Intruder

Why do you still seep through my subconscious
and sour my dreams with your familiar scent?
even when I finally feel sure I can let go
your phantom reappears to pierce my heart

Months of black void nights suddenly ended
with blurry images and emotions on fire
still razor sharp after all these years
bleeding out onto my white sheets as I sleep

Even the me inside my mind has grown weary
of your semi-frequent infiltration
last night I told you I wished you'd never
have come back into my life at all

Even so, there is something distracting
about the way nothing else feels real
after our unconscious encounters
everything else becomes hollow

For this reason some part of me still savors
the sweet drops of pain you produce within me
a reminder of the tender stirring I once felt inside
a stark contrast to the silence that now smothers

Embracing Autumn

The sleepy sun begins to blink
after months of brightly beaming
suddenly realizing the long, hot days 
have started to wane once again

There is a stirring of pumpkin spice excitement
as the air lifts and lightens its humid grip
rising early to greet crisp, chilly mornings
with socked feet and hot mugs held tightly in cold hands

Spiced apple cider and gathering together
to face the winter slowly creeping closer
crafting grinning pumpkins to keep the
growing darkness at bay

Learning to allow myself to enjoy this season
despite the inevitable mental decline ahead
bravely barreling toward the frigid cold while
celebrating another successful season in the sun

Passenger

A coyote cuts across the foggy highway
a life held inside indecision, a moment's hesitation
could be a violent end of everything all at once

Sulfurous air that once shrouded out the sun
a sudden impact that swallowed the earth
in many decades of dark, lifeless winter

Time has a way of emphasizing
the absurdity of right and wrong when
final outcomes are impossible to predict

Half the suffering I've known has been
an inner upheaval of moral outrage
resistance to the evils of this world

My stormy turmoil subsides if only
I can learn to surrender all judgement
and accept my place as a humble passenger

Who am I to hold dominion over
the way life is supposed to unfold?
I prefer the role of patient witness anyway

To watch with curious eyes and an open heart
ready to embrace all of life with equanimity
a grateful submission to existence beyond understanding

To play my small part with a soft hand
extending a gentle, hopeful intention of pure love
prepared to let go of any and all expectations

Tender feet along the balustrade, balancing
between engagement and surrender
too often falling into indignation and anger

The perpetual repetition of life can be tedious
but it offers endless chances to keep trying
precious lessons linger behind a door that is always open

Every failure is an opportunity to find grace
there is no permanence, perfection, or wasted effort
everything is as it should be, everything is as it should be

When You’re With Me

I start to get frustrated when you're away
I forget all the reasons I love you
seeds begin to stir inside my subconscious
spinning stories of mistrust and cynicism

I fill the space between us with thick shadow
unshakeable doubts that make me shudder
cringing at my own incompetence in communication
afraid of looking foolish in the face of disinterest

Prepared to push away when you pull me in
rehearsing my preemptive rejection for self-protection
perpetually surprised when I immediately melt
and let you fold me tenderly in your arms again

Set at ease by your soothing, sultry smell
the stability of warm skin under soft fingertips
stilling the tumultuous tide churning deep inside
replacing it with gently waving fields of sweet grass

Stay with me a little longer
let me linger in this sacred, silent connection
let it seep into my cells so that I cannot forget
the simple, supple harmony between our hearts
 

Simple Things

I've never admired those
who have more than me
my lip curls with contempt
at the American obsession
with wealth and power and fame

I don't want to watch documentaries
about the painfully overprivileged few
and how they rationalize their "success"
I'll stick to reading Charles Dickens
and doting on David Copperfield

Nothing is more inspiring than
learning to celebrate what you have
especially when it may not seem like much
my sentimental heart aspires toward
Beth March in Little Women

Even in imagination wanting nothing
but the pleasant company of loving family
and just enough to keep from struggling too much
just enough money to eat and enjoy one another
the softest pleasures that dollar bills can never buy

Excessive good fortune can be a distraction
my old soul has always seen through the illusion
that big business and the finer things are prerequisites
to a fully satisfying and worthwhile existence
I have no desire for sparkling falsity

I know the diamond of my happiness cannot be obtained
it is within me, buried behind solid, black rock
my tedious task, to lovingly uncover it's brilliance bit by bit
to teach my longing heart that we've always had enough
to settle into the glistening pools of gratitude already open to me

