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








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