brief blink

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you are getting better at this:

moving these murmurs through time;

 

listening beyond the trickle of life-blood

to the more ever-lasting.

 

how else do you manage the fear?

 

it is going to end someday, this leg

of the path, these moments you have known,

 

these glorious-rugged breaths;

 

the clock coming to a slow stop

inside this gentle chest.

 

for a brief blink, you will take it all with you;

then you begin the next forgetting:

 

the forging that allows you to keep existing

until you come face-to-face with the god-frame

 

from which you were sprung.

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our house divided

inside this body are seasons:

orange, brown, white, black, green, pink.

they oscillate in the wind; they keep

trying to tell me who i am.

 

i am a book of years wrapped in

ribbons of non-time; i am matter and

anti-matter dancing along a loop of infinity.

we still do not know what lies at the core.

 

each month i unwrap one year;

every few days is a new moon,

waxing and waning with terror and beauty,

hunger and spirit, numbness and nothing.

 

no one can tell me who i am.

i must move this spectrum through space,

cutting closer to the center:

galvanized by love, rage, curiosity, grace.

 

if you have ever sustained anyone of any age,

you know the cycles we take: trays, cups, utensils, bottles,

napkins, needles piled up all over the house—pills counted

and swallowed, like stuffing wishing coins into a cuckoo clock.

 

we perch and hang onto the edges until we can

no longer fight the urge to lie down, to face

our house divided, to be horizontal like the rolling hills,

waving and watching from a great depth-distance.

paso por paso (or, instructions for the puzzle of life)

Puzzle 1

Clear a large space.

Establish boundaries (cat optional).

Start with the sharp edges and work inward.

Take it one step at a time; build frameworks where possible.

Follow your first impulses/impressions.

Smile between the furrows. (This is supposed to be fun.)

Others will be inspired by you and will sometimes want to sit with you and your endeavors. Savor the companionship.

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Simultaneously work on random patches and patterns. They will gradually begin to make sense and fit in.

When you’re in the midst of the mess, go make a sandwich.

Consult the big picture often.

Study each detail: the shape, shadow, grain, texture, color, depth (cat teeth marks).

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Vary your attention regularly between the big picture and the small details.

Try many things, and be willing to make many mistakes. You will come frustratingly close many times, and be wrong.

Admit the mistakes. Be willing to work backward to undo them.

You will be overwhelmed by the sheer scope of the task. Become comfortable with a certain level of chaos.

You can’t keep putting everything away in its neat, tidy place. Sometimes you have to lay it all out on the table for all to see, for you to face.

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Have faith that you will find everything you need.

If you do not find everything you need, have faith that you will be able to improvise.

Sometimes you have to stop looking for something in order to find it.

Deeply study the empty places to determine how they need to be filled.

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Each new day will bring renewed perspective, light, focus, and energy.

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Turn your thinking on its head. Keep rearranging.

Revel in the satisfaction of the right fit, of each small piece clicking into place.

Drink lots of coffee.

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Welcome help along the way; others bring unique perspectives and often see things we’ve missed right in front of our eyes.

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Develop a love of quiet simplicity.

Be prepared to spend many hours alone.

Accept that you’re going to hit a wall sometimes. Find a way over, under, around, or through – or wait it out. Walls (we) have a way of shifting.

Breathe and be present. Feel each piece in your hand and dwell with it.

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Embrace the paradoxes. Find humor in them.

Everything is an experience. Everything is a writing opportunity.

If you’re stuck in one area, move to another. There are endless areas in need of attention.

Do the work consistently, and sit back and enjoy the transformation.

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Take the time to celebrate the triumphs.

Then, be willing to let go, dismantle every piece, and start again.

the prowler and the prey

some may think me

a hypochondriac.

 

no, i’ve just had visions of sickness and death

for as long as i can remember;

 

and, visions of flying and

birthing and being at home

 

in my new-found skin as a

lion, man, circus performer.

 

this is the human condition:

 

to watch for what is coming,

to be both the prowler and the prey.

flock

a long stem of pulse_picture2

in the late, late heat of summer

crickets click their last relief-song.

 

when i wake from wise dreams

i will be a stranger to myself,

 

toddling this globe-head around –

filling it with forgetfulness

 

and random etchings: love, war,

electrocutions, flesh-colored candles –

 

asking to be filled with wine,

begging to be drunk.

 

just being alive

is a liability.

 

it used to be so simple;

it used to be seven white cranes

 

stretching in a parade, lifting their slender

necks against the blue-green blade.

 

to truly attend to

this

 

is pain: all you see

is a long stem of pulse.

a long stem of pulse_picture

-photographs by sergio mora

 

 

four-teen

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my daughter is

writing poems and

 

playing piano

keys while the

 

world is spinning, telling her

she should be working.

 

the singing apple is still falling

from the tree

 

in slow   motion

ecstasy;

 

obelisk of beauty and utility:

reaching, perching on the edge

 

of still pools, longing

to be space-craft.

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the passing of pax romana

she sits in her space and feels a stirring,

much like the wind, much like a calling

to another place not yet

known, not yet her own:

her fingers buzz with forbidden

magic; her mind moves mountains.

the invisible warrings

of love write themselves

quietly on the back-side

of her heart-quilt, sewn in

tight like jewels, like journals

coming alive on the inside linings

of her organs, playing out

their orange chicanery.

just outside the monastery

of her own making, she

gazes at her mother repeatedly

riding in on the tide, her spirit

slipping into her shell sides;

she holds the best close

to her core and lets

the rest follow back

with the moon.