Terminal

This is the end.
No more arriving
No more striving
It’s irrelevant and futile.
This life now
was the destination.
It’s not a layover.
I will never be a rock star
Never birth a child
The man I truly crave
is not produced
by this culture.
I cannot make a living
doing what I truly love.
How sweet
these lowered expectations.
How precious
this humbled bar.
What welcome relief.
Once I accept
we all have a terminal illness
and today
is tomorrow’s memory
of better times
so much is forgiven
so little wasted
and good enough
becomes perfection.

© S. Rinderle, December 2020

Transient Amnesia

I have been away from God
for far too long.
I’ve been preoccupied
with the adamant hammering next door
and arrogant spreadsheets.
With putting every name
with its dates
and getting the colors right.

I’ve been worried
about the stickiness of my cells
the texture of my arteries
the numbers on my report
and the velocity of the grains
slipping downward
in the sand timer of my life.

These are the whiny problems
of the privileged elite
yet still they vex and torment.
Such is the amusing, noble struggle
of the human animal.
We suffer and thrive.

I’ve failed to notice
the droplets of sweat on my furrowed brow
that seeped out when I went down
for the mail,
failed to heed
the scent of rosemary
left behind on my aching hand
when I parted its piney leaves
to liberate a sneaky weed.

I’ve forgotten
the natural wave of my hair
still flows and rolls like the ocean
the sparkle of my olive-bronze eyes
still ignites faded heartfires
the curve of my soft waist
still delights my lover.

I almost forgot
that almost everything
is more infinitely vast
than almost everything
that plagues my puny mind.

I almost believed
that I was in charge
that I alone grasp the helm’s wheel
that the world
depends on me
that my life
is exclusively my own.

I almost forgot
because I was away from God
for far too long
but She
was always there
inviting me to cross
the threshold
and rejoin Her at the hearth
of Truth.

Once again
I remember reality.
Once again
I am home.

© S. Rinderle, 9/5/20

Tides

Expand and contract
Come together
Move apart
These are
natural phases like breathing.
Neither air
nor tides
not orbits
nor human hearts
follow any other law.

Question:
Can my ecosystem
likewise endure
the ebb and flow?
Can my heart tolerate
the changing weather?

The city burned that weekend
as did the juvenile hope
of our illusion.
We fall in love with the fantasy
then one day the full person
shows up.

I cannot force change
even with my passion
and formidable will.
To try
is to inhibit
another’s sacred rhythm.
To try
is to inhabit
another’s sacred sovereignty.

There is a softer truth
underneath the hard one
I’m afraid to feel.
True, I allowed my fear
to overpower my wisdom.
True, I have good reasons.
True, perhaps I’m
the damaged one.

I gingerly embrace
my vulnerability
and gift myself perfection.
I can access divine connection
any time.
I sense it even now
as order comes to roost
inside my flesh
in the shape of calm.
It was not my doing –
it was grace
invited in by my humility.

Loving truly
is truly terrifying
for in the wake of rupture,
follow repair
or removal.

Question:
What can I do today
to invite safety
to come live
between my ribs?

No matter what happens next?

© S. Rinderle, June 2020

Precious

I held a jewel in my hand
but I let it go
I didn’t know
It was so precious, so rare
I was 19
I thought jewels
were easy to come by
I thought I should be
the sole sovereign
of my destiny.

On a California beach
on a January night
I watched him
as his trousers flapped in the wind
his impossibly gorgeous hair
rippling like the rolling waves
his impossibly blue eyes
welling.

I knew it was the worst pain I’d felt
I knew it was the most logical decision
I didn’t know
It was the first biggest mistake
I’d ever make.

When god hands you a jewel for safekeeping
ask not why
nor for how long.
Guard it in your bosom
Marvel at a new night sky
Revel at the palm trees gently swaying
under the moon.
Revere the smoke issuing
from his impossibly luscious mouth
Cherish the tender delight beaming
from his impossibly gorgeous eyes.

Abdicate your dictatorship
over an unknown future.
Relinquish your tyranny
over what is possible.

Let god figure out
the how
and when.

© S. Rinderle, May 2020

The greatest courage

There exists no greater courage than this:
To love
with no guarantee of requitement
To trust
with no guarantee of safety
To strive
with no guarantee of success
To believe
with no guarantee of satisfaction.

There exists no greater valor than this:
To create
with no hope of immortality
To speak
with no hope of listeners
To stand
with no hope of change
To live
with no hope of survival.

