Desire Laid Bare

Sunset (Lewisburg, October 2020)
I want to go
Walking on the ocean
And feel
Waves crashing through my toes
As wind
Whistles through my soul
And salt
Cleanses my soiled flesh
 
I long to go
Swimming in the earth
Kissing worms
As they slide along my lips
While I
Dive toward the magma’s embrace
 
I yearn to go
Skyward as if dust scattering into clouds
And pulling up
Greenest grasses, tallest trees
With me
Birthing sunsets and rainbows
 
I desire to be
On water, land and sky that elusive lust
That transforms
Everyone it embraces into satiated
Lovers of life
Masters of their own evolution
 
 
Copyright © 2020 by John David Higham: All Rights Reserved

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)

The School Bus Ride

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Lifetimes ago, school bus children
Chanted, “We hate the Highams,”
And I watched the driver drive his bus as if none
Of it mattered because those were only words
Don’t you know?

Like a weed that burst forth from fear
Fertilized by my family being different
In a land of assumed homogeneity,
We undoubtedly earned the right to be hated
And this hatred to be made part of our bus ride
Back and forth to school each day
Its own daily lesson in humility and restraint.

And, the driver drove, saying goodnight and smiling
At every stop; even ours, because he was so kind.

Did the kids know how we prepared for their attack
On our home in the woods?
Did they know how I trained my brothers
And ran our house like a military camp
For what my psychotic mother and I
Knew would be their final violation?

I doubt it. After all, they were merely teasing
Pleased with the reactions they were evoking
And how each of the six of us dealt differently
With their incessant barrage. They watched TV
In their homes each day and never mentioned
Their ride, I’d guess.

These little children and their foul little mouths
Taught me the gift of stillness, the gift of awareness
In the here and now. Those lessons lasted only as long
As the bus ride home, then the hell they had sent to us
Erupted in the home once the bus had left.

We watched TV in our home and fought with punches
And kicks, slamming doors and breaking walls.
A child hated easily finds enemies, even among family,
Because such a child wants peace and harmony
And love that flows as naturally as each breath but feels
Instead too alien in the world that now drags him down.

Therapy, meditation, and living in the here and now
Transformed such trauma into numerous evolutions
Still evolving in so many directions: I do not recognize
That angry self-hating child I was on the bus ride.

But still, I must ask: Are we on another school bus ride?
Have the schoolchildren become adults?
Has the teasing turned into denunciations and accusations
Fertilized by mutual disrespect and intolerance
Coupled with an unwillingness to communicate?

And, will this driver stop and hold us accountable
Or, will he merely drive to his destination?
Can we who are denouncing and accusing instead
Silence ourselves and remember that we are
All riding the same school bus? Can we share the love
We have for ourselves with people who live differently?

If not, it doesn’t matter who drives the school bus for soon
We will all be hateful little children fighting each other
Instead of investing our energies into our shared destiny.

© 2017 by John David Higham: All Rights Reserved
Photo: Eagle and Strength (Sedona, October 2016)

Finding the Twelve (Becoming the Thirteen)

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Upon awakening,
Not with my body, but with my soul
When the sunrise not only painted yellow
The gray belly of the clouds but also exposed
That beauty in the darkest of my day.

What miracle must dislodge me from this holding cell
As I live on the edge of one life ready to jump ‘cross a chasm
To the next? What miracle allows me to bid goodbye to so many past lives
Refusing to crossover, their reminders lining my way like polite ghosts
That excuse themselves when I accidentally bump into them?

Finding the twelve, yes, as that will make me the thirteen. I look for them
In the soft eyes of those patient ghosts: I’ve told them that they won’t
Be coming along except in nostalgic memories held in now fading pictures
Of people, places, and things of lives I’ve finished living so long ago.

Rising from my soul’s bed, I set out to find the twelve like jurors
Picked to judge all my life up to this point: See them sitting on their chairs?
The Father, The Son, The Mother, The Fool? See them given absolute
Judgment of all I was as they alone determine all I will ever be
From their daily verdicts onward?

Twelve I need walking into my life in perfect order,
A most rewarding combination to unlock all my potential
And free me from my darkest delusions of self-doubt and worry:
I need them to march in as six perfectly-matched couples
Though I know that all will be as it must be I pray, indeed,
That they will be exactly as I know, exactly as I predicted,
Exactly as they should march down that aisle in the chapel
To be wed on a special day that only the twelve and I know about,
Making me the thirteen.

