Thursday, December 29, 2016


Anyone who has probed the inner life,
who has sat in silence long enough to experience
the stillness of the mind behind its apparent noise,
is faced with a mystery.

Apart from all the outer attractions of life in the world,
there exists at the center of human consciousness
something quite satisfying and beautiful in itself,
a beauty without features.

The mystery is not so much that these two dimensions exist -
an outer world and the mystery of the inner world -
but that we are suspended between them,
as a space in which both worlds meet . . .
as if the human being is the meeting point,
the threshold between two worlds.

Kabir Helminski
The Knowing Heart
Photo:  Peter Bowers

Wednesday, December 28, 2016


Whoever you are: step out of doors tonight,
Out of the room that lets you feel secure.
Infinity is open to your sight.
Whoever you are.
With eyes that have forgotten how to see
From viewing things already too well-known,
Lift up into the dark a huge, black tree
And put it in the heavens: tall, alone.
And you have made the world and all you see.
It ripens like the words still in your mouth.
And when at last you comprehend its truth,
Then close your eyes and gently set it free.

Rainer Maria Rilke
Translation:  Dana Gioia
Photo:  Peter Bowers

Monday, December 26, 2016

One being inside all

Lovers, it is time
for the taste of fire.

Let sadness and your fears of death
sit in the corner and sulk.

The sky itself reels with love.
There is one being inside
all of us, one peace.

Poet, let every word tremble its wind bell.
Saddle the horse with great anticipation.

Flute notes are calling us into friendship.
Begin again.  Play the melody
all the way through this time.

Sun-presence floods over.
Quietness is an empty cup.

Accept that you
must hide your secret.

Translation:  Coleman Barks
Photo:  Peter Bowers

Friday, December 23, 2016

It Depends On You

If in your heart you make
a manger for Love's birth,
Then God will once again
become a child on earth.

Angelus Silesius
Photo:  Peter Bowers

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Lighting of the Candle

Jyoti Jyoti Jyoti Swayam
Jyoti Jyoti Jyoti Param
Jyoti Jyoti Jyoti Arul
Jyoti Jyoti Jyoti Sivam
Vaama Jyoti Soma Jyoti
Vaana Jyoti Jnaana Jyoti
Maaha Jyoti Yoga Jyoti
Vaata Jyoti Naada Jyoti
Ema Jyoti Vyoma Jyoti
Eru Jyoti Veeru Jyoti
Eka Jyoti Eka Jyoti
Eka Jyoti Jyotiye

Light O Light of Self-Effulgence
Light O Light of Absoluteness
Light O Light of Gracefulness
Light O Light of Auspiciousness
Light of Siva, Light of Moon
Light Divine, Light of Wisdom
Light of Heaven, Light of Yoga
Light of Wind, Light of Sound
Light Delight, Light of Water
Rising Light, Vital Light
The Only Light, The Only Light
Give us Light, O Light of Lights

Arati Chant

Monday, December 5, 2016


Even if I don’t see it again—nor ever feel it
I know it is—and that if once it hailed me
it ever does—
And so it is myself I want to turn in that direction
not as towards a place, but it was a tilting
within myself,
as one turns a mirror to flash the light to where
it isn’t—I was blinded like that—and swam
in what shone at me
only able to endure it by being no one and so
specifically myself I thought I’d die
from being loved like that.

Marie Howe
Photo:  Peter Bowers

Saturday, December 3, 2016

the one guest

She who reconciles the ill-matched threads
of her life, and weaves them gratefully
into a single cloth -
it's she who drives the loudmouths from the hall
and clears it for a different celebration

where the one guest is you.
In the softness of evening
it's you she receives.

You are the partner of her loneliness,
the unspeaking center of her monologues.
With each disclosure you encompass more
and she stretches beyond what limits her,
to hold you.

Rainer Maria Rilke
Book of Hours
Translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy
Photo: Peter Bowers

Why I Wake Early

Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who make the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even, the
miserable and the crotchety -

best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universe
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light -
good morning, good morning, good morning.

Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness.

