Strange Ideas About Love

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Once I was mumbling
under my breath
about a feeling
that kept coming back to roost
in the lee of my chest
like a forlorn and beaten pigeon–
a feeling like
I was mumbling at altitude
and couldn’t get enough
air inside of me on the upstroke,
or like I was gonna’ blow my own heart’s
timing belt
if I did anything
too, too crazy…

…like play a few rounds
of Truth or Dare
with Hafiz.

Ohhhh, no, I whispered,
confiding in the air around me
and backing-away slowly
from the very possibility.
I’m not doing that.

Then my head snapped up,
like that of a squirrel
who’d gotten lost
in the discovery of a most glorious nut
and hadn’t checked the skies
for narrow-eyed, plummeting death
in far too long for comfort.

I scanned the room quickly for shadows.

Hafiz was regarding me patiently,
leaning against a door frame
with his arms and legs
casually crossed.

I flashed an awkward smile
and gave a vapid cough
as I returned from my illusory hell
of idle despair and ignominious squirrel death,
only to find I’d been wrestling absently
with the sleeves of my overcoat
for quite some time,
and with only limited success.

“You have some very strange ideas
about Love,” Hafiz said finally.

“Yes,” I replied, as I swore
at the air around me
and crammed my arm
into a stitched compartment
that was both inside-out and backwards,
resulting in a very clever straitjacket effect.
“I guess I do.”


    • Thank you, Brad. Happy Holidays to you as well… Yes, we do tend to roll into town with our lists of demands and compromises at the ready. Truth be told I had spent the better part of the morning I wrote this wrestling with those feelings describe a little circuitously in the first stanza. It’s fun to laugh at myself sometimes. To realize how tangled up I can get… 🙂



    • I’ve confounded myself on more than one occasion, yes, if that’s what you mean. And reveling in the absurdity of my dim-witted seriousness has gotten me out of more than one jam in this life…

      Thank you, Sarah!
      Happy and Blessed New Year’s!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I certainly recognise that idea of ‘swearing at the air around us’ Michael, and the picture it conjures has me smiling knowingly. Then there is your image of ‘mumbling under the breath’, and again, though now more forgivingly, ‘confiding in the air’, which again produces the same effect. I sometimes question myself as to why I at times do these things; what possible use is it and who or what exactly is being addressed? You may perhaps not agree, though it seems often to come down to our being distracted, to not quite knowing what we are doing and neither what we are supposed to be doing; nothing fits into place as we tear everything apart unwittingly. How absurd we are, and how amusingly so too. The world would be a duller place if we were all perfectly composed and self-possessed I think, and a few squirrel-mind moments always brightens the well-ordered day in my little nut-house.

    Liked by 10 people

    • Ha! Yes, indeed, Hariod! Who the hell do we think we’re speaking to when we address the air itself so rhetorically!?

      I wouldn’t disagree with the role of distraction in these outbursts. Although sometimes I do this when I am quite focused… which… as I think about it is, in a way, being intensely distracted. Most often I offer these absurd soliloquies in moments when the only thing I am in contact with is the emotive content of my own voice, which is merely describing to me its discontent with the management.

      (the management being the perfectly composed and ripple-free thought fields the voice expects me to be)

      (a bit crazy all of it, really)

      And as you say, a few moments of wanton discomfiture do put a little spice into one’s day!

      From the Contentedly Discombobulated,

      Liked by 2 people

    • A resounding wow! from this end, Rajani, at your insight here. I think you are right… I was actually thinking for a moment when I wrote this that this whole life is kind of a Truth or Dare, only we’re confused because we think there’s a difference. The cosmic version is, discover your truth by living the dare almost, in a way. We find what we are by living this crazy Dare we call life!

      Happy Holidays to you also,

      Liked by 2 people

  2. We keep tumbling into the nether region, and we know up from down, but like a broken compass, get lost once again, till the bearings are righted and the soft voice cries out from the darkness, “you know where you are, silly fool, you just continue to feel the need for guidance” and that is where we stand, waiting for the voice to guide us to where we know we are going, but sometimes, just sometimes, that voice is the little tiny light In the darkness that guides us, that keeps us straight, that say, “I am here and you are not alone”, now that is the voice I thank you for most dear friend….thank you Hafiz, by proxy, for I needed this more than you will ever know…

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hello Kim, maybe you were “enjoying” a moment like the one that began this poem, before Hafiz showed up to provide some illumination upon my absurdity… I do tumble into the nether region sometimes, and it is always refreshing to be extended a helping hand, and to know we can offer this help to one another is a most humbling realization…

      Peace to you, my friend,

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Even though the image of the squirrel needing to watch for the narrow-eyed plummeting death is scary, I enjoyed this poem very much, because I trust Hafiz, and I’m learning to laugh at myself when I discover I’m wrestling with my straight jacket.

