Monday, December 31, 2012

A woman ironing

She expressed again
what others have known..
the ironing chore found
quietly calming
 bringing sometimes
 bliss to a day..
What is behind this
 smoothing of wrinkles 
which serves such
 wellbeing and peace..?
Perhaps we find here 
in striking resemblance
an old story..
night becomes day
martha becomes mary
as our wrinkles 
are pressed..
With thanks to Bette
her example and sevice
and for this new
ironingboard parable...!


photos and poems
a sought for marriage
perhaps a gestalt..
eye and ear
brings more dimensions
hearing the photo
seeing the poem..
a variety of

Sunday, December 30, 2012

is there
more to see
out there midst those
lonely rocks and snow..?
artists of vision
find much more..
Van Gogh's rocks and trees
pulsate color and form..
our narrower focus
reveals cold winter pain..
by widening
may we find heat
vibrating the stillness
somewhere between..
thereby we locate
where compassion lies
the joy the light
real beauty's home...
("Our task must be to free ourselves
by widening our circle of compassion
to embrace all living creatures and
the whole of nature and its beauty."
--Albert Einstein)

Friday, December 28, 2012

a Seed

so small
yet with unfolding
possibilities as
a cyprus a redwood..
similarity with storied
chicken and egg..
some say
the vast universe 
simply a seed
one more example..
an ovoid shape
with energy flow..
not excluding ourselves
clothed in our
magnetic shells..
might we all
stay home
seeing all 
right here...?

Thursday, December 27, 2012


"An organized whole
that is perceived 
as more than
the sum of
its parts.."

the lordly elephant
is that whole
with all of
those strange parts..
do parts perceive
their life subsumed..?

and of our body
and parts
brother elephant is
our model..
but what of our
body as part..?

or the elephant
as part..?
how strange those
whole elephants
must be
up there...!

"The fundamental "formula" of Gestalt theory might be expressed in this way,” Max Wertheimer wrote. "There are wholes, the behaviour of which is not determined by that of their individual elements, but where the part-processes are themselves determined by the intrinsic nature of the whole. It is the hope of Gestalt theory to determine the nature of such wholes" (1924).


we wake
each day
to decorate..
she saw the
the brief flare..
decorations lit
two candles
one flame..
there and gone
returning to
the day
lingering glow
and the rose...

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The I am Connections

These Connections
join our I
to our me..
standing alone
me multiplies with 
colors and pain..
I alone is
blinding light..
Connections make
a homeplace:
light and color
with pain
and joy...

(prompted by the following...)

Do not say that I'll depart tomorrow
because even today I still arrive.

Look deeply: I arrive in every second
to be a bud on a spring branch,
to be a tiny bird, with wings still fragile,
learning to sing in my new nest,
to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower,
to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.

I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry,
in order to fear and to hope.
The rhythm of my heart is the birth and
death of all that are alive.

I am the mayfly metamorphosing on the surface of the river,
and I am the bird which, when spring comes, arrives in time
to eat the mayfly.

I am the frog swimming happily in the clear pond,
and I am also the grass-snake who, approaching in silence,
feeds itself on the frog.

I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones,
my legs as thin as bamboo sticks,
and I am the arms merchant, selling deadly weapons to

I am the twelve-year-old girl, refugee on a small boat,
who throws herself into the ocean after being raped by a sea
and I am the pirate, my heart not yet capable of seeing and

I am a member of the politburo, with plenty of power in my
and I am the man who has to pay his "debt of blood" to, my
dying slowly in a forced labor camp.

My joy is like spring, so warm it makes flowers bloom in all
walks of life.
My pain is like a river of tears, so full it fills the four oceans.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can hear all my cries and laughs at once,
so I can see that my joy and pain are one.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can wake up,
and so the door of my heart can be left open,
the door of compassion.

Thich Nhat Hanh
This poem I remember often in my attempt to make sense of this world..Mae...

I shone with you today,
felt it, as if
I were seared
into the tender
flesh of the crease
at your scruff.
There, where
from your heart
in the
of a
before it became

(This from Victoria on Hello Poetry...)
thanks to Charles C

The motif of birth in a cave is . . . very ancient. This symbol is associated particularly with the winter solstice, when the sun has traveled to its farthest point away from the tilted earth and the light is in the nadir of the abyss. That is the date of the birth of the god Mithra, who is lord of light. He was born—we recall that his mother is the Earth—holding a rock-hewn weapon in his hand. Mithra was the principle competitor with Christianity, in the period of the first three centuries. The Christmas date was placed on December twenty-fifth, which was the solstice time, in order to compete with The Lord of Light, Mithra. No one really knows when Christ was born. It was settled on December twenty-fifth for mythological, not historical, reason.

