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My Mind Is Like A River

from my new collection Geography of the Mind--Poems of Exploration

Sometimes, the stars and moon and nighttime air

are so perfect that being there in those moments

is like being blessed,

and I breathe them in as fully as I can

and hold them in my heart and mind

as a precious time, a sacred time

when I feel the universe within,

but then my thoughts get invaded

by mundane  thoughts

that come like uninvited guests

to remind me to buy dish detergent,

or garbage bags, or call the bank,

and I ache to have those moments back

and just be still and quiet,

but the mind is like a flowing river

and I have no way to hold the water back,

no dam or reservoir,

and so I go where my mind takes me

when I walk the beach to town

and hear the music in the waves and wonder

what the palm trees hear that I can’t hear,

or what the gliding birds can see that I can't see.


Sometimes I think about the ugly news

I wish I could ignore like the trash

I wish would disappear,

but mostly the river of my mind

takes me to this happy place where I'm glad

I found this island town and the friends I've made,

and how I wake up every dawn

with these poems that rise in me like the sun,

and how the hills of Panama across the bay thrill me

with their being there, and again,

I'm in that precious time, holding what I can

before those fleeting moments go

and teach me nothing stays,

how impermanence makes every day

more precious, and when those amazing moments

come again, I’ll smile and know that breathing in

and letting go

is better than not breathing.


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