Friday, March 30, 2012

love me do

o my o
the beatles..
listening to them
twist and shout
my heart goes pop!
and ..
i want to hold your hand..
realizing of course,
that you can't buy me love..
tho' i feel fine
it's been a hard day's night
and help!
eight days a week..i'm thinking..
am i ready for a boyfriend?
~ all you need is love ~
or do i want to be a paperback writer?
hey jude
with a ticket to ride
we can work it out
and come together..
yesterday, i would have said let it be
and today in my life,
something in the way you move..
not as lonely as eleanor rigby on penny lane
not ready for a day tripper ~
it's the long and winding road
riding the yellow submarine with
lady madonna into the sea of love
all i have to say..
hello, goodbye

listen up..from me to you
get back and be present..
the beatles..
she loves you !!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

opening day

baseball is quintessentially american
in that it tells us that as much as you travel
and as far as you go,
out to the green frontier,
the purpose is to get home,
back to where others are,
the pioneer ever striving to come back
to the common place.
a nation of migrants always, for all their wanderings,
remembers what every immigrant never forgets:
that you may leave home
but if you forget where home is,
you are truly lost......

~ a. bartlett giamatti

seattle mariners / oakland a's
3:10 am
tokyo japan


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

kool-aid orange bandit

that's what i named the seagull flying overhead
with a round orange orange in his beak ~

walking the myrtle edwards trail yesterday..
the jodphurs of mt. rainier showing..
the air fresh and warming, warming
as the sun kept on coming, coming
a homeless person had snuggled up under a tree..
all cozy and wrapped in a bright blue sleeping bag..
three oranges lay in waiting for the wake-up call..
snestled nearby..

on my return route..
the above said seagull flew heavy..
above me with a full fledged orange
encircled by his too small beak..
he dropped it atop the stopped train ..
and commenced ice-picking his way
into the deep, juicy center of citrus..

i wondered..
does the sleepy head
still have three spheres
parked nearby?

no way, jose..
the stealth wing-ed thief
got away with it..

this much i do remember

it was after dinner.
you were talking to me across the table
about something or other,
a greyhound you had seen that day
or a song you liked,

and i was looking past you
over your bare shoulder
at the three oranges lying
on the kitchen counter
next to the small electric bean grinder,
which was also orange,
and the orange and white cruets for vinegar and oil.

all of which converged
into a random still life,
so fastened together by the hasp of color,
and so fixed behind the animated
foreground of your
talking and smiling,
gesturing and pouring wine,
and the camber of you shoulders

that i could feel it being painted within me,
brushed on the wall of my skull,
while the tone of your voice
lifted and fell in its flight,
and the three oranges
remained fixed on the counter
the way that stars are said
to be fixed in the universe.

then all of the moments of the past
began to line up behind that moment
and all of the moments to come
assembled in front of it in a long row,
giving me reason to believe
that this was a moment i had rescued
from millions that rush out of sight
into a darkness behind the eyes.

even after i have forgotten what year it is,
my middle name,
and the meaning of money,
i will still carry in my pocket
the small coin of that moment,
minted in the kingdom
that we pace through every day.

- billy collins

Sunday, March 25, 2012

lunula moon..
fingering her way into the night sky
keeping good company
with stars, with planets..

with that moon language

admit something:

everyone you see, say to them, "love me."

of course you do not do this out loud, otherwise
someone would call the cops.

still, though, think about this, this great pull to connect.
why not become the one who lives with a
full moon in each eye that is always saying

with that sweet moon language,
what every other eye in
this world is dying to hear?

love me.


Saturday, March 24, 2012

raise your hand

we were asked last night
by a musician..
who's in love?
raise your hand..

i didn't..

that's not true..

though i don't have a sweet heart,
lover, s. o., main squeeze, boyfirend,
husband, partner, beau, paramour...
in the flesh and bone~
i am in love..
not only that..
i am love..

beam me up!

a spirit that lives in this world
and does not wear the shirt of love,
such an existence is a deep disgrace.

be foolishly in love,
because love is all there is.

there is no way into presence
except the love exchange.

