Archive | April, 2014

empty in a good way

30 Apr


i stand between two trunks

and borrow their stillness,

which they are happy to share.

Their joy  is like no other:

deeply rooted yet still reaching: solid.

The bark, wordless and rough –

doesn’t give in and

doesn’t push back.

What more is there than this?

The seeming flurry and slurry

of problems sink down into the earth

or travel up into the leaves –

dabble dance

light and

shade – upon my feet.

You could charge by the hour, tree,

but you are paid in full

with no hand out –

in sun,

in  rain.

If only people knew,

they would

line up outside the gate,

come in one by one,

leaning themselves up

as needed.

They could stay as long as they liked,

learning not to

fear uncertainty.

If you wonder,

can i bear another spring?

another summer?

If there is not food of the world

that feeds you anymore –

lean into the space you have made

don’t rush to understand –

learn a thing from this

double-trunk tree.






This singing art is sea foam

29 Apr


There was a time when the trouble was just getting started.    I try not to do that – look back.  But some days, a little snippet of truth can come  in the time traveling illusion of this life – we meet ourselves in our past and future incarnations – through a misty fog of compassion for the usefulness of the pain and beauty in each moment.

The tender moment comes to me today of myself in 2009 in the waking of my ears for hearing.  I came to know the song of the splashing water and the detachment of each moment’s choice.  I can stew in the worry of today – or I can see the beauty in the midst of confusion and pain.

We were traveling on a sailing catamaran from Annapolis to Charleston, in a hurry to get back home before school started.  Each morning began with a 4 am alarm as we set off before daybreak to make our way on the Intracoastal Waterway.  None of this matters now – except in terms of contrast – This was a trip that did not make sense.  We were riding the last coattails of prosperity; symptoms of crazy were beginning to sprinkle every interaction with intensity, confusion, conflict. There was a story being told that was not true – a glamourous tale of adventure, of risk, of wealth – crumbling yet being glued together with sweat, desperation, fear, and lies.

We would set out each morning in confusion  of where to go in the dark, of how to read the beacons, the breakers, the gps, the charts.  We had scenes of  disagreement on how to even operate a boat, then the mass of confusion would tumble back into our berth, the children still asleep, and I would captain the boat as the sun came up.

Though tough times were ahead and confusion and fear reigned in the moment, in these mornings alone, I let it all go, as if my future self visited me and said, experience this now, even though it hurts.  The water splashing up against the side of the fiberglass made a particular sound; a thousand tiny bells were rung as each bubble touched the boat and erupted – the sun touching the water made a sound – each micro moment was a symphony of interaction – water, sun, waking.  If I had tumbled into my thoughts – I would have missed the music.

The thoughts were so seductive, thoughts of trying to diagnose manic behavior, fix the unfixable, make sense of senselessness, relive  verbal exchanges over and over.  Instead, I listened to the music.  It would be a while before I could step away – a good two years, yet I could put everything aside – live step-by-step and allow my ears to be baptized in the grace of each tiny splash, the sound of morning, the interaction that we were created for – to see hear taste the beauty, despite my little story.  Water sings in every form: steam, bubble, froth, placid, storm.  Our ears can hear it in the sink, the rain, the waves, the shower.

Water’s song, once unwrapped, never stops calling me back,  piercing the bubble of my wandering confusion, waking me with tenderness again and again.

‘Where Everything Is Music’

Don’t worry about saving these songs!

And if one of our instruments breaks,

it doesn’t matter.

We have fallen into the place

where everything is music.

The strumming and the flute notes

rise into the atmosphere,

and even if the whole world’s harp

should burn up, there will still be

hidden instruments playing.

So the candle flickers and goes out.

We have a piece of flint, and a spark.

This singing art is sea foam.

The graceful movements come from a pearl

somewhere on the ocean floor.

Poems reach up like spindrift and the edge

of driftwood along the beach, wanting!

They derive

from a slow and powerful root

that we can’t see.

Stop the words now.

Open the window in the centre of your chest,

and let the spirits fly in and out.

  ~  Rumi – Translated by Coleman Barks


a rat when he’s wet

20 Apr


yo ese


I am in love with being chosen by this cat.

Perhaps it could be any cat.

His lowness in the world fills me not with disgust

but pity and  soft opening for his escape.

What makes the breath of one man reek,

and another fill your heart with care?

Come purr on my chest when I haven’t the time;

will I grow tired of thee?  Will you come to be  a stink, a chore?

Do I know how to love; are you here to show me?

The story goes a bit like this:  convulsing fear, survival strength, ache, rage, numbness,

rote doing, and then one morning we start imagining ~ maybe.

