Brian McFadden

Photo by Camille Minouflet on Unsplash

there I was, sitting in the shallow whitewash,
where all the waves come and go

watching my son boogie board
while my wife and daughter built sand castles behind me.

nervous breakthrough is the only way I know how to describe it.

the road of fear I had walked on for so long
had collapsed, and the path I had wanted to travel instead
was suddenly closer than my own eyes.

i was living the life I had envisioned
and could not locate the map on how to do it.

nobody told me that the opening of eyes long
closed can blind you.

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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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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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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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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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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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