"If you want to understand the beauty of a bird, a fly, or leaf, or a person with all his complexities, you have to give your whole attention which is awareness. And you can give your whole attention only when you care, which means that you really love to understand -- then you give your whole heart and mind to find out."

–-- J. Krishnamurti

Waking Up the World

It is a strange time, he said to me.
No one can ques­tion that.
Dai­ly life goes on,
but against a frac­tured background.
Trust is naive, would­n’t you say?
And our imag­ined, much laud­ed future
for a long time’s been lit­tle more
than a bro­ken puzzle.
Prob­lems have mount­ed, would­n’t you say?
A pile of fire­wood just wait­ing for a match?
Mean­while, thankfully,
our great­est mys­tery, the carousel
one day start­ed turn­ing backwards
and the cal­liope kept drowning
itself in its own gar­bled song,
and when we looked into them
the mir­rors found for us
ter­rif­ic belief and a fabulous,
rid­er­less dark horse that might save us
as we rode in cir­cles, grasp­ing his mane.
Indeed, in such a world no one
is tru­ly safe or sound, don’t you think,
and we are tired, but not too tired to fight.
Would­n’t you say it’s the others,
their des­per­ate denials and illusions
that have become our fond­est beds?
Why should those oth­er refugees
get all the atten­tion? What about
the rest of us, don’t you think?
I promise, all too soon
the anx­i­ety will find you out, too.
Don’t you see how even now
some­one may be com­ing to shoot at us?
Thank­ful­ly, we have our rights to violence
and here we are, as if in a dream,
though the carousel retreats beneath us into space.
We, the mar­tyrs, are always des­tined to
fall and shat­ter like glass,
unknown, poor us, on the acid sea.

Isn’t this what your ter­ror­ists have done? he proposed.
Dri­ven us out of fact, shriv­elled us away
from any­thing at all to count on?
Rise then your patri­ot­ic ban­ner and shout –
for that is all that will pro­tect you.
Look askance at those dif­fer­ent than yourself.
Hope to have more mon­ey and anoth­er loaded gun
by the end of the year. Play this lot­tery, won’t you?.
Keep your head down and teach your children
to chant their prayers in darkness,
con­demn­ing the ene­my because
it’s tru­ly not our fault.

At that, he turned to me and asked –
with­out a trace of bit­ter­ness at all –
Don’t you think it’s time to finally
wake up this world?

Sea at Manzanita
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One Comment

  • Nice.

    I [unchar­ac­ter­is­ti­cal­ly] have lit­tle more to add, except, perhaps:

    When you’re dream­ing with a bro­ken heart
    The wak­ing up is the hard­est part”

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