Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Headless Way

Today I wore a tee-shirt
from Tin Roof Cafe, that’s in
Villa Rica, Georgia (USA).

On the front is the name of 
the restaurant and then,
Good food.  Nice people. 

On the back in caps, it reads
Save the planet. 
It’s the only one with

banana pudding.
Underneath is the billing:
Breakfast.  Lunch.  Killer Desserts.

So speaking of beheadings—
another way these days to 
die—I am reminded of

D.E. Harding’s headless way,
from a book of that title
read many years ago now.

You will find the headless way 
demonstrated online in
a series of experiments

at headless.org — which points 
to unity consciousness, 
a most practical main course.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Worldwide Day of Yoga

Twenty-first of June, Two Thousand Fifteen—

On that auspicious sabbath day
you witnessed the beauty of your
hand, with its opposable thumb
curved inward to touch its pointer,
as a sign of spirit union
among people of all the earth.

Drawing nigh unto bliss, draw now that way.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Transgender Right to Love

Some things are so obvious
they prevail over the weight
of words.  The right to love your
self, or other, is just such.

The matter is now settled
for all homosexuals:
the right to love is at last
the very law of our land.

And yet the right doth run deep,
being not alone about 
acceptance, rather also
one’s gender identity.

How dare we tell another, 
you are this, not the other,
when the whole truth is inside,
asking humbly to be free?

Does this not apply to us
all as a birthright, without
regard for biology
if the rub . . . is the psyche?

If a small child seems confused
about gender, we all need
to take a breath and notice,
the confusion may be ours.

After all, if God does not 
make mistakes, we must listen
for Her will between the lines, 
not judge from our own blind grief. 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Translucent Truth

Evil is the dream
from which all have to
awaken, the sigh
coming from ego’s 
mock separation.

It accepts not what 
is, without a fight
to make it other
in its own dual
image, dueling.

Oh, how the twain fail
to be twine when life
feels good, then hurts like 
hell, and heaven pales.

Life is good, it hurts. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Wheel of Union

There is no other
from the perspective
of the gauzy now.

Intimations of 
unity are all
around, all the while.

What about evil,
hardest pill for the
uprights to swallow?

Oh, how the dull mind
mistakes the thin veil
for sin’s opaqueness

when the translucent
truth be in the face
staring right back, still.

Falling asleep at 
the wheel of union 
spells backward the dream. 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Mind the Moment

When we go walking
mother earth races
beneath tender feet.

By the time we walk
a mile, earth has run
two hundred sixty.

Ev’n if we stand still
she takes us with her
to face the whirlwind.

Sitting the quiet
no movement matters
to the moment’s turn.

Should our extinction
be looming . . . spirit
be untouched, unmoved.

From that point of view
one might as well say, 
not a thing happened.

In the clear light of 
the dark empty void 
nothing . . . ever . . . does.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Five Things Dad Did Say

Always keep your mind on 
what  you are doing now. 

Doing what feels right does
not always feel so good.

The best things in life 
feel both right and good.

They can be hardest 
and unrewarded.

We would often sit side
by side, saying nothing.

Forty years gone I miss
him to this day, and still

the five things he did say 
I do — making poems.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Out & About, Not

Sabbath mornings are good for 
walking.  There’s not a lot of
traffic, so the silence soothes
the skin & bone, nerves & soul.

So out walking the old man 
feels the whole world rising in 
him, everything face to face:
road, sky, all between, beyond.

In deed there be no in, out; 
nothing between or beyond—
only one verse singing through 
birdsong that is deafening.

At once, everything rises
saturated with the hush. 
He witnesses it all with 
a relaxed mind that’s empty.

As if no mind to speak of
but a feeling of being 
awake, aware of it all . . .
like the bug creeping across 

the path, lit up by bright sun 
showering all with a gleam 
of glory . . . runners running, 
walkers walking, all upright. 

A dog barks at the old man 
witnessing, and the upright 
holding the leash says, Sorry, 
and he says, Nothing happened. 

Clearly visible, the old man’s not there.

