Showing posts from May, 2017
Today I saw sea eagle piercing the blue sky silver glinting from his talons promises there will be a tomorrow.
Not first upon the Cross God let Himself be slain, For see! He lieth dead there at the feet of Cain. --Angelus Silesius ***** Goodness this is a powerful reminder and brings forward what it means to be in the image and likeness of God. When we lay violent hands on any person, we lay violent hands on God himself--Matthew 25:40: "And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

Poem: On Looking at the Columns in the Temple of Hathor

On Looking at the Columns in the Temple of Hathor What dim, flickering, ageless age you speak to us--an ageless age that changes in the mind of the one who sees it. How many worked for how long to make these columns and friezes to tell us what story? How much shadowed labor in what heat and weather? How many working here and how many others to support the work they did?                  It beggars the imagination to think--no outlets, no switches nothing but the muscled labor of men and women and beasts. No eight-hour day and then off to be with family, no unions, no protection from elements or random anger.  And yet all done all to glorify a silent goddess--joy and a mother's abiding love.                                          What connection have I now to what this meant to you when it was new--when ground was cleared and tamped and set for the work of long years, when bright blue skies and sun washed days pounded harder than the hard hours of long
This is the problem with today, we look to the future and the past, we're taught to do it from the time we can think, and here we look to both ways-- To the future that we are building memories (the past) for, with not so much as a sidelong glance to the fact that when we live Romantic nows the past and the future take care of themselves.
Instead of focusing on the outer cosmos, Socrates focused primarily on human beings and their cosmos within, utilizing his method to open up new realms of self-knowledge while at the same time exposing a great deal of error, superstition, and dogmatic nonsense. The Spanish-born American philosopher and poet George Santayana said that Socrates knew that “the foreground of human life is necessarily moral and practical” and that “it is so even so for artists”—and even for scientists, try as some might to divorce their work from these dimensions of human existence.

With T. S. Eliot on the Beach

"From the moment of inception a poem must be driven by the meaning you would give to it" "Oh Tom, not this again, please-- look at the ocean, the sun just reflecting, the pelican raising his head to swallow a fish." "That's it! That's it exactly! The three persons of the trinity-- the Holy Ghost present to all equally, the Father Ocean in whom we live and move and have our being and most of all the Pelican Christ, who moves on the surface of the Father and engulfs sinners to their salvation. " "Eh," I say, "can't the ocean be the ocean and the waves just waves? Can't sand be sand no matter how we sculpt it?" "Poetry isn't for the faint of heart or the weak of will, its for men of stout heart and strong mind who know what they mean and say it with full force of their words." "Why can't poetry just be beautiful. . ." "It must be beautiful but not just, it must
I just read this poem and fell in love with it. A picture rather than a typescript because you have to see it for it to mean. I first read it in a Keillor collection where all design was removed and it still entranced me, but now even more properly arrayed.  As set in Keillor's book, the poem is rather like pâté de foie gras, sans pâté, pas de gras.   Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Central Park West.
And when you write, write. one word in front of another your meaning, your meaning their meaning, their meaning expanding the boundary to bursting, and who cares? Because now it is one word one word one word a pile of words.

To Starbucks

I truly love your energy efficient high green grass-covered hut with fake fireplace and long bench with chairs heavy as thrones for overlooking the lake some people made to build things on while watching the tethered balloon reel in and out like some giant fishing rod pulling people out of the cerulean dyed blue. Even more I love the people who try to please with smooth and carefully trained efficiency who have to deal with idiots like me who refuse to conform to your tone-y café lingo and who instead ask for the biggest or the next size down or the smallest. But truth to tell I'd rather go to Panera, McDonald's Dunkin Donuts, the local sinkhole or frogpond to find something to drink Despite your colorful and sometimes insipidly controversial cups.

The Topologist's Frustration

Can you imagine! He was looking for a sphere with one handle and all he could find was his hidden wife's Japanese Tea ceremony set minus the pot-- cups so delicate and thin you could breathe through them. ***** note: while this may seem to be needlessly obscure it helps to know that a sphere with one handle (or even with a hole in it) is topologically identical to a coffee cup. More or less.

Lecture on Poetry

Start with the assumption that the poet is writing about some- thing, not just playing with words, note I said "just playing" because all poets play with words just like your toddler plays with food, folds it up, mashes it down, stirs it up makes it good. Yum.

In Case You Were Asking--Coffee

Maybe there would be a donut there, or perhaps nothing to make the coffee better, you could never tell but you also couldn't lose counting on bad coffee-- so bitter and burnt your tongue would feel better licking the dingy coffee colored shingles of your neighbor's unpowerwashed roof, but still it IS coffee unstirred by spoon, cuillier or Prévert and it asks no easy coffee- house questions and offers only the solace of a cup with a handle. Coffee . . . In case you were asking.

