Poem: Conversations With Rumi

rumi

Sweet Rumi, and Prophet Gibran, lend me your hearts!

Let me not be corrupted by hate, nor the enmity of wounded

Pride; the mouldering coal of anger that inflames my myocardia,

And obstructs the outlets of my infectious affection

*

Let me not be a hypocrite – I have promised to give,

So let me give – give, even when I feel only the indifference

And inattention of those I give to – when I offer of myself to

The point of exhaustion only to be met with distant stares

*

It makes this wounded child want to repair into a Grinch,

A burglarizing old Saturn, and declareth thus: “I have

Given, and been denied loving gratitude, so wherefore

Shouldst I give?”

*

Abide not that Reuben! Take that Reuben –

Slap him in the face – and sayeth unto him:

*

“Give, Reuben – give until you have donated the very bones

From your back; give of your skin – give until you are so itchy

And inflamed, your tender layers excoriated by blazing sands,

You can barely stand for the pain of how much you give

*

“By all means cherish those that receive your love,

And return it too, for they heal you and remind you

What it is to be whole – to be the middle ground

Betwixt Heaven and Earth

*

“But cherish even more those who neither take your love,

Nor return it, or if they do, give back only in outward displays

Of silent mockery, or glut the ears of your heart with poisoning

Words; those who take your love as but a trifling snack, and, after

Eating it all to surfeit, with no trace of gratitude, have the temerity

To ask “What’s for dessert?” – those to whom you give your most

Precious things only to have them to converted into missiles of

Unkindness to slay and destroy, like the golden statue of a

Glorious saint or king melted down to make metal for bullets or

Swords –

*

“If those that love you are your healers, then those emperors

And empresses of ingratitude are your teachers: they show you

How to steel your love and keep it pure – to persevere in a love

That cannot be deterred – to make your love the king of all beasts;

To dine on your obstacles as invigorating meats

*

“Evolution thrives on adaptation – so make your love such a one

As this – a love that refuses to give up – that always find a way

To survive – if at first your love does not succeed, endure, and

Search out the forms it needs to take on in order to be the

Emancipating skeleton key, the hidden jigsaw puzzle piece

That connects every heart.”

*

“But the blackness of my anger is so hard,” you say,

“I am depleted, duped, dead – how much longer must

I go on refining the steel of my love against the adamantine

Point of other’s disdain, apathy, and hatred?

*

“Because I have met those that would love me;

That would crucify me with their kindness –

That can clearly see all I strive to do for the world,

And see that it is good.

*

“Why would I consent to being a pillar of odium

When I do not have to cast myself so bloody upon

Embattled plains? Why would I submit myself to

Aching disinterest, of knocking flint against flint to

Try and rouse love in an unwelcome heart when I could

Receive love elsewhere ready-made?”

*

“Why would you, indeed?” said Rumi. “Take the easy way

And all will later be hardness; take the hard way, and, as you

Now know, much else will become easier thereby – better yet,

Unite them both, and be indifferent, accepting, and loving of

Either.

*

“No one said you had to make a choice, because how can we

Ever just make one choice about anything? In selecting one thing,

We also create the anti-matter of all we failed to select, and, by

Opting not choose one thing, we are still kept in the pall of

Non-choice’s shadow. One may choose The Path of Happiness

And still find sadness pursuing them like a silent cat – one may

Choose to renounce the world, only to find that the world still

Pursues them in their renunciation, and nothing has been

Renounced at all. One will always find many things one did

Not choose, so why place such great esteem in choices after

All?

*

“Instead of worrying about what to choose, be mindful of what

You do with what chooses you – be kind to those things you do

Not choose – you’ll have to learn to live with everything eventually

Anyway, so why not make things easier and harder for yourself –

Isn’t that what you’ll do anyway?”

*

“So, this is what I get,” thought I,More of the hollow philosophy

I went into the desert to get away from: survive – live – die – or

Do not die; choice against choicelessness – self-control verses

Recklessness – egotism verses selflessness – virtue and sin in

Psycho-sexual union breeding more babies of ambiguity to

Keep the world going on and on and on.”

*

“I hear you, brother,” said Rumi, tugging me by the hand,

And pulling me further into those golden desert sands, “I

Hear your cries, your confusion, your incertitudes, and

Desolating and uplifting attitudes. I hear your thoughts

And all the sly silky nothings that slink between those

Thoughts. I hear them all as clearly as I hear a jukebox

That spurs on a barbaric barroom brawl.

*

“You want what we all want: you want to love and

Be loved – to feel that confusion is something you

Can overcome – that there is a direction, a purpose,

A motion in life you can eternally trust in – and

Even though you rebel against all linear things,

You still wish the course of life wouldn’t always

Be so frustratingly pinball quantum.

