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Ghosts of the Sun Dance-Part 1

Ghosts of the Sun Dance 1. The Path A quest dating back through our history Surpassing the flesh, a spiritual path Human endurance, road to mystery Dark trail winding through the gardens of wrath It echoes through me, this deep ambition Half century of miles, lifetime compressed Much more than a race, a sacred mission With light of hardship I hope to be blessed To outsiders, an act of madness pure What motivations could compel this feat? Past limits of human strength to endure Pushing the body well beyond defeat Mind and sinews outlasting the firestorm Transcendence, to shed our skin and transform 2. Sun Dance Transcendence, to shed our skin and transform Once, Plains Indians embraced the Sun Dance Sacred solstice ritual to perform Life’s rebirth to the sound of drums and chants Young braves fasting in their preparation A stout pole connects the lodge to the sun Days of reveling unite the nation Dancers’ exhaustion, they seek to outrun Animal spirits drawn in by the rhythm Forked tree with bison’s skull, hooks in their chest Buffalo, bringer of potent vision Delirious dancers complete their quest The Spirit Quest resounds through history Beyond mundane, to sacred mystery 3.To Endure and Transcend Beyond mundane, to sacred mystery Japan's “Marathon Monks” of Mount Hiei The key to their spirit quest victory To walk a Marathon one hundred straight days Famed spiritual leader Sri Chinmoy Believed hearts and spirits could be mended Through self-transcendence, and he did enjoy Countless long quests before his time ended Chinmoy’s best, a fifty day epic quest A journey thirty-one hundred miles long Few are those who have ever passed this test His famous Self-Transcendence Marathon Darkest night, the gateway to a new morn, Through painful trials, seeker’s soul reborn 4. The Spirit Is Willing Through painful trials, seeker’s soul reborn Deepest pain kindling the soul’s ignition Follow the path supplicants’ feet have worn Transformation’s crux, soul transition Our defenses and walls cannot let in Sacred blessings of the gods and spirits Impenetrable, much to your chagrin They cannot touch your heart if you fear it Mortification, a tribulation Humble display of the supplicant’s worth A spiritual emancipation, Pain always accompanies any birth These transitions in few modern nations Our world, rare rites of initiation 5. The Fall Our world, rare rites of initiation Deconstructed, traditions have been burned Soulless life breeds infantilization Perpetuating the puer eterne To make our lives easier is progress, Yet soft life an inadequate mantle We can also suffer when life lacks stress True transformation is never gentle Safety, the goal of civilization Eliminate risk, its increasing role Safety’s bitter fruit is stagnation Comfort cannot forge a resilient soul Building true human vitality starts With substance to satisfy questing hearts 6. Aimlessness With substance to satisfy questing hearts We dream to build greatness from the humble Miseducation, meaninglessness start Intrepid young souls questing for trouble Drawn to drugs and gangs, tobacco and booze No deep satisfaction do they contain Oft mistaken for paying adult dues But lead instead to spiritual chains Youthful misadventures, trouble and blues Sterile environment will generate Tribal belonging they mark with tattoos Clumsy efforts to self-initiate Conquered world without initiations Life’s road of genuine tribulations 7. Warrior’s Quest Life’s road of genuine tribulations Awaits our youth, whether they are prepared Or not, we note with building frustrations Future leaders, we see grow up impaired The warrior within’s heartfelt yearning A righteous cause in which to do battle Meanwhile, the subway turnstiles are turning Young champions doing time as cattle Quests can be found for the searching young soul Alas, the focus of education Not on the development of the whole But fashioning subjects of this nation The challenge of living with one’s whole heart Yielding to those who have mastered the art 5/19/16 Copyright by Author For contest: Heroic Crown of Sonnets Sponsor: Craig Cornish Syllables confirmed by howmanysyllables.com

Copyright © | Year Posted 2016




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Date: 6/12/2016 8:38:00 PM
Continued...Excellent references to heroic people and customs Tom, this is my kind of poetry, "Through painful trials, seeker's soul reborn...", there's no other way. "Comfort cannot forge a resilient soul..." you possess serious, genuine leadership Tom, you have real compassion in your heart, in your sage poetry...J.A.B.
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Tom Quigley
Date: 6/14/2016 11:30:00 AM
Thank you very much, Justin! And thanks for reading!
Date: 6/12/2016 8:24:00 PM
Nice permutation on"Grapes Of Wrath"with your gardens of wrath Tom."Half century of miles..." is a very ruggid expression quantifying a person's endurance, it resonates with me because I walk more than 4,000 miles a year commuting to work, and it brings to the forefront how far we travel just to reach maturity. "To outsiders, an act of madness pure..." this has a great tone of warrior determinism Poet. You make American nativism so damn tangible, transcendent of race and culture...J.A.B. A FAV!
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Tom Quigley
Date: 6/14/2016 11:31:00 AM
Thank you, Justin! Appreciate your thoughts. :-)
Date: 6/10/2016 11:35:00 AM
Tom, congratulations on writing this wonderful Crown. Your metaphor on the struggle of life would benefit any young person to read.
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Tom Quigley
Date: 6/10/2016 2:09:00 PM
Thank you, James!
Date: 5/19/2016 5:32:00 PM
Wow... I'm so amazed at all of you for attempting this contest... When I'm reading yours, I stand in awe... Breathtaking May I share at another poetry site? A Poet's Haven? Wow
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Tom Quigley
Date: 5/19/2016 9:08:00 PM
Thanks so much, Bonnie! As long as my name/copyright go with it, probably so. How would that work?