Wednesday, December 21, 2011

artist, come home

remember how bright it is,
the old rabbitbush by the hall light?

one of the blackberry vines has
reached all the way to the clothesline.

there isn't any way to keep
the kitchen window from tapping.

the tea kettle had one of its meditative
spells yesterday.

i am thinking again of that old
plan - breakfast first, then the newspaper.

they say maybe they won't have
that big war this year after all.

a frog is living under the
back step.

~ william stafford

Monday, December 19, 2011

sex, drugs and rock & roll

what would those be to a yogini..?
...i thought to myself as i stepped out of the shower...

sex would be the ecstatic asana
w/ a moderate dose of brahmacharaya ~
drugs would be the pranic winds, the amrit..the drops..
riding on the vehicle of breath ~
rock & roll would be stillness
infused with the sound of aum..

the same..only different..
there are many ways to kneel and kiss the ground

Sunday, December 18, 2011

solstice poultice

night in day*

the night never wants to end, to give itself over
to light. so it traps itself in things: obsidian, crows.
even on summer solstice, the day of light's great
triumph, where fields of sunflowers guzzle in the sun-
we break open the watermelon and spit out
black seeds, bits of night glistening on the grass
~ joseph stroud

i wrote to someone yesterday about the longest day coming..
it is the shortest day..yes?
it seems every day lasts a lifetime these days in night

o my o
the light yesterday
what tunnel did it escape from?
from dust to dust..
we are space particles..
we are cosmic dust bunnies..
we are night eating day..
day eating night..
eating crow!

visible light is electromagnetic radiation
whose wavelength falls within the range
to which the human retina responds,
i.e., between about 390 nm (violet light) and 740 nm (red).
white light consists of a roughly equal mixture
of all visible wavelengths,
which can be separated to yield the colors of the spectrum,
as was first demonstrated conclusively by newton.
in the 20th century it has become apparent
that light consists of energy quanta
called photons that behave partly
like waves and partly like particles.
the velocity of light in a vacuum is 299,792 km per second.

*a bird black as the sun
california poets on crows & ravens

Thursday, December 15, 2011

our mother of perpetual smiles

that is what i call my winter hat..
given as a gift a few seasons ago..
it is hot pink with fern green trim..
looks alot like dipsy's hat,
(the lime green teletubbie)
-cheque out their theme song-

the hat rises to a point like the buddha's ushnisha
and brings a smile to many a face..
cars driving by give me a thumbs up..
drivers mouth the words :
love your hat !
where did you get that hat?

what concerns me though..
even when i don't wear my fine hat..
people are smiling broadly as they see me..
it must be that my hair is sooo short
and my body is sooooo big..
with all my winter coats and vests and scarves..
i look like a pin-headed michelin man..bibendum ~
or a cone-headed pillsbury doughboy..poppin' fresh ~

no matter..
the world smiles when they see me coming..

as louis armstrong says:
when you're smilin'....keep on smilin'
the whole world smiles with you
and when you're laughin'....keep on laughin'
the sun comes shinin' through
and the whole world gonna smile with..
the great big world will smile with..
the whole wide world will smile with...... you!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

the road is life

traveling to india..
yet again..
in less than a month..
(for a month)
the 27th of decembre..

now the intention of packing..
of course, the desire to travel lightly..
in body and in spirit..
bringing gifts to friends..
shoes for high-tailing it..
warmth and coolness
as samuel johnson offers..
in traveling;
one must carry knowledge with them,
if one would bring home knowledge.

things i won't be taking include..
phone, laptop, plans and opinions..

i am heading to bodhgaya..
the holy site where the buddha sat and woke up..
often called vajrasana..the diamond throne..
it is believed that when the universe is finally destroyed,
this will be the last place to disappear
and the first place to re-form when the universe begins again.....

for my part, i travel not to go anywhere,
but to go.
i travel for travel's sake.
the great affair is to move;
to feel the needs and hitches of our life a little more nearly,
to get down off this feather-bed of civilization,
and to find the globe granite underfoot
and strewn with cutting flints.

~ robert louis stevenson

our battered suitcases were piled
on the sidewalk again;
we had longer ways to go.
but no matter, the road is life.

~ jack kerouac

Monday, December 12, 2011

guadalupe day

an indian named cuauhtlatohuac,
baptized as juan diego,
was on his way to a nearby barrio
to attend mass in honor of our lady.

he was walking by the hill, tepeyac,
when he heard beautiful music...
like the warbling of birds.
a radiant cloud appeared...
within it a young native american maiden ~

the lady spoke to him in his own language
and sent him to the bishop of mexico,
a franciscan named juan de zumarraga,
with a request to build a chapel
in the place where she appeared.

the bishop asked juan diego for a sign from the lady..
she met with juan diego again and offered roses for him
to carry to the bishop in his cape, his tilma.

when juan diego opened his tilma in the bishop’s presence,
the roses fell to the ground and the bishop sank to his knees...
on juan diego’s tilma appeared an image of guadalupe
exactly as she had appeared at the hill of tepeyac.
it was december 12, 1531.

the sweet mother of the americas...

we may petition her for great kindnesses ~
on our behalf..
on the behalf of all and every being..
may it be just so..
as we move into the light
we be that light....
our hearts explode into millions
of space particle luster clusters..
we awaken to the lord of all..
bowing to the very centre of our being ~
we get to do this..
over and over and over again..

Friday, December 9, 2011

what the crow said

though friendly to magic
i am not a man disguised as a crow.

i am night eating the sun.

~ michael hannon

and i..
doing my best
not to be a person..
being night
being sun
being anyone
but the one
i think i am ..

dissolve with me
scatter the fractors
of light into night
sun into one..

Sunday, December 4, 2011


everyone should be born into this world happy
and loving everything.
but in truth it rarely works that way.
for myself, i have spent my life clamoring toward it.
halleluiah, anyway i am not where i started!

and have you too been trudging like that, sometimes
almost forgetting how wondrous the world is
and how miraculously kind some people can be?
and have you too decided that probably nothing important
is ever easy?
not, say, for the first sixty years.

halleluiah, i'm sixty now, and even a little more,
and some days i feel i have wings.

~ mary oliver

Friday, December 2, 2011

amor caritas

the master of the two dogs,
raja and beauty, told me this morning
that they love attention..
who doesn't?

isn't that it..
we love being attended to,
intended to..

augustus saint-gaudens
did a bronze sculpture
of feminine beauty as a symbol
of the greatest measure of humankind..
our potential for selfless giving to others..
our exalted capacity for amor caritas

where charity and love are, there god is.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


9 out of 10..
well, maybe 8 out of 11
humanoids enjoy being spoken to / with..
unless they are plugged in and switched on..
then they don't even know they are spoken to...
once they find out that you are not out to harm them
or want anything from them..
they start moving at the speed of light..

i will use anything as a door way..a portal
to connect with them..
those look like very cozy boots ~
what a head of hair you have ~
where did you get those earrings? ~
that is a dandy smile on your face ~
what brand of dog is that? ~
where are your's cold... ~

they start dazzling and glowing and shimmering..
the conversation heats up and our hearts get warm..
by the time we pass one another, we are twinkling on all our cylinders..
it is a miracle!

my out on the street every morning..
with a gleam in his eye and a smile on his lips..
we always greet one another with our bright highbeams..
one morning, i gave him a handful of hersey's kisses..
to sweeten his day, of course..
so this morning, i offered him a tri-fold dollar..
he didn't want to take it..
c'mon..a cuppa coffee..
he winked and received the buck..

on my return, i see him at the table at mc d's..
facing the street..
he stands up and bows with his cup in hand..
i bow back..
we are golden ~

open the door..
it's warm in here..
moving at the speed of bright..

Friday, November 25, 2011

glow little glow....

i see it..
this luminosity..
on the wrist of a woman in the grocery line..
the wag of the tail of a beagle i know..
the conversation of two ravens in tall tree tops..
i see the listening..the sound..the glow..
electricity..glowing from the toe of a polished boot..
the boot of a soldier...
electric green from boughs of pine and cedar..
the radiance off the lid of starbucks coffee ..
the sheen of almonds soaking in water..
the blush of a cat's whiskered surprise..
the glow in the mush of crush mustard leaves..
i am it..
glow little glow warm

Monday, November 21, 2011

thanks giving

If the only prayer
you ever say in your entire life
is thank you,
it will be enough...

