Saturday, May 11, 2019

keeping quiet




Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still.

For once on the face of the earth
let’s not speak in any language;
let’s stop for one second,
and not move our arms so much.

It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines,
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.

Fishermen in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would look at his hurt hands.

Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.

What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about;
I want no truck with death.

If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death.
Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive.

Now I’ll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.



Pablo Neruda
photo:  Peter Bowers






Saturday, May 4, 2019

be ahead of all parting

Be ahead of all parting, as if it had already happened,
like winter, which even now is passing.
For beneath the winter is a winter so endless
that to survive it at all is a triumph of the heart.

Be forever dead in Eurydice, and climb back singing.
Climb praising as you return to connection.
Here among the disappearing, in the realm of the transient,
be a ringing glass that shatters as it rings.

Be. And know as well the need to not be:
let that ground of all that changes
bring you to completion now.

To all that has run its course, and to the vast unsayable
numbers of beings abounding in Nature,
add yourself gladly, and cancel the cost.





Rainer Maria Rilke
A Year With Rilke
Sonnets to Orpheus II, 13
Translation by Joanna Macy & Anita Barrows
Photo:  Peter Bowers






Saturday, April 20, 2019

our lady. our friend.




We stand on sacred ground today.
Perhaps even more sacred
than yesterday’s ground.

I don’t know.

She outgrew her old form, she did.
She couldn’t be contained by her own form.
She is now bigger than she was
(Don’t trust your eyes completely my love).

See her now, ascended in fire!
Let your heart break, but let her go.
She was ready.
She wanted God
more than she wanted herself.

Our Lady. Our friend.
Returned to sky. Returned to ground.

Look under your feet. There she is.
Look into your heart. There she is.
Look into your memory. There she is.

Look everywhere
except where she once stood.

Even God’s houses must crumble.
Impermanence is the law,
rendering everything sacred
even before the sanctification.

It hurts. It hurts, I know.
But it hurts even more to hold on.

Our Lady. Our friend.
All the prayers you held!
The hopes and dreams of untold millions.
Mothers. Lovers. Fathers. Children.
All the secrets. The tears and the sorrow.
All delivered today in fire.

They say you are just a building,
but aren’t we all.

Destruction. Rebirth.
Water and flame.
The loss and the reconstruction.
The hope and the despair.

And this poor human heart,
trying to make sense of it all.

We stand on sacred ground today.
Perhaps even more sacred
than yesterday’s ground.

I don’t know.

Goodbye, my friend.





Jeff Foster
via:  science and nonduality







Friday, March 22, 2019

love is ...



Love is what gives joy to creatures.
Love is what provides all sorts of happiness.
We were not born from women; love gave birth to us.
A hundred blessings and praises to our mothers ! 





Rumi 


Sade Helen Koskelo 
June 22, 1940 - March 9, 2019






Thursday, March 21, 2019

the departure of the prodigal son



To go forth now
from all the entanglement
that is ours and yet not ours,
that, like the water in an old well,
reflects us in fragments, distorts what we are.

From all that clings like burrs and brambles—
to go forth
and see for once, close up, afresh,
what we had ceased to see—
so familiar it had become.
To glimpse how vast and how impersonal
is the suffering that filled your childhood.

Yes, to go forth, hand pulling away from hand.
Go forth to what? To uncertainty,
to a country with no connections to us
and indifferent to the dramas of our life.

What drives you to go forth? Impatience, instinct,
a dark need, the incapacity to understand.

To bow to all this.
To let go—
even if you have to die alone.
Is this the start of a new life?





Rainer Maria Rilke
Translation by Joanna Macy & Anita Barrows
Photo:  Peter Bowers






Friday, February 22, 2019

millennium blessing ... this

There is a grace approaching
that we shun as much as death,
it is the completion of our birth.

It does not come in time,
       but in timelessness
when the mind sinks into the heart
and we remember.

It is insistent grace that draws us
to the edge and beckons us surrender
safe territory and enter our enormity.

We know we must pass
       beyond knowing
and fear the shedding.

