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-I-

standing at the crossroads
the Magus told me to ask
the question that kept me back
from leaving the past
if I wanted to be free at last
the answer’s blast
revealed the full truth
slammed the door shut
and me a bit roughed up
was played with omissions
and not honored conditions
of honesty’s moral fortitude
how easy it is to let
me fill in the blanks
and humiliate myself with what I feel
dodged and irrelevant i had to look at it
I sensed the end
and I felt the beginning
of a great adventure
a new chapter opening
and why the Magus
wanted me to find out
change is in the air
chaos is just the jostling
of the old to make way
for the new
nothing divides us
everything unites us

-II-

I remembered the lines
reminiscing
not just this time
as if burned into my mind
of the many men
who’ve helped shape my kindness
when my first love was so direct
he said, you are a great friend
the greatest any man could want
the best kind of intelligent company
but the spark just isn’t there
in my heart
I want to see you laugh
happy at last
but it can’t be me
and I was so young
I fought with myself
for years for not feeling
beautiful enough
wishing I was desirable
like so many other women
seemed to be
from the outside
looking in
not wanting to be
the ugly duckling
but
he meant what he said
and showed me with time
it wasn’t just a line
and today we’re still friends
he is a man worth loving
so much no matter what
there is such greatness in him
and then again

-III-

like the wind blew in
suddenly
it happened unexpectedly
as it always does
déjà vu rinse wash repeat
the familiar song singing
when again I fell in love
I offered what I had of me
knowing if I’d be strung along
I’d find out eventually
giving many opportunities
to counter my feelings
with simplicity
then when I finally asked
he said he owed me
to be honest here
like he’d hid himself
till compelled
to say something
begrudgingly
it stung brutally
to see him like this
I betrayed myself
ignorantly
and how he helped
it was time to face me
in all my insecurities
and practice what I preach
by dwelling on the objects
of my senses
i created an attraction
which develops into desire
inevitably
a dangerous path
that breeds anger
like fire
i saw my mistake
and forgave his
waiting
so I stood up as bravely
as my dignity was tall
and bowed out as gracefully
and as fast as I could fall
once again there
like being fourteen
being taught by a man
with real character
I give relief because
I can be bigger than this
and he
was simply relieved
to be free of me
it was obvious
he didn’t want the problem
of the possibility
of a woman’s scorn
not criminally negligent
just a bit torn
I learned to look compassionately
at simple enough reasons
to see through
the timing is revealing
he could have said something
before i went crossing
the stream of my intimacy
yet it’s elementary enough
to deduce the truth
framed in sweet words
just to not be perceived
too painfully
there was no reason
for cruelty, just be straight
and that is the face of kindness
it’s the one trait that creates
trust or tangles lines
humans are funny this way
when the sentence ends
you turn the page
forgiveness does not mean
holding the company of fools
and now I know
his quality
and I tried to remember
to take all I’d learned
as part of this proof
of respect
i was asked to get
to show myself
how i misplaced my trust
in myself and the rest
the Magus made me investigate
where I gave my power away
once again
there is something to learn
from everyone equally
it was he who told me
to find some peace
in the fact
that certain things
just aren’t meant to be
and it was wise advice
with equanimity’s strength
I’m proud at least
that I owned up
openly
to every part of me
from being fucked up
to falling in love
I live to succeed
and thrive vibrantly
even if that means
being the black sheep
and going against the grain
to every man I meet
and he is right, I am a great friend
the best kind of warm company

-IV-

you’re so beautiful
so many of them say, wanting their way
i know what they mean
and how they’ll be, then they see
how you think, how you bleed
your feelings so humanly
her heart is the goddess’ seed
so womanly
they shy away entirely
because their integrity
is not hardcore honed
or grown
on the experience of going there
fearlessly
it raises the bar
of all your standards
and he has to come up to par
when you survive the worst
you know how to make the choice
and meet life head on
I measure ethics in deeds
and while it always seems easiest
to walk away, not like a “man”
but like a boy scared
birthing himself through his fears
with the blood of a woman’s tears
is built into his becoming
like his birth through the womb
she weeps and delivers him
it’s how it’s always been
who am I to hold him
in judgment or contempt
avoiding responsibility
emotionally keeps you suffering
how you think is how you are
how you think is who you choose to be
and my heart goes out to him
without anger or hatred
just a sadness
we could be so much better
than this

-V-

I gently steer with all my skill
joy into clearing pain and sorrow
into my other, uniting not dividing
while we think whatever
we imagine ourselves to be
complacency is not enough for me
I’m leaving the zone’s blast
and growing down into
the roots of realizing
this eternal now, a present
refreshing, i thrive on reality
even if I keep on losing
all my superstitious notions
the hard way, I’m wiser and happier
I’m no plain rock baby
I’m a diamond in the rough
the pressures of breaking
cleanse like release
formulaic stories
clung to frightfully
only to be named
if necessary
render me
cowering and meek
without owning
it boldly is dwelling
in the hold of insecurity
that’s not enough for me
I appreciate the mind with balls
unafraid of calling it
start where you are
don’t strike at the heart
not content chewing a dull cud
I prefer my truth straight up
so I’ll roam the mountains
of this solitude combing the unknown
seeking more substantial
nourishment

-VI-

I remembered again
when I lay in a hospital
my heart on my sleeve
vulnerable
like a clam in the shade of a seagull
a rare desperate me
coming to grips with being stripped
by men who thought to take
and give nothing for being entitled
“more equally”
my first completed cycle
the nurse touched my hand
a beautiful black man
warm as a sunny day
he said to me
in the kindest tones
a man had ever used with me

“don’t throw your love
away on those too weak
who cannot understand
how your heart beats
who try to spare you
just to spare themselves
they are not worth the salt
of your tears
you are too big
for minds too small
so live brilliantly
even though it’s hard
to be rejected
grasp tightly, let go lightly
you are so easy
to be real with
never forget
your own beauty”

he restored in moments
years of faith lost
in human goodness
so I always remember this
confidently and give of myself
with all the quality
I strive to embody

-VII-

happy I could smile
again through the pain
the creak of light
of becoming
is like growing miles
in minutes
realization’s tranquility
is creeping quietly
into the dark empty
solitude of being
to love is to die
a thousand ways
and stay kind
all the same
today
I wept for everything

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