I’ve never understood where the salve to heal the trauma
of living as a mortal human exists, save in my own heart;
I cannot impel you to live by my own standards
yet notice eyes brimming with perpetual misery, reflect
back on my own need for it, the drive to feel alive, I suppose,
aching with yearning for the unnameable;

I know certain things it has taken a lifetime to unpack,
but my luggage and yours are fathoms apart
though destination is the same Unknown;
Souls are entwined, and for a moment I notice
you grasping at straws in the wind, searching
for meaning anywhere but inside that shell
and know not how to say it is existential, will ever be
at your shoulder, and if you let it gnaw and feed
on your flesh it will consume that and more, clinging
like nylon fresh from the dryer, second skin
that keeps snapping you awake, awake;

Illusion it is, gain distance, a pause, no-mind thinking,
vapid trail vanishing the moment it’s constructed;
and you wonder at the ruins at your feet, head hung
as if condemned by your own hand. We all come crashing
down sooner or later in someone else’s estimation,
none can live up to the expectations of others.

Instead dwell in forests of imagination, feel feathers
of birds in every hue, the light, bright beating hearts
that synchronize with your own as for that moment
you are lifted far above the world of woes and so stay,
remain there long enough for experience to imprint anew,
raising the bar of fear threatening to crush your chest,
you are not Sisyphus, you are shape shifter, alchemist,
magician and more. Awaken. Awaken.




23 thoughts on “Awash

  1. I can so relate to your words dear Bela..
    We all of us along our journey collect our baggage, Sometimes
    Meeting and greeting those whose pathway entwines with our own.
    Our paths crossing so we learn lessons, past tests, and teach others theirs.
    Its learning how much load we are carrying, and how to strip it all back..
    For we are all upon the same journey.. All be it we are all at different destinations and various
    Some are surefooted, knowing their destination, while others are lost.. Others are not even aware
    They are upon a journey.. So wrapped up in their material world they have become consumed by greed
    And do not see the simple truths that come up to meet them within their own life’s plan.
    I loved your last paragraph Bela.. Once you awaken, you can see we are Soooooooo, So much more.. And that is when the Magic begins. 🙂
    Love and Blessings to you Bela..
    Sue ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aloha dearest Sue: Thanks for your kind thoughts, as always. I agree, some ‘seem’ surefooted, though you know none of us emerges into the world ready for any and all life will toss our way; we all learn through hard times and tides. Or we don’t. Or we’re in the muddy middle many Buddhists refer to. Things go along nicely, we feel as though we’re ‘getting it,’ then another adversity adventure and we’re on a growth curve, once again.

      I wrote this poem in response to another (see my comments to shelldigger, below) and it just flowed. It is often easier to move through my own life ‘lessons’ than to witness a loved one stepping back, over and over again, into the same mucky mire. In this case, this person will not even allow herself to think outside a proscribed religious role, and it’s a bit maddening to witness over time. It seems like intentional suffering, though this might well be a Martyr’s interpretation of life purpose … one archetype in which to become enthralled, for sure.
      I resonate with another Buddhist saying, “May all beings be free from suffering; may all beings be happy.” It is in this vein that I wish more humans would awaken to the simple truths you speak of, but as you know, I hold no illusions.
      Much love and peace to you, sweet Sue ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. IYes its hard to witness those we love, stuck within the mire of their own making.. I have members within my own ‘clan’ who are woe is me.. and can not see that they are attracting their life lessons by their thought process.. Sigh.. So I so know.. I will back track and view your comments, and sometimes those insights of wisdom surface when they are needed.. Often I find they come to remind ourselves that all who are upon this journey are not necessarily at the same levels..
        I remember being told by a wise woman who acted as my theriapist for a time, when I was going through my break down.. She said we are born into families to learn from them. You chose to be born into yours.. But its all a matter of choice if we choose to learn or not.. She said speaking about my Mother.. She said she may well seem hard and cold in her dealings with you throughout your life.. But has that not made your own heart much more warmer..
        Sometimes our enemies are our greatest teachers 😉 its all a matter of perspective.. And knowing that each of us have chosen our path what ever that may be…
        Its hard.. as I see others falling prey to themselves.. Especially now when our senses are in over-drive. And our Journey of Awakening is now opening up so many more to speak up and seek Truth of who we are, as we realise we are all Magicians in this world of Illusion. 🙂
        Much Love back dear friend.. ❤ xxx

        Liked by 1 person

  2. While I can appreciate your words, this is great stuff, the only thing that struck me as a conflict in my mind is the personal failing in expectations of others. Live for your own expectations says I, and let the failure of others be your example of what not to do in life 😃

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aloha Shell:
      Thanks for your kind thoughts and comments. I often recall a former client telling me something he heard in his AA group, “Expectations are like premeditated resentments.” I echo that sentiment, for sure. This poem was written with another person in mind.

      For years I have belonged to a group of poets on the island that writes (and has published) Renshi (linked) poetry. Although we take certain liberties that divert from the strict rules of the form, our poems remain “linked.” We get together every few months to begin a new cycle and order. Lots are drawn and one begins anew. Each follows the other with the previous poet’s last line. Hers in this case was the first sentence of this poem. As we write together, I simply open up and let words flow how they may onto the page. This particular offering was written as though I was speaking to a friend who Does try and live up to the expectations of others which I find sad. But we are, as Cat Stevens once said, “On the road to findout.”

