The horses are walking everywhere
in my mind,
they’re always stomping out of unexpected places
or passing by again on the familiar jungle driveway.
I’ve lost the thread –
it’s like I’ve burned through the thread of meaning
faster than everyone else…
Or was it ever there?
Maybe once the thread is truly exorcised –
then I can land on my butt in the sand,
by something much sturdier than a string of story.
Ah the ever-hopeful Hope,
I’ll shatter you –
didn’t I already look Despair in the eyes?
Haven’t I fallen to my knees in the pool of desperation
one too many times?
I am here now.
Wondering what “here” looks like…
Day in and day out my shadows chase me,
never more than a handbreadth
from strangling my light.
You, sister, tell me where we’re going;
tell me where to look
or where to put my foot –
I’ll put my faith in your footstep.
If you have no answer for me
we’ll skip forward, in time:
married on the swing-set of unknowable destiny.
Playgrounds are no place for lonely cloaks
I shrug it off
as this family of stars embraces me.
Adieu, Sorrow! N’oublie pas,
at least shut the horse-gate on your way out!
We are human creatures.
We are animals –
driven by bodily needs
as all the animals that have come before us are.
Unfortunately we have become lost in the sea
of our needs;
our intrinsic loop of knowing and caring
has been severed.
The age of the intellect has
overtaken and directed our minds
to the task of becoming dominantly linear.
Man, woman and child has been taught
to see the way ahead
using only the masculine tools
of the left, rational and reasonable mind.
With the pruned and over-responsible intellect in charge
the rest is left to atrophy:
we begin to forget the big picture,
we begin to forget the wholeness and fluidity
that accompanies creative power.
Man, woman and child are civilized
out of their bodies,
out of their ancestral wisdom
that lays at the core of our revolving species.
We begin to see confusion and ineptitude
surround basic human instincts.
It is at this point that man, woman and child
turn to books and experts
to learn how to take care of themselves.
It is at this point that the mother loses her motherhood,
the father loses his fatherhood,
and the child loses her childhood.
Babies are born to mothers
who do not trust themselves to care –
for themselves or for their baby,
mothers who turn to specialists
for what to do at every whimper.
Children grow up in families
that turn to specialists
for advice on dinnertime,
Children grow up into adults
who know that they don’t know
who must look outwards to fill the gaps.
Adults who doubt and constantly fear,
fear making the wrong decision.
Babies are born whole.
Babies are born as creatures,
expecting to be treated the way
all the billions of babies before them have been.
Babies expect to be cared for
by a mother who responds to her,
not to a book.
With the lost wisdom of mothers and fathers
come babies who’ve lost out
on their birthright.
Babies whose cries have gone unanswered
and whose needs have not been met.
Despairing babies grow up
into adults who,
not only do not know how to parent their children,
but whose needs make them
needy for their children.
The circle is broken,
in fact the blueprint of life
has been thrown completely out the window.
And we feel it,
we feel a hole
left by the missing rightness.
No wonder we are all hurting,
all trying to fit pieces together
to stop up our leaking loss.
We look for partners, for places,
for anything to set it right.
Waking up to what has happened,
waking up to our justifiable pain
lets us look in the right places,
lets us forgive.
Waking up to the imbalances
inherent to the road behind us,
creates the choice to choose –
to choose to re-cultivate the continuum of life
that flows, forgotten, in our veins.
These are kaleidoscopic truths:
crystalline tears running down my cheeks.
They are rainbow blessings,
sparkling and salty spring cleanings.
Catch my heart
as we fall through and past time and space
to a co-created reality
of butterfly kisses and opaque lullabies.
We are all indigo painters
in this educational arena of earth.
I think it’s time to let out our voices,
to join them together in the kaleidoscopic harmony
of divine order.
Sing with me, brothers and sisters!
Ascend your voices to the key of the heart
Feel the tone of the wind,
hear the blood coursing in the river veins
of our collective mother.
It is time we join the lively stampede
of all living things, toward wholeness.
I cant find the time to write
because the kids keep running away
and I go chasing after their white furry butts.
And a stranger-neighbor quips
about my fluffy flock’s large ears.
Another handshake between fathers…
-- who knew there were drug deals in paradise?
Pas moi, pas moi…
I see the sunshine,
the clover flowers at the level of my nose –
I get the gentle nudge of a tickly probing face
snuffling along to the drips on my box of coconut water.
