We Can’t Have Both

Do we want peace, or do we want war?
We can’t sit on the fence anymore;
Put them on a ballot, and cast a vote;
We can have one, but we can’t have both.

Do we want to be chained, or to be free?
The body keeps us bound, as we can see;
Put them on a ballot, and cast a vote;
We can have one, but we can’t have both.

Do we want the truth, or do we want lies?
We can be honest, or wear a disguise;
Put them on a ballot, and cast a vote;
We can have one, but we can’t have both.

Do we believe in holiness, or in guilt?
By attacking innocence, this world was built;
Put them on a ballot, and cast a vote;
We can have one, but we can’t have both.

Do we want to spread fear, or extend love?
Will we receive the warm light from above?
Put them on a ballot, and cast a vote;
We can have one, but we can’t have both.

If we don’t keep these ideas apart,
We can make an easy choice from the heart;
But if our mind chooses to remain split,
Chaos and confusion is what we’ll get.

Each moment, we choose what our lives will be;
If we change our minds, then we’ll truly see;
If we bring the darkness to the light,
We can, in this way, abolish the night.

But if we try to live in two different ways,
We’ll just continue in a cloudy haze;
So let’s not keep opposites separated,
For when they’re compared, one must be negated.

Do we want freedom or chains, peace or war?
This is a choice that we cannot ignore;
If we want truth, love, and innocence now,
Then fear and guilt we must disavow.

The World Of Sense

And now there’s nothing here for us to see
And now there’s not a thing for us to see
The world has vanished by a grand decree

The plaintive dirges are not heard at all
The sound of sighing is not heard at all
No barking dogs, no bird’s melodic call

We won’t try any bitter tastes, or sweet
We’ll never sample bitter tastes, or sweet
We’ll never thirst, or hunger after meat

Can’t feel the shining sun upon our face
Can’t feel the falling rain upon our face
The touch of pain, replaced by joy and grace

The world of sense has passed, and we’re unburned
The realm of knowledge is, and we’ve returned


This poem is in the form of a Blues Sonnet (see The Book of Forms, by Lewis Putnam Turco). This form has the following rhyme scheme: AAa BBb CCc DDd ee. The capital letters represent refrains that can vary a little. The form contains 14 lines: 4 blues stanzas in iambic pentameter, and a final heroic couplet.

The Cat And The Mouse — Revised

Once, there lived a cat and a mouse
In an average suburban house

The cat got his meals every day
Even when his owners were away

The cat had nothing to worry about
But there was something that he was without

He felt alone, even among mankind
For they could not understand his mind

So the cat felt lonely without a peer
But there was one other animal near

The mouse had to scavenge for every meal
And to run and hide when the women squeal

For he fears every moving being
And he is always from their sight fleeing

The cat seems to know that he’s the master
And he knows he can always run faster

And the cat knows that he is duty bound
To chase down every mouse that’s around

But the cat has had enough of killing
And to chase, he is no longer willing

For every time he does a mouse kill
He gets less and less of a feline thrill

And he thinks, “I would rather have a friend
Than see the life of this last old mouse end”

And so he waits for the mouse to come out
Of his hole, and to step gently about

But the mouse smells and sees the cat waiting
And he thinks that he is only baiting

After some nights without seeing the mouse
The cat walks back and forth throughout the house

The cat thinks, “I really need a new friend
But this mouse does not seem to comprehend

That my intentions about him are good
He has not accepted or understood”

Then the cat had a wonderful new thought
And to the mouse’s hole some good food brought

But still, the mouse refused to go outside
And from the cat, he continued to hide

Finally, the mouse had nothing to eat
And he wondered if he should take the treat

“Is it better to hunger in this place
Or to take the risk of death and disgrace?”

But then he thought, “For many countless years
Cats and mice have been at odds, it appears

But perhaps this cat is just not the same
And has finally given up the game”

In the end, the mouse risked it and came out
He hunted for the food and sniffed about

He smelled the cat around, and saw the food
But when he took a crumb, the cat just mewed

Then the mouse thought, “Could this really be true?
Can this cat shun what he was raised to do?”

At long last, although the cat could not speak
He won the mouse’s trust after a week

And now these former enemies are friends
And the mouse has a joy that never ends

For he forgives the cat for killing his kin
And the cat also feels that it’s a win-win

For now he has a friend who understands
And his friendship with him rests in good hands

And, who knows? Maybe someday the owners
Will see them, and will no longer be loners

And when they see the cat and mouse playing
Maybe they will also cease their slaying

And by the example of these two friends
They’ll also find a joy that never ends

Haunted Houses

What are these photos doing on the wall?
Does she show her parents to those who call?
What is this strange music that fills the room?
Has the dead singer risen from his tomb?
Why are we watching, once more, this old show?
Can the dead actors give us a happy glow?
Are we surrounding ourselves with ghosts?
And, further, are we their virtual hosts?
For they say that this world could be a dream,
That our life is just a matrix-like scheme;
But if we are all actors in a play,
What happens when our bodies all decay?
Do we go to a place that is more real,
Where we can clearly think and really feel?
Or must we still haunt all our offspring,
Those cheerful children waiting in the wing?

