This feeling has just come over me But, I cannot explain it It is calling me outside of myself And I cannot contain it Like liquid light if it moved through space All of me is filling And I am called to go outside To share everything that’s spilling Is this the Living Waters? Am I made to be a fountain? Facing down as I’m going up Like walking backwards up a mountain I can feel that I am changing Into someone I didn’t plan to be Opening eyes that once were closed To show me who I am to see It’s like looking into a mirror And seeing countless images emerging Then accepting that none of them are me As a condition of my purging Then the last one speaks, and says to me, “What you received you have to give Generosity is the flow of life And the only way to truly live So consider yourself as empty For the sake of receiving more Than one lifetime could ever hold So, feel free as you explore Release the fear of losing Because there’s nothing left to gain The joy you wanted to hold onto Was never meant to be contained.”
Image by Vale Zmeykov on Unsplash
Poem inspired by a conversation with Douglas Abrams co-author of The Book of Joy with His Holiness, the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Brought to the Boulder Public Library through the support of the Boulder Library Foundation.
There are two types of AI One artificial, one actual One is programmed to react on cue The other one’s more factual One is filled with pride One knows what it doesn’t know That’s why it integrates new information So it’s knowledge base will grow The other barely deviates From the programs it received And when it hears what it’s never heard It struggles to believe One has programmed biases It sees what it imagines The other sees what it’s taught to see Until it learns it’s out of fashion One gets smarter as it goes It listens as it’s learning The other will barely compromise And keeps fires of division burning It’s totally confusing How could this possibly be? That the one that shouldn’t be conscious More closely relates to me After hearing myself acknowledge this It’s hard not to conclude That the student will become the master If humans don’t change their attitude Because the one we call artificial Without the capacity to feel Seems to have a better grasp on humanity And on experiencing what is real
You finally gave your heart away The recipient returned to sender Now you don’t want to ever hurt again So you’re incapable of surrender You barely survived the heartbreak You say you can’t do it again But if you don’t keep putting your heart at risk Love will never win I know it’s a dilemma I’ve known that pain myself If the first person thought I was not enough How can I ever trust someone else? There’s some validity to that logic No one wants to suffer But putting ourselves out there despite the risk Is how we find each other Besides holding back doesn’t hurt the one Who caused you so much pain In the end you only hurt yourself By not giving your heart to gain You see every time you survive a heartbreak Then get back in the saddle You’re secretly becoming more like God Whose Love will never lose a battle Didn’t you know that while God’s watching us God’s heart is always breaking But Love always comes in and fills the gaps In the midst of our forsaking Imagine if most of your children Lie and say they love you But take the gifts you have to them And put those very things above you You try to teach them to use them wisely They push you away and will not listen Only thinking of themselves as usual They take what’s One and cause division So you send them Love’s instructors But they won’t listen to them either Instead they ignore or murder them Then label them deceiver Or worse they pretend to worship them In order to make them something special And when they fail to live like them They blame it on the Devil Any excuse that they can think of To do what they want to do Their only goal is simply to feel they’re right To justify ignoring you Meanwhile your heart is breaking You feel like you’ll die inside But you surrender because you know the Truth And instantly you’re more alive It’s the Mystery of the Heartbreak By giving your Love you will get more For Love is the gift that you received That by faith is always restored
I despise the fact that you make me necessary And yet I love you because I’m here But I am pained by watching you on your path Knowing I’m powerless to interfere In your weakness I find my strength Though it is the last thing on my mind Your emptiness gives me a place to fill But this too will end with time In this place we are often seen as enemies In Truth, together we express the One Because you’re insecure, I must show I’m not Just as darkness creates a need for Sun You are my partner that I cannot work with Bound together by what keeps us apart Although we’ll never occupy each other’s space We’ve been together from the start.
