Sunday, May 31, 2015


Once, watching a film in bed
with but mind on the action, 
an eye in back of the head 
focused on a body just
lying there in bed: it was
his, yet not his, and the scene
clearly went on forever
beyond body or building,
even the sky got swallowed 
up in the expanse of sheer light.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Spirit Assessment

As an idea 
“spirit” seems dead, done.

As creative act
’tis alive and well

all round, all the while
present as presence

blowing like the wind 
through open portal.

Friday, May 29, 2015

You, Not-you

You start out to understand 
things in your environment.

Your understanding evolves 
to involve your bodymind.

You come to ask, “Who am I?,”
till all understanding melts.

Then, like snow in springtime, you
melt in the ground of be-ing . . .

resting still and silent as
primordial awareness.

All observing relaxes:
what’s what, what’s not, arises

in You, as You . . . while you are, 
at most, nothing in the least.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

At the Feeder

If you listen with ears of
light, you might hear the humming
bird’s lecture on the art of
flapping gauzy wings in tight
places while tiny faces
look forward to the fine feast 
rising, falling . . . with no fight.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Empty Mug

Still, silent, I sit, I drink 
the morning coffee till not 
a worldly thing’s left of me.

Peer then into the empty
mug, observing no trace of
a judge, critic, point of view. 

One must be absent for there
to be present the Thou who
sees through one’s very own eye—

Voiding, forever, all things 
at once at one arising,
each interdependently.

No need now to focus much,
no intent to foster such, 
no clutching the still nightlight.

Monday, May 25, 2015

The Unsayable

What utterance can
truly utter what
utterly transcends 
any uttering?

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Echoes of Feeling Be-ing

I almost never look for
poems, they rather find me.
They nag me till I refine
their ordering to suit them.

Well, so it doth seem to me . . .
but by then I am nowhere 
to be found, leaving only 
echoes of feeling being.

Like early this morn when I
did awaken to the hoo-
h’Hoo-hoo-hoo of the Great
Horned Owl, making me weep for

joy here, in the deep south of
North America.  ’Twas much 
too early to jump for joy, 
though now I feel it coming.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Who Makes Poems, Anyway?

There’s a bug on the mailbox
doing not a thing but be-
ing there, unaware of me

for I am now at my desk
making this poem, loving 
the bug that I still see there

with a sense of awareness 
that is not my own and may
well be shared with all I’m not.

The bug knows me not and I
know it not, and in that space 
of unknowing, we are known

as one, so it makes sense that
the bug be the author of 
this poem in the making.

Friday, May 22, 2015

A Poem in the Making

To make a poem I need 
no inspiration other
than other-than-me, and then
me, myself and I let go
so to wake as awareness
feeling being alive . . . still,
as nothing utterly moves, 
and moving . . . makes this poem
uttering itself along 
with all that is not itself.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Thief and Fraud

I’m a thief—taking from life 
words that belong to me not 
in the least, then sharing them 
as if they were my own.

I’m a fraud—using the form 
of verse to express what can
not really be put in words
for they often prove a trap.

Eliciting some feeling  
is what poems appear for,
feeling be-ing proves the point
monkish poems arise for.

Word made flesh, dwells deep the world.
Let go the rock of ages.
Give up the ocean of grace.
Have no regard for heaven. 

Be still, and envelope all.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Afore a First Funeral

When I was five years old, I  
went to my first funeral—
my mother’s mother had died,
“Gran Lur-i-a” she was known.

This funeral proved my own
honor for a part of me 
died on that venerable 
occasion of Gran’s passing.

As she lay on her death bed
in agony from cancer,
all family members  stood
in line to say their goodbyes.

When it came my turn I did
tremble from the unknowing
as I walked into her room.
She noticed and beckoned me

to her bedside with fingers
curled from arthritis.  Sunlight
poured over her poor body
writhing in pain and trouble.

She straightened up in bed and 
said the plainest of words that
did calm me, . . . Dearest boy, fear
not, death don’t last forever.

After she died her body
got laid in a corpse pose:
flat of the back, heels touching,
arms at the side, palms upward. 

