Monthly Archives: June 2003

Something or Another Thing

Trying to catch a thought to write it down,
despite years of serious effort, seems
sometimes, so pointless; and though I may clown
and gambol with these words that come like dreams

I realize they are not concrete things.
Perhaps they represent solid matter,
for deep within their core, a stillness sings;
more likely they are meaningless chatter.

True, it is my sense of self that draws
them here; they have no motive of their own,
nor need to fling themselves, cackling jackdaws
picking at the marrow of the soul’s bone.

In fact, these words may not at all exist,
except to provide shadows in a mist.

30 JUN 2003


For some reason, perhaps that I’ve been thinking lately about the Dalai Lama and other assorted ocher, saffron and maroon robed individuals, I thought of this poem today. I wrote it in a fit of inspiration at a Poetry reading following my attendance at the performance and sand mandala destruction/dissemination/distribution of some visiting monks from the Trepung monastery.

Not to imply that you don’t, she said,
care about “Poetry”;
to which i replied, you’re right,
it’s not the “Poetry” that means anything,
but the life that leads to it –

like an orange,
which could be a
mandarin, tangerine, tangelo, color, mood, or aura;
like an orange,
which in its microcosmic sense, is a
bumpy circle which meets in a navel and finds its way back ’round again;
like an orange,
which can suffer greatly from an early frost;
like an orange,
which often bruises in its fall from the tree;
like an orange,
which hides its sweet and tender meat tucked safe inside a bitter shell;
like an orange,
which lets itself be squeezed, its juice drained off and bottled up;
like an orange,
which blends its anger red and hot with the warmth and mellow glow of sunshine;
like orange,
which in flame, is where the black and white lights meet;
like an orange,
which could represent the antithesis of the apple,
that some say Eve found quite appealing.

The orange represents
passion,intuition, gut reaction, first impression, and life
The apple represents
bookish learning, knowledge, logic, bribery, and ultimately death.

Not to say you don’t, i think,
care about the power of life and living,
but, to spend time over books comparing fruits and “Poetry”
means no growth for the poem’s seed.

It’s a metaphor for life, i want to say to you:

There’s no orange for the teacher;
moms don’t produce orange pies.
There’s no worm inside the orange,
and no orange of my eye.

But life is like an orange,
for to be most happ’ly lived
you cannot core it like an apple,
but must squeeze it in a sieve.

In the East the holy man wears orange
and in fact, it’s true –
the sound sung by the universe
is orange in its hue.

APR 1994

Seed Thought from Henry James

True happiness, we are told, consists in getting out of one’s self, but the point is not only to get out – you’ve got to stay out; and to stay out you must have some absorbing errand. — Henry James


If you would seek the truth, you must be willing
to seek beyond the questions, simple facts,
leave behind stale conceptions, and stand naked,
alone, aware of just this very moment.

Happiness is not based upon others,
it cannot be a shield against the world;
there is a thing that is, it is not other,
and holding it cannot keep it from harm.

We seek some common ground, yet it eludes us
because to seek it there, beyond our selves is vain;
there is no method, guru, or sure teaching,
for truth is found in its own pathless land.

Why suffering, and pain, and disappointment?
Why good and evil, thought of loss or gain?
Because to just exist seems too complacent,
because we like to think we must have plans.

But the universe does not give much attention
to us, in the grand scheme of every day;
We are like flowers, or the breeze, so fragile,
and here, then gone, in but a moment’s play.

The human situation? It reflects us,
each thought that seeks to raise our selves above
the simple, infinite way of creation –
energy released, gathered again.

When the observer and the observation
Cease their illusive separate planes and merge
There is no cause and no effect to ponder;
If you want to find what’s sacred, get out of the way.

27 JUN 2003

Question On Prophets

How does one, not having enlightenment (or grace or whatever you like to call it) recognize that someone else is enlightened? How does someone without the benefit of having seen Nirvana (or the face of God or the underlying principle of the universe whatever you like to call it) know that someone else HAS seen it? How does someone who has never seen Niagara Falls understand the description given by someone who has seen it, has felt the spray of the mist, heard the roar of the tumulting waters?

Is it any wonder that a prophet is never accepted in their home town?


The guru appears when the student is ready,
at other times, they pass by un-noticed;
only when the thirst for truth is steady
can one drink from the cup of the lotus.

Because to discern the saint from fool
one must be open to the options
beyond lessons, wisdom and rules;
one becomes a student by adoption –

recognizing the whole behind the parts,
looking past the illusion of knowing;
there is where the guru’s work starts,
tilling soil where seeds already are growing.

Unless you can envision the other shore,
the bridge is but a pier, nothing more.

26 JUN 2003

Today’s Seed Thought …

Take note of this fundamental truth…The creature with its free will can bring nothing into being, nor make any alteration in the working of nature; it can only change its own state or place in the working of nature, and so feel or find something in its state that it did not feel or find before.
— Law, William (1686-1761), English spiritual writer and mystic