*

“Think of your friends, Rube. Those who are your friends

May later becomes your enemies, and, by becoming your

Enemies, may prove better friends in giving you things to

Strive against.

*

“How often have those you loved only proven to be stepping

Stones towards those you would love mightier later? How many

Dashed hopes have unleashed greater joys from the corpses of

Those they lost?

*

“The problem is the question of Finality – of Certainty.

The desire to have things so, and to have them always be

So: to have an eternal day, and be done with night – to

Have an eternal summer and be done with the savage

Ineluctability of winter – to have just enough love and

No more than you can manage – to have just enough

Solitude, but not enough that all your hopes are ravaged –

This golden mean – this constant ratio – this middle income

Of truth and light – of sustainable joy somehow always able

To vivify itself with an insurance policy against discontentment’s

Canker

*

“But we live in a seasonal world – an excessive world –

A world that will always take things too far, and, in the

Process, take you too far along with it:

*

“So why not smile and shout when you are happy,

And wail and cry when you are sad – and then reverse

Them, and dance and sing when your are unhappy

And cry with mightiness when your joy stabs you mindlessly

In the heart?

*

“Either way you experience –

Either way you keep on going –

Because there is no true stillness in this world;

But, like the ball in the pinball machine, you will

Always find yourself rocketing between one point

Of light, and a pair of pincers always ready to strike

You back.

*

“Like Homer’s Odysseus, you must choose between Scylla

And Charybdis, knowing that, in this union of sea monsters,

There is no real choice at all; between this rock and a hard

Place, you will feel the hardness of hardness, the softness of

Softness; the softness of hardness, and the hardness of softness;

And you will find joy and sorrow in them both; wisdom and ignorance

In them in equal measure.

*

“So what does it matter? It doesn’t matter which way you sail –

The point is that you sail. The point is that you have the courage

To be freely buffeted by the winds, lapped by the tonguing foamy

Surges of Neptune’s inconstant lover’s broil. Stay at home, and the

Sea will only seek you out – go to sea and seek out, and you will be

Sought by land just the same, if that be not the crux of all your

Seeking.

*

“Feeling stable, you long for change – feeling only surging

Tides of change, you long for the certitude of land to give

You a supply of paradise’s incorruptible currency.

*

“Again, the point is neither in choosing change or changelessness,

Finding both in neither, and neither in the above – the point is in

The motion – in the desiring, the end of desiring, and then the returning

Of desiring all over again.

*

“That is the point:

Motion – stillness – love.”

*

“I carry no assumptions about anything,” said I,

In return, throwing a bolt of lightning against the

Sand to make it into a glass to mirror us both.

*

“I know that one cannot choose happiness anymore

Than one can opt to completely outdo the conniving

Machinations of suffering. I choose neither an easy

Love nor or a hard love, for there is no love to choose,

Love being all there is.

*

“But I am human. I ask questions. I look to the future

And I speculate – I hold up and comparatively weigh

All the possible journeys I make. No one will ever truly

Know if they are the in process of experiencing the best

Of all possible worlds; but still – still there is the desire

That with every action and new direction one takes, that,

In the motion of that direction, we take it and make it in

The best possible way – that we leave no stone of potential

Wisdom, knowledge, joy, difficulty, or obstruction unturned,

Unfulfilled – that we do not lay to waste all those gifts that

Are made to us – that we make sure our cup runs over –

That we do not cease to drink wine until the vineyard has

Completely run dry.

*

“Who would do otherwise? In drinking milk from the tits

Of the world, who wouldn’t suck at and lust against every

Sacred udder they can find – who would be content to see

The dizziest of dizzy heights without being quest-proud in

Their vertigiousness to see them?

*

“But I don’t know really know what I’m saying anymore.”

*

“Then say nothing,” said Rumi to me, sweetly, “say nothing

And be sweet; say nothing and sing instead; say nothing and

Be ceaselessly still and silent and unceasingly without silence

And stillness in your dizzying quest for life and quest to seek

Repose therefrom.”

*

Then we took one another by the hand

And carried on walking through the sands.

