Hitchhikers to Nirvana, 2004

He waited on the shore for her,
his thumb in the air.
Watching free birds,
bye, they fly,
and with the water’s lullaby,
kings and queens and pawns
walk on,
blind with outstretched arms,
their life long gone.

A man, a child, vague shapes, a blur,
stumble into Earth’s wide urn,
a place from which no one returns.
That caravan back to the sea,
the rats behind the piper sing in glee,
blind alone, behind the song,
the hopeless rats walk on.

Children of the Sea, soliloquy,
sonnet for the dead.
Faces in a mirror, first,
a portrait by the light rehearsed.
And at twilight, later that night,
they’re tucked away inside a box,
the procession of the lives, non stop:
one after another down the mount,
by Sisyphus and his stone, too gone;
a memory of slavery on his back,
when he went up, the stone went down,
and Sisyphus, alone on the mound,
casts a sour downward frown,
and sits to sob, and cry, lament,
another stone is by him sent.
Sisyphus shrugs,
and then says, “Bye,”
and goes.
For why no knows, and gone, like then,
each time a rock slides down again,
Sisyphus walks again.

Into an empty sea beyond,
that category gone,
the name of all our deeds,
the tome,
One Summer in the Sun,
in it our simple little songs,
of those who in despair still long,
for what they cannot reach,
the fear of death, cold on their feet,
never to act or cry;
and like Hamlet, all alone,
will sit and wonder why.

Perhaps one day I might go face,
Karma and her chalkboard and erase,
all our sins she’s penciled in,
so all hitchhikers can get in.
I’d cheat them all, on our behalf,
sneak into Heaven, lay back, laugh,
as the wicked, good, and bad,
laugh and love the same.
I’d take the slaves and make the way,
sneak convicts to Nirvana,
and when we’re there,
without a care,
we call can cry, ‘Hosanna!’

 

II

He waited on the shore a while,
while seagulls plucked the pearls.
The tide comes in, and once again,
he heard a laughing girl.
Glass shatters,
in reflection—

a sea of life in all directions:
birth and childhood, women too,
disappear into the blue,
urn of our mother, stole,
another down the memory hole,
erased.
Hitchhikers to Nirvana,
don’t always find the place.
If I could, I surely would,
take every child and parent there,
where they can sit, and laugh, and love,
forever without a care.

Vanessa’s butterflies,
one broken wing,
try to fly, but can’t;
they go in a desperate circle,
one wing beats against the ground.
When I saw that butterfly,
she sang without a sound;
to me she said, ‘Why do I have to die?’
and I said,
‘Because you live.
There is no why.
Now easy rest,
and shut those eyes.’

Old man, move on,
and just look through,
the prison bars that you call ‘you,’
and look outside, with happy stride,
look at the prisoners inside,
in love and lust and hate.
Karma’s divisions separate,
but in the end, they’re whole,
behold: the divine ratio:
One point six one eight,
oh three nine nine nine.
Eight eight seven,
on and on, a million dots—

infinity on the spot.

III

He stands on the shore once more,
and there appears a far-off-door—

a satin sheet, and blood-red, spread,
along the corridor,
and at the end, again, again,
God’s black limousine pulls in.
Roses are thrown along the carpet,
for him to walk.
Around the car Nobody’s talk.
‘He has returned,’ they say, and smile,
‘God is here again!
To save our souls,
erase our sins,
and stay for but a while!’

A long procession eulogy,
to the car on roses leads,
the open door, an old seat, empty,
a thousand peasants shout in frenzy.
Another man, another land,
to take his place, instead:
‘Alas, alas,’ they cry, at mass,
‘Our loving king is dead.’

The children and the parents cried,
as puddles in the sunlight dried,
and now another long lost face,
has on our Earth now been replaced,
for someone to sit.
By the time the good king died,
another waited,
to take his place, put on his suit,
loyal subjects to recruit.

IV

He waited on the shore for her,
watching kings and queens and pawns,
walk on,
into the sea, their life long gone.
Into the Sea I visit, day and night,
so I might see the dead.
I see a girl, my childhood friend,
and sometimes I see my dad.
He tells me he forgives me.
I hang my head and sigh,
“There’s no need for you to cry.
Be who you are, and that’s enough.
If nothing else you can that trust”

His pardon won, now to lay door,
on its side, and in his stride,
he’ll smile forever more.
He sticks out his thumb,
just another bum—

another plaything in Samsara,
trying to Hitchhike to Nirvana.

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