Poem: The Lost


There are those

who (in their white suits and masks)

pick bodies from the sea

as they flee

from their country

and

the terrors

as they become debris

floating

bloated

But some

they save

among the waves

to set them free

to walk the land

and hopefully smile

eventually

Yet in some places

we’re not so kind

instead of boats

they trudge for miles

in heat and sun

and dirt and grime

to find a place

of unwelcome greetings

with guns and gas

and fearsome meetings

Some say all these folks

don’t belong

here or there

but only where

from whence they came

Yet why I ask

would they risk their lives

and leave home as well

unless where they left

was a living hell

 

Note: this poem was inspired by a Documentary on Netflix called “Fire At Sea”. Amazing, but difficult to watch, especially given what’s going on in my country (the US) presently with the refugee crisis. It’s not for the faint of heart to watch, but I feel necessary for anyone who has a heart and cares about their fellow human…

 

 

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Poem: Sunk


Inside out jellyfish

rubbing up against poisoned ship

far below the darkened deep

algaed  wood a soft down coat

sunken stuck

light lost to the upper deck

Swimming

in and out

among fossiled shapes

once dancing gaily round

polished halls

Serene creatures passing by

to pay respects

Down down

it went

to rest its weary weight

and now to sleep

forever

cradling her precious babes

Goodnight

upon the ocean bed

 

 

 

 

Poem/Song: Tango River


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We danced a tango river

where winding waters flowed

And the moon glow ripples

made our heartbeats slow

 

Back when summer moons were fuller

as we floated through the night

Rocking closely to the rhythm

gazing star eyed at the light

 

We danced a tango river

where winding waters flow

And the moon glow ripples

made our heartbeats slow

 

You rocked me in a cradle

of gently loving arms

And you held me like forever

So I never came to harm

 

We danced a tango river

where winding waters flow

And the moon glow ripples

made our heartbeats slow

 

So my sweet partner

it’s with you I want to dance

Let’s drift away together

and take the rivers chance

 

We danced a tango river

where winding waters flow

And the moon glow ripples

made our heartbeats slow

 

And the moon glow ripples

made our heartbeats slow

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Note: I picture this as a song somehow, but unfortunately, I can’t write music. The first line came to me in the middle of the night as my writing often does… I wish I could put it to music somehow….

Buried Treasure


There are some folks that search for buried treasure. Some of that treasure may be from sunken ships from long ago that legend tell tales of gold and jewels that went down with these vessels. Divers search and may come up with some beauties, or may find only fish and wood in the depths of ocean, or maybe nothing at all. But it might be the journey alone that draws these seekers, the hope of treasure and wealth and a visit into the past.

I’ve read of current day treasure hunts: wealthy men hiding trunks of money and producing hints with maps given in books that hungry hunters must purchase in hopes of finding the loot. Is it bunk and a lucky gent making his own treasure on unsuspecting innocents, or is there really something hidden waiting for some brilliant detective who can unlock the key?

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For me the buried treasure is of a different kind. It’s not material. In fact, I’ve been making efforts to rid myself of material goods, including ones of “value”. What is value anyway but what it means to someone. True, gold and diamonds have value if one tried to sell them in our market, but even these go up and down in price and they can sometimes cost so much they become: invaluable. Museums must hold onto pieces that are such treasures as to become priceless.

No, things are no longer what I am pursuing, but still my treasures have been buried. I’ve felt rather like some great explorer that has gone on a long expedition to some unheard of place to find my gems. The natives were not always hospitable and the climate often harsh. The tools I brought with me I found, at times, were primitive and didn’t quite do the trick as I tried to dig and dig to find this deeply hidden trunk of goods.

The maps I had were often handed to me by people who had no idea where I needed to be or what I was looking for; they were crude and often in a language I did not understand. So I tossed them aside and plunged on, sometimes through jungle brush, other years in desert heat sucking the water out of my pores. But I knew if I kept going, eventually I would find the goods.

There were years that I walked in circles. And sometimes I would just lay down and cry. Sometimes I had the strength of a tiger and the eyesight of an eagle, feeling like I was closer and closer. But then the treasure would slip away and I would have to start again.

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I’ve learned over the years now, that the maps I needed were with me written in an invisible ink only I could read. They were my maps to find my treasures. When I looked really closely, I noticed that the path lead me through all those places I had gone: the jungles and deserts and around and around–it’s where the trail led, I just hadn’t seen it before now. None of it was by accident.

And all the people I met along the way, they were in the Legend of the map, part of landscape I was meant to wander on path to the treasure. In fact, when I squinted just right, I saw that I actually had found treasure in each of these villages! There were markings showing that’s where some of the jewels were: the people, even the ones I thought were hostile had given me something I didn’t know, a tiny gem of knowledge.

