D’Alliance

Have you ever thought to yourself,
if only this person would see my heart,
if blame and fear were set aside,
we might forge truer bonds?

It is always surprising when another
remains unwilling to own their part,
especially when friends drop
like dominoes, again and again.

Surely it is not always the other’s fault?

When a well-trod higher road proves insufficient,
an exasperated distance gains last resort.
Humans have feelings, after all.

While it is difficult to stop blaming oneself
for actions beyond understanding,
it might be equally onerous for another
to stop offloading personal responsibility
onto others.

Life is the great teacher,
may we learn well.
Open to learning, one must realize
humility has many recalcitrant students.
01

GLIMMER

There are a hundred matters
one cannot un-do.

Frost’s forked path in the midst,
and I took the road less traveled.
What has it brought me, in the end?
What redemption, if not recognizing
the fullness of existence to the marrow
permeating all life?

Spirits lie shriveled and broken,
arise again during phoenix time,
and the roots that form,
a foundational goal toward which I aspire,
perceive how hearts ache in their absence.

 

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BOUNCE

What kind of honesty obfuscates anger

where allies become enemies in a heartbeat,

decimating one another with a smile?

 

How to winnow facts from confusion,

being truthful as well as kind,

increasing both wisdom and discernment?

Best to model intention and proceed from there.

If we’re not careful,

others become what we want them to be,

rather than the best of which they are capable.

 

Skin is thin.

People believe what they hear

and just as often hear what they believe.

We live in a hall of mirrors,

echoing one another’s sentiments.

 

Choose wisely, my friend,

for what is cast out will doubtless rebound,

the proverbial India rubber ball

resounding off the walls of a closeted awareness.

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Vows

He never wore a ring, she said.
Though it might have been better
than mangling it on a lumber hook
two days after the wedding,
nearly cutting that digit free
at least.

Such things happen,
I know.

Symbols on display
do not indicate what harbors within.
Commitment, where it exists,
lies safe within a beating heart
and cannot be excised that easily.

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Focus Feature

At times I reflect on the busy of mind,
while I’m out drawing circles, they’re marching in line.
This marching in line seems so orderly, sane
yet it only appeals to the logical brain.
Drawing lines on the paper or lines at the mall
does not nourish a garden or sense the loon’s call.

The stars in the heavens, a baby’s sweet cry
arise not from narrow – now roundness applies.
I raised my son up, he is vibrant and sage,
I expect him to care for me into old age.

The line it will penetrate, stories appear
to cloud up the vision and plug tight the ears.
A circle invites us to join in the dance,
allowing for movement through life’s random chance.

A heart has no edges, free minds liberate;
illusion is folly, leave it up to the Fates.
If you yearn for sweet endings, heed this wise epithet
for embracing the circle builds a life, not regret.

 

photo: David A. Aguilar
photo: David A. Aguilar

THE GOLDEN RULE

Whether attributed to Confucius or Jesus and/or simply as a conclusion drawn by many who observe life’s workings over time, Do unto others, as you would have others do unto you is an assertion fastened upon from my youth. It has stood the test of time too, though I now simply consider it karma.

It mystifies me that people who espouse one set of guidelines and live by another are the least likely to understand the implications of this simple Law of Attraction. If I wish others to respect me, I learn to respect others. If I want to be treated kindly, I practice kindness. To everyone. If friendship and unconditional love are desired, I liberate my own considerable affections and entrapments (money and time leap to mind as particularly Western concerns).

If I yearn for others to appreciate me, I consistently demonstrate qualities I wish to have mirrored back by others. These things may be difficult at times, but of course they can be cultivated.

Life is too expansive a canvas to cower in the same corner when there’s a diverse world waiting to be explored. If I continue reinforcing thus and so, I restrict my experience to a set of circumstances that rubber-stamp that belief. I relegate myself to the smallness of my own confusion rather than the glorious adventure waiting beyond the boundaries of what I believe to be known.

image from The Neverending Story

CHOICE

Being married to a builder for many years, I cannot look at a bathtub spout without likewise intuiting the plain galvanized pipe that lies at its center, conveying both hot and cold water from their respective copper pipes and sources to that vessel of respite at the end of a long day.

Similarly, I can no longer look at a person and glimpse the veneer they inhabit without also sensing the undercurrent of dissatisfaction or dissimilitude in the presentation.

It might seem like a curse, and I can understand your thinking. It is the bubble burst; the dream splintered into fragments of a plain vanilla reality. Strip away the many-hued veils and the dancer appears, naked and exhausted, as simply one of us.

This commonality is what draws me in, oddly enough. It humanizes the lofty and elevates the mundane onto the level playing field of life. If you dare to join me there, we can soar on thermals of imagination because we know there are no limitations, now that we’ve cast aside that heavy cloak of artifice.

Freedom lies in that shared parenthesis inserted into the continuum of existence. Authenticity is paradoxically that which we cannot view with conditioned eyes, yet it is felt right down to the bones. We either meet there or plunge like Icarus back into the practiced abyss of suffering and into the dreams of others.

 

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Image: Anna M. Rinaldo

Spin

She moves, and moves

frequently enough,

expects life to fill a yearning,

bottomless craving, a pit.

 

Young face etched with uncommon sorrow,

she doesn’t yet understand the power of thoughts.

Nubile, she hasn’t calculated

life as the means by which we are blessed

with conditions and kinesis,

this dance of adversity and rapture;

maturation only as rapid as we, ourselves allow,

simply to surrender into the miracle

of a blink in eternity,

this life, as we know it –

splendor on a spinning orb.

 

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volcanic rock

I find I’m looking for fear

with a background trembling

in anticipation of its discovery.

Why does my mind willfully seek out

that which engenders this shaky unrest?

 

My body yearns to move

while thoughts, suspended in space,

inspire little if not lethargy.

 

Two wires twined inside a sheath,

allowing a human be(com)ing to survive.

One goes to the production of energy,

physical. The other immobilizes

the very vehicle to my liberation:

the yang, the yin.

 

The pureness of wondering how

to sink further into feelings

soothes my ruffled collar;

and I breathe more deeply,

now out of intention.

 

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Dig

To intellectualize myth, desire – 

the analytical approach crumbles,

becoming grit underfoot;

providing traction, perhaps,

useful fractal before one slips,

yet again.

 

We live,

we breathe,

we interact.

This is the dance:

choices and consequences.

 

Joy is the offspring of accepting

these noble truths;

bitterness arises from cowardice:

the should-haves, could-haves,

didn’t, won’t, damn it.

 

Life is more precious than we know.

Don’t waste a moment being stubborn.

Consciousness unfolds its gates;

we have but to walk through them,

unresisting.

 

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