I Haven't Given Myself

Going For A Ride 

Fogies In The Passing Lane  

Running In Circles 

The Mule Broke Down 

Dreamers And Dreamers 

Pressed For Time  


Blow Your Own Horn 

Angel And Devil:  My Cat  

Straight Arrow, Crooked Arrow 

All About You, Forever 

Father, Forgive Them  

Love And Peace 

Who Says Poems Are Just?

An Old Poet Blesses The Young Poets Of The World 

God Speaking:  Adjana Brought HIS Words To Me From a Mountain In My Dream  



I Havenít Given Myself


Now, it all comes to me:

The fear, the pain,

the confusion, the doubt,

the misery.

I havenít given myself to you.

Though I said I lived for you,

I used your name in vain.

I ran from you.

I rebelled against you.

I tried to take over Heaven

and sit upon your throne.

When I said "God",

I really meant me.

When I said "I serve God,"

I really meant

let me

get what I want.

I was like the moneychangers

in your temple,

desecrating your

holiness with my ego.

I wanted to be the

flag at the head of your army,

but I wanted that army to obey me,

not you,

to fight my battle,

not yours.

And every day

I was so afraid to die,


that my death would be like yours.

And that fear kept

me from doing your work.

I had to protect

the sun and moon and stars

as though it was I who

held them in their place.

I refused to accept the fact that I



Now, suddenly, ashamed, I realize:

I havenít given myself to you.

I am still hanging back.

You are on my lips, but not in my heart.

Like a man on the beach

who has just stepped into the thin foam

of a dying wave,

at the end of its power,

I have barely wet my feet in you.


I havenít give myself to you.


Like a woman - charming and clever,

with a low-cut dress,

flirting in the night,

with eyes like a waiting bed,

who suddenly says "NO" -

I havenít given myself to you.


Like a man who tells a

disconsolate friend, who calls him at midnight,

"Letís talk tomorrow",

I havenít given myself to you.


Behold the warriors of Islam,

who bow down to you,

and say, "For you, Iíll die!

Right now! Today!"


Behold the Christian Crusaders,

who say, "I will fight my way

into Jerusalem,

or may my body rot

on the road that

leads there!"


Warring fools

believe in you

enough to die.

But they donít know you.


I know you,

but I hang back.


Do the fires of the world

come from my lack of fire?


I havenít given myself to you.


All my prayers

were like letters

never written.

"O, I should write to _____";

but the paper stayed in the drawer,

the ink in the bottle,

until the days passed,

finally making what was needed

seem too awkward

to proceed with.


I havenít given myself to you.


And my deeds -

in my life, I did more hiding

than fighting,

though my hiding adorned itself

with bold colors,


and self-inflicted wounds

to give me an excuse

for failing.


I havenít given myself to you.


Great God,

can you ever forgive me

for my insincerity?

I swear, I didnít know -

I was fooled by my own act!

For my whole life.

I believed in my lie,

which is why I did

not change,

even as the world began to die,

calling out to me

with its disasters.

I thought you were my everything,

but I always kept you

at armís length:

I was never ready.


I havenít given myself to you.


Dear God.

Is there still time?


Will you still take me,

even though I waited so long?


Back To Top  




Going For A Ride





Carry me where

You want to.

Show me what

You want.

It wasnít what I was


but Iím beginning to see

that the controls


belong to me.

I was always told

"itís in your hands",

"want it, and get it",

like you were some kind of


if your fairy tale

didnít come true.

But now I see,

the power they say we have

is really Yours,

and nothingís in our hands

thatís not in Your mind.

And so,

Iíll stop crying

and working over the controls

that donít respond.

I see itís You

whoís doing the driving,

and thereís no button

or switch

that can reach You

at this moment.

And so, Iíll just sit back

and stop screaming "No!"

Iíll sit back

and let You take me where you

need me (or donít need me)

- to the top of Olympus,

or straight to the garbage dump.

Iíll sit back,

and take it all in,

through the window:

the slums You give me,

and the ghosts;

the bayonet dripping with blood (my own, I think),

and the endless good-bye;

the upside-down flag,

and the stolen statue.

The lost book

and the child, beyond the earth,

saying, "Why wouldnít

you be my father?"

The great vision

wearing chains,

spit upon by blind rodents,

smelling only their


The cold maze

of locked doors.

The pyramid that lied;

and the pharaoh still waiting

to be more than rotting flesh

and bandages.

The moon that canít be reached,

that always falls through oneís hands,

whenever one tries to lift it

out of the water.

