Saturday, April 30, 2011

At The Campfire

"He who breathes deepest lives most." - Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Elizabeth Barrett Browning (6 March 1806 – 29 June 1861) was one of the most prominent poets of the Victorian era. Her poetry was widely popular in both England and the United States during her lifetime. A collection of her last poems was published by her husband, Robert Browning, shortly after her death.

Much of Barrett Browning’s work carries a religious theme. She had read and studied such famous literary works as Milton's Paradise Lost and Dante's Inferno. She says in her writing, "We want the sense of the saturation of Christ's blood upon the souls of our poets, that it may cry through them in answer to the ceaseless wail of the Sphinx of our humanity, expounding agony into renovation. Something of this has been perceived in art when its glory was at the fullest. Something of a yearning after this may be seen among the Greek Christian poets, something which would have been much with a stronger faculty". She believed that "Christ's religion is essentially poetry—poetry glorified.” She explored the religious aspect in many of her poems, especially in her early work, such as the sonnets. She was interested in theological debate, had learned Hebrew and read the Hebrew Bible. The poem Aurora Leigh, for example, features religious imagery and allusion to the apocalypse.

At The Campfire

I would lie near you
and near the flame, near the gleam
in your sea deep eyes
as you claim your youth
in the golden mallow hue
on the moon's lit tip,
the stalk in the fire
we have set between our souls
as we orbit, spin.

November 28, 2009 1:51 AM

Friday, April 29, 2011


We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit. - Aristotle

Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC) was a Greek philosopher, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology. Together with Plato and Socrates (Plato's teacher), Aristotle is one of the most important founding figures in Western philosophy. Aristotle's writings were the first to create a comprehensive system of Western philosophy, encompassing morality and aesthetics, logic and science, politics and metaphysics.

In regard to the bust of Aristotle, there appears to be agreement among the sculptors and other illustrators of Aristotle that he had a mouth that looked like that. I have a suspicion that it is a true thing, that we at least know what Aristotle's mouth looked like. Most agree he had a beard and wore his hair in the classic Greek style. I wear my hair like that too. I have a beard too. I am not Aristotle. I am not even Greek. When I started wearing my hair this way, after shearing off my long hair in 1973, I was conscious that I was choosing Greco-Roman hair. It is also easy hair. I fuss with it one time a day.

It may be true that the government that governs best governs least. Unfortunately, the same is also true of the government that governs worst. - Jane Elizabeth Auer

This woman has made so little impression on the internet world that while this quote exists and is attributed to her, nothing else does with anything remotely like certainty. This, by the way, is no criticism. I do not think having presence on the internet is required unless you see it so.


So I've been thinking
maybe my muzzle's too white,
revealing my age.

My bones creak louder
than snails that crawl along stems
and leave trails of slime.

I shall bound forward
nonetheless, leaning into
the long afternoon.

November 28, 2009 1:19 AM

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Rising Wind

The Rising Wind

Crossing the old lines
to come to the standing stones
raised through the ancient
songs we called upon,
songs woven of river reeds,
packed with earth taken
out from beneath our
tough raw feet splayed for good grip
in the wind rising
as the storm still comes.

Written in this moment for this post.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

This Awakening

The Footbridge at Ardingly on the Sussex Ouse Valley Way.

The 42-mile (67 kilometre) fully waymarked Sussex Ouse Valley Way was developed by the 'Per-Rambulations' core team of Terry Owen and Peter Anderson with the support and encouragement of the East and West Sussex County Councils and the Sussex Downs Joint Committee (then the Sussex Downs Conservation Board).

This Awakening

I am the bridge span
standing in the deep deep night
and feel you resting
your arms on the ledge
of me. You search edible
rock from the world's bed,
your pulsing warm blood
exciting me, calling me
to rise up around
your beautiful feet,
caressing your silver bones
as I shift my shape.

November 22, 2009 3:09 AM

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


No post tonight. Thinking about the hotties at the dental clinic and how old they made me feel. I made them laugh at least, though the dental assistant intern was so young we had nothing at all in common. Her mentor was another story. She liked me. I know she did. Went home not with her but with a mouth packed with gauze and a bunch of Percoset. There is a new hole in my mouth and some grief in my heart. Funny how much larger dental stuff is than other things.

At least I am reasonably peaceful and easy in the chair. I used to have a terrible time at the dentist. Now not so bad even though most of the work these days is so much more serious than it was then. My molars are failing.

