Wednesday, September 30, 2009

It was among ferns I learned about eternity.
Below your belly there is a curly place.
~ Robert Bly


what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan,  and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper I mean—
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down—
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention,  how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me,  what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

~ Mary Oliver


In my sky at twilight

In my sky at twilight you are like a cloud
and your form and colour are the way I love them.
You are mine, mine, woman with sweet lips
and in your life my infinite dreams live.
The lamp of my soul dyes your feet,
the sour wine is sweeter on your lips,
oh reaper of my evening song,
how solitary dreams believe you to be mine!
You are mine, mine, I go shouting it to the afternoon's
wind, and the wind hauls on my widowed voice.
Huntress of the depth of my eyes, your plunder
stills your nocturnal regard as though it were water.
You are taken in the net of my music, my love,
and my nets of music are wide as the sky.
My soul is born on the shore of you eyes of mourning.
In your eyes of mourning the land of dreams begin.
~ Pablo Neruda


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

don't go back to sleep


The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don't go back to sleep.

.You must ask for what you really want.
Don't go back to sleep.

.People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.

.The door is round and open.
Don't go back to sleep.

~ Rumi

I dream of a quiet man

I dream of a quiet man
who explains nothing and defends
nothing, but only knows
where the rarest wildflowers
are blooming, and who goes,
and finds that he is smiling
not by his own will.

~ Wendell Berry

Monday, September 28, 2009

you shall above all things be glad and young

you shall above all things be glad and young
For if you're young,whatever life you wear
it will become you;and if you are glad
whatever's living will yourself become.
Girlboys may nothing more than boygirls need:
i can entirely her only love
whose any mystery makes every man's
flesh put space on;and his mind take off time
that you should ever think, may god forbid
and(in his mercy)your true lover spare:
for that way knowledge lies,the foetal grave
called progress,and negation's dead undoom.
I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
~ e.e.cummings


from 'Walden'--In proportion as he simplifies his life

In proportion as he simplifies his life, 
the laws of the universe will appear less complex, 
and solitude will not be solitude, 
nor poverty poverty, 
nor weakness weakness. 
If you have built castles in the air, 
your work need not be lost; 
that is where they should be. 
Now put the foundations under them.

~ Henry Thoreau 


Do you have the patience 
to wait until your mud settles, 
and the water is clear?
Can you remain unmoving
 until the right action arises by itself? .

~ Lao-tzu


perfect dogma


'There is truth, my boy. But the doctrine you desire, absolute, perfect dogma that alone provides wisdom, does not exist. Nor should you long for a perfect doctrine, my friend. Rather, you should long for the perfection of yourself. The deity is within you, not in ideas and books. Truth is lived, not taught.'


~ Hermann Hesse 

from 'On the Road'

... the mad ones 
the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes 'Awww!'

~ Jack Kerouac,


The Swan

Did you too see it, drifting, all night, on the black river?
Did you see it in the morning, rising into the silvery air -
An armful of white blossoms,
A perfect commotion of silk and linen as it leaned
into the bondage of its wings; a snowbank, a bank of lilies,
Biting the air with its black beak?
Did you hear it, fluting and whistling
A shrill dark music - like the rain pelting the trees - like a waterfall
Knifing down the black ledges?
And did you see it, finally, just under the clouds -
A white cross Streaming across the sky, its feet
Like black leaves, its wings Like the stretching light of the river?
And did you feel it, in your heart, how it pertained to everything?
And have you too finally figured out what beauty is for?
And have you changed your life?

~ Mary Oliver

i carry your heart with me

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)

i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows

(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

~ e.e.cummings

escape from these two worlds.

There is no salvation for the soul 
But to fall in Love.

It has to creep and crawl 
Among the Lovers first.

Only Lovers can escape 
From these two worlds. 
This was written in creation.

Only from the Heart 
Can you reach the sky. 
The rose of Glory 
Can only be raised in the Heart.

~ Rumi

it is so long since my heart has been with yours

it is so long since my heart has been with yours

shut by our mingling arms through
a darkness where new lights begin and 
since your mind has walked into
my kiss as a stranger
into the streets and colours of a town-

that i have perhaps forgotten
these hurrying crudities
of blood and flesh)Love
coins His most gradual gesture,

and whittles life to eternity

-after which our separating selves become museums
filled with skilfully stuffed memories

~ e.e.cummings


Sunday, September 27, 2009

e.e.cummings-charcoal sketch

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Just keep going

Let everything happen to you
Beauty and terror
Just keep going
No feeling is final

~ Rainer Maria Rilke

I just believe in me...Yoko and me

I don't believe in magic

I don't believe in I-Ching
I don't believe in Bible
I don't believe in Tarot
I don't believe in Hitler
I don't believe in Jesus
I don't believe in Kennedy
I don't believe in Buddha
I don't believe in Mantra
I don't believe in Gita
I don't believe in Yoga
I don't believe in Kings
I don't believe in Elvis
I don't believe in Zimmerman
I don't believe in Beatles
I just believe in me

Yoko and me ...