But after walking, searching and following this map–and scrutinizing it carefully, I saw something that brought wonder to me. It appeared I was coming very close to the buried treasure that I had been chasing for so long. Maybe I’m only steps away now it seemed. The map showed it was at the center of everything: bright and brilliant, overflowing with energy.

I’m almost there now. The treasure. My treasure, buried–inside of me.

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Distant Shores


When I was a child, there was an ice-cream that I used to get from the truck that would come to the park near where I lived in NYC. It was the Good Humor truck, for those of you who might remember the familiar jingling of bells as it rolled slowly down the streets so the gathering children could get their 25 cents ready. This particular favorite of mine, was called an Eclair I think, because on the outside it had bits and pieces of nuts and maybe little pieces of chocolate; vanilla ice cream was the next layer which made up the largest part of the pop; but best and most special (and the best part) was the secret hunk of icy fudge-like chocolate inside. It wasn’t very big piece, but it was delicious (or so I recall) and had this particular texture that made it worth the wait.

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I was never a kid to just bite into the thing just to get to the middle. I would savor the whole thing to make it last and then take my time with the special part. Funny, because I never had much patience in life–but with treasures, I did. Just like how I never tore into Christmas gifts, but would open them throughout the day…(my kids hated this about me).

Someone who has known me for a long time, when I explained where I am  emotionally now and how I am conducting my day-to-day existence, said: that is not you at all! It gave me pause. What is me? Who am I really?

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I’ve run most my 60 years in a frenetic and unfocused way; making decisions based on how my mood was or the wind was blowing. It felt like I was making rational choices at the time, but in retrospect, I see now it wasn’t the case at all. Rather I was a sailboat buffeted by the winds trying desperately to steer to the nearest coast. Each shore looked better than the last, but upon reaching them they felt uninhabitable.

Of course this meant those around me were riding those waves too and often were cast overboard. Many drowned, but some found their own lifeboats and floated on to better beaches…thank goodness.

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It was nothing intentional. It just happened– it was the way I lived.But there was a part of me that knew it wasn’t working. Seeing the floundering of others hurt me, and my own inability to stand upright on this ever swelling craft was making me ill. At some point the ship must dock–in the deep recesses of my mind I knew this as truth.

So who is really me? I moved away from my comfort and have come to live in a place that is alien and barren to me, a desert devoid of water in which to sail. This was really unconscious on many levels, but I am starting to realize absolutely necessary to answer the question. Many spiritual treks to find ones true self include a time where one goes off on a quest: a solitary walk about or vision quest to discover what is real and what isn’t; what to keep and what to leave behind.

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We go through life rather like that Good Humor ice cream pop: multi-layered  with secret parts. Sometimes the secret parts are hidden to even to ourselves. There are bits and pieces we cover ourselves with that have rough edges or appeal, but it’s only the outside, a glamour…the part that faces the world at large. Dig deeper and maybe you will get to the soft part: it is white and can be colored by what we take in through the years we live. It protects the true gift: the sweet, central, secret core. This is the one we work for and may not know for years.

I’m stripping down the layers to find that me. I believe that is the real one, not the one that has faced the world so far. That was a mask I was unaware I wore. I believe my friend had it backward…what she knew was not me; what I am discovering now will be the real person I have had buried within. The visions of her were in my head longing to escape, but were trapped by my own shifting cage.

Someday she will be set free and sail for a place, heading into the sunrise.  Docking at some distant land, she will know with full awareness and clarity, that all will be good.

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Poem: Farewell


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There are days
I’d like to exit also
Leave with fanfare and notoriety
Farewell, ta ta, bon voyage
Till we meet again

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Take that ship
To the golden shore
Put it behind
And aim for greener pastures

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Because as we all know
What we don’t have
Is always better
Than what we do
Right around the corner
The next best thing
Out of our grasp
But while change can be good
The unknown
Can
Suck you up
And
Then
You may never
Return

Poem: Solitude Of Self


Traveling through life
In voracious vessels
Floating on self doubt
And sinking in wasted waters
Murky with mistakes

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Dipping paddles over and over
Hearing the silent slice
The pushing ahead
By elbow grease and free will
Only to look back
And realize the trail has disappeared

Slipping close by shore
Now and again
Trying to gain a foothold
Scraping bottom—fearing the worst
It all looks wrong
Close up
Pristine landscapes littered and strewn
Tangled trees standing guard

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Creeping toward the coast
Standing firmly for a moment
Feet spread wide
Face tilted towards the future
Shattering stillness settles

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And then the journey within
Step after crazy step
It’s where this trip is going
What it’s all for
Mile after mile
Paddling on
Against any current
Over all waterfalls
To the top of mountains

The echoing solitude of the self
Crawl into it
Embrace it
And let it journey on

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