much less than real

lab and bird
Photo from the Ontario SPCA.

i look into your faces:
fellow humans here and far away,
of different faiths and frames and struggles;
fellow beasts of other species too –

i do not know
what other people, other creatures know, or feel, or sense:
we cannot be, or know, what we are not.

what frames of thought give structure to our lives?
what guides which thought’s ignored and which survives?

my fellow humans, we who have
this complex clumsy tool of language
fumble incoherently with words
that are supposed to have some universal meaning
understood by all, precise and all-embracing, yet

words’ magic seems to lie in purposed ambiguity –
they slip and slide among our mental frames
until they find a way to fit, amended,
all intended meaning lost, perverted and Orwellian, and
reassure us all that what we thought we knew was right
was right,
our frames constructed so we never doubt
that what we do, the only life we know
is now the only way to live –
another step towards becoming everybody else.

while nature’s creatures, dog and bird and deer and rabbit
need no frame:
they live in neverending time, when being is itself sublime
and what’s important has no name
and being is its own intent –
they need no words to say what must be said,
and must be meant.

and so of late i talk much less: content with silent company,
where space in conversation brings its own articulation –
each of us, alone in others’ presence.

it seems somehow less lonely when there is no noise
and each of us can hear instead the Earth’s communion.

when i’m alone i often stare at mirrors,
at that stranger’s face that gazes back at me,
no better known to me than others’ faces
even after all the years of trying to discover
what was always known, but never spoken.

what i see in that mirage
is loss of possibility,
an emptiness that stems from being
civilized to death:
our culture’s shroud precludes
connection with all-life-on-Earth, and dulls
our senses and our instincts
and capacity to be
a part of all as one, and yet unique and
no one but oneself.

so i am left
apart from all that makes me me
and yet confined and tied in prisons
no one else can see
that make me so much less than all that i could be,
myself, untainted by our culture’s thrall:
so much forgotten, now, the fall
until I have become undone,
and can no longer even feel
that i’ve become

much less than real.

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3 Responses to much less than real

  1. Mariella says:

    Maybe, to get to feel free, one must loose the desire to be free…… the prison might be only inside one´s mind…

  2. This photo is adorable. I love birdies, and dogs=:)

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