Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Look At The Looker, My Friend Nietzsche

So this was my Dad's birthday, Dec. 18, that I wrote these two, but I don't know what my Dad's birthday has to do with these poems. I don't know if anything has to do with these poems.

I am glad to report that the "cold" went away with a full night's sleep. My normal sleep time shaves that by a couple, three hours. Then today my boss criticized me heavily for doing precisely what he said to do, then he went out into the bakery and looked again, came back and muttered that "he saw what I was doing" (the right thing). That was the end of that. He is not a happy camper right now. He is wondering how to make the really condensed planning job that we have put out work smoothly at installation. There is no money for more planning. But the next phases will cost too, more if there are lots of mistakes. Uh oh. No longer my fault, now his fault. Life in the fast lane...Don't even try to see a connection with this to the poems. If you find one, it's...YOURS!

Look At The Looker

I thought I was rock
Solid, truly here, anchored
To a real world.
Now you have come by,
Poked serious fun at me
For being a boob.
You tell me to look
Closer at the state of things,
Look at the looker.

You say there's a trick to it.
I say I've gone inside out.


But I wasn't done with the theme. This next poem popped out less that half an hour later, two poems done at lunch. Why Nietzsche? Why not.

My Friend Nietzsche

My friend Nietzsche said
I was missing the point, then
Called me worker bee.
He waved me away,
Said I tried to know too much,
Not good for my head.
He puffed his long pipe,
Told me to go live a bit,
Open up, slow down too.

I want to know why
All this matters so to him,
But not now. Busy.

Needed Time

Sorry about not posting. I needed time last evening for other things.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Going Home, Like A Reed In Snow

So many writers claim this about going home. I remember several moments of my life going back to somewhere important, how it had changed. It has always seemed vaguely insulting if not downright hurtful that things change this way.

These poems are what happened to me Dec. 18. That day was my Dad's birthday. Every year on that day I remember him to his daughter and last wife, her mother. I remember him to my sister. He raised us, my mother's husband, after I asked him to marry us when I was five. My sister came to us when she was in fourth grade and me in sixth after she lived in a holocaust behind a white picket fence down in the LA area. She is really my cousin. In her way I think she loved him more than me. Dad died of bone cancer in 2001. So this day is larger in my life than most.

Going Home

I tried to go home
The way I remembered it,
Turned the last corner,
Nothing true was there.
All was twisted, different.
My heart broke open.

I think I need a tantrum.
I need to tweak God's old nose.


God and me, we have that sort of relationship. I was arguing with Him before I was born, quite like Jacob would not let go of the angel. I am in the fix I am in because of that argument. Just like this:

Like A Reed In Snow

Standing so upright,
So ramrod straight for so long
I am like frosted,
Like a reed in snow,
Forgetful of all futures,
Of all plans you had
For me, for my life.

Is this the way it will be
Between us, you gone, me stiff?


I learned in AA that if I can't be angry with God, who can I be angry with? If Jesus calls God, Abba, and I am in image and likeness, then I too can call God, Abba. Fathers forgive the anger of sons, at least good ones do. But I stew in my own juice a bit :)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Not Yet Ready, If You Meet Him On The Road

Here are two poems about human nature. The Taoist vision is of Man between Heaven and Earth. Man looks to heaven with feet planted firmly. That is his ideal state, and so this Taoist trinity is the first, most fundamental one. Divinity (Yin) beneath and divinity (Yang) above. In the middle, in balance within the forces, man rides the ebb and flow of things.

It is said, even when they soar heavenward, the highest birds still look back to Earth from which they come, to which they return. Only Man looks to Heaven in the Divine Way that he does.

Not to rise, nor to descend, but to remain poised in the balance, because it is necessary, that is the fulfillment of the triune nature of the cosmos. Hence the Chinese called their land the Middle Kingdom. That our position betwixt and between is actually in itself divine is a very strong draw for me to the Taoist world view. It would be a reply to the Christian world view of the journey of the elect to another kingdom, the Kingdom of God, except that this Taoist view is so much older than the Christian view. In both views there is much to do and a balky human nature to deal with in the doing.

Notice, I said the position we best fit in is Divine. Man in His true place is Divine. I did not say that we here now are Divine.

In this context, I offer

Not Yet Ready

Sometimes I look at
The wide blue sky and feel my
Toes curl, grow long claws.
I know I must sink
My claws into the prairie earth
So deep, lock so tight
That this whirling world
Will not throw me off headlong
Into some unplanned
Future. My soul knows me well.
I am not ready to go.

-written Dec 17-

I have a little problem with authority. The bumper sticker, years old, was made for me: Question Authority

There is an old Buddhist saying that comes from the heart of the teaching. Most of that saying is the title of this poem and the poem is a story that describes the last two words of the title. This also I like very much. Buddhism insists that in the most basic analysis, I am to be my own authority even to this point, that before I actually achieve my highest potential, I will have to kill all residual forms of devotion to any master or any belief, any dogma and any rule, because they will at the last be hindrances. They will stand in my way.

Thus, even though I must accept guidance and community along my way, because there is utterly no hope of my journey's success without that, and even though because I must accept guidance and community, there must be authorities, I am called also to remember that these are all TEMPORARY and they cannot take dogmatic position in my life if my journey is truly spiritual. If I meet the Buddha on the road, at the last I must kill him.

This is the spiritualizing of a human shortcoming. The shortcoming is a failure in the maturation of the adolescent in us all. It is natural for adolescents to rebel against authority. In the spirit life this rebelliousness transforms rather than disappears. That is the point. To outgrow adolescent rebelliousness as most societies prefer is to lose something divine. But to stay in that rebellion is to fall far short of the divine. To transform adolescent rebelliousness first into self-actualized but other centered living, and then to lift that into the spirit realms is the purpose of all true religion. If that path is lacking, if the religion cannot act as the mother does letting the adolescent go into adulthood, letting the child truly go, letting the spiritual traveler move beyond the childhood home, then it cannot be a true religion.

We tend to not understand.

If You Meet Him On The Road

Why is it like this?
I see some serious man
Have his earnest say,
Speak as deeply as
He knows, perhaps deeper than
I ever would go,
Demonstrate his grace,
His position in God's world
If not in my own,
And what do I do?
Sling snowballs, or mud
Right between his hazel eyes,
Down his gray suede coat.