~ John Lennon

It is the mind

If nothing will serve a man but rich clothes and furniture, statues and plate, a numerous train of servants, and the rarities of all nations, it is not Fortunes's fault, but his own, that he is not satisfied; for his desires are insatiable, and this is not a thirst, but a disease; and if he were master of the whole world, he would be still a beggar. It is the mind that makes us rich and happy, in what condition soever we are; and money signifies no more to it than it does to the gods.

~ Seneca


Late evening finally

comes: I unlatch the door

and quietly

await the one
who greets me in my dreams.


~Otomo No Yakamochi


Friday, September 25, 2009

guardian angel

I am the bird that knocks at your window in the morning
and your companion, whom you cannot know,
the blossoms that light up for the blind.

I am the glacier’s crest above the forests, the dazzling one
and the brass voices from cathedral towers.
The thought that suddenly comes over you at midday
and fills you with a singular happiness.

I am one you have loved long ago.
I walk alongside you by day and look intently at you
and put my mouth on your heart
but you don’t know it.

I am your third arm and your second
shadow, the white one,
whom you don’t have the heart for
and who cannot ever forget you.

~ Rolf Jacobsen

Brute force crushes many plants

Brute force crushes many plants. Yet the plants rise again. The Pyramids will not last a moment compared with the daisy. And before Buddha or Jesus spoke the nightingale sang, and long after the words of Jesus and Buddha are gone into oblivion the nightingale still will sing. Because it is neither preaching nor commanding nor urging. It is just singing. And in the beginning was not a Word, but a chirrup.

~ DH Lawrence

In dreams I walk with you

A candy-colored clown they call the sandman
Tiptoes to my room every night
Just to sprinkle stardust and to whisper
'Go to sleep, everything is all right'

I close my eyes, then I drift away
Into the magic night. I softly say
A silent prayer, like dreamers do
Then I fall asleep to dream my dreams of you.

In dreams I walk with you, in dreams I talk to you
In dreams you're mine all of the time, we're together
In dreams, in dreams ...

~ Roy Orbison

Thursday, September 24, 2009

catcher in the rye

"You know that song 'If a body catch a body comin' through the rye'? I'd like—"

"It's 'If a body meet a body coming through the rye'!" old Phoebe said.
 "It's a poem. By Robert Burns."

"I know it's a poem by Robert Burns."

She was right, though. It is "If a body meet a body coming through the rye."
 I didn't know it then, though.

"I thought it was 'If a body catch a body,'" I said.
 "Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game 
in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around—
 nobody big, I mean— except me. And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff.
 What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff—
 I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going
 I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. 
That's all I'd do all day. I'd just be the catcher in the rye 
and all. I know it's crazy, but that's the only thing
 I'd really like to be. I know it's crazy." 

~ JD Salinger

... or you must not reason at all

When she had said goodbye to her husband and her children and there was only a minute left before the third bell, I ran into her compartment to put a basket, which she had almost forgotten, on the rack, and I had to say goodbye. When our eyes met in the compartment our spiritual fortitude deserted us both; I took her in my arms, she pressed her face to my breast, and tears flowed from her eyes. Kissing her face, her shoulders, her hands wet with tears -- oh, how unhappy we were! -- I confessed my love for her, and with a burning pain in my heart I realised how unnecessary, how petty, and how deceptive all that had hindered us from loving was. I understood that when you love you must either, in your reasonings about that love, start from what is highest, from what is more important than happiness or unhappiness, sin or virtue in their accepted meaning, or you must not reason at all.


~ Anton Chekhov


I used to be shy

I used to be shy.
You made me sing.
I used to refuse things at table.
Now I shout for more wine.
In somber dignity, I used to sit
on my mat and pray.
Now children run through
and make faces at me.
~ Rumi


The night knows nothing of the chants of night

The night knows nothing of the chants of night.

