Behind the Mask

Behind the mask
Alone with my thoughts and feelings
While looking out from tiny windows
At the people gathered in front of me
Staring down at the t.v. screen I hold

I am silenced!
They don’t hear me.
I am silenced.
Most don’t care.
I want to scream, but I can’t.
I want to fly away, but I can’t.
I want to run, but there’s nowhere to go.
I want to die, but not by their hands.
I stand in silence instead.
My misery is as loud as the Universe is large
But they cannot hear me.
I am the Voiceless.

All of this and more I feel
while standing holding the t.v. screen showing footage of Hell…
I become like them, unheard: voiceless, faceless, nameless
I send out silent thoughts asking humans to see me,
To see my t.v. screen that I hold, to see the animals in pain
While they pass by with their pets in tow, eating hot dogs on a stick….
I want to scream, but I hide behind an anonymous mask, stoic
Voiceless, motionless….
“See Me!” I scream to them silently
But they walk by, mocking me, muttering something about steak
Asking my voiceless face where the nearest McDonalds is
Or ignoring my existence altogether and carrying on their life as usual.
Some grimace, but don’t want to see the truth.
We stand like this,
in silenced anguish, holding video footage of Hell on Earth.

Please somebody see me!
Please somebody hear me!
I am the voiceless in concentration camps
I stand alive in a perpetual fire of Hell
I am the voiceless that screams to you in Silence.

And I am the one behind the mask holding video footage
of Hell on Earth.
My emotions scream for the tortured as I stand in anonymous silence.
See me!
Hear me!
But you walk away, unable to break your bad habits,
unable to open your heart.
Oh, I see someone crying now.
There is someone that cares!
They fall to their knees and tremble
I cry with them, silently, behind my mask.
Maybe enough of us will cry
Forming a river of tears
That will allow the voiceless to swim away from the Hell humans have created.
Your one tear gives me hope,
So I stand here in Silence,
Anonymous for the Voiceless.

You Left Me on the Side of the Road in the Rain

You left me on the side of the road in the rain
My Goat would have never done that
His love is beyond the human type of love
that smells from what is conditional
that reeks from seething judgment and criticism
with the stench of trying to gain something
instead of being consumed by what one can give.

You left me on the side of the road in the rain
Didn’t care whether or not I had a jacket or umbrella
whether my shoes were cloth that absorbed my tears
making each step without you feel like the weight of the world.
I grieved hard, but luckily it did not last forever.
Luckily I decided I would have my last cry
and then be thankful that the Universe cared enough about me
to take you away.

You left me on the side of the road in the rain
I pity you when you realize what you have done
Maybe it will happen in your next life
when you are less selfish
You will reflect on your coldness that made your heart into an iceberg
that couldn’t be melted though you were placed
next to the sunshine of mine.

You left me on the side of the road in the rain.
Eventually I found my way to freedom
and you became the force that pushed me
out of my own fearful limitations.
You played the role I created for you
even though I wrote the ending in the dark
unable to proofread my illegible words.
I forgot I created that it would end this way.
I forgot I created you to push me to be who I really am.

But you had some free will
and you could have rewritten the cold intensity
and gave me a soft landing instead.
But you chose the harsh role
and left me on the side of the road in the rain.

I have planted a garden on that portion of the road
where my heart was knocked out of its pericardium.
Tomato plants, rhubarb, kale and strawberries
now grow at the scene of destruction.
But I will never forget
that you left me on the side of the road in the rain.

I Wish I Could….

I wish I could make you feel…
Feel with your heart
instead of always thinking with your head.
I wish I could
make you empathic
so that you could deeply understand
what another feels
– animals, plants, people,
so that you could feel
what they feel and immediately care about them.
I wish I could
extend your heart
so that you loved so deeply
you couldn’t stop loving.
That you’d see
Everyone as loveable –
animals, plants, people.
I wish I could make you understand
the ways of the heart,
the language of emotions,
the depth of feeling
of animals, plants, people.
We would always be together,
We would never be apart
We would feel
our feelings and care deeply
about each other’s happiness
and well being.
I wish I could
extend your compassion
so that you cared deeply about
animals, plants, people.
I wish I could make you understand me
so that we would have access
to each other on deep levels.
We would feel each other’s heart
when we held hands
and never be apart.
I wish I could…