Monday, April 25, 2011

A Solitary Man - Reprise

"If we were not something more than unique human beings, if each one of us could really be done away with once and for all by a single bullet, storytelling would lose all purpose. But every man is more than just himself; he also represents the unique, the very special and always significant and remarkable point at which the world's phenomena intersect, only once in this way and never again. That is why every man's story is important, eternal, sacred; that is why every man, as long as he lives and fulfills the will of nature, is wonderous, and worthy of every consideration. In each individual the spirit has become flesh, in each man the creation suffers, within each one a redeemer is nailed to the cross." - Hermann Hesse, Demian

Demian: The Story of Emil Sinclair's Youth is a Bildungsroman by Hermann Hesse, first published in 1919; a prologue was added in 1960. Demian was first published under the pseudonym "Emil Sinclair", the name of the narrator of the story, but Hesse was later revealed to be the author.

Hermann Hesse (July 2, 1877 – August 9, 1962) was a German-born Swiss poet, novelist, and painter. In 1946, he received the Nobel Prize in Literature. His best-known works include Steppenwolf, Siddhartha, and The Glass Bead Game (also known as Magister Ludi), each of which explores an individual's search for authenticity, self-knowledge and spirituality.
I want you. But not you. I can't reconcile with your otherness. I miss you. I hate missing you. You are too different, not worth it. I will die without you. I hate that too. Not you. I don't hate you. I love you. I hate my need. I hate my shortness of breath. I hate my loss of balance. I eat too much, drink too much, play too hard, obsess too easily, show my panic too clearly, pull into solitude to simplify. I take all this to my guru, saying I wish to climb to heaven. He sends me back to you.

A Solitary Man

So solitary
In the mist, the snow, empty
Space, cold, cold, lonely.
I stand upright, still,
With my thorns out and waiting.
Who will dare touch me?
I've had quite enough.
I've withdrawn to this one spot,
This cold lonely spot,
Hoping I'll be safe.

If you come, be smooth, serene.
Don't startle me now.
No place left to go.
But I miss you, I miss you,
Brittle without you.

Written December 27, 2008 8:20 AM
First Posted April 18, 2009

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Slaying The Dragon - Reprise

Slaying The Dragon by William L. White

This is why love is the answer, I think. It tames the wildness in me and gives me peace within my driven nature. Yet not just any form of love will work like this.

I have been taught from many sources to doubt my autonomy as I perceive it. The Buddhists name me so interdependent that my self is an illusion. The requirements of my recovery tell me that I must doubt myself precisely where the disease of alcoholism begins. My experience in recovery shows me plainly that I cannot depend on what I knew about the boundaries between my sober, healthy parts and what is called alcoholism, because those boundaries shift of a sudden and in secret. I have been shown over and over that the most insane thing an alcoholic ever does begins when he or she is sober. Any alcoholic with some time sober returns to drinking in actions and attitudes which begin in his or her sobriety. And very few alcoholics begin sobriety and stay sober for good and all. That has never been true and is part of why the medical community is at times unhappy with AA. They want the "cure" to work better than it does in AA.

In AA we say, it is the special form of love that can happen between one drunk to another that is key to transmitting the solution to alcoholism. Even in alcohol treatment settings, most staff are recovering alcoholics. And so it is, but even with this settled it is still true that not just anyone can transmit the essence to every needy drunk. People still must fit together for this thing to work. That too is troublesome to the medical community who insist that the "cure" must be more universal than that.

In romantic love, especially there, not everyone can be my partner. I am far better off single than with the wrong partner.

Slaying The Dragon

How would I know you
When you remove your red robe
And I see the sky?
Who could you be then,
After the act is over
And I am stripped down?
What would happen then,
After I confess my lack
Before your deep eyes?
All these questions slay
The dragon in my open
Wounds, my blood, my song.

Written December 23, 2008
First Posted April 7, 2009

Friday, April 22, 2011

Firing God - Reprise

Firing God ceramic by Chun Wen Wang, 1996, found in the Smithsonian collection

Here's a concept. The last time I posted this poem I did not say that this firing God concept is actually born of the challenges of AA sobriety. In AA many people take the original intent seriously enough that they take on the 12 step discipline and work toward something called a spiritual awakening. Many people have arrived at the crossroads when they come to AA. The devastation is deep enough that they are forced to do something and so they actually make the kind of deep changes that modern psychology claims is rarely the case, that most of us never change to any great extent. It has always been an AA opinion that such a change is beyond human power and yet is common in AA experience.