~ meister ekhart

Sunday, November 13, 2011

running instructions


don't fight the trail ~

~ caballo blanco

Friday, November 11, 2011


o sing praises to the veteran rainier
who stands as tehoma.. as tadasana..all ways..

praises to the rosegoldblue cloud ceiling
that announces hallelujah! to this day..

praises to the crisp wind that rustles the leaves
that sing the praises to those singing praises..

praises to the clickety-clack of sail boat
contraptions that wave on the sound, the sea..

praises to the feet of all the beings high tailing it
down the sidewalk... cyclers, runners, walkers..

praises to the salt on my lips.
the honey on my tongue,
the growl in my belly..

praises to the big empty
that fills the galaxy with praises...
this is the only day ~

Thursday, November 10, 2011

entering the shell

love is alive,
and someone borne along by it is more alive
than lions roaring or men in their fierce courage.

bandits ambush others on the road.
they get wealth, but they stay in one place.

lovers keep moving, never the same,
not for a second.

what makes others grieve, they enjoy.
when they look angry, do not believe their faces.
it is like spring lightning, a joke before the rain.

they chew thorns thoughtfully,
along with pasture grass.
gazelle and lioness having dinner.

love is invisible except here, in us.
sometimes i praise love. sometimes love praises me.

love, a little shell somewhere
on the ocean floor, opens its mouth.

you and i and we, those imaginary beings,
enter the shell as a single drop of water.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

true wealth

all this is full. all that is full.
from fullness, fullness comes.
when fullness is taken from fullness,
fullness still remains.

om shanti, shanti, shanti

~ upanishads

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


every so every i am certain
i have written my last post for the blog..
chanting one of nancy's favorite mantras..
who cares?

god does not care.
and not only does god not care,
god does not care one way or the other...

~ lawrence durrell

i have been praised -
you should write a book!
and blamed -
never. ever. never.
use a person's real name

liked - disliked
famed - disgraced..

sun strikes mountain glory..
aire gushes vitality..
leaves puddle pools of brilliant crispies.. i go again..

settling down to peck away at keys ~
getting the world off my chest..
out and out and out ..
rippling into the big vast..

where who cares and no one cares..
one way or another..

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

el dia de los muertos

what is death?

it is the glass of life
broken into a
thousand pieces,
where the soul disperses
like perfume from a flask,
into the silence of the eternal night.
~author unknown

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


it's just as i said..
my habit of thinking is thinking me..

is ritual a habit?

an action arising from convention or habit = ritual

a settled or regular tendency or practice,
esp. one that is hard to give up = habit


it seems that ritual is often connected with religion
and that habit is often connected with baaaad...

do i have a habit of walking every morning?
drinking tea?
practicing asana?
sitting quietly?

or are those rituals?

do i make a ritual of writing e-mails?
picking my teeth?
lighting candles for folks?
taking refuge when i see a helicopter?

or are those habits?


only the gnome knows...
or knot.....

one bad habit

here's my routine, i have retired
from the late scene
when midnight rings i'm in bed listening
i wake up at five; run by the river
till the sunrise as ev'ry body knows,
i'm disciplined

i just have one bad habit, only
one bad habit
yes i do, yes indeed i do
i just have one bad habit, only
one bad habit and it's you..
~ michael franks

the habit that inhabits me the most is thought..
the habit of thought..
the rabid, habit of thought..
and not only thought for thought's sake..
thought as creating a self..
a person..
a me..
the habit of me..
one bad habit..
and it's me!

as i move through the streets of seattle..
it is apparent that habit is rampant..
drinking..alcohol, coffee..plastic water..
and afterwards, the habit of littering..
the remains of the day..and night..

how about shopping?
consuming, dooming all that stuff
to come home and live with me !

cell there's a habit..
everyone is talking, listening..
reaching out ..
there is a woman i met
who uses the cell phone
as protection -
when she walks to work in the early hours,
she pretends to speak with someone..

will shakespere says:
nothing is either good nor bad,
but thinking makes it so..
~ hamlet

so when does a habit turn bad?
when we make it so..
ah! so!

also from hamlet..
to be or not to be
me.. the habit of me..
thinking makes it so!

Monday, October 31, 2011


was the first ~
this all hallow's eve..
then gumby & pokey..
a purple crayola,
a yellow m and m..
a prison guard w/ prison rollers..
(coke cans..who knew?)
a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow..

when the leaves, by thousands thinned,
a thousand times have whirled in the wind,
and the moon, with hollow cheek,
staring from her hollow height,
consolation seems to seek
from the dim, reechoing night;
and the fog-streaks dead and white
lie like ghosts of lost delight
o'er highest earth and lowest sky;
then, autumn, work thy witchery!

george parsons lathrop

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

may i introduce you...?

to a morning stroll down alaskan way..
good and chilly this early am..
before the dawn warms up the streets..
bones are as cool as a grave digger..

red rose holds on to her beauty for yet another day ~
joined by yellow blush peace rose.. fully bloomed..
another bud soon to follow..
the street sleepers are still tucked into their grey woolies ..
some so tightly curled,
one might think that a wee child is snuggled there..

bob is the first i see..
a white-haired, braided-beard gent with a guitar..
he always wears the pin of our lady of guadalupe..
the queen of the americas..he says..
the empress who showed herself to juan diego..
nuestra senora de guadalupe
our patroness...

along the way, the alaskan way..
every morning... a most joyful good morning
offered from lerone..cheerful and full of vim..
he cheques out the trash bins for recycling..

right near the fire department and ivar's-
mark, with a 'k'... reading webster's dictionary..
to uplevel his vocab..

after i reach the footpath,
i bow to the red cedar tlingit totem pole
and touch the feet of strong boy..

eagle on top, crowning the pole ~
brown bear holding a "tinnah", a money piece..
killer whale carries tenacity and great strength-
hawk, sharp eyes into the future..
brave grizzly bear holding mosquito to warn us ~ all is not easy
and...strong boy..
strong boy was ridiculed as being a dolt and lazy..
strong boy practiced in secret..
when his uncle was swallowed by sea lion,
all the other nephews ran...
strong boy seized sea lion by the tail and tore it in half!
his uncle stepped out alive.

strong boy offers me something each daybreak..
solitary refinement..secret practice..inner strength..

i imagine strong boy and our lady guadalupe
having a starbucks every morning..
immersed in a heart to heart about the
state of the art of the hearts of men..

on my way back..
i stop by the john t. williams totem..
drop a tri-fold dollar in the donation basket..
say g'day to david, the night watchman..

it is light, by the time i reach my door..
a bit steamy from the pace i keep..
my heart is mind is cool ~
a perfect way to launch the clear cool day

Monday, October 24, 2011


sea of sound..
ocean of autos
still now ~

construction workers
dressed in orange
bizybee trucks..
traffic 'copters buzzing

demolition derby

mild morning
seattle wakes up
coffee mudra

homeless huddling
near pillars
gone, gone..

gate gate para gate

a bundle of blanket
who's in there?
anybody home..less?

snap of a finger,
palm open..
wide open


Friday, October 21, 2011

whole in the wall

you have heard of flying with wings,
but can you fly without wings?
you have heard of the knowledge that knows,
but can you practice
the knowledge that doesn't know?

consider a window: it is just
a hole in the wall, but because of it
the whole room is filled with light.
thus, when the mind is open
and free of its own thoughts,
life unfolds effortlessly,
and the whole world is filled with light.

~ chuang tzu

rumi says today:
i am weary of personal worrying,
in love with the art of madness.

i had a card printed up eons ago..
nomadic arts
wanting to express just that..
the art of madness..
the madness of love..
liberated of/from the person
who broods and stews about..
what ~
the future?
the past mishaps?
the now is the i don't know

practicing the knowledge that doesn't know
offers a whole wall of no-thought..
not believing anythink ~

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


only one..
one rose red petaled out to say, hey !
the sweet bouquet powdered the mountain good morning
the street man sleeping like he was dead..
his beard shining up the sunrise
snestled under the one red rose ~ pedaling hey ~

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

cross stitch

ram dass tells this story..
once when he was lecturing about
awakening, bliss, LSD and wisdom,
a little old lady in the front row
kept nodding and bobbing her head
in agreement to everything he was saying..
after the talk, he found he had to speak
with this elder to see just what her story was..
he asked her:
you seem to know exactly what i am talking about..
please, tell me about your practices..
she nodded, smiled and winked,
patting his arm -
i crochet!

i am attempting a cross stitch sampler
that my mama began many years ago..
it says-
the place where we
grumble the most
and are treated
the best

a meditation tool, to be sure..
sitting still, focusing..
breathing mindfully..
threading a needle is a lesson in patience~
all the qualities required
for a fine contemplative sit..
the place where we grumble the most..
and are treated the best..

