Tao Of acousticsteveo

On January 1 of 2019 I embarked on a journey to write one poem each day for the entire year. This journey was inspired mostly by a fellow poet @d-pend on HIVE, but it was also inspired by a group poets I found in a discord channel called Steem Schools ran by @dobartim on Steemit.

These poets and I wrote one hundred poems in one hundred days. This experience got me into a groove with my poetry and helped me realize I was capable writing poetry every day for an extended period of time. Why not an entire year?

So I set out on my mission to fulfill my first ever New Year’s resolution. I crossed the finish line on December 31st and my life was changed forever. Mostly because of the lengthy poem I wrote called Tao Of acousticsteveo.

A Tao is a Chinese word that means “way”. It speaks to a spiritual path. Admittedly, I was practicing some cultural appropriation in choosing to exploit this word, but I was also attempting to be a bit ironic.

I was hoping that the irony of a middle age white guy with no pedigree of leadership, putting forth a spiritual document, ascribing an esoteric discipline, would result in humor as a catalyst for inspiration. It worked. I was able to use my own poetry to transform myself spiritually, and in writing the poem I illustrated a formulaic avenue others could follow to provoke their own personal rejuvenation.

I was doing shadow work. Shadow work is where you look at, and deal with, your faults and traumas. In writing this poem I was able to go back to the beginning of my life and explore what contributed to making me my present self. It was eye opening, transforming, transcendent, and painful. It was life altering. Old stuff that I had pushed into the corner was finally aired out. I could now release so much and the weight of life suddenly became a lot more bearable.

So, I had created a Toa. I would like to share it with you. I guarantee that if you follow my example, and do your own shadow work, then you will also experience the spiritual transformation of this path.

Tao of acousticsteveo


acousticsteveo

all lowercase

no space

a label
a moniker
meaning 6

a way to digest the moment

just one aspect
one mask
one moment

the love energy used
to manifest
perhaps

---

saying
something
special
is not important

but saying something
may be

the open gate
coming through
into

a baby
a body
i don’t remember

first
the back seat of a car
in a pumpkin seat
after a long journey

my mom is amazed that i remember
i remember a mom and a dad
beautiful
love

---

i remember a time
in a crowded space
where i rode the hall
on a big wheel
dreaming of a bicycle

i asked my mom
where this memory
came from

who were the happy people
in the halls

she said this did not happen
there was no big wheel
there were no happy people
but i remember

---

the absorption
of ideas
starts
in the feelings of infants

words of merit
become tangible
as we babble toward them

rocking the flotilla
toward expression

---

the smallest pieces of me are in you
my little sister
my little flower

we were launched together
into a world of challenges

your spirit was my armor
your tears were my salve
we were interchangeable
a song being sung
as a cheerful round
interlapping happiness
and friendship

your dark nights
awoke my brokenness
your suffering
stirred my mind

i can see us holding hands
standing on a table laughing

our dad was out the door
but we had each other

---

the cradle
from which my psych emerged
nestled in a crook of a mountain range

isolated

family
spooned out on the acreage

our very young minds
saw perfect beauty every
day

---

the stream matrix
the hillocks
the valley
the mountain footstool

a playground for youth
we would push to the edges

trouble
we fell into your arms
as we explored nature

the worried adults
we were constantly escaping from

into the grizzly forest
where elk made their beds
where wild turkeys
called to us
like garbled pied pipers

my eyes were transfixed
my heart was engaged
my cerebral makeup was made whole

nostalgia
is allowed
in the memory of your kiss

---

out the old river road
years later

nothing is the same

a woman in love with me
her child
my dad
my step mom

the ranch is still beautiful
but my memories have faded

my companions have sated
their slacking curiosity

mine still lingers

---

electric sunshine
the dappled rainbow trout
shouted everywhere
brooks and brooks

the triangulated
house setup

us at the far end as if ready to exit

horses and hay
coors in the stream
and the mysterious mountain man
that held an authority
without saying a thing

he chased us down a mountain once
acting like a big creature
his way of chastising us for disobedience
my cousin got his brunt
which i suspect was not too harsh
but i was not his

and yet i was

three sisters
started young marriages on the plot

one discovered she loved women
one was left alone with two kids
one had two kids and a husband

the only man left standing
that served as a bridge to my next dad

---

the birthday cake
with five candles
the smiling kid faces
a celebration of me

an important day

my mother invited
a man

---

you were doing the dishes
the phone began to ring
it was daddy
i was excited
i missed him
i didn't know where he was

