Words to live by

However many holy words you read,
however many you speak,
what good will they do you
if you do not act on upon them?
Whatever words we utter
should be chosen with care
for people will hear them and
be influenced by them for good or ill.
Better than a thousand hollow words,
is one word that brings peace.
In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west;
people create distinctions out of their own minds
and then believe them to be true.
The way is not in the sky,
the way is in the heart.
A jug fills drop by drop.
Every human being is the author
of his own health or disease.
To understand everything
is to forgive everything.
In a controversy the instant we feel anger
we have already ceased striving for the truth,
and have begun striving for ourselves.
No one saves us but ourselves,
no one can and no one may,
we ourselves must walk the path.

This poem is written with the words of a man named Siddhārtha Gautama, the Buddha. I am not a Buddhist however if one were to internalize his words, they would change that persons life forever. It is that simple. May they bring you reflection and peace.

©2015, Donald Harbour

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I believe in change, nothing more

Change, we all change, life
is change. From the day of birth
change begins, we are a journey
of change. As a caterpillar becomes
a chrysalis to emerge a butterfly,
we exist in this cocoon of life to
emerge, changed. Our reality is death,
change from the material to the ethereal,
not an ending, a beginning, a wondrous,
marvelous participation in spiritual
evolution, our eternal existence,
the movement of energy through time
and space. The joining of the eternal
common thread. It has always been,
what has always been, and, it will
always be eternal. In change we
will once again join the spirituality
of creation’s cusp, to be born again.

©2015, Donald Harbour

A lonely night walk home

A path across stone laid earth
Is the shortest path to home,
Where plastic flowers strewn about
There only lonely spirits roam.

In late October a frosty chill
Cast dead leaves upon the ground.
Sycamores stand with boney branch,
Here only deathly silence abounds.

One must have a brave stout heart,
To travel through this damned place.
The graveyard of embalmed bodies,
Where their lives lost the final race.

It is known, as it has always been
Some spirits are want to never leave.
Their lot to wander twixt heaven and hell,
Moaning in desperation as they grieve.

Mortals may never see them reach
Nor be touched by their icy grip.
But, there are those that do return
When upon the portal of death they trip.

Have you walked the path of which I speak
Feeling that you are accompanied there?
Wisps of mist catch your furtive glance,
Imagined rags dance in the dank night air.

You feel a tightness around your spine,
The beating heart pounds in your ears.
And though you try hard not to believe,
Your quickened step belies your fears.

It is then you are the most vulnerable,
When you cannot catch your breath.
That dark place in our distant past
Shouts you are in a place of death.

Listen, are those your footsteps?
Hear them echo in the dark behind?
Is it only just imagination lurking,
A symptom of your frightened mind?

©2015, Donald Harbour

Wine of life

The pharmacology of life
is the ancient fermented grape,
tritest  of the holy Omar Khayyam,
a diner at Charlemagne’s plate,

Bacchus to Caesar’s copulate sins,
blood of the Christian Christ,
the sacrament damned by its purity,
barbarian and cannibalistic.

Hypocrisy of Protestant dominion,
the sangria of death in the bull ring,
Trousseau Noir of bastard Kings,
parlance of the French Paradox.

Thou nectar of the drunkard’s vine,
sweet covenant of life stupor,
deceitful beggar of  a wise man’s reason,
damn you for our own weakness.

You are a  coward of the living
sacramental remembrance of the divine,
dispenser of the opiate for the masses,
your prophet guards the gate, but

hell is the companion of his deceit.
Religion is not a substitute for truth,
Wine endures, long after the Kiddush
thus the vine will forever survive.

©2015, Donald Harbour

This old house

Forever, an old house has stood in a field,
A grey silent sentinel ghost of the past,
It stands consumed by the morning fog,
Leaning imperceptibly, it is unperturbed,
The house knows its value, its purpose remains,
People may forget history, the house will not,
Lives passed through  its doors and rooms,
Children once scampered and played on its porch,
Lazy hounds escaped the summer heat there,
How many meals were cooked in its kitchen,
What joy gathered there in its dining room,
It has seen men go off to war, never returning,
It has heard the moan of birthing pain,
Then, swelling with the cries of a newborn,
Silenced, Sunday hymns once sang its song,
Where old men whittled, a possum or two live,
A tree is growing up  though the porch floor,
Now forlorn, passed by, it is indistinguishable,
Time is swallowing it year upon year,
That boundless cavern has eaten its heart,
Its eyes to the outside world hollow, glass-less,
The house will slowly collapse into the earth,
While it stands, it holds the vault of memories,
But, just as the house, memories die with time too,
When they are gone, only the debris of life remains.

©2015, Donald Harbour

Only a shard

I know it is hard for some,
their life a distant companion,
solitary, plodding, unyielding,
notable events become cairns,
markers in time to which we return,
in returning we know where we are,
but not who we are, why we are,
then moving to the next stone pillar,
absorbing where we have been,
it is a purposeful circling,
fear of losing the path, stumbling
in the rut of loneliness,
we forget to look up, there is
wonder all around us, by it we are loved,
to change life’s path one must,
change your gaze, that which
fills your heart arrives,
through the soul’s eyes, your eyes,
there is time for you, time,
to wrap yourself in your being,
the marvel of your existence,
kindling the spark of your spirit,
one bright shining shard of flame,
that when given a chance could
consume the whole world by it’s own
awareness, you are that shard.

©2015, Donald Harbour

So mote it be

Today, spoke I to a man old in the woods,
spoke of stones in the dark forest,
stones that knew of humankind and time,
spoke of ancient age before now.
before what we have written,
spoke of before what we call known,
these stones mottled with aeons,
weathered by the earth and its work,
these stones remembered and watched,
remembered and spoke of past before,
these scribes of the giant cataclysms,
watching the ancients descend to earth,
eyes of granite open to the past,
watching the unfolding of the future,
knowing what passed would again be,
watching the sons of soil in greedy toil,
brethren to the manna of Mother Earth,
descendent of the distant stars,
brethren to the woodland creatures,
now unknowing of who or what they were,
brethren of the stones, woods, water,
I am you, you are I, we are eternity,
spoke these watching brethren,
and thus the Gods said so mote it be.

©2014, Donald Harbour