The last Friend on Earth
will not be who you think he is,
nor who they (the sayers) say she is.
Indeed, if we stop to think about it,
we ourselves are not who or what
we think we are, nor is anything
or anyone with a name, form,
or forwarding address.
We are forever before thoughts,
though what that is, who can say?
To know, you’d have to be there,
though those who know don’t say.
If we have to stop and think about it,
by then it’s already too late, since
in the moment between thoughts
it will have already changed
into something else.
We can never catch up with it,
grasp it, hold it, pet or feed it,
but all are welcome to try.
An old song asks:
“How can you hold on to a dream?”
This is a good question, though
over and over, again and again,
it seems that’s all we ever do,
and few stop to wonder why.
At play in the funhouse mirrors
of this virtual world, identities
are interchangeable, all roles
are up for grabs.
Whatever is seen, felt, heard,
or pictured in the mind
is certainly not so.
Just don’t be deceived!
Thought is a transient phantasm —
it has a beginning and an end.
If you are there at the beginning,
at the origin and source of thinking,
then you must be before thought,
before all mental fabrications
and cognitive doo-dahs.
Even some comprehensive litany
of what you have never been,
cannot begin to describe
what you actually are.
In the scheme
of time’s grand illusion,
one hundred years may be
the same as one quicksilver day.
Just so, to get the gist of this rambling tale
may take a little while, since intellect
and memory have a stubborn habit
of tossing in their fake two cents,
compounding any confusion.
Still, there’s no hurry or worry, nor death
or birth, even though today might be
our very last day on Earth.
If you’re not already here with us,
you soon enough will be.
We’ll share a soup of the inexplicable,
at the table of the irresistible.
Clouds and sun will playfully intermingle,
while the sunset breeze skimming by above
will astonish us with layers of colorful mist,
just like she always predicted it would.
Sitting with this new world of feeling,
we’ll speak little, because the raw intensity
of just being here will be more awe-inspiring
than anything we could manage to say.
The last Friend on Earth
will be blissfully present with us.
She’s always here, though
if we try to ponder how or why,
she will be by then many miles away.
She herself will say nothing,
because anything worth saying
will have long ago been already said.
She’ll neither laugh nor grieve –
just a silent friend when we need one.
Few hear the secrets hidden within her depths –
who has ears for those exquisite melodies?
Still, there is one song we all hear,
and isn’t it enough that there is such music,
regardless of whether or not it is ever heard?
It’s a song of constant yearning,
yearning for the last Friend on Earth.
Anyone who has ever felt the slightest
separation from what they love
understands such yearning.
It is not complicated –
it just burns.
If peeled from its shell, our flame
would startle this dark sky tonight,
revealing our heart’s deepest yearning.
In any case, we’ll sit back and relax –
there are innumerable ways to enjoy
true union with the last Friend on Earth.
We’ll need not resort to the obvious.
Sometimes the cauldron of this world
spills out in a bountiful garden
of richly colored flowers.
We’ll gather a bouquet for her!
Later, we may silently wander down
to a lovely pool in the mountain stream.
She’ll skip behind us, playing
Hide & Seek among the trees,
darting about the boulders,
laughing with utter glee.
just when we say, “Aha!”
she’ll be off and on her way again.
As we finally wade out
into that cool clear pool, all
of our crusted salt will dissolve.
When we are finally gone at last,
there’s only one who shall remain:
the one who goes by many names,
the one who grants all beings birth,
the one who can’t contain her mirth:
the very last Friend on Earth.