The song that cannot pass

between the secret ear,

and the instrument it needs.

The stone above the treasure,

that canít be lifted.

The photograph of the beautiful woman

that you look at,

like a prisoner

looking at green hills

outside his window.

The happiness of others,

that you feel guilty for


(but you canít help yourself).

The needlemarks of illusions

all up and down the arm of the tired earth.

The city lights

whose light no longer reaches

your heart,

shining like make-up

that is coming off of an

aging woman,

who you never met

outside of the shadows.

The sense of end,

without completion;

unscrewing the inner light bulb

that has burned out

only to find

there is not another bulb

to take its place.

The empty street filled with litter

after the parade.

The silent stadium

where your team lost,

and your effort

to become somebody else

only left you stranded as you.

The pen without ink.

The pen with ink,

but nothing left to say.

The paperís hurt face looking back at you,

"I used to be a beautiful tree."

Suddenly awakening in the middle of the night,

realizing that nothing matters,

itís all about what game you play

before you die;

and the overwhelming urge to jump out of a window,

except that you know

you donít deserve that drama.


Yes, why torment yourself,

any longer,

with the desperation to go where youíre not going?

Sit back,

go where youíre taken.

Finally, let yourself be carried away.


Go on.

Take me where You want to.

Show me what You want.

Iíll sit back and watch

the landscapes of Your choice

roll by,

Iíll wear the clothes You give me,

and read the lines

of Your script.


All my life,

I tried to reach something beautiful,

and to get there by


But Your voice was always

there, like a closed door,

telling me: "Come with me, instead.

Weíre going for a ride."

All right, then. Fine!

Letís go!

You drive,

and Iíll stop trying to wrest

the steering wheel

from Your hands.

Iíll be the passenger

and weíll go for that ride.

Iím sure disappointment

is far more interesting than I imagined,

and even death

must be beautiful

once you stop running,

and just look into its eyes.


Back To Top  



Fogies In The Passing Lane



[Note: No offense to seniors! Iíll be coming your way soon enough, if I make it that far. Besides, the essence of being a "fogie" goes way beyond years. You know what I mean. - JRS.]



Itís a bad sign

when a fogieís

in the passing lane.


All that open road ahead

going right towards the sun.

You know if you could

only step on the gas,


get clear of all the

slow ideas,

and people who are just staring

at the lines on the road,

you could drive right into

those golden rays

before they disappear.

But here, the traffic

defines your life,

not the vision of the sky.

You have to go their speed,

and you can only get off

where theyíve put an Exit sign.

You honk,

and they donít know itís because

youíre a poet,

or an ambulance driver

rushing a patient

to the hospital

(and they donít recognize the

dying person inside:

itís them!)

Instead, they are offended.

They say, ĎDo you think youíre

better than us? If

we can do it,

so can you.í

They donít understand, at all,

how their slowness

is the most terrible form

of honking in the world,

how every inch of the road

your head is filled

with the sound of the silent honking

of them going nowhere,

forcing you to go nowhere,


They donít understand

how the darkening sky,

as the sun begins to outrun

your dreams,

is like the wailing of

a fire truck,


ĎMove over!

Clear the way!

Make room for someone

who wants to live!í

Instead, they continue

to clutter the road,

driving slowly to nowhere,

forever blocking out the

somewhere that you see.


Itís a bad sign

when a fogieís

in the passing lane,

and night is falling.


Back To Top




Running In Circles



Did you ever hear

about the man

who ran around and around

in circles

because he had

nowhere to go,

but still,

felt like he must

do something.

So motion

became his way

of tricking himself:


rooted to

the same spot.

ĎHow busy he is,

how active he is!í

all the neighbors exclaimed,

never realizing

that his


was just a way

of staying at home,

behind a locked door;

and that the man

who spent his whole life

sitting in a chair

just looking at the street,

had gone just as far

when the day was done -

even farther,

because in his stillness

he saw someone else.


Why cover

your paralysis

with motion?

Why disguise your lostness,

with a destination

that does not matter?

Why spend all your energy

running in circles?


Some circles

are like looking into a trick mirror,

they distort themselves,

until they seem to be straight lines.

In this way,

some people who think

they have gone all the way to the moon,

end up coming back

to the same childhood night

in their hearts,

and are swallowed up by the same sad loneliness

of the beginning.


Escaping takes courage.

Most escapes are only

ways of staying.

The familiar is more precious

than gold.

We donít want to leave.

We want to live it over and over again

until it comes out right,

even though it wonít,

even though it canít.

