Shadow Men

The men of shadows like me

Because I know how to dance in their dark streets with my light

and I am unafraid of their secrets

Out of curiosity, compulsion and naivety

I have wandered into their inner chambers

Craving the pull, but all the while a sinking feeling

and trying to ignore it

Craving the story

‘cause I saw it in a movie

And every form of media

and residual karma

*

But it doesn’t take long

for the windows to disappear

and for the reek of loneliness to fill the stale air

Your internal temperature gets colder,

the closer you get to a man like this

And when you arrive as far as he will let you in

you might feel lost while looking at your reflection

*

What were you seeking when you traveled so far away

from safety and from love?

An experience that leaves your soul feeling weathered and torn

rather than comforted and cared for?

You knew –

it would end this way

leave you feeling this way

You knew,

but something drew you in

and you wanted the poison instead of the Prasad

*

Like a Siren’s call, you were called

to these shadow men

The Everything in you trying to understand itself

Feeling yourself the lowest of the low,

you ate garbage and developed

sunken eyes

Yet still, somehow you managed

to preserve your ember

while entering the mouth of the Wolf

That place where you have to die to survive

and break your promises or at least

omit the truth

Lest everything you love get stolen

broken or desecrated

That place will forever remind you

that things can always get worse

And you must find your way out of this mess

*

Your breath becomes shallow

A listlessness begins choking you

You are defeated by the lies you kept telling yourself,

now disappointing and shabby in the light of day

While the good people of the world

have coffee and dreams and commitments they love to keep

You have this –

shadow to reckon with

And you feel tired

like you spent all night digging yourself

another grave

*

*

Time, great healer

Wash me in your Ocean

Ring me out like the robes you will have me wear

when I meet you at last, for tea

*

*

She walks alone and alone

She walks alone and not alone

She stops pretending to know everything and she becomes

a beginner, what an honor

She left the dark streets

and dark avenues

full of tempting, lurking shadow men

The ones who made her look angelic,

if only for a little while

She found this path, instead

High into the mountains

Take off your shoes

*

The Gurus appear in her dreams

when she walks this way

up the many steps

in the misty grey morning

Up the many steps,

she is visually hydrated

by the bright green moss and wild foliage,

all covered with dew

The moist, cool air

filling her nostrils with the fragrance of clean, dark earth

Tiny white flowers

singing praises with her crumbling identity

and ecstatic heart

*

Oh Deathless One,

these shadow men

They just can’t light my fire

like You

*

 

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