“Abundance”

From the Latin, abundare: to overflow;
antonym: lack.

I have never lacked the capacity to feel,
but to feel abundance itself,
to feel filled, to welcome
and accept my own lack—
this is rare.

True abundance includes lack;
the abundant one feels fully her deficiencies.
In her fullness, she does not repress her emptiness.
In her wholeness, she invites the pain of her imperfection
to be partner to her joy.

Spirit of Abundance, show me the heart so true to you
that it embraces its own lack and limitation,
the soul so full that it loves its own emptiness.

Grant me vision, Spirit of Abundance,
allow me to see you
when my nature sees lack, and lack only.
Show me the one who loves with you in her;
I will love her in her loving.
If I cannot love the seeming lack of perfect love within myself,
let me love her, the abundant one,
knowing she too experiences
the same lack that I do.

Grant me hearing, Spirit of Abundance,
let me listen for your music, music that erupts
like a fountain out of the body, overflowing
from the abundance of song in the soul.
Let the mad river of my heart stream out in dance
when I am overwhelmed by you, in me,
a dance of my emptiness and your fullness,
a rhythmic embrace of the whole.

Never am I closer to your abundance
than when I dance in time with my emptiness.

To find you there, at the center of that deep hole.
Even there.
You can hear the Trumpet of Escape beckon you,
you can feel the Iceberg of Loneliness sink you,
you can suffer as the Whale of Dread swallows you whole.
You can still know abundance in the midst of it all.
Somehow.
Don’t ask me how. I’m no expert here.

But somehow.
Somehow, beauty weaves through it all,
and beauty, in truth, is always abundant.
Beauty is the tremendous weaver,
and abundance the hand with which she weaves.

“Before Dawn I Tremble”

Face feels hollow, chest collapsed in
Lines appearing through my sallow skin
Who’d want to pass these traits to their next of kin?
Before dawn I tremble

Terror returns like wind with a shiver
Let it be or flee, float down the river
Each man carries a message to deliver
Mid-morning I crumble

A race paced for impending fall
Heard the breeze in the trees, heard the call
As a chill ran up my crooked spine
I asked her how she was, she just said, ‘fine.’

The sounds of sirens remote and aligned
With the ghostly whimpers I’ve left behind
What is the thing I was born to find?
At high noon I question

In times mindlessly mundane
Callous jesters feebly entertain
Thoughts of weeping to the falling rain
After noon I envision

The thunder rumbles on inside
No one can see, there’s nowhere to hide
The emptiness remains, within and around
Hidden weight takes you to the ground

Neither soft nor easy, often I writhe
Faces around me look unworried and blithe
The women are graceful, lovely and lithe
In the evening I envy

The one I thought was The One she knocked
On the door to tell me I wasn’t, I locked
The door to ease my heart, it balked
At midnight I cry out

“Feeling Empty in Myself”

Feeling empty in myself
I took to the highway
Where I rode under a menacing sky
Filled with vultures descending on sheep
Scattered amidst dew-covered grass by the sea
On that morning when the mist would not lift.

Feeling empty in myself
I opened and closed the cabinets of a desk
Looking for a letter she wrote me long ago
Her words overflowing with feelings
I once thought would fulfill me.

Feeling empty in myself
I filled up a notebook with words
Looking for the word
That would shorn me of myself
Long enough to be reborn.

Feeling empty in myself
I began to celebrate my fill of error
And lament my still-born success.
I undressed my undirected terror
And began to caress its undefended neck.

Feeling empty in myself
I discovered a dimly lit tavern filled with spirit.
Finding myself unable to soar with spirit
I sunk instead into soul
Until I could no longer hold under
What could only be driven up and out.

Feeling empty in myself
I imagined a life bounded by a journey never taken
Roads closing in on me as I hung on tight.
I put one hand on the ground
And raised the other to the sky
That the moon would soon overtake with light.

“Emptiness”

Does nothing satisfy?
I begin the day already frustrated.
My first thought?
Whatever I do today will only leave me empty.
My second?
Nothing I do can give me what I need.
My third?
It is because I need that I stay frustrated.
Finally I ask myself:
What do I need?

I need to do something to relieve this emptiness.
If I do nothing, will this emptiness leave me?

No, whether I do something or nothing,
The emptiness remains.
It remains whether it is hidden or apparent.
Nothing relieves it.
Everything I do either hides it better or makes it clearer,
But nothing takes it away.

I cannot be relieved of it simply by leaving it behind.
What is there to leave behind?
It can’t be left behind because
It’s not even here.
It’s an absence,
One that I feel
More than I feel anyone else’s presence.
It’s a not-here
That makes me feel not-here
And everyone else seem not-there.

Would I need to be someone else to not feel it?
Is who I am formed from what I lack?

If I were not me,
Would I feel less not-here?
If I were not here,
Would I feel more like me?

If I am not even here,
What can my purpose be?
I can do nothing unless I am here,
But nothing I do can take away who I am,
And who I am is not separate from what is not-here.

Who I am is more than what is here,
But what I say means less than what I hear.
I speak of what is not-here,
But I listen for what is here.
I feel an absence,
But I listen for a presence.
What is present here is more than who I am,
It means more than what I feel,
But what can it mean if I can’t hear it?

What do I need?
I need to hear what is here;
I am frustrated when I feel only what is not.
Is there anything here
That can relieve me
Of what is not?
Is there anything not-here
That can help me
Perceive what is?

I begin the day already frustrated,
And I admit that I do not know why.
I also cannot say why
The not-here feeling always seems to linger here.

But here is the not-here.
I feel it now as I do most every day.
The not-here will be here whether I let it or not,
But this once I do not deny it or fight it.
I am here and so is the not-here.
I do nothing.
I can’t think of a single thing I could do
To take away what is not even here.

“Prayer Late at Night”

My prayer tonight is for the lonely to touch their loneliness,
for the empty to wholeheartedly feel their holes without filling them,
for the lost to find themselves connected with their lostness,
and for the confused to uncover hidden clarity beneath their confusion.

I pray tonight for those in the dark to stay there and listen,
for those running out of time to arrive at the timeless present,
for those running from themselves to finish the race and begin the work,
and for those weeping to hold nothing back.

Tonight my prayer is that the dying live and the living soar,
that the sleepers dance and the dancers dance more,
that the seekers settle down into the mystery of the night,
and the settled seek Chaos and bask in her radiant light.