We would rather be in the car crash

that killed us,

and survive it,

than take another route,

or leave a minute earlier

or a minute later.

But each night

weíll die again.


I hear

a wizard came to a man, once, to say,

ĎHere is life.í

He showed it to the man

he was talking to,

so he would know

it was not a lie.

But the man would

have to break the enchantment

of his circle-walking

in order to reach it;

he would have to turn his back

on the circle center,

that was priceless

for its meaninglessness.

And so he told the wizard,

ĎThatís not lifeí,

even though he could see it sparkling:

Ďthatís not real,

what I have, here,

is life.í

And the wizardís gift

was deflected,

like a weapon of life,

by the shield of deathís power,

which was the blood

that ran through the manís veins,

and the vision

that his eyes

could not break;

for his eyes were captured by his fear,

and gazed

like a blind manís out into the world,

seeing nothing

but what was within,

which had already been



And so, the running in circles

went on and on,

until the runner finally convinced himself

that what he was doing


which convinced others.

They even named a town

after him;

which drew

another generation

into the circle, running to try

to catch up with him.

Of course, it wasnít the sacred circle

Iím talking about.

It was the one

below that.

The one with the squareís

spirit, but the circleís



Didnít you ever hear

this story?

Is this the first time?

Will it be the last?


Back To Top



The Mule Broke Down



The mule broke down.


You think:

She wasnít a mule.

She was a glass butterfly.

Because youíre still standing.

But believe me,

she was so much stronger than you.

You never knew

what a mule she was,

because you could only see her carrying the things

that you carry:

a job, a problem,

something broken,

perhaps a missing man.

You never saw the

hundreds of pounds of sensitivity

loaded onto her back,

wounded by so many tiny injustices,

beyond your comprehension;

you never saw the shadows and

the ghosts

loaded onto her back,

and the sins of her courage

which were never able to grow

in your soil of fear;

and the weight of the guilt,

that came from having such powerful wings.

Like a priest without red blood,

who could not fathom

Macbethís crime,

or Learís madness,

or Othelloís jealousy,

or Oedipusí overpowering desire

to be righteous,

surrounded by inadvertent misdeeds,

so her whole drama

was beyond your perception;

like ultraviolet light,

you could not see it,

so when you saw her fall,

you thought it was from nothing.

You thought Ďweaknessí

instead of Ďheroic deathí, like


holding the pass of life against the army of

the never-born,

until numbers finally overcame


and courage broke

under the weight of all the worldís



I wonder:

did you ever feel Atlasí shoulders

holding up the world?

You hold up your own little

unfeeling piece of the world,

and think that that is

what it is like for everyone.

ĎWhat is Atlas complaining about?í

you ask,

feeling resentful and superior.

Do not think that everyone

travels as lightly through the universe

as you.

And did you ever know:

you were one part of the world

that she was carrying?

Like a mother tucking in a

sleeping child in the night,

she put you in her prayers,


You were one more worry that she bore,

one more battle she had to



The mule broke down.


Yesterday, they bought the coffin

and said good-bye

without tears.

"So sad!" they said (still no tears).

"So young!

Maybe it was genetic.

She let things get to her."

Nobody knows

how strong she was,

how far she went

carrying the burden of her wildness,

the burden of our tameness,

the burden of the worldís shut eye

and her longing heart.

Nobody ever found the cuts,

deep in her flanks,

where the whip

of what we call "normal days"

had fallen, over and over,

trying to win her loyalty

to dreamlessness.


When you dream,

in chains,

it kills.


When you look at a star,

the mud you are standing in

becomes twice as deep.


When you have somewhere to go,

the road to nowhere

seems twice as long.


Your Disney World was her Dachau.

Your joys did nothing for her.

Your rewards were

like dry wells.


Hers was a delicate fairyís soul

placed inside a

beast of burden.

(The world made no compensation for her beauty.)

For her, the packs put on top of her

weighed less

than the dreams taken from her,

which she carried with her

everywhere she went,

like a dead baby

still cradled by

a dazed mother,

whose love

cannot be ended by reality.


You, my friend, were born

to be a mule.

Feeling nothing, you

can take pride

in all the useless weight

you carry

to nowhere.


But never say she was not as

strong as you.

For you never knew the weight

she bore,

the world she carried

upon her back.


She was a mule.

No -

a queen, trapped

inside a muleís body,

carrying back-breaking


every day,

past the throne

you would not

let her

sit in.


She was a mule.


