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

spindrift




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








Wednesday, December 19, 2018

affirmation


I have lived all my life with a terminal diagnosis, yet the naming of cancer is considered terminal whereas living is not. To surrender into the reality of living is to surrender into the reality of it always leading to death. Surrender into dying is therefore not necessarily different than surrendering into life. To utterly surrender. To willingly, lovingly, enthusiastically give myself into the flow of the mystery of living that is this moment and no other, this radical acceptance of observer coexisting with the process giving rise to observer/observed, is to refine in luminosity until everything is luminous. I am gripped with immense smiling just writing this. Surrender, not as a giving up or a resignation but surrender as ultimate life affirmation. May this become increasingly firm.




This journey of living and learning and sharing;
May it become clear for everyone.
May we soften our grasping.
May we embrace the mystery of this immediate universe manifesting all of us.
May we find refuge in heart felt reverence and functional love.

May our lives continue to weave together well for the sake of everyone.
May blessings abound.





with thanks
Tarchin Hearn
excerpt blog post
Green Dharma Treasury






Saturday, December 1, 2018

December



"December" - what a poetic way to mark time - a collective, artistic flourish to capture the timeless.  If you asked anyone, they'd just say, "now".  But they'd have said that anyway, even for "July" or "September".  The timeless takes on "December" for a bit, then another name,  and another, but behind the names, behind the seasons, just Now.





Joan Ruvinsky
Photo:  Peter Bowers







What is Left to Say




The self steps out of the circle;
it stops wanting to be
the farmer, the wife, and the child.

It stops trying to please
by learning everyone's dialect;
it finds it can live, after all,
in a world of strangers.

It sends itself fewer flowers;
it stops preserving its tears in amber.

How splendidly arrogant it was
when it believed the gold-filled tomb
of language awaited its raids!
Now it frequents the junkyards
knowing all words are secondhand.

It has not chosen its poverty,
this new frugality.
It did not want to fall out of love
with itself. Young,
it celebrated itself
and richly sang itself,
seeing only itself
in the mirror of the world.

It cannot return. It assumes
its place in the universe of stars
that do not see it. Even the dead
no longer need it to be at peace.
Its function is to applaud.





Lisel Mueller
Photo:  Peter Bowers
with thanks:  Poetry Chaikhana






Wednesday, November 7, 2018

deciding



One mine the Indians worked had
gold so good they left it there
for God to keep.

At night sometimes you think
your way that far, that deep,
or almost.

You hold all things or not, depending
not on greed but whether they suit what
life begins to mean.

Like those workers you study what
moves,
what stays.  You bow, and then, like them,
you know -

What's God, what's world, what's gold. 





William Stafford
Photo:  Peter Bowers






Sunday, October 7, 2018

entering fully


Life is a boundless matrix of dynamic relationships. 
Ultimately, every action reverberates throughout the universe. 
I responding to you. 
You responding to me. 
This responding to that. 
That responding to this.

Responsiveness is the living heart of being and becoming. 
Atoms, molecules, organs and organisms, families and societies; 
entire ecosystems, biospheres, planets and galaxies; 
all shifting, responding, constantly changing.
Each birthing of this is a dying of that.
Each dying of that is a birthing of this. 
Responsive change is the very nature and fabric of what is.
Permanence is a mental abstraction; a hope, a need, 
a convenient but potentially deadening freezing 
of the actual creative dynamic of all our lives in action.

Suffering arises through trying to fix or make permanent 
what is essentially a seamless fluid process.

May we cease grasping at permanence and
with heartful confidence, love, enthusiasm and wide awake sensitivity, 
enter fully the great birthing/dying matrix of responsive relating;
this ineffable, un-pin-down-able, present blessing of now.







With thanks: Tarchin Hearn
Green Dharma Treasury
Photo: Peter Bowers







Thursday, October 4, 2018

lightly my darling

It’s dark because you are trying too hard.
Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly.
Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply.
Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.

I was so preposterously serious in those days, such a humorless little prig.
Lightly, lightly – it’s the best advice ever given me.
When it comes to dying even. Nothing ponderous, or portentous, or emphatic.
No rhetoric, no tremolos,
no self conscious persona putting on its celebrated imitation of Christ or Little Nell.
And of course, no theology, no metaphysics.
Just the fact of dying and the fact of the clear light.

So throw away your baggage and go forward.
There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet,
trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair.
That’s why you must walk so lightly.
Lightly my darling,
on tiptoes and no luggage,
not even a sponge bag,
completely unencumbered.






Aldous Huxley
Island
Photo:  Peter Bowers









Monday, August 20, 2018

Miracle Fair



Commonplace miracle:
that so many commonplace miracles happen.

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

One miracle out of many:
 a small, airy cloud
yet it can block a large and heavy moon.

Several miracles in one:
an alder tree reflected in the water,
and that it's backward and left to right
and that it grows there, crown down
and never reaches 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 orchard
from just that seed.

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

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

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

A miracle, just take a look around:
the world is everywhere.

An additional miracle, as everything is additional:
the unthinkable
is thinkable.





Wislawa Szymborska
Photo:  Peter Bowers













Tuesday, August 14, 2018

innocence



My gaze is clear as a sunflower.
My way is to walk the roads
Looking right and left
And sometimes looking behind me...
What I see at each moment
Is that which I never
Caught sight of before.

I have the knack of full awareness
The knack of essential astonishment
That an infant might experience
If at birth he were aware
That he was actually born!
I feel myself born at each moment
Into the everlasting newness
of the world.

I believe in the world
As I believe in a daisy
Because I see it.
But I do not think about it
Because to think is to not-understand.
The world was not made
For us to think about it
(To think is to have sick vision)
But for us to look at it and assent.

I have no philosophy: I have senses ...
If I talk of nature, that is not because
I know what nature is
But because I love it, and love is for this only:
For he who loves never knows what he loves
Or why he loves, or what love is.

Loving is eternal innocence
And the only innocence is not-thinking.





Fernando Pessoa
from The Keeper of the Flocks
translated by Thomas Merton







Thursday, August 2, 2018

Unmarked Boxes (excerpt)



God's joy moves from unmarked box to unmarked box,
from cell to cell. As rainwater, down into flowerbed.
As roses, up from ground. 
Now it looks like a plate of rice and fish, 
now a cliff covered with vines, 
now a horse being saddled.
It hides within these, 
till one day it cracks them open.





Rumi
Photo:  Peter Bowers