Friday, December 31, 2010

It Takes Courage

Oddly enough, this next poem ties with the last post very well. Certain of the comments in the last post were about courage being more important than brilliance in the work.

I am heading out to a New Year's Dance shortly and I must cut short all the fancy stuff. Here's the poem.

It Takes Courage

If I was brave, man,
I would stand here as naked
as the day, so bright
and clear that you would
need shades of your own to stop
the glare. I don't have
that kind of courage.
I have enough love for you
to wish for it, though.

October 5, 2009 10:21 AM

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Spider Bite

Front view of a Wandering Spider (note at least six eyes-sees real good)

"We are in a race between cooperation and catastrophe, and the threat is outrunning our response." - Sam Nunn

Samuel Augustus Nunn, Jr. (born September 8, 1938) is an American lawyer and politician. Currently the co-chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), a charitable organization working to reduce the global threats from nuclear, biological and chemical weapons

"Even if you can't sing well, sing. Sing to yourself. Sing in the privacy of your home. But sing." - Reb Nachman of Breslov

(April 4, 1772 – October 16, 1810), was the founder of the Breslov Hasidic movement. Rebbe Nachman, a great grandson of the Baal Shem Tov, breathed new life into the Hasidic movement by combining the esoteric secrets of Judaism (the Kabbalah) with in-depth Torah scholarship.

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats." - Albert Schweitzer

Spider Bite

I am caught in webs
woven of predatory
self, eight legged and lobed
with black toxic fangs,
I search for the soft tissue
within me, bite deep
and moan out my guilt
along with cold thin gruel
sure I can blame you
after all this time.

October 3, 2009 10:31 AM

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

It's All Perspective

“Life is the first gift, love is the second, and understanding the third” ~ Marge Piercy (American novelist, essayist, and poet, b.1936) Marge Piercy is the author of seventeen novels including The New York Times Bestseller Gone To Soldiers; the National Bestsellers Braided Lives and The Longings of Women and the classic Woman on the Edge of Time; seventeen volumes of poetry, and a critically acclaimed memoir Sleeping with Cats.

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” ~ Albert Einstein

“We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.” ~ Charles R. Swindoll (American Writer and Clergyman, b.1934)

“You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

It's All Perspective

I circle above
cold eyed, clear sighted, spying
on the moment between
the two of you, knowing
you argue but seeing the dance
you perform at this height,
either of you are
simply too big to carry
to my waiting young.

October 3, 2009 7:50 PM

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Cheshire Cat

"Operationally, God is beginning to resemble not a ruler but the last fading smile of a cosmic Cheshire cat." ~ Sir Julian Huxley

"The order of the world is always right -- such is the judgment of God. For God has departed, but he has left his judgment behind, the way the Cheshire Cat left his grin." ~ Jean Baudrillard

“Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it." ~ Albert Einstein

The Cheshire Cat

The Cheshire Cat grins
and that grin is the last sign
as he fades away.
He has taken guilt,
all the guilt still in the world
near your complex life
and holding it close
he winks and then he departs,
grinning, fades away.

October 1, 2009 3:51 PM

Monday, December 27, 2010

Intermission - Zoe's in town!

Life happened. Sorry. :)

I needed the time to catch up with Zoe, who has gotten an advanced degree from the London School of Economics where she graduated in environmental studies and has gone on to work for an organization doing non profit consulting on environmentally sound urban planning. This organization is headed up by Prince Charles and so she has met him. Prince Charles oddly enough was born a few years after me on my birthday. She is in town visiting her mother and her old friends, soon to go back to continue her work life in London. She claims they don't really pay her enough, but she STARTED with five weeks of vacation as is rather normal for working across the pond. She wrote a proposal for revamping the organization that they have willingly adopted so she has had very early career success. Basically smashing success.

Zoe is the daughter of my last lover. When we started she was finishing high school and lived in the house with us. So I fell in love with her and have been rooting for her success all the way along. I have a very full heart just now.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Pickled Bats

Love this picture. They said the pump on the left is for gasoline. The pump on the right is for kerosene. This is a little while back. Somewhere in the south in the thirties I think, and the blacks are locals chewing the fat, while the caption said that the guy in the doorway was the storekeeper's brother. A particular afternoon...I always yearn to be a guy walking past or something with photos like this.

This particular music has received nearly 5.5 million hits. I offer it as counterpoint to the push of this season.

This is an intriguing poem. I don't know now what started it but I am very happy to call it mine. There is a truth in it I am not sure I can write any other way. I have strong memories of being haunted by the risk that I would discover some place in me, some truth of me, some darkness or entanglement or some other thing that would be bigger than me or otherwise more than I could handle. This was part of the trouble of psychedelics for me in my twenties but also their draw because I wanted to exorcise this demon, get past it. I saw me crippled in carrying my haunt. It was fucking my music for one. It was stopping me in other ways. And yet I knew approaching it straight on would destroy me. This haunt was left to me after I turned the corner and found a way to live after all. That victory came when I was twenty one. It was the culmination of the open struggle that began when I was nineteen. It was the fight that I began to fear coming when I was thirteen. So in October, 2009, very near the forty-third anniversary of that victory, all that was left was a pickled bat in a jar in the basement of my soul. It is still there, I think.

The Common Vampire Bat. I suppose it might as well be this one that is pickled and kept in the jar. Poor thing...looks like something chomped off a piece of its left ear. Look closely. I wonder if it was done with a hole punch as a scientific marker.

Pickled Bats

If I were to find
a jar with a pickled bat
inside it down in
the basement of my life
I don't know what I would do
about it, but I
know I'd remember,
take it personal enough
to have pickled dreams.

October 1, 2009 8:52 AM

The Pretty Thing

Author: jamico

"The exercise of an extraordinary gift is the supremest pleasure in life." - Mark Twain

"Empathy is full presence to what's alive in the other person at this moment." - John Cunningham (there are too many John Cunninghams to be certain who this is)

"The argument has long been made that we humans are by nature compassionate and empathic despite the occasional streak of meanness, but torrents of bad news throughout history have contradicted that claim, and little sound science has backed it. But try this thought experiment. Imagine the number of opportunities people around the world today might have to commit an antisocial act, from rape or murder to simple rudeness and dishonesty. Make that number the bottom of a fraction. Now for the top value you put the number of such antisocial acts that will actually occur today." - Daniel Goleman

"The range of what we think and do is limited by what we fail to notice. And because we fail to notice that we fail to notice there is little we can do to change until we notice how failing to notice shapes our thoughts and deeds." - Daniel Goleman

Daniel Goleman (born March 7, 1946) is an author, psychologist, and science journalist. For twelve years, he wrote for The New York Times, specializing in psychology and brain sciences. He is the author of more than 10 books on psychology, education, science, and leadership.