It is what it is as I am what I am:
And in perceiving this I best perceive myself
And you. Only we two may interchange
Each in the other what each has to give.
Only we two are one, not you and night,
Nor night and I, but you and I, alone,
So much alone, so deeply by ourselves,
So far beyond the casual solitudes,
That night is only the background of our selves,
Supremely true each to its separate self,
In the pale light that each upon the other throws.
~ Wallace Stevens

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I am for you, and you are for me


I draw you close to me, you woman
I cannot let you go, I would do you good,
I am for you, and you are for me, not only for our own sake,
but for others' sakes,
Envelop'd in you sleep greater heroes and bards,
They refuse to awake at the touch of any man but me.

~ Walt Whitman


as is the sea marvelous

as is the sea marvelous
from god's
hands which sent her forth
to sleep upon the world
and the earth withers
the moon crumbles
one by one
stars flutter into dust
but the sea
does not change
and she goes forth out of hands and
she returns into hands
and is with sleep ...
the breaking
of your
my lips

~ e.e.cummings

Time to ignore sensible advice,
to untie the knots our culture
ties us with. Cut to the quick
Put cotton in both sentimental
ears.  Go back to the reedbed.
Let the cane sugar rise again in you.
No rules or daily duties.  Those
do not bring the peace of silence.

~ Rumi

Poetry is just the evidence of life.
If your life is burning well,
poetry is just the ash.


~ Leonard Cohen

I've given up on my brain.
I've torn the cloth to shreds
and thrown it away.
If you're not completely naked,
wrap your beautiful robe of words
around you, and sleep.

~ Rumi


I do not love you as if you were the salt-rose

I do not love you as if you were the salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

~ Pablo Neruda

We kneel in gratitude
as the movements in love
disperse our sweet intentions
across the fictions
of Companionship-
two of the creatures
which You named Me
~ Leonard Cohen

She is standing on my eyelids

She is standing on my eyelids
And her hair is wound in mine,
She has the form of my hands,
She has the colour of my eyes,
She is swallowed by my shadow
Like a stone against the sky.
Her eyes are always open
And will not let me sleep.
Her dreams in broad daylight
Make the suns evaporate
Make me laugh, cry and laugh,
Speak with nothing to say.
~ Paul Eluard


my soul was drenched

When the Day came --
The Day I had lived and died for --
The Day that is not in any calendar --
Clouds heavy with love
Showered me with wild abundance.
Inside me, my soul was drenched.
Around me, even the desert grew green.

~ Kabir

Monday, September 21, 2009

He had waited so long

He had waited so long: his latter years had been no more than a stand-to. Oppressed with countless little daily cares, he had waited: of course he had run after girls all that time, he had travelled, and naturally he had had to earn his living. But through all that, his sole care had been to hold himself in readiness. For an act. A free, considered act; that should pledge his whole life, and stand at the beginning of a new existence. He had never been able to engage himself completely in any love-affair, or any pleasure, he had never been really unhappy: he always felt as though he were somewhere else, that he was not yet wholly born. He waited. And during all that time, gently, stealthily, the years had come, they had grasped him from behind ...


~ Jean-Paul Sartre

Up those stone steps I climb

Up those stone steps I climb
Hail this joyful day's return
Into its great shadowed vault I go
Hail the Pentecostal morn

The reading is from Luke 24
Where Christ returns to his loved ones
I look at the stone apostles
Think that it's alright for some

And I wish that I was made of stone
So that I would not have to see
A beauty impossible to define
A beauty impossible to believe

A beauty impossible to endure
The blood imparted in little sips
The smell of you still on my hands
As I bring the cup up to my lips

No God up in the sky
No devil beneath the sea
Could do the job that you did, baby
Of bringing me to my knees

Outside I sit on the stone steps
With nothing much to do
Forlorn and exhausted, baby
By the absence of you

~ Nick Cave


Your Catfish Friend

If I were to live my life
in catfish forms
in scaffolds of skin and whiskers
at the bottom of a pond
and you were to come by
   one evening
when the moon was shining
down into my dark home
and stand there at the edge
   of my affection
and think, "It's beautiful
here by this pond.  I wish
   somebody loved me,"
I'd love you and be your catfish
friend and drive such lonely
thoughts from your mind
and suddenly you would be
   at peace,
and ask yourself, "I wonder
if there are any catfish
in this pond?  It seems like
a perfect place for them."

