We stood around the fire

that night,

strangers to ourselves,

souls far from home,


on this far-flung and forlorn

fold of the vast wasteland of form,

in some kind of interdimensional waystation,

someone’s back yard.


We were all the main characters in separate stories,

long and wild ones, but

somehow, we all ended up in that scene together,

wondering if destiny had a purpose,

all awestruck and quiet

around the fire

that night.


I strummed soft smoky bittersweet notes,

steady, simple, continuous,

a blanket of consolation

that wrapped us each in our separateness

and kinda snuggled us all together.


Notions flared up occasionally,

wispy and wistful

or sparking and popping out of the fire ring.

“How did I get here?”

“I wonder what ever happened to so and so.”

“What could I have done differently?”

“How am I gonna get out of this place?”

“My soul isn’t from here,

but it can’t remember where home is.”

“I wish the child-me could know how loved he was,

but he never really knew and now he’s dead,

and buried somewhere

inside me.

But maybe he can hear me

tell him now;

I see his ghost playing and running around in my dreams some nights.”

“Dreams make perfect sense.

Why is being awake such a mindfuck?”


Now and then

we looked into each other’s eyes for a moment,

maybe a little more,

with sad smiles and

soul’s light glowing through

those sweet heartache eyes

of warm moist clay,

cheek bones and brow worn down

to an earthy grace

of surrender and determination.


Yeah, now and then

we look into each other’s eyes for a moment,

but mostly we all stare into the fire,

half hypnotized.

Is it because behind the flickering

flames of this life,

a constant light and warmth

reminds us of some kind of eternal home,

a place to rest in belonging?


Or do we stare into the fire

so we can put our backs

to  home,

the cold dark space surrounding us,

stretching beyond the beyond,

whispering to us

reminding us that sooner or later

we must  return,

whenever our spirits decide they’re finally done with this samsara.


Did we stay too many times in this world

clinging to some kind of self?

Are we the abandoned orphans

or are we the runaways?

Nobody can remember.

But I know that whether we live infinite lifetimes

or die a final death,

not one of us will make it out of here.


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