Thursday, March 14, 2019

When I Look Into My Heart

As I wake up in the morning at times to a hurt heart, I thought of writing a poem from the vantage point of what I see when I look within.  I was surprised. 

When I look into my heart of hearts
I find what tears this world apart
A world of war and battle and disease and strife
A world of hatred and anger over this unfair life
A world of gangs and tagging and bravado and stances
A world of dirty tricks, drive-by shootings and angry glances
A world of deep longing and loss and desperation
A world of grief and fear – a world of separation
Where does it all begin; how did it ever start?
I find the answer in my heart of hearts

It’s Isabel and Louise who turned away without a word
Leaving me lost, confused, alone – so hurt
It’s Kelle with her innocent yet mischievous grin
Before her alcohol, drugs and past did her in
It’s a father and a mother who wanted no signs of feeling
Nothing of what I had to say would hold any meaning
It’s a best friend Jamie moving far away – a defector
It’s a sister – my enemy – though I was supposed to protect her
It’s a kindergarten room, like a prison with a guard
It’s the bully who made walking to school just so hard
It’s a teacher who graded me – F, S or E
Even my own art I could no longer see
My identity was put so far up onto a shelf
I lost it all; I lost myself

When I look into my heart of hearts
I find what tears this world apart
My perception, my vision, my filter, my take
Leaving behind myself – my first mistake
It took my writing, my prose, my creativity
It stole my confidence and imagination and ingenuity
It took my enthusiasm, my joy, my innocence
In the depths, it took everything that made any sort of sense
Leaving only the news of the day, with all its dismay
And the heartbreak and anxiety, sure signs of decay
Though when I peer deeper than this surface show
The reality still resides – the beauty forever exists below
I restore, reclaim, remember what has always been
I find the self – and the truth - I am that I am that I am
I find the chance to begin again, with a brand new start
When I look into my heart of hearts
When I look into my heart of hearts

The Same Man

So many masks, but underneath it all perhaps we are merely players on this stage. 

Prisoner, guard, convict, thief
I am all and none of these
Burglar, speedster, judge, police
Playing the game of hide and seek
Embracing all, in one big breath
Give me liberty or give me death
Parts to be acted in God’s odd action plan
I am … the same man

I am the one who just stole your car
The one who stumbles out of that seedy bar
The gambler who lost it all in a risky bet
Then presses a gun barrel right against my neck
The mugger whispering in ear: “your money or your life”
The cheater who cheated with your dear, sweet wife
The liar who lies … into eyes … all of the while
The realtor, banker and lawyer who smiles that slippery smile
The addict that scrounges aimlessly for the next high
The numbed-out who doesn’t even know how to get by
I am the monster, the rapist, the beast, the foe
With nowhere to be and nowhere to go
The solider, armed and dangerous, ready to attack
The enemy, armed and dangerous, prepared to fight back
The rich tyrant dictator with the most evil of plan
The beggar on street corner with outstretched hand
I am … the same man

The hero, the wizard, the saint, the sage
The next messiah bringing forth a brand new age
The eagle that soars to heights of the highest perch
The freedom-seeker who frees all who will search
The one who walks the elder from one curb to the other
I am the love of the uncle, the son, the father, the brother
I am the medicine man who cares for all in this tribe
I am the sharing friend with nothing to hide
I am the supportive ear when you have lost so much in life
I am the steady strength guiding you back into the light
I am the guardian protecting you from the threatening force
I am the provider representing life’s abundant source
The partner who knows what’s mine … is mine to share
The lover who caresses in kindness and care
The magician whose curiosity invites all to understand
The warrior who plants the stake and then takes a stand
The king who carries in heart the most inclusive of plan
I am … the same man

And in my own mundane life ... I too play the parts
Breaking and blessing and rescuing hearts
As pressures and stressors continue to mount
As avalanches collapse upon each bank account
I hold steady to the truth an identity strong
As in “The Who’s Down in Whoville” celebration song
No force can turn me from the right to the wrong
No one can seduce me away from where I belong
I’ll stand in presence – through failure and success
Doing what I must, and doing my best
I’ll falter at times, and I’ll break down in defeat
And yet brush myself off and get back on my feet
No matter where I go or who I have become
Nothing in my past will have to be undone
Moving forward into storm, breaking through the storm cloud
Taking flight into sunlight, with a voice bellowing loud
I am here – for you and me – in God’s destiny command
I ask that – through it all – you come to understand
I will always be … the same man