four-1 (yrs) on no1 2tell

stories told
days left empty

four-1 (yrs) on no 1 2tell
re: battles fought
victories claimed

success i 8
shoveled on my dish
w/o rhymes or metre
2 make cents
out of nonsense

all that flow, flow, flowing
throws me out of kilter
words splinter my soul
visions unknown

seeing all i believe
believing all i see
me 2 believe in me

so mean rt now
full of btw
thrown like darts
missing bulleyes
missing battles

losing lost (again)
finding new challenges
living new stories
told in
four-1 (yrs)
2 no1

copyright 2019: all rights reserved

photo: Rt 549: 41 Yrs on. (Mill Creek, 12/19)

Stillness Now

stillness in the form
of the hawk circling
above aging headstones
and my timeless love

warm sun embraces
the tops of my bare feet
and the grass–their grass
tickles my toes and soles

i am here now with them
meditating at their resting places
breathing with none
of the urgency–of the fear
they had so freely given me
when they walked Earth

the sun drifts lower
as evergreens and the hawk
protect me and my breath

yet i feel safer with Mom and Dad
hearing them speak
directing me to tell
my brother how much they love him
sharing that greatness
is headed my way
confident that my ex
will do well in her new life

hawk, trees, sun
all breathing with
my bare feet resting
in the warm cozy grass

literally grounded right now
i re-affirm my pledge
to not get wrapped up in doing
and instead endeavor
to embrace being

stillness now
forever now

Influencer

look, look, look
Me, Me, Me

here and there
with this and that
each selfie spiritual

always up
always hashtagged
always posing
always poised

BUY, BUY, BUY
such a thrill

cloaked in prosperity
escape with me
checkmark, heart, smiley
emoticons ate emotions

emotionally so intelligent
being so mindful
feels so really
Me, Me, Me

Copyright 2019, All Rights Reserved

Photo: Limo2PHL2LAX (Philadelphia, July 2019)

This Me

IMG-1871-1 A Storm Builds (Sedona, December 27 2018)

I want to again hear my name called out
From the depths of Hell
To be again summoned to fights demons
I want to again smell their deaths

I want to again cry tears of blood
And feel lightening tearing through my viscera
As it renders me a charred heap

I want to again feel the sound of bones cracking
As steel stone and fist peel my flesh away
Tearing apart my organs

I want to again stand naked in the blizzard
And watch my skin turn purple and black
Against the white-out enveloping me

I want to again hear my throat scream words
No one else hears in the hell that consumes and decimates
As I am again crushed in humiliating defeat
And reduced to grains of sand blown
By the winds
That had once been confined deep within this me

I want to again rage up against the ferocious storms
That flood the valleys and level the mountains
And gives desperation and despair new meaning
Dismembering me as I fight will all my fury
To stop the tidal waves and rebuild the mountains

Soon I will go into that evil night
With sword and wits sharpened
Ready to spill blood and sip wine
In the name of love and self-loathing
Of never feeling good enough for this or that
Until after being put beyond the harshest test
And again emerging miraculously intact

How I await the darkness to wage incessant war
On all my remaining haunting fears
Each moment my serenity my rage building
Forging additional weapons for deployment
As my evolution continues

Copyright © 2018 by John David Higham: All Rights Reserved
Photo: Into The Storm (Sedona, 2018)

Last Night (I Asked the Angels)

Windfall Armenia MT 3 3 2016 313

Last night
Before slumber
Calmed my body and soul,
I asked
The Angels
To
Please grant me
More strength
Than I need,
Please grant me
More love
Than I deserve,
Please grant me
More patience
Than I’ve ever known,
And
Please grant me the persistence
Of the ocean,
The gentleness
Of the deer,
The power
Of the horse,
The spirit
Of the eagle,
And
The secrets
Of the lynx.

Angels, I said,
In this way
I will know and follow
My path
Through the sunniest day
And the darkest night,
Through love and war,
Celebration and grief,
Immersion and detachment,
Commotion and silence.

I then slept so
Soundly,
Awakening
To find all the gifts
I had needed:
Nothing more,
Nothing less.

