“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
To feel a sting and wonder gently
at the sharp buzzing against your hand,
the flitting away, the needle in your palm:
“I am not a flower, but
thank you for coming near,
and thinking me half petal and half nectar
all the same – for some time – how kind.”
Toronto is drowning in poppies
an anaesthetic wave of red.
We cultivate an obsession
for numbness. We teach joy is far,
and pain is present.
Think about the little moments
that have rubbed against you like
grains of sand from a beach on an
otherwise pleasant day:
a caustic look, a cruel word, a cutting laugh.
Think about the moments you
broke someone’s smile.
You think you know peace, until a pebble
from the beach scrapes invisibly against
you, underfoot – and there it is,
your world reduced to pebble, skin, and steps.
Peace is the whole:
knowledge enough of the pebble
enough to appreciate the world around
with every step.
Imagine Tantalus, under the tree, reaching for its teasing fruits, or
crawling beside the shrinking lake, the preoccupation of
thirst and hunger threading snake-like through his body
until he becomes hunger
until he becomes thirst –
a pained heart recognizes this as its
own life, says “love, love is this, love is this this is love and I know it is love”
but a peaceful heart sees this and says kindly
“this is only pain.”
A hurricane tears through a village,
its farms ravaged
crops buried under clouds, heavy
with whirlpools circling from the skies
windows, shattered and
and against the shattered landscape
a flame in a diya burns steadily
to be at peace is to be this flame