Cutters, Huffers, and Suicide Kids

September 20 Kueka Wine Trail 1311

cutters, huffers, and suicide kids
look at me over toys scattered ‘cross my office floor
as we start helping them to forsake the shelter that comes with hurting

to them, i’m “Mr. John” or the bald guy in the suit coat
who has the cool toys and asks the billion questions
that they don’t have to answer if they don’t want to
despite what their mothers say or instruct or admonish

am i not the first hope and not the last but one of an endless string
on their paths from a devastated childhood toward their ultimate hopelessness?

no, i never feel that way, not even when the budding sociopath
makes the hair on the back of my neck turn into tiny knives
when he smiles and calmly says, “hitting animals is very wrong”

i’ve seen their parents
or, at least have heard about them
fathers who beat mothers, fathers who executed mothers, homeless families evading CYS and the police
and
the molesters, the Meagan Listers who were framed by the state,
who bathed their girlfriend’s sons and daughters, who didn’t know
that girl was 14 because, man, she knew what she was doing

and, the mothers
mothers who have children with each new boyfriend
before the men magically disappear after sowing seed through before delivery, their time away measured by the length of the PFA
and discussed with the DV victim in terms of the child’s age

i’ve met the foster parents
who brave the fears their families have voiced
and opened their hearts and homes to these children
as these new-to-them parents embark on missions to provide structure
consistency and nurturance to little hearts so badly broken
they can’t fathom lives beyond cutting, huffing and suicide

 

copyright 2109: all rights reserved
Photo: Healing Hands (Keuka Lake, NY 2015)

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

I Am Not (The Empath’s Moment)

may 22 2918 pic

I am not the energy that flows through you
When you awaken in the morning
And embrace the fresh day’s energy

I am not the hunger that fills you
Or your stomach when it aches for food
Or your heart when it aches for love

I am not the hands that touch you in passion
Or the arms that hold you so tightly
Or the fingers that glide across your skin

I am not your ears that hears the singing birds
Or the tattered voices of the lost and struggling
You encounter during your day: I am also none of that

I am not your organs functioning
Or malfunctioning as you live
Or fall ill
Or stumble toward death
I am not the pain in your in your body
Or soul

I am not the sensuality that fills your daydreams
Or the desires that drive your passion and your glory
Or your orgasms that arouse your senses
Or your lovers
Or your spouses

I am not the sunrise that warms your soul and face
Or the abundance that surrounds you
Or the love you send into The Universe
Or you send to those who mean the most to you

I am not your desperation that lurks in your most secret fears
In your darkest moments
Or your hopelessness
Or your rage and rebellion
Or your self-pity
Or your compassion

I am not the bliss that makes your life worth living
Or your faith and your hope
That nurture your strength;
I am not your strength

I am not the ravages of age and time
I am not the illnesses that claims your abilities
I am not your physical pain
Or the accidents that befall you and your family

I am not your healing
Or your growth through evolution
Or your achievements
Or your enlightenment

I am not the innocent love of your child
Or the beacon-like smile it gives your life
Or the cruelest hatred of your vilest enemies
Or the hyper-vigilance they make your every moment

I am not the serenity that stills your troubled heart
Or the inspiration that drives your grasp closer toward your reach
Or the ambition that fuels all your dreams

I am not that floor collapsing under the weight of all your troubles
Or the ceilings that prevent you from touching the sky
And dancing with moon and stars

I am not the mistakes that you have made
Or the follies you have invested in
Or your regrets
Or your sins
(Your lust, greed, envy, pride, gluttony, sloth or wrath)
Or your redemption

I am not your triumphs that line your sacred space
Or your skills, abilities, strengths, and gifts
That you employ on your warrior path
Or your struggles as you evolve

I am not the fists that have hit you, the taunts that have wounded you
Or the insults that have made you cry so deep inside
That you had nowhere left to hide

I am not the one who betrayed you
Or deserted you
Or back-stabbed you
Or humiliated you

I am not any of them
Or any of those
Or any of that
Despite feeling
And experiencing moments
Each and every one as my own
Before or while you do
On my path to knowing you

 

Copyright © 2018 John David Higham: All Rights Reserved
Photo: Into The Woods (Cogan Station: May 22, 2018)

