Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Old Celt's Dream

The Old Celt's Dream

In the high branches
of the oak a mistletoe
signals my divine
presence, my shifting
sighs of whispered chant. Seven
times around the tree
I call out to you
by rote, by my heat, voiceless
though I am.

I hold
through this murdered day,
hold by the strings on my heart,
and clans of ravens.

Written today, ‎July ‎31, ‎2011 6:29 PM

I am weakened just now by severely damaged soft tissue in my right wrist below my thumb. My situation was created by a fall. I know how to fall and because of that sustained no damage in the rest of my body, but my right hand was caught and twisted beneath me as I rolled to protect the rest of me. This happened last Monday. I went to the doctor Tuesday and I have been wearing a splint as much as possible, taking as few pain pills as possible. Lately I have been doing most things one handed. I can't type that way though. This accounts for the lack of words from me lately. I have been working as I must and this means that I can't wear the splint in the work day. Life's a bitch and then you die...

Saturday, July 30, 2011



I am inflated
in my opinions, pack them
around my soft heart
while I ponder you
with your claimed struggle with words
with yourself, with me.

I think of old songs
that I could sing were I brave
enough to sing them
and the caresses
that I could give you today
if I was able.

The distance between
is ever the rosy thorn,
Pricked, I bleed, bleed.

December 10, 2009 8:48 AM

Friday, July 29, 2011

Maybe in the Morning

A night off tonight. I have had a fairly good day if you overlook the health issues. I think I will. :D

Thursday, July 28, 2011


A tree full of Monarch butterflies, a phenomenon of the Monarch Mexican migration.


Shape shifting comes on
in the cabin in the wood,
snuffing the clean air
of the shifting time,
and how the skin stretches out
and the bones do things
you would think so wrong
were it not for this deep need
to be four footed,
or winged, or a small
incredibly painted one,
six legged, curled tongue
seeking God given
nectar and the chance to flash
in the sun one more
time before leaving
on Mexican migration,
following the moon.

Written this evening, July 28, 2011

A monarch butterfly rests on the hair of a young girl during a visit to the El Rosario butterfly preserve, at 10,500 feet, near the town of Anguangueo, Mexico.

"U of A faculty, students observe massive gathering of monarch butterflies in Mexico central mountains"

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Spirit Of The Times - Reprise

In Hinduism, Durga (Sanskrit: दुर्गा, Durgā, meaning "the inaccessible" or "the invincible"; Bengali: দুর্গা, durga) or Maa Durga (Bengali: মা দুর্গা, mā durgā, meaning "Mother Durga") "one who can redeem in situations of utmost distress" is a form of Devi, the supremely radiant goddess, depicted as having eight arms, riding a lion or a tiger, carrying weapons and a lotus flower, maintaining a meditative smile, and practicing mudras, or symbolic hand gestures. The name is made of Sanskrit dur- = "with difficulty" (compare Greek δυσ- (dys-)) and gā ("come", "go").

An embodiment of creative feminine force (Shakti), Durga exists in a state of svātantrya (independence from the universe and anything/anybody else, i.e., self-sufficiency) and fierce compassion. Kali is considered by Hindus to be an aspect of Durga. She is thus considered the fiercer, demon-fighting form of Shiva's wife, goddess Parvati. Durga manifests fearlessness and patience, and never loses her sense of humor, even during spiritual battles of epic proportion.

Om Dum Durgayei Swaha!

"I think there is choice possible at any moment to us, as long as we live. But there is no sacrifice. There is a choice, and the rest falls away. Second choice does not exist. Beware of those who talk about sacrifice."

"The universe is made of stories, not atoms."
- Muriel Rukeyser

On the left, Muriel in her youth. On the right, Muriel fully mature.

Wiki says: Muriel Rukeyser (15 December 1913 – 12 February 1980) was an American poet and political activist, best known for her poems about equality, feminism, social justice, and Judaism. Kenneth Rexroth said that she was the greatest poet of her "exact generation".

One of her most powerful pieces was a group of poems entitled The Book of the Dead (1938), documenting the details of the Hawk's Nest incident, an industrial disaster in which hundreds of miners died of silicosis.

