A Drop in the Bucket

His Holiness came
to visit the Big Easy:
a mixed race culture.

He spoke to thousands:
they lined up for hours to hear
his message of peace.

His smiling face shone
on all those who assembled;
what great energy!

Practice compassion,
be kind and giving to all:
we are all the same.

After it was done,
the throng of rich, white faces
sought the French Quarter.

While poor, black people
(still the large part of New Orleans)
went about their day.

Five hundred thousand:
the dollars raised for this trip.
That’s a chunk of change.

20 MAY 2013

It is not enough

It is not enough;
this sad waiting to evolve
serves no real purpose.

What good is this time,
if we long for what is next
and learn nothing here?

It is not enough
to stand around here waiting
expecting great change.

What good are those dreams,
if no one can be inspired
to act upon them?

It is not enough
just to think and talk and wish;
there must be movement.

What use are mere thoughts?
They cannot motivate us
until they catch fire.

08 APR 2013

A Haiku

The tap left running,
wasting water and money;
all call it evil.

they watch it dripping,
blame who turned it, and cry
“How wrong! How shameful!”

No one moves to change
the sad scene; their sole action
is indignation.

Yet when someone tries
to turn the spigot’s flow off,
they are reviled, too.

Is it the action,
or our own nothing done
that is upsetting?

So you can describe
how the world has become mad,
and with pride, complain.

Just being righteous
without fixing what is wrong
compounds the problem.

What glory is there
in being right about things
that make life ugly?

There is no changing
without risking ridicule.
You must at least try.

05 AUG 2004

A Meditation Haiku

Take a slow breath.
Don’t hold it long; let it go.
See, there is more air.

Take a good, long look;
Don’t scan the scene too quickly.
See, there is so much.

Take a deep swallow.
Don’t rush it; chew the liquid.
See how full you get.

Take a pause; listen.
Don’t mind all the surface noise.
See, you can do it.

Now give it all back.
Of course you have to keep some;
so you’ve changed the world.

Take a short lesson:
Each moment is a treasure;
gold can’t buy one back.

Breathe, look, drink, listen.
Become part of the whole world.
See — you can’t help it.

29 JUN 2004

Box Haiku

Inside the small box
that is our experience
there is nothing new:

the folded edges
let in small amounts of light
to read old news by.

But the lid is loose —
a gentle push opens it;
look, there is a sky!

If you throw your weight
against the side, you can tilt
the whole world open.

Just another box
that may look like open space
but has edges, too.

Some spend their lifetimes
thinking the box protects them;
they worship cardboard.

What lingers outside
is violent, wild and risky:
it is fully alive.

Without much warning
it may devour your small box;
why die that slowly?

Life is not easy;
anyone who denies this
is selling something.

Look! Your box and mine
share a common boundary.
Let’s leave together.

22 JUN 2004

Haiku for the Holidays

Long lines and cramped flights,
bland food tasting like warm crap:
holiday travel.

Meeting family,
all dwelling on past actions;
skin deep interest.

More useless gifts,
and hours wasted in small talk;
No relaxation.

So rude and hurried.
Must keep up with the Jones’:
California.

Too many people
rushing to get nowhere fast;
not a vacation.

08 JAN 2003

A New Study on Music and Memory …

or why that stupid song gets stuck in your head…a very interesting bit of new research from Dartmouth College: Music, Memory and the Brain

In other news, we have a wonderful little (5-1/2′) Scotch Pine tree now nestled in the corner of the living room. It is filling the house with its piney good scent, and tomorrow will be festively decorated for the impeding Yule celebration. In addition, many wonderful gifties were purchased at Barnes & Noble, including a reprint of the 1865 first edition of Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass” … which unfortunately, I have to wait a week to peruse. Digital pictures, I am sure, will be forthcoming either here or in Starlight Dances’ journal.

a mall haiku

bustling crowded mall
filled with last minute shoppers:
retail paradise

milling, frantic souls
accumulate more receipts
and shopping bags

is it insanity
that drives them here to visit
these over-priced stores?

why did we come here?
we should have purchased stuff on-line,
and had it gift-wrapped.

in the parking lot
it is easier to breathe;
finally finished.

15 DEC 2002