Deepest Night

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In the deepest night when the dark is darkest
The roar of the wind threatens to blow away the world
My dreams have been chased away by nightmares
The mouth made cold by words I cannot speak.

The eyes can only see the diabolical
The skin turns so brittle that even a butterfly’s touch
Makes it crumble
And dissolve into the desert sands.

I would be lost if I moved, but instead I freeze
Or worse, turn circles counterclockwise as I try twisting
Into the barren sheets in search of elusive sanctuary.

Waking alone, blue skies postponed and cancelled
Memories now prisons and plans now absurd fantasies
Flaming wreckage from all my tumbling castles
Obliterating the path and hindering my progress.

My house no longer a home in my empty bed
But still I rise and find that day, find that sunrise
That only I can see, that only I will celebrate.

May you never suffer my deepest night
The eternal strength it gives me
The optimism and hope growing stronger
After my every infinite sojourn through Hell
And re-emergence with soul and scars glowing.

© 2017 by John David Higham: All Rights Reserved
Photo: Desk (Windfall, PA: January 27, 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)

The Lynx, The King, The World (Lights within Shining)

July 14 2015 Sedona and Phoenix 093

The lynx, the king, the world
(Lights within shining):
No simple trio,
These three
Making themselves known
In
A brilliant burst
Of
Light
Like a volcanic rainbow
Descending
From the Heavens,
Ascending
From the Earth:
Heaven to Earth,
Earth to Heaven
Celestial current
Passing through
Me,
A spiritual wire my body.

Behold
The spirit manifesting
The lynx,
The king,
The world.

The lynx, the king, the world
(Voices within calling):
Asking within
Telling within
Showing within
Faster and faster
The insights they bring
Tickle my consciousness
And
Move me beyond thinking
Move me beyond knowing
Move me beyond the mundane
And
Immerse me
In the profound stillness
Of this moment unending.

The lynx, the king, the world
(Awareness within emerging):
The secrets within
The secrets without
The secrets of past
The secrets of now
I
See in the faces
Of
Strangers no more,
I
Hear in the unspoken whispers
Of
Wounded children healing,
I
Touch in the flesh
Of
Still weeping souls.

The lynx, the king, the world
(Trumpets within blaring):
The song within
The dance within
The wonder within:
Be aware
How it connects
The you
To
The me
Vibrating
Vibrating
Vibrating like waves
Across
This universe’s spectrum.

The lynx, the king, the world
(Wonder within growing):
The eternal immersion
In
The
World of wonder
So
Taken by the what ifs,
So
Taken by the how thens,
So
Taken by the new worlds
Opening
All around me.
I,
No longer the hermit
No longer ashamed
No longer desperate
No longer
The lone
Prisoner
Of
My prisoner’s perspective:
HA
HA
HA!

The lynx, the king, the world
(Limbs within moving):
Dancing among abundance
Celebrating
All
That is good,
All
That is right,
All
That is blissful
As
The tower collapses
And
Brings
Evolution,
Bliss,
Redemption.

When the Mountain in You Moves (When the Mountain Comes Alive in You)

When the Mountain in You Moves

When the mountain in you moves
(When the mountain comes alive in you)
And
You know that you know
Beyond words
Beyond thoughts
Beyond feelings,
You are strong beyond strength
Aware beyond aware
In the here
In the now
As boundaries
Between
You and me,
Between
Them and us
Evaporate.

When the mountain in you moves
(When the mountain comes alive in you)
And
The mountain in you quakes,
Shattering strata
That have settled and pressed
With all the weight of your fear
With all the weight of your inertia
With all the weight of your loss
With all the weight of your shame
With all the weight of your regret
With all the weight of your disappointment
With all the weight of your grief.

When the mountain in you moves
(When the mountain comes alive in you),
It does not hear
It does not regard
It does not abide
All the trees and grasses
That found purchase
In the compromises of your soul
In the compromises of your body
In the compromises of your mind.

When the mountain in you moves
(When the mountain comes alive in you)
In
Unison
With sun and moon,
In
Unison
With Raven, Eagle and Owl,
In
Unison
With love and acceptance,
In
Unison
With faith and surrender;
You will know beyond thinking
You will listen beyond hearing
You will speak beyond talking
And love beyond feeling.

When the mountain in you moves
(When the mountain comes alive in you),
You will make
And
Erase valleys,
Crush oaks
And
Scatter new seeds
In
Your time
Of
Your liquid bedrock.

When the mountain in you moves
(When the mountain comes alive in you)
And
You create fresh sands
And
New peaks to look upon your world,
No dreams of stone
No dreams of mud
No dreams are needed,
And when who you were
Is
No longer needed by who you now are,
Then you are
The mountain you need to be
The mountain you must be
For another momentary eternity
Until
When the mountain in you moves
(When the mountain comes alive in you)
Once again…

Who I Was Is Not My Dawn

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Who I Was
Is Not My Dawn

Who I was
Is not my dawn
He has died now
I must grieve.

Who I was
Is not my dawn
His eyes seeing fear
When looking about.

Who I was
Is not my dawn
His ears listening
For intruders hidden.

Who I was
Is not my dawn
His mind building
Cages for his soul.

Who I was
Is not my dawn
His body is cold
On this humid morn.

Who I was
Is not my dawn
The service over
And dirt shoveled.

I am my own dawn
I am not afraid of me
Wherever my path
Will be.