Anguish comes when we mistake
The image in the glass in front of us
For our true selves.
Or when we clothe ourselves
In words and gestures
Accomplishments and failures
Condemnation and regret,
Taking those adornments
To be what we truly are.

We despair when we tether ourselves
To treasures and trifles
Secrets and sweethearts
Ambitions and action,
Letting them spin us overhead,
Straining the attaching cord,
While apprehension penetrates us
That the line will snap
And we will fly frightfully away.

Our hearts grow sick
In the noisome miasma
Of dread and tedium,
Fears and foibles,
Aversions and disgust.
We inhale the poison of revolt
And sicken our spirits,
Which absent themselves,
From the faithful light
Of our precious hours.

The rich palette of life goes gray
When the illusory apparition of death
Takes false life in us,
Obscuring the eternal moment
That moves through our finite frames.

Thus we suffer when we know not
The true nature of things.

But, ignoring the mist before us,
For moments brief and growing,
We restore ourselves to what we truly are
When we close our eyes
And join a timeless presence
We might easily mistake
To be separate from our being.

I am participating in the Slice of Life Challenge sponsored by Two Writing Teachers.

8 thoughts on “Secrets

  1. It feels almost disrespectful to throw down a few sentences and run. What’s interesting to me is the atmosphere of reverence that your poem both creates and demands. It feels a bit like entering a church (as a metaphor for a contemplative space). We are called to observe and reflect, to pause and notice. And indeed I notice my own resistance to do exactly that; the resistance to sitting with myself and my thoughts and my awkward discomfort with those things. The words I’m groping for are probably “thank you.”

  2. Well! I did not expect my post today to be one that would reach many people. Your response to it truly moves me. I deeply appreciate your having read my poem and commented so meaningfully on it.

    Also, I have read two of your posts, and must say thank YOU. I will be leaving comments there.

  3. Holy moly! Where to begin? I loved this but most especially, “Obscuring the eternal moment that moves through our finite frames…” The is a resounding yes to the divine in all of us and all living things, and reminder of how hard we have to work to keep and honor that reality as OUR reality. So much here…. thank you ….

  4. “Ignoring the mist before us”
    I love this line. Your whole poem changed for me when I read it. It can truly be a mist, the demons can be a mist. And we can choose to ignore it. Wonderful!

  5. Your blog and writing is quite remarkable. This poem and Sherri’s comments really stuck with me. I started thinking about my own learning in reading the many posts made for the March challenge on Two Writing Teachers. I learned from these lines where I lingered for a while:
    “Letting them spin us overhead,
    Straining the attaching cord,
    While apprehension penetrates us
    That the line will snap
    And we will fly frightfully away.”
    I started to look up the definition of “apprehension” and was immersed in finding meaning. Thank you for this.

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