Tagged: poetry

Shame’s Far Shore

Shame is a small, smooth stone that sinks into our bellies and stays there. Incredibly heavy, impossibly dense, a tiny pebble that can tear down a vast machine. We feel shattering pain, then gnawing numbness, and the beast is at the door again.

Shame is frostbite. Creeping, seeping into flesh, consuming everything. I was so riddled with the sickness, my fingers swelled, darkened, and finally snapped off. Shame could take me apart piece by piece and leave me rotting on the cold and lonely tundra of the heart.

Shame is poison. Evil acid overdose, I writhe and tremble in the grips of that long fever. Cold sweat, stomach sick, snake in the belly. Black bile vomit. Hot stinging tears.

Shame is a whisper, the memory of loneliness. Shame is the half-heard melody spilling from some unseen neighbor’s window, bits of a song I almost think I recognize. Shame is the smell of spilled gasoline in summer, drunken rainbows swirling over asphalt.

Shame is a cavern. Cool and dark, the smell of bats and mineral water. A breeze arises from somewhere deep within the earth, ancient, beckoning. Come closer. I follow the sound of running water. Bioluminescent creatures hide in the hollow places. I see by the green of their starlight.

Shame is not endless. Reach into your belly and pull out the stone. Come in from the cold.

Vomit until no poison remains. Hum an old song to yourself.

Enter the cave.

Great Surprise

The crocuses are blooming. The first taste of springtime perfumes the air. Winds come to gather the last leaves left by autumn. They whisper in the breeze, beckoning.

I can’t wait for spring to come, a classmate told me. It’s here! I replied, and it is. Nascent, unfolding, the beginning of wings. Doves weave their nests in naked trees. Tiny yellow blossoms poke out of the litter of dry leaves, pushing the dirt up around them.

Just two weeks ago I wandered with a bittersweet heart, the heavy, nostalgic yearning for spring. Deliver us from the biting wind of winter. Wrap me in sunlight. I want to drink it.

Now spring is here and net yet here. Palpable in the faces of the little flowers, still rare, that dot the campus in overlooked places. Crocus, iris, daffodil. It’s not spring yet, but the whole glory of the season is somehow contained in this moment where one season gives way to another. Like the latent image on film exposed and not yet developed, springtime is present, complete, and invisible. It’s just starting to appear, mysteriously fully formed, encircled by the secret movements of light and wind.

We only become what we always were. The dawning of truer, freer selves is like the unfolding of spring. We reveal what was foretold before forms were given names and attributes.

How can we become what we are already? Paradox of this domain of where creatures move in four dimensions. We are casting off chains and clearing airways. Like the flower within the bud, we are ready to emerge.

I never wanted to be male
I wanted to be myself
To great surprise again discover
Today I am a man

Here In The Shadow Of The Wall

I make my home right here, in the shadow of the wall. Mother of the desert, cover me with cactus fruit. Shaggy dog, wind-chimes, turquoise paint on wood. I find the secret place where waters gather. Coyotes, crickets, white flowers that bloom in the moonlight.

Call me and I will come to you.

She chose me and left a sacred scar on my soul. I am her peaceful warrior. The sons and daughters of the desert are my own.

Remember the forgotten people.

Outcast, misfit, don’t cry over spilled fortune. Don’t linger long at the gates of the city, watching the people who live their little lives between the walls. Don’t be jealous of their colorful costumes and precious security. Leave them to their small minds. Do not envy delusion.

Be a creature of the desert forest. Wild and alive. Savor all that is given to you.

You among all the others were chosen for this strange purpose. We are the people of the underbelly. Cry your wanderer’s tears. Smile your outlaw grin.

Memorize the mountains. Find gleaming garnets scattered in the dust. The treasures are wild and numberless.

Mother of the desert, pull the cactus needles from my skin. Kiss the tiny wounds, uncountable.

Cold air, pounding heart. Run through the hills by starlight.

Cut the fences.

7 Gems

Child’s charcoal drawings
Sketch out something missing
Born perfect
Or hopelessly malformed?

Edge of water


Circular rainbow
Gemstones in my pocket
Intersex beings
Bathed in light

I never intended all this
You were meant to be a prince

We share one
Nothing else is true

And brothersister
I am you

Because You Exist

And God saw every thing that He had made, and behold–very good!
Genesis 1:31

To the ones built a little different
Who know the taste of pillowcases soaked in saltwater
Who know the desperation of disappointed rage
That makes us wonder whether we should bother to live

Know that your difference is not meaningless
You are a sacred variation
The indigo glow of twilight
The world would be less beautiful without you

To the ones built a little different
Who’ve been called false, wrong, and so many other names
Know that your true name is Holy Vessel
And your true sound sings

Discard the rejection of confused beings
Hold the affirmation of this:
You exist
The Creator bestows no greater compliment

Be Good To Yourself

Be good to yourself
Miss no chance for kindness
Neglect no small favors

You alone are the guardian of this sensitive being
Of this loving heart, fragile form, and many aches
Do not prolong pain when it may be soothed

Do not belabor anguish when peace is waiting
Never go hungry when food is available
Never overwork when the work can wait

Enough misery to last a lifetime
Will find you of its own accord
Why invite more?

For the task of life, try this:
Add no more pain to the universe
Begin with yourself

My Goal

My goal is to be present in my life.

My goal is not to be perfect.
My goal is not to avoid pain.
My goal is not to never make mistakes.
My goal is to be present in my life.

My goal is not to finish what I am doing.
My goal is not to have everything go as planned.
My goal is not to achieve goals.
My goal is to be present in my life.

My goal is not to be right.
My goal is not to be successful.
My goal is not to be comfortable.
My goal is to be present in my life.

My goal is not to change things.
My goal is not to solve problems.
My goal is not to get through the day.
My goal is to be present in my life.

My goal is not to do.
My goal is not to find.
My purpose is the purpose that is no purpose.
My goal is to be present in my life.

Since the purpose of life is to live, ask only, Am I alive?

Am I alive now?

13 Reasons To Forgive Hitler

I forgive you, Adolf Hitler
Because a man accomplishes nothing alone
Because all violence is an expression of pain
Because you are dead
Because my grandmother couldn’t
Because holding the hot coal of hatred is destroying the soul of my people
Because I hope the grandchildren of murdered Palestinians will find forgiveness in their hearts
Because the world cannot be improved by any more hatred
Because it is the greatest taboo
Because you were riding the runaway juggernaut like the rest of us
Because there is blood on all of our hands
Because forgiving is neither forgetting nor affirming
Because forgiving is healing
Because hatred kills the living but will never raise the dead.