Mary Oliver
Photo:  Peter Bowers

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


a lasting marriage
when devotion has claimed you for its own
no longer any  chance to stray
a brief fling with illusion no longer satisfies
the truth demands utter fidelity
with no possibility of divorce

all pain must be faced
and embraced as the true countenance of
  your beloved

all fear must be met
and recognized as the thrill of tasting
  the unknowable

all joy must be surrendered
and acknowledged as a gift with
  no giver

this union only requires telling the truth
even when the truth shatters your dreams
even when the truth leaves you emptied out
even when the truth reveals your counterfeit
then there is no other possibility
  than happily after

Gifts With No Giver
Photo:  Peter Bowers

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

To Come Home to Yourself

May all that is unforgiven in you
Be released.

May your fears yield
Their deepest tranquilities.

May all that is unlived in you
Blossom into a future
Graced with love.

John O'Donohue
Photo:  Peter Bowers

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Sunset on the Last Day of Hunting Season

What deer still remain are far back in the woods by now.
They count their losses.  The others count
their trophies.  The score is even.
It's always a tie in the duality game.

Joan Ruvinsky
Photo:  Peter Bowers

Saturday, November 19, 2016


Strong or soft, wild or serene -
Wherever breath flows there is song.
Hear its whisper touching behind the face,
Singing in the throat,
Dancing spirals in the sanctuary of your heart.

In this practice of listening,
A moment may come when you just want to lie down.
This is a doorway - surrender.
Fall into the wide-open embrace of life.
You are the instrument breath is playing.

All the meditations you have ever loved
Are vibrating in this luxurious hum,
Continuing even in sleep and dreams.
This is your school.  Just you and infinity.
The texture of the Self is untamed freedom.

Lorin Roche
The Radiance Sutras, 32
Photo:  Peter Bowers


Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

Leonard Cohen
Photo:  Peter Bowers

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Where We Began

Though we are often driven by sorrow,
To seek the end of sorrows,
It is the desire for Love and Love Itself,
That in the end brings us to Freedom.

For when all  hope is lost,
And only Despair remains.
When all paths have failed,
And all efforts proven vain.

Then we sit alone, defeated, with nothing left.
Nothing, that is...
Except what moved us at the onset.
Our Own Shining Heart, our Own Inherent Love.

We wander for countless ages.
In the heartbreak of giving and receiving,
Until, when grasping is exhausted,
We simply rest as the Love we Are.

The Kingdom of Heaven is Within.
Not in perfection or attainment,
Not in doing thusly, or understanding profoundly.
Simply Here, where we began.

As we are.
Right where we began.

Chuck Surface
Photo:  Peter Bowers

Friday, September 30, 2016

Body Intelligence

There are guides
who can show you the way.
Use them.

But they will not satisfy your longing.
Keep wanting the connection with presence
with all your pulsing energy.

The throbbing vein
will take you further
than any thinking.

Muhammed said, Do not theorize
about essence.  All speculations
are just more layers of covering.
Human beings love coverings.

They think the designs on the curtains
are what is being concealed.

Observe the wonders as they occur around you.
Do not claim them.  Feel the artistry
moving through, and be silent.

Photo:  Peter Bowers

Sunday, September 25, 2016

dancing particles

Daylight, full of small dancing particles
and the one great turning, our souls
are dancing with you, without feet, they dance.
Can you see them when I whisper in your ear?

Photo:  Peter Bowers

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

i thank You God for most this amazing

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday;this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any–lifted from the no
of all nothing–human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

e.e. cummings

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

In My Wallet I Carry a Card

In my wallet I carry a card
which declares I have the power to marry.

In my wallet I carry a card
which declares I may drive.

In my wallet I carry a card
that says to a merchant I may be trusted to pay her.

In my wallet I carry a card
that states I can borrow a book in the town where I live.

In my hand I carry a card.
Its lines declare I am cardless,  carless,
stateless, and have no money.

It is buoyant and edgeless.
It names me one of the Order of All Who Will Die.

Jane Hirshfield
Photo:  Peter Bowers

A Cottony Fate

Long ago, someone
told me: avoid or.

