Sunday, February 24, 2013

Energy Expended and Other Poems

Energy Expended

It is worth the energy expended, cradling this wanting—
the need to have your mouth to mine,
our hands intertwined like bodies at rest
once the loving is done.

I won’t wake you, lending you to sleep—
at home in my itching bones a few moments more.
I imagine rousing you with trailing kisses
and warm hands sticky sweet with last night’s dream.

Watching your evened breath, it rises and whispers
remembered words, a poetry that slides into me,
making me wide and full as a river.
I drift like reflected moonlight, content upon your current.

And then, as a gentle swirl, an eddying tide
I brush against your shore, eroding the slumber
to draw you up and awake as your hand rests upon my hip
and pulls me to where I long to be.

Despising Gravity

Like a comet called to dance,
you break into the pregnant earth, the solid rock-roundness of me.
Crashing into my details, furrowing a road where none existed,
you give me words, lend me sound
to say anything, to scream up a magic that rages
against isolation interrupted.

Wary, I wait on
the imagined damage already done,
for the wave goodbye with a cynical eye and easy wrist.
I refuse your prayers to wake and embrace this love.
My head holds only space for solitary kites
in flights of fancy, the stuff which dreams are made.

I despise the gravity, the weight which holds you firmly to my lonely fate.
I cannot love beautifully, nor love right.
I am perfect imperfection in matters of the heart and night.
I'd rather you be a falling star faded on the wind,
than let me extinguish your fire in the end.

Pandora's Box

You are Pandora’s Box--
a bell unrung.
I am the waiting,--
anticipation’s ring, the latch undone.

Then you say, “The stars are but stars,
nothing less and nothing more.”
And I respond so fervently, “Tell me
are you sure?”

“As a star, you sound like memory,
you feel like infinite song,
you taste of sunshine bliss—In this,
you are wrong.”

But Pandora refuses to teach me,
So I burn with stars, with words unsaid.
From your box my unwilling ears hear,
“Don’t wish on me, don’t wish on me….
Please throw stones instead.”


You fell in love with her tears, and then
as they evaporated to salty skin,
crystal streaks on rounded cheeks--
did your love dry thin?

If you had fallen in love with her laughter,
her inappropriate giggles, after
another oddly-timed sigh,
would your love be less a lie?

You should have fallen in love with her words,
and the way they fly the air, like birds
to swoop and nest so deep into you,
then you would know your love is true.

Chaotic Space
I am not the ghost you wish me to be,
the muffled silence behind a locked door.
Nor dust motes sun-sliding from air to floor.
I'm not your distraction, or distance longed for.
I am who I am--no less, no more.

I am not the memory you wish to see,
the expected, accepted easy fade.
Nor a song with volume muted, down played.
I am not your twilight making descent into shade.
I am who I am--brilliantly made.

I am not the perfection you want from me,
the mannered charms and flawless grace.
Nor sweet lips with apple-cheeked face.
I'm not your dream bound into place.
I am who I am--chaotic space.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

If You Aren't With Us, You're Against Us

God is love, not hate.

I get so tired of people telling me, "You are such a nice person, I'm so sorry you are going to Hell."  I hear it from both my Christian and my Muslim friends.  My Hindu friends are pretty chill as is the one Buddhist I know. Southern New Mexico has a scarcity of people of the Jewish faith, so I am uncertain as to what their opinion regarding my immortal soul might be. Nonetheless, I would venture to guess they expect to find me in Hades as well.  Monotheists definitely seem to have some exclusivity issues. They think that they've cornered the market on salvation.  They use their righteous certainty to deny the validity of anyone else's beliefs, basically shouting,  "If you aren't with us, you're against us."  I despise that exclusive attitude and it constitutes the primary reason I reject following or practicing any mainstream religion.

Don't get me wrong, I am what a person would call a believer.  I have a devout faith that God exists and I believe in only one god who judges right from wrong.  I am in essence an ethical monotheist, much like a Jew, Christian, or Muslim, but I classify myself as a spiritual deist.  I respect the right of every one to decide for him or herself the best path for understanding or gaining knowledge of God.  I don't adhere to any particular dogma or doctrine because I truly believe that all religions are basically a means to an end--discovering and developing a relationship with the Creator.

It frustrates me to see people use their faith as yet one more way in which to create and strengthen the us-them paradigms that chronically plague society as a whole.  People consistently highlight differences between one another from the smallest, superficial qualities to the large, encompassing ones, like religion.  Race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, appearance, sexual orientation, lifestyle choices all act as barriers to truly seeing others as we see ourselves, to recognizing the divinity that exists and connects all of humankind.  Out of all these classifications, however, I think religion is probably the most divisive social institution ever created by Man.  Throughout the ages, wars have been fought over faith.  God has been invoked to justify the killing of millions of people.  People have been segregated, separated, treated inhumanely, massacred, marginalized, displaced, and decimated all because people believe they have God on their side and anyone else is a servant of Satan.  Again, a classic, "If you aren't with us, you are against us."

I don't understand why people can't accept the idea that just because others believe differently regarding their relationship with God that they aren't wrong.  Different beliefs don't automatically mean bad beliefs.  It's not a black-white scenario....humanity is full of a thousand shades of gray.  We all have the same end-game in mind, securing a better afterlife.  How we choose to get there should be a personal journey that best meets our own, specific needs.  If people truly followed the examples of Jesus Christ, Muhammad, Buddha, or Vishnu, they would be respectful of the beliefs of those different from themselves as well as very aware of the connection between all human beings. They wouldn't disparage or hurt or condemn.  They would act out of love for their fellow man.  They would acknowledge that we are all God's children.  They would respect the differences and embrace the similarities.  I hold out hope that one day that people will not only realize this, but live their lives in such a way that there is no more us and them--only we.