Her poem "To be a Jew in the Twentieth Century" (1944), on the theme of Judaism as a gift, was adopted by the American Reform and Reconstructionist movements for their prayer books, something Rukeyser said "astonished" her, as she had remained distant from Judaism throughout her early life.

I am touched that she recognized the perilous ground that sacrifice treads. I too deeply suspect that sacrifice and its justifications form a less than honest complex in the scheme of things, more of the warp and weft of man's strange yearning than of God's demand.

Role playing. I'm a nice guy, surely. Honest, hardly ever rob banks, haven't set a fire in absolutely weeks! People like me goddammit. Yet there is something sour and dangerous going on and there really always is. I pull the ten block radius test on some of my concepts. I believe everyone from saints to sinners is hanging out within a ten block radius of me in any metro area. When I was a victim of identity theft, my bag was stolen from beside my car in my driveway at 4:45 AM on a quiet residential street, and NOBODY but me is up at that time. And because of what happened next it had to be a local who did it. A full blown thief pretty effing close to me.

The next deal, I am sure the potential exists in me, in you, in all of us, for anything anyone else actually does. In a wierd way this is precisely like the dream professionals asserting we each are all the characters and structures in our own dreams which are totally solipsistic no matter who is in them.

Hitler lived his own nightmare so large that millions of people had and paid for aspects of the same nightmare. Think that way for a while, how we each participate in each other's dreams and illusions and learn from that how Buddhists came up with the Four Noble Truths.

The Spirit Of The Times

So enter into
The joy of the destruction
As if it were real.

Then pull the black curtain back,
Look behind the face of things.

The dark mother sits
Behind my eyes, embraces me.
I circle with vultures.

First Posted January 13, 2009

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Reminder - Reprise

(Blogger's comment: all but the update and the comment conclusion after the poem here was written to introduce this poem back in 2009, after the first heart attack. It is interesting to note that the poetry was prior to the hospitalization but perhaps not prior to the beginnings of the heart trouble)

It is said of alcoholics and other dysfunctional people that they do not have relationships, they take hostages. I hope I am better than that. I am now living as alone as I ever have. Even my old girl cat is gone.

Update: I often have a house guest, a cat I used to dislike, but through a complex neighborhood set of relations has come to be a fairly good friend, mostly on his terms.

She was once this amazing kitten, so amazing that I took a photo. It was really good. Ann sent it off to the calendar people. They agreed. She was born early in 91 and so in spring she was perfectly posed, a young part Siamese kitten who looked like a raccoon kit, laying draped along our weathered wood fence, surrounded by the greenery and flowers.

First Ann sent it to the Page a Day folk for inclusion in their main page a day calendar. They rejected her I think because she was a mix breed Siamese. That calendar tends to feature purebreds a little more. Then Ann saw the kittens wall calendar and we sent the picture to them. In 1997 she became January 31 and a cover girl, along with several other kittens, thus appearing twice in the calendar. She could not have cared less. I was so proud, I eventually had the whole thing framed. She was not only a calendar girl, but a cover girl. But now she has gone into the mystery.


I will not hold you
trapped in dreams I have, not those
dreams of perfection
that I like to dream.
Instead I will take the moon's
rays and weave of them
a bracelet, remind
you of your freedom, of hope,
of your destiny.

Written February 3, 2009 8:46 PM
First Posted August 9, 2009

Lately I have noticed so many close friends having serious relationship issues. It makes me grateful I am single. The rest of the story of course, my health is such a significant and complex challenge that it is hard to imagine how I would be comfortable attaching myself to someone else's life. I am sure I would feel like I was imposing.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Violet Sky

Buddhist psychology refers to the aggregate of what we call personality as “the five clouds of entanglement.”

