COAT PLEASE

These coats we wear
Bought in childhood
Bright and shiny in youth
Slightly ill fitting in middle age
Worn out and frayed in maturity

Why not just throw them off
And go naked and free

Because when we try to take them off
We find they are stuck to us
And we are strangely attached to them

We want to be free
But the coat is familiar and safe
We want to be naked and open
But the coat hides our shame
It covers us in our vulnerability
And we don’t have to face the world
The coat is our investment
And we are reluctant to give that up

Eventually we may come to a great palace
Where to enter is our greatest longing
A longing beyond all other earthly longings
At the entrance we are met by a doorman
Who says ‘May I have your coat please?’

Photo by Velizar Ivanov on Unsplash

Dive Deep and Fly High

If you cannot reach deep into your soul
You will not be able to soar into the heavens
And we were made for both

To try and live in the middle world
Imagining it is safe is illusory
For its safety is a kind of death
Death by limitation and ignorance

We were born to dive into the deepest
And fly into the highest
And do not believe those
Who try and persuade you otherwise.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Speak Goodness Into the World

The tears of grief we cry
That come from the depth of us
Are themselves the source
Of the goodness we speak into the world

The spring water that is so fresh to taste
Comes from within the deepest earth

The deeper we are able to go into existence
The richer are the gifts we can offer
And when the world is hurting so much
And most cannot find that spring water

Maybe you and I can say
‘Here, come over here and drink a little
You must be weary on the road.’

All we can really offer is an open heart.

Image by Jaesung An from Pixabay

Praise Not Punishment

There is a secret that only the wisest shamans know
It is that praise is what keeps beauty alive
But this praise is not superficial or of the self
It is true, heart pouring out praise of what is truly valued
Praise says ‘You are in the world and you mean something
You are beautiful and I see that beauty and honor it,’

This simple but openly joyous action
Is like pouring water on a parched garden
It brings everything to life
And allows it to shine

It can be praise of a human being
Or a flower or dog or a tree
Or nature itself
Everything will respond in the same way
Because everything is animated by the divine

My poetry is a celebration of this praise
It is the only way I know
To keep the beauty of things alive.

Image by Bruno /Germany from Pixabay

Court Beauty

The beauty I point to
Is not superficial, not a surface thing
Nothing the mind can grasp or interfere with
It cannot be bought or sold
Forced or manipulated

The beauty I speak of
Is only discovered through
A kind of courtship with the beloved
We may say it reveals itself
In surrender, in tenderness,
In our embracing of grief
Or as we fall into the unknown
And let go

As the tears flow into the world
The invisible intelligence
That lives inside everything
Is fed by those tears
And offers itself back to us as beauty
This is the true joy.

Image by kangbch from Pixabay

Listen to the Voice Within Everything

Friend, that is it, that whisper in the noise
That nudge, that birdsong in the early morning
The gentle breeze in the trees
The lapping of the waves on the shore
The cloud, the thunder, the rain
All of them pointing to the beauty

Don’t keep turning away
You are feeding the wrong garden
Listen to the voice within everything
Hear what is really being said
There is a secret language being spoken
Even human beings use it
Listen inside the words of your lover
Or your friend or enemy

When you learn to hear deeper
The whole world whispers to you
And you start to know the truth of things.

Love is Trying to Find You

Love is always trying to find you
But you resist and resist
Saying you are not ready
But you ARE ready
You have never been more ready

Love is beckoning you to its door
And into its kingdom
But you say ‘I need to resolve this
And I can’t let go of this,’
And you hesitate at the threshold
Imagining there is more you should do or know

Love, your true home,
Doesn’t care about what you think
Or what you imagine
It comes at you, beseeching, begging, demanding

Give yourself once and for all to this inner calling
What do you have to lose?
Only the remnants of clothes you once wore
With pride and pomp
Only the threads of your worldly robes
That no longer fit or even suit you

Love is trying to find you
Surrender once and for all
It will be such a relief.

Image by JamesDeMers from Pixabay

Keeping Beauty Alive

I write poems to keep beauty alive
Although in truth
I feel that beauty can live well enough
Without us

It is for us that I really write
I fear we may be losing its scent
Caught up in our doingness
Preoccupied with all that must be attended to
Lost in the helter skelter of it all
I fear we may be losing the art
Of courting beauty
For its own sake
And for the sake of our soul

This kind of beauty cannot be bought or sold
It is not available on demand
You can’t even find it if you look for it
In fact very few even know of its existence
It is like air, invisible but essential for life
I write for that essence

In many ways
I write about beauty to keep us alive.

Photo by Mak on Unsplash

Don’t Waste Your Precious Energy Now

Don’t just sit there watching the news
Surfing social media
Looking for signs of trouble
Increasing the stress on your nervous system

Don’t waste your precious energy

Use this time valuably
Develop your spiritual inner muscle
Through meditation
Or simple reflection
Through deep inquiry
Let the feelings you have
Go deeper inside
Explore new areas within
Sharpen your arrow of discernment
Develop your warrior-ship

Don’t waste your precious energy

Create, not just for sharing with others
But to express yourself
Your fear, anxiety, hopes, dreams
Write, paint, sing sad songs and cry
Or joyful songs of love and laughter
Find a way to focus, just for an hour
Get away from the distraction, the endless feed

Don’t waste your precious energy now

There is, in every experience, an opportunity
To look deeper at ourselves
To herald goodness, even in the appearance
Of what looks real bad

There is, in all, experience, a choice to be made
Where to focus our energy,
What to give our energy to
And we live in distracted times

Don’t waste your precious energy now
Use it to sustain and grow your inner garden
If you can’t go out, go in.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Just Do It Anyway

I spent years thinking I needed more confidence
But I never got any
Eventually I realized
I just needed to do whatever I wanted
Regardless of whether I had confidence or not
Consequently I began to do what I wanted
And the voice of confidence or not
Faded into the background
Still to this day I can hear it sometimes
Calling from afar
No longer the enemy just a vulnerable friend.