“Insanity in the air”

Well, now it’s gotten dark
I got nothin’ to do
I walk wistful through the park
Wishing I could stop thinking of you

I stop in a teashop and find an empty chair
I look around and observe the scene
I try to absorb the tension in the air
Feels like not a soul in the place is at peace

Some people are on computers
And the rest are on phones
A few people sit by themselves
But no one lets themselves be alone

The lone man is suspect
The lone woman rare
I can’t help but detect
Insanity in the air

Abstract paintings on the inside walls
A real life hobo sleeping out on the curb
That cute cashier could be my downfall
I’d get up and talk to her if I had the nerve

All I wanted was to see it through
Now all I want is to be left alone
All you wanted was for me to be with you
Now all you want is to be well-known

The hobo sings a mournful dirge
The woman next to me gives a mighty sigh
I think how we three will never merge
And how difficult it is to be unified

The hobo is suspect
And brought to despair
Does it pain you to detect
The insanity in the air?

Bright college girls talking about their travels
Something about it all is making me sick
I wonder how quickly I can unravel
I wonder if anything I’ve learned will stick

Wish I had a pair of sweatpants
Seems like they’d be nice to wear
I feel like melancholia
Has got me in a trance
It won’t let me go or stay anywhere

I go outside and stand on the corner
I’m trapped and wrapped up in cyclical thought
I feel like some lonesome wordless foreigner
His only claim to fame a spot-on jump shot

The foreigner is suspect
The native is ensnared
Everywhere I go I detect
Insanity in the air

Thought I had something for a second
Well, I lost it fast
Tomorrow the weather will be sunny, I reckon
While I’ll feel frozen in the heartless past

Thought maybe things would be different
All I know now is that I was wrong
You know I can feel awfully deficient
Wherever I go I’ll never belong

I’m watching people and doubt their actuality
I’m watching myself slowly slip away
I thought I’d get better acquainted with reality
Now I wake up disgusted with the break of day

Everyone is suspect
Especially the solitaire
Tonight it’s clear and so direct
I can almost touch it
The insanity in the air

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Gratitude

For the mid-morning light that streams through the window as I write this,
Making even the cobwebs that span the length of the windowpane beautiful,
As they both reflect and let through the light,
Allowing the spiders to reside with me in this space.

For the chance to sleep in a bed, rising without alarm, when the body feels rested.
For melting snow that falls from cabin roofs
As sun warms January mornings in Arizona.
For the meeting I went to last night,
Men and women talking about falling,
About rising,
About warming up to themselves,
About connecting to the Source of all warmth itself.

There is much to be grateful for this morning.

For the bike I may ride later today,
For the physical strength I feel when riding,
For the time spent climbing up the steep grade,
And the time spent rocketing down.

For the time spent with those in the process of climbing up a steep grade,
For their path of salvation through pain.
For the hard and harsh road, the rocky road, the blocked road.
For all those who feel blocked and stunted,
For the passion and fire hidden in them that will not die,
For those who do not know who they are or why they are,
For those who knew and then forgot
And now are forced to seek to remember.

For memory:
Remembering late-May days spent on Delaware beaches,
Remembering late-December nights spent on black couches with cousins,
Remembering laughter and good food,
Remembering tears and good-byes.

For departures:
For sitting still on a train that is moving on,
For the westbound train that moves to the sea,
For the southbound train that moves to the desert,
For the northbound train that moves to the forests and mountains,
For the eastbound train that moves back to the hometown.

For arrivals:
For the restless excitement felt in a new place,
For the opportunity to uncover new facets of oneself,
For the sense that life is beginning anew.
Gratitude also for the sadness that underlies the excitement,
For the future departure that is attached to each arrival,
For the thoughts and feelings that come
When one stays moving, remains a traveler, an eternal transient,
Just passing through.

“Why I Am Here”

I am here to better understand why I am here
I am here to come nearer to what cannot be understood
I am here to suffer through three or nine unclear years
I am here to recover the silent knowledge for good

I am here to hear why I am here
I am here to be steered by the voiceless and lost
I am here to wait until a voice becomes clear
I am here to dance ’til the spirit stands aloft

I am coming to say less
Coming to mean more
I’m leaving to remember
What it is I’m living for

I came to marry memory and hope
I left to seek the unexplained
I returned to listen for the unheard note
When I leave,
I’ll lose
All I’ve strived to gain

I am here to better understand how I got here
I am here to stand still, listen to the creek flow by
I am here to let go of an illusion I’ve held dear
I am here to hold on to a truth that is not mine

I am here to see clearly what else is here
I am here to return, to remain, and to move on
I am here to look for home, like a dispossessed seer
I am here to turn towards an ever new dawn

I am coming to say less
Coming to mean more
I’m leaving to remember
What it is I’m living for

I came to listen for silence,
I left to speak softly with rain,
I returned to marry stillness and chaos,
When I leave,
I’ll have lost
All I strived to gain

I am here to better understand why I am here
I am here to give shelter, here to bring storm
I am here to feel the sun as the clouds disappear
I am here as the snow melts, as it loses its form

“Where to Go”

Not all passion can be seen
Not all love should be known
I can’t tell you what it means
When no one knows where to go

All I want is to want no more
All I can take is distance and lack
No one remembers where they’ve been anymore
No one makes it forward
No one goes back

Take it all far away from me
As I seek on the road what I can’t see at home
Take yourself far away from me
I’d be gone myself if I had anywhere to go

Not all people find their meaning
Not all bodies find the soul
When you tried to heal what needed bleeding
I knew I had to leave
But I had nowhere to go

All you want, you say, is to be who you are
We all want to give what none of us own
We all wish to be what none of us are
Where would you be if you had somewhere to go?

Bring it all back to me now
I’ve been at this too long
I need to relax
If you’d bring yourself back somehow
I could be myself
I could drop the act

Not all movement can be seen
Not all knowledge should be known
No one knows what any of it means
How could anyone know just where to go?

All you want is the whole world
All you can take is nearness and excess
You told me you were sure where I should go
All I had to know were the people to impress

Take yourself far away from me
All you tell me is all you’ve been told
Take it all far away from me
While I take my leave
As if I had somewhere to go