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Excerpt for Is Earth A Zoo by , available in its entirety at Smashwords


Writings by Sha’Ra On WindWalker

(in collaboration with Sha'Tara EarthStar)


Copyright (©) 2019 Cocoons to Butterflies Publishing


Published by: Cocoons to Butterflies Publishing

Chilliwack, B.C. Canada


Cover picture by: Top, Robert Linder

Bottom, Miles Pfefferle


All pictures found on FreeImages.com


Space Picture: ESA/Hubble


I hope you enjoy these writings. Feedback is welcome.

Contents

Foreword

Knowing Life; Doing Life

Lavender

Letting Go

Machu Picchu

Perspective On Time

Prayer Of The Innocent

Quarantine

Living For Ever

Life In Life

Profit

Shadow Vision

Soap Operas

Sport Hunting

Stillness

The Gift Of Flight

The Last Redneck

The Beef Cow

The Nimby* Syndrome

Train Of Progress

The Poor People

Earth Is A Zoo




Foreword


These books contain a form of free verse poetry, opinions based on observation, and some humour and imagination, engaging the heart as well as the mind. A critical look at many current issues intriguing and plaguing man. Spirituality, interaction with nature and environment, social changes, dwindling resources. Well worn issues now, indeed. But the poetry and other works in these books gives this subject a different perspective. I daresay that here we can find a "higher" vantage point from which to look at ourselves within the cosmos.


Who knows but some of the ideas in the books may get you inspired to do that thing you always wanted to do, even if this comes in a very small way, to make your corner of this world a better place to be in. Who knows but you may realize your little corner is a really nice place to be in after all.


It's all about life, if at times expressing life "outside the box" as the saying goes.




Knowing Life; Doing Life


Think of all the instructions

we get through life:

how to do this or that,

how to think, what to think

when to think... and when not.


But what constitutes

what we call “life”?

Simply put: it's all a matter

of careful observation:

what works, what doesn't -

it's all there,

in the collective experience.


All that's necessary is to tap

into this great pool of knowledge.


Well, no, not quite:

there's a trick we must learn

that goes with knowledge:

it's this “doing life thing.”


“Practice what you preach,”

“walk your talk;”

“don't tell me, show me,”

sounds great: how is it done?


So what's the conclusion?

Life is knowing what to do,

and doing what is known.


Pretty simple:

why can't we seem to get it?



Lavender


If you'd like to try your hand

at understanding Lavender

then you must be very sure

that life is not a game...

You won't need a reason

just to be alone with Lavender

for her light so warm and pure

will draw you like a flame...

(Approaching Lavender - Gordon Lightfoot)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I gave myself the name of Lavender

Oh, it was so long ago

in the very first meadow

among the fireflies and the honeysuckle

when no one else had yet awakened

from the dream we had shared.


I stood alone and viewed the world

as it looked before the first sunrise,

starlight reflecting from the waters

rippling gently upon swaying branches

of yet un-named trees.


In the wild unknown fullness of night

which others such as I still feared

where countless things had not yet appeared

I stepped forth sensing the land's desire

and finally came to rest upon a hill

lulled by the call of a whippoorwill.


When I awoke from my sleep

the long night stretched forth beyond time

under a canvas of spinning stars

and a soft glow surrounded me:

the land's open invitation to explore

all the veiled things she had in store.


I rose from my bed of sweetgrass

forever endowed with the fragrance of life,

the touch of the flowers of Earth --

for such was the name of the world I beheld

when I was called to awaken from my dream --

and from the hill gushed forth a young stream.

Many years, long and short, have passed

and Earth, awakened under sun and moon

filled with light-seeking life blossomed wildly

in rash and spontaneous joy --

but came the starless darkness and I cried

as in the endless burning so much died.


Though hidden now in cares and sorrows,

my earth body changed, aged, worn, broken --

in heart I remain true to my awakening dream

and still upon a hopeful earth I choose to wander.

I remain the same as on my first night, Lavender

whose breath retains the freshness of flowers

which now grow but between endless tombs.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Oh, sweet Lavender

your smile is like the golden sun;

I'd love to see you laugh and run

as naked as the sea

Oh sweet Lavender

as fragrant as the name you bear

please cast away the clothes you wear

and give your love to me...

(Approaching Lavender - Gordon Lightfoot)


Letting Go


Why do we hang on to stuff?

properties, people, titles, ideas,

(and I could fill pages of things

people feel they must hang on to).


Doesn't nature tell us

life is all about letting go?

Does rain hang into the cloud

or fall to earth?

Do clouds move against the wind?