Part of the trouble though, is that alcoholics of a common stripe have many difficulties with God. Thus an AA advisor may say, "fire your God and borrow mine on a temporary basis until you find out who your new God is."

Firing God and hiring a new and improved God is one possible way station on the path toward a spirit filled life. This is all born out of the art of the possible. How do we get them sober? Any way we can.

Firing God

God, you're keeping score?
I fired you for that
Back in the last days of Earth.
Don't come around here
With your tally marks.
I'll have to thump your noggin.
Imagine talking
To you like I do.
It's what comes from old friendship.

January 6, 2009 9:34 AM

I think Chun Wen Wang did not mean by "Firing God" what I meant. :D I like the piece however, and it is something that comes up when you Google "Firing God".

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Golden Mean - Reprise

With a nod to the beauty offered us all by the blog Whiskey River:

"When I speak of poetry I am not thinking of it as a genre. Poetry is an awareness of the world, a particular way of relating to reality."
- Andrei Tarkovsky
Sculpting In Time

Andrei Arsenyevich Tarkovsky (Russian: Андрей Арсеньевич Тарковский) (April 4, 1932–December 29, 1986) was a Soviet and Russian filmmaker, writer, film editor, film theorist and opera director, widely regarded as one of the finest filmmakers of the 20th century.

"Poetry is the one place where people can speak their original human mind. It is the outlet for people to say in public what is known in private."
- Allen Ginsberg

Irwin Allen Ginsberg (June 3, 1926 – April 5, 1997) was an American poet who vigorously opposed militarism, materialism and sexual repression. In the 1950s, Ginsberg was a leading figure of the Beat Generation. Ginsberg's epic poem "Howl", in which he celebrates his fellow "angel-headed hipsters" and excoriates what he saw as the destructive forces of capitalism and conformity in the United States, is one of the classic poems of the Beat Generation.

"I think there's a kind of desperate hope built into poetry that one really wants, hopelessly, to save the world. One is trying to say everything that can be said for the things that one loves while there's still time."
- W. S. Merwin

William Stanley Merwin (New York City, September 30, 1927) is an American poet, credited with over 30 books of poetry, translation and prose. During the 1960s anti-war movement, Merwin's unique craft was thematically characterized by indirect, unpunctuated narration. In the 1980s and 1990s, Merwin's writing influence derived from his interest in Buddhist philosophy and deep ecology. Residing in Hawaii, he writes prolifically and is dedicated to the restoration of the islands' rainforests.

Merwin has received many honors, including the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (in both 1971 and 2009) and the Tanning Prize, one of the highest honors bestowed by the Academy of American Poets, as well as the Golden Wreath of the Struga Poetry Evenings. In 2010, the Library of Congress named Merwin the seventeenth United States Poet Laureate to replace the outgoing Kay Ryan.

It is that last quote that tipped me into sharing these three men. When I am at my best, I am trying to "save the world". I am not sure what that means but I am sure I am trying to do it. I completely agree that my poetry comes from this place of urgency and peace all paradoxically entwined. That is why I have written so many, and also why they come so easily. That I want to save the world is undoubted. That I am effective at it - that's another matter entirely.

The Golden Mean

If I ever found
The Golden Mean where you said,
Behind the dogwood
Where that squirrel buried it,
I would stop acting foolish,
Running all around,
Pointing fingers at goblins
I made up from scratch.

First posted Saturday, November 8, 2008

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Taking Guidance - Reprise

This is the color and the Plymouth Arrow that I bought new, but it had an arrow on the hood and was considered a luxury model. I forget what year make it was, '78, I think.

Here's a picture of a 1980 LC Lancer, an Australian version. The decal is very similar to mine. The color of the car not too far away. The striping on the low side panels, I believe I had a version of that too.They quit making the Arrow in 1981.

Interdependence....there is no way I can be me without your presence in my life, whoever you may be. This is not to say that your presence is always pleasant. Life is difficult. Right now my work load is spilling over and stealing from the rest of my life. Right now I choose to support that work process as best I can and that includes quite a bit of extra time and energy. This cuts me off from friends.

Right now an old and crowned tooth has broken off at the root. This happened less than a half hour ago as I wrote that last sentence. I had that tooth root canaled decades ago. It has been failing for a long time. The failure is catastrophic. There is no pain. I need a dentist, perhaps an oral surgeon. I suspect it would have broken anyway had someone tried to pull it out. I do not seek sympathy. This is just a situation. I have been living with this failing tooth aware that perhaps I should do something and chose not to. It is my bed to make and then lie down upon.