Goleman authored the internationally best-selling book, Emotional Intelligence (1995, Bantam Books), that spent more than one-and-a-half years on the New York Times Best Seller list. Goleman developed the argument that non-cognitive skills can matter as much as I.Q.
I have to jump in right here because this idea is means that intelligence is broader than thinking and if emotional intelligence is or can be as important, it might turn out to be true that your dog or cat is at times "smarter" than you are. There is no question that our animals are emotional. Every pet owner is likely able to verify this animal intelligence anecdotally.

The Pretty Thing

What is that I smell
better than jasmine? It comes
from that pretty thing
all snug in the moss
north of the tallest cedar
in the old growth stand.
I found it, followed
my nose and the stirring blood
within me, growing

Take it, you said.
Steal it. You know how. I did.
I'm caught like a fish.

September 28, 2009 10:43 AM

Friday, December 24, 2010

All Bent Over

"People often remark that I'm pretty lucky. Luck is only important in so far as getting the chance to sell yourself at the right moment. After that, you've got to have talent and know how to use it." - Frank Sinatra

Francis Albert "Frank" Sinatra (December 12, 1915 – May 14, 1998) was an American singer and actor. Beginning his musical career in the swing era with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, Sinatra became a successful solo artist in the early to mid-1940s, being the idol of the "bobby soxers." His professional career had stalled by the 1950s, but it was reborn in 1954 after he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor (for his performance in From Here to Eternity).
I have to stop right here and mention my love affair with Sinatra. When I was in high school, he was at the top of his game. My dad had many records. I learned his music and phrasing, and I would go find places to practice alone and hidden. I can sing along with this one still, and several others. The first musical form I learned completely by heart was big band swing and this is a perfect example of that form. The syncopation and phrasing of the music background frames a solo artist just about perfectly. I still know the form. I am very grateful to Sinatra and miss him terribly as an artist. He got old. Then he died. It is in the nature of things. Some people disliked him for his mob connections. That never bothered me. I have been outlaw myself. Sometimes it just rolls that way. Luck.

"Luck affects everything; let your hook always be cast; in the stream where you least expect it, there will be a fish." - Ovid

Publius Ovidius Naso (20 March 43 BC – AD 17/18), known as Ovid in the English-speaking world, was a Roman poet who is best known as the author of the three major collections of erotic poetry: Heroides, Amores, and Ars Amatoria. He is also well known for the Metamorphoses, a mythological hexameter poem; the Fasti, about the Roman calendar; and the Tristia and Epistulae ex Ponto, two collections of poems written in exile on the Black Sea.

"Birth, life, and death -- each took place on the hidden side of a leaf." - Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison (born Chloe Ardelia Wofford on February 18, 1931) is a Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist, editor, and professor. Her novels are known for their epic themes, vivid dialogue, and richly detailed black characters. Among her best known novels are The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon and Beloved.

The wisdom has it, if you want to check your elevated state, simply measure yourself against what it's like to return to your family of origin. That's a failsafe, surefire way to know if you are still human, not yet a saint.

I learned in this business long ago, that you only need one example of smallness to be present to put the lie to greathearted exaltation. That's a good thing for the likes of me. I can get going on a speedfreak roll, like those nights once were like, staring into the blank TV screen, and talk myself into all sorts of idiocy if I am not careful. One lady friend of mine accused her former husband of spinning marijuana dreams after years of sobriety. That's me. Really, I am much better than I used to be through much pain and practice but the spin doctor is still present in my life.

All Bent Over

You said drop that load
and I said I can't, meant it
just like that, refused.
If I dropped my load
I would float, lose my purchase
and go who knows where.
I am not built right
to fly free. Plodding along,
that's me. My back hurts.

September 28, 2009 8:29 AM

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Threat

This is the wordle offered at Big Tent Poetry as this week's prompt. I did not look at the prompt until Thursday night. I love to give impromptu responses. This wordle felt like epithets to me. I will leave it to you to decide WTF is going on here, how I might have got in this predicament. To see the other participants in this week's challenge go to Poetry Under The Big Tent: No Ordinary 3-Ring Circus

Court jester’s or Fools have their origins way back in time and records show that at the time of the Ming Dynasty (1368 -1644) that they occupied an important place within the court. In the UK they played an influential role in society and there is much evidence of this particularly during the mediaeval period.

Contrary to popular belief many Jesters were accomplished musicians, were articulate and well read, they also had acrobatic skills and were clever in sleight of hand tricks.

Very often their performances had political overtones, so it was not uncommon for them to lose their lives.

The last of the court jesters was Dicky Pearce he was the Earl of Suffolk’s fool, born in 1665 he eventually entered the service of the Berkeley family at Berkeley castle.

In 1728 during a performance he overbalanced from the minstrel gallery and fell to his death. The question has been raised -did he fall or was he pushed he had apparently made fun of one of Lord Berkeley’s guests who had taken offence, the truth will never be known.

Lord Berkeley had such high regard for him that he had him buried at Church of St.Mary in Berkeley village.

His tomb can be seen there, it carries the epitaph -



Also the tomb's stone carries the inscription


The above taken entire from this page found on Google. You gotta love Google.

Oddly, a similar entanglement happened to me yesterday. You just can't get good companions on the onion circuit anymore. What's a jester to do? Court or no court, the pomp must go on.

The Threat

"Squeeze me hoarse," I shout,
"You disloyal craven cur!
I shall topple you,
put your performance
on the ropes, immerse your swift
engine in the bath,
the acid I have
prepared with a slight perfume,
eau de dank basement
I shall call this sauce.
And if you give me an inch,
then I'll just vanish!"

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Louise Erdrich

"Your life feels different on you, once you greet death and understand your heart's position. You wear your life like a garment from the mission bundle sale ever after -- lightly because you realize you never paid nothing for it, cherishing because you know you won't ever come by such a bargain again." - Louise Erdrich

Karen Louise Erdrich, known as Louise Erdrich, (born June 7, 1954) is an author of novels, poetry, and children's books with Native American heritage. (Erdrich is an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians in North Dakota. Tribal membership requires at least 25/100 Certified Degree of Indian Blood quantum documented by agency geneaology according to Bureau of Indian Affairs policy statement.) She is widely acclaimed as one of the most significant writers of the second wave of what critic Kenneth Lincoln has called the Native American Renaissance.

