Wednesday, October 7, 2015


~ William Stafford

silent journal

Inaudible consonant inaudible vowel 
The word continues to fall 
in splendor around us 
Window half shadow window half moon 
back yard like a book of snow 
That holds nothing and that nothing holds 
Immaculate text 
not too prescient not too true

~ Charles Wright
from Xionia

forgetting words

A water egret planes down like a page of blank paper
Toward the edge of the noon sky.
Let me, like him, find an island of white reeds
To settle down on, under the wind, forgetting words.

~ Charles Wright
 from T’ang Notebook,
 The Other Side of the River: Poems

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

it is

Almost noon, the meadow 
Waiting for someone to change it into an other. Not me. 
The horses, Monte and Littlefoot, 
Like it the way it is. 
And this morning, so do I.

~ Charles Wright
from Lightfoot

a looking




(inquiry before snow

~ e. e. cummings
with thanks to Love is a Place

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Not Everyone Can See the Truth, But He Can Be It

Take off your traveling clothes and 
lay down your luggage, 

Pilgrim, shed your nakedness. 
Only the fire is absorbed by the Holy of Holies.
Let it shine.

~ Charles Wright
from Chickamauga

the night watch

Outdoors, like a false morning,
 Fog washes the pine trees. It 
 Shoulders against the windows,
 Spreading across their surface
 On its way upward. In this 
 Moment between sleep and thought 

 This holding back, I can hear 
 The fog start to rise, the slow 
 Memory of an ocean, 

 And I, like a ship, begin 
 To stir, to lurch in its swell, 
 And to move outward, beyond 

 The steel jetty, the lighthouse, 
 The red-flagged channel buoys,
 --Beyond, at last, sleep even--

 Into a deeper water,
 Pale, oracular, its waves
 Motionless, seagulls absent. 

~ Charles Wright
art by andrew wyeth


There is an otherness inside us 
We never touch, 
no matter how far down our hands reach. 
It is the past, 
with its good looks and Anytime, Anywhere ... 
Our prayers go out to it, our arms go out to it 
Year after year, 
But who can ever remember enough?


The life of this world is wind 
Windblown we come, and windblown we go away. 
All that we look on is windfall. 
All we remember is wind.

~ Charles Wright
from The Southern Cross

Saturday, October 3, 2015


What I want is to open up. I want to know what's inside me. I want everybody to open up. I'm like an imbecile with a can-opener in his hand, wondering where to begin - to open up the earth. I know that underneath the mess everything is marvelous. I'm sure of it.

I know it because I feel so marvelous myself most of the time. And when I feel that way everybody seems marvelous … everybody and everything … even pebbles and pieces of cardboard … a match stick lying in the gutter . . . anything . . . a goat's beard, if you like. That's what I want to write about … and then we're all going to see clearly, see what a staggering, wonderful, beautiful world it is.

~ Henry Miller
from Sexus

Friday, October 2, 2015

identify yourself with the consciousness and life

This is the essential experience of any mystical realization. 

You die to your flesh and are born into your spirit. 
You identify yourself with the consciousness and life of which your body is but the vehicle. 
You die to the vehicle and become identified…
with that of which the vehicle is but the carrier. 

~ Joseph Campbell, Bill Moyers
from The Power of Myth
with thanks to Death Deconstructed

Thursday, October 1, 2015

full surrender

The art of living is based on rhythm - on give and take, ebb and flow, light and dark, life and death. By acceptance of all aspects of life, good and bad, right and wrong, yours and mine, the static, defensive life, which is what most people are cursed with, is converted into a dance, ‘the dance of life,’ metamorphosis. One can dance to sorrow or to joy; one can even dance abstractly. But the point is that, by the mere act of dancing, the elements which compose it are transformed; the dance is an end in itself, just like life. The acceptance of the situation, any situation, brings about a flow, a rhythmic impulse towards self-expression. To relax is, of course, the first thing a dancer has to learn. It is also the first thing a patient has to learn when he confronts the analyst. It is the first thing any one has to learn in order to live. It is extremely difficult, because it means surrender, full surrender. 

~  Henry Miller
from The Wisdom of the Heart
with thanks to whiskey river

haunted pilgrims

Fashioned from clay, we carry the memory of the earth. Ancient, forgotten things stir within our hearts, memories from the time before the mind was born. Within us are depths that keep watch. These are depths that no words can trawl or light unriddle. Our neon times have neglected and evaded the depth-kingdoms of interiority in favor of the ghost realms of cyberspace. We have unlearned the patience and attention of lingering at the thresholds where the unknown awaits us. We have become haunted pilgrims addicted to distraction and driven by the speed and color of images.

~ John O'Donohue
from Beauty: The Invisible Embrace

Friday, September 25, 2015

tangles and merges

look at love
how it tangles
with the one fallen in love

look at spirit
how it fuses with earth
giving it new life
why are you so busy
with this or that or good or bad
pay attention to how things blend

why talk about all
the known and the unknown
see how the unknown merges into the known

why think separately
of this life and the next
when one is born from the last

look at your heart and tongue
one feels but deaf and dumb
the other speaks in words and signs

look at water and fire
earth and wind
enemies and friends all at once

the wolf and the lamb
the lion and the deer
far away yet together

look at the unity of this
spring and winter
manifested in the equinox

you too must mingle my friends
since the earth and the sky
are mingled just for you and me

be like sugarcane
sweet yet silent
don't get mixed up with bitter words

my beloved grows right out of my own heart
how much more union can there be

~ Rumi
from Rumi: Fountain of Fire
Translated by Nader Khalili

no places to go to

For some it a terrifying prospect. It would be better, think they, if Heaven were above and Hell below—anywhere outside, but not within. But that comfort has been knocked from under us. There are no places to go to, either for reward or punishment. The place is always here and now, in your own person and according to your own fancy. The world is exactly what you picture it to be, always, every instant. It is impossible to shift the scenery about and pretend that you will enjoy another, a different act. The setting is permanent, changing with the mind and heart, not according to the dictates of an invisible stage director. You are the author, director and actor all in one: the drama is always going to be your own life, not some one else’s. A beautiful, terrible, ineluctable drama, like a suit made of your own skin. Would you want it otherwise? Could you invent a better drama?

~ Henry Miller
from Sexus
photo by Christine de Grancy

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

the call away

A cold wind flows over the cornfields;
Fleets of blackbirds ride that ocean.
I want to be out of here, go out,
Outdoors, anywhere in wind.

My back against a shed wall, I settle
Down where no one can find me.
I stare out at the box-elder leaves
Moving frond-like in that mysterious water.

What is it that I want? Not money,
Not a large desk, not a house with ten rooms.
This is what I want to do: to sit here,
To take no part, to be called away by wind.

I want to go the new way, build a shack
With one door, sit against the door frame.
After twenty years, you will see on my face
The same expression you see in the grass.

~ Robert Bly 
from Like the New Moon, I Will Live My Life
art by van gogh