It troubles the mind
as a held-out piece of meat disturbs a dog.

Now I too am sixty.
There was no other life.

Jane Hirshfield
Photo:  Peter Bowers

Saturday, September 17, 2016

being to timelessness as it's to time

being to timelessness as it's to time,
love did no more begin than love will end;
where nothing is to breathe to stroll to swim
love is the air the ocean and the land

(do lovers suffer?all divinities
proudly descending put on deathful flesh:
are lovers glad?only their smallest joy's
a universe emerging from a wish)

love is the voice under all silences,
the hope which has no opposite in fear;
the strength so strong mere force is feebleness:
the truth more first than sun more last than star

-do lovers love?why then to heaven with hell.
Whatever sages say and fools,all's well

e.e. cummings
photo:  Peter Bowers

Friday, September 16, 2016

the grip of life

Say "death" and the whole room freezes--
even the couches stop moving,
even the lamps.
Like a squirrel suddenly aware it is being looked at.

Say the word continuously,
and things begin to go forward.
Your life takes on
the jerky texture of an old film strip.

Continue saying it, hold it moment after moment inside the mouth,
it becomes another syllable.
A shopping mall swirls around the corpse of a beetle.

Death is voracious, it swallows all the living.
Life is voracious, it swallows all the dead.
neither is ever satisfied, neither is ever filled,
each swallows and swallows the world.

The grip of life is as strong as the grip of death.

(but the vanished, the vanished beloved, o where?)

Jane Hirshfield
Photo:  Peter Bowers

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Rumi love bites

Move into your own quietness.


This turning toward what you deeply love saves you.


A rose opens because she is the fragrance she loves.

The Glance, Songs of Soul-Meeting
Photo:  Peter Bowers

Friday, September 2, 2016

love pulsating

The air I am breathing was exhaled in ecstasy
By an an ancient sun.
This earth I am standing on
Was born of cosmic fire.
The blood flowing through my veins
Is as salty as the primordial ocean.
The space permeating my body
Is infinite as the space all around.

Above, below, to all sides, within,
The elements of the universe
Are engaged in their ceremony of delight.

This is my religion.
The attraction between suns
Is the same
As the love pulsating in my heart.

Lorin Roche
The Radiance Sutras, 34
Photo:  Peter Bowers

Friday, August 12, 2016

perfect poem

I've searched the world
For the perfect poem
And all I've found
Is silence

I would hand you the gift
Of my heart
But this is the gift
You gave me -

What words
Can rise
From this
Transparency? -

No lips
Are needed
For love
To kiss

Love Songs of the Undivided
Photo:  Peter Bowers

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

the sky

I like it with nothing. Is it
what I was? What I will be?
I look out there by the hour,
so clear, so sure. I could
smile, or frown—still nothing.

Be my father, be my mother,
great sleep of blue; reach
far within me; open doors,
find whatever is hiding; invite it
for many clear days in the sun.

When I turn away I know
you are there. We won’t forget
each other: every look is a promise.
Others can’t tell what you say
when it’s the blue voice, when
you come to the window and look for me.

Your word arches over
the roof all day. I know it
within my bowed head where
the other sky listens.
You will bring me
everything when the time comes.

William Stafford
Photo:  Peter Bowers

Sunday, August 7, 2016

I hacked my way through six forests

I hacked my way through six forests
until the moon woke up inside me.
The sky's breath sang through me,
dried up my body's substance.
I roasted my heart in passion's fire
and found Shankara!

English version by Ranjit Hoskote
Photo:  Peter Bowers

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Intense cold makes water ice

Intense cold makes water ice.
Then the hard ice turns to slush
and back to water, so there are three
forms of consciousness: the individual,
the world, and God, which in the sun
of True Awareness melt to one flowing:

Lalla is that.

In meditation, I entered the love furnace,
burned impurities away, and as the sun
of a new knowing rose, I realized
that the words "Lalla" and "God"
point to this peacefulness.

English version:   Coleman Barks
Photos:  Peter Bowers

Monday, July 18, 2016


Love says "I am everything". 
Wisdom says "I am nothing". 
Between the two,  my life flows.

