Parallel Universe

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The philosophers describe these ideas.
They pull them out of air
And claim their importance
So their prestige, at moments,
Can claim them some strength,
A house, a people, a name.

But all they can ever conjure
Is the illusion,
The invisible, chemical,
Indistinctive,
Indefinable
Current of emotions.
Sometimes we just hint at it.

We all see plankton.
They glitter in their own light.
They shimmer like leaves
On a withering tree.
Like leaves falling in the autumn,
Creating a distance
In a spaceless dark.
They create an inch within infinity.
They create a rock
Among seas of sand.

And then we whisper about it.
We could only whisper,
And not even to others
But to ourselves,
So that that whisper,
That gentle handkerchief,
White fabric with threads
Showing air between its grids,
Well, that air will tornado up and down
Within ourselves,
And no name will be spoken
But that of Mother Mystery
And Father Nowhere.

That whisper found me
As the wind blew home
My homestay father
To Iwata.

He works from Tokyo.
His wife is a good wife.
With dinner at the table
And sake in the fridge.
The sister is thirteen.
She’s cute, loud, helpful, funny,
She plays volleyball
And thinks always food.

Usually it’s just the girls,
Three white bells gently singing.
Like sunrise on a spring morrow
Off slender green arms, they hang
Just like with us.
When the father comes home though,
The atmosphere changes.
The Romans stand reliantly.
Three hands point.
Such ancient balance is held so carefully.
One hand aims one notch different.
My role in their family:
The tipping Haruna.

My still rock sits unmoving,
Letting winds pass by all sides.
She streaks with brisk weather.
No greater fault
Can be drawn in our culture.

They say one doesn’t smell the roses.
Well, for me,
Only when the stars come out.

I see Orion before me,
Big Dipper behind,
And Cassiopeia to my right,
And I think of home.
My head is up.
The roses grace my feet.

The clouds are dutiful.
Roses are silent.
Cherry blossoms falling,
And I wonder if the stars are still
Really there,
Just hiding far beyond.

Maybe they’re just alive
In California.
I cannot see the stars beyond
And it makes me whisper.
Are the stars really so far?
How long must I walk
Until I reach them?
How will I know when I’m there?
Will it be massive and purple?
Will an angel be singing
And I’ll sing with her?
Or will I meet someone new?

What if there was somewhere
Millions of stars away
Beyond all that is imaginable,
So far that the world would just
Tire away,
So that it would begin to close eyes
And dream of memories?

Can I be looking back and
Be wondering the same thing?
Or is it not that hard?
Are we really not all that different?
Can all the stars,
All the black,
And all that space,
Can all of it fit between us and them?

One man different
And all is not the same.
How is it I was paired
With my exact family?
Of all of Japan?
Of all of the world?

There must be someone then more the same.
Closer and closer until we are pulled to
Live as one.
Within this very planet.
Someone exactly like me.

Individualism and liberalism
Both crumble.
But I don’t mind,
Just whisper more quickly.

How does all that I do
Change her now?
Does she have any idea?
Are we all such separate people
To each have her own
Only by taking from another
And taking what is lost
In what is gained?
Can I have a joy
And resist hers too, or suffer freely
Just to have her glee?

Do we live paired with strangers,
Or maybe even neighbors,
Living in identical families,
Friends and situations,
But working in opposite ways?
Are we moving in parallel lines,
Only in opposite directions?
Must it always be so that
What I gain, she loses, and
What she achieves
She must have stolen from me?

Or can we one maintain
Like a salmon fighting
Upstream?
Can one about-face
In valiant effort,
In great power,
With great sacrifice,
And if so, which would it be?

Winds answer nothing
But dandelions grow
Where rocks were once dropped
On enemies that threaten the king.

In some place different,
At some same time
Would the same dandelion
Be fading away,
Or would it never have existed?

They live or they die
As beautiful weeds,
As ugly blooms,
As they look at each other
Either smiling themselves
And weeping for the other;
Either weeping for themselves
But again, for the other,
She smiles.

Together they know
That where rocks were once thrown,
Now they are not,
And that is good.
For that one place,
A rock is thrown
In his parallel,
And for that we weep,
And all is in balance.

Whispers whistle through my ears.
They waken winds in others.
Iwata shrinks as I grow.
Iwata blurs away as things clear,
In the world,
In my life
That now I have seen
And can now conclude
For now
That I am the one
Smiling.

REFLECTIONS
I’m coming soon Dad.
Thanks for all the toils.
I miss you Carlos.
Everyone needs your laughter.
You’re so brave Carol.
You carry me, and release a vital energy.

And you’re amazing Mom.
You silently protect all.
You valiantly fight time.
You overwhelmingly love thousands.
You’re beautiful.
You’re perfect.
You’re a field of lavenders and daffodils,
A circle of purple and yellow interrupting
Unlimited green.
Birds sing in you.
And you’ll never admit it.

These are my appreciations
That I want to say
Sitting Monday morning
Having waken from restless night
At our hotel.

My buddy is asleep and so is everyone else.
I’m writing alone. Again.
Still standing on the Earth
As others fly to unknown places
In the one place nobody can touch,
No person can see or take or share:
Your mind.
That’s yours.

And if my mind is mine,
Then no one has control over my emotions,
Over my attitudes or actions.
Those are mine too.

But others:
They are gifts,
And my family changes
After seeing another.
These other minds,
They’re just for show,
Who knows if they’re alive?
Maybe just figments
Of your overly creative imagination.

Maybe they think different thoughts,
Feel different things,
But we all could watch,
And even become, for a week,
And we learn.
Like shower on a June day.
Like Christmas in the young years.
Like children in the aged days.
Like milk on early spring morrows.





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