Excerpt from "The American Drone" collection of poems. (2012 release)
What if The Pursuit of Happiness…
Doesn’t lead to happiness?
As if satisfaction were self aware and self contained
Dressed in elusive promises
A kite let go of its string
Perhaps its happiness that pursues us
As we pursue love… life… simplicity.
Still we ramble onward,
Led by advertisements that enflame self hatred
Painted on the sides of buses, hanging above urinals,
Any place the eyes might land.
We’d loiter the moon if NASA would give us a ride.
We medicate the dependencies we create;
Dictate desire, then punish ourselves for the want.
We market our dis-ease with televised megaphones & celebrity snake oil salesmen
We determine self-made standards of beauty, success and wealth.
Then criminalize our own shortcomings.
It seems the more we have, the more we crave
The intoxication of plenty.
Has the freedom of choice
Auctioned our hearts
To prefab dreams?
Has it threatened to make us its slave?
We may find the road less traveled has been paved.
The less we need, the less we need.
A familial simplicity
One moment at a time.
Here I am.
In prevalent excess
Living big in luxurious cages
Lined with credit card paper-thin walls
The depth of debt
Accumulates like heaps of garbage
Into jettisoned mountain ranges
No city wants to claim.
Does it require wine
To induce our sense of wonder?
Is childhood that long forgotten?
Can we still learn to savor?
To enjoy small things, all things
Giving praise to the depth of simplicity?
The pendulum swings
Upon Renaissance angel’s wings
Oscillates from one ditch to the next
We wear our brown cloaks
And glint from ancient texts
The death of idealism
The suspicious judgment of the senses
The fear of pleasure
The fear of delight
The ascetic crimes of what we’ve denied.
Transient pleasure like hobo trains
And unshaven faces without names
Afraid to partake
Afraid to admit
We float between
Indulgence and guilt.
We binge, we fast
Between desire and shame
Between fleeting moments
And eternities that don’t change
To consume or show restraint
We were created for abundance
But feel committed to our complaints
& I won’t feel guilty for great sex
Or culinary art
In celebration of the sensual, the spiritual
The holistic integration of every facet of our being
Jacob’s elevator travels both directions
In other worldly, unearthly stimulation.
We need stable peers from which to gaze confidently into the oceans
We need predictability
To remind us of what lies beyond horizons
The unruliness of mystery
The frenetic howl of spontaneity
Calls us beyond staid comparisons
Where we are free to plan or to enjoy
To abstain or to employ
To wave goodbye for now
Or to return with a binding vow.
So long as we are alive
The body and the spirit are one
And they both are “good”.
May we practice blessing
May we practice the “other”
May we love each as ourselves
And leave the earth much better than when we came.