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


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

a single tree












Not so much time itself
as the changes, 
the constant shifting 
and metamorphosing
of things into 
their opposites,
or, more likely, diminished versions
of themselves.

The cat, grown old,
stumbles about the room,
and doesn't remember the year
she leapt from sill to sill
taking the lace curtains
down as she went.

And the tree,
a blackened scar,
opening its side to weather
minus its most stately branch,
long since taken off
by wind, or lightning,
or something obsessed
with symmetry --
does it recall the winter it stood
alone, unyielding,
against the hammering gale?
Or its abundant leafiness in spring,
its green proclamation
of all that continues
unabated in this world.




~ Dorothy Walters
from Marrow of Flame



Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The mountains stood in haze






The mountains stood in haze,
The valleys stopped below,
And went or waited as they liked
The river and the sky.

At leisure was the sun.
His interests of fire
A little from remark withdrawn.
The twilight spoke the spire.

So soft upon the scene
The act of evening fell
We felt how neighborly a thing
Was the invisible.




~ Emily Dickinson

Saturday, August 29, 2015

the nature of consciousness









~ Robert Spira

Friday, August 28, 2015

something else










Whatever it is hangs over us,
wants us to keep on gliding forward,
as if a compass nestled in the heart,
as if a hidden magnet were always calling to
the bits of iron which swim in the blood,
or a boat was being drawn ahead
by a canal-man, with his steady line and
unwavering eye,
not asking why, just doing it,
even on the days we awaken
amidst the ruins of the spirit,
and have nothing to offer,
except a longing for the smell of hyacinths
and something else we can't fully recall.




~ Dorothy Walters
from Marrow of Flame


who






Whoever went in
naked to the core.

Whoever cast aside
all the armor.
all the fastenings.

Who could breathe air thin as flame.

Drink water pressed from blossoms,
rose petals
or violets.

Whoever stayed in that
darkness so dark
it became a circle of seeing.

Who could hear
the silent flute note
of the stilled wind,
hold rock turning to light.




~ Dorothy Walters
from Marrow of Flame



Sunday, August 2, 2015

Uzayr


  




The sons of Uzayr, were looking for their father.

They have grown old, and their father
has miraculously grown young!

They meet him and ask, "Pardon us, sir,
but have you seen Uzayr?  We hear

that he's supposed to be coming along
this road today."  "Yes," says Uzayr,

"he's right behind me."  One of his sons
replies, "That's good news."  The other

falls on the ground.  He has recognized
his father.  "What do you mean news?

We're already inside the sweetness
of his presence."   To the mind

there is such a thing as news, whereas
to inner knowing , it's all in the middle

of its happening.  To doubters, this is
a pain.  To believers, it's gospel.

To the lover and the visionary
it's life as it's being lived.



~ Rumi
Coleman Barks translation





Friday, July 31, 2015

the shiva dance image








~ Aldous Huxley

Monday, July 27, 2015

longing for the perfect






After we had loved each other intently, 
we heard notes tumble together, 
in late winter, and we heard ice 
falling from the ends of twigs. 

The notes abandon so much as they move. 
They are the food not eaten, the comfort 
not taken, the lies not spoken. 
The music is my attention to you. 

And when the music came again, 
late in the day, I saw tears in your eyes. 
I saw you turn your face away 
So that others would not see. 

When men and women come together, 
how much they have to abandon. Wrens 
make their nests of fancy threads 
and string ends, animals 

abandon all their money each year. 
What is it that men and women leave? 
Harder than wren's doing, they have 
to abandon their longing for the perfect. 

The inner nest not made by instinct 
will never be quite round, 
and each has to enter the nest 
made by the other imperfect bird.



~ Robert Bly
from Eating the Honey of Words
art by Rassouli


Sunday, July 26, 2015

nothing ahead






Lovers think they're looking for each other,
but there's only one search: wandering
this world is wandering that,

both inside one
transparent sky.  In here there is
no dogma and no heresy.

The miracle of Jesus is himself, not what he said
or did about the future.  Forget the future.
I'd worship someone who could do that.

On the way you may want to look back, or not.
But if you can say, There's nothing ahead,
there will be nothing there.

Stretch your arms
and take hold the cloth of your clothes
with both hands.  The cure for pain is in the pain.
Good and bad are mixed.  If you don't have both,
you don't belong with us.

When one of us gets lost,
is not here, he must be inside us.  There's no
place like that anywhere in the world.






~ Rumi
from The Book of Love
translations by Coleman Barks

where you love from







Look inside and find where a person loves from.
That's the reality, not what they say.


~ Hypocrities


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

the center of the circle






Forget about knowledge and wisdom,
and people will be a hundred times better off.
Throw away charity and righteousness,
and people will return to brotherly love.
Throw away profit and greed,
and there won't be any thieves.

These three are superficial and aren't enough
to keep us at the center of the circle, so we must also:

Embrace simplicity.
Put others first.
Desire little.



~ Lao-tzu
Tao Teh Ching
Mcdonald translation

Friday, July 10, 2015

we have ways within each other








They try to say what you are, spiritual or sexual? 

They wonder about Solomon and all his wives. 


In the body of the world, they say, there is a soul 

and you are that. 


But we have ways within each other 

that will never be said by anyone. 





~ Rumi



Friday, June 26, 2015

who knows what is going on





Who knows what is going on on the other side of each hour?

How many times the sunrise was
there, behind a mountain!

How many times the brilliant cloud piling up far off
was already a golden body full of thunder!

This rose was poison.

That sword gave life.

I was thinking of a flowery meadow
at the end of a road,
and found myself in the slough.

I was thinking of the greatness of what was human,
and found myself in the divine.




~ Juan Ramon Jimenez
English version by Robert Bly
with thanks to Poetry Chaikhana


Sunday, June 21, 2015

the door





One day you’ll see: 
you’ve been knocking on a door 
without a house. 
You’ve been waiting, shivering, yelling 
words of daring and hope.

One day you’ll see:
there is no-one on the other side
except, as ever, the jubilant ocean
that won’t shatter ceramically like a dream
when you and I shatter.

But not yet. Now 
you wait outside, watching
the blue arches of mornings 
that will break but are now perfect.

Underneath on tip-toe 
pass the faces, speaking to you,
saying ‘you’, ‘you’, ‘you’, 
smiling, waving, arriving
in unfailing chronology.

One day you’ll doubt your movements, 
you will shudder
at the accuracy of your sudden age. 
You will ache for slow beauty 
to save you from your quick, quick life.

But not yet. Hope 
fills the yawn of time.
Blue surrounds you. Now let’s say
you see a door and knock, 
and wait for someone to hear. 


~ Kapka Kassabova
with thanks to Love is a Place