Thursday, 30 April 2015

Spitting Swans and Evil Sleeping Beauties

I hope this week finds you happily inhabiting the sacred pond of your inner-scape. I know; I know; it can be a real struggle to keep the pond happy.

Swan Senryu
AKA Haughty Haiku
AKA Testy Tanka

long-necked swan swimming
long-necked swan spitting … at me
new swan down pillow

note: no animals were harmed
in the writing of this poem

The swan is the ultimate symbol of beauty and grace but to those that have ever dealt with them for any length of time or just had the misfortune to get on one’s bad side … beautiful yes …also aggressive little blighters … spitting, biting, and duck abusing abound. But before we get out the tar and feathers … okay just the tar … let's remember the swan is just doing what comes naturally: defending its territory and its goslings should it feel threatened. Their behaviour does point out however that physical beauty doesn't necessarily coincide with a generous spirit. Like with you … like with me … what gets in the way of true grace is fear

So yes … beauty and kindness do not always go hand-in-hand but no … all you jealous little birds … beauty and evil do not go-hand-in-hand either. except on soap operas and with James Bond villainesses … es …es.  Oh and that girl you fancy who does not fancy you back … she true evil. I get ya … not. Just because someone possesses physical beauty that for whatever reason makes you feel inferior … the reason is your ego … this does not make her evil. It makes you afraid that she'll steal your chance at happiness, causing you to strike out in an attempt to level what you to believe to be the playing field, most often with unkind words when she's not in earshot. She's so high on herself … she’s vain … she’s a narcissists … she’s a bitch … she’s a slut … ouch, that last one hurt.

Vanity is often confused with Pride. Pride being closely linked to the ego. Ego is rather fond of it … a belief that one is both separate and above others. But unless we're looking for identity and fulfilment what we label vanity is simply experimentation in form … make-up, clothes, hair styles and tattoos … selfies and commemorate busts. While we're incarnate, we're also biological beings and so yes, vanity is linked to getting a date, and your response to those you view as vain linked to your fear you CANNOT get a date. The opposite sex isn't nearly as picky as your own gender. You can get a date. Try asking. And the narcissist thing … the narcissist tends to be quite vane but vanity doesn't note a lack of empathy. The two aren't linked. Cruelty grows in small, tight places … the closed heart … hair and makeup are of no concern. So open your heart. When one celebrates the beauty of others along with her own, vanity simply becomes an artistic spirit. 

But I get it; the ego needs a wicked queen to reflect back the snow white complex in all of us.

Beauty Beauty Beauty

Beauty Beauty Beauty
I’ll apply this oil with ease
upon my icy décolletage 
Leaving not a drop, not a balm
To soothe your aching feet

Work Work Work
Sear under a blaring sun
Toil from daybreak 
Until your untimely death
Until you come undone

Beneath a silvered umbrella
I remain a chilled argent
I’ll not unearth my humanity
It remains sealed in the permafrost
Of what would have been my heart

Please Please Please
Show me not your weathered hands
But I’ll take what they’ve created
You see my not-so-comely friend
Wealth is beauty; wealth is power
Vanity is me

Forgive me for this bleak piece of personification. Do not seek out such an individual and shove a poisonous apple down her throat.  If you know someone like this she needs an awakening kiss like just about all of us. But it's the last few lines here to take note. Biology choses very wide parameters by which to judge beauty, in short those features that are associated with fertility. While you still have the urge there may be little getting around these. That still leaves a whole lot of playing room which is often crowded out with shows of wealth. That is what we associate with wealth we tend to associate with beauty. Get it; beauty is completely, irrefutably subjective; so no one person is ‘in fact’ any more beautiful than another. 

You wanna be beautiful … think it and its done. I already know this about each every one of you. All that's left is for you to embrace the knowledge; embrace the feeling. So put on those crowns and sashes and strut. Guys … you might go with a tiara … less is always more … unless you like more. Who doesn't like more … this guy.

Friday, 24 April 2015

Sharing Sacred Ponds with Possibly Poisonous Reptilians

A beautiful happy hello to all you rock stars. I come to you today directly from the stillness.