~ rumi

Thursday, March 22, 2012

spring king

everyone knows
that spring is the king
of all the seasons..
in the gita, lord krishna
tells us so...

i am the soul in the body,
the eagle among birds,
the lion among animals..
among all the trees,
i am the sacred bodhi tree
and of the seasons,
i am spring..

no praise, no blame
what have the clouds been up to today? you can't
blame them, you know. their edges just
happen, and where they go is the fault of the wind.
i'd like my arrival to be like that, alone and
quiet, really present but never to blame.

and i'd never presume or apologize, and if anyone
pressed me i'd be gone, and come back there
only some harmless, irresistible presence
all around you, like the truth, something you need,
like the air.
~william stafford

where one flower blooms, it is spring everywhere ~

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


pop goes the easel
all the artists in heaven and earth
have been sprung from the
winter of their discontent
into the vast
where there is no content
but contentment ~
the daffs have gone daffy
with the yellow unknown to the gods of colour
maybe van gogh had an inkling
a twitch in his ear about
the sound that yellow bellows..
the cloud sky of rain one instant
bursts of sunrays the very next
the chill moving down the railway line
cold now bolder
the breeze of boisterious bliss
the warmth, where did that come from?
shopping for shoes that have no toes
for chicks and bunnies that coo
to our childish hearts
the starts of fresh buds
that pop
goes the easel
into spring begin

Monday, March 19, 2012

tao sutra diamond light

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 thought,
life unfolds effortlessly,
and the whole world is filled with light.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

robin's evensong

and matins outburst..

last eve..the sun.. setting
jet pink across the island silhouettes..
strewn with northwest cloud familiarity
i heard the emphatic call of the robin..
she was invisible to eye yet to ear
she was presence incarnate..
slowly i snuck to the edge of the rock wall..
there she be..
claiming the evening as her own..
bowing and praising the glory day

the lyrics of her prayer-song
all agog
with love
and wonder
and giddy
intoxicated with the high holies of the hour,
the colour,
the grace glow that the very moment
was pulsing down upon us all..
she .. our witness..
i see this
i know this
i love this
i am this..

morning cold and still grey from the night trail..
she or her soulmate sister or brother..
wooing the good kind morning
to show a tender face..
again the call to prayer..
to quiver us up and at it..
she sings..
we are brimful of wonder for the brilliance of new day..
we are awake each in the magnitude of dawn
dawning us fresh and wholesome and free from heartache and loss..
though those are carved on us..etched..
they fray not the edges of our astonishment ~
not this day,
not this morning,
not this

Saturday, March 17, 2012

an irish prayer

may those who love us, love us.
and those who don't love us,
may god turn their hearts.
and if he doesn't turn their hearts,
may he turn their ankles,
so we may know them by their limping.

and of course, may the wind be at ye back....

Friday, March 16, 2012


soul flies in empty space,
a single candle in the huge palace.

bird-shadows cross whatever they happen to cross,
lovers pay attention only to the ecstasy of their love.

i jumped off a cliff to find out the true nature of soul.
do not sit inside the sadness of powerful, self-absorbed people.
become the ground under your own feet.

the soul's joy enters a guest house
where shams tabriz is host.
no one is there.


i have let go of everything that clings to me..
everything i cling to ~
what is left ..
if anything
could be, might be,
yet even that is empty of arms that grasp and sticky things..
if i try to pick something up..
a practice, a belief, a talisman to adore..
it weeps away from me..

leaving me generous..on the brim..
to jump again..
no one will catch me..

i am my own net

Thursday, March 15, 2012

ides of march - idus martii

it comes around again..
the half of march..
celebrated in rome long ago
as a war festival..for mars..the god of war..
then a death day for caesar

and how do we play it today..?
it is laundry day..
ghee making day
windy day
half of march
scouring the horizon for daffodils..
urging the sun to peek bright
with dozens of sun salutes..

a day like any other day..
or is it?

to a robin in lent
you were the first one back,
the first one back.

you clung to a bare black branch,
your habit to choose sundays in march,
wind whirling around you,
sky grey as a shroud, and wet,
to sing to the flowers, not there yet.

you were not loud.
no, not at all.
but you knew what you were doing.

~elizabeth spires

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


how may plate fulls of greens did i eat today?
kale, chard, spinach..?

what is happening in japan right now?
what can i do?

how many woman are in leading roles
such as lawyers, scientists, inventors and physicists?
are they wearing pink?

when will the dalai lama get to go back home?
how many more nuns and monks will set
themselves on fire before he does?

did i light a candle for someone other than myself today?

what are the things i am most greatful for today?
the gas attendant smiling, the snow on the hillsides,
the clothes dryer circumambulating, coconut white chocolate,
my fingers, tea from far away places, a call from my pal...
and on and on...

what is the secret of the pulse?

how many angels do dance on the head of a pin?

when will all the wars be over?
why do we train young men/women to kill?
what the farbang is going on in afghanistan?

why do my cross stitches come out so uneven?
will i ever finish this project?

does standing on my head make me taller?
make my hair thicker?
my intelligence spring forth?

a question by robert frost
a voice said,
look me in the stars
and tell me truly,
men of earth,
if all the soul-and-body scars
were not too much to pay for birth.