"If you think you're enlightened go spend a week with your family." - Baba Ram Dass (!Oh yes! Snap! - Christopher)

Ram Dass, also known as "Baba Ram Dass", (born Richard Alpert, April 6, 1931), is an American contemporary spiritual teacher, and author of the seminal 1971 book Be Here Now. He is well known for his personal and professional associations with Timothy Leary at Harvard University in the early 1960s. He is also known for his travels to India and his relationship with the Hindu guru Neem Karoli Baba, and for founding the charitable organizations Seva Foundation and Hanuman Foundation. Religion: Jewish (until 1967), Hindu (since 1967)

Never, "for the sake of peace and quiet," deny your own experience or convictions. - Dag Hammarskjold

Dag Hjalmar Agne Carl Hammarskjöld ( Dag Hammarskjöld (help·info)) (29 July 1905 – 18 September 1961) was a Swedish diplomat, economist and author. He was the second Secretary-General of the United Nations. He served from April 1953 until his death in a plane crash in September 1961. He is the only person to have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize posthumously. Hammarskjöld remains the only U.N. Secretary-General to die in office. U.S. President John F. Kennedy called Hammarskjöld “the greatest statesman of our century.”

"I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge -- myth is more potent than history -- dreams are more powerful than facts -- hope always triumphs over experience -- laughter is the cure for grief -- love is stronger than death." - Robert Fulghum

Robert Lee Fulghum (born June 4, 1937) is an American author, primarily of short essays. He has worked as a Unitarian Universalist minister (at the Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship in Bellingham, Washington from 1960-64, and the Edmonds Unitarian Universalist Church in Edmonds, Washington amongst other communities well into the 1980s). During this same period he taught drawing, painting, and philosophy at the Lakeside School in Seattle. Fulghum is an accomplished painter and sculptor. He sings, and plays the guitar and mando-cello. He was a founding member of the authors' collective rock-and-roll band, "Rock Bottom Remainders". Previous to his professional careers, he also worked as a ditch-digger, newspaper carrier, ranch hand, salesman for IBM, and singing cowboy. He grew up in Waco, Texas. He came to prominence in the US when his first collection, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten (1988), stayed on the New York Times bestseller lists for nearly two years. There are currently more than 16 million copies of his books in print, published in 27 languages in 103 countries.


When you show your tears
I want to mend something worn.
I want to take thread
and needle, thimble
and do it right with stitches
I would have to learn.
I want to touch you,
tell you the damn dust will stop,
settle, and the sun
will shine through again.

September 26, 2009 7:39 PM

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Thief Of Secrets


(Blogger's note: I had a picture of Hermes Logios and an explanation that it was a photo of a 5th century Roman copy of a Greek statue 600 years older. I was informed that it was objectionable because of exposed male genitalia. This got me to recall that it theoretically violates both Blogger and facebook, though it does not violate the integrity of Wikipedia, where I found it for anyone to see and copy as part of the Hermes information. The Wiki information gave me the lead I needed to find a better presentation of the same basic picture on another site, which I chose to present here and have subsequently removed.

Mostly I was thinking of the art, the amazing attention to accuracy and the fact that this incredible work of art was once an expression of the Divine, and to my mind and heart still is. I removed the photo of that statue because it is not my intention to offend nor even remotely did I think to circumvent policy. This self censorship may be appropriate to Blogger and facebook but is so not in the spirit of Hermes, nor his son, Pan, nor his younger brother, Dionysus.)

Wiki says: Hermes is the great messenger of the gods in Greek mythology and additionally a guide to the Underworld. Hermes was born on Mount Cyllene in Arcadia. An Olympian god, he is also the patron of boundaries and of the travelers who cross them, of shepherds and cowherds, of the cunning of thieves, of orators and wit, of literature and poets, of athletics and sports, of weights and measures, of invention, and of commerce in general. His symbols include the tortoise, the rooster, the winged sandals, the winged hat, and the caduceus.

The Homeric hymn to Hermes invokes him as the one "of many shifts (polytropos), blandly cunning, a robber, a cattle driver, a bringer of dreams, a watcher by night, a thief at the gates, one who was soon to show forth wonderful deeds among the deathless gods."

He protects and takes care of all the travelers, miscreants, harlots, old crones and thieves that pray to him or cross his path. He is athletic and is always looking out for runners, or any athletes with injuries who need his help.

Hermes is a messenger from the gods to humans, sharing this role with Iris. An interpreter who bridges the boundaries with strangers is a hermeneus. Hermes gives us our word "hermeneutics", the study and theory of interpretation. In Greek a lucky find was a hermaion. Hermes delivered messages from Olympus to the mortal world. He wears shoes with wings on them and uses them to fly freely between the mortal and immortal world. Hermes was the second youngest of the Olympian gods, being born before Dionysus.

Hermes, as an inventor of fire, is a parallel of the Titan, Prometheus. In addition to the lyre, Hermes was believed to have invented many types of racing and the sports of wrestling and boxing, and therefore was a patron of athletes.

According to prominent folklorist Yeleazar Meletinsky, Hermes is a deified trickster*. Hermes also served as a psychopomp, or an escort for the dead to help them find their way to the afterlife (the Underworld in the Greek myths). In many Greek myths, Hermes was depicted as the only god besides Hades, Persephone, Hecate, and Thanatos who could enter and leave the Underworld without hindrance.

*Thus Hermes is Coyote. Also Hermes is the God of esoteric wisdom, the hidden wisdom, and therefore of the European Hermetic disciplines, such as certain forms of Astrology, Alchemy, the mysteries of magic and certain strains of the Gnostic rites.

If you need your boundaries protected, pray to Hermes, for He appreciates them more than the other Gods.

Thief Of Secrets

If I stole secrets
anymore I would steal yours
and leave behind small
round pebbles in trade
hoping you would accept them
as someone's good gift.
I would not admit
to you I took your secrets
even though I weep.

September 26, 2009 10:54 AM

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Troll's Story

Photograph taken in 1882 by Napoleon Sarony

Wiki says:
Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900) was an Irish writer, poet, and prominent aesthete who, after writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, became one of London's most popular playwrights in the early 1890s. Today he is remembered for his epigrams, plays and the tragedy of his imprisonment, followed by his early death.