We can scale murderous peaks
vanquish impossible Goliaths
in a hostile arena
run fast as a gazelle
with steel blades for feet
migrate whole civilizations
and rebuild entire cities from the scourge
of plague or maelstrom.

Yet there exists no greater courage than this:
to allow the heart
to be our ever-changing compass
faith our engine
and divine Wisdom
its fuel.

© S. Rinderle, 4/20/20

Your Proper Place

Do not pull
on the planties.
Allow tender shoots
to emerge from the earth’s shell
in time.
Trying to hasten growth
destroys the roots,
kills what might be.

Sprouting life
has its own pace
you cannot dictate.
This is as real
as it gets.
This is the stuff
of soul
not nonsense.
Not
mechanical cogs
and turning wheels
ticker tape
mahogany panels
pointing arrows
and blue screens
in the dark.

Do not pull
on the planties.
You cannot hurry
what is out of your hands.
You may coax
coerce
or rage
it matters not.
You may stare
fret
or plead
the soil is deaf
to your preferences
the budding kernel numb
to your rhythm
the delicate roots blind
to your furrowed brow
your urgency
irrelevant.

Do not confuse yourself
with the sun.
Do not overestimate
your power.
Know your proper place
in the Mysterious weaving
of Life.

Water, space and time
Water, space and time
and protection from pestilence
is all anything ever needs
to thrive.

© S. Rinderle, 4/14/20

Dolphin Rider

Dolphin Rider
I stand
left foot in the canoe
right one
on the backs
of living torpedoes.

I can fall at any time.
I have no control
yet a pulsing
in your salty blood
and stable skin
brings me calm
for you know me
and sense me.
I’m not alone.

We are not equals.
This is your dominion
since before
my time
you have ruled the waves
before I knew you were there
or that I needed you
since before I learned
these waters
were home.

My canoe is falling apart
not for failure
it’s simply time
like the cocoon
ends its watch
over the brewing butterfly
or the bud resigns
to allow the petals’
expanding.

My right foot grows
melting
like shimmering wax
spreading
like turquoise roots
my toes sprout webs
that bond to the back
of my aquamarine steed.

I straddle two worlds
oblivious to the destination
conscious of the danger
but unafraid
Soon I will shift

I slowly straighten my spine
as my footing steadies
This is all I must do
at 50 miles per hour
I raise my arms
like feathered sails
lift my courageous chin
into the wind
fix my softened gaze
on the blue horizon
close my eyes
and breathe
through my smile.

© S. Rinderle, 4/4/20

Resolution

I am resolved to sweetness
to waiting for what’s next
to being pliable like bamboo
to dropping the oars

I am resolved to look Beloved in the eyes
to soften my gaze
to allow the rattling sabers
and mushroom clouds
to pass through me
like the rainbow prism
passes through glass

I am resolved to wait like stone
cool at night then warming with the sun
discerning between those who can
and those who can’t,
letting them go

I am resolved to soften my shoulders
as well as my resolve
letting everything in
but keeping only jewels
relishing the long loneliness
in between.

© S. Rinderle, 12-17-19

Let It Flow

I’ve been dreaming of water
massive, muscular tides
roiling in their sinewy grace
straining against their confines
and thrust in earnest crests
against the patient, dried-out land
filling empty basements
flooding busy streets
dragging cars with them
helpless along the sand
I try to drive through
but I can’t, the
water gets between my tires
and the asphalt, this
ocean overwhelms me
but I’m no longer afraid
just weary of trying to hold it back
there’s a crack
in the dam/n wall
I try to keep up
between you and me
a façade built
to keep these waters at bay
strong, like Great Moses’ Staff
dividing the Red Sea
but his arms tire
as does my resolve
so let them fail
and the water rush down
washing away the tyrant’s soldiers
the judging voices that say
this is wrong and
we are bad
naughty children
immature selfish souls.
Water as mighty as this
is not meant to be damm/ned
Let it flow
Let it go

I’m not free in my resistance
I’m no Israelite in Exodus
but I do know
God loves us
this is not judgment
this is not a test
of character
any more than the waves
on the shore
it’s just a force
an invitation to hop a/board
and ride
this is not a test
or mockery of our will, but
an invitation to manifest
the Divine
for God has many faces.

Moses, drop your Staff
let me go
and let me grasp it with both hands
bring my luscious lips to its tip
lubricate with my tasting
and let you ram
the barrier down
release the waters once again
so this desert valley can quench her thirst
as the rivers rage wild
between my thighs
teeming with life
and one promise
to RSVP yes
to accept the invitation
to let it flow
let it go
swim the waxing swells
and let
it
flow.

© S. Rinderle, 1/7/13