    Liked by 3 people

    • You trust Hafiz!? Ha! 🙂

      Thank you, JoAnna. Yes, there is something delicious about laughing at ourselves when things get out of hand. And for me, the moments before the laughter are scary. Fear for me usually contrives these perfect traps. Like being between a rock and a hard place. The only way out is to laugh at it altogether…. to change the rules that trap us…


      Liked by 2 people

    • Good point, Dennis. The first bite is pretty good, but it doesn’t stop there. Because it leaves that weird aftertaste that sets us on our way to get to the heart of it all…

      Hope you and your family have enjoyed the fruits of this holy season.

      Peace to you also,

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature says

    Those forlorn and beaten pigeons that come back to roost. I get pretty frustrated with them myself. I feel for them, though, and pat them a little just to settle them down. If I can’t, I end up in a very similar straight jacket. Hate that. It’s funny Joanna said she trusts Hafiz. I do too. I laughed when you didn’t want to play the truth or dare game with him. Oooooh no, I’m not doing THAT. Hafiz is so casually loving and patient, just observing as you get all tangled up. He lets you experience what you need to experience and then says the perfect thing. Quite something, that Hafiz.

    Wearing a jacket somewhat askew at the moment, but not caught up in it,

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hello Mary,

      Trusting our inner Hafiz is so good, I agree… He’s a genius of patient knowing and I would wither without that dose of playfulness that lives somewhere in there, too… And it’s also good to be gently patting those forlorn feelings that come home to roost and simply need a place to stay. Better to welcome them than shove them back into the cold. I’m with you on that. Hope your jacket has laid nicely upon your shoulders by now, or been removed entirely and maybe you are sitting by a warm fire…



  5. I am still at home at 11:36 this morning, stretching out into the space of a holiday, though haunted in the muted background by a voice that reminds me of long-range to do’s. Always walking that fine line between doing and not doing, no coat, a straightjacket, no in between — and I come upon these words: “The cosmic version is, discover your truth by living the dare almost, in a way. We find what we are by living this crazy Dare we call life!” This dare to me is a letting go of the polarity in all its forms, today of tasks and non doing – I dare to fall into the natural flow of inclination. The fire gets lit beneath me bum, even as I type, for all the doing that suddenly sounds delightful in the BEing spaciousness. It is both. clothed and unclothed. still and moving. May the pigeon both fly and nest in your chest, you beauty!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Marga. The feelings you describe sound very much like the ones that were the dung from which this one was nourished. Feeling pushed and pulled. I should, I could, I want… The natural flow of inclination feels like it’s out of reach sometimes when this haunting occurs, and something delicate is needed to burst the bubble– like the POP! of a sleeve reaching the end of its given length. There’s no further distance along this path. Something shatters and falls from view, leaving a lovely view of the river, and its natural flow…

      I have a new pigeon helmet Hafiz helped me design. The pigeon has a perch very near my forehead. I close my eyes and the pigeon navigates with little coo’s and warbles. My shin bones are bruised, but I’m warm and glowing. It’s both at once, as you say. We’re learning how to work together, how to use the Force… 🙂

      Wishing you a glorious day!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. We often struggle putting on our outer self/jackets while distracted by those inner self/thoughts.. I have been leaning upon my own door frame of late.. ‘Listening’ Hafiz is the wise one we could all do well to have within our sphere… But then what would life be if we did not take a few ‘Dares’ now and again.. The ‘Truth’ is we all have strange ideas about Love!

    Wishing you a splendiferous 2016 and Beyond Michael..


    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, Sue, we do have some strange ideas about Love. And I agree with you it takes a few dares to roust us out of the awkward patterns of our living that result, but I also think life is the greatest dare of all in that regard. A beautiful swan dive into Truth when we let it be.

      I hope you have a great year ahead also, Sue. I am sure it will be interesting, and before we know it we’ll have gone in another circle, another cruise around the sun’s perimeter, floating along in that ecliptic field of light and shadow.


      Liked by 1 person

      • Agreed Michael.. here’s to our cycles.. as I feel one coming around yet again.. 🙂 May this time around we embrace that field of Light!.. 🙂 as we cruise into our sun-sets 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Genie. There’s something about it for me, too. Some playful peeking beyond the edges of myself that leaves me full of openings, and peaceful.

      Happy New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

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