Pirate, the Island Dog

Byron

Pirate is everyone’s, yet he is no one’s. Vacationers arrive, discover him, and dote on him for two weeks, then disappear. He is their holiday project – a story they’ll tell over dinner at home. On those soft, warm-winded Caribbean nights, some allow him in, to sleep at the foot of their beds, to guard their front door. In passing, some even toy with the idea of a rescue. Could we? Should we? Shots? Papers? Questions asked with the exuberance of the relaxed and the happy, but as the time to leave draws near, reality encroaches, the idea stalls.

There is an eternal sadness in Pirate’s eyes that comes from continual loss. People come and offer love, then go away, leaving him vainly searching for those he has loved so loyally in return. Yet his heart is enormous, and mixed in with his grief is boundless hope that the next one will be the one. He sits beneath the warm sun when the ships come in, panting in anticipation of the people off-boarding into his life. He lives in the moment, and the moment is glorious when the kids swarm to him, petting, cooing, and hugging. In that moment, he finally belongs…if only for a moment.

Every couple of weeks, Pirate sadly watches his loved ones depart, on the same ship that delivered them into his heart in the first place. A new band always takes their place, and he is robbed of his grieving as he prepares for the newcomers. This island dog waits, knowing it will take only one; one, to give him a name that won’t change, one, to call it out in the dark should he wander too far. One to call to him and him alone: Come home!

Awakening Our Memories

SirMaxHotAirBalloon2

We shall sail through the air a thousand country miles –
watch the falcons pirouette in the summer sky;
lunch upon bitter green apples and fermented mangoes
and nap beneath the cool luminous clouds;
quench our thirst with melodious wine
and toss stones down upon frozen lakes.

We shall immortalize poets against the echoing granite walls of time.
In bare feet we will land and dance in verdant green meadows
that carpet a bottomless valley;
trace our fingertips along the gnarled grooves
of a dying oak and bid it farewell.

We will bathe in babbling brooks that giggle at
our nakedness and dry ourselves in the wispy autumn winds.
Upon mountaintops, we shall squeeze sunsets between
our forefinger and thumb and slowly open them again to
the shimmering glow of a new moon.

We shall sleep beneath a canopy of universes and compose
our dreams against shimmering stars;
build wet sandcastles fit for kings on foreign shores
and feed them to the ravenous surf.

Beneath cascading waterfalls we’ll write tumbling
verse, while angelfish nibble at our dropped metaphors.
In the Mascarene Islands, we will fly kites built from
forest reeds and raffia palms until they are swallowed
by drifting winter clouds.

The return to a new day awaits us, and a thousand more
miles beneath our balloon before this life is drawn complete.
Awakening a memory, we close our eyes
and the colors of life’s possibilities explode beneath our lids.

The Descent of An Angel

Angels Descent

A radiant and gentle angel, from the heavens high,
Descended kindly to our world and hovered in the sky.
She let her beauty shine for man – alight with wisdom’s gleams;
But men were blind as deaf as dumb to the wonders of the scene.

She clipped her wings and lost her glow; descended to the sands.
Her bare feet touched the wave-worn beach – her book still in her hands.
She preached the holy scriptures though some meanings she forgot.
Her white robes still a bit too bright for men t’accept the thoughts.

She donned their robes; encased her feet. Her hair she let disheveled.
She dulled her seething intellect to meet them at their level.
She ‘scribed that book to parchments plain, but what a heavy cost –
Pretentious were their writing forms that much the depth was lost.

She walked towards the nearest town to share the final creeds.
Men were, before they glanced a word, suspicious of her deeds.
They felt perplexed; thus, it was wrong – dismissed unless explained.
She tried to wake that well of depth – soon knew it was in vain.

She’d left her glory in the sky; now lost upon the land.
Enlightened revelations she could no longer understand.
Now cursed is she, like fallen stars to starfish on the sand,
To walk the earth, amongst these fools, as just another man.

Echoes Across Time

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Love never dies…it echoes across time.

