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Mango Tree

of

Byron Bay, NSW, Australia

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If Everybody is Nobody There

by

Mango Tree


If everybody is nobody there
then I must go
If everybody is nobody there
then I must go
For I know that when I arrive
there is much to discuss
to find out whoís really present
For if we donít ask soon
it will just be another gathering
of faceless people,
superficial Sam will be there
glitzy Gloria will be strutting
humorous Henry, shallow Sue
these gross impersonators
are poor B actors that travel
through the haze of life blurring
never knowing who each truly is
itís the fear of authenticity
itís the fear of authenticity
itís the fear of authenticity
that scares us.


A Bone Chiling Minnesota Winter birth, 1949

by

Mango Tree

The raw, wet, bitter cold snow insisted that it lie outside
the hospital room of my birth, it demanded that it be a witness
here the great sweeps of snow stop six feet from the birthing room,
few know why it comes, or why it refuses to turn away

February in Minnesota, Blue Earth County, Mankato
the bitterness of this beginning, this frozen winter
land of the Sioux once, now of northern European settlers
farmers, like my family, tough, uneducated people

Survival was the key word everyone used,
ya gotta to survive, I did it, you will learn to
The stillness of the first day set the stage for my lifeís travels,
the bitter coldness still sits within my bones

my smile, my optimism, my diligent creativity only tempers it
bone-chilling coldness rests in the marrow, in the fiber
it takes a good part of a lifetime to extract it
to replace it with love, tenderness, compassion, forgiveness

a bitter battle with life, a life that demands perseverance
Robert Bly states that wounds are a gift, a bittersweet gift
my wounds began at birth, they haunt me, I still carry them,
I am freer these days, the deep work has been worth it,

Itís warmer more often these days, I can see through the clouds
to the blue sky so vast that it could swallow me if it chose to
something I have learned, something I have learned
this world was made to be free in, I am leaving the other worlds.

I Seize this Day

by

Mango Tree


Dapple, green leaves
hanging softly
it's winter in Byron
the sun is full on
the wind is strong
yet cool, accommodating
I sit quietly
knowing that only this day,
belongs to me
ONLY THIS DAY,
belongs to me
I seize it, consume it.
As a warrior with a sword
I slice away the moments
that make up this day
for that is the way
that I know I have
captured it.

Wandering Roads

by

Mango Tree

Wandering roads
weary feet, cold, dry
keep dragging me one step further
than I was the moment before,
these travels keep occurring
somehow, my soul keeps calling
taking me somewhere new
I somehow trust these steps
rarely asking why
I keep putting another foot forward
just another town along the road
a small, weaving creek to sit alongside
a cafť to wander into for food
or a piece of conversation
will I ever find myself?

Looking Down from the Sky

by

Mango Tree

The sun blazes in from outside
It rips through the gentle clouds
The mist accentuates this incandescent blaze
My eyes must turn, I wait
Looking to the side I see the earth below
And, I know that you wait for me down below
Standing in anticipation for me
Shy, excited, eager
And, I wait patiently from the seat
of this airplane
I wait for the wheels to stretch out
From the belly of this airship
To finally land on the gentle soil of Bali
And, I realize that I will never be the same
Ever again,
Once I reach for your hand at the gateway
Of this land
Once I kiss your lips
Embrace your body,
Stand by your side
To complete a burning, alchemic state
of pure, tender, passionate love
no more waiting, just sweet love.

Walking

by

Mango Tree

I walk, I walk, I walk
On stone walkways
On paths of dirt
My feet keep moving
Under full moons
I have walked whole evenings
Walking into the dawn
Across continents I have
Traversed, aimlessly, it seemed
So often, but,
My heart was moved
These sojourns have allowed me
To lose the person I once called
Myself, I now realize
That it is not the pilgrimages
nor the walking; rather
It is the loss of self,
The unpeeling, that leads
To my final unburdening.

Spring Planting in the Rain

by

Mango Tree

Sarah is out in the rain planting
lillipillies, a gardenia, mondo grass
they sink into the rich, red earth
tiny roots sink slowly at first
foliage surrounds the Queenslander
up on the ridge, above the valley below
She is wearing her dark blue raincoat
Since itís raining today,
She couldnít wait any longer to feel the earth
Push her fingers into the dirt, to break a shovel
She feels good when sheís restoring
The natural habitat, adding more beauty
to this world.

The Disease

by

Mango Tree

How many more hours can I endure the side effects
that the drugs create in my body
not being able to walk far, the nausea, lack of sleep
is such a humbling experience,
never having gone through this before
means trial by error or trial by experience,
one hour at a time, patiently
where do I find the power, the ferociousness, courage
to accept all of this, and to start it all over again the next day
when will it ever end and what am I to learn from this
I squeeze the lovely, clear moments
they often surprise me, come from nowhere
it is so difficult fighting this disease.

Living An Authentic Life

by

Mango Tree

I will not die an unlived life
my soul stirs this within my heart everyday
I am reminded of the beauty of this life
when the sun rises, the breeze caresses my face
I am going to open my heart
risk my significance to meet myself
for I am so much more than that
I am too alone to not want to meet myself
for this aloneness exists because I am not the authentic me
I am going to change that.

Dream No Longer, America Has Lost Its Way

by

Mango Tree

Once there was an America that I believed in
born in the Midwest of farmers, depression era virtues
it was instilled in me to work hard, and to dream
Martin Luther King Jr. had a magnificent dream
but, a bullet vaporized his dreams,
today was his birthday, he would have been 75 years old
I remember an America that was less selfish than today
one that cared more about the disenfranchised, the poor,
the uneducated, the have nots, those confused and still naive
that country no longer exists,
in 2004 it is more in debt, more selfish, and, above all
more poorly led since the nation was created in 1776
spineless congressional leaders spew empty rhetoric
fear has displaced hope, greed, compassion
and, the interior walls are crumbling
filled with dry rot and termites, swindlers, oil barons
and the belief that everyone can earn a decent living has crumbled
into the dust that remains of the walls, the original values that
made this country stand out above the rest
there are no new beliefs for the less fortunate
America has become a policeman for huge oil interests
it has no interest in human rights, civil liberties,
above all, it has no interests in striving to build a better, saner,
more compassionate, less violent world, none.