Joseph Campbell, Thou Art That, p. 65

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Joseph's Light

a lonely figure
in silence appears
each Christmas year..
might we make his
 place more secure..?
recall his namesake
in Egypt's deep past..
Joseph the Viceroy
with many travails
observes a descent
with ascent foreseen..
let us then imagine
 this newer Joseph
in silent watch 
pondering his name.. 
with swift recognition
of the ancient Formula
which eternally repeats:
our many steps down
 are concealed within
 that One step up..
 energy so flows 
hidden messianic

Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Tree

one pine tree
resplendent in symmetry
another year at home
 her snowbound slope..
apparently not destined
 not this year
for light display
with sacrifice death..
roots still grounded
and a treetop pointing
to bright starlight above..
 through a sturdy trunk
 rooted sparks do flow 
 the glow..

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells Wakan-Taka (the Great Spirit), and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.

This is the real peace, and the others are but reflections of this. The second peace is that which is made between two individuals, and the third is that which is made between two nations. But above all you should understand that there can never be peace between nations until there is known that true peace, which, as I have often said, is within the souls of men.

Black Elk - Oglala Sioux

A fire Flickers

cold and snow
fireplace flickers
hot coals stimulate
rising flames with
tips we notice
do not locate...


our marching time
holds sway today
and wraps a gift
given long ago..
especially harsh
life's departures now..
the gift unopened
except for children
and artists few..
we await unwrapping
startled to find
separations and strangeness
sudden dancing
in a time

Monday, December 17, 2012

Extended Calendar

that linear time
our watches portray
long labored to measure
our history
our transports
our rents
and our stress..
this servant will not
of course
die this Friday..
but may begin
a humble recognition
of its residence
through all ages
within a more unbounded
joyous yet fearful

Sunday, December 16, 2012


days of tears
with this darkness..
our reasoning blunted..
layers out there
and within..
beginnings now
Slivers of light...?

Saturday, December 15, 2012


where one stands
light moment confronting..
the encounter takes root
advice is to hesitate
right there..
the moment contains
pieces of necessity
these forever lost
by walking on..
Preserving the Trace...

Thursday, December 13, 2012


those daily excursions
travels so necessary
point A to point B
are there grooves
long before emplaced..?
then finding ourselves
in pleasant surprise
driver as passenger
awaking in dream..
finding new vision
this more en-lightened

Friday, December 7, 2012

grasping Emily

her poems
pierce us 
to our core..
we must surrender
to her choice
of words..
a wrong word
she despairs
 to malaria compares..

perhaps a way inside
enter her two doors..
watch these
switch and intertwine..
find ourselves on the  /

as we wrestle
are we grasping for an
 Emily Ungraspable..?

(preparing for an
Emily Dickinson

Monday, December 3, 2012


she said is
the thing with feathers
perched and singing
without words..

 words must surely
be deeply hidden
within that song..
can we locate
another perch..?

and ask the feather
what are your words
and your song..?
the words we find
it's shape does bind..

here are the
sharp connectors and barbs..
barbules and hooklets
all of these
to hold a feather form..

and what of a song..?
a central shaft with ending quill
guides nutrition and light..
sacred texts penned
and that majestic flight..

hope extends...

(with appreciation for 
Emily Dickinson's

Hope is the thing with feathers 
That perches in the soul, 
And sings the tune--without the words, 
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard; 
And sore must be the storm 
That could abash the little bird 
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land, 
And on the strangest sea; 
Yet, never, in extremity, 
It asked a crumb of me.

Friday, November 30, 2012

a question
is posed..
touted as
most pressing as
our century unfolds:
Who am I..?

a phrase and cliche
proposes to reply
through the back door:
those talking-points
sometimes official
often serve to accuse..

the accuser
points to those points..
derides the masking
of original I am..
sad choice to repeat
health to reveal..

those points have
not just arrived..
dogmas of old
others brand new..
a sage once prescribed:
self-reliance on

The sage is RW Emerson in "Self-Reliance."  :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


this morning
this title introduced
through some separate
synchronous readings..
the question right now
how might patience
assist with this poem..

might it be
better to stop
stop writing just now
allow some gestation
some quiet perhaps..
resume in minutes,
or hours or months..?

hesitation quite brief 
and rough writing began..
still the end
that distant goal
an insistent completion
seemed to delay
blocking the flow..

did a fear arise
prompted by 
a finish out there..
that this poem will
never find ending..?
will likely end
as discard and refuse..

