Into Darkness We Must Go

Photo by Evgeni Tcherkasski on Unsplash

I sit

The sea swirling around me

Awash and adrift in the torment of my soul.

Waves lash at this body

This ship

This aching thing on which I rely

And in which I dwell.

Clouds may cover the sun

But beyond the tempest of my pain

I know the sky is still blue.

Unrelenting

This storm and my sorrow

Cannot help but rise

And fall

But rise once more

Into a maleficent column

Like a beanstalk offering some sick promise

Of salvation

Of hope

Of dread

At the inhospitable unknown.

Twilight brings terror

Darkness brings a certain death.

Nevertheless into the dark I go,

Less of willingness

And more of choicelessness

And perhaps surrender.

But when I uncover my eyes

And dare to stare into the face

Of the demons before me

I see it.

In daylight it eluded me.

In tempest it remained hidden.

But now that I have plunged into darkness

It becomes quite clear.

The lighthouse.

For the Wild Ones who Are Never Happy

Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

There are those among us who take life at face value.

But, there are also those of us who never seem to be satisfied with what is given; our thirst for understanding never slaked by the simplicity of what lies on the surface.

For we are the inappeasable ones who never cease digging for greater clarity, understanding, and depth. Life, we say, is but one great puzzle to be chipped away at, year after year, day after day, until once and for all we are surrendered into the great beyond.

Will we ever find our satisfaction, our nirvana, our bliss in having solved the great mystery? 

Probably not, because beyond this mystery lies another, and then another, and still another after. But it is our searching which quenches us just enough to keep looking for more. It is the teasing of achievement which tantalizes our hunger and precludes our complacency.

Sure, there is a simplicity and comfort to be found in acceptance and surrender. To float along the currents without seeking out their source is as honorable a way to live as any other. But it is not for us—not at all.

When we find ourselves confronted with a challenge, we solve it and keep right on walking, not onward to the next task, but deeper into the depths of the forest which stands before us, seeking out the answers to why and how.

Read the rest on Elephant Journal: https://www.elephantjournal.com/2020/11/to-those-who-are-never-happy/

When Chaos Reigns

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

Let us melt into sleep and sweetness, your skin against mine.  The world around us rages on and tears at our ragged clothes like a gaunt, ravenous demon.  Perhaps this is the end times, or at least the trial of all were made of, come to determine who among us is strong of heart.

Through the night our souls venture far and wide, willing our wildness to return home amongst the pines and streams and mountains and beasts.  Your hand crawls through dusky covers and sheets and finds its place atop my chest.  You anchor me, and we travel together.  I may rouse, or you may roll over, but I rest easy knowing your heart is still wrapped around mine.

Sometimes our dreams are fitful, terrible things which pry us from comfort and deliver us unto fear.  Jolting between realms your gasp draws me near again and we find respite in legs that will not be satisfied unless tangled together.  Then there is the matter of our breath, which drops into rhythm as though conducted by some cosmic maestro pulling strings that make our bodies and hearts collide.   

Still, in the ashy dawn of another day without rest, you curl up next to me and we welcome our struggle together.  You climb on top of me, your legs and arms wrapping me up as tightly as mine wrap you.  Intimacy becomes our salvation and our safe passage unto tomorrow. 

Have I known you forever?  Certainly for as long as I’ve known you, you’ve felt familiar. 

Sometimes I try to imagine a life without you, and it’s not that the pain of such an image prevents me, but more that the universe simply isn’t written that way and so it cannot be seen.

Lifetimes pass as I trace the contours of your body, cresting each ridge and swallowing each valley with the vigor and vitality of a man who lives for adventure.  No mountain, no desert, no river nor sea could ever outshine the radiance of you.

When you rise from our bed to put the coffee on, your naked silhouette dancing through the gloom of an autumn morning, I watch you.  You joke that I can’t see you without my glasses, but I’m not looking with my eyes.

In the gaze of my heart you are beheld, and I savor every drop of the incredible energetic gravity you hold in my life.

Sometimes I like to watch you from a distance, as a hunter watching a fawn which draws from his hungry heart the slivers and shards of tenderness for all life which each man carries with him always.  I want to ravage you, but more than that I stand baffled because I cannot find adequate vessels through which to pump the blood of my love for you.  I came for the hunt, but found only the tears of rebirth, and still return home nourished. 

How many stories have been woven of this thread?  How many songs and how many poems have been birthed by those who have sipped of this holy water?  How many monuments have been erected for the sole purpose of channeling the power of love into something tangible so that the power of love itself does not consume its holder?

Empires fall for love.  Men and women die for it.  Life is created from it.  The world spins because of it.

And I live and breathe and walk and laugh and sing for it.

So even as the world sees chaos reign and our wilderness burns, know that our house will not fall.  As the chains of this life bind us to suffering, I will still ravage you and savor your ravaging of me.  As the trials we face test even our last reserves of strength, I will always hold the strength to carry you in my heart, and to hold you in my arms.

We will not be undone, for we are bound by life itself. Against these bonds I will never fight.

If I Don’t Make You Angry

Photo by Allan Filipe Santos Dias on Unsplash

If I do not make you angry

then you do not love me.

Never

not in the entire history of the sea

has there been a sailor

who has not spewed vitriol

at the very waves he loves so.

Never

has there been a rider

who did not swear in anger

at his horse

to which he owes his life.

And so it is,

Beloved,

that love deepens our hearts

indiscriminately. 

There are no feelings

more or less holy

in the eyes of Love.

It is our duty to feel

and should we attempt to shirk

this sacred responsibility

Love will certainly draw forth

from the depths of our being

all of the requisite emotions

in order to craft a life well-lived.

So I say, if I do not make you angry

at least once in a while

then you do not love me.

Beneath Bashful Bloodied Skies

Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash

These mountains,

the Sangres,

standing tall and unabashed,

the remnants of a page ripped from God’s novel.

We sit in its wake

wondering of which of these unknowable secrets

we’ve been robbed.

Above, the clouds are the blood of our sins

drop-dropped into the ocean of heaven

drawing us in, such that we can’t look away.

Golden embers dust these peaks and

sparrows feast on sparks

as darkness sounds its final warning.

And then, like the color draining

from a fast-dying day,

we are left amidst the pallor

of a world that just keeps turning.

Features fade into obscurity

and our marvel melds with meaningless majesty.

An offering of our love

swept downstream

and consumed with thankless irreverence.

This world is larger than we.

Our odes console our restless souls far more

than they honor the subjects of our fascination.

So quietly we weep,

enshrined and imprisoned by our hopeless humanity

while the wolves run free

and the elk die gracefully

beneath bashful, bloodied skies.