*

 

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Poem: Electric Grove

nymphs

You can feel

The full weight of the sky

On you up here

Like a beautiful woman

Pressing her navel against yours

I lean against an old stone wall

And feel its electric geometry

Pulsate through me

As tiny red insects

Blazing with crimson

Mill about

Collecting the dividends

Of a hopeless civilisation

I think we’d all rather lose

A river does not need rules

A tree does not need morals

A skylark does not need singing lessons

Unconsciously obeying

The laws of nature

Incinerating the atrocious gavels

Of any human arbitration

They have everything you could ask for

And more

If you want to know the sacred

Get out of the church

And into the woods

Lie on top of a mountain

And let the sky molest you

Lathering you with

Its electric treacle

I am The Keeper of the Stones

The wood nymphs have been good to me

So I put on my lightning-blue brocade

And slink back into the grove

 

Poem: The Agony of Bliss

bushman_with_eyes_like_doves

The bliss of agony

Or the agony of bliss

Austerity and excess

Are both the same

It wouldn’t matter if I spent

Twenty years

Fasting on a mountain top

Or an equal amount of time

Running a brothel

And drinking myself to death

The outcome would be roughly the same

You have no idea

What I’ve been doing today

Perhaps you never will

Either way

Send me your underwear

And I will be very happy

 

Poem: Convention Prayer

Exif_JPEG_PICTURE
Exif_JPEG_PICTURE

Wild man

Don’t you have a thatched straw hut

You can run back to?

You’re too rough and ready

For the likes of us sophisticates

With your ghoulish spontaneity

And shamanic thunder

Go back to the woods;

Maybe the trees will love you

We’re trying to have

A civilized dinner party here

But you keep on

Puking reality

All over the chinaware

So leave us all alone

Until you’ve been castrated by convention

Like a good little myrmidon

 

 

Poem: Pure Death

hammerhead-shark-dead-on-naples-beach1

Walking by the river

I see the withered remains

Of rosebay willowherb

In life, they towered with color

In death they droop

With brittle frangibility

All bleached bone

A whiteness so complete

It’s shocking to the sight

In death,

They have found their purity

And

In this strange transformation

I hope to find my own

 

Poem: The Untapped Reservoir

blue

Cut off your genitals

And feed them to one another

I am so saddened and dismayed

To see so much potential for compassion

And yet so little

Actually put into practice

Like watching people

Die of thirst

Next to a boundless

Reservoir

Such arbitrary cruelty

Serves no purpose

And I hope you feel

As shamed by it

As I feel shamed

By even the slight misdeed

Or loveless thought

That enters my head

Stop reducing one another

To isolated body parts

And functions fulfilled

Stop mutilating one another

With selfish constructs

And empty concepts

Can’t you see how much

You all suffer?

How lonely –

How ruled by fear

You cowards all are?

I can –

I can feel all your feelings

Every single moment

It grows more intense

And the more intense it grows

The more adamantine my intention

To bring it all to an end

May my body be the bed

One which you re-wed one another

The courtship

Of the human race

To cosmic space

Must be completed

And I,

A gentle lamb

Will push you off

The conveyor belt

Of your cowardice

And back into that reservoir

Of love

 

TAO TE CHING 62

bird branch

The Way is the mysterious sanctuary

Of the ten thousand things

A treasury for those who are good

And a refuge for those who are not

Pleasant words make sales

Honourable deeds place one above others

If a person has no goodness

Why should we reject them?

Therefore,

At the enthronement of the Son of Heaven

And the appointment of the Three Ministers

Though presented with precious jade

Or proceeded by four-horse carriages

None of this is as good

As sitting still

And making progress in The Way

This is the reason

The ancients exalted The Way

Above all else

Did they not say:

Through it seekers receive?

Through it the guilty are forgiven?

 

Therefore it is the treasure

Of All Below Heaven

 

POEM: Invisible Artist

poster-the-creator-1174181

To a tiny yellow ladybug

Your breath is hurricane

Your movements an avalanche

And my purple pachmina

The violet mist

It calls:

“The Milky Way”

Whose breath is it

That blows the world around?

Whose movements cause

All the world to rumble?

Whose hand-stitched scarf

Become the galactic arm

Upon which we are heaved?

And whose thoughts

Are the colours

That paint

Empty space?

TAO TE CHING 59

KoreanPainting020

When taking care of the people

As a service to Heaven

Nothing beats moderation

Truly, to be moderate

Is to recover quickly

To recover quickly

Is to accumulate Integrity

Accumulate Integrity

And there is nothing you cannot master

And mastering all things

We become limitless

Having no limits

We become fit to guard the country

And guarding the country

We become its mother

Thus are we able

To endure forever

This is known as

Deep roots

Sturdy Trunk

To Way to live long

And behold the eternal

TAO TE CHING 58

bir

When the government is silent and subdued

The people are wholesome and pure

When the government scrutinizes and spies

People are worn-down and broken

Misfortune is the foundation of fortune

Fortune is the house where misfortune hides

Who knows how it will end?

When there are no standards of honesty

Standards revert to deceit

Good reverts to evil

Day after day

People’s confusion

Grows longer and stronger

Therefore, the sage,

Is incisive and sharp

Without cutting things up

Honest without being injurious

Direct without over-doing it

Enlightening without being blinding