Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The new year--moving in


That glimmer of sunlight

in the distant window

to the west signaling

the coming of the sun

into the first-sent light

clearing shadows under

already clear blue skies.

Words occurring in relation,

things voiced and sounded and

joined therein—event—thoughtfeelings

revealing unfolding particularity celebrated,


Love—the urge to share

the heart-mind’s peace—poem.

*gleaned from the work of poet Cid Corman


We sit together in late December, watching light

slowly cover the hills to the west, awakened

in the time of giving

to the gift not recognized

till turmoil settles like the dew-like light

of this morning’s wintered sun.

Burdenless, the sustenance of this life’s blood

makes the world larger in its presence,

glimmer with irreversible trends

turned to vows that live in the very flow

we carry that liberates

endless streams of beings,

comforts passions,

teaches all that need be learned

to quiet the excited heart

to gladness.


And in the evening, the staccato return

of studied practice and focused effort gives way

to ease the full-throated song.

The self, a story of itself, need not be tamed

but the plot let to broaden beyond its borders—let the self be

to spin its tale

and let the real play begin.


As if the mind’s breath swoons

in the swiftness of unlimited possibility

to forget itself long enough to see

it survives without holding on.


We give ourselves into Buddha’s teaching

through those who have gone before,

returning that way

to the bedrock of all existences.


I’ve not been able to figure if fog has pushed out the night

or the morning in. But here we are.

The same might be said for religious practices

or for the words we live in, if indeed there’s a difference.

Whomever presumes too much specificity here,

loses credibility in these eyes, though trends might be revealed.

Such as effort. Not some hard goal, simply

honest engagement, really doing it.

“Real work,” we might say, movement meaningful

in the doing--meaning doing us.

Rumi’s teacher asked for a poem every day, which they

then studied—his words-life-understanding.

Each day “marked and made conscious.”

Attentions given, explored as is.

Have you ever noticed the silence that follows heartfelt chanting,

any undertaking done fully through,

body and mind unfolded of itself into rest?


From behind the stained glass, night sky

pushes colors forward, lamp light reflected,

at times careened in unseen angles

or sometimes held flat, lit as if found out

as opaque, yet refusing to speak of it—like rock

often does, taking all the sun has to offer,

hour after hour, without flinching,

without asking either less or more,

neither comfort nor praise.

Words begin to lose their grip here,

are best abandoned to open-handed intention,

to bared attention—everything before having led here,

nothing lost, all possibilities remain.


Certain inclinations, patterns over time,

define unique fluctuations

in the consciousness of our world.

The yellow rose from winter’s garden,

when leaves are to have fallen

to mark the time to prune.

A pink blossom too, on the altar,

a communal sensibility speaking soundlessly

below the scrolled calligraphy

the trusting heart.


The way friends along the way

help you through the rough spots

so that you return whole.

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