Alone Again

Alone Again

For the last
twenty-eight years
I’ve lived as part
of one couple or another.
So, finding myself alone
after all these years
is kind of a new thing for me
all over again.
I’m re-discovering what it is
to just be me,
and not part of a pair.
This I know—
there is much to learn
and although, like everyone else,
I’ve been changing
to remain the same through the years,
my experiences over all that time
have re-cast me.
I am not who I was
twenty-eight years ago.

I’ve learned to not want a lot
of everything, but rather
to want a few things a lot.
Where once I was always
focused on goals,
now, I pay more attention
to traveling and goals
are just part of the scenery
I pass along the way.
Where once my path
was often fenced
by my hopes and fears,
now I find fewer fences
and more unbounded
fields and sky.
I seem to be more me
than I was
in my twenties.
I’m more comfortable
in my skin even though
I’ve been scarred many times
by hell and high water.

Dewey Dirks

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Good and Bad

Good and Bad

Nature is not
divided into that
which is good
and that which
is bad.

Good and bad are
human categories
and they are ego-centric;
Before there can be
good or bad,
there has to be
someone or something
for an action to be
good or bad about.

Think of the relationship
between a wolf and a rabbit.
From the point of view
of a wolf, it’s very good
that there are rabbits
he can catch to eat,
and it’s bad that many rabbits
run too fast to catch and eat.
From the point view
of the rabbit, wolves are very bad,
and it’s very good that many
rabbits can run fast enough
to get away from them.
From the point of view of Nature,
both rabbits and wolves
are part of the song of life, and it’s
only proper that there is food
for wolves, and that rabbits
can often run fast enough
to not get eaten.
Nature is fair
to both of them.

Nature is a living thing
made of of all
the interconnected
kinds of life that live
in its biosphere.
Like any living creature,
it cares for all the parts
that are interconnected
to create its living body.
In the end, Nature
is as fair as practicable
to all of the creatures
that are a part of it,
be they wolves, rabbits,
spiders, flies or man.

Man, for his part
must take care that
our species doesn’t
grow and consume
to such an extent
that we become
a cancer in the living
body of our Mother
biosphere because
if we do, Nature,
will make sure
that we are gone
soon enough.

Dewey Dirks

Strange and Beautiful

Strange and Beautiful

Have you ever heard
of that famous story
“Stranger in a Strange Land”
about a visitor upon Earth
from another world?
I used to like that book
because for the longest time.
I too felt like
a stranger upon this world.
I wandered and wondered
at the odd ways of humanity
for years on end.
After a time, I found a mate in life
and together we went through our days
feeling mutually strange together.
We used to like to say that
we were a culture of two.
Because I had a hand to hold
and a heart to touch
I didn’t feel so alone any more.

As the years passed I began to notice
bits and pieces
of myself in many of the people
I happened across and bits and pieces
of other in myself.
As the time went by and I discovered
more of myself
I discovered the world as well.
Conversely, as I discovered the world
I was able to journey farther within myself.
After a long time, I realized,
we all are very similar
in the things we hope and desire most
and there are only a dozen or so
different ways we each use strive
to satisfy our hopes and desires.

But you know, after you’ve grown
skilled at living
and adept both paring
and meeting your desires,
at the base of all your journeys
you come back
to the same questions
and the same mysteries.
You find that success isn’t about
the gathering of things,
whether they’re items or knowledge.
Success is the difference between
being able to say,
“This place is strange,”
and being able to say
This place is strange and beautiful.”

Dewey Dirks

Uncharted

Uncharted

I’ve long wandered
waters uncharted,
never putting down my colors.
Fought Scylla and Kraken
among the blackest skies
on hurricane killer seas.
I’ve sailed, as well, across oceans
elegant and blue glass smooth
with beauty everywhere
in the golden air, on the far shores
and in the crystal blue sky
as far as my eyes could see.
I’ve been lost in the
roughest midnight
white water waves
only to find
a lighthouse beacon
as the final seconds
were quickly passing by me.
I’ve learned to set
my sails as high
as I can,
and let the
fresh spring gales
and deep blue currents
guide my way.
I’ve learned to navigate
by astrolabos,
by floating green seaweed,
by shallow rolling waves,
and by the shining stars
on the most distant of seas.

Now, I’m still a man who
likes a good laugh
and good company,
and like many,
I’ve come to see that
all of humanity is sailing
in waters vast and unknown.
Like many, I’ve used
what I’ve learned
to raise my voice
and give the clearest advice
I know how to give.