a walk.. reliable antidote.. 
there does seem
in those sometimes
an effortless flow..
other times 
impatience a mooring
so patience might grow..?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Big Bang

we all came
science does say
from a dot
a pinpoint
to all this..

but where is
that dot..?
if we say
where we live 
in our 3D
preposterous it seems..

if we say
in higher dimension
in our 4D
there would be
no space for us
no time or locality..

so we try once more
not 3D not 4D
but in between..
our universe
that dot is
 local in no locality...?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

three Vantages

we start early
peering around..
the desk and chair
a solid nightstand
tire pressures
wheels always round..

 much later moments
a fleeting glimpse
from deepened despair..?
the edge of a shore
the evening twilight
definite something more..

then at last
we reclaim our past
this new vantage
a clearing light
immersed and within..
yet not entirely
our own...

the Ladder

these rungs..
on which rung
does one stand in
this morning sun..?
the bottom rung
seems firmly planted
in this shopping season..
black friday entry
frenzied desires propel
our seasonal excess..

season is dark with
light saving they say..
where is it saved..?
in bright windows
in smiles and trees..?
and we might ask
finding two faces
on this lower rung..
what faces are there 
in that rung above...?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

the Square

a simple shape
a foundation
our stability 
our confident strength..
but ask we must
ask how sufficient
for our lives in
these disturbing years..
is now our time
is our honored square
more dependable
in a new light..?

dare we let go 
disconnect those corners
allow the four lines
to drift as they may..?
one mae become bold
more solid
more dark..
another fades to
a slim beam of light..

the other two
lack decision right now
end up comfortably
somewhere between..
then we notice
we cannot distinguish
which line dark
and which light..
 seeming becomings
before our eye..
 is our square
strong as before...?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Christmas Quiet

a quiet christmas
we expect this year..
travelers not arriving
just the holiday..
season shouts elsewhere..
a red poinsettia 
will be sufficient tree..

a seeming culmination
of early bells
an annual football
a brown dog
cats and icicles.. 
city lights and coastline
from a mountaintop.. 
excitement on those mornings
ribbons fleeting use..

these few memories
fill our quiet now..
but in reflection 
this quiet has not
only now occurred..
with gratitude we see
our treasured
 christmas quiet has 
through many years

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

blessing and curse

in this 2012 year
elevating consciousness
our illusive challenge..
 an evolution signpost 
on a circuitous road..

reaching this marker
finding new directions
depends on awareness..
locating our place
right here and right now..

worthy guides there are
who tell us
we are perched
on a precarious ledge
between light and shade..

other names suffice
for this place
might we say
blessing and curse aka.. (?)
then our guides say..

don't curse the shade
don't curse the curse.. 
a startling discovery
to be made
in each her own way..

at last she absorbs
the sought for blessing 
during a frightening search..
all along disguised
 as the accursed curse... (?)

Thursday, November 15, 2012


we each
have our own
leaning we say
mostly one way..
one relishes variety
another finds home
in sparser places..
in those
high thin clouds
afar and away..

evolution now
seems to demand
that one and another
plan for travel..
recognizing at last
that one and another
are found deep within..
hastening then
to become the other
then with joy
return again...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


we seem
on rising each morning
to plan our day
to choose best paths
for reaching 
each evening..

then we listen
as the wise ones say
our histories are
is not was..
time really eludes
maps with paths 
drawn before morning..

how then
might we choose..?
recognize the paradox
is this our real
and glorious


a foreboding
startles to memory
our war's beginning..
 this named entanglement
darkened and dampened
 the frivolity
the expected brevity
of our war with ourselves..
a blood soaked becoming 
of machinery and death..

the foreground a
cannon on wheels
replicated in the distance
and we assume
again and again..
these engines of conflict
dominate a distant
'tho insistent background..
the sun's
fiery reflection on
an expectant treeline..
coupled with sky
turbulent and echoing 
the cannon's 
forthright entrance 
with purpose unmasked..

this our battle of
separation for reunion
a Manassas pattern
oft repeated through
all of these
our rebirthing years..
flanking and horses
surprise encircling
a wall of stone..
agony and sorrow
the fever of war..
all to reframe
then to restate
 our collective.. sacred
 I Am... 

(Thanks to Lucy for the photo
and challenge...!)

Monday, November 12, 2012


when left adrift
lose a grounding
essential to health..
how might these
far flung meanderings 
be grasped
and tempered within..?

when we Associate..
delightful similarities found
but differences also..
unities spring forth
somehow easing 
anxieties of living..
stress retreats
and released health
trickles in...