Zen and Out

I enter
the space
between my thoughts
and walk around,
stroll for hours
in cool breeze,
hear the sound of gulls
calling in the distance,
a steady soft roll
of surf.

Moist sand
slips between my toes,
ocean rippling over them,
walking the verge
between land and sea.

The distant ring
of a telephone
intrudes,
then a disembodied voice,
tinny and flat,
totals my bank account,
job prospects,
age,
social life,
an endless litany
of inadequacies.

Slipping in the water,
I swim to get away.
Far out to sea,
no land in sight,
yet the voice
still mutters.

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50 thoughts on “Zen and Out

  1. Yeah always vices and other distraction to get in the way. But the doesn’t like water so can’t go out to sea..haha

    Great capture of a moment that almost all feel at some point in time.

  2. lovely capture of the quiet zen moment ~

    esp these verses:
    Moist sand
    slips between my toes,
    ocean rippling over them,
    walking the verge
    between land and sea.

  3. Some outside voices seem to always whine and penetrate till they are internalized. I try not to answer the phone for those, but just keep swimming. There’s a very real sense here of both peace and life’s limitations. Liked this one much, Matt.

  4. Lovely. yes, sometimes it’s difficult to silence that inner voice and even harder to find silence amid the daily hustle and bustle of traffic noise and other contraptions that interrupt our quiet flow of thought.
    Lovely write and a lovely read.

  5. The distant ring
    of a telephone
    intrudes,

    well, that would not have happened when there were no cell phones. sad how much we depend on them and take them everywhere.

  6. At least the voice can be reduced to a mutter and even then we can keep turning our attention to more important things.

    A like how you play this out.

  7. I have absolutely no room between my thoughts! So, 1. How did you find some? 2. If you ever figure out a way to quiet that voice, please share! Wonderful write about trying to simply slip away, even if just for a moment. Here’s to you, and the awesome word weaving I’ve come to know you for!

  8. I hate it when that happens. Sometimes, at the beach, I can let my mind go blank, but all too often (as you well know!) some mechanical tinny voice nags like a gnat.

    This is a down to earth poem, honest and clear.

  9. yes, so hard to escape life sometimes, i love the way you wove the two worlds together, showing at the same time the desire to separate them and the fact that you cannot. life.

  10. How one call can turn your peace into chaos ….unplug the phone and set sail again into the calm….bkm

  11. Love the ‘room between thoughts’….an excellent and evocative poem….there is a space of quietude, and the bother of modern life.

    You have combined both of these, beautiful environment with annoying, petty life.

    Not easy to do so gracefully.

    Excellent poetry.

    Lady Nyo

  12. Am I the only one on this part:
    “I swim to get away.
    Far out to sea,
    no land in sight,”
    thought of suicide?

    I understand the pursuit of escaping technology & being at peace but is there also an underlying thing here; or do I think/see too much where there is nothing?

  13. Sure I like this. Some things I cannot escape, because where I go, there I am–even far out on lonesome and lonely sea. I guess that even my conscience follows me there–grin!

  14. Intrusions – a phone call can wait, can go to voice mail. Not so long ago it summoned us as a possible emergency and every ring could mean a change to life as we knew it. Thankfully we don’t sit attached to them as their “umbilical” cords kept us from living life, waiting for doctors, men, promises, meeting the worry – what if something goes wrong with my children, my husband, my mother, my wife while I’m gone. It was the angst of those times. Who would go back to not having a cell phone and caller ID. Not me. Well said here, Matt. Intrusions shouldn’t interrupt meditation or self healing.

  15. Real depth (and a little darkness) to this piece Matt. The title and the final stanza lead this reader to believe there’s a double strand here – stepping out of the hotel room for a little air and checking out completely. Subtle yet powerful piece.

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