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Walking Dead

Sixth mass extinction: here, now.

That could be we, upright Beasts,
so say Stanford researchers:

We are sawing off the limb
that we are now sitting on.

Just like some capitalist
maneuver to make money.

From where did scientists get
such fine poetic license?

All hinges on rapid loss
of biodiversity. 

But we don’t have to trust this:
if research be flawed, no harm.

But if research be correct,
we may avert the crisis

if, and only if, we act . . . NOW.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Imago Dei

If you read any bible
from any old tradition
you will find there the saying,
No one can see God and live.  

For the One seeing God is
but God seeing Self, writ large,
so Self seeing God is not 
our ego self: that must wane.

Thus mindful, Meister Eckhart 
did well say, the eye by which 
God sees us, is the same eye 
by which we (rightly) see God.

After him, Brother Lawrence 
practiced presence of God by
living in the world as if
but he and God existed.

Living otherwise is sin,
as if everything were both 
distinct: individual,
and discrete, separated.

But the old traditions teach
that our distinction is our
unique view, while our being’s 
inseparable from God.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Eternal Now

Recently my wife and I
had dinner with elder son
for his thirty-sixth birthday.

To get to the appointed 
restaurant meant driving one
hundred miles, ninety minutes

to spend two hours with son,
his wife and her family:
brother, father and his friend.

For a time just being there
proved so ecstatic, I thought
I’d died and gone to heaven.

It was a feeling of bliss
where life is suspended in
a timeless gauzy incense

with no other sensation 
but the absence of you and, 
in your place, a still presence.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Nothing Is Not Now

Everything that is
is now present here.
This now . . . never ends.

No past or future
is, apart from now—
nothing is not now.

Just notice what comes
into awareness
right now, this moment.

Whatever you can
sense, is right now in
present awareness.

Present awareness
envelopes you and 
everything you sense.

This awareness is
so primeval that
it swallows spacetime.

This is the Now from
which all things come and
to which all things go:

the very Lord by which
you move and be and
in which you rest,

the one and only
Ancient of Yore that
goes by many names

and yet is nameless,
empty of other.
None is . . . sans Lord Now.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

A Love Affair with Birds

Birds love us—they fly to feeder
by species, daily, and in droves.

They visit the deck rail whene’er
we put out fruit, nuts, bread, whatnot.

They do leave behind their droppings
on the deck and patio, yet . . .

mostly on the cars parked beneath
the crepe myrtles leaning over 

the drive.  So they love our trees, too,
where they roost, breed, and serenade.

We put up with their mess, I guess,
because we have no other choice

if we want to enjoy their charms
while I do penance for the one

I killed as a kid with BB’s
fired from a Daisy air rifle

then tried to revive by blowing
air through its mouth to tiny lungs.

I failed, and from that failure there
evolved a love affair with birds.

I did bury the bird I failed
in a rite, fit for our kinship.

Not that my childhood contrition
made a difference to the dead—

fifty in all, afore I came 
to any sense of compassion.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Opportune Moment

Lawn’s freshly mowed but
nothing much new there
to learn or to share . . .

though finishing up
there are grass clippings
strewn across the drive

spilled there from a filled
bag that had to be
detached to empty

so, sure, cleaning up 
the mess could prove quite
the impatient chore . . .

unless it be used
as a vehicle 
to practice presence.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

What Are We?

We are a story: each one
has one, of more than one self.

Say the who you come in on
by a birth certificate.

Say the who you go out with
by a death certificate.

Say all the who’s in between 
arising incessantly.

Then there’s what you are afore
coming in and going out—

all that is, was and will be
in the guise of a heartbeat:

unbegotten, undying
primordial awareness,

the Ancient of Days, the Tao,
Brahman, Ein Sof, Emptiness,

Christ Consciousness, Allah . . . so
many names, even more frames.

Any name for the Nameless
evokes more than words can say

and yet . . . simple feeling of 
be-ing is available

to any whose monkish self
will rise to wrestle water

till witnessing what you are 
and also what you are not.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Two Songbirds, I

Out for the morning walk, I
come across a crow dancing 
with a mocker vying for
some delicacy lying
between the two passerines.

