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Showing posts from August, 2016

Contrast

Sameness of shape,
four limbs
and 20 digits,
topped by a spherical
eight pound object.

Sameness of elements,
a composite of blood,
lymph, cartilage
and bones.

Sameness of expressions,
smile, frown,
sigh and laugh,
blush and cry
and shudder.

Difference in sex,
high or low voice,
scarce or bounteous hair,
male or female reproductive organs,
acceptance or rejection
of gender norms.

Difference in language,
short or long vowels,
hard or soft r's,
ideograms or pictographs,
euphonious or guttural.

Difference in background,
peasant or noble,
religious or secular,
sickly or robust,
landed or dispossessed.

Starting from the same point,
theoretically,
sameness sets the stage for contrast
and comparison.
Competitions have losers and winners,
determined by standards
of good and bad.

Other people always decide
if you win or lose.
Success is not defined in a vacuum.
Success is a product of culture
and biological dominance.

But you can fail on your own terms.


Mare di nudi-Spencer Tunick

Open

Accepting something you can't explain
does not equate with being insane.

Pledging your full allegiance to reason
may not serve your heart in every season.

Just because an idea seems true
can't guarantee that it won't make you blue.

People who love to prove they are right
often get caught in the snares of spite.

When we draw a fence around what we allow,
there is not enough space for growth in the Now.

                               * * *

At a point in your life when you cease to be open,
you're not smart or sophisticated or safe.
You're just CLOSED.

When you're closed you hold on and cover up
you reject
you deride
Yourself.
It's not Them. It's You.

What if you didn't know?
Not Knowing.
Undecided.

Grace needs a Space
to enter.

Hope, Joy, Wonder,
even Peace,
elude the Hard,
Impenetrable
and
Proud.

Can you Love and not Understand?




Togetherness

"Let there be spaces in your togetherness,"
said Kahlil Gibran.

Living in a shanty,
or in slaves quarters
with many children,
or in a yurt in -20?
No, but you are blessed.

There will always be someone
to tell you "no,
don't be selfish."

Their world is not your world,
and what do they know?

Sometimes it's quality,
and sometimes it's quantity.
Don't resent that time
taken by the other.
Follow the lead.

When there is no solitary run,
no walking alone,
no yoga or meditation
behind closed doors
no reading
no sleeping by yourself,
when it's no you tell yourself,
what is the quality of your togetherness?
Poverty.

Why feel poor if you're not?




Five Poems Written in Niagara

Poems 18-22Control Naturally plans fall apart,
people places and things
disintegrate.
Yet we,
like blind mice,
scurry from the center
to the extremities
trying to piece all the bits
together
to keep parts intact. It's not if,
it's when,
she said,
her bruises and scars visible.
Enjoy,
she said.
Yes.Force Arresting vibrant pull
of three senses
anchors straight down
into now,
and there's nowhere else to go. Dynamic fierce intensity
rouses unnamed currents
which merge into the greatness
that's here. Feel this power
seeing how the world
keeps going
in an unstoppable universe.Amitabha Namo Amitabha
We read this
and thought this
then. As if summoned
a sweet man appeared
speaking to us,
asking questions and telling us
gently
what to do to come back
into refuge. They always come back to get us.Flypaper More and more of the time
it's like this,
the same types of experiences
and characters filling our container. Follow the scent.
You know what you like.
It gets better. It's more like this,
expanding on all sid…

Taboo

Some words are not only safe to say--
you are actively encouraged to say them,
and from a very young age:
please, thank you, hi, bye bye,
nite nite, bless you.
If you live in another country
the words you must say
are a little different.

Many many words are safe to say.

Generally,
most every word is neutral,
in the right context.

Certain words are safe to say,
but they make most people
uncomfortable,
like death, die, decapitate,
disembowel, incest,
necromancy
and so on.

Cultures
and sub-cultures,
have their particular words
and phrases,
like Peace be with you,
Shabbat Shalom,
Merry Christmas,
God willing,
Asalamalaikum,
Oy vey,
Y'all come back and see us,
Namaste.

Curse words,
colorful slang,
carefully crafted insults,
piquant sarcasm and
stark realism
are generally not welcome
in America.

Everybody Loves a Good Euphemism.

Exploring Taboos,
Dabbling in Dirty Words,
Dancing with the Social
Devil,
rips the band-aid off
your bad eye.
See?

The Safety of Group-Think,
how safe is it?
H…

Liberté

Is the only real freedom economic?
Or is it ideological?
Or spiritual?
Is there an intersection
of belief
and liquidity?

Freedom from
cultural restrictions
and class restrictions
is a worthy aim.
Is this possible
without a roof over your head,
a place to call your own?

Some hungry people
may be nonetheless free.
Some free people
may be wealthy.
Many wealthy people
are hungry,
just not for food.

