Sunday, October 29, 2017


four folks came together for an inquiry ~

who knows how 
to have the void for a head
to have life as a backbone
& death for a tail?

at this they all looked at one another
saw that they agreed,
burst out laughing
and became fast friends!

then one of them fell ill
and another went to visit.
great is the maker, said the sick one..
who has made me as i am!

i am so doubled up
my guts are over my head;
upon the navel i rest my cheek;
my shoulders stand out
beyond my neck;
my crown is an ulcer
surveying the sky;
what a mess!
my body is chaos
but my mind is in order  -

are you discouraged?
 asked the friend

not at all! why should i be?
if i am taken apart
and a rooster made of my left shoulder
i shall announce the dawn.
if my right shoulder is
made into a crossbow
i shall procure our next meal.
if my buttocks turn into wheels
& if my spirit is a horse
i will hitch myself up
& ride around in my own wagon!

there is a time for putting together
& another time for taking apart.
the one who understands
the course of these events
takes each new state
in its proper time
with neither sorrow nor joy.
the ancients say:
the hanged man
cannot cut himself down..
nature is stronger
than all one's ropes and bonds.

it has always been so ~
where is there a reason
to be discouraged?
             -  chuang tzu

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

and a woman spoke, saying, tell us of pain..

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses
your understanding.

Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its
heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.

And could you keep your heart in wonder at the
daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem
less wondrous than your joy;

And you would accept the seasons of your heart,
even as you have always accepted the seasons that
pass over your fields.

And you would watch with serenity through the
winters of your grief.

Much of your pain is self-chosen.

It is the bitter potion by which the physician within
you heals your sick self.

Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy
in silence and tranquillity:

For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by
the tender hand of the Unseen,

And the cup he brings, though it burn your lips, has
been fashioned of the clay which the Potter has
moistened with His own sacred tears.

                     ~ kahlil gibran
                         the prophet

Sunday, October 22, 2017

coming to our feet

my alarm clock is no clock at all..
it is a coming-to to consciousness ..
finding thought wide awake..

this morning was no exception ..
already deciding to re-write a letter to a friend..
refraining from sending a welcome home pamphlet to another,
mouth-watering about the waffles i will make,
wriggling my feet, legs, hips, shoulders
to see where pain was stuck..
which tea i will be brewing..
all in a few ring-a-lings of the inner sanctum alarm..

the first moments of coming to my feet
always take me out-of-doors..
a balmy pristine 3:45 AM..
the stars - still up and out..
dazzling the dark..
i imagined their alarm clocks..
ready to tuck in as daybreak stretched the light..

after prayers.. be they a bit weak this day..
chai and sitting.. mat time
waffles browning .. sweetening the cozy .
munch time..

i was summoned out-of doors yet again..
skyward gazing brought into focus
a smitter of large dark birds..5 at the most..
what are these flight-lovers?
for one could see ..
even from the dusk and distance
how much they were enjoying the winds
the currents..
all of a sudden..
there were a dozen..
then ..
a dozen more..
grabbing the binocs..
chequeing the tail feathers..
a few ravens in the murder..
more and more joined the circling..
higher, wider, exultant..
dozens twice and thrice..
the luster of the new day
a glowing backdrop for the
coterie of feathered flyers..

just then..
just now..
the hummers started to chum their way to the feeders
as is their morning ritual of nectar gathering and camaraderie..

this very day was close, so close
heading in the direction of self-pity..
you know..that stake to the heart..
when i was uplifted
out of the self that clings to a self..
all medicine wants is pain to cure..
what a whopper of a dropper full i received..
coming to my feet..

Sunday, October 15, 2017

how could this happen to you?

this seems to be the question of the day..
the answer..see below...*

over the last 17 years i have carried
this prayer in my vest pocket ~
barely readable and rumbled
here is what is written..

o holy compassionate guru
please grant me blessings to be able 
to take all the karmic debt, obstacles 
and sufferings of other beings 
without exception upon myself
and to dedicate my own body
and merit to them.
thus may i lead all beings to bliss.

i confess though i haven't been bringing
it forward all of these 17 years,
it has been working me..

and from my morning prayers ..

like the earth, water, wind and fire,
medicinal herbs, & the trees of the wilderness,
may i always be made use of freely
by all beings just as they wish.

may i be beloved of beings, and may they
be more beloved to me than myself.
may i bear the results of all their negativity,
and may they have the results of all my virtue.

i'd like to think my practices could
be that powerful yet i know i don't carry
that kind of wisdom, purity and compassion..
not yet..anyway..

my right hip is worn out..
turned to dust, it seems..
could be genetics..
could be -
see 9/19 post
what would i give back?

* most likely it is all my ancient, twisted karma
from beginningless greed, anger and folly
born thru my body, speech and mind..

Friday, October 6, 2017


there is a feeling ..
deep in the marrow..
when a gander of geese fly
directly over my head..
somehow the whiffle of their wings
take flight in my heart..
the center of my chest..
i hold my breath so not to miss a beat
of their journey above me..

is it a sadness or is it a longing..?
for the travel they have undertaken..
from deep intuition..profound instinct..
that carries them hither to thither
without skipping a beat -
a part of me goes missing
in exhilaration for the enskyment
they partake in this season
the hunter's moon looks on in fullness..
you go! she seems to say..

an accord..a harmony
descends thru the grey
that melancholy supposedly brings..
as an irish lass..
that melancholy is the harmony..
that longing is the contentment ..
how does this happen?

bullets shatter the glitter of las vegas..
it is inconceivable to envision such violence
within the golden peace of our valley..
yet it dashes the calm, slashes the serenity ..
do the geese feel this wobble in the force?
do the hummingbirds snestling on the feeder receive the shock?

how to marry these two in the oneness?
how to yoke the dark - the light
in a mandala of wholeness..?
i must own the full spectrum
as this morning sky of pale blood
imbues the almost frost of new mown grass..
i am the killer
i am the killed
i am the geese
the nectar in the bowl

heal me may i heal you
embracing the sorrow
being the remedy
only then are we free