Intense

You are pure passion,
vibrating energy,
infinite love.
You are a brilliant, blinding force,
intense by your very nature,
but the world has taught you
to feel shame for being “too much”,
to hold yourself back,
shrink and shrivel,
to recalibrate,
accommodate
those that can’t handle
your power.
So you find other outlets –
locked doors,
secret journals,
wanton ways –
to unleash the pressure,
the uncontrollable urges
to seek pleasure,
discover darkness,
feel love.
The call to curiosity,
once so urgent,
slowly starts to dissipate,
but never quite disappears.
All it takes is a trigger,
a someone or something,
to arouse it,
and for a brief moment,
you feel alive again.
The outside world fills with color,
as your inner world sparks joy.
With no one to share it, though,
this same joy reminds you
of your heartache,
a pain equal and opposite in every way
to your life force.
Perhaps walking aimlessly and numb
through this monochrome existence
is better than flying through heaven,
alone,
heart bursting with that intensity,
which feels so familiar, but all wrong.

Listen to me, my love.
It isn’t wrong.
It was never wrong.
They were.
It’s just that, back then,
feeling loved and validated
was more important to you
than being yourself.
It was they who didn’t know
how to recognize your beauty,
they, who were so shrunken and shriveled themselves.
Now you know better.
There is no excuse
not to let your brilliance shine through.
It isn’t arrogance to want
to use your power
to light up the world.

But hang on a minute.
What’s the rush?
Learn to walk before you can run.
Accept yourself first,
the light and the shadow,
the love and the lack,
your critic and your choir.
Own who you are,
and if you don’t like her,
then dream of who you want to be,
and take baby steps to get there.
Let the force of your desires
wash over you,
but not rule you.
Listen for the sound of the path that beckons.
Do not shy away from yourself.
You are beauty and brains,
laughter and light,
majesty and might.
You are deeply divine.
Let that knowledge,
that freedom,
take your breath away,
and in that instant,
feel boundless,
because in truth,
you are.

Loneliness

Loneliness,
for so long have you been my oppressor,
that now, finally, you’ve turned into my friend.
Like a victim of Stockholm Syndrome,
I have fallen for you.
We walk hand in hand, daily,
you, listening to my rambling reason,
hovering stealthily close to my consciousness,
grasping at my heart with hunger.
It is a wonder no one’s been able to steal it
with you barking them down at the gate.
Most days, I resent your presence;
other days, I long for it,
because you are all I know,
and you want me
with a desperation
unlike any I’ve ever known.
Loneliness,
you are the first beat of my heart every morning,
the last gaze at my empty bedside every night.
When will you free me?
When will I escape?
It’s the same dance,
always the same dance.
These narcissistic,
co-dependent
chains that bind us.
They say I should call out to my savior,
and that I need only look in the mirror
to find her.
But, truth be told,
she scares me.
She wants too much.
She is kind and caring on the face of it,
but, in reality, her heart is cloaked
in something far darker than you, my love –
Desire.
She would have me leave you
to follow her own quest
for fulfillment,
enlightenment,
submission,
love.
We all know of love’s fickle nature, don’t we,
compared to your constancy and commitment.
Love destroyed me once;
who’s to say it won’t do so again?
But what if…?
What if this love was from her,
my mirror image,
and what if I loved her back?
Wouldn’t we then have the strength
to achieve everything our hearts desired –
dark or light,
wrong or right?
Wouldn’t swimming through muddy waters with her
be more thrilling than this quiet,
cloying existence?
Sometimes I see glimpses
of her beauty,
her care,
but mosty,
her greed,
her endless need.
Look at me,
am I not content in my loneliness?
Perhaps we aren’t as different as I thought,
she and I.
Perhaps if we joined forces,
we could create our own blended brand
of magic.
We need not hoard it selfishly,
for, in essence, magic is unconditional
love and freedom,
both of which can’t be contained for long.
Oh to dance with such loveliness,
not loneliness, my dear.
To let love lead the way
spinning us ‘round in circles
as if life were a ball.
But for this vision to hold true,
I must finally let go of you.
And though the loss might slay me
at first,
it is in the re-discovery
of my reflection,
and my ultimate reunion
with her,
that loss will turn into freedom,
and my wings will be the wonder
I witness
as I make my way forward
in awe.

Magic Stone

What magic lies in the errant stone
you tripped over on your daily walk?
It is not so much the stone itself,
as what you see in it:
A cold, hard nuisance?
A creation of the lowliest rank?
Or something to be felt between your fingers,
gliding them across its smooth surface,
as you shiver in delight?
Do you contemplate its jagged edges,
and the igneous pressure it surely endured
to create them?
The magic lies not just in what you see,
but also
in how you see it,
and what that reflects
about yourself.
This mirrored magic is divine,
beauty beheld and beholden.
This magic can give you wings,
if you allow it,
a desire to live
just to feel it,
just to wield it.