Presidential Lies

by

Mango Tree

How can a president stand up in front
of millions of people and look into the camera
and tell lie after lie after lie?
How can a president state false ideas,
promise things never intended to deliver?
I have worked this over many times in my mind
and have come to the decision that it's the camera
actors stand in front of cameras
and tell the audience what they want to hear.

Phoney Existence

by

Mango Tree

To believe that the world is only as you think it is, is stupid.
The world is a mysterious place,
each of us does not fight our own battles
instead, we fight for those before us who taught us well
what we think, see, feel, want, is not real
to be busy, to consume the media and products
this leaves a mark on each one of us
they are reminders of what someone else has told us
and diversions from a person that exists within
one that is not phoney, not influenced by lies, propaganda
fear of terrorists, and is alert to the thieves that lead nations.

Whose Eyes Are Those In the Mirror

by

Mango Tree

Each one of us seeks
we want to discover what truly lies within
the outside world is so magnificent
the mysteriousness of those around us
can be confusing, nonsensical
yet, each one of us returns time and time again
to the person that looks at us when we look into a mirror
who could be behind those eyes which know so much
who walks alongside us when we travel throughout our day?

Innocent Childhood

by

Mango Tree

Childhood, wondrous years
carefree days when everything was why?
the moment was the focus
and the abuse that a child can receive
weaves into a trance until later years
a child loves fun and friends
they are more important than what occurs
at night behind closed doors by perpetrators
so the years pass, unhealthy relationships occur
and finally, one day, if one is fortunate, it rises
and spills itself all over the therapist's floor
finally, it's out, there's work to do now
it is worth the effort

Innocent Childhood

by

Mango Tree

Childhood, wondrous years
carefree days when everything was why?
the moment was the focus
and the abuse that a child can receive
weaves into a trance until later years
a child loves fun and friends
they are more important than what occurs
at night behind closed doors by perpetrators
so the years pass, unhealthy relationships occur
and finally, one day, if one is fortunate, it rises
and spills itself all over the therapist's floor
finally, it's out, there's work to do now
it is worth the effort

Innocent Childhood

by

Mango Tree

Childhood, wondrous years
carefree days when everything was why?
the moment was the focus
and the abuse that a child can receive
weaves into a trance until later years
a child loves fun and friends
they are more important than what occurs
at night behind closed doors by perpetrators
so the years pass, unhealthy relationships occur
and finally, one day, if one is fortunate, it rises
and spills itself all over the therapist's floor
finally, it's out, there's work to do now
it is worth the effort

Innocent Childhood

by

Mango Tree

Childhood, wondrous years
carefree days when everything was why?
the moment was the focus
and the abuse that a child can receive
weaves into a trance until later years
a child loves fun and friends
they are more important than what occurs
at night behind closed doors by perpetrators
so the years pass, unhealthy relationships occur
and finally, one day, if one is fortunate, it rises
and spills itself all over the therapist's floor
finally, it's out, there's work to do now
it is worth the effort

Life and Strength

by

Mango Tree

Life is about living
having the tenacity to persevere
another day of treatment
for those who are ill and suffering
have distinctive eyes to look out into the world
the picture seen can be blurred
often it is controlled by the pain, the discomfort
but, I realize, that to continue on,
if that is the goal of me, or you
we must trust in something deep within
for this is what will carry us into the next day
and hopefully, to victory, back to health
today, the nausea, the breathing drags me down
today, is a day that I must hold tight fisted onto the strength
that will carry me onto the next day where I may gain some peace.

I WANT BURNING

by

Mango Tree

This dust that carries me across the sky
takes me far from my origin
someday I will return
but, until that day,
I accept my place, here, on Earth

Yet, I realize that the world that I have been born into
also waits
This world has been waiting
It waits patiently to see what I will do before moving on

It waits for each of us to let go,
to finally let go of the burdens
that we gather as we feed upon the moments
that make up what we call a life

Patiently it waits
It waits for the unburdening

THIS WORLD WAITS, THIS WORLD WAITS,
FOR ME TO TAKE MY RIGHTFUL PLACE
FOR ME, TO TAKE MY RIGHTFUL PLACE

Today I wed my third wife
today, my life moves on with her beside me
we two dust particles join the journey
across the pathways of intimacy, of life

I accept my place in this world
I grasp, I trust, I burn
because I want burning, burning

A Small Boy Stood Patiently Waiting for Peace

by

Mango Tree

In the center of the field, on a clear blue sky day
stood a small boy, alone, looking up
waiting for the bomber to fly overhead
he waited patiently,
the sound of the engine could finally be heard
and as it flew directly over him the boy gasped
it was true what his leaders had said,
that the bombs had no particular name on them
and the split second before the first one hit,
he felt relieved, no more worrying, it was finally here
you see, the small boy grew weary from the threats,
the rheteric, the battering amongst leaders
and to finally die meant he would go in peace,
because that is what his leaders continually preached,
this is all for peace, this is all for peace.

This Discontent Is So Pervasive

by

Mango Tree

Why do I feel so much discontent
where has this restlessness come from
bitterness falls off of my lips
frustration, lethargy, confusion
they make up so much of each day
where do I find the strength, the courage
to live alongside these ugly heads
the barrage of challenges, the agony
how many roads must I walk down
before I become the man that I wish to be
one that can move beyond the pain.

Omnipresent Wind

by

Mango Tree

Why does the wind pass my face
any time, day or night, how is it possible
that this invisible presence can exist,
am I being embraced by a god passing by
if so, if this god is a powerful presence
where does it sleep at night, where does it break bread
possibly it travels endlessly around the earth
whispering into the ears of the people
who are willing to listen, and to learn
how is it able to speak so many dialects
and not sleep, where does it find its fierceness
no matter the season or my state of mindfulness
this windgod walks alongside me
I feel as if our existence coincide
whether I agree or not life offers me this guide.