Our mind/s broadcasting into the void, virtual machines of creation.

A snake, a turtle, a rat may have answered, but here is this homeboy, ESE.

You, little man, radiate the joy of 2nd chances.

You mirror tougher days which make me the humble seer.

Basking in the soft luxury of my bed,

I worship the roof , the lights, the water,  the pantry…

There may be hope for me yet.

“I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul.”  ~ Jean Cocteau

All of the animals except for man know that the principle business of life is to enjoy it.”  Samuel Butler


16 Apr

I now pledge to stop driving the Car.  I am sitting in the back seat with my feet up; letting the reigns go.  This life is out of my hands.

That is not to say that I am not here; I have not checked out.

I allow myself to step away while still being here fully.

I allow myself to follow my impulses more; I stand alone a bit more, I listen more without internal dialogue, I  speak my truth more.  I quit working;   I  go outdoors without  my shoes.  I  travel.  I  dance.  I  step away from anything I do not want to do.  I  let my children just be.  I throw more things away.  I keep my face free of products more often.  I sweat. I swear.  I pursue primitive arts.  I trust that just every moment is as perfectly orchestrated as it is.  I rejoice.  I know that I am easily, naturally, perfected in my skin – my mind – my breath – my flow – and I play my part without pause, or rather full of the pause that Bukowski writes about , the area of pause…

Truth is, I often stare in to space for more time than I can account for…I am well on my way to dismissing fear –

I had a night years ago that started me on a trail;  I wrestled fear and won.  Many of you might remember the night that followed the day the stock market plunged in 2008, when liars and thieves paraded themselves around as saviors?  I went head first into fear that day, hitting refresh, refresh, refresh to watch the numbers tumble as if they were real – as if we were all falling without a net; I was a sheep led to the slaughter of my beliefs.

When I turned the lights out – out came the daemon made from  all my years of fear, clay formed from tendencies to imagine worst case scenarios, to quiver with what if’s, to retreat into caves for safety; all of that had accumulated into a mass in which my current tremblings had breathed life forming a being full of darkness who imagined it had power over me – he grabbed me by the throat and we wrestled  on that sleepless night –

Yet when the morning light seeped through the shuttered blinds – I had left some part of my habits behind for good.  I may be a bit Israel – for that horrible creature I had created and I, we went head to head, and I won, but I do still limp at times, proud, in the memory of my battle over fear.




10 Apr


The answer to every question is hush –

something is changing –

something has shifted.

We feel it in the air.

The wind moves the water still –

yet nothing appears to happen at all.

Not watching, really,

Not waiting, really,

Rather, un-defining.

Schrodinger’s cat on a raft above

the dance of diamonds.

I may malinger here

(what is work anyway?)

bobbing on the surface

of an ocean that defies being named –

at least for today.


do what you want to!

4 Apr

the tip of an enormous iceberg of consciousness.

the philosophy of the new age – do what you want to!

out of it

3 Apr


It is alright,

good even,

to step away.


Again and again, if need be.

Why am I here?

Why be here in a world

which I cannot be of

but merely in.

Just to watch?

There is no going back from here.

Forward, or nothing ~

But why?

Do not call the hot line.

They fear such forthright seeing.

They wish for you to keep the question

at bay.

But you and I, we can ask,

and sit

and listen.

There is poetry in the answer given;

be open for anything,

animal, song, wind,  road sign,

to carry the message back to you.

Yesterday, the mystery

served up Chrissie Hynde.

When you know it isn’t your little story

but you can’t quite get out for the stratosphere view –

when you are in a tub of goo –


You are love but it can be hard to remember.

Lately I’ve been asking, stilling and then

arrives a song from 1984 🙂 on the breeze.




“Show Me”

Show me the meaning of the word
Show me the meaning of the word
‘Cause I’ve heard so much about it
They say you can’t live without it
Welcome to the human race
With it’s wars, disease and brutality
You with your innocence and grace
Restore some pride and dignity
To a world in decline
Welcome to a special place
In a heart of stone that’s cold and grey
You with your angel face
Keep the despair at bay
Send it away, and
Show me the meaning of the word
Show me the meaning of the word
‘Cause I’ve heard so much about it
I don’t want to live without it
I don’t want to live without it
Oh, I want love, I want love, I want loveWelcome here from outer space
The milky way still in your eyes
You found yourself a hopeless case
One seeking perfection on earth
That’s some kind of rebirth, so
Show me the meaning of the word
Show me the meaning of the word
‘Cause I’ve heard so much about it
Don’t make me live without it
Don’t make me live without it
Oh, love, I want love, I want love, I want love
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