like being a dog

        We should all be as simple as a dog, shouldn’t we.   But we’re not.

      To feel alive in this world.   I remember in the arrogance of youth I thought if I have to take pills to stay alive… well now, I do.   And my sense of belonging is questionable.   Me and Spirit, just us, it feels
      like all the real that is.   But then, thoughts move like tides.
              Feelings, to the Moon and back.
              And yea, it’s the ocean we are in.

something like being blunt

I write because what else engaging is there to do with a pen in my hand.
I write because empty spaces keep finding their way to my desk. I write because those spaces aren’t empty. Yes, I write to get them outside of me.
I write to make them go away. I write because that seems like a good idea.
I write because I have no other good ideas. I write because the Earth, she
is spinning beneath my feet. I write to keep my balance standing here.
I write because my mother, she is gone.

I write because we are in the ocean, and she is big. I write because she is a woman. I write because I hope she will notice me. I write because her hand is in the air and she is waving to me. I write because she might just be god.

I write because I’m afraid. I write because I am not afraid.

I write because I can’t make up my mind. I write because I love the taste of language on my tongue. I write because I want to witness the world in person. I write because I want your company. I write because I want sweetness into your life. I write because your face keeps filling me with words. I write for beauty’s sake. I write because I never know how it will end when I begin. I write because the world is not a mystery. I write because we were always meant to see, to understand. I write because this is a blessing.
I write because my hand moves through words like through water. I write because feelings remake themselves when I do.

I write because the truth is uncomfortable. I write because I want to say what’s so. I write because I lie. I write because words are spider webs. I write because it never gets better than this. I write because I’m afraid this is as good as it gets. I write to make opportunity. I write because it isn’t yet all lost. I write because of friends I have lost. I write wanting me to be enough. I write because the mountains weren’t always mountains. I write because we get bigger. I write because we get smaller. I write because I’d rather write than go fishing.

I write because I forget.

I write because every day is like a bookend, but there’s only one. I write as an act of faith. I write to discover. I write to remember. I write to forget. I write to ease the pain. I write as an answer to death. I write what passion says. I write to pray. I write to meditate. I write to listen more better. I write because words sometimes confuse themselves. I write because I believe in language.

I write to be playful like a child in a pile of leaves. I write because of the Moon. I write like a knife because it is dangerous. I write like a knife because it is surrendering. I write as ritual. I write to walk away from hate. I write to dream. I write to stay awake. I write to the kindness of heart I have abused. I write to forgive myself. I write to loosen knots. I write accidentally. I write when I am wrong, especially when I am wrong. I write even when it doesn’t matter, which it always is.

I write to appreciate my life with you. I write to see heaven in front of me. I write that you might also see. I write to make small history. I write to make solitude not being alone. I write to remember. I write to let go. I write to speak for the birds, the plants. I write to the rain. I write to the Moon when my eyes are closed. I write to remember breathing is a choice. I write to discover meaning. I write to look beneath the leaves. I write because I am filled with stars. I write because I am broken.

I write because this is how I cook. I write because this is how I eat. I write because a fork and spoon. I write to make a plate. I write to fill a cup, to fill a bowl. I write because this is how I sleep, this is how I walk, this is how I stoop to drink from the well. I write because this is why I love.
       I write because this is how I love.

I write because of the middle of night. I write because it is how I answer doubt. I write because I breathe. I write because blood, because heart. I write because it is a glorious waste of time. I write because of hands and arms, and because of color. I write because of chocolate. I write because of spiders and their webs. I write because ants get into the sugar bowl. I write because I don’t like wearing shoes so much. I write because I like the sound it makes inside my head.   I write because Spirit asked me to.

I write because words are threads.
          Why do you write?
I want to acknowledge and thank the better graces of Terry Tempest Williams who opened this gate and asked who else was willing to join her curiosity.   A response, Answers you see, they are implied in the question,
in the process itself, like using an abacus.
The two photographs are of the country hills around my old California home.
Oak and scrub and grass (all dry summer).   Very typical.   That was home for decades, and it still looks like “home” to me.

And a Manzanita summer scent, unmistakable.

REVISED.   stanza 10 added, new.   10.22.2022

a conversation with an old pair of brown shoes

       I’m in shadow.   do you see me here?

I see you fine.

       I’m afraid the shadow is bigger than me.

I see you fine, just fine.

       I’m confused.

I have many thoughts.   I have many feelings.

like you.   just like a whole world might be.

       I question everything.   what’s real?

I answer everything.   no matter what.   ask.

       are you afraid of me?

       have you seen my claws, my sharp teeth?

yes, they are beautiful.

       what message do I give to this world?

I see the mark you leave on the bark of trees.

the bare story of where you’ve been.

whatsoever you trace, we move to gather up.

       everything I see makes me feel doubt.

yes, and the master observed, faith includes doubt.

so, be of good heart.

       I’ve been alone, no friends, none loved.

even alone, I stand with you, always, everywhere.

I hear everything you say.   feel everything you feel.

I see love, everywhere.   understand?

       life is mostly pain.   my life is mostly pain.

yes beloved, life includes everything, for all of us.

like music does.

       I want to contribute but think I’m all lies.

it has always been you, who I hear, who I see.

truth speaks.   no matter what.

       but I’ve hurt many who cared for me.

you cannot do me harm.   no matter what.

       I don’t care, about life, about anything.

oh you do.   it is the nature of your bones.

I am the one free of attachment, free of care.

       when I die there’ll be nothing left of me.

you’ll be closer to me than you are right now.

you are my heart.

       take me with you please.   please.

I will.   when the time is ripe.

       someday the universe will be all dark.

I will still be here.   you will still be with me.

when you step off the bus, take with you this narrative.

to the end of time, to the end of all things.

I will be with you.   I am.

as it was in the beginning.


memo to the Dalai Lama

don’t tell the Chinese.   you know the ones I mean.   those ones who are mean to you.   they should be ashamed.   Christmas stockings of coal for them.

not a lot of people I’d say this too – but you are gonna be really missed when you leave.   real and truly.   so can I borrow the convertible keys for the day?

and isn’t it odd (whimsical?) that the Chinese government wants to replace you with one-of-their-own when the time comes.   OK, political but spiritual – unlikely.   so they’re presenting half the truth, the part of truth that isn’t true.

and just so you know, if you’re ever in my inch of the universe, you are welcome into my home.   surely I’ve a generous share of imperfections, but you understand, and my love for you is genuine – so yes, my home would be happy having you under this roof.    for real.

I know, I know, old joke.   but it makes me laugh.   what’s the Dalai Lama say at the hamburger stand?   Make me one with everything.   sorry, but for all I know, you started it.

     this life or the next, there will be a reunion.


things I’ll do when I master space & time

make pizza suddenly appear on my plate.

make all dogs friendly, including bears.

kites would fly, with or without any wind.  (and I’d learn swiftly to run into the wind instead of running downwind breaking my kite into little bits)

make hair grow where I want and not where I don’t.

learn to pronounce cacophony.

not confuse yoga and yogurt, ever again.

let trees decide which way the wind will blow.

make hunger be satisfied.  neither shall they thirst unquenched.

think only of good things to do.

pretty people will all smile at me.  OK.  everyone.  see?

try out sunsets in green.  wouldn’t that be nice?

have afternoon tea with the dalai lama.  lama lama lama.  and we’d laugh & laugh.

learn to write upside down.

people will see heaven, right in front of them.

I won’t be “careful” about what I say.  not careless I mean, but honest, simply that.

and rain, whatever it wants to do, that will be exactly fine by me.
neil reid © 2015