Dark Dawn Dripping with Moist Dew

by

Mango Tree

Dark dawn dripping with moist dew
a mist has crawled in along the river bank
the full moon glances down upon this valley
cows are mooing mournfully in a sort of muse
lamentations for the eventual day that a truck
appears before another dawn to cart the cow
to its demise in a slaughter house miles away
away from the mist, the moon, the valley
that now claims to be the home, its sanctuary
I look down from Myocum Ridge safe at the moment
restless because of yet another night without REM
I await the dawn to arrive, it gives me an hour or so
to finally rest, lie unexpectedly on the featherbed
no where to go, nothing mandatory to do
no obligations or deadlines or have tos, nothing
instead I sit here with the interferon and ribaviron
moving about my bloodstream hunting down the HCV
battle after battle goes on each day, some won, some lost
months pass by, the future looks hopeful, the war may end.

Life Worthwhile Living

by

Mango Tree

Today, like most other days
begins with the sun rising
an alarm clock, a yawn
a stubborness to rise out of bed
whether from a Sealy mattress or from the hard dirt
what matters, is that most of us actually get up
how we approach the day is unpredicable
so many variables effect this outcome
but some drive, some spiritual motivation
takes us one day at a time through the years
until the day approaches when we say, No mas!
was your life worth the effort, the worries, the sacrifices?

History Traces Itself with Whispering Winds

by

Mango Tree

History traces itself through whispering winds
they continue on their annual weather cycle
whether or not they change depends upon the leaders
every great nation, every great leader
says the same, I am here for our great nation
every great nation has fallen
why would it be any different in the 21st century
the arrogance, the brazen violence, the power manipulation
all lead to the same demise
wouldn't it be different it the mandates were turned around
and the lies were held to a minimum
and the leaders meant what they said
and the powers that be crumbled to their knees
with their corporate rapings of societies
and the environment would be allowed to heal its wounds.

WMDs Soaring Like A Flock of White Birds

by

Mango Tree

About a mile or two away the white birds soar in flock
the rains have backed off for a few minutes
it was a strong precipitous night, several inches of downfall
as I watch the birds in the distance I can't help to think
they move like people, someone makes a motion
and most other follow suit
whether it's phantom WMDs or another evil empire
the country masking as the hero is actually the bad guy.

What A View, What A Life It Has Been

by

Mango Tree

My life is now five decades long
It seems to have been only a few moments
The past has melted somehow into mist
The future is too far beyond my imagination
But, this moment I passionately enjoy
For it's this aspect of my life that I know
It is what has allowed me to breathe deeply
This breath as it comes and goes
is a reminder to me of the gift of life
What it has to offer and what I will learn
So, I sit here with a view
incredibly spectacular and panoramic
I am very grateful, humble, and blessed.

FROZEN IN THE MOMENT

by

Mango Tree

It's four o'clock
In the afternoon
On a Sunday, in July
Sounds of birds
Drift across the valley
Streaks of sunlight
Thrust themselves across
The bush below
Leaving shadows behind
All plants that stand tall
Clouds are scattered across
A blue sky, moving clouds
Contours permeate the landscape
It's winter in the Hinterland
A stillness consumes the moment
A stillness so pervasive that
Not even the birds' chatter
Can pierce it for more than
A moment
My body sits
My body sits quietly
This body that I call my own
Does not move
This stillness somehow captivates me
I am frozen in the moment,
One after another
I am frozen in the moment,
One after another
The pulse of the landscape
Matches my own pulse
We travel together now
We travel together now
And, this sojourn adjusts itself
As each moment in silence passes.

Blue Couch

by

Mango Tree

I lie upon this soft, blue couch
My body borrowing this space
I rest my tired soul, oh, so briefly
Your embrace means so much to me,
hold me gently for I am weary
I am grateful for your kindness
You took a moment out from your life
To encourage me to keep my faith
So I may return to life and write a few more words
We both know that the words keep me connected
to my soul.

Illness

by

Mango Tree

To feel this way, to feel this way
With the gut wrenching, the putrid smell
To feel this way, is difficult
To move through a day so slowly
No energy, ho hope of gathering away
Tells me to sleep, to move towards a bed
I try so hard to refuse this advice
But, I now find myself crawling into a bed anyway
Finally, allowing myself, my body, some sleep.

Can One Really Prepare for War?

by

Mango Tree

The notice arrives
Official government business
A nationalistic calling
To serve, as others before
Go to training, brief
It never prepares one
For much, possibly
A way to die on the battlefield
or what it takes to come back
empty, shattered, broken.

My Older Brother Finally Listened

by

Mango Tree

My older brother called me today,
it's my birthday, a long overdue call
it took fifty-five years,
though, he may not have done it on his own
my younger brother put him up to it,
he, nonetheless, pushed the digits
we spoke of our lives, our deceased father
who up to a year ago was our rock
mother, with Alzheimer's came up
she is withering day by day
and, I spoke to him about me
about my treatment to starve off death
I spoke honestly about how severe the side effects are
how isolated I have been, how I have almost stopped
the treatment, but, my courage pushed me on
for the first time of our lives he acted as an older brother
he listened to me, he empathized,
as the tears fell like a rushing waterfall off of my gentle face
decades of relief occurred today, decades
all of this will help me to survive the next five and one half
months of treatment still to come.

Winds Blowing So Strongly Today

by

Mango Tree

Winds blowing so strongly today
blowing away my pain from living a life
as my 55th year ends today and I head into
my next it is good to know that the wind still,
that the wind still purifies and cleanses
and that my optimism is for not for naught
I will get through this eleven month treatment
that the next five and one-half months
will be worth the anguish of the side-effects
that my will to live is stronger than my suffering
the winds that blow here in New South Wales
on the eastern shores of Australia
purify, encourage, cleanse, and heal.

