Going Nowhere In a Hurry

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Barreling down life’s asphalt highway
in a vehicle of some description–
a modern coup of surface rocketry
whose every line represents
the fulfillment of computerized
crash-testing and the collected fall-out
of Greek ideas, gathered like a powder,
fired in the furnace of time and sculpted into
the shape of silent, diving falcons–
a machine built for catapulting
over the ground in space-blurring borings
through wind and air that leave behind
a shimmering, perfectly tubular quiet
into which matter is compelled
to repair, invisibly, one quivering particle at a time,
in a riotous coagulation along the cut,
while I, navigator and cargo,
esteemed bearer of intent,
occupant of the confounding moment and
strange beneficiary of a delirious history,
am seated comfortably
in a climate-controlled cabin
sipping rooibos tea, thinking…
thinking about what lies beyond the
vast horizon up ahead that
you and I both know I never quite reach,
inevitably pre-occupied with satellite transmissions
of terrestrial weather reports, political machinations,
butterfly migrations, transoceanic bridge conditions,
the latest evolution of our species, and the height of the sun’s corona–
plus practicing my zazen as night turns to day
and then back again all around me,
as if I were motionless
and an army of clouds were lined up single file
passing one by one in front of the sun.
(I like driving towards the sun.  The flickering is faster…)
Oh, yeah… plus my fifteen minutes every ten sunrises of my zazen.
I’m trying to get better, daring to understand just one thing.
If I could only do that…
And all this just
inches from a caterwauling incandescence
on whose outcome my speed continuously depends,
of whose existence my cells have long suspected
and now whisper when I am focused elsewhere
and not lecturing them thought by forsaken thought
on their duty to be reliable and productive
contributors to my long-term existence.

Eventually, I decide to stretch my legs the old-fashioned way.
I say as much to my untiring steed.  We locate a pull-out
a few hundred miles ahead– just moments away.
I sit on a stone wall overlooking the sea,
sipping hot coffee from a paper cup–
(the sensation of stillness is the same
whether moving or sitting)–
contemplating the many miles that lie ahead
and musing about where this road must end,
when I see the edge of a rolled yellow paper
protruding from a gap in the masonry.
I reach for it and unroll it.

How many laps were you planning to do, anyway?
Hope you will be joining us for supper.

Hafiz and the Gang
(from beyond the horizon)

Some glass part of me is shattered,
the fog inside of me lifted by one true parcel of Love.
When Memory returns, it floods everywhere at once.
Have you ever felt all your cells weeping together
in unison?  There’s no pain in that collaboration.
When you do, that’s when you realize,
like I did on that stone wall,
the decision has already been made…

There’s no going back to what never really was…

* * * * *

“You can walk a million miles and get nowhere.
I got nowhere to go ever since I came back…”


  1. Hi Michael,

    Nowhere, or now here, location, location, location, the real estate of the heart?

    “There’s no going back to what never really was…”

    Love this!



    • Thanks, Debra.

      Now here more like. 🙂 I love the intricacies of words. Just paying attention to the hidden fractal order of words is a revelatory process. As if language was somehow “designed” with these embedded codes. Maybe it could have been no other way!? That would be a pretty interesting mathematical discovery or proof: to show that it is impossible to invent a form of communication or expression capable of being interpreted or understood in only one way… Now what…

      I’m off track again…



      • Hi Michael,

        That is a great thought!

        A mathematical proof to support a theory of a metaphorical, multi-layered cosmology, right on!

        My thoughts are reeling…



  2. Hafiz made me chuckle. Been catching myself lately going at the speed of light to get somewhere that’s already here. I too wonder how many laps I was thinking of doing.


    • I know the feeling. The hidden message of this post is that I’m taking a few days off, after a run in the hypercar that has lasted for several weeks. It’s good to slow down and breathe… 🙂



  3. To see the little rolled up notes stuck in every groove up and across as far as my eyes could see at the Western Wall made me weep unexpectedly – to see such a tangible display of human longing. I adore how you put me so comfortably on the receiving end of the return on that experience – the rolled up message back from love. Oh, that we are loved and welcomed back to the dinner table; all the cells tingle with joy! Would it be embarrassing if I said that song choice got me up off of my bottom from being way too long in the grading essays position – for a good thrash! Hope your stepping away is full of blissful space and ease!


    • A good thrash is good for circulation and the safe conduct of lymph.

      I had no idea about the notes stuck in the Western Wall. That would indeed be a powerful scene. There is something about our being honest about our longing, our needs, our fears and our desires that opens things up. I think for all of us, our hearts are like the Western Wall, the sacred place we always come back to so we can leave these slings and arrows in the Presence that can dissolve them. Our prodigality a daily practice.

      You bring out things I didn’t realize were in this one. Thank you!



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