The Stillness We Know (with Spoken Word)

If I collect all the stars tonight
Mix them in a bucket like paint,
From their glow will a new color
Emerge as yet unknown?

In time I can name it, after
I toss them back scattered
For the gazers to see
In the relit night.

Newness reflects a myth
Like truth on still water
Whose gentle murmur speaks
A code no cypher requires.

Just a short walk in sand
Under the mixed up sky
That decorates our world
And see what I hear.

A bystander eavesdrops and asks
“How will I see what you hear?”
The brush dipped in the bucket
Whistles in the glimmering remains.

We sit down on the sand together
While the water dances to the song
That trickles out of the truth
Naming the stillness we know.

Peaking Through Chrysalis (with Spoken Word)

The butterfly lives
Just
The right
Length
Of time.

(Don’t we all?)

Now we are two butterflies,
Peaking through chrysalis
At a world we once ate
Now we are to pollinate.
Our eyes see God in flowers.
Our flesh carries seeds.
We stick to one another.
We have become:

A world
I cannot imagine
Without you.

Two butterflies
Dancing on air
As was
Certain.

With a nod to Tom Robbins’ Another Roadside Attraction

Two Martyrs, One Son (1987: AGE 16)

Two Martyrs, One Son
January 23, 1987

The Cardinal
his voice echoed across the land
in the ears of seven million people.
They all turned to their neighbor
–Did you hear the Cardinal?
He sang yesterday. You know I heard
him sing: ‘I have a dream today!
Let freedom ring then we might sing
free at last, thank God almighty,
we are free at last!’
Then I heard him cry
‘Oh God, oh Lord.’–
Seven million people cried yesterday.

The Bluebird
his voice echoed across the land
in the ears of seven million people.
They all turned to their neighbor:
–Did you hear the Bluebird?
He sang yesterday. You know I heard
him sing: ‘I had a dream today.
Rise above the evil in your hearts!
We can soar with the glory of love,
if we let our soul power shine!’
And then I heard him say:
‘Oh God, oh Lord!’–
Seven million people cried yesterday.

The Dove
His voice resonates across all lands
in the hearts of seven billion people.
They all turn to their neighbor
–Listen to the Dove!
He sings! Hear His voice:
‘I have a dream for you, children-
love your neighbor as yourself,
love your enemy as you love your God
for we are one, united.’
With all our hearts, listen!–
‘Father into your hands… I am yours.’
Seven billion people hold hands today.

The last in a series of poems I wrote after watching the movie Gandhi, this one most clearly reflects how I connected the teachings of Jesus, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr. My interest in nonviolent action was born in these poems as well as a life long conflict with the role of violence in human action. While my life has been given in service to my country, these voices of faith, hope, and love remain loud in my head. When I wrote this poem, I knew the voice inside me that I needed to hear; as I shared it with friends, I knew that voice had a place in the world.

See also, The Kingdom:
https://sailorpoet.com/2018/08/30/the-kingdom-1987-age-17/
Mahatma:
https://sailorpoet.com/2018/09/05/mahatma-1987-age-16/
and A Man:

Over the next few weeks I will be spending time with my 16-17 year old self from 1987. In no particular order, these poems will be presented in the final form I found them on computer discs discovered in an attic many years ago. This will culminate in the next entry of my Into My Own, My Story as a Writer series found here:

https://sailorpoet.com/2018/05/08/into-my-own-my-story-as-a-writer-part-i-how-it-began/

https://sailorpoet.com/2018/06/14/into-my-own-my-story-as-a-writer-part-ii-why-i-wrote-1986/

Whisper My Return (with Spoken Word)

Into my cathedral, no path to follow
Just my will. An alter of dirt and moss
Built by no human hand gives me pause.

I do not believe in God.

God, “I don’t believe in you.”

But when you whisper through leaves
Trees rustle back their peaceful thanks,
“How can your existence be denied?”

One thing that will endure, is beauty.
So while you and I may never break bread,
Interwoven inside each step taken on my path

A presence I can no longer deny.

God, I believe, now, believe in me.

Yesterday, I walked up a stream into a womb
It’s walls covered in soft beds of moss
The trees, eternal, whisper my return.

A Man (1987: Age 16)

January 24, 1987

You are a man
You claim no more
The praise, the crowd
Make no larger a man
I wish to be
In the hearts of a nation
In the hearts of a race
In the hearts of a faith
You are a savior
A man could be no more

You have one heart
You share it with all
All for love, no more-
Is there any more?
I wish to be
Will you help me?
I am a boy
That is all
I may ever be.

