“Let your gift by guided by something more clear,”

he said.

I listen for the

not this. 

not this.

Not this structure,

not this triage suture

we call modern art:

pretty bandaids

on a punctured world.

Bleed out.

scream, 

shout.

Rend the rendered reality

until we see what is not real.

We got this

from before us

just a chorus

of a jagged song.

But some part of us 

knows it’s not the best of us

saying, “not this.”

Not our attachment

to reenactment

of every story told before

of fists banging the drums of war

not knowing what else to do with the “no,”

what direction to flow

when all we know is

not this.

not this.

the knot this is, 

fraught this is.

We caught this,

this sadness,

this dis-ease,

this homogeneity,

this false piety

to plastic gods.

It finally shows its hand

wound into every talon 

of corruption. (not this…)

Listen to the aching,

allow the breaking,

the leave-taking.

the dawn 

breaking

through,

finding the way to the truth:

a process of discovering what is not you.

Light defined by shadow.

Center seen by edges.

Clouds melt to

shrouds part to 

reveal

what lives beyond the clutches of fear.

not this

not anything we’ve made before

unwinding thus finding

a story lightly woven from golden threads,

a gift of something more clear.

Restoration

found in inspiration,

found in finally hearing

our souls’ communication.

knot this.

we got this.

~~~

Listen to the audio of Niema speaking this here.

(Inspired by the words of Prince and Elizabeth Gilbert)

 

 

 

The path to presence. 

Different, every time.

Time as a spiral, not a line.

The true way never looks the same

Because open eyes are always changing.

Wisdom is born of the silent spring,

the fertile darkness that lives below our knowing,

that begets our awakening,

and opens to our remembering.

Ancestral light, the substance of our wings

though they look like muscle and bone;

and, however caged, some part of us 

still remembers these hearts where meant to sing us home.

 

The truth is, I am afraid of my shadow.

And though all the teachers say it contains a gift,

that the birthplace of my fecundity is the ugliest part of me,

I want only to look away from it, to numb, to hide it, to hide from it.

I want the well-lit path. 

So I flee towards the Sun,

the fanfare and exultation,

seeking triumphant exclamation

on a road sparkling clean like my brightest meditations,

in a quest for transcendence;

retracing the steps that have brought me thus far,

centered me before,

but I turn and the shadow is still right there,

stitched to my heels.

The path to presence 

is different every time.

There is so much further to go 

than only light

we must balance above with below.

 

Pilgrim, there is no one road to follow, 

the road is made by walking

over stone and bone,

is made by breathing 

beyond everything you’ve ever known,

and home is an ever-shifting location.

You may taste the sweet nectar for a moment

but then the flower dies,

and you’d best learn to see the beauty in compost.

This path is understood for only an instant

sunlight caught in the hand through a prism

a rainbow bridge to absolute nowness.

This path found in the effusive glee

of a child’s first spinning dance in a summer meadow,

in the feel of my lover’s lips upon my brow,

in the silence before every sound.

The path is different every time,

because it leads to a place that can never be known,

and only in the seeking

can we ever be found.

 

{{{Listen to Niema speak this on soundcloud}}}

 

 

Forgetting and remembering, and forgetting again.

loosing my way in all that has been,

the generations of anguish and misspent power,

bringing us to this fateful hour.

this now

this now

when everything matters,

but nothing is what it seems.

I am created from my dreams.

or is that nightmares?

Half-remembered phantasms, 

plotted patterns remaking the world

in every played out power dynamic.

 

I may cling to the aching ages of wrongness,

the betrayals and lies, the subjugation

sublimation of all that is precious and fertile,

the time and time again 

I lost my life or kin

to the hunger of another's ignorance or greed.

The role of victim

worn like a worthless coat,

hiding my true raiment,

providing no real warmth,

but too familiar to cast off.

 

I can carry the bitterness until it is all I know. 

holding it close like a lover on a heaving ship. 

But resentment is a jagged bomb, 

potentizing until it explodes,

waiting to shred our hearts into shattered bits and fractured lenses.

 

Seeing only the pain blinds me.

Thoughts of hatred bind me.

make we want more want revenge want reclamation want justice want destruction want hiding want numbing want forgetting want forgetting want dying.

But I can no longer be for getting.

We are not for  getting.

We are for  giving.

forgiving 

for  giving

for giving something new to our children,

for making a song of the discord,

for weaving a blanket of the shards,

to catch the babies coming into this healing world.

Nothing we have held onto will carry us to the clear dawn of our species' morning.

There is no more time to be for getting.

There may be countless reasons to be a victim,

but choose to let the light in.

choose the deep breath.

choose the open eyes

choose the bright morning

choose to be for giving.

giving it all away.

 

 

Image by Julie Interrante

What is failure?

What wounds the heart?

The razor’s edge of integrity

a fine line, a vast chasm,

between what is true

and what we wish could be.

How we betray each other again and again.

Lifetimes of layered lies,

regrets, recriminations, revenge.

Born of sorrow, born of pain.

This distortion of creation,

like snaking fire through a wood,

slowly overtakes all that is life-giving,

turning fertility into a dangerous thing

that only creates more suffering.

 

What is failure?

What wounds the heart?

Truth is a fluid thing,

words medicine or poison,

bringing healing,

or piercing the tender flesh of being,

depending on intention, and timing.

Yet somethings are absolute.

I hold a banner high.

Inviting the fullness of pure fire.

Comfortable in my own righteous anger,

Confusing the quest for impeccability with the living of it.

Many times I have lied.

Splitting my tongue, spitting deception, 

needling under another’s skin 

to plant deadly seeds.

Countless lifetimes

marked by fear, need,

sabotage, poverty, hypocrisy,

and other veils of the Maya.

Does my past, my endlessly fractaling failure

make me only worthy of the worst of others?

 

What is sacred?

What heals the heart?

How do I find the glen wherein forgiveness dwells,

the scented meadow where everything has a place

and everything is understood as a gift?

I can hide from the fire,

but it snakes through my veins,

settles into the pit of nausea,

stirs the stench of injustice,

and stealthily laps at the edges of my garden heart,

threatening to make it a barren desert.

Yet this rage only covers the bottomless sadness,

the endless prison of never trusting

never trusting anyone,

until they find a way to prove me right.

Where does forgiveness live

when the wound is ancient, endless,

only inflamed by this latest sin?

Seeking the unconditional in this conditioned world.

Are some actions unforgivable,

words unrepeatable,

windings and bindings 

no amount of prayerful fire can purify? 

Wondering if it is betrayal of self to continue loving one 

who has perpetrated or perpetuated the pain of separation

from the fire of truth, 

or an absolution

that would set us all free.

 

No strategy left but to offer it all up.

All of it a sacrifice.

The despising of self and others.

The layers of blame and shame.

My forked tongue and blood-stained blade,

pulled from my back, pulled from yours.

My longing for a healthier way.

Holding an open, at last unclenched hand.

Praying for the courage to love anyway.

 

This improvised medicinal poem about the nature of fear and totality was channeled during an event at Onedoorland Synergenius Stewdios in Portland, OR.

 

Listen to Truth's Shadow

 

 

 

 

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© 2018 by Medicinal Poetry