But if we are clouds, we are also luminous. Xenophanes, writing at the dawn of Western philosophy, tells us that the stars are actually clouds “ignited by motion,” kindled in their rising and extinguished in their setting, like coals. The sun too is a burning cloud, and as with the stars, each day it’s a different cloud that is set ablaze, for no two suns are the same, though they share in the same flaring grandeur—and this goes on forever because the world is imperishable, without beginning, without end. Herein hovers a magnificent hope: Entangled clouds that we are, sooner or later in our driftings we’re bound to catch fire, become a star or maybe even a sun, and not just for fifteen minutes but for a whole day or night. Every soul is combustible.
- John P. O’Grady from Writing on Air, edited by David Rothenberg and Wandee J. Pryor, © 2003 by Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The Violet Sky

When the sky colors
the world in violet hue
how can I stand still
beneath the changes?

I know I am far from home,
too far to get back,
cut off from old roots,
new ones not yet grown with you,
I am cold, breathless.

December 8, 2009 8:42 PM

Sunday, July 24, 2011

I Know My Worth

I am a bursting bubble, yes I am!

"Perhaps the most important thing we bring to another person is the silence in us, not the sort of silence that is filled with unspoken criticism or hard withdrawal. The sort of silence that is a place of refuge, of rest, of acceptance of someone as they are. We are all hungry for this other silence. It is hard to find. In its presence we can remember something beyond the moment, a strength on which to build a life. Silence is a place of great power and healing." - Rachel Naomi Remen

Rachel Naomi Remen is one of the earliest pioneers in the mind/body holistic health movement and the first to recognize the role of the spirit in health and the recovery from illness. She is Co-Founder and Medical Director of the Commonweal Cancer Help Program featured in the Bill Moyers PBS series, Healing and the Mind and has cared for people with cancer and their families for almost 30 years.

I Know My Worth

I know you don't pick
me like I'm all important,
not to you I'm not,
not to anyone.
I know you give me more than
I'd ever deserve,
Not that I am less
But that there are so many:
you've so much to give.

Then I think again,
Know I am a sprouting seed
To you, yes I am.

Written February 8, 2009 11:27 AM
First Posted August 22, 2009

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Please Soften Me - Reprise

All the ways I have been on this planet...this is one of them.

Please Soften Me

I am the hard earth
packed down by the passing time,
the tread of many
heavy feet, baked by
incessant sun through the days
of my exposure.

I hope your rain comes
to soften me, to seep in,
to loosen my joints,
to wet my dry veins,
to get my heart's blood to move
as it should once more.

First Posted as edited, February 8, 2009
Written sometime before that.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

In The Arctic Scene

This seems lighthearted. I wrote it a long time back. I don't think that I was saying anything in some coded way, at least not deliberately. The picture of the hare rolling in the snow is perfect. If you want to read something into it, I don't mind. I have blog friends in Whitehorse and Mendenhall, in the Yukon Territory. That's high up. Either one of these women would be capable of slapping me around a little. I am quite sure of that. And. Winter starts in October in Whitehorse. Some fun, huh? I am down here in the Oregon Territory. We get one good snow a year most years.

In The Arctic Scene

You have pushed me down
asserting yourself with me
though I told you no,
not in this cold snow.
You cover me with blankets
then roll me over
in them and slap me
clean, finish bundling me up,
a rolled up rug boy
in the arctic scene
wondering what you have in
store for me this time.

December 8, 2009 7:37 PM

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Arrow

Blue Flower; Georgia O'Keeffe
Pastel on Paper mounted to cardboard, 20 x 16 in

I need a stand up relationship with God. I must be able to argue and snivel and in the next moment stare him square in the eye. A God who demands of me a perpetual posture of below to above is of no use to me and I shall surely turn away. This may be illness or rebellion in me but the die is cast. I have made my commitment and expect of Him the same. This is just what is.

Actually, if there is any rhyme or reason to the Christian claim of God as Man in the form of Jesus, whom we are to strive to emulate His Image and Likeness, then this is it, that God is willing to be man sized for the purposes of relationship with us, with me. In that then there is potential that I can look at Him under certain conditions as if He is my size or I His.

If I argue with God, it is said, I lose. So what? That I can argue is deeply essential no matter the outcome. I am not alone in this realization. I believe it was Jacob in the Bible who wrestled with the angel in full knowledge of his condition and was struck lame for it, but blessed nonetheless.