Many who've arrived at the conscious decision to live a spiritual life have done so after discoveries made with a still mind in a calm and serene environment. When one obtains an extended period of no thought and a willingness to let go of ego a very special thing occurs, leaving no doubt there's more to the world than our sensed and testable material existence. We feel the energy; we feel the connection; we feel the oneness; we feel love in its pure energetic form. 

There’s the how-to … here’s the snafu

Your mind and even your ego may be ready to take a siesta, to allow the universe to show itself sans illusion of senses and thought but the universe isn't always still.  The kids are crying; your neighbor decides they never liked that wall anyway; your favorite coffee shop is hosting the drill-masters reality renovation show; nature is blooming but you’re allergic to it. Calgon take me away … if you got that reference you're really old. Congratulations on surviving.

There's good news and bad news … you do affect the universe … your thoughts and actions can and will lead to change … if you guide your thoughts and actions with awareness the very change you want.  But Grandfather Time is an excellent bouncer. He makes sure no one gets to where they are meant to be too soon, that the crowd is just right, and the music just loud enough. He’s got very broad shoulders and an incredible reach; there is no getting around him; you'll have to wait … always … the trick is embracing the wait. Fully be where you are. Unless this happens ...

While in Japan a snake and I had a near run in. I was later told that seeing such a snake in such a place was a very lucky sign; I didn’t know that and from the way the snake high-tailed it out of there, neither did he. Because of fear we both maintained of our lives but lost possession of our shared, sacred pond. Now I'm not telling you to go skinny-dipping with possibly poisonous reptilians. DON'T. But I am telling you despite the tremendous noise and fear created by myself and the snake ... the sacred pond went nowhere.  

Okay the noise was all mine … the snake even in retreat maintained his cool.

So what am I trying to tell you … you do not need to control your environment to maintain your connection to spirit. You're always in the sacred pond. All you need to do is still your mind ... regardless of what is going on around you .. and not fight the flow; pretty soon the peace you create in the quiet and stillness will flow through you in times of increased noise and movement and even fear. Bringing the party works too. Either way you'll spread acceptance and love, calming every ripple or wave and charming all snakes and reptiles alike. 

Alright … keep on rocking in the sacred pond but keep the music to a low ohm. Blessings and I'll see you next week.  

Friday, 17 April 2015

Narcissus at the Edge of Eternity

Spring is letting loose its intoxicants and as John Paul Young would say love is in the air. Well not love … love as our source is always there … but love in its most messy manifesting, most all-consuming and lustful incarnation … romantic love is in the air. To the reluctant I say get ready to throw some salt over your shoulder to ward off cupids arrowsBirds are chirping and bees buzzy … tis the season for romantic love. 

What you say … romantic love is always in season … let's see about that.

An Eternity

I could spend and eternity
looking at you
sitting over a pond
the envy of Narcissus
as blue as my eyes
as deep as your soul
drinking naught but love
but twenty-four hours later
we're both dead

Narcissus had it figured out. He knew that romantic love leads to suffering; he wasn't going to fall for any of that wine and roses nonsense. Even the beauty of a wood nymph was no match for his steadfast determination to remain his own man. Alas while he'd remain immune to the beauty of the female form … to his own strong jaw-line and broad shoulders he was no match. Catching a glimpse of himself in a pond he instantly fell in love, remaining transfixed until he eventually fell in and drowned. 

So what does romantic love and its seeming opposite Narcissism have in common? It's attachment to what exist on the outside … attachment to form. With romantic love we seek fulfilment from the form and actions of others, placing an inordinate amount of attention and pressure on another to love us in just the right way that will lead to our happily ever-after.  With Narcissism it's about attention to one's own form and comfort … and often when accompanied with a lack of empathy or even psycopathy … attention to one's own comfort at the expense of others. Actually both romantic love and narcissism are fixations are about one's own comfort. We just tend to wax poetically about one and condemn the other. 

Of course in real life the interplay between romantic love and narcissism is not polar and one can figure herself deeply in love and not care one wit about the others well-being or wishes. She just want what she wants … or in this case who … when and how she wants it. 

