Sunday, November 4, 2012

Strangeness and Oneness - Two Poems from Jim Shields

The opposite of strangeness is oneness. The learners of oneness have no place for strangeness.  Thats why Guru Arjan says, "There is no stranger." Everything appears to be acceptable.  The will has been accepted.

On the other hand, strangeness is often shared among parties estranged.  Whoever you feel is strange also feels you are strange.  Dialogs, smiles and love can build bridges; but if those bridges are not built, the two banks surrounding a river keep apart.  Two people who do not speak, remain strangers. 

Thats why Walt Whitman pleads to the stranger who wants to talk to him: "Stranger, if you, passing, meet me, and desire to speak to me, why should you not speak to me? And why should I not speak to you?"

People who come across each other, and neighbors who live next door, have been brought together.  Then why do they remain estranged? 

Here are two poems from Jim Shields, a poet whose name you probably have not heard.  More on him below the poem.  The first one about strangeness, and the second about oneness.

Three Doors Down

Three doors down, there on the left,
Live folks quite unlike me.
Clothes they wear and thoughts they share
Very strange they seem to be!

Three doors down, they contemplate
And try with all their might
To understand the weirdness,
Three doors down, here on the right!


I ignore folks' eccentricities
Which on occasion stir a fuss
We do well to know that most of us
Are mostly like the rest of us

More On Jim Shields: His first book was published in 2009 and he was most recently the chief commercial officer of a pharmaceutical company called Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, for which I currently work.  His poetry is beautiful -- it oozes everyday wisdom in a way I have not seen from any poet.  Look for "Knothole Relections On Life's Parade" -- thats the name of his book.  And if you can't find it, send a message to me and I will try to get a copy for you.