(Originally written on January 20th, 2016)
Short sweetness in a glass
Because knowing that all things are empty
Sometimes is not enough.
Short sweetness in a glass
Because sometimes at times all I see is doors closing on my face
Though I know they are just my thoughts…
Sweetness in a glass
Because today I’m not held tenderly and perhaps that’s all I want:
A gentle word, caring…
Empty of anger…
A touch that says, “I get you…: wind-blowing
Short sweetness in a glass half-empty
Warmly caressing my guitar
No echoes for my heartfelt longing,
Except the loneliness of the teachings from afar.
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A tortoise carries her loneliness, her home, upon her back.
When she looks out the window, she’s inside…
When she peeks in,
deep within are her memories, her wishes, her dreams…
as if constantly blown by the wind.
But she’s alone
whether looking out, or looking in…
Step by step she walks,
treading the Path along her way.
Her master beckons
with a whisper writing a message in the sky.
And as she barely grasps the first word
the others vanish,
leaving her alone, and treading,
slowly, left behind.
And so, she keeps on walking, even dancing,
still carrying her home upon her back–
grateful for the whisper,
and for the loneliness
that quietly welcomed her master’s sign.
(Written after reading for class)
October 6, 2012
Many years without truly sharing my poetry with anybody, due to fears…the poetry writing muscles have become rusty at best. Poems used to be almost a way of speaking between me and many of my friends, and I consider myself lucky to have had friends for whom this was also true. I started writing in the D.R. around the time when I was 13. I slowly stopped after my return to the US, after completing Peace Corps service. The voice died.
I didn’t want to speak/write anymore and hear myself mostly bitter, angry…I didn’t want my feelings/thoughts to be corrected because I wrote with an accent. But I guess, more than anything, I didn’t want to experience the cold silence of someone reading the words that had come from my heart, and having nothing to say to me, or worse, nothing to share. It felt very lonely…I had seemingly landed in an environment (academia) within a culture where words related to feelings were considered sappy, mushy, non-accurate, weak
However, my own silence is apparently meant to be broken, or at least be punctured by whispers from this heart perhaps poorly carried by these words.
[Written during the Harvest of Peace celebration…a rusty effort perhaps, but a sincere feeling…I guess, this speaks to a kind of yearning…I was afraid of sharing this poem…therefore, here it is.]
O Teacher come and let me know that it is your voice that I hear.
Teach me to listen to all of life as carrying the whisper of the Teachings,
the comfort to all my tears.
O Teacher come…I am foolish and I am blind.
With this human, frail and mortal body possessed just by human sight
I can’t always tell the difference between the shadows and the Light.
O Teacher come…
Let me feel the smell of fire and water, wind and sand…
Let me sense your presence in decay, rocks, wood and rust…
Help me know that with these scents, your sweet perfume is close behind…
O Teacher come as lover, teacher, healer, food and wine.
Let me taste your lips, kiss your feet,
embrace the body though which the Dharma courses,
the Mirror through which all perceptions change
And without worldly efforts, become Divine.