Will the real people please make themselves known,
So I’m not in this haunted house alone?

If Hope Is Real

This poem is a sonnet about the world and the real world, as described by the book A Course in Miracles.

The ego made this world without real sense;
Its goal of separation made each form,
And bodies do divide us like a fence,
So lonely, empty lives are now the norm.

The ego, by attacking what is real,
Did shatter truth into quite worthless parts;
We won’t know truth, or even really heal,
Until the love of union joins all hearts.

If hope is real, a new world must be seen:
A world where time and space cannot divide,
A world where all is innocent and green,
A world where all are working on one side.

If we don’t fear that change will bring a loss,
We can discard the ego’s heavy cross.

 

The Judge

This poem is in the form of a ballad.

A child was born, his mother’s first,
Who tried each thing he could;
Each thing he tasted with his mouth,
And judged if it was good.

A growing boy, he learned from books
What men did love and prize;
He learned of virtue and of good,
And he became more wise.

So he did take his lessons all,
And saw the world through them;
He judged each thing with expertise,
Be it a rock or gem.

The man became an expert judge,
And, all throughout the land,
His judgment was a valued thing,
For his unbiased stand.

But after many years of life,
The man began to doubt;
He felt his judgments were not just;
What was it all about?

The things he’d learned in all the books,
He felt were simply air;
The judgments that he’d made till now,
They were not just or fair.

He felt he could not see the whole,
And he felt quite confused;
Have I been wrong about my life?
Have I my job misused?

How do I know how things will work,
When all is said and done?
The things that I have judged against
Could be the shining sun.

And so the judge withdrew his claim
That he could wisely make
Decisions for those who wanted them;
He felt he’d been a fake.

I’m not aware of all the things
That go into our life;
And if I stop my judgments now,
Perhaps I’ll know less strife.

It was a heavy burden that
I’ve carried on my back;
I’ve judged against or for a man;
I’ll drop my heavy pack.

And from now on I will not judge;
I’ll let Someone more wise;
He sees and knows how all things work;
He has clean thoughts and eyes.

Each thing that I did judge against,
It could have been His plan,
To use it as a way to life;
I will no longer ban.

And now the man accepts all things;
He’s free, and he is glad;
He lets the Spirit do His work,
Calls nothing good or bad.

And if he finds his mind goes back
To its judgmental ways,
He views his thoughts, but lets them go,
And so he spends his days.

War

War
is not
what we need.
Our pain in life
comes from retaining
guilt, and not reining
our hate and strife.
We all bleed
from hot
war.


The form of this poem is called a trianglet. It rhymes AbcxddxcbA (where the x lines don’t have to rhyme and the A lines are identical). The number of syllables per line is 1-2-3-4-5-5-4-3-2-1.

It’s Not Worth Fighting For

This crazy world is not worth fighting for
Our struggles are rewarded with more pain
Why would we want another pointless war?

Our strength is slipping out an open door
Disease has entered both our heart and brain
This crazy world is not worth fighting for

Survival never was this hard before
Ideas come, but are they even sane?
Why would we want another pointless war?

Is there some shelter on a distant shore?
If peace can come, then let it always reign
This crazy world is not worth fighting for

All sides are losing with a zero score
When we compete, more stress is what we gain
Why would we want another pointless war?

When guilt and fear are gone, as long before
Our love will shine with joy we cannot feign
This crazy world is not worth fighting for
Why would we want another pointless war?


This poem is based on a specific form called the villanelle. The villanelle has the following structure: A1bA2 abA1 abA2 abA1 abA2 abA1A2, where the letters “a” and “b” show that there are only two rhyme sounds in the poem; the upper case letter “A” represent the refrains; and the numbers 1 and 2 represent refrain 1 and refrain 2. The two refrains have the same rhyming sound at the end but they are different phrases, so they are indicated with the numbers 1 and 2.

Do Not Go Frantic Into That Good Light

This poem is based on the poem by Dylan Thomas called “Do not go gentle into that good night.” His poem and mine are based on a specific form called the villanelle. The villanelle has the following structure: A1bA2 abA1 abA2 abA1 abA2 abA1A2, where the letters “a” and “b” show that there are only two rhyme sounds in the poem; the upper case letter “A” represent the refrains; and the numbers 1 and 2 represent refrain 1 and refrain 2. The two refrains have the same rhyming sound at the end but they are different phrases, so they are indicated with the numbers 1 and 2.

 

Do not go frantic into that good light,
Old worlds should greet with cheer the start of day;
Pray, pray, to see the ending of the night.

All wise men seek to do the just, the right;
Because their words and actions are good, they
Do not go frantic into that good light.

Good men, the remnant are here, looking bright,
The day will not take all their hopes away;
Pray, pray, to see the ending of the night.

Mild men, who dropped their arms and ceased to fight,
They’re not the ones who’ll break like brittle clay;
Do not go frantic into that good light.

Those men, near death, will see a blessed sight,
Dim eyes can see what heaven does display;
Pray, pray, to see the ending of the night.

For you, my friend, distress is at its height,
But don’t despair–new life is on the way.
Do not go frantic into that good light.
Pray, pray, to see the ending of the night.

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