Surrender (day 2526)

How did I make it through childhood
Run the gauntlet and pass inspection
I rode bikes down bad trails
Faught kids in the schoolyard
I played with axes
And climbed woodpiles
And chased after chickens
That had no obedience
I don’t know where I went right
But I stole kisses
And drank wine
And swam in holes
I wasn’t supposed to swim in
And slept in beds
I only half knew who owned
Yet here I am
Two past an age limit
And still stealing time
To take another ride
Down A sweet street
Called surrender.

Forgotten (day 2335)

I have not remembered the promise we made each other
No, I have forgot it just like the sunset we watched
And the kiss – we never shared
I did not walk those streets with you
In a foreign villa of unending desires
It was not of my hand that wrote thee thy letter
No, that would have broken my heart
To watch you walk off into the day
Of another dream I did not have.
I have not remembered the promise we made each other
And I have not watched the same movie on repeat
I do not remember curling up with you
Under my grandmother’s knit afghan,
Every time I take to my bike
I do not think of the basket upon yours
Instead I ring my bell so loud
My knees they knock me free.

East Hastings (day 1539)

I watch a line slowly trace a sidewalk
Up a wide street called Hastings.
Glitter trash slipping off
Into fuzzy life lessons in a tracksuit.

I plug my nose because last nights urine party
Leaves a sour taste that makes me uneasy.
But I like the back alleys
Where life is avoided and you avoid eye contact.

Alley walls make me think.
I look at them wondering how many years it’s been
Since the last painting was applied.
How much more graffiti can be tolerated
Before a shop owner thinks they have a more alluring color.

I stay clear of crowds gathering at bus stops.
They loiter and litter,
And ask bus drivers for free fares,
Assuming they’re sober enough to acknowledge
The annoyed union worker.

I’m not afraid to lock my bike here though.
I know the game enough to know when to be walking
Hand in hand with a lover who’s [not] scared.
I know my way home and I’ve got the good places marked.

Half-Truths (day 1531)

Lately I’ve been having existential crisis’.
They’ve been keeping me up
Tangling my tempered mind
With truisms that cannot be unfolded.
I’ve found life to give answers
I’m not prepared to ask,
I’m not ready to ask,
I’m not asking!
But still I ask and ask away,
Leading me to sleepless nights;
Circles of half-truths
And mind-truths and kinda-truths
And not-truths.
Until I am truth understanding
There is no truth at all.
I take long bike rides in straight lines
To avoid circling back upon myself.
I have been thinking I’m not thinking,
I’m not leading,
I’m not excelling.
All I’m doing is pretending
To be deep within my journey,
But my journey’s not a journey!
My sleepless night is real,
And so are the dreams
That speak truths and not-truths.

Island in the Sun (day 1436)

Dear George,

It’s been a while since we last talked,
For that I am sorry,
I hope you do not wait impatiently for my letters…
Like I do.

Baldwin Beach - Maui

I have been off to the tropics,
A tiny little island in the middle of the sea
Where geckos climb banana trees
And the end of rainbows are within walking distance.
I swam in the ocean here,
Swam with sea turtles as large as sheep
And walked most places without shoes or sandals on.

I think you would have appreciated our diets,
We were mostly eating local vegetarian cuisines
And I learned how to make kichari and nutmilks.
Some of the people I was staying with
Indulged in bliss balls,
And yes, the name alludes to the taste of these heavenly things.
With the leftover bits I’ve strained out of the nutmilks
I’ve begun to make at home now,
I plan on making some bliss balls of my own,
For snacking.

It’s been an interesting journey for me trying to reintegrate into society.
I’ve been taking it slow,
Going for multiple bike rides – which I love so much – every day.
Along the ocean here and through my favorite parts of town.
I’m doing lots of writing,
Which you also know I love to do so much.

I’ve just finished a book entitled Okham’s Razor
That was comparing the contrasting views of reality
Between the Middle Ages all the way up to the present day.
Along with the learning I did at the yoga immersion
On the tropical island in the sun,
I’ve begun to really get clear questions
I’m searching for.
I’m excited to remember everything,
And grow with everything at the same time.

Love is good, food is good, life is good.
I hope yours is too.

Hope to talk soon,
Sincerely,

Joshua Radlin

Bicycle (day 639)

Your marvelous wheels
That catch a shining glare
Turn all the girls heads
When we roll on by
Summer golden locks
With pink crop tops
Big eyed shades
It’s gelato time
And racing through parks
Jacket flowing wide
Wind in my hair
Big smile on my eyes
Freedom!
Freedom at last!
As we curl past the final gazebo
Home stretch in front
We’ll stop just in time

IMG_1763

A Bike Ride (day 383)

The wheels as they lurch spin round and round
Against the hard earth laid down in progress
The path weaves, lights they flicker
The ride home is always this way
The ride home it always reminds me of beautiful

Along the way the road’s in patches
Rough roadwork rears it’s ugly head here and there
Tram tracks unevenly yell at the tires
The cobblestones they tickle the fenders
And the wheels they go round and round

Perhaps it’s the passing cars that pull you along
Legs pumping with jubilant glee
Forever left with a burning inside
Wind in the hair leaves bugs in thou eyes

Growth (day 330)

I have reasons upon reasons
To think back to the cold spring days
Frost, covering the grass
Bright sun, sending rainbows across the drips of life
That are found within every dew drop

I remember the grooves in the pavement
The shiny bike I barely knew to ride
I remember the driveway
With a giant pole for separation
From that which was the neighbors

All of it, so long ago now
So much time has passed between
Those cross-velcro shoes and neon shorts
Till now, reserved and patched
Wounded and healed; but still for growth

What I Need (day 119)

I don’t need a friend
I don’t need a mother
I don’t need a car
I don’t need a lover
I don’t need a sister
I don’t need a brother
I don’t need a shoe
I don’t need a nother
I don’t need a house
I don’t need a player
I don’t need a roof
I don’t need a dinner
I don’t need a mind
I don’t need a helper
I don’t need a soul
I don’t need a savior
I don’t need a bike
I don’t need a computer
I don’t need a airplane
I don’t need a traveler
I don’t need a suitcase
I don’t need a prayer
I don’t need a garden
I don’t need a teacher
I don’t need a way
I don’t need a answer
I don’t need a goal

I just need us
And that’s the truth.