Soldiers Walking Into the Night

by

Mango Tree

It does not really matter
It does not really matter
where the young armored,
restless, nervous soldiers
call their homeland,
nor, what their cause is
young men, young women
still walk heavily into this war life
that unbeknownst to them
one day will haunt them
killing, or the fear of being killed
is not easy to bear
terror, uneasiness
does take its toll upon
the human psyche,
and the soldiers walking into the night
and the soldiers walking into the night
walk into the future as they walk today
It does not really matter
It does not really matter
where the young armored,
restless, nervous soldiers
call their homeland
war has left a wound upon their souls,
or killed them.

The Mornings on Mango Tree Hill

by

Mango Tree

I saw white light when my sleepy eyes opened today at dawn
and then, I was moved by
the amazement of the acres below
spreading out for miles
down into the valley towards the
encircling mountains, and,
the big, huge, blue Australian sky
the birds' songs, the first white clouds
no matter which direction I look
it takes the breath out of my lungs
if this is anything like heaven,
it won't matter which one I'm in.

Burgundy Sky

by

Mango Tree

I looked into the depth of the sky,
the sun was setting behind the mountain once again
waves of golden light spread itself upon the deep green wild grass
the cows kept eating,
the mangos drank up the rays,
I just sat back in my chair gazing in wonderment
off into the burgundy sky.

Dream World

by

Mango Tree

Drowsy evening, tired body
I struggle to stay awake
not really wanting to
my mind, my body are shutting down
leading me to the end of another day
so much went on,
daily life is never the same
it may appear to be to many
but, it is not
I don't have any immediate plans
so I focus on my weary eyes
which are slowly closing moment by moment
I weave down the hallway, enter the bedroom
I tumble into the bed that I call my own
a place that I will spent 1/3 of my life
and off I drift into the dream world
the night life, the REM state
I do love this time of the day.

Life Is Shown to have been the Effort

by

Mango Tree

We shape ourself to fit somehow in this world
and the world does it's own shaping as well
The unknown and the known silently working together
for a common cause, a formation of each self
I am thinking of the unburdening, the loosening of tension
the unarmoring of years of neglect and lack of love
each of us is looking for the true shape of ourself to appear
as if magically out of the darkness
from the depths of the deep ocean waters of the psyche
if and when this occurs we see the dream world, the imagined
then, and only then
then, and only then
we will begin to see that coming home is not one event
that instead it occurs over and over again
and, that all of it was worth the effort
to see that pain, suffering, illness, loss, disappointment
are all different vehicles to travel to the true self
the one that each of us has always known
but, have been too meek to strive towards
then, and only then do we hold our weight
then, and only then do we hold our weight
and travel along the current as a leaf on the surface
we go where the current goes
and, if we are lucky,
we may somehow move alongside the bank
this floundering is the tangential suffering
a way of sorting out
eventually, the current does take each of us home
this current, an all-powerful all inclusive thread
in its magnificence then we discover another horizon,
another journey, all of it is in constant movement.

We shape ourself to fit somehow in this world
and the world does it's own shaping as well
The unknown and the known silently working together
for a common cause, a formation of each self
I am thinking of the unburdening, the loosening of tension
the unarmoring of years of neglect and lack of love
each of us is looking for the true shape of ourself to appear
as if magically out of the darkness
from the depths of the deep ocean waters of the psyche
when and if this occurs we see the dream world, the imagined
then, and only then
then, and only then
we will begin to see that coming home is not one event
that instead it occurs over and over again
and, that all of it was worth the effort
to see that pain, suffering, illness, loss, disappointment
are all different vehicles to travel to the true self
that each of us has always known this but we resist
we hesitate, appear too meek, but, it must be done
then, and only then do we hold our weight
then, and only then do we hold our weight
and travel along the current as a leaf on the surface
we go where the current goes
and, if we are lucky,
we may, somehow, at times, drift to the outer banks
this floundering is tangential suffering
a way of sorting out
eventually, the current does take each of us home
this current, an all-powerful all inclusive thread
weaves a tapestry which we each call our life
in its magnificence we discover another horizon,
another journey, all of it is in constant movement
as the mysteries are unravelled we become more conscious
and life is shown to have been worth the effort.

Rumi

by

Mango Tree

September 30, 1207
Thirteenth Century
Jelaluddin Rumi
Born to this world
A meeting of a mystic
To this new world
One that we all live in
One that we all live in
He offered so much
And, now those of us
That travel in this same world
And, now those of us
That travel in this same world
But, in the twenty-first century
Read these ancient words again
To see what we may find
Morsels that may give some meaning
To clarify this life that we each live
To clarify this life that we each live
But, we shall all find out, as did Rumi
That it comes from within,
That the knocking has been from inside
That it comes from within,
That the knocking has been from inside
And, that if we take this notion
Work deep within the self
Well, each of us will also meet the fire
For, I want burning, I want burning
I want this world to embrace me
Because this world is awaiting
Because this world is awaiting
For each of us to take our place
To boldly step into this soul place
That awaits us, that awaits each of us
That awaits the soul that you, I, we have
This doorway to eternity flickers open
This doorway to eternity flickers open
And, as all doors do because of their nature
This door will close one day.
Donít wait, donít wait, donít wait
Dance now, dance now, freely dance.

A Quiet Day In the Sun

by

Mango Tree

We walked down the cement path
Made by people long ago
A nature path designed creatively
With plants purposely placed
In appropriate places in order
To create a lovely place

We walked along the stream
A quiet, gently flowing meandering
Stream, a winter stream
After all, it was in the dead of winter
Our footsteps were foreign
It looked as if the footway
Was not used anymore
Except by people like us

Who unexpectedly found it
A disguised cement walkway
In the country, between
The roadway and the stream
It was a lovely discovery
A pleasant way to travel
To the village of Channon
On a sunny day, a Sunday.