-this poem was written in the fifteen minutes following the last poem-

Friday, March 27, 2009

Biting Deep, The Shattered Glass

Relationships, heh. I have been living a solitary life for over two years now. In the meantime I have had ample looks into the quagmires that so many relationships become. I have also seen some others fare not so badly. I like to say that I do fairly well in the relationship arena. We tend to live peacefully, my lovers and I and when they finally decide to leave after two years, five years, way over twenty years, they do not treat me badly on the way out. I guess in some ways my picker is not broken. I don't pick vindictive women, nor do they ever stop trusting me to be kind and civil about things.

This leave taking I write about in Biting Deep is not a personal history, not as I lived through one particular breakup. If I were to falsify my feelings at the time, I could have said words like this. Now looking back, it is not clear but quite possible that she actually did this thing I describe in the poem, but I don't think she meant to. If true, it worked out this way at some deeper dark level. I think on the surface she thought her next lover was going to save her somehow, just like I did but could not any longer. I think she thought he was better suited as a partner than I in the life she hoped to live. And of course staying with me was no longer possible because of the nature of things. This was certainly true from her perspective. The reasons were many. I agree with them all.

Biting Deep

I am all laid out
Like a spread of old tired tools
Left behind by you
As you go shopping
For someone new to use up.

I don't mind your choice.

I look for new digs
Where the shovel of my life
Can bite deep, lift clean.


Here is the universal experience of passing time. In this poem I take it personally that time passes. I know I am not the only one to do so. To be honest, though I am capable of this attitude I more often lean into the passing of my life. I often find myself saying, "God, if you took me today, it would be all right." I don't mean I am tired of living, just that I don't have things left undone. Nothing I do is done under the lash of needing to do it, even those things that I do really need to do. Like my work. I need a retirement, don't have one, and so I keep working, hoping it will work out. But I enjoy my work so much that it is not a chore that way.

What becomes more and more a chore as I age is that I don't have the energy I used to and my recovery time is so much longer now. I tried fitness as a specific antidote over a year's time and more. Nope. I crashed from that. I am just losing energy. It is simply true. And so I know personally why people retire even when they don't want to.

Still, I enjoy my work enough that except for how tired I get now, I lean into going to my work. I am not tired of living. I certainly do not lean into dying. I have written that ever since reading Casteneda, I try to carry Death on my left shoulder. It would be all right to die.

The Shattered Glass

This morning I saw
How my days are stacked on days
Trailing behind me.
I saw my lost life
As streaming tatters of tail
Threaded through my wake.
This struck me, a blow
To my world, a shattered glass
Fallen at my feet,
As if I thought passing time
Somehow belonged just to me.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Still More To Do, What I Fear

Hoo Boy! I am one tired critter. Work has hit that gotta get it done phase. We don't have enough time and money but lots of work. I was up and down on ladders at many points, figuring stuff out and moving forward, solving little problems this way and that. Not enough time to write, and now not enough energy. Glad I am woikin the poetry backlog. Both of these poems were written in the early morning, Dec. 16. We were fairly slow back then, and went to full stop right at Christmas. No longer.

There is a full spectrum here. This poem is a favorite of mine in the way it surprised me. I bet it is even true part of the time. This is the human condition. I am not exempt. No exempt ticket in life, one friend says. And it is important to me, because I can't slide very far from the spiritual walk without dire consequences. I really do know how to relax into trashing my life. I must live abnormally if I am to succeed, very much like a diabetic, or the asthmatic I once was. There is a simple discipline I simply must follow. That would be fine if I always wanted to. Sometimes I really just want a rest. No rest.

Still More To Do

I believe I know,
That I can be serene, clear,
That these poems come
Down holy channels.

I should consider the thought
That poems are my defense,
Even aggression,

Are walls erected against
The ancient voices.


I am not free of fear, but it has shifted, moved into ever subtler crannies. I have made peace with the presence of fear in my life. I know its texture and smell and there are not many surprises in what it demands I do. I learned under its goad back in 1971 that I can do amazing things when I think my life is genuinely at stake. After I got sober I lived with fear's presence in my daily life, waiting for the next thing to show me that getting sober was a joke for me, simply not possible. Going back to living drunk would have destroyed my life, just as the drugs almost did so many years before, and earlier my own inability to grow up (from this the dope actually saved my life) also almost killed me.

After a time sober, I came to realize that I had worn that fear out, it just wasn't true anymore. It was at first a real thing and now it wasn't. That cleared me off and I eventually understood my deeper motivations to be bewilderment and grief, fear for me is derivative of these deeper things. Here I describe the last fear that masks my bewilderment and grief. Strip away this last fear and what is left, total bewilderment and the grief that never ends. That is my personal core.

What I Fear

I am my own ghost,
Ancient, tattered, disturbed, gray,
Skeletal fingers.

I am my own test,
I want multiple choices
Or simple true, false.

But the wind still blows,
Tatters flutter, tear away,
My aching fingers
Can't hold the pen or
Even type these keys

And I fail the test of me.


Having written all that, I shall finish by pointing out that knowing this intimately is not the same as struggling with it. I am not struggling with it. The capacity to be clear about my state has come as the long term work with my inner state bore fruit. I would recommend the work and do not suggest that my personal core is like yours. I tell all these stories, write these poems and they motivate, bubble up from this place or the various covers I can use, like donning clothing. I do not need to give up all my poses and only live at the base of me. In fact most of life will not permit it, and the solutions all involve higher level activity anyway. That is of course part of what I do, hoping that I channel the deeper stuff, all the way down to this core and then past.

But going past the personal core is to begin the impersonal ascent to God.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Don't Know What It Is, Need To Know

Two poems quickly done in the afternoon of Dec 15. So it stopped being heavy. Don't know why it started, don't know why it stopped. I've been trained over a couple decades now to say ouch when it hurts and laugh when it's funny. Do you realize how many people need to retrain, just to do that?

The first poem is about being open. The second is one of the ways to shut it down.

Don't Know What It Is

This day feels special,
Though I can't get hold of it,
Don't know what to say.
Goldfinches that flock
To the seeds I've given them
Might say it's the food.
My old cat at rest
Might say no, it's the heater
That bathes her with heat.

It might be sunshine
Lifting snow directly up
And lighting my eyes.

Don't know what it is.


I am so special. Heh. I go places that few ever go. But I can't tell you. I keeps my secrets.

Need To Know

Wormhole sucks. I'm gone
Twisting down the light, like lines
Drawn in a cyclone.
Can't say how that feels,
Well I could, but then
I'd have to freakin kill you.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

More Work, I Need A Rest

Here are two poems, a whole work day apart on Dec 15. Must have been a hard day in a hard week. I don't remember. But the poems are related and about character building or something. Hey, don't ask me, I just write them.