Within all the small pleasures that I take for granted
are housed the beauty and boundless joy of life
I have no interest in material fortune and wealth
what I am seeking is much more complicated,
ambiguous, and tricky to obtain

Mansions, cars, and golden rings hold no value to me
I'm not impressed by yachts and private islands
instead, I bow before the gentle, simple, silent things
my spirit has always been a flightless bird that cannot help
but to sing when its feathers are ruffled by the strong breeze

Peripheral

Anxiety is living life in the periphery
a mind afraid to focus on direct experience
like eyes left straining into the blurry images
produced from the outer angles of sight

Endlessly missing the opportunity
to see what's right in front of me
distracted by the desperation to see it all
before making my next move

Walking blindly into the future
while believing there is some safety
in focusing all attention on the sidelines
absorbed by unclear, obscured visions

Mastering the practice of mindfulness
the ever evolving effort to stare straight ahead
being present with what's before me rather
than apparitions hovering just out of view

Keep walking faithfully forward
syncing each breath with firm steps
resting in the reality of perpetual uncertainty
softly savoring all the surprises of life

Allowing myself to become engrossed
in the ever unfolding mirage of right now
releasing all tight tendrils of assumed control
to be submerged in this moment

Let It Be

Shedding the crackling layers of thought
the busy hum inside that separates us
from the splendid simplicity of the moment
embracing boredom as a sacred rest

Letting go of the desperate clinging
the endless search for answers and meaning
this life doesn't have to be anything besides
exactly what it is as we breathe here now

You're doing enough, you are enough
whether or not you've made a masterpiece
out of every second of your day
sip in inner stillness with the stale air

All tension comes from the stories we tell
our insistence that we should be somewhere else
when did it become so scary to nestle into silence
to spend hours watching the rain come and go

When did I begin to rely on the things outside myself
to be a signal for if I'm doing okay, if I'm allowed to be happy
hushing my internal guide to subscribe to other influences
surrendering my deep knowing for doubt

Even my sad days have their own worth
it's the struggle to escape them that becomes suffering
sitting with myself in the darkness is okay
being a friend to this form instead of abandoning her

I still don't know if unconditional love can be taught
or if it's already there beneath all the noise
but if this life is just spent searching and learning
what a beautiful experience it will be regardless
Hitomi Mochizuki – One of my favorite high-vibe YouTubers

My Temple

This body is not an ornament
or a toy to break and replace
it is the holy vessel that holds me
and tethers me to this world

A useful container that houses the soul
perfect and precious because it is uniquely mine
the one thing I fully own, my true home
the most important gift I could be given

How ungrateful I've been for
the mortal flesh that supports me
my personal window into reality
an unconscious effort that keeps me living

Belittling all that this body does
based only on shallow self judgement
centered around outward appearance
as if that even matters

The frightened animal form
my consciousness has been assigned
to protect and take care of
offering only criticism and neglect

May I be a better steward
to this living temporary temple
and learn to speak to it with gratitude
and soft caresses of loving kindness

The True Self

My multitudes are mercurial
the ever shifting sand of self
spills through tightly clenched fists
scattered by hot wind into oblivion

Not fully embodied by either
the single granular piece nor
the expansive vastness of the dunes
rather residing somewhere in between

The jarring duel perspective of being
the witness and the subject simultaneously
surreal surveillance of mind and body
fabricated force of strained separation

Taking action is a distraction
over-the-top over analyzing of reality
obscures the resounding hum of here and now
learning to let go and simply allow

Releasing the tension of assumed control
setting down the false shield of ego
to finally reveal the safety we've been seeking
was hiding behind the fear of full surrender

Is It Practice or Pretending

Sometimes I miss the days
when hating yourself was cool
now that I was good at
cigarettes and self harm
underaged drinking and drugs
from disreputable sources
not caring about my future
was a free fall into darkness
but at least it felt free
self-hatred had a shadow
of pity and compassion
I could wrap around myself
at the very end of the day
a full-bodied surrender
to unshakable sadness

Shifting perceptions of self care
can start to feel like a curse
when you can never live up
to your own expectations
shame and self-doubt stack up
the irony of forced kindness
metallic aftertaste of unworthy
a constant struggle with
the authoritarian arbiter
of my own inner voice
will it ever get easier
to give myself grace
now my shadow is self-criticism
for being utterly unable
to practice what I preach