The Unnatural Door

Was it for this that I learned?
To be met by an angry door,
My efforts by its letter spurned,
Hard block on the cold floor?

T’was never such a block in nature,
Outside where no door slams shut
In the service of embittered tenure
In whose clutch all is slyly cut.

Outside, the open world shines.
Each upturned face the sun will warm,
And tearing rain the child refines,
‘a naked savage in a thunder storm.’

The new man chiseled into old,
Grown rough face with gentle care,
Listening man, leader time told,
Man’s unfair world made fair.

Nature desires the unskilled child,
Desires his green hand to tame,
There, in him, the worth of the wild,
Dressed, righted mind, with new name.

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Love Is Old Love Is New

easternmeditate

For the man of the east, love is young. It is young because it is fleeting. One might ask why the eastern man is not young himself. It is because he has aged thousands of years. There was a time when he was young, when he rejected all circles, simply because they were circular. The history of the world can be seen as a great succession of philosophers searching for knowledge,  trying to establish truth that seems to fit. But, no truth has been found to stand on its own. It is a circle floating in mid air. To live in a circle and deny its circularity is to strive in vain to be young. There came a time, however, when he no longer went from circle to circle but chose to  accept the inevitable. He became old. Love, then, to him is young.  You will find the eastern man today talking of love as if he were a child, making headlong leaps into its depths, leaving reason behind. The eastern man is a man who sits, who does not fight, and love is the one thing that will make him move. And upon moving he regains his youth if only for a moment.  For fleeting love makes him dream. Lost in the dream, he is found. But, he expects it to leave, as the rolling wheel must continue onwards. And when it does, he sits once again.

The western man has found that love is old. Ever after the time of Christ, love has told him it was old. And through love, the western man has stayed young. He has not been satisfied by the circle, but has found his reason to be straightened by a cross. The heavens have reached down to man, set him on a foundation, and caused him to stretch his arms in equal love unto his neighbor. The cross is a  fitting symbol of the west. But, as we have grown, many have found the brightness of heaven too revealing. It pierces their covering and discovers their nakedness. So, they have sought the solace of the circle. But, in this, they are not satisfied. They wander from unsatisfying circle to unsatisfying circle, not content with circularity. But old love has been tainted with the passion to be old: for man to grow more mature than his maker. And diluted love cannot make due on the promises it made when man was young. It has been reduced to only physical gifts. The western man will be heard speaking of love in old terms, but not with reference to its origin. He will speak of his tiredness of it; of the fleeting satisfaction it gives and his having been left bereft of something sure, something lasting, something that should have always been there. Old Love.

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Time for Fun

Oh, for the moment when I can leave time,
Where each thing in itself is, to the eye, sublime.
Whence freed from the hand of each tick and tock,
Relieved of the constraints  of Father Time’s clock,
I discover each leaf is joyed in eternal glow,
Each tree bends down in flourish and show,
And bows on my way as if it knows where I go.
The rain passed my window is a cleansing sight,
And sounds of splashes and sploshes just might
Wash through my mind revealing a light
Of wonder, pleasure, adventure, and fright.
I run in grand castles that echo within
Of knights and horses and fierce goblins.
I lunge my sword with friends by my side
At frightened enemies we chase far and wide.
Who knows where my feet will take me out here
Where danger lurks and looks on with a sneer.
And when I am certain to meet fearful ends,
I retreat to the place where the hand of time bends
Toward the chime of the hour whose fast coming sends
Me into the world of duties and men,
Where breadth, and length, and the height is measured
By passings of time that men stress and treasure.

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Scared

If you’re not scared, you’re not paying attention.
This world has never been a very safe place.
Evil stains here, horrors we scarce mention,
Prisoners we are, disfigured in face.

Of course you’re scared, we’re all scared,
When what lurks in the depths walks out of us,
Can a crooked man make himself straight, or be spared?
Dark fingers drag under all the unjust.

Nightmares are real, only misunderstood,
No monster below, but on top of the bed.
The word-mirror reveals spilled blood,
I thrust in the spear, who’s blood did I shed?

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On Death

I stand at the shores of a quick-raging river,
My eye reflects the city lights on the other side,
Which flow deep in the soul drowning my bitter,
While I wait for the boat to carry me past this late tide.

In this great world and wide, I trace the sun’s circuit,
Anticipating the time when it and I intersect,
This declining west I muse upon as the world glows
From the dying embers of this warm communing fire.

Yet as my eye passes through this scene,
My inner eye glimpses a dim-glassed mystery.
I too will be translated into the morning,
Where west touches east.

For those who get their dying done early,
The loud clamor of death is transformed
Into the gentle language of a quiet invitation,
At which the heart soars, beset from behind,
On the illumined path to the eternal.

For now, I act upon this material stage,
But the curtain will have its final say,
For some shall step beyond the curtain,
To begin his soliloquious apology,
Only for rough grief to be met with tender mercies.

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Waiting for Sorrow

Sorrow, far-off companion,

Not yet have I made his acquaintance,

Twice heard I Death’s appearance,

Anticipating Sorrow’s company.

Despite this, unmoved is my heart,

Unchanged, trapped in eternity of dispassion,

Eager for Sorrow to in-abide.

 

Come Sorrow, no longer stand afar,

Let my soul honor those passed,

For I long to walk your road,

My eyes see not morning afresh,

Till mourning is wrought in me.

Let your restless hands disturb my heart.

Throes of inward pain,

Find expression in my visage,

For I will not transpose Sorrow to despair,

But to tender grief.

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I Am Not He

Battle hath left wounds upon my soul,

Wounds, bruises, and putrefying sores,

Shame sinks deep and my confidence is stole,

Don’t touch– it will hurt all the more.

 

Naked, revealed to hot searing light,

My sores are burned– others look to indict,

Though none wield the sword of my inner sight,

Still, some fight as I to dwell in the height,

 

Oh, for the conqueror,

Oh, for the one triumphant,

Oh, for the too wise to be beaten,

For I am not he.

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