More Work

I thought I'd be good.
I thought I would shed all this
Like autumn's dry leaves.
I would skin myself
Of all the peculiar ways,
Open like a flower,
In full true color,
Giving off the aroma
Of my arrival.

Instead, here's more work to do,
Just happier doing it.


Here's the afternoon poem. I often go through days now when there isn't much punch left in me at the end of the day. I hope this is okay. I think it is. I think I am just at that stage in my career. Like, it is almost over. Like I could retire today if I had any money. But I don't. :(

I Need A Rest

Sometimes it gets bad,
Like I swell with it all, burst,
Or almost, too much.

Then gravity pulls me in
Nearer to my soul, away
From the hammering,
The construction gang at work
Renewing my life.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Thief, Moonlight

Rachel in her way scooped me again. This first poem - you might compare Rachel's words in the poem Meeting hall that she left on yesterday's post in the comments with mine here. It is not necessarily a different poem, could even be the dialogue with this one. Here is Rachel:

you can see it in the stiffness
in the back of my head
if you’re smart enough,

and me below

I flinch
Enough to know, not to show,

and then I said

You have stared at me.
Your eyes accused me of theft.

And Rachel said,

Why do you keep looking at me
that way

Rachel, you are in my mind as it was last December :)


My eyes scrinch, I flinch
Enough to know, not to show,
I say, "Nothing's wrong."

My skin's burning with this lie
But it's necessary now.

You have stared at me.
Your eyes accused me of theft.
I won't think of what.


This next poem is to the goddess.


Moonlight falls on me
Like watery mist, like snow
In smallest white flakes.

In the snow a voice calls me
In silvery sounding words
That clarify me,
That change the world I live in,
That give me courage.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I've Arrived, Seeing Straight

Here is a poem about posing, pretending, believing my own bullshit. My time stamp says I wrote this on December 14. I would like to believe I have outgrown this but I know the reality is otherwise. When I get a hold on the simpler stuff and resolve it, my self centered crap simply gets more subtle, complex, Oh well. What do I expect? I am not engaging in the full blown discipline that might get me real results. I don't have time :o<

So I went to an AA meeting after writing this and before posting. Who should I see there but some kid I've never seen before who was busy telling me almost exactly the attitude behind this poem. So I KNOW I'm not the only one able to write this from experience.

I've Arrived

I am so restrained
I try not to speak of it.
It's humility
That holds me at rest.
I do not lie about this-
Not even right now.

I notice that I don't need
To bathe anymore, too pure.

Fifteen minutes later on December 14 I had this one written too. I guess it's another take on the same thing but it is written with a different attitude. So often it just doesn't turn out my way. I bet I'm not the only one.

Seeing Straight

I need my eyes checked.
Seeing crooked, red shifted,
All odd sharp angles.
I was in the snow
That falls at my house today
And then here is fire
Frozen in sharp shapes.
I want to make sense of it,
Want to go that way,
The way the fire points,
The way my old heart begins
To know is my own.

First: get my eyes checked.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Clay Heart, Cold Words

Here are more poems from Dec. 13. I read a poem by Julie Buffaloe-Yoder and I had to respond. This is the poem I created. Unfortunately I did not note the name of the poem that included the mule and the dusty clay, but if you asked Julie I she might be able to tell you, and even better, if you search her archives looking for it, you will find many delights. She is a magnificent poet.

Clay Heart

I swim in shallows,
Know it when I hear from you
The story, the truth
Of the deep of things,

The dusty clay heart of things.

The smell of the dung
Of the mule who kicked
Her face is still strong and good.
And I shrink from it.


This poem happened in the evening several hours later. I don't remember what prompted it at all. I have had to edit just a little. I tried something and at this point am sure it didn't work. I tried originally for a rhyme and it was so out of character with the rest that it only drove home what I know. I don't try for rhyming poetry because I can't rhyme. I don't think right for creating living rhymes, can only make stupid clunky foolish rhymes. In forty years my best rhymes only succeed in making me squirm.

The only thing worse is dialogue. I can't write a fiction to save my life because somewhere along the line I have to use dialogue and my best dialogue makes me nauseous. That's why I absolutely love Gregory MacDonald. McDonald? He wrote the Fletch and Flynn books. He was president of the mystery writer's guild. He got awards. His Fletch was made into a movie. Some of his work is almost 100% dialogue. God.

Cold Words

The words between us
Are so cold they freeze my lips
And drop to the ground.

I can't get it, how you've left.
You say words straight but I can't


Your cold words crash me,
Hurt my ears, freeze them white shut.
They fall off my head.

Why do I say these cold things?
Why do you? What has happened?


Friday, March 20, 2009

A Desert Moment, Perigee

I no longer remember how I got this vision. I think it might have been a vid. I think of the consequences to actions, many unforeseen. Here is a poem about consequences. This was written in the morning of Dec 13 last year.

A Desert Moment

I notice this man
Plunging where he should not go
Between bird and snake,
Separate them so
No harm, but foul as I see
The competition.
And yet the mercy
Is exquisite, the outcome
A wise peace indeed.

Except the bird hurts,
Permanently changed by this
And snake still hungers.

All for unborn chicks
Bird and man have saved.


Oddly enough Rachel over at The Waxing Moon wrote a poem called Wild One which has a theme like this theme. How did she know? She scooped me as reporters say. Of course there are differences too.


With transparent wings
I'll fly to you, see you in
My grand compound eyes.
I shall circle you like Earth
Going round the golden sun,
Eliptical orbit.

At next perigee I'll dive
Straight into your soul.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

When The Angels Fall, Lucifer's Complaint

Here are two poems which clearly demonstrate that I was born and raised in Christendom. It would have been easier had I been able to find my way with that heritage. It simply never, not one time, held any spiritual meaning for me. If I was a stranger in my school, I was so much more a stranger in my church.

In my last two years of high school, my mother insisted. She searched out a liberal Christian congregation, and took my sister and I there, made us join the church youth group and then because I could sing Baritone and knew how to read music well enough to sing among other good singer readers, I joined the choir and my sister did too. That choir was run by a professional and he had a budget that allowed him to anchor each section with a paid professional singer. I didn't like going to youth group and would have hated church except the music saved it for me. I was actually confirmed.

As soon as high school was over, even with the music, I promptly stopped going. I had learned very little. Here are two Christian poems, sort of.

When The Angels Fall

When the angels fall
The wings go first, tearing off
And twisting like leaves.

Angels are bouyant,
Their wings are solid to catch
The air, the heaviest part.
Wingless angels drift

And grieve, they suffer.

