Poems from a Plane (2/15/2012): Starting over, Bitter Saint, A Thoughtless Offering, My Present Need, Barb. . . ara, and The Problem with Spiritual Fathers.

Poems from a Plane (2/15/2012)

Starting Over
by Doug Bursch

Before I say goodbye to this life, I will begin again.
And I will believe that a rebirth is better than an inevitable end.
I’m sure it will seem irresponsible to some. . .
But so few actually try. So even if I’m wayward,
I doubt the world will collapse.

I don’t enjoy the weight of doing my mortality math.
Marking the quarter points and halfway points of my life.
So much fear in trying to arrive before I say goodbye.

So I will begin again. . . I will make my ending a starting point.
A starting point for those who come after and follow my temporary trail.
I will live as part of a bigger narrative, not as the whole. . . Just a part.
It will help me be bold and free as those around me slowly die.

Bitter Saint
by Doug Bursch

I wanted you to know just how much I despise your dream.
I wanted my dream to shame you.
Then you would see that it was never a competition and I had won.

But I can’t get this alternative, better dream, to thrive and be noticed.
So I strive even harder to prove the worth of my purer dream
I strive to grow this worthy dream beyond the confines of my estimation.

But you don’t see it. You take no notice of how I am winning.
My higher virtue is rewarded with bitterness.
If only my road less taken could be seen from your lofty perch.

A Thoughtless Offering
by Doug Bursch

I want to trace the torn corners with thick ink.
I want to intentionally divide the page with purposeful dabbling and squibbles.
I want it to take time and concentration, but little thought.
I want this effort to mean something.
I want the border to give value to the page.
I need this thoughtless concentration to have worth.

Maybe beauty will spring up from the page.
And you will know that I mattered and you mattered as we followed the lines.
Trace me in with thick ink and wall me into your imagination.

My Present Need
by Doug Bursch

I remember you always before me
which is my joy and my need.
I am not able to feed myself with nostalgic reminiscing
nor yesterday’s embrace.
It’s all a bit fuzzy in the morning.

I need your present touch to connect me to our past.
But my past connection leads me right back to my present need.
I know that I use you to find daily contentment.
I know that you let me plug into you whenever I feel the past waning.
It must grow tiring to be my twenty-four hour fuel.

But I have no other choice.
You are always more vibrant in the now.
I need your now, and I will not relent.
It is my joy and my need.

Barb. . . ara
by Doug Bursch

Barbara writes that she will not listen because I do not satisfy her convictions.
She avoids the possibility of praising me.
Terse and carefully worded,
she reminds me that I do not deserve kindness nor praise.

Barbara rebukes my words and my being.
She questions my faith and my convictions.
I say that I don’t mind, but I remember Barbara,
with no gracious greeting and
no sincerely before she signs her name.

The Problem with Spiritual Fathers
by Doug Bursch

You are a spiritual father to me. . .
or is it like a father?
Like a father who loves how I agree.
Who loves how I obey.
Like a father who implies the demand for obedience
in your unwillingness to allow my independent thoughts.

I hide those independent words, those “God-given” insights.

You are a spiritual father who takes pride in the books we share
in the words we hold in common.
But my own words, my unique differentiations,
they hide within me, yearning for embrace, yearning to be known.


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