Nisargadatta Maharaj

Monday, June 27, 2016


What is the deep listening?  Sama is
a greeting from the secret ones inside

the heart, a letter.  The branches of 
your intelligence grow new leaves in

the wind of this listening.  The body
reaches a peace.  Rooster sound comes,

reminding you of your love for dawn.
The reed flute and singer's lips:  

the knack of how spirit breathes into
us becomes as simple and ordinary as 

eating and drinking.  The dead rise with
the pleasure of listening.  If someone 

can't hear a trumpet melody, sprinkle
dirt on his head and declare him dead.  

Listen and feel the beauty of your
separation, the unsayable absence.  

There's a moon inside every human being.
Learn to be companions with it.  Give

more of your life to this listening.  As 
brightness is to time, so you are to

the one who talks to the deep ear in 
your chest.  I should sell my tongue

and buy a thousand ears when that
one steps near and begins to speak.

Translated by Coleman Barks
Photo:  Peter Bowers

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Expressing the Inexpressible

We struggle, through Love,
To express in words, concepts, and metaphor,
That which cannot be expressed.

For this Grace can only be communicated
Through wordless Benediction,
Heart to Heart,

If you can fall, for just one moment,
From head to Heart,
From concept to Experience…

And allow yourself to be “Meditated”.

Photo:  Peter Bowers

Friday, May 27, 2016


We cannot precisely say what this listening is, because it is not a function. It is without intention. Being free from intention also means being free from concentration.  In both we are looking for a target, looking for a result, but in listening we are simply open, directionless.

In listening there is no grasping, no taking.  All that is listened to comes to us.  The relaxed brain is in a state of natural non-function, simply attentive without any specific direction.  We can never objectify listening, because that would mean to put it in the frame of space and time.  It is listening to oneself.

In listening to oneself there is no outside and no inside.  It is silence, presence.  In this silence-presence there is total absence of oneself as being somebody.

In listening we are not isolated.  We are only isolated when we live in objects, but free from objects we live our essence where there is no separation.  In listening there is not a you and not another.  Call it love.

Jean Klein
The Book of Listening
Photo:  Peter Bowers

Thursday, May 26, 2016

wind in the pine trees

No writing on the solitary, meditative dimensions of life can say anything
that has not already been said better by the wind in the pine trees. 
These pages seek nothing more than to echo the silence and peace 
that is “heard” when the rain wanders freely among the hills and forests.

But what can the wind say when there is no hearer?

 There is then a deeper silence:
 the silence in which the Hearer is No-Hearer. 
That deeper silence must be heard before one can speak truly of solitude.

Thomas Merton 

Monday, May 9, 2016


A dragon was pulling a bear into its terrible mouth.
A courageous man went and rescued the bear.
There are such helpers in the world, who rush to save
anyone who cries out. Like Mercy itself,
they run toward the screaming.

And they can't be bought off.
If you were to ask one of those, "Why did you come
so quickly?" he or she would say, "Because I heard
your helplessness."

Where lowland is,
that's where water goes. All medicine wants
is pain to cure.

And don't just ask for one mercy.
Let them flood in. Let the sky open under your feet.
Take the cotton out of your ears, the cotton
of consolations, so you can hear the sphere-music.

Push the hair out of your eyes.
Blow the phlegm from your nose,
and from your brain.

Let the wind breeze through.
Leave no residue in yourself from that bilious fever.
Take the cure for impotence,
that your manhood may shoot forth,
and a hundred new beings come of your coming.

Tear the binding from around the foot
of your soul, and let it race around the track
in front of the crowd. Loosen the knot of greed
so tight on your neck. Accept your new good luck.

Give your weakness
to one who helps.

Crying out loud and weeping are great resources.
A nursing mother, all she does
is wait to hear her child.

Just a little beginning-whimper,
and she's there.

God created the child, that is your wanting,
so that it might cry out, so that milk might come.

Cry out! Don't be stolid and silent
with your pain. Lament! And let the milk
of loving flow into you.

The hard rain and wind
are ways the cloud has
to take care of us.

