poetry & haiku: autumnalis

photography of maple trees

Autumn could be my favorite season, were it not for the drastic temp changes from morning to afternoon and the waning hours of sunlight.

There’s something magical about this season. Maybe it’s Samhain and Halloween, or the holidays and winter solstice on the horizon.

Whatever the reason, I’ve had quite a few poems and haiku move through me since my last post. Enjoy!

Busan made Bashō his teacher
may mine be the leaves…
the wind…
the sky…

autumn breeze
blows through apartment
carrying your memory

east liberty skies
never looked so blue
until i was without you

i remember standing in your kitchen
(it never felt like mine)
making you dinner like i did

the recipe called for grated cheddar cheese
but we only had sliced

so i folded it into a facsimile
of blocks & ran it over your grater
(your things never felt like mine)

& george was asking what is life
without your love

& i couldn’t help but laughcry
maybe because i was high
(i was high a lot back then)

but i knew love was you
appreciating the ridiculosity
of grating sliced cheese folded
for cheddar biscuits

now billy writes about ratatouille
& i have an answer to george’s question

my life without your love
is sitting on my fire escape
sipping a cuppa

enjoying the solitude bright
of a sunday not yet begun

shade reaches out
& covers grass
so sun won’t burn her

Penelope sits in window
looking at her sisters
growing outside

Glenn dancing in the wind
reminds me i need to water him again

dove on powerline
watches me watch her
as autumn continues

staghorn fern bears witness
to this fearful fool’s latest realization:

i didn’t respect you –
or me –
enough to want better
for either

when everything stopped
i didn’t know who i was

or what i –
or any of us –
was doing here

the old sad part of me
was secretly glad

we were – as scrooge might say –
decreasing the surplus population

if that is the lens
through which you view the world
it will always be a sad one

for the first time
i was able to choose myself

& finally i knew
i didn’t love you
because i didn’t love myself

when you start loving yourself
you start loving God
in all of Its forms

put your faith beyond images
the Universe…
et cetera…

coming over the mount
seeing the city where we fell
remembering my hand on your thigh
as i drove us around

or straight

i loved exploring with you
& it just struck me –
we’re still exploring


the world i never wanted

a world you never wanted:

the mind
the soul
All That Is

your world is part of that
even if it was made for illusions

i’m glad we’re still exploring

the city looks so different in the rearview mirror

cicadas meditate
as light rains fall from august’s last sunday

barefoot pilgrimage o’er river
find friends who remind you
you’re magic

the lights still shine in oakland tonight
so what need have i to worry?

did i come out here
to see all these wide-eyed kids
just starting to figure it out?

did i want the chance
to sit them down & say

you will never figure it out

you might think you have it
in your floral skirt & white sneakers
but –

if you’re lucky –
you will never figure it out

because there is nothing to figure out

& when you think you’re at the stoop of Understanding
wiping your feet on the welcome mat
it will be pulled out from under you

maybe you’ll fall & land
at the corner of bates & atwood

& if you’re lucky –
& have the right kind of eyes –

you’ll see Unity
in those other wide eyes
thinking they’ve figured it out

if you can’t figure out the next step
focus on the one you’re taking

to see a world forgiven
forgive yourself

forgive yourself
for acting out a trauma response
over & over

forgive yourself
for not knowing any better –
we are always learning

forgive yourself
for not living up to the projections
of an other –
you rule no mind beyond your own

forgive yourself
for being

& know that were you not here
just a human
here would be lacking for the first time

patterns continue until recognized
only then can they be changed

grey clouds on verge of crying
hold back their tears all day

the last sunday before september
i saw a fancy ketchup splattered on a squirrel hill bench
& mistook it for a pennywise sticker

& for whatever reason
that made me think of you

& i realized
i hadn’t thought of you
since i laid down that morning at reiki

& although the day had been peaceful
when i remembered i’d forgotten you existed
i felt only love

because that’s all you were
until i took that too

It can come
even on cloudy days
surrender to the All –

today i
ate pho
rode my bike in the rain
& saw the Christ in me

sparrow hops around spokes
eyes meet
she shits –
there is Unity in that

to arrive at All That Is
remove ego’s mask

i’m driving myself for the first time
not fear
nor ego

both are illusions
i am not

& were i not here
to perceive the illusions
they would not exist

but i would remain
eternally Yours

look at life like poetry –
forsake the reason & embrace the rhyme

you can say more
with 17 syllables
than 17 chapters

smelling september bonfires
as i arrive at wightman

to sweat out the hate
to move some stagnancy
to fall

deeper & deeper
into Love
with my Self

no other can guilt you
unless you are not the ruler of your mind

i found Christ-consciousness
sunning myself in october’s first friday

barista turned shinji ikari
asks what i’m being for halloween

depressed i say
in a moment of uninhibited honesty

she pauses
& in her eyes

i notice a knowing
maybe because she’s an artist too

well, yeah she says
steaming oat milk for my latte

& she draws a ghost on my cup
like i was never really here

halloween lights
on warm october nights
show me the way in the rain

Happy Sunday, dear reader, and happy Daylight Savings. May you still function with one less hour of sleep.

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