What I Want Most

I never considered
the things I wanted
was asking too much

It's not as though
I wasn't willing
to work very hard

As children we're told that's enough
that great enough efforts
will inevitably succeed

The more time passes
the more aware I become
of my error

My trial was never
taking on the hard work
it was something worse

My life is about learning
to let go of what I want most
all together

To accept all that I've sacrificed
has been worthless and wasted
leading to the same result

Which is utter surrender
to a life that lacks everything
I've yearned for since my youth

Growing up has
turned out to be
a lesson in starving

An appetite spoiled on fairytales
is unable to stomach
the bitter truth
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Soft Escape

There is a stillness in the night
that stops all thought
I often wonder if it is supposed
to feel so sweet as I slip
underneath existence

Each morning is an agony
of renewed responsibility and expectation
awaking to find myself again confined
behind the same searching eyes
within a cumbersome prison of flesh and bone

Where is it exactly that we spend half our lives?
why does my soul seem more suited
to the ethereal landscapes of the unconscious?
why has the waking world never seemed
to hold me fully in its solid hand?

I've always looked forward to the night
to the moment I am swallowed up by
the soft oblivion behind my eyelids
even a dreamless inky darkness
to me seems simply scrumptious

I've rarely known the torment of
an agitated, incomplete night's sleep
I am equally a stranger to even a moment
of conscious rest and repose
I'm accustomed to black and white

My soul is perpetually sleepy
exhausted by the constant fires
lit within the waking world
It wants to dissipate under deep slumber
to be scattered into stardust

I can only hope that I'll be greeted
by this same strange pleasure
as I let go once more into my ultimate end
and sink beneath those familiar, dark waters
for one sublime and final time

Fire and Water

Born beneath the boiling shadow of the sun
burning passion manifested in flesh and bone
strength and intensity transmuted into anger
the slow seeping magma of explosive impatience

The eternal struggle for complete control
and heavy-handed attempts to tame the self
an ego fed on prized intelligence
poisoned by pride and arrogance

Unable to reconcile opposing elements within
soul of fire extinguished inside a liquid vessel
boiling the healing water of the divine feminine
resisting the sacred, subtle siren's call inside

Energy wasted holding back the floodgates
of essential intuition from my own moon
exhausted endlessly by juxtaposition
masculine star that refuses to surrender

Undermining the powerful energy of emotion
a wordless wisdom that swells just below the surface
only finding security behind a wall of fire
yet left untempered, all will burn

Balance is a battle of uniting two opposing forces
illuminating insight as a new narrative emerges
inspired to uncover their nature is complementary
opposites housed in one harmonious being

The worthy challenge of discovering
the rhythm of effort and ease
in order to fully embody
consciousness' stark contrasts

Overwhelmed by Imagination

Mental illness is a side-effect of great intelligence
the convoluted, crippling creativity of an aimless mind
consumed by endless possibilities others cannot conceive
a life held suspended in anticipatory anxiety

A feedback loop that becomes incapacitating
a simple fear can become compounded tenfold
fearing the fear, fearing the fear of the fear, and so forth
spiraling into a paralysis of infinite indecision

Stuck in the self-deception of finding a solution
trying to think your way out of overthinking is absurd
salvation lies in the surrender to sensation instead
forsaking the mental landscape for the physical body

What does this fear feel like? Where is it held inside?
a jittering energy of dis-ease beneath my chest
the dizziness that sets in from a blood pressure spike
an unsettling static nestled deep in my stomach

The fever of neurosis is broken by awareness
how strange it seems to have survived the sensation
I've been running from all of my life
the cure of quiet curiosity

Being present in the storm as it passes
acknowledging the connection between
frightening delusions and flowering imagination
the balance between benefit and burden

Learning to embrace the full scope of being
this incredible entity with boundless potential
finally finding gratitude within the fear I carry
my best qualities sprout from that same seed

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

Slow Fade to Black

Easy breathing, autumn air
early mornings turned satisfyingly crisp
the sun has softened like sleepy eyelids
drooping gently in the pastel sky

Time to get cozy and start lighting candles
celebrating sumptuous spices and savory foods
using up the squashes left over from one last harvest
patient preparation of nests for the cold months ahead

Another successful cycle completed
observing the graceful pirouette of mother earth
showering colorful leaves from her folded skirt
as she spins new life into old, familiar stories

Sit with me awhile and listen
to the cicada chorus begin its evening song
to signal the bittersweet surrender from summer
a goodbye serenade to constant sunshine

Learning to enjoy the subtle sadness of certain endings
seeing myself in the auburn fade of fallen leaves
allowing my own colors to seep out slowly
to nourish the dark soil with all that I once was

The Rain Reminds Me

Waking to the sound of rain
a song of rest outside my window
sanctuary of subdued sunshine
a signal to soften and slow down

Dewey refuge from frantic movement
rejuvenation released from the sky
deflating this bloated baggage of worry
replaced with soothing streams of surrender

Tender tones of grey and blue
wrapping me in sacred stillness
permission to let go and listen
the soft drumbeat of water on leaves

Muffled birdsongs through the mist
relentless ethereal cadence of crickets
full bodied accompaniment to life's chorus
syncopated splashes contributed by clouds

Damp doves drying in tree branches
the whole world holding it's breath
absorbing this gift of liquid life relinquished
awe-inspiring cycle of earth's abundance

Savoring the simple gifts of nature
the last few decades of clean water
overcome with sheer gratitude for
deep exhales punctuated by raindrops

Black Hole

Turning around to find yourself facing
the yawning, gaping mouth of the future
a black hole of unknowns grabbing
at you with tiny black, star-speckled hands

The weight of it's gravity pulls you to your knees
wide-eyed stare of uncertainty, unable to look away
limitless vacuum that no light can escape
not knowing, the torrent of fear in perpetual motion

The mind's desperate grasp for something to hold onto
feet slipping forward into far-away, formless infinities
the tension of muscles trying to cling to past and present
an ill fated battle against all powerful time

So afraid to surrender to the inevitable destination
distracted by the scent of suffering in smaller doses
marveling at the mind's ability to imagine countless possibilities
exhausting itself to find safety in contingencies for each one

The hopeful illusion of life as a game of chess
pretending there are a set of correct moves to make
that will spare you from all pain and regret
the pressure to perform perfectly enough to find peace