Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Change Of Heart, This One I Saw Coming

I got caught one time on acid, looking in a mirror. Bad idea. I was locked in for quite a while. At least that is how it seemed. It was not kind. I was not ready for the melting of boundaries while being exquisitely self conscious. I was not ready for the quality of judgment, for the honesty, for the finely detailed story. I was never that visual on acid, and the mirror was no different, my vision melted and turned into narrative while what remained of my vision twitched and jittered.

Change Of Heart

I really do not
Want to look in that mirror.
This scares me silly.
I feel revulsion
For what I might see in me.

I remember that,
How I felt before
I cracked open that one time
And a little bit
After til I picked
Myself back up off the floor.

It was so real.

January 21, 2009 10:13 AM


I have mentioned this squirrel and this nut. Here is the poem that I wrote about that situation. The seedling rose in the spring of 2007. The nut was buried in Fall of 2006.

This One I Saw Coming

There's a small green shoot
Where that gray squirrel buried
His nut. He forgot.
Now it's spring. I watched
When he placed it, and now watch
This tree start to grow.
This beautiful sprout,
The walnut came from next door,
Is nestled beside
The old dogwood just
Now waking for the season.
Makes me sad, it does.

It's sad I have to pull it.

January 21, 2009 10:44 AM

Post Delay

Ran outta time. This will happen again tomorry :( I will probably be able to post tonight.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Who's Awake, Too High Up

I have the answer to everything. Contrary to Douglas Adams, it is not forty-two or whatever he said. But the trouble is, it is too perfectly general for any particular application. I could tell you what it is, but I am out of time.

Who's Awake?

I will cast my light
Hoping to cure the long dark.
I wonder who's awake?

Not who you'd think, I'm guessing,
Not the likes of them and us.

You said, "The master
Is harder to recognize
Than that ya' know, pal?"

January 20, 2009 2:26 PM


So when you wake up it isn't all peaches and cream, at least not just anytime. It is really good if you're prepared for it.

Too High Up

My head just came up
Out of this mist, peeking out
As if I was brave.

All puffed up with my damn self,
I thought I might belong here.

But there's snow around
And I'm sure not dressed for it,
My toes are freezing.

January 21, 2009 9:16 AM

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Follow Love, I Was A Timber Faller

I do have a friend named Bill. He is a truck driver on medium long haul and we speak regularly by phone while he is on the road. I call, or he does during my afternoon drive home from work. We both have blue tooth. Here is one true blessing of cell phones. Now that I have unlimited anytime minutes for a modest price and he has put me as one of his designated people, neither of us risk running overtime. He never really said this. Must be some other friend named Bill.

Follow Love

My friend Bill, he said
I could leave the horizon
Alone, let the sky
Be spacious, the sun
Shine high, and pay attention
To how the grass bends.

He said the heart moves
To the sway of the green fern,
To the way one small seed
Falls into fertile
Soil, how squirrel scolds when I
Come too close to her.

He said, follow love.

January 20, 2009 1:09 PM


I have a friend named Julie. Her blog, The Buffaloe Pen is filled with amazing poetry. She tells stories. There is no one better at that. I thought I would try one.

I Was A Timber Faller

Me. My daddy. Yes.
His daddy too worked the woods.
We were all fallers.

To be out in the far woods,
No roads but the ones we made,
To stand upright, work so hard,
To feed our kids and women,
Righteous and true clean and good.
I am God Fearing, and now,
They've stopped me, kept me from that,
From all I really wanted.

I can't find real work.
They don't help. I don't want what
They have anyway.
My woman hates me now.
I drink far too much, too much,
My kids going wrong,
The worker says it'll
Come out right, but when? Oh God,
It was good, me too.

I was good back then.

January 20, 2009 12:53 PM

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Ski Tower, High Centered

I am a long time Lord Of The Rings fan. I tried to follow the elves to the lands in the west. To not know how the emigration of the elves turned out seems cruel to me. Of course, not even Tolkein was capable of telling a true elven story. Elves are NOT human. In order to be remotely like humans they have to step down, corral, back off, pin hole their presence. Otherwise they are at right angles to this plane, hard to even see. When they accepted Bilbo, it meant that a certain elven group would have to exercise that discipline to tend to him. It was what Aragorn's lover was prepared to fix in place so she could be with him, to essentially cripple her elven self for love. I can't write from the elven point of view either.

The Ski Tower

Looks like Sauron's eye
Could appear any moment there
Staring down on skiers
Not suspecting anything
Like such awful disaster.

The ring bearer
Needs to find another way
Up the snowy slopes.

January 19, 2009 12:21 PM


I got of my high center. This is not unlike stepping out of my elven self for the sake of movement along the high Way. I don't remember writing in code like that. It is a good alternative to being hung up and this being the way I find motivation to get going.

High Centered

You told me to move.
You held the whip's long shadow
In your whipping hand.
Made my withers twitch
To see that lurking notion
Of motivation.
I got off my high center,
Took to the highway again.

January 19, 2009 1:16 PM

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Chewing Sticks, Losing The Masterpiece

So I notice with these next two poems that I got self conscious about how many poems I was writing. Chewing Sticks seems to imply that dogs are poets too. Hmmm.

Chewing Sticks

If I had pastimes
Like your dog did chewing sticks
Maybe I would not
Collect useless junk,
Would not have drank half to death,
Would not write so much

January 19, 2009 11:38 PM


I have had some experience with the emotional ups and downs of mental illness, how the ups in some smaller sizes can lead to creativity but in greater shapes lead to getting lost inside them. And the downs...how depression can literally kill you. I don't suffer the ups and downs as I once did, haven't for years, maybe even decades.

I have journals from my early twenties. I don't remember feeling depressed when I wrote them, but I read them now and they are the work of a depressed young man. That is an interesting thing. I do not remember feeling depressed, and I did not recognize depression when I read my own writing as a young man, but now I do. So I resisted the diagnosis then, but do not now. How odd. How completely powerful denial and defensiveness can be. What a remarkable experience of how you simply can't get through to the mentally ill with certain simple truths. If I am ill, then you may never have a chance to communicate with me in a fully open style because I will reorient your words and presence to fit my space and never receive you as you are. I know I am not the only one.

Losing The Masterpiece

I stare blank, far off,
Thinking I should get going
Then can't think quite why.

I remember the fever
I had over yesterday.

If a masterpiece
Came today I would not rise
To the occasion.