Do leaves hang on to the tree in September?

Do birds not molt and grow new feathers,

letting go the old ones?

Do animal young cling to parents

as do humans, some all of their lives?


Lately it's been so-called artists

that have whined and complained

of loss of revenue

when technology made

their questionable fare available

for less or for free

to those who would enjoy it

but wouldn't buy it in any case!

(Not worth the asking price!)


You write a song, a piece of music,

draw a picture...

you had fun, enjoyed yourself,

did what you liked to do...

then put it out there

on the street for anyone to pick up.


Lighten up! Write another one.

Forget pay back. And get a day job.

Was it not said by someone quite wiser:

Cast your bread upon the waters

and after many days it will return to you?

And how is that possible? you may ask.

Just look at nature (remember nature?)

Not at Wall Street.

Nature is prolific

because it gives up everything.

Wall Street is a pauper,

a cheap thief in a cheap suit

for it takes from the weak

to give to the rich

then claims it is its own

and acquires more and then more

and some more, until it chokes

on its own pile of possessions

and it will choke, make no mistake.


Let go, Detach,

Give without thought of return

and therein shall you find your fortune:

therein is health; is peace; is comfort:

Be free with all that you have

until you have none

for only then

can you possess everything.


A contradiction? Figure it out.

Machu Picchu


"Some things

that should never have been forgotten,

were lost.

History became legend,

legend became myth..."

(Lord of the Ring - Tolkien)


We walk in many places,

transported as by magic

into a dark and hidden past

by sites built by ancient ones -

Machu Picchu, Peru;

Baalbek, Lebanon;

The Pyramids of Giza, Egypt;

Stonehenge, England -


Many, many more mysteries

cry to be de-mystified;

and the voices of the ancient ones

sing in the oaks, call from the skies

and sigh in the winds

yet how few stop to listen.


The System has imposed a ban,

a great silence over the past.

it covers the mind of man

as a veil covers a statue.


"Thou shalt not imagine

aliens once stepped here

for such do not exist,

not here, not now, not ever;


"Thou shalt worship only

the invisible gods

we order you to believe in,

for all else is lies."


Yet I wonder still:

from whom did those wonders -

many which today's technology

would be hard pressed to duplicate -

come?

Perspective On Time


Are you the Goddess? asks the child in innocence

from a world in ruins - Are you the one

they say, who's to return and change things?


The vision, of ageless mien and beauty, smiled

Never fear, child, I am no Goddess

though in my foolishness and ignorance

such was I once.


I do not understand

spoke she, innocent eyes taking in the majesty of the being.


The simplest things are often the most difficult to understand

but I will explain and you will understand me.


Once upon a time in time lived a truly beautiful young woman

and from eternity rode a young God who offered his hand to her

and a promise to make her his queen in time.


She took it, and eagerly, so proud was she of her beauty

and together they rode through the flowing sands of time

across the universe, to its very edge.


She saw the horizon there and asked him what lay beyond.

Beyond what? he replied, confused,

There is no beyond - we're at the edge of time,

at the edge of the realm of the Gods.

I am of the Time Lords and nothing -- absolutely nothing

exists beyond our realm. And proud he was,

and so sure of his claim upon the All That Is.


He turned and they rode on

and though the beauty and excitement she experienced

were almost too much for her heart to bear

in her dreams she kept seeing the edge of time

and beyond, the shimmering horizon. And she thought

she could hear music calling her to put words in it.


I want to return to the edge of the worlds

she said one day, suppressing a yawn,

for I am getting bored with this landscape,

this museum to time you call a throne.


It is no longer permitted, said he,

for they heard of your longing and they said it was evil.

Evil, you hear?

and he raised his voice to her,

but it was he who was filled with fear, not her.


She arose in the dark of night

and taking her black horse, rode madly under the stars

out of the Gods' enchantments and across the universe.

Finally, exhausted, starving and utterly alone

she dismounted, sent the horse back, and stared:


And there it was:

the magic line at the edge of time, shimmering.

Calling her into a new dream.


I jumped, child. I jumped into an ocean without time

and I swam madly at first until I tired and stopped struggling

then it supported me and I walked as upon a rolling carpet,

then I stopped walking and it floated me and I flew,

a star among stars and there was no longer any line - anywhere.

That's when I saw it for myself,

the gift of life stolen by the Time Lords: infinity.


How come then you are no longer a Goddess?

the child asked perplexed, if you are so strong?

Ah child, let me tell you a terrible secret:

the Gods and their Goddesses are slaves -

slaves of time and bound to it forever -

for they made it, and it must begin and it must end

so within its walls they declared themselves the Eternals.