This grief makes more mass
And angels sink from that, fall
Faster, become darts of pain
While they shed white clothes.

They descend, enter
The world as small pink bodies,
Gasp, begin to breathe.


Satan has two names. His other name in my opinion is his true name. Lucifer. My name is Christopher, bearer of Christ, as in carrying Christ. Luci is like lucid, means clarity or clear light. Lucifer then is the bearer of clarity or the bearer of the clear light. I have a suspicion Lucifer has been falsely accused. There are many Christians who deny the existence of the Devil. Actually that word is interesting too. Devil goes all the way back to Indo-European because it appears in Sanskrit as Deva, and there it means deity. By the way look at that too. Dei = dev, and even closer when Latin Deus, deu = dev, but a little further when Greek, theo = deu = dev = dei. See how this changes but stays the same? That is comparative linguistics and points out how languages evolve according to certain rules. Devil is an evil god because he is real, generic and not the Trinitarian Father. In fact, the Bible does not really say the false gods are not real gods.

Om namo bhagavate vasudevaya. A most famous twelve syllable mantra, twelve being the number of the whole, twelve signs of the Zodiac, twelve months of the year, a dozen eggs, twelve inches, and so on. Vasudeva, the father of Krishna, vasudevaya is the son of Vasudeva, the ya being a patronimic. And in this case Krishna the son of Vasudeva is found within us. Deva. Vasu = good, deva = god. Good God Fathers the Son Krishna. Hmmm. That is what is within.

Does this change devil for you? Does this show why Lucifer, the bearer of the clear light might be a better name for the devil?

Lucifer's Complaint

I hate getting caught.
When your foot comes down on me
I stare, howl my rage
And fear.

Then I am renewed,
Again set up on my throne
To resume my rule
And hope.

I am bewildered.
How has this happened to me,
Always you stepping
On me?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Initiation, The Consequence Of Lies

Here are two poems written Dec. 12, 2008, but about six hours apart.

I read the Bible a long time ago. Frankly it was hard for me, and not much applied, but when I came across in a few places how dangerous it was to see God, just see Him, I thought, Uh huh. The Greeks had that attitude too, with some demonic divinities turning people to stone if they did not use some trick, and most gods and goddesses coming to the planet in disguise. I would assume not just to be incognito, but also because certain humans would be at least hurt by the sight, so unprepared for a god they would be.

Then there is the business of Eastern approaches to divinity through long training and disiplines of living and spiritual work, or the Jewish sacrificial practice, and the sacrificial practices of so many spiritual walks. All this points to the trouble that might come of an "accidental meeting". The most common practices of those desiring to "see God" is to undergo a probably long period of rigorous living and perhaps also a sacrifice of something dear, perhaps even a son, or as Christians assert, the Son.

Or here is another meeting that can cause trouble. Let us say that a person is somehow essential to God's plan or otherwise extraordinarily worth saving from the Divine point of view. God has to come near to effect this work. It would be accidental on the human side and not on the Divine side. "See the face of God and die" Wow.

This poem takes place in that neighborhood.


When you touched me so,
Changed that single wild moment
To a timeless one,
I had to somehow
Accommodate your presence
In my aimless life.

Do you realize how close
Terror is to joy, despair?

Ever since, I'm tasked
With somehow measuring up
To you this moment.
But first I fell far,
Landed hard, had to pick up
All my damn marbles.


Sometimes I think I would dearly like to be saddled with a growing nose or some such if I began to lie. Other times I am damn grateful I don't. While that last poem was my morning poem, this one was my afternoon poem, clearly showing my descent from the lofty touch of God into the trouble with lying. Guess I am not that good at flying with the angels :) Only six hours. Tsk, tsk.

The Consequence of Lies

Lies wear out the tongue,
Take the buds, file them away.

I depend on lies,
Not meaning to, not knowing,
Then discovering my loss,
The sore spots where buds
Used to be and me knowing
I did it again.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Holding Secret Words, The Last Moment

Sometimes I have no idea what I am writing. It gets spooky. This poem from Dec 12, for example, I have no idea who the "I" of this poem is. It is not me. This "I" holds an attitude not mine and is intending to treat "you" in a way I don't think I would. Maybe.

Holding Secret Words

Blue Angels scribble
In blue sky late afternoon,
In my eye, my soul,
Saying secret things
Meant for me to tell - maybe
I will tell you soon.

I will have to run,
Investigate your fitness
To receive lofty truth.
First I have to test
The times and set the story,
Test my sanity.


Here is a pondering that came to me on the same day, an hour later. This is a vision of a very good way to die on a very good day.

The Last Moment

Who would I be then
At peace in the death moment
The cliff in my view?

What would you say to my face
And then behind my old back?

I think I would be
A prayer ready to go,
A farewell, a wave.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Rapist's Lament, Go To The Light

On the 11th of December last year, I entered strange spaces, following on yesterday's post, poems written on the 10th of December. So much of my life has big punctuations because I interact with people in very strong ways so often. And yet there is a certain continuity. I am instructed spiritually to enter a compassion that does not erase the whole of the situation even while adding the leavening of compassion to it. But I recall a certain carpenter claiming the high road includes loving enemies and forgiving in unending discipline, never relenting, unrelenting forgiveness, even when upending the established evil. It is in that spirit that this next poem is offered. This character cannot avoid the burden and will pay in this world or some next world. He nonetheless merits mercy and forgiveness because it is only there that there can be some redemption.

Rapist's Lament

I can't let you go.
I would die of total shame.
Don't make me kill you.
Or shall I dominate you?
Shall I tie you to some stake
And dance victory
For your immobility
In my cold dungeon?

I'm attached to you
I hate this, hate me, hate you.
I need power, fame,
Or some other food
To atone for my fallen
Condition. Oh me.
I'm very tired, feel lost,
Why do I feel so alone?


Several years ago now, 1980, I experienced living through the eruption of Mt. St. Helens. What it cost me was not much. I had to climb on my roof and scoop out from my gutters maybe 15 pounds of ash. There were a few people, foolish or not, that were in the thick of it. Folks up in Yakima lost their gutters, some of them, because there was so much ash. Driving got scary in that neck of the woods. Some asthmatics must have had terrible times, but I don't remember hearing much about that. It just stands to reason. That ash, some of it, was talcum powder fine. Closer to the mountain things were way worse. Huge tracts of forest and some people got caught in pyroclastic flows. Spirit Lake was destroyed, and so was Harry Truman and his 16 cats.

