THE INNER CHAMBER
For too long the Inner Chamber
Had been boarded up.
Dank and musty, with curtains drawn,
It was far from being an inviting place.
Many quickened their step in that vicinity.
But at this late hour
There is little choice.
Whatever you want to call it
'Going for gold'
Or 'letting the oil gush'
It's time to be true.
It's time to be bold.
Why not fiind a thousand ways to say
'I love you'?
RETURN FROM THE FRONT
Wounded soldiers turned up at my door
Some fresh from the front lines
Others from deep cover assignments.
Most were burnt out from years of combat;
Battle weary and shell shocked.
I considered myself a pacifist,
Who had little sympathy for the politics of strife
But how could I turn them away?
For their sake and mine
It was better to make them welcome
And dress their wounds.
Gradually I saw past the camouflage.
I found myself shaking hands with old acquaintances:
Anxiety, fear, indecision, doubt
Jealousy, anger, and existential angst;
These were among their ranks.
I bow to them now for what they reveal.
THE HIGH SIERRA
I close my eyes and vast canyons,
hazy in morning light, appear.
In the middle distance an Indian with a mule traverses a ridge path.
In the far distance I can make out coils of smoke;
The morning meal is being prepared in the village below.
Hundreds of miles distant the metropolis is abuzz.
Twenty four hours a day the traffic, both human and mechanical, races without respite.
I open my eyes and the vision abruptly melts.
I used to yearn for peace,
Thinking it lived in the High Sierra or the busy city environment.
I used to pin my hopes on finding the comfortable roost and the comforting partner.
Now the sierra, the roost and the partner live within.
Peace has no aspect or location
It's as close as this breath.
I keep greyhounds in the back yard.
The trouble started when I let them into the house.
Naturally, there were mixed reactions,
Although I never expected such vehemence.
What have I learnt and what is there still to learn from this?
Dedication is a two edged sword,
It can be threatening to dear ones
They tend to resent the honey dinners, the sweet talk.
They thought the sofa was their exclusive domain.
Swayed between a vow of omerta and a universal declaration of enthusiasm
I threw in the towel.
Keeping greyhounds is impossible to terminate.
After all it's they that keep me.
They asked for hope.
They asked for reassurance and comfort.
They asked for a mind as still as a millpond.
All these are no doubt possible.
But sometimes salt gets added to the jelly.
Those moments are tailor made for enquiring into who it is that desires these attributes.
The world operates on the principle of wish fulfillment.
The wind that makes the camellia flowers dance on the bush
Has no such ambitions.
The free man is like an alien from another planet
He has appeared from nowhere
and is happy to be taken by bloodhounds.