 ~ Richard Brautigan
If you want to know God,
Then turn your face toward your friend,
And don't look away.
~ Rumi

Sunday, September 20, 2009

e.e.cummings- charcoal sketch

pencil sketch by e.e.cummings

silently if,out of not knowable

silently if,out of not knowable
night's utmost nothing,wanders a little guess
(only which is this world)more my life does
not leap than with the mystery your smile

sings or if(spiralling as luminous
they climb oblivion)voices who are dreams,
less into heaven certainly earth swims
than each my deeper death becomes your kiss

losing through you what seemed myself,i find
selves unimaginably mine;beyond
sorrow's own joys and hoping's very fears

yours is the light by which my spirit's born:
yours is the darkness of my soul's return
-you are my sun,my moon,and all my stars

~ e.e.cummings

A bird the size

of a leaf fills
the whole lucid
evening with
his note, and flies.
~ Wendell Berry

An eye is meant to see things.
The soul is here for its own joy.
A head has one use: for loving a true love.
Legs: to run after.
Love is vanishing into the sky.  The mind,
for learning what men have done and tried to do.
Mysteries are not to be solved.  The eye goes blind
when it only wants to see why.
A lover is always accused of something.
But when he finds his love, whatever was lost
in the looking comes back completely changed.
~ Rumi

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Bright Field

I have seen the light break through
to illuninate a small field
for a while and gone my way
and forgotten it. But that was the pearl
of great prize, the one field that had
the treasure in it.  I realize now
that I must give all that I have
to possess it.  Life is not hurrying
on to a receding future not handering after
an imagined past, It is the turning
aside like Moses to the miracle
of the lit bush. To a brightness
that seems as transitory as your youth
once, but is the eternity that awaits you.
~ R. S. Thomas


a divine stream

Your body is a divine stream,
as is your spirit.

When your two great rivers merge, one voice is found

and the earth applauds
in excitement.

Shrines are erected to those songs
the hand and heart have sung
as they serve
the world
with a love, a love
we cherish.

~ St. John of the Cross

I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life

I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, 
to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, 
to cut a broad swath and shave close,
 to drive life into a corner, 
and reduce it to its lowest terms, 
and, if it proved to be mean, 
why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, 
and publish its meanness to the world;
 or if it were sublime,
 to know it by experience, 
and be able to give a true account of it.
~ Henry David Thoreau

no going back


No, no, there is no going back.
Less and less you are
that possibility you were.
More and more you have become
those lives and deaths
that have belonged to you.
You have become a sort of grave
containing much that was
and is no more in time, beloved
then, now and always.
And so you have become a sort of tree
standing over a grave.
Now more than ever you can be
generous toward each day
that comes, young, to disappear
forever, and yet remain
unaging in the mind.
Every day you have less reason
not to give yourself away.

~ Wendell Berry

Worn to brightness, this

Worn to brightness, this
bowl opens outward
to the world, like
the marriage of a pair
we sometimes know.
Filled full, it holds
no greedily. Empty,
it fills with light 
that is Heaven's and
its own. It holds
forever for a while.

~ Wendell Berry

Friday, September 18, 2009

the emporers new clothes

Everyone lives in his own fantasy world, but most people don't understand that. No one perceives the real world. Each person simply calls his private, personal fantasies the Truth. The difference is that I know I live in a fantasy world. I prefer it that way and resent anything that disturbs my vision.

~ Federico Fellini

you speak to me in italics

you speak to me in italics
slanting your thoughts deep into me
you come at me from an angle
impaling me on the point of desire
you lean towards me like a tree in the wind
each leaf inscribed with the same word
I have never met your type before
yet I can read you like a book

~ Andre Ramier



Harlan: And so we named a day -- remember? --
          and a certain train that you would be on
          if you wanted to marry me,
Anna:                                   and that you
         would be on if you wanted to marry me,
Both: and both of us were on the train!
Anna: And then, Harlan, we did drift away
Harlan: on a little boat we built ourselves,
          that contained hardly more than our music,
          our stove, our table, and our bed
Anna: in which we slept -- and did not sleep -
Harlan: my birthplace into our new life!

~ Wendell Berry


the kiss

My mouth blooms like a cut.
I've been wronged all year, tedious
nights, nothing but rough elbows in them
and delicate boxes of Kleenex calling crybaby
crybaby, you fool!
Before today my body was useless.
Now it's tearing at its square corners.
It's tearing old Mary's garments off, knot by knot
and see -- Now it's shot full of these electric bolts.
Zing! A resurrection!
Once it was a boat, quite wooden
and with no business, no salt water under it
and in need of some paint. It was no more
than a group of boards. But you hoisted her, rigged her.
She's been elected.
My nerves are turned on. I hear them like
musical instruments. Where there was silence
the drums, the strings are incurably playing. You did this.
Pure genius at work. Darling, the composer has stepped
into fire.
~ Anne Sexton