This poem speaks to a lifelong journey with my oldest friend Robert. We have known each other for close to thirty years. In the Interior When you le...
You ride the silent subway from Spanish Harlem to the Bronx at 4 a.m. fists pound on the empty seat beside you face-hardened like a solider in combat lips locked tight
I want you to see me as a human being. Not as a check written in the amount of 35 dollars a week. See daddies are supposed to be like a hero but heroes should never replace your dad.
During my father's slow avalanche to death, my brother was a tireless advocate on his behalf, a bodhisattva in the way he cleared debris and made things easier for everyone around him. I was in a plane over the Pacific Ocean when I finally wrote this poem for him.
That our heart can receive and hold anything and that we feel that the intensity of living is too much to bear is a paradox we can only live into. Under what is both unbearable and endlessly uplifting is the murmur of life.
Kindness and suffering are wordless teachers, ready to bend us and soften us until we accept that we are here; that, try as we will, we can't build our way out of existence or dream our way out of being human. Once opened in this way, we come to realize that the only way out is to love being here.
The normal way we meet the world is full of bumps and bruises and noise that scratches up the heart. And yet, if we can endure and lean in, we are widened and opened to a depth that weaves the tissue of the Universe together.
An old friend died several years ago. At the time, I wrote this poem. I still can't delete his phone number from my contact list. To do so would seem so final, but I also still feel in contact with him.
We have only a few seconds to love the wonder out in the open or those we meet will swallow it. Seconds to let this timeless resource come into our knowing so it can save us from the brutality of surface living.
In the days after my father died, there were many quiet moments and many stories told. It was a small thing my mother said while crying over tea that allowed me to connect these small stories of my great-grandfather, my grandfather and my father. I never realized that they form a legacy I'm a part of.
The Music We Make It's about the music of our voices. I want to be able to see in notation and hear my voice when I speak The musical notes of my vo...
When I remember that I'm one small part in a very complex and numinous Whole, I may feel frustrated but I feel engaged in an ongoing process of aliveness that keeps demanding my cooperation.
Part of everyone's journey in life is to arrive at precipice or fork in the road or at the end of a path and to realize we no longer know our way. Hard as this is, this is where the inner journey begins, when all we've carried has served its purpose and now we must burn it for warmth and to see what's next.
The influence of reading him became the influence of knowing him. Baraka, the poet, playwright, essayist, and activist who died last week at the age of 79, embodied one of the most important periods in the evolution of American literature: Civil Rights.
My father used to quip that old is always 10 years out from wherever you are. I'm 62 and to think of how old I once thought this was! What I'm learning is that age is not the distance from the beginning of our lives but the distance at any moment from the heart of our aliveness.
No matter what we're going through, the opposite is happening somewhere else at the same time. This awareness doesn't minimize our own experience but adds context and medicine to the truth of any given moment, the way a rip in the curtains we have drawn seems like a violation of the privacy we so wanted though it is only letting the light of the world in. This poem tries to understand this paradox.