Showing posts from September, 2017

Found Poem

Life is one found poem after another these days.  I am listening and listening and listening.  And there is love.  This, between two students, the other day: Why is it so bad To forget In The Odyssey ? It's, like, a sin. Because you are your story. That's your life. And if you forget it, You won't know who you are Anymore. Oh.  That's deep. So Odysseus doesn't want to forget Because he wants to get home. "You go where love takes you, and that's it." (Joseph Campbell)

Note to Self



One-forty-five… Two o’clock… Two-thirty-seven…. In this darkness The fifty-one years of my life Are nowhere to be found. Nor are the two years of this dog’s being Or the four years of that dog’s presence. All that we have Are three hearts pressing into the night A rhythm as steady as small waves from a calm sea. This small sound is punctuated by acorns Pinging rooftops and patios and glass tables As they fall through the stillness they break And the insects who sing A story that does not include us. I am awake and alive To the nothing that carries Everything through time and space That is a gift to every life. In this ancient music My little dogs Move closer to me: They want contact As their sleepy canine mutterings Say sleep is good When you can get it (So keep the light off), And so is our pack, Here and now.

“How Was Your Day?”

"These mythic clues work." (Joseph Campbell) Wait--  I have a question:  Why do the gods bother with us?  [A child’s question.] I mean, we’re nothing special?  Why do they waste their time?  [A child’s anguish.] I think I know: In two places it says he Walked like a young god After he listened to Athena. Should I read it? [A child’s voice.] So they want to?  I think they like him.

Autumn: Farewell

First day of autumn And the pine cones Are raining down, Sapping and staining Everything. Acorns and black walnuts Pave the road to hell. All of this is the  noise of essential death. It’s how it is. Falling Is not an easy thing, And it is not neat. And the neighbors talk. And you talk about The knife Cutting this way and that And how important the that is For the thing to really mean anything And the rest of us who take pills Or try to gas ourselves Are selling out on whatever it is The knife brings to essential death. And that’s great For the people who find you And find the knife And really love how In control of life you were For the amount of time it took you to die. Great.  Like I said.  There’s nothing like the last word. Ask any poet. This started with pine cones, Pine cones Gently falling From graceful, elegant trees Gently leaning on the soft clouds Of an Indian summer day, The heat of life Reluc

Beyond the Veil

"I saw the danger, yet I walked Along the enchanted way And I said let grief be a falling leaf  At the dawning of the day." (Van Morrison)

Leaving the Table


Consider the Lilies

Consider the lilies, He said, How they do not toil or spin, And I did. I considered them: I got down on my hands and knees, Belly to the ground, And pushed my hungry face Deep into the blossoms. I breathed in the flowers, And I took in everything-- Blossoms, stems, leaves, roots-- Right down to the hard dark Of deep earth, Where life begins. And I’ll be damned, But I cannot explain myself. I ate those flowers One at a time-- A sacramental rite, The claiming and naming, Knowing and feeling The pulse of those flowers, My pulse, The freedom. You know it. It is your pulse. There can be no sorrow in this. No anger.  No fear. No doubt. There can be only joy Rooted in the evanescence Of every dream-- Which is to say, Everything.

The Force of Whiteness

Autumn Promise

Rain No rain Rain Mist on the lake Morning No sun Leaves fall They fall and they fall And they fall Late summer sun Burns through the lens Of passing opportunity Wild grapes And bittersweet: The crown and nectar Of the triumph Of change The mist lifts Clouds drift And there the sun Bids the leaves Dance to his tune. They do. We do. I do. I do. That's a promise.

Woman from Bethany

You stride into the room Of feasting men, overpowering Every one of them With a single gesture: You break the neck Of your one treasure: A jar of precious ointment. You pour it all over him, Put your strong hands onto his body, And anoint him from head to toe, Kneading your fragrant treasure into him. You kneel to touch his feet with your hair. You are not humbled; You are a part of him Whom you claim, And he has surrendered. You know when you are done: You stand, And he gleams With the pure power Of your loving touch. He feels good. He is alive. This is everything. This is the gift of life. His friends, watching, call you a whore. Ironic, right?

Beyond Words

A few paces Beyond that abyss Where words Dissolve into chaos, Rendering themselves Unknowable and beyond use, There is silence That will not be informed By thought.  In that space There is the moon, The morning star, A dusting from the universe Of light beyond imagining And words? They are the rungs on a ladder That would take us there If only it were possible. We are such very small Players on a vast stage.  Still, Mercy has its place. When you smile, You shake my world, Knocking the stars out of alignment, Casting me into the dark paradise Of freedom, Where there are, as yet, No words.

Your Constellation

If I could configure This feeling As a constellation When words fail, And there is no music,  The moon is slipping away,  And a category 5 hurricane Is about to reconfigure Our understanding Of how life emerges From the impulses Of heat and water, Passion and forgetfulness, This constellation Would take the shape Of a leatherback sea turtle Swimming through the deeply silent sea.  In that rare animal, I see you: Strong, steady, Eternal. Mysterious, silent, True, and Gliding into a new day: A story I can't completely follow, A story that will go on.

About Gifts

You don’t have to ask To receive You don’t have to give To receive You have to show up To receive Breathe Receive What do you give? What do you receive? Your answer? Tell me who you are.

Consolation Prize

What did Delilah have That pushed Samson To the edge of himself? And why did he test her? Why did he totally miss her? The error cost him his eyes. And what was she doing To play with such passion? What did she gain? I can do the English teacher thing And say When a character loses his eyes, He gains insight. (What the hell else is there In that darkness? And why are we all about The consolation prize?) But here's the question I can't answer: How could she be such a whore? Rephrased:  What did he feel When he looked at her? To what did he surrender himself That he might bring down the temple of the Philistines After her betrayal? And how was her betrayal A gift to Samson? It was. Something to do with the Consolation prize. It was. But neither of them could see.

Claiming Bathsheba

Wisdom comes to life in the heart. Think of Solomon and the baby That would be halved If his mother could not let him go That he might live.  That was a brutal test, But Solomon knew Truth is swiftly found In a true heart.  Solomon: The second child Of beautiful Bathsheba and David, Shepherd son of a son of Abraham Who rose to greatness When he slew Goliath And thereafter enjoyed tremendous power. David took Bathsheba: She was beautiful and he wanted her. The story is that simple.  My translation of the Bible Calls this adultery. Lust. Evil.  My Bible is always doing that: Calling every just move A transgression.  If my Bible is correct Then the lesson here Is that we must  Transgress Cross the line Claim beauty for our own Go deep inside the mystery For wisdom  And offer it to the world. We could not know The beauty, the power, of insight If the child David had not first slain a monster And thereby claimed his birthright. We cannot know wh

Like Odysseus

I dissolved into sleep last night, Drifting on the same waves that carried Sleeping Odysseus To Ithaca-- A journey safe, swift, and kind.  The sea delivered me Into the arms of Athena, Who veiled my eyes in spindrift, Who dissolved me into sand and silence,  And bade me feel The rhythm of my own heart In it own place in its own time, Which has come. And I feel the pulse of the sea, The music of my heart.  In fact, I live it. Like Odysseus, Whom Athena awoke to the urgency Of his purpose, Who thought and fought for his love And won her and moved on. I know the urgency of the story. I tell it. I am invisible, and I love To the very end.

A Mythic Truth

The Mythic Truth To give yourself completely to life To require nothing in return To welcome all that comes: This is The Force. This is the power of the goddess.