January 19, 2009 12:04 PM


As I write this, I am listening to the coverage of our loss of Michael Jackson. Sometimes there really are unique men on the planet, different inside, differently raised, and different in experiences outside too. If I am certain of anything, I am certain that Michael Jackson lived a different life. He was celebrated as the King Of Pop. He was isolated as only a king can be. It was once the prevailing opinion that divinity is close within kings, that perhaps they themselves are divine. I will not argue.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Think's He's A Poet, I'm Dying

Two reality stories. I have been exhorted periodically to come back to reality. Those various people have a bone to pick with my way of treating the world and my place in it. There will always be "those people". I do not mind at this point. When I was a child, my parents would occasionally do this. I should be quick to point out they mainly gave me plenty of latitude and also guided me quite well in many ways. I was an excitable child and a bit obsessive in my interests. I also didn't take direction all that well. I have always been a bit different, sometimes a whole lot different. So "those people" still hover around. Because I actually interact with a reasonably large number of people in AA (people who would normally not mix) I have the opportunity to run into them and hear plainly from them in a variety of ways. I am right here because I am not all there :)

Thinks He's A Poet

I abandoned you.
It was me telling stories.
That's when it happened.
Otherwise, staying
Near my nest and still myself,
Still ordinary,
On small simple walks,
I'd not have cast my odd lot
To quest for dragons,
To seek the vale of secrets,
Or some wilder place.

Now look at this man.
Hunched over pecking the keys,
Thinks he's a poet.

January 19, 2009 10:30 AM


This next poem is not prophetic of my heart attack. It is prophetic of the fact that my mortality is close to my soul in general and on purpose. I have every intention of speaking with Death, letting Him ride on my left shoulder and whisper to me from time to time. I also occasionally ponder the possibilities of disability, walking around my house as if blind, and at work being interested in the changes when I wear my ear plugs. But primarily my practice is making friends with Death.

This is not morbid. It is realistic. I am now far more than half way to my end, seventeen years matches my Mom, and 20 my Father. It is also a spiritual practice. Because this is part of my character, I am not very impressed at my prophetic remarks concerning my small heart attack. This is especially true of this poem. My heart attack was a minor complaint, raising mortality as a distant warning and probably wouldn't have amounted to much for a while if I could have ignored the pain or it went away somehow. I am living with another vein now that is constricted but it is not serious. We hope that pharma takes care of it.

I'm Dying

I have not much left.
I watch this breath ease on out,
Think maybe the last.
Exhale to the end,
A small catch there, then nothing
For a while, then in.
I inhale once more.

Amazing focus, feeling
All my parts and joints
But too far away
From the way I used to be,
Breath eases on out,

Think maybe the last.

January 19, 2009 10:55 AM

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

His Pure Tones, Why I Follow You

Two streams of practice. In my life music is a practice. That is a step beyond the technical. It is also a step beyond the claims that music speaks an emotional language. Music speaks a spiritual language, or it can, and it always does for any who are open in spiritual ways to music. His Pure Tones is a poem about this musical practice.

His Pure Tones

Oiled skin, sweated sheen-
It's the effort of the strikes
He makes repeatedly, drum
Then gong, drum then gong,
Steady, precise hits. Both sound
Long low notes that shake
The heart, crack the bones
Of thought.

I am stretched apart
In the open air
Of his sacred work,
Of his blessed gift, his pure
Tones: they sever me.

January 18, 2009 11:44 AM

By the way, I am not sure how to manage the blog in this regard...there is a tabulature command that I don't know. In my word processor, the "I am stretched apart" line should be tabbed in to signal it is actually part of the "Of thought" line even though it begins the second verse.

The second stream of practice is almost as old in my life. The Way is the English euphemism for Tao. I have never been in deep Taoist practice, neither in the martial arts nor in the institutional practices. But I have been devoted to the philosophy, especially as it manifests in I Ching. This practice began in 1969. It went somewhere. John Blofeld once wrote about this practice that at some point a devotee would leave it behind as an active practice, having received permission in some way to do so. I seem to have reached this point. I have indeed grown old on the Way.

Why I Follow You

Remember the Way.
It curves round the old straight path
Left from other times,
Other places, needs.

You've grown old upon the Way,
As have I who love
Your shining eyes,
Your pure song, your graceful walk,
Why I follow you.

We'll soon reach the willows
Weaving in the warm wise wind.

January 18, 2009 2:52 PM

Monday, June 22, 2009

Inversion, A Rose Opens

I say I am here as a Witness. I don't mean this as if I am some special creature given a unique task. I am sure Witnesses are a dime a dozen and in some real sense there is no one who is not a Witness. And yet in the story I tell myself, I am in a lifelong argument with God about some aspect of this life, a focus, as if I have come here sure I will win this argument if I give it due diligence. What amuses me, I am more sure of the plot than I am of the substance. I am not that sure what exactly I am looking for. When I am at my least mature then I claim I want to declare a world without suffering, that it is suffering that is the sticking point and that it is suffering that should depart this life. But that is purely adolescent and ever since I have learned the heavy forgiveness lessons I know that is not really it. But I remain toe to toe and eye to eye with the Creator. Yes, indeed.

Here is a Witness story.


Dropping down from here,
From this single star,
I have come to see your life
The way it really
Is, not the way they
Say you are in the stories.
It's a steep descent,
A quantum shifting
Down for up, charmed for strange, you
For me in this ploy.

I am upside down,
Not ready - such timeless light.

January 18, 2009 9:51 AM


A Rose Opens reads fine to me as a love poem to a human lover, or a psalm to God. This is often true. I know I am not the only one who believes that love is always divine. Why wouldn't God have gray eyes, or blue, or brown, hazel, even black? Why wouldn't God have eyes? In a book called The Shack, a best seller in these parts because the story takes place in Oregon, the author envisions the tripartite Christian God as a black woman (God), a young beautiful woman (the Comforter), and the man Jesus. Female two to one...that's about right. That's a Trinity I can get behind. There are many such alternatives. The Chinese say, Heaven, Earth, Man. That too is about right. Hindus have masculine Trinities and feminine ones. Buddhas have multiplied as well.

But when I write, it is of me and you most often. Me and the three of you is cumbersome and crowded.

A Rose Opens

In your sight a rose
Opens at my feet, white, white,
A fragrant vision
Of grace. I've found your
Gray eyes. I have crossed my life
On long starry paths
Of fate, of destined
Solitude to reach this place
Where you welcome me.

