally born for exploration of the unknown, we followed.
The ticking forest welcomed us into its embrace. We left our sleds behind.
That owl led us back to the city and is now perched over our front door.
It turned into a hollow plastic effigy filled with smooth rounded stones.
It fools petty scavenger birds from swooping into our yard for scraps.
The sleds were recovered and now hang in the garage, warped with time.
The ringing laughter cascading in our yard brings echoes of this memory.
Our children are forbidden from ever exploring the mountain after dark.
We simply want to prolong their time with us here in our heart.