To avoid making matters
worse, I walk around the scene
but the crow just follows me,
leaving the mocker to fly
away with the fine morsel.

Have I somehow intervened . . .
or is the crow, after all, . . . 
after me?

Sunday, June 14, 2015

We Thirst

Raindrops pelt the yard hard like
hurling stone, leaving puddles 

where soft earth gets pitted by 
the fierce pounding of water

from skies clouded two days with
distinct billowing masses

of vapor floating above
creatures thirsty for sunlight 

yet settling for random spurs 
of spirit condensation. 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

I Only

I only make poems with
things of interest and that
presents a problem: what’s not?

I only make poems by
counting syllables and that
presents a problem: miscount!

Things arrive by the senses,
endlessly.  Syllables pop 
into mind by word, vowel 

by vowel without stopping.
So I and I only can
halt the train by period.

I’ve made ten thousand poems
without periods.  What’s worse, 
any line with “every” 

will be short one syllable,
as I have been counting it
as ev-er-y, not eve-ry.

Adding future periods
may make the poems I make
more interesting, and yet . . .

I’ll not be holding the breath.
As for those pesky eve-ry’s, 
I’d be breathless to change them.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Twisting a Lame Joke

A Buddhist monk walks up to
a hotdog vendor and says,
“Make me one with everything.”

Vendor makes a loaded dog
and gives it to hungry monk
who then submits a twenty.

Vendor turns to next patron,
monk complains, “Say, where’s my change?”
Vendor says, “Change comes within.”

The monk rejoins the lame joke,
“It’s all change, Fukuyama, 
kindly cough up my dough, now."

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Use What Light There Is

We each have to work 
with the light available
along our own path

no matter how dark
the clouds or the shadows seem 
to our waking eye.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Near Death

At thirteen I nearly died 
by drowning while swimming in
a lake with a church youth group.

Sinking into the soggy
bottom, my whole world lit up—
I saw I was light itself.

I felt at ease, at home with 
dying, so imagine my
surprise when our pastor did

snatch me from the deep.
This was the second time I
found myself losing my self.

But then, this is so common—
all of us disappear when’er
we fall into deep sleep.

The trick is to remember
so to realize, every breath 
brings us nigh unto death.

Practicing presence loosens
the grip on self, so to taste
Unborn Self, untouched by death.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Nothing Is Not Spirit

The thing called spirit 
be about visions 
of the good, the grand 
not so much as ’tis 
about addictions
to anything not
seen to be spirit.

Spirit is what is
present, the sense of
presence affecting 
one’s very senses.

Every sense traces
the path of presence 
nigh unto spirit.

Monday, June 8, 2015

The Pill Box

These days we tell our
health, if not our age,
by the pills we take.

I notice this fact
as I go to fill
my pill dispenser.

Then I note, as well,
the very act proves
a fine way to tell

if I am present.
The moment’s spur is
the eternal space

between this and that
act, becoming fact
before our very

eyes.  Just so, whate’er
we may do draws us
nigh unto practice

of the presence of
the intimacy 
of ultimacy.

Like spilling a full 
pill box on the floor—
a bitter pill to swallow.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Standing By

Often when another be
in pain the one and only

need is for you to stand by
and standing by to notice

whatever comes to mind has 
no self being—so relax

as no self . . . then act out of
primordial awareness

thus to avoid reacting 
from your own conditioning.

Standing by can be helpful
also in making poems . . .

or anything else your day 
may demand of you to do.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Chaplain in Training

A chaplain in training once
got a call to stand beside
a woman whose husband died.

The woman’s grief seemed to be
overwhelming . . . to the point
of outrage with God, and all.

The chaplain took on the task
of probing her feelings as 
supervisors did probe his.

You do sound angry, he said.
Her outburst rattled his bones,
“Do you not see I’m hurting?”

What a fine lesson to learn:
avoid bluntness with other 
when standing by be the need.