Poetry / Poems

There is a silence to the south
A burning mystery
Rolling over the tip of a tongue
Sliding gently into a memory
That could be a story
If only it were written there
On parchment or bare skin
The back of a hand
Or a stark street sign
Lit by the blankness of night

The wind brings with it a storm
Rattling steel and bone
With it's delicate deluge
And drenched
In this quivering possibility
It is nothingmore
Than heaven at a distance

Glance up
Take it all in
Swiftly choose
Right or wrong
Doesn't matter

And if that is so
All that is left
Is to swim
Dreambody River

My salmon body sleeps
taken by a dream-awake serenity.

My body, like a fish, like a man
dream fish.

I have said, "attend to the breath".
The elusive, magnificent breath.

I have said each moment
is an eternity.

(Knowing is
not living.)

Slaked by this river of breath
below osprey depth,

the river breathes and dreams
my body--, is my dreambody.

She is sunlight in eddies
and on colorful rounded stones.

Nearby--, she is nearby.
My arm drapes him. Such calm.

Such a deep dive, so cool, warm
and then the sky darkens.

The river would pull me under
in the torrent of sleep.

Sleep, tugging me under,
Osprey sleep, storm sleep.

I am becoming man,
rising from sleep.
which means rooted

and now the sky can be the sky again
and a hand in the place of a hand
and a foot in the place of a foot

it feels like stepping over a chasm
looks like leaping a void

but it is no risk
no loss
and tender enough to
slough off the drama

home is
home is
home is


take off your boots

it looks like a crushing blow
but the wound is in the past
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A Fire for the Deep Earth

This part is my own.
I have it within me to handle it myself.
I have made a fire and I am burning lack.
I am using tenderness as flame.

The Deep Earth Herself
Whispers encouragement.
Everything I really desire
is this.

You are here with me,
your drum in hand,
keeping rhythm,
bearing witness.

You are one who knows
an overripe peach will fall,
the corn and squash
will flourish.

The people will eat
of the Deep Earth.
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awake again before dawn
again on the edge of morning
heart full of wordless poems
and imageless sensations

what can a man do when
he is overflowing? he can
lie there and take it
as it is

he will arise, eventually
to drink cool water
and he will come to the kitchen window
and there will be a glint

a glint of pure heart
hanging on the roses
Silence is Everything

Silence is everything
that wants to dance,
that wants to break into poem.
One cannot break silence.

Stillness longs for a spring breeze.
Fulfillment is searching out longing.
Fire and water swoon and sizzle
one another.

This is the life!
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this is the vivid inside of the poem
this is the end of all searching
this is the indwelling of the found world
gone is the shroud of seeking
what was known at a distance
is now
the vivid inside of the world

images fall away

this is no fiction
this is the essence of life
this is the falling away of masks
this is the dropping away of armor
this is the unfolding mystery

this is home!

this i've always known
this is the final truth
this is the nature of things
this is home!

all of the givers know it
all who shiver glow it
any of us may instantly bestow it
this is home!

I am new here.
Where can I catch the bus?

Suppose You Have Travelled

Suppose you have travelled very far, very fast.
Suppose you have risked what you thought was everything.
And suppose arrival is nothing more than an infinite journey.
There is no parade in your honor. And you wouldn't like that, anyway.

Suppose the moon kisses the sun.
Suppose the Earth Herself bid Welcome!
Suppose you are no less lost now than ever.
Suppose you're far more vulnerable.

Suppose you've forsaken the Booby Prize.
Suppose it won't make the news today.
Suppose it hurts. Suppose you are broken still.
Suppose only broken ones can enter this gateless gate.

Suppose children, boys in pink shirts! Suppose girls in yellow dresses.
Suppose ignorance and bliss. Suppose barefoot and suppose hammocks.

Suppose endless poems. Suppose endless music. Suppose surprise endings at the end.

Propose apparently the impossible. Suppose courage. Propose innocense, suppose mispellings!
Encourage typos, risk everything.
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A rose is just a rose?
Not hardly.

One has to ask --
Who's looking?
Mystics Fart!

They smell funny, sometimes.
They poop and piss and sometimes pick their noses.

They don't -- above all -- have all of the answers.
They have many of the questions.

Mystics cry, and they sob, and they laugh -- just like
"non-mystics". What makes a mystic extraordinary
is only this: We know, if only in part, that
nothing--nobody--stands alone.
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this is enough

taking the tea pot down from the shelf
(such tenderness)
noticing--being!--the way the feet move
as the agile body turns toward the kettle
and how the socked feet kiss the cool
wooden floor and linoleum
and then the pouring
of the bubbling water
and filling of the tea ball diffuser

did i want tea?

was i headed somewhere?
Don't say I love you.
(a practice poem)

Say "I am loving you," instead.
And as you say "I am loving you" ask yourself,
silently to yourself, "is this true? Is this real?"

Love is the verb, "to be." Are you being, love, now?

Love is that which is.
Ask yourself, "am I?".

Darling friend, whomever you are,
please be.
I once heard a mathematician say

Infinity is
just zero
in a party dress.
This one is from Kabir.

I Said To The Wanting-Creature Inside Me

I said to the wanting-creature inside me:
What is this river you want to cross?
There are no travelers on the river-road, and no road.
Do you see anyone moving about on that bank, or resting?
There is no river at all, and no boat, and no boatman.
There is no tow rope either, and no one to pull it.
There is no ground, no sky, no time, no bank, no ford!

And there is no body, and no mind!
Do you believe there is some place that will make the soul
less thirsty?
In that great absence you will find nothing.

Be strong then, and enter into your own body;
there you have a solid place for your feet.
Think about it carefully!
Don’t go off somewhere else!

Kabir says this: just throw away all thoughts of
imaginary things,
and stand firm in that which you are.


... and now another of my own ...


What a chore and a bore
mindfulness seemed! Washing the dishes mindfully
in order that one day I can win the prize!
-- Gawd I hated washing dishes! --
There must be a pot at the end of the rainbow, somewhere!
Surely this cannot be it!

Yet--just moments ago--turning the lid on the saki bottle
to close it!

No Secret

In the most secret place of my heart
I've always known
Life is a poem
Poesis, in Greek
"To make"
And, too, I've known
Life is but a dance
To move freely
And, too, I have known
That the dancer and the dance
Are secret
Because unspeakable
Call this the Tao
Call it the instinctive movement
Of the thirsty toward water
Please call it love!
Call it joy
Call it wonder

We who dance
And sing
Are danced and sung
We who breathe are breathed
This I've always known
In the secret place of my heart
To love is letting go

To dance is letting go
Poems assemble on the page
Because life is a tender Mystery
With depths of secret
Which know themselves
Only in dancing --
In letting go
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There are no images in this poem

No dark basements
No attics
No revolving or swinging doors
No glass ceilings
Nothing that's mine or yours
There are no earthquakes
Or firestorms
Or lapis lazuli
And the spiritual peacock
Hides not his feathers in shame
No hot or cold weather
No masks and no games
There is no seeking
No silence
No music
No poetry in this poem
Here distances have dissolved
Along with journeys
Apples and gardens
Along with origins
Even Creation is nowhere to be found
There is no Buddha here
No Mohamed
No Christ
Not even the Tao
Nor even suchness
Or this
No metaphor is to be found
No rivers and no osprey
No turtles
Or frogs that go plop!
No turning within
Nor turning away
No sorrows or joys
No children at play
There's no emptiness in this poem
No filling
Or overspilling
Not a single kiss is here
Nor you and I
And no embrace
No emblems and no flags
No countries and no races
Nothing is in this poem
Not a damn thing