      Again, many thanks. Blessings on the day! ❤


  3. Aloha dear Bela, what a brilliant piece! I love this line – “but my luggage and yours are fathoms apart
    though destination is the same Unknown;”, but the real triumph is woven into the last verse which practically trumpets it’s message from the mountain tops. Interestingly enough I was writing about self-healing and awakening myself this morning and also used that word ‘salve’. We must be in sync. *nods smiling*

    – esme loving the picture above the words almost as much upon the Cloud

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Good day to you, sweet esme! Many mahalos for your praise – there’s something about the way Brits use ‘brilliant’ that feels over the top to me, a silly little American (though not a ‘Murcan, which is different in so many ways). I feel shiny all over, even though I’ve heard it used quite a bit over the years 😉

      Interesting you were flirting with ‘salve’ as well – this line, as I mentioned to shelldigger in this comment thread, was given me by my Renshi sister as her last line/my first. So though I’d like to claim it as my own, it wasn’t. But a good synchronicity, yes, indeedy.

      It pleases me that you like my image as well – taken on a bridge overlooking a lovely serene pond in Portland, OR. (If you look, you can see me standing on said bridge, taking said photo.) Then I messed with it and voila! I like both versions, actually.

      I’m hoping the pondering of ‘salve’ means I have a new post of yours to read – and off I go to discover if … (there’s that elipsis you love so well – had to throw at least one in … and now, your bonus!). Sending you hugs from the garden, big enough for you to feel up there on the Cloud ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There is much in the way of scribbling notes going on, and not much in the way of finished pieces sadly. This is almost entirely down to the proofing for the book that’s taking up my time. I haven’t got the capabilities to fit both in and walk the dog/other daily chores (Cloud-style). But I’m missing doing so and will have to get my Cloudyness together soon, otherwise the crowds may revolt! Not that I consider any of them revolting. Hahahahaha. Thank you for your lovely words Bela. Also, a note for your avatar photo at present – what a beautiful smile!

        – esme beaming one back happily at her upon the Cloud

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hahaha – too funny. “Posh people would have loved him!” Hahaha – brilliant. Fantastic! Love you Brits – too cool. Yes, we don’t have a telly, only a lovely Sony screen that remains dark, save the films we wish to watch. And now thanks to Amazon Prime (we ditched Netflix, too limited), we can watch all the foreign films we want without having to pay extra for them. When we watch anything 😉 Thanks for the morning laugh! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  4. It does seem rather ironic that we spend nearly all our waking hours thinking, and yet seldom do we realise that it is just this that creates so much of our suffering — so close are we to our thoughts that they blind us to their own ephemeral nature? H ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know! I just assume there Has to be a reason we’ve come into the zone of Planet Earth, if only to discover the gravitas and import of how these thoughts cocreate; do we want to gain awareness of the part we play in the coevolution of Creation by attending to them? It can be so difficult, and yet …(ellipsis throw in for Esme’s sake – now I can’t stop thinking about the damn things) … or do we simply ignore their import and carry on complaining of how history keeps repeating itself, blah, blah, blah – I’ve learned patience, but it’s not innate to my fiery personality. Yet it’s still completely on faith and feelings of rightness that I continue on a path of mindfulness. For if I were the selfish sort, I’d continue blindly flailing about until the end of time. It’s so hard to wait for said evolutionary progress, schooled as our human selves are to immediacy in a cosmic sense, yet as we both know, (this) life really is so short. We’ll be through another hoop soon; into another adventure, so I’ll tell you, I’m going to enjoy the beauty of this place for as long as my own precious life lasts. And not become enmeshed and tangled in the maya of another’s making. Cheers to you, dear one, on this brilliant (!) day! It’s only just begun on this side of 2 ponds away 😉 Love ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. True Bela! All kinds of trauma can be best healed by our own self…pain and tears are cathartic, make us resilient yet we wonder when would we offload the baggage we carry within us! I guess certain things are better if we leave them unpacked, if we let them rot and meet their own end…yet we keep ‘grasping at straws’! How ironic! I also love forests of fascination as they reveal a lot, clearing all those cobwebs, which trap us till we struggle to break free.
    Wonderfully woven words, this poem explores many aspects of human life.
    I love that picture, there is something unique about it. Is it a reflection or undergrowth? So symbolic!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aloha, Balroop! Thanks so much for your comments and appreciation of this poem, written with my Renshi poetry group here on the island. Another woman’s last line became my first and I just ran with it. It’s a fun way to write, in this ‘linked’ form.

      I, too loved this image – while searching for one, I knew right away which I would use (and I’ve taken thousands). From my comment to esme, above: “It pleases me that you like my image as well – taken on a bridge overlooking a lovely serene pond in Portland, OR. (If you look, you can see me standing on said bridge, taking said photo.).” The reflection in the water is of a weeping willow dangling overhead.
      I’m going to see if I can somehow insert the original by another means than commenting inline here – it isn’t working. (And I can’t discover how it might, try as I have been doing, sorry.) Anyhow, have a great weekend, dear! Enjoy your Friday evening 😉


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