On the anniversary of the start of a war one feels almost compelled to speak to its horrors, its cause, its effect. But we live in an age where wars are plentiful, when peace is the exception and war seems to loom around every corner. So on this anniversary I watch the snowy egret stare into the pond outside my window, the great bird calmly imagining that in her world all of the people are merely fish.
I sat with the ghost again
this morning, the one who inhabits
the body that was once my father.
Ghosts find it difficult to speak
from within living bodies, so mostly
it squeezed my hand and offered
an occasional weak smile or nod,
said I looked good, but ghosts do have
trouble seeing out of human eyes.
He slept quite a bit, curled up
the better to contain himself
against the lights and prodding,
for ghosts want only silence and peace.
For on this day there is no peace, for on this day some are laid to rest, for on this day others shed endless tears, for on this day many are wringing hands, for on this day many offer hollow words, for on this day they know they should act for on this day they know they will not, for on this day we think about tomorrow, for on this day we think of those without tomorrows, for on this day the sun did rise, for on this day the earth did rotate, for on this day God was elsewhere, for on this day we were all too human.
In memory of the lives lost and changed forever at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
She only wants to know
what lies deep within silence.
He says he imagines it
is a place he can never visit
locked away from humans,
whose minds deny the quiet.
She says she is willing
to continue the search,
for even if she cannot find it,
she may find something like it,
and that respite would
be sufficient for her.
He says he fears silence,
for the loss of all
of his delusions would be
far too much for him to bear.
They stood at the altar of the ancient temple and prayed for peace. They lit the joss bundle and placed it in the great cast iron burner. We all bathed in the smoke of a hundred bombs falling in perfect harmony.
It’s all a question of knowing where to look for one, but ask what would you do if you stumbled across it. It’s not a simple decision, nor should it be. The better question still is how you will know when you finally find it, for it is marked only deep within your heart.
Lao Tse, venerable one you would be pleased as I sit here drawing closer to the center quested for my Buddhahood be not seeking it amid the rain of fire from the hills above the blood congealing in the streets. I know not to ask and am unseen by the child and mother running through the street and untouched by the hail of ammunition biting at their heels. I smell the lotus mixed with the cordite giving scent to the morning and in the clouds see the approach of understanding.