The Cleanliness is All

The cleanliness is all. In Hamlet, I know, it says “the readiness is all.” But readiness coupled with cleanliness seem to be the perfect combination to upstart one’s spiritual journey. It’s the new year, month 2 into it, and there’s this need to just flush everything that still remains of the last year or maybe the past. It now becomes more important than ever, to shed all that cocoon we’ve hidden ourselves in, because of an urging need to become like butterflies. To morph into the beings we need to be in order to take flight towards the path of a fantastic change. To not be attached because change is constant. And it is the cleanliness, the cleansing that we must participate in, whether physical, emotional or spiritual, which will open us to a new idea that has always been there in front of eyes which coincidentally happens to be the mirror to our truth.

i’ll sweep it all up,
what a mess i am inside
all the clutter, all that
remains of my past, in
between the crevices of
a wall i did not know i
built, but here they
are towering over me,
fencing me up without
sun to see into the day…
in your eyes where i see
more of myself than i do
before this mirror, this
false reflection of hope
i long to break, tear down,
and sweep away if it means
to gather forth the
universe into my heart

from ashes we rise

It has been a while, I know. Soul searching. It’s natural for writers to do this. Disappear. Vanish from the spaces our medium yields us in order to shed the layer of attachment to become new again. A new year does this to you. It christens me, baptizes me, enlightens me, except this time, I didn’t want to loose that renewal or have me burn out in a month or two without accomplishing even the tiniest of goals. So I ask, how does one stay the course? And the lesson I arrive at is courage. Having courage to push through is a lesson my best friend taught me last night. A friend, who amidst hurt and vulnerability, pushed through with courage, perseverance and great fighting spirit… the tenets she couldn’t recite, but which she demonstrated in front of me despite feeling herself defeated. As difficult as it was to watch, all I could see was my own friend rising from the pain with great courage in order to push through her own obstacle, to remain and finish until the end. Seeing this, seeing her stay the fight within her own ring, made me think of my own courage and how I needed to toughen up like she did in order to stay on my course. To persevere, to rise… to be absolutely courageous.

from ashes we rise,
don’t we?
or do we stay as ashes?
are we then happy to remain
where logs once were before
they were set on fire,
incinerated like illicit
bodies who worshiped
a different god from
you and i?
stand as i
reflect even when i fall
on my knees, even when
it hurts inside, i fight
through the covetous night
and shed this cowardly skin
to show what courage is

for SJP who showed me incredible courage TWD

Believe

Days take their tolls, whether it is the long commute or long days at work which sometimes feel as though we are being pushed further away from ourselves. It feels inescapable like a maze. Then, out of nowhere, I am given a moment when silence blesses me with one word to set me free from the cages of despair. Believe. Believe that there is hope. Believe that everything will work out. Believe in God and that direct line in Faith. Suddenly, this anxiety fades and I don’t feel as though I need to see the final outcome. I just need to believe.

the droll of days,
things we have given up,
the us we surrendered,
are we still whole
or are we holed up
like cheese that
melts under the heat

can we recover,
heal towards forever?
though i know nothing
lasts long, can
i not believe in the
hope for endurance,
what’s left of faith?
can i not see it through
in the long run? because

i believe i can,
i believe you will…
i believe we can

what love gives

Now that the holidays are over, what now? I do miss Christmas though. The spirit of Christmas, that is. I love how giving can somehow break down barriers and open up hearts. But giving shouldn’t just be during the Christmas season. It ought to be everyday, giving, whether it is giving someone comfort, joy, laughter or our “precious” time. A shoulder to lean on, perhaps. Anything is possible. Giving is limitless. Our creativity and sincerity is the only thing that we need to fuel this giving. It all begins with love.

what love gives is not this diamond,
and what is more gold is the gesture
i treasure in each hand crafted measure
inspired by your deepest intention to
wish me joy and happiness, prosperity
and wealth…. no war, but peace can
end chaos and so shall your love endure
what others cannot bear, if you can
rewrap this, i shall receive with all
my heart, your deliberate gift of well-
wishes amply cupped inside your hands

New Beginnings

Everyday grants us a new beginning. Making a habit at looking, living each day as new is possibly one of the greatest gifts we can ever receive the entire year. But we take it for granted, live as though it is a continuation of the dreariness that followed us from yesterday and we become burdened by that which we think is inescapable. I know, I know… easier written, but if we just shift our perspectives, everyday can be a renewal, a rechristening of our lives. We can at least attempt to make new our lives before we dismiss it.

rain gathered me under the sky, prodding
like needles under my skin; the uncertainty
was bothersome until i looked into your
violet eyes and knew i would be reborn
as your spirit takes shelter under your
fragile skin, and as your thirst beckons
its first milk against your tongue.
holding you was easy; making you believe
my love as brilliant as stars in the
night sky… even if am mere shadow–
a lifetime i think i may have, each day,
with each renewal, convince you my words
with every letter are more than embraces,
but testimony to the unconditional that
shall not ever waver from my heart

[for SJP… my heart on this day… Happy Birthday]

Christmas: A Time for Giving

I’m jumping ahead on resolutions and Christmas hasn’t arrived. I can’t help it… it’s the season of giving and though we might be scrambling tonight wrapping gifts, thinking about what kind of gifts to buy tomorrow, I can’t help think that there’s more we can offer than just material things. A time to listen or time spent with children being patient, baking someone a dozen muffins from the heart. Sure, electronics are wonderful… a new Samsung tablet would be really nice, but a gift from the heart is one that I am appreciating lately. The extension of my hand and thought putting together flour, sugar and eggs and creating something delicious over and over. To show someone how much I appreciate them… that’s what I want to say. To wish them a Merry Christmas, not just today, but for everyday that I am alive because everyday ought to be Christmas through kind gestures we gift one another. This is the spirit that should prevail all year long. So why not start today. Merry Christmas y’all!