January 18, 2009 10:46 AM

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Absence, The Quiet Unmarked Path

A man I love gave a talk one time and he pointed out that when my distress is mainly mental, or when it is physical at least the mental component can be dealt with by focussing the time frame. He said that there is really nothing wrong right now. He said whenever there is distress it is either coming from the future or the past and if I narrow my time frame to right now my pain will be already over or not yet here. In other words it is nearly always true that there is nothing wrong right now.

I had a heart attack. I used this right now thing. Except for the hours of that bloody nose, which was really just irritating, there was nothing wrong right now. The pain was never more than manageable. The drugs did not distress me overmuch right now. Even the shit for brains nurses (the two on shift during the bloody nose) were mostly not there and that was fine with me. I did not fret through any of it.


Today, I'm absent.
I do not sit in this seat.
I deny presence.
I have no purpose
For being gone, but gone I am.
I would be here now
If I was but, no,
I am not here, not waiting
And not writing this.

January 18, 2009 9:08 AM


Here's a dream, a place I would like to be, behavior I would like for my own. There is a poem called Footprints that is a complaint and God's answer. Perhaps the footprints I write of here are something like that. Waiting for divine footprints.

The Quiet Unmarked Path

Here's a true silence
Drifting down like fine snowflakes
Collecting around
My tree, cooling me
As I perch on this lowest
Limb trying to see
The lines of all things.

Among things I hope I see,
Footprints may appear,
May lead me further
On this quiet unmarked path.
In the drifting snow.

January 18, 2009 9:23 AM

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Whatever, Regret

Here's a little slice of life. You don't believe in dragons these days? How about very small ones?


There was this dragon
I knew once who said the girls
Are the truth of it.
Being a guy I went
Off to puzzle that, to find
The truth, and it's what
The dragon said, girls
Are the truth of it. Guys have
Shit for brains often.

But then it turned out
Not all girls are true to life,
Not all dragons too,
And some guys have heart
And know what to do with it.
That's just what it is.

January 17, 2009 10:18 PM


I remember this from when I was in it.


I am too heavy.
I try to lift feet, or arms,
Even blinking hurts.
I am too heavy.
Turtle slow or molasses,
I can't move today.
I remember you,
But also the hole in me
You left departing.

January 18, 2009 10:57 AM

Friday, June 19, 2009

You Explain Fate, Lost Truth

I just keep getting into these odd relationship predicaments...

You Explain Fate

Love's black butterflies
As seen through my eyes, they fly
In a dark tangle
Around your sweet face
As you try to explain fate
To me, and I sit
On my own thin ice
As I try to understand
What you just now said.

January 17, 2009 11:06 PM


It seems a while ago that I first posted about my house gremlins. Here they are again. About that phone. I lost my cel phone in only the way that I can. Gremlins, damn it! I knew it wasn't lost, not really. I often have my ringer turned off, or did in those days. So even though I still have a land line, I could not call the phone I knew was in the house. When something gets that thoroughly lost I often get uncertain, think maybe it is really lost, but also I need my phone. So I bought one. Not more than a week later, right beside the head of my bed on my side, in plain sight, there is my original phone. Damn gremlins. I can't understand how I could have missed that phone lying there for a week. The only solution, it wasn't there. No one my size lives in or visits this house. My cat takes no notice of phones for any reason. So I only stretched the time a little to make myself look less like a phone addict.

Lost Truth

So the old wallet
Is stuffed so full of paper
That I can't find it,
The truth I put there
Yesterday for just this time,
Just this perfect place.

But damn. There it is.
The truth is lost like my phone
Was for a long month
(I claim it's gremlins)
While I needed to make calls
And had to buy one.

January 17, 2009 2:26 PM

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Ring Of Light, Walking On Clouds

Jan 17 was an eight poem day. I was exhausted by the end of it. I don't know if I will publish all eight because ocasionally I have what I consider a clunker. I have a "not posted" folder. Perhaps some day (probably not) I will go in there and try to salvage them.

This third poem of the day was incantatory. The vision in it is true magic. The real thing.

The Ring Of Light

There's a ring of light
I found, placed on my finger
As a charm that calls
You from your labor
In the fields of confusion.

You seek a house free
Of darkness, descent,
Burial beneath the sand.

But more sand arrives
As you look, begins
To bury you as you age
And your burden too.

There's a ring of light.
I will place it in your hand.
Light will circle you.

January 17, 2009 9:57 AM


What would we write about if relationships were easy?

Walking On Clouds

I look from above
To the clouds that cover you,
Keep you from my sight.

The clouds seem to say
I could float, even walk there
In mid-sky out past
The place you still live,
Home that I left, leaving you.

The sun's rays reach me
In horizontal
Lines that slice me right to left
Like you asking me.

January 17, 2009 2:06 PM

I think this might actually be a poem about being someone leaving me, what I hope that experience would be like for them :P Looking at it that way troubles me, a little.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Suck It Up, Reaching Out

This first poem really stands alone. I will mention this though. I stole from AA on this one. In AA we say, "If you keep one foot in yesterday, and one foot in tomorrow, you end up pissing all over today."

Suck It up

You said, "Suck it up!"
And I hate your tone of voice
But I just noticed
How I flop and spread
Like melting lard all over
Yesterday and look,
I greedily grab
Hold of tomorrow as if
It belongs to me.

January 17, 2009 9:33 AM


I have said I follow the Bodhisattva ideal. I listen for facets of what that might be. I trust that when it is time for me to understand a new piece of the tradition, then I will meet a teacher. This image of compassion appeared and I wrote this poem about it. This day was one day that I thanked God for my unemployment, that I could have this encounter with Bodhisattva.

Reaching Out

Michael told me this.
He said I could take on me
A future burden
In my present one
And lessen the weight others
Carry when I place
That weight square on me.

I can reach out just like this
With my heart through time,
Through the weave of space,
Find your future cross and lift
The heavier end
Nestled in the weight,
Held with stronger love found here
In my graceful hands.

January 17, 2009 8:28 AM

My understanding, a future burden carried now is considerably lighter today than it will be. My understanding, I choosing to carry this lighter burden am considerably more capable of taking the weight because I am not distressed. Wow. I do not practice this. I am not ready.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Winter Squirrel, Musician's Lament

Here come two reality poems. There was such a squirrel. We did have a stare down. He thinks he won. I think I did. :)

A Winter Squirrel

You're staring again
As if I'm to blame, as if
I stole your whiskers
While you were sleeping,
Somehow in secret took them
Off you. "I'm naked
And you're a damn turd,"
Your stare says to me. But look,
Your whiskers are there,
Your gold undercoat's
Intact, and you look so fine
Sitting on winter's branch.

