More Poetry

MORE POETRY by Jeff Foster

 


FALLING APART

Even when ‘my life’ falls apart
who you truly are
can never fall apart.

Even when relationship breaks up
who you truly are
never breaks up with relationship.

Even when the end seems certain
who you truly are
remains eternally open.

And even when the body ceases
who you truly are
never dies.

Life itself
is never a conclusion -

only a beginning.

 

 

 

 

FEAR OF FLYING

Instant cure for fear of flying:

You are not the victim of turbulence
You are not a person inside a plane
Helplessly being jolted around
You are the plane
Fearlessly ploughing through the air
Unaware of even the concept ‘turbulence’
Perfectly calm in the midst of the raging storm
In love with the sky

 

 

 

MY WAY

Life does not always go ‘my way’.
But ‘I’ never get in the way
Of life not going ‘my way’.
So life always goes my way.

I am the way of life.
Whichever way life goes, I go.
There is no way
That I can be separate from life’s way.
Life IS the way.
So there is no ‘way’.

Life does not always go ‘my way’.
But ‘I’ never get in the way.
So life always goes my way.
Even when it doesn’t.

Whose way?
Exactly.

 

 

 

A CONFESSION

My most crippling suffering and depression
became my greatest teacher.

Raw sorrow
ended up pointing me
to that place of total surrender,
to the giving-up of the war with life,
to who I really Am
beyond my story.

If you had told me this years ago
(that suffering was an invitation to grace)
I may have laughed at you,
called you a liar,
booted you out of the room.

I couldn’t hear it then.
I hear it now.

This is the paradox of suffering:

Life can hurt, hurt deeply,
but that hurt always contains an invitation

To let go.

That which threatens to destroy us
invites us home.

And then one day,
perhaps,
we look back at our suffering

With eyes of gratitude.

 

 

 

 

STARS

perhaps the stars are not stars at all
perhaps they are star-shaped cracks in the vastness
through which streams the light of ourselves

in this intimacy
there is no distance

 

 

 

 

FINDING GOLD

If we run away from our sadness,
If we turn our backs on anger,
If we deny fear its inherent right to be here,
If we kick our pain out onto the cold, dark streets,
How will we ever know
That these weren’t precious gifts made of gold,
Forged in the fires of ourselves long ago?

 

 

FIRST CONTACT

Just one instant of naked contact
Changes everything

Just one instant of touching directly
your fear, anger, sadness, doubt, boredom, loneliness
Meeting the raw energy of life itself
Behind the labels and concepts
Prior to the words
Meeting ‘what is’ without expectation, without trying to escape,
without turning away, without protection
Forever changes your relationship to it

Now, you know each other directly, beyond theory
You have penetrated each others defences
You have seen through the façade
You have truly made contact
And nothing will ever be the same

Now, however far you travel from each other
However much you try to push each other away
However desperately you try to forget each other
You will never truly forget

That you once met so deeply
That you have touched each other
And been touched in return
That you have held each other in the palms of your hands
And seen yourself reflected
And forgotten division
And the separation of things

Now, when fear appears again
Or when sadness returns in waves
Or when anger bursts forth from the creative void
Or a thought floats by
You will know
It is only a familiar friend
Come to visit
It is only the one you love
Brilliantly disguised

Just a moment of real contact
Is all it takes
And then there is no turning back
For you cannot truly forget
the one you love
your own child
your own flesh and blood

No matter how their appearance changes
No matter how far they roam

 

 

 

LOVE’S FAIR WARNING

It is devastation.
It takes no prisoners.
Everything you think is yours
It will destroy in a heartbeat.
It is unsentimental.

I will strip you of your pride
And crush your dignity.

It specialises in the end of childhood dreams.

Its methods are brutal
But its intention is loving.

It only longs to wake you up
And look through your eyes
At its own marvellous creation

 

 

 

ON CHANGE

The greatest change seems to happen
When we stop trying to change
And sink creatively into the mystery of the moment.

The greatest transformation seems to happen
When we stop looking for the ‘solution’
And end the war with the non-existent ‘problem’

The greatest healing seems to happen
When the ‘healer’ gets out of the way
And all of life’s energies are allowed to flow freely.

 

 

 

KILLING THEM SOFTLY

There is the way of gentleness
And the way of the sword.

The way of the sword
Pushes, provokes, judges, even mocks.
For those who are ready,
It will wake them instantly from their slumber.

But many have been hurt enough by swords
And will close up even tighter.

Where is the swordsman
You would trust with your life?
In the wrong hands,
Swords only deepens the devastation.

The way of gentleness, however,
Takes its sweet time. It does not rush.
It stays close. Trusts. Gets under your skin.
Waits, until you feel safe to open.
Then kills you softly.
Without you even noticing.

The modern sword often misses its target,
And leaves its victim paralysed
From the neck down.

But this ancient gentleness gets everyone in the end.

 

 

 

SNOWFALL

The snow falls unconditionally
It doesn’t discriminate

It stays until melted by the warmth
Coldness cannot touch it

Sadness, fear, doubt -
Nothing can stick for long
In the warmth of yourself.

 

 

 

DREAMS OF WAKING UP

I once dreamed
That I was asleep
And others were awake.

I felt small, inferior,
so far from home.

I woke up
And found myself in another dream
Where I was awake
And others were asleep.

I felt powerful, special,
so very enlightened.

I woke up from that dream
Into another dream
Where I had awakened from all dreams
(Even that dream)
And others had not.

I was finished, fully awake, finally home.

And then I woke up.

The dreams became recursive.
Dreams within dreams.
Dreams beyond dreams.
Dreams about not dreaming.
Harder and harder to wake up from.
Harder to stay asleep.

Was there a final dream?
An awakening with no possibility of it being a dream?
And wouldn’t that be another dream?
And who would wake up from that?
Who would dream it?

Who was I,
beyond dreams and waking?

What was holding dreams of being asleep,
and dreams of being awake?

What saw no ‘other’?

What was always already awake?

Beyond the dreamer and the dream,
Beyond the dream of the awakened dreamer,
Beyond all dreams of awakening,
And awakening from those dreams,

Beyond ‘I am awake’,
Beyond ‘She is asleep’,
Beyond ‘He is dreaming’,

There is the reading of these words.
There is this… breathing.
There is the beating of the heart.

There is this,
which cannot dream.
For it cannot sleep
and is forever awake.

Even in deep sleep.

Peace beyond words.

The final dream?

 

 

 

PICNIC WITH RUMI

Out beyond ideas of right and wrong
There is a field
And out beyond that field
There is a harbour

Pack your bags
I’ll meet you there

We’ll sail out together
Into the vastness of night
With only the breeze to guide us
No idea where we’re going
No idea when we’ll return

Sometimes we’ll doubt ourselves
Often we’ll want to turn back
But the ocean will always remind us
That we had no choice
And never did

And then one morning
In the warm glow of sunrise
In that perfect calm
After a perfect storm
We will disappear

Leaving the vast ocean
And a cool southwesterly breeze
Blowing an empty boat
To destinations unknown

They will search for us
They will assume we went under
But we will know otherwise

And we will picnic with Rumi
Laughing like children
In that field
Beyond right and wrong

 

 

 

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