Monday, March 12, 2012


ORIGIN late Middle English (denoting a deputy or delegate):
from Latin substitutus ‘put in place of,
past participle of substituere, based on statuereset up.

USAGE Traditionally, the verb substitute is followed by for
and means ‘put (someone or something) in place of another,’ as in :
she substituted the fake vase for the real one.
From the late 17th century substitute has also been used
with with or by to mean ‘replace (something) with something else,’ as in :
she substituted the real vase with the fake one.
This can be confusing,
since the two sentences shown above mean the same thing,
yet the object of the verb and the object of the preposition
have swapped positions.
Despite the potential confusion,
the second, newer use is well established and,
although still disapproved of by traditionalists,
is now generally regarded as part of normal standard English. in in replacing..
as in to set up..hummmmmmmm?
it is not an easy task to go into a classroom
where one is expected to be who one is not..
not the teacher one was planning on stretching with..
in a yoga class ..
i find i become all wibbly-wobblity
losing every ounce of know-it-all-ness..
this is a good thing..
i embody shoshin
beginner's mind..even as i ask..
whether verbally or non-verbally..
the students to let go of any expectation..
pre-stored know-how..
let's begin again...
set ourselves up for surprize..
to be awed or hoodwinked..
to replace what we know with what we don't know....

in a beginner's mind there are many possiblilities,
in an expert's mind there are few.

shunryu suzuki

Sunday, March 11, 2012

does anybody really know..

what time it is...?

we met at nine.
we met at eight.
i was on time.
no, you were late.
ah yes! I remember it well..
~alan lerner

i wasted time; now doth time waste me.
~ shakespere

always bit of a ruff transition
this springing into spring....

Saturday, March 10, 2012

mistake-in identity

you want to cry aloud for your
mistakes. but to tell the truth the world
doesn't need any more of that sound.

so if you're going to do it and can't
stop yourself, if your pretty mouth can't
hold it in, at least go by yourself across

the forty fields and the forty dark inclines
of rocks and water to the place where
the falls are flinging out their white sheets

like crazy, and there is a cave behind all that
jubulation and water-fun and you can
stand there, under it, and roar all you

want and nothing will be disturbed; you can
drip with despair all afternoon and still,
on a green branch, its wings just lightly touched

by the passing foil of the water, the thrush,
puffing out its spotted breast, will sing
of the perfect, stone-hard beauty of everything.

the poet with his face in his hands
~ mary oliver

Friday, March 9, 2012

bedside manners

i spent most of my time in india in bed..
there was the first bed in delhi..
cold and cuddled under wool blankets..
between indian bedspread designs..

the bed at the guesthouse with the smiling lama
who made my every wish come true..
i should have known something was up..
~ fever ~
when i kept adding blanket upon blanket,
when all i could imagine was the bed
whenever i was out and about..
in the crowd, in the midst of study, at dinner..
that bed was like some mirage afloat before me..
shimmering and warm and solitary..

the bed at chitti's home..
the best bed, the best room in the house..
the hospitality of this culture is never outdone..
peach sheets ..
the bed so much larger
..where the morning tea aroma arrived
just as the sun came calling..

the hotel bed in the 5 star palace
the hotel offered a great rate because it was NEW..
while my friends went to their government meeting,
i stayed put..with sweat and wet and cashews from the mini bar..

the bed in the mountains..
the first night..
moisture in the room from leaky toiletries..
the sheets were as soaked as the floor when i awoke..
heavy, heavy blankets to keep me from ascending to heaven's gate..
the second night sharing a room w/ chitti..
dryer and warmer when a friend is near to comfort..
the fever came a' calling and we finally named it..

the hospital bed..
in a room with four other beds..
and three other patients and their companions..
and their family members to share the disease -
the bed was in a corner with a window for look-out..
they moved someone to put me there..
though they did not change the sheets that night,
the sisters..the nurses.. did the next day..
the hospital bed with IV tubes
of saline and elephant antibiotics..
every hour, sisters coming to call..
pills, temperature takings..
a loud apparatus to suck out my lungs..
a hospital bed of no rest..
yet no fever when it was time to get up
thank you very, very much ~

the airplane bed..the seat bed..on the aisle ..
with the two middle seats open
the other aisle seat occupied with a high turbaned sikh..
we took turns lying inward..
sharing blankets and pillows and coats..
while the other watched movies or slept sitting upright..

the bed at the royal seoul hotel..
an interlude between flights...
crispy white sheets..
plump perfect pillows..
a korean toilet that offered
the great mysteries of the universe..

the bed at my auntie's house
where i nest when i am home..
it is a high lair where i burrow in..
to rest the best..
the bed at home..

