Friday, July 29, 2011

From where I stand

From where I stand this morning

…clouds bank every horizon lower, every

suggestion of clear movement hemmed and dimmed,

even the surface waters of the bay, even reflection

lulled to dispersions of histories of agitations

…the child raises the parent still unresolved,

still searching the roughened patchworks

for silvered slivers of light, for the breakthrough

the child must find for itself

…after the darkness, doves

sheltered among the leaves, collect

stories of distance

caused by pain claimed as one’s own

and of the healing wanting there.


All things ever, pass.

Yet, even the slightest shift

or pause is the whole.


Crow calls free a sky

trapped in the lamp-lighted room,

taking me along.


For the long haul, how it works

is something answered by each

life as it is being lived,

that living the transmission,

the only transmission that’s

needed to complete that life.

Though residual signals

stand to benefit

every one within their reach.


Solitary life?

Open a window—ideal

as oxymoron.



the bigger picture,

the one just so as it is

beyond the limitations

of perceived needs

the one

we are lived by and always

in relation to,

that remembrance

that living

of spontaneous care

of just what has been given

to one.

“Everything in my life

is my life.”

Ogui Sensei


Of liberation and grace

A fundamental principle

of liberated living

is expressed in the awareness that the larger questions

of context, of direction, of the conditions and time

for death, are beyond our control,

hands and heart set free

to care for and to tend to what needs to be done right here,

right now.

The fundamental principals

in the life of grace are

me and you.


Often, not always,

what needs most to be done, calls

a name not for ears.


Heavier worries,

like dead leaves, drop with each step.

Face into the wind.


Before its leaf life, what was it

I wonder, was it tree,

could we say limb or seed,

what of bud or root, or

those fine veins that stretch its tips

reaching for sun and sky?

What was its life before

this browned and crumpled one

that bounces and jumps

and calls out, its thinning voice low

across the roughened surface

of the street?

What before,

and what next?


Delightful. When all’s

been cleared

of the extraneous stuff

and dust

collected in the drift of


Positively delightful.

Once asked

the benefits of chanting


as practice, the old man


his forehead a bit,

brows up,

Its like taking out the garbage,

he says,

let it go too long,

and things

begin to stink.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Calistoga poems

Calistoga, off the main roads

To rest, delivered in the page, to deliver

to the page the mind making sense to itself

in words making sense of the world

making peace with itself

in words seeking ease,

tensionless harmonies

of sense and sound,

cured on the curl of the tongue

turned back around

to silence.

July 2


It’s a settled quiet, that of this place

of oaks and shrubs and sun-covered hills,

where the spread of wings claims currents

that cannot be seen,

where among the trees the only trace

trails the longest of the moss,

and that, imagined

before believed.

The perpetual push to peace

is of the mind.

Simply to notice, is enough

for the heart to know.

July 3


I could study, but morning openly invites such silence

as it layers dusts of light over brittle grasses, as it softens roughened barks

with its breath. I could study, I think, then know

that this that I do studies

what’s being done, not what we’ll do,

tends to the going, not to the where, follows

the quieted heart again

to the truth

of who we are, is

who we are with.

July 4


And further considerations, after the fact…

Curves, dots, straight lines linked

together, nothing holds true

enough to hold me--

even when sounded, words don’t

justify the felt.

Yet I keep at it,

day by day, pushing words out

into an always

receptive silence that takes

all that’s given, suggests all held back.

No wrong position,

no stance unacceptable,

free to move about

within an ever-changing

world, where the only password is yes.


Summer blooms,

despite the stretch of mists’

moist blanket, low

along the northern coast

--summer scents

and jacaranda blossoms--

multi-layered metaphors

for the unnamable magic, calling

the many things that are not

that, enabling the mind

to taste anew

what senses already know.