you began to cry
you were angry
sis began to cry
so did i

i didn't see him for a long time after that
at some point i didn't know if i ever would again

he explained some things years later
that i could only understand as a man

according to him
he was told not to return
he has never been one to lie to me
neither have you

i have never spoken to you of this
mainly because i don't want to stir the pot

but
if it comes up

i'm ready

---

when live rolls around
you'd better
ride that coaster
down

like a cyclical
bobber

on top of a lake

---

back then
the world was large
and i was not

but
i was wrong
i just had not discovered
myself
yet

once the
new world
made its presence known
the exploration
could begin

and the limitless landscape
could be acknowledged

i am the new world

---

events
keep happening
every day
happening

your eyes are silver violet
they draw me like a bow string

and the whispers
of our entwined chords
as they pass through the night breeze

lifting my spirit
high enough
toward love

to touch happiness

---

you were a big man
you had a gut
and now so do i

i was a skinny child
a skinny teen
a skinny young man

i didn't want to be skinny

in my thirties i manifested a stomach
a monument to you
i had a hidden gleeful reaction to the whole thing

strange
but now as I heal from so many
of the things i've kept hidden

it's time to let go of you

---

magic
is real
for children

i remember how we dreamed
the same dream on the same night

during the night
somehow
we swapped
places

i went to sleep on the top bunk
and awoke on the bottom

for you
visa versa

we played mermaid in the bathtub

sometimes i think neptune
spit us out upon the shore
siblings

children
meant to have the gift of each other
before the curtain
could be drawn
and the show
begun

to always remember magic

---

i was excited to have a new dad
and new siblings

little did i know

you were excited to intertwine
our families

you were so nice before you brought
your boys

the day you brought them
to live with us
the gemini mask faltered
and my cousin
said you were a bad guy

he was right
but i loved you
in spite of your meanness

we were sitting in a tree
watching the dust kick up
on the winding dirt road
as you approached

the first thing you did
in front of my new siblings
was cut me down

i didn't know i wasn't supposed
to be in the tree

how could i have known

i wanted to please
and you made
my heart ache

this was the first injustice of many

---

when i fell in love with jesus
it had a lot to do with youth
church was weird
but jesus was cool
he loved the little children

and i was a little child

i liked the music
especially the singing

i wanted to sing the best
i'm still trying to sing the best

but not for jesus

---

i like to tell people that i once
lived in a school bus
in the mountains of montana

and that's true
but there's a lot more to it

the truth is that the school bus
was just a summer vacation
a nomadic sojourn
a stepping stone to the first home
kalispell

fourth grade to mid eighth

a place where shallow roots
could cling to majestic dirt

---

dredging my past for moments
capturing simplicity
attempting to reconcile
to move on

when i was a young man
i was determined to tell it all
it's not that i wanted to expose
anyone or anything
as a matter of fact
quite the opposite

i thought death was the answer

not my death
but the death of those whom
i believed the truth
was a poison

i figured the secrets could live
until the reputations
were on to the next life

but it turns out the truth is my poison
and my cure

---

my two dads
were in different worlds

the close one was a stranger

but it didn't take long
for me to understand him

i saw a lot as a kid
even now as an adult
i think my child's
eyes hit the bullseye

he was his own master
he used to be a pastor
he lied and had secrets

eventually
his secrets became my secrets

---

the cascading plumage
of my childhood

constantly changed
faces

on one such occasion
we had everything
packed into a sedan
on our way to a new
uncharted
start

and our vehicle stopped working
knowing that
montana

was quickly fading in the rearview
i wasn't too upset about
the delay

---

when the sun baked my skin
on that gorgeous day
swimming in the mountain stream
for too long

you cried
as my little body vomited
all over my bed

too much of anything
can become poison

but your mothering
let me know that i was
deep in your heart

and that you were a never
ending well
where this too much principle
did not
exist