Be patient.
Respond to every call
that excites your spirit.

Ignore those that make you fearful
and sad, that degrade you
back toward disease and death.

Photo:  Peter Bowers

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Lord Krishna to Arjuna

Creatures rise and creatures vanish;
I alone am real, Arjuna,
looking out, amused, from deep
Within the eyes of every creature.

I am the object of all knowledge,
Father of the world, its mother,
Source of all things, of impure and
Pure, of holiness and horror.

I am the goal, the root, the witness,
Home and refuge, dearest friend,
Creation and annihilation,
Everlasting seed and treasure.

I am the radiance of the sun, I
Open or withhold the rainclouds,
I am Immortality and
Death, am being and non-being.

I am the Self, Arjuna, seated
in the heart of every creature.
I am the origin, the middle,
And the end that all must come to.

The Bhagavad Gita
Stephen Mitchell translation
Photo:  Peter Bowers

Wednesday, April 13, 2016


Intricate and untraceable
weaving and interweaving,
dark strand with light:

designed, beyond
all spiderly contrivance,
to link, not to entrap:

elation, grief, joy, contrition, entwined;

shaking, changing,




all praise,

all praise to the

great web.

Denise Levertov
Photo:  Peter Bowers

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Learn by little the desire for all things

Learn by little the desire for all things
which perhaps is not desire at all
but undying love which perhaps
is not love at all but gratitude
for the being of all things which
perhaps is not gratitude at all
but the maker's joy in what is made,
the joy in which we come to rest.

Wendell Berry
Photo:  Peter Bowers

Monday, March 28, 2016

Cutting Loose

Sometimes from sorrow, for no reason,
you sing. For no reason, you accept
the way of being lost, cutting loose from
all else and electing a world
where you go where you want to.

Arbitrary, sound comes, a reminder
that a steady center is holding
all else. If you listen, that sound
will tell where it is, and you
can slide your way past trouble.

Certain twisted monsters
always bar the path—but that's when
you get going best, glad to be
lost, learning how real it is
here on the earth, again and again.

William Stafford
Photo:  Peter Bowers

Thursday, March 24, 2016


This is fullness.
That is fullness.
From fullness springs fullness.
Take fullness from fullness and
only fullness remains.
Om peace, peace, peace.

Om purnam-adah purnam-idam
Purnaat purnam-udachyate
Purnasya purnam-aadaaya
Om shanti shanti shanti

Invocation Brhadarayaka Upanishad
photo:  Peter Bowers

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Friend

In the old days, my Baba said,
True teachers, gurus, murshids,
Did not sit “in front of” groups, elevated above,
But were simple people… simple…
Always sitting “across from” a simple friend.

They were fellow Lovers of The Beloved,
In whose Hearts Her Flame was alight,
And in relationship with whom,
The ember in one's own Heart would ignite,
And one would become, in time… “like them”.

This is, after all, the point, is it not?

This was an intimate spiritual relationship,
Not seeing from a distance, seldom,
Over the heads of a crowd,
Not being “taught” in words and concepts,
But a Mystical Illumining of Grace…

Heart to Heart.

The guru, the murshid, the teacher,
Took tea with a friend, and chatted,
And together they bathed in the Presence,
That Illumined both their Hearts,
One aflame, the other igniting.

Things were said, questions asked, in this simplicity,
That would not be uttered in a crowd of strangers,
Revelations of the Heart's deepest Longing,
Questions utterable only in the Intimacy of Friendship,
And answers…

Born of a Heart Fulfilled.

It did not matter, my Baba said,
Whether the teacher, the guru, the murshid,
Was brilliant, of diamond-like mind,
Eloquent, and inspiring of speech,
Beautiful for the eyes to behold…

Or a drooling idiot.

All that was required, he said,
Was their Presence,
Which had become, over time,
Through Love, Longing, and inward turning,
Indistinguishable, inseparable from…

Her Timeless Presence.

