Tag Archives: peace

This Moment of Now

In a moment’s span
life expands to fill the void;
a flower blooming
is a gentle breath of air:
earth and sky come together.

04 JUN 2024

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Random Theory: cyhydedd naw ban

No bright, bleeding edge technology
can by itself inspire us to see
beyond the limitations that bind
us to solutions posed by old minds,
gurus and mentors with rigid ways,
and coaches still running ancient plays.

The revolution cannot be fought
using hackneyed strategy still taught
in broken and ineffective schools,
who at best offer us simple tools.
We need to seek beyond the hammer;
relearn to speak using new grammar.

But in the end, no shortcut or device
grants understanding of work, or price,
nor strips away a rigid mindset;
artificial means are not there yet.
What must be done requires human acts
that integrate ideas and facts,
creating blueprints for the future, now,
out of something unknown, new, somehow.

To that creation, our tools and toys
may add flash, bells, whistles, and some noise
as mere ways for focusing the brain.
Our duty to thinking must remain
so that the choices we weigh and rank
leave in their outcomes, ourselves to thank.

And revolution, if it then comes,
some fresh distribution of stale crumbs
amongst the cannon fodder still here?
How it will change the world is unclear.
The only certainty is still death;
the randomness of life is what’s left.

16 FEB 2017

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The Art of Happiness

The question was, “How can I be
more compassionate; how can my
efforts to be compassionate
be more effective?”

His answer, politically careful,
was that it was an individual
question; that each person’s
contribution was different,
that one’s answer was not
necessarily another’s.

Before he spoke, under my breath,
I said, “the answer
is: just start.”
If you spend all your days
in thought,
about whether you’re wasting time
or if your “talents”
could best serve
some other way,
you’ve missed the point.

The object will not ever be
to change the world,
but change yourself.
It does not matter the reward
if what you do you know is right.
One need not over-complicate
the matter; just begin,
and do not worry on
the end effect, the bottom line,
the dividend, spiritual gain.

Just do it. Start
by smiling. Now,
right here, where
you are at.

And just keep at it.
Never stop.

20 MAY 2013

for the His Holiness the 13th Dalai Lama

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At the Lakeshore

Thoreau spoke of a quiet desperation:
a sad affliction borne by other men,
whose lives are filled up, not so much with silence
but with a never-ending dulling din,

the calling card of progress and its engines,
whose pulse and throb churn on into the night
and rob the world of any moment’s stillness.
With engineering, we would prove it right

that idle hands seek evil, free from working;
that contemplation breeds unrest and doubt;
that in a second’s peace, there is a lurking
malaise so foul that noise must drive it out.

What genius, to encourage entertainments
that thrive on a cacophony of sound
and into pensive hours, inject such vigor
that even philosophic minds are bound

to see in growing deafness, evolution;
amidst the constant murmur of machines
to hear a mantra granting absolution;
and find in silence only the obscene.

As if truth is transmitted by loudspeaker
not needing other volumes first turned down,
instead of lapping, quiet at the shoreline
where we must either learn to swim, or drown.

Lake Catherine, Arkansas
29 OCT 2006

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Peace is a Verb

No passive meal, no rare stuff bird,
true peace is not a noun, but verb;
inaction, apathy and doubt
that whisper are not her. She shouts

from rooftops, making foul war shake
in fear at her approach. Mistake
not mewling whiners for her knights,
but rather find those awake nights

who seek to change first, in themselves,
the hurt and violence that dwells
inside us all, and is expressed
in hatred’s cruel unhappiness.

Peace is no victim, she just waits
while we excuse or blame on fate
why we act not who know the course
that will alone deter blind force:

to cease rewarding strength and might
for its own sake, calling it right
that those who kill and those who die
are somehow not just you and I.

11 AUG 2006

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If You Want Love

My father was an upright man who never went to church;
but he gave his word and that was that, he’d help you from a lurch.
He hated all self-righteousness and practiced what he’d preach;
when I asked him what made the good life he’d give me this speech:

Live as if there’s no hereafter if you want a Heaven here on earth;
Spend as if it’s your last dollar if you want to get your money’s worth;
Act like everyone knows something that it might be worthwhile to learn;
Love as if the world is ending if you want love in return.

My father died ten years ago; we laid him in the ground.
I don’t think anyone expected he’d be Heaven-bound.
When I think back on how he lived, I have to crack a smile
imagining their faces when they look in his file
and it says:

Live as if there’s no hereafter if you want a Heaven here on earth;
Spend as if it’s your last dollar if you want to get your money’s worth;
Act like everyone knows something that it might be worthwhile to learn;
Love as if the world is ending if you want love in return.

Someday may be good enough for some folks, he would say;
but if you want to change the world you’d better start today …

Live as if there’s no hereafter if you want a Heaven here on earth;
Spend as if it’s your last dollar if you want to get your money’s worth;
Act like everyone knows something that it might be worthwhile to learn;
Love as if the world is ending if you want love in return.

17 MAR 2006

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Untitled

If you asked a Buddhist monk
who fled the monastery
as it burned down to the ground

if he would miss it very
much, I think he might reply

“Some mornings, in the winter,
purple clouds would split the sky
into bright colored splinters.”

10 OCT 2005

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