There is reality here. I have done with my gold crowned tooth exactly what I tend to do with cars. I keep them until they are worth 25 bucks because someone wants the seats. That was a real offer in my life and I took the money happily. It was that Plymouth Arrow, the only car I ever bought brand new. I drove it until it blew up in old age at 148,000 miles, all of them mine. I had it painted by a trusted friend at the three quarter point. It went from the standard dingy yellowish green with white arrow stripe on the hood to a light brown with gold metal flake. Near the end my mechanic wrapped differently the timing chain which was stretching and changed the cylinder firing timing to suit the new wrap. I lost power but my timing chain didn't snap and kill the car as sometimes happened with Arrows. Instead I finally had to get a new radiator. The increased water pressure blew the cylinder head apart. The timing chain or the thin aluminum cylinder head were the two weak items in the Mitsubishi made Plymouth Arrow. My tooth just cracked like that old cylinder head blew.

Taking Guidance

That you stretch the lines
Is one reason - I never
Color well between
Lines myself. I watch
What others do and decide
What my life will be,
How I should cherish
Your heart, how to say this thing,
How to love this world.

January 9, 2009 7:31 AM
Poem originally posted May 29, 2009

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


", really, I do not blame the human race or God for this. I suspect the fly in the ointment is the cost of inserting free will into things. I actually believe that quantum mechanics demonstrates that the precursor to free will shows in the private lives of fermions and bosons, especially fermions. We have a little trouble getting fermions and bosons to be definite. They are always going, "but on the other hand..."
- conversation stopper heard on the short bus.

-continuing, "If you want free will in a created universe, it has to be made like this to be lawful. In the aggregate of distressingly huge numbers unfairness develops right along with creatures who exercise the image likeness of God. This all lies at the heart of everything, and we are a very small part of that. That is why it really can't be our fault.

"What I wanted to say," he said stepping down off the bus, "I quite genuinely feel like a stranger here. Bye now."

So do I. I tell stories about that many different ways. Here's one.


I'm standing in line,
The new immigration queue,
Looking for the man
Who will stamp my heart
With welcoming ink and show
Me the ropes I need
To take the high road.

January 8, 2009 3:52 PM
Originally posted May 29, 2009

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Arrow

It is said that the predators among the four footed, or the winged ones only kill for food. This is not so. They kill for play, for joy, for practice as well. When young they may wound but not kill so that the prey escapes to die of the wound later in some way. My porch cat, named Hell Boy by the neighbors who left him behind when they moved, is well fed by me and others who agreed to look after him and yet he has killed many small birds and leaves the remains on my porch. At least he eats the birds, mostly, but he does not need to. He is not slender. The birds are taken not from hunger but from some place in him that demands it.

My relationship with this predator is quite complex. I was slow to warm to him. He is too feral and I didn't like his face either (though now I do). He is easily spooked and holds unpleasant memories more than most cats. If you offend him or wound him he will register that change in relationship for quite some time. He does trust and is warm in some ways but the veneer is thin and he can lash out quickly. He is vocal, both awake and amazingly, asleep, in dream. I know this cat is quite bright. However, to see that you have to speak cat because this cat does not speak human at all.

The bird of this poem died in the early nineties, wounded and left paralyzed by some other cat, a cat probably dead of old age or some other thing by now. So would that bird be. Soon enough now, so will I be.

The Arrow

I had to kill a bird,
left for dead after
a cat's wild bite broke her neck
and breaking broke my heart.

I wrote a poem,
and in my poem
was a rage within my grief,
a shout,
an arrow so compressed
that it flew all the way to God.

Do not doubt.
God still bleeds.

November 20, 2009 8:24 PM
Modified March 18, 2011

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Loping Words

"He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much; who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who has left the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; who has never lacked appreciation of earth's beauty or failed to express it; who has always looked for the best in others and given them the best he had; whose life was an inspiration; whose memory a benediction." - Bessie Stanley

(published 11/30/1905 in the Lincoln (Kansas) Sentinel -- an adaptation of this is often attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson, though nothing like it has been found in his writings)

Wiki says: "Elisabeth-Anne "Bessie" Anderson Stanley (born before 1900 - d. 1952) is the author of the poem Success (What is success? or What Constitutes Success?), which is often incorrectly misattributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson or Robert Louis Stevenson.