Thursday, March 8, 2012

international woman’s day (2012)

this day has been observed and celebrated
since the early 1900's..though it barely
gets a bat of an eyelash..

there is much work to do
for women to rest in the equality
that our counterpart gender gents receive..

there's usual..
women in leadership roles are low..
wonder why?
most of all..
violence against the feminine
has reached epic proportions..

shall we invoke shekinah this day..?
i sing in hymns
to enter the gates
of the field
of holy apples...
a new table
we prepare for her,
a lovely candelabrum
sheds its light upon us...
between right and left
the bride approaches,
in holy jewels
and festive garments...

~ rabbi isaac luria

shall we call in the holy mother?
our dear and fragrant mystical rose..
we touch your gown of grace with our presence..
we kiss the edge of your holy robe..
our lips turn to light..
our hearts are unbounded ..
we are infused with your precious gift ~
the love for all.. the all and every..

today in the tibetan tradition..
is the first day (of fifteen days)
of the display of miracles offered by the buddha..
he really wanted to keep a low profile..
he was challenged to a contest of miraculous powers
and got swept up in the provocation..
thus inspiring many beings to follow the path of dharma..
it is said..
on this day the effects of positive (or negative)
actions are multiplied ten million times..

holy moly! let's get cuttin'..
into the realm of the light and bright...
do what you can.....

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

there is no where an angel is not

all was taken away from you: white dresses,
wings, even existence.
yet i believe you,

there, where the world is turned inside out,
a heavy fabric embroidered with stars and beasts,
you stroll, inspecting the trustworthy seams.

short is your stay here:
now and then at a matinal hour, if the sky is clear,
in a melody repeated by a bird,
or in the smell of apples at the close of day
when the light makes orchards magic.

they say somebody has invented you
but to me this does not sound convincing
for humans invented themselves as well.

the voice - no doubt it is a valid proof,
as it can belong only to radiant creatures,
weightless and winged (after all, why not?),
girdled with the lightning.

i have heard that voice many a time when asleep
and, what is strange, i understood more or less
an order or an appeal in an unearthly tongue:

day draws near
another one
do what you can.

on angels
~ czeslaw milosz

a friend of mine has a plumber..
no.. an electrician..whose name..
who is an angel..

i met a woman whose youngest child is angel..

there's angel food cake ~
my mama had a recipe for angel biscuits..
there are angel cards and the LA angels ..

i found a card recently
it was a christmas card - card
with an inscription from my mama..
happy birthday, to my little angel..
i was 55 that year..

day draws near
another one
do what you can

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

moon shine

at least once a year..
when the moon is fulling..
i pull out ryokan..and read..
the rabbit and the moon ~

it took place in a world
long long ago
they say :
a monkey, a rabbit
and a fox
struck up a friendship.
they frolicked field and hill -
they came home to the forest -
living thus.....
the years went by
when indra,
sovereign of the skies,
heard of this,
and curious to know
if it was true,
turned himself
into an old man,
tottering along,
making his way
to where they lived.
"you three,"
he said
"are so different,
yet i'm told,
you live & play together
with a single heart.
if what i have heard
is true,
pray save an old man
who's hungry..
bring me a meal!"
he set his staff aside
and sat down to rest.
simple enough, they said,
and presently
the monkey appeared
from the grove
bearing nuts
he'd gathered there;
the fox returned
from the rivulet
with a fish he'd caught
clamped in his jaws;
the rabbit,
though he hopped
and hopped
couldn't find anything at all.
the others cursed him because
his heart was not like theirs.
miserable me !
he thought
"ah!" he said,
"monkey, go
cut some firewood!
fox, build a fire!"
when they had done
what he asked
he flung his body
into the flames,
making of himself
an offering
to the unknown old man.
when indra saw this
his heart withered.
he looked up to the sky,
cried aloud,
then sank to the ground.
in a while,
he said to the others,
"each of you three friends
have done your best..
yet what the rabbit
has done
touches me the most!"
he made the rabbit whole again
and gathering the dead body
up in his arms,
took the rabbit
and laid it to rest
in the palace of the moon.

the story comes from the jataka tales..
tales of the buddha in his earlier incarnations..
the japanese see a rabbit in the moon..
just as we see a man in the moon..

full moon..march 8th..1:41 AM
full worm moon
named by the algonquin tribes
from new england to lake superior...
at the time of the march spring moon,
the ground begins to soften,
earthworm casts reappear,
inviting the return of robins.
also known as the sap moon,
it marks the time when maple sap
begins to flow and the annual tapping
of maple trees begins.....
pancake we come!

