Brian McFadden

Poetry

Photo by Jack Dong on Unsplash

dawn and dusk,
just do it
and you will see:

what you seek, you are.
what i seek, i am
what we seek, we have.

after all this time
it is not more knowledge that you need,
but more effort.

to travel this path is to
give up all the worlds
except for the one you call home.

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Poetry

Photo by David Schultz on Unsplash

after flying through three time zones,
moving an entire house on my own (the kids tried),
and then an additional five hours on the road,
we arrived.

got everyone settled, fed, and to sleep,
then found a spot on the front porch where
I sat down and sipped on an evening provision
influenced by masters from India and Tibet.

looked out up and out into that deep night
and admired its solitude which never fails
as a fine companion.

Mr. O’Donohue, my Irish mystic mentor, has taught
me that when you stand at the entrance of a threshold,
you don’t possess language big enough to
hold the size of the crossing.

“good,” I thought.

I don’t care to have a mouthful of delusion anyway.

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Poetry

Photo by Samrat Khadka on Unsplash

the closed fist can strike and defend
the open palm can hold and receive

with no training,
we are clumsy with these functions.

then we spend all our minutes
filled with craving and hurry

picking fruit that isn’t ripe
and then wondering why everything is sour.

think on this. you’ll see.

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Poetry

Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash

The birds have lost their faces,
while the clouds have faded to black.

Outward, everything is hushed,
powering down under the soft light of night.

Inward, a downpour of thoughts
too thick to see through
comes rushing in.

If I continue to build this castle
so that I can guard myself against the chaos of my mind

I will simultaneously become blind from
seeing changing conditions like pleasure and pain
for what they are, and therefore,
obstruct my path to peace.

And so, I let the moon sail and take my seat in this peopled world
because there’s not much more to do.

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Poetry

Photo by Nathana Rebouças on Unsplash

sat down to write,
and gave permission to my brain
to venture out into the universe
for its alms round.

it came back with an empty bowl.

while undulating between anger and unworthiness,
the blank screen turns to dry ice numbing my eyes.

the stray dog feeding on the carcass of a cat
outside my writing window reminds me of the
singular guiding question to human life:

Is there room for imperfection in your heart?

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Poetry

Photo by Matteo Raw on Unsplash

the two wings of reality:
the experience and the vessel.

to commit yourself to controlling the former
shrinks you.

to commit yourself to expanding the latter
liberates you.

realizing that both are needed to take flight,
understanding is born.

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Poetry

Photo by Moritz Spahn on Unsplash

Lightning cracked through the kitchen window
when she took a blade through the mango.
In this pocket of observation,
the desperate flames of my youth take a knee
and I am consumed by a rhythmic ease
that is foreign to all words.
After all this worrying and dreaming,
I can take care of the past and the future,
right now.

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Poetry

Photo by Dominik Perau on Unsplash

When Old Fears resurface
making it difficult to dodge
the socially accepted addictions of our day

I look to ancient teachers
where the message hasn’t changed over time:

The Mountain says, “Be Still.”

The Sky says, “Be Vast.”

The Ocean says, “Be Fluid.”

It has been three decades of trying to repair something that isn't broken
and rather than writing this off as waste, I sit at my writing desk and
discover with enormous simplicity that for every day of my life, despite my worries, anxieties, neurosis, and anger, the sun has faithfully risen alongside all of those dreams.

Then, a question breaks through: Is it possible that my disorders are also the source of my wisdom?

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