Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Bite your tongue

Bite your tongue                 

One place to get to and here we are
but a hair’s breadth away.

Watch where you next step;
it may lead to a gate.  And beyond –

a garden rich, spacious,
redolent, varied, serene.

Step back to take in the whole view.
Bite your tongue to hear the birdsong.

And to smell the blossoms – 
stop sniffing your own sweat. 

People become free of care
when care is taken seriously;

light-footed when burdens
fall from their shoulders; tipsy.

Ordinary perfection; ubiquitous singularity.
Wordless poetry; thoughtless profundity –

it’s all awaiting us in the garden beyond
that even row of staunch white pales.

O child of God, a glimpse of heaven
reveals – you’re not in the picture.

(photos by Stevehoward2203/StillWorksimagery- Pixabay)

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A holy partaking

A holy partaking        

They send me postcards,
friends traveling the world –

colorful glossies; scribble on the back
notes of their adventures.  

No cards may be posted
from the realms I explore.

I just sit. Or tour my small house
and yard.  Do routine chores.

Enjoy quiet conversations with old friends.
I work on my flexibility; equanimity.

Read; paint; compose; prepare simple meals. 
The beauty of these ordinary happenings

I cannot reciprocally send their way
to fall upon busy, itinerant eyes and ears;

too subtle for photographs and words,
for the established premises, patterns,

constructs and commonality
of human communication.

O child of God, each morsel is a holy partaking
from the table which has been laid before us.


(photos by TerimakasihO, gwendoline63 - pixabay)

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The avenue to no-self

The avenue to no-self    

Take heed, the Buddhists say,
to keep the mirror bright, dust-free.

Or stated in another tradition –
become, as best we might, dust

at the Master’s feet –
self-effacement; mastery in servitude.

Kishizawa Ian was renowned
for his willful nature – a tiger,

self-proclaimed, as a young monk.
As an old abbot – a pussycat;

a callous upon his forehead
from incessant bowing –

his obstinacy turned upon itself
to eliminate his greatest impediment.  

O child of God, a dust grain is the Ocean drop,
the avenue to no-self, Oneness, Love Divine.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The excursion

The excursion        

A dust-shape drifting through drifts of snow
down a worn path to temporary shelter.

Escape by plunging into life –
this is the practice given to me. 

Not fanciful ideas of life –
a barbed fence at the property’s edge,

but walking out onto the lake, the ice thinner
the farther I get from shore,


as I glide and slip into next-to-nothing
in this floating world timeless and invulnerable.

When I break through at last,
they tell me, suddenly,

I will become nothing and everything
at the same propitious moment but right now

the excursion is simply everything, nothing
and enough; more than enough.

O child of God, who is there to hear you
above the wind’s icy roar?

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The evidentiary truth

The evidentiary truth      

In the forest a house made of forest –
stone, wood, clay.  Nothing in it is false.

Thickly overgrown, scarcely can it be seen.
Things are just as they are –

appropriate, timeless, undiminished.
Only the furnishings change their positions.

People visit but most often
walk through to the back

and out again into the weather,
the wilds unimpressed.

They have come to the woods
for their dreams; to put down roots.  

They want nothing to do
with the evidentiary truth of this house.

Only a returning few ever discover
the hidden beauty of such an austerity.

O child of God, rest in that sturdy shelter,
beyond any notions of rescue.