In the Morning

by

Mango Tree

Why do I sit each morning in front of the keyboard
staring out the myriad of surrounding windows
that look down into the cow filled valley below
I watch the mist dissipate from the weaving creek
birds in flight pass by these windows
the flying foxes have departed at dawn from the mango tree
its leaves sit quietly during the daylight
even the possum has gone to sleep in one of the trees
meanwhile I sit in front of the keyboard
pushing down the keys to form words
thoughts splattered like blood on the screen
it's about opening my soul to the outer world
a means of connecting to you out there I have never met.

Homeland

by

Mango Tree

I read or hear about those that call
themselves nationalistic,
ones that are bound and determined
to either die at war for their country
or encourage a young person to die instead
or proclaim to die on the hallowed
grounds or dirt of a birthplace
the Native Americans of the United States
always felt that no one owned land
instead, we visit it for a lifetime
and one day leave our bones upon it
nationalism only breeds separateness
too much pomp and circumstance, and hatred.

Basho the Poet

by

Mango Tree

Basaro wandered the countryside of Japan
searching for wildness, trees, flowers, streams
his haiku spread joy, sensitivity throughout Japan
his simple power, inner perspectives of life
influenced the compassionate side of humans
whereas, the power corrupt, war mongers,
freedom fighters, international protectors
fight for oil rights, mineral deposits, resources
Basaro would find this extremely odd.

Basho the Poet (1644-1694)

by

Mango Tree

Basho wandered the countryside of Japan
searching for wildness, trees, flowers, streams
his haiku spread joy, sensitivity throughout Japan
his simple power, inner perspectives of life
influenced the compassionate side of humans
whereas, the power corrupt, war mongers,
freedom fighters, international protectors
fight for oil rights, mineral deposits, resources
Basho would find this extremely odd
this koan is mysterious,
everyone grows old and dies one day.

WAR, WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

by

Mango Tree

What is it about war that disturbs me so much?
Is it knowing that innocent citizens may perish
by unknown weapons that have no particular
name implanted on their hard cases?
Is it the possibility that I may be one of them someday?
Is it knowing that my government,
the organization that represents my political interests
makes decisions that leave me out of the decision process?
Or, is it because I know that I alone cannot influence the people in power
Or, that I fear I will be labeled an anarchist, a person that is not patriotic,
worse yet, a peacenik?

Or, is it the memories of Fred Gruber,
my high school buddy, born five days after me,
who went down in a fiery crash in a Huey in ĎNam
the same day, December 1, 1968,
that on leave before my tour to ĎNam I injured
my knee which led to Letterman Hospital in
San Francisco instead of the rice fields of ĎNam?
Damn ĎNam, so many young Americans, Vietnamese,
French, Australians, Koreans, Chinese, and more,
men, women, who fell next to someone,
tight as a string before it snaps, shot in the head
a sad, sad, lonely way to die, lying quietly
"der springt noch auf," (patient flowers into death now)
dark, filthy blood eventually drying on their corpse

Or, is it the battering of the drums as soldiers march
down the avenues of the great cities, the military garrisons,
On they march; through fields, swamps, upon sand,
the rocks of invisible political boundaries,
lonely men and women hungry, scared, confused, tired
marching where birds wander about scourging for food
where the beauty of the landscapes have been ravaged
corpses left in the paddy, or dead on a high hill,
all the false flags of bravery and ignorance,
the plans made by leaders in safety zones, noncombatants
hollow leaders with even shallower intentions sit far, far away
Or, worse yet, is it knowing that highly trained faceless, sky pilots
drop payloads on targets, cities, humans, with smart, surgical bombs that have been paid for by me, you, the taxpayers--payloads that murder mothers, children, fathers, siblings
Or, is it that I am tired of hearing the same rhetoric
by the same Republicans and the same Democrats of America
the leaders of a free society, liberty and truth for all
and, what is MANIFEST DESTINY, whose and what destiny?
and why does America need Homeland Security?

What is it about war and the poverty, hunger and chaos that follows it that disturbs me so much?

Human Revision

by

Mango Tree

Never could figure out
why a human can be so lemming like
swim in a school like a trout
listen and swallow lies, news alike
is the child within that wants daddy to explain
or is the beaten lesson to always refrain
media is a product, whether it's for war
a campaign, a plan, a new home division
it enhances the rich and is a demise of the poor
isn't it time in human evolution for a revision?

Innocent Child

by

Mango Tree

Childhood, wondrous years
carefree days when everything was why?
the moment was the focus
and the abuse that a child often received
spun itself into a trance for the uncovering
which occurred in later years
a child loves fun and friends
they are more important than abuse, the terror
that occurs at night, or in some hidden enclosure
perpetrators find their moments, like those before them
this cycle of mistreatment, trauma, horror
harshly travels through the days until adulthood is reached
as the years pass, unhealthy relationships occur
substance abuse, work addicts, shame, acting out
until finally, one day, if one is fortunate, it rises
from the unconscious state to the conscious
and the courageous work begins,
it is worth the effort, it is worth the effort.

Vultures

by

Mango Tree

Vultures hover above the parliament building
vultures hover above Washington's capitol
more hover above the pentagon
and above the military training centers
one thing is guaranteed,
there will be plenty of scrap meat
to pick apart as long as human leaders
make powerful decisions
sad, but true
I hope that it will change some day
the vultures then will move on.

Collective Wisdom

by

Mango Tree

Threshold of collective wisdom
sustain humans
it keeps their vitality alive
productive, compassionate
the gifts, talents, skills
and diverse experiences
direct human boldness
into unknown frontiers
not necessarily into outer space
but, rather in collective, interpersonal
healing and transformative experiences
blossom the human spirit
reflection and team collaboration
help us to succeed in fostering love.

Grateful for the Moment

by

Mango Tree

It is a quiet morning
a few bird calls,
a quiet breeze
it bit overcast
clouds deciding which moment
would be the most opportune
to burst and drop rain to the earth
leaves are slightly moving
on the mango tree
it is a still moment in life
one to sit with, a pondering
no where to go, nothing to do
feeling the pulse of this rural life
and being grateful for the moment.