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

what's not here

i start on this road,
call it love or emptiness.
i only know what's not here.

resentment seeds, backscratching greed,
worrying about outcome, fear of people.

when a bird gets free,
it does not go back for remnants
left on the bottom of the cage.

close by, i'm rain. far off,
a cloud of fire. i seem restless,
but i am deeply at ease.

branches tremble. the roots are still.
i am a universe in a handful of dirt,
whole when totally demolished.

talk about choices does not apply to me.
while intelligence considers options,
i am somewhere lost in the wind.
~ rumi

wind - this morning..
my cap, whisked away twice..
the moon was swaddled and stripped..
swaddled and the breezy clouds of fire..
finally held in a palm of cloudcover..
then billowy strands..unwinding..
the round of lunar bright
sank into the dawn seachurn..

waves have to let go..
they cannot stay in form when they reach the rocks..
they must demolish themselves..
fearlessly ~
in order to wave again..
again, again, again..

what a bountiful universe!
jamming our pockets
every nano-second
with just enough..
i have heard it said:
to live fearlessly is to live fully..

not heedlessness~

i eat it for breakfast ...

Monday, October 10, 2011

a day is vast

a day is vast.
until noon.
then it’s over.

yesterday’s pondwater
braided still wet in my hair.
i don’t know what time is.

you can’t ever find it.
but you can lose it.
~ joan hirshfield

john t. williams
memorial totem pole project

remembre the native carver who was shot
while crossing the street in seattle
august 30th, 2010?

i've been eyeing this project for months now..
down on the waterfront..
the native carvers have finished the grande pole
commissioned by the mayor's office..?
a quandary - where to place it ..
and when...
it was scheduled to go up on
john.t's death day..2011..
the carvers say the date has been changed..
too much energy around it..
the news on the street is-
the seattle center..february 27th..
john t.'s birthday

it is a handsome piece of art..
may it find its resting place soon...

golden arches
i have never eaten at mcdonald's
though a friend of mine adores the fries..
i admit to tasting them!

what a cozy place in the early hours..
many folks sitting at the tables
with their coffee and newspaper..
homeless, perhaps..
commuters waiting for the ferry boat..
cab drivers..
waking up under the arches of gold..

when i reached up for the rail
to stride the steps of the bus yesterday,
i placed my hand atop of earl's gloved fingers..
i excused myself and sat down beside him,
he smiled wide and rich..
'i haven't been touch by a woman in years'
we laughed and he put his arm around me..
'how about a hug, too?'
i leaned into him, laughing ~
the bus load grinned..

earl proceeded to ask me
to meet him for a cuppa downtowne..
prefacing it with a query
about a husband or a boyfriend..
in such cases, i always refer to my pal ricardo..
as a special friend..and he is and we are..
(though he is happily married)

i declined kindly ..

the bus driver piped in..
hey earl, isn't this your stop?
he's chatting me up..i said to the driver..
earl hopped off beaming and the bus went on its route..

job hunting
i be looking for work..
haven't written a resume in 35 years..
have no skills to speak of..
feeling my oats and my olde
yet entering the stream of endless possibilities
hey now...
a day is vast

Saturday, October 8, 2011

bread of life...

i live right behind the bread of life mission..
in pioneer seattle..
sandwiched between the viaduct and the mission..
in the very thick, thickest of it all..
a year in the life of my years..
to be here and see what mischief i can make..
or find myself in...

living on a wing and a prayer..
sandwiched right in the center
of the heart feathers and the longing..
right in the center of the i don't know

we often make knowns for ourselves, eh?..
so my known for now is a year in seattle..
smack in betwixt the bread and the duct -
other than this..and this too is wibbly ..
i know not a nothing..

every morning before dawn
i head to myrtle edwards park..
about 75 minutes away..
the shade of cloudsky rises ~ just enough ~
for the olympics to peek out
and for tehoma, mt. rainier..the mountain..
thee cascade.. to present his very self-self..
snowlight glints a shimmer..
~just enough ~ to make me gasp and bow..

the homeless ones are beginning to stir..
the wooly blankets are moving and groaning..
rumpled shoes, set out.. awaiting feet..
plastic bags to ensure dry..
last night's empties lined up like piano keys..
shopping carts loaded to hippopotamus..
dogs yawning and wimpering awake..

the path along the water edge is discipline for:
the petite blonde running with her prancing wolf dog,
the huff-puff man in green tee shirt.. jogging by ..
a dignified elder with his hand weights and flicker light..
chatting duos of women friends..
back-pack fella walking heavy ..smiling good-morning..
morning cyclists heading from ballard-
morning cyclists heading to ballard..
their miner's lights heading straight for me!
always the dark shape sleeping under the immense rock display..
shipworkers, construction workers..
gulls, tiny tweets, crows..
maybe salmon in the deep drink...

having stepped into their morning ritual,
i am fed..
the bread..
a year's worth of nourishment..
the bread of life...

Friday, September 30, 2011

sitting by the open window

as every night

tomorrow's moon is hiding
behind the clouds
of yesterday

then a cool breeze
lifts the shadow of thought

your emotions huddle together
waiting for direction
ready to go
or surrender

this growing silence
eats you


~ bhikkhu abhinando

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

autumn poem by rilke...

lord, it is time. the summer was too long.
lay now thy shadows over the sundials,
and on the meadows let the winds blow strong.

bid the last fruit to ripen on the vine;
allow them still two friendly southern days
to bring them to perfection, and to force
the final sweetness in the heavy wine.

who has no house now will not build him one
who is alone now will be long alone,
will waken, read, and write long letters
and through the barren pathways up and down
restlessly wander when dead leaves are blown.

~ translation / c.f. macintyre

rilke was not from the great northwest -
where any day of summer is not long enough..
when summer days are joined together..
still not long enough!

Monday, September 26, 2011

field notes

the only purpose of being here
is to be here ~
yet very few of us ever get here.

the less
there is of you
the more places you can be
at once.

if you turn inside out,
what is not within?

every time we allow
ourselves to be seen,
another human being wakes up.

who we think we are is a product
of the false imagination
of the past.

don't live in the memory pattern
of comparison.

many of us suffer
from thought-hangovers.

put your talents to good use,
then you will have no rubble
on your head when you die.

reshad feild
footprints in the sand

Saturday, September 24, 2011

apple season

flame apples

little hot apples of fire,
burst out of the flaming stem
of my heart,
i do not understand how you quickened and grew,
and you amaze me
while i gather you.

i lay you, one by one,
upon a table.
and now you seem beautiful and strange to me,
and i stand before you,

~ amy lowell


Friday, September 23, 2011

hair-do's and don'ts

i consult the tibetan calendar
when it is time for a hair-do..
the calendar offers up the results of
getting one's hair sheared on the
different days of the lunar calendar..
my pelt was shorn today ..
the outcome is well-being..

on other days you may end up
with these consequences -
strife and quarrels, slander,
sickness, short life..(and hair!)

some days offer these results-
auspiciousness, increase in virtue,
intelligence, greater wang tang..
(be careful on that last one!)

great power is woven
within the threads of our heads..
remembre samson..
whose vow was not to cut his hair
nor take the taste of vine..

many claim i am superstitious
when it comes to my shear date..
i hold it sacred and honor the day..
the power is transformed..not betrayed..
(as in samson's case..)
short it may be.. it carries energy..
it covers the roof of my head
like turf on a island cottage..
the time to prune is held holy..
yet not too precious...

no bad hair days..
that's my intent
no bad days...

refugio's hair
~alberto ríos

in the old days of our family,
my grandmother was a young woman
whose hair was as long as the river.
she lived with her sisters on the ranch
la calera--the land of the lime--
And her days were happy.
but her uncle carlos lived there too,
carlos whose soul had the edge of a knife.
one day, to teach her to ride a horse,
he made her climb on the fastest one,
bareback, and sit there
as he held its long face in his arms.
and then he did the unspeakable deed
for which he would always be remembered:
he called for the handsome baby pirrín
and he placed the child in her arms.
with that picture of a madonna on horseback
he slapped the shank of the horse's rear leg.
the horse did what a horse must,
racing full toward the bright horizon.
but first he ran under the álamo trees
to rid his back of this unfair weight:
this woman full of tears
and this baby full of love.
when they reached the trees and went under,
her hair, which had trailed her,
equal in its magnificence to the tail of the horse,
that hair rose up and flew into the branches
as if it were a thousand arms,
all of them trying to save her.
the horse ran off and left her,
the baby still in her arms,
the two of them hanging from her hair.
the baby looked only at her
and did not cry, so steady was her cradle.
her sisters came running to save them.
but the hair would not let go.
from its fear it held on and had to be cut,
all of it, from her head.
from that day on, my grandmother
wore her hair short like a scream,
but it was long like a river in her sleep.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

the nothing of roselight

death comes, and what we thought
we needed loses importance.

the living shiver, focused
on a dark muscular hand,
rather than the glowing cup it holds
or the toast being proposed.

in that same way love enters
your life, and the I, the ego,
a corrupt, self-absorbed king,
dies during the night.

let him go.
breathe in the cold air,
the nothing of roselight.