Only in frozen eternity can Gods and Goddesses exist.


But I, in seeking beyond the edge of light;

in probing the shimmering darkness of the unknowable

found my power and earned my freedom

and you, in holding to your innocence

can hear me, and if you so choose

may reject the hand of the Time Lord when he rides by,

asks for your hand and offers you

a seat of honor upon his throne of time

as a priceless work of art in a gallery

where such works are as common as grains of sand

upon an ocean's shore. And just as asleep.


Beware, human child, of what is easily offered, given,

and accepted.

For such gifts have to them a very dark side.

Some day, after the Time Lords have wooed you

if you remain here, I shall pass by again

not to offer you my hand for you to follow,

but to be a companion, should you be wanting one.


And no one can know what songs we shall sing,

there, anywhere, everywhere.

Prayer Of The Innocent


Old man in broken shoes, stinking rags;

back bent by harsh, cold years:

What are you telling me,

when you shiver on cold nights

barely kept at bay by dirty damp blankets;

your exposed skin stung by drifting pebbles

in drafty spaces under a railway bridge?


Old man, why do you pray? You say:

Please, all I need today is enough money

for a warm meal and a smoke.

Who do you talk to, Old man?

What sort of crazy are you?

Was it a mother who taught you such foolishness?


Like a hunchback of old, he walks away

and a gang of kids eye the raggedy shelter.

Their laughter is harsh: they speak of thrashing

the meagre belongings; burning the blankets,

destroying the collected treasures

carefully packed in Safeway shopping bags

when unexpectedly, one of authority says,

“Wait! Could be one of us some day, huh?

leave him some spare change

instead.” And curious,

they hang around for the old man’s return

but what they hear and see

shocks even these wingless pavement angels

for the old man, childlike kneels down with tears,

and thanks his God so naturally.


And I wonder at this miracle, this foolishness

of a man and his God...

Who is this God? Who answers such prayer?

Is each one of us “God”?

Each capable of stunningly amazing things

just not aware, too scared to dare?

To be that which we always were?

Ah, soul! I pray you be re-made

in the image of a real God of love:

dare I believe such a prayer? Can it be answered?


Quarantine


Aliens (so-called by humans)

do possess a sense of humor--

or perhaps, a sense of propriety

and neighborly concern:

I know

for as I traveled

in pure consciousness

outside earth's outer atmosphere

I saw this sign up there

translated in several languages,

not of earth, of course, but

understandable to all and

this is what it said:


ADVICE! from Galactic Headquarters

to all space travelers entering this zone:

the blue one is planet earth, ancient

galactic insane asylum.

Its occupants are still very dangerous,

SO KEEP CLEAR!

Its quarantine has not been lifted yet.

If you value your sanity, or your life,

don't go down there!

Think of your wives and children,

for God's sake!


(an out-of-mind experience

as related by the Laughing Poet)

Living For Ever


Take what we are: flesh and blood beings

with brains (seldom used, but...)

what would happen to us

if found immortal?

Not eternal nor infinite

just plain immortal?

If we did not change

the way we think, the way we live?

Did not die? Could not die?


Keep reproducing

watch the numbers jump

more than exponentially,

no death, not even the starving;

not even the terminally ill;

not even for those blooding

the killing fields;

not even those wishing for death,

no end to misery and pain -

constant sameness...


Such a picture of hell deters not

those who would be immortals -

from morbid fear of death

or perverse desire to keep their hands

grasping privileges and toys.

Freeze-dried entombment they choose

in hope of some future thaw

in a world where their rules

will still hold sway.


The foolishness of man, methinks

remains boundless.

Life In Life


Why is it so difficult to find life in life?

Why do we ponder, question, despair,

die young -

or live as zombies in the madness

of the commercial maze?


Perhaps it's our focus,

too narrow, too restrictive;

too many attachments to "what is"

to drag us down into the grave -

(not always feet first!)


Do we

hold a belief system?

keep a family tradition?

hoard money?

worship a saviour God?

attend church?

vote and hope?

buy insurance?

seek protection?

push for education?

own a house?


... and do we enslave ourselves

to all the trimmings

that go with all the above?


These are attachments,

not needs -

not a one of them!

The "system" creates the desire,

and funds the belief in the need.


No freedom is ever found

where there is need.

Freedom is found only

through detachment!

Profit


To profit from others’ failures

one need only reject life's simplicity

and elevate the complex

to godly status!

How easy it is then to maintain power

over the ignorant and the simple

at no cost to oneself!