Preparation for this Moment

by

Mango Tree

Trust what one's heart knows
put in the time
faith will drive the process
a faith of loving oneself
a faith of knowing
that now is the time
that now is the time
this morning is the perfect one
the one that has somehow
brought it all together for
this realization, this epiphany
and, that, now, yes, now
is the time to grasp this faith
I am worth this moment
that all of the previous ones
have just been preparation
for this one.

Struggling Mind

by

Mango Tree

My mind seems to struggle
it tries so hard to understand
some of the actions of others
the constant demands, the deceit
just doesn't seem sensible
basically a lot of bull
but, when I sit and let
the thoughts run
treat them as a fishing net
which allows the thoughts, the net
to simply pass on through
I find that it does not matter at all
whether or not it makes sense to me.

A Walk Down a Stream

by

Mango Tree

Took a walk along a stream today
lightly flickering sunrays filtered through the trees
the meandering water way
reminded me of the pleasures of life
how important it is to just sit still
observe what's going on
So, I sat down upon the dirt
put my feet into the cool water
and stared into the depths

Who Am I and Where Am I Going

by

Mango Tree

Who am I
and where am I going
where did I come from
and why I am here
did I travel from afar
or is the simplistic biological
explanation explain my birth
as I aimlessly travel through life
thinking this or that as important
an internal voice keeps suggesting
was that it
my contentment somehow must be within
because very little in the outside world
sustains itself for very long.

Life is a Gift

by

Mango Tree

Life is a gift
each day is a present
the challenges, the pain, the suffering
the heartache, the illnesses
are steps along the way
my mind wants to conquer nebulousness
my spirit wants inspiration
but, my soul just wants me to listen.

Truth

by

Mango Tree

What does it take to live the truth
not just speak the truth
or appear to be truthful
What does it take to live the truth
to be forthright, opinionated
a pursuer of clarification
to fight for oneself
I believe it is conjuring up enough
self-love to realize that I am worth it
anything less is demeaning, less than.

A Cinquain Poem

by

Mango Tree

Alive
vitality
expanding vibrantly
seeking, humbling, transformative
Beauty

A Diamonte Poem

by

Mango Tree

Truth
difficult, whole
freeing, expanding, excruciating
bold, authentic, weak, superficial
misleading, sneaking, lying
selfish, greedy
Dishonesty

Simile Poem

by

Mango Tree

Love is as hot
as a cauldron
boiling alchemically.

A Tanka Poem

by

Mango Tree

The gate is unlocked
men and women hide inside
sorting out their lives
fear seems to dominate them
it's time to open the gate.

Alliteration Poem

by

Mango Tree

Bold, bodacious bodies
capturing capricious cups copiously
demanding delirious demons doggedly
earnestly entering efficious entrances
finding fluent flouting foolish flounders.

Disseminating Illusion

by

Mango Tree

This world doesn't respect
children much
it also grows more and more
suspicious of reading and writing
as each day passes the media
edges closer and closer
to disseminating illusion, fear
and government controlled images
what a person thinks as truth
is in actuality the thoughts of others.

Young Boys In River

by

Mango Tree

Ran gracefully with small, skinny legs
through the wheat fields of the midwestern US
hundreds of miles of corn and wheat
ran over the Black Bridge which crossed
the Minnesota River,
a bridge that was only for trains
and small boys looking for adventure
down the embankment Jim and I went
to dip our young bodies into the dangerous currents
meandering rivers forced to carry the snow melt
we only knew life, death was an unknown.

Life and Death

by

Mango Tree

When it is quiet, serene, calm
it is easy to be in the moment
when, Ricky choked on a chicken bone
at the age of seven it must have been like this
when Fred died in Vietnam as a door gunner
it must have been like this
when my father leaned over last year
to never wake again
it must have been like this
so, is life or death really that different?

My Implosion

by

Mango Tree

As my implosion
Manifests uneventfully
I lose myself totally into a void
This dreamlike state
Yet, too, dissolves
And I am left with-nothing.

A Dove

by

Mango Tree

A doveís feathers sat
Upon the ground near a cat
I once knew this dove.

The Red Blanket

by

Mango Tree

Cotton, partially synthetic
Medium weight
It lies upon my legs
It lies upon my trunk
Only partially protecting
Me from the cool air
Which seeps in from
The partially opened
Sliding door which separates
Me from the rain which
Separates itself from the clouds
Which once comforted the drops
And unleashed them outside
The door which is partially open
The red blanket gives me
Some comfort, not much
I sit up pushing the keys
Slightly in discomfort
Yearning a thicker blanket
A warmer room,
Yet realizing how much
That would affect this poem.

Haemoglobin

by

Mango Tree

Sleepy eyes, partially swollen
the treatment demands so much
my body is fighting
the chemicals bare heavy
especially upon the haemoglobin
limited oxygen immature red blood cells
slow down my systems
only twenty-two weeks left
hopefully, my body will make it.

Love Fogy

by

Mango Tree

He walks slowly these days
From so many steps in ninety plus years
Life has been full, adventuresome
Travels to many cultures, once to Japan
He still swims a few laps
Three times a week
The sun still shines on his face
The wind presses upon his shape
Shadows still follow him wherever he goes
Itís the moments with others, alone
That means so much to him
The days that slowly pass now
Are extensions that depict lifeís masterpiece
One where words have touched paper
Left his lips a thousand times
Descriptions of life, towards a death
That eagerly awaits
But, the passion still persists
The love of his life still persists.

Another Foible

by

Mango Tree

Sometimes I wonder
Why it is that I spend so much time
Piddling
Hours have been spent in the occupation
Of straightening out miscellaneous tidbits
Folding towels, collecting pushpins
Wiping down counters
Straightening out shelves, nooks, crannies
Wandering from room to room
It gives me a sense of peace somehow
A sense of order, it calms me.

