Control

From the beginning,
We seek to control.
It is what we desire.

Success in this endeavor,
Shapes and guides us.
It is what we desire.

The more we control,
The further we rise.
It is what we desire.

Manipulation and domination,
Soon become our goal.
It is what we desire.

The ladder rises higher,
And we continue to climb.
It is what we desire.

We cannot climb forever, though.
Eventually, we must look down.
It is what we desire.

Below we see that each rung we climbed,
Was the apex of another’s ladder.
Was this what we desired?

Do we continue to climb,
Or do we ask ourselves:
What do I desire?

by Cody McCullough

The Lost Garden

I used to live in a lush garden,
Rich with tradition and custom.

It was a sublime home,
but now it has withered.

Foreigners arrived one day,
They needed a place to stay.

The strangers intrigued me,
So I let them move into my fields.

They filled the space immediately,
And began to spill into my garden.

Their encroachment knew no bounds,
So we met amongst the sacred stones.

It was there that they betrayed me,
And cast me out of my home.

I have lived on the outskirts ever since.
The strangers now own everything.

It is my own fault they say,
Heredity and bizarre customs are to blame.

I traveled the world in search of a new home,
But on each continent, the strangers greeted me.

I’ve come back to my old home now,
Looking for the spot where my garden once flourished.

For years I searched, to no avail.
I thought it was lost forever.

When I finally gave up,
My garden appeared.

I have lived there ever since.

by Cody McCullough

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Photo by Elizabeth McCullough

A Cloudy Day

When I woke up this morning,
The sky was cloudy and gray.

The absence of the sphere in the sky
Did not depress me, though. Not today.

Yesterday the land was dry
And smoke filled the atmosphere.

The flowers and trees were begging,
For relief from the unrelenting heat.

Today they stand tall, with mouths open-wide
Anticipating an end to their thirsty days.

I too rejoice.  I love the sun,
But know when it’s too much.

Today I am happy and content,
To lie underneath the sky of gray.

by Cody McCullough

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Photo by Elizabeth McCullough

 

Learning to Let Go

Like a winding river,
Sometimes my mind drifts
To thoughts of life’s perils.

Violence, disease, abuse,
Drugs, war, and poverty
Are just a few of my worries.

How will my children
Navigate the winding river,
And pass along to calm water?

My instinct is to keep them close.
Like a tugboat, I pull them along life’s river.
The steering wheel firmly in my hands.

Eventually, though, we both know
That we’ll reach the ocean
And I’ll have to let go.

If I’m not mindful now,
They won’t learn to navigate
And the ocean will be stormy when we arrive.

That is why I teach,
Giving them enough slack to
Learn to navigate for themselves.

After all, the world also has
Love, happiness, compassion,
Faith, healing, and peace.

The ocean voyage is not for me.
I can only impact the weather when we arrive.
That is why, I must learn to let go.

by Cody McCullough

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Photo by Elizabeth McCullough

Walking Down a Sidewalk

Walking down a sidewalk,
Along a quiet city street,
On a warm summer’s day,
There is much to see.

Some houses are big,
Some are small.
Some yards are neat,
Others are not.

As I stroll by one house,
A woman waters flowers.
Another woman passes by,
Dressed in black from head to toe.

I look ahead and see a tunnel,
Through neatly trimmed trees and bushes.
A bird sings a song,
And colorful flowers catch my eye.

Two teenage girls approach,
They barely notice me as they talk.
I hear a few crude words as they pass,
Then they are gone, and I continue walking on.

by Cody McCullough

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Photo by Elizabeth McCullough

Sleepless Nights

The best way to sleep at night
Is to be pious, or obtuse.

Since I am neither,
I do not sleep at night.

From time to time,
I convince myself I am one or the other.

These are the wonderful nights
That I sleep like a mummy.

Inevitably, though, my rest is interrupted
And I am put on display for the whole world to see.

by Cody McCullough

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Photo by Elizabeth McCullough

Historically Speaking

Historically speaking,
It is easy to judge the
Atrocities of the past.

The individuals who commit
The unspeakable acts
Have nowhere to hide.

But what is to be done with
Those who turn a blind eye
To the present?

Historically speaking,
How should they be judged?
Ignorant or implicit?

If the past is so clear,
And the future unknown,
The present can only be blurry.

Let us hope that
Historically speaking,
The blur isn’t an excuse to be implicit…

by Cody McCullough

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Photo by Elizabeth McCullough

Interest Rates

The cost of being poor,
And the luxury of being wealthy, is interest.

The wealthy man gets paid for being wealthy,
And the poor man pays for being poor.

Over time, the poor man learns he must work hard.
After all, he has to pay his way plus interest.

The wealthy man congratulates the hard work.
After all, he couldn’t stay wealthy without the extra support.

It must be nice to live without interest….

by Cody McCullough

What’s Missing?

It’s an unshakable feeling,
That something’s not quite right.

Sometimes I try to push it deep down,
But it always slithers back.

“Get out of here,” I want to shout at it.
I know it would not listen.

The feeling is relentless.
“You’re not complete,” it whispers.

“Don’t you know what’s missing?” it adds.
It never stops.

Like the force of gravity,
It pulls me down.

I won’t let it convince me, though.
Why would I?

I know I can be complete.
I know that I have everything that is important.

I won’t let it win, because I know:
It’s not an it, it’s them.

by Cody McCullough

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Photo by Elizabeth McCullough