Rulers rule

for a better life, they say;

preachers preach

to keep us from hell, they say;

doctors poke and frown

over our physical no-no’s

for the sake of health, they say;

judges pronounce

over our law-breaking...

for law and order, they say:


what hypocrisy, I say.


Every one of these

takes the lion’s share of the collective wealth;

treats himself to demigod status;

exploits, oppresses, frightens

the innocent, the weak, the ignorant

making front page news

with their victims in tow.


These human spiders

weave an endless web

of fear and treachery;

a web we must all intersect

at some point in time.


Shadow Vision


Upon the mountain side

I rest: my shadow

laughing as I cry

in emptiness of soul,

unaware my

tears flowing give

new life

to a solitary withered flower.

As it opens in

hope,

radiating

earth energy

touches my spirit:

light espouses dark, I

discover the harmony.

Set free to soar,

my eagle spirit

with keen eyes

embraces

the breath of the

earth

and perhaps

beyond.

Soap Operas


Soap operas operate within

a world of complete unreality:

they form a blinding web of negativity

within those nurtured daily

by their poisonous portrayal

of false values along life's path.


Every soap's love relationship

is created solely for destruction,

always ending on a sad note:

a world without hope,

is the world of soap.


It makes me wonder why

they are called "soaps"

when the entertainment

is so unwashed, so unclean.

“Sport” Hunting


Autumn’s V-shaped formations

echo across the morning sky,

but on lakes and seashores,

gun shots shatter a fragile tranquility:

bullets fly, wounding, killing,

tired children who only seek a quiet place

to rest, to eat, to regain strength

for the long journey still ahead.


Some humans can only reason thus:

an increase in wildlife population

equates more "game" which means more "sport"

which their lust for killing brings:

they even have a euphemism for this horror:

they call it “harvesting!”

How sad man refuses to accept this fact:

his life is equal to all other

and nature knows no special children.

Which life is the most sacred:

that of a stone upon the river’s edge;

a blade of grass waving in the wind;

a gull soaring a thermal, a drop of water

sliding softly along the edge of a leaf,

a truck driver in his rig...

a king upon his throne?


There is no real difference, you see?

It is in understanding and accepting this

that life and love will blossom upon this land

as it was always meant to do!

Stillness


In my favourite haunts

deep in the woods

or high on the mountains

a clear sunrise refracted

through pink clouds

refreshes body and soul.


Down in the city, by contrast,

negative energy flows

like the sewers not far below one's feet:

reeks of fear, repression, anger

echoed in reverberating clamour

of so many sunless days.


Ah, where is the peace

within the walls of shame

where nature is shunned;

where steel, cement and grime rule;

where men live within caged minds?


Weary of having to run away

to find a glimpse of sanity,

I long for that promised new day

when earth and man will be as one

and the Babylons of cement and metal

will lie cracked, rusted and ruined,

and no one will raise a hand

to make-over their faded faces.


The Gift Of Flight


By a fast flowing river

on a drying, stony sand bank

amongst sparsely scattered

coarse weeds and low shrubs,

open to the searing sun

and wanton summer winds

a tiny flower blooms impishly.

All of two inches tall

on a thread-like stem

five iridescent yellow petals

one half inch across

vibrate steadily in the breeze.


There it stands, alone

amongst coarse, giant neighbours,

fearless, unconcerned, happy;

one solitary little yellow flower

so seemingly vulnerable

and utterly out of place

in such rugged terrain...

yet so properly located

in the eternal moment

to make me feel it is

I

growing there...

The Last Redneck


The last redneck

staggered from his

sink of corruption:

his city lair

wheezed in some air

coughed some up

sat in the cab

of his truck:


only the cab was gone,

the windows and doors

too,

he didn't seem to notice,


he leaned upon

the steering wheel

and dreamt of

a happy past


the trucks roared

down the highways

the cars sped by

everybody playing

everybody having

--fun--

that was the name

of the game

the only game in town.


He looked down the empty street

thinking of those who died

--from polluted air

he'd been told--

but he didn't believe that,

it was poison, he was sure,

a communist plot

to take over the world


there's no such thing

as pollution

he told himself

only idiots who believe

everything they're told:

He tried to breathe again

but found no oxygen

and died

of a communist plot

to take over

an empty world


all the communists

were dead too


of a capitalist plot

to take over

an empty world.


Some people never learn,

can't read

can't write

can't 'rithmetize,

can't figure

can't reason


and when those who make

the lies

die


what does one believe in

then?

The Beef Cow


Across acres of lush grass lands,

in a place where the wolf is forbidden to hunt

(and lucky for the wolf!),

tramples the ponderous beef cow,

dropping its droppings where it pleases;

sitting in its droppings when it pleases.

