Where the river flows

infused with the fury of spring
a mighty young river flows
powerful and hopeful
with the buoyancy of youth
although unbeknownst to it
whatever rocks it may move
wherever it goes at the end
its force remains deeply constrained
by mountains long ago built
by framing ideas that persist
thick influences lingering past their due
as it happens to us as well
deeper than we can know
we keep flowing ahead
sometimes meandering around
towards a vast and distant sea

Marcus Antoninus

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I choose

I now choose:
this steadfast commitment
to a life of wisdom,
this relentless search
for proper engagement and detachment,
this healthy custom
of cultivating my inner garden.
In whatever circumstance,
in every place and moment.
In this one my only life,
I already made my choice.

Marcus Antoninus

Truth before prudence

Giordano Bruno, statue

You brother, you teacher,
you brave heart, mind and soul!
Why did you stay when you knew well
they would burn you at the stake?
For speaking out loud,
standing up and showing to the world,
the bottomless depths of your thoughts,
those precious insights
that the centuries proved right.
Those shattering new ideas,
that the dark priests could not hear.
You shook down their house of cards,
you disarmed their castle of power and lies.
Why, my dear friend, did you choose to stay?
Confronting them up for your words,
for the beautiful fruit of your thoughts.
Oh! my brother, you valued truth so much more
than all the prudence in the world.
You die wrapped in rope, your tongue bond
while the empty souls shamelessly looked on.
May we never forget you,
because so little has changed,
with all these new old priests
still bustling around,
your example and pride
will forever be
a beacon of light and insight.

Marcus Antoninus
Ode to Giordano Bruno

Unadorned simplicity

I once placed myself
at just the right distance
from people and things
and only then could I see
the vast web of dependence
of which all of us form part
and without delay I realized
that I need nothing more
than the acceptance and joy
of my bare existence.

Marcus Antoninus

Principles

There is theory,
and there is practice.
All these years struggling
to pursue a life
with some high principles
compatible.
What have I learned?
Theory without practice
is just a phantom rainbow.
Forget all empty speech,
be joyful and kind,
make no harm,
forgive and forget,
and just live.

Marcus Antoninus

Purpose

What a difference the gentle Sun makes
that everything under its rays
becomes gloriously alive.
Such is also the might of a worthy purpose
that dispels the gloom from our lives
setting light on forgotten paths
and inspiring those secret smiles,
perhaps so fragile and transient,
yet so pregnant of promise and love.
I know all too well now,
that I must keep the right course,
standing up and work,
so I can withstand the shadows
in case they return.

Marcus Antoninus