January 16, 2009 10:04 AM


This is a real lament. I had a breakthrough musically in the 90's. That breakthrough permitted me to return to music after putting it down in 1971 or so. Part of that departure from music was the block I could not get through. I had come hard up against some boundary that would not budge. I have of course thought about that and do have some understanding, too complex to go into. At the same time, there were other areas in my life that did not have such a wall. So I went there. I actually thought that the open door might lead to a huge doable lifestyle. I found a partner. I thought our partnership had momentum in it that would gather a crowd and lead to what we called a "Pythagorean Academy". It actually didn't go anywhere, but I did turn the work we did into the completion of my college degree in philosophy/psychology. I wrote a book to prove I had earned outside of school yet another 28 credits of at least upper division level if not post grad. After that was done, sobriety immersed me in AA culture and that service work carried me as it still does.

But in the 90's a couple things happened. I found my rhythm. I discovered that I could anticipate many musical forms and basically keep and even embellish the beat. Now I have Congas that I have played with pro musicians, but I am not really a Conga player. Then a woman came to my house, visiting my roommate. She sat at my cheap keyboard that I was using to explore whether I wanted to start playing. What she did blew my mind. She was a singer. She could not play. It was obvious that she could not play. What she could do was put rhythm and form into what she did on that keyboard and it so closely resembled music that I had an epiphany. I had music at the theory level and I knew what the notes are, white and black. I started noodling and realized quickly that I was MUCH better than she was. Obvious. At a certain narrow range of skills, I had been a master on the guitar. I started improvising in Eb on the keyboard, a remarkable key, and very difficult on the guitar except for downtuning. Now after nearly 20 years, I make music that might actually please others. Of course I am totally blown away still, amazed, overjoyed that the block was lifted.


Musician's Lament

After years, practice,
Patience in following you,
After quietude
And searching for place,
All this done blindly, content
With work on myself
On other deep needs
And the shallower concerns,
After all this time,
Now that I am old
And in my obscurity,
Now I get to play!

January 16, 2009 11:21 AM

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Clear Song, Listen To The Wind

I want to thank my regular commentors for a tremendous compliment on yesterday's post. Please know y'all are appreciated. And loved. You know who you are.

I don't think these next poems were about me. I know where the first poem came from, in response to a website I frequent and reply to (or as Rachel said, steal from - I am so comfortable with thinking about it like that :). I think the second poem was a development of the first. So it is not that I felt like this when I wrote them, nor is it that I feel like this now. However, my brothers, my sisters, I have definitely felt like this before. I do know what depression is, what loneliness is, what the terrible fear of weakness is when I am isolate and small. I can easily access that memory, just as I can my own overwhelming grief and bewilderment. So I can and do write poetry from the larger truths of my life, the places I have been, and not only where I am right now, or right then, last January. I have not been turbulent for a while now, pretty much since 2001.

On the other hand, it remains true that I was unknowingly struggling with blockage in an artery and a vein in my heart. So I muse that perhaps I knew on some level. I know I was busy making peace with a variety of weaknesses that seem to be receding now that the artery is fixed. The cardiologist informed me last week that there is a vein with a 60% blockage. It is too small for a stent. Also, at 60% they don't do anything typically, hoping the statin drug will be sufficient to deal with it over time. I presume that if it gets nasty and it is too small for a stent, then it's bypass time.

A Clear Song

Sometimes life gets like
It's below zero outside.

I heard a guy say
One time that when it's
This cold, there's no solitude,
Instead it's lonely,
So damned cold lonely
Even though the song is clear
Sung in this cold air.

January 16, 2009 10:28 AM


There is no more to say....

Listen To The Wind

You said then, "Listen
To the wind at your window,
Tell me that isn't
The sound of my loss."

I know that wind too, whistling
Through the hole in me.
I was locked out then,
Bewildered, bereft, blinded
By my fate, by faith
Violated so
As they took from me my heart's
Delight, my young life.

January 16, 2009 12:20 PM

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Measuring Up, The Color Thief

I have mentioned before that I cannot be certain that my way is any better than a heartfelt fantasy. I am on a path, I believe. I often encounter really concrete doubt that it comes to anything. I step past. Sometimes I ask. That's what this poem is about.

Measuring Up

I stand on the edge
Looking back, hoping I was
The good man I think
I was, and perhaps
Had moments of real grace...

I play games with me
That say so, hoping
If I say so then it's so.

I turn and ask you
Am I really real?

You reply as usual:
Enigmatic smile.

January 15, 2009 8:28 PM


Here comes another enigmatic poem. The last one turned out to be about some of you people who come here. Perhaps this one will be too.

Years ago now, I decided to check and see if anything had changed inside. I pray regularly to have God remove the defects in my character which may stand in the way of my usefulness. One of those defects, I am a thief. That's what I decided to check. Not having stolen anything for a very long time, decades, would I have grown a conscience somehow? I stole a pair of sunglasses from a store to see. I slept just fine. Nope. I'm still a thief. I haven't stolen anything since, probably at least eight years. But I could. I'm good. And it doesn't bother me.

This poem though, it's something different.

The Color Thief

White, red, black, color
Missing from me and I may balk
At what I must do
To maintain colors
In my cloudy heart.
You have
Stolen blue and cream.

January 16, 2009 7:50 AM

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Remembering Avalon, Extravagant Promise

There is a curious story about Merlin, that he lived backward, that he was wise in part because he remembered the future. I have always liked the idea that somebody did that. I have a special fondness for Arthur and Merlin. The best idea I ever heard, Arthur's legend was based on a king who had a Roman education though he was not a Roman, and that Avalon was the last outpost of the vanished Roman civilization in England, but was completely isolated as Rome could no longer hold England. What Arthur did was try to establish the principles of the old Roman Republic, long gone by then. There were Roman ruins in England for a long time before they were all basically buried under successive civilizations. Of course when you add in Merlin and that part of the legend, then you have quite a Celtic influence.

Remembering Avalon

The mage stood gazing
At the kingdom's lands beneath
The amazing sky
Of evening's sun
Thinking of Arthur, now gone
And himself younger
Than he was back then.

The farther hills called to him
And he felt by foot
The pack beside him.
Merlin spoke to the late air,
"I loved them all, all."

January 15, 2009 2:31 PM


Rachel will remember this one. I wrote it on her site.

Extravagant Promise

If the breakup means
I must move down one more bed
Then I hope winter
Will stay forever.