Query: Re Blogger

I'm back after long absence and have a question for anyone who pays attention (there are only a few).  It used to be fairly easy to follow a blog.  Now I seem to have to cut and past the URL of the blog I wish to follow into the edit area of a reading list to be able to follow.  Is there an easier way?
Oh you splendid light that shines from within all things, do not hide from us who look, perhaps only time to time. It is true we spend more time looking at our own feet, listening to the dog or cat fight, running away and laughing like children who have just lit a paper bag on your porch. it is good for us that you are a song, the sun in the morning, a rainbow, a pair of Sandhill cranes and their young, the scent of jasmine, magnolia, vanilla, the ocean. In all things and being all things, you fly to us at the slightest nod at the smallest gesture you invite us to feast. And even when we pay no attention, You shine out of all things and sing the song of longing presence.


Don't look at me, there's nothing here to see-- look at Who loves me.
Today is a day for hearing. though I've set myself under the huge iron bell of the carillon on a festival day, still its clamor cannot drown out the whisper of Your love. No matter how I flee it, it rings in my head and my body takes Your sound and transforms it into light that though I try to trap it escapes me and blinds the world into new sight.
There are times, indeed most times, when I feel like a fake, an impostor, not entitled to the gifts you send, to the caresses you extend in return for my playing in the mud. I am a liar, a cheat, a false lover, a pretender--oh, I am every falseness all in one, from Trojan horse to human skeleton on the moon. And mysteriously, you seem to love me all the more for it, and throw out snares that draw me in again and again, and though I rip and turn away from your gossamer nets, still I long for their soft touch and come again to be ensnared. Stop playing! Take me because I cannot give myself.

Bookstore Temptations


Some Haiku and Short Form

It crossed my mind to buy yet another book until I stopped to count the ones I have. **** Have you thought how you litter Earth with poems like leaves from shaky fall trees **** I fall into these words time and time again **** In falling I fall in walking I walk. **** Options are very limited--so be who you are. **** Did you ask me because you wanted to know or because you needed to fill the empty air **** Your wounds are already healed if you would just stop re- opening them. **** Just listen with your other ear to what you say and hear it for the poison it is. **** Patience, kindness compassion, humility, I seem to run out of everything but words.


I tore it open and started to stuff it full of stories and string and whatever came to hand as I was casting about for yet more to fill its sucking unsoothable emptiness-- tales tragic and trivial, endless facts and recipes for foods no one would ever eat, murders and weddings and the vast silence the underlay the thunder of the pounding surf. And still there was no help for it-- each thing I stuffed in only made it emptier. Who knew that emptiness could grow bigger could consume everything? And yet the more I stuffed inside the less it contained worthy of note. Should I cease and sew it up? Should I cast it into the sea to see if it should be swallowed or more likely swallow the bitter salty sea and still be craving in its emptiness.


All the people that cannot be, but admire give pleasure to being me. 

Judgment--a pre- or postlude

You judge the oyster ugly and so do not discover the pearl within.

Poem--"So long. . . "

So long as I insist upon my own way everything is broken But then evening comes

Creating a Sacred Space

We should start by understanding that this is impossible. We cannot create a sacred space because all spaces are already sacred. In their being they reflect their making and their maker. So now we understand our goal is different, what should we say? Living our sacred space. We choose to see that everything around us is a gift. Every person we meet is a gift, is a hammer to knock off the harsh corners, the uneven contours, to shape us to our mission. There is no such thing as an intrusion, as an obstruction. Every person is a lesson, is a challenge, is present to strengthen our ability to love, to transform us from potential to kinetic. Until we see this, we miss some of the sacred brought to us each day. In our hurry to accomplish we push aside possibility to pursue our own ephemeral agenda. Did cutting that person off in traffic really save that much time? Did letting the door slam behind us in the face of another really get us to where we were going fast


Silence the clatter of judgment in your own head. Judgment is the noise you make at night to scare away the burglar who is downstairs before you go down to find that everything is all right. Judgment is our own self-doubt crying out, saying, "Make sure I'm still important. Make sure I still matter. " By judging we claim control, power, certainty. But what we get when we judge is a certain fixity of viewpoint, a certain hardening of the lines of who and what we are, a certain diminishment of joy. Because when we judge and exclude harmless and beautiful things, we close off access to the treasures they contain. Treasures countless others have tasted and known, but which we find "beneath us." When we judge a person, we set up a barrier, a line neither can fully communicate across. We gaze into a mirror and exaggerate and demonize what we do not like about ourselves. So what instead? Instead, let us, each one accept what comes to us
Yesterday, the last of April, and my mother's birthday, a race on the beach.  Ten K up and down the sand, with the clouds of sunrise reflecting, first gray, before the sun has a chance with them, and then the broad strokes of pink and yellow and orange and purple and gray.  And people gathering there on the hard flat surface of the beach near the ocean.  Watching the wind whip up the waves and drive the crest fast upwind.  Race time and more people and rain and the possibility that Space X will launch something from nearby Cape Canaveral, so the first two miles or more during rests, turning around and glancing back over my shoulder to see if it happened.  And it doesn't, so I watch the people on the beach with their phones and cameras aimed toward the cape and if I see someone point or lift their camera or stand up and look, I'll turn around, but I don't.  And I'm running so hard and the wind is blowing back at me that I am surprised when I turn around and suddenly