Rivers

You tiptoed away into the forest

the leaves fell sylvan green

branches crossed light filtered through

the specks of light turned shadows

 

You looked back at me a moment

I thought I felt your hand against mine

 

it was just the warmth of the sun trickling through the trees.

 

And when the fog lifted

rubble, boots, rivers

the things you whispered still floating in the air

 

I realized that it was just me.

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The Wind

Where does the wind go when we’re gone?

twisting through the trees

winding through the fenceposts

where does it go when we leave?

the years will carry these leaves

far, far away from here

the gravel under our feet just a memory.

where does the wind go?

 

a few moons

many winds

many nights

many stars

only whispers

 

-mh

Wooden Stairs

sitting searching for that

you left those flowers in the hallway

they’re wilted but they still feel like home

pacing up the hall

padded feet and the smell of sunflowers

carried away in the wind

dandelions, they never found their place.

but you’re there as they swirl around me and

you’re there as the waters churn and the ocean

carves at the shore and you’re there

as the sands shift with the tides

and i remember those old piano keys

they’re covered in dust

those stars over that wooden deck we built in the backyard

that fire burning off in the distance and

i feel rain pattering in my quiet thoughts.

but i feel warm when you wrap me in your blanket

and i feel safe in the sunshine of your smile

and i feel home when i walk up those wooden stairs

and i see you standing there.

-mh

Tunnels

i’ve lived 4 lives in 2 years.

streaks of light tunnels racing

scenery like a film reel flashing

skipping scenes

you told me you didn’t love me

i drank whiskey, dark, forgotten words

 

and then there was laughter

skipping down an empty sidewalk,

and a midnight moon

can we stay here forever?

i don’t want to forget

 

does forever exist?

no

 

vibrating

shaking

swelling

 

it’s getting so loud

and we’re moving so fast

(too fast?)

all of a sudden the deafening roar

The lights snap, bursting white sparks into black

Silenced

Dark, vast… where?

 

The end of the tracks

cut the noise like a sliver

This is where 4 lives end

And one begins

 

I can still hear their voices.

-mh

Tail Lights

Central Park
It is strange when you can see the ends of things so clearly.
The dust, the fray, the edges of things –

where it all ends.

the walk away – one last time down the hall you knew so well

never to be walked that very same way again.

It was strange to see the turn of the corner.

To watch you disappear into the dark

knowing that was the day you walked out of my life forever.

This is the intersection.

Hang a left, I’ll make a right

 

And I won’t look back

but you know

you know

while you were here

it was good, it was good

it was so, so good

it was so good to see you smile.

 

Strength

She loved him with a madness

With a fury that could tear the mountains apart

If anything I knew she loved him, more than her body knew how, more than the earth could fathom.

And when the stars tore them from each other she loved him still – so madly, so perhaps wrongly, but so passionately the winds couldn’t understand it, the desert couldn’t see the purity of her devotion for this man

But if I know one thing

I know I will always admire the depth with which she loved him, the blind all she gave, everything she had.

But more than this, what I admire most was that when he tore heart apart, she stood back up and loved herself more passionately than ever before.

Sea Change

and when i saw you

glimmers of light, sea, life

the ships were racing past me

and in your anchor i found my island.
you see with you i could float

flashes of watery undercurrent 

disappear into shimmering sunlight
i held my breath

dizzying circles

the hurricane that never came
and when i looked up

all i could see 

was water

sun

and sky

The Times We Live In: A Mindful Approach – How to Live with Courage and Love in a Time of Fear and Hatred


It’s a tough time to be alive. We live in a time where hate crimes are a regular occurrence and where random acts of violence appear on the news every other day. We live in a time where normal people are killed mercilessly as they do everyday things like run marathons, attend parades, have a night out or simply walk around the neighborhood. This is a time where it’s much easier to focus on everything that’s going wrong – it’s a time that’s making it much harder for us to see the things that are actually going right.

We post on social media and express our disgust, fear, hatred and sadness about the events going on around us, and we focus on everything that’s bad in this world. In a sense, we rubberneck as the car accident happens, and then we spread and perpetuate the experience of fear and negativity by posting photographs and commentary online. Very few of us are doing anything to solve the problem – we simply point out what is wrong, and then social media allows the fear and hatred to spread like wildfire. The more we focus on the negative, the bigger it seems. The more we focus on the negative, the more it becomes all we see. What we need to recognize is that this world is not “going downhill*” and that the people performing these acts of violence don’t illustrate society as a whole – they illustrate a small, hateful population that is getting a lot of press.

*note: current US election not included in this sweeping generalization about the world not going downhill

I want to challenge us to focus on the good things that are happening in the world. I want to challenge us to focus on the positive events that still exist and have always existed – the positive energy that we’re actually inhibiting by spreading the fear, hatred and negativity. This isn’t to say that we should be ignorant; we should all be aware of the events that are unfolding across the globe. But what we should do instead of throwing more hatred into the mix is to throw more LOVE out into the world every chance we get. We need to break the cycle of negativity by interrupting it with love. What if instead of focusing on the random, unexpected acts of violence, we focused on performing random, unexpected acts of love? Could we cause a domino affect that would break the cycle, setting off a new chain reaction? What we look for in life tends to be what we find. What we focus on changes our experience of what happens. Our thoughts manifest – and this isn’t touchy-feely spiritual nonsense…this is physics.

Negativity is a defense mechanism, and it’s a defense mechanism that is outdated. It stems from survival instinct – we almost use negativity to try to “prevent” bad things from happening to us. In this day and age, we don’t need that – it doesn’t help us. We can’t prevent bad things from happening, and our very focus on them is what gives the fear and hatred fuel to multiply. Negative thoughts create negative actions, which in turn create more negative thoughts, actions and events. We need to develop a new, better defense mechanism – and that defense mechanism is called positivity. If we focus on positive energy and the good things going on in the world, we promote a cycle of love, acceptance and gratitude – and it multiplies.

Here are the things we should be focusing on and the things we should be doing more of – especially in times like these:

  1. Focus on positive energy and events
  2. Focus on the beauty in this world (it’s everywhere!)
  3. Focus on the good people in this world
  4. Focus on the love of our friends and family
  5. Focus on our goals
  6. Focus on giving love to others in spades
  7. Focus on helping others
  8. Focus on our similarities and not our differences
  9. Focus on our humanity
  10. Volunteer time to help others
  11. Promote love
  12. Promote courage
  13. Smile more
  14. Hug more
  15. Show your love more frequently
  16. Spend more time with your loved ones
  17. Focus on the things you want to do, and do them
  18. Make sure every day of your life is happy
  19. Make changes if you’re not happy
  20. Appreciate everything. Little moments, big moments, and everything/everyone you have
  21. Forgive people who have wronged you (let go, for yourself and for them)
  22. Keep looking up
  23. Create beauty wherever you go
  24. Be so, so grateful to be alive.

Why don’t we focus on the great things? Let’s become fountains of love and positivity. Let’s be so, so, so kind to one another that we soften the hardened hearts around us and prove that there is still so much boundless love to be found in this world. Let’s keep looking for the light, always.