I don’t write much poetry, but occasionally poems find me, and I write them down. This week I’ve had a couple of those visitations, all in the early hours of the morning. We live in strange times, and the world refuses to conform to my idealistic ideas about how things “should” be. That refusal of reality to let me off the hook is actually terrific grist for practice, whether I like it or not. And occasionally, good grist for poetry too.
Waking Up From The Dream
Waking up from the dream of self -
the nattering project I call “me” -
is harder than I thought.
It was supposed to be easy.
All those gurus and teachers and roshis and shamans
who used to say, “Just wake up!”
“Pay attention, damn it!”
Well . . . . . . . . .. .
I’ve been sitting every day for years now.
I can’t remember how many.
And sure, sometimes I have those moments of clarity.
Sure, sometimes I work with my difficult emotions
a little better than I used to.
But mostly, it's still “me” doing it.
It’s still the waking up project.
And as far as I can tell
I just get another year older.
And what have I gotten for all this effort?
Donald Trump? Global warming?
And those fleeting moments
When things seem to make sense?
It’s humbling, kind of.
And funny, actually.
And I do laugh, more often now.
The poignant wheel of generations
just keeps turning.
We keep inventing new ways
to make the same mistakes.
And the earth keeps turning full circle, every day.
Dishing up beauty everywhere.
- Kurt Hoelting 6/12/19
I Found Myself Thinking
I found myself thinking this morning
And that’s when I knew
I was off on the wrong track.
Don’t get me wrong
I’m grateful for the miracle of mind
I’m very chummy with my thoughts
But they have a way of subjugating
The miracle of Now.
Like for example,
The goldfinch in my feeder as I write
That flash of pure gold
Against the lush green canopy of spring
That pulls me back to Here
The explosion of morning birdsong
As I throw the door open to the day.
All that was buried beneath the curtain
Of thoughts, that have already flown
Vanished behind this instantaneous
Upwelling of Yes.
The sudden symphony
That is the only moment
I will ever have.
- Kurt Hoelting 6/19/19