I watch the sun, eyes wary,
Watch you too, looking
For signs that you've moved
Toward the closet, satchel
And your hiking shoes,
Ready to pray, plead
My case, promise you I will
Even clean the cat.

January 15, 2009 10:08 AM

Friday, June 12, 2009

Please Don't, Grass

This is a haunting poem. I do not know what it is really about. I bow before the power. I don't know who wrote this. It wasn't me.

Please Don't

When I cut myself
It was with your stainless knife
I pulled out. It passed
Me by, the caress
Signalling the coming pain
And the red red blood.

Flowing down after,
Looking for you, calling out,
I try to say it.

Please, I say, don't.

January 15, 2009 10:28 AM


Any plant in the wrong place is a weed. Any weed in the right place contributes. Any person in the wrong place is irritating to someone. Any irritating person in the right place is often successful. Timing and placement are often more important than effort. I just finished reading The Drunkard's Walk and found out that the role of chance is no secret to statisticians. Chance is more important than choice most times, except if you are willing to choose and choose and choose again, defying failure until you don't.


There's grass in the moss,
The Irish Moss I love for sure,
The intense green sharp-
It's almost yellow.
But this grass is sticking out.
So many thin blades,
A darker truer slick green,
Dingy against moss
Though it looks lovely
In the neighbor's fine green lawn-
But here it's a weed.

January 15, 2009 12:14 PM

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Symposium, A Precarious Position

I am doing the best I can. Years ago, in 1967, actually, I vowed to be wise. In poetic terms, I pledged to Sophia or Athena. I promised to be a messenger, to be Hermes, if permitted. It seemed in those days that drugs were involved. Trips to Asia were involved too. Investigating the Eastern forms of spirit were involved without question. That is because the instinctive language of the time had that flavor. I was nothing if not a child of the 60's. I was a little older, but I had lagged behind throughout my childhood. I not only was emotionally younger than my years, I looked younger than my years, and still do.

As I have traversed my life, my mission, as it were has never fundamentally changed, but my understanding has. I no longer place wisdom at the acme. It is instead foundational. Witness is the process and compassion in the deepest sense is the solution. In some real sense, radical forgiveness is the action within witness that gives rise to compassion.

The eschatology of this process, in the words of my old friend Phil (who is at least briefly back in my work life by serendipity), we either all go to heaven or we don't. In other words, where my vow was to Sophia, it is now to Bodhisattva.

The poem Symposium is historical and points to way back then. It is still true in its way, because it is foundational.


I throw all of me,
Not just my head, nor my feet,
Not my heart alone,
But my house and throne
And indeed the soul of home
And the thralls as well
Into this cauldron
On the fire I tend for you
Letting all else go,

All for wisdom's sake.

January 15, 2009 7:23 AM


Maybe in A Precarious Position I mean hanging out over a river just like it says. Maybe as well, this is a metaphor for taking any risk that is sort of like that, which would include not knowing if I rely on something too weak to take my reliance.

My first thought is full circle back to the beginning. I was conscious at that time that I was taking a tremendous leap in faith. The leap was that I was not tricked or mentally ill but had met closely with Truth in some way beyond my understanding. I had to trust this in a radical move and then accept the responsibility for not only the choice but the consequences. I knew there was no way back. There was nowhere to go back to. There was only measuring up or not. But it could be a trick of some kind, a hoax, and then I would pay for that too if I ever found out. Or I could be mentally ill precisely in the center of it, which could mean terrible loss if I embraced this juggernaut. I was in terror over the risk I was taking some of the time. And shortly for related reasons, I was deeply tested by what I had to do. Precarious times indeed.

A Precarious Position

If I were hung out
Over the river like that
I would be praying.
My feet dangling just
Above the wet line when I
Keep my toes up tight
And wondering when
This too thin branch will begin
To crack and let go.

January 15, 2009 9:15 AM

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Small Griefs, Cut It Loose

There is a fly, a long bodied creature with transparent wings. These wings have a small dark colored square most of the way out on the front of the wing if I remember right. They are long legged but the legs are so thin and fragile, that I often see them flying with legs missing. They have a tiny proboscis-like brush in front. I have seen them use it on my skin so I guess it is like a nose but it too is so delicate that I feel nothing. There are many of them around. They often wind up in my bathroom, just as this poem claims. My bathroom is the lightest room in my house because of the skylight, but they like the mirror and the white of my tub. They die there. But I think they die pretty quickly, like mayflies do. I like them. I especially like their wings.

Small Griefs

What I want to know,
Why do you and your sisters
Pick my main bathroom
To hang in, then die?
All the time I move your dead
Young bodies aside
And they fall apart
When I do it, so slender
They are, delicate.

And why die so young?

January 14, 2009 9:10 AM


Here's a "not a real poem". The real poem flew away. This is the poem I had to write instead. By the way, it is hard to write up this particular tree. The wind gets in my eyes, blows the led lights all over the place. Also, it was a bitch climbing back down.

Cut It Loose

I cut this poem
Loose from me, from my long grasp
Even before done.
Look at it fly off
To the west after the sun
Setting below me
While I'm up this tree.

I want you to know this works.
My poem's long gone.

January 14, 2009 3:46 PM

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Life Work, What You Wrote

Life is not fair. This grinds me to dust. My whole thing is finding a way to deal with this, that I do not flame out, tumble in the chaos, crash my own life. When I get a moment then I play. Much of what I do seems inane but my work is inner work. I need to pace this race and so I do.

When I looked for the spiritual walk that I could do in this unfair life, I had to find a place that was not my fault. I could not live in a faith that starts with it being my fault. I will self destruct there. There is no point to a salvation in it for me. There are no sins of fathers to visit the children and sour things. It cannot be or I die right now, self destruct, no time for salvation. It is far too unfair a case for me to breathe. I literally gasped for breath for much of my childhood. So I found my way. I do not claim it is your right way. It is merely a way within which I can actually live, maybe just a little. It is a way that allows the vision I was given one night to flourish, whether that vision is true or pure fantasy.

Life Work

I pick bones with God
And here is the biggest one.

I came back for this,
To stand in the glare
Of this place, the hard grim light
Of the small losses,
The myriad events
That shrive us today, again,
That do not let go.

We try to forget
But bones will never forget.
I came back for this.

To witness, know, tell,
To see with old eyes, to turn,
Tell Him to His face.