Not a mule,

but a muleÖ


Youíll never understandÖ


Back To Top



Dreamers And Dreamers


Dreamers go with dreamers,

the attraction is irresistible.


Dreamers go with dreamers

until they both begin to fall.

And then, thereís no one

standing in the real world

to look out for them.


Theyíre like twins,

both blind,

none of them can see the blows

as they begin to come,

they just get hit.


Theyíre like hermits

joined at the hip.

And no one will let them on

the Ark.


Their mad music

is like the walls of their own home

torn down to make a fire

in the night

of rejection.

They didnít

fly high enough

to be offered

a chance to sell out.


And their hearts canít

go back.

Canít go back

to childhood,

when everyone still said,

"Good Boy",

"Good Girl."


Dreamers go with dreamers,

and itís like poison.


She should have danced into the

middle of the boredom of a rich man.

She shouldnít have

run away from his empty castle,

she could have filled it with herself.

Who needs a relationship,

when you can hear so many voices

in your head?


And he should have gone it alone.

Like a guerrilla

with no one else to bleed

for him,

just him and the bullets.


Now theyíre tangled up in love,

and their dreams are

banging on the walls of a prison

they canít escape from;

and they are each otherís



The acid of visions

is burning through the container

of their love.


Their arms are

like murder weapons,

and they know it

each time they kiss.


Youíve got to get out,

youíve got to get out,

the night whispers,

while they sleep together,



Who would have ever

thought that love could


That the dreams

that nobody else wants,

could split apart two lovers,

who went so far?


Dreamers go with dreamers,

the attraction is irresistible.


Dreamers go with dreamers,

until the real world catches up.

And then, the dream dies,

or the love dies.


Sometimes it doesnít matter which.


Either way,

itís the end.

Back To Top



Pressed For Time



My whole life

my head has been under

the guillotine of time.

I have been running

with something beautiful

from the shadow

of the clock

of my dreams running out.

Like a tree

with a beautiful blossoming

of cherries to give,

I have been struggling

to bloom

before the winter;

and for me,

the winter has always come early,

one day after the warmth

of my mindís sun.

I conceive a jewel -

and suddenly I am running

for my life,

from the robber

who wants to steal it.

Nobody sees the robber,

they call him

"just an average day";

but if they could see

the jewel

thatís swallowed up

by his harmlessness,

then they would join me

in my lament.

Look! Look! I want to scream.

Look at what they are doing to me!

Look at what they are doing to us!

But they see nothing,

because it is all still inside me.

All my life,

I have been running

because I have been trying to give birth;

but you canít give birth

while youíre running,

and so

the crime seems to be

nothing but a figment of my imagination.

And time is closing in.

Every day, closing in.

These words

are like bubbles

coming up from the bottom of

a lake

in which a man

is drowning.

Theyíre just a tiny trace of what is going on.

Canít anyone see?

Wonít anybody

lend a hand?


Back To Top   






Wherever I go


If they knew who I was

theyíd throw me out

in one minute.

Nobody wants someone

whoís so different.

Thatís fine for a crazy artist

dying on the street,

or a homeless bum

you throw a coin to,

just to hold him off.

Thatís fine for somebody

you read about in the newspaper,

whose strangeness

helps you to endure

your own normality

for a few minutes more.

But to have someone like that

working in your store,

right beside you,

or teaching your kids,

thatís something

too close to home;

thatís where you want to

have someone just like you.

And so,

youíll never know

whoís really here,

going along with the game,


pretending to be your shadow,

making sure

no trace of light

escapes from his soul,

to give him away.



Good morning.

How are you?

Good, and you?

Good, thanks.


Another day

heís slipped past

your guard.

He is his ID card

and his wasted life,

seeming not to know

that itís being wasted.


Another day -

another deception -

before he returns home,

to report to God,

and tell Him

whatís really going on

in His world.


Back To Top 



Blow Your Own Horn



Blow your own horn.

This is how itís done here.

If youíre quiet, you die.

If youíre humble,

they think itís because youíre


inside or out.


Blow your own horn.

Forget about your dignity.

Sell yourself

like a circus freak.

Build a ring of seats

around your soul

and hand out tickets.


youíll vanish

into the shadows.


Blow your own horn.

Here, genius and mediocrity

are determined

by the volume control,

hype is

the only substance

that they know.

This empty space

can be filled with gold

or mud,

so donít waste your time

begging the rivers for a few grains of gold

at a time,

or dig your way into

the side of the mountain

for the secret.

