I want to write a poem about beauty and love and laughter and kindness and inspiration and heroes, about Grandma’s hands, and Grandpa’s chuckles, and the smell of the dog I had as a child and the sweet tartness of apples and the purring pleasure of an orgasm and snowflakes sparkling in sunlight and those moments when you feel hushed and perfect and there’s no need to say anything,
Like a child wants an ice cream cone that tastes like everything amazing, and lasts forever.
But when pen hits paper, it spits rage and loss, grief and sorrow, confusion, hopelessness, and the sinking-into-my-depths knowing that this living world I love is dying,
Like a child with an ice cream cone that tastes like everything amazing, but with one lick, the fucker falls to the ground, now covered in dirt and a cigarette butt.
I want to tell you about the times I have looked through Ancient Eyes opening in my chest, about the magnetism that stops me in my tracks sometimes when I am walking past what must be a sacred place, even if it now looks like a sidewalk, about the bolts of sentient lightning that sometimes blast out of the Earth, rush through my body and shoot into the sky like a firework bigger than the sun,
But if I do, people might think I’m crazy, or bullshitting, especially if they themselves have not yet experienced the palpable presence of the All and therefore believe this material world is Everything.
I want to sing about turtles and how awesome it must be to feel invulnerable, to swim in lakes and rivers of living water.
But turtles are dying, in lakes and rivers of plastic, and oil, and birth control hormones, and endocrine disruptors.
I want to open my eyes so wide they take in every photon in all of creation,
But then I will also see every horror and sadness, including whoever is laughing at me.
I want to move my body like an ecstatic dancer, like a lover lost in lust, like a seagull surfing the wind,
But I have love handles, and back pain, and the dance moves of a white guy who grew up in a small town and cannot dance in a way that anybody would think is sexy.
I want to cry, to let tears roll down my cheeks like raindrops on leaves, like tumbleweed in a field, like children on a grassy slope,
But I was always told that crying is for the weak, for people too broken to care whether they look like they’ve had too many benders and are now too beaten to stand up proud and soldier on.
But…. I still want to write a poem about the things that stir my heart most deeply when I’m alone and silent enough to embrace my naked vulnerability, and feel Awe’s caress.
Maybe I will someday.