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