I Am Here

I Am Here 8 26 17

I am here
Alive and ready for this path
No matter the joys the pains or how often
My feet may pause or my tongue may become still
Though my eyes may not appear to see
All going on around me on my path
And my ears my not seem to hear the laughter the crying
And my hands may not move to heal pain to defeat evil

I am here Smelling the trees as they quietly grow season to season
And looking over the grasses and the flowers and the skies
And sending joy out to all who look upon such scenes
With their eyes with their imaginations with their memories
As they seek refuge in their darkest night or to make their noon brighter

Together, we grow our strength ever beyond strong
Fed by hope and love even as whirlwinds uproot lives all around us
And give rise to fears from hellish pasts or intimidating futures

In the stillness of our souls as the power of The Universe
Cleanses our every cell, flowing through us replenishing us
No matter how far apart we are measured by mere miles mere lifetimes
As we remain eternally joined through our souls

We are here
Alive and ready for our intertwined paths
As The Universe’s DNA
 

© Copyright 2017 by John David Higham. All rights reserved.

Photo: Meditation Landscape (Lewisburg, August 26, 2017)

Victory

Lillian 8 19 2017 Chimney Rock 1st

My battle won marked by the calm of surrender
No celebratory words or songs did I shout
As the oppressive miraculously became inconsequential
Layers of pain melted away and flowed like dirtied waters
Off my skin
Off my soul
And became forever purified
At these moments of ascendancy
When bells were to ring in celebration
And my soul would discover the highest mountaintops
On which to spread my new-found and infinite bliss
Would make my once dreary world
Would make my once dreary soul
Dance with a child’s delight

Victory
Sweet sweet victory
How I had waited with all my endless hope
All my rabid persistence and obsessive planning
To even see any sign of you emerging from life’s hellish fog

Victory
You had intermittently exposed yourself
Before desperation and despair had obscured you from my sight
To prevent you once again from accompanying me
So many conditions everyone everything told me
I would have to meet
I would have to know
I would have to be
Before
Before
Before
I could have a fleeting moment
Of hearing your voice
Of even feeling worthy
Of your briefest whisper
Of your encouraging word
Before evil and despair
Resumed their suffocating siege

Victory, now that you have made yourself
So clearly my eternal companion
And all evil has been
Defeated
Chased
Transmuted
Transcended
Annihilated
Re-framed
Forever condemned
From its perches in my waking world
And its numerous thrones in my dream world
Where its myriad grotesqueness stared me in my every face
In all the lives I lived was living and planned on living
To now merely squishing under my feet like warmed moist beach sand
I am lost, lost, lost
In a land of sunsets and pleasant surprises
Tranquility and love

What becomes of this warrior
When all my battles have been won?
When I have calmed my roughest of storms?
When I have transformed my deepest of fears into karmic punchlines
And my loving adventures have
Exterminated my fears and hyper-vigilance?

This redemption I do not know
For so long the weapons of war
I have held in my hands
In my soul
That my not grasping them feels odd
And renders me naked, vulnerable
And not nude, innocent
As Victory embraces me

Victory, how odd your warmth feels
Against my skin
Against my soul
In our forever embrace

© Copyright 2017 by John David Higham. All rights reserved.

Photo: Lillian’s First (Sedona: Chimney Rock Trail Looking North: August 19, 2017)

I Am the Sun

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When the sky darkens
With the approaching storm,
When the sky darkens
With the fading day,
I will not retreat.

When the shouts drown out the smiles
And children stop being happy,
When sadness becomes infectious
And metastasizes into gloom,
I will not despair.

When the numbers overwhelm
And all feelings become scary,
When all lose forever all hope
And desperation paints all into corners,
I will not surrender.

When heavy rains turn creeks into torrents
Of heavy brown turbulent mud
That erodes both earth and lives,
I will not get swept away.

When death and its stench
Foul the land and our nostrils,
When sobbing is the only
Sound greeting the morning,
I will not stop living.

I will not succumb
To all the hells that have been
To all the hells all around me
To all the hells that will be.

I am burning bright even in darkest night
Glowing above the most terrifying storm
Not dimmed by events on Earth or in sky;
My eternal joy, hope and optimism burn
Stronger than mere dogma, fear, and power.

I am the sun.

