party.

hey, good evening
glad you could make it
can I get you a drink?
let me take your coat and
introduce you around

this is my best friend
Anxiety
she's a bit of a mess
but she means well
usually

this couple over here
Intention and Distraction
are constantly fighting
endless arguments
always at odds
I don't even know why I 
invite them to these things

this is my co-worker
Motivation
he's a bit of a talker
so steer clear
unless you have an hour
or a day to waste

I'm not sure where she is,
Peace
I know I invited her
at least I think I did
ah, it doesn't matter
she rarely shows anyway

oh! you'll like these guys
Clarity and Concentration
they spend most of their
time in the kitchen
they like to keep to themselves
but when they pop in
to say 'hi'
you'll remember it

man, this guy, though
Sarcasm
(he thinks he's much cooler
     than he actually is)
watch your step around him
he'll piss you off then
wonder why you can't
take a joke

and finally, my new friend
Mindfulness
we're just getting acquainted
and we may hate
each other
or we may be in love
really, it is
too early to tell

anyway, welcome to the party,
the party of my direct experience.

practice.

a blank page
is not the goal
it never was and
it never should have been
what good would
that do? why was that
even a thing?

concentrating on the
rise and the fall, hoping
for the clarity that will
sweep me away in
its beauty and surprise
but its really not like
that, is it?

do I count?
do I note?
equanimity escapes me
as it always does, so
with a tone of
self-compassion 
I begin again

striving to do what
I love, but why is it
simultaneously
so easy and so hard?
so difficult such a 
simple task,
it can never end

but there is joy in
the enjoyment, in
the attempt, in
the breathing, in
the practice

the recognition is
     the attention,
the failure is 
     the success.


punk.

oh! my literary
     existentialism
bordering on despair
     my whiny and
strangulated vocals
          these towering
     synthesizers and
          guitars are
my cure

this experimental
     new wave of
reggae and ska
     is evidence of
my bad religion as
          I rise against
     the sublime, and
          no doubt birth
this clash

my adherence to
     the traditional
to the culture that
     is my heritage and
is sorely vexed
          I will use more words
     and say more things
          evidence of
my kinks

do I embrace
     this division of joy?
can I stomach the
     social distortion
of all the talking
          heads on my
     television?
          this is my nirvana,
my jam.

couch.

I left my home
     the comfort and serenity
to find the happiness
          that had eluded me
     for so long

I looked high and low
          behind every nook
     and every cranny
to find the happiness
     that I craved

I traveled from town to town
          city to city
     country to country
to find the happiness
          that had evaded me
     for so long

and after I had exhausted
     every means at my
           disposal
     every opportunity
          that I thought
               might lead to 
          the answer
     I returned
home

only to find it there
          as I slumped into
     the couch
there between the cushions
          where it had fallen
     out of my pocket
the night before.

tmt.

touching
 always tempting
  uplifting my soul
   never far from my
    inebriated heart
     appetite with no end

    magical moments
   ardently alluring
  ravishing and risque
 impish and irrepressive
ecstasy in the extreme

tender and thoughtful
 hauntingly heartfelt
  overflowing joie de vivre
   mischievously playful
    adorable and ageless
     seductively her

sometimes/always.

sometimes
when you're not here
I can still hear your voice
I can still see your face
I can't wait for your return

sometimes
when you're not here
I wonder when you'll return
I wonder why you had to go
I wander the halls alone

sometimes
when you're not here
I'm counting the minutes
     until your next text
I'm counting the hours
     which seem like days
I'm counting the days
     which seem like months
time crawls sometimes

I wander the halls of my mind
I wonder how you do it
I wonder when you'll do it again
when you're not here
always

I am anxious for your return
I miss your face
I long to hear your voice
when you're not here
always

and when you walk through
     my door
and wrap your arms around
     me
and your lips touch mine
I feel alive
again
always

progression.

thoughts
     ever present
     ever elusive
     never ending
     turn into

words
     often spoken
     often misunderstood
     never softened
     turn into

actions
     mindless, mindful
     without thought
     purposeless motion
     lead to

habits
     unconscious, blind
     too weak to notice
     too strong to break
     become your

character
     who you are
     who you are not
     who you aspire to be
     becomes your

destiny.

aspire.

aspiration
     not the head-in-the-clouds,
     if only this would work out,
     why don't things go my way?
     rut we talk ourselves into

and not
     the idle fantasies that lull
     us to sleep, perchance to
     dream, am I more than
     you really bargained for?

but rather
     the dream that will become
     the reality for the next day,
     or week, or month, or year,
     to infinity and beyond

breathe
     in and breathe out
     this is the aspiration
     that I aspire to this
     chilly February morning

focus
     with intent
          with caring
               with clarity
                    with purpose

aspiration
     fleeting, fickle, vacillatory
     my dreams and my breath
     focus on one leads to
     clearer focus on the other

each new day
     brings new breath
          brings new dreams
               brings new opportunities

to dream
to breathe
to be.

opportunity.

I am never sure
where one thought 
ends and the next one
begins

so active is my
     monkey mind
like an endless
     intellectual
          wikipedia black hole

jumping from one
subject to the next
without regard to
context

and I struggle with
     knowing when to
allow the thoughts
     and when to ask
          "does this matter?"

but the trick, as
it turns out
is hiding in plain
sight

to recognize the
torrent of thoughts
and allow them to take
shape

investigating each
     one in its own
right, valid in and
     of itself, eschewing
          self-identification

each thought is
of me, but is not me,
each distraction an
opportunity.

transitory.

all good things
     come to those who wait
     never come easy
     must come to an end

transition is
     inevitable
     transitory
     a good thing

if I can dream it
     I can make it happen
     but can I? should I?
     is this the way?

can I not believe
     that it will just happen?
     that it is for the best?
     that I have no real control?

this is the struggle
     inaction versus acceptance
     knowing when to hold
     and when to fold

and wisdom is 
     found in the knowing
     the accepting
     the believing

respond, not react
     simplicity itself
     yet the most
     difficult thing of all.

sea change.

     if it were
easy
     then there would be
     no need to practice
     no need to sit still
     no need to breathe

     if it were
simple
     then there would be 
     no need to explain
     no need to study
     no need to learn

     if it were
obvious
     then there would be
     less skepticism
     fewer distractions
     more adherents

     if it were
routine
     then there would be
     no call to action
     no controversy
     no sea change

     if it were
easy
     then there would be
     no need
          no pain
               no desire

only peace.

now.

if I were able to
     give you the past,
          wrapped up like
          a present and given
          on Christmas Eve

or
     give you the future,
          either dream or
          reality, whichever
          you preferred

or
     give you some mix,
          some combination,
          of what was, once,
          and what is to be,

or
     give you neither
          as if time and
          space were under my
          command to give,

I would fail on all counts

because
     the truth is the
          future and the past
          do not exist, as such,
          in any meaningful way

and
     the bitter truth is this:
          there is no past,
          there is no future,
          they cannot exist.

it is always now.