Hearts Of Stone

I’d finished walking.
The first walk I’d taken
In four months.
It had been a short walk.
Between 2 and 3 miles.
But I’d needed it.
To break the ice.
And get me moving
Once again.

As I walked,
I couldn’t help but see
The birds
Up in the sky.
And in the trees.

I lost count
Of all the bunnies
Munching out
On grass,
And new grass seeds
That so many of my neighbors
Put out by the bag full
Every spring.

I’ve always wondered why
People seem to think
They have to have
A perfect lawn.

When I got back
From my walk,
I cooled down,
And took my shower
To get cleaned up.

And I wound up standing there
With the water on
For just a little while.
As I tried to catch my breath.

My breath had abandoned me
When a picture
I had never seen
Snapped into view
Inside my mind.
And my heart told me,
“It’s true.”

I’d realized
That almost no one knows
What’s going on.
In the world we live in.
And the lives we lead
In these cold, dark days.

Almost no one knows
How many hearts
Have turned to stone.
How many souls
Have become cold.
How many people
No longer even know
What’s real
And what’s illusion
Any more.

And my heart ached
In my chest.
And my soul
Cried out with pain.
As I stood there
In the water
Of the shower
Wondering.

“They just don’t know.
My, God.
They just don’t know.
How can they
Just not know?”

I’ve come to know the difference,
In the past few years,
Between what’s real,
And what’s artificial.
What’s man made.

I’ve learned that what’s real
Will be here always.
It was here
Before the human race.
It will be here
When we’re gone.

What’s real
I can touch
With my two hands.
I can see
With my two eyes.
And can hear
With these ears
I’ve been blessed with.

When I walk
Out on the sand.
I know the ocean’s real.
And the sand is too.
I can taste the salt
Upon the breeze.
I can feel the heat
Of the summer sun
As it shines down
On me.

When I walk
Through the flowers,
Or through the trees.
I can reach out
And touch them.
I can feel the life
In them.

When I reach across
The sand that isn’t there
And touch another’s hand.
Or hold someone
That needs holding.
When I dry another’s tears.

I know what’s real.
And what matters
In this life
I’ve been blessed with.

When I go to work,
It doesn’t matter where,
I know that work’s not real.
It’s part of something
We have made.
Part of the economy.
Part of our society.

And if I look at history,
I can not help but see
That every society
That’s ever been
Has come
And gone.
Not one of them
Has lasted
Like the things
That are real.

I remembered
As I stood there
With the water flowing,
That I’d written
Words of truth
In 2010.
When I spoke of walking
On the sand
On my break at work.

And the way
That my heart ached
When my walk
Came to its end,
And I had to return
To the land of work.

Where nothing was real.

When the memories
Had come and gone.
I turned the water off.
Dried off.
And then got dressed.

Wondering if anyone I knew
Would ever understand this world
The way that I now do.

Wondering if anyone I knew
Still knew
And understood
The difference between their work,
And the lives they let other people see.
And who they are beneath
The surface we all see.

Or if the truth
Of the life we live
Has become lost to them.

Like it was once lost
To me.

Knowing there were many
That did not.

That so very long ago
So many people
I have known
Turned their hearts to stone.
So they could fit within
The artificial world
That we’ve created.

And that even now,
When they look
In the mirror each morning.
And when they go to bed
Each night.

The have embraced the lie
That everything’s
Alright.

So that they don’t have
To face the truth
That our way of life
Is broken.
And not real.

I’ve spent several days
Since then
Trying to find the words
To share with my friends
What it is I saw
That day.
After I had my walk.

But I know.
I know a simple truth.
That no matter how I try
To find the words to say.
I’ll fail.

And so very few
Will ever learn
What I’ve learned
In this life.

About what’s real.
And what is not.

About the many
People of the world
Whose hearts
Have turned to stone.

And you wonder
Why I speak of
My Soul’s Tears…

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