January 13, 2009 1:10 PM


Here is the power. The mages of today are wordsmiths, musicians, purveyors of the media. The magic has left the tower, and the mages no longer wear a special look. The mages are anyone in the right realm, the places magic of some kind is supported. Under the right conditions we all may encounter God with skin on.

What You Wrote

I am ink, thin blue
Ink in a fine line, one part
Of the word you wrote.
I spell one person,
One heart among so many
Still here in the world.

You wrote us all down.

January 14, 2009 8:24 AM

Monday, June 8, 2009

Because You Couldn't Eat, Giving Love

This I am afraid, a serious poem, about real life over a bunch of years. In my second year of sobriety, 1985, Ann (my one wife) started a long journey into disaster. It began with stomach pain that led to a diagnosis of gall bladder. She had it out but the pain continued and they decided ulcer. So they did that surgery. What happened next was seriously wierd. She healed, a nearly perfect result with one problem. It healed almost shut. This meant she couldn't eat, nothing could pass. So they solved it with a second surgery, not only the Bilroth I, but the addition of the Bilroth II. In the process, in case it was a nerve spasm, they cut the vagus nerve. This surgery led to complete disaster.

What should have been routine, better than 90% success with ulcer surgery, turned into the extreme wrong end of the curve. She never recovered. Next came several years of heavy drugs to deal with the danger and the pain, several years of hospital visits and all they create, which includes having her purse stolen three times. (She was not stupid, but they can't protect the purse either, not against staff and she would go to work, then to the hospital, or to the hospital overnight and then to work. Sometimes she didn't come home at all. I would often visit.)

The hospital visits were mainly for nutrition. Every few days for years, she had to have help keeping her electrolytes in balance, and often spent time on the heart patient floor because of dangerously low potassium. She was at the extreme end of bulimia, but it was iatrogenic rather than psychological, at least as far as anyone could see. She had beyond severe acid reflux disease because there was nothing to stop intestinal bile from climbing into her throat. They gave her viscous lidocaine to swig so that her esophageal pain would be anesthetized. Ann also got an unending supply of strong pain meds. There was no choice in this. She had several central lines. Used the way she had to, they fail, or get infected.

In the end, after eight years, the actual trouble began to quiet a bit, but the drugs broke her. She became a severe depressive and began a fall into alcoholism so severe that it was routinely life threatening. We would try alcohol treatment. We would try mental treatment, hospital stays. She had been in therapy for years, including the years before all this. She got me sober based on good work herself under a psychologist. She had looked for healing all her life. She began to try suicide. She wasn't good at it. She also tried to drink to death. There is a stage in that process that becomes terrifying to whatever still can be upright, not Ann. This would be the point where she literally couldn't drink any more. She never had memory of that stage. She was not there, but whatever was there would ask for help. This would be perhaps only hours away from death. A couple of hours in the hospital and the life threatening stage would be over, but the damage would be done, a little further.

Eight years, trying to get better, then eight years trying to die. She succeeded. This poem was written recalling a time perhaps six years into that first eight years, while she was fighting for life.

Because You Couldn't Eat

And I sat beside
You when they collapsed your lung
With the catheter
When you gasped in shock
At the change that made, breathing
Hurt so bad right then.

I ate with nurses
In the cafeteria
Aching for you, me
At this one more time
In this fucking hospital
Chipping more away
From you as if they
Hadn't taken quite enough yet
And I'm losing you.

January 12, 2009 2:29 PM

I wrote this poem in the comment section of Lucy's Box Elder site. Lucy's Tom was in hospital and she was running back and forth, and getting far too familiar with the hospital staff. Me over several years, I had that experience.


This is a very different poem, thank God. I apologize for how heavy that all is. However I know I am not the only one who has had this kind of experience. On the other hand, I know I am not the only one like this next poem either. And what a hypocrite I am. I don't want to look at your kitten pictures but I of course would love for you to look at mine :P

When I see you coo
And purr over some picture she puts
In your face as you
Sit with her, she home
With new child, puppy, kitten
Or some such new life,
Or the photo is
Of another achievement
By the family,
When I see you then
I know you give love better
Than I can, me who

Shrinks back from all that.

January 13, 2009 12:33 PM

Sunday, June 7, 2009

On Finding The Gong, What You Give To Me

I guess by now, if you have read much of my stuff you know a few motifs that I work with. This is one of those. I hope I keep the variety going so they don't read too much the same. Some people I know, not only on line, tend to equate holy moments with the sound of a gong.

On Finding The Gong

Can I pass without
Banging you with this mallet?
Not on your bronze life.
I see the bright sheen
You display on your fine face.
I feel invited.
I expect deep sounds
From you, moving me southwest
Toward the setting sun.

My scout led me here,
Clothed me, filled my leather pack,
Advised my approach,
Then when we got near
He mopped his brow, checked his watch,
Said he had to go.

That's why I'm alone.

January 12, 2009 9:46 AM


Yet another love poem. I am such a sap. Or maybe not.

What You Give To Me

You sit in windows
When you choose, on your own terms.
It's a gift to me,
Like the onyx vase
Was last year.
Because you sit
In my view like that,
With near perfect poise
For sad eyes like mine to see,
I offer you this.

January 12, 2009 11:17 AM

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Measuring Haikus, When I Was Robbed At Gunpoint

Here are two true stories, one on poetry and the other really happened, almost as I say.

Measuring Haikus

A haiku is twisted
From the braids of the master
Without him knowing.

No other measure
Is possible here or else
Planets will collide.

January 7, 2009 2:45 PM


Maybe this robbery happened exactly as I wrote it if you get creative about who left the store. There was no one in the store but me and the two people pulling the armed robbery. I had been keeping an empty store for a little while when they came in. They did indeed go to the back of the store and then come up. I was stuck in a much smaller than usual space because the owners were remodeling the counter area and had built this temp counter outside the original counter.

The robbers were two black kids, one of whom had some sort of nickel plated .38 or something like that. Because it was nickel plated it looked like a toy to me. But the bullets in the revolver were big fat lead things. They took the whole cash drawer and split quickly. That pleased me because it was time for the police to just show up and the last thing I wanted was the cops to come with me at the front end of a pistol. After they had gone I started to worry that the police or the store owners might think I set it up somehow or stole the drawer myself.

This all happened in a 7-Eleven on the graveyard shift, a family business in Santa Clara, Ca. This job worked for me so well I was somewhat tempted to stay with them and throw in with the business. The son had an idea for an easy money store in Santa Cruz. The daughter thought she liked me, and almost took me from the woman I eventually married. But I could tell the kids were in reaction to the parents and I couldn't really trust anything they thought they were going to do. They all loved me though, because I was trustworthy and real help. If you have ever been a franchiser like that, you will know it is not easy to get real help at that kind of pay.

