Prayer is Wealth

Prayer is wealth. Often we think of how little we have, how we haven’t arrived or amassed the millions or billions others already have by a certain age. Well it arrives this evening, a different kind of wealth… prayer. Prayer is this untapped resource of wealth often overlooked. But if we just shift our perspective and imagine tonight how all of us have the potential to pray for others, endlessly, because we have the inherent capability to pray, meditate, or keep someone in our thoughts… elevate them in our minds as we dare to connect to the Highest; to have their best interest in heart, to wish them all that is good on this earth. How much more wealthy can we still want to be if we have the power of prayer within our reach?

when the nothingness swallows me
up and waves engulf me inside its
inevitable chasm pushing me down
towards lifelessness, i wish for
one good thought to fish me out of
my drown, one prayer to reach my
hand and rescue me from the cold
waters; restore me to the sanity
and hope that only contemplation
can revive… that prayer is best
when the seed takes root from the heart

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

Truth

There’s a truth in all of us. This is the one we’re not quite proud of, a persistent thing that won’t disappear even though we’ve hidden it in the farthest and coldest recesses of our minds. We ignore it and yet it creeps in front of us like a contender who adamantly refuses to surrender the fight even though they are beaten and bleeding, broken and smashed beyond recognition. But we recognize it because it is our truth.

At some point, you correlate stagnancy and stillness, which the world has inched around you, with this truth. There’s a point when we exhaust the battle and we give in to accepting this truth. Understanding this truth, embracing it, is probably one of the greatest thing we can do for ourselves because that moment of surrender seems to be the pass to moving forward, for the world to suddenly open up and rejoice in the individual we are meant to be… the truth that one must be.

truth is the indigenous love,
the first occupiers repressed,
forgotten, depressed because
it is primary; and primitive often
castes doubts and distorts the image
in the mirror before me, of who and
what i need to be, instead, my
mission thwarted by reclusivity;
i downplayed the meaning, even
thought impossibility, but the god
inside refuses and stands up for me.
in faith, this occurs naturally;
truth reincarnates out of necessity

a chance at life

In the end, all we really want is another chance. A second chance to be the person we need to be. Another opportunity to set right the path we need to walk righteously towards affecting the world. Our bodies tell us this, but, at times, we allow barriers to win. However, when we stand long enough and open ourselves to listen to the silence urging us, prodding us towards that direction our compass is leading us to, a chance at this life may just be within our reach.

in that place
i sleep too often—
my sacred space
where i recline
an armchair of embrace

your skin so soft,
so close i can feel every
atom’s frenzy in delight
to be at the helm of
your distinct breath

as this same gladness
leaps at hearing you
exhale warm breezes
into my ear and a world
unfolds of possibility

and the spur of a neuron
touches me, magnetically,
charges me from lifeless
state and resurrect me—
you revive a hundred

deaths from inside me,
deliver me from its
womb and, as though i am
born again, you make
light of me once more

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

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]

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

rise above

How lost we have become sometimes looking for answers when the answers are already inside of us. It is just a matter of taking the first step and making that choice to commit to it wholeheartedly. Only through this do we begin to chisel out the shape of who we really are, what we are meant to be. For we are more than what we are now, distracted and numbed individuals, afraid to feel and reach for the world. We are what our bodies have been telling us along… strong and capable individuals meant to achieve, meant to bring peace, meant to rise from the physical or spiritual poverty we live in.

rise above the horror
which conquers; release
from the mind what glues
you to the ground, when
light elevates and still
you refuse to rise…

rise to the level of
your love, that which
lives and propels you
from the bog, the
quicksand that pulls
you down

for no gravity
can attempt to shake
you from the clouds
where you belong;
when you believe so
shall you rise, rise
above the ground

Pain… because everybody hurts… sometimes

The word “pain” came to mind this morning. Not a physical one, but how everyone suffers, trapped in the pain carried over from traumas we have not healed from. Pain. It exists, but we don’t know it’s there. We aren’t aware because we have covered it up, shoved it in the darkest corners of our minds, cemented it with pride that we dare not return to it for fear we might find ourselves vulnerable, weak and hurt from being in so much pain.

I’ve had my share of pain, but it pales in comparison to what others endure. Extreme poverty, pain from being prematurely touched, abandonment, divorces, breakups… pain derived from selfishness— the lack of love thereof. This kind of pain goes on and on forever, everyday, every minute, every second. Some are saved from it and recover while others never do. And for those who never do, my prayers go out to you….

Because they may never realize how much pain they are in, I’m afraid it might control them, dictate the way they proceed in the world that they inflict the same pain to others. To carry so much emotional pain while possessing great power… isn’t this the makeup of dictators who have come and gone throughout history? Their internal suffering, the insufferable hell harbored within manifested in heartbreaking ways that millions of lives were sacrificed. Because ego and pride grew exponentially, it made it difficult to see straight and proceed with love as we are intended to do in this world.

Pain teaches us, guides us if we acknowledge it. Too often, we are in a hurry to walk away from pain… we need to live and survive after all. But dealing with our emotional pain, perhaps we should take the time when it presents itself to us again. For then, we can uncover the reasons for our hatred, our vices… what it is that’s holding us back from fulfilling what we are meant to do. Only then, can we participate in filling this world with what God intended us to fill it with… love.

what pain holds, seize it with your
right hand and examine… scrutiny
awaits, be ready to unfold,
let hurt escape even when it hides
in the underbelly where the vigorous
fluorescence dwindles and the lights
turn off like night making it
impossible to see you or feel your
warmth as i search for love