But we are pulled upward
       none-the-less
through forgotten ghosts
       and unexpected angels,
luminous.

And there is nothing left to say
but we are That.

And that is what we sing about.

Stephen Levine
Photos:  Peter Bowers



And there is nothing left to say
but we are This.

And this is what we sing about.








Saturday, February 16, 2019

Maya



Buddha points to the earth
Zen master points to the moon
Arjuna points to the target
Mary points to her child
Jesus points to the heart
Rumi points to Shams

We all look
until we see






Ellen Grace O'Brian
Photo:  Peter Bowers
with thanks: Poetry Chaikhana







Friday, February 8, 2019

Vanishing Point



How am I a self
when I am
constantly disappearing?
A traveling venue
of water
and sinew.
I am a story
I made up
in my head:
Looks good in hats.
Won't eat oysters.
Fears infirmity.

Touch me, I am fluid.

In all my transparency
my body is
betraying me,
just as
the plot demanded.
I would deny this
distant progression
of time and cells
if the mirror
were not such a talker.

Kiss me, I am corruptible.

So what
are we
made of?

Stories - 
Just when you think
you could not take

one more
here comes another.
You keep right on

living -
piling up
your stories

like cordwood
and the lying-self
keeps pace

with daily duties:
meals to prepare,
pills to take.

How could you
keep on if you did not
deny your vanishing point?

Look at me, I won't last long.





Tina Schumann
Photo:  Peter Bowers







Sunday, January 20, 2019

white heron rises over blackwater




I wonder
    what it is
        that I will accomplish
            today

if anything
    can be called
        that marvelous word.
            It won't be

my kind of work,
    which is only putting
        words on a page,
            the pencil

haltingly calling up
    the light of the world,
        yet nothing appearing on paper
            half as bright

as the mockingbird's
    verbal hilarity
        in the still unleafed shrub
            in the churchyard -

or the white heron
    rising
        over the swamp
            and the darkness,

his yellow eyes
    and broad wings wearing
        the light of the world
            in the world -

ah yes, I see him.
    He is exactly
        the poem
            I wanted to write.






Mary Oliver
Photo:  Peter Bowers

   





Saturday, January 19, 2019

both worlds


Forever busy, it seems,
with words,
finally
I put the pen down

and crumple
most of the sheets
and leave one or two,
sometimes a few,

for the next morning.
Day after day -
year after year -
it has gone on this way,

I rise from the chair,
I put on my jacket
and leave the house
for that other world -

the first one,
the holy one -
where the trees say
nothing the toad says

nothing the dirt
says nothing and yet
what has always happened
keeps happening:

the trees flourish,
the toad leaps,
and out of the silent dirt
the blood - red roses rise.




Mary Oliver
Photo:  Peter Bowers







Saturday, January 5, 2019

where everything is music




Do not worry about saving these songs.
And if one of our instruments breaks,
it does not matter.

We have fallen into the place
where everything is music.

The strumming and the flute notes
rise into the atmosphere,

and even if the whole world's harp should burn up,
there will still be hidden instruments playing.

So the candle flickers and goes out.
We have a piece of flint and a spark.

This singing art is sea foam.
The graceful movements come from a pearl
somewhere on the ocean floor.

Poems reach up like spindrift
and the edge of driftwood along the beach, wanting.

They derive
from a slow and powerful root
that we cannot see.

Stop the words now.
Open the window in the center of your chest,
and let the  spirits fly in and out.





Rumi
Photo:  Peter Bowers






Friday, December 21, 2018

Without Brushing My Hair



The
Closer
I get to you, Beloved,
The more I can see
It is just You and I all alone
In this 
World.

I hear
A knock at my door,
Who else could it be,
So I rush without brushing
My hair.

For too
Many nights
I have begged for Your 
Return

And what
Is the use of vanity
At this late hour, at this divine season,
That has now come to my folded
Knees?

If your love letters are true dear God
I will surrender myself to
Who You keep saying
I
Am.





Hafiz
Translation:  Daniel Ladinsky
Photo:  Peter Bowers