The Arrow

I had to kill a bird,
left for dead after
a cat bite that paralyzed it.
The killing 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.

He still bleeds. I checked.

November 20, 2009 8:24 PM

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Truth

"All men, at one time or another, have fallen in love with the veiled Isis whom they call Truth. With most, this has been a passing passion: they have early seen its hopelessness and turned to more practical things. But others remain all their lives the devout lovers of reality: though the manner of their love, the vision which they make to themselves of the beloved object varies enormously. Some see Truth as Dante saw Beatrice: an adorable yet intangible figure, found in this world yet revealing the next. To others she seems rather an evil but an irresistible enchantress: enticing, demanding payment and betraying her lover at the last. Some have seen her in a test tube, and some in a poet's dream: some before the altar, others in the slime. The extreme pragmatists have even sought her in the kitchen; declaring that she may best be recognized by her utility. Last stage of all, the philosophic skeptic, has comforted an unsuccessful courtship by assuring himself that his mistress is not really there." - Evelyn Underhill in her book Mysticism

According to Wiki, Ms Underhill was a prolific author, a Catholic, but also a Mystic and very popular in her time, as popular as Aldous Huxley in his.

Truth is not what it's cracked up to be, it seems. That's something to remember when someone waxes dogmatic as a Democrat, a Republican, a Buddhist or a Baptist. It appears the truth is really there but is largely a mystery and not easily approachable in any ordinary way. Any. Do I really mean ANY?? ordinary way.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

To The Sun God

The ducklings of spring (like the boys of summer :D )

You can only be young once. But you can always be immature. ~ Dave Barry

David "Dave" Barry (born July 3, 1947) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American author and columnist, who wrote a nationally syndicated humor column for The Miami Herald from 1983 to 2005. He has also written numerous books of humor and parody, as well as comedic novels.

It's been wet and cool pretty much all summer this year and friends have been trying to paint but can't because the weather won't let them and they had this volunteer force all set up but too bad! Now I am not a sun worshipper, not like the woman at work who pines for the Arizona desert. But it is kind of time for the sun to bake the land around here. Soon, I think. August is nearly always hot and dry, and into September before the rains begin again. I came to Oregon from California in part for the green, knowing that the green requires soggy ground. My understanding, in the Willamette valley where most Oregonians live, if there were no people this would be rain forest pretty much.

I got a little desperate for sun in the winter of 2009.

To The Sun God

Look, I know you’re not
really going away, not
diving into earth
to decide what’s next.
I know even the longest
night has day after,
but damn! there’s something
to it, how my bones shatter
in the dread of it,
so here am I, Lord
I bow, I ask of You now
Please, my Lord, come back!

December 5, 2009 7:30 PM

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Quilt

No great artist ever sees things as they are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist. - Oscar Wilde

When I have a terrible need of -- shall I say the word -- religion. Then I go out and paint the stars. - Vincent van Gogh

For I must tell you that we artists cannot tread the path of Beauty without Eros keeping company with us and appointing himself as our guide. - Thomas Mann

The Quilt

Sew your patient quilt
one stitch, then another stitch
all in muted hue
and I will love you
through it all, as I promised
on that day last spring,
when our world's warm song
held us in the gift of peace,
momentary, true.

December 5, 2009 7:43 AM

Thursday, July 14, 2011

An Old Story

Moses Siregar, a man attempting a career.

I have no comment on the writing of Moses Siregar. I do not know it. He put a "Black God" in the title of his upcoming (first?) novel, which he claims has been and perhaps still is a free novella on Amazon.

An Old Story

You teller of myth,
inconsolable goddess,
bringer of winter -
the ice enters me
that I too would steal your love
to keep here below
I am no better
than the old black god, older
than all my sand.

December 5, 2009 7:29 AM

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Effective Prayer - Reprise

There is a concept, a hope, a belief out there that began in the late sixties. In the late seventies it began to have a name. Called the Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon by some, it basically states that when enough of us really make a shift in paradigms, then we all go, assuming it is a true thing we are talking about and not a false hope. I know we discussed this idea hanging out in living rooms in 1966. I know I wrote my first poems about it in 1967. How many would be enough? Apparently more than appear in the photo.