---

creative
energy
always flowed
so freely
through our throat
chakras

we had our little
tape recorder

and like parrots

we garbled out our little
shows

later we moved on to songwriting

our first attempts
were like discovering
the cure
for sadness

---

when i was very young
the outside of me
did not matter
it had no matter
it was a dream for my experience

the rawness of self

but now
i am

and so are you

---

i thirst for the chalice
of your lips

the sacred night kiss

unbridled
with passion

but the ruling
planets
of your mind
have locked me out

i travel the past

to find a new way
in

---

the blade of my heart
was sharpened

after that
it was unleashed

it went around poking
and prodding
every crevasse
in search
of blood

the pain was transparent
like a clear balloon
floating through a baby blue sky

i died
and died

everyday the same way

---

magnetic majestic
moments of delirium
instigated by infusion
of plant

transformative
formative
substance

your wings were given
green and beautiful

budding to exception
exceptional

our time together
was perilous and enlightening
at the same time

now i journey without
your sustenance

but I keep your wisdom

---

no work today
a tornado touched down

late last night

today i think back
to a time
when another twister
put us in a bathtub

our wee little bodies
our wee little minds
in the dark
with thrashing wind

this time was different
i was not afraid

only thankful
and tired

---

the plant is spiritual
very potent
it can be misused
most probably misuse it
i misused it

i wonder what my life would have
been like if i would have
never

partook

---

under
the soft sun wednesday

i spoke to mercury

flippantly
like a truncated trumpet trill
forced out into the world
to wake up lost campers

the turning table is turning
and i will turn with it

a respite from my past
a ticket to my present

boiling the broth
on low temp
for a minute
while i step away

it's been fun neptune
and the moon

but mercury wants a turn too

---

i can't help but
revel in my heart
at the bringing to light of

the truth

now we can all heal
from the secrets

---

sometimes
the longest goodbyes

last
into middle age

where
a reckoning
happens

whether you want it
or not

---

beginning
after a fact
and finding it a fiction
happens
quite often

openness to
being incorrect
does not mean
imperfection

for perfection takes
much time
much error
much effort
much love

---

a desert
how i imagine it

you keep telling me things i'm too young
to hear
i keep finding out about stuff
too soon

a cactus in the desert
alone for miles
around

you make me complicit
i learn to have secrets
other people's secrets

and my own

---

when i think of exchange
i think of energy

creativity

the threshold of such
is breaking down
norms

but how far exactly will we go

let's find out

---

in finding love
abandon
desperation

become unmasked

they don't fall away
they linger under the surface
like a long lost

family member

then they float to the top
and confuse the love addict

but the love brings healing
of the self
when it has been exposed
as impotent

the pieces won't fit
and you're stuck
with the realization
that they were not meant to

each person is just another
random piece
trying to define the edges

the lucky ones
are given eyes
to see this

and begin work on the self

---

discovering words
are my forte
was like opening
a can of cream of mushroom soup
with a dull pocket knife
and eating from the can
with a plastic spoon

in the fifth grade
a poem of mine was published

the addict was born

---

a dream of a dead loved one
my arm over her shoulder
her health intact

thankful
for the strong image
of her face
the touch
everything unexpected
but feeling normal

sometimes gifts come out
of the unconscious
realm

---

the body is important
it holds life
experience

the soul is not paramount

for the soul can experience
soul stuff
anywhere
but a life
needs the beauty
to manifest

if the body was lesser
to the soul
in the hierarchy of life on earth

than it wouldn't give us such
pleasure
and pain

---

internalized conflict
is like a poison
if you leave it inside
for too long

release a safety valve
and let it slowly depressurize

feel the steam bleed away
listen to its voice fade

soon you will be able
to look at the puddle
under the nozzle
and realize
that you are free

---

the love of a child
is like that of a bumblebee

it flies around looking for beautiful
places to land
it likes nectar

make sure there are no
venus
fly
traps

in your garden

---

paradise reckoning
bringing pastel life
to dark places

lighting up all the memories
with filtered love light

restructuring
suturing

rebuilding
to redesign

the present

---

finding obstacles
obsolete
except
for the footprints
left

requires
no great feat of mind

just acceptance

karma
whispers a lullaby
over time's shoulder
and we live the
vibrations

---

early in life
i didn't have much conflict
conflict swirled around me
but inside
i was a rock

i hardened myself
crystalized my insides

i braced myself
for the next time
i would be hurled through
the woods

now
i am performing
the alchemy
necessary
for destabilization

so that i can
do my best
to perpetuate
results
more attuned
with addressing
the real conflicts

that were there
all along

---

is it true
that at times
we all hurt each other
on purpose

that we all have participated

or are there some
who say or do things that hurt

but it is not intentional

i think a part of being
human
is destruction

that if we are honest
we all have made digs
or torn another down
just to do it
because
we wanted to smash a mirror

