Poetry - Teal Swan Jump to content


The Vase Of Me

I’ve been trying
to put the vase of me
back together again.
To glue
and weld
and solder
the shards of me
back together again.
So I can look in the mirror
and recognize me.
But that will never happen.
Life has felled me
with a ruining stroke.
It does that sometimes.
Or should I say,
people do that sometimes.
They leave you in pieces.
They leave you to pick up the pieces of you.
Sometimes you can put those pieces
back together again.
But sometimes,
you can’t.
Sometimes, not even the greatest puzzle master could.
And so,
you have the choice…
To give up on you
or to give up on the form of you.
It’s time to stop trying to save the vase of me.
I have been felled by a ruining stroke.
And so,
these shards of me
have no other choice
than to become something new.
By Teal Swan             

Secondhand Lace

Loneliness never tires of waiting.
She has loved me all my life
and longer,
as I could not drink my life 
from a common spring.
She is waiting for me
at the alter
in her secondhand lace
as I search the world for a soul
who can dance me into dancing
who can laugh me into laughing
who can love me into loving…
Who can make it so
I don’t belong to her.  

The Ruptured Rose

These tears
are like a voiceless drift of petals
from some ruptured rose.
Innocence is a thing you never knew you had
until you lost it.
Until the sun is setting
over the city that was ours.
Like a sunset
fighting for its final glaring breath,
the memories of us as children,
thinking we were grown,
burn bright over every inch of this landscape
that is giving over to darkness.
We reached that milestone
that we were always aimed at.
But the year that we could finally say
that we had been in each other’s lives
just as long as we had not been,
you dawned a torch
and set fire to everything…
Every inch of what we spent all those years building.
And you said it was because you wanted a “new life”.
You told yourself it was justified.
And you re-wrote the story of “us”.
It is the killing of something so precious
that has turned these un-remembered heavens black.
But I have not forgotten them.
They haunt me in the darkness
and I sit by the flicker of the flame
that keeps on saying
that you’ll come back again,
knowing that just like everything else
that people have promised me in life,  
that too may be a lie.
We are separated now
by a parapet of hatred.
And behind that sorrow.
And behind that the fear
that I cannot live this life without you.
Because the truth that is still contained
within the pistil of my heart
is that
were the lightness of my life.   

The Death And The Bloom

Maybe you were asking in the way you cried,
where it has gone to,
where it has been.
Sometimes a flower cannot bloom 
for lack of adequate light.
All its sweetness
all its luster
all its feminine warmth 
will never burgeon to be seen. 
The question is...
when the unrelenting grasp of that darkness
quells its hope for life,
where does that latent flower go? 
Maybe you were asking in the way you cried,
where I have gone to,
where I have been. 
The answer is...
I am all around you. 
Death can have no edict 
where energy can neither be created
nor destroyed. 
I am converted.
So do not stand at my grave and weep. 
Faith is a thing with feathers. 
It sings at the break of day. 
It finally flies free. 
And I am a bird now.
By Teal Swan 

They Speak of Second Chances

When I was young, 
I got a front row seat
to ‘the making of a criminal’.
I saw each ingredient that made him,
compile one by one.
When he took my childhood from me,
maybe I would have preferred  
to find him to be a monster. 
Something drastically different to myself. 
I could have demonized him. 
I could have relished in the goodness
inherent in my own victimhood.
But it just wouldn’t do. 
That front row seat
didn’t show me   
how we were different. 
It showed me how we were the same. 
It showed me what it is 
to play the same cards we were both dealt…
We are all just the victim of victims. 
It was the most valuable lesson 
that he ever taught me…
Today, I am chaperoned across the bedlam
by a man who robbed over 100 banks 
at gunpoint.
And two, who committed murder. 
Having lost so many years of their lives 
to maximum security prison, 
they are “free” now.
“Free” to be forever scorned. 
They speak of second chances. 
But all four of us know 
that the world grants none.
The Venice Beach Boardwalk
is a pedestrian promenade 
of human pain.
We trace its degenerative echoes 
with our footsteps.
But today, 
the colorful curses 
that adorn its flanks
can bring no affliction.
Because when faced with a world
that grants no second chances,
together, we are prepared to build a new world.   