No matter how you cut it they're both about ego and adherence to ego leads to suffering. Romantic love is not there to make you happy or even to make the object of your amorous affections happy. Although it can create pleasure… just like with its ugly and oft-maligned stepsister, lust ... it is about making babies. It's about survival of the species, rock stars. It is also about learning and learning to truly love … that starts with loving yourself ... not for the way you look, or your accomplishments, or even for how others feel about you … but simply because you exist and because of what exists in every cell of your body… the eternal kind of love. When you find this it will colour everything do and feel, including your adventures in romantic love … giving your dealings with others an expansive acceptance … room to grow and evolve … room to feel.

Mountains to Disassemble


Oceans of time
Prairies to pass
Mountains to disassemble

But still when you write me a poem
I smile and in that moment, we exist

The ocean becomes a puddle
The prairies a spring meadow
Mountains crumble, disintegrate
Time becomes a tear that falls in slow motion

* originally published online under the name Sarah Penn

Your form and the form of everyone you will ever meet will eventually crumble … its temporary. Everything in the physical world is temporary. Pinning your happiness to something that is temporary will only ever lead to its loss … but loving this world and everyone in it … that's eternal. When all else falls away … there is only love.

Blessing beautiful people. We'll see you next week.

An Eternity and Mountains to Disassemble are published in Strays, a Collection of Short Stories and Philosophical Love Poems and available at the link below.

Friday, 10 April 2015

False Skin & Tulip Petals at the Disco

I sit on a beautiful spring day and ponder the nature of the Tulip. For about two weeks it exists as a flower … completely irresistible to all who lays eyes upon it … but for most of the year it lies buried in the ground, a misshapen lump of brown, standing as much a chance at getting a rendezvous with a bird or a bee as an unshaven, unwashed, and bun-bedecked you … has a chance of getting a date with Megan Fox. Proving there is somebody for everyone however … it is still irresistible to the squirrels who will dig up the comatose bulb, eat some but not all, and leave it's now rotting corpse balanced on the fence … to mock the gardening gods. So I ponder the changing nature of the tulip and then I ponder the changing nature of you and me.

False Skin(Excerpt)

Facade, false skin, an illusion
An invisible blanket
No warmth, only delusion

Weighted upon your shoulders
Yoked about your throat, facade
More millstone than any sheltering cloak ...

False skin was written specifically about posturing that is … according to google … behave in such a way that is intended to impress or mislead … masking. Of course when one carries a facade around long enough it has the tendency to stick. Sometimes even the one enacting the posture forgets it's make-believe.

Posturing combined with a lack of awareness is like putting your ego on steroids. It promises world-wide recognition and acclaim … you may even get it … but in the end it's all about denial of self. Because if one feels she must posture … one feels she is not good enough. And like with all shams the truth eventually catches up with you … usually when the facade becomes impossible to maintain … then emotional suffering takes over.

That is the psychological side … 

                                         … now for the evolutionary take

Just about all animals posture. The why comes down to maintaining or establishing dominance … or you guessed it … to get a date.

Yep … just about all animals do it … which includes humans and most certainly that includes you. Whether you  … wear make-up, colour you hair … visit the plastic surgeon … wear shoes with lifts … where anything other than a formless, un-dyed smock … where something … not looking to get anyone arrested here … tell people you're fine when you're not … be nice to someone you don't like … be nice to someone to get them into bed, pretend you're confident when you're scared … you're enacting a facade. Some facades are more obvious than others … some are harmful, some useful … but on some level we are all acting.

There's no escaping facades because your true self is formless and boundless energy … consciousness that only happens to be inhabiting a body … consciouness that forms and reforms personality and its material body as it goes. So as long as you're alive you'll be wearing a costume and playing a role. The key is understanding that you're doing this … its called awareness folks … and not judging others for varying costume and fulfilling roles a little differently than you. 

False Skin

So Take hold

Go on now; reach deep within
Peel back the deceptive dermis
It only feels like skin …*

Shed the brittle shell

Bare your soul, scars, and sinew
Be brave, the blood, the shame
Washed away with a tear

Okay … maybe two

Take a moment to discover what lies beneath your skin … in every cell of your being … actually take many, many moments and then you'll understand that what you are is much more vast than any fleshed covered shell or inflated ego. Then you can play with form and facade without ever forgetting who you are or who anybody else is. You're not just a rock star ... you make them too. Blessings.