It is like a circle revolving with no beginning, no end. The pains of love diminishing as it journeys to the far side of the circle is real and deep…but remember the joy before the pain and listen for the echo.

Love has no dimension, yet it clearly defines all that it touches. It fills you up and leaves you empty all at the same time. Memories are the images carved as love passes along  our side of the circle; life’s subtle reminder to hold on and listen as love echoes across time.

Cast your ear to yesterday’s wind, if you must; do not be too surprised when the sounds you seek reach back to you from tomorrow. Echoes bounce in time and space, for that is their nature – but they must return, for that is their truth.

The circle cannot be denied.

Love cannot die…it echoes across time.

 

Juggling Life

Consider for a moment that we are all jugglers. For in truth, that is what life demands of us; constant juggling – of time, relationships, responsibilities. We feel ourselves, at times, caught up in the endless task of keeping so many things up in the air and smoothly rotating, round and round.

Now suppose we see that we are juggling three balls: one rubber, one wooden, and one crystal.

In the course of our juggling, we slip and drop one ball. Let’s say it’s the rubber ball. What happens to it? Well, no real damage done, right? It bounces. It comes back to you. This ball is your education, your job, your career. In the course of your life you may drop this ball several times…you change jobs, you advance, you are laid off, you go back to school…it is constantly moving in new directions. So do not overly concern yourself when this ball drops. It will retain its resiliency and everything will be fine.

Suppose now you drop the wooden ball. What becomes of it? Well, it’s a bit noisier, true, but in all likelihood, it will become scratched, perhaps chipped. In time, after a few falls, it may even take on a new shine. This is your health and your spirituality. It changes, constantly. It evolves.  It will not look the same today as it will tomorrow. That is its nature. Be mindful of keeping this one aloft, but do not distress if you drop it from time to time. It, too, is resilient and in the long run, it endures.

But what then of the third ball? The crystal ball? What happens if you take your eye from it for a moment and it hits the floor? What becomes of it? Of course, it shatters. It will not return to you for it is utterly destroyed. This ball is your relationships, your family. If you drop this ball, no amount of effort will repair it. It is lost forever. For this reason alone, you must be acutely focused on keeping this ball in the air, at all costs.

As you juggle life, keep this lesson in mind, and keep your priorities likewise aligned.

 

What a Man Isn’t

What does it mean to be a man? Perhaps we should begin with what a man is not. The list is a bit shorter.

Let’s examine a few of the bothersome attributes we tend to escape into when we want to feel “manly” and feel the need to be someone we are not.

First on the list is machismo. The puffery and boisterous displays of testosterone run amok reveals an underlying insecurity in one’s masculinity. Whether sexual in nature (trying to impress a member of the opposite sex) or to intimidate another male (also when competing for female attention) , machismo is a falsehood. Men who are secure within themselves project that security and have no need for reducing themselves to the level of peacocks in mating season.
The second falsehood of masculinity is the need to dominate. Rather than based on insecurity, which plays a small role in this melodrama, the need to dominate another is fear based. It is anti-masculine and reveals a perverted need to fill a desperate vacuum in one’s masculinity. Domination reflects a need to overcome an inner sense of smallness and the vacuum is a feeling of detachment from one’s true sense of self. It is a desperate attempt to re-define that cowardice into power, and it diminishes everything it touches.
So what then does it mean to be a man?

Above all else, a real man, a man who has authenticated his masculinity and is secure within his role with others, embraces his masculinity with humility.

He does not seek to exert a strength based personae upon others, be they male or female

He is generous with what he knows, and quick to admit that which he doesn’t.

He moves in a posture of benevolence,

He is affectionate, though he is guarded with love, understanding the precious nature of this deeply personal state.

His masculinity reflects what is best in him; it is quick to confront and address what is the worst in him.
These are my thoughts. You may have additional comments on this topic, and I welcome them. This was written based on my shortcomings, and achievements, in my relationships with others. It is an evolving thing.