Wiki says: The hundredth monkey effect is a supposed phenomenon in which a learned behavior spreads instantaneously from one group of monkeys to all related monkeys once a critical number is reached. By generalization it means the instantaneous, paranormal spreading of an idea or ability to the remainder of a population once a certain portion of that population has heard of the new idea or learned the new ability. The story behind this supposed phenomenon originated with Lawrence Blair and Lyall Watson in the mid-to-late 1970s, who claimed that it was the observation of Japanese scientists. One of the primary factors in the promulgation of the story is that many authors quote secondary, tertiary or post-tertiary sources who have themselves misrepresented the original observations.

Over the years the original claims are largely discredited as real science but the idea remains alive still today. There is a New Age Movement called the Shift Network. Google it and you will find what people are trying for these days, hoping to spread the consciousness of a new way of being and reaching that turning point. There are many phenomena that demonstrate a turning point and these include the awakening sometimes experienced along the sacred paths.

I have the same relationship to this idea as I do to Aliens Out There. I do so want these ideas to be true ones. I am fairly convinced we are too far down the drain to survive without some kind of intervention by God, Aliens, or Shifts in Consciousness.

I hope prayer can be effective in this matter.

Effective Prayer

The music draws me
Into the dance where you are
And gifts me with form.

So we twine, complicated
Shapes. We draw others to us.

Dozens, hundreds, more
Until we reach that moment.
Then God moves the world.

Written October 13, 2008
First Posted 12/26/2008

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I Can't Hide It

Wiki says: A bleeding heart is an informal label applied to someone regarded as excessively sympathetic, liberal in a political sense, or both. It is typically considered a derogatory remark.

Etymologically, the term originated as a Christ reference, originally the bleeding heart under a cross, representing the sufferings of Jesus crucified.

Christopher says: Isn't it interesting that the sufferings of Jesus should devolve into a criticism of the left. I understand I am now speaking of US politics. This gets me to think there is something to the idea that conservatives of the right really don't like the New Testament very much. They wish for an ascendancy of the the Old - where "an eye for an eye" typifies justice and love and forgiveness is not yet ascendant as the New Law brought by Christ to supplant the whole of the old Law. Love and Forgiveness is Bleeding Heart. Please notice that love and forgiveness are not absent in the Old Testament (Torah and other books), just that they do not yet govern as they do in the Kingdom of God as described by Jesus.

Bleeding heart may also refer to:


Doves in the genus Gallicolumba
An Australian rainforest plant Omalanthus populifolius, also known as Queensland poplar
Flowering plants in the genus Dicentra of the fumitory family
Flowering plants in the genus Clerodendrum (glorybowers or bagflowers) of the vervain family


*"Bleeding Heart" - Elmore James song
*A song by the Brazilian metal band Angra, presents in the 2002's EP Hunters and Prey
*Bleeding Heart Yard, a courtyard in London, England
*A song by Olivia Lufkin on the album Flower Festival
*Bleeding Heart (album)

I Can't Hide It

Every time I
hear that snap I know my heart
lies looser here. One
more string is broken,
hanging adangle, allowed
to drip its salt flow
down my sticky heart,
crimson hot glowing spillage
setting me apart
as if I have messed
my bed, sheets hung out again
on display to all.

December 4, 2009 5:04 PM

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Lava Field - Reprise

Wiki says: The Boring Lava Field is an extinct Plio-Pleistocene volcanic field zone with at least 32 cinder cones and small shield volcanoes lying within a radius of 13 miles (21 km) of Kelly Butte, which is approximately 4 miles (6 km) east of downtown Portland, Oregon, in the United States. The name is derived from the town of Boring, Oregon, which lies just to the southeast of the most dense cluster of lava vents. The zone became active at least 2.7 million years ago, and has been extinct for about 300,000 years.

The Portland metropolitan area, including suburbs, is one of the few places in the continental United States to have extinct volcanoes within a city's limits; Bend, Oregon is another.

