Saturday, December 29, 2018

the wind







The day we die
the wind comes down
to take away
our footprints.

The wind makes dust
to cover up
the markings we left
while walking.

For otherwise 
the thing would seem
as if we were
still living.

Therefore the wind
is he who comes
to blow away
our footprints.



~ Southern Bushmen
from A Book of Luminous Things
edited by Czeslaw Milosz 

 

Friday, December 28, 2018

sufficient







Strong and content I travel the open road.

The earth, that is sufficient,
I do not want the constellations any nearer,
I know they are very well where they are,
I know they suffice for those who belong to them.


You road I enter upon and look around, I believe you are not all that is here,
I believe that much unseen is also here.


All seems beautiful to me,
I can repeat over to men and women You have done such good to me I would do the same to you,
I will recruit for myself and you as I go,
I will scatter myself among men and women as I go,
I will toss a new gladness and roughness among them,
Whoever denies me it shall not trouble me,
Whoever accepts me he or she shall be blessed and shall bless me.


Now I see the secret of the making of the best persons,
It is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.


Here is the test of wisdom,
Wisdom is not finally tested in schools,
Wisdom cannot be pass’d from one having it to another not having it,
Wisdom is of the soul, is not susceptible of proof, is its own proof,
Applies to all stages and objects and qualities and is content,
Is the certainty of the reality and immortality of things, and the excellence of things;
Something there is in the float of the sight of things that provokes it out of the soul.

Now I re-examine philosophies and religions,
They may prove well in lecture-rooms, yet not prove at all under the spacious clouds and along the landscape and flowing currents.


Here is realization,
Here is a man tallied—he realizes here what he has in him,
The past, the future, majesty, love—if they are vacant of you, you are vacant of them.

Only the kernel of every object nourishes;
Where is he who tears off the husks for you and me?
Where is he that undoes stratagems and envelopes for you and me?

The efflux of the soul is happiness, here is happiness,
I think it pervades the open air, waiting at all times,
Now it flows unto us, we are rightly charged.

Here rises the fluid and attaching character,
The fluid and attaching character is the freshness and sweetness of man and woman,
(The herbs of the morning sprout no fresher and sweeter every day out of the roots of themselves, than it sprouts fresh and sweet continually out of itself.)

Toward the fluid and attaching character exudes the sweat of the love of young and old,
From it falls distill’d the charm that mocks beauty and attainments,
Toward it heaves the shuddering longing ache of contact.



~ Walt Whitman
excerpts from Song of the Open Road 


 

half life





We walk through half our life
as if it were a fever dream

barely touching the ground

our eyes half open
our heart half closed.

Not half knowing who we are
we watch the ghost of us drift
from room to room
through friends and lovers
never quite as real as advertised.

Not saying half we mean
or meaning half we say
we dream ourselves
from birth to birth
seeking some true self.

Until the fever breaks
and the heart can not abide
a moment longer
as the rest of us awakens,
summoned from the dream,
not half caring for anything but love.





- Stephen Levine
from Breaking the Drought


expands His being







All beings
are words of God,
His music, His
art.

Sacred books we are, for the infinite camps
in our
souls.

Every act reveals God and expands His Being.
I know that may be hard
to comprehend.

All creatures are doing their best
to help God in His birth
of Himself.

Enough talk for the night
He is laboring in me;

I need to be silent
for a while,

worlds are forming
in my
heart.


~ Meister Eckhart
from Love Poems from God
translation by Daniel Ladinsky

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

kinship










~ Homeboy Industries

the slim fir seeds


Image result for oven bird


The nimble ovenbird, the dignity of pears,
The simplicity of oars, the imperishable
Engines inside slim fir seeds, all of these
Make clear how much we want the impermanent
To be permanent.  We want the hermit wren
To keep her eggs even during the storm.
But that's impossible. We are perishable;
Friends, we are salty, impermanent kingdoms.




~ Robert Bly
from Talking into the Ear of a Donkey

 

silent in the moonlight








Silent in the moonlight, no beginning or end.
Alone, and not alone.  A man and a woman lie
On open ground, under an antelope robe.
They sleep under animal skin, looking up
At the old, clear stars.  How many years?
The robe thrown over them, rough
Where they sleep.  Outside, the moon, the plains
Silent in the moonlight, no beginning or end.
 
 
 
 
~ Robert Bly
from Talking into the Ear of a Donkey