Uphill

There’s something about going deep into nature that reminds me – I can let go. I don’t have to hold on so tightly to all the things I want. I don’t have to know.

This journey is slow

I zigzag across the river, falling deeper into nature, not seeing a soul

The desolate wilderness makes me feel fear but also whole

I’m reminded that I’m so very vulnerable

I have so little control

I choose a path and try my best to follow

But it’s hard to know what to do

When the path is no longer working for you

Do I keep going and try to see it through

Or turn around and find something else to pursue

I suppose I must take my cue

From my inherent feeling

The universal dealings

That I don’t understand

I’d like to think there’s a plan

The more time I spend thinking

The less time I spend listening

I dig my head in the sand

I’m completely alone, on my path

But the butterflies dance around me

The silence settles, the leaves chime in

Allowing my awareness to expand

To be in solitude is not a punishment

But an opportunity to understand

That everything changes

Including the scape of the land

Life is a kalescope

Shaken by someone’s elses hand

The colors and patterns may not suit me

But they will reform

Changing patterns is the norm

I struggle uphill

Yet the struggle is inside still

I trudge up a mountain and wonder how

I’ll get through what I’m going through now

Despite the sweat, confusion, and tears

This journey could take years

I choose to be happy now

Despite my insistent fears

Knowing it will all workout somehow

I stop and take in the sounds of nature

The wind, birds, running water

And keep trudging, just a little softer

I climb, higher and higher

My outlook becomes a little brighter

Dementia

Your mind is a traitor that has betrayed you
It has left behind a body
But stolen your personality
Your ability to have a conversation
Your presence is here
Although not really

We all pretend like you are the same
What you have created still stands
Surrounded by your family
Reminiscing about who you used to be
Your wisdom and generosity

I found you a different person
Robbed of your energy
Greif with a side of dementia
To remember again
To be reminded again
Just to go back into that far away world
The fuzzy place of your childhood
A false memory that does no good

You look at me with blank eyes
Not seeing me
And ask where your soul is
Where he is
What can I say
Nothing I say can make it better

I don’t want to remind you
You know he is not here
Your heart breaks over and over
Every time you ask
There are no words for this
I’ll hold your hand through the fear
I’ll stay by your side during the loss

There’s an empty chair
And empty bed
Empty after sixty nine years
A house full, but empty at the same time
A table with the centerpiece missing
A room devoid of pictures and light
You can feel that something is different
But can’t place it, can’t explain it
There’s a void next to you every night

The walls have shifted
A desolate wilderness is left behind
You are alone in the desert
An arid land with no reprieve
Trying to find him

You are looking for water
He was your oasis
And has dried up, disappeared
The world has turned upside down
You don’t know where your place is

Your spirit left with him
Your love of so long
I can see it in your eyes
You have already gone

Band Aid

You stuck to me like a band aid
The colorful one
That you put on sometimes
Just for fun

Giving my days a rosy hue
I’ll dig through
All my cluttered bags
For you

Soothing my wounds
Yet you leave a residue
When I tried to take you off
So I decided to keep you
An extra layer
I try to make belong

A charismatic plaster
Always in the midst of some disaster
Creating wounds
And dressing them up
An illusion that they’ll heal faster

A band aid
Covering my fears
But you never expose yours
Non absorbent
Deflecting my tears
You always disappear

A dreamer
Who doesn’t do
Eating up my time
Always making it about you
Talking yourself through

A band aid that has no depth
Adhesive worn thin
It only lasts for a few hours
You always leave, hide
Evade my deepest desires
When I need you

I’ve taken you off so many times
And walked away
My emotions sway
But you sneak back in
Enough time
Allows you to play
Tricks on my mind

The one that got away
Is easy to say
Every time your efforts
Had a delay
It’s much harder to show up
To be the one willing to stay

A dirty band aid
On the floor
You’ve been ripped off too many times
I can’t make you stick
Anymore

Holes

I am full of holes
A human sieve
Emotions pour through me
But they don’t stay
I am putty
I allow people to play
Mold my identity
Sometimes irresponsibly

There are holes in my soul
My experiences are vague
I can’t make sense of
Any feeling, any day
Nothing sticks
Everything flows through me
While time passes away

My mind is full of holes
Things that happened long ago
Morphed into memories
Blank spots
Illusions and stories
That I can’t show
Shape-shift and sway
In my conscious
They are close
But happening so far away

My body is full of holes
Incomplete
Fragments of humanity
People I meet
Everyone sees me
And experiences me differently

I must be careful
Not to fall in my holes
They like to hide
I don’t know their exact location
It’s hard to see when I’m inside
Their depth is immeasurable
Their deception penetrable

Old holes and new holes
Needing repair
How can I heal myself
When there are holes everywhere?

