Where My Stallion?

I want to die!
Even my body aches
And creaks with the struggle of this life.
Is it old age,
To be in one’s fifties?
Does it mean my life has finished,
That I can find no work,
No creative spark,
No love, in my life?
Does age always lead,
Like this, to feeling second-class –
To being unproductive,
With no way ahead?
No sex. No money.
No opportunity,
To be part of
Creative action in the world?
Must I accept this,
That I cannot achieve
Any reward or satisfaction?
Yet I had climbed
Such mountains of vision.
There was in me
A sparkling fountain
Of ever new creations.
The zest in me
Was a wonderful horse —
A stallion of power —
Carrying me,
Sometimes laughing,
Sometimes weeping,
Over and through challenges,
Despair, chasms,
Love and hate.
So where is my stallion now?
Where the steed
That carried me through all barriers?

The question pauses me.
I stand and look around.
It is a dark world,
Lonely and desolate.
And as I look,
I realise its strangeness.
I see my shabby clothes,
My hands, bony and wrinkled.
And I am on a stony track,
Winding ahead.
A track, whose every stunted tree,
I now recognise.
Recognise as having passed
A hundred times before.
Recognise at last
That I am on a loop,
Trapped on a Mobius strip,
That has no end.
No way out.
No pause.
And yes, it is a dream!
But no, not sleep induced.
A waking nightmare
Of entrapment.
And as I look around,
Eyes now made sharp,
By this new perception,
I see that, as with dreams,
Each rock, each tree,
Is shaped by my own fantasy.

Happening upon this path,
Suggested by my being
Without my love,
Without my work,
And hope lost on the way,
I believed this self-created world
Was real — was waking true.
Yet how can this not be so?
My wife has gone.
There is no work.
My body truly ages!
I do feel lost,
Afraid, and dying.
And yet! And yet —
As I look about
With this new insight,
I sense a saddle,
And the beauty of my horse’s strength.
I feel the power and the possibility
Of my life.
Yet, in looking down,
I see no saddle, and no horse.
But I feel them still!
So what is real?
And, wondering,
I close my eyes,
And reach with searching fingers,
To find the living, pulsing flesh
Of my great stallion,
There beneath me.
But, pulsing with the movement
Of my hopes and fears,
It comes and goes.

I stand amazed!
Pounded by an obvious fact,
That what I thought was me,
Is but a fragile moving thing,
Inconstant as my shifting
Thoughts and feelings.
The reality that pounds me,
Is that beyond emotions,
Beyond my thoughts,
I am Nothing!
Nothing but Existence–
And with my heart and soul
I create the world’s
In which I dwell.
Light or dark,
Heaven or Hell,
Prisoner or free.
All of them,
Each one of them, is me!
And with a swelling heart,
With joy, I see
That if each thought, each fear
Creates this world I’m trapped in,
How can I be a failure,
Or a success,
Or great, or small?
And with this amazement
Still upon me
I see that in my essence
I am none of these.
And in my nothingness,
The wonder is,
I can be anything!
Ah – Here’s my stallion.

Copyright ©2002 Tony Crisp

Copyright © 1999-2010 Tony Crisp | All rights reserved