Wednesday, November 16, 2016

New Poetry

When grief wakes me up in the morning
I vow with all beings
Not to look away from this painful awakening
And to wish for it to become a seed of kindness.

When I witness acts of public hatred
I vow with all beings
To bear witness against them,
With my mind, my heart, my body.

When I hear the voice of Donald Trump
I vow with all beings
To imagine what he may have been like
As a newborn baby.

Spiritual Practice
Take a step 
In that direction
And you leave behind
All who’ve not
Taken the step, 
Which should be
Reasonable cause for alarm.
But if you aspire to sincerity 
And step on alarmed 
(even if the aspiration’s 
All you’ve got),
It’s that sincerity, 
As rare in you as diamonds
And as indestructible,
That will eventually expose the truth:
You left no one behind, 
And--as it should delight you to learn--
Neither did they leave you.

How lovable, I’d like to say,
Is everybody--at a distance.
From about a mile away,
I weep with joy at their existence:
Dogs and fleas and software men,
Nurses, cousins, strippers, bees,
Those who skate or practice Zen,
Even certain PhDs.
But with, alas, proximity
It then becomes a different waltz.
Impressions of sublimity
Cannot withstand their actual faults:
The metallurgist then offends.
And I'm annoyed by clerks and weavers,
Crossword-puzzle freaks and friends,
Even grizzly bears and beavers.
But then, behold, get even nearer
(Intimacy’s what it’s called),
And they become so darn much dearer--
One can’t help but be enthralled:
The miser and the Sanskritist,
Along with basset hounds, delight. 
And even the podiatrist
Shines with Uncreated Light.

The Ugly Gnome of Love
A sleeping giant awoke,
And if you were thinking 
This might have been 
Different than other such 
Awakenings, you’d be wrong.
The fear that naturally arose 
Among those who observed 
That gargantuan body stir in the bed
Was diminished when some saw
That he was actually somewhat 
Handsome. More than somewhat, 
If you looked the right way.
And as the sheets slipped off to reveal
His sinewy form, it became clear 
That this was the musculature 
Of knowing right from wrong:
The quadriceps of awareness of 
Who the problem is, the pecs of 
Unqualified certainty, and those abs: 
The sadly necessary core of hatred 
Required to get the job done.
As he sat up and stretched, 
Something stirred under the bed,
And as he stood and ambled toward the toilet,
Admiring his large penis as it wagged 
Back and forth, a dwarf crawled out from the 
Underbunk dust bunnies and followed him, 
At first unobserved. He was somewhat ugly, 
This tiny being. More than somewhat, 
If you looked closely, with the bad skin and stink 
Common to his kind. And only as the piss 
Hit the porcelain did the giant notice the 
Insignificant being there at his ankle,
Looking up at him with an offensive gaze 
Of kindness, wholly inappropriate
For one so obviously powerless,
And in anger he directed the stream 
Of hot urine onto the tiny loser’s head
Where it came down like Niagara Falls on a mouse,
Thinking he'd drown him and be done with it.
At this, the Gnome of Love sputtered and retched,
But didn’t die. Small, powerless, and immortal,
He’d been pissed on by many other giants,
It turned out, and had lived to tell the tale.
So still he looked up.

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