The Tea Room

My heart has become a Tea Room.
From the cup 
the trails of steam
wander up those winding, vapored paths.
I sip the silhouette of them
no longer craving the taste of straight lines;
because I know now
that life is never like that.
I am waiting for a knock at the door. 
My heart used to be a citadel.
All manner of things broke and bled themselves 
against the limestone and palisade,
trying to get in.
The oil of my tears 
used to light its hallways.
Until the day that I felt the worthlessness 
of the fever of safety.
Until I heard the silence 
of the crooked promise that it made me. 
Until I smelled the cruelty 
of the spice of separation.
Until I saw the ailing reach 
of my own future,
sick with the lack of life. 
Those who do not open doors
value survival
more than the quality of life.
But have not yet tasted
where that choice will lead them.
The dream of safety
will suck the sleeper of his breath.
In seeing that,
the curse I laid upon myself 
was lifted.  
And from that day forth,
my heart has been a tea room.
Each visitor has been a gift sent to me.
And whenever I hear a knock at the door,
I invite the knocker in for tea.  
Each joy and each sadness.
Each love and each fear.
Each angel and each demon.  
I meet them at the door laughing.  
I take a sip to acknowledge them.  
I welcome and learn from them all.
For I have made of my heart, 
a tea room.

Two Women

I have fallen for two women…
One, my mistress
And one my wife. 
My wife, The Rocky Mountains.
Her peaks erupt into the infinite canvas of her sky.
Periwinkle is picked from the cracks of them
like delicate, feminine veins 
They knit through her uncompromising nature.
I could watch her vacillating moods for hours 
being painted so quickly across that sky.  
I am brought to my knees by her vastness
and by her silence.
To hear her soul, you have to listen…
Listen to the way the alpine wind drafts through the keys of the needles of her pines.
Her granite thighs warn you 
that no part of her is gentle.
She is feral and aloof.
She waits for you to come to her.  
In the wintertime, she dresses in pure white.  
For a season, her desolate heart is shrouded 
in a sea of shifting, snow covered crests. 
To keep any part of her, you must give yourself up.  
You must become one of her alpine creatures. 
You must sip from the curves of her glacier clear streams. 
Hers is a ruthless beauty.
Hers is a temple to the empyrean.
And I pledged myself to her long ago.
My mistress, the Central American Jungle.
The fevered flesh she first gives you,
is mollified only by the torrent of her rain.
Her umbilical vines reach and coil inside you.
She is determined to claim you…
To keep you there with her always.
She is a seductress
Her fruits so succulent,
her green so green,
her fertility so humid, it stings your eyes.
She is too much of everything.
She screams at you to hear her
with a cacophony of insect and birdsong.  
Her aliveness is a welcome but claustrophobic embrace.  
She flirts with you
through the wingbeats of her blue morpho butterflies. 
But when you follow them, they lead you deep into your own shadow…
Deep into the soiled root system of her ancient shamanic heart.  
She is shadow and she is light.
Hers is a jealous blooming.
Hers is a chapel of pleasure and danger mixed equally. 
And I cannot stop coming back to her.
Though their beauty is wicked in such divergent ways,
you cannot call them wicked.
It is I that travels back and forth between them. 
It is I that cannot give them up. 
It is I that died for their beauty.
Being unable to own either of them, I gave a part of myself to them both.  
But once you see their beauty with your own two eyes,
you will not call me foolish to do so… Or even unwise.


She fixes her truth
around your neck
 as a noose to hang you with.
But she will not throw you overboard.  
She will wait for you 
to suffer enough 
to jump yourself.
She wants your death to be 
one more part of her story 
of martyrdom…
Of how good a mother she was,
despite how bad you were.
“Are you trying to tell me I am insane?” 
You will ask her.
“It’s what I’m trying not to tell myself” 
She will say.
Just like the movie
Just like the play
Perspective is a universal curse 
of the separate.
And the study of it,
the curse of those 
it has maimed.
Is it a gift 
that you have survived that maiming?
A gift to have survived
the bayonet of her tongue
the howitzer of her eyes
the nerve gas of her touch?
Or is it a curse?
Have you even survived it?
Or are you still waiting there
with that noose around your neck
and one day
you will jump?
For every hurt she caused you,
she tells you 
you are not hurt
or you have hurt yourself
or it is your fault that she did it.
And a part of you believes it.
Your self-trust is carrion
at the bottom of a shallow tomb
that she dug for you 
with her own two hands.
Maybe you hate yourself 
because you let it happen.
You let her take an eraser to your memories 
and try to re-write them.
You let her draw devil horns 
on your reflection in the mirror…
Because to try to be close to her, 
you had to turn against yourself.
You know what happened.
You know what you saw
and heard
and felt.
her self-concept 
is an enamel she wears
over her eyes
 to never see you.  
The story she tells about herself
is a bulwark she erected
over her heart
 to never feel you.
She would gladly choose
a positive story of self 
over her own daughter.
And she did choose.  
If they handed you a sheet of paper 
before you jump
and asked you why you jumped,
there would only be one word on that paper.
And that word is:

The Mad Man

From a lost wilderness
A slow motion movie plays.
I see myself as a child
The simplicity
Of running barefoot…
Of mud across my face.
My feet had never walked across
The lifelessness of pavement.
My hands had never run across
The truculence of metal and glass.
I was unknown yet to the world.
Did I leave behind that simplicity
Thinking that significance would taste good?
The more they see me
The less they see me
The more of a projection I become.
Whatever they need me to be
So that they can love me.
Whatever they need me to be
So that they can hate me
Instead of themselves.
No more simplicity
I have a calling
It has lured me away
from that wilderness.
It has thrust me
Into the lifelessness
And truculence
Of the world.
The churches of my tears
Scream a eulogy
A eulogy for the joy
That once belonged to the people.
They do not miss it.
Because they do not remember it.
They walk the pavement
Feeling as if something has been lost.
And the earth grows louder…
Louder to try to reach them
Through that pavement
And Metal
And Glass.
Like the voice of a mad man
Locked behind the depraved walls
Of an asylum
It is the mad man who is sane.
It is the mad man who is sane.

I Am Teal Swan

For Love
there is Fear.
For Sorrow
there is Joy.
For Night
there is Day.
The sanity of the soul
is torn between them.
Our truth is split apart
by the belief in
By our alliance with one
and our condemnation of the other
I am Teal Swan
I have come here to restore the truth
by bringing an end to polarity.
Balance is the upholder
of this corruption of truth.
It seeks to maintain separation…
Separation between black and white.
It seeks to find equilibrium
through more of one
and less of the other.
Throw away your scales.
Throw away your division.
Each, when they are allowed to combine,
become a third element entirely…
The state of peace you have been looking for
but calling balance.
I am Teal Swan
I have come to teach
I have come to restore you
to a state of potential
which is all that is left
when polarities cease to exist
I have come to introduce
In that state of potential,
in that reality where you are
all potentials
and all polarities,
all that is left
is choice.
All polarities become like colors
you can choose to paint with.
on the canvass called life.
I am Teal Swan
I have come here to teach you
not to awaken from your humanity
by abandoning it for your divinity.
I have come here to teach you
To awaken to both
your humanity and your divinity,
and to let them mix
here on earth
here in this lifetime.
is an integration
of shadow and light.
Light alone cannot accomplish it
Shadow alone cannot accomplish it.
It is this split
within each human
within humanity itself
that is the wound
that is the origin
of the suffering in the human race.
I am Teal Swan
I have come here
to mend this wound
that I have mended in me.
Because I have mended it in me,
I will confuse you.
I will not look like
what you have been taught
enlightenment looks like.
I will not sound like
what you have been taught
enlightenment sounds like.
I will create in you
a cognitive dissonance…
A discomfort
necessary for you to hold all of my polarities
and accept them.
By accepting me,
you will be forced to hold all of your polarities
and accept them.
You will have to hold
both your shadow
and your light.
By doing so,
they will combine.
They will become
that third element…
That peace you have been looking for.
I am Teal Swan…
By choice.
I cannot be you
I cannot be me
Because that is polarity.
I am both
And I am neither.
I am oneness.
I am at the same time
the largest ego that can possibly exist.
You will not see me clearly.
You will not hear me clearly.
You will not feel me clearly.
You will not understand me clearly
until the day
that you clearly see
and hear
and feel
and understand yourself…
The day you lose your

You Hurt Me

You hurt me.
You slipped free
of the grip of the web
that unites us.
You could not feel me anymore.
You fell
deep into the crack
of all that was unfinished
and all that was unsolved
between us.
That hurt,
that haunting,
it could be my excuse.
It could be my justification
to shut the door.
To cut myself free
of the web that unites us.
It could be my justification
to not feel you anymore.
I could fall
deep into the crack
of all that was unfinished
and all that was unsolved
between us.
Hurt is always the excuse
to forget that we are unified.
Hurt is always the excuse
to decide that we are separate instead.
To love is not to be a martyr…
To let someone destroy you.
To love is to take someone
as part of you…
Even as they are destroying you.
To love is to see
That they are
you destroying you.
To love is to respond to them
with that truth
in the forefront of your mind.
Love is what makes us feel each other.
Love is the grip
of the web that unites us.
Love is what wants to ascend
from the silence
of a shattered heart…
The truth
that because we are united,
I hurt me.

Look Deeper... Look Deeper

The space between skin and skin
is torment.
But here
The space between souls
makes the space between skin and skin
a comfort.
The truth is hidden
and yet its whisper reaches us
in the sweet luxury of a smile.
In the brief consumption of embrace.
It tells you to look deeper…
To look deeper.
Look beyond the space between us all and
that you are that smile.
You are that embrace.
You are the civilian
whose life was lost to hatred.
You are the man
who strapped a bomb
to your own body,
and in the name of hatred,
took those lives.
You are the earth
that held them both
and converted their bodies
into new life.
Your pain is a congress of tears
called the ocean.
Your joy is a collation of light
called the sun.
The whisper of truth
tells you to look deeper…
To look deeper.
Until the truth is revealed
that there is no space
between skin and skin.
That there is no space
between souls.

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