On the news was one guy running his camcorder and reporting while he was trying to find his way out of hell. It was a haunting story because he frankly thought he would die but was leaving what he hoped was a record. His handheld camcorder was rocking with his steps and though it was daylight, late in the afternoon of that worst day, all you could see was some light in a notch up ahead, not close. He was breathing really hard while speaking and openly spoke of how he might not make it out. Just chilling. This poem is not exact, not really about Mt. St. Helens, but I couldn't have made this up.

Go To The Light

Don't know if I'll live.
The mountain blew, covered us
With clouds of smoke, ash.
The main flows are somewhere south
I think. I hope we'll get out.
I'm trying this way
Toward the last setting sun
I may ever see.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Life Story, Winning The War

This poem stands alone. It is self explanatory.

Life Story

I cried, "Let me be
Normal!" I was then fifteen.
Tears streamed down my face.
I raged at myself
For being short, fat, odd, afraid.
I hid in my room.
I grew up from there,
Found drugs and booze, got real high.
Decided to be
Really, really strange.
That worked for me a long time.

Now I've backed up some.
I quit dope, dried out.
I'm only a bit quirky.


This one goes deep. I am sitting here with the end of Saving Private Ryan in the background and I know it is the right time for this poem to appear. All is not quiet. That is just what it is. I don't mean in my life right now, I mean in the larger life, the one where wars do happen, where alcoholism ravages families, where children starve and where cruelty masquerades as necessity. All of it, all of it begins and ends in the heart center, in the way the energy flows from the base of the spine to the top of the head, beyond, and then back again, just like air into lungs and out again. Every war is inside me. I have no escape. It is all me, mine to take responsibility, and to heal if I can. I vow we all go to heaven or we don't. I vow to stay until the least of us goes before me. I cannot possibly maintain that vow without permission and power. And yet, nevertheless, I so vow. This is Bodhisattva.

Winning The War

You spoke with me then
About the rising rebel
Army inside me,
Inside you and how
The Master said to behave,
To bow to anger

And then step aside,

How he said no one
Wins this war straight up ahead
But by deflection.
And more, there is more.
There is lack of the power
We need. We must call,

Truly call it forth.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Shiny Things, Wrong Place, Wrong Time

I really like the idea of stealing stuff from God, I guess and this next poem explains it. It was written too, early last December.

Shiny Things

My pet crow insists
He likes shiny things and steals
From the neighborhood.
He places each with care
In the space I let him have
And I have to lie
To all the irate
Neighbors who are sure it's him.

I would be angry
But I will steal stuff from God
Any time I can.

Shiny things, just like him.


Here's one of those old Haiku style poems that I started with this go round, also written in early December. This could be allegorical too. I don't necessarily mean I am that ugly. Or maybe it means I am actually an alien on the planet, abandoned to my fate, ditched by my so called friends, who promised to pick me up but never returned. I really related to ET. I've been trying to phone home for a long time. So maybe I mean that, that you would know if you saw me naked. Maybe I'm an actual angel on a mission from God and you would know if you saw me... So try not to decide what was in one of my several heads. I really related to Men In Black also :)

Wrong Place, Wrong Time

What a freakin charge!
You saw me walk in naked,
Now look at your hair!

There's good reason to wear clothes
At least for the likes of me.

Gotta get you combed
Unsnarl the tangles and knots,
Say you were not here.

Message From The Editors

I'm very sorry but our server, Bluehost, is down, which means that unless you follow this link, straight to issuu, you won't be able to view the magazine. This is incredibly frustating. They've been hacked and are in the process of migrating our site and others to a new place -- it might take 24 hours to remedy.

Here is the issuu link:



Jo Hemmant, editor
Christine Swint, editor

Friday, March 13, 2009

Tricked Again, Stranded

I have had a poem published by Jo and Christine, and I am in good company. I am especially pleased to appear at the same time as my friend Julie Buffaloe-Yoder, as I am one of her big fans. I would suggest you visit. I am in very good company. What a labor of love for Christine and Jo. I couldn't be more impressed.

You can read the magazine online at ouroboros review, and purchase a copy at the online bookstore.

I am a bit irreverent by nature. I have a hippie streak, and the woman I married wound up considering me a fraud, claimed I was an undercover redneck. When I joined AA it didn't take long for me to also discover I am distinctly criminal minded. Damn. So here is how God treats the likes of me.

Tricked Again

The last time I saw God
He was out under His throne
Drunk on beer again,
With a shiny thing
Rolling away from His hand.
I stole it, found out
It was my own soul
All polished up and waiting
For me, a damn trick.

I never get away with
Anything I try.

One further comment. If you are a really doped up hippie, probably the only criminal activity you might have a chance at doing well is selling dope. Even then you probably won't do well at making money. Even if you don't get caught, there is the trouble of taking the profit in goods :) I had to go straight and get a job. Eeewwww! The shame of it.


I don't know if this is whimsy or profoundly spiritual. It could be the spiritual desert, hmmm? Or maybe I just personified an old abandoned pick up truck. I really have no clear idea. I wonder though, if I were an old abandoned pick up sitting alone in the high desert under blue sky, itchy with the damn rust, and I wanted to go home, where on earth is that? What could I possibly mean?


I got holes and more.
I got rust and high desert.
I got the blue sky.
I be old, cranky
Sittin alone in the sun
Kinda twisted up.
Doncha hate this stuff?
Stranded in the wild like this.
I wanna go home.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Time To Go, Finding My Way

Just don't ask. I have no idea what the secret message is. I like this poem. Did I tell you I'm an old acid head? Maybe this poem is just a little too much LSD a long time ago. There is truth in it though. I work in global corporate land, and that means union land. That's part of the image here. I work with a steam pipe high overhead, in an old warehouse converted to an office, a cubicle troll using AutoCAD to produce engineering drawings. There is an electrical transformer directly above me that hums away and I know I am in a slightly higher electrical field with that transformer there. And that steam pipe? For whatever reason there is a steam hammer that shakes that line. I wrote this poem at that desk. And just so you know, I lived in Midland in second grade and that going to Texas line came from that rather than from my infatuation with Cherie. I did not yet know Cherie on Dec 8 of last year when I wrote this poem :)

Time To Go

That guage don't read right.
There's higher pressure than that.
Lists of unmet demands.
You can hear the pipes hammer.
Time to get outta this place.
There'll be a sit in
Next door, far enough away.
These guys will pop soon.

I'd invite you in.
I hate to be rude to you.
Where will you go now?

Me, I'm going to Texas.


Here's another take on departure. Here's the delight of reconnecting with old friends by surprise.