but i also think
this madness
can cease
when we decide that hurting
others is
hurting
ourselves

maybe there are some pure souls
who never act or talk to hurt
ever

but i doubt it
although
i'd like to be wrong

i doubt it

---

love
infatuation
beauty

these things take time to sort out

---

bleeding the mainstream
into the streets
charred to degrees
seeded with need

jump at the shoreline
toward a bowl moon

eat of the earth love
with a wooden spoon

dream like a cactus
dispelling your sun scorched
lies

breathe into nothing
wing your surprise

---

the modern bore
can suffocate a fire
if the blanket
dominates

but
when it's an afghan

the holes
are
keys
to the universe

---

absorption
beyond the cell membrane

happens
unconsciously

but
distillation
is a process
requiring

diligence

---

sex
to talk of you is taboo

you wait in our eyes
to glimmer

and fall away so slowly

i know your secret
power

your moments
upon moments

your invitation never closed
until i'm ninety
and even then
who knows

i was discussing heaven
with a friend of mine
a devout christian
whom i once
trapesed the maiden landscape with

i asked how sex
could not be a part of heaven

---

a pebble
tossed into a stream
hits the current
before settling

a boulder
coming loose
tumbles
then rests

a brick laid
stays put
until it doesn't

an island
sinks

a cave
waits
for explorers

a planet
cycles through life

just like us

---

a dream of coming
home

is one where love
is seen

the words fall away
the body takes over
the heart

simplicity
is underrated

---

most of us want the best
but what are we doing to get it
what is required for it
what stands in our way

utopia
is not a destination

it is here
buried
not reliant upon
outcome
results

it is felt when holding a child
when being a child
when being yourself

don't be afraid
of coming up with answers
instead of asking questions

your power
is real

embrace it

---

gripping at the reins
of every situation

pulling them
from side to side

will
break the spaces
of restraint
and
fill
the lungs of descent

let us instead
lead with our hearts

into the darkness
to find the lost
and carry them
home

---

engraved on my heart
are the numbers
of all the seconds
taken
destroyed
lost
evolved

i can not change the past
or my missteps

but i can move on
leaving it on the side
of some long lost highway

i will

---

each time
your love crashes
into
mine

i explode in a microsecond

i become the blade
and you
the chalice

i bleed from my heart chakra
the elixir of youth
the dying embers of eternity

and push
and fall
your breasts
your lips
your hips

your secret place that my mind
has cloned

---

a dram
of a potent potion
of words
stirred

and shaken

like the foundations
of a religious fairy tale

where we
the lost sheep

are expected to believe

that fathers could be toyed with
psychologically

and a benevolent god
could teach this way

at seven this made no sense
i should have listened
to the holy spirit
that knew
bs when
it

escaped the book everyone
around me worshiped
as the flesh
of a living
god

---

when your heart opens
to the understanding
that an innate sense
of right and wrong
resides

you no longer have
to look elsewhere

---

being gentle
is tough work
when stupidity
presents

but it is also
a diamond

compacted coal
made clear
if time
enough

is given

---

the spartan spirit
worked well during bleak
landscapes
dominating
everything in life

but now
the forming of clay
principles

claims the lives of those
on less fortunate
soil

---

the dragon in my bones
keeps eating at my heart
writhing in my skin
shedding its will
into my reality

i breathe its fire
i hold its anger

transmutation
holds it in the iron cage

but i work toward a golden dawn
where my dragon
wings are jeweled
with wisdom

until then
i tend a drake

---

cosmic beings
from the stars

now on earth
umbrellaed by home

we imagine these things
change our appearance to attune
act as if it's so

but do we know

could it just be neptune
dreaming at the bottom of
our ocean

---

the circling
round

repeats until dead

exhausted by lies
it crawls from the mess
and is given the choice

to move on
or remain

---

the universe opens
and i explore

her vibrations
sound my inner dial
and i hear

my expression
of the inner voice
matches
the new song

the scroll
reveals
a little

more

---

gypsy hearted fool
wandering through days

the love of the next
could be the crux
of this

looking to the blood red moon
for lingering signs

making escape hatch plans
delivering nothing
taking everything

still your mind
settle your space
give your self
believe

in more

---

status
such a fickle thing
so easily broken
so easily dissolved

the eyes of the masses
are watching
waiting
judging

one thing done
can destroy your trajectory
into the heights
of recognition

so fragile

some of us
have destroyed our status
our ability to be taken seriously

but this is a blessing
because we are now free
to speak our minds
independently

without fear
for our worst nightmare
has already
proved the self protection racket
to be a programmed
illusion