 

 

© copyright 2016 John David Higham

After When

February 17 2015 049 final

After
All who you have loved
Have been taken,
Crushed,
Or chased away;

After
Your home has evaporated,
Taking serenity with it;

When
The wind carries your copious tears
That fall in a deluge
And the faces in your world
Are totally devoid of joy;

After
Your spirit was mangled
Beyond your
Own recognition,
And when you spoke
No one, not even you, listened;

When
Your stomach aches,
Hungering for meals
That are only memories
And night is your only friend;

When
Tomorrow moves decades away
And redemption
Disappears into your soul’s void;

After
Your sacred was declared obscene,
The Holy betrayed you,
And the evil left you
For dead and condemned;

When
Your reasoning
Becomes meaningless
And your intuition
Is over-ruled
By other fools and by your fear;

When
You can endure
All the chaos and evil
The Universe can give
And still survive, you have
Done well.

But,
When
You can also stand humbled
(Even when naked and tattered)
As the dawn exposes your desperation,
And still you can rejoice in knowing
That your scars will surely heal,
That you tears will water your garden,
That your hunger will feed you and every soul
You encounter on your path;

And
When
Your judgment mates with your intuition
And gives birth to your wisdom,
And you know that being alive
(Even if only barely so)
To greet your dawn
Is The Universe’s gift to you unwrapped
With your every mindful breath;

And
When
You can smile at
All that will be
And accept all that is gone,
And love all who are no longer,
And forgive your broken self,
And accept
Who and what will never be
Because you know
Beyond the limits of reason,
Beyond the limits of your history
That the next who, next what, next you
Will miraculously manifest and evolve into
The who, what, and you are meant
To be on
Your evolution far beyond
Your old and obsolete far beyond;

Then and only then
Will you know you,
Then and only then
Will you know bliss,
Then and only then
Will you know faith.

 

 

© copyright 2016 John David Higham

Step (What a Step)

 

Windfall Bloss Mountain February 23 2016 057

Step (what a step);
Do you see that step
That calls to my heart?
That says I will change
When I take it?
It’s too, too big
It’s too, too large;
I can’t take that step!
So, I push and I push and
I push with all my might
And
I take my step: whew!

Path (what a path);
You see that path
That calls my Inner Voice?
I don’t even know where it goes!
I don’t even know why
It’s here, what my purpose is,
Or how I’m ever gonna
Survive!
I better study it completely
And ask and ask and
Ask and ask everyone else
About their paths, their reasons
Before I decide anything
About this one.
So, I ask and I ask and I ask`
And ask and ask,
Memorize all their answers, then
Start stretching, stretching, stretching
As
I take my path.

Sojourn (what a sojourn);
You see that sojourn
That tests my faith, my discipline?
Should I even continue it
Or
Rationalize it away,
Belittle it,
Call it a “phase,”
Or just talk about it?
So, I stop thinking, thinking, thinking
And
Start being, being, being
As
I embark on my sojourn.

Miracle (what a miracle);
You see this miracle
That emerged from manifesting
And forces way beyond logic?
Should I see and accept it
Or
Complain about it somehow
Being wrong, inadequate
And greatly undeserved?
So,
I see with my heart
I accept it with my heart
And gently wrap gratitude
All around my miracle.

Evolution (what an evolution);
You see this evolution
That challenges my fears
And reduces them to past-tense punchlines?
Should I embrace it
Or just ignore it
And stay in my comfortable rut
Going around in circles?
So,
I consult with my heart
I consult with my Inner Voice
And
I evolve, evolve, evolve.

Mountain (what a mountain);
You see this mountain
That my heart
That my Inner Voice
Has brought to my path?
Should I just admire it?
Should I just be overwhelmed?
Or:
Should I just be?
Should I listen to my Inner Voice?
Should I continue to do?
So,
I just be and listen and continue to do
By
Climbing my mountains,
Embracing my miracles,
Undergoing my evolution,
Becoming my sojourns,
Experiencing my paths, and
Taking my steps.

© Copyright 2016 by John David Higham

‘Round and ‘Round: My Final Choice (Playin’ With Trains)

Windfall Feb 4 2015 288

‘Round and ‘round
The Lionel train went
On
The oval track
On
This 13 year-old’s bedroom floor.