We feed it every kind of hybrid grain;

pump it full of chemicals

and there it grows: fat, fatter, fattest!


To the slaughter house goes the cow,

dismembered but not disempowered,

it moves to the butcher shop and grocery store,

in time to lay sizzling happily on the backyard barbecue

and proudly preside at a summer ritual: family feud!


Your gut gurgles away to strike a balance

between beer and meat

and between mouthfuls, curses and meaningful gestures

at someone you think you know B but don't,

you digest all those questionable chemicals.

Now maybe, just maybe, you die of botulism, or cancer

or something they haven't got a name for yet

and before your beer is even flat

you're peacefully six feet under...


And as you slowly turn to yummy food

for the creepy crawlies in nightshirts,

you see that damn cow you thought you'd had

chewing its cud in the moon and laughing

and now you know who won, don't you!

The Nimby* Syndrome


Earth is riddled with horrors;

a daily spectacle of pain; of death

for so many millions -

I sense this, each day -

it's in the air we breathe,

in the waters carried by the clouds

falling as tears upon the ground.


How long, I have been wondering,

before the many sense this also?

But the labour of the oppressed

and the blood of the dying

is of little concern to those

whose lives are “as good as it gets.”


As long as it's not happening

right here in our own back yard,

why should we care?

Why should we worry about it?

Oh, it's great entertainment,

human horror on the evening news,

it's daily fare - it's everywhere,

but not in my back yard.


Couldn't happen here -

This is a safe zone.

Reasonable government,

reasonable people; reasonable laws;

equitable resource distribution:

that's who we are and what we do -

that's what we believe

and that's good enough.


But I still wonder: is it good enough?

Is it true? 'Cause if it isn't true

then it cannot be good enough.


[*Nimby: Not in my back yard]

Train Of Progress


By spilled blood oiled;

by captive dreams driven;

by stacks of green pulp fed,

the mad train of progress,

carrying its privileged passengers

at warp speed to nowhere,

charges madly along its finite ochre track

laid down by worker-slaves moonlighting.


A rumbling shakes the earth;

black smoke belches in the evening sky;

a mournful whistle blows:

for all must see, all must hear

the passage of that awful train

of progress...


A patient earth

has endured many long years

since the tracks were first laid

and the train set in motion

to encircle the planet in a vise-like grip:

but lo! Where have they gone,

those hallowed times

of progress?

Only a skeleton crew remains

in desperation seeking

to keep the mad machine rolling.

Many passengers have had to dis-embark

as their stacks of green pulp became ashes;

the flow of innocent blood is fast drying up,

and many a captive has broken free

of the baleful hypnotic eye.


Denied its lies, its blood, its green pulp

the train is slowing down

as a refreshing wind blows gently

over the earth's healing wounds

sowing peace and harmony

in its wake

but sitting sadly on a rusting track

the morbid still bemoan the passing

of that killer train

of progress!

The Poor People

(Or Poor Society!)


Ah, we have a government

of the rich, for the rich;

a government bent on destruction

of the society that bore it.


This government considers the poor,

the homeless, the handicap, the jobless,

a drain on society -

because some of the immoral profits

it reaps by taxes and endless "fees"

must be shared with the poor.


Well, no more says The Premier:

If they have no bread, let them eat cake!

Cut off welfare, pensions, social programs!

The Money of the land

rightfully belongs to the rich;

let the poor feed their own poor!

And you? Pay your taxes, keep quiet

or we'll think of something worse

to saddle you with!


And as I read of these things

- not from Charles Dickens -

- not some stories

of some despotic tyranny -

but from "my" government,

I hear a voice in my mind saying:

what is their next step?

Jobs for the jobless and vagrants

building gas chambers

for those who "drain" society

?

- Sieg Heil! -



Earth Is A Zoo


It's been said:

Earth is a zoo.

Indeed

and the intelligent life forms

(humans that is)

who inhabit it;

who creep and crawl over it;

who "own" it;

and are destroying it

are themselves

but wild animals

caged by belief systems

that never work.

Hating each other;

eating each other;

destroying each other;

and all the while

praying to the

Great Keeper

up in the sky,

safe in his heaven

silent as the grave...

until his pets

unleash the great worship:

a crusade;

an inquisition;

a war

against the Keeper's "enemies."

Then He speaks

with guns,

with spectacles of bloodshed

accompanied by marches;

justified by great speeches

from his mouthpieces -

Preachers, Priests, Popes

and whomever else

benefits from His

special attention.

That's right:

Earth is a zoo.




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