Wednesday, July 26, 2017


refreshing my memory ~

turn, turn, turn  - pete seeger -
to everything there is a season
( ecclesiastes )
made famous by the byrds in 1965..
ah! those were the days, my friend -

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, 
a time to gather stones together

A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace, 
a time to refrain from embracing

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time for love, a time for hate
A time for peace, I swear it's not too late

just watched the movie cocoon
ron howard -1985

interesting juxtapose ..
elders leaving the planet so they can -
live forever

 timing - turning

something calls me outside
the wee abode where i live..

lo! on high -
a great bird..redtail ..
circling circling
orbiting the sky above..
small flyers pestering the path away
from nests..

a sideways glance to see the eagle's flight
ready to pinch the prey the osprey
spent a wad of patience catching..

the circumnavigation and chat..
a pair of ravens eager for shiny wrappers..

great blue herons heading to the rookery
for a brew (who knew?) with their seige...

will-o'-wisp wind in the birches
offering a dharma talk on the way it is...

that rainbow ..where did it come from?
just now..all these happen..

direct experience of the great truth..

the greatest difficulty is the mental resistence
to things that arise and the underlying assumption
that they should not.
           ~ eckhart  tolle

how to totally, bravely  accept the what is..
whatever happens. whatever
what is is is what
i want. only that. but that.
                    ~ galway kinnell

trusting the timing..
right place, right time, right what is!

& the zennies tell us:
when in doubt, bow..
ever, always.. bowing to what is

turn, turn, turn ~

Sunday, July 23, 2017

A Morning Offering

I bless the night that nourished my heart

To set the ghosts of longing free

Into the flow and figure of dream

That went to harvest from the dark

Bread for the hunger no one sees.

All that is eternal in me
Welcomes the wonder of this day,
The field of brightness it creates
Offering time for each thing
To arise and illuminate.

I place on the altar of dawn:
The quiet loyalty of breath,
The tent of thought where I shelter,
Waves of desire I am shore to
And all beauty drawn to the eye.

May my mind come alive today
To the invisible geography
That invites me to new frontiers,
To break the dead shell of yesterdays,
To risk being disturbed and changed.

May I have the courage today

To live the life that I would love,

To postpone my dream no longer

But do at last what I came here for

And waste my heart on fear no more.

                        - John O’Donohue

the quiet loyalty of breath..
each morning that we do awake..
a blessed gift..
the astonishment of being alive
for yet another day..

to risk being disturbed and changed..
because there simply is not one thing
that will not change..
be it bones,
matters of the heart..
churnings & yearnings of soul play..

the bodhisattva in each of us says..
bring it on!
i live in fearlessness and cheer ~
now and here !

statistically, the probability of any one of us being here is so small
that you'd think the mere fact of existing
would keep us all in a contented dazzlement of surprise.
                    ~ lewis thomas

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

miracle fair - Wislawa Szymborska

wislawa was born in poland.
she is a poet.
wislawa was a witness to the horrors
of world war II.
she is called the mozart of poetry.

Commonplace miracle: 
that so many commonplace miracles take place. 

An ordinary miracle: 
in the dead of night 
the barking of invisible dogs. 

One miracle out of many: 
a small, airy cloud 
is able to upstage a large and heavy moon. 

Several miracles in one: 
an alder tree reflected in the water, 
and that it's reversed left to right 
and that it grows there, crown down 
and never reaches the bottom, 
even though the water is shallow. 

An everyday miracle: 
winds weak to moderate 
turning gusty in storms. 

First among equal miracles: 
cows are cows. 

Second to none: 
just this cherry orchard 
from just this cherry seed. 

A miracle without a cape and top hat: 
fluttering white doves.

A miracle, (for what else could you call it): 
the sun rose at three-fourteen a.m.
and will set at eight-o-one.

A miracle, less surprising than it should be: 
the hand actually has fewer than six fingers, 
but it still has more than four. 

A miracle,  just take a look around: 
the inescapable earth. 

