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...