The First Day

The day I sat

and looked in the mirror

I stared:

I was looking at me.

 

But it was not me

that I saw.

 

My pupils rounded,

black trench coats

preparing for summer rain

my skin relaxed

after the ebb and flow of the day

I dared not move

for there I swear I saw

the light of a soul.

 

Inside my body,

beyond my mind

there lays a spirit so vast

that it does not know me by name

it stands tall and strong,

not with pride,

but not without it, either.

 

When you are Light,

I suppose you need no one

to tell you just how brightly you shine

 

I felt confused;

I felt at peace–

as if I had known this feeling all along

 

It was the first day of my spiritual practice.

 

It seems so clear now

but with fall leaves promising signs of winter

at 18 years

all I wanted was a pair of mittens and a safe

place to stay, away from the cold.

 

Listening to Spirit

is not always easy–

but it’s always needed

 

to quench a thirst deeper

than Jesus felt in the desert,

Buddha under the tree

when

compounded

together

we have every star, every Being

right here beside

me stood a mirror,

and in the mirror, a face

searching its own lines and faded chords

for lyrics one sang long ago…

there were mountains in my eyes,

an echo on each peak.

 

A sudden wave of peace

rushes from my pores, into the night’s sky

and asks you to grant its wish–

to look at yourself

not as you,

nor me,

but as One

 

a single universe united in song.

 

December 16, 2015

Darkness

My friend once said,
“The scariest thing
is looking at a mirror in the dark.”

She got me thinking–
do I think that is scary?

Do you?

I glance down a narrow hallway,
midnight light etching out
the shadow of a moon
on the back wall,
and wonder why,
so often,
our reflections scare us so.

Sitting down with a friend,
I can hold her hand,
touch her cheek,
knowing that in one moment
I can offer my ear
and know
that it is enough.

Why can I not offer my heart
the same love?

Darkness is an inevitable partner,
disguised in dirt and anguish
it is only off looking for it’s long lost brother;
Light cannot be asked to search alone.

As I walk towards the moon,
I know that it’s light will spread in both directions:
inwards, returning love to itself,
and outwards,
steadily marking my way
towards the hallway mirror.

 

Tomorrow I will be starting a weekend-long “technology cleanse,” so instead of a poem per Saturday and Sunday, here is just one, now.

August 13, 2015

The Mirror

Once upon a time

I looked into the mirror

and saw a chubby face:

the image clenched its claws

around my throat,

promised vengeance on a heart

that had been hurt before

but never that bad–

never by itself.

 

It turns out pain is addictive

when you place it all in one hand,

one cheek,

one thought can turn

your entire life around a curb

I flew until I reached the spot

where my heart burst,

when I heard a bird inside of me,

“I want nothing more

than to beat my wings and fly,”

but my breath wouldn’t let it–

and so it perched inside instead.

 

I suppose any story

can be flipped to mirror

another, to flip my eye

on its head, turns out

its not the first time

since life, after all,

is all about change,

when any mirror I see

is the one turned

upon myself,

over and over

different shades of gray

not found in a book,

but chosen, inconspicuously,

one at a time

by the owner of the mirror,

by the one that aligns

my waken breath.

 

December 21, 2014

Confidence

“Are you a confident

being?” my teacher

asks of me,

my face approaching

a mirror I’d rather not see.

   

“Being of what?” I reply,

rapping the blackboard

my mind picks up chalk

and I write: “A tale

of confidence.” 

   

“It’s the story 

we need to hear,” I am told

on repeat, like a pop song

on the radio I want to repress

yet memorize and shout.

   

“Being,” 

I repeat.

“Being, me.”

   

The rap slows,

my mind stops,

and I start smiling. 

 

August 8, 2014