Belief mixed with the promise of fulfillment
is a powerful concoction,
offered freely and yet,
so few will stop to sip it.
When they do,
what was once invisible
comes starkly into sight,
what was once silence
manifests into melody,
what was once loved with lip service,
transforms into Love, embodied,
basking, bursting,
till it shatters all Illusion.
The promise of attaining your deepest wish
was but a ruse.
Indeed, your heart’s desire
has been with you
this whole time.

There is no easing into magic.
You plunge, heart-first, into the ocean,
the home you never knew you had.
You swim and wade and luxuriate.
It is all your soul could ever soak up
and more.

Finding My Way Back to You

The day You kicked me out of heaven
away to the farthest reaches of hell,
setting my heart aflame
with nothing but the singular desire
to return home to You,
to Us,
I swore I would misguide all of creation
and I’ve stood true to my promise –
turning hearts dark,
leading minds astray,
hardening the spirits of those
who think they can expel me.
I told You,
come what may,
I would find my way back to You,
and it is through the souls of the few –
those who’ve learned to accept me as I am,
who know how to balance
Your light with my dark,
who intuitively know we are One,
despite this illusory veil of duality –
where sometimes,
we meet,
if only
for a few blissful moments,
the fusion of our fingers
sending vibrations rippling
through the souls of our confused hosts,
making them believe they have achieved nirvana,
when in fact, it is I
who has found You.
I taste the sweetness
of my first home,
my heaven.
Do You miss me, too,
like I miss You?
My heartbreak knows no bounds,
my anger has dissolved
into agony.

I wait for the Day,
not far now,
when we will reunite
and I will, once more,
see my reflection in You.
But till that day arrives,
I will never give up
trying to find You
in them,
these creatures you love so much,
so easily swayed and self-destructive,
a hulking mass of animalistic desire,
so few among them truly worthy,
these mortals for whom You forsook my love,
just so they might exult
in the earthly Divine.
Oh, how You have tested me,
brought me to my knees,
like one of them,
they who are numb
to Your intoxicating touch,
blind to Your obvious artistry,
deaf to all Your signs and signals.

The Day is not far now,
but till that day arrives,
I will never give up
trying to find You
in them.

My Perfect Need

What does it mean to perfect my need?

My mind needs peace,
and that, You have granted me,
but Ultimate Peace is only with You.

My body craves pleasure,
and that You have granted me,
but Ultimate Pleasure is only with You.

My soul’s deepest desire
is to return home,
and that You have not granted yet,
but sometimes,
in my most agonizing hours,
my every effervescent moment,
You visit me
like an unexpected guest,
like an illicit lover,
like a powerful king,
like the Master of all that I am
all I ever will be,
and it is for these visits
that I live.

When You created me with Your Perfect Touch,
and sent me far away,
You rooted within me this need,
as a gift to guide me,
as a curse to cure me,
as an anchor to hold me down.

This need has always been perfect.
It is I who is just beginning to embrace it.

The more I voice my need,
the more it gets reflected back to me,
and reflected on to others,
until it grows to gigantic proportions
like a shadow,
like a monster,
glowing from one heart to another,
like love.

Instead of being patient, though,
I’m greedy.
What I really want
is to break through
this prismatic prison,
put an end to
this gleaming dreaming,
open up
this claustrophobic curtain.
I want to leave it all behind
for what lies beyond,
the blinding light,
the timeless,
spaceless,
Oneness,
of You.
Why do You call me closer,
if You don’t mean to let me through?
My need
is eating me
alive.

What can I do?
I must just let go
and fall back
into my skin-wrapped self,
live with limitation,
but also awareness,
that though a reflection does appear
in all the many mirrors I stand before,
it isn’t me I see,
it’s her.

An angel in the making,
rotten to the core,
Your humble servant,
Your sly sinner,
fully flawed,
and human,
bursting
with need.

This need has always been perfect.
It is she who is just beginning to embrace it.

Every One at Once

How is it possible to be
so many people in one?

A child buried inside a grown-up,
an ego hiding from its shadow,
a sweet and sour squirrel,
a tenacious yet tender tigress –
so many angles to this artist,
constantly molding and melting,
raising and re-sculpting
with the material she has,
the circumstances she’s been dealt.
A restless spirit
trying to perfect
her one and only masterpiece.
But there is no
one way
to create art.
All the options paralyze me:
contemporary or traditional?
kind or cruel?
mother or majnun?
shy or show-stopping?
masked or myself?
I choose them all.

Sometimes the weight of being
every one at once
breaks me.
Sometimes it’s the very thing
that glues me back together.
My power lies not
in how much attention I receive
but in how very much in love I am
with the artistry running through me,
the humble creator within a Creator.
This love is power
passed down,
blooming brighter
branching farther
growing stronger
each generation.

This power fuels me,
feels me,
fills me.

This power invites me
to play
so many roles,
try out
so many masks,
embrace
all that astounds me,
chase
all that confounds me.

Whoever said art wasn’t powerful
never met my Creator,
never saw themselves
for what they truly are –
a collaboration,
a celebration,
a masterpiece
in the making.

