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

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

What do we live

If I stepped into the void
would you follow, would you
trust what you have been told.
If tomorrow was to vanish
would you grieve the loss,
never knowing what was to be.
If as leaves leave the tree
we flutter aimlessly through time,
does chance or time guide destiny.
If all we are is eternity’s dream
does anything really matter,
when ultimately we sleep forever.

©2013, Donald Harbour


No beginning, no ending

Tibetan endless knot

There is no beginning, there is no ending, there is only existance.

that which is unknown
that which cannot be known
gathered up the ends of eternity
binding the path of spirituality
with the undulations of time
capturing its changing movement
gathered it all together
interweaving with serenity
into the endless knot of infinity
the knot had no beginning
nor did it have an ending
there laid it upon the divine
that which is infinite wisdom
became the matter of creation
in the emptiness of existence
began the endless cycle
suffering birth death re-birth
inseparable from its ritual of being
that became compassion
giving light and meaning to the void

© 2011, Donald Harbour

This I know

My wife Irma.

I do not know my worth,
That is for others to value.
I do know what is in my heart,
And what is in your smile.
If the world came to an end,
If today was our last,
This moment would be as always,
To take this into eternity,
All that I have to give.
Is not worldly bonds,
Is not a promise or gift,
It is an everlasting possession,
All there has ever been,
That I have ever needed,
That has nourished me,
Manna, which has succored me,
In sorrow, pain, and defeat,
In joy, triumph, and peace,
It is you, my cherished wife,
With my life, I love you.
By my last breathe,
That is enough for me.

© 2021, Donald Harbour

Leave me as I found me

when I go I will
leave me as I found me
scattered shards along
the boundary of eternity
a mythological has been
trapped in the cusp of nature
mounded dust and dirt
placed to trip the unwary
words fluttering across
machine made cyber pages
the bitter bile of life
turned to sweet love
hold your heart in your hand
now repeat after me
when I go I will
leave me as I found me

© 2010, Donald Harbour

A gift of knowledge

I hear your whisper in my heart and it is filled with joy.

There is turbidity swirling in the mind,
If One could but shine a light upon it, all would clear.
This cloud cast between thinking and knowing,
A closet door to beyond, to understanding.
There is prayer and meditation, seeking, never finding,
Never able to really see past this occlusion,
Just out of reach the finger outstretched,
Never meeting the seekers grasp, never fulfilling.
It is a veil so diaphanous and yet so vast that,
Time and the stars do not pierce the curtain.
We have but one instance to know the truth, this
Eternal wisdom that balances all creation.
One instance to know, to see, hear, become,
A gift of knowledge from which we shall never return.

For it too will end

Can there be so much in life
that bounds about as a playful puppy,
unknowing of consequences, tongue licks?
There was a time when forever
seemed so distant that time could not,
would not approach its threshold.
But, forever is not, it is approached.
It passes so quickly that, what was
so far down life’s road, becomes the
knowable present, and the past.
So much that could have been said,
was so much tossed in the ditch of life.
Father, why did you not listen?
I the fruit of your loins only
wanted to be heard, to find truth
in myself, the unknown of tomorrow.
You were unwilling, uncomprehending,
unassailable in your world of complacency.
What one word of recognition, of encouragement
would have been the spark to ignite
this unrealized tinder with in?
The silo I burned was not out of vengence.
Poised as a rocket to pierce the heavens,
I chose to see if a silo could fly,
chose to see if trailing sparks
it could reach far beyond my dreams.
It collapsed into cinders, glowing
embers to which no one would confess.
That act of joyous elation cleansed what
I did not want to share with the world.
What was lost father? Was it the crime
of being a child seeking the moon’s attention?
The night has closed around two lives
unfulfilled, ungratified, blameless.
Passing to go unnoticed as dying grass
at the edge of winter , lost to the dust
from which we are and to which you returned.
So goes life whispering a plaintive ‘why’.
The sum of a newborns first gasp of air,
the silo’s imprint no longer visable, unanswered.
We are as grass that grows eternal in spring,
each a single blade among the many, silos
consumed beneath the moon by winters chill.

Copyright: 2010, Donald Harbour

A world in a raindrop

I caught a drop of rain in my hand,
watching a universe course and traverse
the creases in my palm.

The weight of eternity bore down upon me,
a shouldered rucksack of forever
treasured in a speck of water.

How many worlds did I command?
How many lives lived with love, tragedy,
hope, ignorance, did I hold?

A Kabbala of truth written in the moisture,
the simple knowing that I did not know,
mystical, terrifying and incomprehensible.

As quickly as it had arrived it was gone,
absorbed by the existence that held it,
I the dark primal edge of the unknown.

That is when epiphany shook me to my very soul.
We all are worlds unto ourselves, raindrops to be
absorbed by the flowing waters in the Cusp of Creation.

Copyright: 2009, Donald Harbour