Thursday, September 15, 2011


california.. central coast..
drippy.. wet with mist of sea-
the fog rolls in and stays put..
the days are grey and cool..
except when they aren't ..
which is every 9th day or so..

it is good weather
for clearing and cleaning..
for letting go..
here with my long ago pal
from the earlies..
to shift the energies..
clear the stale ..
open her house to life
in the now..

resting my head
in the del monte forest..
at the home of another long ago pal
and his beauty from the earlies..
hanging ten with their dog, tika...
a most inspiring shepherd
of great wisdom and pull..
(her sis, tashi is away for training..)
and 6 cats to purr with
when their owners fly off
to naples for a visit to vesuvius..

sammy, the maine coon..
is the main squeeze of the house..

here's a tail about the breed..
captain charles coon,
an english mariner,
kept long-haired cats aboard his ship...
whenever coon's vessel would anchor
in new england harbours,
the felines would scamper off the boat
to mate with the local feral cats....
long-haired kittens began popping up
in litters of the township's cat population~
hence dubbed: 'coon's cats.'

the 5 feral cats have been
moved to the house on the hill
from the horse barn..
happy not to be a meal
for late night predators..
there is:
grige..short for grigio..
smorf and bibi..
home sweet home..

at the equinoxes..
when day and night
are near equal in length..
great change is apaw..
the fog lifts..
the mists part..

seeds that were planted have blossomed ..
the season of change re-arranges..voila!
harvest time ~
a crop of cats,
a yield of space,
a vintage of fresh..
pristine awareness is spry and awake..
the broom sweeps the brume..

clear sailing!

Monday, September 12, 2011

you reading this, be ready

starting here, what do you want to remember?
how sunlight creeps along a shining floor?
what scent of old wood hovers, what softened
sound from outside fills the air?

will you ever bring a better gift for the world
than the breathing respect that you carry
wherever you go right now? are you waiting
for time to show you some better thoughts?

when you turn around, starting here, lift this
new glimpse that you found; carry into evening
all that you want from this day. this interval you spent
reading or hearing this, keep it for life -

what can anyone give you greater than now,
starting here, right in this room, when you turn around?

~ william stafford

Sunday, September 11, 2011


septembre 11

dance, when you are broken open.
dance, if you've torn the bandage off.
dance in the middle of the fighting.
dance in your blood.
dance, when you are perfectly free.

a year with rumi
daily readings
~coleman barks

Saturday, September 10, 2011

what is contemplation?

the knowing that arises
above and beyond
the process of thinking.
it leads to
not being fooled
by thinking anymore...

~ven. ajahn chah

in all our actions..
sitting, walking, standing and lying down..
are we bamboozeled by thought?
do we take ourselves out of the present..
meaning ..
do we take ourselves out of our very own life
by meandering down the labyrinth lanes of thought?

i do..says the bride..married to thought..

the everyday practice is simply to develop
complete acceptance and openness to all
situations and emotions, and to all people,
experienceing totally without mental
reservations and blockages, so that one
never withdraws or centralizes
into oneself.

~ dilgo khyentse rinpoche

thinking is the movement of mind.....
the ground -
(where all this roiling takes place)
- is the real mind..
the just is..
this is our true home..where our very life abides..
no movement..
no coming or going..
no birth, no death..

we use the movement of the mind
to contemplate the nature of mind..
to re-cognize the suchness..
less and less affected ..
no longer hoodwinked by thought..

resting in spaciousness..ground..
rather than the rampage of thought-

if recognition happens simultaneous with thought..
we are self-liberated in the moment..
in the middle of our very life...

make it so!

Thursday, September 8, 2011


this bright harvest moon
keeps me walking all night long
around the little pond


harvest moon...
plucking the bright
from the night sky
~ our heart pockets
brimming with brilliance..
shall we bask?

Sunday, September 4, 2011


the avenue of the giants

crowding the olde highway south..
winding the narrow roadway ~
giant trees..towering, upright lofty red wood trees..
the ents..the giants..
the ancient venerables; allies of the humanoids ~
speaking clearly in their silent stands..
their groves of wisdom and sagaciousness..
elder sages of the forest and woodland..

hiway 101 south..
the aire is full and empty..
the shadows.. bright with sun sketches..
each tree holding centre in sovereignty..
transmitting clarity cell by cell to all and any
...who slow the route to listen..
to quiet in to the reverence it takes to hear..
ears open..wide open..flared like bull's nostrils..
tingling with awake..
now and always..
no time for ones' own story.. present..
listen this awake..
nothing to hold as your own..
instead..transparency please..
beeeeee with us..beeee with theeeee...

awe is inarticulate...
the most reverent of feelings-
one senses, when one is in awe..
that yes!..we are human..
our mind, our heart is dwarfed by what it meets,
we cannot capture it in a set of beliefs..
~ we had best keep our mouth shut..
our mind open..while awaiting further mysteries...

where does the time gooooooo?

slip-sliding away..
yet where to go ~
still traveling the ribbon of hiway..
down to california..
from the 60's 'til this very now..
how many road trips south...?
back and here again..

Friday, August 19, 2011

letting go


it has always been a most delightful thing
for me to sell oodles of stuff
that seems to accumulate
in cupboards, closets, under stairways..
to offer stuff to goodwill, soroptimist, st.paul's
to unstuff the stuff that stuff stuffs up...

it is my vision
to have so little stuff when i die,
that no one will
have to fiddle-dee-dee with stuff..
since i am getting older..
closer to my death day..
we know that death is certain
yet not the time of death

it makes perfect sense
to be on the trajectory
of unstuffing stuff..

i remembre a scene from the movie -
the razor's edge..
the newer one with bill murray..
how he went up to the himalayas..
up, up into the snowy peaks..
with his bag of books..
he ended up..
ripping out the pages of books
to use as kindling/firewood..
to keep warm..
the smile of understanding on his face was..

then there are clothes..
i know, i know..
ricardo montaban says:
it is better to look good than to feel good!
& he may have something there..
yet how much, how many..
i have waaaay too many shoes..
how many feet do i have?
in india.. moons ago,
i was in the market
with a teacher and friend..
we were shopping for hats..
i wanted more than one..of course..
he simply said..
how many heads do you have?
i bought two..
.... two heads!

kitchen stuff..
dishes, silver, pots and pans..
bedding..sheets and pillows..
we must have more than one head..
all those best western hotels
have at least four pillows on each bed..
and a few more in the closet!

bags and baskets..and boxes..
these come in very handy
to put all the stuff
that stuff needs to be stuffed in...

being homeless..
relatively speaking..
bags are invaluable..
bag it.. in the bag..
i have baskets full of boxes and boxes full of bags..

i have only one car, one bike..
that's a relief..
no boats, or motorcycles or rv's..
one phone, one laptop, one printer..
one electric tea kettle ~

too much stuff..
too much energi thinking about stuff..
unstuff the mind....
tea..that's it..
time for a cuppa..

drinking a cup of tea,
i unstuffed the world

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

how to give money away and why...

first off,
decide how much you want to give away for a day..
turn the cash into one dollar bills..
then fold all the 1$ bills three times..
this is the number of manifestation..
so i'm told..
by folding it thrice, it offers the recipient
the opportunity for manifesting more...
then, buy your copy of REAL CHANGE..
just so that is over and done with..
every time the real change vendor
comes onto you, you can smile broadly
and show him/her your copy..
then buy a few for the people waiting at the crosswalk..
just for fun..

make it fun..
will you give money to the 3rd person who requests?
will you give money to everyone who asks until the well runs dry?
will you be selective as to the colour of their eyes?
i make a point NOT to give it to someone who is scamming me..
i tell them to get real and maybe..just maybe..
i'll think about delivering a manifesting buck ..
i slip one in the palm of a sleeping lady heaped up on a light post,
i give one to the first nation carver on the waterfront,
to the fella who wants a burger but really a beer...

whenever you yourself are feeling low on cash..
this is the very best time to give away money..
particularly those 3 way one spots!

and why?
the only answer i know..
why not?