Finding My Way

Finding long lost friends,
What a hoot. An owl calling
From the pine, moonshine
Lighting the way I came
To this place. I heard you're here.
I have a young spy.
You know her better
But she fed me, sent me here,
Knew you'd laugh like me.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Fading Summer's Light, Lack Of Salt Is My Dilemma

Be quick, it's late. Here's a poem on entropy

Fading Summer's Light

The flower spilled out
And clutter was on the ground
Below the tired stalk.

Clutter is flowering now
In the dreams of a good life
And this shine reflects
On the face of the fading
Summer's light, on you, me.


He's not worth his salt. That refers to the pay of a Roman soldier. This I guess is a poem about low self esteem.

Lack Of Salt Is My Dilemma

Muddy cold bog life
Streams through my sour damp sore heart
And its hidden things.
I would reveal them
But I’m afraid of your dark
And acid reply.
I’m afraid you’d say
Something true and deep, something
I don’t want to hear,
Something that would tear
Me limb from soft soggy limb,
Leave me stripped, alone.

This is what I do to me
In my salt diminished dreams.


A quote from AA's Big Book: Lack of power is our dilemma. Salt can stand for a kind of power quite easily. The book goes on to say: We need to find a power by which we can live. Where and how are we to find this power?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Parallels, Fishing

Here is a vision of the world. There are lines of spirit force that web the world. This is what that is like when these lines are invoked by the pure in heart. Please do not think "pure in heart" is a moral statement. It is like a moral statement but it is not, any more than love is exclusive to any one religion.


Lines like threads of love
Web the world with force of light
Without any sign
To note the halfway
Point or any other mark
Yet still stroke the feet
Of those unshod hearts
Who dare to walk in mid air
And kiss each other there.


Here is another way to envision the lines. You need only one line. You do need more than one person. Actually you need a trinity at minimum though there may be more. Remember God is One. Then there are you and me. That's the minimum.


I have no complaints.
Now I have the gold you left
Me for my sinkers.
Gold shines on my line
As I play it out, fishing
For the song of God.

I am fishing stars
In the whole cosmos of love
And you beside me.

How fortunate, and holy.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Sea Stars, Hustler

I am as I have written far more lucky than smart or brave or good at planning. Without serendipity, I would have not survived childhood. I would not have survived active duty, and in the end the military would have put me in some military jail for desertion. Without serendipity, drugs and drinking would have killed me, or me someone else, or the law would have put me away for a very long time. Without serendipity I would not have met my future wife, and we would not have moved to Oregon and I would not have this career. Without serendipity. It goes on and on. I am sure the divine is in this somehow. None of it was planning. All of it was capitalizing on the turns of fate.

Sea Stars

I'm a lucky man.
Life won't give me more than that.
I want smart, brave, strong.
But I get lucky,

The stars fell into the sea
And came up river.

I was on the bank
At the right time to catch one
And I've brought it home.


Serendipity doesn't seem to come because I earn it. This is mystery. I claim I hate it that this world is so unfair. I think I do. I have something inside of me just struggles against it when I see that children who can't possibly have done anything to deserve it experience horrible degrading things. In fact I have a strong sense that many things happen to many people in this unfair way, that there ain't no justice! Some science fiction writer turned that acronym into an epithet in his future: TANJ!

But there is this other side to it. I write of my serendipities. I deserved none of those either. When I am at my most honest about myself, I am really grateful that I have not got what I deserved...I really should have gone to prison more than once. I really should have died in more than one way during my drug years, during my drunk years. And why was I not given the burden of someone else maimed or dead? I earned that fate. Why on earth should that young lady decide I was worth marrying? Or taking to Oregon with her? How on earth did I earn her love and trust? And my God! Those engineer guys took a street hippie in, turned him into a drafter. WTF? Over. There ain't no justice. Hmmm. Still don't like it :) Here's a guy who may have gotten more than he deserved...


I am sliced and diced
In the sun, coming apart
At the seams. My heart
Is open just this way
And the sun comes into me
Through these openings.

I am filled with light,
A flood of beams brighten me.
I stand here aglow.
If I could make sense
Of that, of how the sun is
Inside of me now,

I could freakin make a million.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Going To The Top Of The Lighthouse, Spatial Orientation

This first is about having company along the way. It is not necessary to travel the path alone.

Going To The Top Of The Lighthouse

I just have to rest.
I've been climbing all these stairs.
I forget how long.
Glad you're here, brother.
We can go on together.
Let me wipe this sweat.

There's some good that's come of it.
My legs are really strong now.


Here's another poem about my guru. Well...I dream this guy up. He takes so many guises that I suspect he's a shape shifter. Oh yes he is. My guru is sometimes called Coyote. So if things get kind of weird around here, just blame my guru, or all that acid I ate back in the sixties, you could blame that, or even blame the Army for giving me meningitis even earlier and frying my brain :) I have a bit of an alternative view.

Spatial Orientation

I am upside down.
I can tell by how you stand
In the near distance,
Pointing to the ground,
Telling me to turn myself.

Without you I'd stay
As I am but now
I have to try turning round
To satisfy you.

I wonder why I do these things.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

More Tea, Going First

The gurus often do this. In story after story, it is said that the guru asks a question with the force of his presence and the student achieves the change of state that marks real spiritual progress. So often the question seems to come from the situation but not as an answer to some direct question. This is because the guru cannot actually answer the seeker's question. Or more precisely, the question is not for answering. Every answer closes a spiritual question and the question must remain open. Living the open question is the only hope for the change of state, or as I said in the last post, seeing with God's eyes.

More Tea

He brews tea with snow
Heated over hardwood fire,
Only the best leaves.
His gaze is farther than mine,
Reaching beyond the great sea.
I ask for the truth.
He smiles tenderly, amused,
Then, "More tea?" he asks.


I no longer follow, but once I was an avid Peanuts fan. Here's a poem about trust. It's Charlie Brown's poem, Charlie is getting a little cynical, but it's not really about the football. At least I don't think it is about the football.

Going First

You said, "You go first,"
But I won't. I don't trust you.
The last time it hurt.

I landed flat on my back
Trying to kick the football
You held, promising, "This time."
So you will go first
Or someone, not me.


On a personal note, no poems today. I did have some emails to write. My left shoulder has a muscle in it toward the front and side, near the surface that is completely in spasm as I write. I can barely move this arm now.

Earlier this week I was carrying the pain in the first two fingers and my thumb. That's basically gone but I can feel the connection to what is happening because there is some tingling that appears connected to the spasms. This muscle is engaged at certain points of my arm movement which is now extremely limited. I have to shout and groan under the lash of the full brunt of the pain.