Thatís time lost you could be

blowing your horn.

Tell them your mud is gold

a thousand times,

and you wonít need to dig

for more than a minute.


Blow your own horn.

Keep quiet about yourself,

and youíll be like a goose

flying in the night

while they sleep.

Theyíll never realize

you have wings.


Blow your own horn.

Or else get ready to die


What they donít hear,


donít see.

What theyíre not told to

cherish, they wonít cherish.

Try to trick just one person

into running your way, and

before you know it, theyíll

all come running

towards you,

like you were the glowing sun.


Blow your own horn.


Yes, thatís right,

being a sun has

very little to do with shining,


Say "Hello, Iím the sun."

It will do you a lot

more good than giving light.


Blow your own horn

(Roland, blow the horn).


Blow your own horn.

I say this

because I love you.

Otherwise, I would

never ask you

to give up such a

beautiful (but deadly)

part of who

you are.


Back To Top 



Angel And Devil: My Cat



Youíre an angel to me

but a devil

to the mouse.


I see your sweetness,

like a small white cloud

appearing beside me

when I am lonely.


He sees a giant face,

a grimace of fangs,

and is overwhelmed by the smell

of his own death.


I see you sleeping,

then rising up to play

with a tiny ball.


He is that tiny ball,

a ball filled with feelings

and terror.


I see you jumping up

on the table, and

think ĎHow agile,

my little kangaroo!í


He wildly tries to run straight up the wall,

and your jumping

is like a pitiless retort

dismissing his



His jump is like someone exclaiming,

"I see a UFO!",

and your jump is like the voice that says,

"No, those are only the lights

of an airplane."


I see you beautiful,

sleeping beside me on my pillow,

embracing me like a lover,

with your paw.


He sees a sudden shape,

and is engulfed in horrible pain.


How can it be?

My angel,

his devil?

My gentle friend,

his cruel tormentor?


Two faces?


The two faces of the world.



and soldier.

My Country ĎTis of Thee,

and him.

My smile and

my gun.

My house with


and your house

in flames.


Brothers of the world!

Donít ever let your

power to love deceive you,

or console you -

for we, too,

have our mice.


Back To Top 



Straight Arrow, Crooked Arrow



Straight arrow.

Iím afraid to fly straight,

because I might land

in your heart.


Crooked arrow.

I always miss the target.

Itís my way of practicing

missing you.


Straight arrow.

I could leave everything behind

and just become pure flying.

I could eliminate all the distance

between me and my goal

by giving up the fears

and expectations

that turn yards into miles.

But what if my goal

became you?


Crooked arrow.

Like a bodyguard who leaps

between you and an assassin,
I leap between myself

and my dreams,

to save you.

I canít be trusted

with that accuracy,

with that power.


Straight arrow.

I could fly past the stars

and land into the heart of anything,

I could reach the state

where fear vanishes

and everything is connected,

I could reach the time before

the arrow and the target were separate,

the time when the arrow

and the target were joined together

like ecstatic lovers.

And I would not even need

to pull the bowstring.

All in a flash,

I could compress eternity

into my will

by becoming the part of the universe

that is an arrow,

and is everywhere.

But then, could I

refrain from forcing you

to change?


Crooked arrow.

I want you to be happy,

more than I want

my tribe to live,

more than I want

to emerge

from the darkness.

What is it about you?


Straight arrow.

Voices are calling for me

to fly true.

The eagle who gave his feathers

to my shaft

is saying,

I will soar no more in the sky.

I have given my soaring to you.

Donít let me down.


Crooked arrow.

But there, I missed - again!

Some say it is a curse.

"You must have made an enemy

of some witch,"

they say.

But I know itís not that.

I know that itís you.

My need for you is the curse.

Itís what keeps my arrow

missing the mark,

which guarantees

I could never hurt you,

by striking you,

or flying into the heart of something

you tried to reach

but never could.


Straight arrow.

What I want.


Crooked arrow.

What you want.


Crooked arrow.

What I want.


(I am sorry, eagle!

I am sorry, sky!)


Now I know the truth:

I would kill the universe

to defend you.


Itís what Iím doing

right now.


Back To Top  



All About You, Forever



Years of my lifeíve

been taken away,

while you were just sitting around

thinking you were the king

of the world,

wanting my problems to end, like wiping a piece of dirt

off of your crown;

wanting me to disappear

like an insect

into the ground,

whose bizarre life,

down where no one could see,

wouldnít get in the way

of who you were pretending to be.