in paris a queer little man you may see,
a little man all in gray;
rosy and round as an apple is he,
content with the present whate'er it may be,
while from care and from cash he is equally free,
and merry both night and day!
'ma foi! i laugh at the world,' says he,
'i laugh at the world, and the world laughs at me!'
what a gay little man in gray.
- pierre jean de beranger

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

inuk shook angel glacier

in her own words

great things happen when (wo)men and mountain meet...
~ blake

i could hear them coming..feel them step, step, stepping
before i saw them..the two twins of sintaluta..
the tail of the red fox..
the width of their smiles gave their whereabouts to me..
the weight of their sandaled feet..
the mischief in their hearts..

snestled in under mount edith cavell
in the largest national park in the canadian rockies..jasper..
i hang my wings which are slowly melting..slowingflowing
back to the waters of grace..
named for my angel wings and high holy hum presence,
i offer a stretch and a breath to visitors who awe! at edith mountain,
who rest around the pale bleu turquoise pool below us both..
the fresh water gathered from melt..

i digress..
as i made mention..

the energi the two girls carried announced their presence..
my eyes wide open to see what was heading my way...
then i heard the yellow head...

we must build inukshuk here..
we must stack the stone
we must place the rock
to claim the brilliance
of such a place....

the dark head hesitated as the yellow head
jumped off the path and began
the shift,
the move of rock to pile..
dark one..smiled..i could hear her smile..
jumped off the path to put her three cents in...
quick as pikas they created a most pleasant inukshuk..
small, tender and awake..
the stack presenting an honor
of mountain
of majesty
of jesty...

they jumped back on the path..
aha! acha! the response from my left wing ventricle.....
for i could not help myself ..
as the wise ones say:
a candle flickers in tibet,
every time i move..

the avalanche began right on time, in time, out of time...
slow, loud, magnificent..
the stones of ice and tumble found the path
down, down, down..
the rush and flush of weighty wet,
rime rock glace'
gushing down the distance
lashing, crashing
while the fox kits watched in astonishing amazement..
the other onlookers looking on in wonderment
down, down, down..
bursting plentifully
the great bleu indescribable colour of ice turned water
cascading.. solid for stream
the dream of inukshuk..
one move of a rock or two or six..
and the world turns awake..
mother, dear mother nature
remodeled.. uncoddled.. spew! anew!

delighted by the caring and the daring of two tricksters
who played in the bigtime with joy o boy..
i'd have to say..
they made my day..
i happen to know..
i made their way ~

Sunday, August 7, 2011

clear seeing...

someone who sees you
and does not laugh out loud,
or fall silent,
or explode into pieces,
is nothing more than
the cement and stone
of his own prison...


Saturday, August 6, 2011

away ~

the cycle which includes
our coming and going
has no discernible
beginning nor end;
nobody has got this matter straight -
where we come from
and where we go to....

~ rubaiyat of omar khayyam

Thursday, August 4, 2011

here, there and everywhere....

....the past has not passed away
but is eternally preserved somewhere
or other
continues to be real and really influential
is so closely interwoven
that separation is only approximate......

~ pavel florensky

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

stacking stone..

today was our last day traveling through the province of ontario..
marilyn and i decided to build a small inukshuk (inuksuk) ~
honoring first nations..bidding adieu to mother lake superior....

inukshuk is a stone figure..
the inuit make inuksuit (plural)
in different forms for different purposes..
to show directions to travellers,
to warn of impending danger,
to mark a place of respect,
to act as helpers in the hunting of caribou,
to guide travellers ..home..

stone figures were made
all over the world in ancient times;
the arctic is one of the few places
where they still stand...
and all along the trans-canada hiway in ontario....

we had stopped for a picnic lunch..yes!
we found a table..many tables..
on the bank of eagle lake..
just as we were finishing our carrots, hummus and pumpernickel,
we were greeted and blessed by a family from afghanistan..
now living in canada..toronoto.. vancouver..

after piling our inuksuk on the stone outcroppings,
we offered our intent and prayer..
that all peoples will find their way home..
that all peoples will snestle in the home of their very own hearts..
that all peoples will recollect one another..
and know them as themselves..

an inukshuk can be small or large,
a single rock, several rocks balanced on each other,
round boulders or flat stones...
our inuksuk was misshappen, wobbly and handsome..
looking like a crooked olde coot..
ordinary and extraordinary..
we saluted him as we drove away...

inuit tradition forbids the destruction of inuksuit...

let's take a better look
beyond a story book
and learn our souls are all we own
before we turn to stone

let's go to sleep with clearer heads
and hearts too big to fit our beds
and maybe we won't feel so alone
before we turn to stone

i know that i am nothing new
there's so much more than me and you
but brother how we must atone
before we turn to stone

~ ingrid michaelson

Monday, July 25, 2011

o canada....

how refreshing!
not every single everything is made in china..
what a surprise!
in fact, every much of everything is made in canada...
because of that ..
it is somehow more relaxing to be....even...
there seems to be tension with things made in china..
not only because of tibet..
it runs deeper than that..
perhaps we have stripped ourselves
of the work ethic...the integrity...
that came over with the mayflower..
i didn't realize the tension was present..
until it wasn’t..
very interesting, indeed!

o canada....

ontario is menonite country..
black bonnets on their way to church..
horse and buggy sharing the road ~
no shopping, selling, or working on sunday..

o canada...

just how big is lake superior?
o my o..
it is the world's largest lake by surface..
the world's third largest lake by volume..
it is one big lake!
and it is fantabulous..
the surrounding hills and rock formations are stunners..

o canada...

where are your rest stops?
we were aching for a picnic table
to munch our lunch on..
very few and far between...
so we bought ourselves a campsite for ...
oooo..7 & 3/4 minutes..
the entire population of canadian mosquitoes
were dining in that very spot..
we were eaten for our own lunch -
we still have dots to show for it...

the first nations, hockey rinks,
pickering, moose, rivers, lakes,

Sunday, July 24, 2011

love one another....

~ love all god’s creation, the whole and every grain of it . . . .
if you love everything,
you will perceive the divine mystery in things.
once you perceive it,
you will begin to comprehend it better every day.... will come at last to love
the whole world with an all-embracing love...
~ dostoevsky..
the brothers karamazov

Saturday, July 23, 2011

c'est bon la vie!

where to begin?
charm.. allure ..razzle-dazzle

imagine this ~
cirque du soleil !!!!
offered chapter three of les chemins invisibles..
le royaume de tôle... olivier dufour..director..
it is a free urban cabaret which takes place under a freeway!
for the last three years, cirque du soleil has been investing
in the saint-roch neighbourhood,
calling on various directors
to draw inspiration from the Îlot fleurie space
to create a most unique, innovative, inspiring outdoor extravaganza..
it is about three tribes from separate cultures
who meet to share one another's experiences...
cirque du soleil has two more years..two more summer shows..

maybe 1000 people or more..
locals and tourists
wheelchairs and walkers..
children and grannies...
the crowd was ever so respectful ..
awed by the performers, the elaborate sets..each other..

high energy, blaring music, megatons of talent..
we were mesmerized..transported to heaven only knows where..
for about an hour of enchantment...

all this.. after a walkabout in olde quebec..
founded in of the oldest cities in north america..
the french (canadians) are very kind-hearted and generous..
never let anyone tell you differently...

c'est bon la vie!
c'est ca!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

how does your garden grow....?

relaxing back at whippoorwill after DC
a day & two before the westward-ho trip
across canada with my cousin, marilyn..

the garden has sprouted up..
broccoli in the salads already..
fresh basil and herbs join in..
the corn is knee high, at least..
fresh blueberries in our pancakes!

cultivating my own patch... of laundry,
i must have been a dhobi-wala*
in my last many incarnations..
reveling in hanging clothes on the line..
the gentle whip of a muggy breeze
on dhotis and tee shirts..
and yes, yes.. clothespins..

it was too hot and humid to move
so we draped ourselves like dripping syrup
over anything horizontal in the screened-in porch..
~ dubbed porchville by donna ~
we spoke of random kindnesses that open the heart..
listened to one another take turns snoring the afternoon tunes,
every dog present to witness our musings
while the garden kept pushing up dirt to feed the farm....

i used to visit and revisit it a dozen times a day,
and stand in deep contemplation over my vegetable progeny
with a love that nobody could share or conceive of
who had never taken part in the process of creation.
it was one of the most bewitching sights in the world
to observe a hill of beans thrusting aside the soil,
or a rose of early peas just peeping forth sufficiently
to trace a line of delicate green...