© 2017 by John David Higham: All Rights Reserved
Sky, Sun, and Earth (Windfall Road, January 21, 2017)

When the Sunrise Finds You (Ode to MLK)

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When the sunrise finds you
And the new day’s promises fill your soul
With joy and eager expectation of abundance
Will you allow it to flow through you
And touch everyone on your path
Or will you instead keep it just for yourself
And those you alone deem worthy?

When crops sprout from the earth
In a celebration of growth and the abundant harvest
Will you feed not only those at your table
But also though who can’t find a place at the feast
And must subsist on those scraps you’ve dropped?

When you discover the warmth of love and tenderness
Knowing and surrendering to your lover’s touch and embracing
The world as only beautiful moments and possibilities
Will you endeavor to create and support this for everyone
Or only those who look, act, and love like you?

When you know your strength and it blossoms your hope
Will you use it to help others who do not know hope
Or will you instead enslave it and make good coin
As you distance yourself from the misery you now created?

When evil comes in the form of hatred and threatens all you are
Will you protect only yourself by running and hiding, sheltering
Yourself in dogma and fear instead of becoming a lifeboat
That others may embrace to know the safety that you’ve always had?

When the sunrise finds you
Will you share your sunrises
Will you share your feasts
Will you share your love
Will you share your strength
Will you share your safety
And spread this sunrise all across this land?

© 2017 by John David Higham: All Rights Reserved
Photo: MLK Sunrise (Windfall, 1/16/17)

I Don’t Know You (But I Believe in You)

PHL to SETAC to Sedona 3 20 16 413 FInal

I don’t know you
But I believe in you
Not because I’m being flirty
Or because I want you to like me;
My faith in you arises from seeing the you
That you can’t or won’t allow yourself to see.
That you can’t or won’t allow yourself to embrace:
I sense your greater self in your words, your gestures, your eyes
And know that soon you will look in your soul’s mirror.

I don’t know the details of your pain
But I know that you will heal
Not because I can’t deal with your trauma
Or because I am an incurable optimist;
My faith in you comes directly from the you
That has healed so far beyond others who have succumbed
To pains so much lesser than what you have sojourned through.

I don’t know your face
But I know that it will soon own a smile
Not because I want you to be fake or insincere;
My faith in you comes from sensing your child-like innocence and hope
That is alive and vibrant at the innermost core of your soul.

I don’t know your fears
But I know you will render them useless
Not because I have an agenda for you;
My faith in you comes from knowing you through your vibration
And seeing The Angels all around you waiting to give you bliss.

I don’t know your hopes
But I know you will realize them
Not because I dismiss your obstacles;
My faith in you comes from knowing the you
That can survive and thrive and become
Even more open to manifesting miracles.

I don’t know how to teach you
But I know that you will continue to learn
Not because I am bored or uninspired by you;
My faith in you comes from sensing in you
That your wisest teacher is in your mirror
And that your brightest pupil is in your shoes.

© copyright 2016 John David Higham: All Rights Reserved

Photo: Reflections (Poulsbo, WA: 3/16)

I Met You (I Met Your World)

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I met you,
I met your world
Through the labels
Everyone gave you
Long before our time.

“Imbecile,”
“Moron,”
“Idiot,”
“Retarded:”
These words
Not even coming close
To describing you,
To describing your world.

I met you
After your parents
Sent you away
And dealt with their guilt
A little at a time.
I met you
After the institutions closed
And the administrators
Shipped you out like freight.

I entered your world
A little at a time
To keep you safe,
To teach those in your world,
To help you be,
To help you become
More than a label,
To help you become
The person you deserved
To be.

Through the decades
I watched you
And tried
To know the world
You knew,
The world you lived:
We worked together
To crack your code.

Your eyes saw
Things mine missed,
Your ears heard
Things mine missed,
Your thoughts my mind
Had to learn to know.

And, now,
I am going
And saying my goodbye
Knowing it is meaningless
And beyond your comprehension,
Yet we smile, I
Knowing you have grown
Knowing you have evolved
In ways that many people
Will never see,
Will never hear,
Will never think;
But you and I will
Always know.

Goodbye, my friend:
Sending blessings and The Angels
To continue accompanying you
On your path.

© 2016 by John David Higham: All Rights Reserved

Photo: The World Beyond The Screen (Windfall, 12/18/16)