Panorama showing Portland and part of the Boring Lava Field. The buttes of the Boring Lava Field are visible toward the center of this panorama of Portland, Oregon. The panorama is taken from the west hills to the south of town and sweeps north, east and southeast.

The Lava Field

I was angry once,
So hot that my hope melted
And flowed down my sides.

I am deformed, bent like that.

I have held still for so long
That dreams have begun
To form on my ruined hope,
On you in my life.

Written October 22, 2008
First Posted, January 8, 2009

Sunday, July 10, 2011

In Living Color - Reprise

"You have too good a mind to throw away. I don't quite know what we're doing on this insignificant cinder spinning away in a dark corner of the universe. That is a secret which the high gods have not confided in me. Yet one thing I believe and I believe it with every fiber of my being. A man must live by his light and do what little he can and do it as best as he can." - Walker Percy

Wiki says: Walker Percy (May 28, 1916 – May 10, 1990) was an American Southern author whose interests included philosophy and semiotics. Percy is best known for his philosophical novels set in and around New Orleans, Louisiana, the first of which, The Moviegoer, won the National Book Award for Fiction in 1962. He devoted his literary life to the exploration of "the dislocation of man in the modern age." His work displays a unique combination of existential questioning, Southern sensibility, and deep Catholic faith.

By the way: Semiotics, also called semiotic studies or (in the Saussurean tradition) semiology, is the study of signs and sign processes (semiosis), indication, designation, likeness, analogy, metaphor, symbolism, signification, and communication. Semiotics is closely related to the field of linguistics, which, for its part, studies the structure and meaning of language more specifically. Semiotics is often divided into three branches:
Semantics: Relation between signs and the things to which they refer; their denotata, or meaning
Syntactics: Relations among signs in formal structures
Pragmatics: Relation between signs and the effects they have on the people who use them

In Living Color

To think I was there
At the unmasking moment
And saw your true face.
This is like early
Crocuses coming up, out
With their purple blooms
Just after the snows.
They too guess right times
As you did just now, showing
Courage in the gray.

Written January 9, 2009 9:23 AM
First Posted May 30,2009

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Pig Iron - Reprise

Wiki says:
Pig iron is the intermediate product of smelting iron ore with a high-carbon fuel such as coke, usually with limestone as a flux. Charcoal and anthracite have also been used as fuel. Pig iron has a very high carbon content, typically 3.5–4.5%, which makes it very brittle and not useful directly as a material except for limited applications.

The traditional shape of the molds used for these ingots was a branching structure formed in sand, with many individual ingots at right angles to a central channel or runner. Such a configuration is similar in appearance to a litter of piglets suckling on a sow. When the metal had cooled and hardened, the smaller ingots (the pigs) were simply broken from the much thinner runner (the sow), hence the name pig iron. As pig iron is intended for remelting, the uneven size of the ingots and inclusion of small amounts of sand was insignificant compared to the ease of casting and of handling.

The Chinese were making pig iron by the later Zhou Dynasty (1122–256 BC). In Europe, the process was not invented until the Late Middle Ages (1350-1500). Actually the phase transition of the iron into liquid phase in the furnace was an avoided phenomenon, as decarburizing the pig iron into steel was an extremely tedious process with medieval technology.

Traditionally pig iron would be worked into wrought iron in finery forges, and later puddling furnaces, more recently into steel. In these processes, pig iron is melted and a strong current of air is directed over it while it is being stirred or agitated. This causes the dissolved impurities (such as silicon) to be thoroughly oxidized. An intermediate product of puddling is known as refined pig iron, finers metal, or refined iron.

Pig Iron

Staring between bars,
My knothead keeps getting stuck.
Wanting to be free,
Over and over I try.

Then he comes, tells me, "Become
The cage, little friend."
Turning into pig iron,
I begin rusting.

Written December 4, 2008
First Posted December 4, 2008

Friday, July 8, 2011

Graceful Release

"The awe of autumn is in the ever-so-graceful release of what once was, coupled with the promise of what will be." - Diane Varner

Check out Diane's site. There are a great many beautiful photos.