Ignorant, Selfish People

by

Mango Tree

I try to understand why people that live near
are so insensitive to the land, the tranquility
that noise and horrid musical sounds, thump a thump
that barbed wire fences seem to protect their wealth
land boundaries mean nothing,
greed, ignorance, fear, selfishness seems to come up
its Sunday, and chainsaws scream, but why?

Haemoglobin

by

Mango Tree

Sleepy eyes, partially swollen
the treatment demands so much
my body is fighting
the chemicals bare heavy
especially upon the haemoglobin
limited oxygen immature red blood cells
slow down my systems
only twenty-two weeks left
hopefully, my body will make it.

Another Poem

by

Mango Tree

Another poem rises
from the depths of my soul
breath, exhalation, draws it up
fierceness pushes it out of the lungs
another image put into words
needing to let it out
keep writing daily
let the words pour upon the monitor
black blood oozing, dripping, smearing
itself upon the readers out there
somewhere else in this world.

Beating Sun

by

Mango Tree

Hot, sticky Australian day
hot ocean, hot tiles, scourging hot tin roof
the ozone hole allows so many extra rays
to enter the atmosphere, everyone wears hats
the children on the playgrounds,
most that sit on the beaches,
the paddock workers, the farmers
intense heat beating down upon skulls
it takes its daily toll.

Burning

by

Mango Tree

Every fibre in my body is on fire
the burning incinerates
the intensity is unbearable
yet, my body holds on
waiting for the disease to end
it's a matter of life or death.

Deceit

by

Mango Tree

It's quite simple
people lie straight-faced
standing in immaculate blue suits
or stylish, red dresses
with silk scarves wrapped around their necks
a lie is a form of deceit for some personal gain
a way of hiding or not wanting to gain access
to information that results in the bitter truth
covert tangential meandering work well
or, convincing anyone or everyone the product
or idea or propaganda or deal is worth what it isn't
each just needs to look at oneself
how many untruths did you dispel today,
magnify that, how many untruths did any organization
spread today on the TV, a magazine, a book, a speech
a cyberspace transmission, or pictorial image
humans are gullible and in need of someone to tell
them what to do, how to look, and what we need
it's all about self-realization and responsibility.

Green Tree Frog

by

Mango Tree

Thump
thump
thump
on the tin roof of my office
it's 6:00 AM, dark, dawn is approaching
I walk outside with my torch
scan its beams along the roofline
and looking down to me is the frog
in a moment it leaps
off of the roof and onto a six foot plant
it sits gazing at me, probably wondering
why I have a torch on in the darkness
I leave, back to write this poem.

We Spoke the Truth Today

by

Mango Tree

We spoke today,
Sarah and I
the truth,
secrets about ourselves
shamelessly we exposed
what previously we saw as flaws
I fell like a different person
she is more beautiful to me
it has taken so long
so much unburdening
letting go of previous experiences from
my past, our past
I feel so much better, so does Sarah
some of the facade has fallen off
both of us, we are closer.

Two Worlds

by

Mango Tree

Soft, silky illusions
hanging under the mango tree
a web about life
many creatures fly past it
others are caught and stuck
humans can be this way
a person has died
we look into the clouds
they part and an image emerges
it may resemble the lost person
a universal statement may have been made
each of us decides this truth
it's about staying connected
the spirit world influences this world.

Life Is Worth the Wait

by

Mango Tree

Life is about uncovering
discovering what lies deep within
hidden, waiting for release
it takes so much courage to even look
to allow the armour to soften, to fall
it may feel so vulnerable that it may
appear that one will break, worse die
but, it's life that appears instead
a person behind the eyes who has been waiting
patiently, compassionately, non-judgemental
and, when the true self appears
so many burdens fall to the wayside
and the eyes see clearer, one feels so much better
that is what life is about, that's why we persevere
the troubles, the abuse, the suffering
it is worth the wait, trust this.

Time to Go Into the Dark

by

Mango Tree

The long, deep black, ebony night
when the spirits rise and hover
the daylight has gone
time to go into the dark
time to go into the dark
is may be more comfortable
that one would think
for the dark is simple, clear
it is dark with movement
images do transpire
and I have found,
and I have found
that the time that I entered
the completely dark void
there was complete peace
many of the world's so called
great relations do not know this
they focus too much on salvation
shame, sin, unworthiness
it is time to go into the dark
you will be safe there.

Life's Tapestry

by

Mango Tree

Travelling through my weaving of my life
threads that somehow intertwine
creating yarn that becomes fabric
the experiences, the transitions of life
that become the tapestry I call my own
are made up of dazzling and dull colours
lots of patches have been covered tears
but, the magnificence of the journey
ends, just as the tapestry wears thin
and its loose ends become shabby
but itís not the shabbiness that matters
for to be real one must be hugged and loved
and work through the difficult things
to understand that the meaning of life
is about change, risks, dreams coming true
connections, success, not just suffering.

Fierce Thunderous Storm

by

Mango Tree

The Poinciana Tree has had a growth burst
as have the other plants in the gardens
around the Queenslander on the ridge
the flowers are fully in bloom, it's summer
the plants that surround our house
separate us from the outside world visually
we live in harmony, the plants, the birds,
the opossum, the echidna, frogs
it is a natural life,
predators and prey act out their roles
which allow some to live longer
so many ecosystems going on
but, last night's thunder and lightning storm
and the pounding rain shook us all
it reminded us that there are powers
much fiercer and greater than any of us.

More Truth

by

Mango Tree

I sometimes sit anxiously
fidgeting, unable to focus on the words
I want to write down
something is holding me back
a nervous tension, fear of unmasking
something that I am not yet able to face
it takes time to live a full life
the unfolding occurs moment by moment
the layers of tissue realize their information
when the time is right & the mind is available
to work with, to move from and into more truth.

Organizing Things

by

Mango Tree

I love organizing things
straightening out the house
creating templates for my work
putting files in their proper places
filing my Word docs in their folders
the sense of creativity, peace, completeness
offers me a sense of satisfaction, security
that allows me to feel more meaning
more potential, more passion for life.

