#70: Poem: WAKE FOR A WORLD OUT OF BALANCE

Corvallis, December 31st, 2020 – January 10th, 2021 – P#749



stand we here in judgement
of a world that’s gone awry

?

whose judgement is there
we should listen to?
who’s left among us
that should judge?

we see the signs
we hear the words
and there are countless other ones we don’t

and judgements,
judgements,
there are plenty of those now today

thus maybe
it would be much preferred
just this one time
to simply
not judge
to simply
not opinionate
to simply
not here declamate:

and maybe
just maybe
we should just
be
just be
just in this moment
simply be

and take in
and be still:
and still be

in this world of fullness
true nothingness
just for a moment
may just be
all we need

wake
but don’t make
not tonight
not today
just be

philjohn.com/poems

#13: Poem: PASSOVER

Corvallis, April 8th, 2020 – P#734



there’s a feeling rising up
from somewhere deep
inside

the strangest sensation:
intense, and yet gentle,
a realization, for sure,
of something I’ve already known
and yet
don’t care to face all the time

the silliest thing,
it’s so banal,
it is so trivial,
it is so utterly devoid
of any originality
and still
so rarely
truly
expressed

we live our lives
in constant quite anticipation
of something to come,
of something to happen,
of some form of meaning
to emerge
to transform
to fulfill
the way we are

seek pleasure we
seek happiness
seek plain fulfillment
everything
thus we:
how grand a happiness
we might achieve
and last it will
forever more

how sweet such hope
and yet how shallow
yet how vain
yet how dangerous
and plain

to see what’s here
is all we need:
is all we must:

for while the future needs be tended for
its seeds are sowed quite in the now
ideally, since yesteryear
and all we need is to proceed

but future’s work
and past’s achievement
lies in the here
lies in the now:

and if we can’t face
what lies beneath
if empty we fear ourselves to be
no future will fill it
and wither we will

for life is bracketed by death so clearly
in all its morbid obscenity
so unavoidably
and brazenly
and undeniably
just so

we come from nothing
we’ll go to nothing
your hope will be a hope against nothing
or a hope that in this nothingness
nirvana lies, not emptiness:

but still
it’s not for us to know
to hope, believe, aspire, yes:
but know we can’t

and thus
the only thing remaining
lies in the now
lies in the here
so if you lie
about your inner self right here
and if you hope just ‘gainst the truth
you’ll nowhere go
and nowhere be
and nowhere will you see
what all you have
what all is here
in the here
in the now
awaiting a future tender and fragile;
but more so, a present that’s real, not just passing:

‘tis just another way
of saying, life is short,
I know
and yet
this moment
this saddest feeling
this saddest knowing
had to be meditated upon
had not to be passed over
just too eas’ly so
or unthinkingly

this night
this night of all
like every night
time passes by
life passes by
like a thief in the night:
you better know
you better have done
what necessary was:
you better hope
that there is substance
in your life
while you are meditating
on the abyss of death
you need to focus on life
which is given meaning today
and only today
and in all the todays
still coming
till meaning is given by death
finally

but today
you will remember
the oppression of days past
to ensure that none such oppression will ever return
but today
you will remember
the promise of days yet to come
to ensure that this promise will be there for all
but today
tonight
you will sleep, hopefully, knowing that if time,
if time,
if time had decided
that your work now be completed,
then today
would be a good day
to see an end to your suffering
and a beginning
to the closing
of your days

if not today,
if not tomorrow,
then sure another day

but today it is
today it is
today
it is time
to just be
just be
and be just
to yourself
and your love

Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech haolam,
shehecheyanu v’kiy’manu v’higianu laz’man hazeh.

philjohn.com/poems

#8: Poem: AT THE HOUR OF THE WOLF

Corvallis, October 13th, 2019 – January 12th, 2020 – P#725



come, all doubts and questions come now
at the hour of the wolf
at the time of sleepless terrors
logic drifting into dreams so shallow
that some thinking still remains
yet all reason here is lost

failures fill this time of torments
symbols chase around in madness
and the mind, this strangest fellow,
cannot see a forward way:
goes astray, and fear takes over:
how I wish for sleep’s own brother

doors appear that cannot open
writing will escape my view
as I try to scribble something
I’m aware it is for naught:
dreams too lucid to be soothing
for a monster lurks inside

come now though, I did invite you
just by needing rest and sleep
my foolish need to stay alive
invites this torture evermore:
insomnia’s too nice a word
for this here spectacle at hand

and as I drift and drift now further
all that’s hidden gets revealed
(quidquid latet, apparebit):
yes, this is a requiem
yes, this is the day of wrath
where fear beats logic every night

and when I lay me down to sleep
I’d hope the Lord my soul to keep:
but holds dominion here at night
quite something else that broke my soul:
so should I die before I wake
I don’t know who my soul will take.

http://www.philjohn.com/poems/pjkp_24_4.html#h30