A Milky-Sweet Taste

Soon,
I will be there, and it will be wonderful.
Even better,
Now,
I am
Here;
How could I ask for more?

A milky-sweet taste which I
can remember from my childhood,
the butterfly drinks slowly
from the yarrow;
but the recipe is forgotten,
the ingredients misplaced but
not extinct.
Never lost.

Gripped by cynicism
and a tight knot of anxiety in my guts,
I’d rather forget that anything so
profoundly nourishing could exist,
rather compartmentalize it away
than be torn by a sobbing grief
for the tropical flowers that wither
in the icy apocalypse I now wander through.

I’d prefer to think of myself
as eternally alone with the knives
in my back than face the bloodshed
that is crusted on the faces that
crawl past me.
The glass cover which might have
given me distance,
Perspective,
was ground into sand long ago,
when I lived in the slaughterhouse
with the lambs.

It’s not hard to imagine to myself,
that I might be, ‘going, going, going beyond, going absolutely beyond…’
as I lie face down in a muddy ditch,
at one only with
maggots and gangrene.

Where spirituality ends, and
Spiritualism begins,
is in that moment when I run from
Experience.
Run from the flames, from the worn faces,
from the mirror; I go only beyond
my own desperation,
but not into the clear light,
into compassion,
never that.
Not while I continue to run
from the paradox of being.

The glass cover is gone,
so I’ve fashioned this clay pot
to drink from
very slowly.

The bitter medicine,
the seemingly endless pain, reminds
me of what I am, and what I am not.
There is no ‘I’.
If I search through all of these things I
have identified with to feel safe,
never can I hope to find a single
One to which I can say,
“Ahhh, this is I.”

All of the meaning.
All of the suffering.
I created it all,
So that someone who had lost his power
could keep living.

But not today.
Today I walk out of the slaughterhouse again,
the wormwood and kava give my face
a screwed up grimace,
and yet when I integrate the bitterness
and accept it with my full
Attention,
suddenly the here and now feels
overwhelmingly real.

On the subject of total Emptiness,
sages say,
“Those who know do not speak,
those who speak do not know.”
As soon as I realize that there
Is no ‘I’ remaining to perceive
that there is no ‘I’,
I have grasped, and the ‘I’ has already returned.
Better to close the senses, and
Experience the suchness of being
unencumbered my symbols, especially
the symbol I’ve lovingly named,
Self.