Certain places we go,
people we trust and serve,
roles we agree to play,
later deprive us of
natural freedom,
as do ideas we consume
by swallowing without chewing,
runaway mental machinations,
comparisons,
crunching around
and sloshing around
on our insides,
lacking proper digestion.

Do or do not do,
and be with that.

Create your standards
if you can
where you are.

Throw out the charts
made by the others.
Don't answer their questions.
Only answer with a question.

Can we be free and poor?
Can we be free and upper class?
Can we be free and uneducated?
Can we self-educate?

Is there another ki…

Apples

Shoes go on feet,
gloves on hands,
briefs on bottoms,
hats on heads,
chapstick on lips,
lotion on skin,
rings on digits,
polish on nails,
necklaces around
the neck.
As with the body,
so with the mind.
No one who could benefit
will listen to this,
I know:
Do not try
to use the same methods
of rational analysis you use
(with your mind, let the reader
understand)
for reading a news article
filled with reported facts,
as you use to analyze
an ink blot test.
Stop and think about that.
Now:
We can all be rational.
Smart people know
to use different aspects of
the intellect
to interpret
different data
and phenomena,
such as:
Paintings
Poems
Dreams and this shit: Tarot cards
Doreen Virtue Angel Cards
(suck back the vomit in your
mouth)
Psychic readings
Shit you hear about crystals
Astrology
(use it like an ink blot test,
conjure your inner Jung, people)
and Reiki (go within and use your
brain and inner strength
to channel your energy to heal
yourself).
Healing arts are arts,
not sciences,
but arts and sciences
overlap.
AND: they work,
li…

Trip

One sunny moment in his golden van,
going to the Shore with a wife
and little daughter.
It's a Saturday
in August,
not a work day.
Maybe things
are working out,
improving,
a trip away,
today.
A peripheral glance,
a sixth sense, one
final millisecond of knowing
terror. Smack,
thud,
screeching
rolling tumbling
smash and skid
to a halt.
And someone
some other people
see it all.
Don't look at the driver's side.
Clothes packed this morning
strewn across
three lanes and shoulder.
CPR administered in the sun
on the eastbound side,
someone else saw and
updated the other people
on 78.
Daddy forevermore,
nothing else.

Peace

Peace!
You can define it
positively
or negatively.

Peace is not:
stress
conflict
war
aggression
angst.

Peace is:
serenity
tranquility
stillness
harmony
ease.

Instead of focusing on what is missing,
when peace is present,
see what happens
when you fill your container with peace.


Jai

Baba Nam Kevalam,
Love is all there is,
I am that beloved.

There is a balanced place
between too much happening
and not enough happening,
where we are not even aware
of how much is happening
because we are in it,
moving and breathing
in synch with it
and
fully a part of it all,
as orchestrated and orchestrating.

There is never too much or too little
or too dark or too light
or too loud or too quiet.
Only our perception goes to these extremes.

In certain moments,
maybe for an afternoon
or a week
or half an hour one morning,
we perceive and experience
the Love
in everything within and around us,
even our thoughts,
resting on the immediate and also
on persons we love in a different space
or time
and there is nothing we are rejecting, then.

Baba Nam Kevalam
Madhu-vidya
All of it
Everyone
Everything
is a part
of the Whole.
See the Love in all of it,
Beginnings, Middles and Ends,
Conditions and Finite
bits and pieces,
like your self.

Praise and Thanks
to the Self.
Hari Om Tat Sat.




Thoughts

Words
when offered in greetings  or chit chat in texts and comments sometimes written on postcards or clumsily spoken into voicemails
can be received. 
Words are often received, but sometimes not and often not the way the words were intended. 
Other times there is weak or unclear intention behind words.
Thoughts create a flow, a stream, a river that cuts through a valley.
Thoughts can be felt deeply and never properly represented with words.
Thoughts connect us more than words ever could, unconscious and conscious thoughts. 
Thoughts without a thinker, yes, but there's more than that.
Cherish the substance, harness it, and watch what's in your thoughts. 

Sweetness

Mercy, grace, comfort, safety.
Love makes you relax,
Support lets you release. 
Let go.
Acceptance heals.
Don't fight what is.
Notice the resistance.
Embrace instead.
All is love. All is love. Sleep now, secure.

Champion

Stay strong and
Clear.

Step back and
Survey.

Others are lead
Astray.

Others are trapped and
Mired.

You cannot be like
That.

From the womb you were set
Apart.

You know this and
You are not
Alone.

Standard Bearer,
Hold your head
High,
Always.


