Fear & Hunger

Courage comes from craving
deeply held desires inspire us
to face the things we fear
with nothing worth reaching for
it's easy to remain stagnant

a gazelle will risk
standing side by side with a lion
if its thirst becomes great enough
dropping it's gaze from the patient predator
is worth the chance to take a drink

taking risks requires
the promise of reward
eliminating anxiety is not an option
instead I must find something
I want more than avoidance

I haven't felt that hunger
in such a long time
life becomes exhausting
when you're left trying
to just hold the line

Conflict

Conflict breeds closeness
a concept I've never quite understood
how can fighting foster connection?
I've always favored a clean break

Torn, tired muscles
grow back stronger every time
I suppose this is the principle
I've never applied

Emotions too big to express
evaporate on my lips
speaking out signals vulnerability
it's safer to pretend I don't care

Always held at arm's length
trading isolation for immunity
from all the messiness
wound up with others

Relationships aren't worth the risk
this mantra once protected me
always alright, but alone and uninspired
sometimes it feels too late to change

Trapped

trapped inside a groundhog day
of my own design
rinse and repeat
for the thousandth time

why not fall back into bad habits
when there is nothing better to do
it's tedious and troublesome
but the truth is far more terrifying

it's always been easier
to hide behind a mind set to autopilot
than to confront the chaos and uncertainty
that causes me so much fear

at least this way the days fly by
sticking to strict schedules
provides the protective illusion of control
assures there are no unexpected surprises

but the unexpected, the unknown
that's where spontaneous joy resides as well
hidden behind a writhing wall of fear and hesitation
I am what's holding me back

Where Do I Belong

They say that connection
is an essential component
of human happiness
buried deep within our DNA
we know we were not made
to stand apart

This obvious fact haunts me
and hovers above my timid heart
like a phobia of food and water
what I fear is other people
prickling skin and sweaty palms
is this what happiness feels like?

What a cruel, ridiculous irony
to be afraid of what you need
encountering so much pain 
alongside the brief pleasure
of each pathetic attempt
to belong

self defeating, sinful nature
I feel mostly bitterness
towards my own kind
I've forsaken them long ago
to find refuge 
somewhere else

I've learned to quench my thirst for connection
among the dirt and dust of forest floors
saying hello to passing birds
the innocent caresses of angelic animals
that offer me far more love
than I could ever hope to have from humanity

I was never proud to be a person
like every one else seems to be
I'd much rather place myself
with those I trust and admire
resting in the peace and simplicity
of my true brethren in nature

Fear Moves Forward

that flutter in my chest
never seems to settle
eyes fixed on the future
never find rest
there is always something else
looming just over the horizon
a new fear always forms
to take its place
perching itself on my racing heart
safety and peace
permanently out of reach
forever pushed back
anxiety is a moving target
that always promises you
"just one more bull's eye
and I'll be gone"
no matter how many times
I fall for this lie
I'll believe it again tomorrow
because it's so tempting to think
that this will go away
that if I can adjust my life just right
I'll be able to rest

Unsafe

For years I've been afraid
of everything I want
I'm afraid to lose this sense of longing
I've set a place for at my table
I'm afraid it will leave me
and I'm afraid that it won't
When I face that inner voice of mine
that's all it seems to say:
I'm afraid
I'm afraid
I'm afraid
this mantra skips and repeats
etches and engraves deep marks in me
flutters nervously behind my eyelids
where can I go
when I'm afraid of every outcome
it's hard to move forward
on shaking, unsteady limbs
I've exhausted every effort
to soothe the voice that says "unsafe"
I've built up walls and barricades
I've torn them down to demonstrate
that I can be brave
but still the deep seed of fear remains
it cracks through the concrete I lay
it crawls ever upward through my veins
searching for the sun

Fixation and Focus

fixation and focus
are very different things
fixation festers and ferments 
multiplies and consumes
the subject grows
until it suffocates

focus is freedom from distraction
submerged in the present moment
the soft flow of inspiration
over a thirsty soul
finally silencing
all inner doubt

there is no comparison
between the two 
though they seem so similar
at first glance
one state we chase
the other chases us

The Descent

when does routine
become a restraint
a heavy weight around your ankle
dangling over the balustrade

no prison more insidious
than the bars built up in our minds
silently erecting new walls each day
to box us into smaller and smaller spaces

somedays it's a revelation
to realize I'm the warden
that these limitations
have been self imposed

the power of self-possession
is a perplexing puzzle to ponder
the overwhelming responsibility
of deciding my own destiny

the never ending balancing act
between benefit and burden
mind numbing monotony
and clumsy chaos

learning to trust
those internal cues
telling you it's time
for change

instead of stuffing myself
into stifling rituals that no longer serve me 
resisting the endless cycle
of inner evolution

it's so scary to let go
of what's carried you this far
even once you begin
to drown

it's so tempting
to keep pretending
that perfection can be reached
if you keep pushing

I'm still learning how
to leave the sinking ship
before it hits
rock bottom

to take notice of the decent
and bravely face the bitter cold
of unknown waters
once again 

Focus

there is no peace for
a heart hunted down
by phantom fears

what you seek
will soon be found
magnified, multiplied

lungs filled with flowers
dark and haunted hovels
iridescent crystals of consciousness

each frame of reality
a microcosm
of unending eternity

selections from innumerable
fractals of possibility
manifested as moments

focus, focus, focus
fear, death, joy, and love
are equally present in everything

don't be afraid
of the uncertainty
that engulfs you

it is the soft caress
of the brutal, boiling sun
that sets you free