Why I was working there is a whole other complicated story, involving drugs and stuff like that.

When I Was Robbed At Gunpoint

I stood behind it,
This temporary counter
With a register
Ringing your sale up
When a couple guys came in,
Went to the back aisle,
That's where the beer is.

You left with your bag.

That's when they came up to me,
Then one pulled his piece,
"Gimme all you got".
That's it, what he said to me,
"Gimme all you got".

January 12, 2009 10:00 AM

Friday, June 5, 2009

Blue Moon, Look In Their Eyes

Here comes the shaman again. But first:

The blue moon is a real moon, and has to do with the disparity between the moon's cycle and the yearly cycle. The moon cycle is shorter than the monthly cycle by about eleven days a year. Thus every 2.7 (more or less) years there is an extra moon that occurs at some point in the year, 12 moons in a normal year, and in the third year, then thirteen moons. That thirteenth moon is the traditional blue moon, timed seasonally rather than monthly. Thus each season has three moons but then if there is the fourth moon in one season, that's what creates a blue moon. In modern times the Farmer's Almanac defines the third moon as the blue moon in a season, because the other moons have these names, the early (season) moon, the mid (season) moon, the late (season) moon. They put the blue moon third so the last moon remains the late moon.

In earlier times there were twelve named moons and so the term blue moon was used as a reset device that allowed the following moon to claim the next of the twelve names. Otherwise the moon in question would shine too early by most of a month.

There is an alternative description of the blue moon that started in 1946 and is now considered an error, discovered in 1999. This description calls the blue moon the second full moon in a single month. This also works to put the blue moon in the last days of a month and the regular moon in the earliest days of the same month. This would never happen in February except possibly in a leap year. That would be the bluest of blue moons.

You can wiki the rest of the discussion. I wrote this to anchor it. I knew there was a blue moon and until this post thought it was the monthly definition. But my excuse is that I learned it sometime in the seventies or even earlier, though certainly not before 1960. What is amusing is that the Farmer's Almanac never backed away from the traditional version. That consistent stand didn't matter, a fine example of misconceptions surviving by force of popularity.

Also the Christian Church times Easter bearing in mind the blue moon, a seasonal concern as well. So farmers and some Christian clerics knew better in those fifty two plus years. I presume the advantage of the twice monthly description is that it makes knowing what full moon is the blue moon much easier.

Blue Moon

Wait while I build fire
Beneath this fullest of old moons,
Wait until then, love.
Wait for me.
We will
Both dance in the tide of life,
Dance in the ghost light,
Dance the blue tuning
Truth of the moment given
By this old blue moon.

January 11, 2009 9:57 AM


Sometimes we do push our own agenda. This poem describes one. I have been watching at my feeder and can testify that things are not friendly there that often. Most birds seem to act as if they are thieves and often the ranking behavior is very clear. Certain birds that are picked on. Thus some of the birds who come by and act like thieves may be those nervous birds. The rest possibly fear human civilization and its cats. I believe, however that there are certain house finches who eat at my feeder without fear. There are three of them, or were. They were raised in a nest five feet from the feeder. It has always been there for them.

Look In Their Eyes

It's not about them.
The birds are efficiently
Cruel to themselves,
Fearful of us when
We come closer than they like.
It's us we love then.
We love what we dream
Of how their lives go because
Nothing beautiful
As birds could be so
Cruel and fearful as they are,
But look in their eyes.

January 11, 2009 1:27 PM

Thursday, June 4, 2009

What You Said, I Hate It When You Talk Like That

I cringe a little posting this one. In my defense, I am convinced that God has a sense of humor, an infinite one to be sure...but He seems to have favorites, puns, pratfalls, practical jokes. He puts thieves in service as messengers, a position which they do really well.

So if you have certain sorts of holes in your moral compass, there is hope for you yet.

One piece of this, over and over in my experience, alcoholics survive the most incredible circumstances. They so frequently do not deserve any kind of break if you look at them with human eyes. Yet they get sober and have amazing "war" stories, sometimes some harrowing war stories for real, the sort you would not relate in public if you are not certain of your audience. Or maybe not even then. But God has an infinite sense of humor as well as infinite justice and infinite mercy, infinitely focussed at each and every point in the cosmos.

I am very happy to tell you I have not received what I deserve. :)

What You Said

You told me so much
Last weekend when I came home.
It's hard to keep it
All in view, but one
Thing you said, at least I think
You said this to me,

"Go and sign no more."

I'm not sure I know what you
Mean by saying that.

January 11, 2009 9:40 AM

(Maybe I got that wrong somehow??)


I wasn't done yet, wrriting like this...I don't always sit well in the requirements of spiritual living. It seems I have agendas within the agendas. Rigorous honesty is not an easy thing. The committee in my head can get stuff going pretty good, which can easily unhinge the truth track. I need a lift. I am not always comfortable when I learn I have to buy the flippin car.

I Hate It When You Talk Like That

When fate strips me down
I am to rejoice. Freedom
Is my true blessing.
That's what you tell me,
That if fate does not strip me
Then I should do so
For myself. But Pop,
It's a freakin belly ache
I have over this.
I don't like this tale
That wags the holy big dog
I hoped would save me.

January 11, 2009 12:47 PM

I should add a caveat. "Save" in this poem is not like Salvation in the Christian story, but it could be. So I don't mind if you read it that way. But for me it was "save from all this personal responsibility to do the stripping work." In AA, we say, "what an order, I can't go through with it." In other words, sobriety, the actual work of sobriety, just looks impossible at first. If I find myself in a certain mental neighborhood, surrounded by my own slum, it still looks impossible after 26 years of success.

One of the nasty parts of getting sober is finding out how much drunken behavior is simply me. Quitting drinking may not help that much sometimes.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Under My Bed, Winter Shades

I am too wordy. I know it. Back in the day, I was given the best task. I was working as a young designer in a paper mill. There was a need for a recording secretary at two regular meetings having to do with the contract construction work and the union's vested interest in the work that should belong to them. I was appointed this duty and it meant I had to write clearly and succinctly in a specialized language. I had to take a half hour or more of several people and end up not with the actual verbatim words but with the sense of them adjusted for the company spin except when the union had an adamant interest. In that case I had to downplay but not spin at all. I had to sense when which was which as well. These meetings were basically weekly. I succeeded. This is why I can write with two word sentences happily.