Two simple Friends,
Two simple ones,
Two Lovers of The Beautiful Mystery,
Taking Tea, chatting, as only Friends can do;
Sipping… Sipping…

Vanishing in The Tea.
In this way, this Ancient Way, my Baba said,
The Flame in one, ignited the ember in the other,
And in time, when that ember burst into Flame,
Another teacher, guru, murshid was born,
A Simple friend, a Fellow Lover…

Of That for which “Love“ is a wholly inadequate word.

Two things he oft' repeated:
“Slowly, slowly; She is doing everything.”
And, more often even than that,
“Remain always, a simple man.”

For the old days are now.

Chuck Surface
Photo:  Peter Bowers

Tuesday, February 2, 2016


            I can see humility
            Delicate and white
            It is satisfying
            Just by itself

            And Trust
            absolute trust
            a gift
            a precious gift

            I would rather think of humility than
                        anything else.

            Humility, the beautiful daughter
            She cannot do either right or wrong
            She does not do anything
            All of her ways are empty
            Infinitely light and delicate
            She treads an even path
            Sweet, smiling, uninterrupted, free


             Agnes Martin
             Photo:  Peter Bowers

Like Snow

Suppose we did our work, 
like the snow, quietly, quietly,
leaving nothing out.

Wendell Berry
Photo:  Peter Bowers

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Original Mind

How many evenings
have you turned away?

As if the life you really want
could only begin

once something else had happened,
something else that was not yet here…

All the unmet conditions
you’ve placed before happiness

have kept you a person in waiting
like someone overlooked, someone

whose time has yet to come,
as if God somehow

forgot to pack you a lunch…

Right now
a wheel of fortune is spinning

but notice: its center is completely still,
unchanging, completely empty

Bet all your money here
on a clear reception

of that hollowness
a nothing that lacks nothing.

It’s like we have two minds.
One is conditioned, and conditional…

And it’s filled with drama:
—your anchorless ship ever drawing close

to fearful rocks of loss
or hopeful shores of gain.

But we don’t need all the drama
--or special conditions, for happiness

to visit and stay awhile.
It doesn’t need to be imported,

doesn’t need to be Maui
under a full moon,

with a special enchanting
someone in tow. Nor do we need

all our duckies
finally lined up in a row.

Our original mind
is already content

standing in any line, sitting in any chair,
or parked in an old jalopy

in any Safeway parking lot.
This mind is empty

of all that clutching
to outcomes and conditions.

Less picky, more eco-friendly.
Just this is enough.

Gary Rosenthal
Photo:  Peter Bowers

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

In the Realm of the Passing Away

This is the realm of the passing away.  All that
exists does not for long.
Whatever comes into this world never stops sliding
toward the edge of eternity.
Form arises from formlessness and passes back,
arising and dissolving in a few dance steps between
creation and destruction.
We are born passing away.
Seedlings and deadfall all face forward.
Earthworms eat what remains.
We sing not for that which dies but for that which
never dies.

Stephen Levine
Photo:  Peter Bowers

Being the Song

Reminding others of the enormity of their own 
Great Nature is the highest service one can offer another.

Kyoto Zen Master

First we serve, then we become service.
It is alot like prayer; first you pray, 
but eventually your life becomes the prayer.
First you sing, then you become the song.
Gandhi said, 'My life is my message."

Stephen Levine
Photo:  Peter Bowers


Friday, January 8, 2016

The Avowal

As swimmers dare
to  lie face to the sky
and water bears them,
as hawks rest upon air
and air sustains them,
so would I learn to attain 
freefall, and float
in Creator Spirit's deep embrace,
knowing no effort earns
that all-surrounding grace. 

Denise Levertov
Photo:  Peter Bowers

Friday, January 1, 2016

the deep innerness of all things

You are the future, 
the red sky before sunrise
over the fields of time.

You are the cock's crow when night is done,
you are the dew and the bells of matins,
maiden, stranger, mother, death.

You create yourself in ever-changing shapes
that rise from the stuff of our days -
unsung, unmourned, undescribed,
like a forest we never know.

You are the deep innerness of all things,
the last word that can never be spoken.
To each of us you reveal yourself differently:
to the ship as coastline, to the shore as a ship.

 Rainer Maria Rilke
photo:  Peter Bowers