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)

Can You Accept Your Gifts (You Are, You Are…)

 

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When you know
The soul of a stranger
Just by looking at her photo,
Or taste bloody glass
An hour before
Coming upon an accident,
Can you look at yourself
With an eye so honest,
With an eye so otherworldly
That you know
Not only who you are,
But exactly what you are?

When you know
The cold feel
Of death
In the eyes of the child living
And it comes to pass
Despite what you want,
Despite what you beg
And what silence you harbored
Because you were directed
To not speak,
To not warn.

When you know
By looking at the face
Of a distant classmate’s daughter
That she is not being
Called to cross over
And you write those words
With all conviction
And without
Any doubt
And don’t need “proof”
Or to say, “I told you so”
Because you know
Those were not your words,
Those were not your thoughts.

When you know
The carnal joys a couple has
Miles away
And your body responds
As if it is your joy
And you can hear their passion
And feel their hands
Upon your flesh
And know the joys
And know the passion
And know the hands
Are not yours.

And your mind
Is racing with all your terror,
Is racing with all your fear
Of being judged,
Of being diagnosed
But you know
That these connections
Are not of your making,
But are only of your path
And people say that you are different
And that you creep them out
And that you are crazy
But it’s all flowing in
So rapidly (So slowly)
You must take notice (You question it)
Then at best you just
Surrender to it
And trust that it will
All be sorted out
By forces
So much greater than you,
So much greater than you.

You are, you are
Like me
Way beyond this world
Way beyond this place
As your sensitivity
Makes you stronger
(Than the pain you feel ripping
Through your soul by knowing
All that you know)
That is not yours
And the joy that simultaneously vibrates
Inside your soul like singing bowl.

You are, you are
Going where you need to be
Away from all this
A part of all this
Listening to voices
That don’t need to speak,
Poetry that calls itself life,
Love that is way beyond romantic.

“Magical thinking,”
“Manifesting,”
“Glowing”
Is all the same to me
The future is the past is the now
As I listen to what
I am told
And laugh aloud at my silly fears
Because they are all connected
To this mundane waking world
Of mine.

You are, you are
Hearing others listen
Feeling other’s emotions
Knowing other’s futures
In your infinite heres and nows.

We who see,
We who know
(You are,
You are …)
Such things; we
Are not the damned
Are not the wise;
We are just
Visiting
Inside our bodies
Inside our lives
On spiritual vacation.

Can you
Accept your gifts?
Can you
Be these gifts
And
Not be corrupted,
Not be compromised,
Not be confused
Or whine like a puppy
Even as you sob
At all that you know
And are directed to accept?

You are,
You are…

Power and strength
Comes
From knowing,
Comes
From being,
Comes
From The Universe
Flowing
Through me via
The
Senses
Into
My soul
Connected
As I am to the Earth,
Connected
As I am to the seas,
Connected
As I am to the sky,
Connected
As I am to you.
We are just
Pipes through which
The Great Spirit flows;
You are,
You are…

 

© copyright 2016 John David Higham

 

Photo: Reflections  (DFW People Mover: February, 2016)

Little Minds, Little Minds

PHL to SETAC to Sedona 3 20 16 088

Little minds,
Little minds
Please don’t
Distort, defile, define
My reality;
I don’t need
Your language of violence,
Your language of oppression,
Your language of fear.

Little minds,
Little minds
Please
Go run and play with
Someone else’s soul
And leave mine alone;
I am not your playground.

Little minds,
Little minds
Your swirling evil
Blurs my vision,
Hurts my ears
And numbs my skin.

Little minds,
Little minds
Please:
I sojourn through worlds
That you won’t
Allow yourself to comprehend.

Little minds,
Little minds
Please
Let me bring you here,
But you have to
First
Free yourself
Of the violence that binds you
Of the oppression that binds you
Of the fear that binds you.

Little minds,
Little minds,
Thank you for being
And
Thank you for teaching
Me patience, serenity,
And temperance
Again.

 

© copyright 2016 John David Higham

I Saw Blank Pages

February 8 2015 Windfall 008

I saw
Blank pages,
Blank books,
Unfinished poems,
Unfinished synopses,
Unfinished pitches;
I saw them everywhere.

I heard
Unspoken dialogues,
Undeveloped characters
Unrealized plots;
I heard them all night.

Too many
Worlds were swirling
In my head;
Waking, dream, creative, mundane
Were all begging, stealing, fighting
For my attention, my energy, my soul.

