Life’s not some problem to figure out,
nor debt to be paid before we relax –
if all that remains of this form is dust,
what could there be left to tax
when it’s passed?
One example of some confusion
is the doctrinal concept of illusion:
Some say it takes an illusion to end an illusion,
like a thorn employed to remove a thorn,
but one might then be tempted to ask,
if indeed it’s all an empty conceit,
how can what never existed,
In truth, my Friends, there is but one.
Our running towards, is running from.
Meeting in meadows we laugh and cry –
this breathing earth, this breathless sky!
No longer prone to question why,
what takes a birth must also die –
the breath flows in,
the breath flows out —
between two thoughts,
between two scenes, we find
that nothing seen is what it seems,
and all our plans, and all our schemes
are puff ball clouds dissolving in
the vastness like sky dreams.
Our death is a perfect kiss on life,
yet we tend to cringe and twist away
from the blessing embedded within it.
In the dreamy art of dying, the gift
of impermanence is a merciful kindness –
an antidote to our arrogance — yet rare are those
humbled enough by life to surrender resistance
and receive at heart its gracious benediction!
In the echoing valley of spirits tonight,
I’ve heard a cry for all who’ve discovered
how little they really know, to come and gather
at the tavern of their lingering presumptions.
Before we even embark on that journey
there is a welcoming party in full swing,
already celebrating our timely arrival
with a feast of extreme unction.
If I lived the truths which I espouse,
I would order another round
for the house.
From the bottomless depth
of my chronic confusion, I’m here
to account for my remaining illusions.
In the reluctant sobriety of dispassion,
I’ve been shown how far I’ve yet to go
to reach the place I never left.
Now that is true compassion!
Distinctions between the mighty and mediocre
are rendered insignificant by time.
They all share one common destiny,
a destiny of dust at the outcome
of each story line.
Because this impersonal union
between the majestic grandeur of time
and the stark beauty of endless space seems
so long-enduring, death is meant to sooth us
with its smiling embrace, but we’ve lost
our sense of grateful appreciation
and stumble blindly about –
just missing the moistening ardor
of heaven’s lips upon our face.
The Wine Bearer, laughing, claps his hands
as another patron’s head thumps down.
There but for the grace of a helpful thorn
I’d be lost in the wine and maybe drowned.
Tonight I’ll sleep alone, at peace,
with nothing above my shoulders
but the mountain air’s waft.
Bury what’s left
in the meadow at dawn –
a blade of grass, my epitaph.