Her poem was written in 1904 for a contest held in Brown Book Magazine, by George Livingston Richards Co. of Boston, Massachusetts. Mrs. Stanley, of Lincoln, Kansas, submitted the words in the form of an essay, rather than as a poem. The competition was to answer the question "What is success?" in 100 words or less. Mrs. Stanley won the first prize of $250."

Even after all this time,
The sun never says to the earth,
"You owe me."
Look what happens with
A love like that.
It lights the whole sky.

- Hafiz of Persia

Loping Words

They gather near me
so often and I welcome them
as ever. Easy
loping words bounding
within reach of my warm hands
while I get ready
to receive them here
within me as if I was
the womb of the world.

November 20, 2009 8:48 PM
Modified May, 17, 2011 7:45 PM

Friday, April 15, 2011


"Now winter, the winter I am writing about, begins to ease. And what, if anything, has been determined, selected, nailed down? This is the lesson of age – events pass, things change, trauma fades, good fortune rises, fades, rises again but different. Whereas what happens when one is twenty, as I remember it, happens forever. I have not been twenty for a long time! The sun rolls toward the north and I feel, gratefully, its brightness flaming up once more. Somewhere in the world the misery we can do nothing about yet goes on."
- Mary Oliver

Sometimes I really believe it, that I am going to
save my life

a little.
- Mary Oliver
The Return
What Do We Know

Wiki says, Mary Oliver (born September 10, 1935) is an American poet who has won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. The New York Times described her as "far and away, America's best-selling poet".

I'm sad to say this one is confessional...


I am wry, diffuse
and ducking jobs high and low,
I will avoid work
as per usual
in this odd pairing of us.
How can you ask me
such a thing as if
it is not enough that I
scrub the God damned pans?

November 20, 2009 8:10 PM

Thursday, April 14, 2011


A swarm of locusts in Mexico

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. - Albert Einstein

We read the world wrong and say that it deceives us. - Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore (7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941),known by the honorific Gurudev, was a Bengali poet, novelist, musician, painter and playwright who reshaped Bengali literature and music. As author of Gitanjali and its "profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse", he was the first non-European who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913. His poetry in translation was viewed as spiritual, and this together with his mesmerizing persona gave him a prophet-like aura in the west. His "elegant prose and magical poetry" still remain largely unknown outside the confines of Bengal.

For the dialogue recorded in 1930 of the conversation between Einstein and Tagore, go to intentBlog


If I should reveal
my blood to you I would dry
up and blow away
in the desert wind
an empty husk of locust
left behind when hordes
arise and darken
the day with awful intent,
searching for manna.

November 20, 2009 7:54 PM

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Another Symbolic Poem - Reprise

Mossy Roof, taken by Stephen Buchan, with all rights reserved

This poem was posted first on June 1, 2009. The comments that appeared that day were terrific and I recommend that post. Maybe it's just me, but I think all of those people are special and their blogs are special too, especially Rachel and Erin.

Another Symbolic Poem

There's moss on my roof.
From time to time I go up.
Climbing the ladder,
I clamber onto
The walkway roof, on my knees,
Then get to my feet,
Step over the gutter,
Go up to the ridge, begin
Scraping the biggest
Green clumps which tumble,
Roll back down the way I came.

Moss keeps returning.
I admit I love
The intense green, that moss green,
So I never clean
It all off the roof.

January 10, 2009 10:45 AM

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Are We Done Yet? - Reprise

In the car, in the backseat, "Are we there yet?" In the workplace, "Are we having fun yet?" No? Well then, when? C'mon, Dad. Hurry. I don't want to be here. I want to be there. It is surely better there. Isn't it? It has to be. Am I living my life yet?

The Long And Winding Road
Lennon and McCartney

The long and winding road
That leads to your door
Will never disappear
I've seen that road before
It always leads me here
Leads me to your door.

The wild and windy night
That the rain washed away
Has left a pool of tears
Crying for the day.
Why leave me standing here?
Let me know the way.
Many times I've been alone
And many times I've cried,
Anyway you'll never know
The many ways I've tried.
And still they lead me back
To the long, winding road
You left me standing here
A long, long time ago
Don't leave me waiting here
Lead me to your door.

Are We Done Yet?

You left me a sign,
Impossible direction,
Merge up, so it says.