Monday, March 5, 2012


the third yama..
of the first limb
of the eight limbs
offered by the sage patanjali..
in the yoga sutras ~
ethical discipline..
asteya = non - stealing..
refraining from taking what is not freely given..

it happened on saturday in the hallway..
during a yoga class..
a pair of jeans, a pocket and a wallet..
not mindful of the dangers..
(could there possibly a yoga class?)
in any case, the jeans and the pocket remained together..
the wallet went a' missing..
later found w/ all the cards intact..
all the money taken..not freely given..

lesson learned..
mindfulness for next time..

i am a rustler myself..
you may remember
- the post -
1/7/ 2012
where i openly confess to my rustling ways..
cutting in line..
not once but twice..

let me tell you how this came to be...
arriving in bodhgaya with fever..
(no excuse for bad behavior)
shivering and shaking all night long,
i rise late to collect my pass
for the ten-day teachings..
i arrive at the grounds where hundreds of people
are waiting..have been waiting... in line..
to sign up, give over their paperwork and receive their ten-day pass..
where was my metal continuum ?
nowhere near my samaya..
my pure vows..the ten virtuous actions..

i walked into the grounds,
past all the sentient beings
waiting in cold and dust and wind..
up the stairs, around a table,
through the yellow tape..
to stand at the front of the line..

i was not unkind,
i was not unruly,
i was not mean-spirited..
i was brusque and stalwart..
i was rustling for a pass..
i was intruding on someone's place in line..
i had stolen someone's spot..
i had taken what was not freely given...
this was not usual behavior for me..i might add..
~ all new territory ~
or was it?

i stood at the front of the line..steadfast..
and was told that was going to have to go get in line..
i am in line..i am the front of the line
you must go stand in line, i was told again..
i am in line, i am here, standing before you
please, go get in line..
i am in line the front of the line, here i am..
one of the monks..a monk, mind you..
(shameless, was i)
spoke to me kindly..
seeing something..
some rustler quality that required tenderness..
i'll take care of this..
and he did..
in less than ten minutes..
i had my pass..
was it freely given?
not quite..
when i held it in my hand and looked out
over the sea of faces.. the sentient beings..
my brothers and sisters in dharma..waiting..
my stomach ached heart hurt...
i went back to my room and went to bed....

....and the second time, you ask?
it was early morning..
we were asked to come early, very early for security checks..
waiting in line to get in and take our seat..
i rustled myself out of bed..
and found myself at the tail of a long snake of humanoids..
patiently waiting to get in for the teachings..
the holy teachings of the 32nd kalachakra..
in bodhgaya..the holiest of holy cities..
in the great mother india..
at the beginning of the new year..
the year of the water dragon ~

i cannot begin to tell you why -
i started walking..
walking along side
all these beings who had risen early
to take their place in line and wait
to be moved
s l o w l y
up to the gate....
i stopped about one-third of the way back
from the front lines..
stood still, so still.. beside a young woman..
she said..
you must go back to the end of the line..
i am invisible, i said quietly..
i see you, she must go to the end of the line..
i am invisible
i see you, she said..
i am invisible..
and i was..
i took a place invisibly..
i took what was not freely given..
i had rustled up a place in the queue..

just then another women rustled in behind me..
more admonishments from those in line..
until she too was accepted in..
as time passed and the snake inched forward,
three women abducted three spots just ahead of me..
the woman behind me spoke loudly..
those mongolians..they are always cutting in line..
i turned to her full on and said..
i am mongolian

from that day forward i did not rustle a spot again..
many "mongolians" found their places ahead of me..daily..
i went with friends who keep me in tow..
who kept me in vow...

many ask if i think that my illness
in india is from this..
this rustling, this stealing ..
hard to say..
tho' i imagine it is the eons of lifetimes of rustling;
of taking what was not freely given..
eons of lifetimes of wanting what was not mine..
perhaps coming to fruition..
coming back to balance..

to those who don't believe in karma..
and i may be one of them..
i will say this...
what goes up, must come down...

Saturday, March 3, 2012


mondays are meshed with tuesdays
and the week with the whole year.
time cannot be cut
with your exhausted scissors,
and all the names of the day
are washed out in the waters of night.

~ pablo neruda - too many names

it has been 5 weeks since i returned from mother india..
it has been 6 weeks since i was discharged
from the hospital in bangalore..
after a 103 fever, a collapsed lung and pneumonia..
it has been 1 year since i was on the island of patmos, greece
and 2 years since the death of my mama..
it has been 7 days since i carried a totem pole through the seattle streets
and 2 days since i received my job as the mariners seating host
for the 2012 baseball season...

who's counting?