~nathaniel hawthorne
mosses from an old manse

* laundry person in india

Friday, July 15, 2011

six perfections

ah! the six perfections..
generosity ...the four types of giving..
~ giving the dharma
~ offering protection
~ supplying material goods
~ providing fearlessness

the ten virtuous actions...
3 of the body..
no killing
no stealing
no sexual mis-conduct
4 of the speech
no lying
no gossip
no divisive speech
no harsh speech
3 of the mind
non- malicious
not holding wrong views

the bodhicaryavatara
read chapter VI

heroic effort..enthusiastic perseverance
vigilance, diligence, tirelessness, dedication
never give up

taking your seat..taking time ...
~ settling into calm abiding..shamatha
~ inquiring, analyzing...vipashyana

realizing emptiness..shunyata
understanding of the nature of reality

little by little..
how do i integrate common sense
in the form of these perfections
into my every waking, sleeping, dreaming..
in my walking, sitting, standing, lying down..
body, speech, mind..?
little by little....

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


the awakened heart..the awakened mind...
awakening for the great benefit of others....
a mind and heart that is expanding..
in lovingkindness..
bright, luminous, awake

there are three paths to bodhicitta ~

the way of the king,
who primarily seeks his own benefit
yet recognizes that his benefit
depends on that of his kingdom and his subjects..

the path of the boatman,
who ferries his passengers across the river
and simultaneously ferries himself as well...

that of the shepherd,
who makes sure that all his sheep arrive safely ahead of him
and places their welfare above his own....
~ words of my perfect teacher
patrul rinpoche

the four immeasurables
serve as a template to awaken bodhicitta ..

mudita..unfettered joy..

these treasures when contemplated..
when absorbed in our mindstream..
become the very seed,
sprout, blossom and fruit
of precious bodhicitta..

we not only aspire to be of benefit to others..
we actually step out of our self-cherishing habits
awakening our delight in humanoids..
cultivating a genuine affection for all,
realizing their happiness is none other than our own..

the six paramitas..the six perfections..
stepping stones to bodhicitta..
enthusiastic perseverance

the footpath for a bodhisattva..
one who embodies light, clarity/charity, wisdom be continued....infinitely!

Monday, July 11, 2011


moved by compassion,
bodhisattvas take the vow
to liberate all sentient beings.
by overcoming their self-centered outlook,
they engage continuously and eagerly
in the difficult practices
of accumulating merit and wisdom..

if a bodhisattva holds to one dharma
and learns it perfectly, he has
all the buddha's qualities
in the palm of his hand.
what is that one dharma?
it is great compassion..mahakaruna.

the stages of meditation

Sunday, July 10, 2011

bagpipes and hendrix

leaving the verizon wa dc..
after yesterday's prayers and teachings..
the sound of well-played bagpipes
graced the heavy aire..
the young man who offered
the windy soundscapes
is a fellow student of peace..

just around the corner was an african-american
playing o so cool guitar licks the likes
only jimi could whip up..

inside the monks
are clicking and tapping their tools,
creating the kalachakra sand mandala
while their spiritual brothers
are chanting, chanting, chanting-
the preparatory prayers for the initiation..

there are thousands of people from 48 countries
and 5 continents gathered to partake in the
kalachakra for world peace..
hh the 17th karmapa has arrived..
the empty seats are filling around us daily..
how vast we are..
inside and out ~

'scuse me while i kiss the sky!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

we can do better

be content yet never satisfied..
~ j.krishnamurti

in an evening talk, alex berzin * posed the question:
why practice the kalachakra?
to what end?
the answer he gave -
we can do better...

generating self-confidence to cultivate peace..
taking time to be tender with the elders,
walking in nature with the youngsters,
being patient with our delightful, dysfunctional family members,
recycling even more..cycling even more..
minimizing our CARBON FOOTPRINT,
looking in the eyes of the homeless,
(do not be a stranger to suffering)
offering the second croissant another,
relaxing into deep listening,
drinking water, saving water....
smile, smile, smile.....
the list continues to infinity..

it doesn't get any better than this ~
the best is yet to come.....


Wednesday, July 6, 2011


the nation's capital is hot and humid..
92 degrees and climbing..

to help the dalai lama
celebrate his 76th birthday,
the retired archbishop of cape towne..
~ desmond tutu
was on video..encouraging his holiness
to come sit on his front porch in south africa,
drink rooibos tea and reflect on the spirit of things...

martin luther king's son..
~ martin luther king III
shared remembrances from his mother
about the nobel prize of peace winner's
common ground with her husband..

mohandas gandhi's grandson..
~ arun gandhi
spoke about the genealogy of violence..
the family tree of violence..
the two children..
passive and physical..
we must pay as close attention
to passive violence as we do to war, rape, beatings..
... judgements, insults, gossip, bullying...
be the change we wish to see
offering that pledge to the dalai lama..

in the early evening, charlotte ann..
(yet another precious charlotte!)
and i wandered in the direction
of the washington monument..
the vietnam war memorial..
where ron hamilton,
the young man who walked with charlotte
at her graduation, is remembered..
the korean war memorial..

war will exist until that distant day when
the conscientious objector enjoys
the same reputation and prestige
that the warrior does today.

~ john f. kennedy

climbing the mighty steps
to the mighty lincoln memorial..
we were awed, inspired and wet..
inside and out ..rinsed clean..

the cab drivers are fantastic..
from pakistan, north carolina, ethiopia..
familiar faces of humankind
oooh! i like that word..

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


the best kind of discipline is a mind at peace.
~ gonpawa

** riding amtrak to penn station, ny..
onward to union station, wa dc
~ the dalai lama’s birthday
& the kalachakra for world peace...

the muddy mohawk river on my right..
a young girl watching her movie on my left..

babar, the elephant in my lap..
sun is shining..clear skies..

easy to be peaceful when all the ducks line up..
what happens when the going gets rough..?
often, the mind gets ruffled and tumbly...

the discipline of a mind at peace..
a peaceful mind..a discipline?
whose mind is it?
do we have a choice?
is it really a discipline?

i’ll say, the high holies tell us...
always maintain a cheerful mind..

back to emerson..
the integrity of our own mind..
who benefits first and foremost,
when we choose peace?
easy answer..
not so easy when the world slaps
us upside the head..

who is the world?
none other than our very own selves...
our actions..past actions and intentions..
our present intent and future musings ..

you are the world and the world is you..
~ j. krishnamurti

all appearances are one’s own mind..
the mind itself is primordially free from extremes..

~ gyalse togme

the appearance of... waaaah!...
things are not going my way..
we grasp the appearance as the real..
we hold opinions on either side of the pendulum
what a limited waaaay to live...

i hang in a small square box now and then..
so tight, rigid and cramped..
when i finally wake to the reality of things..
the way it is.. the way things are..
what a stretch! breaking free..

every nano-second we get to choose..
a mind at peace..
this is the spacious gracious mind of clarity..
a mind at war..
this is the small..i-me-mine no way-jose mind

the discipline of yes..
the discipline of a mind at peace....
the okie-dokie mind..

one who is disciplined will conquer anger / impatience
she / he will be happy in this life...

~ shantideva

i like hanging ten with the dalai lama..
he likes hanging with a mind at peace..
i pray wildly that a wee bit rubs off..
okie-dokie mind, here i come!

** in the year 2002...
i was on another austria..
after spending some time with the dalai lama
at another kalachakra for world peace..
entering the cabin to find my window seat,
i see a gent sitting where i am intended to be..
politely i show him my ticket and explain that
he is in my place...he turns to me..
roars and growls..vehemently demanding
i find another seat.. i quietly say i am a tourist,
a guest in his country..
it would be so fine to have the window chair -
to have a look-see at the beautiful countryside...
he barked again.. go find another seat..

the lady on the other side
of the empty seat betwixt them
told me to sit down and hush up...
my head and heart were o so hot;
making fists with my eyelids
to hold back the fire water,
i plunked down
between the two wilde and crazies..

slowly opening my book,
bearing witness
bernie glassman

i began reading ~
you always have the opportunity
to choose peace.....

holy moly!
inhaling, exhaling..
the gent by the window was sitting forward..
deliberately blocking any view, it seemed..
exhaling, inhaling..
the woman darkly reading her gazette..
the people across from me looking away..
inhaling, exhaling..biting my lip..

the conductor came by to collect the tickets..
we offered our chits..
he looked at me, the man by the window..
the tickets..slowly back and forth..
up and down..
exhaling, inhaling...
out he went...

the window snatcher relaxed a bit..
....scenery flying by..
waterfalls, trees, rainbows...

okie-dokie, artichokie!