Whenever the seas
turn rough you can tell
there is some learning
to be done.
On broken, uncharted waters,
we humans are
in a three way race
between the awakening
of our souls,
the widening reach
of our technology
and the ravenous
and short sighted appetite
of our corporate greed.
On the horizon,
the skies are darkening
and dire storms
are soon to be
coming our way.

Think only of yourself
and you’re sure to lose.
Think only of yourself
and your buddies
and you might last
a few hours
through the first day.
Think of all of humanity,
and you might be there
when the storms have passed
and the skies
are clear once again.
Our entire species
is going to be threatened
and only by the deeds
of all of us together as equals
can Homo Sapiens
ever make it through.

Dewey Dirks

Just Beyond Your Nose

Just Beyond Your Nose

Out there,
Just beyond
The tip of your nose
Is what people
Usually refer to as reality
Behind your eyes
In your brain-box
You keep a mental picture of it
That you also refer to as reality

You self-adjust
Your picture of reality
By comparing it
To things around you
By trying out your ideas
To see if they appear accurate
And to see if they are able
To do work for you
And accomplish goals

You self-adjust
Your picture of reality
By talking to other people
Gathering ideas
That you think help paint
A better picture
Of the reality
Out there
Just beyond
The tip of your nose

Here’s the catch—
No one has ever seen
Perceived or imagined
The reality beyond their nose
With anything
But the rough canvas
In their brain-box
Painted with mental pictures
Of that same reality

There are two things
Of which you can be certain
First,
Like every other creature on this planet
Humans have evolved in such a way
That our mental pictures
Are accurate and useful enough
To allow us to function
Under most conditions

Second,
Reality out there
Just beyond your nose
Is so much more
Than it seems
Simple as a single word
More complex than
The sum of knowledge
In all of mans books
Real as the ground
Beneath our machines
Illusionary
Like the whisper of a rainbow
While the earth wanders its track
— a wheel in the sky
With spokes made useful
By the emptiness in between

Woven quietly by nature
As we all daily dream
A fine silk tapestry
Far, far richer,
Far more intricately,
With greater fullness of color,
Passion of design,
And depth of infinite detail
Than you or I or anyone
Who has ever lived
Has ever been able to splotch,
Blotch, swipe, or dibble
Like children just learning to paint
In a few kid colors
With our simple mental brushes

Dewey Dirks

Coming Into Bloom

Coming Into Bloom

In seeking security
and continuity,
most of us fool ourselves
with the illusion
of familiarity.
Yet, each day
into a new world.
we all wake and rise.

Yes, it looks very similar
to the world you knew
the day before.
Gravity still tethers
your feet to the ground
and the sun still rises
from the east.
Still, if you
open your mind
to the notion
that it really is new,
each day
you’ll be welcomed
by unique occurrences,
new reactions to
those occurrences,
and a unique
and fresh you.

Soon, you’ll notice
that coincidences
that once
were all very
rare and transient
now tend to be
more frequent
and tend to linger
just a little longer
as each day
your awareness
further unfolds
like a flower
coming into bloom.

Dewey Dirks

Change in the Changing

A Change in the Changing

We all know humanity
is in a hell of a fix.
Everywhere you look
are problems
one after another.
The largest cultures
all around the planet
function with
economic systems
that play with dice
loaded to favor
big corporations
and the rich.
Entire political systems
are on the take.
Governments in many countries
are firmly in the grip
of big money.
It’s been that way for awhile.

There are millions of people
on every continent
who go hungry every day.
Politicians in countries
around the globe
goad their nations
to wars overt and subvert
when peace is all their
citizens ever want.
Giant corporations
driven by irrational
and dangerous greed
poison groundwater
with fracking,
chop down rainforests
vital to the planets
biological diversity,
pollute the environment
in more ways
than you can count,
and habitually murder
the inalienable rights
of people worldwide—
Rights that every human
deserves simply by virtue
of being born.
All the while,
the climate around the world
gets ever warmer
as a direct result
of human actions

Many, many people
all around the globe
realize the extent
of our problems.
Every day millions of people
look at the enormity
of the tasks facing us all and say,
“My God! I’m just one person.
What am I ever gonna do
to help all this?”
Don’t ever lose hope my friends
every little bit each of us do
will help.
Time, and nature, and truth
are all on the side of the people,
and nothing
those who seek to oppress us
ever do can make
the truth go away.
What is not sustainable
can never, never last.

If our leaders don’t
pull their heads out
of big money’s pockets
on their own
nature and time are sure
to do it for them.
Humanity is a species
in the middle
of a transformation.
All the messes
we’re in are only the fuel
of a great change
in the midst changing.
Today is just moment passing
It is not where we’ll be tomorrow.

Dewey Dirks