Let Me Sleep

It's not fair I can't fall asleep with the trees every winter
and only rise again when the distant sun returns
being left abandoned in this windswept landscape
is too much agony to endure year after year

Left to live as a corpse in this cold darkness
denied the sweet slumber offered to half of nature
unable to escape into an expanded unconsciousness
until I am awaked by the scent of spring flowers

Half my life is wasted waiting for the thaw
huddled into myself for safety and warmth
where the beauty of the silent snow
cannot creep into my veins

Patience is a virtue I have not been artful in
the ticking clock torments me and tears me down
telling me I must rise and not let time slip by
while my delicate soul continues to shiver
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The Devil’s Mill

There was a time when the world moved slow
with the rounded loveliness of hiccupping days
that dripped gently into the deep, reflective pool of life

When rushing into the future was a sign of ill intent
not the industrious, enviable attitude of an elite individual
only a madman would pass up the daily spectacle of the setting sun

The wind through the reeds served its own ends
and it was an honor just to be a witness to this earth
as she twirled and unfurled a routine of majestic mysteries

Time is the tyrant that has torn us from true living
a construct of man that manifests in ceaseless obligations
a slight of hand that has convinced us it is objective and concrete

A clock will not tell you that this moment is eternal
the liquid nature of the kaleidoscope of now
if forever transforming and becoming something new

The radio static of the collective mind has gotten so loud
it's all but drown out the music of the present moment for us all
life has become the distant background noise of greater misery

But the shackles of time can still be cast off
it's not too late to emerge again into snow white infinity
the devil's mill that man has set in motion can also be stopped

The Gift of Idleness

Paradise is promised to us
through painstaking productivity
happiness is hanging there
just past more hard work

It's shameful to acknowledge exhaustion
after hours toiling in the sweltering sun
no one dares commit the sin of sitting down
swallowed up by the fear of being labeled lazy

Capitalism is cleaver if nothing else
convincing us to become our own slave drivers
soiling our own perceptions of what it means
to savor this one and only existence

Linking the concept of leisure with sloth
until we never stop moving for even a second
losing sight of our right to be idle
and enjoy the God-given gifts of this life

Standing still is an act of shocking rebellion
in a social system that expects you
to burn your own flesh to feed the never ending
fire of the economy and sacred stock market

These collective misguided morals congeal
making virtue synonymous with profit for the powerful
a seed of shame buried deep within the conscience
of every unfortunate American child

Your blood is worth only as much as the oil
that it can replace in the groaning machine of industry
keep making the products you will always be
too poor to consume yourself

Trying to make us forget that stillness
has been the wellspring of all great art and invention
a futile effort to make us too tired to revolt
they cannot choke off my awe of the open sky 

Learning to Float

Sometimes it takes simple things
to help settle the restless soul
despite the illusion only grand gestures
could get us unstuck

The stillness below the chaos
is where true safety lies waiting
while we keep covering ourselves
with gleaming trinkets and lofty ambitions

It seems silly to suppose
a couple extra glasses of water
could cleanse this nagging agitation
simmering ceaselessly inside

Impossible to imagine transformation
taking shape from a few moments
of mindful breathing in the evening
while the mind is insisting we need more

Soft bubbles of splendid space
open up when we stop moving
savoring the sensation of buoyancy
when we finally stop swimming

Sick of Self-Care

Acts once performed with the intention of loving kindness
have become just additional burdens of mindless routine
every little task now resonates with resentment
self-care disfigured and transmuted into self-harm

Somehow I turn even healing practices into poison
to punish myself for not meeting my own expectations
what is there inside me that turns self-love so sour?
why doesn't putting in the work work for me?

Tools I was told would transform me if I was patient
were twisted into weapons of perfectionism
just more masochistic mutations of all the miracles
I used to think would some day save me

I'm so tired of this futile self-improvement project called me
the pearls of ancient wisdom I've turned to soot within my fingers
the internal pressure of trying to get better is
the terminal illness of my inner-most essence

January 2023

January punishes with pale grey glances
punctuated by ragged breaths of sharp wind
the air is empty of all familiar affection
no more lingering, soft caresses from the sun

The candles have all been extinguished on hearths
and families that had gathered for feasting
seem to have long since dispersed and dissolved
back into this new year of silent, bleak darkness

Expected to set goals while my soul is frozen over
exhausted by the pitiful effort of just trying to get by
themes of death thud against the weather worn door
while paper crane wishes are swallowed up in icy oblivion

Winter is a season where time stands still
and all perspective on life is lost within waiting and
the halfhearted insistence I'll feel good again in spring
promise me this practice of painful patience will pay off 

Envy

Comparison is the thief of joy
and my wealth has all slipped away
through the heavy sieve of envy

The swelling warmth of gratitude
has given way to the sweltering heat
of sharp, gnawing jealousy

My eyes keep straining toward empty places
between vast, unobserved abundance
fixated on the violent feeling of unfairness

Cinder blocks of bitter energy build walls
to block my view of countless blessings
souring my simple share of happiness

Unable to stop magnifying this self-induced, unnecessary suffering
while being simultaneously smothered by the shame
of being unsatisfied when I have so much

The Ocean Breathes

Serenity resides beside the seashore
beneath the salty breath of the ocean
the rhythmic humming of the heavy tide
reminds me to breathe deeply

The liquid lungs of this sacred planet
the dark, watery womb of all life
releasing oxygen into the atmosphere
while it sways against the weight of the moon

The crashing exhale of massive waves
chases away all fears of letting go
hypnotized by the back and forth
of forces far greater than I

The awe-inspiring grandeur
of the undulating sea
brings a deep sense of peace
I've been holding my breath

Unnecessary Need

I resent the need for community
the suffocation that settles over the soul
after prolonged periods of being utterly alone

I'm not presumptuous enough to suppose
that other people could ever value me
I wouldn't ask for what I don't deserve

The human condition is being put in the position
to require some amount of social support that
I am unwillingly compelled to pursue

I won't pray for things I haven't earned, that I am unfit for
all I ask is to be spared the pain of possessing
a basic need that always aches, but cannot be fulfilled

Please let the empty spaces satiate
fill me up with the silence beneath everything
make this loneliness enough for me

Manifest

Early morning cracks us open
a plump, orange yolk perched upon
the rolling expanse of open acres
the symphony of dawn begins 
beneath a veil of cool, dissipating mist

The earth awakens and unfurls in an instant
with interwoven, simultaneous, upbeat bustling
as hundreds of intricate beings of all sizes emerge
to dutifully begin their humble daily tasks
unwittingly weaving the world together for one another

The swollen present swallows us completely
enveloped in the electric energy currents of pulsating life
rushing through creek beds and rustling vibrant leaves
a soothing, faithful hum that echoes inside and out
intoxicated by the sweet nectar of undulating harmony

Each moment overflowing with the simple joy of right now
lapping up the soft waters of where we belong
indistinguishable elements of the intricate, lush landscape
synchronizing ourselves to the cadence of all creation
every instant ripe with it's own inherent meaning