Wilde produced four society comedies in the early 1890s, which made him one of the most successful playwrights of late Victorian London.

At the height of his fame and success, whilst his masterpiece, The Importance of Being Earnest, was still on stage in London, Wilde sued his lover's father for libel. After a series of trials, Wilde was convicted of gross indecency with other men and imprisoned for two years, held to hard labour. In prison he wrote De Profundis, a long letter which discusses his spiritual journey through his trials, forming a dark counterpoint to his earlier philosophy of pleasure. Upon his release he left immediately for France, never to return to Ireland or Britain. There he wrote his last work, The Ballad of Reading Gaol, a long poem commemorating the harsh rhythms of prison life. He died destitute in Paris at the age of forty-six.

Three quotes by Oscar Wilde:
“A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it.”

“The truth is rarely pure and never simple.”

“There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.”

I am no Oscar Wilde, cutting a wide swath through my contemporaries. My life has been almost completely driven by fate and destiny. It has always been a matter of response. I mean that the world has offered and I have responded. I doubt I could be less convinced that I am the captain of my own fate, or rather, not the "me" who is living it. In some larger sense, I may yet be captain of my fate and rather think that is the deeper truth, that I am in collaboration somehow with my destiny but that would be the "me" before I was born into this life and after the last, the "me" that will survive this one. Whatever that means.

W. Somerset Maugham told a fable concerning fate about the servant of a man living in Baghdad. That servant had gone on an errand into the Baghdad market for his master, there to be jostled by a woman. He turned and realized that he had been jostled by death appearing as a woman. He then returned to his master and requested a horse and declared he would ride to Samarra in order to avoid his own death. Off he galloped to Samarra hoping to avoid his fate. His master went to the market and found death still there. He asked her, "Why did you frighten my servant, disturbing him and running him off from my service?" To this, death replied, "I am sorry, I did not mean to frighten your servant like that. It is just I was surprised to find him here for I have an appointment with him tonight in Samarra."

I believe this is a retelling of a much older story but this is the story as we have it these days, from W. Somerset Maugham.

I feel like my life has something of that flavor to it.

The Troll's Story

I have turned to stone
under the bridge built by faith
and in my cramping
fist I hold the car
I drove home in drunk weather
dodging my sodden
fate but finding this
more gritty outcome still mine,
no more damn chances.

September 24, 2009 2:19 PM

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Root of Creativity.

Jacob Wrestling with the Angel (Gustave Doré, 1855)

"What we most frequently see when the mind is focused and clear are the habits of mind that create unnecessary suffering, habits fueled by greed and hatred and delusion. Over and over we struggle with our lives, resenting our experiences, blaming ourselves for not being other than who we are. We are unable to see past the immediate, overwhelming drama of our personal story to find relief, indeed, liberation, in the consoling realization of an astonishingly lawful cosmos: paying attention to current experience stops the stories that create and recreate suffering." - Sylvia Boorstein, Buddhist teacher.

There are stories and there are stories. I understand what Ms. Boorstein is writing of. These are not the other stories, the deep stories, the "just so" stories designed in fact to open us to the dreamtime, to the Golden Age, to the Kingdom, to the realm of the Grandfathers. There are so many ways to envision our place in the scheme of things, what it is now, what it once was, what it can be. We have a spirit history and a spirit destiny. We have a journey, a quest, a path. We yearn and oddly enough what we yearn for is to be ultimately released from yearning, but not yet, not yet.

Under the right conditions, myths are not silly stories, not obstructions at all. Under the right conditions myths are elixirs designed for awakenings. Not THE awakening. There are no stories for the whole enchilada. There is only getting it or not getting it. However there is also the Path, and there are waystations along that Path. These stations are not like locations that can be mapped in some geography, nor are they accurate timepieces. Something else figures in, soul figures in, the process of unfolding figures in. There are waystations. Myths illuminate with the inner light.

And myths are always new as well as timeless. That is why sometimes for some of us an author can create a book that works today as the old myths once did. There are motifs and types. We can actually study those as Joseph Campbell certainly did, and know what comprises a myth. The other way, we can become creators ourselves and find them rising up out of some mystery within us. We paint, or dance. We perform the music and write the story, or the song, or the poem. Some will sculpt, some will weave. Many of us are driven and the Greeks had a word we still use. Of that drivenness we speak of the Daemon, the Daimon, the Demon, the Divine Man, a spirit that comes upon us and compels the work. To live close to that possibility is to come closer to being the vessel that God calls us to be.

Of all the calls possible in this world, God calling us out, the common thread in them is the act of creation in this way, and in our creations we will find a spark that we share in common with God. Once that spark is expressed, a common and true expression in our lives, we have become potential sons and daughters of the Divine, on the true path toward our realized destiny.

That is one piece of my theology, that creativity is at root Divine. I write this as a follow up to the video of Elizabeth Gilbert that I posted on facebook a couple days ago. If you didn't see it there, here it is again:

Your Love Is Arrow Sharp

The Arrow Shot by

Found on One Stop Poetry

The Arrow Shot is a writing prompt on the One Stop Poetry site.

Your Love Is Arrow Sharp

You could be the prow
of the sloop, I the trimmed sails,
you the goddess lines,
me the ground you draw
them on. What am I to do?

I am divided,
cut in half to go
both ways, down both halls and you
in only one, me
not sure which is right
because your love is arrow
sharp and I will bleed.

‎December ‎19, ‎2010 10:44 AM

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Broken Words

"I shall tell you a great secret my friend. Do not wait for the last judgement, it takes place every day." - Albert Camus

"Take care, your worship, those things over there are not giants but windmills." - Miguel de Cervantes

"The inability to open up to hope is what blocks trust, and blocked trust is the reason for blighted dreams." - Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love

"The spiritual side of life knows everyone's heart and who to trust. How could a vision ever be given to someone to harbor if that person could not be trusted to carry it out. The message is simple: commitment precedes vision." - High Eagle, J. C. High Eagle is Osage and Cherokee Native American Indian from the state of Oklahoma. He is an actor, composer, author, musician, and speaker.

Broken Words

When my words fall, break
against the stones you left on
the path I follow,
the path with your scent
so I know you went this way,
stones and scent -

the song
I hear far off, low
and true, soon my own as I
learn how it must go -

when my words fall, break,
I gather them up and mend
them with memories.

