Wandering Thought # 101

We all coexist with the idea that the people we love might disappear at any moment, though this idea, in the every day life, only occupies the fringes of our minds. But when someone you love has cancer, the idea becomes central, and it moves to occupy the entire space. Managing your emotions while going through this is one of the hardest things a human being has to do.

Wandering Thought # 100

The years move on, and the things which seemed so important become trivial; time and loss have a way of distilling life to its essence. The years move on, what remains now are the simple things that were there all along, waiting in the quiet. The years move on, and we start making friends with our own disappearance; how well can we dance the dance before saying goodbye?

Wandering Thought # 99

Things, in the end, will not be alright, and it is unrealistic to expect them to be so. Life will falter, sickness will creep in, relationships you value will be torn, friends and lovers will one day be strange as ghosts, everything will change, nothing you love will remain the same, and, in the end, sooner or later, you yourself will disappear without ever having felt like you have had enough, or that you have fulfilled all your dreams, or resolved the puzzle of life. If you can truly face this fact, deeply, without closing your heart, you will attain internal peace, and will be able to dance in the rain for a little while. You will give all you can give, and you will know the gratitude of love.

When Sadness Comes

When sadness comes
sit with her, invite her over
to a cup of tea or coffee,
or maybe just a little wine,
resist your urge to escape from her
by drowning her in some frantic activity,
and rather hold her gently
like you would your beloved wife,
drown in her eyes
all your sorrows, fears and anxieties,
tell her what she already knows,
your insomnias and terrors
before a life devoid of affection, meaning or completion.

When sadness comes
sit with her, though she thumps
against your chest
like a wild horse being tamed,
gather up your strength and tell her
all that the harsh tides of life
have washed up inside your heart,
or just sit with her, in silence,
reading a book or listening
to a bird singing happy and unaware.

When sadness comes
smile back to her, sadly,
and offer her the dark rose
of that void pulsing in your chest,
and watch her take it, gladly,
placing it delicately
in her wildly waving hair.

When sadness comes
welcome her, that lifelong friend
loyal to a fold and intimate and tender,
and know that all she asks of you
is for you to tame her
so that one day she may begin to tell you
all the reasons for which
she is your promise of love.

Wandering Thought # 88

Not to shrink away from fear, not to rationalize it, hide it, or pretend it isn’t there. To use fear as a way of knowing your weaknesses and strengths, keeping you rooted in reality, as a way to highlight the areas of your life that are asking to grow, to keep you moving on the edge of your life, the edge that is asking you to use up your insight, strength, and imaginative powers, the edge that is sharpening you, allowing you to become the best version of yourself, the person you were meant to be. This is the purpose of fear, and that is the way it should be used by a philosophy that embraces life.

Ode to Life

In the dawn it was easy to look at her and say
That she looked beautiful like a tender array
Of moss and dew fallen from the light
Of poetry and milk churned to a white

But night came and always the gaze in her eyes
Glared with a fearful heave of burning sighs
That easily consumed eons of time
Scattering their ashes in the sky’s soundless chime

The light and the dark in her can foretell
The eternal circle and the binding spell
Of a world spinning in harmony and strife
In the breast of her whose name is Life

Letter, March 12, 2017

Woman, by virtue of being woman, casts a light upon the world — and we poets, aware and ravished by the sacredness of her ray, find our hearts burning and our words rising like smoke from within the burning. And what do all poets hope for?—well, their life at its deepest root aches to get to the source of her light, to travel her white stream upward and back into the source, the core. This, poets with a fine intuition know can only be achieved through and with a single woman. Women are many but woman, in a sense, is one. The woman the poet loves, writes his heart to, and in whose light he lives is one and provides him with the highest possible unification of life. Through her he asserts himself and reaches his peak and harmonizes his strength; through her he becomes more than a poet, he becomes a man, and, dare I say, achieves his freedom and independence of women. He finds his calling in the arms of the greatest woman of all — life. What woman entices him from now on?—the woman whose light is so ravishing that, in her presence, he feels that the physical world cannot contain him anymore. You, my love, are such a woman.

Obituaries

Obituaries,
instantly present
when a person dies;
yet true obituaries
are written long after
in the hearts and minds
of those whose life
was intimately shared,
and they are not called
obituaries then,
they are known
by a hundred other names,
enumerated
by a hundred other facts,
they are the shared moments
and their intimate depths
growing in the seedbed of life,
they are a hand still moving with ours,
and a heart beating in our own,
loving as we love,
crying as we cry,
they are the imagined togetherness
still breathing in and breathing out
as we carry upon our shoulders
the weight and the promise
and pledge in our daily bread
the laughter and the tears
of all that brought us together
and the death that made us part,
continuing our journey,
witnessing with our eyes and theirs
right into our own demise.

Conquering Death

What is eternity?—is it not this:
That I am alive, have lived, and death’s thumb
Will erase not one line that I have writ
Nor his nothingness wipe out my imprint.

I existed, I exist—this echo
Like thunder will ripple and roll through seas
Of life and death will never untangle
All the widening ripples of the I.

To have been once, to have been forever
So summon your life in her wild thunder
And sear your lifeline in blood and fire
On pages that never will fall to dust.

Tsuchii Bansui – Moon over the ruined castle

Spring in its tall towers, flower-viewing banquets,
The wine-cup passed and glinting in the light
Streaming through pine branches a thousand ages:
That moonlight of the past – where is it now?

Autumn: the white hoarfrost across the camp,
Counting the wild geese, crying as they flew:
Light of the past flashing on row on row
Of planted swords: that light – where is it now?

Now, over the ruined castle the midnight moon,
Its light unchanged; for whom does it shine?
In the hedge, only the laurel left behind:
In the pines, only the wind of the storm still sings.

High in the heavens the light remains unchanged.
Glory and decay are the mark of this shifting earth.
Is it to copy them now, brighter yet,
Over the ruined castle the midnight moon?

— Tsuchii Bansui – Moon over the ruined castle