POEM: Circles Within Circles Within Circles

POEM: Circles Within Circles Within Circles

Hello dear friends,

Here is the poem I read at Wednesday's monthly Owl Poetry's Open Mic that Teri Petz and I co-founded 5 years ago. It's a poem that invites you to look at life from a different perspective. I hope it provokes thought.

With much love and many blessings, here it is:

Circles within Circles within Circles

I think that we are all immersed in infinite interconnectedness

with all of reality, in circles within circles.

At its simplest, in our bodies, we’re not really

self-contained boxes of organic material.

These bodies are semi-permeable,

self-ambulatory condensations of matter

constantly taking in our environment with each breath of air,

with each look around us, with each sound we take in.

And we leave our bodies behind us as we breathe out

shedding vapor, hair, and skin cells.

Each day, we take into our bodies the liquids and solids

of food and drink,

and we leave behind us the liquids and semi-solids

that our bodies can’t use.

So even just physically,

we are embedded in circles within circles

of taking in and leaving behind,

Of nourishment and danger.

And going out from there,

our minds and thoughts interconnect with others.

We move the muscles of our throats and mouths into vibrations

that are taken in as meaningful sound by other condensations of matter.

From our conversations to the books we read,

to the Facebook comments we write, to the shouts of warning we yell out,

we touch each other in a myriad of ways,

intermingling ideas, creating each other’s minds, opinions.

Circles within circles within circles.

And look at time — spread out nicely

so that everything doesn’t happen all at once.

While our sphere of action is the present moment,

we do extend backwards and forwards in time.

Backwards and forwards beyond our own lifespan, too.

We have been influenced by civilizations that lived thousands of years ago,

as well as by the last few presidential elections

of our southern neighbor.

And what we do now with this earth will reverberate

for a thousand years in its ability to support human life, or any life.

If we keep extending this interconnection outward

to the complexities of conflict

and the psycho-spiritual effects of trauma,

plus our everyday projections,

how does this all interact with love?

There is taking and destruction within our circles.

There is familial bonding and sexual need

mixed deeply within,

And there is unconditional love and generosity.

I don’t pretend to know how all this works,

especially when one adds life’s depth dimensions,

spiritual experiences and mystical practice to this.

But I do know that we are embedded

in circles within circles within circles.

And that what we do matters, more than we can imagine.

We belong here, with each other, for better and for worse.

Given all this, what we do can make a profound difference

to ourselves and each other, for good or ill.

And though what we do is influenced by what we think and feel,

And we do not have total control over what we think and feel

due to past traumas, current gut biomes,

and the people we have to live with or work for,

we do have some control over our thoughts, feelings, and actions.

We have choices about what we pay attention to in our environment,

and the ability to contribute to environments that can enrich our lives.

We are not completely at the mercy of our bosses, our political leaders,

or social media.

And just as we have huge resources for destruction,

We also have huge untapped resources for connection, healing,

inspiration, meaning. Possibility.

We live in a world that has more than enough for our needs.

We live in circles within circles within circles,

Infinitely interconnected.

And what we do matters.