Christmas we are love and joy,
the fervor of generosity that wishes
to prevail while the spirit dangles
from every doorway like mistletoe
whose desire from kisses align hearts
with mirrored goodness, unparalleled,
without compromise; judges less and
concerned more for you than I… these
hands relay from thought the word
merry encrypted in this bow, red as
the season allows, a vow to give i’ve
wrapped in this gesture with embrace
to blanket you from the cold rain

a gift to give away in time for Christmas

We are gifted. There are things about us that we are strong in, undoubtedly our best attributes which regenerate itself once we let go and share to this world. There was this quote shared over the radio the other morning on the way to work. I almost ignored it, but only in time did I turn back to that station and catch that bit of wisdom. I can’t remember the quote verbatim, but only to the effect that it is our purpose to find what our individual gift is and it is then our purpose in life to give that gift away. Something about this quote just hit me somehow. The gifts we are so doubtful about; the gifts we participate in and then hide because we are so afraid of criticism… well, these gifts are exactly what we should be gifting this world with, whether it is our writings, our paintings or our songs. Whether it is the bread we make with our hands or the joy we express through our words, these are the gifts that we ought to be sharing with one another. In the spirit of Christmas, locate these gifts within ourselves and find the strength to unleash them because there might just be that one person left inspired to do the same thing. In doing so, we might just nurture positivity and joy throughout the years to come.

when i can no longer hold onto, i
simply open my hands and let go
what isn’t mine in the first place,
but to this world i owe a present
to have, one blessed utterance of
joy and love are still gifts inside
these words no matter how they are
unwrapped with hearts heavy, no
doubt, feeling so depleted,
un-embraced for so long… with this
gift, never shall you be alone again
so long as i can write to relieve you
from the melancholy and the sadness
endured from time to time

lies, lies, lies

Don’t lie… never lie or, by any means, try not to lie. It’s a challenge, I know because most of us at some point have participated in a lie. Of recent, I experienced an elaborate story concocted in front of my face, an insistence from the other party that it was the truth, only to come to the end and have it be discovered that it was a lie. It made me angry and I might still be in the same state of mind, but the next step for me is to try to understand why someone would lie? Of course, in the end, submerged lies rise to the surface and eventually unveil itself because there’s nothing solid about a lie. It’s so porous that it will eventually float to the surface for everyone to see.

lies diminish what trust has built,
cemented brick by brick to arrive
where we are because our past is
what we’ve been, the dangerous
trench we’ve crawled and climbed
out of… shall we return to the
place of conscience war brewing
from within or shall we walk a
straight line forward beyond
potholes and craters that trip,
abandon these vices by any means

Even in Darkness… There is Hope

When darkness pulls us under its spell, at times it is difficult to get out and rise from. It traps us underneath, forces beyond our control and all we can do is wait. Try fighting and it only makes it worse. A cloud hangs over us and there’s no telling when it will vanish altogether.

I couldn’t explain where it was coming from. I couldn’t even describe it. It was there. Just like my cough… it was there. There was a need to be alone, cut off everyone trying to make conversation and disconnect. Only the world around me won’t allow it. They wanted to talk, to sit next to me, spend time in the small tolerable spaces I yielded them. Every happy noise seemed like a nuisance and I wanted to shoot it down right away and distance myself from it, but as soon as I turn the corner… another form of joy accosted me.

Opposite’s attract, I guess you could say. These dark episodes was somehow attracting light. People were sharing light even as I tried to run away from it. I couldn’t explain it at the time, but I think this was happening to me in an effort to restore my own light to spread the kind of joy I dispersed before this cloud happened upon me. In this manner, meeting with people instead of dodging them, I was able to escape from under the darkness and restore myself with some form of light inside.

when darkness plunged me deep in its fold,
unbearable is the heft that pulls me down
into its pit and presses me further into
the cold abyss where laughter echoed from
inside the ice building around me, a
fortification from the irksome joy trying
to catch me with its sordid string, entangle
me with its embrace and shave away any frozen
particles that convinced me for a moment to
believe there is no warmth left to cast out
the hope long harbored from inside of me

Grateful For…

Warmth is a luxury during the winter months. We duck into malls, offices and coffee shops where we know it will be warm; our homes with working heaters and thick, Korean blankets. I’m grateful for the availability of heat because I know not everyone has the means to keep warm. They are on the streets, mere shadows dodging cold nights, even colder mornings tucked away inside their winter coats as their protection, their walls, their winter homes. I know they are everywhere and they are out there craving heat, this luxury coming out of my vent. I am one of the fortunate ones who don’t have to be out there fighting the cold, all that is zero below. As I can’t help but be grateful tonight, I know that there’s not much I can do but hope and pray that for those battling the cold weather, may they find relief under a heated lamp, inside a room with a fireplace or the heater on. Some sort of shelter I pray to protect everyone during these really cold months. I hope that they are well. I hope that they survive.

cold, you smother my warmth,
this heat, this calorie burning…
i add on pounds instead; i’m ready
to hibernate except i can’t just
leave and hide in a cave somewhere,
sleep all winter knowing some child
shivers, another trembles from the
heavy precipitation of snow charging,
the cold accosting each cheek with
frozen hands. i’m slipping into a
winter coma… pray i wake up before
summer; may the heat disperse, never
surrender as i hope you win over frigid
thoughts that make winter even colder