Oh! I had to run –
Leila wandered off after the grass-patch of her dreams,
Riley saw the escape path and bumblingly followed suit,
And so I picked myself up and herded them back.
Phew, crisis averted.
Back to munching and crunching and breathing it is.
Family of Living Light
This family reunion is a cascading sigh
of hearts that have felt homesick
for so long;
a melting pot of long-suppressed
“thank you”s and “I love you”s
bubbling out of every crack
in any façade.
The gathering of the nobodies into somebody's -
an accidental grin shatters our masks of apathy,
our common goofiness proving stronger
than our stranger-ness.
All day the sun shines and
we are the people
who wait for each other
and share the last drop of water.
At night, under the stars
we are the people
who hold hands and pray to the fire,
dancing and swooning to
The beat of the drums –
the deep heartbeat of this
flash-flood utopic civilization.
We sing to the dawn in celebration
of this beautiful confirmation:
I recited this poem for our graduation ceremony from Global College on May 10th, 2012. This poem is the untold story of my last four years of Global College. I assembled this poetic piece by puzzling together many bits of the poems that I wrote while I was studying and living in each of these areas of the world. I hope that this geographical and experiential authenticity helps to successfully reveal the flavor of each of these periods of my life.
Ich bin a baby of the seas;
Mi nombre takes me to Italia with my parents
on younger winds, earlier days.
Pero I have been made into a baby of tongues
blown around by the winds.
Sometimes me cuesta to remember my roots
I am a baby of everywhere.
Ahora I have found my way back to my latina past…
There is mist covering an entire city –
a fog of forgetfulness and neglect.
We Live in Prisons
But they’re just as scared as we are.
As scared as we are supposed to be that is…
There are so many rules to follow and
everything feels unnatural.
Why is this and that not okay?
I am trying to buy a T-shirt, why do they have a gun?
I am trying to get my money out of the bank,
Why do they frisk me?
I want to fling open my door and dance in the street under the moonlight.
I am suffocating.
Where is my freedom?
On Tuesdays I take a bus to my freedom:
My freedom is in a group of gathered women
Dancing to transcend humanity.
We have become jaguars and birds;
a vicious dance with whipping hair.
Incense mingling with sweat on dirty floors:
ing. Let is loose.
Six bodies breathe together,
A shared watering bottle –
wild and wet.
Drum beats, heart beats.
Well, it’s organized like this….
a.) Poetic and Creative Starvation
b.) and at least... "The Dirt Conundrum".
I look down, tucking my head against the wind.
The hushed sound of thousands of pairs of shoes –
shuffling forward in harmony,
exiting the subway like a mob of masochistic insects,
crawling up the stairs and spilling into open, frigid air.
The silence of people moving together –
we breathe in through masks and scarves,
avoiding the claustrophobic whiffs of cigarette and H1N1.
Are we in this fight together or each alone?
Everywhere I turn there are fences blocking my way:
to the water cube at the Olympic park, the subway escalator,
stretches of open stone in the middle of Tian’anmen Square…
I’m walking with the masses.
We retreat back underground to cross the street; we don’t get in the way.
“Don’t disturb the illusion of quiet; do not take a stand to scream.”
I’m just walking as one of many –
foreign in a city that tries not to care.
I have no idea where we are going but I know that
when I strike out on my own here, I end up having to turn around.
Have I too made the choice to give up searching?
Is that why every single foot on these roads walks past the fences not wondering what is on the other side?
She’s a little girl trying hard to be big:
never truly sure if she’s gotten there –
“what is the measuring stick for grown-up-ness?”
She’s still in love with the morning sunshine,
the caterpillars traversing squiggling paths across the leaves
and the chirps of the hundreds of frogs that she’s caught –
that she’s given better lives in the glass aquariums of her memories.
The whisper of her song is still there, she swallows it back every time she opens her mouth to speak:
it’s muffled in the swish of her skirt and the pitter-patter of her disappearing footsteps.
“…Can you hear it?”
She’s running headlong into age,
she’s skipping down the hopscotched sidewalk of adulthood.
She has no patience for being young: with her new purse and her lover and her passport she clicks her high heels
three times and never comes home.
But every once in a while she looks back –
She reaches back with longing at the simpler life when
the silence of childhood laughed in the face of miscommunication
and tree-climbing concentration left no room for self doubt.