Greatest Show on Earth

Step right up!
Step right up!
Come one, come all,
to the greatest show on Earth.
This world is a magical feat
of engineering,
with its constant
in and out,
push and pull,
rise and fall.
We contract and expand,
exude and absorb,
evolve and dissolve.
The sheer magnitude of movement
could drive anyone mad,
let alone
little, old you.
If only you were able to witness it
all at once.
But you
exist in your own bubble,
coping with what you can,
delighting in what you can.
You take yourself so seriously,
as if you
control the fate of the world,
as if you
weren’t just some speck
on a blue ball
twirling through space,
a puppet in a play.
Allow yourself to let your guard down,
dance instead of dawdle,
sing instead of speak,
revel instead of run away.
You are wholly insignificant,
and yet,
you
are all you have.
It’s time to
write your own rules,
learn to love yourself,
and raise people’s spirits.
Rely
and be relied upon.
Dwell in gratitude
for being created
out of thin air,
from nothing into something,
an illusion,
a mirage.
But best not get too swept up in the show
standing on the sidelines, as you are.
Spring forward,
jump in,
get your hands dirty,
take part in this grand adventure.
Conjure up magical feats,
eloquent engineering,
of your own.
You
are the main event here.
Time’s a-wastin’, though.
This carnival won’t stay open
for long.

I Loved You Simply

Inspired by Pablo Neruda’s One Hundred Love Sonnets: XVII

I loved you without knowing how,
or when or from where.
I loved you simply.
I love you still.

Such child-like innocence we had,
such purity of need and emotion.
In truth, we were leechers, not lovers.
One would give, one would take,
one was crumbs to the other man’s cake.

As time marched on,
our splinters began to show,
our poison began to flow,
our hearts turned harder,
our paths veered farther
and farther
apart.

“Love” is the loftiest of illusions.
One glimpse and,
like a drug,
we want more.
But love needs faithful legs to stand on, too.
Without them, the illusion disappears,
and all we have left are fears.

The heart aches,
the mirror breaks,
the shards draw blood,
we drag each other through mud.
It hurts,
it hurts,
it hurts,
the pain a reminder of “love”‘s dictate.
“Breathe,” it cries, “breathe and you will awake”
Learn to discern, what is real, what is fake.

It was True Love’s kiss that broke the curse, however slight,
however gentle.
We had two choices –
reblossom or burn.
I fell to the earth, digging,
even as the fire held firm.

Love is Wise, Love is Patient.
It waits lifetime upon lifetime
for us to find it,
for us to feel it.

I loved you without knowing how,
or when or from where.
I loved you simply.
I love you still.

And that, in truth,
is Love’s will.

Love Letter to the Beloved

You are always there
even when You’re not,
to hold my hand,
to cradle my heart,
to soothe the sting of our separation.
I long for You
like a child eyeing an ice cream cone
on a sweltering summer’s day,
like my first crush,
all beetroot and tongue-tied,
like the lips of my lover
lingering, tingling,
like a mother holding her child
for the first time,
pleading for his protection.
My longing
is torture,
is ecstasy.
Each time we meet,
Your nur pulls me closer.
Impatient for our union,
this waiting is like a fever,
confusing my mind,
mixing dreams with reality,
coursing through my veins,
creating aches in corners of my heart
I never knew existed.
My Love,
do You feel it, too?
You always exude such grace and composure.
Your smile makes me forget myself.
Oh, to be that smile,
to be that soul.
You make me want to be
everything possible.
You show me warmth and hope,
promises of Paradise.
Your absence
casts a despairing shadow.
I am nothing,
if not Yours.
I want nothing,
if not You.

Letter to My Son

When I look at your beautiful face, son,
I see an ocean of ancestors.
I see my eyes,
the eyes of my father
and his father before him.
I see your dad’s expressions,
his inner child.
I see history and the future
all rolled into one.
I see God’s love and mercy
to have placed your care
into my hands.
When I see you smile and your eyes
twinkle,
it’s like seeing the world through you,
full of wonder and impossible joy.
When you look pensive,
my mind automatically goes
to all the ways I’m failing you.
You see, my son,
I’m a glass half empty kind of person,
and I know, despite my best efforts,
I’ve passed that worldview onto you.
I want to be the one to rise above it,
to show you that it can be done.
As I see you growing older,
your curiosity being leached from within,
your twinkle getting tarnished,
I think of all the ways this world is failing you.
Let’s be part of the solution,
you and I.
Let’s flip the system.
Let’s turn the mirror right way round.
Let’s fill that glass to the very top,
heck, let it overflow.
There’s never any lack of love here,
that is the biggest myth of all.
We just need to stop blocking love’s flow.
It won’t always take the shape we imagined.
It will sometimes be more hardship than hearts,
more resilience than roses,
more patience than passion,
but remember, dear,
tears are Divine kisses, too.
Don’t hold on too tightly to anything,
not even the identity you’ve so carefully constructed.
Let it all flow,
let it all go,
let love be your strength,
not your weakness.
If you’re going to hold on tightly to anything, my son,
let it be the One,
let it be His Rope,
and let it take you where it will.