When conflict rages deep within, paralysis then reigns,
For when that fire consumes the brain, what trace of sense remains?
Then fear becomes our ruler, and our actions are constrained.
Our courage fails. We stand and watch, as all our strength is drained.
We need our air, our water and our food, so we can live.
We also need philosophy, when wounded, to forgive.
And some would say we each require a share of empathy.
But meaning too is needed – or we lapse to apathy.
There’s caring in this world, and yet there’s also cruelty.
Betrayal and deception vie with truth and fealty.
But as we grow in body-mind, we each construct a map
That gives a meaning to the world – and this becomes the trap.
For when a tremor comes that shakes the base of what we’ve built,
Our edifices crumble, as the siltstone turns to silt.
And then we realize, as we are choking in the dust,
That all the meaning and the worth were only seen by us.
What’s left for us to live for, when the meaning has departed?
We labored long for nothing and we’re back to where we started.
But many years have passed – and now, we’re aged, defeated, worn.
We’re sickened from the madness and we wish we were unborn.
And yet, from dust and ashes, a phoenix still may rise.
And even as we’re humbled, its figure, we surmise.
And one may see a dragon; another sees a bird;
Another yet may realize – there is, for it, no word...
And so, with loss of meaning comes another kind of worth.
When all is seen as worthless, then we find in this the mirth.
And laughing at our egos and at all the world’s conceits,
We exit, and reenter, and we relish our defeats.
2014 September 22nd, Mon (first four stanzas) and 23rd Tues (last three stanzas) Brooklyn, New York