Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What caused us each to live hidden?

What caused us each to live hidden?
A wound, the wind, a word, a parent.
Sometimes we wait in a helpless way,
awkwardly, not whole and not healed.
When we hid the wound, we fell back
from a human to a shelled life.
~ Robert Bly


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


when faces called flowers float out of the ground

when faces called flowers float out of the ground
and breathing is wishing and wishing is having-
but keeping is downward and doubting and never
-it’s april(yes,april;my darling)it’s spring!
yes the pretty birds frolic as spry as can fly
yes the little fish gambol as glad as can be
(yes the mountains are dancing together)

when every leaf opens without any sound
and wishing is having and having is giving-
but keeping is doting and nothing and nonsense
-alive;we’re alive,dear:it’s(kiss me now)spring!
now the pretty birds hover so she and so he
now the little fish quiver so you and so i
(now the mountains are dancing, the mountains)

when more than was lost has been found has been found
and having is giving and giving is living-
but keeping is darkness and winter and cringing
-it’s spring(all our night becomes day)o,it’s spring!
all the pretty birds dive to the heart of the sky
all the little fish climb through the mind of the sea
(all the mountains are dancing;are dancing)

~ e.e.cummings


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

it needs the metaphor of the body ...

The spirit
likes to dress up like this:
ten fingers,
ten toes,

shoulders, and all the rest
at night
in the black branches,
in the morning

in the blue branches
of the world.
It could float, of course,
but would rather

plumb rough matter.
Airy and shapeless thing,
it needs
the metaphor of the body,

lime and appetite,
the oceanic fluids;
it needs the body's world,

and imagination
and the dark hug of time,
and tangibility,

to be understood,
to be more than pure light
that burns
where no one is --

so it enters us --
in the morning
shines from brute comfort
like a stitch of lightning;

and at night
lights up the deep and wondrous
drownings of the body
like a star. 

~ Mary Oliver

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

We travelers


We travelers, walking to the sun, can't see
Ahead, but looking back the very light
That blinded us shows us the way we came,
Along which blessings now appear, risen
As if from sightlessness to sight, and we,
By blessings brightly lit, keep going toward
That blessed light that yet to us is dark.


~ 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

love is every only

love is every only god
who spoke this earth so glad and big
even a thing all small and sad
man,may his mighty briefness dig

for love beginning means return
seas who could sing so deep and strong

one queerying wave will whitely yearn
from each last shore and home come young

so truly perfectly the skies
by merciful love whispered were,
completes its brightness with your eyes

any illimitable star

~ e.e.cummings

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


my beauty in you

I see my beauty in you. I become
a mirror that cannot close its eyes

to your longing. My eyes wet with
yours in the early light. My mind

every moment giving birth, always
conceiving, always in the ninth

month, always the come-point. How
do I stand this? We become these

words we say, a wailing sound moving
out into the air. These thousands of

worlds that rise from nowhere, how
does your face contain them? I'm

a fly in your honey, then closer, a
moth caught in flame's allure, then

empty sky stretched out in homage.

 ~ Jelaluddin Rumi


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

simply joy

There are seconds, they only come five or six at a time, 
and you suddenly feel the presence of eternal harmony, 
fully achieved. It is nothing earthly; not that it's heavenly,
 but man cannot endure it in his earthly state. 

One must change physically or die. 
The feeling is clear and indisputable. 
As if you suddenly sense the whole of nature and
 suddenly say: yes, this is true. 
This is not tenderheartedness, but simply joy.

~ Fyodor Dostoevsky
from The Devils found in 
Collection of the best works of Fyodor Dostoevsky

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


A lover was telling his beloved

A lover was telling his beloved
how much he loved her, how faithful
he had been, how self-sacrificing, getting up
at dawn every morning, fasting, giving up
wealth and strength and fame,
all for her.

There was a fire in him.
He didn't know where it came from,
but it made him weep and melt like a candle.

"You've done very well", she said, "but listen to me.
All this is the decor of love, the branches
and leaves and  blossoms.  You must live
at the root to be a true lover."

"Where is that! Tell me!"
"You've done the outward acts,
but you haven't died.  You must die."

When he heard that, he lay back on the ground
laughing, and died. He opened like a rose
that drops to the ground and died laughing.

That laughter was his freedom,
and his gift to the eternal.

~ Rumi


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

I'm aware of the earth's skin

I'm aware of the earth's skin
and I know that it doesn't have a name.
When I lived with the roots
I liked them more than the flowers,
and when I talked with a stone
it rang like a bell.
The spring is so long
that is lasts all winter:
time lost its shoes:
a year contains four centuries.
When I sleep all these nights,
what am I named or not named?
And when I wake up who am I
if I wasn't I when I slept?
This means that we have barely
disembarked into life,
that we've only just now been born,
let's not fill our mouths
with so many uncertain names,
with so many sad labels,
with so many pompous letters,
with so much yours and mine,
with so much signing of papers.
I intend to confuse things,
to unite them, make them new-born,
intermingle them, undress them,
until the light of the world
has the unity of the ocean,
a generous wholeness,
a fragrance alive and crackling.
~ Pablo Neruda


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Wounded Gift

One of the great powers of love is balance;
 it helps us move toward transfiguration. 
When two people come together, an ancient circle closes between them. 
They also come to each other not with empty hands,
 but with hands full of gifts for each other. 
Often these are wounded gifts;
this awakens the dimension of healing within love. 
When you really love someone,
you shine the light of your soul on the beloved. 
We know from nature that sunlight brings everything to growth. 
 It you look at flowers early on a spring morning,
they are all closed. 
When the light of the sun catches them,
they trustingly open out and give themselves to the new light.
~ John O'Donohue


from 'Sonata at Payne Hollow'

Harlan and Anna Hubbard

And now, as both have known they would, 
they turn toward one another, and thus they are 
changed, revealing themselves now 
as neither young nor old, but timeless 
and clear, as each appears 
within the long affection of the other. 
~ Wendell Berry


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


Happiness is a butterfly
which when pursued is always just beyond your grasp
but which if you will sit down quietly
 may light upon you.


~ Nathaniel Hawthorne

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

all objects in existence are wildly in love


They are always kissing, they can't
control themselves.
It is not possible
that any creature can have greater instincts
and perceptions than the
mature human
ripened me.
So I see it is true:
all objects in existence are
wildly in
~ Meister Eckhart

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

These forms we seem to be are cups floating in an ocean
of living consciousness.
They fill and sink without leaving an arc of bubbles or
any good-bye spray.  What we
are is that ocean, too near to see, though we swim in it
and drink it in.  Don't
be a cup with a dry rim, or someone who rides all night
and never knows the horse
beneath his thighs, the surging that carries him along.
~ 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