The Bouquet of the Last Direction

first appeared in The School of Soft-Attention; nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2018

When the soul becomes unburdened

it’s like a new saddle on a fresh horse.

Suddenly the trail feels right again,

and the strong horizon line in front of you as you turn

becomes its own form of soothing medicine.

Something of the sting and burn of the old poison may linger

but having crossed over from the Shadowlands into new open territory,

one can almost pick up the scent of blooming flowers within.

You start to notice all the things you hadn’t been

all because you’d been so bound up

with the echoes of losses and hauntings.

You know you’re ready when ghosts

start chanting from the edge of your life:

Traveler! Good Traveler.

Your ‘Crying for a Vision’ Time is over.

Time to re-inhabit the Human World!

Then, the simplest of the ten thousand things

start to reach out to you to welcome you home again.

The Morningstar.

The blue sky with its utter completeness.

The serrated clouds coming over the rising pine-covered hills.

Even the food tastes better in the Land of the Great Eastern Sun.

You may find the wandering wild animal of your heart

is somehow more free to travel back through time… pick back up with sources of beauty

and power you had put down.

And maybe, just maybe,

you’ll see yourself now

through your childhood eyes

and you’ll stand forgiven and realize

the magic you had then never left you;

you just forgot how to listen.