Another in a series of poems I wrote after watching the movie Gandhi, this on reflects how I was beginning to draw connections between the teachings of Jesus, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr. My interest in nonviolent action was born in these poems as well as a life long conflict of the role of violence in human action. While my life has been given in service to my country, these voices of faith, hope, and love remain loud in my head.

See also, The Kingdom:
https://sailorpoet.com/2018/08/30/the-kingdom-1987-age-17/
and, Mahatma:
https://sailorpoet.com/2018/09/05/mahatma-1987-age-16/

Over the next few weeks I will be spending time with my 16-17 year old self from 1987. In no particular order, these poems will be presented in the final form I found them on computer discs discovered in an attic many years ago. This will culminate in the next entry of my Into My Own, My Story as a Writer series found here:

https://sailorpoet.com/2018/05/08/into-my-own-my-story-as-a-writer-part-i-how-it-began/

https://sailorpoet.com/2018/06/14/into-my-own-my-story-as-a-writer-part-ii-why-i-wrote-1986/

The Melodies of Crickets (with Spoken Word)

I think it was in between Carver and Dostoevsky
When I understood what Dylan Thomas meant
When light breaks where no sun shines.
I found a heart where no beating had been felt.

Blood rushed in like a flood and my heart raced
Like a childs chasing fireflies around a field.
My mind, its natural foe, tired from the fight,
Sat down on the floor and said “You are right.”

This time, the mind who let inside the open
Window all of her ideas and dreams and fears
Like it had a small racing heart of its own
A counterpart that knew its quiet throb.

She became my heart’s secret agent. So I sat
Down on the floor with all of them, undefeated,
But thankful for the rest. This red beast
Had carved respect by showing up every day.

But it fought dirty. All it did was sing.
A melody washed over me like Ennio Moriconne
On a Mission to show how strong it had grown.
Its return to battle like Thomas wrote.

Where no sea runs, the waters of the heart push
Tides. Bones take on flesh. Soil proves fertile.
Candles become fires they meant to be all along.
This tiny red beast the mind thought its own

Was my heart itself, infiltrating my thoughts
Like the melodies of crickets
Wooing in the morning when, finally,
I awoke and chose to be.

Image: The Book Lover by Frantisek Kupka

Fluffernutter Sandwiches

Ride on the cloud that drifts just below the moon
Bask in residual sun that has lingered around for us.
We might get close enough to Him to see His smile
A child might say carved out of a wheel of cheese
But I say is carved out of my heart that keeps on
Rising up like a spring flower persisting through storm
To drink up the first rays that fall from the rainbow
Down to soil cultivated from the detritus of autumn.

Doesn’t that cloud look like magic fluffernutter pulled
From the jar just before the peanut butter is spread
On the other slice awaiting, a little jealous of sweetness
That sticks to its partner so strong it won’t flatten out?
Imagine the moon is hungry for a bite of this life we share
Drifting below, a little aimless tonight, but just as alive
As when the direction to travel felt so damn clear it hurt?
We could make ourselves a sandwich and let Him taste us.

Ride on the cloud together and we’ll touch that moon
Scrape the golden ganache of His face and taste sugar
Sweetened by the lingering sun. We’ll get close enough
On our marshmallow ride to carve a smile in our hearts
That will feel like the light that sticks to lunar surfaces
On a cool night that relieves summer of its relentlessness.
We can eat peanut butter by the spoonful and tell stories
So stuck to the roof of our mouths all we’ll do is laugh.

Doesn’t that cloud look just like a dream we whipped up
Out of the winter snow that fell in our distant memories
Left behind in empty jars spent of their sticky sweetness?
I am going to take two pieces of bread and lay them out
For all the life I have left to spread and get out my knife
To cut off the crusts that really just make an unnecessary
Boundary between the air we breathe and what we taste
Riding on this cloud adrift under the golden moon’s smile.

A Magic Moment (1987: Age 17)

April 2, 1987

Our eyes meet.

There is Magic-
A magic moment.

Our eyes dart away.

I wonder-
What is Magic?

Our eyes meet again.

There is the answer-
The magic of love.

Never look away.

Over the next few weeks I will be spending time with my 16-17 year old self from 1987. In no particular order, these poems will be presented in the final form I found them on computer discs discovered in an attic many years ago. This will culminate in the next entry of my Into My Own, My Story as a Writer series found here:

https://sailorpoet.com/2018/05/08/into-my-own-my-story-as-a-writer-part-i-how-it-began/

https://sailorpoet.com/2018/06/14/into-my-own-my-story-as-a-writer-part-ii-why-i-wrote-1986/