Do you know those perfect twelve pairing into a perfect six,
Making me the thirteen? Such worlds beyond math transmutating
With chanting: I find such solace here upon awakening building
In hope that such an evolution would ripple through my consciousness
As it upends my corporeal world on this day that must be the day when
Miracle of miracles takes place and I am accelerated even faster
The rocket that I am and have been and will always be.

See, thirteen is the number of death, of change, of revolution, of moving on,
Of moving beyond all that was and is no longer but has still managed to find its way
Around my soul like tenacious vines intertwined and permeating my being.
Death to this time, to this waiting life will come and is coming though will not
Announce itself until I have found those twelve and have myself become the thirteen.
Then the endings will end, the beginnings will begin, and the waiting life
Will become nothing more than another hovering ghost offering polite excuses.

© 2017 by John David Higham: All Rights Reserved
Photo: Curve in Winter Rain (Liberty, PA 1/12/17)

My Soul (Remains That of a Child)

December 14 2015 Windfall 421

 

In the morning
As I sent Reiki to my sick Lillian,
My daughter sleeping in my arms
As we both fought head colds
And it felt like the sun would never rise,
I listened to her breathing
And the rain, the latter falling just
Outside my window.

Daddy Day plans all put on hold
By forces greater than her and I put together,
We stayed in our pajamas and cuddled
In bed,
On the sofa,
And back again.

My soul (remains that of a child)
So that I will always know hers,
So that I will always know the truth;
No matter how inconvenient it will be,
No matter how much money it will cost,
No matter how many relationships it will cost.

I want to keep looking
With eyes that don’t belong
To this older man’s body,
But instead with the imbued wonder
Of a child flowing through each day.

A child doesn’t care
About job security,
About being popular,
About finding love;
But instead with just being.

That is who I want to be
When I grow up;
Dead to the waking world’s
Empty “seriousness”
So I can continue
Hearing The Angels laughing.

 

© copyright 2016 John David Higham

 

Photo: Aboard The Polar Express (Williamsport: December, 2015)

 

 

 

 

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

How Black this Wind That Calls Me: The Dolphin and Temperance

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How black this wind
That calls me
With grass so gray
And sky of ash,
How its cold roar
(Not like that of a lion,
But more an endless avalanche)
Of increasing weight
Binding,
Binding,
Binding
My soul.

It is all too easy now
To forget that I embraced magic,
That Angels had invited me
To their eternal dance,
And that miracles once
Were pebbles on my path.

A younger more foolish me
Back then, I rallied against
Such an oppressive blanket
By tossing it off in masculine anger
And
Running,
Running,
Running
With all my being, all my might
Into the black wind that called me
As I turned
Fear into rage into mastery.

Now, I
Meditate,
Meditate,
Meditate.

Dolphin and Temperance
Come to me.

The Dancing Angels
Tell me to allow the wind
To push me up, down
Along the dead grasses
And invite the sharp air
Into these lungs
And, smile, smile, smile.

I am The Dolphin:
Breathing,
Breathing,
Breathing.

I am Temperance:
Allowing,
Allowing,
Allowing.

I am again magic
In the black wind.

I am again dancing
With The Angels
In the black wind.

I am again miracles
In the black wind.

Morning Arrived Cold

October 1 2014 053

Not quite Saturday,
Sunrise was late.
Dreams faded away.

Morning arrived cold.
Leaves now brown,
Grass dew-soaked.

Dishes needed cleaning.
Fatigue’s surprise visit
Paused The Matrix.

Poems were incomplete,
Essays partially read.
Meditation only contemplated.

Morning arrived cold.
Time of without,
Of no longer;
Not of loss,
Not of wanting,
But an intermission.

Bliss

Phoenix to Windfall 10 13 2015 086

When you are living beyond your soul
Being nourished by the Light of The Angels,
Walking beyond your legs
Thinking beyond your brain
And feeling with your every cell;

When your spirit is electric
Sparks flying throughout your aura,
Magic is your breath
Passion is your blood
And fearless love is your vibration;

When you become art
After sloughing off useless layers,
Embracing pure healing energies
And others flow through your presence
As equals glowing throughout;

Then you have embraced bliss
And become the laughing Buddha
In each moment you sojourn
In the waking and dream worlds.

Embrace and carry bliss;
Scatter its seeds on humanity’s soil
Again and again and again…