September 24, 2009 1:07 PM

Friday, December 17, 2010

Won't Hold Water

Sunset, Indonesia

Photograph by Wandy Gaotama,

A fisherman in Rawa Pening, central Java, Indonesia

If self is a location, so is love:
Bearings taken, markings, cardinal points,
Options, obstinacies, dug heels, and distance,
Here and there and now and then, a stance.

- Seamus Heaney (born 13 April 1939, is an Irish poet, writer and lecturer. He currently lives in Dublin. Heaney received the T. S. Eliot Prize in 2006. Before this he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995 "for works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past".

Song, by Seamus Heaney

A rowan like a lipsticked girl.
Between the by-road and the main road
Alder trees at a wet and dripping distance
Stand off among the rushes.

There are the mud-flowers of dialect
And the immortelles of perfect pitch
And that moment when the bird sings very close
To the music of what happens.

One of the challenges I have taken up is to use cliches in such an unusual way that they turn out brand new. Like that one, how to write "brand new" into a poetic line so that it turns into a fresh phrase. Or how to "throw the baby out with the bathwater" in a new way, what I did in this poem.

Won't Hold Water

There is a lost place
inside my old wrinkled life
left behind when you
threw the baby out
with the used up bathwater.

Now I seem to leak.

September 23, 2009 12:57 PM
last line revised
‎December ‎17, ‎2010 5:02 PM

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Bachelor's Musing

Medium: Photoshop, Painter
About this Image: A painting created for the sci-fi channel miniseries "The Infinite Oz"

"Grace must find expression in life, otherwise it is not grace." - Karl Barth

"One's first step in wisdom is to question everything - and one's last is to come to terms with everything." - Georg C. Lichtenberg

"Take it easy -- but take it". - Woody Guthrie

"Don't follow any advice, no matter how good, until you feel as deeply in your spirit as you think in your mind that the counsel is wise." - Joan Rivers

Funny how some things connect. This particular musing came up in a different kind of context just yesterday. I wrote this poem as noted, September a year ago. I must be on the path in some deep way. Just yesterday without peeking at what I would be posting next, I was joking about my fate as a single man.

By the way, I state in the poem the cat died, but she didn't. She had been rescued and was living unknown to me across the street, an arrangement that went into the winter, but then she came back home last spring to die for real.

The Bachelor's Musing

There's no one to blame
since I live alone (the cat
died) and so dirty
dishes and floors stay
that way unless I do them.

I think to hunt down
a woman then think
again. While I like the love,
I don't like the chores.

September 21, 2009 1:08 PM

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Weaving Your Name

Salvador Dali's portrait of Paul Eluard.
(Some years before he painted this portrait, Dali took Eluard's lover away from him.)

This is Paul Eluard

"All my desires are born of my dreams. And I have proven my love with words. To what fantastic creatures have I entrusted myself, in what dolorous and ravishing world has my imagination enclosed me? I am sure of having been loved in the most mysterious of domains, my own. The language of my love does not belong to human language, my human body does not touch the flesh of my love. My amorous imagination has always been constant and high enough so that nothing could attempt to convince me of error." - Paul Eluard

(Paul Éluard was the pen name of Eugène Émile Paul Grindel (14 December 1895 – 18 November 1952), a French poet who was one of the founders of the surrealist movement.)

And I write: My heart lives in the in between places where magic is to be expected and the secrets of the world are kept. My heart lives where the drake and dam entwine their necks as they glide down the watery path to the moon and the world warms with gander and goose, offering green beauty in potions easily made there in the in between. I can step off the world and climb the music in the stairway to heaven. Angels ascending and descending pass by on this wide stair, this very stair we sang about in rock and roll, the rock and roll that makes sense of this crazy world, sourced as it is in the power of the in between. I am earning my wings. I promise you, I am earning my wings. It is what I do here, earn my wings.

Weaving Your Name

Let me fly near you,
my true form enclosed in mist,
filmy, indistinct
as I weave the shape
of your true and holy Name
in the clear soft air
of your brilliant soul.

In this way I will lead you
from world to new world.

September 17, 2009 7:47 PM

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Too Damn Late

I got snagged in stuff and now it's too late to post. I have to get ready for tomorrow, eat dinner and stuff. Sometimes I just hate the computer. It was Word did it to me. I used to know before they changed it how to have double columns, then how to have a short full page thing so I could draw a line all the way across and then with a new section use double columns again. What happened, I had an extra line I couldn't get rid of and even though it was past the section break and into the single column theoretically it insisted on tying to the break and staying at the end of the double column. Plus. I had the single line all the way across. I did everything I could think of and finally had to kill that file and transfer everything into a new file. Then I gave up. Now I am reporting this experience here. Computer programs are smart until you expect them to behave like you think. They don't. Then they are really, really stupid.

What frosts me, I have done this maneuver before, but that was before the sea change in Word.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Here I Am

Pictures by Tim Page from the Vietnam war that formed me.

Tim Page is a photographer, journalist, and author of Page after Page: Memoirs of a War-Torn Photographer; Tim Page's Nam; and the coeditor of Requiem: By the Photographers Who Died in Indochina and Vietnam, the 1997 winner of the Robert Capa Gold Medal Award, the International Center of Photography Infinity Award for Best Publication, and other awards. He resides in Kent, England.

In 1965, Page began taking photographs of the border conflicts in Cambodia and Vietnam. Eventually, he became one of the most notorious combat photographers and renowned for the images he captured. In the movie epic "Apocalypse Now", the dope smoking, crazed photographer played by Dennis Hopper at the top of the river is said to be based on Page. Page's friend Michael Herr created the role and also wrote the well-known book "Dispatches", where Page is one of the main characters. Tim Page was wounded several times whilst working in Vietnam.

"Today you will say things you can predict and other things you could never imagine this minute. Don't reject them, let them come through when they're ready, don't think you can plan it all out. This day will never, no matter how long you live, happen again. It is exquisitely singular. It will never again be exactly repeated."
- Naomi Shihab Nye

Wiki says: Naomi Shihab Nye (born March 12, 1952) is a poet, songwriter, and novelist. She was born to a Palestinian father and American mother. Although she regards herself as a "wandering poet", she refers to San Antonio as her home.


By Naomi Shihab Nye

Because the eye has a short shadow or
it is hard to see over heads in the crowd?

If everyone else seems smarter
but you need your own secret?

If mystery was never your friend?

If one way could satisfy
the infinite heart of the heavens?

If you liked the king on his golden throne
more than the villagers carrying baskets of lemons?

