Friday, November 29, 2013

Thoughts Upon Standing Between the Republican National Convention Barricades, September 2008 - A poem

Photo credit: taliesin from

Thoughts Upon Standing Between the Republican National Convention Barricades, September 2008

this isn't the downtown st. paul i know,
home of handfuls
of partially abandoned buildings,
fair to middling corporations,
sleepy weekend streets,
and kits of pigeons.

no, this is somewhere else entirely,
a nightmare maze
of rusty fences, slabbed concrete,
and near dead silence
the day before
the beginning of the coronation.

i suppose i could go on the sly into gardens,
slice the stems of as many daisies
as i can possibly find,
return to the barricades
and slide them,
one by one
into the slats
to remind us all
of the beauty which springs forth
from the hells we're so prone to creating ...

but somehow
as i stand here
the sun glaring across
these tall, blackened gates,
such peace feels like a dream,
when so many bodies
lie dead in the streets
or are still warm in the ground
here and abroad,
their ghosts floating everywhere,
demanding to be housed
in our still beating hearts.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

How to Grow a Life

How To Grow A Life

Embrace the field you have,
no matter how shabby,
and breathe, deeply.

Take your shovel
and diligently dig,
until the ground
is good and loose.

Plant whatever seeds
you've been given,
gently cover them over,
and water daily.

When sprouts appear,
begin the watch
for the fierce, wild ones.

Do not rush to eliminate,
but practice being open
to elimination.

Love everything
that arrives,
and release to the earth
whatever doesn't.

Offer prayers
to the sun and the rain,
even if you don't
believe in doing so.

Forgive the world
for giving you a harvest
your mind couldn't possibly
dream of.

Bow to the field
you now have,
and breathe, deeply,
one final time.

*Revised NGT 11/24/13
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Creative Writing the Dharma by nathan thompson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at