So many talks on phone and on skype
So much time deliberating what to do or not do
Seems it was back and forth for an eternity
Like we had always known each other
And known the distance like a tight glove
Known the physical distance that sometimes
Paralleled the emotional distance
When mind and heart did not connect
We waited it out anyway, endured and found no peace within the waiting
We had hope, anticipation, fights and mending
But now the tide is calm and I cannot hear any birds
I do not hear the fish swimming against any current
I hear nothing, not the sound of the waves back and forth on a course sand beach
Not the wind, nor do I feel the sun on my back or on my face
I hear and feel nothing.
Numb, like my fingers in a chilled stagnant snow,
Cold and stoic.
I am not lost, nor found.
I simply exist along with many others.
I no longer take up space in your mind.
I didn’t take up much space in your heart
I made you my center and waited for it to blossom
It neither blossomed nor found its roots.
We simply drifted.

I Would Have Followed You to the Moon

       You’re etched into my memory
like a full body tattoo
chiseled images of you
on the inside of my heart.
I can go nowhere
cant do anything
without asking:
Where are you?
Why did you go?
Why did you have to leave?
What am I going to do without you?
You were my Rock,
My Rock of Gibraltar
my Rocky
My solid mass of four footed assuredness,
grounded to reality,
with four hooves
and a hard head that rivaled mine.
I scream your name,
but the walls echo back emptiness
Your call is now a distant memory
My favorite sound in the world
A goat calling my name.
I lived for you,
my heart existed for you
My reason to live was you
and now all I have
is a box of your ashes,
a hoof print,
some of your hair
and my memories of you.
I would have followed you to the moon,
would have done anything
to get you healthy again.
I was one complicated mass of Denial
believing you’d get well,
that I’d find a Shangri La
so we could be together beyond time…
but you left,
you left,
you left
and I am left – here.
You came to me in a dream
kissing Sunshine’s head, between his horns
Yes, I will take care of my other son for you.
I will stay with this herd
that is now down to one goat and me- broken hearted
I would have followed you to the moon
but instead you went away
left your body and me here.
You were my center
and now I wait to figure out
how do I live without you?
You were my Rock of Gibraltar
My Rocky
I would have Followed You to the Moon.

Door Open

You left the door open

and I walked on through.

You left the door open

and I walked on through.


I gave you a chance,

then another,

then another and another.

I thought tolerance was a virtue

until I saw the door was open.

I thought I should stay and work things out,

mend, heal, become even more tolerant,

forgive, forget.

I stayed and wrestled with reality,

told myself to expand and accept,

to be patient, kind and reasonable,

to adjust and keep adjusting.

To stick it out

and let things improve

by being grateful.

But then I noticed

that the door

was left open

and I walked on through.


Expression Starter

Each encounter we make

Could possibly be a key

We so desperately need

To open a part of ourselves

We kept hidden.


What a pleasure

To have ourselves unlocked

To begin a new direction – within

–and without the burden of self-doubt

That stops the world from moving forward.


Sometimes something happens

-which stops our world

And has us locked up inside

With pain that has no outlet

But punishes us with reminders

Of what we don’t have, but want desperately

Or what we have, but desperately don’t want.

Changing direction because the world

stopped for a moment

and looked at itself,

listened to itself.

It’s not so bad in here

Once I allow myself to breathe.

In The Ring

We wrestle with life,

Push it away,

Yank on it

Complain about it

And want more of it as it gets closer to the end.


We struggle against it:

Its complicated details

Its complex paths

Convoluted and difficult

Like a maze

We must find our way through

Like a riddle that answers us with another question.


I struggled with it.

Wept because of it.

Got sick from it.

Forgot I controlled most of it with positive thought and feeling.

Forgot, too, that I would love it

And sometimes hate it.

That it would baffle me,

but I’d always come back for more.


We often run and hide from this life

Scream and chase it on slippery embankments

Too steep to climb.

Finally we surrender to it,

realizing we influence it

by our tempo, our speed

our reluctance or embracing.

We accept it now.

Allowing life to no longer be the enemy it once was.

