Arts

The Arts section of Orient Lodge

Unafraid

We sit in a circle
of struggling writers
listening to another
describe
her craft.
She mentions a wise man
who once asked her,
“What would you write
if you weren’t afraid?”

We all pause
to think of the great works we’d write
and fail to consider
the president.

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Sabbath

“And on the seventh day…”
but actually,
it was more like the thirty-fifth
we creators rested.

Sure,
the Prime Creator
rested on the seventh day,
but those days
were more like eons.

In a week,
the Prime Creator
created
everything;
even us.

But we were not satisfied;
we rebell’d,
sought the powers
of Our Creator,
and were cursed.

In a weakened state
we can’t keep up
with everything
that needs to be kept up.

We read the news
each day
of wars and rumors of wars,
of floods and famines,
and of the Oppressor
always signing
one more executive order
to make things great
for his legions
at the expense of others
created in the Creators image.

We read the struggles
of our friends and neighbors
each day online;
of anxiety and depression,
of illness and of death.

We organize our events,
for our jobs,
for our communities,
for our families;
too often,
too many.

Then,
on the thirty-fifth day,
it happens.
We have nothing scheduled.
We lie in bed
listening to the rain,
the birds chirping,
the pets seeking attention.

Out of habit,
we mean to arise
and do something
anything.
Yet resisting the temptation
we repose
and breathe in
the peaceful Sabbath air.

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The Airport

For ages,
I have been a luggage handler
at the airport of
the emotionally damaged.

I have seen all kinds of baggage;
big and bulky,
sturdy suffering that lasts forever,
and the carefully crafted carry-on,
made to look intentional, beautiful,
though perhaps not as functional.

These days,
the carry-on baggage
is carefully scanned
to make sure
the lotions we bear
to mask the scent
of human suffering
won’t be used
destructively.

I, too, wander these corridors
looking for companions,
fellow travelers,
who can share the burdens
or at least help me
pass the time.

Listless travelers peruse
the latest self-help titles,
titillating romances,
or perhaps even
some recent nonfiction,
although current fake news
makes it harder to differentiate.

Others
stop at gift shops
seeking a trinket
for the loved ones
who miss us
hoping
the stuffed armadillo
will make the absence
a little more forgivable.

It is busier than normal
in a lonely tea shop
on a Silent Saturday morn
as the passengers,
delayed by Good Friday’s storms,
seek new ways
of getting home.

The wake will await their arrival;
the joys of reunion,
even though we wish it were in happier times
remains.

We check our tickets,
the departure board,
and seek our boarding gate.
Then we hasten our gait
to hurry and wait
in yet another line.

Soon, we will be home
and then travel again
in the never ending journey.

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Fear of Becoming

I am afraid
of stepping outside
of my comfort zone

I am afraid
of entering
the unknown quadrant
of the Johari window.

I am afraid
of confronting
my unconscious
incompetencies.

I am afraid
of being ashamed
of what I discover
and what I reveal.

I am afraid
of delving deeper
into the unknown
and becoming
unknowable.

Yet this is where
the magic happens
This is where
we become like
the incomprehensible
divine
mystery.

The Labyrinth and The Rhizome

The labyrinth is fairly simple
though there are many turns
there is only one way forward
and the question is
do we mindfully persevere.

The rhizome is much more complicated
but much more forgiving.
At each step we are faced
with many choices
and every choice
is the right one.

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