Pounding Rain

by

Mango Tree

Huge rainfall today
pounding the earth
torrential in nature
filling water tanks
hiding the birds
even the lazy cows stand still
such a relief after a long heat spell
the clouds protect us on earth
give us a reprieve from the scorching
rays that slip down through the atmosphere
an example of the greenhouse effect in reality
I love the rain, reminds me of so many other places
times in my life that I captured
now, I sit still, taking it all in again,
I love the atmosphere that rain creates
the muse allows me to truly be in my thoughts.

Another Morning Rising

by

Mango Tree

Today I felt better
the virus is being challenged
though is still exists in some degree
at least that's what I hear
I feel as if I am on my path to healing
that the side effects
even though they still exist have shifted
I'll wait to see, still 21 more weeks of treatment
I'm writing again which is great
Meanwhile, my soul-searching continues
the sitting with myself has been powerful
I have learned so much, I see more on the horizon
I am grateful that I am still alive, breathing
Another day, thank you, another morning rising.

In between Paradigms

by

Mango Tree

Middle ground follows an ending
a transition space in life
a flower falters, a bud appears
hard structure withers into soft wire
it's a great mythical space
tumultuous, illuminating, illogical
in this space, the middle vacuum
it is androgynous, bisexual
masculine, feminine, upside down
ideas percolate within the cauldron
the alchemical process brings to life
new ideas, new attitudes, yet another paradigm
the past has served well, but, it's the future
that now is on the horizon.

Have You Ever Felt Eternal?

by

Mango Tree

Have you ever felt eternal?
when you have felt more liquid
than rigid, frame structured, limited
like a meandering waterway
ideas and the manifestations that lead
into the future keep flowing
no resistance, no limitations
just, pure, spacious, sweet
the cauldron of biological process
allows a new connection to occur
and, it's our duty to move with this motion.

Don't Wait Any Longer

by

Mango Tree

Don't wait any longer
gamble your life for ecstasy
if you are a true human being
life is a bargain, it's free
like a chance meeting upon a street
life offers each one of us lots of chances
life comes at sunset
it only rests when sleep arrives
don't sleep all day long
don't sleep your life totally away
this is how you change
ego is a roadblock to the one
that actually resides behind the eyes
life is about taking risks, moving from within
don't move away from fear
embrace it, hold it close, give it room to move
allow yourself to be silently drawn to all that
you love, have passion for, want to learn
so when the day arrives that calls for you
gracefulness will outweigh resistance.

A Difficult Life Versus

by

Mango Tree

Ever wonder why people make things,
life so difficult, more challenging
less loving, more defensive
Ever wonder why people make things,
life so difficult, more challenging
less loving, more defensive
what is it about each of us,
some say we are born with natural sin
that to be saved is the ultimate goal
what about the possibility that life
is an opportunity to look at ourselves
it seems to me that the fierce work
begins and ends there
projecting out to others is so much easier
that be attentive to one's own part in anything
I suppose it's a matter of integrity.

Tears and Laughter

by

Mango Tree

Where does this feeling of nausea come from?
Why do I feel so awkward, so down, so out of place
drugs that kill a disease attack so viciously
that all in their path seem to be effected, too
to make it through a day can be almost too much
so, I turn to the words, lines, hopefully, a poem
that has some sense of meaning, some power
words dropped on a page, some tears, some laughter.

Who's Really Behind the Eyes?

by

Mango Tree

Who really is behind the eyes
that look out into the world beyond us
and what is it that we see
how real, how illusionary
what drives our perceptions
and the gains achieved from outcomes
so much is not what it seems
that's probably why most get involved
it's a means of not looking deeper at things
personal, within oneself things
it takes too much fierceness, courage, time
societies tend to drift into the addictions
mass propaganda like shopping to political dogma
try to take the time
try to take the time
it's worth the effort
an authentic self is magnificent.

Child Protection

by

Mango Tree

Why do humans beat, berate, accost
their children
what power structure and unresolved pain,
hatred, former abuse by the adult perpetrator
has set up such an awful pattern
it makes me sad to hear of such events
every human being needs to be protected
love is such an innate quality
child advocacy needs to be a top priority
in this world we all share.

Dreary Day

by

Mango Tree

Dreary day, too much mist
hovering clouds create a sense of containment
cool wind shakes my bones, damp coldness
what life on earth brings with it
a need to persevere and make the best of it
yet, a beauty still exists in this day
it keeps one going into the next.

Haiku #27

by

Mango Tree

Many syllables
makeup any haiku poem
clarity means most.

Holons

by

Mango Tree

In Cosmology some say that
there are twenty basic patterns
that seem to be true for evolution
wherever it occurs
from matter to life to mind
Tenet number one:
reality is composed of whole/parts
or "holons"
what a brilliant construct
everything is separate and connected
a whole atom is part of a whole molecule
a whole molecule is part of a whole cell
the whole cell is part of a whole organism
The point being:
everything is basically a holon of some sort
or another
my intuition knew this
we are not separate, born in sin
we are a part of and yet each of us
makes up a whole.

Who are you?

by

Mango Tree

Who are you?
What is your experience now?
What excites you?
What is your purpose in life?
What do you believe in?
What inspires you?
What is your signature presence?
Awareness, Choice, Action.
Play with these questions for awhile,
it may take you a whole lifetime.

Freedom of Choice

by

Mango Tree

What I focus on is always my choice
regressed memories may appear
trauma may re-emerge to haunt me again
yet, I can learn to micro-manage these
the mind, so vast, so complex,
thinks and thinks and thinks
it does not matter the subject
nor how long or how obsessive
the focus is
since day to day each of us
is different from the day before
this suggests that freedom is available
life is a means to liberate
no need to lie down, die
and never allow the suffering
to end.

Weary

by

Mango Tree

Weary
so tired today
need to lie down and rest
my body keeps signalling
lie down, lie down
why do human doings keep going
not listen
what is so damn important?