I hyperventilate a little. My face is different. All the usual pain manifestations. I have no idea what I did, my best guess is sleeping on it wrong. I don't have certain choices in this regard because of other issues. I have been having really bad days alternating with not bad days. This day seems the worst and I will probably appear in some kind of urgent care tomorrow. All this to say I did not have the stones to write my two poems today, and probably won't tomorrow either. I will let that take care of itself. Wearing socks is beyond me. I can barely get dressed. I must use my right arm for most things. I'm left handed. Shit.

Did you people know that the single most common phrase coming from the cockpit at the last before the plane screws itself into the earth is SHIT? They have that on record because of the radio and the black boxes. Imagine that. It is part of air traffic controller lives that they occasionally have the privilege of hearing a pilot's last words. Want the job?

Friday, March 6, 2009

Follower's Lament, In My Wake

I joined a particular local company back in 1983, a couple months after I first got sober. There I met a most unusual man, full of energy and really irritating. The trouble was, he could back himself up in pretty much any way. He really knew his job. He also knew how to handle himself if things got dicey, let’s say in some local bar. He was pretty much the last man standing in any arena he entered. It turns out that he really is a genius at what he does, a construction manager, but not a socially competent man. In fact a couple posts ago I talked about being nearly fired for my arrogance one time. This man is far and away more abrasive than I ever was…but he can back it up. I have said about him, Billy is always right, except sometimes, but even if he is wrong, he can easily point out how he was wrong in the right way. One time one of the guys called him a narcissist and he preened and strutted. He thought he’d been given a compliment.

Finally he parlayed a particular position into a way to start his own company. That was back in 1993. That was the year I too left the company we were both part of. I banged around for four years, knowing he was out there but really not wanting to work for him. In 1997 I ran out of options, so I hired into his new company. I have been working for him these last twelve years. This has been my tolerance test in my final working years. There is one major advantage. This man deeply values loyalty. If he senses you are loyal, then within the limits of business realities, he is loyal. I won’t go into all that, just suffice it to say, if at all possible, so long as I can do the work, he won’t ever fire me.

The thing that drives me crazy the most is a built in trial to our kind of business. We are constantly pressured to do more with less. Our work is necessary but not valued. Our profit comes with corporate resentment at us also. My boss is hypersensitive to this pressure. At the beginning of our projects he presses hard on the “get it done, don’t over work things, are you done yet? Why not?” Then at the other end, “why did you cut this corner and that one? How could you not be more thorough?” So I get to decide on any given day, when I am going to take the criticism, now or later? Or perhaps both, because I am living in an unrealistic expectation in any case. Heh.

So I wondered what this would look like on a spiritual walk.

Follower's Lament

But you already
Told me the way I'm to live
A long time ago.
You're changing that now?
I can't believe you'd do that
To me, oh okay.

Bow to east, now to west, hah.
Wash in morning, now midday.

Wear saffron, now red
And I have to grow the beard,
And walk on, keep on.
A pilgrim's duty,
Following your holy lead,
Trust you know the way.


Here come the roses again. This is a story about a conundrum. If I really get to know something worth knowing in my spiritual walk, it will be because I see with God’s eyes, so to speak. When I return to human form, how will what I see fit into human form? The vision won’t fit for sure if I do not change my fundamental shape. Seeing with God’s eyes will require that I take a God-like shape. How can I do that? Not without help. Certainly not without asking.

In My Wake

Whirling in circles
Spinning, dancing, skirts flaring,
My dervish mind shines
With light from the life
You tell me to lead today.

I follow the lines
You draw in my soul.
Rosy velvet petals drift
In the wake I leave.
Please, I want to know
When I enter time again
That I was once here.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Rose, Pneumonia

At the end of a good day, all done with work, just a quick poem before I go home.

If you are pure, you fall in a different direction, not down to earth but toward God. I hesitate to say up. God is not up. In this frame, up is another form of down. Falling toward God is often invisible on the planet. You might experience it, and I would never notice unless I was really sensitive.

It is certain that God has divine gravity that draws one out, but it is really hard for a material body to respond. One has to free one’s soul and drift away. That’s a song :) Gimme the music that can free my soul, I wanna get lost in your rock and roll and drift away. That drifting is God’s gravity, and that song definitely reminds me of what happens to a pure soul with the body knots untied by love, forgiveness, compassion. I bet the double meaning was known to somebody involved in producing that music. It was too well done for that double meaning to be accidental.

The Rose

The petals of time
Open before dawn
In the world of God's high dreams.

That is where the rose appears
And calls the sun to come forth.

In sunrise petals
Drop one by one, freed
To fall to God and be pure.


Here is another true story poem. When I was a small boy I was vicious sick with chronic lung disease. There were a few years I couldn't even take the stress of running, because just breathing hard would start an attack. This asthma was created by allergies. I had many allergies. But eventually it turned out that the keystone allergies were to certain foods. Primary was potatoes, which sounds strange to many people but is not that uncommon as a food allergy. What is uncommon is to have a doctor clever enough to find it. So I was eating potatoes as a staple food in my diet, and it was actually what I called my favorite vegetable. That constant ingesting of what is poisonous to me, depressed my immune system to other allergens.

Note to self: One real good reason not to go to jail, I can’t eat the effing food.

The story is too long and tedious. For the point of this poem, though, I knew about breathing difficulties as a very small child, and finally got some relief after the food allergy was discovered and finally desensitizing the other allergies worked. I was in my teen years then and this success lasted until just a few years ago when “old age” allergies began and gave me back my trouble in a different way, but still not good. Now I suffer from allergies to molds, mildews and fungi, which never bothered me even as a child.


The pain in my chest
Staggers me, lays me down, out.
I get so tired now
Trying hard to breathe.
Sometimes I think I could stop,
Just quit, just like that.
You come in and check.
I know you're there but don't care.
You love me, I know.

I still want to live.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Arrogance, Almost An Epitaph

There was this job review. There was this boss looking at me, saying it was obvious that I knew what I was doing, but I was really pissing my crew off. Oh by the way, two or thress of the guys on the crew could do my job. So instead of praise I got a warning, and instead of being thought an asset to the company, I got called arrogant. This was the first time something like this had ever happened to me, the first time that I had ever had that kind of exposure in the work world. And I got called arrogant. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph! This absolutely crushed me. I had no idea I could ever be thought of that way. What a lesson, a hard, hard lesson.


You want attention,
Perhaps mine. You offer jokes.
I guess I should laugh
But I am far more
Than this, more elevated,
My nose in the air
So I can breathe my
Own pure essence as it is
Rather than common
Crowded aromas.