If you wanted to be sure
his guards would admit you to the party?

The boy with the broken pencil
scrapes his little knife against the lead
turning and turning it as a point
emerges from the wood again

If he would believe his life is like that
he would not follow his father into war

That's Naomi. I don't know how to make this blog indent as Naomi did, so I took the last verses to the center and italicized them myself. I think it works okay. Now I will write my response.

Here I am

I sit in corners,
try invisibility
on for pensive size,
wondering if I
must fight on this day or that,
or if it ever
will work, this sitting
in the world's pensive corners.
I have small stature,
tarnished purity,
and frayed integrity
Lord! I do worry.

Once I ran away,
all the way to Chittagong
where red crabs look past
you and crawl across
your sleeping form on the beach.
The monsoon will come
next June 5th. I will not wait
that long to get up
or whisper my love,
and I will not go to war.
I will not go there.

December 13, 2010 6:58 PM

Sunday, December 12, 2010

This Ache In My Heart - Reprise

"The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails." - William Arthur Ward

Posted originally on December 2, 2009 and written when noted, one of my better poems in my opinion. As I wrote at that time, the poem is envisioned, taken from a specific moment after making love in a campground in the Canadian Rockies but then turned into imagination. I did not fear love that much at the time but I am never that far from it either. And we should perhaps, fear love a little because love is going to hurt, certainly hurt, though unpredictably when so much of the time. So many of us will go like Tina Turner:

What's love got to do with it,
What's love but a second hand emotion.
Something something something...hearts will be broken

So many of us will at least for a little while say love hurts too much and I do not trust you, specifically and precisely YOU not to hurt me again so I will not love you. Or maybe anyone ever again...though even at my worst I have never gone there.

As I have written before, I have weathered this stuff pretty well by now. Now that I am so old and not a good partner for so many aging reasons, now I have got it right, pretty much. My last two loves ended well even though the endings hurt so much even doing things well. I think I do it rather like a grown up. That way I have the choice to remain friends with these fine women. One of them has gone on her way, though I knew where she was the last time I looked. The other may be my best friend right now.

This Ache In My Heart

How you lie there still
after the wave has passed by,
after the heat fades,
and I wander off
to pray for the day's return,
kneeling in the grove
beside our campsite
out of your sight on purpose
because I fear love.

March 1, 2009 9:54 PM

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Serendipity - A Reprise

Here she is, Serendipity

"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams
(Maybe so, Doug, but then fairies are so much fun!)

"Always remember: If you're alone in the kitchen and you drop the lamb, you can always just pick it up. Who's going to know?" - Julia Child
(I rely on this one!)

"There has been much tragedy in my life; at least half of it actually happened." - Mark Twain

"Beyond right and wrong, there is a field. I will meet you there." - Rumi
(Maybe we can fly kites or something.)

Originally posted in May of 2009 - this one has picked up readership since May a year later, so I thought I would reprise it...

Serendipity is a great word...happy good luck with a hint of someone behind it...and my life has been filled with it. I would like to be able to say I am properly grateful. Instead, I say things like, "It's about time I caught a break." *cringe* Well, not so much any more. I am better at expressing gratitude now, after a whole lifetime. But I must admit it's been a long time coming, and I am still in the background a God fighter. I still think there's enough wrong here with all the pain and fear in the world, I mean the real stuff. It's hard for me to take the good stuff as a gift when there is so much lack and need. Even when it's cool with me, then I can ask, but why me? Why should I be so blessed? There's something wrong with that.

But the wisdom of the day is to just accept and if I can, to show gratitude. If not then seek forgiveness and give a gift, pay it forward.


When I landed here,
Right at her hearth, by her side,
Whispered in my ear
Saying, "I'm really the deal
He's given to you.

"You will have to wait
For me to arrive again
And meantime you shall
Act as if you can do it
All on your own. That's
What he wants of you."

January 6, 2009 10:21 AM

Friday, December 10, 2010

Dancing With Rilke

My friend, Conal Boyce, shared with me by handwritten snail mail a poem by Ranier Maria Rilke called Immer Wieder. He said that I reminded him of this poem as he read one of my early posts. He gave me two translations, one by Robert Bly and one by Donald Prate. So that is what this posting is about. As I write I am playing Henryk Gorecki's Symphony Of Sorrowful Songs. I will give you first the German, Rilke's poem in German. Then Robert Bly's attempt follows and then Donald Prate's work. Last I shall give you the poem I wrote tonight to the translated thoughts of Rilke, supported by the Symphony of Sorrowful Songs.

Conal only used two special characters. I know how to find them in Word. I will trust that he is right and there are no more. I am a singer. I have sung German many times, Bach's Christmas Oratorio for one, so I am not completely at sea with German. I know what it sounds like when we sing it. Also, I am trusting my friend to have preserved Rilke's capitalization. I will pass the capitalization along that way since it was easy to look up "chasm" and I knew the others. I wonder why the translator's didn't. I think Ranier meant it.

Immer Wieder

Immer wieder, ob wir der Liebe Landschaft auch kennen
und den klienen Kirchhof mit seinen klagenden Namen
und die furchtbar verschweigende Schlucht, in wecher die andern
enden: immer weider gehn wir zu zweien hinaus
unter die alten Bäume, lagern uns immer wieder
zwischen die Blumen, gegenüber dem Himmel.
- Rilke, 1914

First, Bly's:

Again, Again!

Again, again, even if we know the Countryside of Love,
and the tiny Churchyard with it's Names mourning,
and the Chasm, more and more silent, terrifying, into which the others

dropped: we walk out together anyway
beneath the ancient trees, we lie down again,
again among the flowers, and face the sky.

Now Prate's:

Time And Again

however well we know the Landscape of Love,
and the little Churchyard with lamenting names,
and the frightfully silent Ravine wherein all the others
end: time and again we go out two together,
under the old trees, lie down again and again
between the flowers, face to face with the sky.

I read all three. Then I said it like this. The poem came quickly. Transcribing was much slower.

How We Love Again
(Dancing With Rilke)

Say it again, love.
Tell me the truth as if you
were before the cross
swearing, holiness
at your back. Look at the stones,
the upright curling
whispers of the stones.

Hear them ease out songs, true tales
of the old abyss
in the core of love
and how we love anyway,
again and again
standing as trees stand,
colorful flowers blazing
in the wind of fall
though we know snow comes,
though we know the weight, terror's
weight, moaning dry wind,
and still we lie down
together in sere gardens,

again and again
wedded in love's way,
you and me and all the rest,
again and again,
how we face the sky.