How am I going to do that?
I forgot my flying boots.

My toes are frozen,
My ears burning, don't like this.
Can't we go home now?

January 4, 2009 8:42 AM
First posted May 21, 2009

Monday, April 11, 2011

Louis MacNeice Said This (Snow)

The Rose in Snow photo by Amalie Issa

Louis MacNeice

The room was suddenly rich and the great bay-window was
Spawning snow and pink roses against it
Soundlessly collateral and incompatible:
World is suddener than we fancy it.

World is crazier and more of it than we think,
Incorrigibly plural. I peel and portion
A tangerine and spit the pips and feel
The drunkenness of things being various.

And the fire flames with a bubbling sound for world
Is more spiteful and gay than one supposes -
On the tongue on the eyes on the ears in the palms of one's hands -
There is more than glass between the snow and the huge roses.

Frederick Louis MacNeice CBE (12 September 1907 – 3 September 1963) was an Irish poet and playwright. He was part of the generation of "thirties poets" which included W. H. Auden, Stephen Spender and Cecil Day-Lewis; nicknamed "MacSpaunday" as a group — a name invented by Roy Campbell, in his Talking Bronco (1946). His body of work was widely appreciated by the public during his lifetime, due in part to his relaxed, but socially and emotionally aware style. Never as overtly (or simplistically) political as some of his contemporaries, his work shows a humane opposition to totalitarianism as well as an acute awareness of his Irish roots. MacNeice was an alcoholic. Wiki says that he "lived on alcohol" (instead of eating) in his last years and he died young of bronchitis that evolved into viral pneumonia after an extended exposure to a storm on the moor.

Louis MacNeice Said This

God, how you said it,
There is more than glass between
The sides of the world.

There is snow falling
And on this side, pink roses
Display, arguing
Suddenly against
The outer cold white snowflakes
While I eat my fruit.

How you said all that
Is a flaming bubbling pot
Deep in my true soul.

Written January 03, 2009 8:41 PM
First Posted, May 18, 2009

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Small Griefs, Cut It Loose - Reprise

There is a fly, a long bodied creature with transparent wings, called a crane fly. These wings have a small dark colored square most of the way out on the front of the wing if I remember right. They are long legged but the legs are so thin and fragile, that I often see them flying with legs missing. They have a tiny proboscis-like brush in front. I have seen them use it on my skin so I guess it is like a nose but it too is so delicate that I feel nothing. There are many of them around. They often wind up in my bathroom, just as this poem claims. My bathroom is the lightest room in my house because of the skylight, but they like the mirror and the white of my tub. They die there. But I think they die pretty quickly, like mayflies do. I like them. I especially like their wings.

Small Griefs

What I want to know,
Why do you and your sisters
Pick my main bathroom
To hang in, then die?
All the time I move your dead
Young bodies aside
And they fall apart
When I do it, so slender
They are, delicate.

And why die so young?

January 14, 2009 9:10 AM


Here's a "not a real poem". The real poem flew away. This is the poem I had to write instead. By the way, it is hard to write up this particular tree. The wind gets in my eyes, blows the led lights all over the place. Also, it is a bitch climbing back down.

Cut It Loose

I cut this poem
Loose from me, from my long grasp
Even before done.
Look at it fly off
To the west after the sun
Setting below me
While I'm up this tree.

I want you to know this works.
My poem's long gone.

January 14, 2009 3:46 PM
First Posted at 6/10/2009 07:35:00 PM

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Life Work, What You Wrote - Reprise

I am bringing this whole post forward because all of it works together in ways I cannot separate.


Life is not fair. This grinds me to dust. My whole thing is finding a way to deal with this, that I do not flame out, tumble in the chaos, crash my own life. When I get a moment then I play. Much of what I do seems inane but my work is inner work. I need to pace this race and so I do.

When I looked for the spiritual walk that I could do in this unfair life, I had to find a place that was not my fault. I could not live in a faith that starts with it being my fault. I will self destruct there. There is no point to a salvation in it for me. There are no sins of fathers to visit the children and sour things. It cannot be or I die right now, self destruct, no time for salvation. It is far too unfair a case for me to breathe. I literally gasped for breath for much of my childhood. So I found my way. I do not claim it is your right way. It is merely a way within which I can actually live, maybe just a little. It is a way that allows the vision I was given one night to flourish, whether that vision is true or pure fantasy.

Life Work

I pick bones with God
And here is the biggest one.

