learning in the inner realm

following action, reflection is due
out of reflection, attitude grows
upon attitude, action is built

Marcus Antoninus

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Hidden

Fragile and ephemeral.
To those unaware eyes.
Crazy flickering lamps,
trembling in the wind.
But appearances are superficial!
See! on the inside there is a mountain,
and within the mountain a deep lake.
Genuine and unique,
self-reliant and authentic.
Behind the veil of softness,
there is an iron will,
a soul committed to the truth
and a spirit no one can defeat.

Marcus Antoninus

Modesty

Reducing excesses,
encouraging what is subdued,
within myself I hold a mountain.
Disguising my powers,
I cultivate modesty,
harvesting genuine strength
to cross the great water.
No blame.
Great success.

Marcus Antoninus
(freely interpreted and rewritten from I Ching, hexagram 15)

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

In this life

a timid winter Sun sets
over a thousand years ruins
once mighty monument
now rubble and dust
as I walk back to my path
I shiver at the thought
of the hubris and wrath
these old stones did command
now conquered by the bush
while the suffering and pain
went lost in the haze of time
I cannot help but reflect
how much of today’s sweat and stress
are already condemned
to become future rubble and ruins

Marcus Antoninus

Autumn thoughts

I didn’t notice autumn coming
but all of a sudden
I find myself walking and cycling
over dancing dry red yellow leaves
among pine and spruce evergreen
or ancient gray rocks shaped by ice
among blue green choppy lakes
in rain or wind
during strangely warm days
or frost laden nights
when through thin cirrus clouds
the square of Pegasus shines

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