‎December ‎10, ‎2010 6:50 PM

Thursday, December 9, 2010

It's Almost Night

The Road To Oalovah - click on this a couple times to magnify it and then rest a while.

I was stumbling around and fell over this lovely picture, and I would recommend clicking on this one a couple times to get the full effect of it as well.

"Every now and then, I'll meet an escapee, someone who has broken free of self-centeredness and lit out for the territory of compassion. You've met them, too, those people who seem to emit a steady stream of, for want of a better word, love-vibes. As soon as you come within range, you feel embraced, accepted for who you are. For those of us who suspect that you rarely get something for nothing, such geniality can be discomfiting. Yet it feels so good to be around them. They stand there, radiating photons of goodwill, and despite yourself you beam back, and the world, in a twinkling, changes." - Mark Barasch

I think this is a little overstated but I am sure it is in the right ball bark. By the way, this is distinct from saying a person is thinking positive. While thinking positive can help, it ultimately must transform into the capacity to shine in the worst disasters, allowing the devastated to be precisely that because they really are devastated and to willingly walk in the dark because that is where the light is needed most.

Wiki says
Marc Ian Barasch (born 1949, harrumph! younger than me as so many are these days...) is a non-fiction author, film and television writer-producer, magazine editor, and environmental activist. Major books written by Barasch are The Healing Path (1992), Remarkable Recovery (1995), Healing Dreams (2001) and Field Notes on the Compassionate Life (2005). He has been an editor at New Age Journal (which won a National Magazine Award and a Washington Monthly Award for Investigative Journalism under his tenure); Psychology Today (where he was a finalist for the PEN Award); and Natural Health. He has also done journalistic writing for Conde Nast publications on the arts and the environment. He is founder and C.E.O. of the Green World Campaign (2006-present). Check him out on the web if you are interested. There is much more to know.

It's Almost Night

If I wait for you
perhaps I will not lose sight
and the lake will let
me walk on water
as I remember we once
did, back in those days.

I will just hunker
here all slinky shaped, feathers
tight and backlit right.

September 16, 2009 12:42 PM

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Another Day, Same Old

By David Bayles

By Ted Orland

"To make art is to sing with the human voice. To do this you must first learn that the only voice you need is the voice you already have. Art work is ordinary work, but it takes courage to embrace that work, and wisdom to mediate the interplay of art and fear. Sometimes to see your work's rightful place you have to walk to the edge of the precipice and search the deep chasms. You have to see that the universe is not formless and dark throughout, but awaits simply the revealing light of your own mind. Your art does not arrive miraculously from the darkness, but is made uneventfully in the light.

"What veteran artists know about each other is that they have engaged the issues that matter to them. What veteran artists share in common is that they have learned how to get on with their work. Simply put, artists learn how to proceed, or they don't. The individual recipe any artist finds for proceeding belongs to that artist alone - it's non-transferable and of little use to others."
- David Bayles and Ted Orland, Art & Fear

Oh. My. God.

Abso-bloomin-lutely. If you want to keep the Divine out of that it's okay but without a power source that is reliable you may burn out. And if you try to make the art (music, writing, dance, whatever) represent something else, like the love you really want, the exaltation you crave or the fame you deserve or whatever else could drive it, art will pale and fade over time if it doesn't wound you for the insult and the lie you make out of your art. It simply has to be art for art's sake and then the rest comes as a grant or an outright gift. Or not. And you will not survive to be the veteran unless it really doesn't matter if the blessings come.

And it is absolutely dead-square true that this all can be a spiritual walk. Just ask Rumi, Hafiz, or just ask me.

Another Day, Same Old

It must be this place
does it, takes the clarity
of my wants, muddies
the water like that.
I would think by now I'd know
who I am, you are,
what the hell to do,
when to do it right. Not so.
So I go to monks
and ask the fucking
question again, get the same:
chop wood and carry
the goddam water.

September 13, 2009 4:49 PM

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I Want You Back

The art of Georgia O'Keeffe

"Let the beauty we love become the good we do." - Rumi (Persian Mystic)

"Nobody sees a flower -- really -- it is so small it takes time -- we haven't time -- and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time." - Georgia O'Keeffe (20th Century artist)

"I cannot believe that the inscrutable universe turns on an axis of suffering; surely the strange beauty of the world must somewhere rest on pure joy!" - Louise Bogan (American 20th century poet, 4th poet laureate of the Library of Congress)

I think she is replying to Buddhism which has a strong argument that the world indeed turns on an axis of suffering and illusion. I personally wobble in my pose in between.

I do have music that is my own, and yet for the last while I have left music behind. This is the price of time and energy. I don't have enough of either. These days the blog is more important. It is the nature of my life that periodically my other interests get in the way of my music. I have always been able to set music down, even though my relationship with music has been very deep in much of my life. My last lover was perfect for this. She encouraged my music so effectively that I improved markedly under her gentle leadership. She had musical skill herself and led the church music program in the church we both attended, plus running one community choir and assisting with another. However there is always a price. During that four years and more I wrote very little. I am writing once again but not participating so much in music.

This poem is exactly what it seems to be, except I could be writing of the goddess as easily as some woman, and none of my former lovers exactly fit this particular bill while a stand of trees near a glade is nowhere nearby now nor has it been for most of my life.

I Want You Back

Music so distant
in the empty air - still it
reaches into me
as if the sound was
my own.

I wait in my stand
in the late fall woods.
The sun dappled weeds
in this glade give off a scent,
dry as if a desert.

I know this music
as I know you, how you kiss,
love me in the dark.

September 13, 2009 3:52 PM

Monday, December 6, 2010

How I Touch You As I Wish

September 13, 2009 was one of the good days for poetry. Beginning about 10 AM the poems began to come with Apian Fate, I finished that poem at 10:17, and finished Inspiration at 10:28. Then I took a little rest but returned with The First Fall Rain and finished it at 11:33. An hour later I finished today's posted poem. I wasn't done yet though I rested a couple hours before the next one, I Want You Back, due to post tomorrow, and finally the last one, Another Day, Same Old, finished at 4:50 PM. I don't usually point this out but I have had many multiple poem days. The biggest day has been seven poems. That's why I add the time of day to the date. I keep thinking I may sometime learn something from the sort of poem within the time I wrote it. Here is a noon hour poem...