And all your triumphs

just made me laugh:

they couldnít compare

to my singing

in the slave fields

that only the cotton heard.

And donít put it down

to sour grapes,

donít let yourself off that easy.

Your accidental mountain

turned you into a blind man,

while something a lot more beautiful

lay rotting at your feet,

the fruit the whole world wanted to eat;

but you left it there

to rot,

because your position

was too high

in the place that doesnít matter,

(but feels so good),

to ever stoop down and pick it up;

you were always busy, anyway,

for you one interruption

was like a knife stab,

so what chance did

a whole chaotic life

and all its despair

and stolen light


knocking on your door?

No, the alchemist

was too busy transmuting lead

into lead,

to feel the pain

of the gold

that wanted

to come into the world.

And I wonder

if you ever felt,

in the moments you were so happy,

how I was being cut

into pieces.

And I ask myself:

Did you never once hear

the duet of our lives?

Your joy

and my pain,

your success

and my disaster,

your contentment

and my frustration,

your vacation

and my cage,

your fulfilled obsession

and my murdered dream,

your life

and my death?

What a fierce and tragic concert!

But Iím sure

you never heard it.

Your life always

insulated you

from the worldís cries.

And you turned everything off that wasnít you,

like a TV

that didnít have

any good shows on.


Yes, Iím angry.

They say at the end

you should let it go,

but I leave the earth

knowing you were supposed to be me,

just like you always

wanted me to be you.

But you threw away

the chance I never got,

and worst of all,

you never cried once for me.

And even now,

when you think youíre crying for me,

youíll still only be crying

for yourselfÖ


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Father, Forgive Them



Father, forgive them.

They know not

what they do.


You were the best

and there you were,

hanging from a cross

and coming up with those



How did you do it?


I donít think I can.


Even the little nails

of my life

hurt too much.


Isnít it their job to know

what theyíre doing?


"Ignorance of the law

is no excuse."


Isnít a heart supposed

to be able to see in the dark?

Father, forgive them.

They know not

what they do.


Oh great!

Now what am I supposed

to do with my anger?

Just let it

burn a hole in me

from the inside,

while they make a hole in me

from the outside?

Or do you really think

I can just send it away

like opening a bird cage

in a field?

Well, my anger

doesnít want to fly away.

It wants

to stay.


Father, forgive them.

They know not

what they do.


What an example youíve set!

You climb up an impossible mountain,

and now

Iím supposed to follow?

Iím not a mountain goat.

No, not me!

Iím used to the valleys -

the valleys where you bleed

when youíre cut,

and anger is the soulís answer

to injustice,

and forgiveness

has a price - tears at least.

What kind of payment is it

to just be left

hanging on the cross?


Father, forgive them.

They know not

what they do.


Father, I know itís from weakness.

I know itís from blindness: their sins.

Theyíre handicapped.

I should be sympathetic.

But how can I be

when Iím in so much pain?

Why donít you take my pain away?

Why these

hot coals to walk over

on the way to forgiveness?


Father, forgive them.

They know not

what they do.


No, Iím sorry -

I canít!

I just canít!

Down here, on the earth,

in our language,

forgiveness translates into


Theyíll look at me,

dying sweetly, and say,

"Hey, this is easier

than we thought!";

and then, theyíll

do it to someone else.

No, they have to take out the nails, first,

and at least say theyíre sorry.


Iíll curse them to the end.


Father, forgive them.

They know not

what they do.


Well - no - I canít -

I canít go that far -

not as far as you.

But maybe -

if I look -

if I see the scars of the

nails that went through their hands,

on another day -

Iíll understand -

just a little.

Forgive them? - no -

or maybe.

Yes, maybe

Iíll forgive them

by not becoming

like them.

I wonít pass it on.

I wonít let these nails turn me into

the center of the universe.

I wonít forget

that other people have feelings

in their hands,

the next time

I see a hammer and nails lying around.


Father, forgive them.

They know not

what they do.


No. I wonít.

I wonít forgive them.

But Iíll let a little

pity enter my fury.

Iíll look into the mirror

of their souls,

until I canít see me.

Iíll let them

save me

from becoming them;

Iíll mix a little

gratitude into my


like sugar into

black coffeeÖ


Donít you see?

Youíre too great for me.

But this will be

one step in your direction,

at least,

my way of saying,

"I want to be like you,

but canít."


Father, forgive them.

They know not

what they do.


Father, please forgive me, too.

They donít know what it is theyíre doing,

but I do know.

And I just canít forgive them.