Deserving

Deserve is a strange word
We need a reward for just being
All of our desires must be heard
By the Universe
Which should cater to our needs
Our purpose and meaning

But who gets what they want
Who is deserving
And who gets punishment
Does anyone deserve to be the brunt
Of the worlds cruelty?
The harsh divide between you and me?

Does everyone deserve to eat?
To have shelter and seek
Security, a better life
Who is deserving?

And who delivers this reward
It seems deciding who is hard
Can we make these decisions?
Without having all the information?

Who deserves land, territory
Who deserves to tell their story
Who deserves to be recognized
And who should be despised

Does anyone deserve war?
To have their hearts broken
Do some deserve more
Than others?

Is this something you manifest
Perhaps this is all a test
Of our humanity
Our willingness willing to give
To someone with less

To think about others
When it doesn’t benefit us
To accept what we have
And be more generous

Or do we think we are better than the rest
The less deserving
We are so self serving
Our entitlement will be our demise
Unless we become interested
In others lives

Others that are far away
That we haven’t met
That are separate
How easy it it to forget
We are all human

Who deserves to live
And who deserves to die?
We pretend we know
We think we are right

But our window is so small
Do the Gods respond to the prayers of all
Can everyone’s pleas be heard?
Do everyone’s dreams matter?
What do you deserve?

The Truth

What is the truth?
A perception
A feeling
A created reality
The space that exists
Between you and me
You say I’m toxic
I think I’m healthy
Which one of us can’t see?

Is truth what exists
When there is silence
When the mind is quiet
If the mind is ever quiet
How can we find it

Our truths are not the same
One persons truth
Is anothers pain
Is there one truth?
Is there one right way?

Sometimes I think I know
Other times it’s grey
So many stories
So many lives
The mind is powerful
But sometimes it lies

Have you ever been lost
In your own mind?
Maybe I create my truth
It may bend a little to connect
With you
The more I experience
The more I question what’s true
It feels like questioning
Is the right thing to do

I decide
What’s right
But I can always change my mind
Perhaps the truth doesn’t exist
Or maybe it’s just hard to find

We are all living separate truths
In our own lives
The writers of history
The makers of time
But what is mine?

Cotton

I sat down in meditation
And lost myself
My mind went on vacation
My body started to hum
Full of vibration

And I turned into
A ball of cotton
Fluffy and white
Wispy
Floating free
Without a body
My normal life has been forgotten

An open window
A gentle breeze
Causes the slightest movement
Weightless and free

It shifts me slightly
Off my cushion
I roll and float
Through the mediation
Across the floor
Over the mat
Nothing to stop me
No coming back

All eyes are closed
I float undetected
A cotton ball is not suspected
I brush by a cheek
But all is still

The wind dances through me
A force of will
And then with a gust
I blow away

Float up into the sky
I leave without acknowledgement
Without a goodbye
I’m carried into the big blue
The infinite

I float so high
The wind is my guide
I exist up here
There’s no fear

A light ball of energy
There is no me
No space and time
Just a ball of cotton
Floating by

Lines

I stare at myself in the mirror
Expression lines
Creases
Crinkles
A story etched into my forehead
When did I get wrinkles?