Graceful Release

How your hand left mine
so casually, graceful
release, floating on
the currents. Events
as they come flowing, pass me
by, and I see you
shrinking in the light,
now only a photograph
I see now and then.

December 4, 2009 1:58 PM

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I Wanted Rubies

I shall not flinch from any of it, I hope, this human life. I aspire to apotheosis, nothing less, really, though I cloak it in Buddhist terms, claiming I follow the Buddhist ideal of Bodhisattva. My stories are built around this yearning, this lifelong desire to ascend, to rise up into beneficence, into munificence just because love and mercy abound. I have done my part, too. I have done the work, the little bit that has come my way to do.

There is of course the rest of it and I have had my share, I suppose. I was born and raised in bewilderment. Along the way I discovered hatred and grief. I have been afraid to the cold door of death and even more afraid I would be found a coward. I know the tedium of bearable pain and the agony of mortality too. All this it would seem should be surmounted, but perhaps not. I know the arguments.

I Wanted Rubies

If I was just this
or if I was that, I say,
I say so insistently,
as if this one spell
would dispel the pain,
the dissipation

of my rootless life,
the roots ripped from me, snagged in
tangled balls of clinging
earth to drop and splash
upon the stony dry ground
of my ruthlessness.

July 7, 2011 9:50 AM

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Call The Grieving God - Reprise

I don't know how to make theology out of it. I don't care because for me this is where heart comes in. I know in my bones that Infinite God grieves. The sadness known to the house finch chick who fell from the nest, the fear and loss of its mother, the regret of the universe at that moment leads to the infinite grief of God. Anything God does in genuine response of His own is and must be infinite. As in the Holy Word, down to the smallest and least of them. When life is unfair, as it so frequently is, God grieves the necessity of that. Because it is necessary. It always has been. Life must prey on life. There is nothing else it can prey on, nothing but life and its gifts and remains. The oxygen we breathe in is the exhale of plant life. The prey will always know its own protest. The prey will always Witness. And God perhaps eternally grieves as she sees as a mother does through the prey's own eyes.

Call The Grieving God

The walls are too high.
They go too far left and right.

Storms will come near soon
And wild eyed, we still cast blame.

Call the grieving god to help
The host cross over.

We think we know what happens
And still the walls fall.

This poem was written on October 27, 2008
First posted, January 16, 2009

Monday, July 4, 2011

A Collaboration

Wiki says: "Daniel Ladinsky is an American poet. He was born and raised in the Midwest United States. Off and on over six years he spent extensive time in a spiritual community in western India, where he worked in a rural clinic free to the poor, and lived with the intimate disciples and family of Meher Baba. In introductions to his Hafiz poetry, Ladinsky notes that he offers interpretations of the poet Hafiz, rather than translations. He believes that it is more important to convey the emotions in Hafiz’s poetry than to keep the same rhythm in the English language, and he uses the most simple words possible.

"Since the release of Ladinsky's first book, I Heard God Laughing, his ostensible renderings of Hafiz have become widely quoted, though many point out that his poems are originals, and not translations or interpretations of Hafiz. Christopher Shackle describes The Gift as 'not so much a paraphrase as a parody of the wondrously wrought style of the greatest master of Persian art-poetry.' The fact that Ladinsky's poems do not actually represent Hafiz' work was a source of embarrassment for Dalton McGuinty, the Premier of Ontario, when it was discovered that the poem McGuinty had recited from Ladinsky's book at a Nowruz celebration in Toronto had no corresponding Persian original.

"Ladinsky's work has garnered positive commentary from Akbar S. Ahmed, has been favorably endorsed by The Christian Science Monitor writer, Alexandra Marks, and has been quoted in contemporary Muslim American non-fiction. Some hail Ladinsky's contemporary work for creating an immediate access to the spirit and intention of Hafiz' verse. Ladinsky authored a short essay in the form of an review, entitled My Portrait of Hafiz, that offers a description of the process and background of his work. The Islamic Foundation of North America has used Ladinsky's The Gift in a children's Islamic Literature curriculum. Ladinsky has also reviewed contemporary poetry, such as Full on Arrival."