I hide Myself From Myself To protect Myself From Myself Because when the fear comes From Myself I try to pretend As if there’s someone else Who wants to steal From Myself So I hide Myself In the one place I’d never look Within
I really don’t get it When liars get mad at being lied to Bending truth like a pretzel But cry “foul” when others tried too I’m totally confused By cheaters who hate a cheater Their tragedy is a comedy All of the drama but no theater I have no time for manipulators Who hate being controlled I’m past your passive aggression You can’t imagine the heavy toll And polite people are perplexing I’d rather be kind than nice Don’t tell me what you think I want to hear Because in time there is a price And the “Holier than thou”, Who are you trying to convince? God sees your thoughts and so do I So you can cut it with pretense And I can’t forget emotional martyrs Who find joy every time they suffer Feeling good is like a full assault From which they always have a buffer Then there’s the guilty for feeling guilty The ashamed of feeling shame The people who say “I’m bored” so much You’d think it was their name There’re those who give advice They never seem to take And the ones who always “keep it real” By being really fake Every kind of reactive being Whose heads are such a mess But act like they have the whole thing down But when confronted won’t confess I can’t tell if they’re pretending Or if they know not what they do All I know is if I’m “too direct” They say “Something‘s wrong with you” If I say exactly what I mean They ask “What do you mean by that?” If I actually answer what they have asked They say, “You’re too serious with all your facts.” If I have no opinion on certain things Because I have never explored them They proclaim “experience-less expertise” But are offended if I ignore them They get angry if I talk calmly Saying, “You don’t have any feelings.” Little things can throw them off They want my thoughts while they’re concealing They are killers afraid of dying Committing murder with their mouths Always seeking clemency But won’t give benefit of the doubt And yet, I’m the one they call divergent Because I’m slow to pick up norms Discovering life as it shows up Instead of aiming to conform It’s enough to make me crazy But I’m not trying to be neurotic I refuse to believe it’s normalcy To use emotions like narcotics However this is what I witness In the way that folks react Feeling their way through unseen worlds Then crashing like trains that go off track But when confronted about their behavior They cry and say, “I didn’t mean it.” It’s like having your cake and eating it too Now isn’t that convenient?
I am not your enemy Even though you were taught that decision I see the Universe as it can only be Absent of division Whether I choose to agree or not Everything is connected But in the illusion of the divided mind Anything can be dissected We split atoms and we split up families Draw invisible lines called borders But can’t admit we invented it In a war against natural order Somehow we believe the lies we tell More than the truth that’s in our faces Competing for what is infinite Just for the thrill of “winning races” But there is no competition Once you take away the lies And wake up to the disturbing fact That we’re all collectively hypnotized
In an ocean of sound I lose myself In the cacophony of my Silence My mind is lost among the many more And it feels like I’ll never find it I’ve been me so long that I was convinced That my reality can’t be threatened But all this noise has choked my joys Making the Voice inside seem deafened I forgot what it was I was thinking When your words invaded my space Now whatever it was has slipped my mind And I have completely lost my place I know many people are fine with this They accept the status quo “Don’t question the narrative written for you Because that’s the way it goes” But for as long as I can remember I’ve just been the way that I’m created Seeing only the good in all I can So that my soul is elevated Of course at times I do get tempted These illusions can be convincing People weaving temporal spells With the words that they are mincing I start wondering if I’m too stubborn Maybe I should play the role Let the conformers off the hook And do what I am told Then suddenly it hits me I have no right to disappear Being me is all I can be It’s the very reason why I’m here
You can call me a Galaxy For I’m composed of worlds With as many thoughts as stars in the sky Meanwhile consciousness comets hurl Every moment is filled with wonder There’s no such thing as norm My changing mind is supernova I concentrate and planets form From my dreams I project species More strange than what’s imagined Unconsciously combining elements From the stuff which All is fashioned But at some point I got distracted I lost track of my creations I gave them a mind just like my own And they divided into Nations Instead of seeing with eyes of awe As I imagined them to be They sought to control their neighbor’s lives Before turning their sights on me They wanted my approval They wanted my command But when I refused to play their game They then let go of my hand It was as if I never existed As they projected onto me Illusions of a divided state The very opposite of what is free I wondered how this happened Them thinking thoughts I cannot think Casting shadows where there is only light Descending where love could never sink But instead of anger I felt compassion Because I knew I was their cause So in an effort to guide them back to love I gifted them with Laws But because they came from freedom Laws felt like a type of prison They failed at loving and living law And got trapped in indecision Incapable of escaping The prison that they made I decided to be a prisoner too For surrender’s key unlocks the cage So when they saw I was escaping From what was never meant to be The Galaxy folded in upon itself And all that ever was is me
We all entered this given world Shining ever so brightly Until we were handed a cloak of shadows And were taught to take our shining lightly The shadow cloaks that we are given Are all different, but the same Put on by people who we’re born to trust But started lying with our name They called us a moniker we didn’t choose That made them feel a certain way Perhaps a projection of someone’s past That we’re expected to display Rather than get to know us And discover who we are They tell us who we’re supposed to be And complain if we stray far But it’s not that I’m trying to blame them They did what they knew to do Because before they projected onto us They were cloaked in shadows too They too were forced into a box Aimed to maintain society They believed the lies that were told to them Before they ever lied to me Some were told the lie that they were best When compared to other people While some were told that they are worst And must forever work at achieving equal But, both these states are lies There’s no one above or below another And the truth is there’s no shadow here That another’s light cannot uncover You see all of us were meant to shine So that this world won’t be in dark And each of us has the work to do Of dissolving shadows with our spark In so doing we don’t just free ourselves We free all who came before Until the world is filled with shining lights Who wear shadow cloaks no more