I want them to leave
Exit immediately
I rub creams, oils, masks
Apply sunscreen desperately
I wonder if you see what I see
Instead of looking into my eyes
You are looking at my lines
Folds that tell you I’m getting old

Markers of my experience
My time
A life of stress and excitement
Hard decisions I’ve had to make
All the paths I’ve chosen to take
Repentance, glory, and sin
Worn on my skin
A face full of life
Seeking
A bottle of collagen
My youth has disappeared overnight

I stare back at them hard
I see every faint crease
Every mark
I run my hands over their indentation
Setting an intention
To love myself
I’m learning so slowly

I try hard not to move
My eyebrows, my eyes
Trying to improve
The situation
As if I keep still
They will reside
My forehead will smooth
Milky white

My perfection, my youth
Faintly slips away
I suppose these lines are here to stay
I find myself further inside
Tempted to hide
My flaws, my face
I think about Botox
Trying to erase the evidence

I embrace my age
I embrace my lines
Knowing my wrinkles
Don’t define my character
I want you to see my life
My old soul
And know that’s it’s full
My happiness shows through my crinkles
I smile deeply
Crows feet
Even though it creates
What I hate

I want to be this person
I want these lines
I want all of my experiences
My expressions, appearances
But I fear growing old
We’ve all been sold
An illusion of perpetual youth
Unflawed, non-reality
Smooth skin
And told it’s our duty
To look this way
I accept who I am in the mirror
I refuse to pay
These wrinkles are here to stay

And then with a start
I turn the off the lights
I can no longer see, only feel
My innermost self, beautiful
My lines disappear in the dark
My skin recedes
Blackness envelops me
And I become energy

Jamaica

I knew the moment you smiled at me
We locked eyes
And I returned your smile shyly
I’d see you again

You come back the next day
I lay on your table
Melting under your warm touch
You slowly undress
Caress and tease
I loll in the cool Jamaican breeze
You slip off my pants
Stroke my thighs
Invite me to dance
To the hum of the tides
In your personal yoga retreat
Massage therapy

I sneak out like a rebellious adolescent
Climbing the fence at night
Walk the wooden plank into your world
I don’t know where I am
I shouldn’t be here

You guide me through my fears
Gently grabbing my hand
We make love in your gym
A weight bench
A massage table
A parrot watching us with disapproval

You light up a joint
I lay basked in fluorescent nakedness
A foreigners bliss
A Jamaican fling
An accent so thick
I can’t understand a thing
A connection of the eyes
The smile is inviting

Your beautiful skin enticing
I caress your wounds
Unravel your stories
Your bullet holes and glories
Explore your past
Knowing this will not last
I make notes on your skin
Remembering
Etching into my story
Transient passion
Glorious sin

You drive me home at dawn
I pretend like I haven’t gone
Sneak in smiling
At my secret
The yoga retreat carries on
Yet your name creeps into my song
My experience

I’m in Jamaica for one more night
But I’ll remember that massage
For the rest of my life

Freedom

What is it to be free
Is it to think independently
To have lots of money
Buy anything you want
Own property
Be on the right side of the red line
To have status and credibility

Do we get it when we are wealthy
Or when we learn to set boundaries
Maybe it’s not blaming others
Taking personal responsibility
Over our lives
Or does it have to do with being happy
Certainly it’s not being right
It seems quiet hard to define

Is it the ability to leave the country
To sit quietly
And turn off the mind
Freedom of press
Openness to express
Our true selves
Not being confined

Is freedom movement
To exercise your ability
Move about the world freely
To seek whatever you want to find

Is it to make your own decisions
Perhaps it’s concerned with our rights
To speak and act
Think and move forward
Without looking back

Perhaps it means something different for everyone
A fluid state
A dance, an escape
From the system
That tells us what to do and think
Absence of foriegn control
The corrupt government
Pushing us to the brink
Of our humanity

Perhaps there’s levels of freedom
To be free mentally
Overcome your childhood
Trauma of your family
To be free physically
And have a healthy body
Participate in society

Free your mind
But how will we know when we find
We can have it and lose it a thousand times
To have freedom is to have power,
But what kind?

Freedom
Maybe it’s an instant feeling
Like flying
Or perhaps it’s gradual
Like a deep sigh after a long day
Simply just breathing
Allowing things to unfold
Knowing what to do or say
Without being told

We all seem to want freedom
But we don’t know how to find it
We can try to detach and let go
Yet we are still alive
We have wants and needs
To thrive and survive

We are so influenced by our society
This culture, this state
This idea of being free
Perhaps to talk about freedom is hypocrisy

Who made this word
This elusive idea
And what did they want it to be
How will we know
When we are free?

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