Also, to keep a spare word count is why I chose haiku line structure as my current form, and often find sentences that are smaller than seventeen syllables. Then I write these intros so I can gabble. :)

Under My Bed

My wild heart knows things
I don't know until they creep
Out from under me,
Under the bed I've made.

I keep the mattress cover
Hanging down, a wall
To keep intruders
Out of my space, of my mind,
But my wild heart knows
How to get past me,
Spill blood all over my life,
Teach me to listen.

January 10, 2009 3:23 PM


I thought that poem needed no intro. In the comments just tonight, replying to Ghost Dancing, I talked about my dreams, and then I opened this poem as it was next in line. Hmmm. This is indeed why I am happier with my day dreams :)


For example, here is a true day dream

Winter Shades

You know I return
Because I must bathe in white
And soft shades of gray,
Look at ladies float
To the ceiling, whitely dream
Of far off autumn
Colors fading to
Winter shades, snow falling down.

All this I must do.

January 10, 2009 8:22 PM

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Doing What I'm Told, Singing To The Sky

I am not really that good at doing what I am told. Things have to get really radical. Even my boss struggles with me over this issue. He will fairly routinely point out that if I would just do things his way, so much would go better. Actually that might not be true. But it doesn't matter. I would actually do more of that if I could. But if I don't do things my way, I can't do them at all. This reached a tipping point some years ago. All the forces led to a sort of splitting the sheets. That meant I still worked for him but on contract. Since I owned a rental (part of the property, in the back yard) I was technically legal as a contractor. He however was not really legal.

The thing was, we both liked it better. He needed the distance to deal with my ways. I needed the distance to deal better with his tendencies too. We have been professionally related since 1983, and on my part, not really willingly. But as a contractor, he was forced to kind of remember that I was not his tool. I was forced to remember he was my client rather than my boss. There is a difference.

Finally, after several years, he got mellower, and me too, and we agreed to come together once again. I have been working direct for him now for going on three years. This was very very good just a few weeks ago, when I had that small heart trouble. Without the Kaiser insurance we carry, that thing (even otherwise insured) would have cost me several thousand dollars. As it was this thing cost me 250 bucks.

He still can't really tell me what to do. However, we both agree that I am to follow his lead as best I can. The thing is, he is catching up to me in this thing and he is finding his own hands letting the reins loose a little. Heh. Age just is a helluva mellower. Yes. He is younger by eight years or so, but now he looks older...

Doing What I'm Told

Before the sun sinks,
Before the creek rises, floods
Through the open gate,
Before I lose myself
In the sense of losing you,
I will nail my heart
To the northern wall
So I can stand here on watch,
What he said to do.

January 10, 2009 2:44 PM


I have a penchant for witchcraft and shamanism. I know that the spiritual impulse went there first in the history of man. I believe, since it lasted such a long time, most of the time that humans have been on the planet by far, that this sort of spirit walk is probably best suited for the human spirit. But there is a caveat to that. It is not egalitarian in this sense. Only a few people really practice, often one to a band, with an apprentice, or perhaps a couple of shamans. The rest do a variety of things.

There are the societies however, both men's and women's in many bands, and so many do participate in some sense, but the full meal deal usually is the province of one or a couple people, and the rest know this. This tendency for minority participation continues to the present day in the shamanic spiritual walk. Witches have covens. There is good reason and a heritage in this need for privacy. Witches and shamans can be misunderstood and that misunderstanding is deadly at times, the way things have been and in some sense still are.

Nevertheless, the great religions have been around at maximum for five thousand years in some form or other. Man's spirit walk is at least 40,000 years old. This is beyond question. Shamanism is the forerunner, and is the spirit walk prior to history and the artifice of civilization, hence is the spirit walk of the natural man. I suspect that had I survived childhood and was born 20,000 years ago, I would have been a shaman. Hmmm. I probably have been one. Many times.

Singing To The Sky

If the sky asked me
I would reply with a song
Of how the moon, clouds
Need a dwelling place.
I would sing in keys that change,
Modulate blue moods
To gray and silver,
And back again to sky blue.
I would howl and bray
At the moon's track line
And bare my chest to the sun.
Then I would dance, dance.

January 10, 2009 7:58 PM.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Another Symbolic Poem, Your Complaint

So, heh, here is a challenge. What's the symbol in Another Symbolic Poem? This is pretty subtle.

I am not going to give a hint and maybe not an answer either.

This poem gives an account of what I really do, of course. I'm up on the roof a couple times a year at least, to clear gutters and clean the roof. I bought a blower which I use with care. There are evergreens at the northeast corner and southwest corner of my house. Evergreens evershed. (One of my girlfriends when once married carried the surname Mothershed.) Little tiny cones plug the gutters. The shade and moisture grows moss. Winter grows moss. So I guess that part is actually not really too much symbolic. Huh?

Another Symbolic Poem

There's moss on my roof.
From time to time I go up.
Climbing the ladder,
I clamber onto
The walkway roof, on my knees,
Then get to my feet,
Step over the gutter,
Go up to the ridge, begin
Scraping the biggest
Green clumps which tumble,
Roll back down the way I came.

Moss keeps returning.
I admit I love
The intense green, that moss green,
So I never clean
It all off the roof.

January 10, 2009 10:45 AM


I wish I could tell you that I am not this character. I wish I could say that I am loose of my roots and attachments, have picked up my begging bowl and have divested of all encumbrances. It is just not true, even though I have no heirs, no one to keep my concern present on the planet. I am not really done, disengaged. A little bit ago I blogged how I am pleased to know at least that if I die this moment, I am okay with it. This is not a pose. Neither am I interested in dying. That too is not a pose. If I was truly neutral then this would be an accomplishment. Then a day like today happens and I am so completely pleased with what happened on this blog today that I can't even conceive of going. So there is this other stream. I want to know what is going to happen next. So maybe, truth be told, I am not really that ready to die today. There would at this moment be some regret. This poem is about holding on to things cherished. The gifts I receive from you people are things I cherish.

Your Complaint

How it all changes
Breaks my heart when I hold on.
Then I say dark things.

I hate to tell you so.
I don't want to admit how
I forget fire burns
As well as warms me,
How water floods, also cleanses,
How air gives me life
And blows it away again,
And earth, oh the earth...
I will stand my ground
But once I thought I would die
The ground shook so hard.

That's my ancestry.
You complain I don't change much
And I guess I don't.

That's because
I'm still holding on.

January 9, 2009 9:16 AM

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