Bundled up and shuffling upstairs to the rooftop.
She shakes out her mat
And sits facing the hanging laundry.
The world stops for a breath or two
into the conscious present.
“O-om shanti ommmmm…”
There’s a flavor in the air –
hanging from the tree branches
of an inverted universe.
Is the image of my perfect life
a fragment of shredded reality
or an extrapolated ray,
Gasp. Smoke, coughing.
Help me constrict and construct
the walls around me.
Help me tear out of this bubble.
One foot in this world –
a basket of unanswered stories
pulling me over the edge.
I am unstoppable:
unstoppable in the way my heart
pours out of my ears,
clutching the transcendent beauty
of the cracks in the script we are all reading from.
I hold my tongue out for a raindrop from the other side…
but it evaporates on contact,
mesmerizing my fragile mind on the
highway of unfinished To-Do lists.
We could be free together,
escape the mundane drum of
We could define our own rules,
take a chalk eraser to the cemented labels
and leave a dusty wake behind us
as scientific laws are jumbled to make way
for our circling dreams.
Every moment could be ours
for the reaping.
If we can just close our eyes and conjure the bravery
It takes to jump into an undiscovered
This is my story,
It’s terrifying but:
Too important to ignore –
Too obvious and beautiful
To put away.
This is the compilation of the chapters
That brought me to this small moment;
This moment where I have to face my power,
Face the truth
Of this life…
That I am lost.
And maybe that is just me.
But what if all it takes to realize
I’m not alone
Is to put out my hand?
Well here it is –
My lifeline of well-intentioned doubt;
I can no longer hide.
Here I am, my heart heavy and
my hands –
dug into the earth;
my palms –
Here I kneel –
in the rain.
My lids –
closed in reverence.
My ears –
So open your eyes
And take my hand –
Here I am, a traveler.
Time, space… and dimensions yet unnamed.
Yes, let’s team up
Because surely soon enough
“We’ll see clearly now, the rain is gone…”
You know that moment –
when you smirkingly pat yourself on the back
for missing the step in the puddle
…right as you hop under the source –
On your head,
Sleeping awake in a jolt –
Jarred into the many questions
Depicting the complexity of the present.
it’s like we’re looking at our feet –
trying not to stumble –
on the pine needles.
While all the while –
our trees burn around us –
the moon weeps tsunamis.
And the sky –
has the blues… for his blues.
The sun –
has a fever.
She’s singe-ing –
around the edges.
We are all children
Whose lives have taught us to construct straws around
our fragile interiors.
We reel in our natural expansion
because we are hurt and frightened.
“Just breeeathe, force is not needed.”
Just a safe space to unravel
The tightly-knotted shoelaces
That (currently) anchor us to loneliness.
Soon our burdens will be lighter.
So don’t worry about your ever-bulging bag,
“Start today, throw away”
To the generous hands reaching out for you
into the cosmic community of freecycling.
You can call us “Free-gan”s
As we rescue the forgotten dinners from the Whole Foods compost
“Hey, we make this abundance work for us”
Others try to contain me, to limit me
because they do not understand
the way my hands
are extensions of my heart…
that try to catch every passing tear
in an enveloping hug of soothing noises,
and comfort foods.
I am a creative force:
powerful and bigger-than-life
in my possibilities.
I am elusive thought, magic with helium boots.
I am the mother, the creator –
The child and the tree.
Hear my silence.
Feel my voice …
And start to feel things
implode and expand –
Expanding out to a
power I never imagined possible.
My bare feet pound
the paths of all my mothers and daughters. –
We speak without words and paint with our dreams.
We are connected in a twirl of lace and traded braids –
wise fingers passing down
the unfinished knitting patterns of peace.
Weaving through the subway underpasses actually we are noticing each other –
deliberately and with much more detail than our awareness captures –
our minds and bodies juggle the angles and physics required
for us to pass by each other in a drumming harmony.
really we’re all just spokes
on the spinning microcosm
of the room that folds in on itself.
Underground, at night, people pour out their stories:
in the crooning of their mouthpiece –
in the strum of their bow.
Underground in this space,
I would weep next to perfect strangers
if my tears draped like golden blankets
over our weary shared humanity.
In this cuddle-puddle of desperate souls
My smile is beamed back to me –
by a sea of family:
Now I know who we are.