---

disagreement is healthy
it gets the juices flowing
it stimulates the mind
if done right it causes
reflection

why not tap into the idea
that being wrong
is just a step
in being right

without the vulnerable
assumptions
we can not dissolve
old boroughs
in favor of
nicer homes

which in time
will also crumble

---

what if we did what we wanted
everyday

why not

just start doing it

wake up and go to work
if your work sucks
find something else

don't sacrifice your being

if you want to play
have fun
for as long as you want

eventually you will want
to work again
because it satisfies your
need to participate
and your desire to express yourself

if you have obligations
don't cop out
but do make an escape plan
then live to manifest it

along with love
always

---

the budding sexuality
of my young heart
did not understand
the pictures shown

but the mysteries
were there

and i was determined
to find out about
pleasure

there were others
curious
left to our own devices
finding the corners
abandoned by adults
where our space was outside
of rules

had a structure existed
would i have found
the exploits
of brittle parenting

i will not make the same mistake
with my children
i will guard their innocence
i will allow adult things to enter
their lives
when they are able to understand
sex

---

the teenagers
exposed me to their lust
when i was very young

these things happen a lot

maybe people should
question

whether or not to leave their
young children
alone with
those not vetted
by common sense
intuition
and reality

really
can you afford to trust
maybe not

i don't
i made the mistake once
i believe i lucked out
family does not equal safe

i know from experience
keep your children safe

---

soaring high above
emotion

is a way to cope

but eventually
you need to touch
down

radiating love
helps soften the landing

feeling the energy
of circumstances
as they come
and letting control
die

will also help

but perhaps
reflecting light
at the darkness
and being a solid soul
is the best response

leading to the healthiest
destination

---

the rebirth after pain is ecstasy
letting go of fear
seeing the limitless potential
and letting it rock you
to sleep on the shoreline
of a mental beach construct

the suffering is but illusion
after it is done
it is gone
transendary

why hold the pain
in some pocket
in some recess of the subconscious

it will not cease
until it takes flight from your palms
like a dove
being lifted to the heavens

---

eating and cooking
the raw vegetables

water
spice
a touch of salt

no longer touching poison
the pig food
for nearly a year

it feels so good
my body and mind thrum
at each meal

---

the calling comes
as a persistent chirp
the mind is overcome
the bleating apathy
is palpable

but the gift
and the gifted can not be denied

these things are the fingerprint
of struggle
becoming

love

---

detachment is escape
engage the problem head on

this world is solid for a reason
we can touch it for a reason

saturn requires adherence
to principles

time may be an illusion
but cycles are not
routine is not
climbing is not

suffering comes from
fretting over pain
but growth requires
resistance

build toward goals
without expectation

this is how to walk away from
the loose shackles
and travel through time
work hard
for

the enjoyment of engagement

---

the end of pain
is here
even the bite
of death
is gone

for joy has
opened my eyes
to the blessing
the miracle
of life on earth

there are dark forces
times of destruction
miles of mechanisms

but there are also
souls

---

the seeds of our brethren
are round and solid
they form bodies
that experience
life

they manifest the future
they contain the past
they are supposed to live in the present

but they are lost
so they live in a vacuum

untie the ropes
let them fall to the deck
let the sails billow
and air out

find a destination to point towards
then
turn the wheel
retie

and begin to sail
with intent

---

combination locks in hearts
take time to open

lifetimes perhaps
but they are worth fiddling with

when sprung
light illuminates
the well in the desert is found
it begins to nourish
for miles

each new hidden spring
finds another

---

when endings come
that is divine timing
allow

be true
love

the secrets are everywhere
in a kiss
in a child
in words
in nature

be open
transform your identity
daily
hourly
in the moment
why hold on to stagnation

build slowly and with intent
look for opportunities
be there for others

experience
the blessings
of this life

on earth

excavate the earliest past
personal to you
to experience times
as an adult
and heal your
inner child
be your own parent
be your own best friend

and you will be a blessing

signed with love
acousticsteveo

Stephen Martin, 7/18/19

Proliferate

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