To this day I pray that way.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Unexpected

Following a long battle 
with broken bones slow to mend
from an automobile crash,
a woman in hospital 
summoned late night the on-call 
chaplain to her bedside and 
when he arrived she did say 
but one word, “Watch,” . . . whereupon 
she carefully raised her right 
hand to midair then placed her 
forefinger next to her thumb,
rubbing the two together 
for the first time in nine months. 

There was much weeping for joy.

Monday, May 18, 2015

A Christian Contemplation

Sitting a calm quiet space,
feel the stillness of your trunk
as though you were a huge rock
of ages founding the world.

Breathe the stillness of your chest, 
heart and lungs expanding as 
a vast grace of ocean wave
inhaling all worldly sin.

Then exhale from the stillness
of your mind, as if your head
were a vast heaven pouring 
down joy upon all alike.

Now resting in the stillness,
feel being so alive as 
to be life itself, aware
the One and Only of Yore.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

What Kind of Christian?

So you can be a Christian who follows
a Jesus who’s the Only Son of God.

Or you can be a Christian who follows
a Jesus who is One with the Father

and calls all to be One with the Father
as in the beginning with God, as God

conscious of own self being in other. 
But can you be a Christian and do both?

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Are You a Christian?

A chaplain walks into a hospice room 
invited there by a person dying.

The first words heard take a curious form, 
“Are you a Christian?”  Hesitating not,

the chaplain says, “If it matters to you, 
I am.  If it matters not, we both are .”

Friday, May 15, 2015

A Spirit Glitch

I go to make a sandwich
of tomatoes, fresh spinach,
mustard,—all on oatmeal bread.

I start to brush mustard on 
the bread but knock with my knife 
the jar lid, propelling it 

across the countertop on
its way to the kitchen floor . . .
but before it gets to ground 

I grab for the lid, it lands 
squarely in my hands.  I think:
is this luck, or sign of fine

eye-hand coordination 
for an old foolish man, or
a blessing in the spirit?

Later in the day, after
mowing the lawn, I turn to
laundry.  While taking the lid

off the detergent bottle,
I drop the top and it rolls
ten meters away.  As I 

go to pick up the lid, I
notice liquid dripping down
my trousers—which need washing

now, so in the wash they go.
My earlier quandary  
returns.  Before I return,

I feel this churning . . . chiming, 
Grace is all, in all, for all 
embodying spirit’s heart.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Ever-present Presence

This morning I awakened 
with love all around, aware.

Afore I say more let me
make myself perfectly clear.

I waked up this morning with
not a thing in my world changed

worth reporting: same bed, lamp,
desk, chair, shelf, books, fan whirring.

All things sane, insane, quite same
in my world.  Yet here is this:

My point of view was askew
from when I did go to sleep.

I no more was in the world, 
the world proved to be . . . in me.

Then, one more evident change,
I proved to be no lone me.

Because the One, the Only 
loomed there aware, lovingly,

all around: every where,
all the while: every when.

All ordinary, quite plain, 
not a thing to be explained,

only a thing to be done—
dedicate a life to love . . .

perfect a love for other, 
distinct, yet never discrete.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Relaxing Wording

To make, or read, monkpoems 
requires our relaxation.

By definition the art
of monkpoetry commands

our monk’s persistent focus,
our monk’s consistent intent,

so to usher in the light,
our monk’s nonresistant note . . .

which demands relaxed notice
that can take lots of practice.

To read a monkpoem may 
require reading not only 

one but ten thousand, afore
the feeling of abstraction

is blown away and the light
of direct seeing delights.

From mental consciousness one 
moves to wakeful awareness . . .

from spirit as idea
to creative act itself,

which happens but here and now.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Welcome to the Deep Humdrum

Saying the unsayable 
may, alas, seem meaningless . . .

too abstract from the living
waters of experience . . .

too far removed from feeling
as to seem too out of touch 

with people’s intuitive
sensibilities, and yet . . .

an art worthwhile takes practice
on the part of the artist

as well as the critic of
the art, and monkpoetry

is no exception.  Still, it
means the read has to be as 

still as the wording, awake
constantly to the constant

drumming of the humming drum
at the deep end of a wake.

So long as we insist on
remaining in time and space

so to confine our notice
to the empirical world,

we shall fail the radical 
empiric: Feeling Be-ing.

Notice just what is, what's not.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Why Monk Poetry?