Now it is a quiet friend,

A loud obnoxious friend, a soothing friend

A high pitched opera

A low baritone crescendoing into something

we now crave, we now pine for,

we now give thanks for.

Its mysterious twists and turns

Its hot, cold, dry, swampy, warm,

complicated disposition that at once baffles us.

But we come back for more.

We beg for it.

Life becomes this gift

we never have to fight with again.

Having accepted its volatile changes,

Its high and low tones.

We now embrace life

Like an old friend

Like a lover we can never get enough of.

I no longer struggle you to the ground

and swim against your current.

I accept life and life accepts me.

I think I understand

that it doesn’t want to be understood.

It just wants to be loved.



Steep Journey

Turning ‘round to face Mecca –

not the one in the Middle East,

the one east of me, in the Coachella Valley of California.

Sort of screwed up by my lack of spontaneous travel nowadays,

making stories of others’ adventures enough for me

as I sit in my arm chair…

…You were my Adventure –

my mountain climb during an avalanche

my skydive without functional parachute.

I hit ground

and lost my face.

Lost also my sense of reasoning

of what makes sense and what makes me crazy,

switched the two in my mind,

made normal become sick and sick become normal.

I tossed, and turned, like a bean in a salad

like a pillow fight all night long.

My head not finding rest

my mind a sponge to anything screaming peace.

But the act of screaming silenced any chance for serenity

and created You and Me

in between known and unknown,

yearning and turning back

going forward to fast,

while never yet beginning.

You had me like this.

I was at once the Stop Sign and the Go.

As confused as a two-headed snake

succumbing to temptation

and becoming a bad Buddhist

with no ability to detach.

You made me this.

And I allowed it.

Became the crazy lady people might have thought I was.

like a mad scientist,

but neither scientific nor mad.

I was, instead, madly-in-love

with a phantom that only existed in my mind.

I made you this.

And you made me this.

And we existed in time somewhere,

but we were always late to arrive

never got to our intended destination

which was supposed to be Love.

Now “Forgiveness” becomes the word I hear

in between my breaths, chants and prayers…

“Forgiveness,” when it used to be the words “I Love You”

reverberating in my head.

Now “Love” becomes Let Go, Detach and Forgive.

Sounds like a romance to me….


Why do we Chant?


Why do we?

Why do we chant?

Why do we chant to the Gohonzon twice a day?

Sitting on a chair, on the floor, cross legged, on a pillow,

With or without candles lit?

Facing the Mandala of Light

Nirchiren Daishonin’s gift

Of Blessed Chinese characters

Looking, gazing, mesmerized

As we chant

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo


Until we

Until we awaken something in our brain,

In our psyche, in our soul,

Our being, our core

That calls out for expansion

Quick, get me to Buddhahood,

Cleanse my Karma, lift me up,

Steady my gaze

To see past the horizon

Change my vision to see clearly

Transmute to visionary,

An instrument of the Universe

To serve humanity, to serve all sentient beings,

Plants, animals, too.

Awaken us as we chant the Daimoku

To remember our origins of purity,

Our Buddhahood within,

Our visions of a world Happy and Harmonious.


Nichiren Daishonin urged us, pushed us, persuaded us in every way

From past life to this life,

We receive Help to Be Who We Really Are –

-An instrument of Peace

– A light of Happiness to Guide the Way.

We sit quietly, sometimes not so quietly, sometimes slowly

Sometimes quickly like the Big Horn Sheep running up hills,

Swiftly – we chant.. Nam Myoho Renge Kyo

We transform, we transmute

We transcend

We change our inside to one that is softer,

One that can hear Divine Guidance

Even in a cluttered world

That speaks loudly in Shoulds and Should nots,

We move onward, we strive,

Our stride swift,

As we chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo

As we receive the Lotus Sutra

Our brain soaks up the good vibration

So we can soar above the common world

So we can see

So we can know

So we can understand

We can right our wrongs,

We can gain access to the vast sky

Seeing with a bird’s-eye perspective

The Way to transformation

It is inside,

It takes us inside

Where we change ourselves.

Where we polish and mold

Where we let go of blame

Of all externals

And rest inside to a New View of Transcendence.

This and more…

Because we chanted this morning

And will again this evening

This and more….

Because we lifted our own selves high enough

To be able to help

Another to see…..