Endearment

Nothing unnatural about the trajectory.
Choose a random starting point,
Ask no questions,
Keep nothing in your pockets,
Stay open,
Wait without waiting,
See without looking,
Listen without eavesdropping,
Take no credit for anything.
Revel in the mystery. 
No one can make this happen. 
Cataclysmic but not sudden,
gradually the slow moving molten substance, felt but never seen, spreads over a larger area until  light and heat emanate  from your hands and feet and chest and the top of your head.
Who can see it in your eyes the steady life-giving flame, it will not burn your house down, or lay waste to your village. No. This fire will nourish you as you feel it burn.
It hurts a little, like everything underlying  creation and transformation. 
Gratias tibi. 
FireHand photo by maphimi

Shell

Porcelain veneer on a mended heart, patched over with pulsing organic matter resembling a heart, quivering below a smooth surface.
See it shine.
Look into the sheen to see a reflection of the one that got away, the one you lost and keep searching for. 
It's ok if you drop it. Like a planarian, this heart regenerates. 

Exceptional

All Love is the Same,
and the nature of Nature is Emptiness,
nothing you cherish about your
Uniqueness
will endure beyond a few centuries,
or millennia for the exceptional.

So They say. So They say.

And yet the longing persists,
a desire to be an Individual
with your own rarities
talents
and peccadilloes,
even big Sins
and little Accomplishments,
grand and petit prizes
for your signature dishes and dalliances,
your specific specialness:
those eyes, that voice,
this riveting personal history,

Please: Tell me more, tell me all of it,
let me listen to you speak taking all of you in,
as my petty-seeming self is engulfed for awhile in your outstanding, extraordinary presence,
the way you fill the space around you like no one else can.

Come here and fill up this void of my space,
the place I inhabit while the second hand sweeps away
minute by minute
the torturous illusion
of a particular life.

Longing of a Ghost by Brightsoul.

Arc

We interAre
here, there and all over the great wide world,
hand in hand and abiding in seeming separateness
in far flung efficiency apartments
and bridge underpasses
gated communities and slums
in India
and everywhere else we can be,
we Interare.

Thought has a substance and a source,
not what you may imagine.
Thoughts never need you to think them.
Therefore you Are.

People come and they go back to and from
places you may not consider.

Find the straight lines in the sphere,
where they stop and start
and piece together how I met you
and why we know someone who loves us
who never knew we knew each other
and who had the same dream my mother had
in her bed
when she was twelve years old visiting a cousin
in California.

Tell me why the same stories keep repeating
and whose feelings are these,
really?

Lights, passing around the sphere,
bouncing in perfect arcs and changing colors
just when you thought you could see
the end of the rainbow that has no end.

World without end,
Amen,
Amen.

Rainbow…

Enamorada

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done,
On Earth as it is in Heaven.
As above so below.

He makes me remember God,
down here,
another marvelous fractal
inviting me to love and love fiercely.

Nothing and no one escapes the awe and the glory.

You and I are magnificent in all our splendor.



Virtue

Virtue within and virtue without. Few are those who never seek

Purification.

Take a mikveh
for your mentality.
Soak it away,
all that defiles you.

Defilement.
Impropriety.
Stain.

What is dirty in dirt?

Blood bath.
Salt bath.
Salt in your wounds.

Effort. Can it feel easy?

Like water the thoughts and impulses rush in
and out. The outside of the container may sparkle
but the inside is sometimes cloudy, sometimes opaque,
it may shine like onyx,
then soften. It may ooze through pores smelling
earthy.

To the earth we will return.

I won't struggle against what is impermanent,
fleeting by nature.
I won't judge
or run
like prey.

Do not divide yourself
against yourself.


Mirage

Not now. Not yet.
Perhaps never.

One day I will open it,
this door,
this message,

this:

gift.

Why must it be a gift?
It's not.

In walking innumerable miles,
over such varied terrains,
sometimes so very tired,
and straining to see one, just one

person

a sentient shelter

a kind of oasis.

And then there is one,
like the last time but different again,
Oh,
the act of recognition,
and an awkward embrace,
and some muted period of time
feeling,
possibly a sort of resolved satisfaction-
still far away even when it's close.

And then it's gone,
and that's supposed to be a gift.

Keep going, eyes to the horizon,
look up, look forward,

look within.
Again.

It's still here somewhere.

Don't open this. Only tears which will never come.



Conquistadors

How can something so old, so familiar and ingrained,
appear in an instant so new, so poignant and pristine?
Each time masquerading,
or maybe it really is
a second, fifth or twenty-third time
to be seen and experienced?

An opportunity to replay a narrative which gets richer with each telling,
a newer edition of a work you always prized,
and, but,
it's better than that,
if it is truly ripe yet new.

It offers another occasion
to palpate
to sample
to sip
to float upon
to swim within
to dive into
uncharted lands and waters,
to be a Good and Moral Explorer,
shedding preconceived notions and
receiving
all of this in earnest,
with a heart wide open.