Long Before Our Heart Forgot

Notes: This was a lot of fun to write. Who is it? What is it about? To answer is to render the poem insignificant when the poem itself leads you to the only thing of value.
We don’t want to hear about your years in the Zen training monastery.
We don’t want to know about your afflictions,
Your confusion, your dilemmas and your striving.
We don’t want to be taken into your confidence,
To be impressed by your personal journey
(it was never that personal anyway - you said that)
And touched by your confessions of imperfection and vulnerability.

We don’t want you to lie or tell the truth
About yourself or any other,
Who is alike or not alike to you
(we are all different and all fundamentally the same - you said that).

We cannot stand one more Zen story
Or American-Indian, Hindu, Hopi, Sufi, Buddhist, Jewish
Anecdote, parable in rune, poetry or monosyllabic mantra…. allegory
(please! OM!!).

We don’t want to know you, befriend you,
Be taken into your confidence or flatter you
(you are as boring or interesting as anyone else, you know).

We don’t need your teasing, your feigned embarrassment,
Your promises, assurances, secrets or teaching.
We don’t ask you to save us, work for us,
Lead us, seed us, complete us, discover us,
Explode us, implode us, put us on the commode
Or heal us or sew us up or heat us,
Or cool us or otherwise tamper with our natural self-regulating, harmonious,
Essentially unconscious, natural being-self
(as you said, it needs no interference).

We will not tolerate another self-satisfied
Prophet, guru, bodhisattva, savior,
World teacher, disciple posing as a world teacher,
Author or healer, therapist or analyst,
Observer or scientist, healer or peeler,
Self-concealer, Sheila or Bruce, artist or dancer
(you all make us vomit).

But we are without the mind to repel you,
Thoughts to set us on a path,
A will to know you,
Spiritual muscles to arm-wrestle you,
A heart to feel and see through you,
Feet to stamp all over you,
A back to turn on you,
A hand to gesture to you,
Or an ass to show you.
We are truly spewed, touched and left for dead
(at 9.99 a throw).

So, we will silently walk
Obliquely away
And cross over past another sunset
Into a new dawn,
Not knowing if our shirt is buttoned right or not,
If our fly is zipped,
If our socks are matching
Or our spectacles are the right prescription.

Book-less, leader-less, with no help,
No assurance, no guidance,
We will lead ourselves
And only mumble (inarticulately)
Directions to the moment,
Inflections of now

With a feeling
Leading us on

To heaven knows where,
To God knows what,

To a place we inhabit in heart
Long before our heart forgot.
Published: 5/23/2011
Bouquets and Brickbats