Thursday, December 29, 2016

Poetry Thursday

Let no man pull 
you so low 
as to hate him.
~Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Poetry Thursday

You have no idea 
how hard I've looked 
for a gift to bring You. 
Nothing seemed right. 
What's the point 
of bringing gold 
to the gold mine, 
or water to the ocean. 
Everything I came up with 
was like taking spices 
to the Orient. 
It's no good 
giving my heart 
and my soul 
because you already 
have these. 
So I've brought 
you a mirror. 
Look at yourself 
and remember me. 
~ Rumi

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

not Poetry Thursday

American Ready Cut System Houses

Heather Derr-Smith

Your postcard said, Nothing like a little disaster to sort things out.
Blueprints, sketches, such perfect houses in the photograph on the              
all the lines true and in harmony. I took it with me like a paper charm,
searching for home, hit the road, looking for the exact spot
of my birthright, down the rustling path of thistles and nettles,
under a leaden sky, in the place where God once lifted the home by its        
nothing left but the kitchen and the bathtub where we all hid. The                
supper table
picked up and carried to the county over and laid so gently down.
When I saw you last in the bar in Brooklyn, you told me to sing. But I          
even speak. I laid my head in your lap, drunk at two am and felt your          
resting across my back, reluctant, unsure of what I wanted, but                    
it was a want too much for anyone to give in to, a halter
broke, some rip.
The skeletons of the trees are coming back to life now, sap like stars
risen again. Most anything torn can be mended. No real permanent            
The land where the house was
goes back to the plum-colored dusk, hooks and hoods of the hawks
perching in the Hemlocks, clouds and mounds of nebulae in the sky in        
the pitch night.
Frank Lloyd Wright said, nature will never fail you, though, I suppose        
it depends
on what you mean by fail. It’ll kill you for sure, Great Revelator.
You can hear the wilderness ad-libbing its prayers in the                                
whip-poor-will and the cypress,
in the percussion and boom of bittern in the bulrushes.
Dead is the mandible, alive the song, wrote Nabokov.
The bones of our houses, the house of our bones
dropped in a sudden blur of wind and wings,
but our voices still throb and palpitate somewhere, by some rapture,
in memory’s ear, in the fluttering pages, behind the stars.
I have a song now I want to sing to you, but you’re long gone.
When you said I’m here for you, was that a promise?
to bury or drown beneath a huge mass
Whelmen: to turn upside down
To turn over and over like a boat washed over and overset by a wave
To bring to ruin.
The end of one part of the world, a story that no longer has a witness.
But I’ll sing it to myself. I’ll sing it to the small moth,
the size of scarcely a word,
Ad libitum, according to my desire.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Poetry Thursday

not onions, but I got a lot of pumpkins
The Traveling Onion
Naomi Shihab Nye, 1952
When I think how far the onion has traveled
just to enter my stew today, I could kneel and praise
all small forgotten miracles,
crackly paper peeling on the drainboard,
pearly layers in smooth agreement,
the way the knife enters onion
and onion falls apart on the chopping block,
a history revealed.
And I would never scold the onion
for causing tears.
It is right that tears fall
for something small and forgotten.
How at meal, we sit to eat,
commenting on texture of meat or herbal aroma
but never on the translucence of onion,
now limp, now divided,
or its traditionally honorable career:
For the sake of others,

Note included with the poem:
“It is believed that the onion originally came from India.
In Egypt it was an object of worship —
why I haven’t been able to find out.
From Egypt the onion entered Greece
and on to Italy, thence into all of Europe.”
— Better Living Cookbook

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

more pure joy

I prefer people in small packages. It is not always obvious to others why this is so. But the reality is, these small people provide the surest window into what it means to be present.

They feel whatever they are feeling, right now.

Emphatically, usually.

They even do boring better than any actors can approximate.

They are also especially good at experiencing joy.

They don't think about it, worry if they are deserving, wonder at if they will look silly or how others will react.

Although sometimes they do call for reactions, so maybe they care a little.

I am doing my best to learn from these little ones...
not just about experiencing the sensation of joy, but also the expression of it.

They are blessings.

Monday, December 12, 2016

pure joy

A couple of months ago, a friend asked me to her birthday celebration -- a bonfire on a remote beach on the new moon. When the day came, I almost bailed. I was tired. Depressed. Bereft, really, if you want to know the truth. But, I had made a promise, and I am nothing if not loyal to commitments I make to others. So I dragged my ass out of my apartment and drove the 40 miles over hill and dale to the remote beach chasing the setting sun.

A funny thing happened on that twisty turny road... I had a little moment.   As I was turning some corner, looking at the trees, watching the sun and wondering if I would make it there while there was still light, a thought popped in my head, "joy."  I looked around me, at all the beauty, and I realized what I needed more of in my life was joy.  Not just any joy, but pure joy.  I knew it because just seeing that beauty, I experienced pure joy.

As I write this, a single tear runs down my cheek, but it is not burning this time because joy engenders tears as much as pain does.

So I have been seeking expressions of pure joy -- whether mine or others.  Here's one. 

This is Dexter. I met him briefly on another drive to a remote beach.  When he saw new people, his first response was to pick up this huge buoy as though it were a ball and suggest we play with him.  Look at this marvelous ball I have found he seemed to be saying. 

Here are some other pictures of sights I found to be full of joy or that produced feelings of joy.

 The tiniest sand dollar I have ever found.
 The happy cows on the road to Point Reyes Light House.  It was really the tiny baby cows (yes I know there is a name for them), but I didn't snap a picture of them.
This tiny dog having a great time on a walk... and the one that I didn't snap a picture of ... his owner told me he waits patiently for the walk to the post office because at the end of waiting there is a treat.

It's the little things that bring us pure joy.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Poetry Thursday

White Rose
you gave me a white rose   
put the lamp on the stove   
it caught fire
the I Ching said
thunder above the lake
lightning in Baker Street

switched on the cooker   
and blew a fuse
blue flash
you see
the whole experience   
is electric

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Quote Thursday

A painful time 
in our life is 
what I call a 
“healing crisis.” 
We are letting go 
of something old 
and opening to 
something new.” 
- Shakti Gawain