Monday, July 4, 2011

interdependance day...

emerson..dear ralph waldo..
wrote much on self reliance..

nothing is at last sacred
but the integrity of your own mind.

that virtue is what leads us to
comaraderie with other humanoids..

watching harold and maude again..
maude claims her relationship with humans..
they are her species, after all..
a genuine simpatico arises from that integrity..
hence our interdependance..
sincere & authentic friendship..
does it REALLY matter...
whether one is a buddhist, a republican..
a factory worker, a woodsman, a high roller, a jew..
what matters is the beating heart..
the breath and the death of every being..
it comes to that..
breath and death..

i recall being interviewed for a radio show..
the host asked:
what would i look for in a yoga teacher?
breath and death, i answered w/o hesitation..
let them teach you breath and death..
this opens the heart of compassion immediately ~
...on the spot..
i am he is you are she is we are all together
there is not one of us that lives without breath..
there is not one of us that lives without death..

the integrity of our own mind..
is the realization of our own death~
is the realization of our very breath...
polishing our sacredness, as dogen-zenji would say...

shine, shine, shine...
bowing to the light
we see,
we reflect,
we be..
......a sparkler!
may it be just so

Thursday, June 30, 2011


the christensen family home.. snestled up to
the 6 million plus acre adirondack park..
they themselves have 60 plus acres
of forest and stream..
a beaver pond and plenty of maples
to gather their own syrup!
the wildlife stays hidden..
bear, deer, coyote..
the state bird,
-the bluebird of happiness-
dives and darts around the house..
there are chickens and a pig..
a garden full of vegetables...
best of all..
a clothesline..

driving thru amish country ...
horse and buggy country..
fresh young men with straw hats
selling beet greens and berries..
the clotheslines are loaded..prancing arms and legs..
i realize ~
the rains of the great northwest
keep the clotheslines unemployed..

the countryside of upstate new york is astonishing..
gorgeous..streams, lakes and falls..
clouds tease with an intent of thunder..
sky, flirts a bleu to admire ..
woods thick with trees of all flavors..
beech, cherry, poplar, white pine ..

i’d like to have spent my life making
clothespins. nothing would be harmed,
except some pines, probably on land
i owned and would replant. i’d see
my work on clotheslines near some lake,
up north on a day in october,
perhaps twelve clothespins, the wood
still fresh, and a light wind blowing.

~robert bly

i once heard trees whispering as i walked among them..
yes, they concurred..
it is a fact..
we do come back as clothespins.....

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

mo-mo and mila


aha! mo-mo's nest
wee brown mouse with open eyes
awake! dead and alive...

wrinkling her nose
mila, the red rose of road
bows to mo-mo mouse

* mo-mo was found
sitting upright in his/her nest
of mila insulation..
eyes wide open
with a serene gaze..
mo-mo was buried
under the apple tree...
per chance this was
the destination
mo-mo had in mind
when he/she hitched a ride,

there is no animal too small
who will not make a dent
one's life..
be it a mosquito, a mouse, a bird..
we are privileged, sincerely..
to find whatever kinship we can
with all living beings..
however pesty they may be..
it as all relationship..
every single everything...

hideous stinky

mo-mo, the mouse is dead.
mo-mo, the mouse is dead deep
in the bowels of mila rubie.
the odor of a dead mouse
is described as a hideous stench..
it is that and more..

it must have been the blower..
mo-mo probably died of a heart attack
by the pressure and the sound..
my lack of patience is rewarded
by the instant karma of vile stink..

o mama, can this really be the end?
- to be stuck inside a mobile
with the new york bleus again....

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

of mice and men...

the best laid plans of mice and men are usually about equal....

the mouse is out...
after the long journey across country..
with various attempts to evacuate our traveling companion,
mo-mo, the mouse has departed peacefully..still alive..
to a large open field to continue his/her meanderings..
yet not without some proof of presence..

we started by vacuuming the droppings
scattered all over mila to begin with a clean slate..
set a few have a heart traps
w/ cheese and peanut butter..
to no avail..
one trap was moved to block the heat vent!
- not a touch on the foodstuffs -
we waited a day plus..
tried a sonic sound boom...
karl went in with a blower..
i went in with a vacuum...
only candy wrappers and bits of nest..
(thank goodness..)
laid out dryer sheets..
mice abhor the scent..we are told..

after calling in the angelic team,
petitioning the mice devas, etc...
mo-mo vacated..

both filters..
cabin and air, had been
lived in quite comfortably..

it seems..
mice do like to return
to their nesting spots..
~ the traps are still set..
~ the dryer sheets still out..
mila and i are crossing our fingers and tires..

only the most foolish of mice would hide in a cat's ear,
but only the wisest of cats would think to look there...

~ andrew mercer

Monday, June 27, 2011

on the edge...the verge..

margins..the brink..brim...rim...

thomas merton defines a monk
as one who withdraws deliberately to the margin of society...
one who dares to seek on the periphery of humanity,
who is not dependent on social routine;
who prefers a kind of free-floating existence
under a state of risk... a state of exposure....

do you think that i know what i am doing?
that for one breath or half-breath i belong to myself?
as much as a pen knows what it is writing,
or a ball knows where it is going next.

~ rumi

on the road to buddhahood
ever plainer. ever simpler.
ever more ordinary.
my goal is to become a simpleton.
and from what everybody tells me
i am making real progress.
~ david budbill

to be yourself in a world
that is constantly trying to make you something else
is the greatest accomplishment...

~ emerson

keep walking, though there's no place to get to.
don't try to see through the distances.
that's not for human beings. move within,
but don't move the way fear makes you move..
~ rumi

the edge..
my schoolyard.. graduate work..
working on my 9th Ph. D..
toward no goal..
no yearly salary...
no term term.. no terms..
the free-float boat of presence..
breath by breath

out on the edge of darkness,
there rides the peace train...

~ cat stevens

Sunday, June 26, 2011

the jesus room

love one another

in the farmhouse where i am resting,
i am a guest of the jesus room..
this brightly painted space
holds a menagerie of jesus prints...

we begin with the madonna and child..perhaps by bernini..
the mother and babe.. dark-eyed, awake..tender..

a child angel with a golden yellow halo blesses the arch..

there is a large picture of jesus in nazareth;
he is about 12 or 13..
this is when he first arrived on the scene..
hanging ten with the elder scholars in the temple..
the story goes;
mary and joseph were at their wits end, looking for their son..
when he finally wandered back home..
they asked where he had been...
hey now, i was in my father's house;
where else would i be.. ?

another very large print of jesus
with his flock of sheep and staff..
this hangs on the wall where my head rests..

of course, leonardo's last summer..
oops! i mean supper...

christo in meditazione ~
head bowed with hands folded to his lips..

there are two head hots:
one of the madonna ~
the other of jesus crucified..

above the door is a picture
i gave donna years ago..
~ jesus in his yoga pose ~
full lotus and doves a' fluttering..

there is a large greek icon,
jesus as lord, the king...
his right hand in blessing..

finally, over the window
is the famous scene of the sisten chapel..
two fingers reaching out to one another
.... ET fashion..
i'll be right here..

needless to say,
i sleep in pretty good company..
wake up refreshed..
another day in paradise!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

mila rubie

may i introduce you to mila rubie,
a 2005 ruby red prius?

she is named after her favorite tibetan,
the saint milarepa..the singing yogi..
who understood the nature of reality
and lived his life accordingly...

if she were a person,
she'd be standing in a wide straddle
with her hands on her hips,
a bright, wide grin on her face,
her shiny red henna hair blowing in the wind....

she absolutely adores the open road..
has only a mild interest in gasoline..
loves to challenge her mileage..
and wave at truckers as often as possible!

she brakes for buffaloes,
picks up hitch-hikers..
(the latest being mo-mo, the mouse..
a hanger-on ..
mila is intently encouraging
her/his departure..)
does her best after she's showered...
chants blessings of love and peace..
(a bit of a flower child)
aims to please her driver..
who also adores the wide open
ribbon of hiways and byways..

we make a fine team..
i am ever so greatful for her companionship..
we commune in silence often..
though we are known to carry on lengthy dialogues..
such as:
oil drillings in the middle east,
the end of poverty worldwide,
all things poetic..
(she cherishes emerson and thoreau..)
quirky baseball statistics..
zoning codes in our home towne..
the value of standing on one's head..
the string theory from a buddhist perspective,
the four food groups according to us..
the joys of traveling together..

we made it across the us..
in a week..
first time!
charlotte rose was impressed
with her grace and playful energi..
through big weather..