I have written before of how I fell for Hafiz as Ladinsky edited and translated him. I don't really care if it is Hafiz or Ladinsky (as some argue) who really wrote the poems. I guess what a criticism like that means is if I read someone else's translation I would not easily recognize the poems. I am no purist and also I have a way of spinning off of the work other people do. Many of my poems arise in that way, not that I reframe someone else's work. Sometimes it is only a word or a phrase.

Here is an example, an excellent example of Ladinsky/Hafiz posted on PJA64X by Philip Arnold back in 2009:

We should make all spiritual talk
simple today:

God is trying to sell you something
but you don’t want to buy.

That is what your suffering is:

your fantastic haggling
your manic screaming

over the price.


Hafiz-e-Shirazi (1315 – 1390)

Translated by Daniel Ladinsky

Irani painting of Hafiz by Mahmoud Farshchian

Back in the early days of blogging I was visiting many sites regularly and writing frequently. I dared to make the assertion that I was going to be writing two poems a day. I did that for over a year. Recently, knowing that no one goes back there I have started reprising poems from the early days, though I blog new intros for them. Between the reprises and all the writing I have done, I still have 390 poems I have not yet posted. I am still calling these poems up from December of 2009 and posting them as fresh not yet posted poems. I am moving forward from there.

To say these poems are "mine" is just odd. All of them are collaborations.

A Collaboration
(Patterned after Hafiz/Ladinsky)

My poem always sits stunned,
chained, unable to move beneath
your magnificent beauty.

It is essential
for my heart's coronation
for my poem to realize
there is nothing but divine
movement behind you
in this world.

December 4, 2009 11:30 AM

Sunday, July 3, 2011

You've Caught Me Staring

Lacey Gallery
You've Caught Me Staring

The way you watch me,
posed behind a slender reed
as if you quickly
would disappear if
I looked away for a moment,
like a cheshire cat,
the way you watch me
changes me deep in the pith.
I thank you for that.

December 4, 2009 8:30 AM

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Next Belch

I have no idea what this is "really" about. Sometimes it just gets too odd...

The Next Belch

I shall atone once you
get me to grasp the main point
of entry into
dreams of who I was
when this all started for us.
Or maybe never
as I rumble on
wondering what the next belch
will taste like for me.

December 3, 2009 9:22 PM

Friday, July 1, 2011

Bathing As Incantation

On left: Bohr as a young man.
On right and below: A fully mature Bohr.

Wiki says: Niels Henrik David Bohr; 7 October 1885 – 18 November 1962 was a Danish physicist who made fundamental contributions to understanding atomic structure and quantum mechanics, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922. Bohr mentored and collaborated with many of the top physicists of the century at his institute in Copenhagen. He was part of a team of physicists working on the Manhattan Project. Bohr married Margrethe Nørlund in 1912, and one of their sons, Aage Bohr, grew up to be an important physicist who in 1975 also received the Nobel prize. Bohr has been described as one of the most influential scientists of the 20th century.

"We are all agreed that your theory is crazy. The question which divides us is whether it is crazy enough to have a chance of being correct. My own feeling is that it is not crazy enough." -Niels Bohr

It is in that spirit I often write my poetry. I guess it is up to you guys whether or not I succeed.

Bathing As Incantation

In my bath you show
as the bubbles from the soap
clinging to my form
as bubbles will do,
a cleansing film on my life,
washing confusion
out of my lank hair,
giving it waves, a fine sheen.

When I want trouble
that came here to me
unbidden and unwanted,
when I want trouble
to just go away,
that's the time I take you up
on your claims of joy.

That's the time I love you best.

July 1, 2011 12:40 PM
last line added 8:31 PM

last line courtesy of Donovan, though he wrote "that's the time I love the best."

When Einstein and Bohr got together in the heyday of the Copenhagen Interpretation, they sat and discussed the state of things. Einstein is reported to have exclaimed, "God does not play dice!"

It is perhaps apocryphal but possible that Bohr replied, "Don't tell God what to do with His dice!"

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