An extra miracle, extra and ordinary: 
the unthinkable 
can be thought. 

it is said ..
when the buddha awoke,
the inescapable earth trembled
& the high holies in the heavenly realms
celebrated mightily..
expressing joy at the miracle of enlightenment!

a miracle because in a wisp of shift
of the thinking to the unthinkable
free from any limitations
a snap! of any of the five fingers
we / they / she / he / it
witness a new reality..
momentary, to be sure..
because..well -
isn't it all momentary..?
free of any condition of past, future..
free, even,  of the great spaciousness of the present ~

a slip of the wrist, a turn of a gaze..
and whoop-dee-dee..
we are awake..
not a far away goal to glean and grasp..
just a breath away ..
just a kiss away ~
(gimme shelter.. the stones croon..
from our inner waging/raging war
of misery, fear, hope, defense..
gimme shelter..
from that clinging claw of enlightenment)

miracle of clarity..
miracle of unfettered joy..
miracle of devotion, trust, bliss..
miracle of invisible love dogs barking
in the neighborhood night of our open hearts ~

just a breath away
just a kiss away

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

read emily dickinson lately? meditation on generosity

i heard one of my favorite poems of emily’s
offered at the end of a dharma talk..
moving me as it always does to quivers up my spine
and melting glaciers in my eye pockets..

if i could stop one heart from breaking,
i shall not live in vain;
if i can ease one life the aching,
or cool one pain,
or help one fainting robin 
unto his nest again,
i shall not live in vain.

it brought to mind straightaway
words from santideva’s treatise -
a guide to the bodhisattva’s way of life..

may i be the doctor and the medicine
and may i be the nurse
for all sick beings in the world
until everyone is healed..

may i be a protector for those without one,
a guide for all travelers on the way;
may i be a bridge, a boat and a ship
for all who wish to cross the water.

i rascally remembered a poem of billy collins :


first, her tippet made of tulle, 
easily lifted off her shoulders and laid 
on the back of a wooden chair. 

and her bonnet, 
the bow undone with a light forward pull. 

then the long white dress, a more 
complicated matter with mother-of-pearl 
buttons down the back, 
so tiny and numerous that it takes forever 
before my hands can part the fabric, 
like a swimmer's dividing water, 
and slip inside. 

you will want to know 
that she was standing 
by an open window in an upstairs bedroom, 
motionless, a little wide-eyed, 
looking out at the orchard below, 
the white dress puddled at her feet 
on the wide-board, hardwood floor. 

the complexity of women's undergarments 
in nineteenth-century america 
is not to be waved off, 
and i proceeded like a polar explorer 
through clips, clasps, and moorings, 
catches, straps, and whalebone stays, 
sailing toward the iceberg of her nakedness. 

later, i wrote in a notebook 
it was like riding a swan into the night, 
but, of course, i cannot tell you everything - 
the way she closed her eyes to the orchard, 
how her hair tumbled free of its pins, 
how there were sudden dashes 
whenever we spoke. 

what i can tell you is 
it was terribly quiet in amherst 
that sabbath afternoon, 
nothing but a carriage passing the house, 
a fly buzzing in a windowpane. 

so i could plainly hear her inhale 
when i undid the very top 
hook-and-eye fastener of her corset 

and i could hear her sigh when finally it was unloosed, 
the way some readers sigh when they realize 
that hope has feathers, 
that reason is a plank, 
that life is a loaded gun 
that looks right at you with a yellow eye.

& emily once more ...

because i could not stop for death – 
he kindly stopped for me – 
the carriage held but just ourselves – 
and immortality. 

all this the mind unwinds, unfolds....
a search engine ruffled up
for coupling the variances of being human..
to sculpt a life in poetry - the poetic life -
& construct a bodhisattva’s practice
of the six perfections ..

it is the great sun that finally removes
the misty ignorance of the world,
it is the quintessential butter
from the churning milk of dharma.

the perfection of generosity ~

we each have the opportunity to give
the lightest, most refined offering..
the gift of recognition, appreciation..
by our words, a gesture, a deed..
of acknowledgment .. of presence..
to the presence of another..
we exist..we are alive..although it be brief..
we share and bear witness to humankind..

all generated by this rich butter of compassion..

if i could stop one heart from breaking,
i shall not live in vain;
if i can ease one life the aching,
or cool one pain,
or help one fainting robin 
unto his nest again,
i shall not live in vain.