Too much, too much, too much
In this writer’s world
Being pushed aside ;
Creative opportunities,
Artistic potentials
Flowing like floodwaters
In all directions
Across an infinite plain.

Will my passion shrivel
If I don’t overfeed it?
Will my magician
Cease making his magic?
Will enslavement
And mediocrity
Be mine?

Meditating,
I sought out
The Inner Voice,
The Universe,
The Great Spirit,
The Angels
To direct me.

Breathing in,
Breathing out,
Breathing in,
Breathing out,
Breaths cleansed me…

So loud the answer
Came to my consciousness:
“Temperance,”
“Temperance,”
“Temperance.”

I saw my smile.
I heard my bliss
And the worlds
Stopped swirling
In my head
So that I could once again
Write my soul’s poem.

 

© copyright 2016 John David Higham

Breath In, Breath Out (King of Wands and Skunk)

Tarot 3 3 16 002 Final

In the hours
Before the golden sun
Made itself known again to my eyes,
I sat in a Full Lotus
On my meditation cushions;
Breath in,
Breath out.

Breath in,
Breath out
Dissolved the litter
Of my waking world;
The bills
The commitments
The struggles
All faded
As the Inner Voice
Quieted my soul.

Breath in,
Breath out;
Two cards
I pulled,
Two directions
I know
On this day’s path.

King of Wands;
Embracing my strength
Embracing my confidence
Embracing my charisma
As I rule over my life:
Knowing that
I am today
The King of Fire.

Breath in,
Breath out.

Skunk;
Embracing my path
Embracing my self-respect
Embracing my charisma
Understanding other’s paths
Understanding other’s self-respect
Understanding other’s charisma
As equal to mine,
Experiencing each
As
The King of Fire.

Breath in,
Breath out
As the golden dawn
Evolved into blue skies
Evolved into stark white ground
I heeded these signs,
Thanked the Inner Voice
For these visions,
And flowed
Into my waking world.

 

(c) Copyright 2016 John David Higham

Ode to An Anonymous Christian

December 16 2015 The Moon 007 Final

At first,
Your email
Made
Me smile
At
Your curious tone
And
Ever so slight
Accusation regarding
My soul
That became
Your
Judgment.

Sadness I felt
At your omission of
Your
Christian name
As it did not fill itself in
Each time my eyes again
Made their way through your note.

You
Who hide
Behind
An email address,
Trying
To convert me
To
A way of thinking,
To
A way of believing;
You
Can’t even
Take ownership
For
This concern you have
For
My soul
In your God-given name.

I am not ashamed of my path.
I am not afraid of God.
I am not afraid
Of you.

So many useless questions
Come
To mind:
Are you ashamed of your path?
Are you afraid of God?
Are you afraid of me?

No matter:
To
You
I send love;
To
You
I send blessings;
And
To
You
I send
The Angels.

May
This poem’s readers
Also
Send you love,
Send you blessings,
And
Send you The Angels:
Namaste.

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…

 

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

PHL NOvember 11 2015 066

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.

When My Inner Wind

October 31 2015 Windfall 060

When my Inner Wind
Is no longer yelling
And I’m no longer
Pulling at this world
With all my letters and words.

When my hands
Are reaching for the sky
And I watch my fingers
Turn into sparkling dust
Woven into the rainbows.

When my lungs
Fill with more than air
And my thoughts stop
Stopping me.

When I become my dreams
And my prayers become buffalo
Bringing me abundant lightness.

When I see The Angels dancing
Just beneath my bedtime ceiling
And my eyes become otherwise useless.

When my minutes and hours mean nothing
And I am pulled away
From all those titles, histories
And objects that had defined me.

When my soul’s eyes open
Infinitely within each moment,
Seeing the subtly of the
Inner child inner breeze
And I allow all worlds
To flow through
Me one letter at a time.

When I am the loyal dog
To me and those on my path
That I may sound warning barks
As strangers approach
And I embrace their scent.
When innocence returns
Like a cascade of future recollections
And now empty past predictions
Moving beyond my intuitive self.

When meanings becomes meaningless,
Thoughts become music, and
Work evolves into whimsical play.

Then, and only then
Will my Inner Wind
Gently embrace you,
Gently embrace the many me
Without either of us knowing it.

Then is only here and now.
See The Hierophant
Is upside down…