the only glitch to our cross country adventure
was a hiccup in my mind..
coming out of cleveland for some odd
unknown reason i took 76 WEST
as charlotte rose and rubie mila
silently held out their hands to 80 EAST
with a longing for home in their eyes and hearts..
it took us 2 1/2 hours to crawl out
of that wobble and back to our trajectory east..
mila confided in me later ...
the highways 76W and 79N
were in need of our cosmic juice..
we did our duty to bless the roadways
and made it to charlotte's home by 8:30 pm..

welcomed by her sister, my god-daughter, jenna..
her friends, raynboe and grant..
mama and pop..donna and karl..
andy, the cat..
scruffy, carlos and gloria.. the dogs..
the turtle..sidney 3 ..or 4..?

mila rubie is sitting quietly out front..
enjoying the stillness of her meditation practice..
wet with misty rain..
a serene, contented smile on her lips...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

you always take the weather with you.....

well do i lie like a lounge room lizard
or do i sing like a bird released?
everywhere you go
you always take the weather with you
~ crowded house

this is a song my 2 1/2 year great nephew, elliott,
sings with great gusto..right after hey now, hey now..

we just missed a wilde storm
w/ tornado warnings in chicago..
we will proceed with caution!
now in madison, wisconsin..
meeting a college chum of charlotte's
for double chocolate chip pancakes..
(traveling with a 19 year olde is funnnn!)

we head to chicago to meet another of her pals..
with a visit to the art institute..
~ reminiscent of time w/ my mama and sis..
seems we were often taking the train
to the institute when we lived in chicago area..
it is where sallie had her first lessons in needlepointe..
( i may be making this up yet i think it is authentic memory..)
who can say?
the past spreads out wide behind us
like some dragon tail, caught on fire...
leaving the forest of our lives charred & crisp..
...and where do we find the truth?

only now..only now..
the chanting wise ones sing..

you always take the weather with you..
it is so..

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


it's the grass..
the wind..
the spires of geologic fossil..
the prairie dawgs, the bighorn ..
the rise, rise up ..
the so low solitude of deep..

it's the sky..
the cloud bursts..
the lines that match the lines that match..
all the way across the canyons..
fortresses..castles in the air..
the air, the empty... the dust..

the grasses..the prairie grasses..
praise be! we are protecting them ~
from ourselves..

the badlands are waaaay baaaad..
and that is good..

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


the way you wish on a white horse:
lick the thumb on your right hand,
place your thumb in the palm of your left hand,
make your noble wish....
make a fist with your right hand,
pop your fist into the palm of your left hand..
pull it away as you open your fist..
sending the wish up and away...

getting about 48.6 miles to a gallon..
- highest 56.8-
cost of gas..
between $3.49 -$3.75

we have a new traveling companion..
momo, the masticating mouse..
he/she is munching the paper wrappers
of chocolate bars, paper towels, cough drops..
charlotte and i have emptied the prius completely
in hopes that our guest will move along to
more gourmet fare...

golden eagles winging the morning light our way..
a perfect om cloud blesses the mid-day bleu..
sunset raspberry swirl fingering the evening..

the road goes ever on and on...

o give me a home...

where the buffalo roam...

geysers, hot springs, fumaroles and mudpots..
rugged mountains, lava flows, waterfalls..
lodgepole pine, larch, alpine meadows and desert...

we were welcomed into the park by two trumpeter swans..
we saw bison..o their mighty heads and stalwart hearts..
mule deer, pronghorn and elk ..
our grizzly bear was chilling out on a bed of dandelions..

the wolves and bull moose kept hidden
yet we were content with our 'catch'..

yellowstone lake, filled with cutthroat trout,
is north america's largest mountain lake..
20 miles long, 14 miles wide
and at its deepest point, 430 feet deep..

old faithful erupted for a large surrounding crowd..
every 91 minutes or so the magma heats up
spouting a killer whale plume of wet into high heaven..

charlotte and i left the park fully charged..
we made it to buffalo, wyoming
where we sank into oblivion and slept
to the sound of a kenworth idling!

on we go to buffalo... new york...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

traveling across the usa ~ one day at a time

'the most difficult thing is the decision to act.
the rest is merely tenacity.
the fears are paper tigers.
you can do anything you decide to do.
you can act to change and control your life;
the procedure, the process, is its own reward.'
~amelia earhart

i am / we are pooped!
at the gateway to yellowstone..
i am traveling w/ charlotte rose..
my god-daughter.. jenna's.. sister..
charlotte turned 19 the day she arrived
from new york..happy birthday!
we had serious pizza pie for
her birthday cake..

also traveling with us are:
finister, the monkey who wears an i love ny tee shirt..
cynthia, the pig who holds a pink fleece blanket..
flippers, the very large penguin pillow
and of course, babar..the elephant
who has been traveling with me
for 33 years..

right outside our window this evening are snowy peaks,
crisp yellow hills, pine and larch..ravens galore..
the light shifts, moving shadows across the knobby knee mountains..
the aire is cool..expansive..
a raven turns sideways into the light..
pink now, the hills are swimming..
the moon is waning..

soon the sunsummersun will be full..
to the brim with solstice grace
while we keep pedaling the prius

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

first hill

hello leading lady..
the large african american wooed
to me as i puffed up capital hill..
i stopped to inquiry as to the source of his greeting..
being pleased that i had paused for a chat,
he told me he sees plenty of leading ladies
on his daily walk up and down madison avenue..
he feels it is his duty to let the lovelies know
that their power and glory is acknowledged..
i gave him a bow and continued the climb...

coming up behind me was another gent..
walking his bike up the hill..
i teased...
you better get on that bike and ride!
he laughed and told me there was
plenty of ground to cover so he was taking a break..
we hiked up the hill and spoke about work and play..
l.j. then asked if i was married..
what luck!
he was just out of a relationship..
i suggested he take a break..
he replied..
yes! let's!
the conversation circled around
the shape of my legs; the size of my bum..
trader joe's showed up just in time..
he rode down the hill smiling..

on the way back to pioneer square,
i found myself walking with a UW microbiologist...
she loves to walk to her favorite shoppes..
the polish place for sausages,
madison street market for everything else..
the gardens at seattle university for a rest..

the ease of street speak..

if you want peace of mind,
do not find fault with others.
rather learn to see your own faults.
learn to make the whole world your own.
no one is a stranger, my child;
this whole world is your own.

~ sarada devi

Monday, May 23, 2011


unborn emptiness has let go of the extremes
of being and non-being.
thus it is both the center itself and the central path.
emptiness is the track on which the centered person moves.

~ tsongkhapa

to experience this emptiness
is to experience the astonishing absence
of what often creates the sense
of who i am and the reality i inhabit.

this moment of the empty field ~
experienced ~ over and over..
is dharma practice..
the instruction being:
short moments, many times..
life centered in the awareness of emptiness..
- is the heart of the matter..
the central path..the track...
on which the centered one
lives and moves and has her/his being..

playful, poignant..a passer-by..
to be infinitely empty
on the great ballfield of life..
and death..
everything has already died..this is the other world....

all things arise,
suffer change,
and pass away.
this is their nature.

when you know this... become still.
it is easy.
~ ashtavakra gita

Thursday, May 19, 2011

in sickness and in health

a brief touchdown..
in the great northwest..
now...a quick trip to calif orn i a
to be in presence with my long time pals..
B and her dear husband, dave..
(you may remembre him as the duck..during the walk..)
~ while i was in greece, barbara decided
a visit with dave would be wise..
he is thick with complications from the disease..

it is not easy to see the
in his new configuration AND it is so good
to be with him ..holding his hands,
feeding him turkey bits..
putting his shoes on..
hanging ten with B....
resting in the middle
of birth, olde age, illness and death....

for age is opportunity no less
than youth itself, though in another dress,
and as the evening twilight fades away
the sky is filled with stars, invisible by day.

~ henry wadsworth longfellow

resting in the middle of love...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

miscellaneous advice...

one day an olde man
was circumamubulating
reting monastery..
geshe drom said to him:
sir, i am happy to see you
circumambulating, but
wouldn't you prefer to
be practicing the dharma?

thinking this over, the olde man
felt he'd better cover himself
by reading some buddhist scriptures.
while he was reading
in the temple courtyard,
geshe drom said:
i am happy to see you
reading the dharma, but
wouldn't you prefer
to be practicing it?

at this, the olde man
thought that the best way
to cover himself would be
to meditate single-pointedly.
he put aside his reading
and sat on a cushion,
his eyes half-closed.
drom said;
good to see you meditating, but
wouldn't you rather be
practicing the dharma?

with nothing else left to do,
the olde man asked:
geshe, please,
how do i practice the dharma?

drom replied:
when you practice,
there is no distinction
between the dharma
your own mind....
~tsun ba je gom