We have been a cremation family from I don't know when. None of us ever saw the sense in making a big deal out of this dying thing. I can't remember what the grandparents did, so I guess I wasn't involved much, but we were poor coming out of the depression, both sides, so I doubt there was much money spent on things.

I like the idea of scattering ashes. When my mother died, we sent her back to Missouri. She went through the mail. That's normal, happens quite often. When my sister got the ashes, she said to the mailperson, "Oh, that's Mom!" A bit of a surprise. My mother was a minister emeritus for Unity School. She had received the Myrtle Filmore award for lifetime achievement. She was scattered in the rose garden at Unity Village, the headquarters of Unity, just outside Lees Summit, Missouri.

When my former wife died in Columbus Ohio, I asked her sister Betsy for a share of the ashes. Annie also went through the mail back to Oregon where her whole career as a Social Worker had taken place. I took those ashes to the beach in Newport, Oregon, where we were married. I took those ashes and scattered some on the property of the house we bought and lived in for eighteen years, sold now for many years. I scattered some for me under the dogwood on my property here. I also scattered some on the grave of her uncle and aunt up in the military cemetary, Willamette National, local to Portland. That location is a sacred site for me, and I go up there from time to time, can find that grave by memory among all the thousands there. There is a service shelter nearby that I will sit in to pray. Cemetaries do not creep me out. I also keep a small amount of her ashes with me in this house.

Almost An Epitaph

Graveyards are good for
Walking if you're still alive,
For lying about
If you're dead and gone,
If irreverent, skipping
Works for me as well.

In New Orleans, graveyards serve
For grand family picnics.

I hope for the flame
Turning me to tan ashes,
Gritty bits of bone,
Someone willing to scatter
All that's left into the sea.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I Did Not Reach Oz, The Other Side Of The Argument

Here is another awakening. You gotta watch them demons. They have a playful streak sometimes. This poem was written a few hours after the poems in yesterday's post. I had lightened up already. Heh.

I Did Not Reach Oz

The tornado took
Me up like sweet Dorothy.
I did not reach Oz.

Turbulence felled me
Like a falling cedar tree.
I crashed down real hard.

Then my eyes opened. I woke.
Just another goddam dream.


I go both ways on this one. I am conscious that many spiritual disciplines focus on the idea of getting out of here, or what it is like once you are out of here. There are others with another opinion. The nature religions question why you would want to get out. There are social religions which focus on doing really well here and not worrying too much about what comes next. I feel, for example that Judaism tends to be like that in some of the mainstream manifestations. I have mentioned in the blogs in a variety of places that while not really Buddhist, I do openly follow the Bodhisattva ideal, and that means no matter what I really feel about the planet, my vow is that I don't really go anywhere unless we all do. Whatever "go anywhere" means. Also whatever such a vow to remain can mean. I feel down deep that such a vow is useful for waking up, whatever waking up means. :)

The Other Side Of The Argument

Heat flows back and forth
Within my heart, also yours
Unless you're a saint.
Climbing up the pole,
Sliding back down the same pole,
Toy clockwork monkeys.

I say sorry to God,
Know I should attempt escape,
But I cling tighter.
I guess I'm perverse.
I want to stay here today.
I have work to do.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Melee, The Storm

Here are more in the pensive mood that happened at the end of last November. I have no idea at this point what I was going through so I can't tell you more than the poems do. Still, it is the emotional life that these poems are about, no doubt. It was not a real war that I was close to so emotional conflict is in view. I do honor those friends of mine for what they go through when they hold up, and I am rather proud of me when I avoid the worst of my tantrums too. I am sure someone was going through something and this poem was about that.

There is a huge lesson in the fact that I can't remember what it was. These things seem so big when they happen. But if I can have the presence of mind to wait a few days and ponder the hugeness from that distance, well... in AA they call this pole vaulting over mouse turds.


View from the distance:
I see the flames and arrows
Of your holy war,
How you bravely fight
Flaming, flying all apart
In red explosions
Of your emotions
Not in order, in shambles,
You engaged full out.

I sit here at this road's end
In wonder that you survive.


This next poem takes the Shaman's position in the midst of things. This is the truth of it, just as Zen says, chop wood, carry water, that is, back in the thick of it but able to rise. Even as enlightened, do we always rise above? What if to do some thing I must NOT rise above? If I can rise and choose not to, to a purpose, is this not a spirit sacrifice? Yet I must beware claiming skill not mine and know when I sink that I sink, not that I descend on true purpose.

I have been privileged to live with many cats. Sometimes they screw up. Quite often what happens next, the feline version of "I meant to do that!" Uh huh. So posing is older in evolution than humans because cats know how to do it, and cats became true cats before humans became true humans, and they did this millions of years earlier.

Pretending to more than I am is an ancient mammalian ploy. Its original purpose, still in use today, is to save the species through propogation or to save the self from uneven contests. Posing can be borrowed and used out of the original context. Posing in spiritual matters actually reverses the field. It is so out of place as to endanger the spirit, damage the soul. Where posing may be required in the field of ordinary affairs, posing is a failure of humility in spirit matters. Humility is one of the primary distinctions between white and black magic. That is what we learn in even vapid spiritual tales, such as Star Wars.

The Storm

Balance within storms,
Tornadoes, cyclones, strange eyes
Within, I am tossed
Above clouds looking
Down into deep dark shadows,
Lampblack paintings spread
Across the dim lands
Of your lost hopes, my lost dreams,
Still I hold balance.

Meanwhile the storm master's song,
Thunder rolls in the distance.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Winds Get In, On The Loss Of Our Friend

This first poem is a tale of spirit. It speaks for itself. It neither leads somewhere nor takes much background.

The Winds Get In

I sat at your fire,
Watched you lay out your palette
Of fine colored sands.
I watched as you drew
The designs you learned from him,
From the holy man.
I saw them take shape,
Amazing true shapes in sand,
In my old gray eyes.

My story is told in sand.
The flaps of this tent shiver.
The winds outside stir, get in.


This poem is so universal that I feel no need to say much about it either. As we age, so does everything and everyone. Departures of friends are more frequent than arrivals. This is utterly as it should be.

On The Loss Of Our Friend

Then you are not here.
I wanted to speak with you,
To tell you the truth,
What is in my heart,
How the rain falls near our house,
How the wind blows here
Through my slowing days,
How my lady's older too,
But now you are gone.

This is the way of all things.
The leaves fade, tremble, then fall.


This second poem was written in fifteen minutes according to the time stamp, both poems happening in the early morning one day late last November. So the coming of winter has something to do with them.

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