Authenticity

comments 27
Poetry

Once
Hafiz and I
were walking along the beach
beneath a violet sky
that had gathered around
a glowing sliver of the moon,
speaking existentially
about sunken barques
drift wood
hand-carved initials
and the audacity
of the ruffled tulip,
when the pounding surf
whistling winds
and rush of mad-honking gulls
tripped a lever inside of my
famished organs of persona.
I was suddenly swimming
in the need to give my whole life away,
to tear it free of its traces
and present its ragged threads to the sky.
Instinctively, I dove inward
to bring up
a bucketful of meaning
from the ocean at the center of my being,
but when I opened my mouth
to speak with the rich timbres of authenticity
all I could muster was a puff of dust–
a smoky word or two
laced with the perfume of needs
many thousands of years old.

Inconceivably
exhausted from the effort,
I shuddered, and heaved over onto my side.

Waves crashed into stone.

A falcon descended from the sky
and came to rest on his outstretched arm.

What’s that?

The first one.

The first one what.

The first need trapped
inside of you to be set free.

A mouse peeked out
through a stand of grass further
up the beach,
of which my need and I
took careful note.

I was just going to say
I love you, I said.
Not all this.

You think there is a difference?

As he said this,
I felt a lever trip inside of my
famished organs of persona,
filling me with the urgent
need to bury every last scrap
of my given nature
at the foot of an ancient tree,
and then I coughed up a buffalo.

27 Comments

  1. while I walk joyfully with
    little pigs, a wolf & ordinary drama
    your walking companions
    open up doors
    for me, Michael
    which i thought
    were windows 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, David. I’m trying to wrap my mind around the concept of “ordinary drama”, :). I think it’s wondrous to walk with the wolf and the pigs together, backstage, between performances… when we can all take our masks off, and become doorways for one another to the air and the sunshine of which we all equally partake…

      Peace
      Michael

      Like

        • Likewise, David, your words remind me of places where mindfulness, when I wasn’t looking, has already pushed out the boundaries of the known far beyond my false conclusions, and opened up new territories for gratitude and simplicity…

          Michael

          Like

  2. I read and reread your image rich poem. I may not say I understand what you are saying but reading the poem makes me feel stoned and expands my mental horizons and for this I am grateful! Much love, Ellen

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Ellen,

      I think in my haste I didn’t quite get this one boiled down to its intended meaning. I love your description of reading it, though! Perhaps one day we will be prescribing poems to one another for medicinal purposes! Ha! I was trying to communicate a feeling that when we reach down into our own pools of authenticity, sometimes the first and only thing we can offer are our needs, our suffering, our pains and difficulties. And that in the process of being “real” about these, we can turn them over to holiness, and witness their transformation into precisely what we most need in our lives… But I think it needs more work capture the essence of that sacred exchange more fully…

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, please, don’t blame the poem, Michael. It is a lack on my part. I do not always get the meaning. It is very beautiful. Thanks for explaining to me. Humbling before such lofty sentiment. Thank you, ellen

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thank you, Ellen,

          Here’s a modest proposal. I won’t blame the poem, and you won’t suppose a lack on your end… Instead, we will simply bask in the warmth of the perfect way these encounters bring us to deeper understandings. 🙂

          Peace
          Michael

          Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Harlon! Nothing like opening up the house for some spring air after a long winter… I enjoyed your description, and it reminded me of Hariod’s description of “ventilating the mind” that she uses in her book… Sometimes it just takes that little twist or turn of presence to uncork the past– the image in a foreign country, or the right turn of phrase, or a particular ensemble of music and light…

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Karin! I guess it is like a journey into emptiness, though I didn’t realize it at first. Emptying ourselves out of the concepts we carry, that gum up the works…

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have no idea what you’re saying. And I know exactly what you’re saying. Only you manage somehow to find a way to put it into words even if they make no sense in their exquisitely sensible and sensitive expression. I love this line the best: I dove inward to bring up a bucketful of meaning from the ocean at the center of my being. Sublime.
    Thank you for this wonderous journey into nothingness.
    Alison

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love this response, Alison. I have no idea what I’m saying, either, but know exactly what is trying to be said. Ha! Sometimes it comes through like the English contents of a German web page that you ask Google to translate for you. The German is translated into sufficiently approximate English, but somehow the English, which was perfectly good to begin with, comes back like English to the tenth power and makes no sense whatsoever… 🙂

      Thank you for sharing!
      Much Love
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  4. ‘I was suddenly swimming
    in the need to give my whole life away,
    to tear it free of its traces
    and present its ragged threads to the sky.
    Instinctively, I dove inward
    to bring up
    a bucketful of meaning
    from the ocean at the center of my being,
    but when I opened my mouth
    to speak with the rich timbres of authenticity
    all I could muster was a puff of dust–’

    Loving these cluster of words Michael. I can so relate to this feeling!
    Such an incredibly powerful description.

    Like

    • Thank you, Kelly! I marvel often at the meanings you ply with so few words. We each capture the light with our own distinct styles of brush, hue and canvas. But it’s beautiful when the ineffable behind and within the scenes emerges as a shared understanding…

      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  5. To be able to set free all needs trapped within…that’s ultimate freedom. I can see them, some well, some that need a deeper diving endeavor to help surface. Trying to release all the caged nestlings one by one. Some are well past their infancy and must move on 🙂 Beautiful words as always Michael. Thank You.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, PR. I have the scuba gear out myself these days… Doing some spring-cleaning…! It is good weather for showing the nestlings how to fly!

      Much Love
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

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