Please, forgive me,

even though I canít

forgive them.


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Love And Peace


The road to Love and Peace

is a road of thorns,

a road of darkness,

a road of pain

that drives you to the truth.


The sky of Love and Peace

is a sky of black clouds

hiding the sun.

The sun wonít come out

till the hail falls,

till the lightning lashes out,

till the thunder

shakes the earth,

and makes everything run inside

except the seed.


Love and Peace.

Love and Peace.

Love and Peace.


Love and Peace

wonít get here

till youíve walked through

the fields of anger,

red with rage,

and fallen into the pit

of sorrow,

black as night;

till youíve cried away

your pride and hate,

and felt as empty

as the millions of miles

between two stars,

whose light takes years

to even say a word

that has no warmth.


Love and Peace

donít live on the surface.


They live deep inside,

and you have to fall

through endless

black universes

to reach them.


Iíve seen men smile

and offer their hand,

then, the next day,

creep up from behind to

kill their own brother.

And the words on their lips

were Love and Peace.

I did it

for Love and Peace.


Thatís because they were impatient.


They wanted to possess the buried treasure

called Peace as fast as they could,

and dug everywhere for it

except in themselves.

They used the wrong map.

They brought their shovels to the

wrong "X."


And love - they couldnít

endure the sight of themselves

as they were, so they called their

lovelessness "love": and then,

there was nothing left to

look for.


And the Darkness laughed.

He wore the mask of their "love and peace"

as he burned the world



Love and Peace.

You donít find them in a minute.

Like a fisherman,

you have to sit by the deep waters

for hours,

waiting for the truth to bite.


Like the doctor who wants to heal,

you must be prepared to see

the ruined face thatís pulled out of the wreck,

and you must be able to love

its terrible disfigurement

enough to bring it back from the dead.


Even if itís your own face,

donít look away!


Like the loner

writing poems

outside the happiness

of the world,

you must have the courage

not to put on a mask,

just so you will be invited

to the party.

In the darkness,

you must light a candle

to the poison you have within,

and say, "Thank You for not being my God."


Love and peace.

Love and peace.


How many wanted them in a single day,

and lost them forever?


How many fooled themselves

with one act of kindness,

under which they tried to sweep

all the dust of their soul?


How many let blind men and thieves

become their guides,

and tell them they were right

when they knew they were wrong?


How many made the pact

to live on the surface,

and let others live on the surface,

while the depths

used them all

like pawns?


How many refused to believe

who they really were,

dismissing the hard offerings

of the truth

like a ghost story?


How many were asphyxiated

on the shore,

because they were afraid of drowning

in the sea? (They didnít know

they were fish.)


Love and peace.

Love and peace.


Donít think they are

easy to reach.

Youíre all born with them,

but they lie across the inner sea

between your two hearts.

Theyíre surrounded by giant snakes,

and guarded by dragons:

locked up inside the tower

of self-knowledge.

Youíll find them at the end of a long, hard


not at the

fingertips of a whim.


And this, my friend, is why I write

so many dark poems.

This is why I burn my bitterness

and rage

into pieces of paper,

leaving it, like the semen

of everything I do not want to sire,

in the body of

my awareness.

This is why, in my writing,

I am sometimes like a


raping myself with words

to produce

the monster child

that holds the key

to my beauty.


And this is why I sometimes seem to be

so angry at the ones who I love,

and so unforgiving.

I need to know that part of me.

I need to know it

so I donít become it.

I need to put it down where I can see it

and canít escape it.

I need to know where I am,

so I will know

where I have to go.

I need to reach the real

Love and Peace,

beyond the fake

Love and Peace.


Fake Love and Peace

is what is destroying the world.


And one more time, I say to those

I love:

it is because I love you

that I am angry at you.

It is because I love you

that your every insignificant act of cruelty,

or simple oversight,

has been felt like the ferocity of

a war.

These poems are

my way of saying

Why do you only love me

as you can?

Why canít you love me

the way I want to be loved?

Or is that only my own form of cruelty?


Love and peace.



I release you from my anger.

But only because Iíve felt it.

May God guide you and protect you,


and heal your soul

from the wounds

of my excessive need.


Love and Peace.

Love and Peace.


And now, to the world

(for you and I come from

the same place):




Love and Peace are born

out of darkness.

You wonít find them in the light:

not in that pale light

where youíre looking for them;

only in the burning bright light

that lies on the other side of



Look for light in the darkness.

In your darkness.

In your sorrow.

In your faults.

In your sins.

In your wounds.

