Worn Shoes

I dreamed of a night with stars above,
millions of other dreamers stood about me,
each shod with life’s tired worn shoes,
toeing the edge of a decaying precipice,
the shore to crossing the river Styx,
light, darkness – salvation, damnation,
is destiny mapped or do we have a choice,
when will we leave this path, to face
the calamity of our ultimate fate,
how are we ascribed in the book of life,
some say it is not for us to know,
is the scything dark angel  the only choice,
a life snuffed by the world’s insanity,
religious fervor screaming “God is great,”
there, now you have the arbiter,
it is emblazoned on every particle,
“Bless me Father for I have sinned,”
the wafer is stale, the wine is vinegar,
the priest has dirty finger nails,
rivers of blood ooze from the Bible,
from the Quran, from every word,
from every holy book ever written,
from the lifeless lips of children,
from the souls of mothers, fathers,
from the heart of self-righteous nations,
from the bowels of despots and bigots,
every opus a tome of contradiction
from which there is no salvation,
the beast of dogma opens its greedy maw,
all will be consumed by their beliefs,
the only contribution to their shrill voices,
a mountain of unlaced tired worn shoes.

©2017, Donald Harbour

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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

A yin without a yang

late one night
in the full moonlight
i saw a yin walking

to describe it well
is very difficult to tell
so I followed discreetly stalking

a yin without a yang
is a lost and lonely thing
as it strolled silently searching

it had fallen from a wuji
having lost its taiji
thus into the night it went sulking

there are people who think
yin yang a good and evil link
but that is not truly the meaning

without day there is not night
without dark there is not light
opposites make the obscure revealing

yin is the tranquil
yang is the upheaval
the balance of things changing

everything has duality
opposites of a single reality
a natural cycle of forces flowing.

as with sister and brother
with in us is the seed of the other
finding balance and yet opposing

seek in yourself where all things lie
as surely as they exist I am you and you are I
everlasting  taijitu the yin yang entwining

Copyright: 2010, Donald Harbour