How I Touch You As I Wish

I am in the breeze
that lifts your shirt away from
warm skin and your sweat
from the garden raking
and the stooped way you pull weeds.

I could not stay long
and far from that view
you offered me (not knowing so)
but without your leave
to touch the sweet life
you display for me, I must
change into the wind.

September 13, 2009 12:33 PM

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The First Fall Rain

Nobel Prize, 1951: Glenn T. Seaborg
Glenn T. Seaborg, with Edwin M. McMillan for "their discoveries in the chemistry of the transuranic elements."

"A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?" - Albert Einstein

"Keep your feet on the ground and your thoughts at lofty heights." - Peace Pilgrim

"I have my values, and if you don't like them, well I've got some others." - Mark Twain

"If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it." - Mary Engelbreit

Just to keep people informed, recently I was blessed by the gods of facebook when on a whim I searched for a "best friend" that I lost touch with over fifty years ago. We were blessed with the fact that his name is even more rare than mine. There were not many possibilities and so I chose the most likely one and got it right the first time. This is the picture I guessed was my friend. It looked like it was taken a few years back to me. Can you see the ten year old boy in this man? I thought I could.

Fifty years plus of absence and now we are present to one another once more. And more. We are still compatible. I believe he feels the same. We were children in a modest Berkeley, California neighborhood where many of the residents were college employees and students, where Glenn Seaborg, a nuclear physicist lived just around the corner before he became nationally known, where he lived when he got his Nobel Prize. I played with Glenn's son, Peter, but we were not close. My mother was a student and then a teacher at Cal in those days. My step dad played on the championship Golden Bears football team. They won the Rose Bowl. That I believe was 1948, when I was three.

I was in second and third grade. My friend Conal Boyce was in third and fourth. He told me just the other day about a father figure in his life, and I guess a little in mine. Conal had a cloud chamber in his house for a time, built by his mentor, a device where you can see the tracks left by cosmic rays as they pass through. I remember it, or I think I do. I know I remember some cloud chamber somewhere. You see, Conal and I both knew about nuclear stuff in 1952 and 1953, before either of us we were ten. Conal became a Harvard graduate, a PhD specializing in things Chinese, a Sinologist, and later in life, he has also become a theoretical chemist and philosopher of science. Me, I became a counter culture guy and then an Engineering Designer with a degree in Philosophy and Psychology.

Yesterday was a beautiful day and today as well, except for the biting winter's wind that is informing the departure of fall. So today I shall recall September, but not this September. I wrote this poem about September a year ago. As I have been at pains to mention from time to time, the date and time beneath the poem is when it was written and occasionally a date is added as to when I edited it in some (usually minor) way.

The First Fall Rain

Look how our summer
days have washed away with rain
sent insistently
by the weather god
who has forced the sun lower
in my heart.

I find
you rejoicing. He
has called you out while I sit
in my study writing
how lovely your scent
is to me in the moist bright
air of this first rain.

September 13, 2009 11:32 AM

Saturday, December 4, 2010


El Maestro by Elena Dudina

"We need not think of rebirth only in a future life. We are in actual fact reborn every moment with new thoughts and feelings, and we bring with us the karma that we made in past moments. If we were angry a moment ago, we are not going to feel good immediately. If we were loving a minute ago, we would be feeling fine now. Thus we live from moment to moment with the results of our karma. Every morning, particularly, can be seen as a rebirth. The day is young, we are full of energy, and have a whole day ahead of us. Every moment we get older and are tired enough in the evening to fall asleep and die a small death. All we can do then is toss and turn in bed, and our mind is dreamy and foggy. Every day can be regarded as a whole lifespan, since we can only live one day at a time; the past is gone and the future may or may not come; only this rebirth, this day, this moment, is important." - Ayya Khema

Being reborn every moment is actually radically true. Just as there is a blind spot in your eye that you have trained into not seeing, the gaps in your presence on the planet are also invisible. It is part of meditation practice to become mindful enough to shatter the habits of mind that prevent seeing reality for what it is. One of the things that LSD can do is shatter that training, but it is not predictable in two main ways, first you may not go there even if you want to, and second if you do it might be beautiful or it might be ugly, it might be serene or it might be a nightmare and it is not controllable nor does it subside quickly.

***a dream***

I shall let this go into the world though it will not say what it once said, now that the wall has toppled and the tower has fallen. The dragon's egg has crumbled to dust and my heart drowned in its own red blood. She has lost the throne to treachery and I could not stop it. They bound me so that I could not speak. They bound me so that my limbs could not sign. They blinded me so that I could not emit the light and they stopped my ears with wax so that my inner song could not come forth.

When they let me go, after they had done what they intended, I was left with this to say, shining and then dimming before me so that now the Word is just words.


Oh doubters of the Word
remember that Word is the heart
of magic, the heart of God,
the start of the world,
the color of Truth.

Oh believers in the Word
forget not the work,
nor the threads of the weave,
nor the roots of the world,
revealed when we sing the Truth,
sing the fiery incantation.

September 13, 2009 7:45 AM

Friday, December 3, 2010

Apian Fate

To Know Her Is To Love Her

"In the part of this universe that we know there is great injustice, and often the good suffer, and often the wicked prosper, and one hardly knows which of those is the more annoying." - Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)

"But a somewhat more liberal and sympathetic examination of mankind will convince us that the cross is even older than the gibbet, that voluntary suffering was before and independent of compulsory; and in short that in most important matters a man has always been free to ruin himself if he chose." - G. K. Chesterton (1874 - 1936), What's Wrong With the World; p. 118
(I tried.)

"Man has to suffer. When he has no real afflictions, he invents some." - Jose Marti
(Ouch! This one hurts.)

"Do unto others 20% better than you would expect them to do unto you, to correct for subjective error." - Linus Pauling

(My Dad, a school administrator by trade, tried to teach me about the illusion of central position when I was in high school. The illusion of central position is the primary source of subjective error.)

Love is really complicated. The primary source of love's complications are the astonishing varieties of ways that the illusion that I am central to the heart of things can manifest, often so subtly that I may remain in the dark about it for years.

Apian Fate

As you say, I left.
I had to go, inner truth -
but I will die now,
die from my barb placed
deep in your dreams - it has ripped
my guts out - stranded,
hanging forlorn, lost,
and me leaking from the wound,
my faltering flight
is all I have left
now that I had to leave you.
Lover, I weep, weep.

September 13, 2009 10:16 AM

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