*denotes abbreviation

Friday, 3 April 2015

Faith for the Flightless

Don't worry I am running out of poems about birds but not just yet

Two Orphan Sparrows

"This is the story of two orphan sparrows

Emerged from the egg alone but together
Wait as long as they did, which was quite a bit
No mama, no papa, gave even a nit *

So for our two orphan sparrows
There would be no regurgitated spittle
Fear not; they'd feast and they'd feast and they'd nibble
On minute nest mites and mountain pine beetle

The mites were all protein, the beetles all fat
They ate and they ate, for dessert there were gnats
They soon become too big, too large for the nest
Imminent departure was in their interest best

The younger broke the news to the elder 
It's time we leave this place, my dearest brother *
I have heard it said; I cannot recall where
We, two, are sparrows and we're meant for the air *"

Two orphans sparrows grew out of an online conversation with an atheist friend. He couldn't understand ... knowing what I know about the failings of organized religion to bring us to a peaceful world and at times actually leading us into war ... how often the findings of science unequivocally smash myths within doctrines … how I could continue to have faith.  

My friend wasn't the judgy-judge kind … those atheist who think since you have faith you must lack intellect … as if the two were mutually exclusive … you know the ones who think they possess more smarts than did Plato, Newton, Einstein, and Descartes. You know the ones that would shame you out of your faith or in the very least shame you in to keeping quiet.

I wasn't born into a religious family but  I was born into one that had tacit belief in God … personified as some elderly gentleman who sat on a throne in Heaven … who spent his time judging and throwing people into Hell one minute and forgiving them the next. Although that forgiving part … that's golden. It quickly became obvious that many of these parables were there to scare people into doing what they were told by those who resembled that old man on a throne. In short religion is often used as crowd control. But still knowing about the history of religion and a fair bit about science … I could not be robbed of my faith.

Two Orphan Sparrow

"Believing is for some, still not for others

The younger took flight, left behind his dear brother
For how long he would fly is anyone's guess
But never-ever did he return to the nest

Faith is for the feckless, the simple-minded
The one left behind did chirp and concluded
And with his brother's everlasting exit
In the nest there was room to spread out a bit *

From his girth the nest broke to briar and bits
In the end, the flight would never be for the one left
He fell to the ground with a thump and a squawk
Not even a wing beat, but he did learn to walk

Our lone sparrow bought a fur coat, headed south
Faith, he thought, like being a'laden with louse
He'd been left behind, horribly abandoned
He let his heart freeze over and roomed with the penguins"

* notes abbreviation

Why is there no robbing me of my faith … because it wasn't born through social programming or maintained by believe in myth; I shed most of that before I was out of my teens … captain iconoclast here … or the insistence that I have faith … or else. No, my faith was born when I was. I've always known instinctually that there was more to the world than my five senses could register or that current science could test and prove. 

That doesn't mean I'm at war with science … big fan here. As science has progressed it has only served to enrich my belief. It's beginning to explain the why's of the world and to demonstrate through the creation that is calculus and the scientific method our connectedness and levels … dimensions if you will have it ... of our existence. And knowing your place and many roles yin existence keeps your from getting lost.

How Not To Get Lost in the Cosmos

Remember ...

You are not separate from the cosmos
The creator is not separate from cosmos
You are not separate from the creator

In other words ...

When working your way through the cosmos
Never separate from the group 

If you do … take a deep breath, quiet you mind, and listen 
 you only ever thought you were lost

Clear you mind and take in all the beauty around you … ponder the vastness of space and its complexity and power. That the world and the universe exists at all is miracle enough for me. 

Bang … something from nothing … now that sounds like myth to me. 

Science confirms our connection and at the root we're energy … my own still minds confirms the existence of a universal intelligence. Let me put it to you this way … universal radio waves are always on … but you're not going to hear it over the death metal band that is your own thoughts.

TO ….

Turn about is fair play and so I'll leave with a couple quotes from my favourite atheist. And for you Cosmos fans … I'd just like to point out … the scientific story told is put it into action by one mystical and mathematically-inclined monk named Bruno. Breathe and love ... hypothesize and disprove … but always leave time to rock and roll.
               … You're capable of such beautiful dreams, and such horrible nightmares. You feel so lost, so cut off, so alone, only you're not. See, in all our searching, the only thing we've found that makes the emptiness bearable, is each other.

             … for small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love. 

                                                                                                                         from Carl Sagan's Contact