Daily, I would stop playin’ with trains,
Disconnect the power pack,
Open my closet door,
Then
Gather the footstool
I had made in shop class
And
Climb onto my gallows
As
I threw the pack
Over the door’s top
And slammed it shut,
Then
Fashioned the cord
Into
Yet another noose
I tightened ‘round my neck.

‘Round and ‘round,
I debated my sentence;
My own condemned man
Tried and convicted
By a judge and a jury
Who shared
My name and my shame
At having
Failed,
Failed,
Failed.

Did I make my final choice?
Did I kick away the stool?
Of course not,
But I never knew for sure
Each time
As I felt so free
In those twilights of my life.

I courted not death then,
But only the promise of being gone
Like Dad;
Only quicker
And not at cancer’s hand.

At 19, a razor I held in my right hand,
The veins in my left arm
Bulging one May morning.
Gone was my Lionel train,
Gone was my mother,
Gone was my family,
Gone was my home,
Gone was my innocence,
Gone was my hope;
All taken away by false saviors.

Alone with the Angel of Death
In a rented room
On Sherwood Street,
I overheard children laughing
On the sidewalk
On their way to school.

‘Round and ‘round,
I saw hellish faces
Of the children and the adults
Who had sent me to Hell’s Door;
I imagined their voices,
And once again felt
Every inflicted pain.

The blade that now scratched me
Was hungry for more of me;
But then I saw
My hand,
And only my hand,
Grasping the razor
As if the steel was
Part of my body;
As if the steel
Was my salvation.

My razor hand was all mine;
No one else’s;
They had all
Taken my everything
Then
Threw me away.

Me?
I had given myself a razor;
Just a razor?

Me?
I had given myself a final choice;
I had chosen death?

Me?
This is what I decided
In response to pain,
In response to suffering,
In response to emptiness
While children walked to school
That sunny morning?

Questions on the edge
Of self-destruction,
Queries from the doomed
That I had never before
Asked now blew apart
My mind and my plans.

The choice now made,
I lowered the useless razor,
I put salve and bandages
On my scratches,
Then embraced
The incredible power that came
From having finally chosen life
Moments before self-annihilation.

Strength is knowing
That
I stepped back from death;
That
I retreated from my brink
Without parents,
Without friends,
Without family,
Without anyone else
But me
And only me.

I alone
(All alone)
Lowered my hand,
Discarded that razor,
Claimed my body and my life,
Becoming alive from that moment onward.

‘Round and ‘round,
Almost four decades hence,
I recall that day
And rejoice with bliss
At the numerous liberations,
At the endless adventures,
At the myriad loving journeys,
At the continuing evolution
I have embraced;
All built upon the foundation
Of my final choice.

 

December 14 2015 Windfall 251

(In a N5 Caboose on The Polar Express with Lillian in December, 2015.)

 

Edmonds Oct 7 2015 058

(In a Superliner on The Empire Builder with Kathy in October, 2015)

 

February 6 2015 Windfall 130

(In a Superliner on The Southwest Limited with David and Alyssa in  July, 1998)

 

The Succubus

December 6 2015 023

Think
I
Encountered
A succubus today,
She
Sampling my nurturance,
Then
Taking hostage The Empress
And
Giving back
Hostility
When I asked
Her
To respond
In
Kind.

I
Sent
Us both love,
Healing,
And The Angels…

 

PHL Sunrise

Sedona Thanksgiving November 26 2015 129

They come
Bringing their bags
Dragging their children.

They’re in baggy jeans
Suits
Leggings
Exercise shorts and baseball hats.

Talking, quietly
Yelling, laughing
Or, mostly in silence
Except for shoes click-clacking.

Holding onto their purses
Or, pulling their rolling bags
As their hands clutch
Their boarding passes.

It’s PHL sunrise
And I smile
As I hear the sounds
Of Spanish, English
And other languages
Flowing to the background
Of Stevie Wonder.

They have dogs,
Kids on rolling cases
That double as kiddie cars.

A couple stops
As I compose.
They see the sunrise
As he holds a bottle
To the mouth
Of his daughter
Strapped to his chest.

“Pretty, isn’t it?”

He nods.
His wife (she looks)
Nods and smiles.
Then they walk away,
Pleased to have found
The PHL sunrise.