Nepal 2015

It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.

They say pain opens the heart
and maybe this is true;
a man once told me he never felt love
until the doctors broke open his chest
stopped his heart and cut out the blockage.
Now love flows over and around him
and his eyes cry for joy
and for the loss of everything he did not feel
before he was torn in two.

If pain opens the heart
then the heart of the world is a bleeding mess
and there is no surgery skilled enough
to staunch the gaping loss:
this place where some human lives mean less
than others, this planet
that heaves and groans and hurls its children
into the unknown.

The side of a mountain is no place to be
even in the safest conditions; you do not want
to stay there, all that uncertain ground
falling away beneath you.
When disaster strikes
you want solid ground, you want working
cellphones, you want infrastructure and exit signs
the certainty of rescue
a place to stand which does not move.
But certainty is the habitat of the moneyed few
and not many are privileged to live there.

They say pain opens the heart
and my heart is open. It does not need
to be stopped, eviscerated and unblocked
in order to understand what it has lost.
Do not tell me about uncertain ground
because I already live here; do not
give me a tour of the exit signs
because I am not leaving.
I will cling to the side of this mountain
side by side with the wild unknown
these fearful prayers, this monkey mind;
they are the only words I know
so they will have to be enough.

KB ©6/2015


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