I came back for this,
To stand in the glare
Of this place, the hard grim light
Of the small losses,
The myriad events
That shrive us today, again,
That do not let go.

We try to forget
But bones will never forget.
I came back for this.

To witness, know, tell,
To see with old eyes, to turn,
Tell Him to His face.

January 13, 2009 1:10 PM


Here is the power. The mages of today are wordsmiths, musicians, purveyors of the media. The magic has left the tower, and the mages no longer wear a special look. The mages are anyone in the right realm, the places magic of some kind is supported. Under the right conditions we all may encounter God with skin on.

What You Wrote

I am ink, thin blue
Ink in a fine line, one part
Of the word you wrote.
I spell one person,
One heart among so many
Still here in the world.

You wrote us all down.

January 14, 2009 8:24 AM
POSTED BY CHRISTOPHER AT 6/09/2009 07:43:00 PM

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

On Finding The Gong - Reprise

"Not just any talk is conversation; not any talk raises consciousness. Good conversation has an edge: it opens your eyes to something, quickens your ears. And good conversation reverberates: it keeps on talking in your mind later in the day; the next day, you find yourself still conversing with what was said. That reverberation afterward is the very raising of consciousness; your mind's been moved. You are at another level with your reflections."
- James Hillman
We've Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy and the World's Getting Worse

James Hillman (born 1926) is an American psychologist. He studied at the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich, developed archetypal psychology and is now retired as a private practitioner.

Archetypal psychology is a polytheistic psychology, in that it attempts to recognize the myriad fantasies and myths (gods, goddesses, demigods, mortals and animals) that shape and are shaped by our psychological lives. The ego is but one psychological fantasy within an assemblage of fantasies. It is part of the Jungian psychology tradition and related to Jung's original Analytical psychology but is also a radical departure from it in some respects.

Whereas Jung’s psychology focused on the Self, its dynamics and its constellations (ego, anima, animus, shadow), Hillman’s Archetypal psychology relativizes and deliteralizes the ego and focuses on psyche, or soul, and the archai, the deepest patterns of psychic functioning, "the fundamental fantasies that animate all life" (Moore, in Hillman, 1991).

On Finding The Gong

Can I pass without
Banging you with this mallet?
Not on your bronze life.
I see the bright sheen
You display on your fine face.
I feel invited.
I expect deep sounds
From you, moving me southwest
Toward the setting sun.

My scout led me here,
Clothed me, filled my leather pack,
Advised my approach,
Then when we got near
He mopped his brow, checked his watch,
Said he had to go.

That's why I'm alone.

January 12, 2009 9:46 AM
First posted June 7, 2009

The Corporate Sow

Needed the time to manage my health. Nothing serious, just too much demand on my resources by work just now. I owe it to my boss to back his play. We both are protecting the hind tit we suck on, the corporate sow. Sometimes you make a profit and all is cool. Sometimes you are in a tight spot and need to protect what you have (and hopefully make a profit). This is one of those times.

Life is hard in corporate America. I am too effing old for this shit, but too broke to retire.

Sunday, April 3, 2011



Life continues outside and beyond all opposites.
There find as well the spirit of Man's capacity.
There shall He dissolve himself in passion for Himself,
and so immersed shall He live out of that space, out of
His place beyond all opposites
in posession of an equal composure,
a balance of passion and distance.

That is Man's shape in the relationship,
Heaven, Earth, Man.
It is also the basis for his passionate
love for the beauty found in other living things.

‎April ‎3, ‎2011 8:46 AM

with a nod to Gustie Herrigal, wife of Eugen. Along with her husband, Gustie also was a writer. She wrote one published book, Zen in the Art of Flower Arrangement, an intended companion volume to Eugen's Zen in the Art of Archery. I also found a listed essay she wrote published in at least one collection of essays on Eastern wisdom.

Friday, April 1, 2011

What You Give To Me - Reprise

Forest Child, by Sitara Leota

I am buried under work just now, over one hundred hours in the last pay period, and likely the same in this one, whole extra days at a time and we don't get overtime either. There is really no choice given the constraints. I am being as careful as I can, but one thing I can't do is get around to the blogs of my friends and teachers.

What You Give To Me

You sit in windows
When you choose, on your own terms.
It's a gift to me,
Like the onyx vase
Was last year.
Because you sit
In my view like that,
With near perfect poise
For sad eyes like mine to see,
I offer you this.

January 12, 2009 11:17 AM

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