“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)

waiting for you to be what follows

when the lump in my throat dissolves.

When I finally check off everything on my to-do list,

for you to be 

there with hand outstretched,

inviting me on an adventure.

Wishing that your presence 

on my contacts list,

the last words we sent across the web

still visible,

frozen in time like your pixelated smile,

meant that I need only push a button

and wait for your response.

 

The ache of emptiness is its vastness.

the unquenchable yearning for it to be filled by something remembered,

something treasured.

Feeling the value

of what cannot be held.

Finding the fullness

hidden in every breath,

wisdom whispering at the edges,

like the echo of your laugh.

Abiding in the patient expectancy

of a life beholden

to cycles and seasons,

comings and leavings,

birthings and dyings,

I cannot help but look for you

when the spin stops

and my eyes turn to sky.

when my heart wonders who to call

to remind me of what is true.

But as wind can only be seen

by the way it dances the trees,

you only appear

in the salty warmth of my cheeks,

my poignant smile of gratitude

my pen on paper, witnessing

the unburdening of a heart 

that is bereft, and full, and following,

dissolving,

offering to life through art.

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