Thursday, May 31, 2012

languages









by Paul Stamets
with thanks to Chemin faisant


Monday, May 28, 2012

haikudikter





The presence of God.
In a tunnel of birdsong
a locked gate opens.




~ Tomas Transtromer
excerpt from Haikudikter, The Sorrow Gondola
translations by Michael McGriff and Mikaela Grassl



Tuesday, May 22, 2012

a life




That the stars are adamant
everyone understands—
but I won’t give up seeking joy on each blue wave
or peace below every gray stone.
If happiness never comes, what is a life?
A lily withers in the sand
and if its nature has failed? The tide
washes the beach at night.
What is the fly looking for on the spider’s web?
What does a dayfly make of its hours?
(Two wings creased over a hollow body.)

Black will never turn to white—
yet the perfume of our struggle lingers
as each morning fresh flowers
spring up from hell.

The day will come
when the earth is emptied, the skies collapse
and all goes still—
when nothing remains but the dayfly
folded in a leaf.
But no one knows it.



~  Edith Sodergran
translation by Averill Curdy
with thanks to it's all dhamma

Thursday, May 17, 2012



Wednesday, May 16, 2012

resemblance






The uniformity of the earth's life, more astonishing than its diversity, 
is accountable by the high probability that we derived, 
originally, from a single cell, fertilized in a bolt of lightning as the earth cooled. 
 It is from the progeny of this parent cell that we take our looks; 
 we still share genes around, and 
the resemblance of the enzymes of grasses to those of whales is a family resemblance.




~ Lewis Thomas
from The Lives of a Cell





Saturday, May 12, 2012

as if it never existed





As air becomes the medium for light when the sun rises,
And as wax melts from the heat of fire,
So the soul drawn to that light is resplendent,
Feels self melt away,
Its will and actions no longer its own.
So clear is the imprint of God
That the soul, conquered, is conqueror;
Annihilated, it lives in triumph.

What happens to the drop of wine
That you pour into the sea?
Does it remain itself, unchanged?
It is as if it never existed.
So it is with the soul: Love drinks it in,
It is united with Truth,
Its old nature fades away,
It is no longer master of itself.

The soul wills and yet does not will:
Its will belongs to Another.
It has eyes only for this beauty;
It no longer seeks to possess, as was its wont -
It lacks the strength to possess such sweetness.
The base of this highest of peaks
Is founded on nichil,
Shaped into nothingness, made one with the Lord.




~ Jacopone da Todi
an excerpt from Let Annihilation and Charity Lead

Jacopone Benedetti, was born into a wealthy family in the central Italian town of Todi.  As a young man, he married and started a career as a notario, combining the skills of an accountant and a lawyer.  Legend has it that when a balcony collapsed at a wedding feast, killing his wife, he abandoned his career, gave away all his possessions, and become a wandering penitent.  He eventually joined the Franciscan Order, and discovered a gift for poetry.  He was imprisoned for five years for his opposition to the election of Pope Boniface VIII, and continued to write deeply personal and mystical poetry on prison.  He was released on the death of Boniface, and retired to a hermitage near Orvieto, where he died in 1306.