It may sound highfalutin 
yet ’tis but simple-hearted:

If poetry elicits 
our own self-refined feeling, 

monkpoetry means to still 
our emotion, such that we

may attain simple feeling 
of being . . . though we always

already are be-ing such, 
having only forgot much,

for being, say, out of touch.
The monk in us in touch just

uses poetic form to
inform then transform all form

all around, all the while so
to say the unsayable

by saying only what’s
necessarily possible,

which by all modal logic 
points to the necessary.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Poet’s Secret

I go to make some poem,
and as I start, this one is
not yet there on the page but
it lingers in his brain’s mind.

This poem at this juncture 
could go in a number of 
directions, I’m aware, but
for now ‘tis like I, unformed.

It might speak of direction,
itself, . . . seeking to answer
the query, Who’s directing?,
which at once begs the question,

Just what is the origin 
of this poem?  So far, then,
the whence and whither of it
come precisely into play.

In a way I’ve clued you in,
for already you’ve been told 
the poem’s fine location,
it doth linger, his brain’s mind.

Of course, you cannot see by 
his eyes, only through your own,
and your very view pertains 
but to you, and you alone.

So, dear reader, you also 
are very much in play here, 
and under such conditions
I will it no other way . . .

be-ing the One, the Only,
who at once, here and now, is
seeing through every eye 
all around and all the while.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

The Grand Actor

Spirit is like an actor . . . 
with the finest of finesse

able to play any role
without getting caught at it.

She is the one and only
Meryl Streep of the World Stage.

She seeps through the scenery
in every line of script.

Each word oozes her presence
no matter how trivial

in appearance, or gross and
ghastly the role being played.

Spirit plays every role . . .
that ever was played or what

ever will be played, being
so versatile, vivacious,

even in the role of such
an ugly soul as . . . the mole.

While she performs ev’ry act
you will never see her act.

But in the role of you, you
catch a glimpse, her grand beauty 

when you go missing . . . then, and 
only then, she comes kissing.

Friday, May 8, 2015

A Wake

When you go to bed to sleep,
don’t right away fall away

but remain awake in some 
meditative state enough

to refrain from unconscious
sway . . . then you may soon enough

begin to feel relaxed but
not drowsy, not so lousy

that you have to close the eyes
altogether, so you leave 

eyes ajar to stay alert
like Bert on Sesame Street.

If you can do just this much, 
then you can close the eyes and 

at once stay awake enough
to watch the mind wandering

wondering what the deal is . . .
do I shut down now or do

I go with the brain: remain
active and notice what’s next? 

Remain passively active
just long enough to welcome

that first dream of the evening . . .
and if that does not wake you 

up, just wait for waking down 
where deep sleep shows you a corpse.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Unconscious, Word Thief

My sister—sixteen years my
senior—reads most poems I 
make.  She says I’m full of it . . .
referring to poetry.
By phone this morning she did
ask about the origin.

So what she could not know, I
get all my poems from else
where, lifting them as words of
prey from the dictionary . . .
or from writers more refined
than I, witness Ken Wilber.

I start each day, early morn, 
making a poem that comes
from direct experience
filtered through my unconscious.
Whereas afterward, I read.
What I read recent stunned me.

It comes from Wilber’s One Taste,
selections of reflections
on his integral viewpoint,
page three-hundred-forty-two:

“Can you right now show me your
Original Face, of which 
there is One and Only One. . . ?”

Ah, the title, “One, Only”
came from reading Wilber in
October, two-thousand-two!
Lately, I’ve been re-reading
and noticed the word stealing,
from lo, twelve years ago. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

One, Only

So long as i abide by
the world of things and thinking,
i will never lay my eyes on 
the One, the Only I.

And yet, as i linger in
the mist, my wistful worry,
i await the refining of
the one, the only me.

So while i wait for my me 
to wake up, grow up, clean up,
i can make up my me by
constant practice of presence.

And so i apply patience . . .
forgiving each and ev’ry
perceived harm done unto me, yes,
the one, the only me.

And i apply compassion . . .
being kind to all who cross 
my path, as all do suffer me,
the one, the only me.

And i apply gratitude . . .
being generous with all
for what’s being given to me,
the one, the only me.

Then in the fullness of time 
i shall tell my life’s story 
in the face of that true glory . . . 
the One, the Only I.