In their wounds.


Take your little boat out

upon the stormy inner waves.


If your ship is smashed to


youíll know youíre on the

right track.


Love and Peace.
Love and Peace.


They donít come easy.


Only the fake Love and Peace come easy,

and theyíre what is destroying the world.

"Kill him for love.

Kill him for peace."


The real Love and Peace

come only at the end of

a long, long night.


The real Love and Peace

are what the world is

waiting for.


And you could be the one to bring themÖ


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Who Says Poems Are Just?



Who says poems are just?

Who says poems are fair?

Poems scream whenever a soul

is stepped on.

It doesnít matter if it was an


And it doesnít matter if the screaming

makes the accident

seem as if it were a crime.

Thatís unfair,

but it doesnít matter.

Poems have no sense of morality,

they just scream.


"Fire! Fire!" screams the soul.


The fire trucks come racing in,

but it turns out it was

all about something invisible.

Thereís no smoke,

except in the words.

Softer than a flyís legs,

a moment

landed upon a heart,

but the poem said

"Atom Bomb!"

No, itís not fair.

Itís a poem.


The poet sees a shadow in the darkness

and shouts, "Itís a monster!"

Then he sees

itís only the clothes he hung up

to wear the next day.

But in the poem,

the monster remains.

The fear is too beautiful to banish.

He couldnít bear to kill the magnificence of the mistake

by making a correction.

Like a perfectly-cut diamond,

it has to stay

just the way it came out.


Of course!

Itís a poem.


"Inexact," says the scientist.

"Unjust," says the politician.

"Unfair," says the priest.


The poem says,

who cares?

And the poet listens.

Because he is hopelessly in love

with the poem.


A captive of this most imprecise beauty,

he writes on and on,

no matter how much broken glass

his trance leaves behind.

He may not be fair.

He may not be just.

He may not know what he is doing.

But every once in a while,

he stumbles into


that justifies his callous irresponsibility:

the heart of who we are.

A lost piece of our dream.

And then, suddenly,

his delusions

become the oasis

of us all.

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An Old Poet Blesses The Young Poets Of The World



Theyíre bleeding words.

Their visions are coming out

as words,

and theyíre trying to bind

your wounds

with words.

Theyíre young poets

and the world wants to belong to them

as soon as it can.

Iíve been watching this egg

for a long time -

their egg,

the poetry egg -

wondering what will hatch out of it!

Maybe this generation

will be the one

we thought we were,

but found out that we werenít.

Maybe it will carry us,

like wounded soldiers,

out of the line of fire

of the world we left them,

to its own place

in the sun.

Itís that time of life,

before impossibility

has seized the throne.

The time when


still have a chance!

Poets are the horses

that pull the chariot of dreams

across the earth.

They are the flag

of every generation,

and it is the poet,

more than the general

or the king,

who decides the fate

of the world.

Though no one believes it,

the poem has the power of the

tide that swallowed Pharaohís army,

and the power of the manna

that kept the dreamers alive

in the desert.

A time without poets

is dead.

And death, with a poem,

is life that

never ends.

That is why I stand,

today, and every day,

beside the poetry egg,

giving my prayers and thanks

to every new poet

who comes out of the shell

of silenceís safety,

into this wounded world

that needs a song.


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GOD Speaking: Adjana Brought HIS Words To Me From A Mountain In My Dream



When you see the sunrise,

it is God saying, "Good morning."

When you see the moon in the sky,

it is Godís light shining on you

in the night.


When you hear the oceanís waves

pounding on the shore,

it is God trying to reach you.


When you see the stars,

it is Godís way of giving small gifts to you,

even in the middle

of your darkness.


When you hear a bird sing,

it is God telling you

you can fly.


When you see a fish

swimming beneath the crystal-clear waters of the sea,

it is Godís way of saying,

Immerse yourself in me.


When the wind blows,

it is Godís way of saying,

Donít be trapped in yourself,

listen to what is coming

from far away.


When you find a seed in a fruit,

donít think it worthless,

it is Godís way of saying

itís time for you

to give birth to something:

put it in the earth.


When you see a tear fall,

itís Godís way of saying,

"Go there."


When you see a blind man

struggling to walk,

itís Godís way of

showing you yourself:

but you are too blind to see!


When a fierce storm comes

and shakes the earth,

washing away peopleís homes

and dreams,

itís Godís way of saying

Look at what youíve done!


When the spring comes,

it is Godís way of saying,

Isnít it time?

You can do this, too,

with the heart I gave you!


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